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The ‘school with the pool’ was Central, 58 years ago

Brad Williams

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Since the late 1970’s, La Crosse Logan has been the only high school in the city with its own swimming pool. But before that, in 1961, it was the old Central High School which boasted of an indoor pool. Swimming lessons were required for Central students. The school had its own water ballet class, featuring girls known as the ‘Dolphins.’

The Reverend Stefan Guttormsson was named the new pastor of La Crosse’s English Lutheran Church. The pastor, his wife, and five kids moved into the church parsonage that September. Years later, Guttormsson would be named bishop of the La Crosse synod of the ELCA church.

Radio newscaster Paul Harvey appeared at La Crescent’s Applefest in September of ’61. La Crosse was about to celebrate Oktoberfest for the first time that October.

Two comedians known for cutting up while playing music had back-to-back TV specials on CBS one September night. Pianist Victor Borge starred in an hour-long show, followed by a tribute to violin-playing Jack Benny, which was broadcast from Carnegie Hall…in 1961, yesterday in La Crosse.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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