In Memory

Wayne Kasschau

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11/23/10 03:07 PM #1    

Carroll Rasch


born 28 Sep 1943

died 20 Jan 1981 in HENNEPIN COUNTY, MINNESOTA, U.S.A at the age of 37.

United States Army Vet.  Sp 4   Buried at Fort Snelling in Minnesota.

12/10/10 12:15 PM #2    

Warren Olson

A memory of Wayne:

Wayne Kasschau and family lived down the street from us on 4th St. SW.  I remember his father worked for the Sweetheart Bread Company in a building we enjoyed walking by as kids during that special time of day when the ovens were venting to the street.  We would often follow the aroma as we walked back up hill from a 10-cent Saturday matinee at the Strand Theater.

One memory of time spent with Wayne stands out.  It was a hot summer day in SW Minot, likely in 1953.    School was out and a few of us Washington classmates were sitting on a Park Street corner lawn becoming bored.  No one seemed interested in playing baseball (which we often did in a vacant block near Highway 83 when we weren't weeding gardens or performing other drudgery).

After passing time filling bottles from a garden hose to see how much water our stomachs could hold - the record was slightly less than a gallon before regurgitation kicked in (things like that are apparently important to boys exploring their universe) - four of us decided we needed a better adventure.  We concluded we were by then old enough to travel outside Minot on our bikes.  Getting to Donnybrook and back may have been the goal, and of course, parents were told nothing of the plan… that was its charm.

Mike Stadick may have been involved.  The plot was certainly hatched close to his house.  I'm chagrined that I do not remember all conspirators clearly.  Anyway, we set out on bikes on Highway 52 and got as far as Foxholm before we began to tire.  Wayne's family knew someone there, so we stopped for lemonade and cookies before turning around.  It was now getting close to suppertime and we began to think we might in trouble. On the way home, a Sweetheart delivery truck passed us.  Wayne believed he knew the driver and feared our whereabouts would be reported.  He was absolutely right.

We were exhausted by the time we reached SW Minot around 7pm.  I've used mapping software while writing this to determine our round trip was 37 miles.  I, for one, had worn a hole in the seat of a brand new pair of Jeans (a rare commodity at our house). There was certainly other damage afoot, involving calluses and blisters.  By the time we entered the neighborhood, we feared going home, certain that unknown penalties would follow.  I knew as the son of Scandinavian parents who brooked no foolishness that my punishment after a cold supper (if I got any) would be harsh.  To my astonishment, it was not.  Thinking back, I now suspect Dad was tickled by our daring, and that he talked my mother out of any further "brutality" - the road rash being sufficient.

So, the razor strop stayed in the closet, the Jeans were beyond mending, and I was sternly told to do nothing like that again without parental blessing.  I was sent immediately to bed.  Bed to me was like Br'er Rabbit being thrown in the briar patch.  I could tolerate no more sitting and was likely falling asleep before my head hit the pillow.  I do not recall the punishment dealt out to others, but would guess that Wayne's was severe.

In addition to providing a memory of Wayne - another classmate that passed way too early - I suspect I've a hidden reason for telling this story:  Minot was simply a great place to grow up.  We were free to roam (within reasonable limits, at least as boys) with no fear for our safety. 

And, there were many interesting things to do as a youngster in that part of North Dakota regardless of the season, such as sticking a tongue on a guywire in the middle of winter, with no one around.

Tim Loy & Wayne Kasshau in Second Grade



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