THAT REMINDS ME WITH MARILYN HAGERTY: Grand Forks has state basketball tourney in ’62Coach Dick Vinger, who later was with the Grand Forks schools, had a royal welcome with his Rugby, N.D., team. It was described as a siren-screaming, light flashing, horn blaring escort into town. The main street became Panther Street and Second Avenue was Vinger Avenue.
By: Marilyn Hagerty, Grand Forks Herald
You could buy a dozen sugar donuts for 49 cents if you shopped at Cox Bakery in downtown Grand Forks 50 years ago. You could enter a drawing at Forx Motor for a free trip to the Seattle World’s Fair. And you could shop the bargains offered during the George Phelps retirement sale at his downtown jewelry store.
Grand Forks seemed to be thriving in 1962. The Air Force was asking Congress to authorize $13 million in construction at Grand Forks Air Base. And there was need for 200 additional family housing units at the base.
Down in Bismarck, Gov. William Guy announced he would seek a second term.
On March 3, 1962, a fire razed three East Grand Forks places, according to the banner on the front page of the Herald. Lost in the fire were Wong’s Cafe, 124 DeMers Ave., Pete’s Bar, 122 DeMers Ave., and Knappers Radio and TV, 120 DeMers Ave.
Two Grand Forks fire trucks and one unit from the Air Base were called to help out. Later, a 21 year old airman from the Air Base admitted to setting the fire, according to East Grand Forks Police Chief William Strait.
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Paul Bridston was named to head Grand Forks’ United Fund drive 50 years ago, succeeding Tom Clifford. Gene Goodman was elected the new exalted ruler of the Elks. And Lou Bogan resigned as baseball coach at UND but continued on the faculty.
Other news around Grand Forks 50 years ago:
** The Elks Lodge was faced with the need for a new home when the building it occupied on North Fifth Street was sold. Byron Edwards was serving as exalted ruler. The Elks had presented Elks Park to the city.
The local Benevolent Order of the Elks was the oldest in North Dakota, dating back to 1893. At that time, W.L. Wilder was selected as the exalted ruler in a ceremony held in Knights of Pythias Hall.
** The State Class A basketball tournament was held in Grand Forks in March 1962. The winner of the State A cage title was Rugby, N.D., whose Panthers swamped Williston, N.D., in a 78-68 final victory.
It was the first appearance for the Panthers in the State A tournament, and a two-mile long string of cars met the team on their return home. Coach Dick Vinger, who later was with the Grand Forks schools, had a royal welcome with his team. It was described as a siren-screaming, light flashing, horn blaring escort into town. The main street became Panther Street and Second Avenue was Vinger Avenue.
** Flickertail Follies, a traditional all-campus variety show, was cancelled. The decision was made by Sigma Delta Chi, the journalism fraternity that had been a sponsor since 1925.
The fate had been sealed when more than a dozen university fraternities and sororities voted not to take part in the show.
** On the Minnesota side of the Red River, former Democratic Congresswoman Coya Knutson came home to Oklee, Minn. There she was granted a divorce from her husband. He was the writer of the famous “Coya Come Home” letter that she claimed led to her defeat in Congress.
The divorce was granted on the 32nd anniversary of her marriage to Andy Knutson of Oklee.
** A farm near Crookston was described as a “year round circus” by Herald writer Richard Youngblood.
Tony DeLage and his wife had nine Shetland ponies, 100 sheep, two goats, two dogs, 10 dairy cows, 21 beef cows, 14 cats, 12 rabbits, seven buffaloes and a ring tail monkey. All that and nine children, too.