Thursday, February 16, 2006


Ann Rank is someone I first came in contact with at Clarke. We may have shared Mrs. Casey's 6th grade class together. I think we did. If not, we definitely shared every single class together in 7th grade.

A few memories come to mind. The first big one was in 7th grade. In Mrs. Westburg's chorus class, we all had to participate in a musical play called "Teen." I could never keep myself in class long enough to earn a role. So I was relegated to just the chorus. "Starting in green. I can't imagine me, being a teen." Anyway, Ann got one of the roles. And she had to sing a song by herself. I don't remember the title of it. But one of the lyrics was "It's all right to cry." And for the weeks leading up to it, we sang these songs every single day in class. Ann had to do her solo as well. And for whatever reason, when it came to the lyric of "cry" her voice would crack - horribly. The funny thing was, the note wasn't difficult at all. But for whatever reason, her voice simply couldn't reach it. I felt sorry for her. Everyday, for weeks, she would try to belt it out, and would just crack at that lyric. It wasn't just a small crack either. This was a big, big voice crack.

I was eager to see if she would be able to pull off the note once it came time to perform the play. The first performance was for the students one afternoon. Unfortunately, myself, along with Doug Wall and B.J. Lutterman got in trouble, and spent most of the play in Mr. Vogt's office. So to this day, I don't know if she ever nailed that note.

Our paths never crossed much in high school. But I do have a visual memory of her in Mr. Hensel's class, senior year. Hensel went off on some sort of tirade, (no doubt brought on by the mashed potatoes and gravy in our heads) and got really animated, flopping his arms and legs around like a baboon. Ann turned to her left and did her best to contain her giggling - which was justified. I too was doing my best not to lose it. Ann's reaction wasn't helping me any.

At some point in high school, Ann started going out with fellow graduate Mike Polich.

I recall sitting in Mrs. Kluczinski's class in our senior year. She would make us keep a journal of some sort - a diary or whatever. We were required to write at least one page for every day of the semester. She collected them at the end of the semester to grade them. Now, she insisted that she never read them. She just wanted to make sure we had enough pages for each day. Why she couldn't count them at our desk is a mystery to me. Whatever. I know damn well she read them. Bitch. How do I know? Two reasons. For one, I tended to fill my journal with song lyrics and vile poetry. Many days I just wasted space so as to get a full page. She gave me a "C" on it. What the fuck??? I had more than enough pages in that damn thing. The only way she could downgrade me was for the content - or lack thereof. Bitch! Anyway, for some reason, though she was not a member of that particular class, Ann Rank's name was mentioned by someone. Greg Pagel than commented, "I read her journal once. She's not the little miss innocent people might think she is." Mrs. Kluczinski laughed. She then said, "I remember her journal" - with a big emphasis on the "I." So how the hell would she remember her journal, if she didn't read the damn things? Yeah... right. Bitch. That fuckin' bitch failed me three times over the years. But I digress.

I ran into Ann just once after high school. It was the spring of 1994. I came to work at the video store, and my boss asked me if I knew someone named Ann Rank. Apparently she was looking for me. Huh? Sure enough, about an hour later, Ann showed up to personally hand me an invitation to our fifth year high school reunion. I thanked her, but didn't go.

After high school, Ann and Mike eventually married. I believe they have three kids. I don't know if she ever went onto school somewhere. Last I knew, she was working for a dentist, and still ived in the Manitowoc/Two Rivers area.

UPDATE - 11/13/06 - On Saturday, July 15th, 2006, Kevin Denhe and I stopped by the home of Ann and Mike. Unfortunately, they weren't home. However, on August 12th, 2006, when we took our second trip to Two Rivers, we caught them - barely. We had caught them moments after returning from a camping trip. They were still unpacking their vehicle. Feminine vanity showed its face again, as Ann mentioned that she hadn't showered or anything. But she of course posed for pictures. She gave us a each a soda as well. She offered me a wine cooler. But I had to pass, as one drink can make my head start to buzz a bit. So I drank a Sunkist. Ann let me use her bathroom. Of course as she let me in, she said, "Ignore the mess. We just got home." I of course said, "Everyone's home is messy when they're not expecting company." Of course when I walked in, I said, "Oh, I take it back. This is really messy." Ha ha! It's a laugh-a-line with me. Anyway, I filtered out Phil Rohrer's Mello Yello and the Sunkist, the joined Kevin in the car. Before we left, Ann gave us each a hug. As I said to her, "That's our first public hug." Mike and Ann had mentioned that Mark Gordon was at his parents' house - which was a block away. So we decided to stop by.

UPDATE - 11/15/06 - Here's a video from August 12th, 2006. Rumor has it that Ann isn't happy with the way she looked in the photos. But come one! She looks fine. Besides, as she mentions, they had literally just returned from a week of camping - well, five days anyway.


At Thu Feb 16, 08:56:00 PM PST, Blogger Ann (Rank) Polich said...

Oh yes, the "Teen" musical. That was quite the nightmare of a memory for me. You know you really didn't miss my solo. There wasn't a solo. Not only could I not hit the note...I forgot the words to the song. I sang a verse, then stared at the audience the rest of the time. I promise I gave up the 'singing career' that day.

Mr Hensel- The 2 things I learned in his class: I have a noodle for a back, and when it's close to grading time, buy him chocolate... it improves your grade. (Yes, I bought chocolate of course)

Mrs Kluczinski- Burt, were you writing down notes through school, or do you remember all this stuff??? I stretched my brain to remember even doing a journal. Greg, when did you read my journal? Anyway, as Greg stated, no, I was not innocent all the time. I had a sassy side too. Still do.

I did go to school-I became a Medical Assistant, EMT, and Dental Hygienist. (No plans on returning to school again) I work in Manitowoc as a hygienist for Dr Rehrauer (no relation to our classmate). I married Mike Polich in 1997. We had a son and daughter in 2000, and a daughter in 2000. Mike works as a deputy Sheriff for the Manitowoc County Sheriff's Dept.

At Thu Feb 16, 10:20:00 PM PST, Blogger Greg Pagel said...

Ann, I did NOT read your journal. I remember the coversation Burt mentions, when Mrs. K said it was "steamy." It may have been Sandy Stoltenow who said she'd read it. I'm pretty sure it was a girl, anyway. But it warn't me.

So let's clarify: I drew the Phuong picture, I didn't see Kiffie screw under a piano, and I didn't read Ann's journal.

But I heard some stories about Ann from Bob Pilzak. Nuff said.

Also, nuff about Ann's early Romantic life and ill-fated singing career. I like Ann. She's smart & I think was always happy when I was around her. I've seen her around town now & then -- our kids were in summer school together, I think. She looks great! I think she's taller than in '89. WTF? Maybe my memory's just short.

Ann, you should send a picture. Of you playing the accordion.

At Fri Feb 17, 09:40:00 AM PST, Blogger the_meff said...

Actually Greg, I read in Ann's journal that you drew the Phuong picture WHILE screwing under a piano.

At Sat Feb 18, 09:11:00 PM PST, Blogger Ann (Rank) Polich said...

Did I miss my calling? I should go back to school again, maybe I could write love stories. I wish I kept that journal to see what was so steamy. By any chance Burt do you have a copy? HAHA

Greg-Sorry, I'm 5'4"...Haven't changed since 8th grade I think. Maybe I had thick socks in my tennies when I saw you.

Something I never told you--I really always appreciated your honesty and advice in high school. Just wish I listened earlier and pulled my head out of my butt.

Re:meff's comment about screwing under the piano...I wouldn't be surprised if it was actually you under the piano. You always knew your way around the piano!

I'd send a picture, if I wasn't a computer dummy. We do have an accordion here!

At Sun Feb 19, 06:57:00 PM PST, Blogger Greg Pagel said...

actually, it was meff screwing under a piano while kiffie wrote about it in your journal.

something like that.

At Sun Feb 19, 09:01:00 PM PST, Blogger TWORIVERSWALRUS said...

Ah, so Greg didn't read Ann's journal. Since he made the comment, I simply assumed it was he who had in fact read it. Thanks for the clarification Greg.

At Mon Feb 20, 01:14:00 PM PST, Blogger moptopjen said...

MEFF - yr hilarious. woke my dog up i laughed so loud. greg - don't try to convince us u haven't spent plenty o time under pianos doing who knows what.

ann! nice to hear all is well. didn't we have girl scouts together back in the day? i seem to recall playing at yr house once. how's yr dad? i had kadow and wished i'd had him! :)
to this day, she still glares at me when i see her out at Port Pizza (but in a loving, thank-god-she-is-no-longer-in-my-class way.)

(jen andersen here in case ya wondered....)

At Mon Feb 20, 07:30:00 PM PST, Blogger Ann (Rank) Polich said...

MOPTOPJEN- (Thanks for telling me who you were...I was guessing until I hit the bottom) I was never in girl scouts, but we did go to each others house. I remember a sleepover at your house...everyone was telling ghost stories. I recall being so scared I went by your mom as she played the piano (Note, she was playing the piano...not under the piano) and she had to reassure me there were no ghosts in your house. I was a wuss.
My dad is doing well-he loves retirement... after retirement he showed up at school a few mondays to tell the teachers he would be going back home.
I also had Kadow. Didn't care for her. She also has the glare for me at Port. She still scares me!

At Wed Feb 22, 12:41:00 PM PST, Blogger moptopjen said...

kadow was kinda scary. but if u can get her talking (she loves to read - so do i) she's actually nice! shocked me. glad to hear yr pop is good. my bro had him and has good memories.

as for the ghosts - my mom would not have been surprised to have you ask about them. not cuz we were haunted, but becuz for years i was sure ghosts were EVERYwhere. it sucked when my best friends moved across from the cemetery. i was a huge chicken. hehe

now i'm afraid of death and taxes.

At Sat Feb 25, 09:47:00 PM PST, Blogger 2time ace said...

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At Sat Feb 25, 10:52:00 PM PST, Blogger Greg Pagel said...

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At Fri Mar 03, 09:27:00 PM PST, Blogger Ann (Rank) Polich said...

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