A room full of hot air

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2,000 balloons in President Schultz’s office2,000 balloons in President Schultz’s officeRight before Bethel Board meetings in 1977, President Harold Schultz found his office full of balloons. Reportedly, they were all blown up by mouth (no helium tanks involved).

In convocation that morning, Schultz invited students to come by his office and take some balloons — his secretary, Ilene Schmidt, would provide string so they could make “balloon bouquets.”

Years later, after the statute of limitations on breaking and entering had expired, Steve Carlson sent Schultz a sales receipt for 2,000 balloons. All 23 pranksters, from Carlson to Mark Ediger to Jesse Huxman to Blair Loganbill to Brent Voran, had signed the receipt.

As the balloons were being cleared away, Schultz’s young son, Christopher, age 9 at the time, found an incriminating backpack in a corner of the office. The student to whom it belonged, knowing he had left it behind, showed up and offered Chris a dollar to give him the backpack and forget the whole thing. Chris refused and said he was going to take the backpack home. In a panic, the student offered $5. Chris gladly took the money and handed over the backpack — then went home and reported everything to his dad, including his delight over suckering a college student out of five bucks.

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