Tuesday, January 31, 2006


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.


At Tue Jan 31, 02:16:00 PM PST, Blogger the_meff said...

Mr. Blonde. Definitely. "are you gonna' bark all day, little doggie, or are you gonna' bite?"

I always figured this guy hated my guts because everytime he walked up to or past me, he seemed really pissed off. Then, all he'd do is nod a SLOW hello or toss out a quick "what's up?" or something and move on.


Four laps?! That's almost superhuman...hopefully his current batch of swimming students aren't all getting brain damage from emulating their teacher...

At Wed Feb 01, 08:01:00 PM PST, Blogger SonnyKidd said...

Now Burt, even you must remember rousing games of "Kill Rozy" on the football field at McGee. Basically, give Rozy a football, it's then his job to run across the field. Easy right? Insert the "kill" portion of the game. Several, meaning MANY, people would then try to tackle him. Yes, I said TRY. Given Rozy's "Bear" like stature, it took several people to bring him down.

Rozy was, and always will be, my best friend. We may not talk much or see other much, but we shared so much as kids, teens, and adults, our souls are forever entwined. I have a million stories, but few that people (outside a select few) would probably care to hear.

One correction too, not poker, Sheepshead. Sheepshead was our game of choice, and cost me plenty of allowances.

At Wed Feb 01, 09:22:00 PM PST, Blogger TWORIVERSWALRUS said...

I could have sworn it was poker. But Brad also mentioned that it was sheepshead. So I'm obviously wrong. Of course I can be forgiven, since I was never around for any of it. Perhaps it was Craig's bragging about it somuch that brought the wrath of Mr. Wood down on you all. He blabbed about all the money he won to the entire class in Mr. Schwantes' room.

"Kill Rozy" sounds vaguely familiar. But without your story, it never would have crossed my mind. I guess I never played.

At Sat Feb 04, 12:29:00 PM PST, Blogger Rozy said...

How do you remember this stuff?
It was sheepshead and craig R was the leader who kept the notebook and all of our money.
Everything else is correct.

At Mon Feb 06, 01:17:00 PM PST, Blogger Brad Strouf said...

Remember when we stayed at Drew's mom's condo at Fox Hills in Mishicot...think it was during our senior year...something about that night sticks in my head involving Rozy...Damned if I can remember what though...

At Tue Feb 07, 08:56:00 PM PST, Blogger SonnyKidd said...

Was that the night I was in the closet? Or was that another drunken evening spent at Fox Hills? God help me...

At Wed Feb 08, 08:18:00 AM PST, Blogger Brad Strouf said...

It was the night Drew and I argued and it came to blows...Rozy was doing something that I remember as funny or shocking, or both...You and I drank spilled wine coolers out of a big plastic container that we had carried used to carry our supply of drinks into the room...I don't remember you being in a closet, but for the love of god, come out of the closet Kidd!!!

At Wed Feb 08, 08:19:00 AM PST, Blogger Brad Strouf said...

Yeah, I know that last entry wasn't grammaticaly correct, I'm typing too fast...you guys know what I'm trying to say.

At Thu Feb 16, 08:23:00 AM PST, Blogger mimikatemom said...

Hi Jay!

Thanks for popping in my profile :) I should have piped in sooner because I have a good memory of you I wanted to share. I got to see a softer side of Jay...and he always made sure I got a carnation on Valentine's day. He knew it was important to me. Always a gentleman.

I met Jay in 4th grade...Mrs. Sanville's class. He was my first crush and I think I probably asked him EVERY day if he was going to belong to the swim club that summer. He was completely unimpressed :) But we did get to be pretty good friends in middle and high school as we had swimming in common. I think I remember him having more patience than most in teaching me to play sheepshead.

Interesting to hear you're still coaching that team! That's so great! I was more cheerleader than coach but I met some great kids. How's Phil? What do you like about it?
I started swimming with a masters swim group and average 3400 yds 2x week...not bad for an old fart!

At Thu Feb 16, 01:13:00 PM PST, Blogger drew konop said...

fox hills - we started with a fridge full of 6 cases of old milwaukee, and ended with a six pack. jay brought vicki. jason - i believe this is the night of your closet story. later that night vicki said something about sexual harassment from the guys in another condo and we all went to kick their asses. nothing happened. jay may have been passed out in the shower or bathtub.

later we put a condom on jim's toe when he passed out. he almost had to have the toe removed because it cut off circulation for 8 hours. brad and i got in a fight about something and he gave me a black eye. i think we tried to finish the 6 pack for breakfast.

At Thu Feb 16, 08:46:00 PM PST, Blogger Brad Strouf said...

...God that was a great party...

At Mon Feb 20, 11:25:00 AM PST, Blogger Jeff G said...

Rozy was a good friend whom i'd do just about anything he'd ask of me. EXCEPT for the party (was it a corn roast?) at Drew's when the uninvited cops showed up. Myself and 3 others (maybe Bull and others I cant recall) were hiding in the basement furnace room. I was in the fetal position under some shelving, and had to pee like never before. Someone then kicked and broke (Jim again, I think) a waterline very near my face - the sound of trickling water made the urge to pee even worse.

Regardless, Rozy had already been busted up stairs and apparently decided to offer some community service for his crime, as he proceeded to yell down to us to come up and show the cops our IDs. Couldnt do it Jay, sorry man.

I dont think Jay was very lucky the following weekend either, wasnt that Becky Prausa's that then got busted? Damn.

Had some good times at the swim club and playing cards. Lets get together and play some sheepshead - Jason offered his house.

At Sat Feb 25, 05:18:00 AM PST, Blogger Rozy said...

The time at Drew's house was a joke we were just sitting out back and talking it was me, drew, paula, jason, and someone else I can't remember. Anyways I remember the police officer comming in the back yard and saying this is it this is what I got called in about a disturbance. (I think it was paula b's dad) We were drunk. I'll admit that. I recall cheering on the breathalizer as it rose to a 2.2 reading, the cop was laughing. I started to cry when he took the beer though. Sorry Jeff I don't recall you hiding in the basement but at least you didnt get a fine. The time a week later I was sleeping in Becky's bed Got woken up and fined for underage drinking that sucked! I wasn't even drunk No fair!


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