Tuesday, February 07, 2006


The man of 1000 names.

I moved to Two Rivers in 4th grade. On my first or second day of school, I commented to someone that I thought Chris was a girl. But he wasn't. In fact, within a week or two of my arrival, Chris became my best friend. We had Mrs. Schmidt's class. At that time, his name was Chris Lohr.

Chris and I were partners in crime. Both of us ate hot lunch at school. At that time the price was 25 cents per day! Anyway, Chris and I used to make a habit of always throwing away our silverwear. One day, the janitor came into our class and showed us several pieces of silverwear that had gone through the incinerator. Blabbermouth Amy Schmidt cackled that Chris and I were to blame. She was right of course. But she had no proof.

Chris and I also used to like to take paper towels from the bathroom and flush as much as we could down the toilet. That too brought on some accusations, as plumbers had to be brought out more than once to fix the damage. We never got caught for that.

Chris used to walk home to my house after school - which was kind of odd, as he would then have to walk over a mile back to his house. He lived near Magee. I lived on the far north side. I can recall in December, 1980, constantly listening to the Beatles' "Rock & Roll Music" over and over again. We dug that tune!

In the summer of 1981, Chris and I went to see the film Raiders Of The Lost Ark. When we got back to his house, we were playing outside. I was climbing a tree, when I reached out and grabbed for a branch - but missed. I fell about 15 feet onto my back and head - knocking myself out cold. I came to a minute or two later. But I had a concussion. Prior to my fall, Randy Klein and a friend of his had stopped by on their bikes. As I lay there paralyzed and half conscious, I can hear Chris and Randy talking about some holes that Chris had dug. Meanwhile, Randy's friend is screaming at them for not paying any attention to me. What a couple of worms! Anyway, my dad came and took me to the hospital. In addition to the concussion, I had a sprained back, sprained ankle and sprained fingers. I "came out of it" at about 3:00 in the morning. The next day, as I had some sap on me, so I was given a sponge bath by two nurses. I fought like hell not to get an erection. But I think I had a half-loaf floting there. Imagine getting a sponge bath my two nubile young nurses, and being too young to know what to do about it. That was me.

Chris and I used to walk through the cemetery on the way home. We would raise hell wherever we could. We would swear at anybody we saw. One time some elderly man started chasing us. We easily got away.

At some point that year, Doug Wall joined our little circle. Now there were three hellraisers. Everyday we would walk home to my house to play Atari or whatever. This lasted through 4th and 5th grade. There was a new house that was being built nearby. The three of us used to crawl down into it and knock down the foundation every single day. We did this for about a week. Then one day the construction workers were hiding out in a truck, just waiting for us. When they popped out, Doug took off like a shot. But Chris just walked right over to them, and gave up. I was so pissed at him for that. I calmly walked home, knowing full well that Chris would give up my name to the cops - who came and visited my home a few hours later.

Chris would always maintain that his mom was a tyrant. I was over at his house one day and witnessed it firsthand. Chris' little brother Jonathan got in trouble, and got whipped with a belt. The poor guy was screaming. Chris and I sat in the living room while this was going on. Then Chris said that his mom was a witch. Unfortunately, she heard him. Then Chris got it with the belt as well. He was crying his eyes out.

In 5th grade, I believe Chris' mom remarried. And for a short time, he went by the name of Chris Sauer.

At some point in 5th grade, Chris and Doug began smoking. They were always trying to get me to smoke as well. But I had no interest, thank God. Eventually the peer pressure wore off, and they accepted my stance. Note to everyone - your friends WILL accept you, even if you choose not to take up smoking with them.

The two of them used to smoke in my garage. My garage was a great hangout. We had a bit of a clubhouse in there. Plus, I used a pick axe and smashed a hole into the roof, creating a way to get in and out. That hole lasted for several years, before my dad finally fixed it. Anyway, one day, for whatever reason, Chris and Doug decided to remove all their clothes. For the life of me, I couldn't tell you why. We were all kind of odd. But I dared them both to go onto the roof once they were naked. Much to my perverted pleasure, they did. Chris went so far as to jump off the roof, into my neighbor's garden. As it turned out, the neighbor was watching the whole thing from her kitchen window. Chris barrelled around the tree, back into my yard, laughing like a girl (a girl with a hard-on no less) saying, "The neighbor's in the window." Apparently this entire episode was also witnessed by a couple of giggly fellow graduates across the street, as well as another fellow graduate (Brian Belongia) across the field behind my house. My neighbor called the police. Chris and Doug were long gone when the cop arrived. But Brian and I told him where to find them. A few months later, our neighbors put up a giant wooden fence (that you couldn't even see though) between their yard and my driveway. I wonder why?

At some point in 6th grade, Chris and I started to grow apart for whatever reason. He was in the neighborhood some weekend, and the two of us started arguing about something. I was playing catch with my friend Bobby Streu. As Chris got on his bike and drove off, I whipped the baseball as hard as I could, nailing him square in the back. The next day in school he said some pretty nasty things to me. That was pretty much the end of our friendship. Although there was a day or two in 7th grade when Chris came over to my house after school.

At some point during 7th grade, I found myself kicked out of Mrs. Westburg's chorus class. Chris happened to be walking down the halls. I noticed that Jason Anderson had placed his math book on a shelf in the hallway leading into the music room. I gave Chris the book and told him to hide it. Chris took it and hid it in the janitor's room - just inside the door, up against the wall. I told Jason that Chris had taken his book. Jason was not pleased, and told some authority figure after class. So Chris, Doug Wall and I got called into the office at the start of sixth hour. Mr. Slattery made us "search" the area for the missing book. We even searched the janitor's office - where the book was in plain view. Somehow it wasn't in plain view to Slattery though. I fingered Chris. He fingered me. Doug fingered Chris. So Doug and I were free to go. About 15 minutes later, Jason's book magically appeared and was brought back to him.

Later on in 7th grade, Ms. Koeppe made a morning announcement warning the students about throwing pencils up into the ceiling. For L.B. Clarke students, she may as well have given us an open invitation to do it more. Between classes that very same day, Chris (who had his locker a few down from me, towards the library) faced me, was laughing hysterically, as he was wildly swinging his arms between his legs and torso several times, before flinging a pencil up into the ceiling. I was laughing my ass off - not so much at his antics, but because I was aware that Mr. Stodola was standing right behind him. I shit you not, Chris turned around after being confronted by Stodola, and said, "I didn't do anything!" As Stodola dragged him away, he looked at Chris in stunned disbelief that he could have said something like that.

I believe it was in 8th grade when Chris suddenly had a name change to Chris Storlie. By this time, he was hanging out with people like Randy Klein and Kurt Psenicka.

By high school, our friendship was completely done. Chris let his hair grow out so long that it looked like he had a lion's main going down his back. Richard and I used to mockingly refer to him as "Ringo" since he played drums in the band.

Chris moved to Manitowoc for his senior year. I would assume he graduated, as he was pretty smart. I really don't know much about him beyond that. However, I believe he attended UW Manitowoc, as he was a member of the Lakeshore Wind Ensemble - of which my parents are members of to this day. So I did run into Chris a few times. We never talked.

The last time I saw Chris, he was delivering a package to my parents' house. This was around 1991 or 1992. He was working for Fedex or UPS or something. Today he appears to be in Manitowoc, possibly married to a woman named Cathleen. And it also looks like he might now be going by the name of Chris Brooks.

UPDATE - 7/18/07 - Chris does in fact go by the name of "Chris Brooks." In fact, he still plays drums as well. He appears to play in a band called "About Face." Here is the band's Myspace page. ABOUT FACE Or you can check out their old Myspace page. ABOUT FACE

There are some pictures of Chris on those web pages. You can see them below as well.


At Wed Feb 08, 08:14:00 AM PST, Blogger Brad Strouf said...

Chris Storlie lived in a really big house near the west twin river...that's all I remember.

At Fri Feb 10, 01:45:00 PM PST, Blogger the_meff said...

"By request," as our host would say, I do have two interesting stories about Chris X. (Like algebra, the "X" stands for a variable, that variable being Chris's last name...)

Chris and I had a rather checkered co-existance. Sometimes we got along well, other times, we couldn't stand each other. I'm thinking it was more the latter than the former.

In any event, he became a semi-regular fall guy for Richard and I. Two schemes stand out; both were jogged recently by Burt so my memory is sketchy at best but I'll do what I can...

Do ya'll recall how easy it was to check a book out of the LB Clarke library? Just fill out a card and drop it in the slot. See ya' in two weeks.

So how tough dya' think it was to "falsify the document," so to speak? Not tough at all. Less so if you were schmucks who prided themselves on their forgery abilities. Knowing that our homeroom teachers would read aloud the overdue library book list every week, the temptation was too great to pass up.

Richard and I struck.

So Chris Storlie (or was he a Lohr at the time???) seemed to have checked out the book "MICKEY MOUSE COOKBOOK" and seemingly had problems returning it.

I'm amazed I have a tongue left from chewing on it to keep from bursting out laughing as Swokowski would read, "Chris, Mickey Mouse Cookbook, two weeks overdue!" The class lost it. Swokowski lost it. And Chris would turn a deep shade of crimson and scream, "I DIDN'T CHECK THAT OUT! GAWD!"

Chris had this remarkable ability to be really frickin' LOUD. His voice carried through walls, windows, titanium, whatever. AND you had the added benefit of him not having a brain that was exactly refined enough to stop him from verbalizing before thinking.

I.E. this story...

Gym class, 8th grade. If you recall, they'd load us up on a bus and ship us out to the Washington High pool for a swimming class. It was all very rushed and poorly organized but whatever...

Anyway, Richard and I made it out of the pool and back to the locker room prior to anyone. We were quick to notice that Chris's locker was ajar. And that his underwear seemed to be in plain view. And easy to steal... and easier to throw in the garbage so he could never actually find them.

See where this is going??? Again, some temptations in life are just too powerful to resist.

Now, mind you, if I were the unfortunate victim of this crime, I would probably just shove my pants on and hope to God I could make it through the day without anyone noticing. Mild discomfort at best.

Not Chris.


He howled, he screamed, he carried on forever. The class got a free comedy routine as Chris stomped around the locker room, halls, and bus back to Clarke SCREAMING about his lack of underwear.

Smart choice, Chris.

Oh well. Hope we didn't mentally scar the lad too much.


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