Friday, December 17, 2010

Lyle Bestul, 1921 - 2010

Lyle Bestul was an icon. He was respectful and respected. When I ran into him at Signature's a couple years ago I think I finally felt like I could call him "Lyle", not "Mr. Bestul", and that was not disrespect for him after 50 years but a feeling that maybe, just maybe, I had earned the right to do so by virtue of my own age.

My sister LaVerne, Class of '55, used to talk about him a lot. "Mr. Bestul this and Mr. Bestul that." My guess is the last year he was in teaching the same thing was going on. My favorite story might be of the day before Christmas (or some other Holiday), when he announced a pop quiz, totally unexpected, so we each pulled out paper and pencil for the first question: "Who is buried in Grant's tomb?"

He acted so seriously about it until we caught on. And when he started laughing it was in that drawl unlike any I ever heard from any other person.

He was classy. He was a gentleman. When he did lose his temper I don't know that anyone was ever fearful so much as we were sorry to upset him because he was such a nice guy.

The respect he had for others was/is an attitude I even saw instilled in his son Brian, who led Viking basketball to an excellent season (sorry I don't know the record) before he went on to play at UNI. I was with Phil Johnson after one of Brian's games when we ran into Lyle and Brian. Though he didn't really know me from Adam, Brian knew who I was, and was as polite as you would expect from Lyle's son. It's true - the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

We were fortunate to have had lessons at this man's knee.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Take a Sentimental Journey

Marilyn Weidler Ulve forwarded a slideshow about a Town in the 50's, and with the help of Richard Holstad re-formatting some of the slides, we were able to post it here on the blog. Click on the Photos and Slideshows link at the left to go to the page where you can view it.

It should bring back some enjoyable memories.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Weatherman Was RIGHT!!

After pooh-poohing the weatherman in my last post, I suppose I should retract some of what I said. By golly, they were pretty much right on with their prognostication, although they did adjust it upwards midway through the blast.

By now you've heard the Metrodome roof collapsed in a big "poof", just as it did 25 or 30 years ago, and the UNI-Dome did the same thing back about 75 or 76, too. I suppose that's why it now has a hard roof. And you may well see a new stadium for the Vikings soon to be built. As a Cheesehead living but 30 miles away, I shall stand here and cheer for it since it will have no impact on my taxes.

The bottom line to the whole story is that it was a snowstorm like we used to have 'em, with 12 hours of storm-time devoted to the bantering weatherman. WeatherPERSON, I should say. I wonder whatever happened to the KGLO weather guy posted in the Shell Weather Tower. Technology has come a long way since then, when the camera zoomed in on what appeared to be a photo of a guy in a tree house until he turned around to tell us what was happening. Was he possibly the original outdoor weather guy? (Even if he wasn't outdoors?)

Friday, December 10, 2010

A Good Snowstorm

That's what the weathermen are now talking about for this area - probably a foot. Maybe even 5-foot drifts. If it doesn't turn out quite that way they never go back and say, "Gees, I was sure wrong." Instead they say, "That storm had Alpha Force 468 intersect unexpectedly at Median 923 . . . " if you know what I mean.

A foot of snow here near the Twin Cities is nothing compared to what might drop in Buffalo, NY, but it would be kind of welcome, just for the challenge. And it makes me think about storms we may or may not have gotten in the 50's. I do recall one time, I believe 1951, when my Grandpa Holstad picked up my sisters and me because a storm was coming in. The storm was already there, of course, since we were without today's high-tech meteorologists to warn us. We drove back to the farm and probably went without electricity and phone service for a couple days.

Seemed we had some pretty good blizzards from time to time that would just shut things down. But if we get a foot of snow today everybody still commutes to work in the morning. Snowplows - rewired, like the comedian Tim Allen would say.

One time I took Phil Johnson home from somewhere during a pretty good storm, and we decided the roads were so treacherous once we got to his house that I really should stay overnight. I did. For 2 nights. And then Dad called to point out all the roads were open so I should have no problem making it the last 4 miles so I could help him with chores. Sometimes he had no sense of humor.