Tuesday, February 21, 2006


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.


At Tue Feb 21, 12:48:00 PM PST, Blogger PJ said...

Mark married a gal that we went to school with at UW-O. Very pretty, nice girl. She is a good friend of my good girl friend from nursing school. They had twin boys about 5 yrs ago or so. Moved to Iowa a few years ago, I believe, d/t a job transfer or change for his wife. That's all I got.

At Tue Feb 21, 01:20:00 PM PST, Blogger the_meff said...

You are correct about Mark, he did kinda' have a chip on his shoulder. However, I think I got along better with him than you did. At least he didn't really point any major anymosity my way. He lived on the same block as Ross Remiker and since I was a semi-regular at Ross's house back in the 4th/5th grade days, our paths crossed a bit.

My head was so severely jangled up with sci-fi/comic book/superhero lore and he was a total jock - - not a lot of common ground.

We tolerated each other.

At Tue Feb 21, 01:23:00 PM PST, Blogger the_meff said...

er, animosity.

wow, wyth mi speling, I must be a prodokt of to riverz publik skool!

At Tue Feb 21, 07:28:00 PM PST, Blogger Brad Strouf said...

My car was a mess after that, I got into a lot of trouble for that...I do remember someone (Burt?) yelling to stop, but no...we dragged that little chevette for half a block...that same year, I hooked the snowblower backing out of the garage and threw the damn thing (snowblower) through the garage wall...that car hated me.

At Wed Apr 12, 07:44:00 PM PDT, Blogger MarkC said...

TRWALRU... Man I'm glad there are people like you out there who take the time to do this stuff. Your posts are very interesting and bring back lots of memories. Some we love and some we'd like to forget. By the way, I'd give you a ride today!

Not sure how you got all of your info... but you are pretty accurate.

I married in '96, taught grades 5 and 6 in FDL and Kewaskum for 9 years. Lived in Theresa and Mayville during that time. Moved to Davenport in January of '04 due to a job advancement for my wife with Deere.

We had twin boys in June of '00. They got their names from my name... I'm Mark Steven. So, their names, Tyler Mark, and Steven Thomas obviously include mine along with other family names. We knew we'd have to live with the Steven Tyler comparison for ever, but we did it anyway.

Since public school teacher salary is minimal, I tried staying home with the boys and do the house husband thing for a couple months upon our arrival in Davenport. Although I loved the time with my boys, I had to get back into the real world. I quickly landed a 5th grade position in Bettendorf. I most certainly don't regret the time home with the boys but enjoy my time in the classroom. Life's balance is now good.

Our family spends lots of time on the Mississippi enjoying water sports. When not hanging with the family I can be found hunting, riding my HOG, or golfing. I, along with a group of buddies, will once again make the trip back to TR (well, Valders) to play in the TR Booster Club Scramble the first weekend in June. It's good to get back to WI, and find myself making the trip any excuse I can get. Even for just a round of golf... hell, gas is inexpensive!?!?

Hope everyone form WHS '89 is healty and happy!

At Thu Apr 13, 06:49:00 AM PDT, Blogger TWORIVERSWALRUS said...

Ok, I'll take you up on that ride.

At Thu Apr 13, 09:12:00 AM PDT, Blogger Brad Strouf said...


Glad to see you join the fun. Good to hear things are going well for you, I miss seeing you.

I suppose I could talk about the beer drinking and motorcycle ride to Oshkosh to visit your sister, but nah, I'll stick with the tennis...Was that really a sport? I think we might have made a mockery of a sanctioned WHS spring sport...what a blast. Poor Phil Franko, he never knew what hit him...

At Thu Apr 13, 10:26:00 AM PDT, Blogger MarkC said...

Brad, Brad, Brad... you are the goods. I've got lots of good memories with you. We sure did cause some trouble for Phil, poor guy. We all pretty much thought we were Andre Agassi or Johnny Mac. Funny how we actually got some wins under our belt. If I recall, I think you, Drew, Jeremy and I may have actually even mopped up at one of the Clintonville Invites.

It's now payback for our bad behavior with you in law enforcement and me in education.

You're going to have to refresh my memory about that motorcycle trip to UWO. Did we really take the bike there??

I get through your area about once a year as I still head to Door Cty for deer season. Let me go if you see me speeding. I ran into Shane P up there 2 years ago. I try to hit their sub shop when in town. Sounds like he's doing well.

If you're ever down here pheasant hunting, look me up.

I'll never forget your story about the condom floating in the toilet. I commend you for using protection!

At Thu Apr 13, 10:34:00 AM PDT, Blogger TWORIVERSWALRUS said...

Condom in the toilet? Do tell...

What's the name of this sub shop? And what city is it in?

At Thu Apr 13, 11:08:00 AM PDT, Blogger Jeff G said...

Hello Mark, glad to here all is well - look forward to the Greater Raider at Autumn Ridge less than 2 months away - seems to come faster than once/year.

Speaking of irony and also the tennis team: recall the meet in Chilton or Kewauskum or whereever, as we are approaching the school and passing a fight on the corner, Nate Koenig opens the bus window, sticks his head out, and hollers "put him in a fuckin pile driver". The look on Boelke's face was priceless. Nate is now, and has been for years, the TR tennis coach (girl's though I think). Funny how that works.

At Thu Apr 13, 12:58:00 PM PDT, Blogger MarkC said...

Good to hear from you too Jeffie, can't wait till the golf outing.

Yup, I can remember that. Nate sure loved the "pile driver". He also loved the "F word" and really loved to put them together. He was/is a hell of a tennis player. Poor JB, no wonder he gave up the coaching position. That's pretty cool that Nate is coaching the girls now. I have not contacted Nate for a while. He had been playing with a little money for me for several years, but our paths parted.

Shane and Gwen Gates own and operate (at least they did as of last year at hunting time) a Fatzo's in Sturgeon Bay. You can't miss it as you come into town. I ran into Shane at a store in Sturgeon Bay during hunting season 3 years ago... that's how I found out. What's funny is the first time I went in for a sub the Scott Johnson clan was in there. Turns out they hunt within a mile of where I hunt.

At Thu Apr 13, 01:03:00 PM PDT, Blogger jenny said...

hi mark,
(i also went to uwoshkosh with mark and heidi)
it's great to see you and heidi are doing well. make sure you tell her hello for me!!!
remember in 3rd grade when you and craig r. were so insistant about putting worms in my hair?
mark was also the king at "kick and catch" and dodgeball at magee! i'd have welts that lasted for days.

At Thu Apr 13, 02:23:00 PM PDT, Blogger MarkC said...

Worms?? Me?? Never... OK, maybe a couple. Craig put them in your hair??? One would have thought that he'd prefer to eat them!!! The dude would eat anyting for a buck.

Sorry about the welts Jenny... surprisingly enough I still play dodgeball with my 4th and 5th graders. They beg me to come to gym class on dodgeball days. My paper correcting can wait!! We now use the foam balls as opposed to the rubber playground balls.

For some reason I did not see much of Jenny at UWO. I did go to UWMC for two years so I missed you for those two years. I think you met Heidi long before I did. Anyway, I will be sure to say HI to her from you. Heidi is putting her business and IS degrees to work for John Deere as she is the Director of Recruiting and Talent Management. I have no clue what she really does other than go to meetings and dress pretty???? She gets pissed when I say that, but all I can say is that I wouldn't want the pressure of her job.

Did the class of '89 invent Kick-n-catch when we were at Magee? Did the Case and Koening students play that game?? That really is a great playground game that includes all. I'll be sure to get my kids at Grant Wood Elementary School in Bettendorf going on that game at noon recess on Monday.

By the way... you guys know who Grant Wood is? You will certainly recognize his art.


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