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Published February 11 2014

Neighbors: Minnesota boy enjoys surprise reunion with former classmate in Phoenix

Roger Butler is a Minnesota boy, growing up in Bemidji and now living near Detroit Lakes.

So he was greatly surprised over an event that occurred in Phoenix when he lived there in the early 1960s.

He dropped into a lounge there and found it had a piano bar, “and a great pianist who played all the old favorites,” he writes.

“However, once in a while she’d break into the old University of Minnesota Rouser (‘Minnesota, hats off to thee, to your colors true we shall ever be …’ and so on).”

Roger went up to her and asked her where she was from. Bemidji, she said.

So, of course he asked her name. It was Dot Palmer.

Bingo. Back in the late 1940s, when Roger was about 15 or 16, he entered a talent contest as a whistler in a Bemidji theater. His accompanist? Dot Palmer.

It was a happy reunion, there in Phoenix.

By the way, Roger came in second in that contest. But he modestly says he maybe came in that high because his father, who owned the Bemidji radio station, was one of the judges.

Roger’s Bemidji High School class held its 62nd reunion last year. Roger doesn’t say whether or not he whistled at it.


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