Wednesday, August 16, 2006


Saturday August 12th was picked out by Kevin and I to be trip #2 to Two Rivers. Needless to say, the weather was much nicer. Instead of 100 degrees, we were hit with a much more comfortable 75.

I picked up Kevin in Sheboygan around 8:30. Then we were on our way. But instead of heading straight up to Manitowoc, we decided to hit a few homes in Sheboygan. Why not? That was out starting point anyway. So we headed south. Our destination was Lori Wavrunek. As we pulled up, we noticed a woman in her garage, getting ready to leave. We were sure it was her. As I fumbled with the camcorder, Kevin got out and tried to flag her down. Lori pulled out right past him, and got into the street. Then she noticed him. She rolled down her window and asked us who we were. Once she knew, she pulled back in, got out and posed for pictures. You can see them below.

Our next stop was north of Sheboygan. In a rather new subdivision, we found the home of Bob Pilzak. Needless to say, the lawn was a sea of weeds. No grass had ever been planted there. It looked like no one was home. But it was worth a try. We rang the doorbell. Moments later, Bob answered. He had a look of confusion at first. But then came the smiles as recognition slowly crept in. He invited us in. We saw his wife (pretty woman) - although she didn’t want to be photographed. They were just on their way out the door, as they were having a family day at the Milwaukee Zoo. But nonetheless, Bob posed for pictures on his front porch and in his backyard. He was quite happy to see us. We talked for maybe 20 minutes.

Next we headed west, to an area north of Howards Grove. There we found the homestead of Chris Staudinger. It’s a sprawling area in the country. It was obviously a farm at some point. But I think it’s a non-working farm today. I knocked, and was greeted by a woman – Chris' mom. She informed us that Chris was working. So we missed him. So it was back in the car and on our way to Manitowoc.

Our first stop was the home of Shawn Mehlhorn. There was a camper in the driveway that had some severe hail damage. There was also a big truck there. But there was no sign of Shawn. So I snapped a picture of his sign instead.

Our only other stop in Manitowoc was the home of our 8th grade science teacher, Mr. Franke. We knocked on the door. A woman (presumably his wife) answered. When we asked for him, she said, “Are you students of his?” I got the impression that over the years, others have stopped by as well. After several minutes (perhaps he was still sleeping) Mr. Franke emerged. I believe he couldn’t remember Kevin. But he at least remembered my face. Mr. Franke hadn’t changed a bit. He was as nice as he always was. He had tons of stories to tell. He had a full house, and he introduced us to several kids and grandchildren. He also took our autographs. Apparently he’s now collecting the autographs of former students. We told him about the blog. He thought it was a very cool thing to do, and promised to check it out. He then took us into his backyard, where we reminisced some more. Franke informed us that he has been teaching at Clarke since the very first year it opened – nearly 40 years ago. He’s contemplated retirement, but hasn’t yet. He still enjoys what he’s doing. Instead, (like Brett Favre) he takes it on a year-to-year basis. Incidentally, because of the full house of family he had, he had to borrow a camper from someone so some people could sleep outside. The camper belongs to none other than fellow former Clarke teacher, Mr. Schambureck. I mentioned to Franke that he had given me an "F" for the 4th quarter. He looked shocked and said, "I didn't think I gave "F's" to anybody." But I earned it! We took a few pictures with Franke. Notice the fake street sign on the fence.

I should point out that within our travels this day, I was informed that someone else is unhappy about the words I wrote. That person is Tim Petri. One of my readers ran into Tim at the bank, and asked him if he’d read the blog. Tim apparently said, “Yeah, and just wait til I get my hands on that son of a bitch!” Tim was asked what was wrong. Tim then said, “He said I had four OWI’s.” My reader then asked, “Well, do you?” To which Tim replied, “No, I only have three.” So I guess Tim was upset that I credited him with one extra drunk driving arrest. Well, I looked it up. And Tim is right. I made a slight mistake in my entry on him. I had said that Tim had four, which was one more than Peter Soucoup. In reality, the numbers should be reversed. It was Peter who has four, while Tim ONLY has three… Sorry Tim. The mistake has already been corrected!

After we left Franke's, we were on our way to Toby's house. We'd stopped there twice on our first trip. Both times we were shut out. Would #3 be the trick? Nope. Once again, Toby was not home. So instead, we were off to see Mark Gordon.

Mark lived right near the lake - or so we thought. The woman who answered the door said that Mark hadn't lived there in two years. Oops! So we hopped back intot he car and headed toward the home of Lenny Lewis.

The last time we'd stopped by, Lenny wasn't home. But we saw a big truck in the driveway this time. We worked our way around the back, and came up onto the deck. Then right before I was to knock, Lenny stormed out with a cigarette hanging from his mouth. We sat and talked to Lenny for about a half hour. He and Kevin had some good stories to reminisce about. Of course he posed for some pictures. You can see them below. As a side note, Lenny has a real hottie for a neighbor.

We then headed towards the home of Chad Daffner. We saw a big pair of boots on the front porch. But the house was quiet. The untouched newspaper gave the impression that no one was home. Always trust the newspaper. There was no sign of Chad. However, thanks to some comments left by class of 1990's Sally Graczykowski, we knew that she lived right next door. The door was open. So we knocked. Sally answered, knew exactly who we were, and invited us in. She gave us each a Sprite. She was in the process of removing wallpaper from her bedroom. So she grumbled a bit when I asked her to pose for pictures. It's feminine vanity, not catching someone "at their best." But Sally was a good sport and happily agreed. I even got a photo of her tattoo. We stayed for maybe 20 minutes, and chatted. We also found time to play with her dog. She has a cat too. But the cat took off at some point. In the first dog picture, it looks like I'm stepping on him. But it's an illusion. I'm actually standing on the floor with both feet.

We then went a few blocks north to Brian Klein's house. On our last trip, we had the wrong address. This time we got it right. Unfortunately, Brian was sleeping. So we decided to come back.

Our next stop was Doug Wall. He is currently living with Kurt Psenicka and Kurt's fiance. When we knocked, we were greeted by Kurt. As friendly as Kurt had been four weeks earlier, he was very different this time. He was real short with us. He said that Doug was sleeping, and that he wouldn't wake him. He also confirmed that it was Doug's birthday. He said Doug would be up around 4:00 or so, but was then going to his mom's house for awhile. We told him we'd be back. As we walked away, Kevin said, "Not very receptive, was he?" I joked that perhaps Kurt had read what I'd written about him. Of course when we last saw Kurt, I had told him that I wasn't all that nice in my memories of him. I also added that all that stuff happened 20 years ago, and that it doesn't matter anymore. Kurt had told me point blank that he wasn't concerend about what anyone used to think about him. Perhaps he had a change of heart.

Doug and Kurt live next door to Dave Coenen. Just as it had been in July, no one answered the door. The dogs didn't bark this time though.

By now it was close to lunch. As planned, we headed over to Phil Rohrer's Restaurant, a Two Rivers staple for over 40 years. Of course as many people know, it's run by the father of fellow graduate Cindy Rohrer. Cindy had E-mailed me the day before, and told me to introduce myself. So we did. Kevin and I both ordered a burger and fries. It was very tasty. Despite how busy it was, Cindy's dad found the time to chat with us for awhile. This time I treated. Kevin left a generous tip. And we were off.

Our next stop was the home of Rod Lumaye. We found him in his backyard. Surprisingly, Rod has become a smoker. He said he'd started at some point in the early 1990's. We had a pretty good time with Rod. He also had lots of stories to share. We laughed quite a bit. We spent a good half hour there, perhaps even longer.

After we left Rod's, we headed north to the home of Cory Schultz. No one answered the door. Then all of a sudden, a woman drove up, and drove right onto the lawn to confront us. It was the owner of the house. She said that Cory didn't live there anymore. She thought he lived down by the river (not in a van). I had a second address for Cory, which was next to the river. We would hit it later on.

Our next stop was Kevin Koehler's house. I was familiar with the home, as it had been owned by the aunt and uncle of a friend of mine, back in the 1980's. I was also the paperboy. Kevin was outside, in the garage. The two Kevins joked about the time they had stolen some food off someone's grill. Good stuff! Kevin talked about how he spends time with fellow graduate Dave Hartwig. Perhaps we'll hit Dave on trip #3. Kevin was proud of the fact that his oldest kid was graduating (or just did graduate) from high school. Kevin has another son, who was also hanging around while we were there. Kevin's dog loves to chase a stick. If you don't pick it up and throw it, he'll stare at it forever.

On a whim, we then drove by Mr. Wood's house. We thought it'd be funny to see him outside mowing the lawn or something. But there was no one to be found. Instead, we headed to the home of Mike Polich and Ann Rank. The last time we'd been there, they weren't home. This time they were - barely. We had caught them moments after returning from a camping trip. They were still unpacking their vehicle. Feminine vanity showed its face again, as Ann mentioned that she hadn't showered or anything. But she of course posed for pictures. She gave us a each a soda as well. She offered me a wine cooler. But I had to pass, as one drink can make my head start to buzz a bit. So I drank a Sunkist. Ann let me use her bathroom. Of course as she let me in, she said, "Ignore the mess. We just got home." I of course said, "Everyone's home is messy when they're not expecting company." Of course when I walked in, I said, "Oh, I take it back. This is really messy." Ha ha! It's a laugh-a-line with me. Anyway, I filtered out Phil Rohrer's Mello Yello and the Sunkist, the joined Kevin in the car. Before we left, Ann gave us each a hug. As I said to her, "That's our first public hug." Mike and Ann had mentioned that Mark Gordon was at his parents' house - which was a block away. So we decided to stop by.

Sure enough, Mark was there. We rang the doorbell. Inside, I could see a shirtless Mark fast asleep on the couch. One of Mark's kids answered, then went and woke him up. Mark let us in, gave Kevin a soda (I declined) and talked with us for awhile, while two of his sons played a Pac-Man game. We then went outside and took some pictures. Mark had a rather bizarre story about Mr. Wood. Perhaps he'll share it someday. You can see the pictures below.

After we left Mark, we headed out into the country to visit Keith Welnicke. Keith is another guy who wasn't home the last time we were in town. We pulled into the driveway. It looked like someone was home. Sure enough, Keith's wife answered, and let us in. She said Keith was due home in about 10 minutes. Keith's wife is a big fan of the blog. Actually, she reads it more than he does. Because of her given profession, she's familiar with a lot of the people profiled here. Anyway, Kevin and I decided that we'd do a quick run to Rob Sisel's house while we waited for Keith to return.

Just like last time, Rob wasn't home. But unlike last time, Rob's dad was. He sort of surprised us, popping out of nowhere from behind the garage. We left him a note for Rob, with the URL for the blog. Then we went back to Keith's. Moments after we pulled into the driveway, Keith drove up as well. He noted that he was dirty from work, and wouldn't take a picture until he'd showered. So we all went inside. Keith's wife gave us each a soda. We then went to the gigantic living room and chatted a bit while an episode of Roseanne played in the background.

Keith and his wife were a delight. They had tons of stories and gossip. I probably shouldn't repeat most of it. But it was a blast. I bet we stayed there for at least an hour. They even offered to cook us brats. But we had more stops to do. And time was dwindling. So we declined. In retrospect, I wish we would have stayed. I was getting hungry by that point. Oh well. They can owe us a meal! Ha ha. Before we left, we snapped the photos you see below.

Our next stop was the home of Mr. Wheeler - father of fellow graduate Richard. He wasn't home. But his wife was. She remembered me, having been friends with Richard. She gave us the scoop on what Richard is doing today. She also said that Mr. Wheeler should be home any minute. But he was late. We had to get going. But before we left, I made sure to tell her to tell Mr. Wheeler that I did NOT steal his final exam at the end of freshman year! She said she would tell him. She also said that she'd tell Richard about the blog. Lastly, I asked if she had a recent picture of Richard. We each zoomed in with our digital cameras and snapped the pictures you see below. Richard looks pretty much the same.

Our next stop may be a surprise to some. We stopped by the home of Craig Rysticken. His boat was there. But there was no answer at the door. Kevin took a picture of me writing a note. I stuck it on his mailbox.

I was very curious about our next stop. We headed towards the home of Shannon Almand. I never knew her. I don't know if I ever talked to her. But we knocked on her backdoor. She answered, but wouldn't come out. She just peered at us through the screen door. She didn't remember either one of us. She was very cautious. She made it clear that she wasn't interested in taking any pictures. Her thoughts were that no one ever kept in touch with her. So she had no interest in touching base with any of them. In time, we were able to sweet talk her into coming outside. And she opened up a bit more. But pictures weren't happening. So we had to respect that. I will say this though. She looked really good.

Our next stop was just down the block, and to the home of Colleen Krejcarek. We found a bunch of people in the backyard, who motioned for us to go into the house and up the back stairs, to the upstairs apartment. So we did. We knocked on the door, and were met by a teenager. We asked for Colleen. He said that she didn't live there. He named a road out in the country where she did live. He then blurted out a bunch of information that didn't make much sense - something about her stuff being here, but that it gets taken over there... I don't know. All we knew is that Colleen wasn't there. So we bolted.

Our next stop was the second address for Cory Schultz. But the whole house appeared to be vacant - despite the fact that there were two cars parked in the driveway. We were now done with our list. So we then headed back to the home of Brian Klein. The door was wide open. The TV was blaring. The biggest fricken' dog in the world was scaring the crap out of us. Yet nobody answered the door. Very odd.

So we hopped back in the car and headed for the home of Doug Wall and Kurt Psenicka again. Although the same truck was in the driveway, no one answered the door. But we remembered that Kurt had mentioned that Doug was going to his mom's house. So that's where we headed. We weren't 100% sure if we had the right place. But a woman answered the door. It was Doug's mom. She remembered me. She was very nice to us. We told her about the blog, and that we were trying to find Doug. She thought it was very interesting. She said that Doug should be stopping by any minute. And sure enough, she spotted him down the block. She quickly invited us in so we could surprise him. So we hid on the staircase waiting for Doug to arrive. When he finally ventured in, we said, "Hey!" He looked at us, shook his head, said nothing, then went into the kitchen. His mom kept asking him what was wrong. He wouldn't say anything. None of us knew what was going on. Eventually Doug came back into the living room and sat on the couch. Kevin asked him if he'd had a hard day. He mumbled, "Yeah." I mentioned that I'd seen Tom Grassman recently, who told me he'd run into him several years ago, down in Illinois. With that, a slight smirk did cross Doug's face, as he no doubt remembered seeing Tom. But still, Doug sat and sulked. Finally Doug quietly said something to the effect of how he didn't like a lot of the stuff I wrote about him. He said that all of those incidents should stay in the past, and that people don't need to know all that stuff about him.

I immediately felt like shit. Doug was clearly very upset about this. And the fact that we happened to come see him on his birthday made me feel even worse. Never in a million years would I expect Doug to be upset about anything I wrote. I was good friends with Doug for many years. And in all that time, I never knew a more carefree and happy-go-lucky guy as Doug. He never cared one bit about what other people felt about him. The last time I'd seen him, we laughed about all the incidents I wrote about. If there was anyone in this world who I felt would not be upset about anything I wrote, it would be Doug. But I was wrong.

At one point Kevin suggested that Doug go on and leave comments of his own. He even said to Doug, "Did you see what he wrote about ME?" But Doug clearly wasn't in the mood to discuss anything. I asked him if he'd like us to go. He simply said, "Yeah... I guess." Doug's mom looked puzzled by it all. But she said her goodbyes as she lead us to the door. I wished Doug a happy birthday, to which he said, "Thanks."

I must say, that drama with Doug really left a sour taste in my mouth. But I've come to realize that I should expect that reaction from some people. And it once again makes me question whether or not the blog is a good thing, more than it is bad. I do believe that to be the case. But man, sometimes the negative aspects hurt.

The next day, I wrote a letter to Doug and stuck it in the mailbox. I'd love to discuss this with him, if he's willing to do so. I even called his mother shortly after I sent the letter, to apologize for what happened the day before. She said Doug was very upset by it all, and that it was probably best to just let it alone. She did appreciate my call, and said it was a kind thing to do.

Anyway, after the incident with Doug, Kevin and I had one more stop to make. We tried to hit Toby Schwartz once again. As usual, he wasn't home. We've made a total of four stops to his house. Is the boy ever home? Kevin took the last picture of the day, as I walked away from Toby's house, after leaving another note on the door.

All in all, it was another good day. The incident with Doug was a real bummer though. It makes me wonder if there are others out there who aren't happy with this blog. I'd hate for another incident like that too happen again. Nonetheless, the good parts of the day shine though. Will there be a trip #3? Bet on it.


At Wed Aug 16, 08:44:00 AM PDT, Blogger apeman said...

Excellent job again Burt!! I had tons of fun once again with Burt while we invaded fellow classmates homes. I have always wondered Where are they now? & What are they doing now? about a few.
I myself felt pretty bad about the incident with Doug.I had so much fun getting in trouble with him in school. We even hung out once in awhile. (another guy I need to post comments for) I think Doug will get over it.
Thanks to everyone we visited.I can't wait 'til the next TR visit.

At Wed Aug 16, 09:03:00 AM PDT, Blogger apeman said...

Hey I just looked closer at the picture with Sally's dog. That is one cool illusion. He was a neat dog. I'm glad that he was friendly since all that was standing between him and the two of us was a screen on a door when we knocked. NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THIS VISIT

At Wed Aug 16, 10:35:00 AM PDT, Blogger the_meff said...

Hmmm..."feminine vanity?"

Ever the renaissance man, Burt. Very P.C.

You know where to email your complaints, ladies...

At Wed Aug 16, 12:26:00 PM PDT, Blogger 2time ace said...

Keith and I both had a good time with your visit!! It was funny that when I opened the door I knew who you both were and I have never met either one of you before!! Kevin mentioned having a blog party - we think that is a great idea and sounds like a ton of fun!!Something for you guys to think about doing in the future!! Thanks for stopping over!!

At Wed Aug 16, 07:37:00 PM PDT, Blogger Brandon P. said...

Burt and Kevin

Once again, nice job. Sorry about the bummer with Doug though. Its entertaining as hell see how everyone has turned out. I wish Staudt would have been home.

Kevin, killer shirt. I love Towely!

Towely: "i got it!"
Stan: "you got the access code!?"
Towely: "no it's the melody to funky town... take me to, funky toooooown".


At Wed Aug 16, 08:01:00 PM PDT, Blogger shoot_the_moon said...

Hmm, feminine vanity... I've seen a number of entries where some of the men had to shower before posing for pictures.

I'm glad you stopped for a visit. It sure was a nice break from that crappy wall paper job! My sponge fell apart so I wasn't able to finish that day.

I passed the word along to Chad - don't know if he'll check out the website.

At Wed Aug 16, 09:03:00 PM PDT, Blogger TWORIVERSWALRUS said...

Hmm, you've got a good point there Sally. Keith took a shower didn't he? Chalk that one up to masculine vanity.

At Thu Aug 17, 04:27:00 AM PDT, Blogger Chris said...

Sorry I had to work guys! I'll try to b around next time!

At Mon Aug 21, 03:49:00 PM PDT, Blogger Greg Pagel said...

You know, if anyone should be hurt by this blog, it's me. "Fringe people." "Buddy Holly look." Feh!

At Tue Aug 22, 10:05:00 AM PDT, Blogger Brandon P. said...


The Buddy Holly look was very progressive. I remember watching the "Drew Carey Show" years after high school and thinking of your glasses. I bet if that show would have been on the air in the late 1980s, there would have been all kinds of Pagel-looking people lurking about.

At Thu Aug 24, 06:55:00 AM PDT, Blogger Greg Pagel said...

You know, I never actually had the "Buddy Holly," "Drew Carey," "Elvis Costello" glasses until a few years ago. Always had wife-frames.

At Sat Aug 26, 09:42:00 PM PDT, Blogger Greg Pagel said...

That should say "WIRE" frames. Although, "Wife frames" sounds like something interesting...


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