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Information Technology (IT) Pioneers

Retirees and former employees of Unisys, Lockheed Martin, and their predecessor companies

Social Activities

The first of our four constitution requirements is: "The Club shall provide an opportunity for social interaction of its members."  We plan events at our board meetings, on the 2nd Wednesday of even numbered months.  If you'd like to volunteer at any event; please email Immediate Past President Keith Behnke

ABOUT EVITE: Since the fall of 2019, along with the newsletter and website, Evite is being used for notification and registration for most events. To ensure an Evite isn’t channeled to your “spam”,  add the email address info@mailva.evite.com in your e-mail address book.   Please reply to an Evite invitation ASAP to let the host know you got it.  Your timely response ("Yes", "No" or "Maybe") is appreciated.  The RSVP comment box is used to answer host requests such as food choice and payment requirements. The host monitors responses in real time to assist in event planning.  Those replying “Maybe” should update their RSVP to Yes or No as soon as they determine they will attend or not.   Evite lets you see who else is coming to the event by pressing the “Guests” button.  It also will send you an event reminder two days before the event.  Those with e-mail addresses who do not want to receive Evite’s can request to “opt out” by sending their request to membership@vipclubmn.org No Email? IF you do not have email and have recycled your last newsletter issue, you could go to your local library to review upcoming events on a public PC; browse to http://vipclubmn.org/Social.html.  Provided byKeith Behnke and Gish Devlaminck. [1/2/20]

Event Dates, Information, Registration, and Planning Status:

Most social activities require registration so we can assure adequate food, print name tags, etc.  Some venues also require pre-payment or guarantee of attendee count thus sign-up deadlines are a week before the event.  Contact the event coordinator after the registration deadline to ascertain if a 'drop-in' can be accomodated or if you as a registrant need to cancel. 

  1. April 8 @ 11 AM:, Volunteer Recognition luncheon at Joseph's in St. Paul, please submit the Volunteer.html survey form to register before March 31st; Coordinator is Board Associate Frank King. To nominate someone to receive the Volunteer Extraordinaire Award, please send her/his name and an explanation of why they deserve the award to board@vipclubmn.org.
  2. May 1 @ 10:30 AM: Roseville Good Old Days at the Mermaid in Moundsview; watch for an email in the March/April timeframe. Coordinator is Board Associate Paul Dickson
  3. May 15th @ 11 AM: Syttende Mai at Casper's in Eagan; watch for an Evite in April or see the newsletters. Coordinators are Board Associate Dale Torgerson and Director Dick Lundgren.
  4. June 10th @ 3 PM: Annual Picnic at the Eagan Central Park Pavilion; watch for an Evite in May or see the newsletters.  Coordinators are Board Associate John Westergren and Director Gish Devlaminck. (details to come)
  5. September 15th @ 2:30: VIP Club 40th Anniversay Dnner (details to come)
  6. November 4 @ 11AM: Unihogs & Technologists Luncheon at Casper's in Eagan. Guest speaker will be Matthew Carter, Executive Director of the Dakota County Historical Society whose topic is Status and Future of the IT Legacy Exhibit at the Lawshe Memorial Museum.  $16 per person, reservations per the announcement. View the flyer at Announcement2020 for details.
  7. December 3 @ 11AM: Old Timers Get-Together @ Lost Spur

2021 Calendar event dates yet to be scheduled:

January Holiday party, Volunteerism Recognition luncheon, Roseville Good Old Days, Syttende Mai luncheon, Summer Picnic, Unihogs and Technologists reunion, and the Annual Old Timers' reunion in December.

BTW: A combined employee and retiree Golf League has a web page, http://www.ulglmn.org/umgl/. The 'Electronics' club info is on the Recreation page.

Periodic Gatherings - Endorsed or Promoted by the Club

Background:

Three decades before the VIP Club was formed, employees and former employees began getting together outside of work for personal communications. The first of these is called the 'First Friday' or respectively, 'Original Geek Squad'. The Club Board is not directly involved with some of these 'Ad hoc' gatherings; however, we do include information about them hereunder and in our newsletter.

When What Where Coordinator
First Tuesday Engineering/Drafting Lunch @ 11 AM Rickey's Café at Stark's, 3125 Dodd Road, Eagan, MN 651 456-0750
First Thursday Breakfast @ 8:00 AM Capitol View Cafe, 637 Smith Ave. St. Paul. (Corner of Smith and Baker). 651 222-2435
First Friday 'Geek Squad' luncheon @ 11:30 AM Yacht and Pool Club in Lilydale  Bill Roos, 952 888-0363
Second Tuesday Lunch @ 11:30 AM (UNISYS/Burroughs group)  Mall of America, 3rd Floor North Food Court  Paul Wennerstrom, 952 854-7855 
Second Wednesday* Plant 4 engineers & manufacturers - Breakfast & Program @ 9:00 AM New Brighton Eagles Club, 563 Old Highway 8 Marvin Brown, 763 416-3903
Second Wednesday Plant 4 Ladies Lunch @ 11 AM   Bakers Square, Northtown - 221 County Rd 10 ME
Blaine, MN  55434 (as of March 8, 2017)
 
Second Saturday Odd numbered months at 11:00 AM, program management group Baker's Square - 1881 West Hwy 36, Roseville, MN Urho Rahkola, 651-429-3319

*this is now quarterly: March, June, September and Decmber.

Original "Geek Squad" History

In ERA days; Dr. Sid Ruben, Don Nemanic, Jim Nikitas, and Dr. Arnold Cohan began meeting for lunch the first Friday of every month. Several years later a fifth person, Warren Burrell, was 'allowed' to join with the first four. Gradually others were invited: Leon Findley, George Hardenbergh, Fred Hargesheimer, Chuck Homan, Bernie Jansen, Carl Knorr, Byron Smith, Leroy Strutzman, Don Weidenbach, Gerry Williams, Harry Wise, Jim Wright, et al.

    The group originally met at TGI Friday's restaurant in Roseville. From there it transferred to the Manor on West 7th close to Plant 1 as the group grew to a dozen people. When St. Paul re-development efforts eliminated The Manor, Sid Rubens suggested Parish's Restaurant on West 7th. Luncheon members who passed away before the Manor to Parish move were Arnie Cohen, Leon Findley, Carl Korr, Don Nemanic, Jim Nickitas, Byron Smith, and Leroy Strutzman. Some attendees were working at CDC or elsewhere but still met as these were friendships, not just co-workers.

  The Parish restaurant went out of business in 2003, then immediately reopened as the Casa Vieja. Passing away since the Casa Vieja name change were George Hardenbergh, Fred Hargesheimer, and Harry Wise. In 2011, the Casa Vieja closed their kitchen so the group moved to the St. Paul Pool and Yacht Club in Lilydale - hosted by Jack Ross. Although Jack passed away in 2016, his legacy lets us continue meeting at the Pool & Yacyt club. The attendee reminder list is now maintained by William 'Bill' Roos.

In 2005; this group was honored as "The Original Geek Squad" in a James P. Lenfestey Minnesota Monthly article. Jim Lenfestey has provided us with the draft copy of his article, 'A Gaggle of Geeks,' posted on our web site as an 'Article for the Month.'

    Don Weidenbach still participates occasionally; sadly, the originators have all passed away. Recent joiners are Paul Hove, Dick Lundgren, Larry Debelak, Jim Andrews, and Lowell Benson. [written by Warren Burrell, edited by Lowell.]

Unihogs/Uniturkeys History

The Unihogs/Turkeys tradition started in the mid-60’s with annual dinner meetings coinciding with the February Ground Hog Day. This was an opportunity for engineers and managers who had left UNIVAC to gather with friends. It later changed to include those who had thought about leaving UNIVAC. Fred Vihovde has been Head Hog on the planning committee for over 35 years. Since 2000, he's been assisted by Lowell Benson and Jack Ross [deceased 2016]. New committee members would be heartily welcomed! There is always a somber reading of former employees who have passed away during the year based on VIP Club newsletter listings. 2019 invite flyer by Lowell A. Benson:

Recent History

  • In 2018, we changed the name to Unihogs and Technologists reunion in recognition of the original gatherings purpose.  Newly name CBI Director Dr. Jeffrey Yost was the invited speaker.  And, moved the day to earlier in November to provide separation from the 1st week of December UNIVAC Old Timers reunion.
  • In 2017, the committee of two (Fred & Lowell) asked for planning/coordinator replacements.
  • In 2014, the committee accepted a request by the VIP Club board to combine the Club's annual elections with the Unihogs/Uniturkeys program.
  • In 2012, the committee changed from the Lost Spur to Casper's Cherokee of Eagan to simplify planning and the Lost Spur was about to do a building rennovation.
  • In 2002, the committee changed from an evening dinner with speaker to a luncheon with participant recollections.  During the 80s, attendance was in the low 100s. In the 90s several events and speakers drew up to 150 participants. David Boslaugh Dr. Arthur Norberg were a couple of the featured speakers in the '90s.
  • In 1989, this annual event was changed from February to the Friday before Thanksgiving to accommodate participation by the Arizona, Florida, and Texas bound ‘snowbirds.’
  • In 1985, the group moved to the Lost Spur from Parish's on West Seventh. The group previously had met at Jax Café and at the Town and Country Motel near plant 5.

Origination by Bob Jablonski

”I do not know if you know the history or not, but a brief history follows:

  • It was originally started after several groups split out of Univac Roseville to form COMTEN, Weismantel Associates, and Intech
  • It was mostly the design group HW/SW from the 1100, 490/494 computers and communications areas
  • It was started as an informal get together of x-employees who had worked together in Roseville.
  • Original meetings were at the Canadian on Rice St and we had dinner and I believe played cards in the back room.
  • As it grew it moved to Parrish’s on West 7th, with a night cap at Casey’s for some.
  • It was usually held early February (close to Ground Hog Day), hence the title UNIHOG.
  • Fortunately or unfortunately, some near retirees and retirees got wind of this and because some left Minnesota for the winter eventually took control and changed the date to the Friday after T’ Day. This caused some problems for those still working who went out of town for the T’ Day weekend to be with family. {Editor's Note: Thus the change to the Friday before Thanksgiving.}
  • It was renamed UNITURKEY because of the date change, but they also kept the UNIHOG name.
  • It has grown and now includes a very diverse group. Overall it is a good thing although a far cry from the original intention.
    {Editor's Note: Instead of those who had left UNIVAC, those who had thought about leaving were invited.}
  • I remember from the original Group were: Jack Anderson, John Antholz, Jim Ashbaugh, Robert Bina, Ralph Boss, Wally Emerson, Dick Hensley, Gary Iverson, Bob Jablonski, George Marrette, Jim Nickitas, JT Olson, Ross Rash, Rollie Salling, Don Stanga, Dick Swanson, and Wally Weismantel."

Have you read "A few good men from Univac" by David E. Lundstrom?

His chapter 21 includes discussion about the UniHogs start and includes the 1982 program announcement as figure 24. Copied hereunder for your reading pleasure:

"One day I got a phone call from a friend that I had known since my Univac days. He asked if I was going to Unihogs this year. What’s a Unihog?” I asked. He explained that a growing group of ex-Univac employees had for years arranged an informal get-together once a year on Groundhog Day. Unihog Agenda The combination of Univac and groundhog suggested the name “Unihog.” Unihogs form a loose non-organization. Originally, to participate, one must have left Univac. Returning to Univac does not disqualify a member once qualified. Some attendees have left Univac three and four times! The requirements were later loosened to include anyone who had even thought of leaving Univac. Unihogs have no membership roll, no dues, no elections, no bylaws, no officers, no newsletter, no secret handshake, no funny hats, and no rituals – except for the singing of the “Unihog Drinking Song” at the close of every reunion. Unihogs are governed, if that is not too strong a word, by a self perpetuating, six-member committee of volunteers. Two new members are added to the committee each year, and the two members who have served for three years are dropped. The treasury, consisting of an old envelope with a few dollars in it, is passed along from head hog to head hog. A small surcharge is added onto the cost of the dinners at the annual reunion to provide funds for mailing the meeting notices and for gag gifts. An artist among the membership drew the mascot of the Unihogs, which appears on the meeting notices and banquet tickets: a little black and white spotted pig with a single long horn growing out of its forehead.

The first meeting that I attended was held in the basement private dining room of a nightclub just down the road from the Univac headquarters. About a hundred hogs showed up for cocktails and gossip. Luckily someone had brought a supply of “Univac Visitor” name tags, which everyone wore. I had not seen many of the attendees in fifteen years. At a later reunion my old friend, Dick Karpen, now living in New York, managed to visit the Twin Cities on Groundhog Day. Dick brought me up to date on the whereabouts of some of the Philadelphia hogs.

Typically, after an hour or so of socializing, the hogs sit down to dinner. A short program follows dinner, always something related to the early history of computer development. One year an academic paper was presented on the founders and the original organization of Engineering Research Associates, the predecessor of Univac St. Paul. Another year a member showed slides of the early ERA and Univac computers. At the 1983 reunion, the speaker who introduced himself, consistent with our porcine nomenclature, as the “big boar,” was none other than Willis Drake, the man at whose house I had subscribed for Control Data initial-issue stock back in 1957. Drake, chairman of Data Card, a company that makes magnetic credit card processing equipment, spoke on the need to recapture the engineering creativity of the early days, a topic close to my heart.

     The 1984 reunion speaker was the new director of the Charles Babbage Institute for the History of Information Processing, Arthur Norberg. (Charles Babbage was a nineteenth--century British mathematician who attempted to build a mechanical “computing engine.” He is considered by many to be the earliest designer of the programmable computer.) The Institute, a nonprofit foundation at the University of Minnesota, was set up to document and preserve the early history of the electronic computer. The director spoke on his experiences in attempting to document the early growth of technology in Silicon Valley, where he had just completed a project.

Following the program the hogs always stand for the ritual bellowing of the “Unihog Drink Song” (sung to the tune of “the Whiffenpoof Song”), with a final chorus:
Managers, programmers, engineers
We’re all Unihogs, and we’ll give three cheers
We’ll program computers to recall past years
Oink, oink, oink.

The number of different companies that have been started by Unihogs is astonishing. One of the members prepared a genealogy chart listing seventy-six firms (some have merged or gone out of business), and the list is still not complete. Five generations of companies from Univac are shown, and it is only a matter of time before a sixth generation appears. I suspect that the Philadelphia branch of Univac could show as many offspring.
In due time I got a call inviting me to join the committee as an apprentice hog. When elevated by seniority to head hog, I moved the reunion, as was my prerogative, to a larger banquet facility in the midway district of St. Paul, near the original ERA plant at 1902 West Minnehaha. The meeting notice (figure 24) dates from that meeting place. A later head hog moved the reunion once again to a more luxurious private club near the new Cray Research building within sight of the Control Data headquarters tower across the Minnesota River." [end of extract]|

Syttende Mai History

In 1974 six Sperry-UNIVAC employees gathered to gathered to celebrate Norwegian Constitution day. [Ole Olson, Keith Myhre, Larry Bakken, Burt Gunderson, Gary Odegaard, and Joel Christensen.] They sat at a table next to the window on the north side of the Hot Fish Shop restaurant in Mendota for their first luncheon.  Attendees increased in subsequent years as Ole promoted the get together.  Eventually, the group outgrew the dining room.  Especially when Ole would get up and make a speech to the group, inconveniencing neighboring diners.  So the luncheon moved across the hall to the Emporium of Jazz.  With additional space, the planners began adding formal speakers.  When the Emporium of Jazz shutdown, the luncheon was moved to Casper's in Eagan.

By the early 80s, retired employees joined or continued to participate. Most of the featured speakers were of Norwegian heritage, talking about their books or experiences associated with their ancestral land. Participants are reminded of the date via a phone call from the volunteer committee and/or the VIP Club newsletter. Casper's needs a head count of participants ahead of time, so - if you plan to attend, please advise a committee member. Dale Torgerson, Dale Phelps, and Dick Lundgren are current planners & coordinators.

Beginning in 2015, the VIP Club Board decided to replace our May program meeting with promotion of and member participation at this event.  {Edited by Lowell A. Benson with data from Keith Myhre.}

Annual Old Timers' Reunion History

The Annual UNIVAC Old Timers' Reunion on the first Thursday of December was was initiated in the early 80’s by Sperry Defense Systems marketer John Markfelder. Typical attendance was about 250 retirees plus many 'UNIVACers' still working in the area. There is no formal program, just an annual opportunity for former co-workers to greet each other and chat over a coke, glass of wine, or beer. The buffet lunch at the Fort Snelling Officer’s club was always good, especially when eating with friends.

For about twenty-five years another Unisys retiree and former Marine officer, Earl Lillestrand, coordinated the invitations – most by a cadre of volunteers making phone calls! His arrangement and invitation cohort for many, many years was Dante (Dan) Maseratti, also a marketing manager and a Marine.  Participants are reminded of this event via the monthly VIP Club newsletter, via an e-mail, or via a phone call from volunteers Attendees are asked to register ahead of time and to inform a volunteer if the cafeteria buffet line is in your plans. A donation box to cover facility charges and name tag costs was available at the check in desk - we paid to have an extra bartender on hand.

  • 2007: Lt. Col. (USMC ret.) Lillestrand announced to the group that he was no longer able to host and coordinated this annual event. Fred Vihovde (1st Lt. ret. US Army reserves) volunteered to to use his membership at the Ft. Snelling Officers' Club to host the group.  Lowell Benson volunteered to take over the invite list and coordinate notifications of future gatherings. Earl gave them an envelope with the residual donation box cash.
  • 2009: In September, the O' Club had a management change and immediately notified Fred/Lowell that there would be a room charge of $400.00 for our event - well above the usual donation box yield. We investigated alternate venues then took the problem to the VIP Club Board. The board resolved that thereinafter, the Board would cover the cost difference between the facility costs and the donation box. AND, at the same time resolved to do the same for the Roseville Good Old Days.  The residual cash envelope was given to the Club, the Club Treasurer started a savings account at the credit union.
  • 2010: The O' Club management reverted to the previous 'comping' of the facility use for this group except for the charge of ~$100 for the extra bar tender. Privately they told us that our gathering was and had been their largest bar and kithen cash intake per year.
  • 2015: The Ft. Snelling managing AF command decided to close the Officers' Club because it was outside the security perimeter of the base. Fred contacted Geri at the Lost Spur - they had an opening and were accepting Ft. Snelling reservations at the same facility fee as the organization had been paying.  So we moved the event.  In previous years about half the participants had eaten lunch at the Ft. Snelling buffet dining room - the Lost Spur kitchen wasn't open during lunch times in December. Geri made arrangements to have 'sack' sandwiches available for those who pre-ordered.
  • 2015: A corollary to this event is that for a few decades the VIP Club had held an annual Christmas dinner/dance at the Ft. Snelling Service Club.  In 2011 we had moved that event to the O' Club because of base security restrictions and then to the Lost Spur.

If you are willing to help with 2019 notifications and check-in table staffing, contact VP Steve Koltes and/or Treasurer Paul Hove.

Volunteer Recognition Luncheons

April is National volunteer recognition month.  After Burroughs bought Sperry to form UNISYS in 1986, UNISYS hosted a recognition breakfast in the plant 4 cafeteria.  In 2009, UNISYS Roseville closed their cafeteria. The VIP Club board decided that volunteer recognition was important thus took over sponsorship of the annual event - The venue selected was the American Legion Club in New Brighton. In 2010 we decided to not have a 'guest speaker', rather just to have the a few attending volunteers talk about his/her volunteerism.  The Legion lost its 'food license' in 2011 so we moved the breakfast to the Eagles club in New Brighton. Then, in 2013 we moved the breakfast to the VFW in Roseville.  In 2015, the Club decided to have a recognition luncheon instead of a breakfast; the venue chosen was Joseph's in St. Paul where sandwiches were served. Then for 2016 & 2017 we decided to have a hot lunch buffet. 

Before the 2015 luncheon; Member Emeriti Bernie Jansen suggested that we should do something to recogonize an individual who had gone above and beyond the normal.  The VIP board created the Annual Bernie & Kathy Jansen Volunteer Extraordinaire Award in honor of Member Emeritous Bernie Jansen and wife Kathy - He led our volunteer breakfast/lunch recognition planning for over a decade and while a DCHS Trustee was instrumental in getting the ball rolling for a permanent exhibit of our Legacy Artifacts at the Lawshe Memorial Museum. 

Nominate someone to receive the Volunteer Extraordinaire Award at the April luncheon. Please send her/his name and your reason(s) why before March 27th to board@vipclubmn.org.  Previous recipients were Keith Myhre, Dick Lundgren, Don Weidenbach, Allan Douglass, Tom Turba, and Tricia Myhre.

Past Volunteer Extraordinaire Award recipients are:

  • 2015 - Keith Myhre in recognition of his leadership and support of the planning, writing, and implementing two State Legacy grants to the Dakota Historical Historical Society to begin exhibit development and photo cataloging at the Lawshe Memorial Museum.
  • 2016 - Richard 'Dick' Lundgren in recognition of his decade writing articles for the Legacy committee, supporting the Club's event planning, and serving on the Syttende Mai planning committee.
  • 2017 - Don Weidenbach in recognition of his decade supporting the Legacy committee with ERA history, repairing small appliances for his 400+ senior condos, and serving as a guide at the MSP airport.
  • 2018 - Allan Douglass in recognition of his 1000+ hours per year supporting boy scout camps and his church.  AND, Tom Turba posthumusly in recognition of a decade of service to the VIP Club and 3 decades of service to scouting organizations.
  • 2019 - Patricia Myhre posthumously in recognition of five-plus years of Photo ID work at the Lawshe Memorial Museum and other volunteerism." 
  • 2020 - Nominations are now open.

UNISYS Retiree Breakfast Group

 By Marv Brown, January 17, 2020:  During a conversation with my wife, Ruth, I mentioned that it would be nice to be able to keep in touch with the people that I had worked with for over 36 years. She suggested that I should call some of them and arrange to meet them for breakfast someday.  So, in December of 1991, I called three individuals (Don Elliot, Clarence Jacobson, and Larry Couture) from the list of over 100 names who had also taken early retirement on October 31, 1991, and asked them to meet me for breakfast.  We met at Marino’s Restaurant in Columbia Heights.  Don Elliot now lives on the south shore of Lake Mille Lacs. Clarence Jacobson moved to Brainerd, passed away March 4, 2017 at the hospital in Crosby.  Larry Couture passed away on March 29, 2010.
Over a large platter of “SOS” the Unisys Retiree Breakfast Group got its start.  We enjoyed the get together - the chit/chat - and decided that each of us should contact 5 or 6 individuals from the list of 100 retirees, and invite them to a breakfast get together.  We decided to meet at the Country Kitchen Restaurant at 35W and Stinson Blvd, on the second Wednesday of the next month.  This turned out to be a great success.  About 20 individuals showed up.  A decision was made that each person present should contact other retirees and tell them about our meeting and that we planned to meet again the second Wednesday of the next month; problem was that the Country Kitchen Restaurant was not suited for a larger group so now we needed a more suitable place to meet.
I went to the Countryside Restaurant on north Snelling and County Road C.  I talked to the manager of the restaurant, Mike Rhein, and presented him with my request and plans.  His reaction was that of surprise.  He agreed to open his restaurant 2 hours earlier than his normal operating business hours provided that I could guarantee him at least 25 people would attend.  We were offered a menu of three choices for $5.50 including beverage and tip.  So, February 13, 1991, we had what could probably be considered the second beginning of the Unisys Retiree Breakfast Group we had 30 people show up for breakfast.  I was asked to do everything I could to keep the group going.  I agreed, provided I could establish and set my own rules.  The only purpose of the Unisys Retiree Breakfast Group would be to get together visit and keep our friendly relationship active with retired fellow employees and to extend a helping hand to our less fortunate friends, should the occasion arise. 1) No dues would be charged. 2) The cost of the breakfast would be the responsibility of each individual. 3) No program would be established nor have to be followed. 4) No salesmen trying to sell stuff to the group. 5) No official minutes or records would be kept of the meetings; however I did establish a roster which each member signed giving me names, addresses  etc.  This was done for several years until the roster of names reached over 478 members and new members became few.  The roster was maintained by Loren and Judy Rogers for several years; I now have this roster on my computer. 

The latest count shows that over 149 or about 35% of the original names on the roster have passed away. This count is probably incorrect because many more probably have passed away that I don’t know about.  The communications of those who pass away is very difficult to obtain and confirm.  Our group at the Countryside Restaurant grew to 40, 50, 60, and we even reached as high as 90.  The manager at Countryside, Mike Rhein, finally had to ask me to put a limit on the number allowed to attend. He said that he did not have enough dishes etc. to handle more than 60 at a time.  This I said was not acceptable - to tell retirees that they could not come - would not work; so we had to look for a different larger place to gather.

One day I visited the factory and was talking to Larry Schwalbe, I mentioned my problem about the need for a new location.  Larry had worked for me at Unisys. He suggested that I move the group over to the New Brighton Legion Post.  Mr. Schwalbe became Commander of the Legion Post.  We moved to the New Brighton Legion Post in the fall of 1992.  The number of retirees attending each month ranged from 50 to 150 people.  Some of the individuals that attended were not retired but were very welcome……some were the spouse of the retiree.  Some were individuals who became the unfortunate and were forced to look for other employment. I had always been interested in obtaining guest speakers…with no funds to operate with…. it was almost impossible to get a free speaker.  One of our members, Glenn Turner, I don’t remember if he was a survivor of the attack on Pearl Harbor; it didn’t seem that he would have been old enough for that!  Glenn passed away in October of 2004.  He had an excellent presentation that he showed to the group on the anniversary (I believe it was the 60th anniversary) of the attack on Pearl Harbor.  It was so good that he was asked to present it several times to accommodate those that missed the first showing. 

In January 2011 the New Brighton Legion Post was forced to relocate because the building that they operated out of was sold to an Asian group.  In February we were informed that the new Asian management did not have the correct licenses to serve food so we had to relocate our Retiree Breakfast group. Ross Metzger, a member of our Retiree Group, was also a member of the New Brighton Legion Post.  Ross was able to keep me informed of the situation with the Legion Post.  Ross also had good relations with the Eagles Club which happens to be located across the street from the Legion Post….and was instrumental in arranging a meeting with the management of Gina’s Café…. located in the Eagle Club.  This allowed us to move our Group across the street to Gina’s Café and continue our meetings.  On January 9, 2013 at our regularly scheduled breakfast meeting, I was notified by the Manager of Gina’s Café that she would have to close her (breakfast catering) business because of insufficient income and that she was actively seeking other employment…She got a job with Cargill.

Again, Ross rose to the occasion and arranged for a meeting with the management of the Eagles Club and was successful in arranging for the Eagles Club cooking staff to take over where Gina left off.  We are currently meeting quarterly at the Eagles Club on the 2nd Wednesday of the Month and have 15 to 40 people attending - the food is good, served buffet style and priced at $15.00.  I would have liked to have more of the retirees attend to expand the friendly relationship - the group is great - however, over time the attendance kept dropping and it has been very difficult to maintain a large enough group for the business to make it profitable to keep serving us breakfast.  After 28 years of hosting the Unisys Retiree Breakfast Group, I am starting to show my age and since last July I have been scheduling more Doctors appointments and consuming more medications.  SO, I have decided to call it quits.  The time has come that I need to take care of Marv and worry less about other things. 
Therefore, I have asked a super retiree named Paul Dickson, who has filled in for me during the past year when I was unable to host the gathering; if he would be interested in taking over the responsibility of hosting the Group. Paul has accepted and will host our future breakfast gatherings starting in June 2020.  I hope everyone will keep attending and give Paul all the support needed to keep the group going.

A special thanks to those that have been so faithful each time - rain - sleet - or snow.  They seem to always show up and even will laugh at my e/mail stories.  I hope to be able to attend a breakfast gathering in the future if my health allows it. Marv! {minor editing by LABenson who started participating in 2008 by invitation of then VIP Club President Tom Turba.}

Roseville Good Old Days History

In 2007, then VP, Tom Turba attended the Annual UNIVAC Old Timers' Reunion at the Ft. Snelling Officers' Club. Aftwards he noted that the attendees were almost all defense personnel and that we should do something like that for the commercial side of the house. He took charge and planned a gathering for 2008 and wrote:
Memories, Memories - The Good Old Days: Remember the summer picnics at Bunker Hills, Turtle Lake, and the many other places where they were held? The kids would have their games, the barbeque was going, the sun was shining, the eats were great, the drinks flowed freely, and our friends were all around. It was a fun time that sometimes lasted well into the night. It was always fun to go to the Christmas Parties at the Bel-Ray Ballroom, Holiday Inn, Prom Center, and the many other places we had them. They were always after work. You could just relax, enjoy the atmosphere, talk with friends, have a dance, enjoy the music, eat the food, and just have fun.
    Remember going out to lunch at Paul’s Place, Nino’s, the Stone House, the Last Frontier, the Ground Round, the American Legion, and many other places? Those were the days. Paul’s Place is long gone – torn down for development. Nino’s was turned into a retail store. The Stone House, after being saved for many years, finally met its demise. The Last Frontier, with all its unique paintings, made way for more retail. And although the building still stands for a little while yet, the Ground Round is no more and has not been for many years.

We look forward to seeing you May 3, 2019 @ 10:00 AM at 'The Good Old Days' at the Mermaid in Moundsview. Tell your friends who used to work in Roseville and send an email to paul.dickson@comcast.net to get onto the pre-printed nametag list. Spouses and significant others are welcome - We use a donation box to cover the room rental cost, lunch is available upstairs from their regular menu.  Coordinator is Paul Dickson, VIP Club Member & retired Unisys Director.

Our participant records:

  1. We met at The Rosetown Memorial Legion, Post 542, at 700 West County Road C, just West of Dale St. in Roseville in 2008. Remember what it was like going there for lunch with your friends? On Friday, April 25th, 2008, over 250 people who used to work at Unisys in Roseville gathered to eat Sloppy-Joes or pizza, swap stories, talk of old times, have a drink, get out of the spring rain, and just have fun.
  2. On Friday, April 15th 2009 over 340 people gathered at the American Legion Post in New Brighton. 2009 photos by Dave Wilhelm.
  3. On Friday, April 30th 2010 over 370 people gathered at the Mermaid Convention Center in Moundsview. 2010 photos by Dave Wilhelm.
  4. On Friday, April 29th 2011 about 425 people gathered at the Mermaid Convention Center in Moundsview. 2011 photos by Dave Wilhelm.
  5. On Friday, May 4th 2012 just over 500 people gathered at the Mermaid Convention Center in Moundsview. 2012 photos by Dave Wilhelm.
  6. On Friday, April 27th, 2013 about 370 people gathered at the Mermaid Convention Center in Moundsview. 2013 photos by Dave Wilhelm.
  7. On Friday April 20th, 2014 about 375 people gathered at the Mermaid Convention Center in Moundsview. 2014 photos by Dave Wilhelm.
  8. The eighth Good Old Days reunion for people that used to work at Univac/Unisys in Roseville was another success with somewhere between 380 and 400 people attending on April 24. Countless memories were shared and old friends reunited. 2015 photos by Dave Wilhelm.
  9. The ninth RGOD took place in 2016, sorry that Lowell misplaced notes of the event.
  10. The tenth RGOD reunion on May 12, 2017 had just about 300 attendees. Thanks to Paul Dickson, Marv Brown, Orrin McGill, and Tom Turba who staffed the check-in table. Dave Wilhelm didn't make the reunion; but was at the 2017 Open House just before the Roseville plant shut for good. At the end of this album is the group photo that was taken in front that day. (Thanks Paul Dickson and Sue Carrigan.)
  11. On Friday May 4th, 2018 about 340 people gathered to celebrate life and friendship.  This event was coordinated by Paul Dickson and facilitated by about a dozen volunteers who worked the check-in table. Here are the photos Dave Wilhelm took at the 2018 edition of Roseville Good Old Days.
  12. On Friday May 3rd, 2019 about 275 people gathered at the Mermaid.  Again, Paul Dickson coordinated the event and recruited volunteers to work the check-in area.  Dave Wilhelm's 2019 photos are at https://photos.app.goo.gl/uJPq9Yjs4GXbLWpc7.
  13. Reservations made for May 1st, 2020.

Activity Venue Locations

Casper's Cherokee House in Eagan: Set your GPS to Eagan MN, 4625 Nicols Road, From I35E, take the Cliff Road exit and go West to Nicols, turn left. From Cedar Ave, take the Cliff Road exit, go East to Nicols, then turn right.

Central Park Pavilion in Eagan: Set your GPs to Eagan MN, 1497 Central Pkwy.  This is south of the Unisys MACS building on Pilot Knob Road and north of the former plant 8 area. 

Charles Babbage Institute:   Set your GPS address to 222 - 21st Avenue South Minneapolis, MN 55455.  The walking location is Room #211 in the Andersen Library second floor. For parking, the closest is lot C86/the Law School lot that has shared contract and visitor parking. A parking alternate site is the city parking next to the Marriott Courtyard hotel, formerly Holiday Inn at seven corners. This is about 1.5 blocks to the west of CBI, 1 block east of the I35W Washington Avenue freeway exit.

Eagles Club in New Brighton:

Joseph's Grill in St. Paul: Set your GPS address to St Paul, MN - 140 Wabasha St S 55107. From the Roseville area take 35E South toward St Paul, get into the left lane and exit onto Hwy 52 going south. After crossing the Mississippi river, take the ramp right for Lafayette Rd toward Plato Blvd. Turn right onto Plato (west) for 0.2 mi then turn right onto Wabasha (north). After 1/2 mi, Joseph's will be on the right. From the Eagan area take 35E north to I494 east to Hwy 52 going north. Take the ramp right for Lafayette Road then turn left (west) onto Plato Blvd. After 0.7 mi, turn right (north) onto Wabasha, Joseph's will be on the right after 1/2 mi.

Highland Park: Set your GPS unit to St Paul, 1200 Montreal Ave. From the Roseville area; take 36 to 35E going south through the city, exit at W 7th (Hwy 5) and turn right. After three blocks angle right onto Montreal Ave and drive uphill ½ mile. The Pavilion is on the left. From the Eagan area take 35E north toward St. Paul, exit at W 7th (Hwy) 5 and turn left. Proceed to Montreal Ave angling right and drive ½ mile. From St. Paul, find Snelling Avenue, drive south to Montreal Ave then turn left. Drive ¼ mile to Pavilion on right.

Lawshe Museum in South St. Paul: Set your GPS unit to South Saint Paul, 130 Third Avenue. From the Roseville area, take Hwy 36 to I-35E south toward downtown St. Paul. Get into the left lane then take the I-94/Hwy 52 left exit to merge onto Hwy 52 going south. 3.4 miles later, take the Butler Ave exit and turn left. Go 0.7 mi and turn right onto MN156 S. After 1.8 mi, turn right onto Grand Ave. W – Drive up the hill a block and turn left; the parking lot is then 400 ft. on the left. From the Eagan area, take I494 toward the Mississippi river then take exit #65 onto 7th Ave. Turn left and drive a mile to South view Blvd, turn right at the light. After 0.3 mi, turn left onto 3rd Ave – the museum parking lot is then 0.2 mi on the right.

LMCO/Leidos: Set your GPS unit to Eagan, MN, 1303 Corporate Center Drive Suite 100 From Roseville area, take 35E south through St. Paul then exit to the west onto I-494. Then take exit 71 for Co Rd 31 (Pilot Knob Road) and go south. Turn left onto Corporate Center Drive, then when you see the Lockheed Martin sign, turn left, start up the hill then turn left into the parking log - drive through the parking lot to the west side of the building and turn left into that parking lot section. Enter the building through the west door. From Minneapolis or Bloomington, get onto 494 going East then take exit 71 onto Pilot Knob Road going south - then follow the Corporate Center Drive instructions above.  

Lost Spur in Eagan: Set your GPS to St Paul, 2750 Sibley Memorial Hwy, 55121 or take exit #98 off I-35E onto Lone Oak Road. Go west across Pilot Knob Road and then down the hill to Hwy 13. Turn right and proceed north ~ ½ miles to the Lost Spur (City View) entrance on the right.

Mermaid in New Brighton: Set your GPS unit to Moundsview, MN - 2200 CR 10. From Roseville, Minneapolis, and other southwest points - take I35W north then at exit 28C take ramp right for CR10, cross over the bridge then turn left onto Co. Rd H. From Eagan and southeast points - take I35E north to I694 West, keep in the right lane for Hwy 10, get into the left lane, cross over I35W then turn left onto Co Rd H.

Roseville Masonic Center (RMC): Set your GPS to Roseville, MN 1321 County Rd B2 W. From Eagan: take I-35E north to the Hwy 36 exit west. Exit Hwy 36 at Hamline avenue and proceed North ~1/4 mile to Co. Rd. B2 then turn right (East). Drive ~ 200 yards then turn left into Center's parking lot. From Anoka or Arden Hills: Take 694 to Snelling Ave, exit going south to Co. Rd. B2 (This is the Rosedale Mall exit). Turn left and drive 1/2 mile to cross Hamlin Ave, the Center will then be on your left. From Roseville anywhere: The RMC is on the north side of Co. Rd. B2 just east of the Hamline Ave. intersection. If you get to the Roseville Area HS, turn around and go back toward the west ~1/2 of a block.

Unisys MACS in Eagan: Set your GPS unit to Eagan MN, 3199 Pilot Knob Road. From Hwy 35E take the Pilot Knob Road exit ramp. Then go north on Pilot Knob Road about ½ mile to Tower View Road. We use the Unisys north parking lot and the visitor entrance thereby.