The first Campionette, the student newsletter, was published 104 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, of which some 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 in 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 3rd person post mortem.
Not to lay all the blame on the Jebbies... 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, else I would have to conjure the 'Ghost of Joe Campion' for ideas more than I care to.
From Mike Riordon '72
REMEMBRANCES OF CAMPION BASKETBALL RIVALRIES
In the history of Campion basketball rivalries, I'm not sure that there has ever been a rivalry that has inspired the loathing that Aquinas High School instilled in me and my Class of 1972. For those of you who attended Campion in earlier years, I apologize, but you should still hate Aquinas just on general principle. Allow me to explain why.
In 1971, the Aquinas High School Basketball Team came into Hoffman Hall, the cathedral of Don Gosz and all that was holy in those hallowed halls, and beat a Campion team that seemed destined for State Tournament glory. Despite that crushing defeat, the Knights were primed for revenge in the home of Aquinas, La Crosse, WI.
Needless to say, tickets and bus tickets for the game were difficult to come by. My usual partner in crime, Bill Bergstrom, and I did not have tickets to the game. Because we did not have tickets, we decided, in our infinite wisdom, to hitchhike to La Crosse where the game was being played (about 60 miles away) and just figure out a way to finagle our way in. The problem: the temperature that day was (with wind chill) -32 degrees. Again, to be clear, the temperature was negative 32 degrees. Because we were hitchhiking, it was so cold that we would beg whoever picked us up to drop us off at a gas station. That way we could trade off having one of us stand out on the road to hitchhike while the other was, blissfully, staying warm inside the gas station.
The incredible thing about this arctic sojourn, is that Bergstrom and I made it together to La Crosse in one, slightly brittle, piece. As we were walking the downtown streets of La Crosse, waiting for the game to begin, we just happened to wander into a local restaurant/watering hole. To our great surprise, there were some fellow Campion compadres awaiting the much anticipated game.
After much discussion/debate about the upcoming game, we left the restaurant in plenty of time for the start of the basketball game. What a game it was! John Schrup, the Campion guard, was extraordinary. The score rallied back and forth.
Incredible offensive and defensive prowess by both teams. Unfortunately the shooting guard for Aquinas, last name Thibadoux (sp?) if any of you remember, was just a little better that night. Campion lost by 2 points. Once again, a truly crushing defeat by a hated rival.
So now the game is over. It is about 10:00 pm. Bergstrom and I realize that we have no way back to Campion other than to hitchhike, which, for obvious reasons, was a very bad option. Being the opportunistic, and somewhat surreptitious, duo we were, we decide to just sneak onto the student bus back to campus. Unfortunately, every seat on the bus was accounted for and we were, unceremoniously, escorted off the the bus.
Now we are in the middle of La Crosse at 10:30 at night with no way back to Prairie Du Chien. It is freezing cold, I mean REALLY freezing cold, and we are ambling aimlessly down the crossroads of La Crosse, when, by the grace of everything that is holy, we see a Salvation Army House, a beacon in the dark, frozen tundra. With trepidation, we knock on the door, and the gracious souls take us in. We are welcomed into warm, comfortable beds for the night and are provided vouchers for McDonalds meals the next day. Rested and with renewed vigor, we hitchhike back to campus, cold but no worse for wear, and thanking God for looking after clueless, impulsive high school idiots. From that day, until today and every day going forward, I have always contributed to the Salvation Army every chance I get. Thank God for the shelter they provided two students in need. They were a shelter indeed.
In grateful remembrance, if any of you, my Campion brothers, ever need shelter, I hope to always be there for you. Just call me or email me. I know the feeling of being out in the cold with no place to go and having lost to Aquinas!
From Ghost of Joe Campion
From David Podeschi '68
Liquid Sunshine and The Steam Tunnels
Two vignettes linked by the presence in each of my classmate and friend Jim Valeri
I graduated with the Campion Class of 1968 and would like to relate 1) how the band Liquid Sunshine got its name and 2) an unusual experience from Senior year. I was prompted to write these vignettes after a friend from my hometown encouraged me to send them to the alumni newsletter. Caveat, these are to the best of my memory and we know how unreliable memories can be. But they are memories I've worked regularly, told and retold and so kept fresh. With that...
Jim Valeri of Hibbing MN and I were good friends during junior and senior years. He was the drummer in our bands, first in For Lack of a Better Name and then in Liquid Sunshine. In fact, Jim and I gave Liquid Sunshine its name. Here's how it happened.
At some point in the rock and roll band history of our class, we decided to form a rock band made up of only our classmates. Jim Burke and Dan Cochran on vocals, Jeff Brohier on bass, Jim on drums and me on guitar. I tried and failed to recruit Tom Martin for organ, a farfisa organ being de rigueur in 60s rock bands. How else could you play House of the Rising Sun? Anyway this lack of organ eventually led to a reshuffling of band members and the addition of two class of '69ers, Bill George on his Gretsch Country Gentleman playing lead guitar and Bill McGrath on the Farfisa organ. We also added, from the class of '70, Paul McCullough on bass and Ralph Schiavone on vocals. We even had a Prairie du Chien High School fellow in the band, but his name escapes me.
In the early fall of '67 we'd had a few rehearsals in preparation for an upcoming dance, I think at a place called the Checkerboard, and we needed a name for the new line-up. Band members had been puzzling over this for some weeks. Then one day as Jim and I were walking from Xavier Hall to our rehearsal space in the music room, we flipped through an issue of "Mad Magazine's Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions", chuckling at the stupidity of the cartoons. My mental image places us in front of Joyce Kilmer library as we came upon a cartoon of a man arriving home from work. He was standing, drenched, in the doorway of his house in the pouring rain. His wife upon opening the door asked "is it raining?". His snappy answer was "No, I'm drenched in liquid sunshine." The words leaped from the page, Jim and I looked at each other and said "that's it!". And it was. The rest is legend as the band lived on for several years after we graduated, in several incarnations.
One of the persistent rumors, at least during my four years, was that there was an entrance to the steam tunnels located beneath the center confessional on the south side of the chapel. I'll bet many of you heard the rumor and maybe some of you entered the steam tunnels. But did you go in through the chapel trapdoor?
Jim and I spoke of it off and on until we at last found the courage to prove, or disprove, the rumor. So one Sunday evening we slipped into the darkened chapel and hesitatingly approached the confessionals, probably worried some Jeb had dozed off and remained inside, in which case I think our plan was to say we desperately needed confession. The chapel was empty, dark and quiet as a mausoleum. Slowly we opened the middle confessional's priest's door and to our relief found it empty.
There was in fact a wooden floor board about an inch thick that I can yet see in my mind's eye, its wood grain and its light brown color. We knelt and gave a tug. To our astonishment it lifted on rear hinges revealing a drop of a couple of feet to a tunnel. Well, sort of a tunnel.
Of course we had to see where it led, expecting we'd be entering the actual steam tunnels. Jim went first disappearing into the inky black opening while I held the trap door up, whence he called "come on". I crouched in the opening with the trapdoor resting on my back and crawled in, the trapdoor slamming shut behind me. We were in total darkness in a dirt floor crawl space little more than a single human wide and maybe 2 feet high. There was no turning around. Even today I shudder when I close my eyes and bring it to mind. I can't speak for Jim, but I was terrified, for the first time in my life I felt utter claustrophobia. If this crawl space didn't lead anywhere we would die there to be discovered when our stench drifted into a Mass days later.
There was nothing for it but to crawl on, sweat from our terror and the damp heat of the tunnels pouring from our bodies. We crawled as fast as possible in the cramped conditions. I think we'd crawled about 30-40 feet when there was a glimmer of light ahead. Our pace quickened. After another 20-30 feet, probably having covered about half the distance between the chapel and Marquette Hall, the crawl tunnel ended and opened onto the actual steam tunnels. I don't have the words for the overwhelming sense of relief we felt. We were giddy. We weren't going to die and we'd done it!
The steam tunnel in which we found ourselves ran at right angles to the crawl tunnel and was about 6.5 feet high and wide enough for us to walk abreast. There were even bare bulbs every so often lighting our way and of course steam pipes and valves suspended from the ceiling.
Next we had to figure out how to exit since no way were we returning to the chapel via the crawl hell hole. We decided to head east, which made sense, as we imagined the tunnel had come from the steam plant in the northeast corner of campus and run south parallel to the railroad tracks with east-west side tunnels, one of which we were in, branching off to the various buildings. Off we went to the east, now starting to fear that if we found the steam plant, we would be locked in from the inside and thereby apprehended the next morning. As predicted, the tunnel came to a T intersection with a north-south tunnel and we turned left, or north, hopefully heading for the steam plant. Thankfully we reached it in about a 5 minute walk. We found stairs and ascended to the deserted steam plant. To our amazement we quickly found an unlocked door and disappeared into the night and back to the dorm.
It is interesting that Jim and I really didn't talk much about this adventure afterwards, not to ourselves or to others. The other interesting thing is that for all the crystal clear memories of that evening, I have no mental images of the inside of the steam plant. We were probably too excited searching for an unlocked door to gaze at our surroundings.
As they say, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.
Class of '68
Rhythm Guitar, Liquid Sunshine
From the Scarlet Knight
One Day in My Life in The land
The Morning Bells have begun their insolent attack on the Knight's sleeping quarters indicating that Dawn has arrived. Roosters once held this job but each Rooster lasted but one awakening before being asked to serve the Knighthood in a more tasteful manner at mealtime.
After Morning Bells, All Knights enter the New Day remembering the Day Before, striving to understand the Losses while drawing strength from the Gains. For All Knights, there is much to accomplish on each New Day
I share my Cell with another Knight, I spending the night in safe but guarded rest indulging in thoughts of My Quest while my Cellmate always engaging in restless sleep and thoughts only known to him. He is an honorable Knight and we are pledged to each other as we Honor the Knighthood together as One. After morning grooming and preparation, we leave our gatehouse together and travel the Quad to share our morning meal with Fellow Knights. The New Day has now begun in earnest for Us and for All Knights in The Land.
Our morning meal is brief in time but rewarding in sustenance and comradery. Each New Day begins with Knights seated together in Strength. We are six to a Table of Equals until the moment arrives for Individual Knights to follow their own path to their studies and training for the day. The Knights will always be Equal, always be One, but Knights will always seek out the Best in Themselves as Individual Knights of The Land. Each Knight will be forever Equal and yet forever Unique in The Land and in The World.
The New Day always begins for Me in Study with training and fighting regimens followed throughout the Day.
My Studies For the Day Begin.
The Language of The Ancients.
It is Latin, and it is as Dead a language as are The Ancients.
But Latin is the language of the Guardians because it is the language of Someone Else. The many Scrolls describing the Life, Teachings and Death of Someone Else speak to the World in Latin. And so it is because of these reasons that Latin is taught and learned in The Land. Indeed, The Knighthood and I will face more severe challenges than learning Latin Declensions.
My first study of the day is Latin. The Guardian that instructs and patrols this time is of knowledge and good cheer but I cannot please him as easily as I please my Sword Master. While my sword arm is strong with my Sword daily becoming a Vital part of Me, Latin eludes and defies me. The Latin language is not becoming a part of Me - I struggle to understand It. Am I therefore destined to forever struggle to understand Someone Else?
The solace that I take in the study of Latin is that I learn about the people and the history that were a part of Someone Else. It is these times and history that will always predate Me so I need to learn as best I can with Latin as my guide. I always try my best. Each New Day I more fully learn of Someone Else the more I study Latin.
The Spoken and Written Word of The Land and Beyond.
The Land and its Surrounding World and Beyond need to speak together in one language - Latin will not suffice. The Chiens de La Terre, Allies to the North and South, travelers from beyond borders, friend and foe alike. One language is needed for All.
Hence, One language has been agreed upon to learn and to use between All. It is called the language of The New World - it is called Anglicus. It is a language derived and compiled from all our Territories and that has origins from the various languages of The Old World whence Many of All in the New World have History. It is a good language. It is becoming a part of Me. I feel more safe and more aware of the World the more I learn the Anglicus Language.
The New World Scrolls, even those describing Someone Else, are being written in Anglicus. I read them with Zeal. They are becoming as part of Me as my Sword. I welcome the Learning. For Me, the language of Someone Else is Anglicus.
The Life of Someone Else.
In essence, it is the Study of the True Meaning of Our Lives once accepting the Belief in Someone Else. I have chosen to Believe with my Mother and Father being integral in leading my Belief. I am content in my Belief and that it will serve Me well. I will play out this hand dealt to Me and that I chose to Believe until I find fault and choose not to Believe.
The Guardians are the Great Scholars of Someone Else. The Guardians began their Own Path following Someone Else so many years ago. They have followed, studied and believed in Someone Else and I have Faith that will teach me the Truth of my Belief in Someone Else.
Morning Studies are Over. It is Midday. I now have Chapel with Fellow Knights in Celebration and further Study of Someone Else. It goes well as do all days in Chapel since Midday mealtime follows soon afterward. I need the Midday sustenance to successfully enter Swordplay for the next hour. My sword arm will always cramp if not fully fed and watered. The Midday sustenance is only sufficient but far worse would be a cramp in my sword arm while facing an opponent in a clash of swords.
My Afternoon Studies Begin.
The History of Man and His Laws.
It is The Meaning of All - All who are living, who have lived and who have yet to Live in the World. It is for Those who are willing to Learn and to Understand. But It is All who Must Learn and All who Must Understand this History and these Laws in order to find their own place in the World and to make the World a Better World for Themselves and for All.
All throughout Man's Time, the World has been in Turmoil and in Chaos with Man mostly being the Antagonist. Man against Man, Man against the Flora and Fauna of the World, Man against the World Itself. It is a History much of which is regrettable. This History is without doubt, but the Laws of Man have been conceived and embraced to alleviate this regret. There is Hope in studying the History and the Laws of Man. I am learning of this Hope. I believe in this Hope. I welcome this Hope.
The Guardians Understand and Teach this Hope to All Knights. I will learn their Teachings to help Me find my Life in The World.
The Laws of the Natural World.
Whereas the Laws of Man provide a Moral Lodestone and an understanding of Man, the Natural Laws are the Strength of the World and to believe in them and to understand them is Vital to the World and to All. Natural Laws have no conscience, no soul, no yearning. Natural Laws feel no sadness, no grief, no regret, no hate, no love. There is a Purity to Natural Laws and that is why they Reign Supreme. The World can only exist with Natural Laws in Control. Natural Laws determine the Sun rising in the East, the flow of the Rivers, the changing Seasons of the Year, the Breaths of Life found in the Air and the Beginning and End of Life for all Living Things. But it is Man and His Laws that make living in the World for Man worth Living. It appears to be a Good Balance. A Balance that could survive the Ages. Man only needs to realize Man's responsibility to All, to All Living Creatures and to All the World.
I will try to understand, believe and revel in the Natural Laws of the World. I feel safe knowing that they Exist. I intend to Live my Life embracing the Natural Laws. I will study them well, as well as I Study and Believe in Someone Else. I have freely chosen this path, one of many surely to come.
I will Learn these Natural Laws from the Guardians and The World around Me.
Afternoon Studies have Ended. I will now spend Time on the jousting fields armored with shield, sword and lance. Chosen by a Guardian, a Steed will take Me through both our paces. My Time on the jousting fields introduces Me to many different Steeds, all of whom need to be trained by Me as a Rider and who need to train Me as a Horseman. During this Time I further learn the Skill of Combat from and with Fellow Knights and Guardians, a seminal time for All Individual Knights and for The Knighthood.
I am now Off the jousting fields and have One Hour allotted to Me for Myself without guidance, study or training - a welcome Event for All Knights. I delight in this One Hour - it is I in control with only limited responsibilities to The Land and to The Knighthood. I can choose to engage in additional training with Fellow Knights, spend time with my studies and The Scrolls of The Land in the Great Hall, visit the Seclusa Aquarum for its soothing calm, enter into Games of Challenge with Fellow Knights or stay with Myself in peaceful thought. This One Hour is a Gift to all Knights.
However, many days my One Hour has been taken away and I must devote this Time to the Hall of Jugs. A punitive measure imposed by Guardians upon Knights who have chosen Not to behave as Knights or at least how Guardians expect Knights Not to behave. In this regard, Knights and Guardians have agreed to disagree. The Hall of Jugs is not just a Time of Forced Silence - it is a Loss of Freedom. The Campion Knights of The Land are in training to Fight for Freedom for All The World - perhaps this loss of Individual Freedom will do Us Well.
The Last Meal of the Day. All Knights now come together to share the evening meal. The Day is nearing its End and food and drink are required and a welcome respite from formal studies and training regimens undergone by All Knights. The meal is good and sustaining - It always is knowing that another Day is ending and bringing All Knights nearer to their Quest.
A Time of Study Now Begins. It is a Time when All Knights engage in the Study of The Day - Teachings. It is an Intense Time and All Knights treat this Time with Great Respect for Themselves and Fellow Knights. It is a Time of much Study, Silence and Reflection. In many ways it is soothing to both the Spirit and the Soul. For Me, at the end of this Study Time, I always feel Renewed as if Reborn and I always feel Confident in facing a New Day and New Challenges.
End of Day Bells have begun. It will be lights out soon in all Gatehouses and all need to be abed. Only those Knights and Guardians on Security will be allowed to roam the Homeland and Are there to protect the Day that Was and the Day that Will Be.
The Day has Ended.
A New Day is Soon Coming to The Land.
From the Desk Of John Duskey '63
Pep Band music at Campion in the early 1960s
This time of year, a lot of attention is paid to basketball, both at the college and high school level. Games are televised and one of the featured parts of the show is the band. When I was at UCLA, 1968-70, I regularly heard the UCLA band playing the 1927 hit song "I'm Looking Over a Four Leaf Clover" at basketball games. Since returning from California, I have attended many Wisconsin Hockey games, where the band frequently played "Ring of Fire" which was made popular by Johnny Cash in 1963. Likewise, they also played "Build Me up Buttercup" which was made popular by the Foundations in 1969.
It is interesting to note that the songs were five decades old at the time they found their way to the college band's performance. With this as background, I investigated some of the songs that the Campion Pep Band played during the years when I was at Campion (1959-63).
Jada Jada Jing Jing Jing was written in 1918 and became popular in the 1920s when it was recorded by Arthur Fields. There is a YouTube music video, recorded for a juke box that would play short 16 mm films on a loop . This video is from 1942 and is by the
Henry Levine Band featuring Linda Keene.
When the Saints Go Marching In is one song whose origins are unclear. It was performed by various artists with variations in the words in the first decade of the twentieth century. It was first recorded in 1923 by the Paramount Jubilee singers, and several other versions followed in the 1920s and later. There is a version performed in 1959 on the
Ed Sullivan Show
Tiger Rag was composed by Nick LaRocca in 1917 and first recorded by the "Original Dixieland Jazz Band" in 1917. Several cover versions have been recorded since then, most notably by Louis Armstrong in 1933. This is the version by the "Original Dixieland Jazz Band"
Another, more contemporary version by the Midlife Jazz band
Tequila was written by Chuck Rio and recorded by the Champs in 1958. It reached #1 on the Billboard charts on March 28 of that year. It has been mentioned many times in American Popular Culture, such as the TV show Happy Days (in scenes in the diner), the TV show "Who's the Boss?" season 3, episode 24, in the 2017 film "Baby Driver" and in a 2021 episode of the Simpsons. This is the Champs version from the Saturday night Beech-Nut show
Alexander's Ragtime Band This is a "tin pan alley" song composed by Irving Berlin and released in 1911. Vaudeville singer Emma Carus liked Berlin's humorous composition and introduced the song on April 18, 1911, at the American Music Hall in Chicago. It became very popular on the vaudeville circuit. A phonograph recording of the song released in 1911 by comedic singers Arthur Collins and Byron G. Harlan became the best-selling recording in the United States for ten weeks. The version presented here is by the Tarnished Brass Quintet of Colorado and recorded in June of 2018.
Maple Leaf Rag was composed by Scott Joplin and the copyright was registered in September 1899.
It is a multi-strain ragtime march with athletic bass lines and offbeat melodies. Each of the four parts features a recurring theme and a striding bass line with copious seventh chords. There are multiple stories about Scott Joplin's efforts to gain recognition and popularity for this composition. It has become a classic and cover versions by various artists are readily available. The version presented here was recorded by the "Fat Babies Classic Jazz Band" in November 2015.
Whispering was first published by Sherman, Clay and Company in 1920. It was recorded by Paul Whiteman and his Ambassador orchestra in September 1920. There are over 700 versions of this song. This version is a was re-released in March 2016,
Linger Awhile was written by Harry Owens and Vincent Rose and
recorded by Paul Whiteman in November 1923. It charted #1 in March 1924. My own memory of this song being performed at
Campion was that the marching band played it during a review of the ROTC battalion.
The way the first style of Jazz was born was through mixing the genres of ragtime music, marching band music and blues. That's why ragtime songs fit so nicely in Dixieland Jazz. Note that, of the songs above, Alexander's Ragtime Band is not regarded as a traditional ragtime song, but in the early 20th century the lines between these various types of music were not strictly drawn. It is interesting to note that the sales of sheet music were a factor in determining a song's popularity, in addition to record sales. Records, in general, were 78 rpm.
The above list is the result of my contacting several alumni who played in the Pep Band. There are some songs that I do not remember playing, but then I relied on several others in putting this list together. Each yearbook generally had a photo of the Pep Band, but not a list of members. The one exception to that was that the 1961 yearbook had a photo of all ten members, and the director, Mr. Paul Megan, who should be credited with giving direction to what the pep band was doing.
What we can see here is a study in American popular culture, both the continuity and the additions and turns at various times since the beginning of the twentieth century. Once a few ragtime songs came on the scene, ragtime grew in popularity. But this was not without some controversy. You may recall the line from the Music Man: "Ragtime, shameless music".
You will recall there was also some controversy at the beginning of the Rock and Roll era in the 1950s, which prompted the words in one song: "Rock and Roll is here to stay." Yet, some innovations did not stay, e.g. Disco music in the 1970s. There have always been singer-songwriters, but those of the late twentieth century seemed to have a message with a more personal touch, whether that would be criticism of education, anti-war, or just a plea for everyone to "get together."
So, what we were doing at Campion (and we weren't the only ones doing this) was to reach across the decades and adopt some of the culture of the 1920s into our lives in the 1960s. This was actually part of our education at Campion.
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