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Mark Reinsmoen is a Luther College graduate who retired from teaching after 36 years in the classroom. An Army infantry veteran of the Viet Nam War, Mark is an avid cyclist, and he has taken several bicycle trips through Norway, France, and the Western United States. In 2010 and 2011 he completed RAGBRAI, the official bike ride across Iowa along with over “10,000 friends.” Mark has enjoyed participating in sports since his early years in Iowa, and he continues to pursue athletics by running, biking, swimming, and playing softball with other “seniors” at Sun City Grand in Surprise, Arizona. He and his wife Dianne spend their winters there, living very active lives and hosting sleepovers for their three young grandsons, (ages one, two, and three). Mark and his wife return to Burnsville, Minnesota, for the summer months to mow the grass, cheer for the Twins, and swat mosquitoes.
The early 1960s was a time of innocence and a time of promise as America was holding its breath, preparing itself for major changes that began emerging throughout the country. J-Hawk Nation paints a portrait of those magical years in a small rural Iowa community, as seen through the eyes of a sixteen-year-old boy. The heartfelt, nostalgic anecdotal stories recall milestones familiar to every reader . . . first love, the search for personal identity, questions that needed to be faced about the high school years and what lay ahead. But the soul of J-Hawk Nation is the extraordinary basketball team that is playing in its school’s final season, and the possibilities and dreams that open up when a sports columnist begins to write about the team and becomes involved in the team’s quest to leave a lasting legacy for the community. This lyrical tribute to the golden years of an unforgettable decade will resonate in your memory long after you have turned the final page.