Returning home though home is gone

Posted: November 14, 2017

How Minnehaha alumni have reacted to the explosion on August 2

“I was in disbelief and shock. I was home in Highland with the TV on. My family and I were all home and at first it just wasn’t processing what was on the news. I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing and hearing,” said Julie Johnson (’96). And for most people, this is the way they reacted when they heard the knows about the terrible explosion. There were many people at Minnehaha that were affected by the explosion in one way or another. Whether they were at home, at the field playing soccer or even inside the building, everyone in the Minnehaha community heard and felt the awful explosion.

“My immediate thought was just trying to figure out where everybody was.” said Don Dubois (’82). “We were still in the building making sure everyone was found. That’s probably the only thing I thought about for the whole day.” Dubois is the maintenance supervisor at Minnehaha Academy and was in the building when the explosion occurred.

For Johnson and Dubois and others that have graduated in the past, that was their school building and it will never be the same. For most of the students, it has been a rough change but we have stuck it out. For graduates, that building is all they had as a reminder and now it is destroyed.
The explosion was an awful event that has put a dent on Minnehaha Academy that will never be forgotten. But, other things that won’t be forgotten are the memories that alumni made during their time in north campus.

“I just really loved the opportunity of Minnehaha of being involved in so many things,” said Johnson. “I was in athletics, I was in volleyball and I was a cheerleader in the winter and I played softball in the spring. I was in all the musicals, all the plays, singers and madrigals. I couldn’t have done all that if I went to the public school by my house. I grew up in Bloomington by Jefferson and I wouldn’t have been able to do all that because I wasn’t the best at all of those but I just really enjoyed the opportunity to be involved in so many things.” And not only memories came out of Minnehaha. Long lasting friendships were created in north campus that have stayed strong even until today.    

“Having graduated from Minnehaha Academy in 1981 and served there for 22 years, MA still holds a significant place in my life,” said Ron Monson (’81). “I met my wife Carla there in 1978 and our two daughters are also proud graduates. I am a proud alum of MA. Minnehaha Academy has been a pivotal part of our lives. I heard that John Carlson and Ruth Berg were missing. John supported an orderly classroom where I taught Biology and Ruth was the friendly co-worker whose daughter was entrusted to my classroom.” Monson is an alum of Minnehaha and former Biology teacher at the north campus.

These graduates of Minnehaha have all made wonderful memories at the north campus building, but the building itself was never the focus of any of them. Minnehaha was never about the building that we have school in, it’s always been about the people around us that make the difference.
These alumni of Minnehaha Academy will no doubt miss the building they spent years exploring and learning in. But, the real memories don’t come from the place where they put their backpack or sat in biology. The real memories come from the experiences that were had during their time at Minnehaha. It was never about the building, it was always about the people that filled it.

You may also like…

Anthony Edwards’ ascension to Garnett-level stardom

Anthony Edwards: Restoring Kevin Garnett’s Legacy as the Face of Minnesota Basketball Anthony Edwards had just led the Timberwolves to their 55th win of the 2023-24 season (second most wins in franchise history) when he posed for his 50-point game celebratory photo,...

COVID is still around, even if we pretend it isn’t

How COVID has evolved through the years. This march marks the fourth anniversary of the COVID-19 shutdown. The virus has changed so much. This virus in the beginning was very contagious and caught the world by surprise. As people were staying home, and quarantined,...

U.S. attempt to ‘kill the Indian, save the man’

Government and Church run boarding schools horrific history Less than 100 years ago in the turbulent 1930s a child was taken from his family and forced to attend a boarding school in South Dakota. This school (as well as more than 500 others which operated in...

1 in 6 Minnesotans go hungry

Why many neighbors struggle to meet basic needs, and how you can help As humans, we constantly rely on food to survive, and it should be a right to have access to it. However, that is far from the truth of our society today. In 2021, 483,000 people in Minnesota...

Learning from living abroad: Mexico

From sunshine and mountains to ice and snow, M.A. family combines cultures Once you enter Minnehaha Academy Upper School, you see several students just existing. Little do you know, there are multiple students with different cultural backgrounds. One of those students...