Friday, January 13, 2006


I moved to Two Rivers in 4th grade. I was put into Mrs. Schmidt's class. About 15 minutes after I was seated in my desk for the first time, I accidentally dropped my pencil on the floor. I leaned to the right to reach down and grab it. Meanwhile, the kid sitting next to me also leaned down to grab it. I got it first. He then looked at me and said, "I steal."

That was my introduction to Randy Klein.

Randy has the distinction of being the first person in Two Rivers to say something to me. I'll bet he doesn't remember.

Later on, near the end of our 4th grade year, we all went on a trip to Green Bay, to see the circus at the Brown County Arena. So we had all filed to the hallway near the front of the school, in the 5th grade area, outside Mr. Spatz' art room. Apparently Randy spit on the floor. Why he did this, I don't know. But he was dumb enough to be seen by (I believe) the music teacher. Was her name Mrs. Hanson? Anyway, she caught him and chewed him out. But her words were nothing compared to what Mrs. Schimdt did. Mrs. Schmidt blew up at Randy to extreme epic proportions. She was really over the top. It ended with an exasperated cry of "You're the worst student I have ever had!"

Wow. She was pissed! Randy was sheepishly in the process of obtaining some paper towel to clean up his spittle. He was red-faced and nearly in tears. The students were deadly silent. There was a huge tension in the air. It had to be broken. And I was just the guy to do it. A few seconds after her "worst student" comment, I came back with, "Even worse than me?" There were some chuckles in the crowd. And Mrs. Schmidt exhaled, but still loudly proclaimed, "No Burt, YOU take the cake!"

Randy and I never got along much. But we weren't at odds with each other either. Randy never came across as the brightest of bulbs. But he was harmless.

As juniors in high school, we shared a health class with Mr. Franko. We had it during 4th hour. And our class was split in two by our lunch break. Randy sat in the front row of tables. He had this bizarre habit of rattling off absolute nonsense and drivel from time to time. Wyatt Wood sat next to me. We were directly behind Randy. Wyatt would often lift his arm up, make a mock gun with his hand, and shoot him. What was wrong with this kid? Well, I found out the answer later - from Randy's own mouth.

He was high.

Later on that year, against my better judgement, I approached Randy to see if he could score some acid for me. He wasn't able to. But in the midst of our conversation, he told me that he smoked pot at lunch every single day. That explained a lot of his antics in health class.

On our senior video, Randy made a comment about participating in the video, so he could be a member of the class of 1989, just once. Congratulations Randy. You participated one more time than I did. In the video, he claimed that after high school he had no plans, other than wanting to get the hell out of Two Rivers.

I ran into Randy several times over the years while I worked at the video store. He was married, and living in Two Rivers. When renting movies to people, I had to ask them for their phone number. One day I asked Randy for his. He looked at me and said, "You're kidding, right?" This is no joke. He'd forgotten his number! In his defense, he claimed that he had recently moved. Eventually he was able to reach into his brain and find that number.

As far as I know, Randy has now fulfilled his dream. The last information I saw on him was that he was married with two kids, and living in Minnesota. In fact, the woman he married was named Lorie. I had her in a couple of classes at UW Manitowoc.

UPDATE - 6/18/07 - Thanks to Shannon Koch for providing this photo of Randy from graduation day, June 4th, 1989. He can be seen in between Brett Gruetzmacher and Brian Klein.


At Thu Jan 26, 10:43:00 PM PST, Blogger the_meff said...

Randy Klein was an inexplicable yoyo who I just happened to get along with. He was a walking contradiction. I believe in third grade I went to his birthday party. Sledding, if I recall. I believe he also threated to beat the shit out of me three days later. Never really got into why. Such was Randy.

My contact with him waned as the years passed. By sixth or seventh grade, I pretty much had zero contact with him.

I recall him to be a little "truth impared," if you get my drift. I remember in sixth grade he told me he was in a massive gang rumble and took repeated baseball bat strikes to the head. The complete absence of contusions or lacerations made his tale a bit hard to swallow. But I guess it took one to know one because I also had the occasional struggle with the truth back then...

At Fri Jan 27, 03:25:00 PM PST, Blogger Brad Strouf said...

I had the misfortune of dealing with this individual years after high school. He was rude, beligerent, and overall a jerk.

Some people change when they get older, some people just get older.

At Wed Feb 08, 12:59:00 PM PST, Blogger Brad Strouf said...

Well, by request here goes...

Let me start by saying that I never intended on becoming a cop, at least not as kid or through high school, not that I thought anything was wrong with it, just never really thought about it.

I made the decision sometime during my freshman year of college and never really envisioned working in Two Rivers, the same small town I grew up in.

But alas, this is what happened, more so because of coincidence than design, but it is what it is.

I worked in TR for nine years...nine very long years. somewhere in that time period I had the opportunity to speak to one of my fellow class of 1989 graduates....Randy Klein.

I alluded to the fact that this particular encounter was not necessarily entirely pleasant...that is true. The following is my account of what took place, at least as good as my memory allows...Randy, if you read this, let me hear your side of things. There's always at least two sides to every story...right?

I encountered Randy driving a vehicle somewhere in the city of Two Rivers. I don't remember why, but I pulled him over. I'm sure he'll claim it was because I hated him or something, but truth be told, I had no idea who was driving the car.

I approach the car and Randy immediately recognizes me. What has started as a not-so-big deal traffic contact turns into a Randy fueled tirade about how much of a loser I am, how I'm using my position to make other people miserable, how hated I was in high school...etc.

Now mind you, I don't know if I ever spoke a word to this guy in high school. But he clearly has some very strong opinions about me.

To make matters worse, he had at least one very small child in the car with him that was not contained in a car seat or belted...that shit makes any parent's blood boil...guess what folks, don't fasten your kids into their seats and you get into an crash, they become projectiles...not good.

Anyway, the last thing Randy says to me as he's huffing off is that I turned in my friend Drew for having an underage party and that's why I became a cop, so I could bust my friends...

Yes, Randy that's the one and only reason I became a cop, so I could alienate myself from the few friends I had...

Incidentally, I do remember the party he was talking about. I did not attend, but I did get a call from Drew that night saying the cops were at his house and what should he do? I think I told him not to answer the door...

Randy, I hope you're happy doing whatever it is you're doing in life...thanks for making my day a little more interesting a bunch of years ago.

At Thu Mar 20, 01:04:00 PM PDT, Blogger Randy Klein said...

Where do you get off posting anything about anyone. Doing something like this is very rude.
You should have stuck to writing numbers in a book.

At Fri May 15, 07:59:00 AM PDT, Blogger Eric Hanson said...

Amusing stories lol


Post a Comment

<< Home