Thursday, May 25, 2006


I added 21 stories about Kevin Dehne. I added a brief story about Dave Kanera and a rumor which circulated after a potty break. I added a very brief story about Jenny Malley and Slade. For Doug, I added two stories - one about his nickname of "cock." The other was about his plan to dig up a grave. Lastly, I added a link on the side of this page, which will take you to every single picture or scan that has been posted on this blog - 114 in all. I used an old "update" post from March. So ignore the date. In addition to future posts, I will also place all new pictures into that picture link as well.


Wednesday, May 24, 2006


It took 4.5 months. But I have now blogged about 259 former classmates. As far as I know, I got them all. It's been quite an experience. When I started this quest, it was merely meant to be a diary of my life - or at least my school life, with my former classmates. As I've stated before, I never expected any of the people I wrote about to actually discover the blog, let alone contribute with comments of their own. I never wanted the attention. But I'll admit that I've enjoyed the little bit of fame I've gotten from this.

I've come to realize that in some cases, my comments have hurt some feelings. I truly am sorry for that. It certainly was never my intention to cause anyone to feel bad. I would hope that everyone takes this blog in stride, and wouldn't hold it against me. After all, these events happened back in the 1980's. That's a long time ago. And what happened back when we were kids really means nothing in the context our lives today.

I want to give thanks to the 35-40 people who stopped by to leave comments of their own. Your contributions are just as good as mine.

As I stated on day one, I never thought of myself as a member of the class of 1989. But I feel a little different today. At the very least I think I've made a personal connection of some sort to many of my former classmates. That's been really cool.

I need to give out some special kudos to a few people as well. In alphabetical order:

ERIN HYNEK - Erin has E-mailed me every week or so since she first started commenting on the blog. Whether it be ask me a question, brag about the St. Louis Cardinals, or to simply ask how I'm doing, she's made a point to stay in touch. And that's been very nice. Erin deserves all of the accolades that have been bestowed upon her by her fellow classmates.

JENNY MALLEY - A girl I had a crush on for my entire childhood. We haven't just gotten in touch with each other. We E-mail nearly everyday. Today she is no longer the pretty girl that I admired from afar. She's now someone I consider to be a good friend. Personally speaking, getting to actually know Jenny and befriend her has been the coolest thing to come from this blog. Quite simply, the girl friggen rocks!

GREG PAGEL - A guy I considered a fringe person for me. I always thought that back in the day, we could have been friends - if only I'd have been a little more "normal." Today I know we could have been. I'm just a tad more normal today. And he and I are now getting along swimingly.

CINDY ROHRER - The girl has perhaps millions of photographs in her possession. The candid shots from her days in school are priceless. Thanks to both her and her father for some of the great photo contributions to this blog.

BRAD STROUF - A guy who's been here since close to the beginning. Some have come and some have gone. But Brad is a staple. And his contributions have been great. He also deserves special thanks for getting my butt in gear again when I started to slack off.

In case anyone's interested, I've actually met three of the classmates during this process. Those three are Kevin Dehne, Tom Grassman and Toby Schwartz. Toby I just happened to run into. Kevin and Tom both knew I was coming. Without this blog, those two mini-reunions never would have happened. I also look forward to future mini-reunions which I know are going to occur. Whether it be one-on-one, or when Kevin and I do the town, they will happen. And I'll be posting all the pictures.

I've also talked to a few people on the phone as well. Those people are: Jen Andersen, Joe Antonie, Kevin Dehne, Jeremy Karman, Jenny Malley, Cindy Rohrer and Brad Strouf.

I've also gotten E-mails from the following people: Jen Andersen, Jason Anderson, Joe Antonie, Treesa Carron, Mark Ciha, Carrie Collard, Kevin Dehne, Laura Fowler Jeff and Brenda Gordon, Mark Gordon, Chad Hoerth, Erin Hynek, Scott Jaklin, Lisa Koch, Kelli Kupsch, Jenny Malley, Greg Pagel, Shane Peterson, Cindy Rohrer, Toby Schwartz, Brad Strouf, and Tammy Swoboda.

Lastly, in trying to confirm information about people, I've often called their homes or offices. If someone answered, I would simply pretend that I'd dialed a wrong number. But the voices or voicemails of classmates I've heard are: Larry Daffner, David Duvall, Randy Ertman, Stephanie Gardner, Jamie Grainger, Dana Grasee, Terry Hug, Brian Klein, Shannon Koch, Kelly Kotarek, Sara Kvitek, Dean Lichterman, Jim Messman, Nick Novachek, Angie Owens, Robert Pilzak, Shawn Rappley, Andy Reinhart, Dawn Schmidt, Josie Scott, Chris Staudinger, and Tina Short.

And thank you to all of the rest of you who are reading, but have chosen not to say anything. I know who many of you are!

This quest is not over. Now it's time to start writing about the teachers. But first things first. We're going on a vacation next week. But upon my return, the writings start again.

So now that the classmate blog is done, tell me... how did I do?


Affectionately known as "Meff." Some friendships are written in blood. Ours is written in vomit.

Meff is a guy who was at Magee. But I knew nothing about him. At that time, he was hanging around with Richard Wheeler. He had Mrs. Charter in 4th grade, Miss Hynek in 5th grade, and Mr. Stodola in 6th grade. I didn't get to know Meff until 7th grade.

For the most part, my classes in 7th grade had the same 25-30 kids in every class. But in a couple of the classes, a stray student or two would join us. One of those classes was science class, with Mr. Stodola. I sat in the front row. Toby Schwartz sat behind me. Jenny Malley was on my right. And Meff was on my left.

I'm not sure exactly what caused us to "hit it off" so to speak. But Meff and I got along great. He wasn't the troublemaking type. So he was a nice change of pace for me. Both of us had an interest in Atari. Meff also had a huge interest in computers. He wanted to see my Texas Instruments computer, and the various games and stuff I had to go with it. So I invited him to come over one day after school.

It was an odd time. I had some sort of weird cough thing going on. For a couple of weeks, everytime I coughed, I would come close to throwing up. Some sort of gag reflex was going on. Meff and I were in my room, when I started coughing. As was the norm, I tried to refrain from barfing of course. It had actually only happened once - and then, it was only one tiny bit, not much more than a big spit. But I wasn't so lucky this time. I was sitting on my bed, when it happened. I tilted my head to the ceiling. Then like an erupting volcano, waves of puke came spewing out of my mouth. Meff looked frightened, but calmly said, "And he's throwing up on his bed." That struck me funny. So as I was vomiting, I began to laugh like a maniac. I can only imagine what was going through Meff's mind, as this maniacal kid spewed vomit while laughing hysterically. But whatever the case, he chose to stay. I washed up, changed my shirt, and was no worse for wear. I think Meff came over a few more times that year. I never puked in front of him again.

One day in Mr. Fencil's class, Toby Schwartz and I began to experiment by changing the first letter of our fellow classmates' first and last names - "Devin Kehne, L.J. Butterman" and so forth. We then came up with "Meff Jesserman." And thus, "Meff" was born.

One day in Mr. Stodola's class, I decided to show Meff this new maze I'd created. So I knelt next to his desk. When Mr. Stodola moved to the front of the room to start lecturing,I stayed put. Yes, I wanted to get a reaction out of Stodola. Meff kept whispering for me to go away. But I refused. For about five minutes, Stodola never noticed. Was he blind? I was getting tired of squatting. Finally he saw me, and erupted. I smirked and went back to my desk. Then Stodola tore into Meff. He took the worst of the yelling. Meff... welcome to my world.

Meff and Richard came up with strange plan that year. It was the 1983-1984 school year. And they wanted to turn L.B. Clarke into the society that was protrayed in George Orwell's book, "1984." We were supposed to be some sort of strange society run by "Big Brother." They drew comics, charts, and all kinds of stuff. They chose various students for different rolls within the organization. Surprisingly, it took off. But before long, and enemy of Big Brother came around - the posse. The next thing you know, people were choosing sides. It was Big Brother versus the posse. Tons of people were involved. Of course nobody knew exactly what anything meant. But I can recall rumors that Jeff Gordon (a member of Big Brother) got beat up by a member of the posse, after it was revealed that he was one of the highest ranking officers in the organization. I recall that Jim Colby blamed me, and was planning to tell Meff about it, in order to have me kicked out of my high rank - so he could then take my place. What the hell was all this shit about anyway? I have no idea. But for a few weeks that year, it was a lot of fun.

Meff and I didn't have any classes together in 8th grade. But we stayed friends.

In freshman year, we had Mrs. Sapa's literature class together. We also had a study hall together. Plus we walked home from school together everyday. We sometimes had this game we would play. If we saw a young kid walking home, and in front of us. We would strike up an audible conversation, in which we described how we would rape our mothers and chop them up into stew. Man, did we get some frightened looks from some poor kids. Yes, we were bastards.

Meff had written two phrases on the wall in his garage. One said, "My kingdom for a VCR." The other said, "If you can read this, you didn't go to L.B. Clarke School." Meff finally did get that VCR in December of our freshman year. He then joined me as a movie fiend. We were obsessed with movies - especially horror movies. Both of us used to rent movies and copy them all the time.

In the second semester of our freshman year, we had Mrs. Fischer for English class. We had to give a few speeches in the class. For one, I recall Meff talking about how he had spilled a tub of popcorn while going to see the film "The Gods Must Be Crazy." I also recall him writing a story about an ugly potato that wanted to kill itself by jumping onto a knife. Mrs. Fischer had brought in a sack of potatoes and passed one out to everyone, with instructions to have them write a story about it.

Meff's dad ran Messerman Furniture, in downtown Two Rivers. It had been a family business for years. But by this time, business wasn't good. Meff's parents sold the business. Then Meff's dad found a new job at a carpet store in Milwaukee. So after freshman year, Meff's family moved. I think Meff's mom was happy about that, as she wasn't exactly pleased with my involvement in that ceiling tiles incident. Plus Meff's parents still kept in touch with Tom Grassman's parents. And Tom's mom had nothing but hatred for me. Did anyone's parents like me, other than my own?

So Meff moved to Thiensville. My best friend was gone. That sucked. But we obviously kept in touch. We sent each other audio tapes in the mail. Plus we racked up a lot of phone bills between us. He had it worse though. Because he was calling Richard as well. In addition, Meff's orthodontist was in Manitowoc. He seemed to have an appointment there at least once every month. And of course his grandparents still lived in Two Rivers. So he came to visit all the time.

In the summer between our sophomore and junior year, both Meff and I (as well as Richard) were getting heavily involved with The Beatles, Charles Manson, witchcraft, the occult... One night when Meff was over, we decided that we were going to perform a satanic ritual. We had a copy of the satanic bible, which gave instructions how to do it. But we didn't have some of the things one needed - a bell, a gong, a phallic symbol... So we took a Green Bay Packer glass, taped a spoon inside of it, and hung it upside down. That was our bell. I rode my bike into the cemetery and stole the cover off of a garbage can. We used electrical tape to put an upside down star on the inside part of it. We then hung it from my basement ceiling. That was our gong. For a phallic symbol, we carved a dick out of a candle. We also needed black candles. So we took some white ones and covered them in black electrical tape. Yeah...this was going to work. And what was the point of our ceremony? We decided to wish death upon someone. Who was the person we chose? It was none other than fellow graduate, Craig Rysticken. We set up a tape recorder to doucment the event. And let me tell you something, it's one of the funniest things I've ever heard. We were out of our minds! Were we on something? I don't think so. We needed "elixer" for the ritual as well. Our susbstitute - diet orange Slice. We had to have an object represent Craig. We chose a potato. As the ceremony went on, we stuck that thing with tons of pins, then took a hammer to it as well. Needless to say, Craig was no worse for wear. Neither of us took it seriously. I still have that potato to this day - pins and all, sealed in a bag. I'm sort of afraid to throw it out. So it sits in the bedroom closet of my parents' house. In the summer of 1989, when we were in the process of moving, my dad threw the garbage can cover out by the street for the garbage. The pentagram faced the street, and was a hilarious sight to see prior to the garbagemen picking it up.

In our junior year, Meff spent his Easter break at his grandparents' house. But his week off was different than ours. So Richard and I skipped out one day. The three of us drove around, and actually went all the way up to Green Bay. But we didn't do anything. We simply came back. We spent the afternoon at Richard's house eating Easter candy and making prank phone calls. I got Richard to sign a note "from my parents" for my absence. And we got away with it.

Senior year was weird. Richard and I were no longer friends. But both of us were still friends with Meff. Both Richard and I would occasionally (but not often) badmouth the other, through Meff. And he had to sit and listen to all of it. Thankfully he never chose sides.

Meff's parents moved to Brown Deer for his junior and senior year. So Meff is a 1989 graduate of Brown Deer High School.

In my senior year, I almost joined the navy. I even got dragged sown to Milwaukee to take the ASVAB test and get a physical. I made sure it happened on a school day, as opposed to the weekend. Meff happened to be home sick from school for those two days. So I called him several times. He pleaded with me not to join, repeatedly asking me what the fuck I was doing. As bullheaded as I usually am, I came to realize that he was right. I wasn't suited for the military. 90% of it is following directions and taking orders. That wouldn't have worked with me. And I'm sure I would have gone awol at some point. So I refused to sign. And holy shit were the navy guys pissed at me. But they did give me a bus ticket home.

It was never a well-known fact. But Meff is adopted. He was adopted as an infant (perhaps newborn?) Apparently one of his birth parents was Jewish. I think they came from the Brookfield area. Meff has never known who they are, nor as he had any interest in knowing who they are. I don't believe he holds any ill will towards them. But his adopted parents are the only mom and dad he's ever known. And that suits him just fine.

Meff was raised Jewish. Although for years, you'd never know it. I've seen him eat many slabs of bacon over the years. He just didn't care enough to be bothered with those sorts of traditions. Amen brother! Plus I think it irked his mother to do stuff like that. I think he got some perverse pleasure from flaunting himself in the face of certain Jewish traditions.

After high school, Meff enrolled at MATC in Milwaukee. His plan was to become a mortician. He went to school for one year, then got an internship at a Jewish funeral home in the Milwaukee area.

He lasted about a week.

The stories he has from that week are both amazing and funny. It was summer. And he had to pick up dead, elderly people from nursing homes. Often they were soaked in sweat and urine. Plus corpses tend to emit gas from down below. And you think gas from the living smells? Think again. Plus there was the time that he had to struggle to clothe an incredibly obese man. I think he nearly dropped him on the floor. Clothing a stiff body is no easy task. And of course there is the awesome experience of leading a funeral procession, not knowing where the cemetery was. He took a wrong turn down a dead-end street. One week was all he could stomach. It makes me wonder about the people who do that sort of thing for a living. If Meff can't do it, who can?

Meff had a "stupid human trick" that impressed me. He would take the tip of a pin and rub it across his eyeball. Why? Who knows. But it creeped me out. I've stopped many a moving fan with my tongue. But I'll never put a pin on my eye.

For his next year in college, Meff decided to do some sort of land surveying thing. I have no idea what that was all about. Neither does he. That too lasted one year, before he moved on. For the next few years, Meff was involved in TV production at MATC. He did a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff at channel 10 in Milwaukee. But again, he never actually graduated with a degree. I'm not exactly sure what went wrong there. But he left the program at some point.

Finally, I believe he enrolled at UW Milwaukee. I think he lasted a year or two. I don't know what exactly he was going to school for. It could be that it was just general courses, as he essentially started over with his college career. Eventually he tired of school and gave it up.

In 1994, Meff moved out of his parents' home. He ended up living with a long-haired comic book guy, and the guy's girlfriend. I called him "hairhead." He lived with them in Germantown for one year. Then he found a new roommate named Chuck. The two of them live together in Grafton for maybe five years. Chuck was a cool guy. I have always called him "The Frogman."

Between 1989 and 1997, Meff came up to Manitowc quite often. He'd usually hang out and spend two or three nights at my parents' house. We had a silly existence. He'd join me for work at T&R Video. But when we weren't there, we could be found hanging out at our friend John's house. Or we would be back at my parents' house watching vile movies all night. However there were several years where every single night, we would tune into Dr. Gene Scott. He came on at 1:00 AM on channel 5 out of Green Bay. We were fascinated by this religious madman. This guy would yell, swear and demand that his followers "get on the telephone" and give him money.

When we weren't watching TV, we'd be on the phone prank calling people in the middle of the night. Our calls were ridiculous, but very funny. We have several tapes to this day. It's a shame that caller ID has ruined the prank phone call business. Man, did we have fun.

Every night we had a ritual of driving around, occasionally yelling at pedestrians. Then we went to Coppes and bought three candy bars for $1.00. Then we'd sit and eat them in the Country Kitchen parking lot, while we poked fun at the staff and patrons inside. Oh yes, we were cool!

For a period of time, it seemed that everytime Meff was up, there would be some sort of police involvement. But it was always very minor. And we were always innocent. I loved it! Meff hated it. I would sometimes do things that caused the police to notice us for some reason. But upon investigation, we were obviously free to go on our way. To me, there was nothing more gratifying than being detained by a cop, knowing full well that I was innocent of everything - and would be able to prove it. Meff never understood my train of thought. But then again, he never got in trouble as a youth.

In the summer of 1994, I won a radio contest for an all-expense paid trip to Woodstock '94. It was a trip for two. Obviously, I took Meff. So we flew to New York and lived in a tent for three days. Thankfully we had security around our stuff. We also had VIP passes. For the record, Metallica put on the best show. They kicked ass! Our shoes were quite muddy upon our return.

Meff has always had one very annoying habit. He's unreliable. He's the type of guy who'll tell you he'll do something, then won't. And he won't even call to tell you that he won't be doing it. My wife and I have coined a word as an homage to him. The word is "meffinitely." It's just like "definitely" but without the assurance that defines that word.

Many, many times Meff told me that he was coming up to visit for the weekend. Then he wouldn't show. I'd say it was about 50/50. And for those times that he didn't show, I'd say maybe half of them he never bothered to call. But, that's just him. Over the years I've come to exepct it. There's no sense in getting angry about it. Because that's just the way he is. If you can't accept that about him, then don't befriend him.

The other big characteristic about Meff is his forgetfulness. In terms of memory, the guy is a polar opposite to me. He can't remember shit. He can't remember important family functions that he needs to attend. He can't remember anything. One must constantly remind him of things in order for him to recall. He'll be the first to admit this as well. It's just who he is. I've sometimes described him as scatterbrained. He's not stupid. There is a fine mind in that head of his. But sometimes I just shake my head at his constant forgetful and unreliable nature.

In the spring of 1996, Meff called me and suggested that the two of us move to California once I was finished with college. I only had a month or two left. And California sounded good to me. Other than my family, I had no ties to Wisconsin. Meff, myself and Richard had always had something in common. We were all good writers. In fact, I think it's safe to say that we were all great writers - especially creative writing. But Meff continued his craft beyond high school and college. He wrote screenplays. He always wanted to break into the movie business. He always had one idea or another on how to do it. But nothing ever came to be. He never had any follow though.

Anyway, California sounded like fun. Meff obviously wanted to break into film. That sounded like a good line of work for me too. When we next spoke a few days later, I discovered that he had forgotten about it. Geez! I suppose I shouldn't have been shocked by that. But nonetheless, I continued talking about it for the next few months. And Meff seemed to be liking the idea more and more. But he always wanted to push the date off. He always had an excuse like, "If this doesn't pan out" or "I've got this thing I'm working on now... But if nothing becomes of it..." By the fall, nothing had happened. Something else then happened. I was convinced that the Green Bay Packers were going to win the Super Bowl that year. So just prior to the season, I told Meff that I didn't want to go until after the football season. If the Packers were going to win the Super Bowl, I wanted to experience it in Wisconsin. Of course they did just that. I think Meff was happy to hear my announcement. It gave him more time to push the date ahead.

Once the Super Bowl was over, I renewed my push to move. I even went so far as to tell him that I'd placed ads looking for a roommate. I told him that I was going to go whether he came with me or not. I was doing everything I could to get him to go. But I was met with the same round of excuses. Finally it dawned on me that he would never get his ass in gear. He simply didn't have the guts to pack up and leave. And that's fine. It's not an easy thing to do by any means. So I went out and found a "real" job in Milwaukee. From that point, I was grounded. The California dream was over.

After a short stint in Sheboygan, I moved to Grafton, a few blocks away from Meff. So we saw each other all the time. It was nice to actually have a social life for a change. There were parties at my apartment, and parties at his. We watched movies all the time.

Things changed a bit in the spring and summer of 1998. That's when I met the woman who eventually became my wife. Meff didn't have a girlfriend at the time. And he experienced some of the tpyical jealousies that sometimes come with a new person. Call it the "best friend syndrome." In essence, she intruded on my time with him. But let's face it. I never had sex with Meff. This girl had sex with me all the time. And like most guys, I often chose the prospect of sex.

We got engaged in September of 1998. We moved in together a month later. Now she was "intruding" more and more. But to her credit, she tried so hard not to step on Meff's toes. She wanted me to have a life outside of her. And really, that's the way it should be. I couldn't be with someone who told me what to do or had me henpecked. But nonetheless, Meff had a problem with her existence. Finally I snapped at him and told him that we were through as friends. This happened around the summer of 1999 or so. It was sort of funny. I was E-mailing his roommate (the Frogman) about it. And he commented that Meff had actually turned into the kind of guy that he was accusing me of being. For Meff had a girlfriend at that time. She was a half Mexican/half American girl named Chana. Anyway, I forwarded that E-mail to Meff. And perhaps it struck a chord. Because a few days later we "made up." And everything's been cool ever since.

Meff and Chana got engaged in November, 1999 - I think. If I'm not mistaken, they got engaged at a Glen Campbell concert. I think they got married in March, 2000. And believe it or not, I wasn't invited! However, truth be told, it was a very samll affair with only family. So I didn't take it as a slight. Needless to say, when I got married in June of that year, he was my best man.

How these two found each other I'll never know. In terms of characteristics, they're exactly the same. Both are unreliable, as my wife can attest to. Many a time she has left her hanging without explantion as to her whereabouts when plans were made between them. It's amazing how similar they are in that respect. She isn't as scatterbrained as Meff though. She also decided to become Jewish. And her newly-found faith restored his for a time as well. Although I think Meff may be a bit bored with religion these days. I don't know. I could be wrong.

In march, 2001, Meff's daughter was born. About a year later, he and his family up and moved to Maryland. There was some sort of half-baked plan that living with his wife's uncle (rent free) would somehow get them to be more financially stable - even though Meff gave up a pretty high-paying job to do so. It made no sense to me. And I told him so. I even ran the math by him. But it didn't sink in. Needless to say, the Maryland experience didn't last. They came back about five months later. Meff told me that the whole experience ended up costing them around $5000.00 in the long run. See, I told you so!

Meff ended up getting a job as an IT guy at a car dealership in Hales Corners. He has that same job today.

In December, 2004, Meff had another daughter. She arrived just in time for tax purposes. And as I type this, there is yet another child on the way. And it looks like it's going to be another daughter. I think she's due in September, 2006.

In January, 2006, Meff and his wife bought their first house. They now live in Cedarburg. Although it is so far on the outskirts of town, that I personally consider it to be Grafton. But that's just me.

Meff has been the longest running friendship I've had in my life. It dates back to 7th grade - 21.5 years and counting. That represents about 60% of my entire life. Though he sometimes frustrates me, the good times far outweigh the bad. The two of us can gab on the phone or in person and can laugh ourselves silly talking about nonsense. I can't imagine my life without his influence. In fact, at the moment, he and I are trying to get funding for a screenplay he's written. We plan to film it ourselves in and around the Milwaukee area. Fellow graduate Greg Pagel is set to score the soundtrack. But first things first. We need money to do so. So if anyone knows some potential investors, please contact me! Who knows. 20 years from now I may look back at these memories and laugh. Hopefully I'll be some sort of success in the film business. And rest assured, Meff will be right there with me.

UPDATE - 9/5/06 - Earlier this morning, Meff & Mrs. Meff gave birth to daughter #3.

UPDATE - 10/9/06 - On Saturday September 30th, 2006, Meff showed up for the double birthday party for my wife and I. Fellow graduates Kim Nokes and Chris Staudinger were also there. You can see the results below.


Well, well, after lurking in the shadows for quite some time, jolly old "SAINT NICK" has logged in and has left some comments in his entry, the "Lurking In The Shadows" entry from May 17th, and in Stacey Erickson's entry as well.

Welcome Nick!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


I added a couple things about Randy - including getting yelled at by his father. I added two stories about B.J. - one involving Mr. Stodola. The other involving Glenn Soucoup. For Troy I added a brief bit about taping movies. And for Mike, I added a story about "Texercise."

I have one final classmate entry to make. I had hoped to get it done today. But it's a long one. I'm working on it. It won't be done until tomorrow.



B.J. is a guy who showed up at Clarke, in 8th grade. To me he was just a face in the hall until 7th grade.

In 7th grade, B.J. was one of nine males (including myself) that shared all of their classes together. I got to know B.J. quite well that year. And in all honesty, you'd be hard pressed to find a more friendly person. What can I say? It was impossible not to love the guy.

B.J. was always smiling, always laughing, always having a good time. He had the uncanny ability to step on every rung of the social ladder. Everybody liked him, from the dorks, to the elite, to the smokers, to the headbangers... everyone. And he seemed to like them all too.

Near the beginning of the year, B.J. found out that it was my birthday. So he reached into his pocket and gave me all the money he had - 10 cents. It was just a dime. But you could tell he was being genuine. I don't know why. But I was actually a bit touched by that gesture. I kept it in my trapper keeper for most of the year.

B.J. was generally well-behaved. But there was certainly a touch of naughtiness in him as well. I remember being in Mrs. Westburg's chorus class one day. He had brought in a snowball from outside, and whipped it at the chalkboard when Westburg's back was turned. Westburg turned around fuming. She demanded to know who had thrown it. She sat there and stared, and wouldn't continue class until someone told her. For once, the class remained silent. Keep in mind that the west side of the room was full of girls. If Kevin, Doug or myself would have thrown that snowball, we would have been fingered out by any number of them. But no one spoke out against B.J. Eventually Westburg gave up.

I remember another day in Westburg's class, where all those girls decided to mimic B.J.'s every move. B.J. was amused by it. Finally I told him to grab his own boob, to see if they would follow suit. B.J. lifted his shirt and did just that. But not of them copied that move.

Every morning before school, you could find B.J. out by the green fence, across from Kevin Shillcox' house, smoking with all the 8th graders.

There was a brief period of time, where a couple people in class hired a "manager." We even had contracts written up. I still have some of them. In addition to Jim Colby, I was B.J.'s manager. What were my duties? I have no idea. But one day I put my managerial duties into effect.

B.J. was having an argument with Mr. Fencil. And everytime B.J. would say something, I'd yell, "Yeah!" or "You tell him!" Fencil was not amused at all. After about the fourth or fifth time, he marched over to my desk and began to choke me. Then he started shaking my head while he was doing it. I was starting to turn red when he let go, then gave me a really hard slap across the face. I was kind of stunned. But before the day was out, I was choking myself and mocking Fencil about it.

B.J. was one of the guys who sometimes came over to my house for lunch.

One day I bumped into class of 1988's Glenn Soucoup in the hall. His books went flying. It was an accident. But he wanted to kill me. He followed me back to my locker - which was right next to B.J.'s. B.J. pulled Glenn aside and simply told him to leave me alone. Glenn walked away.

For some reason, this memory of B.J. sticks out. He told me of some black guy who worked at a gas station in town. And the guy used to sing, "I don't care what the white man says. Santa Claus was a black man." B.J. sang it to me. And I still sing it to this day.

In Mr. Stodola's science class, we once had to give speeches about something. Everyone had to do one. B.J. sat in the front row. And when Cindy Hayes went up to do her speech, B.J. made faces at her and tried to make her laugh. And he succeeded. Stodola wasn't amused. He made B.J. give his speech right away. While B.J. attempted to talk, Stodola started making faces at him, and disrupting everything. It was funny as hell. He had the whole class laughing. Finally after a few minutes, a dejected B.J. sat down, obviously hurt and humbled by the experience. Stodola had made his point.

Soemtime in the sprng of 7th grade, I was in my backyard. I was with two neighborhood kids, Bobby Streu, and Danny King (younger brother of fellow graduate Lisa King). B.J. just wandered into my yard and stopped to see what we were doing. The next thing I know, we're all hanging out in my garage. The three of them started smoking. Although I refrained. Danny may have only taken a puff or two himself. When he found out that Danny was Lisa's brother, I remember him saying, "You're Lisa King's brother? She's a little miss prissy, isn't she?"

Below is a picture of B.J. and Jen Andersen. This looks to have been taken in perhaps 6th or 7th grade.

B.J. looked like he had short hair. But in reality, it was really long and somehow combed over. It was quite an illusion. He could also do this "hair flip" to make everything go back into place.

B.J. stayed at school through our freshman year. Then he disappeared. I don't know what happened to him. I was once told that he moved to Sheboygan and became a cokehead. But the person who told me that was known for being full of shit. It's the same person who told me that Kevin Dehne punched a cop at a Dio concert. That story wasn't true. I doubt the B.J. story is true either.

On the day we came to register for our sophomore year, I was standing behind Rod Lumaye. He was talking to someone, saying that he couldn't stand B.J., and that he hoped his locker wouldn't be by him this coming year. That one statement by Rod is the only bad thing I've ever heard anyone say about B.J.

I ran into B.J. around 1992. I was walking out of Big Lots, as he was walking in. I think he had a girlfriend with him. He was the same old B.J. He had the same laugh and smile. We only spoke for a minute or two. But it was really cool seeing him again.

According to Kevin Dehne, he and B.J. actually lived together for a short time.

I ran into B.J. just one more time. It was around 1995 or so. He came into the video store to rent some movies. He was with his girlfriend - who I believe was very pregnant at the time. By this time he had really long hair - like hair band hair. We spoke for a minute or two. Then he turned to the girl and said, "This is Burt. He's cool."

It looks like B.J. was married to a woman named Stacy. They divorced in 2003. They have at least one child together. Today it looks like B.J. lives in Manitowoc. I have tried in vain to contact him. Thus far, I've been shut out. B.J. is one guy I would love to talk to again. I hope he's doing well. I'm going to keep trying to reach him.

UPDATE - 7/20/06 - After a lengthy search, Kevin Dehne and I tracked down B.J. in Manitowoc. He's still got the same smile and laugh. B.J. has four kids, by three different women. His youngest is one. His oldest is 16. He's currently unmarried. B.J. got his GED in 2000, and also attended Silver Lake College for a year. He currently works in construction. He has a million stories to tell. Now that he's aware of this blog, maybe he'll share some of them. He's got some interesting memories of Scott LeCoque (who was a recent next-door neighbor of his) and Wayne Rebarchek. The Wayne story is a classic. But I don't know if he'd want to share it publically. B.J. is as good a guy as you'll find. The five shots below were taken July 15th, 2006.

UPDATE - 11/11/06 - Here's some video from the day Kevin and I visited B.J.


Randy is a guy I met in 6th grade. He had come from Koenig School. We had Mrs. Casey together.

Randy and I got along really well that year. He was a fun guy. He was also huge. He wasn't fat. He was just a big, tall athletic kid. I remember being outside in gym class, and Randy would pick me up, flip me in the air (head over feet) and land me back on my feet. He did this to a couple of people. But he could really launch me. It was quite a feat of strength.

I remember one day where he and I were partners in some sort of science experiment. Randy was especially jovial that day. It was like he was tipsy or something. When science came to an end, Mrs. Casey announced that it was time to start cleaning up. Then Randy yelled, "Ok Joe, pick 'em up" in his best construction worker voice. Mrs. Casey looked at us and demanded, "Who said that, Burt or Randy?" Randy fessed up. Mrs. Casey just turned away, loking annoyed. Now that pissed me off! She and I had battled each other all year. And I know damn well that if I had been the one to say that, she would have punished me in some way. Teachers do play favorites.

Randy and I sat next to each other in Mr. Kjelstrup's art class as well. One day we were fooling around during the begininng of class, when Kjelstrup was talking. He got really mad at us, and forced each of us to write 200 times: "I will pay attention during morning announcements." That's a lot of words. It was the end of the year, right before we went to Camp Tapawingo. Neither of us could go until we actually finished it. I took mine home, and finished it the night before.

Also near the end of the year, we had an art class outside. This time it was with the other art teacher, Mr. Swokowski. We were all laying on the ground near the bike racks. Randy blurted out the "F" word at some point. Swokowski overheard him, and violently grabbed him on the ground. Randy didn't struggle or anything. It was probably the last time he ever backed down from a teacher.

One day as I was on my way to the garbage can after lunch, to dump my tray, Randy spied that I had some chili left in my bowl, and promptly grabbed my spoon and helped himself, as I was walking along. It was rather humorous.

When we were at Camp Tapawingo, Mrs. Casey took us on some sort of nature hike. Randy and Chad Bennin must have run ahead. Then as we passed this beat up old building, Chad started saying, "Where's Randy? Where's Randy?" Randy then popped out on top of the bulding, screaming "Arghhhhh!" Mrs Casey was surprisingly amused. If it were me, she would have had me arrested.

In 7th grade, I was on my way to Mrs. Westburg's class for a detention. Randy was maybe 10 feet behind me. I passed Wade Wachholz going the other direction. Suddenly I heard Randy's extremely loud, "FUCKER!" Wade had kicked him in the leg, and was laughing at him. Randy was in obvious pain. Mr. Stodola was not amused. He yelled at Randy to "come here." Painfully, Randy said, "No." I don't know what happened next. I just continued on to Westburg's room.

At some point during my senior year, Scott Jaklin and I went to Clarke, and wandered around a bit. We ended up talking to Mr. Schambureck. Schambureck told us that Randy, Ross Hofmann and perhaps someone else used to smoke pot after school, prior to coming back into the gym to practice basketball. He said that Randy and Ross were literally bouncing off the walls, and were sometimes so high that they could barely function.

At some point in the spring of 8th grade, Kevin Dehne and myself conceived a plan to do the ultimate book burn. We dubbed it "the super burn." For those who never attended Clarke at that time, a book burn was simply tossing someone's books or papers all over the floor. Anyway, Kevin had one or two empty lockers near his. And we constantly filled them with whatever scrap paper we could find. Once they were full, one of us would take them out, and slam them to the floor, right before the halls became filled with students on the way to their next class. The problem is that way too many people knew about it. So Mr. Kern found out as well, and stood in the hall on the day of the planned event, moments before it was to go down. That didn't do anything but delay the inevitable. A day or two later, Randy took it upon himself, and made one colossal mess. It was great! Everyone was sliding around on the papers. I pity the janitors who had to clean up that one.

In lunch one day, I went up to the hot lunch table, and helped myself to some more potatoes. There wasn't a whole lot left. Randy was nearby, and said, "Don't eat anymore of those. They're mine." I told him to fuck off, and took what I wanted. After lunch, as I was by my locker, Randy stomped around the corner, and backed me into Mrs. Anderson's health room, where he promptly punched me in the arm, and said that he was sick of my shit. Honestly speaking, that may have been the hardest punch I ever took in my life. But I took it and said nothing. Randy was not a guy I was going to tangle with. As he turned and left, Mark Ciha shouted to Randy, "He's laughing at you." That was NOT true! But Randy marched on, fully satisfied.

On the last day of school, in 8th grade, Randy got into an incident with Mr. Monka, the history teacher. Mr. Monka had a rule. If he caught anyone with a squirt gun, he took it away, then stomped it into little pieces. I wasn't in the class. But I heard about it. It was at the beginning of 3rd hour. Apparently Monka had seen Randy use his squirt gun, and demanded that he turn it over to him. Randy said that he didn't have one. When Monka asked again, Randy allegedly said, "Fuck you! I don't have one!." I think Monka tried to physically find it on Randy. And that's when Randy allegedly punched Monka in the face. I heard that it took multiple teachers to get things under control. But when they finally did, they simply told Randy to leave the school. Those of us in Mr. Ashenbrenner's classroom actually saw Randy calmly walking home. I had Mr. Monka for 4th hour. He looked different. Specifically, his glasses were nowhere to be seen. I suspect they were smashed.

In freshman year, I had Randy in Miss Sapa's literature class. She and I got into an argument one day. And at one point she asked me to move to another desk. I refused. She put the whole class on hold until I relented. Then Randy kicked my desk and told me to move. It's a sad state of affairs when a fellow classmate has more influence than a teacher. But I moved.

I also had Randy in Mr. Heuer's algebra class. I remember Randy falling asleep in class one day. When people noticed, everyone started to laugh. Heuer simply said, "Let him sleep."

In our sophomore year, I had Randy in pre-algebra II. He'd obviously failed at least one semester of algebra the previous year, just as I had. Perhaps he slept in class too much. Anyway, our teacher was Randy's own father. One day we took a test. Mr. Ertman announced prior to class that there would be absolutely no help given. No one was allowed to come up to him and ask him any questions at all. Randy must not have been paying attention. Because about 20 minutes later, he got up to ask a question. Mr. Ertman looked at him and said, "Are you stupid? What's the matter with you? Are you stupid? What are you doing?" Randy suddenly realized what was wrong, and started to laugh. He looked really embarrassed too, as he went back to his seat.

At some point in our junior or senior year, Randy started going out with fellow graduate Tina Short. After they broke up (in senior year) Tina started seeing my friend Jason Krings. Jason said that Randy threatened him all the time. But Jason stood firm. I don't think any physical confrontations ever took place.

I remember telling Richard that I thought Randy would kill somebody someday. I figured it would be some sort of rage, as opposed to anything planned. I just pictured him getting really angry, beating the crap out of someone, and not realizing his own brute strength.

The character of "Meat" in the Porky's movies always reminded me of Randy.

At some point during our senior year, Randy came into the guidance office to use the phone to call his boss. I was sitting in there at the time. It must have been the first Wednesday of the month or something. Because all of a sudden, the tornado siren went off, for it's monthly test. It was right outside the window of the guidance office. And the window was open too. Randy literally screamed, "I'LL CALL YOU BACK!"

As a senior, Randy was 18, and actually moved out of his parents' house. That afforded him the luxury of "calling in sick" to school. I recall Randy missing a lot of school that year. But he did graduate.

I ran into Randy from time to time at the video store. He was always friendly enough. But he seemed to always come in with some very shady-looking characters. To the best of my knowledge, Randy has never married. He has however been arrested several times for drunk driving. In fact, when I looked him up a few months ago, I'm pretty sure I saw nine arrests! However, when I looked him up today, I "only" found eight. So he's either tied with Tony Trzeciak for the class record, or he's one ahead of him. Either way, that number is ridiculous. Randy has spent time in prison, as well as paid more than $10,000 in fines based on all of these drunk driving convictions. He may have just recently been released. It's hard to tell. I hope he has no more problems with this. And I wish him well.

UPDATE - 11/30/06 - As per Sally's comment, Jenny Malley told me that she too ran into Randy recently. She also confirmed that he was looking great. In fact, she said he actually looked younger now than he did when he was 16.

UPDATE - 6/18/07 - Yesterday, Kevin Dehne and I stopped over to see Randy. We thought no one was home. But as we were just about to leave, a dog flew out of the garage, followed closely by Randy himself. We had literally gotten him out of the shower.

Much to my surprise, Randy was not the big tank of a guy I remember. In fact, we were about the same height. And at this point, I probably weight more than he does. Randy was really good-natured and talked with us for quite awhile. In fact, he said that last summer, he had hooked up with class of 1990's Sally Graczykowski (whom Kevin and I had visited on our previous trip to Two Rivers). Randy informed us that they were just finishing up moving her into his place. Small world!

As for drinking, Randy said that he "shut 'er down." He was sick and tired of the numerous fines - and of course being sent away for awhile. So good for him.

We took a few photos. You can see them below. The bottom photo is of a bear cut out of a tree stump. Randy described it as the first purchase he and Sally had made together. They got it in Door County. They had bought and paid for two of them, but apparently didn't have a vehicle to bring them home. So when Randy went up later on to pick them up, he found out that the guy had sold one of them - even though he'd already paid for it. Oh well. He got his money back for the one, and took the remaining one home.


Shawn is a guy I met in freshman year. He was probably a product of the catholic schools.

Shawn and I had each other in Mr. Heuer's algebra class that year. He sat in the front row, right in front of Jeff Bodwin. The two of them talked a lot. I eventually moved close to them as well. So the three of us gabbed the entire year.

I'm pretty sure that Shawn had been friends with Al Wegner prior to high school. But I got the impression that Shawn wanted to try to crawl his way up the social ladder. I think he dumped Al in the process.

If memory serves, Shawn hated his stepdad. He talked bad about him all the time. Apparently the guy way very strict as well. It seemed like Shawn was happier being in school than he was at home.

Shawn had a Beta VCR, just as I did. I loaned him some movies from time to time - on nights when his stepdad wasn't home. But Shawn always wanted more. So a deal was struck. Near the very end of the first semester, Heuer passed out a paper to each student, letting them know which assignments they had failed to turn in. I had about 25 of them. If I didn't turn them in by the next day, I would fail the semester. I had no intention of even attempting to do them. It was algebra. And I was already lost. Once you're lost, you're sunk. You can never catch up. So I told Shawn that if he did those assignments for me, I'd loan him any of my movies, anytime he wanted them. Shawn thought it was a good idea. I was sort of surprised at that. Truth be told, I would have loaned him the movies anyway. But man, if he'd do my past due work, that'd be cool!

Anyway, Shawn literally stayed up until something like 3:00 in the morning doing my work. The next morning, I met him at his locker. And he turned over a huge stack of papers. He had managed to do all but one or two of the assignments. And did he look tired! Shawn wanted me to redo them in my own writing. I made a half-baked attempt to do so in study hall. But there was nowhere near enough time. So I didn't even finish one of them. I simply turned them all in as is. Heuer apparently never noticed the difference in writing. I got credit for all of them, and passed the semester. Without Shawn's help, I had a zero percent chance of doing so. Thanks Shawn!

I can recall Shawn and Jeff talking one day. Shawn mentioned something about a name change. Apparently in grade school, he had a different last name. Jeff remembered it too. But for whatever reason, Shawn told Jeff not to tell me what it was. Was it a secret of some sort? I don't know. I assumed that his mom remarried, and that he took his stepdad's name.

At some point in high school, perhaps in our junior year, Shawn began dating Cindy Hayes. I never understood that. She seemed out of his league. But, so be it. Lucky guy.

I ran into Shawn many times at the video store. He and Cindy came in a lot. I also had both of them in a math class at UW Manitowoc. I think I had them both in a history class as well. I'm pretty sure they were engaged at some point. When I got to UW Green Bay in the fall of 1994, I had Cindy in a class. I believe she mentioned Shawn. And I think she still had a ring on her finger. But the marriage never happened. They parted ways at some point.

I believe in the late 1990's, Shawn changed his name. He became Shawn Engleman. I suspect that was his birth name, and he wanted to go back to it. Shawn went on to marry a woman named Sandra. I believe they have three kids. Shawn also became a police officer. Today he works as the liaison officer at our old high school. Below are two pictures of him.

UPDATE - 6/18/07 - Thanks to Shannon Koch for providing this photo of Shawn from graduation day, June 4th, 1989.


I added some pictures of my daughters and my tattoo. You can see them in "MYSELF #1." As for Troy, I added a small bit about his favorite movie. And for Cindy, I added an update about Michelle Nicolas - a girl who left Two Rivers before I arrived. There's a recent photo as well.


Monday, May 22, 2006


"My name's Chad Daffner. I'm 130 pounds."

Chad is a guy I met in 5th grade. We both had Miss Krause.

Chad was kind of a small, thin guy. Somehow he and I began to hang out that year. My friendship with Chad was probably one of the shortest I ever had. But he and I had a lot of fun together.

If memory serves, when Chad and I hung out, it was usually at his house. I don't have any memories of his mom. But Chad's dad was a cool guy. Chad's sister Kris (class of 1987) was really cool too. Plus at the time, she was easy on the eyes as well.

I can remember sleeping over at Chad's house one night. He and I watched a horror movie called "Ants." Or perhaps it was "Empire Of The Ants." There were two killer ant movies. We watched one of them. Chad's parents weren't home. So his sister was in charge. In other words, we had no rules. I spent about an hour making prank phone calls, while Chad and Kris laughed their asses off listening to me. I can also remember getting excited because we had planned to watched Playboy's 25th Reunion, which was on one of the cable channels that spring.

As the summer began, Chad and I started to drift apart for whatever reason. We just didn't have a lot in common. I do have a very odd memory though. See my entry on Chad Bennin for the details.

In the summer of 1983, I found myself on a little league baseball team. Chad was a pitcher on an opposing team. And he was a superstar. He would strike out nearly everybody. Why? Because he was throwing a curve ball. And if anyone knows baseball, you'll know that throwing a curve ball is an absolute no-no for kids. By throwing it, it can make a little league pitcher sometimes invincible. But it also ruins their arm. Throwing a curve ball as a youngster will virtually assure that the kid will never become a professional player. It's a horrible thing to do. Chad's coach should have known better. Come to think of it, I think Chad's coach was his own father.

A few years later, I found myself at the home of my friend Bobby Streu. He was a couple of years younger than me, and lived in my neighborhood. Bobby's parents were gone. Somehow Chad and Ken Bartz came over as well. The three of us got really rowdy in the house. Poor Bobby was defenseless. Chad and Ken kept raiding the liquor bottles as well. I think Chad had a good buzz going.

From third grade through senior year, Chad wrestled. That's where his friendships with Chad Bennin and Ken Bartz came from. All three of them were short and thin. As a senior, Chad weighed 130 pounds. I know this because that's what he says on the senior video.

I ran into Chad on occasion at the video store. He never said a whole lot. I do remember him coming in with a friend once. But he said he didn't want to rent anything, as he was hoping to catch the baseball playoff game that was going to be on that night. I think they did end up getting something though, as his friend obviously wasn't interested in baseball. Chad eventually married class of 1993's Kari Pekarek. I think they have three kids. They live in Two Rivers to this day. I think Chad works in a factory, perhaps with Krueger. As a side note, while looking up information on Chad, I discovered that his sister Kris died in September, 2005. Very sad. I don't know what the circumstances were. But she was married, and had three kids of her own.


Dean is a guy I met in 5th grade.

Dean was a nerd. That's such a childish word. But really, that's what he was. Personally, I think he was higher up on the nerd totem poll than most of the others. But he was still one of them.

Dean had very large glasses. And he always had a look on his face like he was in pain. I got along with Dean for the most part. I'm pretty sure he was involved in all the football and baseball card trading that went on that year.

Dean was also a pretty smart guy. He was into athletics. But I'm not sure if he participated much. Something tells me he may have played football a year or two. He kind of had a wide frame.

In the summer of 1982, I ran into (or swam into) Dean at the family swim place by Magee. He and I started talking. Then I went over to his house. That was an interesting experience. The house was filthy. It was also one of the messiest homes I'd ever seen. More than once I had to dodge some cat shit that was on the floor. I even noticed a pile of cat shit resting on the vacuum cleaner. I guess it hadn't been used in awhile.

Dean and I stayed in his room and played Atari. I remember we played Keystone Kapers quite a bit. Then Dean showed me something I'd never seen before, and have never seen since. He opened up the refrigerator and showed me a chocolate penis. Yes, I said chocolate penis. You don't see those two words side by side very often. It belonged to his parents. I have no idea where one would go to get such a thing. But they found a way. Awhile later, his parents came home. And I kept talking about the chocolate dick in the fridge. Dean kept telling me to be quiet. But I was having too much fun being loud. I'm sure they heard me.

Dean always had great big glasses, even as the years went by. To me, he sort of looked like an owl. He also seemed kind of stiff, as if he were standing too far upright, so as to actually bend back a little bit.

I had Dean in 6th grade as well. Or perhaps he only came into my class for reading. No, I think he was there all day. The only thing I remember is that he once did a report on the guy who started the game of basketball. Dean was a big basketball fan.

After 6th grade, Dean and I didn't talk much. We always got along. We just didn't mingle. In high school, I'm not sure what sort of crowd he hung with. Maybe he was his own clique.

On our senior video, Dean mentions that his plans for after high school are to make a ton of money, buy the Milwaukee Bucks, and have more cash than Donald Trump. I'm pretty sure he hasn't fulfilled any of those goals. Instead, I think he went to college somewhere, with ambitions of becoming a journalist. It looks like he landed a job at a newspaper in Fairbanks, Alaska. But now it looks like he's writing for a paper near Rochester, New York. It looks like he's married to a woman named Lori. But I don't think they have any kids.

UPDATE - 1/26/06 - I uploaded Dean's clip from the senior video. Also, I found some additional information about him. He attended Cornell College. Today he still lives in New York, with his wife, one cat, and three fish. He writes for the Messenger Post Newspaper, which apparently is an online newspaper in New York. He's the sports reporter. A recent photo of him can be seen below the Youtube clip. He looks pretty much exactly the same.

UPDATE - 4/13/07 - Well, Dean's wife came by and left a comment. She also E-mailed me, and provided me with a link to their website, as well as a bunch of photos. You can check out the website here. THE LICHTERMANS

The website has a detailed story of how Dean and his wife met. It also has tons of pictures - some of which I've posted below.






DEAN & WIFE (2001)

DEAN & WIFE (2003)


UPDATE - 6/13/07 - Dean no longer works for that particular newspaper. I don't know where he works today.


I added a small blurb about a fight with Jon Kern.


Troy is a guy I met in 5th grade. We shared Miss Krause together.

Troy and I always got along. It surprises me a bit, now that I think about it. Troy was kind of a tough kid. He didn't seem like a big bully. But he seemed like a guy who could take care of himself if you messed with him.

In the spring of 5th grade, I was hanging around Chad Daffner a lot. I'd ride my bike to school. And every morning, we would ride over to Troy's house, and more-or-less pick him up too. Troy had his own bike of course. Soemtimes Doug Wall would ride on the back of mine.

As the years rolled on, Troy and I didn't have much contact with each other. We never had any mutual friends. If I'm not mistaken, during the day of the 8th grade picnic, I think Troy brought his boombox to school. Troy and myself (as well as several others) found ourselves banished from the picnic for having multiple suspensions or in-school suspensions during the year. We spent a good portion of the day in Mr. Franke's room. And he let us listen to music, while he babysat us. Now that I think about it, could it have been Randy Ertman's boombox? No, I'm sticking with Troy.

I also remember being in detention with Troy, in Mr. Kern's class. Kern started talking about movies, and asked Troy what his favorite was. Troy's answer - "Footloose." Speaking of detentions, Mr. Kern made both Troy and myself stay after shchool on the last day of 8th grade.

See my entries on Mark Gordon and Stacy Erickson for other stories about Troy.

In our freshman year, I had Troy in Mr. Wheeler's science class. We were talking about horror movies one day. He mentioned "The Evil Dead." He said he had it on tape. So I knew full well he had rented it and copied it. He said that he hadn't, insisting that he taped it on cable years earlier. I knew that was bullshit, as that film never appeared on cable. But Troy was apparently worried about revealing his lawbreaking ways I guess.

Dave Svatek told me a rumor (that he'd heard) about Troy. It seems ridiculous to me. But anyway, the rumor was that Troy drank nothing but beer for a long time. And because his body got no nutrients from it, he became dehydrated.

In high school, Troy got the nickname of "razor." I suspect a big part of that was due to his very short hair.

In our senior year, I believe someone reported to Mr. Wood that Troy and Nick Novachek were drinking beer during lunch one day. I think it was those two anyway. For sure, Nick was involved. But it wasn't true. I had Nick in class when he got pulled out, and was asked to breathe on Mr. Wood - who detected no odor of alcohol. Nick was pissed!

I ran into Troy perhaps over 100 times at the video store. He rented quite often. In fact, there's probably no other classmate I saw more than him. He was always friendly with me, and would flash a smile. But he didn't talk too much. He eventually married a woman named Deana. They have at least one child. Last I knew, Troy worked for Eck Industries.

UPDATE - 7/20/06 - On July 15th, Kevin and I went to visit Troy. His 13-year-old daughter answered the door. Troy lives in the same trailer park As Ken Bartz. The place was immaculate. Troy mentioned that shortly after high school, he shared an apartment with fellow graduate, Robin Richmond. After giving us a soda, the four of us posed for some pictures on his deck. You can see them below.


Kim is a girl who joined me at Washington. I think she went to one of the catholic schools in town.

In my opinion, Kim was a very pretty girl. And to top it off, she was also one of the nicest girls you'd ever care to meet. She was so friendly and outgoing. From what I could tell, there were no cliques with her. She treated everybody equally, regardless of where they stood on the social ladder. She was a sweet girl. There's no other way to describe her.

During our freshman year, it was nearly impossible to see Kim without seeing Jeff Bodwin trailing her. What was the deal with that? You could be talking to Kim in the hall, then suddenly you'd be accosted by her big fat shadow. They couldn't have been a couple. Could they? Were the related in some way? Were they good friends? I don't know. But when you saw Kim, Jeff was sure to follow.

Kim got involved with plays and musicals. I think she had the lead in one of the productions during our senior year. Was it "The Music Man?" Kim can also be seen on the senior video singing with Julie Landon and Kelli Kupsch.

I believe in our junior year, she began to go out with fellow graduate Chad Bennin. Richard and I would sometimes kid her about that. They seemed like polar opposites. Chad had an out-of-control ego. While Kim was... well Kim. We used to refer to Kim as "Cookies." Why? Who knows.

I ran into Kim several times at the video store. I rented to her dad and little brother too. She was always a delight to see. She had a great smile, and was very nice to to talk to.

Kim may have gone to school in Green Bay. I'm not sure. She may not have gone at all. It looks like she stuck around the Manitowoc/Two Rivers for many years. However she appears to have stayed in Oshkosh for the last several years. For a time she was an assistant manager at a bar there. But I don't think that bar exists today. Surprising (to me) it doesn't look like she's ever married. Maybe she has no interest to. I don't know. But if she's still the same girl today as she was in high school, then she's a major catch.

UPDATE - 6/26/06 - I found the recent pictures of Kim. You can see them below. Apparently she now lives in Neenah.

UPDATE - 10/9/06 - Kim and Chris Staudinger attended a wedding in Manitowc on Saturday, 9/30/06. Afterward, they drove down to my house for the double birthday part for my wife and I. Jeff "Meff" Messerman was also there. You can see five photos from the evening below.

Sunday, May 21, 2006


Today marks an interesting anniversary in my life. 20 years ago today (May 21, 1986) I got into what was probably the biggest trouble of my troublemaking youth. That was the day that Mike Zeman, Ron Gretz and myself got caught for the ceiling tiles. You can throw Kevin Dehne into the mix as well. For he was involved in the theft of some microphones on that same day as well. You can read about that day here: RON GRETZ

That day was definitely a low point in my life. It happened at the end of my freshman year of high school. At that point, I was really looking forward to the end of the school year. For my parents were taking us on a trip to Florida. In the two weeks or so that were left of school, my parents gave me a proposition. They would give me the money to take care of my portion of the restitution. But I would have to stay home while they went to Florida.

I had never been to any state that didn't border Wisconsin. I was REALLY looking forward to that trip. So I turned the offer down. Instead I came up with a new plan. I would go on the trip. Then when I got home, I would kill myself. It was my own little suicide solution.

I can recall riding on the plane on the way back home, thinking to myself that I only had a few days of life left. I had a bizarre plan to do it. I was going to raid our medicine cabinet, and empty every single pill bottle - half-used medication, aspirin, ibuprofin... whatever. I would place all of those pills in a bucket, then soak them in bleach. After they'd soaked for awhile, I would take the pills and swallow every last one of them. Looking back on that, it probably would have been an awful way to go. That bleach probably would have shredded my stomach, and induced some pretty violent, bloody vomit.

So what happened? Well, just prior to the year ending, Meff had given me an audio tape of a bunch of 50's and 60's songs. I would listen to that tape as I went to bed. It put me to sleep every night. But I loved it! I loved the songs. And it became a nightly ritual for me. I would actually look forward to bedtime, just so I could listen to that tape. And as strange as it sounds, having something to look forward to actually kept me going. I didn't want to kill myself anymore, simply because I wanted to listen to that tape at night.

The summer continued on. But as September started, I found myself with a paper route. My parents had stopped giving me an allowance, and put it towards the tile bill. But once I was making my own money, my allowance came back. Plus I suddenly had paper route money too. I had to give up 75% of it towards my restitution. But that still left me with 25% - which was more money than I'd had before. So I suddenly felt rich. People would look at me like I was deranged when I'd tell them that if I had to do it all again, I would. But I'd do it in a heartbeat. Besides, 20 years later, it makes for an interesting reflection.

So what did I do to commemorate this historic event? Well I looked up one of the day's participants, Kevin Dehne. And we got together. 20 years ago today, we sat in Mr. Wood's office with a police officer, getting berated. Today, my daughters and I posed for pictures in his backyard. Life is interesting.

Kevin and I decided something as well. Some Saturday this summer, he and I are going to do the town. That town being Two Rivers. We're taking our digital cameras, and plan to knock on a few doors of fellow classmates. So be on the lookout for us. We may be coming for you!

Saturday, May 20, 2006


I've had a rotten afternoon. I've had a bit too much to drink this evening. I never do this. So you can forgive me. I feel better now. But if anyone cares to call me and say anything positive or negative, feel free! I can be reached at 1-414-403-6088. Call now. Call often.

I love you all.

Friday, May 19, 2006


This was a girl who was around in 6th grade. I know nothing about her, other than the fact that she was black. In fact, she had really dark skin.

I can't recall her name. But I know that she had Mr. Burnstad. I don't think she finished the year.

In 7th grade, someone mentioned her name one day. And then when I recognized the name, I said, "Oh, she was that black girl." I don't recall who it was. But after I said that, someone said something like, "You could have at least said something nice."

Excuse me? That really pissed me off! I hadn't said anything insulting. I simply mentioned that she was black. Whatever.

Obviously I have no idea where she is. So I'll speculate. I'm guessing she moved to the Milwaukee area, got married, got a job, and has two dogs. Someone prove me wrong.


Consider this another bonus entry. A scan of the yearbooks brought him to my attention.

Mike was the twin brother of Mark Prochnow. Both of them appeared in high school for a short period of time.

I never knew Mike or his brother. They were both around for only one year. It was either my sophomore or junior year. One of them had a picture in the yearbook. One of them didn't. But being twins, I think they looked alike.

At some point Mike moved up to the Superior/Duluth area. Since Mark went up there as well, it's probably reasonable to assume that their family simply moved. Today it looks like Mike lives in Duluth. It doesn't look like he's ever married.


Shawn is a guy I met in grade school. He had Miss Charter for 4th grade and Miss Hynek for 5th grade. So I didn't cross paths with him too much.

I have heard stories that Shawn and Miss Hynek didn't get along. In fact, I've been told that she tormented him to no end. Of course I'm sure Shawn had most of it coming. But I think Shawn was Miss Hynek's person whipping boy all year long.

I had Miss Hynek for reading class. She taught the "smart" kids - or at least the ones who were supposed to be the best readers. Shawn wasn't in there. he either went into Mr. Tisler or Miss Krause's room. I think it was Tisler. Anyway, he somehow got kicked out of reading class one day - literally. And he didn't know what to do or where to go. So he wandered back into Hynek's class, mumbled something about being kicked out, then sauntered over to the book shelf to stand. That class was packed. So there was no place to sit. And someone was obviously in his seat. So he grabbed a paperback book, leaned against the wall and started reading. About five minutes later, Miss Hynek blew up at him. And she really tore into him! She had no idea what he was doing or why he was there. Why she let him stand there for five minutes is a mystery though. I thought Shawn would going to need therapy after that. Whatever the case, she got rid of him, and he was gone from our room for the rest of the period.

Shawn lived pretty close to me. He was actually our paperboy for awhile. In fact, I can recall sitting on my front porch, looking at the May cable guide (which showed all the movie lisitngs for the movie channels that we had) that had come in the mail that day. Shawn sat down and looked at it with me. There was a picture for the HBO series "Aerobicise." It was a 20-minute workout show. Shawn commented, "I don't like it. All they show is butts."

Shawn was neighbors with Scott Jaklin. Scott had some interesting stories about Shawn. I don't recall much. But perhaps he'll chime in with some memories.

Scott did tell me that he ran into Shawn one day after school. This was during middle school. Scott would walk home through the field behind my house. Near the end of that field was a very small, wooded area. As Scott walked by, he heard, "Hey Scott!" Apparently Shawn had decided to skip school, and spent the entire day in this woods. I think he was asking for some food too, as he was quite hungry. He must have been bored out of his mind sitting there all day.

Shawn had his picture in the paper once. It was an ad looking for a big brother/big sister for him. Shawn got teased over that.

I'm not sure when Shawn left school. I'm not even sure he made it though 8th grade. If I were to guess, I'd say he didn't graduate anywhere. I take that back. He did make it through 8th grade. I recall that at some point that year, he got into a fight with class of 1990's Jon Kern. Both of them got suspended. Both Shawn and I were banned from the end-of-the-year picnic due to multiple suspensions received that year.

I ran into Shawn once or twice at the video store. One time he'd rented three films. But he didn't bring them back on time. They were only a day or two late. But for whatever reason, he wrapped them in a paper bag and mailed them back to us. The cost of postage was probably more than his late fees would have been.

I think Shawn was in the navy for awhile as well. Shawn eventually married a woman named Andrea. Today they live in Two Rivers. According to Kevin Dehne, he and Shawn were in the same alcohol rehabilitation class. I don't see any drunk driving offenses for Shawn. So perhaps he just had a drinking problem.

UPDATE - 3/20/08 - A few weeks ago, I got an Email from Shawn. He included a few photos of he and his wife. They are posted below.


Mike was a product of Koenig grade school. So I never knew him until he got to Clarke.

Mike and I never got along all that well. Although we were never at each others' throats either. We each just did our own thing.

I had Mike in 8th grade gym class. When it came time to do gymnastics, the door in the southwest corner of the gym was unlocked and open. That's where they kept the equipment. It was also a way to get up onto the stage. Myself, along with Ken Bartz, Greg Flemal and David Coenen would sneak in there during class and play tag. We had to come out from time to time also, so as not to get caught. So instead of saying "Ken's it" we would shorten it to, "Ken's I." Of course that made no sense to anyone non tag-player who may question what we were doing. So we then used to say, "Ken's eye hurts." That way we could tell each other who was "it" without attracting attention. Well it was pretty stupid anyway, as when we were out and about in the gym, we were all jabbering so-and-so's eye hurts. To make a long story short, Mike once said to me, "Your eye's gonna hurt if you don't shut up."

In that same gym class, one day Mike asked if I had the Atari game Joust. He wanted to trade (borrow) games with me for awhile, if I did. I didn't have it though. Or maybe he had Joust, and wanted to trade that to me for some other game I didn't have either. I can't recall for sure. But I do know that Joust was involved in some capacity.

Mike was a really tall guy, and kind of lanky.

In high school, I believe Mike hung out with people like Scott Stephens and Brandon Podhola. I think Markus Petkevicius was also part of that crowd.

I forget who told me this. It was either Meff or Richard. Mike was always known as "Mike." But on a piece of paper or something, he listed his name as Bruce. So he (Richard or Meff) asked him if his name was Bruce. Mike said, "Call me Bruce." But later on he changed his mind and said, "Don't call me Bruce. My name is Mike." I think he changed his mind several times. Obviously Mike was playing some sort of game. I tend to think it was Meff, and not Richard. I think Richard would have tired pretty quickly, and simply call him an asshole. In our freshman yearbook, he's listed as Bruce. In our sophomore yearbook, he's listed as Mike. In our junior and senior yearbooks, he's listed as B. Michael. For the record, I believe his actual name is Bruce Michael Schroeder.

In junior year, Richard and I had a little spat with class of 1988's Paul Streubel. After Paul started a war with us, we tormented him every chance we got. We came to find out that Paul wasn't that well-liked by other people as well - including Mike and Brandon. Everyday after 7th hour, the two of them would see Paul walk past and would mock him by saying, "Hi Paul." Paul of course ignored them and pressed on.

One night I was riding around with Richard, Dave Svatek and Dave's sister Kelly. We noticed a rather lanky figure walking over the bridge. We knew instantly it was Mike. As we passed him, I yelled out a series of obscenities, then told him that I was Paul. Stupidly, the next day Monday in school, I asked Mike about it. He went onto say that Paul had swore at him on the street, and that he was going to kick his ass. I was sort of shocked that he believed that it really was Paul. But I was also amused by it. I don't think he ever did anything though.

Mike had ambitions to become a police officer. And he did just that. I think he worked in Two Rivers for awhile. I ran into him at the video store a few times. He was always nice. In fact, he had a girlfriend at that time. I believe her name was Tori Hodek. And holy crap, that girl was beautiful. I even recall that one day he was looking for some "Captain America" tapes. I never realized that Mike was the comic book fan type. Anyway, Mike eventually married a woman named Su Ann. Today he's a cop up in Medford. I could be wrong, but he might actually sing and play keyboards in a local band too.

UPDATE - 5/17/07 - Mike discovered my blog tonight. He left a few comments in his entry. He also sent me a picture of him and his family. He looks pretty much exactly the same. He has three kids - a five-year-old son, and twin daughters. Mike's presence also jogged two more obscure memories for me. I've already got them listed above. One involved Atari. The other involved a girlfriend.


For what it's worth, I remembered the song he used to air drum to.


Stacey is a girl I met in freshman year. I had her in Mr. Scriver's history class, during the second semester.

I sat in the row right up against the wall. Stacey was on my left. Shawn Olson sat in front of her. Brenda Linzmeier sat behind her. The three of them would constantly jabber all class. I didn't have a problem with the other two. But Stacey was sort of bitchy. She made fun of me from time to time, not that I cared too much. I slept a lot in there. I failed the class actually. In fact, I can remember resting my head on my left arm during a filmstrip. I hadn't quite dozed off yet. But Stacey thought I had. So she yanked my arm away and got a good laugh from it. Whatever floats her boat I guess.

After the incident with the ceiling tiles, Stacey was a lot nicer to me. She had all kinds of questions, and wanted to know the details of what happened. Perhaps I earned her respect. I don't know.

Stacey always seemd sort of trashy to me. At the very least, she was mouthy.

During my freshman year, my school had a plague of suicide attempts. Allegedly Stacey was one of them. It's all rumor. But I heard that she tried to choke herself with her purse, while she was in Mr. Wood's office. I'm not sure how one would go about doing that. But obviously she wasn't successful.

I had Stacey in Mr. Ertman's pre-algebra II class, in my sophomore year. She didn't sit anywhere near me - which I was happy about. I recall that someone (perhaps David Kanera) questioned her about her alleged sexual liaisons. Stacey came right out and denied that she was promiscuous. But she did admit to sleeping with three different guys recently. One of them she named - fellow graduate Troy Rezachek.

At some point during our sophomore year, Stacey got into a fight. I think it was with class of 1990's Tarcy Burgett. I'm sorry to say that I missed the fight. But people talked about it. In that same math class, Nick Novachek told Stacey that during the fight, one of her boobs popped out. Stacey was confused, saying that she had had a bra on. Nonetheless, Nick was insistent that one of Stacey's boobs popped out at some point.

I'm not sure which year it was. But for awhile, Stacey was one of the office helpers. She was in charge of going around picking up the attendance slips during her shift. I can't remember who it was. But she was going to try and cover for someone who had planned to skip out of a certain class. But I think they all got caught.

Stacey is in my junior yearbook. But she's not in the senior yearbook. So at some point, she disappeared. I suspect that she dropped out. I haven't seen her since. It looks like she spent a little time in Colorado. But for the last several years, she's bounced around Sheboygan and Manitowoc. She was married and became Stacey Nighbor. But they divorced. I think they had at least one child together. Since the divorce, she's remarried, and now lives in Manitowc as Stacey Vanderbloomen.

UPDATE - 12/12/06 - Stacey sent me a picture of her husband and three kids. Looking good Stacey! You can see her family below.