Highlights from The Herald Democrat

50 Years Ago

123 Diplomas Presented to Graduation Class of LCHS

June 3, 1970


Despite a time when old values are being torn apart and the world appears to be a violent place in which to make a new life, all the graduating seniors appeared to be glad to accept the challenge that leaving high school brings. The four main talks of distinguished members of the class disclosed that serious thinking had entered their compositions.

The Lake County high school gym where commencement exercises were held was a colorful “launching pad” with the “astronauts” seated in the upper half of the gym gowned in striking light yellow for the girls and deep purple for the boys. They were escorted in and out of the exercises by beautiful junior girls wearing formals.

The stage on which each individual graduate stepped to be announced by Dr. Nels Sullivan and receive the diploma from Dr. Bernard Smith with accompanying handshake was decorated with a beautiful basket of pink roses and blue carnations.

The Rev. Harold M. Neufeld gave the invocation following the flag ceremony. After, the class song “Time for Us,” was sung, with Carol Lally as accompanist. Speeches were given by class president Laurence Montano, president of student council James O’Neal, Most Representative Girl Mary Ann Jakopic, and Most Representative Boy Pete Martens.

Laurence Montano began his speech, “Times Like These,” by saying, “Our cries for personal freedom are being heard all over the world. Many people are appalled at our attitudes and ideas. They want to know what is really happening to the young people of today. Likewise, some teenagers want to know why they can’t get along with or talk to their parents or other adults.”

Montano said one problem has been created through adults being overly concerned with their jobs, often placing high value on orderliness and routine. Young people are exploring the world for ideas of how the world should be improved. “No problem is too big for us,” said Montano. “No matter how old an idea is, it is still new to us. Our solution may not be perfect. In fact, we may not even understand the problem, but we must try because we are so idealistic. Youthful vitality keeps the world from getting dull or stagnant. Adult orderliness keeps it from falling apart. This tension between adults and youth creates the generation gap. Young and old must learn to work together to improve the whole world.”

Montano went back into ancient history to demonstrate that clashes between young and old are nothing new. Times similar to today were experienced in 2000 B. C., when it was thought the world would not survive. “In these times it is good to remember there have always been times like these,” concluded Montano.

James O’Neal titled his talk “A Peculiar Treasure.” He compared life to a river which goes on its way to build up lakes and reservoirs. “The river can build or it can destroy, but on it goes—swift or slow, narrow or deep. Unlike rivers, we possess a peculiar treasure, for we have a choice of routes. Some rivers are never strong enough to go their own way but become swallowed up. Some rivers are shallow and cannot assume responsibilities.”

O’Neal compared leaving high school to a river outgrowing its banks. “Now we are full-grown rivers. We pause for brief spells or reach the full flood stage to go on to the sea. No longer are there confining banks of school to guide our values.”

Mary Ann Jakopic titled her presentation “The Challenger.” A key line was that the burning and destroying of buildings must be challenged by this new group going into the world. Many other challenges are to be met by the graduating class. As her closing words put it bluntly: “Challenge or be challenged.”

Pete Martens, most representative boy, described how experiences of various generations shape their values. Some of today’s parents went through a depression which gave them a stronger respect for money. Those who experienced joys and sorrows of a World War developed a great love for their country, accompanied by a strong pride.

Martens explained feelings of today’s youth especially in the way of criticism of old ways, of doing things as resulting from the young people being protected and spared from difficulties which parents had experienced. This “man’s inhumanity to man,” the distrust of the young for adults, has created the generation gap where one age group cannot understand the other. “Each of our values are so different. Our generation feels they have been fooled. We must decide for ourselves who is right. Every generation has this decision, including our parents. Our decisions will be the hardest of all generations. Never take anything at face value. When you make a decision, stick by it with all the feeling you can—seven days a week. Even when saying the pledge of allegiance, stand up and mean everything you say.”

To Principal William L. Kerrigan fell the honor of presenting another senior class.

The concluding remarks by Dr. Bernard Smith were to the effect that he could not eulogize in the same fine manner as the representative student speakers who preceded him. His speech consisted of one important statement: “We wish you all the luck in the world. Our hopes, our prayers are with you so that you can have a successful FIGHT in life for liberty, justice and the pursuit of happiness. Remember, I said FIGHT rather than RIGHT.”

The seniors are now on their own with a few days to let the significance of the old childhood saying sink into their thoughts: “No more pencils, no more books; no more teachers’ dirty looks.” Then will come the nostalgic longing for the protective feeling which can be secured scholastically only the first 12 years.

June 5 will bring the end of the school year to the other students. Right now the juniors can hardly wait to become seniors, and then they too will accept the challenge of a new way of life.

Sheriff’s Dept. Makes Big Silver Find

June 5, 1970


Members of the Lake County Sheriff’s Department accomplished something the other evening that all law officers would like to emulate—they had a robbery suspect arrested and in jail five hours before the theft was reported with a second suspect arrested 2½ hours before the crime was reported.

Held in Lake County jail are two suspects, George Junior Sheers, 42, and Lawrence Ray McGuire, 53, both of the Vendome Hotel. The pair were advised of their rights Thursday afternoon and each placed under $2,000 bond. They remain in jail.

Acting on a tip, the sheriff and undersheriff discovered that the trailer home of Mrs. Mary Eitierm, Mount Massive trailer court, had the door jammed open with a screwdriver and the trailer burglarized. The break-in evidently occurred late Wednesday evening. Sheers was arrested while driving between Leadville and Climax, with the arrest coming at 3:30 am. McGuire was arrested about 6 am at the Vendome.

Mrs. Eitierm reported the robbery to the sheriff’s office about 8:30 am.

Found in Sheers’ automobile at the time that he was stopped were various containers belonging to Mrs. Eitierm containing $2,260.75 in silver and $13 in silver certificates. A search warrant was obtained Thursday afternoon and McGuire’s room examined. Here, approximately $20 to $30 in old coins were recovered. Discovered also in Sheers’ auto were four credit cards belonging to the robbery victim.

Both McGuire and Sheers are charged with theft. The finding of the credit cards makes them liable for violation of additional laws.

St. John’s Eve Is Winner With Smokeless Bonfire

June 24, 1970


The homey, wood-burning fire, the creation of the Knights of Columbus for St. John’s Eve, proved that this year the affair was not a “tired success.” With the ban on tire-burning, the wood-stoked cozy glow created the right spirit for enjoyment.

The Jakopic orchestra can be complimented for entertaining the crowd with music. A few tried dancing, but literally “kicking up the dirt” discouraged the long performances of the “light fantastic.”

Making up the orchestra was Joe Jakopic on the accordion; Leonard Fuchtman, bass; Joe Ambrose, saxophone; Bill Powell, guitar; and Albert Bezzic, banjo. The oldies and the polkas kept the crowd lingering to a late hour.

One of the “Johns” who really got into the spirit of the occasion and enjoyed the music by the cheery fire was John Novak of the local fire department. John can remember in days of old when a John in the family on St. John’s night really called for a celebration. The music set John to reminiscing, and he can enjoy the musical notes in his own way, a manner which can be mimicked by no one. It was a pleasure to watch him.

The local Knights of Columbus were pleased by the large turnout and the camaraderie of those who were present.

Bur-Rodeo Contestants Train

June 30, 1970


Potential contestants for next month’s burro race, a part of the July 9-12 Leadville Bur-Rodeo celebration, were in Leadville Sunday running over the 21-mile course.

Steve Mathews and Mae Wichers had their burros running over the trail Sunday afternoon; Joe Glavinick continues to practice and it is understood that Harold Bristol of Frisco has run the course several times.

Mathews was using a new burro Sunday by the name of “Big Bad John.” As always, the burro, and that of Miss Wichers, are owned by Jerry Reynolds, an employee of the Denver Police Department’s Detective Bureau. Reynolds has had burros in the race for the past eight years, with three first, one second and one third place finishes. His other racers, besides Mathews, have been Bob Griffith and John Grundy.

Mathews, age 29, is one of the distance runners who compete for the Denver Track Club. For members of the AAU, their prize money is paid to Reynolds and turned over to the Denver Track Club for traveling expenses, equipment, etc.

Other Denver Track Club members who are planning to compete in the burro race include Bob Campbell, a 20-year-old marathon runner, who will be racing with Banjo, veteran competitor; Dr. Allen Watts; and Ted Cutler, also quite a distance runner.

One item is of interest— Mathews expects to be able to shave 30 minutes off his 1969 winning time of two hours, 50 minutes, 34.5 seconds.

Today’s Chuckle


This isn’t such a bad old world after all, once you get used to being nervous about everything.

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