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In the 1939-40 Wihisean, basketball enjoyed a four-page spread while girls G.A.A. sports were covered in a two-page layout. The hoops caption reads in full “Outstanding Cagers Make Up Willmar Teams.”

Willmar notebook: History 101: ‘A gym of their own’


his is the time of year news organizations and morning TV look back on the year just completed. Forget that, those wounds and joys are too fresh for meaningful reflection.

Ever contrary, Willmar Notebook jumps in the “Wayback Machine” all the way to 1940.

Why 1940? That school year, 1939-40, saw the opening of the new senior high school on Minnesota Avenue. What a grand building it was then and remains today.

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Rand Middleton

Covers Willmar and area high schools and Ridgewater College, plus amateur baseball, stock car racing and fitness events in summer. Writes weekly column since 1980. Began working in radio and at weekly newspaper in Munising, Michigan, in 1972. Started parttime at West Central Daily Tribune Sept. 1974. Fulltime beginning Feb. 1979. Married to Tribune news clerk Donna (Miller) Middleton, formerly of Kerkhoven. 2 grown children. 

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