Wednesday, June 28, 2006


Mr. Spatz (no clue about his first name) was the art teacher at Magee.

Mr. Spatz and I really didn't get along too much. I don't know what it was. I didn't fool around in his class too much. But I guess it was just enough to irritate him.

I don't recall too much about the man. I think he had black glasses and a beard - sort of like a leftover hippie from 1970. I do remember that on his chair, there were some eggs painted. So when he sat down, he was "fertilizing" them.

In 5th grade, I was up north in Merrill (north of Wausau) where my grandparents lived. I opened up the local paper. And who do I see? A picture of Mr. Spatz, his wife, and their daughter. It was an article about cerebral palsy - something his wife had. I cut it out and brought it home. When I told him about it, he asked to see it. He had never seen the article. Apparently his wife was from Merrill as well. So I brought it in and gave it to him. He thanked me. That was the extent of our friendliness.

About the only other thing I remember was an argument that was taking place at my table. There were four per table. I sat with Ken Bartz, Randy Klein and Troy Rezachek. We were arguing with Randy, telling him that he had black hair. It looked jet black to us. But Spatz told us we were wrong, that it was more brown. I still think he was wrong.

I have one last memory from that class. It's minor. But for the sake of completists out there, here it is. It was fifth grade. At the time, Paul McCartney & Stevie Wonder's duet "Ebony & Ivory" was on the top of the charts. You couldn't turn on a radio and not find that song. It was everywhere. Anyway, in my best Stevie Wonder voice, I sang, "There is good and bad." Then from across the room, Jay Rozmarynoski sang McCartney's next line which was simply, "Mmm-mmm." Everyone chuckled.

Below is a picture of a frog I made in his class. The Pac-Man is actually from Mr. Kjelstrup's class in 6th grade.

If I knew Spatz' first name, I met be able to figure out what he's doing today. The last I knew, he was still at Magee. Of course my last information is from June, 1982.


At Wed Jun 28, 09:24:00 AM PDT, Blogger Brad Strouf said...

It's Ken...

At Wed Jun 28, 09:30:00 AM PDT, Blogger Brad Strouf said...

Oh, and he was still teaching at Magee, at least up until a couple years ago. My ex-wife teaches there. The more I think about it, he might have retired recently. If I remember, I'll ask her.

At Wed Jun 28, 10:52:00 AM PDT, Blogger Brenda said...

Yes Mrs. Ken Spatz was the art teacher at Magee. He did retire a few years back. My kids loved him as an art teacher. I see him subbing betweeen the two elementary schools.

At Thu Jun 29, 02:25:00 PM PDT, Blogger MarkC said...

Ken B., Randy K., Troy R. and Burt at the same table???? OUCH!!!

At Sat Jul 01, 12:12:00 AM PDT, Blogger Greg Pagel said...

Mr. Spatz didn't change his curriculum much over the years. Do any of you remember the clay sun with the smily face we made for -- i think it was Mother's Day? My parents still have mine up somewhere.

Anyway, I was visiting a student of mine at her home a couple years ago and I saw the EXACT SAME SUN hanging in their kitchen! I said -- oh, you must have Mr. Spatz for art. I was right!

At Thu Jul 06, 05:24:00 PM PDT, Blogger cawelnicke said...

My son Ethan had Mr. Spatz in Kindegarten and First Grade (just 2-3 years ago). Guess what I got as a gift one Mother's Day? YES - - a Smiley Faced Sun!!

At Sat Feb 07, 10:16:00 AM PST, Blogger sprout said...

Mr. Spatz lived 5 houses down from my grandma in Manitowoc. As far as I know, he still lives there. He has a daughter named Sara who is a year younger than us. My sister, Jodi, and I played with her all the time. She was one of my best friends growing up. He and his wife were really awesome people. His house was filled with interesting art pieces, and his yard had many of those "sun" faces hanging on the fence. Nothing but good memories of hanging out at their house. Very patient people. I don't think we ever got yelled at, even when us kids got loud and rambunctious!


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