The class of 1953 celebrated their 50th class reunion in the summer of 2003. 
 One of the alumni gave this speech, and I felt that it should be shared with all of the Marshall alumni. 

Thank you, Clinton!

Clinton Bliss speech at 1953 Class Reunion."Let's all pile into my car and cruise back to the early 50's. Here we are at the corner of 5th Street and 14th Avenue.
We pass Headon Book Store, Ed's Cleaners and Mert's Grocery. We come to University Florist, we can get our prom flowers there.
Next is Twin Cleaners, Schwerdfeger Meat Market and Jerome's Fashions.
When we get to the corner we can look to the left and see Robinson's Beauty School, Crane's Office Supplies andover the viaduct is the Bridge Cafe.
If we want some ice cream we can go across the street to Bridgeman's.
Going towards University Avenue we pass Crane's Gifts and Al Johnson's, where we can rent our tux for the prom.
Over the bridge is White Castle and if we were in that area we could see if  Donna Berge was home.
Across the street we can go to Perine's Book Store, Dinky Town Dime, and College Inn.
I don't think it was ever rated five stars
We could pick up some popcorn at Ortie's and take in a good movie at the Varsity.
Oscar's Barber Shop is near the corner. Across the street is Don's Campus Cleaners, C.B.
Christianson Realty, Ideal Plumbing, Lou's Diner and Campus Jewelers, where we can get our class rings. 
We go by Newberg Studios and arrive at Fanny Farmer on the corner.

Starting down 14th Avenue towards good old Marshall,
we pass by Schafer's Grocery Store, Krauses's Bakery, Simm's Hardware and Loughridge-Bengtson Studios.
May as well stop in and get our senior pictures taken.
We can stop and pick up our paper products and invitations for our graduation open house Acme Printing.

We end our stroll on the corner by House of Hanson. If we listen real hard can hear Bob Hanson or 
Fred Leonard telling someone firmly or with authority to "take a walk".

Hope you enjoyed our stroll and guess what? With the exception of House of Hanson,
 all the other business have one thing in common. They are all gone.

Ah memories!"

We still have some time, let's go across the street to Marshall.
Let's use the 5th street door, that was always the main entrance.
The trophy case is ahead and if we go to the right we might see Mr. Patrick or Mr. Carlson in the print shop or mechanical drawing.
If we head down the hall, we may see Miss Trumble or Turnquist. Might even be able to dissect a frog.

When we came into the building, had we turned left we would pass the auditorium and the office. I'm sure
 Walt Chapman was hard at work. Past the nurse's office we could stop in and get some counseling from Miss Coltman or Mrs. Leemhuis.
Around the corner we could see if Mrs. Eugene had baked us acake, or maybe we could bake a cake for Mrs. Albitz, she was quiet a looker wasn't she?
At the end of the hall was the metal shop, and then the Boys and Girls Gym and the Little Gym. They always seemed to smell, didn't they?
If we peek inside we will probably see Mr. Fischer and Shawbold and Miss Stevning preparing their schedules to make our minds and bodies healthy.
Friday is a great day to visit, because it's sports day.
Can't you imagine the terror on the faces of the athletes, both male and female, from Washburn, Roosevelt and the other city schools when they saw the Cardinals on their schedule?
We were a proud group. Heck, the senior girls won the basketball championship and the boys tied for the state title in gymnastics.
Some of those team members are here tonight. Remember the football game with North? After the game the North
players rallied around Jim Sticka, instead of their own quarterback.

Ah memories.

We still have some time, so let's go upstairs.
There's Mr. O'Brien and it looks like Mr. Hume is typing something with one finger.
Let's stop into Miss Stevning's Art Class. Looks like everyone has a small wood box and they are cutting diamond and triangle shapes on the cover.
My mother never did know what to do with that damn thing. If we find Mr. Olsen or Mr. Severson they might tell us about a good book to read.
 We just passed by Study Hall and the Library, and there's Detention.

Ah memories.

Let's stop in the Music Department. I see P.J. Birmingham and Miss Vincent. Lynn Roam has got a smile from ear to ear.
He finally convinced the powers that be that the band needed new uniforms and today is the day.
There is electricity in the air and the whole student body is packed into the auditorium.
At a pre-set time the rear doors fly open and in comes the Cardinal Band. Looking good!
On the left side, in comes Marlo, hat on just right, uniform looking great, carrying his baritone horn in hand and marching proudly.
When he got down by us, we tripped him.

Ah memories.

Well, we're running out of time now, so we better head downstairs.
There's Mr. Jerdee pushing on a wall, explaining the difference in the theories of work and force.
Should be something brewing in the Chemistry room with Mr. Mikelson. Wasn't he a great teacher?
Oh, and here comes Mrs. Anderson. She was neat also. Seems to be a lot of activity in this room.
Oh, it's Bob Bennetand they're practicing for the Senior Class Play. It's "Arsenic and Old Lace" this year.
In fact, Teddy Roosevelt is out here tonight. He came a long way for this shindig. Hey Tom, have you got one more CHARGE left in you?

Ah memories.

If we want to use the bathrooms before we leave, they are on each floor and guess what? No armed guards and you won't get mugged.
If we had more time we could go downstairs and see Mrs. Lundegard and find out what's for the Federal lunch.
If it was Wednesday we could go to Teen Town or shoot some baskets or play some badminton. If it was Tuesday or Thursday at E.M.R.A.
Oh well, we can do that another day. Just think, we were lucky enough to have the U of M Homecoming activities right in our back yard.
When we leave now, we can use the other door on 5th street. Oh, there's Luke Setter talking to a small group of male students. 
Wow, I know those students and we are trying to convince Mr. Satter that the Jim Beam and wine he found in our lockers was for medical purposes.

 Ah memories.

When my father and mother had their 50th reunion, they spent a lot of time talking about the changes in 50 years.
Not to be outdone, I did some research on our 50 years. Just think of the technology and innovations from 1953 to now, that have changed our lives.
Advancements that have enabled us to do thethings we enjoy better, more often and for longer periods of time.
And I'm just talking about Viagra! Ah, everyone has some memories. Gretch will probably shoot me for sharing this one, but what the heck. 
We fondly refer to it as our Lens Crafter moment. I pop a pill and I'm ready to go in about an hour.

Ah memories.

Well, let's load back into the car, but before we leave, let me shift gear and get a little serious.
By the way, my bride claims the word serious is not part of my vocabulary,
but I'll give it a shot. I am still a cancer survivorand I knock on wood often.
My sister Florence was not that lucky. We did learn things from that wretched ass disease.
We learned that the people at Kodak are right when they say memories are priceless.
We learned it's okay to think ahead, just not too far.
But the most important thing we learned was, if you have your health, no matter where you are, no matter what you are doing, the
BEST time of your life is right now. 
No exceptions.

So, while we're in the car riding back to the present, let's make a pact with each other.
 Let's cherish our memories, let's look forward to tomorrow, but let's have the best damn time of our lives tonight! 
Thanks for coming, and let's continue to wave the flag for Dear Old Marshall."


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