Todd's Torch Archives

Todd went to high school at John F. Kennedy Senior High in Bloomington Minnesota, graduating with the Class of 1979.

During this time he was fortunate to have been nominated for a position on the school paper, The Torch, by his English teacher - Joyce Luckfield, . Since his command of English has always been questionable it's likely she ate some bad seafood that day - or perhaps he brought her a particularly shiny apple.

He quickly realized this was a golden opportunity to spend an hour a day sitting in a room with a bunch of other kids pretending to work, so he jumped at it - writing for the Torch (Opinion section) in the 77-78 and 78-79 school years. His speciality was sensationalist stories on hot topics of the day, with little or no basis in fact. And of course any Editorial that slammed the school administration for spurious or unfounded reasons.

The 1978-79 year had a particularly talented group of writers and illustrators, and the Torch won the National Scholastic Press Association's "Pacemaker " award. In theory this ranked it one of the top high school papers in the country.

While Todd would like to think his mediocre efforts had something to do with that, in reality it was hard work by the rest of the staff (who actually showed up, woke him up and forced him to make deadlines), and the help of the exceptional Kennedy Journalism Advisor, Jon Kuklish. As you can tell from this bit of writing, without Jon Kuklish the commas go wild.

Fortunately none of this had any impact on reality or anything in the rest of Todd's life. Somehow he managed to avoid a career with the National Enquirer and completely forget all the rules of proper English composition.

Regrettably Todd's personal collection of Torches was lost in the mists of time (literally....the 80's were pretty hazy.) In May 2010 Todd made the astonishingly obvious realization that Kennedy probably had a few copies somewhere. With the help of Keith Johnson and his staff at the Kennedy MRC, boxes were dragged from the dungeons and most of the issues from this period were found.

Links to those files are below, in case anyone has way too much time on their hands and wants to see just how badly we wrote back then.

Unfortunately it's not quite a complete collection.... We're still missing a few issues from this period, particularly the "award winning" 1978-79 year. If anyone has a copy of the missing issues get in touch, it would be great to add them to the archive. Although there's little or no interest in years other than 76 - 79 (hey, how self-centered can you get?), if for some reason you'd like to post other years here that can be done, just send your scans.

Apologies for the scan quality. It would have been nice to have scanned the originals (and Keith offered use of the school's equipment) however there was no time for it that day so we just ran off photocopies and scanned those later. So these are scans of copies - some are crooked, faint, etc... Better something than nothing, right?

... and, by the way, if anyone has any contact with Jon Kuklish, point him here also (and say thanks!)

Warning... these are fairly large PDF's (usually 8-10 meg per file) so don't click here if you don't have a decent broadband connection. If you have a blazing connection and just want to download the entire batch at once (or maybe just do it overnight), you can "save as" this link here to download a zip file with all of them in it.

Volume 12 - 1976-77

Vol 12 No 1 9/30/76

Missing Vol 12 No 2 (probably Oct 76)

Vol 12 No. 3 11/30/76

Vol 12 No 4 12/16/76

Vol 12 No 5 1/31/77

Vol 12 No 6 3/4/77

Vol 12 No 7 4/1/77

Vol 12 No 8 5/6/77

Volume 13 - 1977-78

Vol 13 No 1 9/29/77

Vol 13 No 2 10/31/77

Missing Vol 13 No 3 (probably Nov 77)

Vol 13 No 4 12/23/77

Missing Vol 13 No 5 (probably Jan or Feb 78)

Vol 13 No 6 3/15/78

Missing Vol 13 No 7 (probably April 78)

Vol 13 No 8 5/19/78

Volume 14 - 1978-79

Missing Vol 14 No 1 (probably Sept 78)

Vol 14 No. 2 10/31/78

Missing Vol 14 No 2, 3, and 4 (probably Nov, Dec 78 and Jan or Feb 79)

Vol 14 No 5 3/9/79

Vol 14 No 6 4/20/79

Missing Vol 14 No 7 and possibly 8 (probably May and ? 79)

Volume 15 - 1979-80

Vol 15 No 1 10/10/79

(just including this since it has the article on the Pacemaker Award for the 78-79 year in it...)