Ad Spot

A quirk of years: Anderson family members enjoy a unique connection

There are plenty of things in this world that lend themselves to mystery: the pyramids, Easter Island, Stonehenge, and in Austin, the Anderson family.

Three members of the family, Lowell Anderson, his son Jeff and Jeff’s son Evan, have an interesting sort of math between the three of them that is practically unheard of.

And to know this math is to understand the years involved with the three, all of them graduates of Austin High School.

Here’s the breakdown in the form of a story problem: Lowell was born in 1935 and graduated in 1953 (35, 53), Jeff was born in 1968 and graduated in 1986 (68, 86), and Evan was born in 2002 and graduated in 2020 (02, 20).

Three generations of Anderson that include Jeff (dad), Lowell (grandpa) and Evan (grandson) have an interesting tale to tell that’s a rare sort of math. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

Solve for X, or in this case, maybe solve for the odds on how this came to be.

One thing is for sure, it wasn’t planned.

“It’s nothing we planned, it just happened,” Lowell confirmed. “Why it happened, I don’t know.”

Clearly, there’s nothing strange about graduating within the time frame allowed in our equation. But in this case rather, it’s in the years in which they occurred.

Look again: Lowell born in 1935, graduated in 1953. Probably not so rare, but when you look at Jeff and Evan, you get the same sort of pattern, and it gets a little weird, especially when you add in the extra bit that Lowell started his job at the Hormel print shop in 1969 and, you guessed it, retired in 1996.

While this quirk of life probably won’t bring a party to a standstill, it has been a fun piece of trivia.

“I have told some of my friends about it,” Evan said. “It’s just kind of a funny thing. You bring it up in conversation. It’s something cool to talk about.”

This oddity of numbers has been in the minds of all three for a while, so the overall revelation isn’t new.

In Jeff’s case, he was able to connect the dots through his life and his son’s life. It became particularly noticeable when Evan was young.

“I remember when Evan was in kindergarten and it was announced this would be the class of 2020,” Jeff said. “How ironic is it that three of us would have a similar thing?”

Over their combined lifespans, the three have formed a pretty personal connection to history as well. Not just the changing of things over time, but to some pretty specific periods of time.

Lowell just missed on being drafted for the Korean War, though he would eventually end up serving, while in 1986, Jeff graduated during the Hormel strike, and Evan, well he graduated in the year 2020, the year of COVID-19.

It’s a connection that’s not lost on the family.

“When I turned 50 I was the same age dad was the year of the strike,” Jeff said. “I just remember thinking, at that age, to go through that trauma, how difficult that had to have been.”

Lowell and Jeff have both seen plenty of changes through time while Evan has yet to live the years before him. In particular, Lowell and Jeff have seen the change of technology that was revolutionary.

“I was in vocational school at the high school and when I graduated I went to work for the Herald,” Lowell said. “Hot metal linotype to the computer age. I got out right before then.”

Jeff, too, has seen the change in technology over his years 29 years in education. It revolutionized the schools themselves and the way education was delivered.

“It’s completely changed,” Jeff said. “Just the technology aspect of it. Being able to adapt to technology revolutionized what we do.”

Evan suspects that the technology change will continue during his continuing years.

“It will probably be a lot more change than what it is now,” he said. “The tech is going to get bigger and better (or smaller and better maybe). Things I think of now I can’t even comprehend is what is going to be in the future.”

But for now, the three of them have a pretty good story to tell and it’s a story that very few families can claim.

“I just think it’s kind of random and interesting,” Jeff said. “It’s something that makes us a little bit unique.”

Mower County

MDH reports 6 new COVID-19 cases in Mower County

News

Minn. congressional hopefuls stress their farm bona fides

Crime, Courts & Emergencies

Man charged with breaking into apartment, holding woman hostage

News

1.2 million seek jobless aid after $600 federal check ends

Business

Hy-Vee stores now accept SNAP/EBT as payment for grocery pick-up orders

Health

MDH reports 4 new COVID-19 cases in Mower County

News

World responds to Lebanon’s plight, France’s Macron to visit

Local Government

Mayor candidate Q&A: Making Austin a welcoming community

Mower County

County board allocates CARES Act funds

Mower County

A change of seasons

Local Government

Council aiming for four percent tax levy increase

News

Minneapolis mayor: City seeks right mentors for new officers

Local Government

Council prioritizes Hormel Foundation grant requests

Local Government

Council looking to add more land to city deer hunt

Mower County

Friends of the Public Library hosting virtual costume contest

News

Voters sue Walz to block face masks at Minnesota polls

News

Some critics see sexism in debate over Biden VP

News

2020 Minnesota Governor’s Pheasant Hunt Opener postponed

Mower County

3 new COVID-19 cases brings cases to 1,084

News

‘A line in the sand’: Both sides dig in on virus relief bill

Mower County

Zonta International commemorated World Day Against Trafficking in Persons

Mower County

‘Karl’s Tourney’ is on with an online fundraiser

Health

Weekend sees 17 COVID-19 case increase in Mower County

News

Virus relief bill remains up in air as negotiations resume