Meeting

In 1952, tiny Halstad met big, bad Thief River Falls in the Region 8 basketball final. The game was held in Thief River Falls. And Halstad upset Thief River to advance to the state tournament and become the media darlings of the entire state. I am spending this summer completing a book on Halstad's 1952 season.

The center on the Thief River team was Roger Williamson. A while back, I gave him a call and we talked at length about the game. He was gracious enough to talk to me about what was, by his definition, one of the lower points of his life. Williamson went on to a successful military career, graduating from West Point and becoming a colonel in the Air Force.

At the end of our interview, I half-seriously said if you ever come north (he lives in Colorado now), let me know. Well, he is coming back to the area for a class reunion this week, and he let me know. The plan is to have lunch in Fargo, and then we will drive up to Mahnomen where Don Thompson, his opposing center in that big game in 1952, now resides. I will be there with my voice recorder and camera, and I am just going to stand back and let the two old gladiators talk.

Thompson and Williamson went head to head four times in their high school career. Halstad won two of the games, Thief River came out ahead twice, but Halstad won the big one, the 1952 region final. Back then, going to state was huge.

I hope to have a picture or two for you tomorrow night.