Isanti County resident, local historian
Recently some of the members of my high school class got together for lunch. Since we graduated on June 4, 1943 it means we are now in our mid-eighties.
There were 78 of us who left CHS (Cambridge High School) with a diploma in hand that June day. More than half of us still get up in the morning, but every so often that number decreases.
Since we graduated in the midst of World War II, most of the boys headed off for service in the military. Luckily, only one of our classmates was killed while in the service, and only one was severely injured. When the size of the class at 78, you get to know each member of the class, which means friendships are made that isn’t possible with a larger class. The largest class up to our time was the class of 1942 which had 104 graduates. Class numbers dropped after that time until the late 1940s. Each high school class has its own characteristics, and our class was no exception.
Our class of ‘43 had a fair number of teachers and nurses. There were a couple of entrepreneurs and engineers, but no doctors or lawyers. And while a number had grown up on farms, only a few followed a career in agriculture. When we were youngsters a trip to the “cities” was a big deal, but in our older years we managed to visit many places around the world.
While many of us spent our working years far from Isanti County—including places like India, Japan, Australia, and Argentina—a number of us have returned to the place where we grew up.
One of the ads in the 1943 yearbook, the Nugget, is from the Cambridge State Bank that outlines youth’s responsibilities. It reads as follows, “Millions of dollars and millions of lives are being spent to give you a world that is fit to live in. Your job in school is to study to make yourself fit to play a worthy part in it. You must help to relieve human misery, to erase poverty, to stamp out war, to stand off death with the new and shining weapons of science, to use the power of your knowledge for the good of mankind, not for its destruction.” Those words still apply, and I hope that over the years the class of 43 has tried to do their part.
Printed in the Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2010 Isanti County News.