9 Specifically, they’ve been charged with the very important role of managing the archive room, which is a treasure trove tucked beneath the cafeteria that holds the story of Aquinas. “Dave and I used to come and volunteer and one day, Chris Grout ‘88 brought us down to what we call the archive room, which was really just a closet with a lot of history of Aquinas in it,” recalled John. “She said ‘Someday, I’m going to get down here to organize this’, so Dave and I offered to do it. It took us a long time, but it’s all organized now, so you can pretty much ask for anything and we can go down there and get it for you,” he said. And when he says ‘anything’ he means it. What the two organized was 120 years of Aquinas artifacts and nostalgia. The archive room holds Basilian history that dates back to when they first came to Aquinas, Catholic school history when Aquinas was first called Cathedral High School, all sorts of old athletic helmets and equipment, posters from all the different plays and musicals, every yearbook beginning with the first in 1903, films of all the different football games from when they used to play at Red Wing Stadium, photos, letterman jackets, safety jackets, copies of the Maroon & White newspaper dating all the way back to 1932, trophies, and so much more. “We sorted things out, categorized it, filled filing cabinets, started shelving everything, and we’re maxed out,” said Dave of the space. The two are starting now to take pictures of things so that they might eventually be able to put them online for others to see. Despite some space constraints, John and Dave encourage anyone with Aquinas memorabilia worth hanging onto to reach out to the Advancement Office at Likewise, if any classmates are getting together for a reunion or similar event, they can reach out to the Advancement Office if they’d like to display specific Aquinas items. “Dennis Sadler once said at a reunion for the color guard several years back, ‘If these walls could talk,’ and that’s been in my mind ever since,” said John. “If these walls could talk, if these kids could hear the past classes that walked these halls, what an honor it would be. That’s the main reason I’m doing what I’m doing.” It’s apparent that even decades after John and Dave graduated from Aquinas, their hearts, which are almost certainly maroon, are still here and maintaining the archive room is truly a labor of love. Their efforts have not gone unnoticed. Dave and John recently received the Advancement Office’s Outstanding Volunteer Award, which is given to an individual or individuals who are committed in and around our Aquinas community through volunteerism and philanthropy through gifts of their time, talent, and treasure. Should you be lucky enough to have a conversation with either John or Dave – listen – you will undoubtedly learn something new about Aquinas that will make you appreciate its legacy even more. “There are a lot of stories down in the archive, I don’t know if I can say one is more special than another,” said John. Whether it be stories of the Basilian Fathers at Aquinas; the Forensic Arts Team winning a national championship; the band and color guard performing at NFL halftime shows and in the Macy’s Day Parade; the Class of 1967 (briefly) making the Guinness Book of World Records for the longest consecutive basketball dribbles; or when the football team beat Boys Town, Nebraska, tore down a goalpost, marched all the way to the RKO Palace, took the stage and sang the Alma Mater to a packed cinema audience – they’re all stories that are documented with artifacts that live on in the archive room, a place that Dave summed up beautifully. “It’s remembering, it’s the history, it’s what Aquinas is.” Hidden Heroes PRESERVING OUR HISTORY If you happen to be walking the halls of Aquinas on a Wednesday morning, you may very well run into Dave Behr ’66 and John Palermo ’67. The two alumni, who have been friends since their high school days on Dewey Ave, are regular volunteers with Aquinas’ Advancement Office, and have been for over 13 years now. Top: John Palermo ’67 (left) and Dave Behr ’66 (right) in the Aquinas archive room. Left: Archive memorabilia fills a display case at Aquinas for all to enjoy. Aquinas memorabilia housed in the school’s archive room.