Tuesday, February 14, 2006


Jeff Gordon was a guy I first encountered at Clarke. But to be honest, I can't really picture him there. But I remember the name quite well.

In 7th grade, I was sitting in Mr. Longhini's math class during 5th hour. Jason Anderson was at the desk in front of me. Suddenly Ms. Koeppe made an annoucement of some sort, and Jeff Gordon's name was mentioned. Jason then quipped, "Jeff Gordon that bate."

Now, what exactly a "bate" is I still don't know to this day. But for whatever reason, that quote amused me. For the rest of the year, Jason and I would say that quote back and forth to each other on a daily basis. We would take turns. I'd say "Jeff." He'd say "Gor." I'd say "don." He'd say "that." Then we'd both say "bate" at the same time. Sometimes we "coughed" it instead of speaking it out loud.

What the hell is a bate????

My first real visual memories of Jeff are from sophomore year. He sat in front of Dave Svatek in Mr. Scriver's history class. I sat to their right. Dave and Jeff had a mutual interest in skiing. I had no mutual interest with either of them. Although Jeff was one of the few students that I was actually taller than. Anyway, as the year progressed, the three of us often engaged in conversations with each other. I ended up liking both of them.

At some point that year, Jeff asked if I would make a copy of the film "Hot Dog: The Movie" for him. No problem. He brought me a tape. I taped it and gave it to him the next day. I remember him saying that he was going to watch the film as soon as he got home, so he could get "pumped up" for some skiing trip he had planned the next day or something.

I can't say that Jeff and I were ever friends. But we were certainly on friendly terms with one another. I know I made him laugh on occasion. But I'd guess that some of those times he was laughing at me, and not with me. But a laugh is a laugh. Who cares.

I don't know what year it was. I suspect it was our sophomore year again. But I have a vague memory of riding my bike over to his house to drop off yet another tape to him. I don't recall what it was. But it's possible it was some porno films. I think I'd forgotten to take it to school, and felt guilty about it, and made a special trip to drop it off to him personally. Jeff lived by Magee, right across from Uni Mart.

At some point in high school, Jeff started going out with fellow graduate Brenda Gordon.

I ran into Jeff a couple of times after high school. He went onto school, possibly to UW Milwaukee, to become an engineer - the good money kind, not the choo choo kind. Jeff and Brenda continued their high school romance all the way to the altar, getting married in July, 1994. Today they live in Two Rivers along with their two sons. I believe Jeff works in Manitowoc, as an engineer.

UPDATE - 2/16/06 - The Gordon's have sent their recent Christmas photo. Thanks guys. Click it for the full-sized version.

UPDATE - 4/27/06 - I found a picture of Jeff online. It's from some golf outing in the last year or so.

UPDATE - 7/20/06 - On July 15th, Kevin Dehne and I stopped in to see Jeff and Brenda. Jeff was making a pizza. Their house is currently up for sale. Even though they'd spent three years at Clarke and two years at Washington together, Jeff had no recollection of Kevin. Before we left, we snapped the picture you see below.

UPDATE - 11/23/06 - Here is some video from that July 15th visit.


At Tue Feb 14, 01:14:00 PM PST, Blogger Jeff G said...

Your memory is frickin amazing - I told Brenda I remember little beyond our encounters at TR Video.

You did bring back some memories, but for others there is no recollection.

I moved back to TR 4th quarter 6th grade. Joe Antonie was my first bud - in Mr Burnstad's class.

I guess I can vaguely recall Dave Svatek skiing, but don't recall ever on a trip with him. Hot Dog is still one my favorites, and I still have that tape. Totally forgot you taped it for me. Thanks man. The other tape was 3 or 4 different Cheech and Chongs - the 1st being Up in Smoke. Dont recall you delivering to the apartment I lived in - but Thanks. I still have that tape also. What is porno?? I never saw that one.

Dont recall Jason's comments back then, but it sounds like him, so I certainly wouldnt deny he said it. Tons of my memories involve 'Kidd' and I will share some at a later time. He became a great friend and Rozy, I, and the others had a tough time when he left us for that year.

Friendly terms w/you is definitely something I recall - I wouldnt laugh 'at' anybody - within eyesight anyways.

A couple more thoughts before I wrap up: the college was Marquette and roomed w/Jeremy Karman, the high-paying engineer is in fact the one on the railrooad track, but unfortunately I choose the other.

This site has been tremendously interesting over the past couple months - thanks for the initiative. I will have lots of comments for various people in the future.

For now, I'll turn it back over to Brad who apparently has no job (at least today) and has been spending the entire day adding his tidbits. Thanks Brad.

Lastly, Burt, I hate to burst your bubble, but its pretty typical for Paula to publicly exclaim her desires for someone.

At Tue Feb 14, 01:26:00 PM PST, Blogger Brad Strouf said...

Christ Burt, you're such a bate.

At Tue Feb 14, 01:28:00 PM PST, Blogger Brad Strouf said...

Christ Jeff, you're such a bate...too.

I have off today, so there.

At Tue Feb 14, 01:28:00 PM PST, Blogger Jeff G said...

Cheese, how ya been?? I'll throw a post under your bio when I get the chance. Lots of good memories man.

At Tue Feb 14, 01:29:00 PM PST, Blogger Jeff G said...

Its better than a bait. Or isnt it, Jason???

At Tue Feb 14, 01:30:00 PM PST, Blogger Brad Strouf said...

You too pal, I'm just warming up...I'll get to you soon. It's fun when you have so much stuff that you have to pick and choose...stay tuned.

At Tue Feb 14, 01:44:00 PM PST, Blogger TWORIVERSWALRUS said...

I'll take whatever love I can get. She may not recall it. But Paula was mine. Oh yes, she was mine.

Jason's comments were never directed to you. It was just a joke bewteen him and I.

On a side not, Hot Dog is available on DVD now. I got it myself. It no doubt looks better than the 19-year-old VHS in your possession. Look for it.

As for the ski trip, I don't think it was with Dave. He just had a mutual interest in the sport as you did.

Lastly, welcome. I look forward to any comments you care to share.

At Wed Feb 15, 09:44:00 PM PST, Blogger SonnyKidd said...

Got me dude, I can barely remember yesterday, I don't know where Burt's gets this shit from. The Chief needs his props though. We should get a card game together, for old times.

At Thu Feb 16, 06:24:00 AM PST, Blogger TWORIVERSWALRUS said...

Jason, I'm actually surprised you don't remember this one. You and I did the "Jeff Gordon that bate" routine 1000 times that year - seriously.

Maybe you don't recall it. But perhaps you can tell us what a "bate" is.

At Thu Feb 16, 07:45:00 AM PST, Blogger Jeff G said...

Cards - name the place and time, Jason. I'll bring the Yukon Jack for old time sake.

The photo is 2004 Christmas. '05 photos weren't the best. Besides, only differences are the boys have grown, and I've lost more hair.

At Thu Feb 16, 10:01:00 AM PST, Blogger SonnyKidd said...

Good to see I'm not the only one losing my hair, oh well, easy come easy go.

As far as "bate" goes...I can only imagine it's a shortened version of masturbate. Where that came from, who knows. Many thought I was an ass back in the day, and deservedly so I reckon. Heck, I don't even remember when El Jefe & I became friends and started hanging out.

I would love to get a card game together, as soon as next month say, March is pretty holiday, wedding, etc. free. What we need is an email list put together for everyone that's been on the blog, or hasn't (Mess, Pete, Jer, etc). I tried to get Rozy, Drew, Brad, and I together last year, but that ended up falling through. I can house people at my place or we have tons of hotels right near by. Or I wouldn't mind heading back to TR for a weekend. But we should seriously do something, instead of just talking about it.

At Thu Feb 16, 08:45:00 PM PST, Blogger Greg Pagel said...

Jen Anderson used to call me "queerbate" in 6th grade. Either she knows what it means, or she was just using yet another word she didn't understand.

At Thu Feb 16, 08:46:00 PM PST, Blogger Greg Pagel said...

Great. Now it looks like all my posts have my picture next to them.


At Thu Feb 16, 08:46:00 PM PST, Blogger Greg Pagel said...

Here's one more!

At Fri Feb 17, 05:14:00 PM PST, Blogger Brad Strouf said...

Ok, Jeff I promised an entry...

Plus I'm so damn sick of seeing Pagel's picture with that damn squeaky toy of his...anyway...

Jeff was one of those guys in high school that I wanted to be friends with, but I couldn't pull him away from Jeremy.

Jeff was absolutely focused. He had plans...I sometimes thought he was too serious, but then I got to know him better...

Jeff had a fun side to him as well. His dad would let him take the truck out on weekends, sometimes. This was one fine ride back in the '80's...GMC Jimmy? something like that.

We would ride in style, but Jeff was really concerned about keeping that vehicle immaculate. One time, I was screwing around with someone, I think Jason (imagine that...) and we ended up falling into the side of the truck in the McDonald's parking lot and Jeff was pissed! He was convinced we had scuffed up the side of the truck and his dad was going to be outraged. I don't think anything ever came of it, but I remember a very unhappy chief at that moment.

Jeff had a younger sister that I really liked a lot...enought that I considered dating her a couple of times. I never actually asked her out though, I always felt weird about it, kind of a respect thing for Jeff if that makes any sense. She was (probably still is) a really pretty girl...

Jeff did have somewhat of a reputation of "disappearing" from the Jonas parties...I never knew he was hiding upstairs, waiting for Mrs. J to take care of his sick belly...poor thing...whatever.

Great picture Jeff by the way.

At Sun Feb 19, 08:32:00 AM PST, Blogger Jeff G said...

Wasnt that you and Jeremy battling for the front seat????? I never knew what happened that night - it was the following morning at about 7am when pops came exploding into my bedroom demanding to know what had happened to the side of the truck - I had no idea. But in hindsight, I recalled you and Jer or Jason throwing each other up against the door panels at the Mcdonalds parking lot. Thanks man.

My sister Dayna lives in Pewaukee, is happily married, and has a 6 month old daughter - so our niece is the daughter we never had - she is a peach.

At Mon Feb 20, 07:21:00 PM PST, Blogger Jeremy said...

Hi Jeff,

Hard to remember if it was me or not. So many nights at McDonalds and so many times wrestling for the front seat.

At Tue Feb 21, 07:44:00 PM PST, Blogger mimikatemom said...

Hi Jeff,
I am seriously drawing a blank on a physics class, I don't think it was me who helped you. It's probably a good thing you didn't sit next to me...I was pretty much born without the part of my brain that should understand math and related topics. Did we have to take physics in HS? I remember struggling thru in undergrad. I'm so tempted to try and dig up my HS transcript to see if I was in the class! Memories are funny things :)


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