Murdo Girl…Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers

That was the motto for Murdo High School’s class of 1970. The class flower was the yellow rose, and the colors were silver and orchid. I don’t remember our class choosing any of those. I never would have guessed silver and orchid. After fifty-one years, you forget some things.

How could it possibly be fifty-one years since I graduated from high school. I can still see the students, the teachers, and the classrooms. I can feel the excitement of the football and basketball games, and hear the songs the band played with Mr. Palmer directing. I remember my friends and I wore skirts as short as we could get away with and go go boots like Nancy Sinatra’s. We all had summer jobs and in our senior year, we hardly ever missed a Vivian dance. Vivian was a small town about a thirty minute drive from Murdo and the dance was held in their auditorium every other weekend. It was one of those reputation risking events because usually, nothing good happened after ten o’clock. I remember the music was always good, the dance floor was packed and so were the bleachers.

I got a little nostalgic today while looking at some photographs a classmate’s brother posted on Facebook. A while back, Tammy Lindquist Van Dam sent me copies of several MHS annuals. I was happy to see 1970 was among them because Mom lost mine. If you want to know the truth, she threw it away. I told you that Mom never kept anything.

I also didn’t remember why some of the pictures in the annual were one big blur. The football picture only had ten kids in it. Eleven were absent.

It really was too bad because there were seven seniors on the team, and it was undefeated. We had one All State player.

Our basketball team won the District 16 Championship. They lost the 2nd game of the Regional Tournament. The basketball pictures were better as were those of the track team with all its record breaking stars. Coach Applebee had some good stuff to work with.

Here is what happened. The annual staff had to spend the summer reconstructing the annual when they found that over twenty pictures sent to them by the photographer were missing. They had been burned. (I don’t know how that happened.) They quickly gathered as many as they could find of groups like the football team. I think they did an amazing job.

Mr. Palmer designed the cover.

I remember our senior float and stuffing all those napkins. We made a huge skunk. On the side it said, “Skunk the Falcons.” I even remembered that we got 3rd place out of the four high school floats. I thought our skunk was a winner. It looked like the skunk was spraying the goal post. Maybe that’s what offended the judges.

We skunked the Falcons

I jumped around a bit didn’t I? Homecoming is at the beginning of the school year, followed by basketball, and then track. English literature was my favorite class followed by algebra. I hated anything having to do with science or chemistry. We had girl’s basketball, but not home economics. I did take Spanish. I didn’t retain much, but I still remember the words to the song Danny Koester and I translated into Spanish. We chose “Lemon tree very pretty and the lemon flower is sweet, but the fruit of the lemon is impossible to eat.”

Limonero muy bonito y la flor de limón es dulce pero el fruto del limón es imposible de comer. (I cheated and googled it. I remember using limon arbole for lemon tree.)

And then we all graduated…All twenty-seven of us. High school is only four years in the life of a kid, but I believe it really influences what happens next; especially if you grew up in a close-knit community. Some get it right away, while it takes others longer.

For years, I used Palmer or Peterson when asked to give the name of my favorite teacher. It was the answer to a secret question in case I forgot my password, which happened often.

That’s me in the bottom left picture.

Murdo High School…I loved it! The building is gone, but the memories linger…

One thought on “Murdo Girl…Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers

  1. Grant Fodness February 9, 2021 / 4:16 pm

    Very cool! I saw your name and, as a fellow South Dakotan thought it had to be Murdo, SD. Love all the old yearbook photos!


Comments are closed.