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History repeating itself for Butch Kane: Hastings man stood in front row for ribbon-cutting to open bridge in 1951

Butch Kane of Hastings is pictured in the front row, second from the left, in the stocking cap. He skipped school to attend the ribbon cutting that opened the current Highway 61 bridge in February of 1951. Hastings Gazette photo

Next week, when one lane in each direction is routed onto the new Highway 61 bridge in Hastings, you'd better believe you'll find Butch Kane standing by.

History will repeat itself.

In 1951, when Kane was an 8-year-old fourth-grader at Guardian Angels school, he skipped out of school to attend the ribbon cutting for the current bridge. He was standing right next to Hastings mayor John Werth when the ribbon was cut to officially open the bridge, and his picture ended up in the newspaper.

When the bridge partially opens next week, Kane won't miss it.

"I'll be there," he said. "I'll sneak in just like I did before."

He said he remembers the opening in 1951 well.

"It seems like yesterday," he said.

Kane said that public school students were given the day off to go watch the festivities, but at the Catholic school, no such holiday was granted. He took matters into his own hands and managed to get out of school. His cover was certainly blown when he ended up in the newspaper, but Kane didn't worry about that.

In an odd twist of fate, the woman pictured directly behind Kane ended up being his sister-in-law.

Pictured behind him is Carol Simonson. Years later, Kane married her sister Joette.