November 19, 2020
A friend from my growing up years in Superior, Stan Copeland will be back in Superior on Sunday to speak at the First Presbyterian Church service. A combat veteran and former U.S. Army chaplain, he is now living near Quinter, Kansas and conducting worship services for country congregations. He has been in Superior several times to assist the Presbyterians.
A member of the Superior congregation, Randy Rhoads, said he will definitely keep the attention of those attending this week’s service.
The Copeland family left Superior after Stan’s eighth grade year but thanks to the internet I regularly exchange messages with Stan and his older brother, Robert. Both apparently have good memories of their time in Superior and occasionally return here to visit friends.
Had the family not moved, Stan would have been a member of the Superior High School Class of 1965. Members of the church have extended a special invitation to members of his class to attend and participate in the Lord’s Day service on Sunday morning. But area residents are welcome to attend the service. It is their choice to wear or not wear a COVID mask. The service begins at 10:30 but guests are invited to come earlier and stay late so they can visit with Stan and renew their old friendships. If the weather permits, some of those conversations will be on the church grounds.
Stan attended Superior’s South Ward, North Ward and Junior High schools before his family moved to Iowa in 1961. His father was a traveling representative for an oil refinery and a member of the local Gideons camp. His mother was a Superior High School English teacher.
Whenever I think of Stan, I think of him walking or running in the dark of night from Superior out to Blauvelt’s Hill which is more than two miles south of town. He visited the Blauvelt house to listen to my shortwave radio.
In my grade school years, an aunt gave me a crystal radio kit. I enjoyed assembling the radio kit but was disappointed because it apparently didn’t work. While most radios require connection to either the electrical grid or a battery, this crystal set magically did not. Somehow it was to pull radio signals out of the area and play them through the accompanying headset without a provided electrical source.
It didn’t work its magic until the KRFS station signed on. I was thrilled the first time I use the crystal set to bring in Superior radio.
My building of the crystal set predated the launch of the Russian Sputnik satellite and the start of the space race. It helped develop my interest in electronic things. Though most of the books were published in the 1920s and 1930s, I read most every radio book the Superior library had. I wanted to try building some of the radios described in those books, but the parts the plans called for were apparently obsolete and no longer available.
While I was a high school freshman, I bought a Knight Kit and assembled a shortwave receiver. I used a long wire antenna strung between the trees.
The radio worked much better than my first crystal set. It pulled in radio signals from around the globe. One of the biggest thrills came the day I listened to the conversations related to the launch and recovery of one of the first American astronauts.
At school, I had little interest in talking about sports or girls. I wanted to talk about what I heard the night before on the radio. Stan and Ed Gibson were among the few schoolmates who listened.
Now it is my turn to listen to Stan.