WASHINGTON HIGH SCHOOL TWO RIVERS WI CLASS OF 1989

Monday, January 23, 2006

BEN FRANCO

"Benji."

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.

6 Comments:

At Sat Jan 28, 11:09:00 PM PST, Blogger the_meff said...

Ben was definitely a cool guy.

I come to this conclusion because, as a card-carrying member of the dweeb patrol, nobody like Ben or his ilk would normally have anything to do with me. Other than to dump on me, lob gobs of spit my way, or "burn my books."

The usual.

But Ben actually took the time to get to know me in 8th grade math class (Stapleton, I believe) and we actually kinda' got along. I was just cultivating an interest in "classic rock" (lots of CCR, Pink Floyd, and a little Zepplin) and Ben was somewhat well versed in this stuff - - common ground.

Anyway, that would be my brief experience with him.

 
At Tue Feb 14, 05:07:00 PM PST, Blogger Chris Soppe said...

I bearly remember this you have an amazing memory! Mr Conrad's biology class was always a trip. Ben and I enjoy going back and forth on test scores. Never did beat him. I hope all is well with everyone.

 
At Thu Aug 10, 07:03:00 PM PDT, Blogger Brandon P. said...

Nobody's made a comment on Ben since February but I just had some great thoughts of the guy.

Ben had a very rough exterior but he was golden on the inside. I met him at Clarke. I think many people were sort of afraid of the guy at first because he was obviously Hispanic, had long hair and he looked tough. I sat next to him in a class in 7th grade, don't remember which one. He was very cool. There's a long story behind it but his nickname for me was "Shit". That sounds bad but he always said it with a grin. He never called me that after 7th grade.

Ben loved his heavy metal. He made me a copy of Motley Crue's "Shout At The Devil". I didn't have it because my folks thought it was satanic. Fools!

I was told that he was a great guitar player.

While we didn't hang out, Ben was always accepting of me when I would see him inside or outside of school. He never made me feel like an outsider even when he was with his group of friends. He was definately one of our class's diamonds in the rough.

I hope Ben is doing well.

 
At Sat Nov 17, 02:14:00 AM PST, Blogger miztec said...

wow. how weird it is to read something about my self like this.let me catch u all up.its pretty kool to see u guys writing and actualy having some kind of thoughts about me and not even negative thoughts pretty kool. first. yes i did drop out after our junior yr. i moved to texas and i went back to school down there where i finished and graduated.(with honors i might add)also went to college and graduated but my love was set in music long ago so i became a heavy metal guitarist and i still wear black shirts lol.i live in san antonio texas.

ps i never married anyone named maria lol.

 
At Sat Nov 17, 07:02:00 AM PST, Blogger TWORIVERSWALRUS said...

Woah, we have a Benji sighting! Ben, tell us more! Do you have any pictures? How about an E-mail address? Do you play in a band? If so, is there a website?

 
At Sat Nov 17, 03:00:00 PM PST, Blogger miztec said...

miztec26@aol.com

 

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