Thursday, April 27, 2006


Dave was a guy who joined me at Clarke. He was a rather good-natured fellow. He wasn't popular. He wasn't unpopular. He just did his thing and nobody bothered him.

I got to know Dave a little bit during freshman year. I often sat with him at lunch. He seemed to smile a lot. I have no idea why. I recall him telling me a crude joke that year.

Roses are red.
Violets are gray.
If Rock Hudson liked pussy,
He'd be here today.

Dave and I didn't have much in common. Or did we? I think he had red hair. I know he had freckles. But from an academic standpoint, we didn't cross paths much. I can't honestly recall having him in a single class. I think Dave took a lot of shop classes.

Dave's mom was one of the lunch monitors (noon goons) in high school. This doesn't really involve Dave. But during my senior year, in Mr. Schwantes' class, class of 1990's Cory Shimulunas sounded off about her. He'd had some sort of run-in with her, and said some pretty nasty things. Craig Rysticken then said, "It's a good thing Dave isn't here today. Because that's his mom!" So yes, I actually did have Dave in at least one class. And it was a good thing that he was out sick that day. That could have been ugly.

Dave is one person who I have not laid eyes on since high school. I guess he never rented movies. Today I believe he works as a mason or a contractor. So I guess those shop classes paid off! Dave eventually married a woman named Jamie. They live in Two Rivers to this day. To my knowledge, they don't have any kids. But they do have two dogs, as indicated in the newspaper article which I've copied below. There's also a small picture. Dave is in the back, on the right - with his wife on the left.

If Jamie Otto-Coenen and her husband, David, are on their death beds any time soon, they know exactly what they want.

"I want the company of my dogs and the music of Josh Groban," Otto-Coenen, 40, said.

"I want our beagles, Buckshot and Bailey, by my side," David Coenen, 34, said.

The Two Rivers couple also does not want feeding tubes, a respirator/ventilator or other life-prolonging measures if they’ve reached a point where they cannot "interact meaningfully with family, friends, environment."

That is the wording in a section of the Advance Directives document they signed Tuesday at Aurora Medical Center.

In the wake of the extensive media coverage of Terri Schiavo and the bitter legal battle over the severely brain-damaged woman, the Two Rivers couple are among thousands nationwide filling out living wills and Power of Attorney for Health Care documents.

"Nobody else has to make the decision. I’ve already done it. Why have arguing and fighting when it tells them right here what I want," said Coenen, a construction worker, pointing to different treatment options.

His wife works as an emergency room technician and paramedic.

"Being in health care I see situations where there is family indecision," she said.

When it comes to a loved one in, for example, a persistent vegetative state, "Everybody says, ‘I wouldn’t want to keep living like that.’ But when it comes to (discontinuing life support measures) for a family member, they can’t follow through," Otto-Coenen said.


At Thu Apr 27, 11:55:00 AM PDT, Blogger Brad Strouf said...

Dave's mom was a lunch monitor. I don't think she liked kids much. Interesting job choice given that fact.

Or, maybe she didn't like me much...could have been that too I suppose.

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

Ah yes, she was indeed. And that reminded me of story involving her. I just added it to Dave's entry.

At Thu Apr 27, 02:44:00 PM PDT, Blogger Brandon P. said...

Dave and I were neighbors from the time I moved to T.R. to the day I left. We were inseparable when we were young but took different paths as we grew up.

Dave is the only person I ever got into a real fight with prior to college. Seeing as we were neighbors and hung out a lot, it was bound to happen sooner or later. Dave, Jon Bequeith (sp?) and I were having a BB gun war at the gun club at the end of our road and Dave shot me in the crotch during a time out. I thought I’d be tough and go after him but I was met with a fist right between the eyes. Things went black for a few seconds and I promptly ceased my aggressive behavior. Dave was and still is a lot bigger than me.

I was at Dave and Jamie’s wedding and I still see Dave from time to time. There seems to be a wedding, anniversary party, etc. for someone from our old neighborhood every year.

Mrs. Coenen does like children. She had eight of her own and has a bunch of grandkids. Our families were close so she was my "other mother". Mrs. Coenen was totally old-school when it came to discipline. In short, she didn’t take shit from anyone. She still doesn’t. She put the fear of the Lord into me on more than a few occaisions during my youth. My wife, son and I visited her and Dave’s dad a couple of weeks ago during a rare visit to T.R. They are great people and I wish they were still my neighbors.

At Fri Apr 28, 11:29:00 AM PDT, Blogger the_meff said...

Quick Dave Coenen memory...

Jim Bergstrom beating the dogshit out of him during gym class. Dave was trying to put on a good game face, but Jim just kept pounding his head into the concrete wall. Ultimately, Dave's face turned beet red and he was holding back tears but, to his credit (or his stupidity?) he stood firm and Bergstrom repeatedly SLAMMMMMMED Dave's skull into the wall.

Of course, the ever concerned Mr. Wolffe did absolutely nothing.

To my discredit, neither did I.

Glass houses, right?


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