Friday, February 17, 2006


I first got to know Shane in 5th grade. We shared Ms. Krause together.

Shane was pretty much liked by all. He was part of the whole football card trading crew that was in that class. Other members included myself, Andy Reinhart, Jason Anderson and Dean Lichterman. Shane was obsessed with the Dallas Cowboys. He stated time and again that when he was older, he was going to move to Dallas.

At Magee, there were various display cases scattered around the school. The school would let students decorate them from time to time. Some really cool stuff was sometimes placed in them. Someone once created a Star Wars display with various Star Wars toys. That was cool. Shane got the opportunity to do one once. Of course his choice was an homage to the Dallas Cowboys. In fact, he even had a poster of the Dallas Cowby cheerleaders that all of us boys fawned over. One of the cheerleaders appeared to have her hand slighly embedded in the back of her shorts. We liked that.

If I'm not mistaken, Shane and I spent 6th grade together with Mrs. Casey. Although I have no memories of him in there. So maybe I'm wrong about that.

In 7th grade, when Tom Grassman and I trashed the music room, we were witnessed by Shane and Nick Novachek. See my Tom entry for details of that event. Both Nick and Shane were amused, and supported our actions.

In 8th grade, I had Shane in Mr. Swokowski's art class. Two things come to mind. At some point that year, Sammy Hagar's "I Can't Drive 55" was climbing the charts. And one day everyone seemed to be singing it - only changing "55" to much higher speeds - 85, 95, 105... whatever. Then Shane piped in with his rendition, singing "I can't drive" - and leaving it at that. No license you see. Pretty funny.

Later on that year, the class started to get a little loud at some point. Swokowski had a few things he would say in times like that. But on this day, Shane beat him to the punch. Shane Belted out, "People!" Then a minute or two later, he followed with, "I tell ya what, people" - in perfect Swokowski drawl. It was very funny to everyone but Swokowski, who chided him for mocking him.

If I'm not mistaken, during our freshman year, Shane broke his leg or something.

I honestly don't recall having Shane in any classes in high school. He and I didn't associate. Although he seemed to be a decent enough guy. I think Shane was a member of the basketball team. I could be wrong about this, but I think for a time he dated class of 1990's Tina Kust. I think he also still hung around with Nick Novachek. lastly, I believe he drove a black Volkswagon Beetle.

I have no clue if Shane ever went onto college somewhere. For a time, he worked at Mirro. He eventually married class of 1993's Jennifer Mittag. They divorced in 2000. To my knowledge, they did not have any children together. He then married class of 1992's Gwen Gates. Today I believe they live in Sturgeon Bay.

UPDATE - A few hours after posting this entry, I got an E-mail from Shane. If it is in fact him, he apparently was alerted to this blog by a former classmate. Anyway, he sent me the image below. He has some sort of website that he's created. And he drew a picture of himself for it. He's apparently still rooting for the Cowboys. Note the Roy Williams jersey. Nice to see you Shane. Click it to see it larger.

UPDATE - 10/4/07 - As mentioned in Jeremy's comment, and has been told to me by multiple people, Shane and his wife operate Fatzo's Subs up in Sturgeon Bay. And if it's anything like Fatzo's in Two Rivers... YUMMY! Anyway, as was also mentioned in the comments section, Shane is a bit of an artist. In fact, I was just informed today (thank you Jackie Roehl) that Shane has his own website. He sells his art there. Sadly, there's no photo of him though. I will get one someday! It looks like he has his own art gallery shop as well. Here's his website. SHANE PETERSON

I even found a newspaper article about Shane. Here it is.

Little Gallery Packs Big Punch: Shane Peterson opens gallery

You know immediately upon entering 517 Jefferson Street that there’s more going on than first meets the eye. Unassuming in its size and location, this little green building that sits close to the street on the main downtown route houses the Shane Peterson Gallery – a fun, new and young addition to downtown Sturgeon Bay – and Big Dog Graphics, both owned and operated by artist Shane Peterson.

Peterson is on-site most days, painting in the studio at the rear of the gallery and tending to customers as they stroll in off the street. Primarily oils on canvas, Peterson’s works are bright and bold, maximizing simple images and playing with light. Art goers looking for an image of Door County will gravitate toward the bigger-than-life cherries that should really be the cover of some local publication right around harvest time. Automotive enthusiasts will enjoy Peterson’s take on vintage autos and their parts, and for all who spent last week with shovel in hand, Peterson’s Winter Trees will make you forget your aching back and help you remember the magic and hush of silent, settling snow.

Peterson is not new to the world of art or to the world of business. He was a student at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD) and completed his schooling at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design. He spent the next several years working as a designer for cookware manufacturers Calphalon and Mirro, until he and his wife, Gwen, decided to move to Door County. Settling in Sturgeon Bay (he is also no stranger to the county, his parents are both local and his grandfather was a locally known watercolor artist and sign painter), they opened Fatzo’s Subs, a west-side sandwich shop that’s been feeding locals and tourists for over five years (try the Club Sub – my unofficial poll rates it the local favorite). With a fully trained staff and a successful track record, the Petersons decided that Gwen would continue to manage the restaurant while Shane turned his time and talent back to art and design.

But Peterson’s talents don’t end with graphics and canvases. The gallery is also where Peterson designs and creates hand-carved, hand-painted signs. The signs look like traditional wooden signs, but are actually made from a high-density urethane that weathers the elements better than wood. This non-cracking, non-warping material isn’t inexpensive, but Peterson says that most business owners realize the importance of commissioning a well-designed, well-executed and sturdy sign to welcome new and seasoned customers.

“A business sign is like the cover of a book,” says Peterson, “if it doesn’t look good, you’re not going to read it.” His signs hang at several area businesses including Fatzo’s Subs, JR Vacation Rentals, Saguaro Day Spa and Door County Animal Clinic.

One stop at the gallery and it’s easy to see why Shane Peterson Gallery and Big Dog Graphics are attracting Sturgeon Bay’s attention. Winter business hours are 10 am – 3 pm, Thursday through Sunday and by appointment. You can see more of Peterson’s work or contact him to make a sign by visiting the gallery at 517 Jefferson Street, Sturgeon Bay, calling him at 920.818.0129, or visiting him on the web at www.shanepeterson.com.


At Fri Feb 17, 09:31:00 AM PST, Blogger the_meff said...

Shane was just a great guy, plain and simple. One of the coolest folks to walk the halls of the TR Public schools. Always pretty laid back, always friedly.

At Sun Feb 19, 09:51:00 PM PST, Blogger Greg Pagel said...

One thing about Shane that was kinda cool is the fact that he was such a good artist, and I for one didn't know it until just before graduation. He mentioned that he wanted to be an artist, possibly an animator. But he didn't show off or brag about his talents (like so many of us). He just did his thing and that was it. He didn't keep it a secret, he just didn't show off. That's pretty rare for a student.

At Mon Feb 20, 07:27:00 PM PST, Blogger Jeremy said...


How long would it take to get a Fatzo's special delivered to me down here in Oak Creek?

Remember that 2+ hour long hot shower you took during the Fox Hills party after we walked (you barefoot) through the snow back from the pool? Everyone kept coming in to use the bathroom, and you were complaining about there not being any more warm water! That's Pete!

At Thu Feb 23, 07:49:00 PM PST, Blogger Tammy said...

Was recently chatting with Cory Witting about Shane. It would seem Shane is quite the artist still. He has done a mural for Mr. Witting's home that they are very proud of. Remember Mr. Witting? He's still a great guy, I see him every once in a while. Shane was and I am sure still is such a sincere person, someone you could count on if you needed a friend to lean on.


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