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!


At Sun May 21, 04:41:00 PM PDT, Blogger jenny said...

wow! this is the beauty of life! i know i am a big softy but these pictures brought tears to my eyes! you guys look great and i really can't wait to be posing for some pictures with both kevin and burt!!!!

At Sun May 21, 07:05:00 PM PDT, Blogger mimikatemom said...

Excellent post burt :) Love the pics...hope you guys had a good time reconnecting. Little bit is too cute!

Look who's in the black t-shirt crowd now! ;) tee-hee

At Sun May 21, 07:46:00 PM PDT, Blogger TWORIVERSWALRUS said...

Indeed. Touche!

At Mon May 22, 06:50:00 AM PDT, Blogger apeman said...

Hmmm. stay home while parents go to Florida on vacation. Boy, I would have to think about that one. Could you imagine that , Burt on his own for a week in the summer being about 15 or 16. That could have been a whole blog in itself.
It sure was great to see old Burt again along with his really cute daughters too. I can't believe it was 20 years ago when the tile incident happened. What fun it will be to invade TR with Burt.


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