Saturday, January 28, 2006


In honor of Gus' comments in my David Kanera post, I've decided to post something on the weekend. So Gus, this is you - from my perspective.

His name was Tom. But he was better knows as "Gus" - or "Gussie G"

Gus joined us just for our senior year. I'm not sure where he originally came from. But he was a breath of fresh air.

I first got to know him in Mr. Wegner's Current Events class. Gus sat right in front of me. Was there anyone more cheerful and outgoing than Gus? Perhaps B.J. Lutterman. But B.J. left us after freshman year. Gus always had a smile on his face, and was about as good-natured as anyone I've ever known. Everytime he saw me he would greet me with a loud, "BURT!" It was hard not to like the guy.

I don't have a whole lot of memories about Gus. But one minor thing stands out. As mentioned above, we were discussing the current events in the news. And in the fall of 1988, there was (if memory serves) some huge catastrophe in Armenia or somewhere. I think it may have been an earthquake that killed tens of thousands - perhaps hundreds of thousands. Mr. Wegner was talking about how the country was having problems with looting. Apparently some people were raiding the pockets of the dead bodies that were strewn about. Mr. Wegner was disgusted by this, and said so. But Gus raised his hand with what I thought was a good point. He told Mr. Wegner that he shouldn't be so quick to condemn the looters of the dead people, because he wasn't in the same position that they were. In other words, if your home and village were destroyed, and you were in that type of desperate situation, then you too might actually lower yourself to raid the pockets of a corpse. Mr. Wegner still insisted that he would never do such a thing. But Gus argued that he couldn't possibly say for sure. It was a cool exhange to witness. Way to go Gus!

Gus appears twice on our senior video. In one scene, he sings a rap he wrote about the class of 1989. His second appearance is a bit more odd. He faces the camera with a huge handful of grapes, then stuffs them all in his mouth and chews them up. I have no idea what that was all about. I'm sure it's something that I was never made aware of. But I've always been curious.

Gus is one of the rare people that I never ran into after graduation. I knew nothing about his life after highschool. But if memory serves, he was planning to join the Air Force.

About two weeks ago, in anticipation of posting about him, I began to try and track him down. I found some possible information. But I wasn't 100% sure if I had the right guy. But here goes. If I'm correct, I believe Gus got married, but unfortunately divorced in 2004. I don't think they had any kids. I believe he's in the Wuakesha area, and is possibly working for some sort of youth treatment facility in Oconomowoc. Since Gus has stopped by the blog to say hi, perhaps he can tell us more.

UPDATE - 11/11/06 - Here is one of two appearances Gus made on our senior video.


At Sat Jan 28, 05:42:00 PM PST, Blogger Gus said...

I never did go into the Air Force, but into the Army instead. After High School, I my dad moved down to the Chicago area and after being there for a few months, decided it was time to go. So I joined the Army and went to Germany for my first assignment. Was involved in Operations Desert Shield/Storm and decided to get out of the Army in 1995. Went back to the Chicago area for six years and did afew different things, lastly working as a night club manager for Ala Carte Entertainment. After 9/11, decided that I should put the uniform back on and came back active duty Army. Went back to Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom 1 with the 101st Airborne Division. I am now currently stationed at Camp Casey, South Korea. I am seperated now, hopefully finishing up the divorce here in a month or so. She figured out that she can't handle the military lifestyle. As for the senior video, it was not grapes, but a bag of peanut M&Ms. Marty Johnson put me up to that for the video. We were in a class when the fund raiser candy was being sold and someone dared someone to put the whole box of peanut M&M's into their mouth and lost, then I believe it was Marty who then dared me and I did it. The class we were in was impressed and they thought it would be funny for the class video. If there may be any little tid bits you may want to know about, let me know.

At Sat Jan 28, 10:33:00 PM PST, Blogger TWORIVERSWALRUS said...

Gus, awesome to hear from you! I hope you remember me.

I think you were probably one of the "missing" members of this class - much like myself. But now you've been found... as have I. Welcome aboard! I look forward to any comments you may have about anyone.

Thanks for the update. And thanks for the explanation of the M&M's! I've been dumbfounded for years!

I do have one question for you. How in the hell did you find out about this blog???

At Sun Jan 29, 02:52:00 AM PST, Blogger Gus said...

Believe it or not, I was bored at work one night and typed in the school and this was one of the links. I have to admit, I have enjoyed what I have read so far. I will look forward to the future posts. I am still trying to picture your face, but I believe I do recall you. Have not seen the yearbook in quite a long. I also told Marty Johnson about the site, so he may drop by one day. As for the video, maybe one day I will have to get a copy somehow.

At Sun Jan 29, 07:29:00 AM PST, Blogger TWORIVERSWALRUS said...

Wow. The blog is only 18 days old. And it's already in search engines. That surprises me. What exactly did you type in to find us? I knew it would happen eventually. I just didn't expect it to happen so soon. Cool.

As for a copy of the tape, I can make one for you. Drop me an E-mail at BUSTERKOONS@YAHOO.COM

At Tue Jan 31, 01:22:00 AM PST, Blogger Gus said...

I just typed in Washington High school, Two Rivers on google and this was the first link that showed up. After you posted your school i.d., I now remember who you are. I am just suprised that you remember me at all. The year and a half that I spent there for high school made me think that I was pretty much forgettable. But as you said yourself, now that I have been found, I will make sure that I keep up with your blog. By the way, what made you decide to do this? Not that I see anything wrong with it. Makes it nice to remember some of the days back then.

At Tue Jan 31, 06:58:00 AM PST, Blogger TWORIVERSWALRUS said...

This blog was originally intended for me and me alone. It was just a place for me to put down my memories from years gone by. I figured I should do it before my memories fade. Then as I get older, I can look back and laugh.

I honestly never expected to have this much attention. Other than Meff, I told one person - Jason Anderson. Jason told a few people. And now the blog is showing up on google. I put the name "Craig Rysticken" in google. My blog shows up on the first page.

Anyway, this blog is still for me. But if others are enjoying it as well, that's great. I love reading everyone's comments. This is turning out to be a lot of fun.

You were a cool guy Gus. I don't think anyone who crossed paths with you would forget you. I sure haven't. I can still mimic the way you used to say my name whenever you saw me. Keep in touch. And add your two cents anywhere you like. I look forward to hearing more from you.

At Sat Mar 04, 06:13:00 AM PST, Blogger cawelnicke said...

Tom and I used to work at Hardees in Two Rivers. On the weekends, it was usually the High School kids that had to work 3rd shift. Bar rush was typically the worst. I remember one weekend, for whatever reason, Tom came in (he wasn't working) during bar rush and decided to help out. After things calmed down a bit we told him to go home and get some sleep because he needed to be in at 7am. Tom said he would just sleep in the ball pit and we should wake him up in time to change for his shift. When I went in to wake him up, he was totally covered in those little plastic balls. Funny but gross at the same time. Do you know what they find in those ball pits!?!?!?!?


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