My High School Years: Hi-C Club

When the bus could’t go any further, this is how we got to our destination at Arrowhead Springs
I am in the upper right corner.

Hi-C actually started in Junior High, as I have already written about. But it continued into high school. I am so thankful to God for this group, because it kept me excited about my Christian life. And one of the verses that I remember using during that time was John 10:10, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and have it more abundantly.” Yes, I think Hi-C for a me was all about living the abundant life in the midst of so much pain and turmoil at home, and also in the classroom—I just wasn’t a very good student.

I think God was using Hi-C, along with sports, to get me through life at that time; otherwise I think I would have been very depressed. The first thing I remember about the club was our trip to Arrowhead Springs, Colorado (pictured). I don’t remember a lot, just that it was a great motivator and I felt so much joy being around other believers. It was like experiencing a small bit of heaven.

Similarly, I remember our city-wide rallies. Hi-C wasn’t just in my high school. It was in several high schools in Minneapolis. Jerry Kaufman was a God-send for the rallies—a great motivator. Anyway, we would have city-wide rallies about once a month, and Jerry Kaufman, with his accordion, would lead them. It was mainly a time of singing Christian songs; and we also usually had a special speaker that would give a gospel presentation. Oh, we also had plenty of time to play games and be rowdy. And now that I think of it, there were also city-wide hay rides and other events.

This is Gary.

I think I actually made more friends from other schools, through the city-wide events, then from my school at West High. And I went to great lengths to keep those relationships going. I remember having to ride the bus for very long distances, using two or three transfers to get to places. And it was worth it. I often visited my friend Gary Westlund. He became sort of a mentor to me. I remember when we would team up and go witnessing at Lake Calhoun beach. It was always me and Gary.

The Hi-C Club at West was a much smaller group. I was elected President, and we also had two secretaries and a treasurer—so I guess we were fairly organized. Anyway, we had weekly meetings where we would usually invite a speaker. I remember that one of our regular speakers was Mr. Baxter, who was a teacher and a coach at West. Everyone liked him.

Our intention in the group was not just to have fun. We set out to invite as many as we could from school to group meeting so that they would eventually find Christ.  I’m not sure how many that was, but there were a few. I sometimes wonder where they all are right now. I know that many have been greatly influenced by Hi-C just as I have been. I don’t have many pictures, but I do have several writings in my year books that have mentioned Hi-C, and they usually signed off with “In Christ,” or even “Love in Christ.” Those were the days. I pray that they are still going on for the Lord as I am.  

My High School Years: House and Family

This is the house I lived in during my high school years. This picture was taken in 2018, 50 years after I lived there, but it looks exactly the same.

During my high school years, we lived in a two-story house in south Minneapolis. Both of my parents were working. My dad was working as a door to door salesman in Fuller Brush and also in Watkins products, and my mom worked as a secretary. I don’t think either of them made too much money, but it was enough to get by. In those days it seemed like we all had our own lives; we looked out just for ourselves—all seven of us: two parents and five of us kids. It was a big family but none of us really saw each other much. Like I said, my parents worked a lot. And me, during the school months I was always involved in sports, and in the summer time you could usually find me at the beach on Lake Calhoun.

My older sister, Diane, like me, had her own life. I really couldn’t tell you what she was involved in, except that she was kind of a book worm. Mark, just a year younger than me, seemed to get in trouble a lot. Instead of being involved with sports, he would hang out with friends, that, well, I really don’t know what they did; it seemed that they would just walk around and act cool, and smoke. Mom was always worried about him.

I had another brother and sister, Jimmy and Donna, that came along later. When I was 17 and busy with high school, they were about 6 and 7. I really didn’t get to know them much at all. They were around, but I was so busy with my life that I didn’t hardly notice them. After high school I enlisted in the Marines, went off to Vietnam, and then stayed in North Carolina with the Navigators for the next four years. When I came back home, both Jim and Donna were almost like strangers.

I don’t know why, but I rally didn’t think about any of my siblings much, and I can’t remember that as a family we did anything together. When we lived on the farm (3 and 4 years earlier) it was a little different. I mean, we didn’t do any fun things together, but at least we worked together—in the fields and doing the chores.

I did see my mom the most. I saw her every morning when she got me up for my paper route and for school. I also saw her in the evening when she would be busy working around the house. I guess I did see my siblings from time to time, but, like ai said, we all had our own lives, and sadly, we didn’t much care what the other was doing. I guess mom cared most about the family and everyone came to her with their problems. Dad, on the other hand, seemed to be quite self-absorbed and was angry most of the time—so it was best to stay away from him. I think he was happiest when he was at work with his clients.

Well, that was my life at home. It was mainly just a place to eat and sleep. It was just a place to recharge my batteries for the main part of my life, which was school, sports, and being with my friends. I wish it could have been different, but it wasn’t. I wish home could have been more of a fun and friendly place, but it wasn’t. It was just a place to eat and sleep and to try to stay out of trouble—and away from my angry dad. I like being around mom, but it seemed like much of the time she was sad and crying—over a bad marriage. But I knew she loved and cared about me. And that was good. Fast forward to four years ago (2016), just before she died; she kept saying to me over and over again, “I love you so much Stephen. I’ve always loved you so much.”

Next blog post: I will talk about my high school, some of my classes, and my involvement in the band.