Flashbacks from Paul Olm-Stoelting '43

1921 - Elmer Jaberg, father of Gene (class of 1948) and Vernon (class of 1944), and Paul A. Olm, father of Paul (class of 1943) and Carroll (class of 1946) graduated in the same MH Seminary class. Paul A. Olm also graduated from the MH Academy.

1918 - Paul and Carroll's dad told this story: One of the MH College professors was an ornithologist, a bird man, who was certain that no scarlet tanagers lived in Wisconsin. So a few students found a dead sparrow and dyed its feathers red. To the day of the professor's death, he believed that he was wrong about the existence of scarlet tanagers in the Badger state.

1939 - Halloween - A dozen or so students, mainly freshman, gathered in three autos, drove to Franklin around 9 PM and non-systematically upset most of the Village's outhouses. The act of the vandals was “dutifully" reported to the Sheboygan County Sheriff's Department. The Sheriff's Department sent a deputy to campus the next morning and he had no trouble locating the guilty pranksters. He sentenced them to return and replace the structures to their normal positions.

Not to be upstaged, the culprits assembled 25 or so students that afternoon and gathered a pep band. Together they paraded to the tunes of marching music and righted all of the outhouses. They also alerted a Sheboygan Press photographer, who took a picture of the event that ended up on the next day's front page.

1939 - Fall - Annual Potato Day. No classes. Everyone, excluding the professors, was required to go to the campus fields and pick potatoes for the school's potato bins. I guess it was fun.

1939 - One winter morning, the professors and students arrived in Main Hall's steaming, hot, stinking classrooms and discovered a borrowed farmer's manure spreader on the third floor and all the steam radiators turned on high. Windows were opened briefly.

1939-1940 - These were great years! Some of Jubilee Hall's third floor residents gathered at least ten No. 10 size empty vegetable cans from the kitchen trash bin and positioned the cans at the far north end of the floor, against the concrete abutment in bowling alley pin style. With a "borrowed" bowling ball from Pine Grove, they proceeded to take turns heaving the ball down the hallway and into the crashing cans. Nothing wrong with that! It was 1:00 AM.

1940 - Professor Louis Hessert was a scholarly, well-groomed, no-nonsense teacher who loved football. In the fall, he would cross the little ditch in back of his garden to the football field to watch the team practice. I will always remember him--glasses, white hair, black hat and a long black coat--standing on the field's yard lines observing the grunts and grinds of the team. I also won't forget Coach Marinus Kregel. While Kregel ordinarily would not hesitate to share his knowledge of profane language, members of the team shared with me that when Dr. Hessert appeared on the sidelines, Coach K. didn't seem to remember any profanity.

1939-41 - My first campus job at 15 cents per hour. I was responsible for keeping the Jubilee Hall dining room floor clean. I swept once a day and mopped twice a week. Later on I, along with Fred Reineking '46, wheeled concrete for the foundation and lower level of the new office/library building. We were paid 25 cents an hour. Much later, I helped to plant lilac and honeysuckle bushes south of the President's new home. I received 35 cents per hour.

1942 - The Zeta Chi fraternity, which I pledged in 1940, had an intramural basketball team. During one of our games, someone banged into me and broke a bone in my hand while I was shooting the ball. On the suggestion of Coach Kregel, I went to the Varsity MD. I was casted and given bill in the amount of $23. Afterward, I approached the school's President and inquired if the school's  varsity insurance would cover my accident costs. He pursed his lips and said no. My parting response was, "Don't you think the college should have insurance that covers activities sponsored by the school?" Again he pursed his lips and said, "Thank you for asking but I am sorry."

The next day, he stopped me on the sidewalk and asked me to drop the doctor's bill in his office. He said that he had found a fund from which he would pay the bill. Four years later, he preached the sermon on the occasion of my ordination.

Many years ago I learned from someone that “it seldom hurts to ask."

1942 - I was a senior and, for some misguided reason, I took a semester of Calculus under Professor Rusch's professorship. I did poorly and later gave up on it. But, until then, I made several trips to Rusch's corner professor house to get help and sympathy. Tony's young son would frequently have a jigsaw puzzle started when I came over. With a silly grin on his face, he would ask me to help him. Help?! He didn't need help! He set me up. He was a whiz and would immediately insert piece after piece, completing the entire puzzle before I learned the location of even a piece or two. I wonder if that same son of the mathematician-professor father is now enjoying SUDOKU.

1942? - Once or twice each week, students led after-supper devotions in Jubilee Hall's dining room. I remember leading the group one evening and referring to something as being "more perfect." A freshman named Delbert Kauffman (class of 1946) corrected me later, saying, “Olm, nothing can be more 'perfect' than perfect by itself." Some corrections we do remember.

1942 or so - Every Friday afternoon, one of the college professors sought a ride to the Sheboygan library. The professor always carried a briefcase in which we assumed she carried library books to read and exchange. It was months before we discovered that her bag carried full and empty bottles of beer. The professor was dismissed at the end of that school year.

1943-44 - Non-paying - Getting ads for MH home football and basketball games and then typing the stencils and running them off on the one and only A B Dick #90 Mimeograph.


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