The Briefcase

by Dave Burback, as told to Chuck Street, 1969


Recently, Father Earl’s nephew, Jim La Riviere, was rummaging around in the attic of his father's home, when he discovered a large stash of items that belonged to his Uncle Earl. Father Earl was a towering presence at family reunions, and he frequently said Mass in the homes of his brothers. Each Mass was considered a special event!

Jim La Riviere had not given any attention to the contents of his own father's attic until just recently. He was amazed to find a battered briefcase with the words "Earl W. La Riviere, AHS Class 69 - It's the principal of the Thing!" See the photo of the briefcase on the La Riviere Society web site.

Aquinas class of 1969 president Dave Burback remembered presenting the case to Father Earl at their graduation ceremony. Dave said the leadership of their class wanted to show their appreciation to Father La Riviere – for his dedication to superior teaching and his inspiring example as a person. Dave recalled that the briefcase cost about $25. He said "Father Earl was surprised, a bit overwhelmed, and even humbled by the gesture!" Both Dave and ASB president Tom Corcovelos were amazed that the briefcase still existed, almost 50 years after its presentation. And they were flattered that Father La Riviere actually used it for so many years. Wow! What a blast from the past!