Tuesday, January 31, 2006


I promised that the next two entries would be Chris Staudinger and Tom Grassman. Look for Chris on Wednesday. But despite requests from two different people, my Tom story is going to have to wait a few days. Why? Because an update in the Tom story hasn't happened yet.


Here's a little tidbit on Tom. He's played in many local bands in and around the area where he now lives. However, after 17 years since his last visit, Tom is returning to Two Rivers. He's going to be performing at a place called The Waverly Inn.

I couldn't possibly pass this up. So Meff and I are heading back up to Carptown together - a rarity in itself. And we're going to watch Tom play. My digital camera will be coming along. He has no idea we're coming. I'm sure he'll be shocked.

So if anyone in the area wants to come see me, or take a swing at me (Craig, are you out there?) come to the Waverly Inn on Friday night. Showtime is 8:30.


I first met Mark in 8th grade. We shared Mr. Fencl's reading class, in addtion to Mr. Franke's science class. We got to be good friends.

Mark was kind of a runt. He was thin and short. But he was a really cool guy. Some of my early memories of him are from Fencl's class. Jeff Salstrand used to try to spit on Mark nearly everyday. Why? I don't know.

Mark used to come over to my house on occasion. We would play Atari and look at my dad's Penthouse Magazines.

Although I was unable to attend the 8th grade end-of-the-year picnic due to disciplinary reasons, I do know something that went on there. Richard and Meff came up with the idea to pee in a squirt gun, then shoot people with it. Richard pretty much did all the dirty work. To hear him describe it years later, it was pretty gross. Richard held the squirt gun up to his willy, and peed into it. Do you remember the tiny holes those things had? Have you ever tried to have a slow, drawn out pee? Forget it! It won't work. Richard apparently peed all over the gun as well as his hands. But in the process, he managed to fill the thing up. After cleaning up, Richard took the gun outside and allegedly made poor Mark his victim - several times. I wonder if Mark ever knew what hit him?

In our freshman year, we sat next to one another and endured a semester of Mr. Hough's history class.

Side note. For anyone who went to Clarke, do you remember that as freshman, the trio of Mr. Hough, Mr. Wood and Mrs. Mull used to constantly berate anyone that had gone to Clarke? If I had a fricken nickel for everytime one of them would say, "This ain't L.B. Clarke." Jesus, were we that bad? As a senior, I ran into Clarke teacher Mr. Schambureck. He said that at various school meetings amongst staff members from all the public schools, Mr. Hough would never stop talking about how horrible the students at Clarke were. What a worm.

Anyway, in the fall of our freshman year, Mark and I would join Kevin Dehne, and ride our bikes all over town, inevitably winding up back at Kevin's house. One time Mark tried to hop a curb or something, as he was going pretty fast. He wiped out and hit the concrete pretty hard, cutting open his hand. The best I could offer was a band-aid.

After our freshman year, Mark and I stopped hanging around with each other. Nothing happened. We just grew apart I guess. I think Mark started hanging around with fellow graduate Jeff Rausch.

After high school, I ran into Mark a few times at the video store. We talked a little bit. He remained friendly as always. He ended up getting married in 1996 to a girl named Ralee (cool name). Last I knew, they had two kids, and were living in Two Rivers.

UPDATE - 7/20/06 - On July 15th, Kevin Dehne and I stopped to see Mark. He didn't recognize us at first, and was somewhat reluctant. But he soon warmed up. He mentioned that he'd read this blog, and was a bit surprised to find out he'd been squirted with Richard Wheeler's urine. But he laughed about it. Mark lives out in the country, northwest of Two Rivers. He has a gigantic garage next to his normal garage. He's got an old car and a Harley as well. The shots below are of Mark, his wife, his kids, and Kevin and I.


Known as "Rozy" to his friends - or sometimes, "the bear."

For someone that I first got to know in 5th grade, I have surprisngly little material about him.

My first memories from Jay are from 5th grade. We had Ms. Krause together. One of things that a lot of us guys would do, was play some sort of war battle game on paper. We would draw a line down the middle. Then each person would draw a flag as far away from the middle as possible. We would then draw hundreds of tanks. Each person would then take turns with their pencil. You could eaither say "shooting" or "advancing." Either way, you would put the tip of your pencil on your tank, put your finger on the eraser part, then try to slide the lead on the paper. If your line hit an enemy tank, it was destroyed. If you were advancing, you would move to wherever your line ended. The object of course was to eventually shoot the other player's flag.

Anyway, Jay and I took the game to larger proportions. I got a big piece of construction paper from Mr. Spatz' art room. We then covered that with our various tanks. We played that game for weeks. And to be honest with you, it ended up being too much. I'm pretty sure we never finished it.

One of the things that distinguishes Jay was the manner in which he walked. He kind of slowly walked with a strut - with an emphasis on the shoulders. Picture Mr. Blonde in "Reservoir Dogs," when he first comes back inside the warehouse, right before he cuts the guy's ear off. That was Jay. Jay didn't move his arms when he struted. But he certainly swayed his shoulders.

In high school, I believe Jay dated class of 1990's Stacy Harms.

Jay was a member of the swimming team. I know firsthand that he had incredible lungs. No no, we never kissed. But in our junior year, I had Mrs. Berg for gym class when we had our six weeks of swimming. One of things she tested us on was underwater swimming. This is where I starred. Only one or two people in our class could swim the width of our pool underwater. But I could do two laps. Eventually I got to 2.5 and 2.75. Mrs. Berg kept a chart on the wall of the top underwater swimmers from all her classes. Only one person was ahead of me. It was Jay. He had done three laps. Everyday of class, encouraged by Richard, I set out to macth Jay's performance. I checked the chart each class. Jay was on three, as I was improving from two, and getting ever so close to three. Then one day I came to class, determined that that would be the day. I looked at the chart. "Fuck!" Jay had increased his record to four full laps! Dejected, I gave up. I know I could have done three. But Jesus, I'd never do four. Jay must have lungs the size of pillows.

In our senior year, Jay was one of the students who went to Mexico with the spanish class. Allegedly, he and Richard Wheeler smoked pot together while they were down there. I shudder to hink what would have happened to them, had they got caught. If watching thousands of movies has taught me anything, it's that Mexican prisons are not a great place to be.

I believe that Jay was also the ringleader of the senior commons poker games. Apparently several of the seniors used to play poker for big money. From what I heard, Jay used to keep track of all the winnings in a notebook. Eveyone knew what was going on. But they felt safe because no money was ever seen. The big time poker players used to settle up later on. I believe Jason Anderson and Craig Rysticken were also involved. I heard that Craig cleaned up more than anyone. My friend Dave joined the group one day - and ended up about $40.00 in the hole. He never played again. The fun came to an end when Mr. Wood busted them all.

After High School, I believe Jay went to UW Madison to learn about engineering or something. I believe he's married with two kids, and living in Berlin, Wisconsin. I believe he has coached some local swimming teams in his area.

Monday, January 30, 2006


When I think of Kurt Psenicka, a few words come to mind - words like moron, pig and slob.

I think Kurt joined us at Magee, in 5th grade. If not, he definitely joined us for 6th grade at Clarke. One of the two is correct.

At the time, my two best friends were Chris Lohr (a.k.a. Chris Storlie) and Doug Wall. And the two of them took a fancy to Kurt. Although personally, I never did. I found Kurt to be an absolute idiot. He was stupid and loud. I think he smelled too. Nonetheless, Chris dragged the buffoon over to my house once. When he left, I noticed that my watch was missing. Granted, it was a cheap Snoopy watch that I hadn't worn in years. But it was there when he arrived, and gone when he left. You do the math. I was more surprised that Kurt could tell time.

In 7th grade, for whatever reason, Kurt challenged both Toby Schwartz and myself to a fight. It wasn't one-on-one mind you. He wanted to take on both of us at the same time. Now I was never one who had any interest in fighting anybody. But the prospect of a two-on-one situation intrigued me. So Toby and I took him up on the offer.

We were to meet up after school, in front of the teachers' parking lot, outside of Mr. Stodola's window. I guess we were all set to go, when all of a sudden, class of 1988's Mike Schwahert appeared. Apparently unrelated to us, Mike wanted to beat the crap out of Kurt for some reason. As soon as Mike appeared, Kurt took off running, and was gone. Our big fight never took place.

In high school, Kurt inevitably found himself in several special education classes. I can remember him walking down the hall, loudly yelling out to a friend of his, calling him "a banana in a tailpipe." Anyone who has seen Beverly Hills Cop knows where that phrase comes from. But what kind of insult is that?

In my junior year, Kurt sat a few seats down from me in study hall. Everyday (and I mean literally, every single day) he would walk in and greet me with, "Burt you buttfuck." Richard and I used to try to break this phrase down. What exactly was Kurt trying to say to me? Was he asking me a question, as in, "Burt, do you buttfuck?" Was he making a statement, as in, "Burt, I know that you buttfuck." Perhaps he was merely labeling me, as in, "Burt, you are a buttfuck." Or maybe he knew that I buttfucked, and was shocked about it, as in "Burt, of all people, YOU buttfuck?" Sadly, based on his "banana in a tailpipe" insult listed above, he was probably labeling me as a buttfuck. I guess Kurt enjoyed insulting people by applying labels to them that didn't make sense. Seriously Kurt, can you apply a verb as an insult? Buttfucking is an actual action. Just as people can walk, talk, drive and chew gum, they can also buttfuck. So based on Kurt logic, he could also call me a "chew" or a "walk." "Burt you chew." It's nonsense to me. But in Kurt's world, apparently it makes perfect sense.

I also recall Kurt walking down the halls carrying the Satanic bible. He was no doubt inspired by me, as I had turned quite a few heads a few months earlier, when I was reading it. For the record, I am not a Satanist - never was. But it is an interesting book to read. And trust me on this one. Kurt Psenicka would not be able to comprehend a single thing written in that book. But I guess he enjoyed the whole shock value aspect of it.

Kurt never graudated with us. I don't think he was there at all for our senior year. I did run into Kurt a few times at the video store. We never said much to each other. The last I knew, he had never married, and was living in a Two Rivers apartment with a roommate - none other than Doug Wall.

UPDATE - 7/20/06 - Kurt is still living with Doug Wall. Kurt's girlfriend also lives with them. She is currently pregnant. So Kurt will be a dad in the near future. Three pictures from July 15th (when Kevin Dehne and I visited him) can be seen below. You might note that Kurt is favoring his left arm, having recently hurt it at work.

UPDATE - 11/22/06 - Here is some video from that July 15th visit.


I'm really at a loss on this one. I believe she was with us for all four years of high school. But I have no concrete memories of her at all. Pretty much all I know is that on our senior video, she joined Kim Nokes and Julie Landon, and sang a few songs.

After high school, I have no idea what she did. She expressed an interest in working with little kids. She may have moved to Green Bay. Because it appears as if she adopted a dog from the Green Bay area humane society. She got a boxer named Petey. At some point, Kelli moved to Minneapolis - where she may still be today. I believe she eventually married, and became Kelli Bartol. If you're interested, look her up. If you have any school memories of her, share them. Because I got nothing.

UPDATE - 3/8/06 - Kelli has provided me a picture of her and her son Aiden, after his first haircut. Thanks Kelli. Click it to see it larger.


Ok, admitedly, this one is a real stretch. Cory was a staple of the Two Rivers Public School System, through 8th grade, when his parents decided to ship him off to Roncalli. But what the hell. Jason Anderson already mentioned him in his comments. And there's no doubt that others will recall him. So here goes.

I first met Cory in 5th grade - in Ms. Krause's class. Jason put it best. Cory was kind of a dick. He was rather loud and obnoxious. But he more-or-less got along with everyobody. I think he was part of the whole football card trading crew. What I remember from that year is a joke he told me. What do you call a girl with braces? A Black & Decker pecker wrecker. Priceless.

In that same year, I also recall Cory talking about where he would go if his parents ever died. He lamented the fact that he would remain in Wisconsin, while his brother would be moving to California to live with an uncle or something. He was jealous. Geez Cory, wouldn't the bigger issue be that your parents had just died???

Fast forward to 8th grade. By this time, a select few dubbed him with the nickname of "popper." Don't ask me what it means. Cory and Lance Spradlin once got into a small altercation near their lockers. Some punches were thrown. Mr. Stodola caught them, dragged them into his room (where I was staying after school on this day) and forced them to apologize to each other, and shake hands. Cory congratulated Lance on throwing a good punch.

My biggest Cory memory also comes from 8th grade. It's from November, 1984. It was right before the presidential election. L.B. Clarke school, in its ultimate wisdom, decided to hold a mock debate in the gym. And the moderators were students. I recall Richard Wheeler and John Kern being on the Democrats' side.

At one point, they fielded questions from the crowd. Cory had one. He posed some sort of question about coat hangar abortions. I'm, not sure what exactly happened. But somehow Cory got up, was egged on, and came down the bleachers, and joined the panel, where he sounded off about his views on coat hangar abortions. Eventually the debate turned to other topics. But the unprepared Cory stayed on the panel. Whenever it came to him to speak, he changed the topic again, always going back to coat hangar abortions. He did this several times. I think they eventually stopped talking to him.

The debate ended with half the students chanting "Reagan, Reagan," while the other half (well, probably slightly less than half) chanted "Mondale, Mondale." We all then had the chance to vote. The next day, Ms. Koeppe announced the results. My numbers are obviously wrong. But it went something like this"

Reagan - 135
Mondale - 115
Other - 200

Yeah, we really took that vote seriously.

I saw Cory several times at the video store. He was nice enough. I do remember he tried to pick up a girl once, by telling her that she smelled really nice. He and his movie left alone. The last I knew, he was still living in Two Rivers.

Sunday, January 29, 2006


Phuong joined us in sophomore year. Where she came from is a mystery to me. She has the distinction of beings someone who has her named spelled multiple ways, depending on the yearbook. As a sophomore and junior she was Phoung. As a senior, she was Phuong. I believe the senior yearbook got it right.

I don't have a whole lot of firsthand accounts of Phuong. She and I didn't cross paths too often. But in the little time that we did communicate, it was pleasent. I think a lot of people sort of viewed her as catty. But with me, she was cool.

In our senior year, I had Phuong in Mr. Kakuk's sociology class. On Fridays, we would have sort of a free day. Mr. Kakuk would split the class into two groups and read us trivia questions. I kicked ass at this, and would generally lead the class in questions answered. But after awhile, I could no longer play, as Mr. Wegner (a class I had before Mr. Kakuk's) started doing the same thing in his class. And because I knew many of the answers, it wasn't fair. So on occasion, I would try to whisper an answer to a teammate. One day I did just that. And Phuong was convinced that the person I told would never have known the answer. She was convinced I had told - which of course I had. She tried to stare me down, make me laugh, and get me to admit what I had done. She almost got me too. But I was able to keep it in, and not burst out. After a few minutes of Phuong's stink eye, she turned away. Whew!

As a junior, an interesting event happened. Apparently fellow graduate Joe Antonie couldn't stand Phuong. So he drew a rather unflattering picture of her. Joe was a decent artist. And the likeness was incredible. Photocopies were made, and spread around school. From what I heard, Phuong was furious about it. Although she allegedly never knew who was behind the drawing. Sorry Joe. After 18 years, I can't keep it to myself anymore. Your secret is out. Joe gave me the last copy he had. And now, after all these years, let this picture breathe life once again! Click it for the full-size version.

If you view are senior video, you'll see a group scene with several students. Both Joe and Phuong are in it. And Phuong is actually next to Joe, kind of playing with his left ear. Joe is kind of smiling, trying to be polite. But it looks like he is uncomfortable, and gritting his teeth about it. I don't think he liked Phuong at all!

After graduation, I don't think I ever saw Phuong. I believe she may have moved to Milwaukee for awhile in the mid-1990's - perhaps to go to school. Today I'm pretty sure she resides in New York City.

UPDATE - 8/15/06 - Phuong has sent me a recent picture. You can see it below.

Saturday, January 28, 2006


In honor of Gus' comments in my David Kanera post, I've decided to post something on the weekend. So Gus, this is you - from my perspective.

His name was Tom. But he was better knows as "Gus" - or "Gussie G"

Gus joined us just for our senior year. I'm not sure where he originally came from. But he was a breath of fresh air.

I first got to know him in Mr. Wegner's Current Events class. Gus sat right in front of me. Was there anyone more cheerful and outgoing than Gus? Perhaps B.J. Lutterman. But B.J. left us after freshman year. Gus always had a smile on his face, and was about as good-natured as anyone I've ever known. Everytime he saw me he would greet me with a loud, "BURT!" It was hard not to like the guy.

I don't have a whole lot of memories about Gus. But one minor thing stands out. As mentioned above, we were discussing the current events in the news. And in the fall of 1988, there was (if memory serves) some huge catastrophe in Armenia or somewhere. I think it may have been an earthquake that killed tens of thousands - perhaps hundreds of thousands. Mr. Wegner was talking about how the country was having problems with looting. Apparently some people were raiding the pockets of the dead bodies that were strewn about. Mr. Wegner was disgusted by this, and said so. But Gus raised his hand with what I thought was a good point. He told Mr. Wegner that he shouldn't be so quick to condemn the looters of the dead people, because he wasn't in the same position that they were. In other words, if your home and village were destroyed, and you were in that type of desperate situation, then you too might actually lower yourself to raid the pockets of a corpse. Mr. Wegner still insisted that he would never do such a thing. But Gus argued that he couldn't possibly say for sure. It was a cool exhange to witness. Way to go Gus!

Gus appears twice on our senior video. In one scene, he sings a rap he wrote about the class of 1989. His second appearance is a bit more odd. He faces the camera with a huge handful of grapes, then stuffs them all in his mouth and chews them up. I have no idea what that was all about. I'm sure it's something that I was never made aware of. But I've always been curious.

Gus is one of the rare people that I never ran into after graduation. I knew nothing about his life after highschool. But if memory serves, he was planning to join the Air Force.

About two weeks ago, in anticipation of posting about him, I began to try and track him down. I found some possible information. But I wasn't 100% sure if I had the right guy. But here goes. If I'm correct, I believe Gus got married, but unfortunately divorced in 2004. I don't think they had any kids. I believe he's in the Wuakesha area, and is possibly working for some sort of youth treatment facility in Oconomowoc. Since Gus has stopped by the blog to say hi, perhaps he can tell us more.

UPDATE - 11/11/06 - Here is one of two appearances Gus made on our senior video.

Friday, January 27, 2006


Who the fuck is Todd Allen? I don't know. Do you?

Open up our freshman yearbook. Do you see Todd Allen? No. How about in our sophomore yearbook? No. What about our senior yearbook? Did he graduate with us? No. But our junior yearbook...

I got my junior yearbook in 1988. I opened up to page one of our class. And there, in the top left, first person on the page, right next to Jennifer Andersen, is some guy named Todd Allen. The first words out of my mouth were, "Who the fuck is that?"

I recently saw the yearbook once again. And as I had uttered 17 1/2 years ago, the words "Who the fuck is that" passed my lips once again.

Your guess is as good as mine. To my knowledge, I never once laid eyes on this guy. Was he there for the year, one semester, one fricken' week? I don't know.

Where is Todd today? I don't know. Is Todd married, divorced, gay, bankrupt... I don't know. For his sake, I hope he's not the Todd E. Allen from Wisconsin, who was born in February, 1971. For if he is, the guy appears to be a career criminal.

Anyone? Anyone? Todd, are you out there? Shed some insight on the fellow with the goofy grin who sat down for a picture at WHS in September, 1987.


Ok, this one might be hard to write about. Not only is the subject matter difficult. But I have something really gross to reveal.

I first met Teresa in 6th grade. We shared Mrs. Casey's class together. How do I put this? Teresa was ugly. There, I said it. Throughout the entire time I knew her, if someone had to make some sort of "ugly person" joke or reference, Teresa Vohwinkel would ALWAYS be the one chosen.

One might find a way to feel sorry for Teresa. But don't. If you knew her, you wouldn't. For Teresa wasn't only unattractive. She was also paunchy, obnoxious, annoying, and was somewhat a slob. She had a mouth on her.

Because of our proximity in the alphabet, I was doomed to be next to her for many years. Our lockers were always side by side. Teresa on the left, Lori Warunek on the right. Can there be better example of hell? At least Lori was friendly.

In 8th grade, Teresa and I had Mr. Monka's social studies class together. If Monka caught you with your feet in the baskets of the seat in front of you, he'd make you squat on the floor in a catcher's position. Teresa got caught one day. So she got on the floor. But instead of squatting, she got on her knees, with her legs behind her. Monka yelled at her. But I got to give Teresa credit. She yelled back that she saw a baseball game that weekend, and the catcher was sitting like that. Some catchers do. But Monka didn't let her get away with it.

Ok. Here we go. Here's my reveal. And it's disgusting. In my sophomore year, I sometimes spent my lunchtime by myself, hanging out in the basement. I explored every inch of that school. But for awhile, I would sit and eat in a small dark room, which was positioned behind the girls' shower area. The room was actually a towel room. And the gym teacher would hand towels to the girls who were showering. There was a small, raised door to hand towels through. Well, sometimes that door was unlocked. And if one wanted to, they could go into the locker room that way. One day, I did. As it turns out, there was a gym class going on at the time. So the locker room was empty. But there were various books and stuff sitting on some benches.

Now, before I go any further, I need to make it clear. I wasn't some pervert or anything, with a desire to smell girls' clothes, or jack off on them or soemthing sick like that. I was just wandering in some place where I shouldn't.

Anyway, I spotted something. It was unmistakable. It was Teresa's sweatshirt. It was blue and yellow. I'd seen her wear it a million times before. And of course, I couldn't stand her. So what did I do? Well... I'm almost ashamed to admit this... almost. I whipped it out and peed all over it - a full load. I then exited the room as fast as I could.

Imagine my shock, when a few hours later, while at my locker, I notice Teresa strolling up to hers. And she's wearing the fucking sweatshirt!!! I just about died! Of course I couldn't say anything. But I walked away in absolute shock. From the time I peed on it, to the time she came back to the locker room, maybe 20 minutes had passed. There is no way in hell it could have dried by then. There's no way she could not have noticed. I wonder what she thought. Did she think that water somehow got on it? But what about the smell? I'm sure my urine is just as potent as everyone else's. Then again, maybe not.

I don't know what became of Teresa after high school. She did not graduate with us. It doesn't look like she ever did. I did run into her a few times at the video store. She remained bitchy and unpleasant. Her mother however, was very nice. And get this. She also had a little sister - perhaps a half sister. I suspect it was a half sister, from a different father, as she had a different last name. And this girl was super cute! Granted she was about 10 years younger than me (class of 1998). But man, she was nice looking. And the strangest thing about her is that she actually resembled Teresa! You could tell they were related. I guess you should try to picture Teresa with a great body, pretty face, nice clothes, and a pleasant personality. Can't do it, can you? Well, you'll just have to trust me then.

The last time I saw Teresa at the video store, she appeared to be very pregnant. Last I knew, she was living in Oshkosh. I don't believe she has ever been married.


I believe Tammy was with us at Clarke. But I don't have any real memories or stories of her.

My first memory of Tammy is from freshman year. It was somewhere close to the beginning of the year. It was at lunch. Tammy apparently got a little too rowdy. And the lunch lady demanded to see her student I.D. Tammy freaked out, and looked like she was about to cry. She didn't know what fate was in store for her. She protested a little, but turned over her card to the woman. The lunch lady looked at the card, then handed it back to Tammy. Then she walked away. Umm... what the hell was that all about? I don't know.

I first got to know Tammy in Mr. Conrad's sophomore year biology class. For awhile, we sat together at a table. I wasn't really thrilled about it. Tammy looked like a real bitch. Her face just looked "snotty" to me. And I think many people viewed her as such. But in all honesty, she was pleasant enough to me.

Tammy had blonde hair. And she loaded it down with TONS of hairspray. I remember Janice Ericson once patting her on the head. And her hair literally crunched! I have to wonder what the long term effects of that much hairspray would do to your hair.

I once overheard Ross Hofmann telling some friends of his that Tammy "had a great ass." But he then went on to say that he didn't like her face.

I believe Tammy hung around with the likes of Carrie Collard, Treesa Carron and Cindy Rohrer.

Tammy got married, and now goes by the name of Tammy Schroeder. And I'm happy to report that they have NOT divorced, as so many of our fellow classmates have. As far as I can tell, she lives in the Francis Creek are, and works part time at Holy Family Hospital. I believe she has two kids.

UPDATE - 1/2/07 - Tammy has sent me a few pictures of her. The first one is of her birthday in 2005. The second one is of her two girls. The next three are of her and Cindy Rohrer, having a good time in Key West. As for the person between them in that one picture... your guess is as good as mine. The final picture is of her, Cindy, and Carrie Collard (and families) this past July.

UPDATE - 6/18/07 - Thanks to Shannon Koch for providing these photos of Tammy (at least I think they're of her) from graduation day, June 4th, 1989.

UPDATE - 3/20/08 - I got an Email from Tammy Franzen. She sent me a few more family photos. You can see them below.


I believe I first met Ann back in Mrs. Casey's 6th grade class. She was pretty friendly, and was hanging around with Carrie Collard.

I have limited memories of her. But I do remember her on the two-person clown swing at Clarke. Markus Petkevicius was pushing her. And somehow, the clown stopped moving, and Ann and her swing literally wrapped around the pole. In all my times on that swing, I've yet to see anyway possible how that can occur. But she pulled it off.

By high school, I believe Anne was hanging around with people like Jill Jansky and Becky Cookle. I'm not sure what kind of crowd she was associated with. It wasn't the popular sect. It wasn't the nerdy sect. She was somewhere in the middle, seemingly with her own clique. I believe she was a smoker too.

In our sophomore year, Anne allegedly had sex with Jason Radant. Obviously I have no idea if that's true.

Anne's senior sweatshirt had the word "Anabanana" written on it. Apparently Mr. Wood hassled her about the name, before finally approving it. Seriously, what the hell's wrong with that name? Was Mr. Wood's head in the gutter?

Anne was pretty nice. She always had a smile on her face, and seemed to be enjoying life.

I don't think I ever ran into Anne after graduation. I do know that she married a guy, and became Anne Williams. They're currently in the process of divorce.

UPDATE - 8/21/06 - Out of the blue, Anne sent me an E-mail and a recent photo of herself. You can see it below.

UPDATE - 10/5/07 - I found another picture of Anne. You can see this one below as well.


I met Tracy in freshman year. Over our four years together, I'm not sure I ever had any conversations with her. But she seemed pleasant enough.

How can I put this delicately? I don't know if I can. Tracy had a very masculine-looking face. Everyone knew it. I would hope that most people never said anything to her about it. But alas, there was Mike Zeman. I had both Mike and Tracy in Mr. Scriver's sophomore year history class. One day, as we were all shuffling into class, Mike walked in, pointed to the seated Tracy, and yelled quite loudly, "Look at her. She's a man!" Tracy looked disgusted. I'll admit, it was kind of funny to see someone act as brazen as that. But I felt sorry for Tracy too, as it was kind of mean.

Tracy was into sports. Don't ask me to verify them. But I think she played baseball, basketball and volleyball.

During our junior year, Dave, Richard and I would sometimes go downstairs, and hang out with Ms. Neveau, in her homeroom. She was a first year teacher - a cool teacher too. She kind of treated the three of us as peers, as opposed to students. Anyway, one day, Tracy came in to drop something off to her. As she left the room, Ms. Neveau turned to Richard and said, "She's more of a man than you are." A bit cruel and inappropriate for a teacher, but damn funny nonetheless! The three of us burst out laughing.

I'm sure there were some who thought that due to her manly face and athletic abilities, that Tracy was a lesbian. I don't know if that's true. But I can confirm that she did in fact get married. She became Tracy Newberg. They divorced in 2000. I don't think they had any kids together. The last I knew, she was still living in Two Rivers.

UPDATE - 11/10/06 - Here is Tracy from her appearance on our senior class video.

UPDATE - 5/31/08 - Tracy got married again. She actually got married in September of 2007. I just forgot to mention it until now. So congratulations Tracy.

Thursday, January 26, 2006


I first met Mark Gordon in the spring of 1981. It wasn't diffiuclt. He lived three houses down from me, to the west. Mark and his siblings Scott, Tina and Tammy all kind of showed up in my yard one day. We all became fast friends.

The Gordon's were an interesting bunch. They were all free-spirited and friendly. Their dad seemed like a leftover hippie from the 1960's. Their dad used to don a clown suit and ride a unicycle in local parades. Mark could ride that unicycle as well. I couldn't. Mark's dad had a policy. If anyone skidded their bike in the driveway, the offender would then have to scrub the skidmark away with a toothbrush. Of course I didn't know this when I skidded my bike one day. But no, I never heard anything about it.

To this day, I have some odd tape recordings of all of them. We were just messing around, and occasionally singing. The Gordon's also came to my 10th birthday party at McDonald's. They had a husky named Neenah.

My friendship with Mark and his siblings only lasted about a year. Nothing really happened. We just stopped hanging around together. I think they all went to a Catholic school. So I didn't see Mark on a regular basis again until we got into high school.

Mark was pretty personable, and got along with most everyone. Although he did seem a bit scatterbrained. Meff told me that Mark once insulted him in some way, to which Meff calmly smiled and lightly patted Mark on the back. Mark started to freak out, and got all fidgety over it. Maybe he didn't like to be touched. I don't know.

In our freshman year, I had Mark in Mrs. Fischer's language class. Mark gave a speech where he recalled a time that he fell out of a car. He ended the speech with some sort of reference to "crusty grunts." Talk about skidmarks!

In my sophomore and junior years, I was the Gordon's paperboy. When I came to collect, Mark often answered the door. He was always friendly. Quite often he would be singing.

I believe that Mark dated class of 1990's Sally Graczykowski (pretty girl).

After highschool, Mark married class of 1991's Brenda Gillespie. Thus she became Brenda Gordon - obviously no relation to class of 1989's Brenda Gordon - who married fellow graduate Jeff Gordon, and is now today... still Brenda Gordon.

I believe Mark and Brenda had three children. But marital bliss was not to be. It looks like they got divorced a few years back. It looks like a somewhat messy affair too, with some apparent psychological evaluations that were performed.

Mark got into a little trouble with making harassing phone calls. One can guess that it was related to family matters. It's also interesting to note that Mark tried to take out a restraining order against fellow graduate Troy Rezachek. What the hell was that all about? I don't know. But Troy's wife's maiden name is Deanna Gillespie. I suspect that Brenda and Deanna are sisters. I'm guessing the divorce was an ugly one. Anyway, the restraining order was denied.

I don't have any additional information on Mark, other than the fact that he filed for bankruptcy about a year ago. I believe he is still in the Two Rivers area.

UPDATE - 2/20/06 - Mark has sent a couple of pictures. In the first one, you can see him in the middle. One (or eight) too many Mark? You can see his brother James (class of 1999) on the far right. The second picture is of his three boys. Click for the full-sized versions.

UPDATE - 11/13/06 - On Saturday, August 12th, 2006, Kevin Dehne and I took our second trip to Two Rivers. We stopped by a home where we thought Mark lived. But the woman there said Mark hadn't lived there in two years. So we thought we were going to miss him that day. However, several hours later, while visiting with Mike Polich and Ann Rank, they informed us that Mark was actually staying with his parents - who were only a block away. So we decided to give it a shot. Sure enough, Mark was there. We rang the doorbell. Inside, I could see a shirtless Mark fast asleep on the couch. One of Mark's kids answered, then went and woke him up. Mark let us in, gave Kevin a soda (I declined) and talked with us for awhile, while two of his sons played a Pac-Man game. We then went outside and took some pictures. Mark had a rather bizarre story about Mr. Wood. Perhaps he'll share it someday. You can see the pictures below.

UPDATE - 10/4/07 - Back in July, Erin Hynek visited Two Rivers. One night she went out with Paula Jonas and Brenda Gordon. While they were out, they ran into Mark. The results are the picture below.


This is going to be another long entry. I have a lot of history with Scott. Most of it's good. Some of it's bad. But it's all interesting.

I first met Scott when I moved to Two Rivers, in 4th grade. I joined him in Mrs. Schmidt's class. I remember him participating in some sort of skit in class, where he played a weatherman. In pointing to the Florida area, he said it was so hot that people's skin was falling off. For 4th grade, that was quality comedy. Everybody laughed.

I don't remember it, but years later, he told me of a memory he had of me. Scott used to walk down 45th St. (where I lived) on his way to Clarke. It was a winter day. He said he was dressed in a sweater and a big coat. He was freezing. Then he saw me waltz out of my house in a T-shirt, and no coat at all. That was me.

Scott was really into ninja stuff. And he loved to emulate them. I believe the following incident took place right before sophomore year started. He was in his black ninja outfit, streaking through some backyards, when someone saw him. In an effort to get away, he tried to leap a fence. He failed. I believe his leg was punctured by the top of the fence. And as his weight came down, it ripped his whole leg - breaking it badly.

Scott and I started hanging out together near the tail end of our junior year. For the life of me, I don't recall how it happened. But I do know that it was Nintendo related. We had a common interest. And thus, we started hanging out.

Scott entered my world just at the same time that Richard was leaving it. I was still hanging out with Dave Svatek at the time. So the three of us became a trio. But we weren't equal. We were far from it. Dave and I often treated Scott like shit. As I mentioned in my post about Richard, he and I used to pick on Dave. And there's no doubt in my mind that Dave wanted he and I to be like Richard I were. But instead of picking on him, we picked on Scott. One of things that really upset Dave was the fact that Richard and I could finish each other's sentences when insulting him. Dave tried to do the same with he and I in regards to Scott. But it simply didn't work. Dave and I didn't have the same chemistry as Richard and I did.

One of the things we did was to come up with a nickname for Scott. And what a name we chose - "Butt." Yes, Butt it was. I still call him Butt to this day. Scott was obviously dismayed at the choice. But in time, he begrudgingly accepted it. We meant nothing by it. It was just a name.

One thing that Dave had in him that I did not, was a touch of cruelty - in a violent way. Dave would bully Scott around, and was not against a punch or two in the arm. Dave also had a habit of forcing Scott to submit to him, and let him pull out hairs from his legs. That hurt! It was some sort of "punishment." If Scott said something that we found to be rude or obnoxious, Dave would punish him. "That's five hairs." I never participated in a physical sense. But I was no better than Dave, as I would laugh about it.

The three of us spent that entire summer together. And for most of it, Scott's mom and stepdad were in New Mexico and Arizona, looking for a place to move. So we literally had the house mostly to ourselves. Scott did have an older brother and sister. But they weren't exactly authority figures.

That summer marked a milestone for me. While at Scott's house (without Dave) we got drunk. For me, it was the first time. I had 10 shots of some sort of whiskey. And seeing as I had never really had any alcohol before, I was very drunk in no time. I remember playing Super Mario Brothers on Nintendo, and beating the game. I was so proud of myself for being able to beat the game while I was intoxicated. When I woke up the next day, I had no hangover whatsoever. Wow! I was so pleased. So two nights later, we got drunk again. This time I wanted to get even more drunk. I ended up drinking 22 shots of either 80 or 88 proof whiskey. And by the end of the night, I couldn't stand up. That's a lot of booze for an experienced drinker, let alone someone who never drinks. Four shots would have been enough.

The rest of that night is kind of hazy. I tried to beat Super Mario Brothers again. But I couldn't get past the second board. So I started a new game. Then suddenly a feeling I'd never known before hit me. It hit me hard. I crawled down the hall to the bathroom, where Scott was cleaning his contact lenses. I pried myself up, announced thatI was going to throw up, then promptly let loose all over the floor. It was red and nasty. I found my way to the toilet, and puked some more, while Scott took the bath mat outside to clean it with a hose. I was in such pain. And all I could hear was that fucking music from the Nintendo game, as the time just ticked down over and over again, for each Mario had. I somehow got to a bed, and tried to sleep. Scott said I threw up a total of 13 times. And at one point, I was throwing up blood. Nasty! For some reason, he put Icy Hot on my stomach, thinking it would help. It didn't. The next morning, I had a slight headache.

The summer went on. And Dave and I took advantage of Scott's house and home. On one occasion, we made him buy us a meal at Pizza Hut. I also remember being at McDonald's. Scott was buying. While we were at the counter waiting for our food, I yelled at him, "You're drunk!" Of course he wasn't. But there were a lot of people around. I thought it was funny. Another time, as Scott took a shower, Dave and I completely dismantled his room, bed and all, and hid it around the house. We thought it was funny. Scott didn't.

We gave Scott two other nicknames as well. One was his African name - Abubaca. The other was his Israeli name - Sayed Ouita. We would make him repeat (and spell) those names from time to time. And if he made a spelling error, he'd get punched. One day, Dave banished Scott to under my bed. He was to stay down there for 15 minutes. If he tried to get out (which he did) Dave jabbed at him with a pool stick. Whenever I would make a point to Scott, I often ended it by saying, "You dig?" I expected Scott to answer with, "I dig it like a rolling stone." If he refused, I wouldn't respond to anything. I would just keep repeating, You dig? You dig? You dig?"

Scott was a very homophobic, anti-gay person. He made fun of homosexuals a lot. So I naturally poked fun at him. I told him that he had girl lips, and that he'd make a good woman. It was all in fun. I'm not anti-gay at all. He knew I was just joking with him. But he was quite vocal in his stance. So I kidded him about it for years.

Dave and I had a game where we tried to borrow the most unusual items from Scott's house. Dave got Scott's DVD player once. I managed to get some bizarre piece of art that his mother had hanging in the dining room.

One might ask just why in the hell Scott put up with all of our shit. That's a very good question. When Scott and I were alone, things were different. We behaved like real friends. When Dave and Scott were alone together (which was almost never) they behaved like friends too. But when the three of us were all together, Dave and I picked on Scott. Needless to say, Scott wasn't happy with the situation. And he would go on and on saying things to me like, "Why are you doing this?" I never had any real answers for him. But to be honest, Scott's lamenting got really tiresome. He would sometimes keep me on the phone for hours. And honestly, sometimes I fell asleep listening to him. He wouldn't let me hang up.

At some point, Dave hit Scott in the chest, knocking him down. I don't think Dave meant to hurt him. But he did. Scott recovered a few minutes later. But he was more embarrased at being caught off guard. Scott had pride and an ego. About a week or so later, he told me that he had "done a few things" to himself so that if he were to ever get hit like that again, he wouldn't be hurt. So he wanted me to punch him in the chest to prove it. I refused. But he was insistent. Still, I refused. Finally I told him to pay me $2.00, and I would. He did. So I hit him. He felt justified after the punch. I didn't have the heart to tell him that the reason he got hurt before was because Dave had caught him completely off guard.

Later on that summer, Meff had come up for a few days. And he was spending the night at my house. My parents were out of town. So we had the place to ourselves. At some point after midnight, Scott came by on his bike. He wanted to come in. He was in a foul mood. So I wouldn't let him. After several minutes, I "went downstairs" to go to bed. Meff was left upstairs to deal with him, talking to him through the window. I actually came back up to listen to the conversation. Meff decided to play with Scott, telling him how great I was. He went so far as to tell Scott that I had special powers, and had actually witnessed me bring a dead bird back to life. I don't know what Scott thought of it all. But he told Meff thatI was all wrong, and that he had to break free from me...

During some of our lengthy phone conversations, Scott would bring up the fact that he had dropped all his other friends for Dave and I. But Dave and I were a lot closer to each other. And we shut Scott out at times. I'll be honest. I always chose Dave over Scott. I refused to make future plans with Scott, simply because I wanted to keep myself available on the chance that Dave wanted to do something. That really frustrated Scott - rightfully so.

As our senior year began, nothing changed. But there was a new wrinkle - Richard. If you read my post about Richard, you'll remember that Richard and I weren't on speaking terms that year. Although both of us were still friends with Meff. Well, Scott had Richard in Spanish class, and would pour his heart out to him about the way Dave and I treated him. He looked to Richard for advice on how to deal with us. But Richard had a much different experience with us than Scott did. According to Meff, Richard got really tired of hearing Scott's stories about us. At one point, Scott had mentioned for days that he wanted to beat me up or something. Finally out of frustration, Richard screamed at him, "Just do it already!" Of course Scott never did.

In the fall of our senior year, Scott's mom and stepdad moved to Las Cruces, New Mexico. And Scott decided to join them after the semester was over. Did Dave and I drive him away? Who knows. But I was sad to see him go. I enjoyed my time with him.

So Scott moved to New Mexico, and ended up graduating down there. After graduation, he moved right back to Two Rivers, and moved in with his dad. We called each other at times, but didn't hang out much. By this time, Scott was boning class of 1990's Molly Jindra. He was also hanging out with Amy Schmidt's little brother, class of 1992's Jon Schmidt.

At some point around December, 1990, I know that Dave and I went to see Scott at his father's home. He was showing us his new Sega Genesis. He'd also taken up the nasty habit of smoking. God, did his room reek of that stench!

After that, I don't think I had any contact with Scott for about five years. Then in December, 1995, I was a senior in college. It was the winter break. I was working at T&R Video. When out of the blue, Scott called me.

ME: "Hello, T&R Video?"

SCOTT: "Hey Burt, it's Scott."

ME: "Oh, hi Butt."

SCOTT "Who do you call me that?"

ME: "Cuz it's your name."

SCOTT: "No it's not."

ME: "You said a long time ago, that you'd accept it. It is what it is."

Anyway, Scott was now lving in Manitowoc, with a roommate - class of 1992's, Brodie Reichardt. Their landlord (some sort of smelly mongoloid) lived downstairs. Scott invited me over. So I went. We started to hang around together again, mostly on weekends. It was fun. We drove around, caused a little trobule, played video games, got drunk, made prank phone calls and watched a lot of movies.

In the fall of 1996, Scott lost his job at Food Country. I think he was fired. But he was never clear as to what actually happened. From that moment on, things changed for him. For whatever reason, he really dragged his feet in finding another job. He basically laid around his apartment all day. Eventually he and Brodie moved out, and found another apartment in Two Rivers. They had a third roommate (his name escapes me) join them.

As the winter moved into 1997, Scott was still unemployed, and was feeling great pressure from his roommates to come up with the rent. His third roommate had also brought something else into the equation - a computer. Scott beacme obsessed with the computer, spending most of his waking hours on it. It was like a drug to him. He was surfing, and chatting, and everything else. He was a madman!

In March, 1997, I finally found a real job. The job was in Milwaukee. I moved to Sheboygan, and lived with Dave Svatek and his wife. I had Wednesdays off, and would often come back to Manitowoc to do my laundry at my parents' home. I would visit Scott as well. He was still unemployed, and was really catching hell from his roommates. Then the unthinkable happened. He lost use of the computer. I believe the computer actually belonged to the mother of the third roommate. And she came to get it. Meff and I were visiting him one evening. And he was literally pacing back and forth, saying that he needed a computer. It was like he was suffering from drug withdrawl symptoms.

Prior to getting my own place, I hooked up with Scott one more time. I'm not sure how it happened. But somehow he made contact with me. And I invited him over to the apartment in Sheboygan. Dave and his wife were gone for the weekend (as they were every weekend). So Scott and I had the place to ourselves. We watched some TV, went to Burger King, and basically did nothing.

I'm not exactly sure what happened next in his life. But I believe that Scott's mother came up from New Mexico to get him. I could be wrong though. But I think she was somehow involved in getting his life straightened out a bit. I spoke with Brodie at one point. And I believe Brodie told me that Scott had literally left in the middle of the night, packed a few clothes in his car, took his cat, and drove off to St. Louis, leaving nearly all of his possessions behind. Apparently Scott's thinking was that all his stuff would make up for the lost rent. In May, I got my own apartment in Grafton. And I bought a couple of items of Scotts, that Brodie sold me. Up until three months ago, I still had the entertainment center.

So what was in St. Louis? Apparently he met someone online, and went to live there.

I'm not sure how long the St. Louis affair lasted. But eventually Scott came back to Wisconsin, and moved to Sheboygan, and found a roommate named Dave. That lasted for several years. But tragedy struck in 2001. A fire broke out in their apartment. A wall of flame struck Scott, horribly burning his neck and back. He was sent to a hospital in Milwaukee, where he eventually recovered. My wife and I went to see him. He was in a lot of pain. To add insult to injury, the homeowners blamed them for the fire, and sued. Neither Scott nor Dave fought it. They may not have even been aware. But a judgement of over $34,000 was entered against both of them.

The two of them eventually stopped hanging out. And Scott was on the move again. This time he drove west, arriving in Idaho, to live with someone else he met online. That apparently didn't last long. He then moved to Spokane, Washington. Today he is back in Idaho once again. I E-mail with him from time to time. Although he doesn't keep up with E-mailing as often as he should. He says he misses Manitowoc though.

Come back to Wisconsin, Butt. You've got some friends here.

UPDATE - 6/20/06 - I talked to Scott for about 40 minutes on the phone the other night. He directed me to a recent photo of him which is online. You can see it below. The next three pictures are ones that he sent me. Also, by request, I have edited our portions of this entry. If you want the "uncut" version, E-mail me.

UPDATE - 12/14/06 - I found some old camcorder footage of Scott. I believe these two clips are from March or April, 1990. The clips are of Scott doing some impressions of L.B. Clarke teachers. I believe the other guy is a friend of his by the name of Aaron Rathsack.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


I mentioned him in the previous post. So why not?

Peter first joined us in 7th grade. He shared a few classes with my group. He seemed to have somewhat of a British accent. As it turned out, he was simply high-pitched and snooty.

Peter was a first class asshole. He was holier than though, and thought he was above everyone else. But he was far from it! He had only a small number of friends. Overall, he wasn't very well-liked.

Let's be honest here. Peter carried with him every homosexual stereotype there was. Was he gay? I don't know. But I sure wouldn't bet against it. In today's society, you might even put the metrosexual label on him. I can recall Chip Pelnar once referring to him as a "little femme." You nailed it Chip!

I had Peter in Mr. Franke's 8th grade science class. Mr. Franke had tables. Two people sat at each. I sat with Ken Bartz. Peter sat with Robin Richmond. Ken and I used to annoy Peter every chance we got. He would get so flustered. It was great. What it means, I have no idea. But I remember Ken and I constantly repeating "Eat your Peter, on a platter." I don't know. But whatever we were saying, Peter didn't like it.

As we got into high school, Peter became even more annoying. I know he despised me, and loved to make fun of me. I remember him in French class one day. He happened to be sitting next to Jenny Malley. And he was quietly trashing me. "Look at his hair." Granted, my hair style was awful. But I'll take any Peter Flora insult as a badge of honor. Anything I can do that irritated him was fine by me. And bless her heart, Jenny didn't acknowledge Peter's comment. I knew there was a reason I loved her!

As far as I know, Peter Flora's best friend was Robin Richmond. But as the years passed, I believe Robin came to dislike Peter as well. Wow. That says something. Anyway, my friend Scott Jaklin once told me that Robin was left in charge of the Flora's house once, when they went on vacation. I believe Robin had to come by and feed the cat or something. Well, Scott went with him one day. Scott thought as highly about Peter as most everyone else did. He couldn't stand him. But he was curious to see Peter's room. Peter (for whatever reason) had locked his bedroom door before leaving. But Scott found a way to break into it without causing any damage.

Scott described an impeccably clean room where absolutely everything had its place. Peter even had labels on his drawers - "sock drawer," "underwear drawer"... How pathetic is that?

Peter moved away after our junior year. I don't think anyone knew he was gone, or even missed him. I believe he moved to Florida. Pity the sunshine state.


My first memories from Robin are from our days at Clarke. Robin was a somewhat hefty boy, not very well-liked, with the exception of his small circle of friends - which included the likes of Valori Franco and that twink Peter Flora.

Robin was the kind of person who could be very obnoxious - but only if his friends were around. Otherwise, he was too timid to say much of anything. When I was in Mr. Franke's 8th grade science class, Ken Bartz and I used to pick on Peter Flora quite a bit. Since Peter sat with Robin, some of our verbal attacks floated his way as well. Robin was such an easy target. He was annoying.

In freshman year, I had Robin in Mrs. Fischer's french class. At one point, we were learning how to say how old our parents were. When it came to Robin, he said (in french) that his mom was something like 34. Most people thought he'd made a mistake. That would mean that she had Robin when she was around 19. It's young, but it did happen. People were even more shocked when (in french) he said that his grandma was something like 49! Does anyone else remember celebrating the 40th birthday of one of their grandparents?

I don't have a whole lot of memories about him from high school. He just existed, as did I. By junior year, I believe he found himself hanging out with people like Scott Jaklin, Chris Staudinger and Marty Johnson. I believe Peter Flora was still around as well.

Near the end of our junior year, I started hanging out with Scott myself. And Scott more-or-less dropped Robin as a friend. Scott told me that he did tell Robin how cool I was, and that he should try to accept me as well.

No thanks Scott! Neither Robin nor myself were the least bit interested. Although if memory serves, Scott did drag Robin over to my house once, for a very brief visit. I was thrilled... In the end, Scott picked me and Dave. And Robin was history.

I ran into Robin many times at the video store. Now most guys will inevitably lose some hair as they grow older. But Robin had some sort of accelerated process going on. The kid was nearly bald within a year or two after graduation. It was a hell of a sight!

Robin lost his driver's license for excessive speeding once. Today, I believe he lives and works in the Milwaukee area. I don't believe he's married.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


I must admit, I'm really into this right now. A wave of nostalgia swept through me a few weeks ago. And I've been on a roll. I think I've created posts for 30 people thus far. But I still have a long way to go.

This past weekend, I dug out the old yearbooks. I also was able to find the senior video. What a trip. You have to really look hard to find me on it. I wasn't one to participate. I even ditched the senior class photo.

This blog is taking up too much of my time. But it's too much fun to stop. It's not just the blogging itself. It's the research. It's amazing what information is available, if you know where to look. I even know what church Shannon Koch belongs to. But some people are hidden pretty good.

I came across Stephanie Gardner in the yearbook. I have very little to say about her. But I'll throw in a couple things. She's someone who seems to be a bit hidden. But I think I tracked her down. I even found a phone number. Of course I called it. I spoke with her briefly, pretending to be a wrong number. I didn't have the balls to tell her who I was - or ask if she was the same person I was searching for. But I feel braver now. I'll call her back to verify. Once I do, expect a Stephanie Gardner post.

In the interim, I'm opening up the blog request lines. Who do you want to see me write about? It's open to all members or potential members of the class of 1989. People like Jeff Messerman, Ken Bartz, Ben Franco, Travis Wilson, Kurt Psenicka, Doug Wall and Kevin Dehne never graduated with us. But it's stupid not to include them. They were all there for years.

Comment here, or E-mail me at BUSTERKOONS@YAHOO.COM. Tell me who you want to see!

Monday, January 23, 2006


The more of these I write, the more I discover that there's a lot of people I don't know much about. Julie Landon is a prime example.

What can I say about Julie? Nothing really. I know she was with us at Clarke. She may have been with us at Magee too. I don't recall. Quite honestly, the only concrete memories I have of her are from our senior class video, in which she hooked up with Kelli Kupsch and Kim Nokes, and sang a few tunes.

Julie wasn't part of the "in crowd." But she wasn't shunned either.

That's it! Oh, wait. She was kind of short too - not that that's a bad thing.

From what I know, she married class of 1991's Scott Buvid. They divorced in 2000. As far as I know, they had no children together. But don't quote me on that. Well, quote me if you like. Just know that I might be wrong. So quote that part too.

UPDATE - 2/1/08 - As you can see from the comment below, Julie is now remarried to a man named Todd. And they have a son.


By request, here is my entry on Lewis Stephan.

I have very few memories of Lewis. He wore glasses, and had short, curly hair. He was with us at Clarke. I guess you could label him a minor troublemaker. He hung out with some people who were worse than him. But overall, Lewis was all right.

I seem to remember that as a senior, Lewis road a motorcycle to school. He had a girlfriend. But I have no idea who she was. One day she hopped on the back of Lewis' cycle, and drove off. My friend Dave remarked, "They're going home to screw." Could be. Who knows.

I believe Lewis joined the armed services - perhaps the army. For reasons unbeknownst to me, he wrote a few letters to Dave's mom, from Iraq. I remember a quote. "Same shit, different day." Perhaps there was some sort of church-related association between Lewis and the Svatek's. I don't know. In all the years I hung out with Dave, he never mentioned one.

The last I knew, Lewis had moved to Arizona, where he was working as a carpenter. I believe he's married to a woman named Catherine.

UPDATE - 6/18/07 - Thanks to Shannon Koch for providing this photo of Lewis from graduation day, June 4th, 1989.


How would one describe Todd Zinn? Grumpy? That's a start.

Todd was the kind of guy who always seemed to have a chip on his shoulder. Whenever you saw him, he seemed to be stomping around in a bad mood. I don't know know what it was. But he was someone that I tried to avoid as much as possible. You got the impression, that if you joked around with him, he would inevitably take it the wrong way, and get pissed off. A pissed-off Todd usually meant a punch in the arm - or incessant verbal threats.

My first memories from Todd are from 7th grade. One day after school, I found myself in Mrs. Westburg's detention. I was there a lot. I was rarely alone. On this day, Randy Ertman strolled in, and threw his knapsack across the aisle, knocking over the chair next to me. He meant no harm to me or anyone. He was just annoyed at being there. He picked his stuff up a few seconds later.

Well, Mrs. Westburg came back in the room, noticed the tipped chair, and told me to pick it up. I said "No, I didn't do it." She surmised that it must have been me, as I was sitting next to it. It was no big deal. So I eventually relented, and picked it up. I certainly wasn't about to tell on Randy. I wouldn't tell on anyone, under most circumstances.

Well, Todd Zinn (who was a few seats down, on my right) took great offense to my stance, and felt it was his duty to defend Randy. Keep in mind, Randy was one of the biggest guys around. He didn't need anyone's help, nor was he looking for it. And as far as I knew, he could care less about Todd. Still, Todd clearly wanted to make a positive impression on Randy (suck-up). So a few minutes later, when someone turned out the lights, Todd said to me, "Your ass is grass." When Mrs. Westburg walked down the hall to turn the lights back on, Todd came over and started pounding me. Of course it was winter, and I had a winer coat on. Plus it was dark. So Todd's flailing arms did virtually nothing. Still, I had to wonder what the hell was wrong with this guy.

In our freshman year, I had Todd in gym class. We were doing various activities in the basement gym. One of them included stuff on the rings. There was a box of chalk on the floor. And Mike Zeman (who was incapacitated due to a broken leg (or foot) took one of Todd's shoes, and tossed it into the chalk. Boy, was Todd pissed! He vowed to kill Mike - but only once Mike was off of the crutches. Todd had his pride you know!

Mike was on those crutches for several weeks. All the while, Todd continued to threaten Mike about their impending fight. Mike would just smirk at the situation. But he was a bit intimidated. Eventually Mike got off the crutches. But I don't think anything major happened between the two of them.

One of Todd's distinguishing features was some severe redness in his cheeks. No one dared to ask him about it. Well, that is except Mike Danzy, an inner city ruffian from Milwaukee. Mike was with us our freshman year. Where he went after that is anyone's guess. But he had the nerve to say, "What's up with your face, man?" Todd quietly stated that he'd gotten burned at some point.

My friend Dave once had a conversation with Todd's older sister Tami - class of 1988. She allegedly told Dave that Todd never got burned. I don't recall what Dave told me in regards to the redness. But I think she said it was simply natural - or perhaps acne. Who knows.

I had Todd in Mr. Conrad's sophomore year biology class. I'm not sure who he was talking to. It could have been Ross Hofmann or Tammy Franzen. But for whatever reason, their topic of discussion was centered around taking a shit. Todd went into some real specific details about the wiping process. I distinctly remember him talking about how sometimes a "little piece" hangs there, and how he would try to shake it off. But if that didn't work, he had to go up and get it with toilet paper, and oh man... Todd was laughing. And to tell you the truth, I was laughing too. It was funny as hell. So I guess Todd did have another side to him. He was quite jovial at that moment. How rare.

At some point during our junior year, Todd got pissed off at Richard Wheeler, and was planning to beat him up as well. I even heard him say, "I know where he walks home." To my knowledge, the extent of any "fight" was Todd grabbing Richard and shoving him up against a locker.

The next incident took place in our junior year. I had Todd in Mr. Bonino's gym class. Todd was a bit mouthy. And Mr. Bonino took offense. He literally grabbed Todd by the collar, got in his face, and screamed that he was tired of his shit. Todd was stunned, and backed down completely.

In that same gym class, later in the year, we had swimming. The pool water at the school was notoriously cold. We were required to take a shower prior to jumping in. So Richard and I would end our showers by turning the water on really cold. Then when we jumped in the pool, the water felt warm. One day Todd accidentally walked into my cold water spray. That cost me a punch in the arm. I guess I should have anticipated Todd waltzing into my shower area. What was I thinking?

I ran into Todd a few times at the video store. He never spoke much. I don't recall him smiling either. I wasn't about to pry.

Todd was dating class of 1988's Renee Van Zon. They eventually married, had two kids, and divorced in 2002. Last I knew, he was still in the Manitowoc area - perhaps in Fish Creek.


Pete was kind of regarded as a slob. For the most part, he seemed to relish it. I don't think he really cared what others thought of him.

My first memories of pete are from Clarke. What stands out in my mind most was an incident that happened in 6th grade. Clarke had a set of swings that we referred to as the "dome swings." I believe it was a circular structure that held five swings. In the middle of the circle, hanging from the center, was a thick chain. The chain was used to strap the five swings to, during the winter. Apparently swinging is a non-snow activity. Whatever.

Anyway, that chain was something that we used to kick with our feet, as we swung up in the air. That poor chain would clang against the top of the bars as we took turns slamming it. But something unexpected happened to Pete one day. I was actually swinging right next to him when Pete went up... and didn't come down. Pete had somehow defied astronomical odds, and got the chain wrapped around his leg. He was literally hanging there, arms on his swing, leg caught in the chain, and his butt suspended in the air between the two.

It was one hell of a sight. Of course I couldn't even hear myself think, as any thoughts I may have had were drowned out by the panicked screams of Pete. He was absolutely terrified - and rightfully so. He was screaming and crying, pleading for help. I actually climbed up to see what I could do. But Trey Schenk had gotten up there first, and was frantically trying to pry Pete's foot from the chain. He asked Pete to push his foot up a bit, to which Pete screamed, "I can't!" Finally, after maybe two or three minutes, his foot become dislodged, and Pete came down, skidding in the dirt. He was then helped away, just as a few teachers arrived to help. The next day, the chain was gone.

My next memory of Pete is from 7th grade. I was walking with Toby Schwartz, when Pete came strolling by. Pete apparently had some gas. So he grabbed Toby, and tried to force his face into his ass, so he could let loose with some putrid fumes. Toby was able to struggle free, thus avoiding a horrible memory.

I don't have a whole lot of memories from Pete in high school. But he was there. I believe he was in some special education classes. But power to him. He did graduate with us.

One thing I do remember is that in our freshman year, Peter and I actually got together to play a trick on Toby Schwartz. It was probably the first and last time that I ever teamed up with Peter. Anyway, the last day of school before Christmas vacation, it was arranged that the student body would watch the film FLETCH. The juniors and seniors got to watch it in the morning. The freshman and sophomores got to watch it in the afternoon, during sixth and seventh hour. I was going to sit with Kevin Dehne (who I shit you not, brought a garbage bag full of popcorn). But at the last moment, I sat with Toby Schwartz on my left, and Ron Gretz on my right. Midway through the film, Toby fell asleep. I kept waking him up. But he was a lost cause. He just couldn't keep his eyes open. So Ron and I took his glasses off, wrapped up the lenses with masking tape, then put them back on Toby's face. Peter was a few seats down from Toby, and was laughing at our antics. Peter took it one step further. He came over, undid Toby's pants a bit, then took Toby's left arm and shoved it into the crotch area. It was funny as hell! Toby eventually woke up, and was actually pretty good-natured about it.

I ran into Pete a few times at the video store. We never had much to say to each other. Last I heard, Pete was working at Mirro. He was married to a woman named Anna, and was living in Two Rivers.

UPDATE - 11/24/06 - I got an E-mail from someone who knew Pete. This person would like to remain anonymous. So I've copied and pasted the E-mails below.

"Good ole Pete Soucoup worked at Mirro until it shut down and now lives in Sheboygan with a long time girlfriend named Melissa, last I heard. Oh yeah, he is quite the ladies man too, or at least he was until Melissa clipped him. He is a member of the Immortals Motorcycle gang and has impregnated at least four women previous to shacking up with Melissa. I remember him telling me multitudes of stories about his stripper exploits with his "brothers." He dated Christee Neuser (TR class of 90 or 91) back around 97 to 99. They got into a big brawl after they broke up one of their numerous times. He was screaming that she gave him a leaky faucet and she was yelling back equally loud that he could have picked it up from any number of his stripper friends. There were about 20 people rolling on the floor with laughter. I have fond memories of witnessing Pete eating a bag of micro popcorn, ripping the bag open at the seam, and licking out the grease on the inside of the bag. UGH. I dont know if ladies man is the right word for Peter. He was one of those enigmas. He treated women like crap and was only after sex for the most part. He wanted a woman he could dangle on his arm and to hold on when they were riding his motorcycle. One of the turning points in his relationship with Christee was the fact that he wanted her to wear an Immortals leather vest that said "Pete's woman" or "Property of Pete" - something like that. She wasnt going to be labeled as property of anyone. She was rather pissed. I remember another time I was working in the back area with Pete and he was bored. So he came over to talk to me. He told me about his "girlfriend" - a stripper at a local strip club. She only wanted to see him the weekend we were paid. She fed him some line that he totally fell for. Something to the effect that if she was hanging around with her boyfriend at the strip club all the time, she would lose her job. I tried to tell him she probably had another boyfriend the opposite week he was paid plus a couple others who were paid mid-week. Of course, he didnt believe me, what did I know I am just a dumb blonde! lol"

UPDATE - 5/1/07 - Kevin Dehne walked over to a local bar in his neighborhood yesterday, and lo and behold, Pete Soucoup was in there. Not one to miss an opportunity, Kevin ran home and got his camera. The girl with Pete is his girlfriend. There are two video clips as well. You can see them below. The second one if pretty crude. Notice he mentions "Brett Witting" (class of 1988). I'm pretty sure he meant to say "Brett Gruetzmacher."



My first memories of Ben are from our days at Clarke. He was a pretty cool dude. He was never part of the "in crowd." But I think you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who didn't like him.

Ben was a certified member of the "black T-shirt" crowd. He loved his heavey metal music. And you'd be likely to see his notebooks covered with Metallica lyrics, or have the color of the notebook cover erased to spell out the name of the band W.A.S.P. or something.

If I'm not mistaken, Ben was kicked off of the freshman year football team for failing to quit smoking. Nicotine is some powerful stuff.

I had a language class with Ben in the second semester of our freshman year. Mrs. Fischer taught it. At some point we had to give a speech about ourselves. I remember Ben's speech. He told about a time when he lived in Arizona, and had had a really bad day. He said that he had encountered a rattlesnake, got away from it, back to the safety of his house - where he was promptly met by a scorpion. A bad day indeed! It turns out the whole story was bullshit.

In the beginning of our sophomore year, I loaned Ben three of my "phone madness" prank phone call tapes. These tapes had been passed around to dozens of people since the time I'd first recorded them, back in January, 1986. But on the day that Ben borrowed them from me, he decided it would be wise to break into someone's home. The police literally caught him with one leg hanging out the window. My tapes were in his pocket. Several months later, I got a disorderly conduct fine for those tapes. And they kept the tapes. I have copies of two. But tape #3 is never to be heard again.

I had Ben in Mr. Conrad's biology class in our sophomore year. And it was in this class that I discovered something else about Ben. He was smart. At the very least, he was much smarter than anyone ever gave him credit for. He and Christine Soppe kind of had a running, friendly battle with each other over their quiz and test scores. And more often than not, Ben would win. And Chris Soppe was pretty smart.

I believe Ben was present for our entire junior year. But I don't think he was around at all for our senior year. I don't think he ever left town. Because I did run into him once or twice at the video store. So he apparently dropped out of school. That's a shame. He was better than that. I believe Ben moved to Texas, and is married to a woman named Maria.


I don't have a whole lot of memories about Sheila. But I can tell you this. She was regarded by others as being a bitch. And thruth be told, she probably was. I wouldn't be too surprised if she would even describe herself as one. She was probably one of those "mess with me and I can be a real bitch" type of girls.

I shared a homeroom with Sheila for four years.

In our sophomore year, we shared Mr. Conrad's 5th hour biology class. At that time, se was dating class of 1987's Brian Hoffman. For whatever reason, Sheila seemed to think that she had a good chance to see her boyfriend walking the halls. So whenever she got the chance, she would walk to the door, and glance up and down the hallway, hopeful thatshe would cathc a glimpse of her boyfriend. To my knowledge, she never did. But it certainly never deterred her. She checked every single day. Ross Hofmann poked fun at her one day for her obsession. She wasn't happy about it.

As nasty as she may have been to others, I can't honestly remember any instance in which she ever treated me poorly. I think I was basically non-existent to her.

My last school memory of her is from our graduation ceremony. She sat next to me, on my left. She was very happy and nice. We engaged in some friendly small talk.

I ran into Sheila many times while at the video store. She ended up marrying class of 1991's Randy Braun. I believe they had two kids. They divorced in 2000.

UPDATE - 9/18/06 - I've just been told that Sheila is currently engaged to be married. In fact, she's tying the knot next month. Congratulations Sheila!

Thursday, January 19, 2006


I don't know a whole lot about her. I first met Mindy during freshman year, in Mr. Heuer's algebra class. She was a bit tiny in stature. She was kind of cute, but not in a drop-dead gorgeous sort of way.

Mindy was always smiling. That's a good thing. She seemed like she was always happy. She and I never had a whole lot of contact during our high school years. But what little contact we did have was always pleasant.

Mindy had an older sister named Molly. She had a younger sister named Cami. They were the classes of 1987 and 1992 respectively. I had a few classes with Cami at UW Manitowoc. All I can say is hubba hubba! My friend Dave once told me that he and a bunch of people were playing volleyball on the beach one day. And Cami's boob kept popping out when she jumped. I was so jealous!

Last I knew, Mindy was married, and living in Depere. She had two kids. And for the completists out there, I believe Mindy's father-in-law is a professor in the UW system.

UPDATE - 11/20/06 - I just got an E-mail from Mindy. She is married with three kids. She is now known as Mindy Gardner. She currently lives in West Depere with her husband John. She has three daughters - ages eight, six, and seven months. Her husband works as an IT guy for an Appleton company. While Mindy works as a civil engineer for the Wisconsin Department Of Transportation. She says she's involved with designing highways and bridges. Perhaps she could design an interstate to run from Ozaukee County to I-94 - perhaps ending somewhere around Waukesha County. That sure would be convenient. Anyway, she sent mefour pictures. One is of her and "the fam." The other three are of each of her daughters. Look down to see them. By the way, Mindy's middle daughter is the godchild of fellow graduate, Becky Prausa. Becky even named her.

UPDATE - 6/18/07 - Thanks to Shannon Koch for providing these photos of Tammy (at least I think they're of her) from graduation day, June 4th, 1989.