Wednesday, February 01, 2006


In our senior video, Al mentions that "many" of us knew him as "Mel." But it was a long story that he didn't want to get into.

Mel? That was news to me.

I met Al in freshman year. We shared a homeroom together throughout high school. Al seemed like a nice enough guy who wanted to fit in and be accepted. But overall, he was shunned by the masses. Perhaps it was because he was somewhat on the larger side. I don't know.

In homeroom once, Mike Zeman came up to Richard in hysterics. He handed Richard Al's glasses, and said, "I just took these right off his face." Why Mike found that to be as incredibly funny as he did, I'll never know.

Al was not the athletic type. But wanting to belong, he became one of the student managers to some of the school football or basketball teams. He was also in charge of some video equipment, and had the job of filming many of the school's activities.

In our freshman year, I once heard Al mention to someone that he used to be really good friends with Shawn Rappley. But he was saddened by the fact that for whatever reason, Shawn didn't talk to him anymore. I got the feeling that once high school began, Shawn had aspirations of popularity. And hanging out with Al Wegner would hold him back. That's sad. In fact, I had Shawn in algebra class that year. And I overheard him say to Jeff Bodwin (talking about Al) "That kid has tits!" As mentioned above, Al was a little on the big side, and apparently was cursed with "man boobs." That's probably why Al always (and I do mean always... every single day) wore two layers of clothes on his upper torso. He either wore a T-shirt and a big flannel shirt, or a T-shirt with a sweatshirt.

In our junior year, Joe Antonie told me something interesting about Al. Joe lived right next door to Al. Apparently as kids, Al was a beanpole, and was the most athletic guy in the neighborhood. I was shocked! Then Al developed kidney stones. It sent him to the hospital and laid him up for quite awhile. For whatever reason, it seemed to screw up his body, as Al gained a massive amount of weight in a very short time. He never lost it.

In our junior year, I had Al in Ms. Neveau's speech class. For his first few speeches, Al would finish by saying something like "It wasn't very good." This drove Ms. Neveau nuts! You never end a speech by critiquing your own performance - and critique it in a negative light at that. Despite being scolded, Al continued to say something similar for two additional speeches before finally wising up. The last time he did it, his speech was a demonstration speech on how to use the school's video camera. He wrapped it up by explaining what he'd just demonstrated, and finished again with "It wasn't very good." Ms. Neveau put her head down and shook it back and forth.

In our senior year, I happened to find myself over at Joe Antonie's house. Joe had told me that from one of his upstairs windows, he could see right into the Wegner's bathroom, and could actually watch them take a shit if he wanted to. I was anxious to see. But alas, the Wegner's had put up a curtain by that time.

After high school, I ran into Al many times at the video store. I think I even rented him some porno films on several occasions. He was working at a factory of some sort, where I believe he still works today. I don't think he's married or has any children.

Here's a tidbit. Five years after graduation, our class had a reunion. I did not attend. However, the weekend of the reunion, Meff just happened to be in town. So on a whim, after work (I was still working at T&R Video) we drove over to the VFW Hall where the reunion was taking place. I was in my dad's truck. And he happened to have binoculars in there. So we spied on the festivities for awhile. I'm pretty sure I saw Lee Jacquart and Mark Ciha take a piss outside. But I digress. We noticed that Al was in attendance. Several hours later, at about 3:00 in the morning, we decided to call Al to quiz him on the events of the reunion. We woke him up. But he spoke with us for about 20 minutes. Not once did we mention who we were. And not once did he even care to ask. Perhaps he was still half alseep.


At Wed Feb 01, 02:32:00 PM PST, Blogger the_meff said...

Holy crap, I totally forgot we did that!

At Wed Feb 01, 04:41:00 PM PST, Blogger Joe Antonie said...

Burt you have an excellent memory, I can barely remember you visiting my house.

Al was my next door neighbor and we Antonie boys were childhood friends with him. Al was a very fast runner and good at sports, prior to high school.

I remember attending a pep rally as a Senior and it being a little 'flat' for some reason, until Al walked into the gym to take his position across the gym to man the video camera. As he crossed the bleacher area, chants of "AL...AL...AL.. started to build, soon the gym was rocking with "Al" chants. He flashed us double peace signs and took his position behind the camera. I am sure he happy for the recognition. He was always a good natured person.

And just for the record, There existed 2 set of blinds, cutains and colored glass. I in no way would go out of my way to view such happenings, nor take any amount of interest, especially considering the subject(s) involved.

At Wed Feb 01, 08:41:00 PM PST, Blogger SonnyKidd said...

Al was great guy and one that never got the respect he deserved simply because he wasn't the picture of physical fitness. I never knew why. And I am as guilty as anyone, being on the football team, and never paying Al the time of day. I remember the day at the pep rally (one of the few things I seem to recall about HS).

Oh, and since there is no Joe post...damn you to hell Joe Antonie! You and your godlike powers, how dare you dash my dreams and aspirations asunder with so little regard for my feelings. Just so everyone knows that beneath the "teddy bear" exterior beats the heart of a blood thirsty killer. He murdered my very first D&D character. He was just 1st level Joe. Did you really have to conjure up Asmodeus? Do you think that demon from the 10th level of hell was enough to squash my first level fighter on his first ever adventure? But I must also thank you for turning me on to the game. I played religiously in college at Madison and have even taken my turn in the Dungeon Master's seat many times. A good friend of mine from college that I played with lives in Menomonee Falls (I'm in West Bend just up the highway) and has 2 young boys. We cannot wait 'til they and my own (Logan - 5) are old enough to adventure themselves.

At Wed Feb 01, 09:29:00 PM PST, Blogger TWORIVERSWALRUS said...

The Joe post is coming very soon. For it was the same reason (D&D) that I was at Joe's house.

At Wed Feb 01, 09:49:00 PM PST, Blogger the_meff said...

The D&D connection continues!

I recall Joe taking me to some guy named Matt Brugman's (sp?) house for a few rounds.

The afternoon ended badly...I was devoured by a large spider.


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