Wednesday, February 22, 2006


In honor of my 100th different classmate entry, here by request is the one and only Nick Novachek.

From what I can recall, Nick joined me at Clarke. I didn't have him in class. I think he had Mr. Burnstad - who was right on the other side of the curtain of Mrs. Casey's class, where I was.

One thing I remember from that year is a fight. Outside, to the north of the bike racks, Nick got into a fight with another sixth grader. I don't know how to spell his name. But the guy's name was Jim Tudje. On a side note, I have tried to track down Jim, to no avail. He left us after that year. Perhaps if I knew how to spell his name, I'd have more luck. But for now, Jim is gone. Anyway, the two of them went at it on the grass. It was cold outside. And I think I was actually holding Nick's hat during the fight. It was a pretty decent one. The two of them pounded on each other. Then as quickly as it started, it stopped. In an unusual move, the two combatants didn't shake hands and become friends. What's up with that always happening anyway? Nick stormed off, and looked like he was close to tears. But he fought them off and saved face.

If one remembers Clarke, the main area was a square. Each corner had six classrooms. The 24 classrooms surrounded the library. Each corner was divided into three as well, with a curtain (which could be opened) dividing the room. There was also a backroom which connected the two. Anyway, one day I was stuck inside during recess, doing work in Mr. Burnstad's room. Suddenly Mrs. Casey stormed through the backroom, dragging Nick in tow. Apparently Nick had taken several pieces of gum - and I'm talking 15 or 20 pieces, and was wadding them into his mouth. Is this really a crime? To Mrs. Casey it was. Mr. Burnstad also thought so. He tore into Nick, who sheepishly sat down, red-faced and scared. A minute or two later, Burnstad went one step further. He went into the garbage can, dug out the giant wad of green gum, and pressed it onto Nick's nose, telling him he had to keep it on there for the rest of the day! That was a new one on me. I'm sure he was humiliated at first. But as the day progressed, it became a badge of pride and much amusement. Several hours later, he still had it on.

In 7th grade, Nick was a witness to when Tom Grassman and myself trashed the music room. The next day, after we'd been caught, I saw Nick in the hall, who asked me about it. I was pissed because I thought he'd told on us. I screamed at him, "You narced on us!" Nick insisted that he hadn't. And truth be told, he didn't. Sorry Nick.

One day in 8th grade, Nick was whipping pennies in the lunchroom. I guess his aim was off, because one of them hit me square in the eye. Oh my God did that hurt! I dropped to the ground. Nick came over to see if I was ok. I told him to get away, as I knew he'd get in trouble if he hovered over me like he was. Nick truly was sorry for nailing me. I ended up getting taken to the office and given some ice for my eye. They pressed me for information as to who hit me. I simply said that I didn't know. I don't think they believed me. But what were they going to do? You're welcome Nick! My eye was red for a couple of days.

Later on that year, I was in detention (in Mr. Kern's room) when Nick came in. Mr. Kern had a rule. If you tossed a piece of paper towards the garbage can, and missed, you would have to come after school, and hit 10 shots in a row from the point where you had tried and failed earlier. Nick had tried and failed. So he came in, all confident, with 10 wads of paper. All he had to do was hit 10 in a row in order to go home. It was a lot harder than he anticipated. One time he got up to nine, then missed. He was there about 40 minutes. The detention kids were having a blast! Finally he asked Kern if he could use the wadded-up big ball of tape that he kept in his drawer. Mr. Kern relented. And Nick made 10 shots in a row.

Nick was a fun-loving guy. Most everyone liked him. But he was loud - sometimes way too loud. He sat across from me in Mr. Swokowski's art class that year. Ross Hofmann gave Nick some money for some reason. Then he asked Nick, "You know what you can do with that money, right?" Nick responded, "Buy some pussy?" It's not what he said, but how loud he said it. It was full voice and then some. Somehow Swokowski didn't hear him. A minute or two later, Ross and Nick had the same exchange. Nick bellowed his answer even louder that time. And Swokowski heard it and ripped into Nick for swearing. Tone it down Nick! I honestly don't think he knew how loud he was... all the time.

I didn't have Nick in class. But both of us had Mr. Franke for science. One day Franke was going to be gone for some reason. And he had a thing about abusing substitute teachers. He gave us a stern warning that anyone who causes trouble would be in big trouble when he got back. Well, whoever the substitute was, said that I "fooled around a little bit." Great. Franke made me stay after school to help the janitors clean up for an hour. Nick and Dave Kanera must have fooled around a lot. Because they got a week of cleaning.

I never hung around with Nick. But he had a reputation as being a drinker - a heavy drinker. And by his own words, he loved beer. He could take or leave hard liquor. But this boy loved his beer.

Whether it's true or not, I don't know. But Dave Svatek told me that Nick once got drunk, took off all his clothes, ran outside in the winter, and fell asleep in a snowbank.

Nick always seemed to have a ton of cash on him. His dad ran a business in Two Rivers. I think they did pretty good. I seem to recall during our freshman year, someone stole some money from Nick's locker during gym class, while everyone was swimming. It was a lot of money too - perhaps over $100.00. Eventually people were searched. I think the money was found. But I don't recall who had actually stolen it. I wasn't in the class.

In our sophomore year, I had Nick in Mr. Ertman's pre-algebra II class. I happened to have my micro cassette recorder with me on the day that Nick got yelled at for talking to Pookie Bergeon - who sat right behind him. Ertman swore at him. Nick said, "She's talking to me!" It was true. But Nick was the one who had his back turned. I still have that tape.

Dave Svatek would sometimes give Nick a ride home from school. On occasion, we would all pile out of the car and go in. In fact, Nick loaned me some porno movies once. Apparently his dad had a ton of them taped. But the quality was really shitty. So I didn't copy them. But Richard Wheeler copied them for himself.

There was a rumor that Nick had a home movie of potential fellow graduate Amy Musial doing some naughty things with a bottle of booze. I don't know if that's true. But I suspect it wasn't. If it were true, the tape probably would have ended up in my hands at some point or another. And people would have wanted me to make copies of it.

I think Nick used to work at River Falls Supper Club. If memory serves, he somehow stuck his arm in the grease frier and burned it pretty bad.

In either our junior or senior year, Nick apparently got hurt at school, falling off the bleachers. I think he was helping out with some decorating for a dance. I never knew all the details about it. But I think he missed several days of school. I assumed he was drunk when it happened. But who knows.

I had Nick in Mr. Kakuk's social psychology class in our senior year. We had a little free time one day. And I put my head down to chill out. By the way, when your head is down, it's like you don't exist. People must think that you're sleeping or something. Because they'll say anything around you. Anyway, Nick was approached by Brad Strouf and someone else who I can't recall. Apparently Nick had gotten laid a day or two earlier. Allegedly the lucky lady was fellow graduate Kelly Siudzinski. And Nick said, "She's so loose." To which Brad replied, "I know." Geez Louise, guys! Anyway, Brad has since confirmed that he was never intimate with her. So that leads me to believe one of two things. Either he was bragging a bit to Nick. Or he'd heard from someone else about her. Either way... geez!

At some dance, Nick was elected King. His queen was Erin Hynek.

At the very end of our senior year, for whatever reason, Nick went and jumped into the river - fully clothed. I watched him from the study hall room window.

Nick was a cool guy. I think everyone liked him. Life was a party to him. I wouldn't be surprised if it still is.

I ran into Nick a few times at the video store. he was always friendly. He had at one time planned to become a chef. But I don't think he ever did. He eventually married a woman named Lisa. Today he works in Manitowoc for a company that makes personalized badges and stuff. I believe he still lives in Two Rivers.

UPDATE - 5/17/06 - Cindy Rohrer has sent me this recent picture of Nick. It was taken during Key West's annual Fantasy Fest. My wife and I have been dying to go to this event. One of these years we will. Nick is on the far left. His wife is standing right next to him. Next to her, hiding behind an enermous mask (with fake boobs attached) is Cindy herself.

UPDATE - 7/20/06 - Kevin Dehne and I stopped to see Nick on July 15th. Nick has a very nice home, right on the river. He says he keeps the house simply because of the great party he throws every 4th of July. We sat with Nick for awhile. He's a fun guy to talk to. He has a ton of interesting stories, and some good gossip as well. He also confirmed a few things that have been mentioned in this blog. The shots below were taken in his backyard.


At Thu Feb 23, 05:25:00 AM PST, Blogger the_meff said...

I alwasy felt that Nick was the closest we had to a Bluto Blutarsky in the class of 1989.

("Animal House" reference for the one or two people out there who haven't seen it)

At Thu Feb 23, 06:49:00 AM PST, Blogger TWORIVERSWALRUS said...

Bluto, yes. I can't think of a better description than that.

At Thu Feb 23, 09:34:00 AM PST, Blogger moptopjen said...

i hv a very early, v. vauge memory of scratching nick's neck (drawing blood) on a bus parked at the HS. 4th grade perhaps? no idea when, but that's when i started to grow claws. regardless, let me thank burt for providing the avenue to apologize to him! hope he shows up here.

and yes nick was our jr prom king; also my date (as friends). was v fun. angie owens was along w/troy g., plus a bunch of others. & my dress as butt-ugly as everyone else's. we were like a bunch of cake-toppers back then; needed a Sak's nearby.

At Thu Feb 23, 12:24:00 PM PST, Blogger TWORIVERSWALRUS said...

Yes, I hope Nick stops by too. It was pretty hard not to like the guy. He seemed like the epitome of fun. Perhaps he's one of the people who has been lurking in the shadows, waiting for his entry before he commented himself. I hope so. He probably has a lot to say, assuming he didn't destroy all of his brain cells.

At Thu Feb 23, 07:45:00 PM PST, Blogger Tammy said...

Nick was really a great guy, high up on the popularity ladder but never really looked down on anyone like many of the more popular ones did. Me being only mid-range on the popular list never really judged people, just the way I was raised I guess. One thing this blog has got me doing is browsing the ol' year books alot more. Some of the things we wrote back then....

At Tue Feb 28, 01:02:00 PM PST, Blogger mimikatemom said...

Nick was and is a good guy even if he took 10 years off my young life by clothes-lining himself while running on top of those old wood bleachers, falling off and knocking himself out. I thought for sure the fool broke his neck. Talk about panic...
TRHS had the bizarre tradition of having their class president be the prom king/queen...our jr year that was me and I asked Nick to escort me at the dance. In my years of st. council and class stuff I knew I could count on Nick to help me out and it meant alot to me. And there we were; stitches and all, smiling away. :)

At Wed Apr 26, 06:02:00 PM PDT, Blogger Brad Strouf said...

Nick...you and I both know you're reading this...time to step up and throw in your two-cents worth. I for one am drooling to hear your accounts of this class. Let's have it pal.

At Wed Apr 26, 06:58:00 PM PDT, Blogger TWORIVERSWALRUS said...

Nick is reading? What makes you think so? If so, I never would have expected him to be so quiet.

At Thu Apr 27, 11:53:00 AM PDT, Blogger Brad Strouf said...

Nick IS reading...what makes me think so? Well, would you believe that I'm psychic...no, wait psychotic...no, I mean psychic.

Anyway, I saw him and he told me. That's it. Not very exciting, but that's all I can do for you.

At Thu Apr 27, 12:17:00 PM PDT, Blogger TWORIVERSWALRUS said...

Psychic/psychotic - that's a gag from Matt Dillon's "The Flamingo Kid."

At Thu Apr 27, 06:42:00 PM PDT, Blogger CindySue said...

Come on Nick, you better chime in soon or I'll have to post some Fantasy Fest pictures from the Keys.....

At Wed May 24, 03:46:00 AM PDT, Blogger Saint Nick said...


At Wed May 24, 09:37:00 AM PDT, Blogger Saint Nick said...

So this is what it comes to......lying naked in my bed at 6:00 am on a Wednesday typing information for the whole world to see. So be it.....

First, thank you Burt. This blog is an excellent little walk down memory lane. How you remember all this shit nothing short of amazing.

Quite honestly until this blog I didn't think I really gave two shits to what most of the people listed where doing. But for some reason I find myself reading about most of them.

For those who are interested I am living in TR with my wife Lisa. We have two children, Abby(6) and Will(3).

For the past 14 years I have been earning the almighty dollar working at the Cawley Company as a sales rep. It allows me to travel and see the world all in the name of greed. It's perfect.

That's it for now.
But I vow, I WILL POST AGAIN !!!!

At Wed May 24, 10:12:00 AM PDT, Blogger mimikatemom said...

Yey Nick! Happy to hear you! Hope you'll send along pics of your gang.

At Sun Jan 07, 09:58:00 PM PST, Blogger Tammy Schroeder said...

Our senior year when Nick jumped into the river. We were taking our final exams of the year in the study hall room for Me Ertman's class. We all had to sit at least 1-2 chairs away from another person. I remember sitting by Carrie and in front of us was either Rod Lumaye or Rob Sisel. Carrie and I got all the answers for our exam from one of them. One finger up was A, Two fingers up was B. We were waiting for the next row of "letters" and I looked up and Mr Ertman was looking at us, BUSTED, all he did was shake his head at us and looked away. We still laugh about it today. Anyway, we were all done with the exam but couldn't be dismissed until the bell rand which I think was probably about a half hour away. Nick kept taunting Mr Ertman about us leaving. He finally told him he could leave if he went and jumped in the river. I remember us all running over to the windows facing the river and yelling at Mr Ertman that he is really jumping in the river. Mr Ertman looked at me and said no matter what Nick did for his exam he was getting an A. And then when Nick came back he let us all leave for the day. Nick did like beer, our 10 year reuion we ran out of beer so Nick bought the second half. What a guy.


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