Thursday, January 12, 2006


I have many memories of him. He was in Mrs. Schmidt's 4th grade class with me, the year I moved to Two Rivers. We also had Ms. Krause together in 5th grade. It was there that we got to know each other somewhat.

That year several of us got involved with trading football cards. As far as I know, I was the only one who collected the whole set. Jason needed two cards: Joe Montana (his rookie card of all things) and a guy from the Chiefs named Horace Belton. Had I had doubles of them, I would have given them to him. But alas, I only had one. It's too bad too. Because about 15 years ago, I sold that Montana card for $200.00 to a baseball card shop.

In that same year, Jason was run over by the woman who runs Joy's Restaurant. He seemed to be on crutches forever.

Later on, as basbeall season approached, the focus went to baseball cards - and stickers. Jason had a sticker of Gary Carter on his desk. I repeatedly drew a giant penis on it. In a cowardly move, Andy Reinhart told on me one day. I liked Andy too. So be it.

As was with everyone I had in 7th grade, Jason was one of the students I had every class with. He teamed up with Kevin Dehne (much more on him later). The two of them together were like poison. We were all somewhat friends that year. But Jason and Kevin were much tighter. And they had no problem bullying their way with punches on the arm. Jason had a nasty habit of spitting on people as well. I was the brunt of many a punch and spit in my time.

Later on that year, I found myself suspended from school. I only lived a block or so away. And for awhile, a bunch of us (Jason, Kevin, Tom Grassman, Doug Wall, Jim Colby and myself) would walk to my house for lunch. It was just a rowdy getaway. Well, lo and behold, they all showed up on one of the days I was suspended. I wasn't going to let them in. But Jason found his way through an old coal chute, got in, and unlocked the doors.

Things got particularly wild that day. In essence, the house was trashed. Jim had a huge bag of Reese's Pieces. Kevin decided that he wanted it. A tug of war ensued. The bag burst. Candy was everywhere. No joke, as late as three years after, I found some behind the couch or behind the piano. Someone peed on the bathroom floor. Kevin forced Doug to drink soap. I ripped Kevin's shirt. The place was in shambles.

It was more than I could handle. The house was a mess. I had no alternative but to call my mom - who in turn called the school. I refused to drop a dime on anyone but Kevin. I was really pissed at him. I told my mom that it was Kevin and "some big kid." Kevin ended up getting suspended - perhaps for another reason. I'm not sure if anything happened to Jason. But the school liaison officer Mr. Duvall eventually got to the bottom of it, and all the parties were called in. I guess Kevin named names.

A day or two later, Jason came back to our house and knocked on the door - while his parents stayed in the car. My mom answered. And Jason apologized for his role in what happened. Obviously Jason had some sort of repercussions. I never told anyone about it. Jason never spoke of it either.

After that year, Jason and I had little or no contact. We took vastly different paths. He ditched Kevin Dehne, and started to hang out with the popular crowd. He seemed brash and cocky to me. I didn't care for him.

In our sophomore year, I had Jason in Mr. Scriver's history class. Midway during one class, we heard a loud thump, followed by a cry of "Jason!" It was Erin Hynek. She was sprawled out on her butt, legs stretched out in front of her. The shoelaces on her left shoe had been tied to her desk. Jason was sitting at the desk in front of her, and had slyly reached back and had tied her shoe to her desk. Jason pleaded to Mr. Scriver, "I thought she knew!" Erin was laughing her ass of, as were most of the rest of the class. So all was well. That was very funny.

Jason disappeared in our junior year. He was a foreign exchange student. If memory serves, he went to France.

As a senior, he had the name "Rebel" put onto his senior sweatshirt. (I was one of the very few who never got one). On the senior video, Jason acknowledges the nickname and says that he had done some things over the years that earned him that nickname.

I had a problem with that. As my friend Dave scoffed, "Yeah... what have YOU done Jason?"

Rebels aren't popular. Jason was.
Rebels don't call themselves rebels. Jason did.
Rebels are loners. Jason wasn't.
Rebels don't participate. Jason did.
Rebels are troublemakers. Jason wasn't.

See the Jeremy Karman story from yesterday for a post-high school encounter with Jason. It was a very friendly encounter at that. As a matter of fact, the day after that encounter I saw Jason again. He was returning a movie to the video store.

That was the last I heard of Jason in the 20th century. However, a year or so ago, Meff mentioned that he sometimes has to buy computer software from people who work under Jason. Meff has kept this little secret to himself.

But there's more. A few weeks ago, I made contact with Jason. I happened to be on the website CLASSMATES.COM. Sure enough, Jason was listed. He even uploaded a few pictures. He's married and has two kids. He doesn't have as much hair as he used to. But other than that, he pretty much looked the same. I was bored, and dropped him a brief "hello." He responded back with surprise. He even commented that he thought I'd probably be dead! That made me laugh. Anyway, we had a few brief E-mail exchanges. And he encouraged me to drop him a line every once in awhile. So I will. I owe him one right now.

Times change. I hold no animosity towards him. I appreciated him writing back.

UPDATE - 2/9/06 - Jason (Sonnykidd) has commented all over the place - which is cool. And he's also sent a family photo from Christmas, 2005. You can see it below. The other three are from Classmates.com.

UPDATE - 4/10/06 - Cindy Rohrer provided me this photo of Jason on the Magee playground. I'm guessing that this was maybe 3rd grade.

UPDATE - 4/11/06 - Again, thanks to Cindy for providing a couple of love notes from Jason. See them below.

UPDATE - 11/11/06 - Here's Jason from our senior video.

UPDATE - 11/11/06 - As mentioned above, here's a clip of Jason and Jeremy Karman from March, 1990, outside of Coppes, in Manitowoc. Meff and I just happened to run into them. And I happened to have my camcorder rolling at the time.

UPDATE - 10/9/07 - I've been sitting on this update for almost a year. Last December, Meff happened to be at his parents' home. I believe the date was Sunday, December 17th. While there, he glanced at the Journal Sentinel. And for whatever reason, he took a look at an article about homes. And his eye spotted a picture. He looked at it closely. He then thought to himself, "Is that Jason Anderson?"

Now, having seen Jason's family photos on this blog, he looked at the woman in the photo and concluded that she was not Jason's wife. He was correct. As it turned out, Jason and his wife had filed for divorce three months earlier. No big deal. It happens. The divorce was finalized in March.

Anyway, Jason and his new Girlfriend Tara had purchased a home in Hartford together. The article was about affordable homes in the Hartford area. Based on comments made by Jason in Brad Strouf's blog, I believe he and Tara are now engaged. They may have gotten engaged last Valentine's Day. Hell, for all I know, they're now married. But anyway, with Jason's permission, the photo is below.


At Fri Jan 13, 09:51:00 AM PST, Blogger SonnyKidd said...

Well, I've got to give you credit. You have an amazing memory. You bring to life in great detail people, times, and events so far removed from my memory that I've forgotten that I've forgotten them. I will do my best not to take a defensive posture in these comments as this is all water under the bridge. I will make some corrections and additions.

First, those football cards changed my life. What you fail to mention, or perhaps did not know, is that I was caught shoplifting those same cards in 5th grade. It was winter and Drew Konop and I went to Sentry on Forrest Ave. for the sole purpose of acquiring some "free" cards. We had done so many times, there and elsewhere. I thought I was pretty slick sliding the packs of cards into my stocking cap. I then slid them from my cap to my pocket as I put the hat back on and headed for the door. Moments after exiting the store, the store manager caught Drew and I. He placed his hand atop my head (no doubt looking for the stolen merchandise). Imagine his surprise when I removed them from my pocket and asked, "Are you looking for these?" Not my brightest moment. At any rate, my parents practically disowned me, kicked me from my bedroom to the guest room (with the stairs to the attic), and declared that Drew and I could no longer be friends. Drew stood up in my wedding in 1995. It was two weeks later that I was hit by a car crossing the street right in front of Sentry. Following the accident, all was forgiven at home. Please note dear readers: an apparent brush with death will quickly erase past transgressions. Hit by a car, merely broke a femur and I was on crutches forever. I also can tie another tidbit together here. Burt mentions spitting, well...boys will be boys. In a "spit fight" with Cory Schultz, I must've nailed him pretty good once. In a fit of rage he nailed me in the head with a rock, still have the scar on my forehead to prove hit. Well those crutches got me a measure of revenge. It was unintentional, as I recall, but I do vividly remember hitting Mr. Schultz square in the nose with the end of my crutches right in Ms. Krause's room. Man, did he bleed. He deserved it; he was kind of a dick. I was caught shoplifting once more, in my freshman year of high school. Unbelievably, it was not against the athletic code. But my mom, she had divorced my dad by then and was raising me on my own, forced the coach to sit me for 2 games. It was the hardest thing I've ever had to endure. For me, my freshman year, playing football was everything. God bless my mom for having the strength to do the right thing. To this day, if the thought even crosses my mind to steal, I get so sick to stomach that I'm virtually incapacitated, the price of having finally grown a conscience I'm afraid.

I hate Gary Carter, I'm only now realizing why.

Kevin Dehne was poison, no doubt.

What happened at your house that fateful day was another life changing moment. It was then and there my parents put me on the "straight and narrow" so to speak.

I was a foreign exchange student in Denmark for a year. I smoked my first pot while at the Hard Rock Cafe in Amsterdam (though my parents had smoked for as long as I can remember). I had a foursome with an Aussie, a Kiwi, and a jar of honey outside of Paris. I got drunk and smashed a bottle of Jack on Jim Morrison's grave. It was an interesting year for a teenager from small town America.

"Rebel" was a nickname given to me. Earned or not, at least it was not a self-given moniker.

It’s funny as I read your version of My Name Is Earl. We have many paths to choose as this life is lived. Yet, those paths all tend to wind up at nearly the same destination. You, Jeff, me and likely many of the people we knew from back in the day are no longer that different. Marriage. Children. Home. It makes one wonder. Did the choices made in times gone by really have any impact on the here and now? It’s hard to say. The life I’ve lived has made me the man I am today. I think it’s vain of me to think I’ve made some impact on the lives of those people I’ve known before. Yet, not being a religious person, I think this is the belief system that drives me forward. I have to hope that whether your experience with me was negative or positive at the time, that in the end, that experience and its lessons helped make you who you are today.

I look forward to maybe meeting you again someday Burt as it seems you’ve turned out to be a very interesting person. That’s not to say you weren’t before, but it can be said that I didn’t take the time to find out. “If I knew then, what I know now,” and so forth. I look forward to reading more of your mind. My memory of what’s happened before is spotty at best.

At Fri Jan 13, 11:50:00 AM PST, Blogger TWORIVERSWALRUS said...

Welcome aboard Jason. Thank you for the comments. And thanks for not taking any of this shit too seriously.

I had totally forgotten about Cory's bloody nose. That's so cool. And yes, I do remember it now. I also remember that we had some sort of party in class one day, where we all brought food from home. You brought a crock pot full of meabtalls. Damn, they were good. I only had a few of them. But when I went up for more, they were gone. I have an amusing story from that party. When I get to writing about Rod Lumaye, you'll read it.

Your comparison to "My Name Is Earl" is a pretty good one. It's different, as I have no real amends to make. But similarities do abound.

Everyone that I crossed paths with has made some sort of impact on my life. If not, I'd have nothing to write about. Today, I can take it all as positive.

People tend to think that other people never change. In regards to classmates, these are people that are in your life for years and years. Obviously opinions (be them negative or positive) will be formed. And upon graduation, as we all take different paths, and for the most part grow apart, the only opinions we have left of our fellow classmates, are the ones we had formed the last time we saw them.

Nothing could be farther from the truth. Everyone changes. But few of us realize that. The people we knew as kids are no doubt different than they were back then. And like you said, most of us probably lead very similar lives.

Again, welcome. And feel free to chime in anywhere you like.

At Fri Jan 13, 02:08:00 PM PST, Blogger the_meff said...

Picture, if you will, a forest. In a clearing, a cub scout troop has pitched 5 or 6 tents for their annual outing.

One particular tent has two kids, Jeff and Jason. But look closer. The tent seems to be...moving...shimmering...

The damned thing is covered with daddy-longlegs. As in spiders. The nitwits pitched their tent on a nest.


Obviously this horrorshow is my most dominant Jason Anderson memory. It's possible my imagination has embelleshed this event over time - in fact, who knows, it may have just been two spiders, not two thousand.

Other than that, my direct experience with Jason was limited. I believe we got along all right through elementary school. Once middle school hit, I become such a freakazoid anyway that any insults he may have lobbed my way were probably well deserved so whatever.

At Fri Feb 03, 06:06:00 AM PST, Blogger drew konop said...

i can't believe i was outed as a thief, but i will flow with it. the unmentioned details is that i too stole a pack of football cards (what is coveted more by a 5th grader?), but was not caught. jason, you are not nimble. how pissed am i that i had a ride home in a cop for no 'caught in the act'? guilt by association? fuck that! what i did not know until this moment is that you were caught again as a freshman?! i stole cars and joyrided with kiffee thee and/or shawn piccard, but was never caught. my (juvenile) record is clean. jason, how did you not end up in san quintin?

At Fri Feb 03, 02:46:00 PM PST, Blogger SonnyKidd said...

Me? Weren't you involved in the whole Enron thing Drew? How did you get away, Mr. Financial Wizard Man? And anyways, dude, I would own Quentin. Just gotta shiv a guy your first day in and stay away from spooning. Get outta solitary and it's all good. I mean, at least that's what I've heard. Cause I, I wouldn't, well you know...Cheese help me out here.

You get yourself a wife yet Drew? Or little Drewlings? I've already polled Cheese, do we want to try and get the boys together again this summer? Lemme know. Maybe we should have a Burt's Blog Summer Picnic, 1st Annual.

At Sat Feb 04, 10:00:00 AM PST, Blogger Brad Strouf said...

Pretty god damned versed in prison lingo there Kidd, in a scary "know what I'm talking about" kinda way.

Picturing you and "Enron Andy" making a prison break in your orange jumpsuits, cuffed together, running through the swamp with the hounds on your heels...

A Burt Blog reunion, hell that's a good idea. More alumni have involved themselves in this endeavor than have attended the last few reunions anyway...I'm in.

At Sat Feb 04, 12:41:00 PM PST, Blogger Rozy said...

What about applefest my god that was a highlight and one of the reasons you got the nickname rebel

At Sat Feb 04, 02:26:00 PM PST, Blogger drew konop said...

sign me up for any and all reunions. i was at our 10 year and would describe the attendance as "fair" to "quite fair". rozy, where the hell were you? i thought you and your football jersey would be a lock!

At Sun Feb 05, 12:13:00 AM PST, Blogger Brad Strouf said...

That was my apple...you owe me an apple.

You made enought money chucking that apple to cover your sheephead losses for the whole semester. That was very cool...

At Sun Feb 05, 08:49:00 PM PST, Blogger TWORIVERSWALRUS said...

Apple chucking? Details...

At Mon Feb 06, 08:03:00 AM PST, Blogger Brad Strouf said...

It was your pitch, Kidd...you tell the story.

At Tue Feb 07, 09:23:00 PM PST, Blogger SonnyKidd said...

As seniors, we owned the tables on the far side of the lunch room. One day at lunch, I don't know it came about, but I was dared to toss an apple across the length of the lunchroom. I wasn't going to do it for merely the glory however, so people started kicking in dollar bills to entice me. That's all the goading I required. So I bided my time, as the lunch ladies would eyeball us every day and we were sitting right outside the kitchen. I saw my opportunity, rose up, and tossed the apple as hard as I could. It exploded on the wall on the far side of the lunchroom about 5-8 feet from the ceiling. And I mean exploded, there was nothing left, no core, no stem, no seeds, it seemingly vaporized. I then sat down and collected my cash. No one saw me. No one ratted on me. Hell, I don't even know if anyone ever even noticed. But I do recall there being a stain on that wall FOREVER, even noticing years later when I happened to return to school for some reason. Everyone was in awe, that I never got in trouble. That was October 9th, 1988, the first ever Applefest.

At Tue Feb 07, 09:41:00 PM PST, Blogger TWORIVERSWALRUS said...

Excellent! I'm envious. Somehow I think somebody would have narced on me.

I remember a similar incident at Clarke. An apple came flying out of nowhere and skidded off a table near me. Mr. Schnel was one of the lunch monitors that day. He saw the apple land, looked in the general direction of where it came from, saw nothing... and ignored it.

Don't you just love the discipline at Clarke?

At Thu Feb 09, 07:48:00 AM PST, Blogger Brad Strouf said...

Where the hell did all your hair go Kidd??? Christ, turning 36 must be a bitch...

At Thu Feb 09, 02:51:00 PM PST, Blogger Greg Pagel said...

Beautiful crew, Sonny. Well done!

At Fri Feb 10, 02:54:00 PM PST, Blogger Lisa said...

Hi Jason,
That's a great picture of you and your family!! Your kids are adorable!!

So you recognize my last name, huh?? It's my brother-in-laws company. My other brother-in-law works there too and my husband is an IT manager at an architecture firm, so as you can see, computer's run in their blood! If you ever apply there, I'll put in a good word for you!!!

I'm glad to hear you are doing good!!


At Sat Feb 11, 08:00:00 AM PST, Blogger Brenda said...

Hi Jason...long time no see. Nice looking bunch. Glad to see you are all doing well. Say "Hi" to Wendy for me!

At Sat Feb 11, 06:25:00 PM PST, Blogger SonnyKidd said...

Just realized, I never really did update my own bio.

I graduated from Madison in '94, married Wendy in '95 (I'm sure many of you may remember that party, my Dad still glows with pride about having to pay for the bar tab and the 10 half-barrels of beer we drank). We lived in Green Bay for a bit, then moved to West Allis on the west side of Milwaukee. Wend was going to Carroll College in Waukesha for her Masters in Physical Therapy. We bought our first house, a tiny starter home, in West Allis and moved in '01 while Wend was 6 months pregnant. In May '01 came Logan, named after Wolverine from the Xmen (I got back into collecting comics in college). Wend graduated in December '98 and got a job at St. Mary's Hospital in Racine (right alongside Jackie Karman - yes, Jer's wife). Fast forward to Sydney's (more or less named after Jennifer Garner's character in Alias) birth, 11/04. Now with 2 kids in the same tiny starter home, it was time to move. In February '05, within a two week period of time, Wend got a new job, we bought a new house, sold our old one, and moved...all with a 10-week old baby. So now were in West Bend, WI. We essentially more than tripled our living space in the new home. Wend is heading up the Vestibular Rehab program for the West Bend Clinics. I am the Senior Sales Manager for PCMall (a business to business computer reseller) in Menomonee Falls. Logan heads to Kindergarten this fall. And Syd is a walking, babbling, crazy thing.

And the funny thing is...I'm a stone's throw from Burt, Meff, Rozy, Drew, and who knows who else...and never see them. I really want to thank Burt for reaching out and kind of putting us all back in touch.

At Mon Feb 13, 08:56:00 AM PST, Blogger mimikatemom said...

Hey Jason,
Great picture! Cheers on all your successes :) I have good memories of hanging out at your house with everyone playing games. Much alcohol consumed. Your wife works in an area that I was always interested in as an audiologist...balance disorders. I see many people who get better because of the work PT's like her do!

At Wed Feb 15, 10:09:00 PM PST, Blogger SonnyKidd said...

Ah, Cheese, I'm not 36 yet. And besides, we can't all be superheroes, Jerky. You sure that picture of you was from only a couple of years ago? It looks like your publicity photo from the back of the DVD Buttman: Kicking Ass In Anal Alley from your pron days. Nice mustache...Cheese...where did that nicknake come from again? I think it's obvious...

At Thu Feb 16, 08:59:00 PM PST, Blogger Brad Strouf said...

You bald guys sure are sensitive...sheesh.

I know you always thought of me as a "superhero" anyway, now you know my true identity.

At Fri Feb 17, 10:10:00 PM PST, Blogger SonnyKidd said...

Hey, I may bald...ing, but at least I'm fat! Wait...uh...you suck Brad! How big is your head anyways, oh ye of the most commented post? Of course, they are mostly your own...

At Sat Feb 18, 06:59:00 PM PST, Blogger Brad Strouf said...

Blah!, you're just jealous...oh damn, now you're one comment closer to me. How do I delete this...shit.

At Mon Feb 20, 09:59:00 AM PST, Blogger moptopjen said...

Jason - yr fam is so darn perfect! Looking good my friend....

At Thu Jan 04, 12:26:00 PM PST, Blogger BloggerAnonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At Thu Jan 04, 12:26:00 PM PST, Blogger BloggerAnonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At Fri Jan 05, 03:38:00 PM PST, Blogger Greg Pagel said...

That was not appropriate.

At Sun Jan 07, 08:28:00 AM PST, Blogger SonnyKidd said...

Well, well, well...

I appreciate Cheese coming to my defense, but it's really not necessary. As Burt has used CCAP in the past, I'm sure it's plain to see that I am indeed getting divorced. The situation regarding my divorce is not nearly as black and white as the person commenting would make it. In the interest of brevity, I was unhappy with my living situation. It was affecting all aspects of my life, personal, professional, parental...and I needed to make a decision. It was easily the most difficult decision in my life. I had the courage to do what I thought was necessary to make improvements in my life, to increase my happiness, and thereby increase the happiness and quality of life of those around me. My decision to get divorced was made prior to any involvement with Tara. Yes she worked for me at one time, though no longer. Yes, she is getting divorced, those wheels were also in motion prior to our relationship. That is in fact how we came to be together. We were both going through difficult times and found each other's company comforting. One thing led to another. The end result? I am nuch happier. The kids are doing great, Tara is great with them and they have taken to her quite well. Wendy has also found potential new love and has met a man that she's been dating for a few months. While the complete verdict is not yet in, so far so good, it would appear that my decision was a sound one. As far as the person who commented on this situation. I know exactly who it is. Though I won't name names as SHE has, take her comments with a grain of salt as she is the girlfriend of Tara's soon-to-be ex-husband. She pulled this same stunt at my place of work, has been reported to the police department, and we are currently entertaining thoughts of bringing a libel lawsuit against her for defaming our characters and adversely impacting our abilities to do our jobs. She ain't real bright and she grossly underestimated us. If anyone IS interested, maybe we can get the band back together (what say you Mess, Cheese, Rozy, Roo, Jer & Jeff), hop in the green machine and do a drive by. Because while she thinks she's anonymous...there is no such thing in this electronic age (right Burt?). Who's with me!?! I welcome any and all comments...bring it, I'm not afraid.

At Sun Jan 07, 04:02:00 PM PST, Blogger TWORIVERSWALRUS said...

Hey, I'd come. Nothing like a little childish fun.

Can I film it?

At Sun Jan 07, 07:32:00 PM PST, Blogger Pewter said...

jj, jj, jj……always the eternal optimist. One of your better qualities, “f#*~ them!” If I didn’t know any better I would say still seems to be true. Thought your “diction and annunciation was very very good.”

At Mon Jan 08, 09:05:00 AM PST, Blogger Brad Strouf said...

Keep your chin up pal. Oh, and welcome to the "divorce club." It's a distinguished group, to be sure.

Best of luck to you and your family.


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