WASHINGTON HIGH SCHOOL TWO RIVERS WI CLASS OF 1989

Sunday, July 16, 2006

BURT AND KEVIN DO THE TOWN

After about a month of planning, Kevin Dehne and I set the date of Saturday, July 15, 2006 as our day to "hit the town." We had a list. We had a plan of attack. And for the first time ever, we were ambassadors to the class of 1989 - self appointed of course. As luck would have it, we ended up picking the hottest fricken' day of the year.

We had roughly 20 people on the list. But we had one big goal in mind - find B.J. Lutterman. No matter what else transpired, if we could find B.J. the day would be dubbed a success. I'd made phone calls. I'd sent letters. But I had been unable to locate the man. But I was pretty sure he was still in the area. So we set out to find him. We had four potential addresses for him to hit. How would we do? Read on. In the case of the pictures, you can click each of them to get the full-sized version.

I picked Kevin up in Sheboygan around 8:30. And we were on our way. Our first stop was in Manitowoc. Near the lake, we pulled up to the home of Greg Pagel - our first victim! We rang the bell. And moments later, we were in his living room. We just caught him in time, as he was moments away from taking his son to tae-kwon-do class. But we had time for a few pictures. You can see them below. Greg's wife said, "Did I know we were having visitors?" Nope. No one knew! Ha! Before we left, Kevin plunked down a few bucks and purchased one of Greg's CD's.

Greg had no idea where B.J. was.







The next stop was B.J. One of potential addresses was on the south side of Manitowoc. We found the house. We knocked. But no one answered. No luck. So we packed it in, and headed out to Carrie Collard's.

I was a little nervous about dropping in on Carrie, seeing as she'd just had a baby eight days earlier. But that didn't stop us. As the sun was baking down on us, we sauntered up her front walk and knocked on the door. One of her sons answered, and apparently said, "Mom, there's some strange guys at the door." Carrie peaked her head around at me, showed no recognition, and said:

"Can I help you?"

"Hi... Carrie?"

"Yes?"

"Do you remember me?"

"No."

"I went to high school with you."

"Oh my God!"

Immediate recognition took place, and we were in the house. Carrie was still in her nightgown, but was very happy to see us. She didn't want any pictures taken. But I convinced her otherwise. It didn't take much. She was a good sport. She introduced us to her husband. And we talked to him for a bit, as Carrie ran and got dressed. One of her sons wasn't home. But the rest of the family was. The pictures are below. Carrie encouraged me to "keep up the good work" with the blog. Of course when I asked her if she happened to know where B.J. was, she had no idea. Let me be the first to say that Carrie hasn't changed a bit. She's as cute as ever. And that bubbly, always-smiling personality is still very much intact. What a delight.





The next stop was a scheduled drive-by. It was our first of three teachers - Mrs. Westberg. Just prior to reaching her street, Kevin said, "Wouldn't you just shit if she was outside?" We turned down her street. A truck had just parked. It had a personalized plate that caught my eye. It may have belonged to her. Sure shit, a woman stepped out. It was Westberg! We pulled around, decided that we couldn't pass up the opportunity, and caught her attention. She came up to the car and talked to us. She didn't quite recall us. But she did remember our names. Just as well. We talked to her for several minutes. When we told her we had her at Clarke, she replied, "I hated teaching there." What a great revelation!" Then she mentioned that "Wayne Rebarchek really got under her skin." At one point she said that little bits about us were coming back. So we took a picture or two, then left. What a score this was! I never asked her about B.J.



Our next stop was Toby Schwartz. His house was a bit tricky to find. In fact, we took a wrong turn. But as we were turning around, Kevin said, "I think Markus Petkevicius lives over there. And holy shit. I think that's him!" Kevin was right. Markus was sitting in his garage, shirtless, drinking a soda, and smoking a cigarette. Of course we stopped. As soon as he saw me, he said, "Burt, I read your blog!" Markus had a few stories to tell. He even showed us his scar, where he'd just recently broken his ankle. He said he blew a .38 the night he broke it - almost five times the legal limit. One can understand why he tripped and fell. Markus was a cool dude, and had a few stories to tell. But when I asked him about B.J. he had no clue. Markus gave us each a Mountain Dew.





So we backtracked and found Toby's house. But we didn't find him. No one was home. So we left a post-it on the door that said, "The class of 1989 was here."

Our next stop was Lenny Lewis. After his dogs stopped barking, one of Lenny's sons answered. He was the spitting image. He told us Lenny wasn't home. We asked when he'd be back. So he grabbed the phone and called him. Then he gave the phone to Kevin. Lenny would return in a few hours. So would we.

Just around the corner was where we thought Brian Klein lived. But he didn't live there anymore. The house was empty. Then we went to Ms. Sapa's house. You can see me on her porch below. She wasn't home either. We'd hit a string of bad luck. So we set off for Doug Wall and Kurt Psenicka's house.



As it turned out Doug and Kurt live right next door to David Coenen. David wasn't home. But Kurt was. When he marched out the door, we were greeted with, "Kevin, Burt, what's up?" Kurt looked like he just stepped out of a biker movie. His head was shaved and he had a goatee. He'd also recently broken or separated his left shoulder in a work-related accident. Doug wasn't home, having left to go to some little league baseball game out of town. I'd printed up Doug's blog entry to give to him. I told Kurt I didn't print his up because I hadn't been all that nice to him. Kurt simply said thathe wasn't concerened about what people thought about him back then. Thank you Kurt. That's the type of attitude I appreciate - and from Kurt Psenicka of all people. I asked Kurt if he's seen B.J. around. He said, "Yeah, I just saw him at Kwik Trip three days ago. He had that same shit-eating grin on him that he always did." A-ha! Our first big break! When I asked him if he knew where B.J. stayed, he had no idea. Oh well. I had three other potential address for B.J. They were all in Two Rivers. So I felt pretty confident that we would find him.

Kurt and Kevin reminisced about an interesting story. Apparently in 1989 or 1990, fellow graduate Becky Prausa was renting a house directly across the street from Kurt's. Craig Rysticken was also at that party. They ran into Craig at Super America, which was just up the block. Allegedly Craig was drunk and super obnoxious towards them. So they decided to get even. What did they do? They called the cops on them. And the cops showed up and busted the party. If I'm not mistaken (and I might be) this bust is mentioned by others, elsewhere in this blog.







We then went behind Sentry to the home of Rod Lumaye. His wife was home. But he wasn't. Rod wouldn't be back until 4:00.

Our next stop was the sight of Washington High School. It was very surreal. Below you'll see Kevin standing on a pile of rocks, looking in vain for the building that once stood there.



Our next stop was Paula Jonas. Paula had promised us liquid refreshments if we ever stopped by. The sun was hot everytime we stepped out of that car. A drink would have been divine. But would she be home? The answer is yes. In fact, she was right inside the door as we knocked. "Oh my God. And I look like crap!" We caught her just as she was about to take her kids swimming. And sure enough, she gave us each a Diet Coke. We spent a good 30 minutes with Paula. She had a lot of good stories too - some of which I'll refrain from writing about. If I had a nickel for everytime someone said, "Don't put this in your blog. But let me tell you something..." When I asked about B.J. she couldn't help us. Paula gave us a second soda for the road. And we were off.



Our next stop was Jeff and Brenda Gordon. They live in the house that was formerly owned by Meff's grandparents. It was only two blocks north of Paula. They knew we were coming, as Paula had called Brenda upon our arrival. So they showered and made themselves presentable. We were there for maybe 20 minutes or so. We took a few pictures - including one of Kevins's shoe. Neither one of them knew about B.J.







We then drove by the home of Jenny Malley's mom. Jenny had originally planned to be in town that day. But she'd E-mailed me the day before to say she had to work all day, and wouldn't be around. So we kept driving.

Our next stop was a drive-by. We passed by the home of Mr. Wood. It didn't look like anyone was home. It wouldn't have mattered. There was no way in hell we were going to knock on his door.

Our next stop was the place where Kevin and I first met - L.B. Clarke Middle School. The doors were locked up tight. So we couldn't get in. But we did peek through some windows. The place has changed quite a bit. But we did see one of the old curtains that divided the rooms. You can see us posing below.





We passed the old houses of Brad Strouf, myself and Lisa King. I think Lisa's family still lives there. Then we headed up to the home of Mike Polich and Ann Rank. Unfortunately, they weren't home. So we left a post-it note on their door as well.

Then we headed out into the country, and to the home of Keith Welnicke. There was a car and a boat in the driveway. But there was no Keith. So I left a note on their car that said, "The class of 1989 was here. You weren't."

We then headed up the road a bit to look for Mark Schreiber. We found the road, but not the house. I had the wrong address. So we were clueless. Then we saw a guy smoking a cigarette. I figured I'd ask him if he knew where Mark was.

"Excuse me. Do you know where Mark Schreiber is?"

"You're looking at him."

Bingo! Mark cautiously walked over to the car, peering in on us. He had no idea who we were.

"Can I help you?"

"We're here to take pictures of you."

"No you're not."

Finally as recognition sunk in, he told me to pull into his driveway. He was a little bit reserved at first. But he was a good sport. He invited us into the house, as he wanted to clean up a bit before taking any pictures. We'd come just at the right time, as he was only stopping home for a few minutes, as he was taking a break from working on a roof somewhere. Mark mentioned that he'd read his entry on the blog. He had no idea that the squirt gun he was hit with was full of piss. His kids couldn't be corralled for a family photo. So a few random pictures are below. You can see Mark, his wife, their son and their daughter. Mark had no clue about B.J.













Our next stop was the home of Rob Sisel. Mark gave us perfect instructions on how to get there. But it didn't matter. Rob wasn't home. So we drove up the road and headed into the trailer park. Our first stop was none other than Ken Bartz. Ken lives in somewhat of a fortress of a trailer home. It even has an underneath portion. The backyard was pile of dirt and a big hole. Kevin screamed, "Hey! Kenny?" Then a short-haired head popped out of a hole in a concrete wall.

"Holy shit... Kevin Dehne."

"Hey, (pointing at me) Look at this stranger."

"Burt."

He then directed us into the entrance of his fortress. He was watching TV with his girlfriend and a friend of his. I asked Ken if he knew where B.J. was. He didn't. But then the friend of his who was sitting there chimed in. "I know where B.J. lives." He gave us directions to an address in Manitowoc. It was an address we didn't have. He even gave us a phone number. I tried it. But it was disconnected. This guy was insistent that that's where B.J. lived. What a complete fluke that we stumbled upon this guy.

Ken was full of stories. He seemed a little spaced-out. But then again, he always did. In addition to several stories, Ken talked about his desire to "live off the land" so to speak. He also talked about his distrust of medicine. "They have a pill for everything." He also talked about how everything electronic should be worked by the push of a button. He didn't like remote controls. He gave us some Mountain Dew and some green Kool-Aid. Then we all took a walk to Troy Rezachek's trailer. "It's just around the corner." Yeah Ken... just around the corner. It was still a good hike. And by this time the temperature had hit 100 degrees.

We knocked on Troy's door. He recognized me. But he didn't know Kevin at first. He let us in and gave us a Mountain Dew. His house was immaculate. He introduced us to his 13-year-old daughter. Then he went online so I could show him the blog. We posed for pictures on his back deck, before heading back to Ken's, and hitting the road again.







Our next stop was Nick Novachek's house. We found him in the backyard, lounging in his kid's pool. He seemed quite happy to see us. We went into his garage, where he offered us something to drink. But every single thing in his refrigerator was alcohol. He had not one non-alcoholic beverage out there. Yes, that's the Nick I remember.

Nick has a great house, with a great view of the river. It was too hot to sit outside. So he invited us in. We spent perhaps an hour with him. All the while, Nick would say things like, "I should call Craig Rysticken and invite him over." Craig is one of Nick's neighbors. I can't tell you how many people we met who would laugh and say, "So are you going to visit Craig?" At one point, Nick said, "It's taking every ounce of my willpower not to call Craig. I'd just like to watch to see what would happen."

Nick was full of stories and gossip. I'll refrain from mentioning them. But needless to say, he confirmed a lot of things already mentioned to me privately, as well as on the blog. At one point a little boy showed up to play. But it wasn't Nick's son. I just knew from Nick's smile who'd walked in. It was Craig's son. Nick told him, "Hey, when you go back home, tell your dad that Burt and Kevin are over here." You can see some shots of Nick below.





By this time we were famished. We'd been drinking soda all day. But other than some Peanut M&M's, we'd eaten nothing. And it was after 6:00. So we decided to get a bite to eat. But we made one final stop at Family Dollar. Inside we met Tammy Swoboda. You can see some shots of her below.





We stopped at the M&M - a Two Rivers staple forever. We picked it over Phil Rohrer's, simply because it was closer to where we were. Despite all my years in that town, I had never eaten at either one these establishments. Phil Rohrer's is next. But I must say, the "meat monster" burger we had was awesome! I asked the waitress if she knew B.J. Lutterman. She shook her head no, and looked at me like I was nuts. Kevin picked up the tab. I left a generous tip. And we were off to try and catch Lenny Lewis again.

Unfortunately, we'd just missed Lenny. He'd gone to the grocery store. Oh well. We'll have to catch him another day. So we then set out to hit Toby once again. The note we'd left on the door was gone. But so was Toby.

It was about 7:00. And the heat had beaten us down. We were exhausted. But we had one final stop. Did the guy we met at Ken's house actually know where B.J. lived? We were about to find out. I called Jenny, and gave the phone to Kevin, who left her a voicemail as "the phantom caller." He told her we were off to try and find B.J.

Kevin knew exactly where the house was, as he knew the other guy who allegedly lived with B.J. We knocked on the door, but got no answer. So we decided to go in the back. We worked our way around the deck and heard someone in the backyard. We figured this guy would know. The guy was trying to put a dog into a pen. Then we heard, "Kevin... Burt!"

We had found B.J. Lutterman.

B.J. has changed some. But he still has the same smile and same laugh. And he had a million stories to tell us as well. We talked about Scott LeCoque, Jenny Malley and many others. Up until the time he moved to Nevada, Scott had lived right next door to them. B.J. said that he keeps a low profile and that only three or four people actually know where he lives - including the guy we'd seen at Ken's house. He said that had we stopped at any of the other addresses we'd had, no one there would have known where he was staying. So by a complete fluke, we were all together. B.J. has four kids with three different women. The age range is 1-16. We spent about 30 minutes with him, before he had to leave to go pick up his two oldest kids. We took a few pictures before he left. You can see them below.











All in all it was a great day. Our number one goal was reached. The elusive B.J. was found. We posed with Mrs. Westberg. We laughed all day. And yes indeed, we will do this again. So be ready.

Oh, in addition to all the pictures, I also took my camcorder. And I've got 47 minutes of footage. If anyone wants a copy, I'll be happy to put it onto a DVD for you. Just let me know.

22 Comments:

At Sun Jul 16, 11:04:00 AM PDT, Blogger Brandon P. said...

Hey Burt.

I don't know if you plan on putting any comments with the pics so I apologize if I'm getting ahead of you. I think I recognize everyone. I had to really think about a few of them. The only one I'm not sure about is the guy with the grey t-shirt with the sleeves cut off. I think the shirt says "Sugar Creek". Is that Ken Bartz?

 
At Sun Jul 16, 12:00:00 PM PDT, Blogger TWORIVERSWALRUS said...

You jumped the gun. Yep, that's Ken. And the comments are now included.

 
At Sun Jul 16, 12:20:00 PM PDT, Blogger Brad Strouf said...

Awesome! I'm so disappointed I missed out on this. I had no plans on being in Two Rivers, yet I actually ended up at Point Beach State Park for a few hours...totally a fluke, last minute idea to hit the beach because of the heat.

Great pictures, some look exactly like I remember, some I didn't even recognize (Ken Bartz).

Nice work.

 
At Sun Jul 16, 01:17:00 PM PDT, Blogger the_meff said...

Holy crap.

My mind is blown.

Reading that was the absolute highlight of an already perfect day.

Well done!!!

 
At Sun Jul 16, 05:57:00 PM PDT, Blogger Tammy said...

Awesome job, you all caught me so by surprise as the look in my eyes says. It was the highlight of my day, I was longing to be out in the heat and at the beach now I am glad I had to be there. Seeing you two was great and looking through these pictures is alot of fun! Hmmm, you were at FD a half hour with me and all you have to say is here's Tammy, I feel left out! LOL
I would love a copy of the video by the way when you get a chance.
By the way guys I see Kenny alot and he is just awesome, one guy I knew right off the bat the first day I saw him!

 
At Sun Jul 16, 05:58:00 PM PDT, Blogger Tammy said...

oh hey Burt, you took a second pic in FD that day, can you email that to me please? I want to save it with the rest.

 
At Sun Jul 16, 06:51:00 PM PDT, Blogger 2time ace said...

Sorry we missed you guys!! We were at my daughter, Ashley's, graduation party at Lincoln Park in Manitowoc. You left the note on my daughter's car. We would have never seen the note but my wife was loading some stuff in my daughter's car and saw it on the trunk!! Ashley will be heading off to college at Alverno next month!! When my wife saw the note she said to me, "Guess who was here?"...

PS...Markus didn't fall and break his leg but that is all I will say about that!!

 
At Sun Jul 16, 07:35:00 PM PDT, Blogger MarkC said...

Very nice work Burt and Kevin.

 
At Mon Jul 17, 02:09:00 AM PDT, Blogger apeman said...

To all that we visited:
The day was frickin' hot as hell and then some, but a plan was made to visit several of you and I am glad we did it. Burt has written it all down in almost exact detail.
Some of you I really did not have much contact with in school at all. It is great to see that things are going well in your lives and that you are all doing well.
I did not see the video at all but I would have to say it will be a must-have for a good laugh. Next time we "Do The Town" I hope to see many more of you.

 
At Mon Jul 17, 11:20:00 AM PDT, Blogger Greg Pagel said...

Thanks for stopping by. Next time, we'll hang out longer.

Thanks for buying a CD Kevin. Hope you like it.

Burt, bring the girls next time!

 
At Mon Jul 17, 11:27:00 AM PDT, Blogger TWORIVERSWALRUS said...

We actually popped it in and listened to it right away.

 
At Mon Jul 17, 10:38:00 PM PDT, Blogger apeman said...

Hey Greg, That CD is pretty wild. I listened to it about 3 or 4 times already.

 
At Tue Jul 18, 06:37:00 AM PDT, Blogger jenny said...

wow!!!! the picture with westburg is awesome!! but my favorites are the pictures of BJ. Gotta love that smile!

 
At Tue Jul 18, 01:39:00 PM PDT, Blogger HappyMama said...

Girls, Greg? What girls?
Hmmm...


;-)

 
At Tue Jul 18, 01:49:00 PM PDT, Blogger Greg Pagel said...

Nikki--
you, your kids, and the gang from Golddiggers.

 
At Tue Jul 18, 11:04:00 PM PDT, Blogger blog_hater said...

You should have stopped at my house. I would like to see you someday.

 
At Wed Jul 19, 05:22:00 AM PDT, Blogger Greg Pagel said...

If you leave an address, I'm sure you'll get a visit.

 
At Wed Jul 19, 05:23:00 AM PDT, Blogger Greg Pagel said...

Make that a NAME and address.

 
At Wed Jul 19, 07:52:00 AM PDT, Blogger TWORIVERSWALRUS said...

What a buzzkill you continue to be. So you'd like to see me someday? Is that some sort of weak, veiled threat? Whatever. What would you do if you saw me - beat me up? Please. What could you do? Nothing.

Don't be such a pussy. If you have something to say to me, then be a real man and say it. Tell it to my internet face. Don't hide behind some anonymous screen name. Why won't you do that? I think we all know why. Don't want to damage your stellar reputation do you? Tell you what. I'll make it easy for you. E-mail me at BUSTERKOONS@YAHOO.COM. Then say your peace. I won't post your E-mail.

You obviously don't care for what I'm doing here. Well here's some good advice for you. Stop reading it! Staying up past 1:00 AM to read it too - must not have to go to work in the morning do you?

Hater, you've left a few clues. With the help of a few outside sources, I'm about 99% sure I know exactly who you are. I have news for you. There are several other readers who know too. People talk. People E-mail.

Are your feelings hurt? Are you feeling betrayed? Grow a fucking spine and get over it. If you feel I've wronged you in some way, then let's hear it. Better yet, why don't you just sue me? Care to go down that road? No? I wonder why...

If you want to participate like a normal human being, then I welcome any comments you might have. If not, then do us all a favor and just go away until you decide to grow up. Some people mature. Some people just get older.

 
At Wed Jul 19, 11:57:00 AM PDT, Blogger Greg Pagel said...

It's me burt. I'm the hater.

You suck, and you hurt my feelings.

Okay, i'm better now. Wanna go get a taco?

 
At Wed Jul 19, 12:01:00 PM PDT, Blogger TWORIVERSWALRUS said...

Love to think outside the bun. I'm buying.

 
At Wed Jul 19, 03:59:00 PM PDT, Blogger HappyMama said...

Ahh, the Golddiggers girls. So that's what Burt and Kevin meant by "do" the town.

Those rascals.

 

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