The author , Joe Vukelich
, an economics teacher at the school , said the book came about by accident.
In 1993 a group of seniors wanted to revive some forgotten traditions of the school.Vukelich
went downstairs and looked through past yearbooks for ideas.He
stayed down there for three hours.He
couldn't believe no one had told him about Denfeld's history.Sandi Dahl/Budgeteer News
But someone has to know this , Vukelich
thought at the time.Vukelich
started writing letters to the Denfeld family.His
correspondence with E. Joyce ( Denfeld
) DeMaro , a granddaughter from Yankton , S.D. , led to the family's tour of the school.
The tour began with the new $4 million Public Schools Stadium , where the football team interrupted its practice to shout a cheer for the family.Then it was the gymnasium , the hallway of pride and tradition that represents each decade of of the school , and then the auditorium.
The family was then led to the lecture hall , where Vukelich
read anecdotes from his
book to portray the unique devotion and loyalty of the school's alumni and current students.Vukelich
told them how one alumnus makes his
children stop talking in the car every time they drive by the school so he
can take off his
hat and sing the school song.And he
told them a story about two Denfeld football players who snuck into the tower before a big game.They tossed a football back and forth , and with each toss asked that players from decades past help them win the game.They won.Vukelich
then led the family to the tour's finale , the Denfeld tower.He
invited the family to partake in a tradition that began in 1994.On the last day of school , Denfeld seniors are taken to the tower and are allowed to sign their names anywhere inside.
Sign your name in the tower and become immortal , Vukelich
told the family.
Sandi Dahl is a news reporter for the Budgeteer News
.To reach her
, call 723-1207 or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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