WASHINGTON HIGH SCHOOL TWO RIVERS WI CLASS OF 1989

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

ANGIE OWENS

If memory serves, Angie joined us in our sophomore year. Where she came from, I don't know. But I'm glad she did.

In my opinion, Angie was one of the prettiest girls in my class. She's definitely top-5. Hell, she might be #2 behind Jenny. She was a really nice person too.

My first real memories of her are from junior year. I had Angie in the now-famous creative writing class with Ms. Sapa. One day Richard used the phrase "put a broom up her snatch" in some context - unrelated to Angie. Angie hadn't heard that phrase before, and asked, "What's a snatch?" Anyone within earshot started to laugh. Someone (perhaps Tim Koeser?) replied, "You don't know what a snatch is?" To which she responded (a bit louder) "No, what's a snatch?" Everyone was laughing at that point.

During that same year, I think she began going out with fellow graduate Brett Gruetzmacher. In fact, I can't recall who it was. But someone once told me that the two of them were practically attacking each other on a couch at some party, to which they were told to "go get a room."

Angie went out for sports. I believe she was on both the softball and swimming teams.

I think Angie lived next door (or at least in very close proximity) to fellow graduate, Nick Novachek.

I ran into Angie and Brett countless times at the video store. They were always very nice. In fact, I can remember Angie wanting to rent some chick flick one evening. She asked if the film was in. Brett was standing behind her, motioning for me to say no. So I stuck up for him. My boss happened to be there, and was unaware of Brett's pleas. He confirmed my mistake and said that it was in. So Brett watched a chick flick that night.

I believe Angie attended college somewhere. I think she had plans to become an interior designer or something. I don't know if that ever came to be. I do know that she and Brett did end up getting married, and moved to west-central Indiana. Angie was some sort of head planner in a children's learning center for six years. But I think she left that position after having a couple of kids. They still live in Indiana today.

MAY SOM HER

Had it not been for his picture in my senior yearbook, I would have no knowledge that this guy ever existed. Who is he? Where did he come from?

It seems like every predominantly white small town high school has a "token Asian" (is that politically incorrect?) in their class. I guess May was ours.

I know nothing about him. I have no memories of him. I don't think he joined us until our senior year. I know I never had him in any classes. Since our homerooms were alphabetical, perhaps Erin Hynek remembers him. Maybe Ross Hofmann remembers him too. Ross? Ross? Nevermind.

It looks like May's full name is Maymee Som Her. He may have married someone named Blong or Doua. I've never met any Blongs or Douas. So I don't know what gender those names would be associated with. Anyway, it looks like May now lives in Wausau, and has for many years.

UPDATE - 3/1/06 - Boy, did I screw up. I must have been picturing someone else. The "Som" threw me. May was not a boy. She was (and presumably still is) a girl. In fact, I remember her quite well. She was actually part of the class of 1988. She must not have had enough credits however, as she technically graduated with us. I had May in speech class, junior year. I think I had her in a few other classes as well. She was quiet and shy, somewhat meek. But she seemed nice.

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Monday, February 27, 2006

LORIE ALAPERET

What can I possibly say about Lorie? Little, very little.

I think Lorie joined us in our sophomore or junior year. I don't think I ever had her any classes. I could be wrong though. If I did, she didn't stand out to me.

She wore glasses. I personally didn't find her attractive. But hey, maybe that's just me. I don't even recall seeing her in the halls, let alone in any classrooms. My only memories of her are from the yearbook. She's pictured.

After high school, I'm pretty sure I never ran into her. It looks like she got married and became Lorie Novak. It also looks like she's gotten in trouble for not paying child support. She even got a jail sentence because of it. The proceedings took place in Manitowoc. But it looks like she may have relocated to Kansas - in the middle of nowhere.

JAMIE GRAINGER

Jamie Grainger started out as a member of the class of 1988. But as a sophomore or junior, I think he was a foreign exchange student. I was under the impression that foreign exchange students got credit for "time served" (so to speak) overseas. Apparently this was not the case with Jamie. He lost a year, and ended up in our class.

I know nothing about Jamie. I may have had a class or two with him my senior year. But I really don't have any memories about him. Although he seemed like a nice enough guy.

On our senior video, Jamie and Dave Kanera joked that they were going to Berlin to tear down the wall. Not long after, that wall did in fact come down? Did Jamie have anything to do with it?

I don't think I ever ran into Jamie after high school. I assume that he went onto school somewhere. Today he appears to work for the Wisconsin Department Of Transportation. I believe he married a woman named Danielle, and now lives near Madison.

UPDATE - 10/4/07 - I was able to locate an online picture of Jamie. You can see it below.

ROSS HOFMANN

I believe Ross joined me at Clarke in 6th grade. He may have had Mr. Burnstad.

Ross was kind of a studly-looking guy, quite popular with the ladies. He was also a jerk.

Dave Svatek once told me that Ross was the first person he knew to lose his virginity. Apparently Ross lost it when he was 11 or 12 years old. If memory serves, Ross was older than most of us. I think he was actually 19 when we graduated. So if Dave is right, that puts Ross at "becoming a man" possibly as far back as 1982. Wow. Throughtout most of 1982, I was 10 myself. Sure, I got boners. But I wasn't actively looking to stick them anywhere.

In 8th grade, Ross and I got into a brief argument in the lunchroom. I told him to fuck off. He responded with the oh so typical, "You're dead!" Whatever. Later that day, after school, I walked out the doors with Greg Flemal. Ross rode up on his bike to confront me. He basically badmouthed me, questioned why I'd said what I said, and threatened to hurt me. All the while, some friend of his was laughing at the situation. Ross offered me a deal. He said that he wouldn't touch me, and would let me go, if I were to run around the tennis courts five times. I looked at the tennis courts, looked back at Ross, and said, "Beat me up." The look on Ross' face was precious. He wasn't expecting that from me. I never got the impression that Ross truly wanted to get into a physical altercation with me. So he thought he'd be smug. So be it. I wasn't about to be bullied by this asshole. I repeated it again, "Beat me up." A beating would have been far more dignified than being humiliated by running around the tennis courts like a fool. I wasn't about to give him the satisfaction. Ross didn't know what to do. So he just warned me not to be cocky or anything towards him anymore. Whatever. I just walked past him and went home. I'm sure it was a major blow to his ego.

I had Ross in Mr. Swokowski's art class that year. I remember him telling Nick Novachek that he'd bought a smokeless ashtray for his dad - for Christmas or something. Of course he mentioned that he was planning on using it himself, if it truly worked, so his parents wouldn't know he was smoking in the house.

In our freshman year, Ross and I somehow got teamed up together in two-on-two basketball in gym class. We slaughtered our competition. Well, I should say HE slaughtered our competition, with just a little help from me. But I made a few baskets too.

In our freshman year, our school was hit with a plague of suicide attempts. Ross Hofmann was one of them. I never knew the circumstances involved. But I think he shot himself in the chest or shoulder or something. Rumor was that he lost a lung. He was out of school for several weeks. When he returned, I heard some people mention that they were "shocked" that he was still smoking. Dave told me that Ross mentioned to him that he got tired of people asking to see his scars. Can you blame him?

As a sophomore, I had Ross in Mr. Conrad's biology class. The only thing I remember about him is that one day he began mocking Sheila Vanne. Sheila had some sort of obsession with her boyfriend, and was always going to the door to see if she by chance would catch a glimpse of him. Ross paraded himself and did a great job being Sheila. It was pretty funny - to everyone accept Sheila. Perhaps Ross did have a good sense of humor. But I'd guess that only people who were close to him ever got to see it.

In our junior year, both Richard and I found a class picture of Ross. So we each put one on our respective trapper keepers. Why? Who knows. Ross knew about it and said to me, "I know you have my picture on your trapper." He statement sounded sort of ominous. But he said nothing more than that.

I think in our junior year, Ross started going out with fellow graduate Lisa King. I think they remained a couple throughout our senior year as well.

In our junior year, Richard and I would sometimes accompany Dave's sister Kelly, and go to the Coommunity House to watch Dave play basketball in some sort of rec league. One night, Ross was there as well. He and Lisa (and a few others) were on the stage, on the other side of the room, far away from the bleachers where we sat. I think Kelly had left to go to the bathroom or something. For whatever reason, Ross took this opportunity to whip a basketball at me. So he flung this ball from quite a distance. His aim was good. Of course as the distance was so great, I could easily see it coming for quite some time. I casually moved to the side, as the ball clanged against the bleachers. Why did he do this? No reason - other than the fact that he was an asshole.

At the very end of the year, I was sitting in study hall. I was at the front table, close to the pencil sharpener. Ross came up to sharpen his pencil. As he was doing it, he turned to me and said something like, "I'm getting sick of your shit!" He then went off on me about absolutely nothing. When he'd finished his infantile tirade and walked away, I turned to Richard and said, "What the hell was that?" I had done nothing to Ross. I had said nothing to Ross. I had no contact with Ross whatsoever. He hadn't even accused me of anything. So what the hell was he talking about? Nothing of course. Ross was just an asshole.

According to Dave, during the senior lock-in, Ross and Lisa allegedly got caught having sex in the balcony of the basement gym.

Ross was very athletic. He was perhaps the star of the track team. But as a senior, his fellow teammates voted Dave Svatek as MVP. According to Dave, Ross was a little miffed about that, feeling that he should have gotten the award. Dave thought that Ross should have won as well. But it was a popularity contest. Dave was well-liked. Ross was not. Sorry Ross. You lose.

Ross was planning on becoming a mortician. I don't know if he ever did. Did his parents own Hofmann Monuments? I ran into Ross a couple of times at the video store. He never talked to me. Eventually he got married to a woman named Barb. I believe they live in Manitowoc today.

UPDATE - 4/11/06 - Cindy Rohrer has provided me a copy of a "love letter" that Ross sent her. Good stuff! Although I think Ross should have been boning up on his spelling, as opposed to worrying about boning. See it below.

HEATHER BAILEY

This one is a bit of a stretch. But I remember her.

If memory serves, Heather moved to Two Rivers just in time for 7th grade. I believe I had her in every class in 7th grade. She was a really cool, very friendly. She had a southern accent, and had moved from Mississippi - I think.

For awhile, she sat right behind me in Mr. Longhini's math class. We talked a lot. I remember her telling me that her ex-boyfriend from Mississippi was named Isaac. The only Isaac I knew was the bartender from The Love Boat. I kidded her to no end about that. It seems pretty dumb today.

Heather lived in an apartment on 40th street, just off of Mishicot road. I had a friend who lived in the complex next door. So I ran into her quite a bit. On occasion she would come to my friend's apartment and play Atari. And God bless her, Heather rarely wore a bra. Loose T-shirts and buttoned shirts would quite often provide me a nice glimpse of her boobs. Heather was an attractive girl too. I was often aroused around Heather.

In 8th grade, I had Heather in Mr. Martell's gym class. She got mad at me once because during some square dancing she was my partner. And one day I had sweaty hands. I don't blame her.

My last memory of her is also from 8th grade. I recall seeing Heather walking across Mishicot road, on the way to her apartment. Fellow graduate Randy Ertman had his arm around her. His other arm was around another girl. Lucky guy! I don't know what went on in that apartment. But I would have loved to have traded places with Randy.

After 8th grade, Heather moved. I have no idea where she is today. Although around 1989 or 1990, Meff told me that he was watching David Letterman. And that night's top-10 list was something like the top 10 prettiest girls in the audience. Number 2 was a girl named Heather Bailey. Meff insisted it was the same Heather Bailey that we went to school with. I don't know if that's true. But I can believe that.

JILL JANSKY

I seem to recall Jill at Clarke. Although she's another person I had little or no contact with.

In high school, I believe Jill hung out with the smoking crowd. I think her friends were Sheila Vanne and Becky Cookle. She seemed happy enough. I can picture her smiling. But I never really knew her.

Jill had an older brother, class of 1988's Jack Jansky. She also had a younger sister, class of 1990's Josie Jansky. Josie was an interesting girl. I had her in Spanish class. I can recall her wearing a dress to school, then sitting in her desk with her legs spread wide for anyone to see her goodies. I looked. I looked a lot.

After high school, Jill married class of 1985's Kyle Feest. In fact, I seem to recall reading a newspaper article about her. Apparently she was showing of her engagement ring to her friends, when she somehow lost it. I don't remember the details. But it was apparently newsworthy enough for the Herald Times Reporter. Eventually the ring was found. So the piece had a happy ending. I believe Jill lives in Two Rivers, and is a stay-at-home mom with five kids.

BECKY COOKLE

I know very little about this girl. I think she may have joined us at Clarke. But I could be wrong about that.

Becky seemed to hang around with the smoking crowd. As I recall, she was friends with people like Janice Ericson and Sheila Vanne - and perhaps Jill Jansky.

I certainly never knew her or associated with her. But she always seemed kind of bitchy to me. She had a lot of hair, and a lot of attitude.

I don't recall ever running into her after high school. Although I don't think she left the Manitowoc/Two Rivers area. It looks like she got married and became Becky Becker. I don't see any evidence of a divorce. But in 2001, she went to court to pursue a different guy for birth expenses and child support. Sounds like a soap opera plot. Becky may have very recently relocated to Minnesota.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

WELCOME - ????????

Someone going by the name of "2time ace" has logged in and left a comment in Tammy Swoboda and Ann Rank's entry. I have no idea who it is. But welcome, nonetheless.

Friday, February 24, 2006

DON CIHA

I think Don joined us at Clarke. He was sort of a hefty fellow who wore glasses. He was a card carrying member of the nerd club.

I could be wrong, but I believe in 8th grade, when Clarke held that ridiculous mock presidential debate, Don was on the panel for the democrats. He was an intelligent guy. It wouldn't surprise me.

In my freshman year, I often sat across from Don at lunch. He and David Duvall were good friends. Everyday Don would give me his potato chips. Thanks Don! And no, I didn't bully them from him. Bullies suck. Don was just a nice guy. He used to mention that although he didn't have an allowance or anything, his parents would usually get him what he asked for. What a score! Of course Don wasn't the type of guy who would take advantage of them. For if he did, he might lose his nerd card.

One day I saw a really goofy side of Don. For whatever reason, the discussion of porno films came up. And the usually shy Don said that he'd heard of a movie title called "Fucking In The House." I laughed. Don laughed, and laughed, and laughed, and laughed. What the hell was wrong with him? I don't know. But the idea of a movie with that title put him into near convulsions. I was laughing at him at this point. 20 minutes later, as we all headed back to our respective classes, I ran into Don in the hall once again. He was still doubled over in laughter.

Don was on the chess team. I think he was on the math team as well. What exactly does the math team do?

I have to guess that Don went to college somewhere. he was pretty bright. He may have attended UW Green Bay. For awhile, I think he lived near the border, close to Minneapolis. Today I believe he lives in the Bloomington, Illinois area. To my knowledge, he has never married.

BECKY PRAUSA

Becky is a girl who joined me at Washington. I knew her name. I'd hear her mentioned. But I never knew her. In fact, I don't think we had any classes together until our senior year. Man, was I missing out!

I would see her picture in past yearbooks, and think, "nothing special." But as a senior, I sure took notice. I had her in Mr. Rausch's consumer economics class. We were in a small in-class project together once. She and I had to play the part of employees who were about to go on strike, unless we could come to an agreement with management. I think our management opponents were Jay Rozmarynoski and Jeff Gordon. Jay and Jeff got the upper hand on us. Becky and I got killed by them.

I must admit. I had a thing for Becky. She was a big girl - not overweight mind you. Just a big girl - tall, big boobs, and just right. She was the kind of girl I just wanted to grab and have my way with. There, I said it. So sue me. What made her the full package was that she was very sweet too - just an overall nice person.

Becky was a cheerleader. In fact, for whichever squad she was on, I think she and Lisa Koch were the only seniors.

I believe Becky went out with class of 1988's Doug Szopinski. Lucky fellow, that Doug.

In our senior year, fellow graduate Toby Schwartz "acquired" one of Becky's journals. He said that Becky had written stuff about her and Doug screwing in the shower. Why do people put that sort of stuff in school journals, when they have to know that they could end up in the wrong hands? Regardless, that story made me tingle. What I would have given for a shower date with Becky.

After high school, I believe she went onto school somewhere - perhaps in Minnesota. I ran into her a few times at the video store. In fact, the last time I saw her, she had cut her hair really short, and was wearing a lot of leather. She looked like a stereotypical biker chick. She eventually married, and became Becky Price. I could be mistaken, but I thought I read somewhere that she and her husband had opened up a bar - or were in the process of doing so. For a time, they may have lived in North Carolina. But today, I believe they're in the Milwaukee area.

UPDATE - 11/16/06 - I heard from Becky this past weekend. Apparently she and Shannon Koch, Becky Monka, Lisa Pauze and Mindy Moore got together for a mini-reunion, and tried to reach me to come document it for the blog. They weren't able to find me. So I missed out. But I have E-mailed Becky a few times. She said that the Doug she dated was not in fact Doug Szopinski. It was a different Doug. I guess Toby was wrong.

UPDATE - 11/20/06 - I've shared a few really nice E-mails with Becky over the past week. She's filled me in on some details of her life since high school. Her husband works in tobacco sales. While Becky works for a place called "The Association Of Equipment Managers." I don't know what that is. But it sounds important. She and her husband are raising three daughters. Wow. There must have been something in the Two Rivers water supply. Our class seems to have produced a lot more daughters than sons.

Anyway, as some might know, Becky was diagnosed with rectal cancer about 2.5 years ago. After a long battle (8 weeks of radiation followed by surgery, 6 rounds rounds of chemotherapy, and another surgery), she can finally say that she is cancer free. So that's great to hear.

In addition to her job, she sells sex toys on the side - but from a different company than the one my wife does.

Oh, and as a side note to a previous comment - she has no knowledge of it.

Lastly, Mindy Moore's middle daughter was actually named by Becky. The girl is Becky's godchild. For a picture of Becky and her own family, look down.



UPDATE - 6/18/07 - Thanks to Shannon Koch for providing thIS photo of Becky from graduation day, June 4th, 1989.

DAVID DUVALL

David Duvall was a nice guy. He was also a nerd. That seems like such a strange word today. But by every definition, that was Dave.

Dave was with us at Clarke. Although I have no memories of him there.

In our freshman year, I actually sat across from Dave at lunch, many days. Dave was a nice guy - very friendly. He was good friends with Don Ciha. Over the years, he was a member of the chess team, as well as an active member of the school newspaper staff - I think.

I remember him telling me once that George Lucas had allegedly said that "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Return Of The Jedi" would never be allowed on cable. About a month later, "Empire" premiered. Oops!

In junior year, Richard and I used to call him "pickles." Don't ask me why. There is no reason.

I had Dave in Mr. Hensel's class, senior year. Hensel would often chide Dave by saying, "Don't smile when you talk!" This exchange went on all year long. Dave couldn't help it. He had a bit of an underbite. So he always looked like he was smiling. It was kind of funny to see Hensel's frustration.

Dave was kind of a lanky guy - tall and lanky, very thin. Picture Gilligan without the hat.

On our senior video, Dave cracked some sort of joke where he said his full name - which consisted of about eight or nine long names. I didn't get it.

In addition to Don Ciha, I think he also hung around with people like Carrie Franz, Rod Lumaye and Debbie Lumaye.

After high school, I assume he went onto school somewhere. He married a woman named Denise. Last I knew, they were living in the Neenah/Menasha area.

UPDATE - 11/10/06 - Here is Dave on our senior video. Check out the name he gives. I still don't get it.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

UPDATE - TAMMY SWOBODA

Tammy has signed on and left a few comments here and there. Welcome Tammy.

BETH SULLIVAN

I've had a couple of requests for her. So here's Beth.

I first remember Beth at Clarke. I don't believe she was at Magee. Beth was small in stature. One might even describe her as meek. She was short and thin. She was also quiet. But more than anything, she was smart. She was "Larry Daffner" smart. If this girl ever got a grade lower than an A, I'd be shocked.

Beth's mom was a substitute teacher in Two Rivers. She was probably the most popular of them all. In fact, she was dubbed "Sergeant Sullivan." She used to play a game with the class called "Sullivan says" - which was more-or-less the same as "Simon says." But I digress.

I'm not sure how popular Beth was. She certainly wasn't mean or anything. Everyone accepted her. But I think some may have been intimidated by her all-around smarts. Let's face it. beth was about as straight-laced as they come. She was the girl who you'd expect to never get in trouble, never miss a day of school, be a perfect student, and stay a virgin until she got married. I reckon she did miss a few days of school. Everyone gets sick. But I'd bet money the rest of that statement came true.

I think Beth was friends with Sheila Zach. I know the two of them went on the senior trip to Mexico with the Spanish class.

I ran into Beth once or twice at the video store. The last time I saw her, she had let her hair grow way out - and big! I think she went to college at Princeton. She ended up getting maried and became Beth Hellman. I think they have at least two children, and live in the Milwaukee area. I believe Beth works for Wisconsin Electric. I'm not sure what she does for them. But I assure you, she doesn't answer phones.

ELLEN DAWIDOWICH

Ellen is someone I first recall being with at Clarke.

She wore glasses. To me she looked like she was halfway between a nerdy look and a pretty girl look. I could never decide.

About the only thing I can recall about her is that sometimes people would purposely mispronounce her name by saying, "Duh - widdawich."

I don't recall having one single conversation with her. In high school, I believe she hung out with people like Anne Wetenkamp, and Jill Jansky.

To my knowledge, I have not seen her since graduation. She went onto college at UW Platteville. Eventually she got married and became Ellen Hoffman. I think she may have lived in Illinois for many years. But now it appears as if she and her husband have moved to Wyoming.

UPDATE - 6/18/07 - Thanks to Shannon Koch for providing this photo of Ellen from graduation day, June 4th, 1989. Diane Debauche is on the right in the top one.



TAMMY SWOBODA

Tammy is another classmate I had little or no contact with. I know she was at Clarke. She may have been at Magee too. But I don't recall having any classes with her at any level.

I do know that she and I shared a homeroom at Washington. Tammy seemed like a shy person, somewhat on the middle to lower levels of the popularity ladder. I seem to recall her being friends with fellow graduate Lori Wavrunek.

Perhaps in our junior year, I kind of recall a transformation taking place in Tammy. She started to wear a lot more makeup. And she dressed a little trashy. I'm not sure she even made it through the full senior year. She simply disappeared. Did she drop out? I don't know. I do recall overhearing Lori telling someone that Tammy wasn't her friend anymore. I think she even referred to her as a slut. Strong words for the likes of Lori Wavrunek!

It doesn't look like Tammy graduated with us. Perhaps she graduated elsewhere. perhaps not. I haven't seen Tammy since high school. But it looks like she ended up getting married, and became Tammy Hanes, thanks to Todd Hanes - who would have graduated with the class of 1988. But I don't believe he ever did. It looks like she divorced in 2004. It appears to be a bitter divorce too. It looks like Tammy has spent considerable time in Missouri, but may have recently returned to Wisconsin. I think she has four kids. Below is a picture of Tammy and her fiance.



UPDATE - 7/20/06 - Kevin Dehne and I ran into Tammy on July 15th. She works at Family Dollar in Two Rivers. She's apparently there more often than she's not. She's going to be working at the Family Dollar in Sheboygan very shortly as well. The two shots below were taken in the store.



JASON GRENIER

Admittedly, I don't know much about Jason. I think he joined us at Clarke.

Jason was a card-carrying member of the black T-shirt crowd. I believe he also was one of the smokers - early on. To be honest, I don't think he and I ever spoke. I tend to think that he was a bit of a jerk. But I have no memories to back that up.

With his long curly hair, I'm reminded of Peter Frampton - circa 1976.

Jason actually didn't graduate with me. He must have been a few credits short. Because he officially graduated from Washington with the class of 1990.

I think I occasionally ran into Jason at the video store. He eventually married class of 1992's Heidi Krieser. Jason filed divorce papers in August, 2005. I don't know if there are any children. However, it looks like she was pregnant at the time of the filing. Interestingly, although the divorce is not yet final, she has been ordered to pay him for child support.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

WENDY KAPPELMAN

Boy, this is a tough one. I think she was with us at Clarke. But I'm not sure. Did I ever have any contact with this girl? Not that I recall.

Wendy was a somewhat lanky girl - kind of tall, and very thin. She had a runner's body. Hence she was a member of Mr. Wheeler's track team.

Other than that, I really have no memories of her. I think I may have had her in Mr. Hensel's class in our senior year. But that's it. Oh wait. I think I had her in Ms. Neveau's speech class junior year as well.

As far as I know, Wendy has never left the city of Two Rivers. She married class of 1988's Brian Kohlmeier. In fact, did I have both Brian and Wendy in that speech class? Anyway, I ran into Wendy a few times at at the video store. The two of them rented movies from time to time. In fact, Brian was quite late with a few tapes once. So my boss sent him one of those standard letters which threatens calling the police or taking legal action. He laughed when I told him that Brian was a cop. The letter worked though, and the tapes came back. I believe they live in Two Rivers to this day.

NICK NOVACHEK

In honor of my 100th different classmate entry, here by request is the one and only Nick Novachek.

From what I can recall, Nick joined me at Clarke. I didn't have him in class. I think he had Mr. Burnstad - who was right on the other side of the curtain of Mrs. Casey's class, where I was.

One thing I remember from that year is a fight. Outside, to the north of the bike racks, Nick got into a fight with another sixth grader. I don't know how to spell his name. But the guy's name was Jim Tudje. On a side note, I have tried to track down Jim, to no avail. He left us after that year. Perhaps if I knew how to spell his name, I'd have more luck. But for now, Jim is gone. Anyway, the two of them went at it on the grass. It was cold outside. And I think I was actually holding Nick's hat during the fight. It was a pretty decent one. The two of them pounded on each other. Then as quickly as it started, it stopped. In an unusual move, the two combatants didn't shake hands and become friends. What's up with that always happening anyway? Nick stormed off, and looked like he was close to tears. But he fought them off and saved face.

If one remembers Clarke, the main area was a square. Each corner had six classrooms. The 24 classrooms surrounded the library. Each corner was divided into three as well, with a curtain (which could be opened) dividing the room. There was also a backroom which connected the two. Anyway, one day I was stuck inside during recess, doing work in Mr. Burnstad's room. Suddenly Mrs. Casey stormed through the backroom, dragging Nick in tow. Apparently Nick had taken several pieces of gum - and I'm talking 15 or 20 pieces, and was wadding them into his mouth. Is this really a crime? To Mrs. Casey it was. Mr. Burnstad also thought so. He tore into Nick, who sheepishly sat down, red-faced and scared. A minute or two later, Burnstad went one step further. He went into the garbage can, dug out the giant wad of green gum, and pressed it onto Nick's nose, telling him he had to keep it on there for the rest of the day! That was a new one on me. I'm sure he was humiliated at first. But as the day progressed, it became a badge of pride and much amusement. Several hours later, he still had it on.

In 7th grade, Nick was a witness to when Tom Grassman and myself trashed the music room. The next day, after we'd been caught, I saw Nick in the hall, who asked me about it. I was pissed because I thought he'd told on us. I screamed at him, "You narced on us!" Nick insisted that he hadn't. And truth be told, he didn't. Sorry Nick.

One day in 8th grade, Nick was whipping pennies in the lunchroom. I guess his aim was off, because one of them hit me square in the eye. Oh my God did that hurt! I dropped to the ground. Nick came over to see if I was ok. I told him to get away, as I knew he'd get in trouble if he hovered over me like he was. Nick truly was sorry for nailing me. I ended up getting taken to the office and given some ice for my eye. They pressed me for information as to who hit me. I simply said that I didn't know. I don't think they believed me. But what were they going to do? You're welcome Nick! My eye was red for a couple of days.

Later on that year, I was in detention (in Mr. Kern's room) when Nick came in. Mr. Kern had a rule. If you tossed a piece of paper towards the garbage can, and missed, you would have to come after school, and hit 10 shots in a row from the point where you had tried and failed earlier. Nick had tried and failed. So he came in, all confident, with 10 wads of paper. All he had to do was hit 10 in a row in order to go home. It was a lot harder than he anticipated. One time he got up to nine, then missed. He was there about 40 minutes. The detention kids were having a blast! Finally he asked Kern if he could use the wadded-up big ball of tape that he kept in his drawer. Mr. Kern relented. And Nick made 10 shots in a row.

Nick was a fun-loving guy. Most everyone liked him. But he was loud - sometimes way too loud. He sat across from me in Mr. Swokowski's art class that year. Ross Hofmann gave Nick some money for some reason. Then he asked Nick, "You know what you can do with that money, right?" Nick responded, "Buy some pussy?" It's not what he said, but how loud he said it. It was full voice and then some. Somehow Swokowski didn't hear him. A minute or two later, Ross and Nick had the same exchange. Nick bellowed his answer even louder that time. And Swokowski heard it and ripped into Nick for swearing. Tone it down Nick! I honestly don't think he knew how loud he was... all the time.

I didn't have Nick in class. But both of us had Mr. Franke for science. One day Franke was going to be gone for some reason. And he had a thing about abusing substitute teachers. He gave us a stern warning that anyone who causes trouble would be in big trouble when he got back. Well, whoever the substitute was, said that I "fooled around a little bit." Great. Franke made me stay after school to help the janitors clean up for an hour. Nick and Dave Kanera must have fooled around a lot. Because they got a week of cleaning.

I never hung around with Nick. But he had a reputation as being a drinker - a heavy drinker. And by his own words, he loved beer. He could take or leave hard liquor. But this boy loved his beer.

Whether it's true or not, I don't know. But Dave Svatek told me that Nick once got drunk, took off all his clothes, ran outside in the winter, and fell asleep in a snowbank.

Nick always seemed to have a ton of cash on him. His dad ran a business in Two Rivers. I think they did pretty good. I seem to recall during our freshman year, someone stole some money from Nick's locker during gym class, while everyone was swimming. It was a lot of money too - perhaps over $100.00. Eventually people were searched. I think the money was found. But I don't recall who had actually stolen it. I wasn't in the class.

In our sophomore year, I had Nick in Mr. Ertman's pre-algebra II class. I happened to have my micro cassette recorder with me on the day that Nick got yelled at for talking to Pookie Bergeon - who sat right behind him. Ertman swore at him. Nick said, "She's talking to me!" It was true. But Nick was the one who had his back turned. I still have that tape.

Dave Svatek would sometimes give Nick a ride home from school. On occasion, we would all pile out of the car and go in. In fact, Nick loaned me some porno movies once. Apparently his dad had a ton of them taped. But the quality was really shitty. So I didn't copy them. But Richard Wheeler copied them for himself.

There was a rumor that Nick had a home movie of potential fellow graduate Amy Musial doing some naughty things with a bottle of booze. I don't know if that's true. But I suspect it wasn't. If it were true, the tape probably would have ended up in my hands at some point or another. And people would have wanted me to make copies of it.

I think Nick used to work at River Falls Supper Club. If memory serves, he somehow stuck his arm in the grease frier and burned it pretty bad.

In either our junior or senior year, Nick apparently got hurt at school, falling off the bleachers. I think he was helping out with some decorating for a dance. I never knew all the details about it. But I think he missed several days of school. I assumed he was drunk when it happened. But who knows.

I had Nick in Mr. Kakuk's social psychology class in our senior year. We had a little free time one day. And I put my head down to chill out. By the way, when your head is down, it's like you don't exist. People must think that you're sleeping or something. Because they'll say anything around you. Anyway, Nick was approached by Brad Strouf and someone else who I can't recall. Apparently Nick had gotten laid a day or two earlier. Allegedly the lucky lady was fellow graduate Kelly Siudzinski. And Nick said, "She's so loose." To which Brad replied, "I know." Geez Louise, guys! Anyway, Brad has since confirmed that he was never intimate with her. So that leads me to believe one of two things. Either he was bragging a bit to Nick. Or he'd heard from someone else about her. Either way... geez!

At some dance, Nick was elected King. His queen was Erin Hynek.

At the very end of our senior year, for whatever reason, Nick went and jumped into the river - fully clothed. I watched him from the study hall room window.

Nick was a cool guy. I think everyone liked him. Life was a party to him. I wouldn't be surprised if it still is.

I ran into Nick a few times at the video store. he was always friendly. He had at one time planned to become a chef. But I don't think he ever did. He eventually married a woman named Lisa. Today he works in Manitowoc for a company that makes personalized badges and stuff. I believe he still lives in Two Rivers.

UPDATE - 5/17/06 - Cindy Rohrer has sent me this recent picture of Nick. It was taken during Key West's annual Fantasy Fest. My wife and I have been dying to go to this event. One of these years we will. Nick is on the far left. His wife is standing right next to him. Next to her, hiding behind an enermous mask (with fake boobs attached) is Cindy herself.



UPDATE - 7/20/06 - Kevin Dehne and I stopped to see Nick on July 15th. Nick has a very nice home, right on the river. He says he keeps the house simply because of the great party he throws every 4th of July. We sat with Nick for awhile. He's a fun guy to talk to. He has a ton of interesting stories, and some good gossip as well. He also confirmed a few things that have been mentioned in this blog. The shots below were taken in his backyard.



UPDATE - LISA KING & MARK GORDON

I found a photo from 1981 that has both of them in it. I put it in Lisa's entry. Enjoy!

GREG FLEMAL

Greg was with me at Magee. But I didn't get to know him until 6th grade at Clarke. We had Mrs. Casey together. In fact, over my three years at Clarke, Greg ended up being one of my best friends.

In 6th grade, the trio of Greg, Ken Bartz and myself were good friends. Although the three of us never hung around together outside of school, Greg would often come over to my house, as it was pretty much on the way home for him as well.

Greg was a strong boy - stronger than most people probably realized. And he could push people on that clown swing like no other. He was the man!

This is a bit strange. But at some point that year, Greg and I made a haunted house in my attic. We never got anyone to go through it - save for Greg's younger sister. But what can you do?

Greg often came to my house after school to play Atari. That's pretty much all we did, save for the haunted house thing. On occasion, he would walk to my house before school as well. I went to Greg's house a few times as well. But interestingly, all the times I was over there, I never actually went in his house. His mom always seemed kind of grumpy. So we often played baseball in his backyard.

Behind Greg's house was a wooded area. And there was something cool back there. Greg and his siblings had a clubhouse of some sort. It was a hangout which was literally, a small house. It had a roof. I believe it was heated as well. Greg's older brother would use that place to drink beer with his friends. It really was cool.

Back deeper in the woods was a path of some sort. I went for several blocks, starting around the 42nd street area, and leading all the way down to the river. Well, there was a side path that went right to Greg's clubhouse. One day, perhaps a few weeks after Greg had showed me the place, I was with my friend Bobby Streu. And we used the back path to walk to the clubhouse. So what did we do when we got there? We broke in of course. Some friend I was, huh? We stole a flashlight, a ball, and a case of beer - which was missing one can. Keep in mind, that this theft took place in the spring of 1983. This date is important later on. A few months later, Greg was at my house. He actually saw the flashlight, and commented that he had one just like it. The key word there was "had."

Greg accompanied me in stealing milks for our fellow classmates during the night we spent at Camp Tapawingo. See my Wyatt Wood entry for the details.

In 8th grade, Greg and I ate lunch together. After eating, the students would head into the gym until the lunch hour was over. One day Greg and I were screwing around, pushing each other a bit, as we sat on the bleachers. We weren't fighting or anything. We were just playing. But Mr. Kern sauntered over, put up his hand and said, "five" - as in five detentions - for me, not Greg. What the fuck??? First off, we weren't fighting. Second, why did he single out me? I'll tell you why. Because Mr. Kern was a fucking asshole who hated me. Prick.

In the second semester of that year, Greg had Mr. Swokowski for art class. Apparently several students started to take a bunch of markers and stuff from his classroom. It seemed sort of petty. But allegedly a lot markers and pens were taken. Swokowski noticed. Before long, several students - including Greg, got suspended for three days. It was a minor scandal. I asked Greg about it the day it all came down. He looked scared to death, saying his mom was going to remove his left nut. Greg was not a troublemaker by any means. This was pretty much his first and only act of this kind. He seriously looked petrified. But when it was all said and done, I think he enjoyed the notoriety. He liked being able to brag that he'd gotten a suspension.

Our house got a Beta VCR in October, 1984. I became a taping fiend. In the spring, Greg would come over on either Tuesday or Wednesday nights to watch films. My parents weren't home. So we'd pull out a bunch of cable nudie classics like Porky's, Joysticks or Losin' It.

Once we got to high school, Greg and I stopped hanging around together. It became painfully obvious that Greg wanted to strive for popularity. I had no interest in it. So he had no interest in me. Of course he wasn't going to reach the upper levels of the social ladder regardless. In fact, Mike Clarksen told me that he overheard Greg saying something nasty about me - I was no good, or something like that. Whatever. As high school progressed, I think he hung around with Stan Conrad. He also became a regular wearer of black T-shirts. At the time, I remember thinking that he probably would be mortified if anyone saw him holding a Cyndi Lauper album. But that was then. This is now. The photos below are from January, 1985. In all honesty, I like that album! Click it to see them larger.



In my sophomore year, I had a paper route. I had some major restitution to pay off! Anyway, as I was riding my bike down the street while I was delivering one day, I noticed greg. He flagged me down. Now get this. He accused me of breaking into his clubhouse a few days earlier. What??? I barked right back at him that I hadn't done any such thing. I asked him who had told him I'd done that. His answer? Bobby Streu. Yes, my cohort in crime from three or four years earlier had ratted me out for a crime I didn't commit - a crime that he most likely committed himself. Whatever. I guess I deserved it though. Although I deserved it years earlier, not then.

I had Greg in gym class my freshman year. When we played baseball, he had a very strange stance. He would crouch really low when he swung the bat. I'm not sure why I remember that. But it was kind of funny-looking.

Greg was a good artist. At the very least, he could draw really well.

I don't think I ever ran into Greg after high school. Someone told me that he may have been involved in some behind the scenes work on some documentaries. I believe Greg got married to a woman named Jennifer. Today they appear to live in the Milwaukee area.

UPDATE - 8/15/06 - Thanks to Mark Gordon for providing these two pictures of Greg on his wedding day. He believes these are from the summer of 2001. The second picture features, Greg, Mark and Chip Pelnar





UPDATE - 5/18/07 - According to an article I read online, on April 18th, 2007, Greg and his wife participated in some sort of canoe and kayak trip from Mishicot to Two Rivers. The trip was organized by none other than Cindy Rohrer's dad, Phil Rohrer.

CARRIE FRANZ

Carrie was a staple of the T.R. Public School System. She was there before I was.

I don't think I had her any classes until 8th grade. I think we had a couple of classes together. But we never interacted much. She was somewhat reserved and shy. I was a delinquent. Hence the two shall never meet.

In high school, I think Carrie may have spent some of her time working for the school newspaper. Don't quote me, but I think she hung out with people like Debbie Lumaye, Sara Kvitek and David Duvall. Again, not my crowd. So our oaths rarely crossed.

What I remember about Carrie is that she always seemed to be very friendly. She was quiet. But when she interacted with anyone, it was always pleasant.

At some point, Carrie began going out with class of 1988's Steve Welnicke. Eventually they got married. I can't tell you the number of times I ran into her at the video store. Steve was a video fiend and rented all the time. I think he copied them for his personal collection. I think they have two kids. Last I knew, Carrie worked for the nuclear plant. I believe they reside in Two Rivers.

UPDATE - 6/14/06 - Carrie has provided a recent photo of her family.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

UPDATE - CARRIE FRANZ

Carrie has chimed in with some comments in Rod Lumaye's entry. Welcome Carrie.

UPDATE - CRAIG RYSTICKEN

Based on some E-mails from different people, I've learned two things in the last few days. For one, Craig is reading. Hi Craig! Second, he used to eat bugs. The bug-eating E-mail jogged a memory for me. I put it in his entry.

MARK CIHA

Mark Ciha was with me at Magee, Clarke and Washington. My first experience with him came from either 4th or 5th grade. My friend Chris Storlie mentioned to me that Mark wanted to beat him up, due to the fact that Chris had called him "a fat tub of lard." Mark was somewhat of a big guy.

Over the years, Mark seemed to have total disdain for me. I never understood why. I never did anything to him. But he always acted like such a prick towards me. Maybe he was that way with everyone. I don't know.

In our junior year of high school, Mark and I had some mutual friends - or at least "friendlys." Dave Svatek would occasionally give Mark a ride home. Since I was a regular passenger also, our paths did cross. I'm sure Mark was thrilled.

During the winter of our senior year, we had an enormous number of snow days. We'd get a few inches, and the school would announce they were shutting down for the day. Complaints? Not from me! Although I do recall Mrs. Kluczinski bitching about the high humber of days. Whatever. Anyway, on this day, a bunch of us piled into Dave's ancient station wagon. We were having some difficulty getting through the snow. At one point, Mark told Dave that he was hooked onto Brad Strouf's car. But he said it so calmly, as if it were a joke. Dave finally got the wheels to stop spinning, and inched forward - with a heavy load. No, the heavy load wasn't Mark. It was in fact Brad's little blue Chevette. Somehow the cars got hooked together on the side. Mark simply said, "I told you so."

Later on that year, I was desperate for a ride home one day. Dave wasn't around. So I asked Brad. But he was without a vehicle that day as well, saying that Mark was driving him home. So I sheepishly asked Mark if I could tag along. Mark somewhat shook his head no, but basically ignored me. I was pretty much insignifigant to Mark. I ended up walking that day.

If memory serves, Mark had a small, thin ponytail-type thing on the back of his hair. How cute.

I think in our junior year, Mark purchased a motorcycle.

After high school, I don't think I ever ran into Mark again. I'm sure both of us were happy about that. Eventually he got married to a woman named Heidi. To my knowledge, they have two kids. Based on the names of those two kids, I suspect Mark may be a fan of Aerosmith - or at least a fan of the lead singer. A few years back, Mark was a schoolteacher in Mayville. But now he teaches in Iowa. A found the recent photo of him below.



UPDATE - 4/13/06 - Mark provided some family photos. You can see them below.







UPDATE - 8/16/06 - Mark wanted to share some photos of his hunting trophies. You can the pictures below. If you have a problem with hunting, then you might not care to look. What you're looking at is Canadian geese, mallards, pintails, a turkey, pheasants, and a couple deer.















ROBERT PILZAK

By request, here's Bobby.

I remember him at Clarke. Perhaps he was at Magee too. Beyond that, I have very little.

Looking back at Bob Pilzak, I think the metrosexual label could be applied to him as well. He seemed to regard grooming as an artform.

I have one vague memory of him from high school. It was perhaps in our sophomore year. I saw him kiss some girl before heading off to class. That's it. That's all I got.

From what I remember, Bob had braces his entire life.

I ran into Bob a few times at the video store. He was always friendly enough. I remember him being shocked to see that a sequel to The Beastmaster had been made. Although I don't think he rented it.

On our senior video, Bob started off his introduction by saying, "Hi. I'd smile, but I just ate a Snickers bar." Then he smiled anyway. Not exactly A-list material there Bob. Anyway, he went on to say that he planned to marry his girlfriend - someone named Rhonda. In fact, it almost seemed like he was bragging about it. It's as if he wanted the world to know that he had a girlfriend. Did he have self esteem issues? I don't know. But sure enough, he did marry that girl. Today I believe they live in Sheboygan. They appear to be involved in a local Lutheran church. I'm pretty sure Bob works for The Kohler Company.

UPDATE - 11/9/06 - On August 12, 2006, Kevin Dehne and I took another trip to the homes of unsuspecting classmates. In a pretty new subdivision north of Sheboygan, we found Bob's home. Needless to say, the lawn was a sea of weeds. No grass had ever been planted there. It looked like no one was home. But it was worth a try. We rang the doorbell. Moments later, Bob answered. He had a look of confusion at first. But then came the smiles as recognition slowly crept in. He invited us in. We saw his wife (pretty woman) - although she didn’t want to be photographed. They were just on their way out the door, as they were having a family day at the Milwaukee Zoo. But nonetheless, Bob posed for pictures on his front porch and in his backyard. He was a bit startled, but was quite happy to see us. We talked for maybe 20 minutes. I can't recall how many kids they had. It was at least one though - probably two.





UPDATE - 11/20/06 - Here's some video from that 8/12/06 visit.

DEE DEE DREXLER

My first memories of Dee Dee are from 8th grade. I had her in Mr. Kern's english class. All I can remember is that she would often wear a pair of gray parachute pants. She looked good in them.

In our freshman year, I had Dee Dee in gym class. And she was a bundle of energy. She would just zoom around all over the place. It's like someone wound her up and let her go. Everyone seemed to enjoy her antics. If we were playing volleyball in the basement gym, and the ball got stuck up in the balcony, she would pounce after it before anyone else could even think about it. And she would sprint up those stairs.

Did Dee Dee have braces for a long time?

Dee Dee and I never had a whole of contact with one another. But she always seemed warm and friendly. I liked her. She seemed to be somewhat independent, and not part of any given clique.

I ran into Dee Dee just once after high school. I rented a VCR and some movies to her. I'm not sure if she ever went to college. She may have spent some time in both Texas and Minnesota however. Today I believe she lives in the Milwaukee area. She appears to now be known as Dee Dee Allison. Although I don't find any evidence that she's ever married. I don't know what to make of that. What she does for a living is unknown to me.

UPDATE - CHRIS T.

I added a Valentine's Day card to my entry on Chris T. Enjoy!

RON GRETZ

I've had several people request information as to what exactly went down with the ceiling tiles in freshman year. So I've incorporated it within my entry on Ron. Here you go.

I first met Ron in 7th grade. We had every class together. At that time he was known as Ron Cuyler. By freshman year, he had become Ron Gretz. I don't know.

In 7th grade, Ron and I always got along. I'm not sure what it was. He was a farm boy. I was born cable ready. But we got along quite well. We weren't friends outside of school. But in school, we were buds.

In study hall that year, Mrs. Westburg was our monitor for one week. Ron was licking his fingers and slapping his wrist, making a loud noise. Westburg thought it was me, and gave me a detention, despite my pleas. Bitch.

I had Ron in Mr. Monka's 8th grade history class. Monka loved to toss erasers at us if we weren't paying attention. One day he nailed Ron in the eye. Ron was pissed, and whipped it right back at him - which wasn't appreciated. But under the circumstances, Monka basically let it slide.

At some point in 8th grade, Ron and Kevin Dehne skipped out of school, took the city bus to Manitowoc, and hung out downtown all day. I was invited to go along, but declined. I always regretted not going. It sounded like they had a great time causing ruckus.

On the day of our freshman orientation, in August, 1985, Ron and I sat together in the auditorium, and pretty much paid no attention to whatever was said. We then walked around the school trying to figure out just where the hell we were supposed to go once school started. In what was perhaps an omen of things to come, Mike Zeman joined us. I think Mike and Ron lived close to each other. I couldn't stand Mike. So it's strange that the three of us got together that day. It wouldn't be the last time.

Somehow Mike and Meff became in-school friends. And Meff shared a locker with Mike up on the the 3rd floor. So Mike and I got to know each other. Ron and I used to hang around together at that time as well. Pretty soon the three of us were hanging around, causing trouble. We would hang out before school, during lunch and after school. We explored every square inch of that school. We found hidden rooms, tunnels, and of course the place where you could actually spy on the girls in the shower. Although in all honesty, none of us ever did.

One day we found ourselves sitting on some steps in the balcony of the basement gym. The steps led up to the back of the stage on the second floor. The balcony was basically used as a storage area for stage props. There was a ceiling tile missing. And one of us put our hand up to one of the other tiles and ripped it down. Why? Who knows. So the three of us started yanking down more and more tiles. It became a game to us. Pretty soon it became a mission to remove as many tiles as we could. Ron was the bravest. He would actually stand on the balcony railing, lean out over the gym, and try to get the tiles out there. One slip, and he'd be dead. They would loosen, then fall to the gym floor causing a racket. Before long, we had quite a pile. So we started stacking them on the stairs. I decided to count them as we went along.

But the vandalism didn't end there. The three of us seemed driven to destroy. In the northeast corner of the balcony was a dead end. There were piles of desks back there. We would crawl under those desks in order to get to the wall. On the other side of that wall were some offices. We came up with a plan to try and cut through the wall in order to break into the offices. Mike even brought a little saw from home. We made a huge hole in time, but never got a chance to finish it.

Every once in awhile, the auditorium was unlocked. So we went in there and made sure the door to the stairs was also unlocked. So we could then always get into the auditorium through the basement balcony, even when the main doors to the auditorium were locked. So we would sometimes hang out in there as well. We were on the stage once and noticed a tiny hole in the curtain. I put my finger in the hole. So did Mike. We then walked in opposite directions. The shredding sound was like something you'd hear out of a movie. It was almost surreal. When we were done, we had a full-length rip in the curtain. Not being satisfied, we did it five or six more times. We essentially ruined the entire curtain.

The ceiling tiles remained our focus. We took down hundreds - 753 by my count when it was all said and done. I don't know what our goal was, or why we continued to do it. We were just driven to destroy.

I learned early on in my childhood that if you want to be a good criminal, you have to keep your mouth shut. But none of us followed that rule. A few people knew of our exploits - Kevin Dehne, Mike Clarksen, Richard Wheeler, Lenny Lewis... The end of the year was approaching. And I couldn't wait for it to come. I was getting scared that we were going to get caught. But did that stop us? No. We kept going. In fact, a red light should have gone off on May 20th. After school that day, Ron and I headed down to the gym. The lights were on. So we loudly messed with the control box until we were able to flip off all the lights in the room. Then we headed up to the balcony to do some more damage. We ran right into the janitor and someone else. They were looking at the ceiling, and talking about the damage. Ron took off running back down the stairs. I calmly walked right by the two guys, out into the first floor area. I was shocked. According to what we found out later, Mr. Wood had put the staff on alert for any suspicious activity. Wouldn't turning off all the lights then heading to the balcony be labeled as "suspicious?" Apparently not. Anyway, not even that stopped us. We kept going until the next day - Wednesday May 21st, 1986. That morning found the three of us in the auditorium. We were in the back, and broke down the door, breaking into the storage area where they keep all of the electronics. I'm not sure if Kevin Dehne was with us that day or not. But he knew what we'd done, and wanted a couple of microphones. His locker was right outside of the auditorium doors by the study hall room. So we got two microphones, brought them to the door, then stuck them in Kevin's waiting duffel bag. A clean crime.

At lunch, the three of us ran into Kevin again. He asked to see the damage we'd done in the gym. So we took him along with us as we entered the balcony area. We didn't do any damage while we were there, nor did we talk about doing anything. I think we were then going to show Kevin the hole we were working on. Mike led the way into the darker area where the props were stored. Suddenly Mike stopped and said, "Hi Mr. Wood." For about half a second I thought to myself, "Yeah right." Then out of the darkness I see a shadowy form step up and proudly yell, "Hello gentlemen." My heart just about stopped. Before Ron could finish his line of "I didn't do anything" Wood continued with, "You boys have caused $5000 - $8000 damage here." Now I'd spent my entire childhood getting into trouble. But I knew this was trouble was to a new degree. I blacked out. Seriously, the next couple of minutes are a total blank. Apparently Wood lead the four of us up to the second floor and separated us. The next thing I remember was sitting in the guidance office. I sat alone and was beside myself, almost in tears. Mr. Boehlke came by at one point and tried to console me. I was choked up and could barely speak. It wasn't pretty.

Apparently Mr. Wood spoke to each one of us separately. He even spoke to people like Lenny Lewis and Mike Clarksen. He took "depositions" from all of them. I was the last one he spoke with. About 90 minutes had passed. And by that time, I had regained my composure and was ready for a fight. He sat me down in his office. The initial conversation went like this:

WOOD: "Spit!"
ME: "What?"
WOOD: (Louder) "Spit!"
ME: "What are you talking about?"
WOOD: (Loudest) "SPIT!"

I had never seen Wood this angry before. His face was a solid red. He was a tomato with hair. Thankfully I'd spent many times in his office in the past. And his intimidation skills were lost on me. I was immune to him by now. Anyway, he went off on me demanding to know what I had done. I stuck to my guns and said I was innocent. He then read me the depositions of the others. They all read pretty similar.

"Burt and Mike took down the ceiling tiles and ripped the stage curtain) (Ron's)

"Burt, Ron and myself took down the ceiling tiles and ripped the stage curtain) (Mike's)

He asked how I could explain those remarks. I told him point blank that he probably scared them into saying something that wasn't true. That made Wood even more furious. After maybe 10 minutes, he realized he wasn't going to get anywhere with me, then screamed, "Get back down to the guidance office!" I was pleased with my performance. But I was pissed at what Ron and Mike had allegedly said. When I got back to the guidance office Mr. Parkinson walked in and placed a phone call to someone. Whoever he was speaking with, he inquired about some microphones that he thought had been misplaced from the auditorium storage room. When it rains, it pours.

About an hour later, the three of us along with Kevin were reunited in Wood's office. This time a police officer was there. Mike was beyond depressed. He fully admitted to everything. Ron then did as well. I was so pissed at them. Honestly, they really had nothing on us. Had we all stuck to our guns, we'd have been free. But I knew I was sunk. Wood was screaming at the officer that since Ron and Mike had cooperated, they should be given special treatment. But I was to get no breaks. As if Wood had any power... Finally I followed suit. The one who was really pissed was Kevin. Save for the microphones, he was innocent. But it looked for awhile that he might take the fall for the vandalism as well. As we all stood up, he grabbed Mike, shoved him to the ground, and yelled, "Nice fuckin' job Zeman!" The cop didn't do anything.

Do you want to see the police report? Look below. At the time, I underlined a couple of things that were wrong. By the way, look at my birth date. I'll bet that I was the youngest member of the class of 1989. Click it to see the full-sized version.



All of our lockers were searched. And Wood recovered the stolen microphones.

Rumors must have spread through the school. Because between classes, wherever I was, I was getting a lot of curious looks. I was not enjoying the attention. By the time 7th hour began, Chip Pelnar came and brought me my books. I'd left them in Mrs. Fischer's french class during 4th hour, as our lunch break split it. Chip and I actually had 7th hour together - in Mrs. Fischer's class, for language. I know Chip wanted some inside information. But I wasn't able to tell him anything at that point. Finally at about 2:45, we were all free to go back to class. Boy did I get the stares when I entered Mrs. Fischer's room. In the interim, Wood called all of our parents and made them come down to the school, where he showed them the damage. When my mom came home, she just asked me why I had done what I did. I had no answer. I couldn't even look at her. It was not a good time. However, my mom saved us a lot of money. Wood had wanted the stage curtain replaced. My mom touched the fabric and accidentally put her finger right through it. The thing was about 50 years old, and was just about worthless. It was falling apart before we ever shredded it. She pointed out this fact to an obviously displeased Wood. And we only were charged the amount of what the curtain was worth at the time we shredded it - about $500.00. A new one would have cost thousands.

My mom was a social worker. So she dealt with the police and the court sytem on a daily basis. And she said that they could have gotten all of the charges thrown out, due to the fact that we were minors, and were never given the opportunity to consult with parents or attorneys before speaking to the police. So our admissions were invalid - from a legal standpoint. But we were guilty as sin. So she and my dad discussed it, and decided it would be good for me to be charged and pay it all back. Also, she informed me that Kevin Dehne was given a deal to "testify" (so to speak) against the three of us, in exchange for not being charged with theft for the microphones. He took the deal. But since we all admitted our guilt anyway, they didn't need him. I never held that against Kevin. That's just the nature of the game.

On Friday, our exploits made the papers. Below is the article from the Herald Times Reporter. Thankfully Mr. Wood pointed to where the tiles were located. Otherwise the readers would never be able to see them. (Yes, that's sarcasm). Click it to see the full-sized version.



In the end, the final tally came to $2133.33. So each of us had to pay $711.11. I also plead guilty to theft and paid a small fine - maybe $30.00. Being 14, I was forced to get a paper route. I'd always wanted one. But my parents wouldn't let me. Now they had no choice. And even though I was paying 75% of my earnings towards the restitution, between the remaining 25% and my allowance, I was rolling in dough. So I would always tell people that if I had the chance to do it all over again, I would.

I signed a consent degree, along with my parents, my social worker, and the judge. It spelled out the terms of my juvenile probation. You can see it below. Click it to see the full-sized version.



As a footnote to the tile incident I told some people that I was going to remove five more tiles just for the hell of it. I got sent to summer school that year. And sure enough, I did it. I also discovered one tile that didn't get counted. So in the end, a total of 759 tiles were removed. I also took one of the tiles home as a souvenier. I still have it.

After freshman year, Ron and I stayed cordial, to be sure. But we didn't hang out in any capacity. I think Ron's best friend was fellow graduate Brian Klein.

Ron had plans to go into the army after high school. It was all set. But he nearly didn't make it. In our last semster, I had Ron in Mrs. Kluczinski's composition class. For me, it was the fourth time I had her over the years. And it was the first class I ever passed with her! Ron wasn't so lucky. He was struggling. And he had failed. By failing, he wouldn't graduate - and wouldn't be able to enter the army. I happened to be in Mr. Boehlke's office the last week of school. When he left the room for a minute, I noticed a note on is desk that said "Ron Gretz - F in composition." I asked Ron about it. And he assured me that "Boehlke had fixed it." I don't what exaclty he did. But Ron graduated with us.

As far as I know, Ron did enter the army. But he didn't make a career of it. He was back in Two Rivers before too long. I ran into him from time to time at the video store. We never talked much. He had a scruffy beard and an infant. He also looked like he may have been kind of smelly. He ended up marrying a girl named Michelle. They eventually divorced. And she's been after him for child support. It looks like a second woman has also gone after Ron for child support. Last I knew, Ron was still living in Two Rivers.

Monday, February 20, 2006

TROY MESSMAN

I had little contact with Troy in school. I think he may have frequented the special education classes. Was he at Clarke with us? I think so. At the very least, he was at Washington.

I remember Troy as being a thug. I believe he hung out with the headbangers and the smokers. He seemed to constantly be wearing a sweatshirt. And he always looked lke he was in a constant state of irritation - like there was a tiny man feverishly swinging a tiny hammer on his balls. He just looked mad. I don't know if he was capable of smiling.

In our freshman year however, Troy opened up a bit to me. When you ask? It was right after I got into trouble with the ceiling tiles incident. Troy seemed to appreciate the vandalism, and gave me a ton of respect. He asked me all kinds of questions and details about the events. From that point on, Troy never seemed grumpy towards me again. We weren't friends or anything. And we never really spoke. But there always seemd to be an underlying respect towards me.

I think Troy stayed in school through our junior year - or part of our junior year anyway. I don't think he was there at all for our senior year. And I know he didn't graduate with us.

I don't think I ran into Troy after high school. That seems odd, as I don't think he has ever left Two Rivers. In fact, I think he still lives in the same house he always did. To my knowledge, he's never married. What he does for a living is a mystery to me.

UPDATE - MARK SCHREIBER

In my entry on Mark, I added a story about a urine-filled squirt gun.

WYATT WOOD

Back in the day, I liked Wyatt. But I couldn't stand his father. I could write several paragraphs on the man who gave life to Wyatt. In fact, you can bet that I will in time. But for now, let's talk about his son.

I met Wyatt in 4th grade. We had Mrs. Schmidt together. On day one, when she went around introducing everyone to me, she accidentally called him "Woody."

At some point that year, Wyatt, Chris Storlie, myself and someone else who I can't recall performed some sort of skit together where we were pretending to drive down the road, drunk and cracking jokes. I wonder if that sort of act would be allowed today?

I don't think I had Wyatt in 5th grade. But I did have him in Ms. Hynek's reading class. About all I remember is that he and I were seated at the front table once. And for whatever reason, we got a serious attack of the giggles. It lasted a long time. Somehow we suppressed it enough to avoid Hynek's horrible wrath.

In the summer of 1982, I ran into Wyatt at the Family Swim Club. As it turned out, both of us were going to have Mrs. Casey together in 6th grade.

In Mrs. Casey's class, we were watching a film strip once. As was the norm, inevitably several students would grab a chair and move up closer. I was next to Wyatt. For some reason, one of us had a string that needed to be cut. Wyatt pulled from his pocket the largest knife I've ever seen. We both chuckled at this. That would probably have gotten him suspended, had it been discovered.

Near the end of 6th grade, we all spent a night at Camp Tapawingo. Each sixth grade class spent a different night. Our class was the last to go. I almost didn't get to go because of some trouble I got into. When I get to writing about Randy Ertman, I'll cover that. But nonetheless, I was able to go.

Late at night, as most people refused to go to sleep, I offered to run upstairs and steal some milks. Everyone was happy about that. I made Greg Flemal come with me. And the two of us pilfered several milks and brought them back down for the others. Mr. Burnstad most have overheard this. He came out of his private room, and bellowed into the darkness, "Where's the big Burt?" Greg of course had no repercussions. But I walked towards Burnstad's voice, and was met with a finger in the eye - accidentally of course. It was very dark. Burnstad threw me into a bunk and said, "Move out of there and your ass is grass!" The room was deadly silent from that point on. And everyone drifted to sleep - except me. Telling me not to move was practically an invitation for me to get up at least once. I waked over to where most of the others were sleeping. And there was Wyatt, on a lower bunk. My presence obviously woke him up. With the moonlight casting an eerie glow on me, Wyatt stared, was startled and said, "Who's there?" I responded, "You know who it is." Wyatt said, "No I don't." Then I walked away. The next morning, Wyatt was telling everyone that he'd seen a ghost or something. I of course chimed in and told him I'd seen it too. Over the years, I would occasionally bring this incident up to Wyatt. And the two of us would reminisce about the ghost we both saw. Finally in our junior year, I admitted to him that it was me. But despite my admition, Wyatt refused to believe me! He insisted that whoever he saw was glowing. I asked him if he found it odd that I was the only other person who saw this "ghost" and brought up the incident every once in awhile. But he still wouldn't believe me. Wyatt, if you're out there, it really was me. Sorry.

Wyatt was one of the guys that I had every single class together with in 7th grade. Near the beginning of the year, in Mrs. Westburg's chorus class, I was seated next to Wyatt. Westburg was going up and down the class, making everyone sing something solo, so she could position us in the room accordingly by our voices. She remembered Wyatt from the year before, and was familiar with his vocal tones. So she had something specific she wanted him to do. But Wyatt couldn't do it. His voice was cracking. Picture Peter Brady singing "When it's time to change, you've got to rearrange." Wyatt had obviously gotten pubes since the previous year, and his voice was deeper. Westburg kind of smiled to herself, but didn't say anything.

In high school, Wyatt and I shared homeroom all four years. He and I always got along. Wyatt was well-liked by all. And he treated nearly everyone with equal respect, regardless of social status.

In our freshman year, we were handed ballots to vote for class president, vice president and treasurer (I think). There were only two people running on each. The three big names for each position were Josie Scott, Julie Scott and Paula Jonas. People were saying, "We'll have dances every week." As if they had that power anyway. Wyatt was the only non-girl running, as he was up against Julie for vice president. Based on his being a male, I figured he was a shoo-in to win. And he did.

In our junior year, I had Wyatt in Ms. Neveau's speech class. Every Friday, we would have basically a free day, where each student would take turns, pick a topic, then lead a discussion with the class. I think Wyatt's topic was teen pregnancy. We happened to have Keith Welnicke in that class. At the time, Keith was an expectant father. Keith had mentioned that Mr. Wood had approcahed him, grilling him about the specifics regarding the alleged pregnancy. Keith refused to tell him anything. Wyatt sided with his dad. And the two of them verbally went at it in class. Wyatt maintained that the school needed the information for insurance issues. Keith maintained that it was none of his business, and that he should ask his girlfriend - class of 1990's Dawn Love. It was a great exchange. At one point, Wyatt yelled, "He doesn't fuckin' listen." Neveau let the comment ride. For the record, I sided with Keith on this one.

At one point in high school, I asked Wyatt if it bothered him that everyone hated his dad. He kind of laughed at me. But I don't think he appreciated the question.

If memory serves, during our senior year, he may have gone out with class of 1990's Pam Schmidt - sister of Amy.

I also recall during our senior year, Wyatt was talking to Angie Owens and perhaps Brad Strouf in Mr. Kakuk's psychology class. Wyatt was talking about bringing a bottle of peppermint schnappes to some sort of bonfire party they were going to have in someone's backyard.

As a senior, I did everything I could to avoid Mr. Rusch's consumer economics class. I often missed tests. So I'd have to leave the room to take them in the guidance office. Wyatt would always loan me his notes from the class, which I took with me to the guidance office when I took the test. It really helped. I ended up getting a "D" for the semester. But it was a required class to graduate. And I had it in the last semester of our senior year. So Wyatt may have helped me graduate. Thanks Wyatt!

After high school, I believe Wyatt attended UW Eau Claire. Beyond that, you've got me. However, I think he may live in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area today. It looks like he may have been married to a woman named Lisa. But they may be divorced now. He appears to be the director of sales for some company in Minneapolis that specializes in information technology.

UPDATE - 10/4/07 - I was able to locate an online picture of Wyatt. You can see it below. The picture is allegedly from some sort of family golf outing. And correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that Mr. Wood standing behind Wyatt? I also learned that Wyatt is apparently seeing another woman right now. And rumor has it, the two of them are expecting a child. I believe it will be Wyatt's first child.



UPDATE - 5/31/08 - Well, as you can see from the comment below, Wyatt discovered the blog and left a comment. He also sent me an Email with a few pics. You can see them below. And of course any new baby set must include the obligatory "baby in a box" photo.







JILL GRENIER

I met Jill in 4th grade. We had Mrs. Schmidt together. We never got along. That never changed.

From day one, Jill had a distincitve feature - she was a giant. She was about eight feet tall in grade school. So she was always looking down on everyone - in every way.

As far as I'm concerned, Jill was a bitch. She thought she was better than everyone else. And she was really snotty. Seriously, she always seemed to be annoyed. I couldn't stand her.

Over the years, our paths rarely crossed. I think I had her in one of Mrs. Kluczinski's classes in high school. Two of my favorite people... I think they got along swimingly. Swell.

As we progressed through high school, Jill apparently got into modeling work. She certainly had the figure of a supermodel. She was very tall, very skinny, and had no chest. She apparently had a portfolio and everything. But from my point of view, she would never make it as a model. Why? Because she lacked one important aspect - looks. I thought Jill was butt ugly. And there's nothing worse than a butt ugly, holier than though type who unjustifiably thinks she's better than everyone else. Yuck!

Perhaps her overall attitude contributed to her ugliness. I don't know. But I saw nothing good.

Anyway, although I think she had dreams of being a model, she instead got a job working at Prange Way. To the best of my knowledge, she never attended college. And I don't think she's ever left the Manitowoc/Two Rivers area. Although I don't think she's ever gotten married, I think she does have a daughter. Today I believe she works at a factory, and lives in Two Rivers.

TROY GREENWOOD

I think Troy joined us at Clarke. Troy seemed like a tough kid. But there was a friendly guy beneath that tough exterior. He was certainly a lot more personable than some of his peers.

About the only real memory I have of Troy was from Thursday, May 22nd, 1986. This was the day after I had been caught in the ceiling tile scandal. I was in the process of locking my bike up, when Troy looked down from a second floor window. I think he had Ms. Sapa's class for homeroom. He asked me if I could loan him $5000.00. But then he said, "Oh wait, nevermind." He was of course alluding to the fact that even if I'd had the money, it'd be going towards repairs. Funny guy that Troy.

I ran into Troy many times at the video store. He always remained cordial. To my knowledge, he has never left Two Rivers. I don't think he's ever gotten married. But he has been arrested four times for drunk driving. Today I believe he lives with his sister, class of 1986's Brenda Greenwood. He may work for Eck Industries.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

UPDATE - JEREMY KARMAN, MARK GORDON & JEN ANDERSEN

Jeremy has signed on and has left some comments in his entry. Welcome Jeremy. It's great having you here.

Also, Mark Gordon has stopped by. He's E-mailed me some pictures to - which are now up.

There are also some recent photos of Jen Andersen up as well.

Enjoy!

Friday, February 17, 2006

BECKY KOEPPEL

I first met Becky in Ms. Krause's 5th grade class. Becky was taller than most everyone - including the guys.

My only memory of her from that year was when the class was talking about a possible skit or something involving playing the parts of food or condiments. Ms. Krause suggested that Becky play the part of a vegetable. Ken Bartz then proclaimed, "She looks like a vegetable." The class laughed. Ms. Krause smiled, paused a bit, then said, "I don't think that's funny." In Ken's defense, I don't think he meant anything negative by it. Becky had curly hair. And to be honest, I always thought she kind of reminded me of a carrot.

At Clarke, I know I had Becky in some classes. I think we had every class together in 7th grade. In fact, if memory serves, Jenny Malley told me that she and Becky were on the basketball team. And Becky used to fool around in the locker room after showering, flashing her butt, saying "This butt's for you."

In 8th grade, Becky got contact lenses. I remember her having to leave Mr. Monka's class one day, because she was having problems with one of them. I've had Lasik recently. I don't miss the days of contacts.

In high school, Becky excelled at sports - volleyball, basketball, softball, just about any ball she touched. She was the female sports superstar.

Becky was one of the nicest people you'd ever want to meet. I think you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who didn't like her.

In our junior year, Richard and I decided to thumb our nose at the school by playing cards during a pep rally. I brought a deck from home. We positioned ourselves right in the middle between the juniors and the seniors, so everyone could see what we were doing. Dave Svatek and a giggly Brandon Podhola also joined us. As we started, an irritated Becky came over and asked us to move out of sight, if we truly were going to play. We declined.

To my knowledge, Becky's long time best friend was fellow graduate Brenda Dax.

After high school, I believe Becky went to St. Norbert's, where she continued to excell in sports, even setting some softball pitching records. Eventually she got married and became Becky Lueck. I think she has at least two kids. Last I knew, she was living in the Green Bay area.

UPDATE - 4/10/06 - Cindy Rohrer sent me the picture below of Becky and Brenda Dax. I believe that's Tammy Franzen in the background. This was from 1989.

CATHERINE MUSHERO

Who? Good question.

This chick is in our senior yearbook. I think I had her in Mrs. Kluczinski's class in the first semester of that year. Other than that, I have not one single memory of her.

I must admit defeat on this one. My people finding skills have been no match for the mysterious Ms. Mushero. I can't even find a single listing in the entire United States for a girl with that name - ever!

Who the hell is she? Where is she? I'm clueless. Her parents names may have been Rod and Sandy. There is a Rod Mushero in Kewaunee. On a whim, I called it and asked for Catherine. A woman said there was no one by that name. She then put me on hold for about 30 seconds, came back, and again repeated that "There is no Catherine." Seems sort of fishy to me. There is a very slight possibility that she may have gotten married and become Catherine Granger. But that's a shot in the dark.

I'm lost on this one. If anyone knows anything at all, let's hear it.

UPDATE - 10/4/07 - Every once in awhile, if I'm bored, I'll go and search the internet for pictures or articles of classmates that I have little post-school information about. So about six weeks ago, I tried to tackle Catherine Mushero once again. As had happened a year-and-a-half ago, I couldn't find any trace of her. So I decided to call the phone number of Rod Mushero once again. I knew that this Rod and Sandy had lived in Two Rivers during the timeframe of my senior year in high school. So my gut told me that these two had to be Catherine's parents.

Well, the same woman I'd spoken to the first time answered again. But this time I took a different approach. I told her I was calling on behalf of the class of 1989, and I was trying to locate everyone for the 20th high school reunion in 2009. It seemed like a pretty reasonable request. Well no sooner had I had my sentence out, when the woman began to yell at me! "Who are you?" "What do you want?" "I can't help you!" "I don't know her!" "There's no Catherine here!"

I didn't get it. I mean, if I had the wrong number, and she really wasn't any relation to her, then why was she being so combative with me? A simple, "I'm sorry, you have the wrong Mushero's" would have convinced me. But the more she spoke, the more I knew she wasn't being honest with me. And she continued to grill me with more and more questions. "I don't even know who you are!" Well, I gave her my real name and reiterated that I was just trying to track people down for the next reunion. Finally she blurted out, "I have no idea where she is!" Then right after she said that, she said again, "I don't know any Catherine!"

Well, that convinced me. She knew Catherine. She was just withholding information from me. And that's fine. She certainly had no obligations to tell me anything. She obviously had her reasons, whatever they may be. I just didn't understand the bitter hostility behind her treatment of me.

Of course once the phone call was over, my mind began to wander. Clearly, there seemed to be some sort of broken relationship between mother and daughter. So I begin to wonder whether Catherine ran away from home, or ran off and got married, joined a commune, was in jail, or any number of things that could have angered her parents to the point where they may no longer have anything to do with her.

Then last night, I get a comment on my blog. You can see it below. According to the comment, it turns out that the woman named Sandy that I spoke with is in fact Catherine's stepmother. Catherine's birth mother left the comment. She also provided an update. Apparently Catherine is now living in Redfield, Arkansas, and is now known as Catherine Morris.

So my thanks go out to Catherine's mother. The mystery is solved. Catherine Mushero was the one and only classmate who graduated that I had been unable to find. And now she's found.

UPDATE - 10/5/07 - Well, I have now received a nice E-mail from Catherine herself. She is in fact alive and well and living in Arkansas. She said she remembers her classmates from her senior year, and wondered when the next reunion would be. I imagine that will be in the summer of 2009. She also said that back in high school, she drove a Chevy Malibu and had a southern accent. That Malibu probably doesn't exist anymore. But I'll bet the accent still does! Lastly, she mentioned that she and her mother had a big laugh reading about my experiences with "the evil stepmother."