Monday, July 31, 2006


Mr. Sustman (James?) was an art teacher at Washington.

I never took a single art class in high school. So I never knew this guy at all. I did however have a run-in with him during my sophomore year.

After school one day, I found myself in the company of Richard Wheeler and Jeff Bodwin. I believe they were having one of their pencil fights. Anyway, we were in the front of the school, by the door on the right - closest to the river. For whatever reason, I started jumping up and down on small bush at the bottom of the steps. Mr. Sustman happened to come walking by. He threw a fit. He started to slowly chase me around in a circle. It was kind of funny. He never once made any real effort to grab me. He demanded to know my name. I refused to tell him of course. Eventually I grew tired of him, and calmly walked away. Although he didn't recognize me - or Richard for that matter. He did recognize Jeff. Apparently Sustman looked through yearbooks the next day, in an effort to identify me. But he wasn't able to pick me out. So he resorted to having Mr. Wood call Jeff Bodwin down to the office. Of course Jeff told them who I was. By late afternoon of the next day, I got called into Mr. Wood's office, and was given two detentions. I of course anticipated the confrontation. So I brought my microcassette recorder with me, and taped the whole thing. I still have it.

Sustman always looked grumpy to me - like he had a bit of a scowl. Of course maybe he just recognized me from the bush incident, and was merely scowling at me.

I ran into Sustman many times at the video store. I think he'd forgotten the incident by that time. He never said much. But he was friendly enough.

I think Sustman is retired today. But I don't know for sure. I believe he lives just northwest of Two Rivers - not far from the likes of Keith Welnicke. I believe his wife's name is Evie. As has been stated elsewhere, Sustman appears to be very active in his church. It also looks like he's the president of something called the Mishicot Area Growth and Improvement Committee.


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