August 2, 2009
Keeping Denfeld strong for another 88
By Jana Peterson
For most of the summer, workers have been tuckpointing
the brickwork, replacing the electrical system, working on plumbing
and boilers in “the dungeon” and generally making Duluth's
western high school strong enough to stand strong (and be more efficient)
for decades more.
Inside the school this weekend, alumni will be
celebrating the school's history with the biggest Denfeld Hall of
Fame ceremony ever from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday afternoon and an all-class
reunion dance that evening. The Denfeld Alumni Association will
honor all the graduates who were previously inducted into the hall,
and induct 10 more outstanding alumni.
Construction will cease for the weekend, and some
scaffolding will come down to free up 40 or so more parking places.
That’s still not a lot of parking, so people are advised to
arrive early to allow plenty of time to find parking in the area
around the school.
Joe Vukelich, alumni association president and
unofficial Denfeld historian, said they have reserved space for
anyone who will have difficulty walking long distances to be dropped
off on Fourth Avenue West between the flagpole and the auditorium.
He said association is expecting close to 1,000
people for the event — many from far away states who are traveling
here just for the occasion. Not all of them are Denfeld students
Vukelich told of a conversation he had with the
construction foreman, who told Vukelich he couldn’t come because
he’d been called to a meeting in the Twin Cities this weekend.
Vukelich thought he was just being polite, then
the man dropped his smile and said firmly: “I've read all
the biographies in the Budgeteer. I was a United States Marine and
I wanted to see the Medal of Honor recipient [Mike Colalillo] receive
his plaque,” Vukelich wrote in an e-mail to fellow board members.