|Rolfe Alumni Essay|
620 S. Alton Way 1D
Denver, Colorado 80231
Rolfe High School Class 1936
My name is Bill McIntire, class of 1936. My sisters, Frances and Catherine, and I were born in the house at 405 Pine Street, now (in 2000) owned and occupied by Virgil Vaughn. It was a great neighborhood with the Bill Obrechts in the first house on our west, and Doc and Suma Butler on the east. Robert and Eldon Obrecht and I were about the same age and spent most of our summers having rubber gun fights in Obrecht's grape arbor. Robert and I always teamed up against Eldon who had built his fort out of a garden hose cart, pieces of old carpet and a snow shovel. Robert and I had a magnificent fort made of bricks, but Eldon always won. Inner tubes needed for ammunition were really hard to find, but ingeniously we managed, even making a rubber-gun rifle, not patented.
Doc and Suma were good neighbors also, and it was said that Suma never saw a recipe she liked. One of her passions was to "make improvements" on them. She was great at making soy sauce, cured in the sun in her back yard and gladly sharing it. Doc, whose name was really Guy, was a trained and qualified dentist but because of an automobile accident, suffered the loss of fine motor skills so never practiced dentistry that I know of. He ran for Pocahontas County sheriff one time, and as part of his campaign, handed out pencils on which was printed, "If you vote for me you make no mistake so I left the eraser off." I remember that later he became president of Rolfe State Bank and a member of the Iowa legislature.
Muriel Wilson (mother of Kip and Jim) lived next to the Butlers on the east — more of that later.
Don Grant and Rudy Phillips developed a classy maneuver accomplished with a car on ice. I could give you the name of the exercise, but this is a family web site. One very cold night they chose to demonstrate the exercise to me, but something went awry and we ended up in four feet of snow in a ditch by Thompson's pond. We walked up to the Rolfe Cafe and wheedled Axel Iverson into pulling the car out with his truck.
One Halloween, a group of four or five stalwarts decided to do something memorable in honor of the occasion, so wrapped ten rolls of snow fence around the schoolhouse. We (they) also hoisted a toilet stool to the top of the school flagpole, with no thought given to what might happen if the puny chain should break, crashing on anybody below. The column header in the Rolfe Arrow might have read, "Local resident severely injured by toilet stool."
Several of the local teachers roomed and boarded at Muriel Wilson's home in my neighborhood, so of course, they had to be next on the agenda. We (they) placed an outhouse on the front walk of her house so the teachers would have to walk around it. Coach Art Evans was next. He got an old rusted out car body on his front steps, and Supt. M.D. Anderson got 36 old tires in his yard.
No, I don't know where we (they) got all that stuff and I don't know who moved it all back.
Now, if you are inclined to be "tsk, tsk, tsking," remember that these were the same bold, risk-takers, who, five or six years later, were in WWII and helped win it for you.
I can't name names. The statute of limitations may not have expired and besides, some of those guys (even though there may be only one or two of us left) know where I live!!
It should be noted that at no time during these exercises (or any other) did we (they) destroy anything. We just creatively moved around useless and abandoned materiel.
Such activity is another facet of growing up in a small town. No one at that time ever heard of a "youth rec center." In the early l930s, we (they) created our own diversions, perhaps viewed by some as quasi-legal. Great fun to remember though, and I assure you the above report includes only a few samples of our escapades.
P.S. There are also two football episodes that could rightfully be part of the preceding report.
One time we thought it would be real cute to soak a couple of players’ intimate unmentionables in some of the really strong liniment which was intended to ease aching muscles. The guys didn't know it was there until during practice when they got warmed up and began to sweat. We got in trouble for that, justifiably, but I don't remember who else was involved.
Another time at practice, some of us were not gaining favor with Coach Art Evans, so he called us over for a little two-on-one drill. He had Deane Gunderson and me go against Bob Russell, a big strong farm kid who was a starting lineman and whose forte was defense. Not many players got by him in one-on-one situations, either in practice or a game. Coach Evans was sure Bob would smear us, teaching us a lesson that would make us more serious about the game. I weighed a strapping 120 pounds and remember that the Rolfe Arrow said I was small but wiry (whatever that is — the writer was trying to be kind). The two-on-one drill meant that Deane and I were to block Bob on signal. To prove to Coach Evans that we could really do the job, Deane said to me, "you hit him high, and I'll hit him low." I guess we overdid it. Indeed, we accidentally broke Bob’s arm and the big guy was out for the rest of the season, but we got no more guff from Coach Evans.
That must have been my junior year because Mother wouldn't let me go out for football my senior year since she wanted to protect my fingers from being broken inasmuch as I was concertmaster of the orchestra.
Editor’s note: Who would ever have guessed that Bill who looks so innocent here in his high school portrait would be involved in such nefarious activities as reported above? He ended up as a public school teacher and administrator for 33 years and retired in 1982.