Class Stories

Class of 64 and a time in history
 
While we were juniors, looking forward to our senior year, a British Knight, a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, and world famous director opened a brand new, repertory theater in Minneapolis.  Named for him, the Tyrone Guthrie Theatre, was an instant success locally and nationally.  

Edina High School played an important part in helping launch the new theater.  Six students became ushers, Dale Copps (63), John Freeman (63), Ric Hinkie (64), Robert Hyde (65), Vic Koivumaki (64), and Greg Long (64). Over 130 students attended a first year presentation of The Miser featuring Hume Cronyn. Cronyn had just completed a leading role in the film Cleopatra with Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, but left Hollywood to help launch the Guthrie.

Later that summer, fifteen EMHS class of 1964 members were part of a promotional movie, entitled, 
"Miracle in Minnesota." (Click on the link to see the movie). During the movie, a number of classmates asked questions of Guthrie actors and staff as a video device to help explain to the viewing public interesting facts about the theatre. The guy way in the back is Hinkie who wore his letter sweater. The director told him to hide as he didn't want anyone to see the big green E.

Several of season one Edina ushers became 'extras' in performances in the second season. Vic Koivumaki, Bob Haskins and Gary Berg, were part of the casts of Henry V, which starred George Grizzard as Hamlet in season one.

AP English teacher, Ray Bechtle was enlisted to help arrange the student's participation. Ric Hinkie, by summer, was also working in the Communications Department under Brad Morison, Edina, a 1960's 'Mad Man' on loan from the advertising world. For three years, Hinkie and Bechtle worked together on both the movie project and, later on the educational guides which were produced to help students get more out of each season. 


Personal Sidebar by Ric Hinkie

From the initial job as usher, I was fortunate to parlay my Journalism course with EHS's John Sheldon into a job as Assistant Public Relations staffer, House Manager, and other positions. My duties included chauffeuring the lead actors to telelvision and radio interviews, taking photos of them for publicity during reherarsals, and greeting groups traveling to the theatre from outstate.  Imagine me calling Sir Tyrone, "Tony." 

In 1964, Morey Knutsen and I poured sherry one night for all 50 governors, including Mitt Romney's dad, George, then Governor of Michigan, during the National Governor's Conference reception at the Walker Art Center/Guthrie lobby.  

I was exposed to national celebrities from the world of theatre (I was bartender on Friday nights in the Dram Shop so I had my eyes opened about a lot of things); mentored by one of the leading Advertising and PR men in the US (and Ray Bechtle too), and since the Guthrie had no real budget for extra people I was asked to do projects as a 17-19 year-old that were at a very high level. Surviviing and thriving on those projects positioned me very well for intensive communications training in the military at a DOD school, for completing my junior and senior year at U of M in 12 months, and for launching my career at the Metro Council and then at Minnegasco in 1968. The confidence to speak before groups; communicate clearly; manage people and projects; relate to people of different ethnic, religious and personal lifestyles; all came from those early Guthrie years for me. 

I was privileged to stand on the Guthrie Theatre on May 7, 1963 for the first performance of Hamlet, as an usher. I was again privileged to stand on the same stage 43 years later for the last performance at the ofiginal Guthrie, also, ironically, Hamlet. This time I was there as a donor, the President of the National organization devoted to energy safety and productivity. The lessons learned in 1963-66 were instrumental in my life in the four decades in between those two nights.

Ric Hinkie

 

 

 
 
 

Winter Wonderful

Morningside Winter Carnival celebrated the season.
 

 

While St. Paul held its annual Winter Carnival, the tiny Village of Morningside celebrated the cold and ice in its own way in the 1950s and 1960s.

Beginning in January 1954, the Morningside School PTA and the Village Park Board planned a triumvirate of winter activities?hockey, speed skating and figure skating?that drew nearly every child in the village.

Medals were awarded to winners in each race. Bruce Carlson, who went on to skate for Edina High School’s first state championship hockey team in 1969, treasures those mementoes from his elementary school years.

“It was really special to see everyone in the neighborhood at Weber Park,” Carlson says

In addition to the sporting events, the school crowned an Ice King and Queen and a royal court, who walked under an archway formed by hockey sticks, “held by the sturdy arms of Morningside’s hustling hockey team,” the local newspaper reported in 1957.

The Winter Carnival ended sometime in the 1960s, perhaps when Morningside dissolved and rejoined the Village of Edina in 1966. However, the spirit of the event lives on with the neighborhood’s annual Winter Party at the Weber Park warming house.

Anyone from our class at Morningside remember who was our Ice King and Queen?