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September 15, 1923: Carl R. Bonde, Jr.’s birthday.

September 15, 2015
This photograph, taken by an unknown person, shows my uncle Carl --he was born in 1923, so perhaps 1932--in Kalispell.

This photograph, taken by an unknown person, shows my uncle Carl –he was born in 1923, so perhaps 1932–in Kalispell.

September 15, 2015

On this day in 1923 Carl Ralph Bonde, Jr. was born at home in Kalispell, Montana. He was my grandmother’s only son. He had three older sisters who adored him, at least that’s what they told me. You see, 1923 was a terrible year for him to be born. The great war had been over for 9 years and he had missed the terrible flu epidemic, but he graduated from Flathead County High School in 1941, subject to conscription for WW II. Practically every young man his age went off to war. The odds were fairly good he would return alive, weren’t they?
Carl died when his troopship, the SS Leopoldville, was torpedoed and sunk within sight of their destination port of Cherbourg, France, Christmas Eve, 1944.
Here’s what I learned about Carl. Everyone called him Bud or Buddy, an endearment. He was a happy youngster, and independent-minded. He liked to take things apart, to learn about the inner workings of radios and cameras. He and his friends liked to hunt and camp and fish in the forests near Kalispell, especially about 20 miles to the southwest, near Little Bitterroot Lake. He and my grandpa had lots of hunting and fishing stuff. I know because I played with it many years later as a child.
Carl was sort of a goofy teenager, very intelligent. He giggled in class. He did not join high school clubs or participate in school sports, band, orchestra, chorus, or drama. His junior year he didn’t even have his photograph in the school annual. He did have lots of friends, though, as evidenced by the 69 inscriptions in the Flathead County High School 1940 yearbook. Here they are:

The following 69 notes written to Carl Ralph Bonde Jr in a copy of the high school annual The Flathead 1940 were copied verbatim by DS 1/4/2011. Names are in boldface. These names were rechecked against a list of students published on the web by Gayle Collins, and annotated 1/14/2011 by DS.

First Page Spread autographs in approximate order clockwise toward the center:

Remember History & Lit. Classes Albert Keenan “41” Don’t forget Biology Romolo Pettinato
Good “luck” to a swell guy. I’ll see you next year. Chester Mahugh “41”
I hate to admit it but you’re really a good mathamatician Carl Bob Bryan
The good old Biology class we will not forget. Lawrence Johnson Well Carl you will probably always be a silly kid, but good luck I’ll see you next year Alton Lee.
OK Bonde — You Win. To bad you did about same as Me in Bozeman — Better Luck next time. Allan Crumbaker – ’41
Lotsa Luck to a swell kid Bob Jystad
Good Luck, Carl. Neoa [Neola Shepard?]
Dearest Carl hope you get to stay in the Library for at least a couple of weeks next year Bruce Johnson
Didn’t you have fun in Great Falls? I sure did too. Will have a good time this summer. Bertha-May Simon
Don’t forget the trip Bozeman. Vernon Johnson
Don’t play those machines any mo’ “Luck” Art Anderson
Rudolph Bergstrom ’41
Lots of Luck next year Don Bolton
Good luck to a Biology pal Mary Ellen Dyer
Lots of Luck remember Reeves classes Hope I see you next year. Carlene Wilke
Remember the trip to Bozeman and heres wishing you lots of luck in the future. Bill Ulrick
Best wishes for next year Flora Brownback
Carl Bonde Best wishes, Carl Bryce
Remember Bozeman Ralph Asbridge
Ransom H. Brown
Lots of Luck Robert Swenson
Remember Reeves and the Circular sitting in am. Lit and History George Rhodes
As one duck-hunter to another — ??!! Ernie Brooner [does not appear in annual]
Remember biology and me Harold Groot Class of “42” [does not appear in annual]
Lots of luck kid and don’t be so onery next yr. Andy McClelland
Good Luck to you. Elfred Martinson “41”

Second page spread autographs:

You’re all right when it comes to math Carl good luck Buck “41” [Walter?]
Loads of Luck, Carl. Janett Newell
Hope you have Loads of Fun during vacation. “Best Wishes” Dorothy Jean [Berry?]
I wish I knew as much about Geometry as you do. Good luck. Dorothy Nees
“Leslie Cornelius”
“Good luck” Donald Swanberg “1940” [does not appear in print in annual]
Listen you drop in the bucket if you don’t quit picking on me and taking me on those crazy boat-camping trips I’ll I’ll . . . I’ll, Oh forget it. Bob Huck [a caricature below, titled “you”]
good luck Lawrence Sonstelie
Don’t forget the ducks, Bonde, Douglas Penrod
Luck to you in your Geometry, next year Taking it over aren’t you K Jr.
Good luck to a fell History Scholar Lloyd George
Well Carl We had fun in our Hist & Lit classes. Don’t forget the chalk erasers grrrr. Beverly Hinman 41′
Good luck to a good Geom student & a “nut” You & Bob H. [Huck?] made a great pair of comedians. Carol Clark
Here’s luck Brother Bonde Alan Aggson
get along. Bob Evans
Maybe some day I’ll say it. Mabe Luck BJ Libert
Good Luck to a swell classmate A pal of ’42 Vergen Ainley
Confidentially I don’t know what you mean when you say what happened at my house. Betty Lou Nelson PS Do you remember Terman the Pigion

Third page spread autographs:

Luck to a good student – Bill Newell ’42
Lots of luck to you. Remember good old Hist & Lit. Evelyn Zimmerman “41”.
Hello Carl, Don’t work too hard. I’ll be on that camping trip in a few days. Don’t forget geometry off Thompson either. God, you know what. Don Huck
Bonde, Lots of luck to swell kid. Don’t forget your famous yodel when you learn to play Black Jack come around shorty [unsigned note]

Autographs throughout the remainder of the annual:

[Dedication page] Well Hi Carl, Say boy here we are going to be Juniors — Hope you are in some of my classes next year. Luck, Yvonne Johnson
[page of football players’ heads in star cutouts] I’d look more natural if there were bars over this but — Good Luck D. Christiansen Christy
[opposite Principal’s Message] Dearest Carl, The next time you lose a dollar to me I’m going to collect it in one piece Roger Baldwin
[Page 14 on faculty page by Lee Thompson mathematics athletics] Lee Thompson Geom Boseman
[Page 40 on junior student photos page] Here’s looking at a tough classmate but a friend I hope Johnny Rhone “41”
[Page 54 track and field page] Best Wishes Pat Talley
[Page 57 student council page] Luck to you Bonde. And that means that the “big ones” don’t get away (as always before) Dick Wendt
[Page 71 opposite senior and all school play page] Remember those rides to school with Turman last year? Fun? Yes. We still have one more year. Oh joy! Betty Bailey
[Page 76 on page with Baton Twirlers, opposite Pietro Yon “world-famous organist and composer.”] Good Luck – See you next year O[pal] Moe
[Page 83] Good Luck Russ Zobel
[Page 98, last numbered page in the annual] Lots of luck to you. Hope you get to go to Bozeman again next year. Dorothy Calvert
I’ll admit girls giggle alot but your just as bad as any of them. Virginia Clark
Goodbye you fast thing! Alfred Pedersen

Last page spread in annual:

Carl, Don’t forget Geometry. How can you. It’s great stuff! Bob “Riggs” Orser

Best wishes to a swell kid. Haven’t seen much of you this year. “Nadine”

Hi Elsie Garey

Leave the Wimmen in distant towns alone – You were just lucky – Best wishes – Harry Anderson

Good luck next year, Bonde. Dean M[arquardt].

Hope we’re together in some class next year. Tom La Samaire

Carl Bonde's high school graduation picture, 1941.

Carl Bonde’s high school graduation picture, 1941.

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