John Norby

  • John Norby, '50, became a well-known Grand Forks merchant. He too was an editor of the Centralian who got into serious trouble. "We published an April Fool issue, which was scandalous and somewhat scurrilous, called "Central Low Life." It was done behind the advisor's back and almost got her fired. It involved parody and not very nice nicknames for some of the teachers.

    Soon after the first issue was prepared I was walking by the earth science room, and Mr. Eiland, who happened to be a rather large man--I suppose he weighed 240 pounds to my 125 pounds, grabbed me by the shoulders and lifted me up and shook me like a leaf. As he was shaking me and as I was fluttering about off the surface of the floor, Principal Hanson came bounding out of his office.

    Eiland was livid with rage, his face was red and he was shouting. Hanson got Mr. Eiland to let me go and then grabbed me by the arm and brought me into his office. After that the jig was up. He demanded a copy of the "Central Low Life," and he sat at his desk and read it. He chuckled and then he chuckled some more. He would start to get serious, then he'd laugh again. He put his feet up on his desk and rocked back and forth in his chair, roaring with laughter. Then he shut the paper and said, 'You realize this is a very serious offense. I think it's the funniest thing I've ever seen, but it's a grave thing that you have published this without the knowledge of the administration and your advisor, and that you've insulted all kinds of people.' I said, 'I know.'

    Then he said, 'Well now, we'll have to keep a secret, you and me. You must clip out the offensive articles before you distribute the paper or you'll lose the revenue from the advertising. That's was the we'll solve it. Meantime you're expelled for three days. As far as the faculty is concerned, you have been disciplined.' " John went on to say that the staff did go to the printers and cut out the offensive parts, but instead of destroying them, they stuffed them into their pockets, and the articles were distributed through the whole school.