Last Sunday morning, the temperature was comfortable. There was enough breeze to keep the bugs moving when the Holden/Dale congregations held their annual outdoor summer service at Holden Park.

Special music was performed by the Higher Call Quartet, a men’s quartet based out of the Twin Cities, although one member is from Warsaw and sings in Beau Chant Community Choir in Faribault.

The quartet’s repertoire featured a full range of rich, resonant harmonies of praise, traditional and southern gospel music.

From their webpage, High Call Quartet, states, “Our ministry is available for worship services, concerts, banquets and other special musical needs within your church or organization.”

It does not get much better than having an outdoor worship service on a beautiful July morning with excellent music from a quartet that can get stoic Norwegians and others discreetly tapping their toes along while they sing.

Kenyon and Kenyon-Wanamingo High School pop-up museum

From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 21, at the Gunderson House during Rose Fest, there will be a pop-up museum of Kenyon and Kenyon-Wanamingo School artifacts.

A pop-up museum is open to anyone with objects related to the museum’s theme that they would like to share with the public. This time is designed as a sharing time, not a time to sell things.

Items like Kenyon and K-W school annuals, school pictures, old uniforms, homecoming buttons and scrapbooks are just a few of the suggested things that can be brought for display.

There is no need to preregister to share objects. The Kenyon Area Historical Society will provide tables for people to use for the pop-up museum.

Hall of Fame

At the K-W Hall of Fame event in 2019, nominee Bruce Vermilyea could not attend the event due to a family celebration. He was deeply apologetic and said he would like to attend the next Hall of Fame evening.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Vermilyea became the first of the premier long-distance runners in Kenyon cross-country and track history.

Vermilyea set a goal of running 1,000 miles during the summer of 1970 in preparation for the fall cross country season. His dedication and hard work paid off as he set cross-country course records at Cannon Falls (10:20), Plainview (10:29), Kasson-Mantorville (9:54), and Kenyon (9:54). He was the first Kenyon cross-country runner to advance to the region meet.

While competing in track, Vermilyea qualified for the 1970 and 1971 state track meet in the two-mile run. At the Region 1 meet in 1971, he became Kenyon’s first region champion, and in the process, set the meet record with a time of 9:28.1 in the 2-mile run. At the state meet, he ran on a tartan surface for the first time and did not perform up to his expectations. While he was disappointed in his performance, Vermilyea said, “I have no alibis; I just did not have it today.”

While Vermilyea had a successful high school track career, his times in the mile run and 2-mile were not impressive enough to be recruited to run in college. After being contacted by the track coach from Bowling Green University in Ohio, Vermilyea decided to be a track team walk-on. He would be on a team that featured Sid Sink, the national steeplechase champion and Olympic champion Dave Wottle.

At the Kansas relays, Vermilyea was a winning four-mile relay team member. Still, it was the following week at the Drake relays when the relay team set a new American Citizen’s record running the four-mile relay in 16:19.6. Individual times of the relay team were Steve Danforth 4:07.5; Vermilyea 4:07.5; Craig Macdonald 4:04.2 and Dave Wottle 4:01.9. After winning the Drake relays Friday, the team repeated as champions in the Penn State relays in Philadelphia Saturday. This feat drew national attention and was featured in Sports Illustrated, making Vermilyea the first Kenyon native to be mentioned in the magazine.

Bruce Vermilyea has received an invitation to attend this year’s Hall of Fame evening on Saturday, Oct. 9. The evening of celebration begins with a social time at 4:30 in the high school commons, followed by a catered dinner at 5:30. The induction program is scheduled for 6:30.

Hall of Fame tickets are available until Sept. 24 and may be purchased at the K-W High School office, the District Office in Wanamingo, from Randy Hockinson at 507-789-7022 or Steve Alger at 507-213-3245.

Friends and relatives of the inductees and Kenyon and Wanamingo community members are encouraged to attend the banquet.

Becky Buller Band

Friday evening, we, along with many fans of the Becky Buller Band, spent an enjoyable evening listening to the band perform at the Sheldon Theater in Red Wing.

Ms. Buller was the 2016 International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Fiddler of the Year.

She won the Song of the Year in 2020 as part of a composing team with Michael Cleveland for “Chicago Barn Dance.”

Two songs into the first set Buller demonstrated her outstanding fiddling skills and showed why she is considered one of the top IBMA fiddlers.

She exhibited her vocal talents on a variety of songs of her composing.

The members of her band, highly qualified musicians, consist of Ned Luberecki, the 2018 IMBA Banjo Player of the Year, a bluegrass legend, lead guitar player Jake Eddy, and a champion mandolin player Wes Lee.

For me the one disappointment of the evening was that Buller did not perform her song “Little Bird.” At an earlier concert we attended, she introduced and dedicated this song to her grandmother, the late Elizabeth Malloy, a longtime columnist for the Kenyon Leader.

This year the band is returning to perform at the Minnesota State Fair on Aug. 28 and 29.

Monument

Lately, there has been a lot of reminiscing about the school building that no longer exists, from discussing the various Kenyon fight songs to remembering events and alumni from Kenyon High.

Now a sign has been placed on the site near First Lutheran Church where the old school was located, proclaiming “Coming Soon. Kenyon High School Monument.”

A quilt, beautifully crafted by Julie Sahl Huseth, Class of 1970, is displayed in the window of Held’s Transportation and can be viewed online at the KHS Monument web page. Each block design has a story behind it, reflecting on the history of Kenyon High School. The quilt is being raffled off as a fundraiser for monument expenses. To purchase raffle tickets, contact Kevin or Mary Gail Anderson at 507-789-6835 or Mary Danielson-Gates at 507-838-6979.

The main focal point of the monument is the egg and scroll, which for almost 100 years sat high atop the building over the original front door to the school. The symbol of the egg, related to education, represents new life and the unhatched potential of learners. The scroll represents learning and knowledge. Education is a responsibility of the individual and society.

When looking at the school monument, the Egg and Scroll represent all the students who used the Kenyon School building from its beginning in 1915.

Donations are needed to help fund this project and may be sent to the Security State Bank of Kenyon or the KHS Monument Fund, 125 Third St., Kenyon, MN 55946.

Kevin Anderson is a guest columnist for The Kenyon Leader.

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