Back in the early Sixties, I started the tradition at homecoming time, which continued for many years, of featuring a photo of each Litchfield High School football player alongside a paragraph emphasizing the player’s gridiron skills.

In truth, finding something positive to say about some of the players of lesser ability was a challenge. They were good kids, but not very good football players.

One of the players in that category in the Sixties was our current state legislator, Dean Urdahl. While Dean was never much of a high school athlete, his son Troy was one of the best all-around athletes ever to wear Dragons green.

Dean, who remains a good friend despite our long-standing political differences, often joked about those homecoming phrases I applied to him so many years ago. “Good, dependable reserve,” is the one I usually applied to Dean.

While Dean never developed into much of a football player, he has progressed markedly as a legislator.

The Star Tribune, on its editorial page recently, cited Rep. Urdahl’s effective nonpartisan work toward the passage of that all-important bonding bill, noting the contrast to the obstructive work of legislative colleagues like Rep. Kurt Daudt and Sen. Paul Gazelka.

While some of our more partisan readers may be dismayed by this, I see in Dean Urdahl’s legislative work a similarity to the work of that legislative giant from our area, Stan Holmquist, like Dean a resident of the Grove City area.

To say Dean’s recent effective nonpartisan work in the Legislature is remindful of the great work Stan Holmquist did in the Legislature is the highest accolade I can pay him.

— Stan Roeser is a former co-owner of the Litchfield Independent Review.