WASHINGTON HIGH SCHOOL TWO RIVERS WI CLASS OF 1989

Monday, January 16, 2006

LARRY DAFFNER

Where do I begin? On our senior video, Larry mentions that we probably have many reasons why we'll remember him. Yes Larry, oh yes.

Some of the Larry stories predated my arrival in Two Rivers. But the stories were legendary. Larry apparently cried one day when he couldn't get chocolate milk at lunchtime. While at recess, someone found an old pair of pantyhose blowing outside. A few kids took it upon themselves to grab it, then stretch it over Larry's head. I think Larry also peed in a corner, outside at recess as well.

My first real memory of Larry was in 5th grade, in Ms. Hynek's reading class. As was mentioned in an earlier comment, Ms. Hynek was an enormous woman. She was also a rotten person. I don't think she liked children. Great career choice!

She taught the advanced readers. And kudos to the T.R. public school system. Because there weren't enough desks in her class to seat everyone. So three or four people had to sit at the table in the front. At some point in the year, Larry found himself there.

One day, Larry got yelled at for leaning back in his chair. Ms. Hynek gave him the standard warning about how he could fall backwards. Parents and teachers love to say these sorts of things. But of course nothing ever happens... unless you're Larry Daffner. Larry continued to lean back. And sure enough, he toppled backwards. Ms. Hynek threw a fit. And for the rest of the class, she made Larry sit on the floor.

I should point out that Larry was probably a genius - seriously. The kid had a brain, and was a perfect student. His I.Q. is probably over 200. But his social skills were lacking. And he wasn't blessed with dashing good looks.

One could tell that Larry did want to fit in, and did want to be accepted. When we got to high school, he went through the normal motions - buying a senior sweatshirt, buying a team jacket... The few times that I wasn't able to ditch a pep rally, Larry was always there, screaming and cheering. I also remember him attempting to start the wave by himself. That was both funny and sad. He was unsuccessful.

Poor Larry. He could never catch a break. One of the perils of adolescence is that horrible creature called acne. I was somehow spared any major problems. But Larry... oh Larry. Larry didn't just have acne. He had some sort of super acne - the kind that completely craters your entire face, and no doubt leaves scars. I've never seen anyone who had anything close to what Larry had.

When the senior sweatshirts came out, they were adorned with the name of every graduate from the class of 1989. Well, almost everyone. Somehow an error had occurred at the print shop. And Larry's name was omitted. Yet someone like Doug Wall (who never even graduated) was listed.

I don't know this for sure. But I heard that Larry had submitted applications to several prestigious colleges, such as Harvard, Yale and Purdue. Allegedly he was accepted by all, with the exception of one. Knowing Larry, the school that turned him down was the one that he had his heart set on.

Larry was a good guy. But I think that few people ever got to know that. His socially inept reputation preceeded him. Last I knew, Larry had relocated to Texas, and was a software engineer. He probably makes more money than the rest of the class combined.

UPDATE - 1/23/06 - A recent photo of Larry has been added below. Well, if you consider 2001 recent, it's recent. Also, it turns out that Larry wanted to attend Purdue University. And he did. Way to go Larry.



UPDATE - 6/26/06 - I found this second picture of Larry. It's from his personal website. Check it out. Although it looks like he hasn't updated it in years. LARRY DAFFNER



UPDATE - 11/10/06 - Funny, Larry was actually the first person I put a picture up for. And he was also the first person I got a video up for (that I put together myself anyway). Here is Larry from our senior video.

18 Comments:

At Sat Jan 28, 04:03:00 PM PST, Blogger the_meff said...

I think of Larry and it brings nothing but a smile to my face.

Sometimes it brings a laugh...

But, ultimately, it brings a certain saddness.

Becuase, let's face it, the guy was brilliant. A great mind. Totally advanced in all ways.

Except one.

Social skills.

As in SEVERELY LACKING...

Having been around him the lion's share of my educational life in TR, from 1st grade on, I was privvy to a multitude of embarassing Larry moments. None of which I will get into here because let's face it, the guy suffered enough...

No matter how many injustices this guy endured, he always kinda' came back smiling... Fortitute? Sunny optimism? Dunno'.

It is time I hang my head in shame as well, folks. I know for a fact I gave Larry a fair share of shit in the 4th and 5th grade areas. Nothing too brutal, mind you, because that wasn't my style, but just little elitist digs that I'm sure were uncalled for.

So, in case nobody from the Class of 1989 has done so, allow me to be the first - an apology of sorts from an Expatriot 1989er.

Sorry man. You were better than all of us.

 
At Thu Feb 02, 09:22:00 PM PST, Blogger Greg Pagel said...

Larry deserved way better. I think I was nicer to him than almost anybody, and still I'm ashamed.

Obviously he had ADHD. He couldn't sit still, he couldn't stop talking, he couldn't stop wiggling around in his seat, and THAT'S why he fell out of his chair in Hynek's class. If the types of treatments available now were available then, he could probably had a much happier adolescence.

Most of us would probably agree he's a good guy. But the fact is that nobody from the class of '89 will ever name their kid "Larry."

 
At Fri Feb 03, 07:31:00 AM PST, Blogger Joe Antonie said...

That guy had a lot of energy.

I have many memories of him. One story involves the Boy Scouts. One summer at camp, all of the scouts were gathered for the bugle call and raising of the flag. There were many Troops there an very large gathering. For those not in scouts this is supposed to be a formal and respectful ceremony. Larry apparently, just couldn't "hold it" any longer and casually undid his fly to relieve himself in front of several hundred scouts and leaders during the flag raising. Cory Schultz was in some sort of leadership position at that time and took it upon himself to throttle Larry and knock him to the ground. The two of them scuffled and quite a scene in front of 100's of impressionable young minds.

 
At Fri Feb 03, 08:39:00 AM PST, Blogger TWORIVERSWALRUS said...

Awesome Joe! Larry the legend grows!

 
At Wed Feb 08, 02:42:00 PM PST, Blogger Tommy said...

Does anyone remeber the time Ms. Hynek made us all give her a hug after we bombed on a quiz... maybe thats been covered already - I'm just getting into this. I believe she got railed by parents and staff for doing so. I recall going home and taking a half hour shower, but still felt dirty (not the last time that happened to me!).

 
At Fri Feb 10, 06:21:00 PM PST, Blogger Brad Strouf said...

Larry, where the hell are you??? We should have heard from you by now...

 
At Wed Feb 22, 12:48:00 PM PST, Blogger moptopjen said...

i kinda miss larry. he was one of those peeps ya wonder about. and what about beth? what was her last name?!?1 she was awesome. sure she was also brilliant, but more so, she might tie with becky k for nicest girl in our class.

larry?!? where r ya? hope all is well!

my main larry memory is when he ran into the closed patio door at band camp. uhg. i've been doing that metaphorically for years, so i can relate a bit.

ps - how's this for dumb: they call patio doors "doorwalls" in michigan. ?

 
At Wed Feb 22, 07:03:00 PM PST, Blogger mimikatemom said...

Jen, you made me laugh my ass off just now! I don't remember if I'm actually remembering him doing that or if I'm just imagining it. I have a weakness for that kind of slapstick stuff. Sure I wonder about Larry too... hope he found his place in the world. thank goodness there's room for all of us!
Remember this...1-2-3-4-5-6-7-Nate!

 
At Thu Feb 23, 07:49:00 AM PST, Blogger Brad Strouf said...

Jen, it was Sullivan...Beth Sullivan.

Her mom was a substitute teacher. A lot of kids didn't like her (Mom)...I did for some odd reason, thought she had a funny, dry sense of humor.

 
At Thu Feb 23, 11:00:00 AM PST, Blogger moptopjen said...

beth! if u show up, sorry for my poor memory. i loved beth in chem II. good memories. and brad, yr absolutely correct - her mom was way cool. i'd love to check out the inside of her head in the midst of subbing.

erin - 67Nate. whoa. now i'm having nej flashbacks. will have to go fnd my pic of drew with his huge toga ass on toga night junior year of band camp.

as for yr sense of humor, do i recall yr being as especially big spaceballs fan? WE'VE GONE PLAID!

 
At Thu Feb 23, 11:17:00 AM PST, Blogger TWORIVERSWALRUS said...

If one were so inclined, one could click on the picture of Larry. Then one could look at the web address and shorten it to the main page. If one did that, one could find other pictures of Larry, in addition to some of his poetry... and an E-mail address, where one could write to him, if one so desired.

 
At Thu Feb 23, 01:22:00 PM PST, Blogger moptopjen said...

except when i do that the address says "flaming packets" or somethingorother. a little scary...if one were the typed to be scared.

 
At Thu Feb 23, 01:56:00 PM PST, Blogger TWORIVERSWALRUS said...

That's it - http://flamingpackets.net/

I don't know if the E-mail address is any good anymore. But who knows?

 
At Thu Feb 23, 06:42:00 PM PST, Blogger mimikatemom said...

Wow, I just checked out the website...poetry is pretty good. I don't know if I'm surprised or impressed or both. Certainly doesn't jive with the Larry I remember. Cute pics with the car.

 
At Thu Feb 23, 06:53:00 PM PST, Blogger TWORIVERSWALRUS said...

I shot him an E-mail earlier this afternoon. It didn't get sent back. So I assume that if he checks it, he'll get it.

 
At Wed Nov 22, 12:55:00 PM PST, Blogger nwalk said...

Larry was awkward, almost borderline retarded, it seemed. Every time I mentioned this, people always reminded me that he was almost certainly a mathematical genius. He had semi-legendary status, not to the level of say, Aluminum Larry Kopetsky but at least at the level of Scotty Paulow or Evie Bates.

Boy scouts allow you to be boy scouts until the age of 18. He was on the way out as I was coming in. Not to say that he was a very successful boy scout, I think he got to 2nd Class, and his time was running out. The room where the boy scouts would meet was an 8x12 closet on the 3rd floor of St. Lukes school. Troop 925 consisted of at most maybe 8 people, not counting the 3 adult leaders. In the back of the closet were the camping supplies in green chests. Larry opened one, and took out a tow rope, something with a length of rope and a big metal hook on the end. In this tiny room, he started swinging it like a cowboy (possibly even saying yee-hah!) Of course I take a metal hook to the back of the head. Some effing genius he was.

 
At Sat Dec 09, 09:00:00 PM PST, Blogger CreativeMuse said...

Larry lives in Plano, TX now. :)

Last I heard he worked for HP/Convex as a Software Engineer. You can Google "HP Convex Daffner" and see many, many blog/forums posts from Larry.

Here's his signature from one of his posts:

Larry Daffner - Software Engineer | email: ldaffner@rsn.hp.com |
HP Convex Technology Center

 
At Sun Dec 10, 09:17:00 PM PST, Blogger the_meff said...

OH MY GAWD!

Evie Bates!

She was that wonky micro-lady who wandered around downtown TR with a transistor radio, muttering to herself all the time!!!

I'd forgotten about her!!!

Thanks man!

 

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