Tuesday, July 11, 2006


Mr. Kleckener (Bob) was the computer teacher at Clarke. I had him in 8th grade, for the 4th quarter. Or was it the 3rd and 4th quarter? I don't recall.

Mr. Kleckner was a decent enough guy. If memory serves, he kind of had a voice like Fozzy Bear. Waka waka waka! On the first day of class, he gave everyone a disc with an adventure game. The game featured us walking around in a ghost town or something. "In front of you, you see a mule, a sack, and a sign." You could then give commands like "read sign." Primitive, yes - but it was a lot of fun.

Each student was given a floppy disc. Somehow, someone got a hold of the game Frogger. And it got copied and passed around to a lot of the students. But we weren't allowed to play it - especially in class.

Greg Flemal was my partner in class. Chad Daffner sat at the computer to my right. Chad actually missed the first week of class, as he was in Florida on vacation. So he was really lost when he got back. Anyway, one of the first things we had to do was to have a program that had our name on it. And it had to be centered perfectly. It had our name, the class name, and the hour. Well, I helped Chad out. His first and last name actually has the exact same amount of letters as mine. So I put his name in place of mine, then copied it to his disc. As a joke, I also gave him a copy of Frogger. Chad put the disc in. And once his name was done scrolling by, the game popped up. As luck would have it, the volume on his computer was turned all the way up. So Frogger started beeping and blaring in the library. Kleckner was furious. Chad didn't know what was going on. He looked lost. I simply turned away and giggled.

I don't have a whole lot of memories from that class. I do recall Kleckner once telling us that he'd read that some computer company was fixing someone's computer once, and they found a lipstick inside of it - something that couldn't possibly fit. How it got there was a mystery.

I'm pretty sure that Kleckner came over to the the high school, at some point while I attended. I'm not sure what he taught. Because Mr. Schmid was the computer teacher there. Maybe they had two. I don't know. I do know that Kleckner was the coach of the chess team as well. Is "coach" the proper title?

Around 1990 or so, I was in Book World, in downtown Manitowoc. If anyone is familiar with that store, you'll know that in the magazine section, the first part of it is filled with pornographic material. On this day, I walked in. And there was Kleckner, sampling the porn. What an odd moment. He may not have known my name. But I think he recognized me. He left a minute or two later - with his purchase.

Kleckner still teaches at the high school to this day. It looks like he teaches math.


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