George Aas, a 1966 graduate of Fergus Falls High School, fondly recalls his father, Ernie Aas, as a custodian at the Washington Junior High in the 1960s. Ernie’s father and George’s grandfather, Anton Aas, had worked as a custodian at McKinley School, starting in 1936
Ernie’s brother, Art, who was the uncle of George Aas, worked as a custodian at Adams School.
Greg Noren, nephew of Ernie and Art Aas and son of their sister, Dorothy, and cousin to George, served as grounds supervisor for the Fergus Falls school district.
Noren was the person in charge of striping, making the Otter football field a showplace, and also served as assistant track coach.
“Our family had close to 80 years working for the Fergus Falls public school system,” says George, retired from Acme Tools in Fargo and who previously was a Navy electrician, serving in Vietnam.
George, during his years at Our Lady of Victory School in Fergus Falls, was a member of Boy Scout Troop 312 with Tom Donoho serving as scoutmaster.
“My fellow scouts always asked me about the unique water canteen I took on scout outings,” George said.
He told them the canteen was taken from a fallen German soldier by his father, Ernie, an American soldier during World War II.
“That became a topic of conversation on almost all of the scout outings, since what I was carrying didn’t look like your average scout water canteen,” George said.
Also active with school activities at OLV school were his brothers, Bob and Bill Aas. Their parents, Ernie and Hattie, had a summer lake cabin at Wall Lake. They invited scouts to their cabin to enjoy the lake east of Fergus Falls.
Vic Power remembered
In the early 1960s, the Minnesota Twins had a first baseman named Vic Power. Back then he was one of the first fielders to make one-handed catches, which is now commonplace.
At the time, however, Power was criticized by the press for being a showboat, and being a person with flamboyance.
Today, almost all major leaguers, including first basemen, field the ball one-handed. That’s because this increases a fielder’s reach and allows for greater flexibility.
Vic Power’s real name was Victor Pellot which he used when playing winter baseball in his native Puerto Rico.
The Twins traded for Power, from the Cleveland Indians, in 1962. Minnesota needed a good first baseman to stabilize the infield.
“It was a young infield,” said Power in the book, “This side of Cooperstown.”
The book is a collection of stories about Vic Power and 16 other major leaguers who were good players. They loved baseball, but didn’t accumulate statistics that would allow for entrance into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
Erratic were Twins shortstop Zoilo Versalles and second baseman Bernie Allen. Power was able to catch or scoop up several throws from both Versalles and Allen.
In 1962 Power recorded outs for no fewer than 47 bad throws to first base. He batted .290 for the Twins in 1962 and .270 in 1963 before being traded to another team in 1964.
Twins star Tony Oliva, in his broken English, referred to Vic Power as “Big Powder.”
Power died at 78 in 2005 in his native Puerto Rico.
Why baby boomers cry at some concerts
Many baby boomers have a sentimental longing for the past.
One retired baby boomer gave the reason why he and others cried during a recent Paul McCartney concert. They had just heard McCartney sing the 1965 classic song, “Please Please Me.”
He said those songs bring back so vividly what some baby boomers will never experience again.
“They were some of the best years of our lives,” he said. “McCartney brought us face to face with our best memories, a place from the 1960s one can never repeat.”
Tom Hintgen is a longtime Daily Journal columnist. His column appears Saturdays.