Memories from Rev. Harvey Kandler '55

Part One

Indeed, there were many pranks that took place, some of them nearly disastrous. For example, putting a pail of water half full on the inside of a dorm room in Jubilee on the transom and attaching a string from it to the door knob, supposedly to give the person entering the room a “bath." But what happens when the pail comes down without spilling and hits someone almost on the head, as it once did?!

Or what about coming into your room and finding every book available strewn all over the room for you to pick up. Or a half -dozen oranges appearing in your suitcase when you arrive home with your dirty laundry! Or being in the top bunk having a "bull" session with some other students when one lying on the bottom bunk calls your name, you look over the side and he suddenly gives you an unexpected boost from the bottom bunk to throw you over the side. You land on your shoulder which, while not broken, is very sore. “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do!"

Things of memory: listening to Madame Bauer's students in recital; much excellent music--"I'll Walk with God" and others; taping the ankles of many Muskies and great athletes like Ed Schaefer '56, Gene Korman, Ken Kuenning '52, Lou Grossen '51, Maynard Beemer '55 and Paul Gander '52. As a senior, I was in charge of intramural athletics and not only organized the schedules but was also referee. I once called back a winning touchdown for clipping with 20 seconds left and had the penalized student come charging with fists raised to beat me up after the game. I spoke to him quietly so that he had to lean forward to even hear what I said. Finally, his fists came down and he never hit me, but followed me all the way from the field to the dorm, calling me every bad word that he knew and degrading me. Ten years later I met him at a Christian conference and he spoke to me as if nothing ever happened. Had I raised my arms or shouted back at him, I'm sure I would have had a broken nose or worse and it would have been a terrible brawl! I thought of the Lord Jesus who was silent before Pontius Pilate.

Going to chapel for a half-hour every Wednesday was a very important part of student life--we even went through the dorm to roust the guys out to come to chapel. In the first years, they took attendance! It was good to hear seminarians lead worship, as well as students and many pastors from the churches in the area. But a group of us would also attend the Church on the Hill (Immanuel) on Sunday, when we did not go home for the weekend or if there were Lenten services. It meant walking the 1/4 mile up to the church, but it was always a worthwhile and worshipful experience. When I was in seminary, it was at that church where I gave my senior class sermon in front of the seminary student body, and each professor stood up afterward and gave his critical opinion as to how you used his discipline in the message--use of history, English, New Testament, etc. Mine was on our Lord as the Good Shepherd. When you were finished with that experience, you felt very humble. No one left those events unscathed, and all vowed to do better in the future.

These are some of the memories of the good years that have gone by. They gave my life such foundation and joy, even though they were most challenging at times.


Part Two

Quick reflections: The Reverend Roland Kley '35, so excellent in teaching and preaching, became head librarian when seminary moved to the Twin Cities; Dr. Oscar Hoffman '25, not only a great administrator, but also excellent in talking about marriage and the family in sociology; Robert Voigt, excellent in getting behind the facts of history, teaching trends and how they repeat themselves; Dr. Joseph Bauer '23, walking amongst our classroom desks, stopping at your desk and giving a whole lecture about Shailer Matthews to you as he is speaking about the whole class in philosophy; Reverend Karl Ernst '42, so powerful in his preaching and, with his big hand, making you afraid of sinning and going to hell if you didn't follow the living God!

Theophilus Hilgemann '21 taught detailed church history. His class was sometimes good for sleeping right after lunch. However, he was a man of great spiritual depth and piety, so much so that Bryce Hecht '55 and I, who were sweeping Old Main as part of our student work, opened his classroom door and were humbled by the sight of him kneeling at his desk and praying; Mrs. Bessie Jenkins provided excellent, delicious meals in the cafeteria below Jubilee Dorm, although there were occasional food fights and other stupid mishaps--like someone calling out my name very loud while I was rounding the corner of the tray track. Not realizing how close I was to the end of the corner, I answered the person and pushed my tray right off the end! Horror of horrors.

Dr. Edgar Thiessen '83 was precise in getting good music out of all of us. He was director of the Kiel Municipal Band and enabled many Lakeland students to have superior band experiences, like playing for the Midwest Band Institute in Chicago's Shubert Theatre right after the Royal Canadian Band entry.

Professor Henry Ellerbusch H'52 '82 was an excellent teacher in music appreciation and choral conducting. Even though I didn't make it into the choir, I used what I learned from him while directing an ecumenical choir in western Nebraska, using the understandings of music many times while matching tunes with meter or finding tunes for poetry. He had great insights in understanding the music of the church and otherwise.

I remember Rev. Dr. Harry Baumer '29 '52 and Dr. E.L. Worthman '46, trustees of Mission House. Not only did they take care of the school, they also kept the school in touch with the church. I served under Dr. Worthman, who was pastor at a church in Kiel, teaching in Vacation Bible School and being his Youth Director for one summer.

Drs. Walter Kuentzel '44 and Childs were my Greek and Hebrew professors in seminary. Dr. Kuentzel was an excellent teacher of New Testament. He was later killed in a car accident in Tomahawk, WI, having been a Bible study leader at Moon Beach Camp. I had started writing my Thesis--Paul's Concept of the Body of Christ--under Dr. Kuentzel, but finished it under Dr. Childs. Dr. Childs was a good teacher but a hard task master. We studied our Hebrew all day long, having flashcards in our pockets and available in lunch lines and even on dates! One student was severely criticized by Dr. Childs for not having his Hebrew lesson translated after being ill with high fevers for two weeks with the Asian flu. Some of us even went to Dr. Childs after class and told him that we did not think the criticism was appropriate.

Part Three

Christian Fellowship was the Christian Youth Organization on campus, having weekly Sunday evening discussions and services. Part of its outreach was the Caravan Ministry, sponsored by Bob Haertig. Once a month, six or seven of us would go out to area churches and meet with their youth groups. After leading them in worship, discussion and recreation, we would sit down and give them ideas to strengthen their youth group. During spring break, six of us went by car to different parts of the country (Kansas, Missouri, and Ohio). Our traveling meals consisted of a loaf of bread, a quart of chocolate milk, cheese and peanut butter. With 6 drivers, we drove through the night and the churches took care of us during the 3-4 days that we were with them. It was a great experience for pre-sems.

Besides playing for football games, concerts and other occasions, the Band also went on tour. I remember touring in Iowa in March, sleeping in a farm house where you could see the open sky through the roof. If you stuck your big toe out, you froze to death! We played in the local high schools and in some churches.

Athletic Memories

Football: It snowed so hard one early November that there was almost a foot of snow on the field. As equipment manager, it was my job to mark the yard markers with duffle bags and shovel across the field every 10-yard marker. It snowed the whole game.

Basketball: Freshmen and sophomores (the not-so-good ones like me) were cannon fodder every night for the practicing "A" squad. One sad November in 1954, Clarence Ortlepp '52 was killed in a hunting accident. This hit the school severely. All of us mourned. Our faith in the resurrected One pulled us through.

Baseball: I played baseball for four years at second base with Don Storm '54, our coach for part of the time. It was an enjoyable time to be with Muskies who became future leaders in the church, education, and other fields. It was especially good to beat Milton College and Northwestern.


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