Tag Archives: Mikkelson

99 Years Ago Today…

Today is my grandpa John Regan’s 99th birthday. He was born in Tara Township on July 23, 1913, the only child of Neil and Annie Regan. He was baptized John William at St. Malachy Catholic Church on August 10th.

John William Regan

John lived the first eight years of his life in Tara with his mom and dad.

Neil, Annie, and John – 1915

John must have had fun helping his dad on the farm.

John and Neil on the farm in Tara

John also kept Annie company.

Annie and John on the farm in Tara

In 1921 the family of three moved into Clontarf, and age eight-years-old John finally started school.

John – about 1921

In Clontarf my grandpa was known as “Red” Regan for his hair.  John’s life-long love for cars and driving began at a young age.

Beginning with the 1932-33 school year, upperclassmen from Clontarf went to Benson High School. Grandpa drove a car full of Clontarf students to and from class in Benson every day. Gerald Regan, Bob Mikkelson, Florence and Gertrude Reardon were his regular passengers.

1933 High School Graduation

After graduation, Grandpa worked at Bruno Perrizo’s. Here he is in his apron with childhood pal and fellow Clontarf resident Leo Molony.

Leo Molony and John Regan 1935

My grandpa moved to Minneapolis in the late 1930s.

It is strange to think of my grandpa’s 99th birthday because he didn’t even live to see his 58th. Since I never knew my grandpa, I am thankful to the relatives and old friends we have met in Clontarf who have generously shared their memories of Red.

Happy Birthday, Grandpa.

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The Clontarf Grace Avenue Theatre Proudly Presents…

Anne Schirmer shared this gem with me on my last visit to Clontarf in April:

A Jack Langan Production.

Anne had a chat with Mary Reardon Langan, wife of play producer Jack Langan, and Mary shared some of her memories of the play…

Mary said the action of the play centered around a game of Buck Euchre, which apparently was a big part of “a typical business day in Clontarf” during the 1920s and 1930s!  The actors are listed on the left and each portrayed a Clontarf resident from back in the day.  A couple of guys (Bob Perrizo and Jim Benoit) did double-duty playing two characters.  Jack based the play on his first-hand observations of these Clontarf businessmen and card players, according to Mary.

Mary also remembered some of the special guest celebrities: Brother Bones was played by Dick Perrizo, and The Dolly Sisters were Gretchen and Robbie Apitz.  This must have been quite a production!  I bet the people of Clontarf really enjoyed themselves.  I love the idea of an old-fashioned basket social.

A couple of other notes from Mary…

  • The first actor on the list should be Jerry Goulet, not aTerry.
  • “Gus’s” Place refers to Gus Heschke’s.
  • Sis Mikkelson was responsible for creating many plays in Clontarf over the years, especially St. Patrick’s Day productions.

Anyone out there remember this play, or events like this in Clontarf?  I am not sure if Mary and Anne came up with a year for this…maybe the late 1950s?  I must say that I am impressed by Mr. Langan’s production, and I would love to know about others he presented in Clontarf over the years.  Please share any memories you have by leaving a comment.  Let me know if you have any photos from this time (school photos, baseball team, etc.) or any other momentos…it would be great to see them.

Many thanks to Anne and Mary!

Have a great weekend!

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School Picture and Altar Boys

It’s been a few weeks and I haven’t received much input on the Clontarf class photo I posted (see post here.)

Here’s the photo again:

Clontarf Class Photo

Tressa Burns (whose grandparents Charles and Phoebe Chevalier lived in Clontarf) had a few identification ideas:

  • Back row – boy on the left with hair parted down the middle – Phious Chevalier
  • Back row – girl on right with curly hair – Dela Fredrickson
  • Middle row – girl in dark dress, left of center – Louise Chevalier; boy to her left – “Red” Regan
  • Front row – seated in the middle in white shirt – Raymond Burns

Several years ago, my mother and I identified several of the students with the help of some former Clontarf residents.  Here’s what they told us:

  • Back row – starting fourth from left, light-haired girl Marie Fredrick, Susanna Olson, Agnes Fennell (taller), Loretta Foley, Marie Boutain, unknown with face turned, Alice Chamberlain
  • Middle row – fourth from right, dark dress is Florence Johnson, to the right is Emeline Mikkelson
  • Front row – seated, third from left is Thomas McCarthy, fourth from left is a Chevalier or a Fennell, sixth from the left is Herman Fredrickson?

Nothing really matches up with the two attempts at identifying these students, but the only conflict is the boy Tressa said was her cousin Raymond Burns and our informants said could be a Chevalier or a Fennell.  But that is kind of close, anyway!  Tressa identified my grandfather “Red” Regan, and I don’t see him, but it is neat that she thought of him! JoAnn – does your mother have any memories of John “Red” Regan, or maybe even of his mother?  They lived right in Clontarf.

Take a look at the photo again and see if these identification suggestions jog your memory a bit.  If you need clarification, please leave a comment and I will do my best.

Another photo to ponder…

1920 St. Malachy Altar Boys

If the date is correct, that would be Father Kenny, and it looks like him.  I have some of the boys identified, but I would like to hear what you think.  I will share who I have identified in a couple of days.

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