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Twins at Godwin.



Identical twins occur once every 254 births. In the US, fraternal twins occurred about once every 83 births before about 1963. In year 2007 the incidence of twins is complicated by the widespread use of fertility drugs, and the rate is down to about one in 31 births. And the odds for having fraternal twins go up with age. As women in year 2007 postpone having children until their later years, this too means more twins. The figures above are probably close enough for the years 1963 and before.

This section is meant to look at twins at Godwin in 1963 and before. One section covers identical twins, and another fraternal. It's likely that most classes had no identical twins at all, but might well have had one or more sets of fraternal twins.

Twins contests have been held for decades. One can see from the meeting of the International Twins Association that there are many categories of judging for twins contests.

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Below is a glimpse of a twins contest held around July, 20, 1976. In the bottom photo one can see Patsy and Polly Goeman at the left.

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Unspoken, the meets are probably only for identical twins. A seeming oxymoron, one category is the most unidentical identical twins. While not known in 1946, there are now known to be genetic reasons why identical twins might not appear so similar. The phenomena of semi-identical twins.

Clearly the women get in to the event more than the men. The women obtain an edge by dressing alike. The men, well, they don't. Or maybe those above are in the most unidentical identical twin contest...

The entries below need confirmation in some cases. Most have been select based on the fact that two people have the same last name and graduated in the same year. The more uncommon the last name is the more likely it will be that this strategy is successful. In some cases the entries will be simply wrong, and any feedback to this effect will be appreciated.

The list is likely very incomplete. In some cases one of the twins will have dropped out, which was more common 60 or so years ago than today. In other cases some will have moved away just before graduating. And finally, the birth rate for fraternal twins suggests there should be many more names on the list. During WWII people died and male twins were split up.



Identical twins



Class of 1933



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Emmaline and Vera Mae Strehle.

Based on 1933 class photograph. The twins are on the left and right sides of the photo.





Class of 1950



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Allen W. and Elwood H. Knight.



Class of 1952



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Keith and Kenneth Poirier.




Class of 1953



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Bonnie and Yvonne Cady.



Class of 1954



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Ray and Roy Keech




Class of 1959

In a twist on the words found in Orwell's "Animal Farm," some identical twins are more identical than others. Patsy and Polly Goeman entered and won contests to find the most similar twins. Since identical means the same, it seems ironic that some identical twins are more distinguishable than other. The piece below is an example of a contest, and shows that they won contests at a state level.

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Material provided by Polly Goeman, class of 1959.

According to an authority, Polly, Pasty is on the left. Polly also says the women continued to go to twins contests for years after graduating from Godwin. One such event is held, naturally, in Twinsburg, OH.




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Material provided by Polly Goeman, class of 1959.

An early photo of the twins. Polly is on the left. They were 2 or 3 at the time.


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Material provided by Polly Goeman, class of 1959.

The Goeman family in about 1953.


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Material provided by Polly Goeman, class of 1959.



Patsy is on the left.


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Material provided by Polly Goeman, class of 1959.

A bedroom for identical people. The two halves are almost mirror images.




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Material provided by Polly Goeman, class of 1959.

Another twin contest. Recognizing that people do change as they age, apparently there were defined aged groups for the competitions.





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Material provided by Polly Goeman, class of 1959.

Notice the old airport terminal just to the right of Polly's head. The women lived on Jefferson Avenue during their Godwin days, and could delight in the sights and sounds of the old airport, as well as easily walk to Godwin.



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Material provided by Polly Goeman, class of 1959.




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Material provided by Polly Goeman, class of 1959.

Is it Polly or Patsy? The answer is in the class photo.


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Material provided by Polly Goeman, class of 1959.

Try again. Is it Polly or Patsy?

You're probably wrong. In fact, it's Mrs. Goeman, Patsy's and Polly's mother.




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Material provided by Polly Goeman, class of 1959.

Patsy and Polly attended airline training school after graduation. It seems that at the time one had to be 21 years old to fly, and the women were 19. So their first jobs were as ticket agents or reservationists, but not as stewardesses. Neither ever did fly. There was also a requirement that stewardesses could not be married. In year 2007 the airlines might be sued out of business for policies like these, but at the time they seemed to make sense.





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Material provided by Polly Goeman, class of 1959.

Co-vice presidents of the Michigan Twins Association after graduating from highschool, Polly, left, and Patsy Goeman had arranged for a tour of the Kent County Jail was organized through their father, Martin Goeman, at the right. The photograph is dated July 24, 1961. The next day there would be a contest to determine the most identical twins.



Class of 1962



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Sandra and Sue A. DeCoux



Fraternal twins



Class of 1927



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Esther and Josina Vanden Burg





Class of 1933



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Merle and Wilbur Hoppie

The twins are in the upper right and lower left corners. It's not clear that both graduated. This is based on a tenth grade photograph in the 1931 annual, "The Acorn." It's quite possible they are identical twins.





Class of 1934



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Clarence and Louise Sikkema.

From a 9th grade photograph in the 1931 class annual, "The Acorn." Louise is in the bottem left corner and Clarence is in the upper right corner.





Class of 1935



Eileen and Myrtle Slotman. There is no available photograph, even from earlier annuals. Perhaps they moved in to the district when they were in the 9th grade or later, in which case they would appear in no annual. It's also possible they are identical twins, but this can't be known for now. The odds are they are fraternal, so for now this is how they will be categorized.




Class of 1938



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Esther and Leona Leggett





Class of 1940



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Andrew and Johanna Kommer





Class of 1941



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Anthony and Ethel Mihalik





Class of 1942



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Dora and Elmer Leggett





Class of 1942



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Donna, Edwin, and Gerald Hess.

Two of the three are possibly twins. A guess is Donna nad Gerald, but this needs verification.




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Guilda and Harry Wilson. Needs confirmation - Wilson is a common name.




Class of 1943



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Barbara and Charles Knapp




Class of 1947



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Geraldine and Kenneth Lemmon




Class of 1947



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Geraldine Hansen. No senior photo for Clarence Hansen available.




Class of 1949



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Joyce and Patricia Ziemann.




Class of 1952



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Lillian and James Jefferys




Class of 1954



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Mike and Nancy Collins




Class of 1955



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Irving and Maridene De Young




Class of 1956



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Patricia and Peggy Hendrickson. It's possible these are identical twins.




Class of 1957



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Richard and Robert Knapp.




Class of 1957



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Ruth and Roger Conklin




Class of 1958



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Charelene and Harrison Holmes.




Class of 1958



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Simmons




Class of 1958



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James and Sharon Stehouwer.




Class of 1959



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Kenneth and Ruth Meringa.




Class of 1960



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Shirley and Thomas Cordtz




Class of 1960



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Mike and Richard Peterson. Needs confirmation.




Class of 1961



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Jan and Ray Vonk





Class of 1962



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Joyce and Robert Radaz.




Class of 1962



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Patricia and Roger Rouse