Many Spring Valley Alumni had part time jobs at Crystal Cave during their teen years. Each of those people have memories of those days. Here are some of them:

Dan Gauvin ('58) was one of the many SVHS students who worked at Crystal Cave in the '50's. Carol Leach wishes to share a poem she had saved that Dan wrote many years ago. Dan passed away in 2005. I'm sure this will bring back memories of Dan to those of you who knew him.

Ode to the Boss
By Dan Gauvin

Way down below Ōneath the onyx flow
Lives a man as cruel as the devil.
No one tells you so, but we all know
ItÕs the thing from the 90 foot level.

ŌTis weird to view when he glares at you,
His hideous blood-shot eyes.
To hear him shout, youÕll have no doubt
ŌTis the devil in disguise.

He installs with zeal

Devises of steel.
Instead of the whip, itÕs the bumper strip

And that damnable cocoa machine.

I must end this report, of paper IÕm short,

IÕll use no more than need be.
For you and I know as sure as cocks crow

That itÕs our boss Henry A. Friede.

Carol Leach ('59)
    I worked at the Cave for so many years that I canÕt remember how many or which years! But I do remember some highlights or burned out lights. Both I guess.


Another story from Carol - 2/7/2012

   Many of you, I think, knew my mom as the quiet lady behind her school teacher husband. And most of the time she was. But if something or someone got in her way she spoke up. And this was the case with Henry:

   Early in my cave career Henry decided that I did such a good job cleaning the outhouses that he always scheduled me for the early shift on Saturdays. My mother caught on fast that I'd always be going to work at 8:00 a.m. on Saturdays.

   So after a few weeks of this, one Saturday when she took me to work she went in and confronted him. She told him that I had to clean house on Saturdays and could no longer start before 11:00 a.m. on Saturdays. If he wouldn't change my schedule I'd have to quit. I no longer had to clean the outhouses!

Recent Crystal Cave Story:

   About two years ago I had to see a specialist about the skin cancer on my lower lip. He had forms to fill out and he was asking me lots of questions and writing down notes. When he asked me if I spent a lot of time in the sun during my childhood, I yelled out without thinking, "No - I grew up in a cave!" He totally lost it. I think they could hear him all over the hospital laughing loudly. So I had to tell him all about Crystal Cave. He was really fascinated by it all. And the last I heard, he was going to take his wife and two children there. So once a cave lady, always a cave lady.


Muriel Hanson Jeffrey ('59) - as told by Carol Leach

  Mur is my best friend and partner in crime. She didn't like guiding so she jumped at the chance to waitress in the dining room.

   Someone previously mentioned how wet the floor would get in the restaurant and this is where Mur's problems took place.

   Sundays were the worst. We were always so busy so extra humidity came up from the cave and caused lots of moisture on the dining room floor.

   On Sundays I spent my time in the little room at the cave entrance checking in groups. The wall separating me from the dining room was all windows so I had an excellent view of the entire room.

   One Sunday when Mur had a table close to the windows, with four adults at it, I looked up just in time to see Mur slip and toss a tossed salad right in a woman's lap. What a mess! But Mur didn't fall. She probably should have because she burst out laughing as she helped clear the Thousand Island dressing off the front of the poor woman who was speechless.


Another Muriel Hanson Story:

   On another typical Sunday, same table, same wet floor, she slipped and threw a glass of ice water on a woman. Once again laughter prevailed and this woman was also speechless. I imagine a little cold, too.


...and another Muriel Hanson Story:

   Everybody remember that the restroom doors opened up right on the dining room? No hallway - no way to disguise a trip to the restroom. Open the door and everybody could look right into the women's or men's room.

   If I'm rememberiing right the restaurant closed at 8:00 p.m. If Mur still had customers and she wanted to get rid of them, she'd take her pails and mops to the restrooms, prop the doors open and begin to clean them. For some reason, all the people in there got the message and left before she finished. Mission accomplished.


...and another Muriel Hanson Story:

   And my final story concerns the kitchen. Also my concern that time has run out for us to go to jail.

   Every Autumn in Spring Valley meant filling cars with adventurous people and heading for rural areas to "coon" apples. Mur always took sacks of apples home for her mother to make delicious apple pies.

   One day Mur got the idea to take apples to work and she started making apple pies. And apple pies were added to the menu. Pieces of pie with a dab of ice cream on top were a big hit. Homemade apple pie! And they were really good! They were called "MurMade" pies!


Back to Carol Leach's Stories:
    One of my favorite memories took place one Sunday evening. It had been an extremely busy Sunday and I was winding down. There was only one group in the Cave and no more going down.
    Dick Moe went into the family living quarters and came out with two old worn out tooth brushes. He told me if we hurried we could get to the Ballroom ahead of Tom LambÕs tour. He explained his plan as we were quietly making our way into the Ballroom.
    When Tom and his group came into the Ballroom, Dick and I were busy dusting off one of the walls with the toothbrushes and whistling a cheerful little tune. We completely ignored the group and Tom completely ignored us. His group chuckled however.
    He went on with his group and we went back upstairs. When he came up with his group not a word was said. I donÕt know if he ever brought it up with Dick, but he never mentioned it to me.


   On another busy Sunday I got word that a guide in the new section had a dead flashlight. So I headed down to give him a working flashlight.
    As I was heading through the Ballroom, Judy Hillstead was bringing her group into it. And without missing a beat, she turned her flashlight on me and announced to her group that I was the oldest fossil in the Cave. One of the few times in my life that I was speechless.


   As many of us Ņcave peopleÓ, I also started when Henry Friede owned the Cave. I remember being taught to make hollow ice cream cones. Whenever he wasnÕt looking over my shoulder, I made regular cones Š especially for kids. But two of my nephews were young then and loved to watch me make hollow cones for them. My sister-in-law however didnÕt like it at all. It came to an end.
    But one of those nephews who is now 52 years old mentioned it last August when he was here. And IÕm proud to say that to this day I can still make a pretty good hollow ice cream cone!

Cheryl Madson Weber ('57)
    Reading the notes of former employees of Crystal Cave brought back many memories of my days there. I worked there for two summers and really enjoyed most experiences; even those which brought challenges and frustrations.

   I found being a guide to be the most fun as I enjoyed meeting many really nice folks from all over the Midwest who seemed to politely endure our various stories etc. Such as the tight spot in the cave that we called the Sheep's Bend. "Let's go a little further, then make a EWE turn and RAM out!" I thought that was a huge chuckle and would enjoy my joke. Or how about the low hanging "rock of many names" called names by the folks who hit their head on it! Hurrying up the stairs ahead of the group to get the TIP jar out and drop some coins in it so the folks would get the message is in my memory bank as well!

   I developed an interest in "cave spelunking" or exploring and enjoyed the comraderie of those who joined our excursions into the unknown. It is a wonder that we did not get into serious trouble as we crawled on our bellies through some very tight places-unknown to Man!! The first time I went on one of these outings I had no idea of what to expect and had worn a new pair of pedal pushers for the occasion--what a mistake that was! I believe it was Al Brown's birthday and we were celebrating with cake and picnic fare!

   Mary and Billy and Henry were always a source of wonderment to me. I worked in their home on occasion and typed address labels and worked with the mailings; some days were diamonds and others were stones as the old John Denver song says!

   Thanks for the Memories.

John Kirk ('53)
    When I hear the name, Crystal Cave, it brings back memories of when I was a guide there. Guiding was mainly all I did except to put on those awful bumper stickers with the tin backs that cut your fingers if you weren't extremely careful.
    I can't remember what year it was that I began work at the cave but I must have been younger than sixteen because I didn't have a drivers license and had to bike both ways on the days that I worked.
    I didn't want to sell souvenirs or confections on the main floor so I volunteered for guiding. It didn't take me too long to discover that I chose the right job. It enabled me to get away from Henry Friede for about an hour at a time. This is about the length of time it took to get through the cave on a regular tour.
    Working around Mr. Friede taught me what a slave labor camp must have been like. His wife, Mary, was a great person. She was sympathetic, understanding and, in general, nice to be around. Unfortunately, she was on the chain gang just like the rest of us.
    Guiding was really quite nice. I enjoyed meeting people and for the most part they were nice and especially interested in learning about the history of the cave and how it was discovered by a Mr. Vanasse while digging for woodchucks, etc. Or so we were told. Once in a while one would get some damn brat in your group and I would often tell them that they had better behave or we would leave them down in the cave for the bats to devour. This usually shaped them up and I was never squealed on for saying that to them.
    Maybe we actually learned some work ethics and in that sense it help mold our sense of responsibility for future jobs that were yet to come our way.
    I can still remember some of my lingo that I used in my guiding but I would never want to go back down in the cave again.The ghost of Henry Friede might still be lurking around down there waiting to get even for all the goofing off I did whenever the situation presented itself and I thought I could get away with it. Maybe the old man of the cave was really Mr. Friede spying on us to make sure we were doing everything according to his instructions.
    In any event, I still have many memories of that episode and I'm sure they will be there in my mind for as long as I live.

Sharon Budd Alton ('58)

 Like Rita Traynor Lynum, my older brothers had worked at The Cave, so I had heard many stories about Mr. Henry Friede. Nevertheless I applied for a job and did guide, but I only worked for a month, then called on the telephone one Sunday when I didn't want to go to work, to say I was quitting, without giving any advance notice.
    I couldn't believe my folks let me do that, because it seemed so out of character for them to allow me to do something so irresponsible and selfish. It wasnÕt as if I was unaware that I would be working weekends and holidays when I applied for the job, I understood it. But I guess the reality of it didnÕt sink in until it was a beautiful day outside and the thought of spending it in The Cave while my friends had other plans, was simply too much for me.
    I questioned my dad when I was older about why they hadnÕt insisted I give more notice before allowing me to quit. He said he always felt we needed to learn how to make our own decisions by letting us make them as we were getting older, including bad decisions. Not that quitting was necessarily a bad decision, but for years I felt very guilty about not giving a two-week's notice, it bothered me quite a lot. I guess I did learn from it, since that is the only time I quit a job without giving a fair notice.
    My folks and the Friedes were friends, regardless of the many stories that circulated about Mr. Friede, and both my mother and father felt very sorry for Mary and I guess Billy as well Š I had forgotten about him, until I read LaurelÕs story. Friede seemed just as inconsiderate of his familyÕs feelings as he was of those of his employees. It seems to me that later they had a little girl, but IÕm certainly not sure about that.
    One time, many years later when I was probably already married and living in Minnesota, and long after the Friedes had moved away from The Valley, Henry stopped by to see my folks while we were there visiting. I happened to be scrubbing the floor for Mom and he really commended me for that, saying what a good daughter I was.

Tim Sandvig ('56)

   I worked at Crystal Cave for two summers while in school in Spring Valley. My first day on the job looked like it was going to be a very short career. As others have mentioned, Friede was very much into advertising. My first job was to address envelopes, stuff them with advertising and wet the adhesive with a sponge and seal the envelope. Friede came by checking on our progress, saw that a sealed envelope had opened and went crazy. The next envelope he tested, the adhesive held and he tore the envelope open spilling the advertising pamphlets all over the floor. This really set him off. I guess he thought that was my fault too. He lectured and threatened me with losing my job for what seemed like a long time. Finally, he saw someone else doing something wrong and left to yell at them.
    My favorite job while there was teaching others to be guides. I held this position for most of my 2nd year until I again did something to put myself in Henry's bad graces. He then gave me what he considered a very bad job. He gave me a big, two handed scythe, a small, one handed scythe and told me to cut all the tall grass along his driveway. As it turned out, I didn't mind the job at all. I was outside, by myself and there were shade trees to take a rest break under. At the end of my 2nd summer, I knew I would not be back the next year. I didn't tell Friede however, I wanted to make sure I got my Christmas bonus check.

   My least favorite jobs, while there were the bumper strips (every ones favorite), cutting the metal strips for bumper strips and being the first or last guide on duty each day. Being the first or last was a perfect opportunity for Friede to find fault with something you were doing. Girl guides especially hated being first on the job or the last to leave. Friede would follow them around, pointing out things they should know, while trying to put his arm around them. They had to be fast on their feet. Friede's wife Mary offered no protection for the girls. She and his small son Billy were as terrified of Henry as anyone there. Looking back, Crystal Cave was a learning experience and made you appreciate a real job and a good employer.

Judy Olson Putman ('60)

   I remember working for Mr. Friede. Not an easy task. He was a tough person to have for a boss. I was at the cave for four years, two as a guide and two working upstairs. I got in trouble as did Hap Litzell, for selling wonderful full ice cream cones and thus learned to roll the hollow scoop. (I did not get fired however). Another job was to cut the mold off the cheese, make chocolate malts, dust with TWO hands and in our spare time, we put the metal strips in the bumper tags.

   Taking tours down was easier than working upstairs because we were on our own down there. We just had to remember the 14 or 16 pages that we had memorized before we qualified as a guide. I stuck it out through thick and thin because if one would quit, we would lose out on the bonus which we collected at Christmas time which amounted to about 15 cents an hour. 

   The Moe family took over near the end of my time at the cave and I think we all learned that all employers were not so demanding and hard to work for.

Rita Trayor Lynum (Õ58)
    I worked at Crystal Cave for a total of three days between my Freshman and Sophomore years in High School. My brother Jim had worked there for a couple of years putting bumper sticks on cars, so my Dad thought I should work there also. I started there on July 3rd that year and worked the entire weekend selling soft drinks, ice cream or souvenirs to customers. I didnÕt have time to learn the script or the route of the cave to do tours so that is why I started working upstairs. I liked doing that job however I was hired as a tour guide and I was told I had to memorize the script so I could lead people down into the cave. After going down into the cave, with another guide, I knew this wasnÕt the job for me. I was so afraid IÕd get lost with a group of people in that cold, dark cave. I remember in one of the rooms the guide had to turn out the lights to show the people how total darkness looked and that scared me even more. So I refused to memorize my script, which didnÕt make my Dad very happy, and I quit the job. The days that I was there I remember Henry Friede lurking around all of the time to make sure everyone was working as hard as they could. He was such a slave driver and found fault with everyone; he would yell at his employees even in front of customers.
    Years later our sons went on a field trip to Crystal Cave from their elementary school in Lake Elmo, MN. Often when we would take our family to see my Mother, who lived off County Rd CC, our girls would beg us to take them to see Crystal Cave. I always answered flatly, ŅNOÓ. When they were adults, our daughters took their children to see the cave and I was more than willing to stay at home with the two younger ones who werenÕt old enough to go down into the cave.

Laurel Ninneman Falde ('57)

   I've been reading the letters submitted about working at the Cave and I can relate to every one of them. Mainly Bob Langer's story about missing a vital Sunday at work. I, too, got the boot for not going to work one Sunday in August, having failed to find a replacement. However, out of the "goodness of his heart" (someone said that he actually had one) He hired me back later (hard to get kids to work on the fall weekends) and magnanimously reinstated my bonus for what hours I worked that fall. My bonus check amounted to something like $4.00. Wow!   

   Checking people in and sending them into the cave with their guide was a much better job than spending all day in the cave. We also got $.05 raise...but we couldn't tell anyone. The tickets had to be signed by each tourist. This way, if they came back and brought a friend, they got in free, so long as they had their ticket with them. They needed to sign it again. We had to check each signature. It they didn't match, Mr. Friede "awarded" us with a bonus of $.50.
    Guiding was not pleasant work. Spending 8 hours underground (38*) every Sunday and maybe half that many on other days of the week was cold work. When we got to the hot drink machine Don Blegen mentioned, the guides were even known to help fill the Boss's coffers by having something hot. We each had to have $2.00 worth of coins to make change and you'd better be sure to have $2.00 at the end of the day. The guides dressed for the day underground, whereas summer tourists mostly showed up in tee shirts, shorts and sandals. Mr. Friede supplied maybe a dozen of the moldiest, mustiest , moth-eaten coats you can imagine. How anyone could put these on and wear them for an hour is beyond me, but they did. Each guide was supplied with a flash-light to point out things of interest. Flashlights without batteries would have worked as well as the ones we were given to use. If the batteries weren't already dead when you started a tour, you could figure they would be by the time the second level was reached.

   Working behind the counter was an experience, as Hap Litzell learned the hard way. Most of us got a lesson on rolling air into an ice cream cone before we were allowed to work in the inner sanctum. If anyone was at the jewelry counter, an employee had to stand right there, watching every second so someone didn't pocket any of the small pieces of jewelry. If you made a sale, you rang a bell and someone would come, get the money and take it to the cash register to have it rung up, thus never leaving the counter unguarded. None of us peons were allowed to run the cash register. That was only done by Henry, Mary or Luella Nelson.

   Peeling potatoes in the kitchen could be quite challenging. Mr. Friede would walk into the kitchen, pick peelings out of the bucket and if he found they were more potato than peeling, it was almost a capital offense. Mornings when the dining room was to open, someone had to be mopping up the water from the condensation. The floor was always wet, but we had to get enough water mopped up so no one could have toothpick races.

   Glenna Hanson Gunderson mentioned Danny Gauvin. I didn't realize he was still working there in the mid-sixties. He started about the same time that I did, 1954. Danny was a very talented guy and could be very funny. I wonder if anyone still has a copy of the poem he wrote about the "Monster from 90 feet below."

   Working at the Cave was an unforgettable experience for a teen-ager. Much as I disliked many parts of it, we had good times, made many great friends, learned how to work and made lots of lasting memories. I wouldn't trade the experience for anything.

   PS What ever happened to Billy?

Don Blegen ('57)
    Working at Crystal Cave was my first real job, a job with Social Security, withholding, checking in on a time clock, etc. I was 13 years old and got 35 cents an hour. Plus a potential bonus of five cents an hour for weekday work and 15 cents an hour for Sunday and holiday work. This bonus was held over our heads to make us more willing to work on days most everybody else got off, and to keep us obedient and servile, because if we quit or got canned, it was goodbye bonus.
    And, as you can see by the rest of the accounts here, getting canned or so fed up that you quit was not too rare. The bonus was awarded at a Christmas party long after the work year was over, and there were quite a few workers that started in the spring that didn't make it to the party.
    Henry Friede was a very shrewd businessman. He was a retired advertising executive, and he strongly believed in advertising. He gave away free restaurant order checks to bars, night clubs, cafes and similar businesses all over the Midwest. Each check had, on the back, a blurb advertising the wonders of Crystal Cave. He also insisted that every car that left the parking lot have a Crystal Cave bumper sticker on both front AND back bumpers. Woe to any parking lot worker if Henry's sharp eyes caught a car leaving without one!. The bright red stickers were attached by tin/aluminum alloy bands that had sharp edges, resulting in a lot of cuts and lacerations. Different cars had different sized bumpers so you had to use bands of different lengths. Some cars had especially difficult front bumpers. I remember Chryslers and Studebakers as being especially difficult. Sometimes, folks would return to their cars and see the bumper stickers and take exception to them. ŅGet those &^##! things off my car!Ó
    ŅYes, sir. Right away, sir.!Ó you would reply, looking over your shoulder to make sure Mr. Friede wasn't in the parking lot, inspecting. If he was, you immediately learned what it means to be Ņcaught between a rock and a hard place.Ó
    Mr. Friede believed in cross training. You learned about cleaning, putting on bumper stickers, applying decals to the souvenirs, and guiding, and many other chores, so that at any given time you could be used to get something done, even on slow days.
    But guiding was the main job. You memorized a long spiel that included the history of the cave, little gems of geology and paleontology, and a running patter on different fossils and features of three levels of the cave. A guide was responsible for a group of 16 adults and however many children they had with them. This was a fair amount of challenge and responsibility for a 13-year-old, and I can tell you that you got to learn a lot about meeting the public. Most folks were pretty good, but you learned right away that some people are stinkers!
    A cave tour lasted about an hour. So you got to escort 16 paying customers ($1.75 each at that time) plus their kids (their tickets cost less), for your wage of $.35. Pretty profitable deal for Mr. Friede. But that wasn't all. He had a hot drink machine down on the third level, with very hot water piped down there to mix with powdered cocoa, chicken broth, decaf, or regular coffee. Ten cents a pop. As a guide, you were expected to sell at least ten of those drinks to your group. It was up to you to figure out a way to make those people want those hot drinks. ŅIs anyone cold? It IS cold down here! Wouldn't a nice hot drink taste GOOD?Ó
    I found out later that Mr. Friede made a nickel apiece on those drinks. If you sold ten, that meant a profit of 50 cents. In other words, you paid your own salary plus another fifteen cents that might or might not be used to pay your bonus, depending on whether or not you stuck it out until the season was over. If you didn't, Mr. Friede pocketed the money. The ticket receipts were pure gravy.
    Working for Mr. Friede was a valuable experience. You learned how a business worked. You learned people skills. You had to exercise considerable self-discipline if you wanted that bonus. And you also resolved that some day, in the not-too-distant future, you would find a better job.

Glenna Gunderson ('65)

   I have some Crystal Cave stories, but I worked there well after some of the other people who've contributed. As many of you know, I am Wally Hansen's daughter, but in keeping with the era of these stories, am also Win Hansen's younger sister. As a side-note I've noticed the longer Spring Valley Alumni get away from their actual graduation date, the greater the embellishment of my father's reputation. I do know that many former FFA boys under my dad's supervision were treated fairly, given many opportunities and learned a great deal of respect from my dad.
    I worked at the "Cave" from 1963-66. I was a guide and of course like everyone else, when we weren't guiding, we worked various jobs in the gift shop area. The Moes were the Cave owners at that time. One of my jobs was to restock Geiser Potato Chip bags on the holders and in order to get more bags on the holder, Mr. Moe suggested I poke a small pin hole in each bag, so I could get more bags on the holder. However, if the chips didn't sell and if we had a stretch of humid weather in that un-airconditioned gift shop, the chips would tend to get a little stale and soggy and then we would have to deal with the complaints of chips from the customers.
    I also remember that several of us who worked at the Cave went on summer cave exploring trips with Dan Gauvin, our head guide. (How many years did Dan actually guide there?) Some of those who went exploring were Jane Davis, Susan Richardson, and Skip Baskin (Elmwood). We explored various caves where you would hardly have enough room to crawl between the base and the "ceiling."
    Not sure I would want to do that today, but what fun at the time.

Bob Langer ('56):

   I mostly enjoyed 2 years of slave labor, the social gatherings, the employee trips to other caves in the summer of course, but also working during the winter painting CC signs and installing them throughout the area even as it was snowing with our overseer boss, Mr Henry Friede watching from his warmed car.   

You know what at that age 14 to 16 it taught me a lot about working and working hard for someone else. Also his 5 cent hourly bonus over our regular hourly pay and 15 cents on Sundays created a real drive in me to do the right thing in anticipation of the big bonus check at Christmas time.

   Mr Friede fired me due to my refusal to work on a beautiful autumn Sunday after I committed to working and told me to never use his name as a reference. He was mad and he was right. Several years later he quickly forgot all about it and recognized me at Thompson's Cafˇ home from the service and could not say enough good things about my employment to my dear Mother. As he liked to point out I was pictured working behind the counter with Henry at the cash register on every CC brochure printed during those years of which I still have one. There you have story number one.

   I recall Jim Meier working at the cave and his comment about working eight hours on a Sunday and making nine trips through the cave. Each trip was a 55-minute tour. Mr. Friede should have given him an award and raise. Note: Jim graduated with the Class of '56 - he passed away several years ago.

Rosemary Wolf Meier ('56):

   A little Cave history for you. I think my dad and the hardware workers did the electrical wiring and made the pipe handrails. I suppose Harvey Ofstie would have been working at the store during that time, maybe Ralph Davis. Jim and I had our wedding reception at The Cave dining room. It was a small family affair.

Hap Litzell ('59):

   I have some memories of working at the cave, some good and some not so good.

   I started working during the summer of 1955. The cave was still owned by the Friede. Working for Henry F. was a miserable experience to say the least. I can't began to count the endless hours I spent in the parking lot in blistering heat putting "bumper Signs" on every car (front and back) bumpers. God help you if any car left that lot without a bumper sign on it! A lot of the people tore them off when they got back to hiway 29 and threw them in the ditch.

   On one particular weekend Henry had me working behind the counter in the "gift" shop selling ice cream cones. After a while, the vanilla ice cream was depleted so I told Mr. F. I needed another container. The man went absolutely berserk! He screamed at me in front of the customers and told me it was no damn wonder I ran out because I was putting too much ice cream in the cone. He then proceeded to show me how to make a "Hollow" scoop to put in the cone. Then, he took me back into his living quarters and royally chewed my butt out! He called me names that I had never even heard before. He said I was like a god-damn spineless fish and that I had no backbone. Needless to say he had me pretty scared! I'd never had anyone talk to me like that before or since! After all the chewing out, he fired me on the spot.

   After that, I worked setting pins in the bowling alley and also worked as a hired hand on a farm near Waverly for the grand sum of $1.00 per day!! That was a pretty good wage considering the days were only 12 to 14 hours long.

   It was during that summer that Mr. and Mrs. Moe purchased the Cave. When I found out it was under new management and that the people who bought it were "nice", I went up and applied for my old job. The Moes hired me and I must say I don't think I have ever worked for nicer people. They made us kids feel like family. Besides that, they had a couple daughters that were very easy on the eyes! I enjoyed a summer or two of employment with the Moes before I graduated and joined the Navy. I was truly saddened when I learned of their passing. If any of the Moe "kids" should see this snippet, feel free to contact me. Hap Litzell

Bev Brown Nuessmeier ('56) :

   I worked at the cave after we graduated and until I found a job in St. Paul. I remember the Friedes as being very particular and when you dusted all those "knick-knacks" you had better not break one or you had to pay for it. That is why to this day I don't have many of those things in my house...dusting them brings back memories. Also, those bumper stickers were awful...they were made of tin or something such thing and you had to put them on peoples car bumpers and you were always getting your fingers banged up...they were sharp.

Rosalie (Holden ) Meier ('53) :

   Oh yes, I remember only too well my first job at Crystal Cave. Henry Friede was "something else". I worked there between my Freshman and Sophomore years and also between the Sophomore and Junior years.
    Primarily I was a guide, but along with that there were other jobs. Probably the worst job was putting bumper strips on the cars in the parking lots which were attached with cleats. Occasionally Mr. Friede would come out and check to make sure they were secure and wouldn't fall off, and then let us know if we weren't doing it correctly! Also at times we were asked to dust the souvenirs in the gift shop, and a few times I went down to the kitchen and helped Mary peel potatoes.

   Of course the most prestigious job was that of "chief guide"!! There we lined up the groups to tour the caves and then a guide would take them down. These were fun summers as many of my friends worked there also, in spite of our sometimes difficult boss.

Chuck Wells ('58)

   I worked at Crystal Cave 54 years ago.
    They had me cleaning the rest rooms. I was too embarrassed to go into the ladies room so I'd just toss a bucket of water on the floor from the door and it would swish around and go down the drain. Little did I know that a woman was in the ladies room with her pants around her ankles when I did the swish. Needless to say, her pants got wet and that was the day I lost my job at Crystal cave. Those were the days!