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VOLUME 24 • CHAPTER 1 • January 2024


Halls of Campion in Winter
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Memoirs

The first Campionette, the student newsletter, was published 106 years ago, on November 11, 1917. The first editor of the Campionette was Tom O'Connor, class of 1920. The last official issue was the one announcing the closing of the school in May 1975. Over the years, various classes have published special editions for their class reunions, some of which have been pretty extravagant.

The Campion Forever Newsletter was first published by Aaron Huguenard, class of 1947, in 2000 as a means for alumni and faculty to keep in touch and share life experiences.

We've been trying to get memoirs from retired and not-so-retired Campion Jebbies for our newsletter for quite some time. We don't care if the memoirs are about when they went to Campion, taught at Campion, or just what they've done since leaving Campion. We just want to hear something from our mentors in the first person; perhaps words of wisdom learned while IHS; typically, we only get third-person accounts post mortem. Not to lay all the blame on the Jebbies, but why can't we get memoirs from more alumni, or what they've done since leaving Campion? Where are all those other authors and editors of the old 'ette"?

While it has been a task getting people to submit articles, there are a few dedicated alumni and Jebbies who do regularly provide ideas for articles. This is a good thing; otherwise, I would have to conjure the 'Ghost of Joe Campion' for ideas more than I care to.

Kostka Hall Burning 55 Years Ago

Fifty-five years ago, on Saturday, December 14, 1968, Kostka Hall burned to the ground. For the benefit of those new to the CF Newsletter, I have included re-edited memoirs provided for the 50th anniversary edition. No one involved reported being mentally traumatized. I don't think any counseling for such was offered as a possibility. It would be a big deal and a requirement for our young people today. Times were different then. Read those memoirs down below under Special Edition: (Or should have been Special Addition:?). Before that, we have three great new stories.

Tom Olson '72



From the Brad Upton



From Kent Farr '59

Start Over

My dad came to pick me up after sophomore year that spring of 1957. It had been a challenging year, but I had successfully maintained my status as one of the most sophomoric lads in the sophomore class. Anyway, dad mentioned to the headmaster of the Benedictine school that he had not received the paperwork and deposit request for me to continue as a junior. The good headmaster told him “and you will not be receiving it, Mr. Farr. Kent is not welcome to return.”

In total silence, we left the school and headed north for three hours and home. As we got out of the car, I was informed that I would not be going to a local school nor would I be living at home. I was expected to find a boarding school and get enrolled for the fall semester.

The good news was that I would not be living at home. The challenging news was that I had less than 90 days to find a new school. After several weeks of scrambling, Campion seemed a possibility. Campion’s door, however, was quickly shut. Campion did not accept students after freshman year. Assuredly an exception would not be granted to a candidate who had been thrown out of a Benedictine school.

Some magic combination of my grit and persistence plus the sheer challenge that I presented led to my being accepted at Campion. My dad — after choking down his amazement — was quite insistent that he would accompany me as far as Chicago. We took the overnight train, the City of Denver. We spent the following day at the Field Museum and the Art Institute, mostly in silence. The next morning I was on the Burlington, soon climbing off the train and walking over the fields to my new school.

By the first day of junior year, Campion’s world was as set as concrete poured the week before. The first immovable that I hit was taking my lunch tray and sitting at a long table by the front door. I was immediately informed that the table belonged to the juniors, primarily jocks, and I was not welcome. I told them my name and asked for theirs. And I didn’t retreat.

Within a few days, a couple of the scholastics became off-stage coaches with suggestions and advice. Several of my classmates responded with friendship, and eventually I became a welcome “member” at the long table by the door. I found a critical niche with the debate team, and we began to accumulate some wins. Other niches opened up during both junior and senior years, and I was part of the class.

Along the way, I picked up a Merit Scholarship with no funding. This led to an acceptance at MIT. However, I turned in a different direction. I entered the Jesuits as a novice at Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

5 1/2 years later, the Jesuits and I came to an understanding that I was not a good fit. That, however, is another story. This one is about a group of guys and a school who made it possible for me to start over.

Kent Farr ’59



From Bill Kraus '63

How I Decided Not to be a Hero
by Bill Kraus

In the fall of 1959, when I arrived at Campion I was not sure about what my future would be there. There was a military program, but ROTC was only on the program on Mondays. I had just graduated from Bishop Quarter Military Academy and had been Cadet Colonel during my 8th grade year. At the time, I was very interested in the military.

Bishop Quarter was located in the western suburbs of Chicago, so it was not difficult for me to spend weekends at home. This was not possible at Campion. Several other things made me uncomfortable, including the fact that I spent most of my afternoons in jug. There were a few afternoons when I played intramural football. In spite of my size (I was only 5’ 2” tall.) I was placed in B league. I can’t say that I enjoyed the experience. The all-too-brief hour that we were allowed in the Freshman Rec Room was one of the better parts of the day.

Later in freshman year, I was able to persuade my mother to place me at Marmion Military Academy in Aurora, Illinois, so that I would be closer to home. You may already be aware that my mother ran a lobster delivery service in Chicago, and thus she didn’t have much time to be with my brother and me. Boarding school seemed to be a necessity.

I was comfortable at Marmion and actually was considered a prime candidate to eventually become Cadet Colonel. There were several of my classmates who were equally interested in military careers, and the military training in ROTC could lead to entering the Army as a commissioned officer.

As I was about to begin my senior year in 1962, I decided to inquire about a career in the Army. I was told that, even with the full ROTC background, they would not accept me as an officer because of my height. I would have to go in as a Sergeant. This caused me to have second thoughts about my future. When I returned to Marmion, I took myself out of consideration for Cadet Colonel, and after graduation I did not pursue any kind of affiliation with the military.

A few years later, the war in Vietnam had heated up and young men were being drafted for service in that war. There was an anti-war movement in this country and Life Magazine joined in by publishing photographs of the men who lost their lives each week in their magazine.

One day I opened up my copy of Life and saw pictures of seven of my classmates, seven friends of mine, including the young man who had become Cadet Colonel at Marmion during our senior year. This was hard to take: Seven of them, in the same week. I knew that if I had remained in the military I would most likely be among them. I would most likely have lost my life in that war.

So, when I listened to Billy Don’t Be A Hero upon reading the last issue of Campion Forever, it set me to thinking. If I had any ambitions about being a military hero (and I’m not sure I did), I am glad that I set that aside.

[Editor]: Bill's mother was a contestant on What's My Line. See CF Newsletter January 2017.



From the desk of John Duskey '63

Health and Nutrition

In my July 2021 article, I brought up the subject of health and nutrition. Dean William Cullinan of Marquette’s College of Health Sciences wrote me: “We are indeed planning a master’s degree program in nutritional sciences and dietetics.  I believe you are entirely correct that this is a weak spot in medical education currently. “

My experiences in the health care system, including my heart surgery and treatments for BPH, since that time have intensified my interest, and it would be worthwhile for me to reflect on what I have learned.

Dean Cullinan rightly points out that diet and nutrition is a weak spot in medical education at the present time. Most physicians I’ve talked with seem to have little interest in this subject. I can understand this for two reasons: (1) to avoid talking about a subject when they have little knowledge of it; (2) the practice of medicine is oriented toward helping sick people get on the road to recovery, and not toward keeping people away from forms of sickness. Think about it: If large numbers of people were able to avoid getting sick, there would be less need for doctors, hospitals, and health care in general. A dollar’s worth of prevention can cost $10,000.00 worth of cure. Diet and exercise are important forms of prevention. Resources stated here will help.

Websites like Healthline offer many good suggestions for diet and nutrition. We also need to consider that food grown with today’s farming methods (including fertilizers and pesticides) doesn’t always have the nutrients we need. Food industry processing doesn’t always help nutrition; it does extend shelf life, which preserves profits for the sellers. We need to make good dietary choices. We also need to examine the need for supplementation, if we need more vitamins and minerals than our food can provide.

Successfully avoiding sickness sounds good to us, but there is another side to this story. We need doctors and hospitals and nurses, and the whole health care system for legitimate purposes, for diseases, emergencies, and chronic conditions.

In any case, we each need to be responsible for our own health care. Every case is different. We are well advised to seek out the help of medical doctors and other health practitioners when we need to. However, we cannot expect that doctors are omniscient or infallible. We are better off to be educated consumers of health care.

It is common for a household to have a thermometer to check a patient’s temperature. In recent years, it has become more common to have a “pulse-ox” to check on pulse rate and oxygenation of the blood. When there are some questions about blood pressure, a device for checking that is usually available at a nearby drug store. When there are questions about a patient’s EKG or monitoring for Atrial Fibrillation, Kardia-Mobile devices are available. Devices for monitoring blood sugar are also available at drug stores. Not every household needs to have all of this equipment. But it may help in some cases as the information gained may inform us that we need some corrective action.

Several years ago, I read an article about a certain condition, and, recognizing the way I felt, I asked a doctor to order a certain blood test. He replied, “Medicare won’t pay for it, so I am not going to order it.” This set me off on a search, and I found a local agency that would take a blood sample, send it to a qualified testing agency (like Quest Diagnostics or LabCorp) and report the results back to me. Many of these tests cost $50.00 or less and we simply don’t ask Medicare, or any insurance program, to pay for it. Today, this kind of service is available nationwide, on-line through Request-A-Test, Health Labs, or Walk-In-Labs. You investigate what test you want, shop the agencies for the best price, and pay for it on-line. Then you take your paid order to a nearby Quest or LabCorp facility to have the blood sample drawn. The results can usually be emailed to you within a day or two. They will tell you which tests are in or out of the reference range.

In my case, I get a comprehensive metabolic panel, complete blood count, and lipid panel—usually 3 or 4 times a year—and then go to my doctor’s appointment with test results in hand, along with any questions I have.

The agencies and the labs are good sources of information about the blood tests. For various conditions, it is helpful to view the websites of hospitals like Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, Rush, Northwestern, or Johns-Hopkins. There are also sites like Healthline and WebMD, which offer information about diet and other therapies that may be helpful for various conditions.

There is some information on the Internet that is not always dependable. If the speaker seems to be promoting a miracle cure, be careful. Investigate! WebMD, drugs.com, and Healthline are good places to check about effectiveness and side effects of any suggested therapy. When you find consistent answers on several sites, you may consider the information reliable. The good sites will tell you to check with your primary care physician before starting any therapy. One thing worth knowing about doctor visits: It is always best to be prepared. Websites of hospitals (like those listed above) are a valuable resource. There is a website “VeryWellHealth” that includes Doctor Discussion Guides for many common (and some not-so-common) diseases. And if your doctor suggests that you should take some prescription medication, you owe it to yourself to check Drugs.com or some such website.

There are some cases where you might not get the full story from any individual website, or from any particular doctor/hospital. One example of this is BPH, benign prostate hyperplasia, which is common in older men. An enlarged prostate can have some serious lifestyle consequences. Here’s what I’ve learned: There are several ways to treat BPH and you need to find the best one for your case. Among them are (1) Urolift, (2) Rezum, (3) Prostate Artery Embolization, (4) Holmium Laser Enucleation, (5) Aquablation, (6) TURP, and (7) removal of the prostate. The first three of these do not require total anesthesia, and would not require the approval of a cardiologist. Some of these will not be effective for every case. A proper choice would depend on the size of the prostate, plus other factors that the urologist may determine. There are pros and cons for each of these, and hospital websites can offer important information.

Not every doctor, not every hospital, will offer each of these. Some are only offered by specific doctors at specific hospitals. Urologists will not suggest a course of action that they do not offer. For example, there are very few urologists who offer the Holmium Laser procedure. If possible, it might be best to avoid total anesthesia. Sometimes that is not possible. In my case, when certain procedures didn’t work, I had heart bypass surgery so that I would be able to have a procedure that required total anesthesia.

Ultimately, the patient has to take charge of his own health care. I was disappointed when a hospital told me to take a certain prescription medication, one that was designed to deal with a particular condition. The reason I was so unhappy is that the hospital had not tested to see the evidence from my blood tests regarding that condition. (I already knew the evidence, as I regularly have blood tests.) I felt that the hospital had a pre-conceived notion about my condition, i.e., that I fit into their stereotype.

It is always better for patients to know more about their conditions, even to the point of keeping up with the latest developments. Hospital websites, WebMD, and drugs.com are helpful. It is also better if you can choose a doctor who regularly does research and who publishes that research—particularly when you are dealing with a major health condition. That is why I chose Rush and Northwestern University hospitals, which are well-known nationally for their excellence.

In summary then, it is important to be an educated consumer of health care services. This may mean regular self-testing, just as much as it would mean regular exercise. One should be aware of the needs that a blood test might reveal. Corrective action by regular diet may be the solution. There may be cases where a conference with your primary care physician and a dietary supplement is needed. It is always better to observe a problem and begin remediation early. We are bombarded by attacks from unhealthy things every day. One thing I have certainly learned is that it is worthwhile to investigate the use of dietary supplements for any health condition. If you follow the best methods and your immune system can help you keep healthy.




Special Edition:
55th Anniversary of Kostka Hall Fire

Re-edited from the 50th Anniversary Special Edition


The Campion Knights Nostalgia page has more information and pictures concerning the Kostka fire.

Halls of Campion - Kostka

From Peter Fowler '69...

The Day Campion's Kostka Hall Burned Down

by Peter N. Fowler, Class of 1969

Kostka Brick


On Saturday, December 14, 1968, a large fire destroyed Campion's Kostka Hall, a building that housed the school's administration center as well as a theater, coffee house, dance hall, student radio station, and other student recreational spaces. The fire, which began on the fourth floor, spread slowly and allowed for the building to be safely evacuated without any personal injuries. School records and other important documents were also removed before the fire became uncontrollable.

I was in the building after lunch that Saturday in the Little Theatre, directing a rehearsal of a restaging of "Alice in Wonderland" and working with several of the production crew who were creating papier-mâché props of oversized heads for the Mad Hatter, March Hare, and other characters in the play.

A little after 1:00pm, we smelled smoke, and after discovering the fire in progress on the fourth floor, where a couple of students had been working, we pulled the fire alarm, alerted several Jesuits in Lawler Hall, cleared everyone out of the theater area, and alerted others in the Cream Cheese Castle coffeehouse, radio station, and the Art Department studios in the basement of the building to evacuate. As a number of Jesuits, including Brother Robert Daley, S.J., who was the Registrar, raced to the Bursars' Office and the Registrar's Office to save records, a number of us assisted them in carrying out records as well as going floor to floor and making sure everyone was out. When some of us began to take the large framed graduation photos of previous classes off the walls on the first floor of the building to take them to safekeeping outside across the street near the cafeteria building, we were told to just leave them and evacuate the building since time was running out.

My memory is that the fire seemed to be moving slowly, but you could smell smoke everywhere, although you could not really see it. So there was time to salvage things from the building, and lots of students pitched in to help. I remember finding a hanging wire sculpture of an angel I had made in the basement art studio area and taking it with me.

After the local fire department trucks arrived, Michael Betlach and I decided we really needed to document the event as best as possible.

Michael was an avid photographer for the yearbook, and I was both co-editor of the yearbook and editor-in-chief of the Campionette. So without asking anyone if we could, Michael grabbed his camera gear from Xavier Hall, and we got a local bystander to drive us to the Prairie du Chien airport. Michael used a gasoline credit card; he had to rent a small plane so we could get aerial photographs. We did that for more than an hour until it got too dark to take good photos.


From David Nelson '69...

The Day Kostka Hall Burned

By David Nelson, '69

On a ferociously cold Saturday in mid-December 1968, Gorge Campbell and I were walking from the dining hall to Marquette Hall, where he was among the six senior counselors living in the penthouse. This must have been immediately after lunch. It was viciously cold, but of course no one had a thermometer, so I have no idea how far below zero it was. Christmas break was close.

We had not gotten far when we saw the first wisps of black smoke rising from Kostka Hall. We started running, and suddenly, just about the entire campus arrived. The fire grew, but for a while, seniors rushed inside and ran out carrying office equipment and our class photo, the only one saved.

I'm not sure of the exact date, but a perfect storm of fire and ice brewed to make it one of the most memorable days in my four years at Campion, another being the very first day of freshman year.

The Jesuits soon forbade anyone, themselves included, from entering Kostka. As the flames rose, firetrucks arrived from Prairie du Chien and all the nearby small towns in Wisconsin and Iowa, the same towns that sent their football teams to play the Knights. Here's what happened next, and I'm surprised by how often I think about it. The firemen began connecting hoses from their trucks to the fire hydrants, of which there may have been a sufficient number, which I can't recall. When they switched on the water, the hoses swelled, sprayed some ice, then froze solid and burst. That's how cold it was. Little or no water reached Kostka,which by this time was roofed with red flames. The scene might have looked demonic were it not for all those Jesuits standing around in black parkas. I suppose we must have been watching from the Quad, but not very far away.

At some point, the building partially collapsed, and everybody went back to their dorms. I lived in Xavier, of course, and my roommate, Brian Wengenroth, and I shared the last 3rd floor room on the Kostka side of the dorm. The lucky thing for us was that Xavier extended past Kostka, so we were not across from the tall, tottering brick wall that threatened to fall on part of the dorm. Amazingly, the Jesuits found a contractor to demolish that wall on Sunday, if I remember correctly.

What happened next was remarkable—the final act in this perfect storm of a day. Some time in mid-afternoon, an ice storm blew in. Ice storms are rare, but I have seen a number, and this one thickly coated the ground, the trees, the ruins of Kostka Hall, and especially the area between Xavier and the dining hall. It turned dark by 4 p.m. At the latest, everyone was starving and eager to eat, and the wet ice turned out to be as slippery as oiled glass. Guys fell right and left. Most of us wore leather-soled loafers, useless for walking on ice. I remember Fr. Boorman striding along in rubber boots, carrying a snow shovel, and suddenly slipping so acrobatically that he landed on the back of his head. He survived. One of us—it may have been Tim Galvin—actually navigated the ice on his knees, which got him to his destination. I do not recall the menu served that evening, but I wish there had been hot cocoa after.

We ate and returned to Xavier. The Jesuits transferred some students from rooms that faced the threatening wall to rooms that did not, and I think we had one or two guys sleeping on our floor. Since the demolition was the next day, we didn't have extra roommates for long.

Everyone presumably remembers that Campion had a steam plant and that pipes carrying steam and hot water ran in tunnels to all parts of the campus. Unfortunately for seniors, the tunnel that served Xavier Hall ran under Kostka and was damaged or destroyed. The Jebbies somehow managed to re-route steam around the campus, so we weren't cold, but hot water was non-existent. When we graduated, hot water had not been restored. I learned to shave and shower in the cold, as did most of us. You could try to shower at the gym, but usually the hot water trickles in scalding dribbles.

Back to the day Kostka burned: I'm sure most of us slept like logs, returning pretty much to routine on Sunday morning. That was Campion.


From Bill George '69...

For what it's worth, the band Liquid Sunshine was in La Crosse playing at, I think, Aquinas High School. We left Campion before the fire started and returned late to see the aftermath. Jerry Wagner '69 has much more information, as he was one of many who helped evacuate what they could from the building. The Dubuque Telegraph Herald newspaper covered the story and has aerial photos. I believe Mike Betlach '69 hired a pilot to take him over the site to shoot the pictures. Both of these guys could tell you much more.
Bill George '69


From Jerry Wagner '69...

Tom,

It was a crisp, clear Saturday in December. We were looking forward to a relaxing weekend before heading home for Christmas vacation. Steve Mason, I, and another classmate I can't remember were in the quadrangle goofing around in the snow; we looked back toward Kostka and noticed smoke coming from the top floor.

One of the guys commented that he didn't recall a smoke stack there.

We ran to the building and went up the front stairs by the study hall to head up to the top floor, where the radio station was located.

The smoke started to appear as we got to the 4th floor. The station was located just off the alleys in an old dorm area there. You could see the smoke had filled the hallway leading back there.

One of the on-air guys said another guy had gone down the hallway to find the source but hadn't come back.

I put a handkerchief around my face and went down the smoke-thickened hall to see if I could find him. Mattresses were in the hallway, stacked up along the walls. Feeling along, I found the guy on the floor and dragged him back to the station area.

By then, the smoke had further thickened, and we began to go down the four flights of stairs to get fresh air.

Pulling fire alarms along the way down, none went off until we hit the main floor. At that time, a Jesuit told me I was in big trouble for pulling the alarms. I told him the top floor was on fire and we needed the fire department.

Fire trucks started showing up, and we began a student brigade of moving records from the first-floor offices, the bursars office, etc.

More fire trucks showed up to help contain the blaze. The wind was blowing flaming ash toward Campion Hall, and Xavier Hall was just next door.

Strangely enough, the movie playing in the Kostka theater that weekend was "Is Paris Burning?"

After more trucks arrived, we could only sit back and watch. It was a cold December day that turned into an even colder night. The gallons of water directed at Kostka froze on everything it touched and built up to form small frozen ponds.

We were chipping ice off the sidewalks the next week and beyond. To this day, the smell of the burning building is etched in my sensory memory.

We were let out a week early for Christmas vacation. Remember, all the hot water pipes for Xavier Hall were shut off, so we showered at Hoffman Hall for weeks.


From Tom Olson '72...

I was walking across the quad from the south with three classmates and a Jebby (Freshman dean, Fr. A., I think) discussing something or other when we noticed smoke coming out of a top-floor window in old Kostka Hall. We rushed to the building, and the dean gave us permission. to follow him up the stairs. When we got up there, we found fire. extinguishers that did not work so well, and the alarm pulls didn't work. It must be why the top floors were previously condemned. The dean told me and someone else to run down to the bursar's office and tell him to call the fire department. We got down there, and he didn't believe us. So we pulled the fire alarm ourselves. "You are really going to be in trouble, young men!". And then we ran back up the stairs.

I can't recall who was all up there helping to locate and fight the fire. After all, we freshman had only been at the school for about three months and were still figuring out who was who and what was where! The big thing I remember is that the upper floors were condemned, and we freshman generally were not allowed up there. So this was kind of exciting in that I got to see the VOC radio station, which I had no idea even existed.

It was a sad day for me, as Kostka contained the gymnastics equipment and was one of the reasons I wanted to go to Campion after spending five years enrolled in SOKOL Gymnastics in Cedar Rapids. Also, all my model rockets and airplanes were in the first-floor hobby room. And my art class stuff was in the basement. When I called home to tell mom that the school had no plans to replace the gymnastics equipment, she said. "Tough luck; you aren't there for the sports; you are there to get an education, so stay put!!!" We were also told that personal losses would have to be covered by our folks insurance. My dad said tough luck on my model losses.

Seeing the VOC studio inspired me to get involved a couple years later, helping establish a replacement radio station in the basement of Xavier Hall named WZAP, broadcasting via 'carrier current' through the power lines.


From Jim Moriarty '69...

Hi Tom,

The swimming team was at a meet. When we got back, Kostka was a shell, partly frozen in ice.

icedkostka   icedkostka

Attached are pictures I took of the aftermath.
Jim Moriarty '69


From Tony Lag '72...

Memories, for me, begin when we were gathered outside in the field where the intramural football games were played. The guys in my circle were talking about going to town. I remember I had too many demerits, so I was not allowed to go. And being the "straight and narrow" guy I am, I couldn't do anything that was wrong, so I stayed on campus. I remember that one other freshman, Bob, wasn't allowed to go either. I wandered around for a little bit, and soon I found myself in Kostka Hall.

I figured it was time to do the 'thing' that my group did: go to the top floor, open the locked door to the upper floor, and smoke a cigarette. Yeah, that's it. I've never been able to figure out exactly what it was that made this such a 'cool' thing to do, but it did give me some sort of grown-up feeling. So, having decided, I began to climb the stairs on the first floor, headed up. As I hit the third or fourth stair, I heard a familiar voice. I quickly looked up to see Father Lucy and one or two others just turning the corner on the landing above me. AHHHHH.As quick as I could, I reversed and shot down those stairs, turned left, and headed down the staircase to the basement. Wow, that was close! I wandered down the hall to find Mr. Dagnon in the pottery shop. We exchanged greetings, and soon I found myself seated at the pottery wheel. Yeah, this will be ok. Make a vase, glass, or ashtray. I think he set it up, because I remember that just as my hands sank into the clay, I heard a panicked voice yell, "Fire, the building's on fire!" I recognized the voice, quickly wiped my hands off, and ran to see what was up. At the top of the stairs, where the special locked door was, I found myself standing with three or four guys, one of whom I remember being much older. "I gotta get up there and see what's happening," the older guy said as he looked around for a tool to use. I looked at him, and before he said or did anything else, I lifted the zipper tab on my coat and stuck the corner of it into the keyhole, twisted the lock, and unlocked the door. Everyone looked in amazement as I opened the door and led the way up the stairs. I remember the older guy and I standing in the room, some smoke sifting around but no fire anywhere to be seen. There was a locked door up there, but it was one that no one could ever open. That was that!!! We all went back down to the first floor. My next memory was of us carrying things from Kosta Hall to... Jim looked at me with that crazy look in his eyes. 10 or 15 thousand dollars in the box he had. We stayed together until we dropped it off. Yes, all of it off. Not a cent is missing. That's it; that's my memory. Thanks for the opportunity to share.
Tony Lag


From Jim Behrendt '72...

What I remember is meeting Schultheis in the line of many of us as ants trying to help empty out Kostka stuff, and we were told to grab crap, which happened to be desk drawers from Kostka, and take them to Lawler! There were scores of checks in one of the drawers, and we didn't know each other, and we both looked at each other kind of like, Can we do anything with these!!!?? But I think our years of Sister Mary Holy Water teachings made us do the right thing, and we just put them in Lawler as instructed.
Thank you,
Jim


From Brian O'Malley '70...

Tom:

It was a brilliant November Saturday without a cloud in the sky. It was the day of the football luncheon, the Letterman's Club, or some such. We were off campus at the Black Angus: coaches, team members, and faculty members. Father Lucey, maybe Father Hilbert, or maybe Father Connelly (?) who was part of the administration for just that year. I think Bro. Gillick is our biggest fan. Maybe a few parents. I remember nothing of the luncheon or speechifying. At some point, all the top brass disappeared before the formalities ended. When it was over, we stepped out of the relative darkness of the restaurant into the super bright early afternoon sun, and looking northwest back towards town, we could see the smoke and flames in the distance. I think I recall correctly that Kostka Hall was, at that time, the tallest building in Crawford County. The way the rest of that day unfolded has erased all detail of the formalities of the luncheon. I cannot remember a single word said.

John Roll gave me a color copy of this photograph at one of our reunions, and I am so grateful to him for being such an avid photographer. Thanks, Tom, for all the good work you do to keep our collective memory working!

Brian O'Malley


From Speed (AKA Dennis Depeder '70)...

Fire Day

We were in the sub-basement "coffee house," and John Spellman was doing "Alice's Restaurant" by Arlo Guthrie. While we all waited for "it to come around" on his guitar again, John Ryan appeared in the stairway doorway and announced that the building was on fire! As his reputation as an insufferable prick preceded him, we all thought, Yeah, right, and turned back to Spellman and Arlo, just as "it came around" on his guitar again. J. Ryan's pleas fell on deaf ears until another panicked senior arrived and, in a terrified manner, pleaded us out of the concert. We left the room in an orderly fashion (must've been those grade school fire drills), still not fully aware of the dire straits we might have enjoyed had we not left when we finally did, only to find the top of the building bellowing flames. Down two basement floors, there was only one staircase exit in a burning building, and John Ryan came to save us. Ha. I can't really describe the feelings we all shared (think WHEW!!) upon full realization of what might have happened. We were all pretty awe-struck (and relieved to be safe) once we got outside and realized the magnitude of what was actually happening.

Speed

From Bob P....

Yes, Speed. I too remember being in the coffee house, heading up the stairs, and gathering in the space to the side of Kostka to watch in awe and dismay at what was happening. But my clearer memory is of the time many of us spent in the old gym earlier that year working on what was to become our own little Fillmore Upper-Midwest. I'm not sure how the mural spaces were divided out, but I spent many hours working with a team on a Frank Zappa mural based on the Zappa Freak Out album cover (Suzy Creamcheese?). Marty R. had a fantastic mural on the opposite wall based on Magical Mystery Tour (Roll Up, Sir). If I wasn't in JUG or at Ma's, I was in the gym. The teamwork we put into that endeavor was probably the best learning experience I had at Campion, and then we stood there and watched it burn and collapse, and by Monday, it was back to class and life as usual.

Bob

Right on, Bob. I did a full floor-to-ceiling mural on the gym myself. I painted a lot of bubble words on the floor too. It was the Cream Cheese Castle. I painted the giant canvas with the name too. Also remember the lizard from the Doors album Waiting for the Sun. We had one good dance there before the flame took it. But it was a pretty big dance. We had an actual "professional" group (they got paid and think they were from LaCrosse, BIG time). What a beautiful time. I spent many a poignant hour in that room. Good memories. Speed

Speed


From Daniel Mesta '70...

Tom Thompson and I were walking to the weekly movie (was it Saturday or Sunday?). We saw smoke coming from the top of the building. We went inside and ran up the stairs all the way to the last floor (I had never been up there before). Tom and I found two mattresses on fire—no flames, only a lot of smoke—like someone had been smoking there since I remember we found cigarettes left. Tom (a strong and forward-thinking guy) told me to run downstairs and warn the supervisor at the movie theater taking place at the moment. So I did as Tom told me to do: ran downstairs through all those creaking stairs, went down the movie theater going on. I could not see anything at all but the movie screen. Someone reached out to me.

I am sure he realized I was panicking. I told him quietly (that is what I remember) that the building was on fire and he must get everybody out of the building. Who was he? I do not know, but I am sure he remembers that moment.

The next thing I remember was trying to run upstairs to find Tom, but the amount of smoke did not let me go back up the stairs. I told someone standing on the stairs that Tom was up there trying to kill the fire. I was standing outside and watched the firefighters take Tom to the hospital. Later at night, I remember seeing the water from the firefighters hoses hitting the building and turning into ice!! The next day, I was very happy to see Tom at the hospital feeling okay!! This is all I can remember!!

Saludos
Daniel

"Tom Thompson was the hero that day!"


From Tom Thompson '70...

Ah, the fire. While some of the details are slipping away, the incident itself is still pretty vivid. Thanks, Dan, but "hero" might be pushing it. Dan, myself, and I believe George Sterling and possibly someone else (?) were the first responders. I don't recall if we were coming or going to the WVOC Radio Room, but that, along with the Ham Radio Room, were the only two accessible rooms at the top of the stairs. There were strange noises, crackling sounds, coming from behind the locked corridor door. The idea of breaking through that door seemed risky—not because we thought there was an actual fire and the sudden change of atmospheric pressure might create a horrible draft and violently spread the flames engulfing all of us, but rather, if we broke that door for no good reason, we'd be hit with a couple of office JUGs and likely get the bill for repairs. But we broke it. And just like Dan says, there were two mattresses on fire in a small room to the right.

I'm not sure what my initial reaction was, but I think the contemporary translation would be "Oh, F%!K." At that point, we all did what we could given our limited fire training skills. I remember pulling the fire alarm pull station at the top of the stairs, but I don't remember hearing any horns. I remember grabbing my first fire extinguisher and heading back to the room. I dropped it, and it started squirting all over the place. At least it worked, as I believe one of the other ones we grabbed didn't! I remember yelling FIRE! as loud as I could in the stairwell, but no one was there to hear it. So you moviegoers owe Danny Mesta a round of applause for getting the word out. We truly did try to put that fire out. We went anywhere we could to find more extinguishers.

By the time the cavalry arrived, the fire was no match for those water-based, upside-down, squirt-bottle fire extinguishers. The fire was in charge now. I was escorted over to the infirmary. After a full-service nose-flushing, coughing up some choice soot balls, and sucking down half a tank of oxygen, I was good to go. Apparently someone called my parents to tell them where I was, so they jumped in the car and headed up to Campion. Later that evening, back in my room, there was a knock on the door, and dad came in. Which one of us wouldn't have expected these words from a worried, compassionate parent of a 16-year-old, rushing to the side of their child, "So, tell me you didn't start the fire?"

Our little fire squad did what we could. To this day, I feel badly that we couldn't get it stopped. If we had a bit more experience in firefighting, we could have prevented that horrible loss. I am just glad no one was seriously hurt. I miss that building and the stories I heard in my head as I walked on those creaky floors, looking at all those pictures and faces on the walls.

Today, as I deal with building life safety codes, fire exits, fire detection systems, and suppression systems, I have a personal insight into their significance, especially for the professional firefighters that rely on their existence and proper operation. Too bad I didn't take Fr. Aspenleiter's optional "How to Fight Fires" class instead of his "How to Study" class, as my illustrious academic accomplishments would need more than that!

Thanks, Danny.

Happy holidays, everybody!
Tom Thompson


From Joe Trad '71...

All I can remember is JVOC saying that had we all gone up and pissed on the fire when it started, we would have put it out!
Joe


From Schaefer O'Neil '72...

I remember well that we had a rocketry group in a room on an upper floor facing the dining hall. All LOST !!! very sad day.

I also recall helping to carry out stuff from the bursar's office (first floor on the right) in boxes and armfulls.

At home, somewhere, I have s brick from the demolished building


From Chick Foxgrover '70...

I loved the hobby/craft space and learned the very first bit about art and sculpture there. My brother and I still have work we made there.


From Bob Henkels '69...

Kostka Hall Fire

I helped take records, information, and "permanent files" from Kostka Hall. We made several trips before the fire department said we could not go in any more. I specifically went in one more time to get the class picture for "1965", which was the year my brother, Ron, graduated. I hope it is hanging in some revered and hallowed space!

Interesting aspects regarding the fire:

  1. The Prairie du Chien fire truck could not shoot water to the top of the building, so they had to let it "burn down" to put water on it!
  2. The ROTC program and rifle range were located in that building, and there was concern about a possible munitions explosion in the basement. Bro Stabler" was heartbroken as he watched an "old friend" pass away.
  3. The fire smoldered for several days.
  4. A major concern was Campion Hall and Xavier Hall catching fire, and both buildings were drenched with water from the other fire departments that responded to the call.

The staff pulled it all together, and there was little damage to any surrounding buildings.

All were upset about the loss of the oldest building on campus. All of the administrative offices were relocated to Lawler Hall.


From Paul McCullough '70...

Demerit (i.e., JUG) list posted in dining hall (and elsewhere) Friday 13, Dec 1968; the day before the fire.

Life goes on "ooobla-dee, ooobla-dah."

jug list

The list is actually from Jim Trausch's '69, at the top of the list. Why one of Campion's star lettermen and the top guy of the ROTC brigade (Yup, the (full) Colonel—3 diamonds on the shoulder—"The Man," the guy who, when you were in uniform—and probably other times, too—you were afraid to make eye contact with—ends up being summoned to the Assistant Principal's office that Friday? Well, I guess we are all humans.

I kind of feel like the old lady in the movie "Titanic" who says, "I can still smell the fresh paint." I can remember the smell of floor polish and varnish the moment you walked through Kostka's front door, the creaking of the linoleum, and the amplified sounds of the footsteps of people walking along the corridors. I guess made loud by the wooden paneling along the halls that extended up about five feet, with the multiple glass display cases of all the sports and academic awards and recognitions and hanging above, the decades of photographs of graduating classes looking down on us all. The wood, the odor—the ever-present smell of cleaners and solvents—and the "oldness" of the place always gave me a feeling the place was a tinderbox, ripe for a bad fire. It's best to be somewhere else.

If one went to Bro. Hottenger's hobby/craft shop on the second floor, you'd walk by classes with gobs of old wooden desks and furniture, the same creaky linoleum floors, the same paneling, display cases, and class pictures. Pure kindling.


Here's a previous report by Paul McCullough '70...

Kostka Hall Fire

12/14/1968

Saturday, December 14, 1968, dawned cold, clear and bright. Some four to five inches of snow lay on the grounds of Campion Jesuit High School as students and faculty followed the school's longstanding Saturday schedule: wake-up bell - 6:45 am for sophomores and juniors, 7:05 am for freshmen (seniors got up when they wanted); breakfast (including cereal to be eaten by students - virtually everyone - enrolled in an on-going Crest Toothpaste study); classes or study hall from 8:30 to 11:40 am; lunch; recreation and lockout from the dorms from 1:00 to 4:30 pm.

On the first floor of Kostka Hall, the school's administrative offices were open. Secretaries typed away and students summoned by the assistant principal (this feared position only recently re-titled Dean of Students) sat on a long wood bench outside his office. The bursar's office was open and was able to dispense the weekly stipend to cash strapped Campion Knights ($3.00 for upperclassmen, $2.00 for frosh) through the world's smallest bank window. Immediately inside Kostka's front door, sophomores and juniors without scheduled morning classes busied themselves in the first floor study hall, the site where student offenders had served "JUG" for decades. For those persons lucky enough to be going off campus, the request "Cab to Kostka Hall" softly telephoned in by the front desk receptionist, could be heard echoing down the corridor. In the center of the building, next to the enclosed four storey steel staircase and freight elevator, students passed through the corridor that traversed Kostka and led between Campion and Xavier Halls on their way to classes, the ROTC classrooms and rifle range in Xavier basement, or (for seniors) their dorm rooms. In short, all was routine.

McCullough

Scheduled activities that weekend included a home basketball game at Hoffman Hall. The debate and forensic teams would be competing away. A Sodality Society fundraiser movie, "A Man for All Seasons" was to be shown at 1 pm in the Kostka basement theater, the time being changed from 7:00 pm that evening due to the basketball game. Students were encouraged to attend and to purchase admission tickets costing 50 cents, not an insignificant sum given a Campion student's weekly allowance. Nothing special was planned liturgically for that weekend, apart that it was to be Gaudate Sunday. Students were more joyful about the upcoming Christmas recess as opposed to any overt reflections about Advent being almost over and they were accordingly making their travel plans. There was some urgency among the many Chicagoland residents to book their trip on the charter bus to O'Hare Field because the Burlington Railroad had refused to provide additional coaches and to stop at Campion Crossing, the result of a small riot with Campion involvement on a Twin City Zephyr the previous April. Besides, the bus fare was some $3.00 to $4.00 cheaper.

Having started on time with at least 100 to 150 students in attendance, the Sodality movie was ten or fifteen minutes underway when Fr. R. Brodzeller entered the theater via the doorway under the iron front stairs of Kostka, turned on the lights and signaled to the projectionist to stop the film. "Gentlemen, there is a fire in this building" was all he said, upon which there was a loud rumbling noise as everyone hit the wooden floor, feet running, and made for the two exits. Putting up his hands, Fr. Brodzeller shouted "WAIT! HOLD IT! You will leave by me under the stairs." The audience, half in and out of their seats, swarmed the exit, knocking Fr. Brodzeller back and forth, ultimately pushing him out into the theater stairwell.

Despite being dazzled by the sun's reflection off the snow, the theater audience assembled on the lawn in front of the dining (Loyola) hall and waited in silence. In fact, the silence was the most noticeable phenomenon as nothing extraordinary was occurring. At this time, Kostka Hall seemed as solid as ever without any signs of danger. The rest of the campus was also very quiet. Word had spread that a fire had started in the WVOC radio studio on the fourth floor and that a small number of students and scholastics were up there trying to contain it. Minutes later, a single, old, tired appearing fire truck pulled up in front of Kostka and its riders went inside, causing some tittering that one fire truck is probably not going to be enough to address this problem. Over time, one could see smoke building up behind the glass panes in the top floor dormers, obscuring the window shades from view and turning the room to darkness as observed through the glass, a gray-white color. On the front stairs, scholastics and seniors were asking people in the crowd to come to the first floor offices as a decision had already been made to start removing school records. This process was underway when a muffled thud, sounding like a gas range being lit too fast, was heard and a huge mushroom of flame burst through the roof of the building. At least half of the top floor in the front portion of the hall appeared to be involved, signaling to all present that the fire was hopelessly out of control. The effort to remove records and vital equipment rapidly accelerated; a parade of students began collecting and carrying materials over to Lawler Hall where they were stacked in the foyer. Recovered items included drawers filled with documents, the public address microphone and amplifier, typewriters, postage meters, the addressograph machine and address stencils, and the contents of the bursar's office. The recovery process was halted when the first floor began to fill with smoke, probably from entrainment of smoke and fire through the stairway and elevator shaft located in the center of the building. Despite some protests, everyone was ordered out. Word had also spread that those on the fourth floor were accounted for and were safe. At least two more fire trucks arrived and were stationed behind Kostka Hall between the infirmary and the music hall, pouring water on the rear of the building.

For students, there really wasn't anything more to do except watch. The fire moved rapidly, consuming the entire top floor and the old freshman dormitory located in the back of the building. The fire department's role rapidly became one of containment, especially in protecting Campion Hall, pouring hundreds of gallons of water onto its roof and west facade. At one point, small flames were seen on the dormers of the western side of the building (the chemistry laboratory) and were quickly extinguished. The room darkeners in the chemistry laboratory melted and produced a black, treacly goo that coated the walls (probably the only overt damage to Campion Hall). It remained bitterly cold and because of the temperature, water quickly froze, encasing all exposed surfaces in ice. Everyone and everything smelled of smoke. By late afternoon, in spite of fire department efforts, Kostka Hall was losing a floor to the flames approximately every two hours. At dinnertime, as they took their meals at tables located on the south side of Loyola Hall, students could look out the window through the darkness to see fire consuming the first floor, including the principal's office, the assistant principal's office, and the study hall. Members of the debate and forensic teams, returning by car along Route 18 at dusk, reported seeing a tall column of smoke miles before reaching Prairie du Chien.

In spite of the fire, Campion continued to provide food and shelter to its 500-plus resident students Saturday night and Sunday. Attendance was taken at 5 pm for freshman at Marquette Hall, sophs and juniors at Lucey Hall. Seniors were allowed to enter Xavier Hall, although persons living in the south wing of the building were required to collect their mattresses and belongings and to double up in student rooms in the north wing Saturday night. Dinner was served. Hoffman Hall remained open and the basketball game was played. Heating, water and electricity were maintained in all buildings (except for the infirmary and music hall which temporarily lost heat). Marquette and Lucey Halls were left without hot water for 24 to 36 hours. Showers, by necessity, were very short.

Recovery began almost immediately. On Sunday, December 15, which dawned gray and overcast, a large crane with a wrecking ball arrived around 10:00 am to remove a portion of Kostka's western wall, some 60 to 70 feet high, that was still standing and threatening to collapse on Xavier Hall. Displaced seniors were allowed to return to their rooms later that day. Junior division services were restored in Campion Hall. During the day, large numbers of students assisted the Jesuits in transforming the first floor of Lawler Hall into administration offices. At 8:30 am, Monday, December 16, classes resumed at Campion again. The morning public address announcements lasted close to thirty minutes and gave an overview of how services formerly provided in Kostka Hall were to be replaced. A brief description of the fire and the efforts to contain it was given. One student, Thomas Thompson '70, was singled out for special praise because of his work in getting people out of the building and in fighting the fire (he was reported as having sustained burns to his arms but expected to recover fully). At the start of his chemistry class, Maurice Oehler projected a large overhead slide that reduced Saturday's events to an applied example of thermodynamics: "That was an exothermic reaction with an increase in entropy!" By lunchtime Monday, from the students' perspective, all services appeared to be fully restored. Apart from the morning's abbreviated first period class caused by necessary announcements, there was no interruption of student instruction because of the fire.

The remnants of Kostka Hall remained entombed in ice and snow until early April 1969. Upon removal, the building's foundation was covered over and seeded with grass, creating a small quadrangle between Campion and Xavier Halls. Movies resumed and were shown in the freshman gymnasium on weekends. The first floor of Lawler Hall functioned effectively as Campion's administrative center, with the assistant principal's (Dean of Students') office being positioned closest to the dining hall. Painful losses included The Little Theater (the center of Campion dramatics), the radio station WVOC, the Cream Cheese Castle and the equipment used for Camp Campion, the school's summer youth program. Salvage of alumni records was later found to be incomplete; in subsequent years, requests for information regarding Campion alumni were mailed to students, recent graduates, and their families in an attempt to recover lost information.

Specifics about who or what caused the Kostka Hall fire were never fully disclosed to students. From the information circulated, the fire appeared to have originated in or near Campion's radio station on the fourth floor. Smoking was alleged as the probable cause. Two students from the Class of 1970 were suspended shortly after the fire; one was ultimately allowed to return.

Paul McCullough '70


Kostka Eulogy excerpted from a previous article titled 1968...

Probably the most heartfelt eulogy for Kostka and an example of the Campion Spirit came in the form of a letter of gratitude written by Bro. Staber to the editor of the PDC Courier Press on January 9, 1969. Having been on the fourth floor and seeing the firemen's efforts to contain the blaze, he wrote of his "admiration for brave men who frequently risk injury and even life in the pursuit of civic assistance." He further paid tribute to the firemen injured on December 14, including Vern Fishler and Paul Mara, writing that through their efforts, the fire was sufficiently contained to save Campion and Xavier Halls, the destruction of which would have put the school out of operation. In addition to the PDCFD, appreciation was also expressed to the Marquette-McGregor and Bloomington Fire Departments, the PDC Police Force and Rescue Squad, WPRE Radio, Wisconsin Power and Light, and General Telephone. Finally, Bro. Staber thanked his own staff and remembered the building; his words are worth quoting:

"Always much taken for granted, yet a vital part of Campion's lifeline of operation, the loyal employees of the school—John Novey, Chief Engineer Frank Bozek and Arnold White, Electricians Ed E. Bouzek and Leo Pulda, and the other Boiler Room men—whose vast knowledge of Campion's heating, water, and electric network helped to save thousands of dollars and property by knowing what valves to shut off—how to cap this, turn on that, etc. They were ably assisted by Bro. James Kirsling, S.J., Assistant Superintendent, Bob Gillitzer, and other employees who returned or volunteered during this time of crisis. Also, the Kitchen Food Service, who provided coffee, etc., kept calmly to their duties throughout the excitement."

"Kostka Hall was the venerable building of the campus, attached to and associated with many memories and changes during its 84-year-old history. The 1884 section was especially strong and rugged. It was not a very attractive building, but it was, in its own way, like the giant redwood trees of California. Withstanding rigors and abuse yet able to be remodeled and changed to accommodate itself to the changing generations, all knew that some day Kostka Hall would have to come down; none, however, wanted it to go in quite the manner it did."

Campion didn't skip a beat. On January 23, 1969, the Courier Press reported the results of the state fire marshal's investigation of the blaze, with evidence indicating that students' smoking was the cause. The article also reported Campion President Fr. J. R. Hilbert's statement that the school planned to rebuild. The school received a payment of $484,964.00, presumably an insurance payment, on April 23. The basketball team posted a 14-6 season and went to the regionals, beating archrival Aquinas. The Masquers performed Stalag 17 in the auditorium of St. Mary's Academy. Over Mother's Day weekend, the ROTC Corps marched on the quadrangle, and the Concert Band, resplendent in white dinner jackets, performed in the freshman gymnasium. The regulations regarding hair length were still being enforced. One hundred nine members of the Class of '69 took their diplomas in May and would attend colleges including Notre Dame (5), Georgetown (5), Marquette (9), Creighton (9), Holy Cross (2), Boston College, Cornell, and Yale. Students received scholarships from National Merit, Loyola-Chicago (2), Georgetown, the University of Detroit, John Carroll, Saint Louis University (3), Marquette, Notre Dame, Xavier, Ripon College, the State of Illinois, Army ROTC (3), and Air Force ROTC. After his year as principal, Fr. Connolly went on to complete his Ph.D. in communication at USC.

It had all been a great success. As students departed for summer vacation, the future of Campion seemed assured. Everyone, especially juniors waiting to savor the freedom of Xavier Hall (myself included), was convinced that 1969–1970 would be an even more noteworthy, perhaps spectacular year.

They were right.
Paul McCullough


A piece of fiction found by The Ghost of Joe Campion...

What?

Switches, buttons, and lights appeared before me. Ramjets appeared on all four legs—three on each, to be exact! There were horizontal and vertical foot pedals on the first two legs.

Everyone around me disappeared.

One of their voices suddenly penetrated through, but quickly vanished. I pressed the ignition button. With a puff of smoke, I was climbing. It didn't take long to understand the controls. Two pedals controlled left and right motions, and a third controlled the elevation.

The control board looked complicated but was really very simple. I pushed the fast-forward switch. I could see playgrounds and buildings passing under me. Fields of dead yellow corn flowed inward to a point directly below me. A wide, long river passed under. A barge was headed north on it.

I became sea sick and decided to try and land. Cutting back on the power and manipulating the pedals landed me in a strange room. Someone was setting some boxes on fire against a cement and brick wall. The person didn't seem to notice me from across the room. But no matter; he didn't stay long. Seeing him run, I followed him out into a hallway. I got a slight glimpse of him but lost him. Thinking of the fire, I ran back to the room. A crowd had gathered because of the thick smoke. I asked for a fire extinquisher. Someone yanked one from a cabinet near my head. While he was putting out the fire, I got another extinquisher and helped put it out. Afterward, I helped clean up the mess.

We all went to a football game. It was a home-coming game. I sat next to the person who first began putting out the fire. He told me that there have been a lot of fires recently. I decided I wanted to catch this 'pyro'. So, my new friend let me stay in his room 'til I was ready to leave.

It was the third day of my visit when the hall was flooded with water from a fire in the garbage chute. I helped an angry, seemingly important man named Fr. Gates mop up the floor. When we finished, I was exhausted and ready to go to bed.

A few hours later, I woke up, so I decided to wash my clothes. It was a hot night, and after I put my clothes in the washers, I went to a lobby to get a bit of fresh air. There, the 'pyro' was just finishing lighting a couch on fire. Before I could say anything, he ran off.

This pyro played it cool for the next few days, except for a small sign fire. I got a feeling he was going to strike again, so I woke up and hurried down the stairs. I looked all around. I walked into the TV room, and there he was, just lighting a match for the drapes. I tackled him. I held his arms behind his back and pushed him up to the prefect's room.

I knocked on the door and pushed the kid in, saying, "Here's your pyro.".

The prefect questioned the kid, saying, "Why do you get your kicks...?


"What?"

"Wake up! Why do you get your kicks from daydreaming in my English class?"
Go report to the dean!

Originally mimeographed for Fr. Rob Fitzgerald, SJ's Short Story Composition Class, October 1971.




RIPObituaries:

nameclass_ofdeceaseddatecity_grad
C. Patrick Wagner19562024-01-12Chicago
Theodore R. Glaser19642024-01-14Chicago
G. Jeffrey George19652024-01-22Dyersville
John M. McGinnis19642024-01-24Chicago
Fr. James J. King, S.J.19472024-01-30Akron
Francis Balcaen19702024-02-21Coal Valley
James Peter Helldorfer19702024-03-00Dayton
Robert T. McNamara19702024-03-05Toledo
nameclass_ofdeceaseddatecity_grad
George F. Hutter19702023-01-13Fond du Lac
Peter J. Cline19642023-01-22Michigan City
Mark J. McMullen19662023-02-01Minneapolis
James R. O'Kief19632023-02-11Wood Lake
Robert J. Sutter19632023-03-13Crestline
Richard M. Maly19542023-03-13Colorado Springs
Edward M. Gormley19582023-03-19Evanston
Timothy J. Padden19652023-03-26Moorhead
Gary L. Key19562023-04-01Prairie du Chien
Paul Mueller19582023-04-01Munster
Edmond Campion Kersten19502023-04-03Milwaukee
Bill C. Steber19582023-04-03River Forrest
Joe W. Murphy19622023-04-23Taylorville
Harold Brooks19702023-04-26St. Louis
Daniel G. Bautsch19582023-04-26Galena
Daniel G. Bautsch19582023-04-26Galena
J. Spencer Houlihan19642023-05-15Winchester
Jeff R. Paunicka19722023-05-18Portage
Britton J. Rinehart19472023-05-21Oak Park
Frank Ratermann19722023-05-25Saigon
Vincent J. Romeo19652023-05-25Elkhart
James Richard Carey19542023-05-25River Forest
Clement J. Steele19552023-06-09Prairie du Chien
Thomas P. Kelly19552023-06-24Homewood
Redmond P. Hidding19682023-06-29Crystal Lake
John H. Duffy19522023-07-06McFarland
Dan Carey19562023-07-08River Forrest
Daniel B. Lehman19532023-07-18Jefferson
James M. Morrison19582023-08-02Munster
Daniel L. Power19522023-08-12Anamosa
Robert E. Franklin19672023-08-18Peoria
Edward J. Fleege19532023-08-21Savanna
Terry Mack19762023-09-11Blookfield Hills
Louis E. Keen19582023-09-23Munster
Peter F. Wahl19632023-09-28Renville
Robert M. Collins19532023-10-11Wichita
Michael E. Fox19542023-11-03Houghton
Robert E. McGlynn, Jr.19442023-11-04Belleville
Carmon Fuller19742023-11-13Milwaukee
Alfred J Grieshop19592023-11-14Harvard
Charles H Goodman19592023-11-16River Forest
Joseph L. Corrigan19632023-12-02Sikeston
Walker B. Butler19572023-12-08Chicago
John C. Corrigan19572023-12-12Sikeston
Gregory C. Reichle19612023-12-12Riverside
Paul J. Sartori19632023-12-15Plymouth
Chris W. Bernbrock19702023-12-16Moline
David L. Wachter19652023-12-18Prairie du Chien
John J. Klieforth19642023-12-24Oshkosh
Alumni who have passed in...
2023, 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, All known by class.

Faculty who have passed:
  • Mr. Cyril (AKA Zeke) Des Rocher 2024-02-27, Baseball and Swimming Coarch, Drivers Ed 1970-74.
  • Mr. Michael C. Drake, 2023-11-24, Teacher of French 1968-75.
  • Clem J. Steele, 2023-06-09, Teacher of Math, Asst. Coach Basketball, JV Football Coach 1968-1973.
  • Rev. Joseph F. Eagan, S.J., 2022-12-20, Teacher of English, Religion 1955-1962.
  • Lawrence R. Reuter, 2022-10-23, Scholastic, Teacher of Latin, Speech, 1952-1955
  • Coach Clem Massey 2022-08-07. Teacher of History and Social Studies. Basketball and Wrestling Coach. 1966-69
  • Fr. Patrick L. Murphy, S.J., 2022-05-24, Scholastic: Teacher of English and Social Studies 1966 and 1972-74.
  • Fr. Gregory F. Lucey, S.J., 2021-09-30, Scholastic: Teacher of Latin, Sodality 1959-61; Priest: Principal 1969-70, President 1970-75, Rector 1973-75.
  • Lieselotte "Lu" Patnode, 2021-09-09.
    She married Donald Kenneth Patnode in Manheim, Germany on April 11, 1947. She followed Don to Prairie du Chien for his position at Campion Jesuit High School as the head of the ROTC program. Together they raised their family in the Prairie du Chien...
  • Fr. Philip Dreckman, S.J., 2021-03-25, Teacher of History 1966-1975
  • Doris M. Buening, 2021-02-10, Secretary 19??-19??
  • Fr. Eugene Dutkiewicz, S.J., 2021-01-24, Scholastic: Teacher of Chemistry 1957-58; Priest: Teacher of Math 1963-69, Asst. Principal 1965-69