WASHINGTON HIGH SCHOOL TWO RIVERS WI CLASS OF 1989

Sunday, January 29, 2006

PHUONG BAUM

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.

31 Comments:

At Mon Jan 30, 11:51:00 AM PST, Blogger TWORIVERSWALRUS said...

Well well, in doing some research for a future blog entry, I managed to track down and speak to Joe Antonie. He set the record straight. He actually DID like Phuong. And he was not the person who drew this picture.

Joe's a pretty cool dude. I encouraged him to come in and set the record straight about this. He said he would do so. Look for him.

 
At Mon Jan 30, 03:46:00 PM PST, Blogger drew konop said...

i would have sworn joe did that. it also looks like it could be the handiwork of greg pagel. regardless, i'm sorry phuong but i laughed my ass off seeing that again.

 
At Mon Jan 30, 08:23:00 PM PST, Blogger Joe Antonie said...

Well Walrus, you drew me in...

I was very fond of Phoung Baum throughout our senior year. I would even say friends. To the best of my knowledge this was done by Greg Pagel. In reality I have little skill in art/drawing. Not sure how that ended up in your hands, but I would imagine myself being a little guilty having it while being friends with her.

Funny memory from that year would have been in hearing Mr. Hensil try to pronounce her name in class. "Ahhhh...young Foooahhhh would you read this sonnet aloud please...." I wish I knew were she was and what she's doing.

Only the fondest memories of her. Perhaps you maybe confusing me with someone else...I must admit your memory is excellent. You may not realize it, but I was in the backround of some of these stories and legends you tell. I am finding the blog enjoyable to read. Keep up the good work.

 
At Mon Jan 30, 08:34:00 PM PST, Blogger TWORIVERSWALRUS said...

Two new people. I love it!

Thank you Drew and Joe for setting the record straight. For Greg Pagel is the guilty party!

Look around. And chime in anywhere. These comments are great.

 
At Mon Jan 30, 09:08:00 PM PST, Blogger SonnyKidd said...

Love the picture. But come on, regardless of her downside, she had one of the Top 3 asses in our class. Man that girl could wear a pair of jeans...

 
At Tue Jan 31, 07:41:00 AM PST, Blogger Brad Strouf said...

I actually asked Phuong to a dance in our senior(or was it junior...?) year...homecoming I think, although I'm not sure.

She intially said yes, somewhat to my surprise. Then suddenly, before the big day, she decides she won't be attending, no real explanation given, just not going anymore.

Well, I wasn't sure what to do with that, so I accepted it and let it go.

After the dance, she reminded me for at least two or three weeks that she had purchased a new dress for the event and had been looking forward to it...on and on...

I never really understood what happened there. Eventually I forgot all about it and continued on with my life...now, here I am reliving this stuff again...I'm still confused by that situation.

 
At Tue Jan 31, 08:47:00 AM PST, Blogger the_meff said...

By the way, as someone who used to draw comic books with Greg Pagel back in 6th grade (a Star Trek spoof and some inane superhero title called The Face Snatcher), I can absolutely attest that the drawing of Ms. Baum is, beyond a shadow of a doubt, Greg's work.

The prosecution rests, your honor.

 
At Wed Feb 01, 03:24:00 PM PST, Blogger moptopjen said...

Jen A. here...holy crap I am just remembering all the stuff Jeff and Greg used to draw. So did you guys thank the sci-fi gods, or just get irritated when they did the Hitchhikers Guide flick recently?

 
At Wed Feb 01, 05:51:00 PM PST, Blogger the_meff said...

The sci-fi gods were thanked but a formal complaint was lodged with them as well: "Couldn't ya'll have tried just a little harder?"

Amazing memory, Jen! Greg and I sold our souls to Douglas Adams 'round 5th grade. I didn't know it carried into 6th too!

 
At Wed Feb 01, 09:39:00 PM PST, Blogger Greg Pagel said...

The Phuong picture. Yes. I did it.

I think Brad and someone else came to me at lunch and said "Can you draw a picture of Phuong?" I started to draw one, and then Brad said, "No, make her kinda mad with her mouth wide open." So that's what I did.

They made a few dozen copies and then we drew little embellishments on them with captions like "Donkey Phoung" (Phoung with a mule's body) and "Phoungus" (Phoung shaped like a mushroom). After a few days, I think we had a stack of like 20 different versions.

Pretty soon, Phoung either heard about it or saw it and told Mr. Schott, who then called me into his office. He seemed to have called me in only because he had to, because it seemed right away he was going to let me off the hook. I said that I didn't want my initial version to be particularly unflattering, which is pretty much true, and that I didn't add any of the obnoxious details later, which wasn't.

I've sometimes thought about that picture. It was kind of funny, but I mostly feel bad about having participated in that. Actually, I genuinely regret it. I remember Phoung being kind of snarky, but not to me. If she ever reads this, I apologize. It was wrong to ridicule someone that way, and she must have been truly hurt.

Sooo... how y'all been?

 
At Wed Feb 01, 10:37:00 PM PST, Blogger TWORIVERSWALRUS said...

Welcome aboard Greg! The truth can fianlly be confirmed! Did you ever think your handiwork would see the light of day again?

Just curious, how did you find this blog?

 
At Wed Feb 01, 11:06:00 PM PST, Blogger Greg Pagel said...

Come on, Burt. You know all the COOL kids are hanging out at you blog.

 
At Wed Feb 01, 11:59:00 PM PST, Blogger Brad Strouf said...

Well lookee here who decided to join us...not a word from this man in 17 years and he's blaming me for the phuong caricature...hmmm.


Hi Greg, glad to hear from you, if your account holds true that might explain why I was dateless for the homecoming dance I was talking about...actually, it makes perfect sense.

Walrus, I have not made any requests up to this point, but I think a "Greg Pagel" profile is long overdue...I might even have a few comments to add.

 
At Thu Feb 02, 07:20:00 AM PST, Blogger TWORIVERSWALRUS said...

Greg is coming. Time permitting, I'll get to him today - along with Joe Antonie and Drew Konop. If someone shows up in my blog to post, the least I can do is write about them.

 
At Thu Feb 02, 11:10:00 AM PST, Blogger Greg Pagel said...

The LEAST you could do, huh? Gee, you make it sound like a favor.
Okay, turn it loose, Burt. Let's see if I was as dorky in your eyes as I remember being.

 
At Thu Feb 02, 11:16:00 AM PST, Blogger Greg Pagel said...

Oh, yes, and a far-too-belated howdy to Brad, Jen, Jason, Drew, et al... (Meff can go to hell)

I do regret not keeping in touch with any of you. You guys were all great, and may still be. I'll give you an update after Burt posts his fawning character sketch.

Hey, Burt, tell them about the time I wrote a Tall Tale for American Lit based on my first colonoscopy (which had happened earlier that year). I remember that being kinda funny.

 
At Thu Feb 02, 11:42:00 AM PST, Blogger TWORIVERSWALRUS said...

I may be able to provide an update for Phuong. I found not one, but two potential E-mail addresses for her. So I dropped her a line. Thus far, they have not bounced back. So if she checks those E-mail addresses, we might see her. I'll keep you informed.

 
At Sat Feb 04, 06:00:00 AM PST, Blogger moptopjen said...

phoungus? horribly, wickedly funny. we were kinda a-holes back then weren't we? sorry phoung. my memory of her is that all her clothes had the tags on the outside so the lowly ones would know where she bought them. I think i was wearing the same red sweats every day back then. Drew was on to something....
damn i miss those sweats.

hey - Ridge Schott is the COOLEST. he would always sing in the church choir with my rents, so i've seen him a lot over the years. the kinda guy u want in your closest circle of friends. am pretty sure he bought drew's old house when he returned to tr a few yrs ago - then they tore the hs down. i bet he was pissed he had to drive to school.

 
At Sat Feb 04, 09:49:00 AM PST, Blogger Brad Strouf said...

Hey, that's right! Our high school doesn't even exist anymore...wow, Jen is the first one to mention that...

I'm not sure what it means, but it is kind of weird to be alumni of a school that exists only in photos and memories.

 
At Sat Feb 04, 12:34:00 PM PST, Blogger TWORIVERSWALRUS said...

Not only does it not exist. They've renamed it. It's now simply known as Two Rivers High School.

In regards to Phuong, one of the two E-mails was returned as undeliverable.

 
At Fri Feb 17, 05:35:00 PM PST, Blogger Chris Soppe said...

The last time I spoke with Phoung was at our 10 year reunion. She was living in California and worked for ATT. She hadn't changed a bit. Her laugh was always catchy and made you laugh even harder. We were in track together throughout our high school years, we were very competitive! She could always make you laugh. This blog is addicting! I am finding myself checking this daily to see who else has joined.

 
At Mon Aug 14, 09:00:00 AM PDT, Blogger TWORIVERSWALRUS said...

For the record, "Kiki" is not Phuong. But it's obviously someone who knows her. I called the number, and talked to Phuong. She confirmed it wasn't her, as she was unaware of this blog. She indicated that she would send an up-to-date photo soon.

 
At Mon Aug 14, 12:25:00 PM PDT, Blogger Phuong said...

Well, well, well.
Now the truth comes out. First off, Burt, great job on the blog. I haven't completed anything at my desk today because I was far too busy catching up on the usual T.R. gossip of my classmates. Wonderful way to start my busy work week.
To set the record straight, I no longer live in California (it was Santa Barbara) as I became incredibly bored with the "lifestyle" out there and wanted to stimulate my mind. With this, I relocated to New York to precisely work in the music business for a major record label. I have been with Sony Music now for 5.5 years and I have lived in Manhattan for 6 years.
I am still single, noone in New York gets married, if you do...you move to Connecticut. Its' a great time and I love being in the city. Yes, I was here for 9/11 and Yes, it was 10x worse than seeing it on the news. I never once considered leaving after the tragedy, but lately since I've realized how much $ it really does cost to actually buy an apt. here, I've considered leaving. I am going back to school this fall to study interior design at one of the best design schools in the city and am anxious to begin yet, another career. I do not visit T.R. or the midwest too often in the past 4 years. However, recently my father was diagnosed with cancer so I plan on going home more to spend some quality time with him. I went home last May and saw Jeremy Karman in Manitowoc at Brunch. He was very sweet. And I saw Craig Rysticken from afar at the Lighthouse. We did not talk. Other than that...no other sightings. I look forward to reading more about everyone and I'll address Brad Strouf and Joe Antonie on their pages. Laura Stoune told me that Brad was a cop in T.R. and I purposely sped down Washington St. in my Grandmothers' car hoping to instigate a high speed chase but noone stopped me.

 
At Mon Aug 14, 12:57:00 PM PDT, Blogger Phuong said...

P.S.
I forgot to add some things:
* Remember when Josie Scott and Nick Novachek dated?
* What ever happened to Kristin Krings? Big Wally's!!!!
* I worked with Tina Shorts' dad for a little while at Red Owl - Bill - he was great!
* Thanks for putting me in the top 3 Jason Anderson...that's HOT!
* Chris Soppe is the nicest girl, I'm glad she remembered my sense of humor. I remember speaking with her at the class reunion. I hope to run into her again.
* Sharla Peters was also a great girl, she ran track with us as well.
* Josie and Julie Scott we really nice, intelligent girls and didn't think they were better than you Burt. People shouldn't judge others on only one or two interactions.
* I'll post an updated, non-caricature photo of me soon.
til then............

 
At Mon Aug 14, 01:31:00 PM PDT, Blogger Greg Pagel said...

Whew. That wasn't so bad.

Good to hear from you, Phuong. Glad you're well. NYC seems like the perfect place for you -- you have exactly the right attitude. I was too slow for the Urban Northeast.

 
At Mon Aug 14, 02:22:00 PM PDT, Blogger PJ said...

Hey Phuong!

It was nice to hear from you...your Manhattan life sounds so awesome to a girl still living in boring old T.R. and addicted to Sex and the City. I'm glad you're doing well. Had lots of fun with you at the last reunion.

Keep in touch with us all.

 
At Tue Aug 15, 07:27:00 AM PDT, Blogger jenny said...

hey phuong! great to hear from you. i would always wonder about you, how you were doing, where you were at,etc. happy to hear you are pursuing such an amazing future. rock on girlfriend. burt has my email if you want to chat.
cheers to you.

 
At Tue Aug 15, 09:18:00 AM PDT, Blogger Brad Strouf said...

Hi there young lady...

You've led quite an interesting life post-high school. I'm glad to hear you're doing well.

...If I had a dollar for every woman that went speeding down some street trying to get my attention...well, I'd have a dollar.

But anyway, good luck with your future plans, I must admit, I'm a bit jealous of the big city living. Green Bay is starting to feel very small...

"Big Wally's" will always have a spot in my heart. Oh, by the way, the dance you decided not to attend was the homecoming dance...surely, you must remember?!

 
At Tue Aug 15, 06:55:00 PM PDT, Blogger Brenda said...

Hi Phuong....

Glad to hear you are doing well. You look awesome! You haven't changed a bit. Hope to see you at our next class reunion!!

 
At Thu Aug 17, 08:51:00 AM PDT, Blogger TWORIVERSWALRUS said...

What is Big Wally's?

 
At Wed Mar 31, 03:23:00 AM PDT, Blogger Tim Koeser said...

I barely knew Phuong but we almost dated one time shockingly enough. It was all quite interesting, innocent and unexpected totally. Truthfully, Phuong was way out of my class. She was a “preppy girl” a member of the” generic club”. Do you guys remember when the preppy girls would wear black and white on “generic day”? Gosh, we were all such geeks. Even the preps too. I was half jock, half geek and completely nuts and I probably still am. I remember it was after one of the class reunions (which I never go to) that I asked Mark Hendrickson who had showed up and he mentioned seeing Phuong and he told me how amazingly beautiful she was. I really wanted to see for myself. Honestly Phuong from the photo on this site you really are an amazingly beautiful woman. I think you definitely hold the title, in my eyes at least, as the most beautiful woman of the bunch. Mark was right. Just between you and I, I am still completely mystified by what happened in our ultra short “relationship” if one could even call it that. One day you’ll have to explain it all to me for my memoirs. Who knows… Things may have turned out completely differently for both of us if there had only been one window and not two. Lol. I got to tell this story. I believe it was Brenda Dax’s house. It was the only time I had ever gone. I went with Scott Langman and two other guys. Phuong and I ended up “fooling around” (we were playing the lights on and off game in the basement if I recall). There were four couples who were “conversing” and I was partnered with Phuong which completely shocked me at the time because I honestly never thought that Phuong would have agreed to such a thing but of course I went along with it all. All I can remember is that light was coming back on too soon for my liking. But then I think I got a little too serious for Phuong’s liking when I followed her into the bathroom and locked the door behind us. I was a bit of an animal as you all probably know. Of course she rejected my advances at the moment of truth let’s say. Lol. I think I was supposed to turn the light off first but at that kind of time I couldn’t think straight anyway. After being rejected I immediately left her and I was so infuriated that I commanded Scott to take me home instantly which he did. Evidently, some time later Phuong had a change of heart and asked one of the guys (can’t remember whom) to drive her too my house that very same night. I was already asleep. When they arrived Phuong wanted to knock on my window but unfortunately for me there were two windows to choose from. One was mine and the other Dad’s. What a choice! Of course neither Phuong nor the guy who drove her knew which window was actually mine so she gave up and never did knock on that window unfortunately for me. Sorry Phuong but it’s been over 20 years and it is a really funny story at least from my point of view. Take care.

 

Post a Comment

<< Home