Rockford Area Historical Society News & Update

by TERRY KONKLE
President, Rockford Area Historical Society

Terry Konkle Photo by Cliff Hill

Several people have contacted me asking if I could do a column about Thor. Because many readers may not know about Thor, let’s ask the following “Nugget of Rockford History” question:  Who was Thor? Contact me at (616) 866-0530 with your answer and also with your Thor stories. With your help, the story of Thor can be presented and another positive part of our area history can be revealed.

Last week I mentioned that the Rockford High School class of 1962 was inducted into the “Golden R” on Saturday, June 30, 2012. Many 1962 graduates attended the luncheon during the afternoon, and then the held their own reunion that evening at the Rockford Sportsman’s Club. As the advisor to the class, I attended both events. My wife also was at the two functions, and we agreed that the day was an enjoyable one for us. Both of us consider many of the members of the 1962 class our friends because we have known and remained in contact with many of them over the years. Some of them babysat our children while others worked in the area, and Bruce VanWingen became a teacher at Rockford High School and was a colleague for years. He even introduced me to computer possibilities in the year 2000.

Dr. Michael Shibler, Rockford superintendent of schools, speaks during the Golden R reunion of the class of 1962 held June 30, 2012. He spoke of the accomplishments of the school staff during a time of funding cuts. There were 46 graduates present who graduated prior to 1962, in addition to the new Golden R members of RHS graduating class 1962. At the end of the luncheon, Betty Harris Wonders played the piano while the group sang "God Bless America."

On the night of the reunion, we met many class members and shared lots of history. Their experiences were interesting to learn about and covered all facets of life. It did seem to me that laughter and good feelings were quite prominent. I spoke with many of them, and wish that I could have talked with more. The class to me was and always will be special. They have certainly made their mark on the world!

Several members of the class were very interested in our new museum project and stated that they intended to make donations. I found this very positive because when they were in school, Rockford did not have a museum. They just want to help. Many offered auction ideas and wished us luck with it. Some, who live in the area, will hopefully donate their items.

Last week, I was asked when the auction would take place. The answer is: “As soon as we have the renovations done at the new location.” We are collecting items and will store them until auction time. Posters and fliers are out in the community and newspaper publicity is helping to spread the word. I want to emphasize that we need help. You do not have to be a Historical Society member to help us. Call (616) 485-4144 or (616) 866-0530 if you have items to give for auction or if you want to be a helper. Please call with questions or comments, also.

It is almost a year now since the city council approved our project and much progress has been made. We still would appreciate your help as we near the finish line. Please consider joining the cause with a donation or pledge. Send them to: Rockford Area Historical Society, PO Box 781, Rockford, MI 49341. Your help will make our museum a reality and a source of pride to our area.

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