Friday, September 29, 2006


Yes indeed, Greg Pagel and his merry bunch of blowhards will be playing at "The Sands" in Green Bay - right across from Lambeau Field. I believe he's on from 7:30-10:00 again, both tonight AND tomorrow. So get out there and support him. Take lots of pictures - even crude one. Then send them to me to post here.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


35 - what does it mean? Well, for one thing, it's the age I became today. Yes indeed, it is my 35th birthday. What am I doing for it? Not much. But this weekend, there will be a party. It'll be a double party actually, as my lovely wife turns 29 on Thursday. So come on down for the festivities... if you dare.

In honor of my birthday, I've included the front side of my junior year trapper keeper. The back side was included in yesterday's entry on Mrs. Mull. This side is not as coloful. But it's just as odd nonetheless. The main thing you see is a wanted poster for a guy named Martin Eder. Richard Wheeeler and I had gone to the post office in Manitowoc, and had stolen all of the wanted posters. We each put one on our trapper. Incidentally, I don't know what Martin Eder's fate was. But I do know tha he died in 1995. You can also see three pictures of Charles Manson, and one of Mike Tyson. The photograph in the lower right is Dave Svatek. There's also an address label near the top. If you zoom in on it, you'll see it was from a magazine sent to fellow graduate Mike Zeman. Lastly, there's a few words scattered about, along with a band-aid. What does it all mean? I have no idea. That trapper keeper was a representation of who I was when I was 16-years-old.

Now I'm 35. And I'm still here. How cool is that?

UPDATE - 10/16/06 - Believe it or not, I found an article relating to Martin Eder. It was written by a former friend of his - a guy who was the best man at Eder's wedding. The internet is an amazing place.

This is a big excerpt repeat-post with the initial introductory portion
omitted here. [The full piece is all on our website.] This introductory
note -- February 9th 2005 -- is, of course, new.

Certain contemporary discussional rivers in some quarters are presently
focused on Native matters which may be confusing to those new to Indian
sociology and politics. And, believe me, those are always highly, highly
complex dimensions. If this were, for example, my old course on Intro to
Indian Studies and some others of mine, we could get into at least some
innards. But space here is short and I do want to talk about an old, late
activist buddy of mine, Martin Many Wounds [or Martin Eder],
Assiniboine/Sioux. This of mine is not just motivated by the Churchill
thing -- but, in large measure by the fact that Martin's former wife,
herself an old old friend, Donis [Dawn] Mitchell of the Meskwaki Nation, is
facing imminent cancer surgery at Iowa City. Donis calls, writes, e-mails
with frequency. She could really use everyone's prayers and good thoughts.

They were married in the winter of 1973 at Chicago. At that point -- and
this had been the case for two previous years -- our local and almost twenty
year old American Indian Center [the first of its urban kind in the United
States], was caught up in turbulent factionalism. Donis and Martin were
well known and broadly popular young people. When the marriage ceremony
occurred at a small storefront church in the multi-ethnic Uptown district,
with Martin's uncle, a clergyman from the Fort Peck res in Eastern Montana,
officiating, the basic unity that almost always ultimately pervades and
prevails among Native peoples was much to the fore. An older, good friend,
Bill Redcloud [Chippewa] gave Donis away; I was Martin's best man. A major
factional foe [Chippewa] played the piano. Susan Kelly Power [Yanktonnai
Sioux] from "our side" was present. Another factional foe [Chippewa] sat
with his large family. An Oneida family aligned with us was much to the
fore. And there were many others.

The wedding was a pleasant affair and, afterward, "our side" gathered at our
Uptown apartment for a kind of ad hoc reception. Pizza was ordered and some
folks had wine. We sat at a very long and accommodating walnut-with-inlay
table [which we still have, of course] that had been recently given to us by
an apartment neighbor, Mrs Geller, widow of a druggist. [It had recently
helped accommodate a large reception for Floyd [Red Crow] Westerman, the
noted Sisseton Sioux singer.] My youngest son, Peter [Mack], probably still
in diapers, had secured a small goblet of wine which he was sipping like an
old street veteran. The pizza man arrived, to be greeted joyously by Mack
at the door who, waving his glass, yowled, "I yike wine." Visibly stunned,
the case-hardened pizza person quickly turned over the food and fled.

[I should add that, as soon as Mack graduated in Journalism from UND in '92,
he joined Lee Enterprises which quickly made him State Editor of its
Bismarck Tribune. Then, off to Anaconda Montana, with the chain -- and then
to Lincoln where he is presently a key editor in Lee's very large Lincoln
Journal Star. In one of our long phone conversations the other day, he
casually told me that he now has 22 reporters and five editors under him.
[Remembering the diapers, this is somewhat mind boggling.] Lee Enterprises,
which now owns papers all over [many in the West], has just bought those at
Flagstaff and Tucson. When I asked Mack, reasonably enough, "When are you
folks going to buy the New York Times?" he didn't exactly discount that
possibility, adding -- reasonably -- "It's better to buy than to be bought."

Well, can't really argue with that.

The factional fight at the Indian Center wound up in a state court where,
finally, a visibly weary and somewhat confused judge ordered a new board
election. He also mandated that all sides decide on one person, and one
person only, who was a full [Indian] member of the Center -- to serve as
election judge.

And all sides chose me.

Pluckily, I took it on. I asked our good maintenance man, Harry Culich, on
the South/Southwest Side where I directed large scale community
organization, to make us a ballot box. He lived in the Bridgeport [Daley]
ward and, of course, knew all about elections and voting. [He was, in fact,
a Walking Anthology of voting regularities -- and otherwise.] And he made
a great and wonderful box: three feet tall, clear plexiglass sides -- so
the ballot dropper could see his Wish actually make it to the bottom.
Voting Day was March 17 1973, cold and rainy. At the Center very early on,
I ordered all newspersons off and away and stationed polite guards at every
entrance. Voting began about 8 a.m. when I cast the first ballot, and
hundreds of Indian members -- some coming from adjoining states -- voted.
Each side had witnesses and its lawyer. Aside from a couple of very quick
restroom trips, I remained at the Box until 8 p.m. When the ballots were
finally counted, all sides agreed it was a completely honest election. In
fact, it was so damn straight that our side lost.

Martin and Donis remained married for some time. When they did divorce, it
was truly a no-hassle process from a procedural perspective, since Martin's
minister uncle had forgotten to file the papers.

And now, here's Martin in the immediate aftermath of Wounded Knee '73:


The history of Humanity -- and certainly the odyssey of Left Radicalism and
Rebel America -- abounds with the usage by dissidents [and all sorts of
others] of all sorts of names. In the dangerous world of the Deep South of
the '60s, I often used the name, "John Gray" -- that of my Family Culture
Hero [my ggg/grandfather], the extremely effective Akwesasne Mohawk activist
in the Far Western fur trade of the first several decades of the 19th
century. In those days, the White Knights of the Mississippi KKK and the
United Klans of America were widely distributing a Southwide death list in
which my photo and name [John R Salter, Jr] was one of a handful featured.
I also carried a .38 Special S &W revolver. And many years later, right
after I left University of North Dakota, I legally changed my name to John
Hunter Gray -- returning to the family name with which my Native father
[Frank Gray] had been born before it was changed [in a not very satisfactory
adoption] by the well-meaning William Mackintire Salter and Mary Gibbens
Salter [Ethical Culture Society, with primary homes at Cambridge, MA and
Silver Lake, NH.]

Although there are no formal legal requirements that a legal name change is
necessary in order to use a name, I always advise giving a friendly lawyer a
couple of hundred bucks or so for the whole High Church ritual. That takes
care of a variety of special records.

Native Americans frequently use several names -- concurrently. One might
well have his/her special Indian name, given at a very early age and known
in the specific aboriginal language to only family and clan members and
special friends. Its rough English [or French] translation might be
publicly known. And then one has his/her "European" name -- which could
have come through missionaries, government bureaucrats -- or intermarriage
somewhere in the family tree.

The late Martin Eder -- an Assiniboine/Sioux who, although from Montana,
also grew up on the Chicago streets -- was as good and loyal friend as I
have ever had. Martin always had an interesting retinue of names -- nicely
and appropriately chosen from his special moment of historical crisis.
Eldri and I and our older children recall vividly one midnight in the late
of '73 when there were three hard knocks on the back door of our second
floor Chicago Uptown apartment. It was raining hard outside. Cautiously,
with a Marlin lever action .444 rifle in one hand, I opened the door. Like
a Transylvanian Wraith, Martin stood there in a long black coat,
wide-brimmed hat dripping rain water. Even in the dim light, he looked like
hell. Immediately inside, he told us he'd been shot three times in South
Dakota by Federal-sympathizing tribal police at Pine Ridge and had been
patched up by a friendly Anglo veterinarian at Mankato, Minnesota. He also
indicated he was wanted on a Federal fugitive warrant.

We immediately put him to bed, made him comfortable, fed him well. The vet
had done a very good job medically. I wore several activist hats in Chicago
in those days: Chair of the developing Native American Community
Organizational Training Center, board member of the Great Lakes Resource
Development Project of Americans for Indian Opportunity, and also Southside
Director for the Chicago Commons Association [one of the city's oldest
private social service organizations.] In the latter context, our
agency-wide board membership included former Illinois Gov Otto Kerner
[author of the well known Kerner report on American racism] and a wide range
of other Prominents. We could mobilize Clout damn fast.

On the turbulent and sanguinary Southside, we often needed the legal
services of various specialists -- and one of our most dependable was Tom
Hanson, then of the Orlikoff firm, son of a very liberal Federal judge in
Iowa, Bill Hanson. I put Tom into Martin's situation immediately and very
productive negotiations followed. There was a Federal hearing, in which
then Prosecutor James Thompson [later an Illinois Gov himself] appeared. I
was present in my dark suit. The charges against Martin were quickly
reduced and there was a short probationary sentence. It was necessary to
put him under the supervision of a "reputable" person -- and all parties
[including me] agreed I was precisely that.

So it ended well. And Martin, for the longest time, understandably used the
name Martin Many Wounds.

Monday, September 25, 2006


Mrs. Mull (Marion) was the study hall "teacher" at Washington High School. She was also the detention monitor. I think her first name was "Marion." If I wanted to be blunt, I could say that Mull was a cranky old broad. Hell, let's be blunt. She was a cranky old broad. She looked like the stereotypical grandmother - white curly hair and big 80's glasses. But she didn't have the personality of a kind grandmother. Instead, she was sort of mean.

Mull was one of the three (along with Mr. Hough and Mr. Wood) who despised all the students from L.B. Clarke. Like her male counterparts, she was very quick with the line, "This ain't L.B. Clarke!" I don't recall the incident, or who was involved. But I remember Mull once snapping at a freshman, with, "Are you from Clarke?" The kid meekly replied "Yes." Mull then responded with, "I thought so." Whatever. These three were ridiculous with their Clarke biases.

I never cared for Mull. But for the most part I kept my mouth shut. So I never had any real run-ins with her. About the only time I ever said anything to her was during the first day of the second semester of my freshman year. She wanted us to sit in the same seat that we did when we had study hall in the first semester, in a different hour. In other words, if you sat in one seat during a study hall, in a different class period, during the first semester, she wanted you to sit in the same seat during the second semester. Of course she gave us no contingent plan if someone was already sitting in that same seat. This caused a lot of confusion. Because literally, you could have four or five people vying for the same seat. I ended up moving elsewhere, as my seat was taken. Somehow she noticed me a half hour later, and yelled at me to get closer to where I was. We barked back and forth for a bit, before I finally gathered up my belongings and moved.

My only friendly encounter with Mull was at some point near the end of my freshman year. I found myself wandering the halls after school. Kevin Dehne was with me. Ron Gretz may have been there as well. For whatever reason, Mull confronted us and started talking with us. She told us a story of how her husband used to be a janitor at the school, and that one night as he was locking up, a bird flew into the bulding. He then spent a few hours trying to catch it, so he could set the alarm. If the bird were allowed to roam free, it would have set off the alarm, had he set it. Personally, if it were me, I would have locked up, gone home, and never mentioned the bird. Whatever happened, happened.

Because I failed three classes during my freshman year, my schedule for my sophomore year was booked solid. I had no study halls whatsoever. In fact, I never even laid eyes on Mull during my sophomore year. Although while wandering the halls between classes once, I did hear her yelling at someone once. But the main reason I never saw her again was because she came down with some sort of illness during the beginning of the year - I think in October. If memory serves, she was stricken with shingles. Although I'm pretty sure she recovered, the illness forced her into retirement. I have never seen her since the end of freshman year.

During my junior year, in Ms. Sapa's creative writing class, Joe Antonie brought me a gift - Mrs. Mull's name plate. He said he took it right off her desk, and she never noticed. He had no reason as to why he took it. But he took it nonetheless. He then presented it to me, thinking I might get a kick out of having it. And I did! I immediately taped it to my trapper keeper. You can see it below.

You can see Mull's name plate on the right side. As for the other things on the back of my trapper, you can see pictures of one guy snorting cocaine, while another is shooting heroin. As I mentioned in my entry on Ross Hofmann, I put a picture of him upside-down, and put an "X" on his forehead. The blue "X" is a bit faded. But you can still see it there. There's also a picture of Craig Rysticken on Mull's name plate. Why? Who knows. The Rossignol sticker was given to me by Dave Svatek. It's from some sort of ski equipment company. There's also a picture of the late Jimmy "The Greek" Snyder who got in trouble that year for saying racist remarks about black athletes. You'll also see a picture of David Letterman. The photocopied pictures of Wyatt Wood, Richard Wheeler, myself and Chris Storlie was a tribute to a fictional rock band that Richard and I created. The four of us were "The Sex Demons From Hell." Wyatt was greatly amused by it. Storlie (our drummer) was clueless. As for Richard and I... we were just plain weird. The giant letter "R" was taken from Ms. Sapa's room. I believe Richard and I got in trouble in her class one day. So she made us stay after school. We had her for 7th hour, the last class of the day. So we simply remained in our seats. She decided she would stay our punishment if we took down something that she had pinned to her wall. I don't remember what it said. But it was in big block letters. It took us two minutes to take it all down. And we were free to go. There was only one letter - "R" that was used twice. For reasons unknown, both Richard and I took one and taped it to our respective trappers. If anyone asked us what the "R" stood for, we would say, "It's for Charlie." - which was a reference to Charles Manson. That of course would bring even more confused looks, as neither "Charles" nor "Manson" starts with the letter "R." Of course it didn't need to. It was just a symbol. It meant whatever we wanted it to mean. So we each deocrated the "R" with Mansonisms - "Helter Skelter, "Give your fear to Charlie," "Well you may be a lover, but you ain't no dancer." Yes, we were weird. But it was a GOOD weird!

Anyway, in regards to Mull, she still lives in Two Rivers to this day. I suspect she's around 80-years-old. If memory serves, her husband died at some point while I was still in high school. But I could be wrong about that.

UPDATE - 6/18/07 - Yesterday, Kevin and I stopped into see Mrs. Mull. We literally caught her as she was coming out of her front door, with two friends of hers. Incidentally, one of her two friends was the wife of the former janitor at L.B. Clarke - Mr. Curtis.

Anyway, the three of them were a cheery bunch. We think they may have had a couple of cocktails. They were on their way out to get a bite to eat. When we told Mull our names, she instantly said she remembered us. But later on, she admitted that she didn't. Kevin pointed out that Mull was often nicer to the rowdier kids - which was true. Kevin surmised that she got to know them better, as she saw them all in detention - where she was the monitor.

I even told her that I had her name plate. She got a real kick out of that. She also said that she'd gotten another one.

Mull was overjoyed that we'd thought enough of her to stop by. She informed us that she was 81-years-old. And let me tell you, for an 81-year-old woman, she certainly was full of life. Before we left, we posed for a few pictures by the waterfall and pond she has in her front yard. You can see them below.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Believe it or not, I have had some communication with Craig. Read all about it in his entry.

I just added the E-mails from yesterday as well.


Monday, September 18, 2006


Scott's mugshot can now be seen in his entry.


If you click on MYSELF #3, you'll find an update from one of my old friends from the 1970's. He was also my partner in the incident I wrote about in that story.


There's some big life-changing news from Sheila. I put the tidbit in her entry.

Stacey Erickson also added a comment to her own entry. I've also exchanged a couple of E-mails with her. I hope to have some photos soon.

I should have a big update on Craig Rysticken soon as well. So look for that shortly.


Mr. Jones was one of the drivers education teachers at Washington High School. I have no clue what his first name was.

I had him during my sophomore year. After we learned our classroom stuff from Mr. Noll, we spent several weeks with Mr. Jones. During the winter, the school backed a semi trailer into the bike rack area. Inside that trailer were about 25 car simulators. It was definitely an odd setting for a classroom. I sat in the front, on the right. Richard Wheeler sat behind me. I had to sit in the front. My eyesight was terrible. And I refused to wear glass (which I'd had since the first grade). I was still a year away from getting contact lenses.

Mr. Jones was a decent-enough guy I guess. Although I did get in trouble in his class one day. Richard and I had a contest to see which one of us could drive the most miles (yes, these simulators had odometers) during class. Richard more-or-less kept to the speed limit though. I on the other hand floored it. I kept my speed at about 80 MPH as long as I could. Jones had the ability to monitor what each of us did. After about 20 minutes, he came up and scolded me. Then in an apparent act of superiority, he reached over and took my key away. I was shut down for the rest of the day.

I did have one shining moment in that class though. He gave a test one day, which featured 20 spots in which we had to react appropriately with our vehicles. Everytime we made a mistake, a little red light would flash. I got 19 out of the 20 correct, only screwing up when some stupid old lady stepped in front of the car at the last moment. What the hell was she doing anyway? I wasn't alone. I think everyone's red light flashed on that one, as the darkened semi trailer filled with a chorus of "ughs."

I also recall a demonstration he did - which I thought was stupid. He wanted to show how if a car's breaks lock on a hill, it will slide. So he had a ramp. And he also had a small car - which I think was a toy Batmobile actually. Anyway, he had taken some Scotch tape and taped the wheels so they couldn't turn. He taped them in a way so that the tape was actually under the wheels. So when you set the car down, it was actually on the tape. Then he placed the car on the ramp. And of course, it slid right down. Now I didn't say anything. But I thought his little demonstration was incredibly flawed. First of all, he had some smooth tape on an equally smooth surface, on a 45 degree angles ramp. Of course it's going to slide. But would a car with rubber tires on an asphalt surface do the same? I honestly don't think so.

Those six weeks or so were my only contact with Mr. Jones. Although I think he had some other affiliation with the school at one time or another. I'm pretty sure you can see him in at least one of the yearbooks, holding a basketball in a team photo. Maybe he coached the freshman girls or something.

Mr. Jones had a red beard. He was kind of tall too. Not knowing his first name, I have no way to know where he is today. There is an indicator that back in the day, he may have lived near 42nd and Parkway Boulevard, on the north side of town. Hell, he's probably still there.

Friday, September 15, 2006


It's the day for new people. I couldn't tell you the last time I got comments from two new people in the same day.

Stacey has left a comment in my "Lurking In The Shadows" post from May 17th. Go into the May Archives on the right side of this screen (near the bottom) to get to it. It's a curious place to put your first comment. But then again, Nick Novachek put his first comment in that post as well. Stacey seems to be doing well, and more importantly isn't taking this blog of mine too seriously. Good for her.

Welcome Stacey!


The classmate formerly known as Lisa Pauze has popped up in my "Go See Greg" post from earlier today. Maybe Matt Doran will suddenly appear as well. I'm always happy and amazed to learn of new readers. I love it!

Anyway, welcome Lisa! Please feel free to leave comments anywhere you like. And if you have a picture, I'd love to post it. My E-mail address can be found in my profile on the right side of this screen.


No, I'm not referring to the movie. I'm referring to myself. To further accomodate past requests for more information about me, here you go.

I moved out of my parents house in March, 1997. I had finally gotten my first post-college job. I worked in Milwaukee, at a place called Remco. I think my official title was "account representative." That's just a fancy term for bill collector/repo man.

Remco was owned by the same folks who owned Rent-A-Center. We were all one big happy family. In fact, in 1999, my store was actually renamed as a Rent-A-Center.

Remco was located at 2300 W. North Avenue in Milwaukee. For those of you unfamiliar with the city, that address is smack dab in the middle of the inner city. Yes, I was working in the hood. When I told Meff I was interviewing for a job there, his eyes widened and he shouted, "Where???" I should have known what I was in for when I pulled up for the interview and saw bars on all the store's windows. The hood is a scary place. Although it's not nearly as bad as Hollywood portrays it to be.

I worked there for almost two years. By the time I left, I was the assistant manager. Had I stayed on, I would have been a store manager in no time. But I really didn't want to make a career out of that job. I much prefer the law firm where I am now. It's a lot safer too. I have yet to hear any gunshots here. At Remco I heard them.

My job was pretty simple. Each Monday we were given a list of people who hadn't made their most recent payment. Remco was a rent-to-own store in which our customers paid a certain amount of money each month or each week, for a period of time. When their contract was up, the item was theirs. Our weekly customers were to pay on Saturday. On Monday morning we got our list of past-due people. At the time, there were two collectors in our office. I was one. The other guy was someone I dubbed "Grumpy Dave." Dave was an absolute hothead who would yell and scream. I was the polar opposite. But both of us were great at our job. Despite being in the #1 worst neighborhood in Milwaukee, our collection numbers were the best in the state - that included all the other stores in Milwaukee, as well as stores in Appleton, Green Bay and even Manitowoc.

Our first way to attack our list was to try and call the customers. Of course you have to realize. Our customer base consisted of people who have bad credit or no credit. Most of our customers weren't model citizens. Quite often we had no working phone number. So we then had to go to our next step, which was driving out to the customer's home, and knocking on the door. Our goal was to collect the money. However, if the customer refused to pay, our goal would be to repossess the items. That included stereos, TV's, living room sets, tables, bedroom sets, appliances... Needless to say, we wanted the money. Repossessing was no fun. I once took a refrigerator down a flight of stairs - by myself, with no dolly. It was tricky. But I was proud of myself! I've often said that you haven't lived until you've pushed your way into a crackhouse and repossessed the stereo there.

Anyway, I had a customer named Nicole. She lived in a real dingy apartment complex about a mile south of our store. There was no way to get in, unless someone buzzed the door. However, quite often the door was open. So I would go in, find her apartment, and knock on the door. Her building was really creepy. Once inside, there were no windows whatsoever. The apartments had windows. But the building itself didn't. Some of the lights were burned out. So there was just a real uneasy feeling in there. I often thought to myself that if I were to ever get killed on this job, this is where it would happen.

No matter how many times I went by Nicole's apartment, she was never there. I would leave a tag on the door. But she never got in touch with us. Nicole had a living room set - sofa, loveseat, coffee tables and lamps.

One day Grumpy Dave decided to go with me. By this time, Nicole was about 40 days past due. On the way there, Dave showed me his new toy - a small can of pepper spray. Knowing Dave's personality, I knew full well he was itching for a chance to use it. It had been awhile since Dave and I had gone out in the van together. I really couldn't stand him. And his constant attitude problem was too much for me to stomach. He scared me. It wasn't him actually. It was what he would do or say to the customers we encountered on the road. I thought that he might piss someone off so much that the guy would retaliate. I wanted no part of that. But for whatever reason, we were together this day.

We got to Nicole's. We got inside the building. Three young women actually opened the door. Nicole wasn't there. We told them that we were there to pick up the living room set. They of course refused to let us in. We tried all our tricks to get a foot in the door. Note: from a legal standpoint, if we get inside someone's house or apartment, we do not have to leave without our merchandise. So the trick was to actually get inside her apartment. But they refused. So we left. As we got to the end of the hall, one of the women shouted something at us. Dave then yelled, "ho, ho ho." No, it wasn't his Santa Claus impression. He was referring to each of these women as whores. Well they would have none of that!

We had gotten outside. But we heard them streaking down the long hallway. As we got to the van, the three of them charged out of the building and began yelling at us from the small porch outside the apartment building door. One woman threw a beer can at our van. One woman started to wave a broom towards us. Dave and I were laughing at this point. So were they. It was all a game. But the game was about to turn ugly.

Seeing the woman with the broom, Dave shouted out, "Why don't you come over here and do that." The woman took the bait. I knew what was coming. Dave grabbed his pepper spray. As she approached the passenger door, Dave pulled it out and nailed her right in the face with a steady stream. The woman clutched her face and dropped to the ground. Then Dave yells at me to "Get the fuck out of here!" So I pulled off. I was sort of shocked. I couldn't believe he had done that. As I looked back, I could see that a small crowd had started to form around this fallen woman.

About an hour later, the police showed up at the store. They were pissed off. They informed Dave that it is illegal to use pepper spray on someone and then not inform the police. Despite that, Dave got mouthy with the cops. He came very close to actually getting arrested. That would have been funny. But the cops let him off the hook. But before the left, they gave us a very stern warning. They said that the victim was back at her apartment, with about 25 angry relatives who were "out for blood."

Dave decided to go home for the rest of the day. Great! He pulls a stunt like this, then leaves me and the rest of us in the store to handle any potential retribution. Despite the job, despite the location of our store, despite the gunshots we occasionally heard, and despite everything else I experienced in the hood, that day was the one and only day I ever felt scared down there.

After another hour passed, a big guy came into the store. As it turned out, it was Mike - an ex-coworker of ours, who had quit about six months earlier. But Mike was pissed. As it turned out, Mike was a relative of not only Nicole, but the pepper-sprayed victim as well. He burst in screaming, "Where's Dave!" Well, Dave was gone - lucky for him. But our store manager was there, and sat Mike in his office and talked to him for about 15 minutes. Thankfully he defused the situation. We were assured that nothing more would come of it. By the time Mike left the store, he was laughing and joking.

As a follow-up to that story, our home office actually sued Nicole and gained a replevin against her - which allowed the police to repossess the furniture. And about six months later, they actually got into her apartment and got the entire living room set back. As my soon-to-be fiance was about to move into her first apartment, my boss offered to sell the sofa and loveseat to her as a cash-and-carry item. So after the payment of $100.00, I helped deliver that notorious furniture into the apartment of the woman I eventually married. If that furniture could talk, I'm sure it would have a ton of stories - both before and after the pepper spray incident.


Mr. Schott (Ridgley) was the principal at Washington High School. He was a "freshman" the same year I was. In other words, he became a principal for the first time for the start of my freshman year.

I remember Schott as being sort of tall and thin. I also seem to recall him wearing suspenders quite often.

I never had a whole lot of contact with Mr. Schott. But I will say this. He was one of the nicest teachers/administrators that I ever came across in my entire academic career. I know my parents liked him too. If you read my entry on Mr. Wood, you'll see that they quickly grew tired of Wood, and refused to meet with him whenever I got into trouble. Instead, they met with Mr. Schott.

Mr. Schott always had a smile and a hello for his students. He really knew how to relate well to everyone. I often thought that Mr. Wood should simply spend an entire week with Schott, and watch what he does. He may have learned something.

During my senior year, Schott came into Ms. Neveau's class for a day, to show us some slides or pictures from his time out in Hollywood. If memory serves, he had a personal friend who was a big director or producer or something. In fact, Schott told a story of how he was at this guy's house, when the phone rang. Schott picked it up, and was stunned to find himself talking with Clint Eastwood. Schott also said that his friend named a character in a Fantasy Island episode after him - Mr. Ridgley. That's pretty cool.

Mr. Schott was one of the rare administrators that actually participated in the senior video. He wished us well, and reiterated that he had been a "freshman" the same year we were. He was also wearing suspenders at the time.

At some point in the 1990's, Mr. Schott left Washington and became a principal in Burlington, Vermont. No doubt he was missed. However, Schott gained a small measure of recognition in the media for this story.

Saturday, September 14, 1996

Matt Stickney is 15 years old and openly gay, and he's determined to wear drag to his high school classes in Burlington, Vermont. But after 3 days of Stickney going to school in a dress, wig and full make-up, his principal declared an end to it September 9.

On September 11, more than a dozen of Stickney's fellow students protested outside the school. Principal Ridgley Schott cites a need to preserve order, noting that Stickney's appearance was distracting other students from their classwork.

Stickney says he'll go to court if he must to win the same freedom of choice in clothes that female students have, in order to express his personality.

Burlington, VT - October 5, 1996

As dozens of local supporters sprawled across the green lawn, a procession of speakers mounted the front steps of the downtown Unitarian Universalist Church today to voice their fervent support and concern for suspended crossdressing teen Matthew Stickney.

Posters declaring "Support Our GenderQueer Youth," "Freedom of Gender Expression!" and "Liberty, Freedom, & Pleats" framed the church doors. During the event demonstrators handed out hundreds of fliers to the amused and often supportive local crowds enjoying a last warm Saturday afternoon in this normally quiet New England town.

Stickney, who identifies variously as gay, drag, and crossdressing, was suspended from Burlington H.S. September 9th when he wore a dress to class. He stated it was his way of showing pride in his identity. But after he was verbally assaulted by other students, the principal claimed it was Stickney who was "creating a disturbance," and demanded he change his attire. A series of confrontations then ensued, which led to Stickney's suspension.

The case quickly attracted a barrage of national media attention as one of a growing number incidents involving transgender and genderqueer gay youth. Stickney responded by going into hiding. He has not returned to school or appeared in public since, and at the rally it was two of his high school friends who spoke on his behalf and took a black Menace T- shirt for him as a keepsake.

Said Jane Ellen Fairfax of Tri-S, the nation's largest crossdressing organization and a rally sponsor, "This is not about one high school student, but about *everyone's* basic right to express gender without the fear of harassment, hate-speech, or punishment. Whether you are straight or gay makes no difference: wearing a dress is not grounds for intolerance or bigotry."

The event was organized by Jess Bell (Transexual Menace Vermont), Nancy Nangeroni (Transexual Menace Boston), and Riki Anne Wilchins (Transexual Menace NYC) and attracted sponsorship from a broad spectrum of local groups including the Burlington Women's Council, Outright Vermont, Bi-Net Vermont, the Vermont Coalition for Gay & Lesbian Rights, the Peace & Justice Center, and Vermont's queer newspaper "Out in the Mountains." both local television stations sent camera crews to conduct interviews.

Adding to the rally's flavor, the local Ben & Jerry's provided scores of free ice-cream coupons to event attendees.

I haven't been able to find out how that story ended. I would imagine that the student lost. I have no problem with gays, or with someone wanting to express himself. But if in fact he was a distraction to the learning process (which he probably was) then he no doubt lost his battle. I'd be interested to know how it played out.

Anyway, after being in Vermont for a number of years, Mr. Schott actually returned to Two Rivers, and became the principal of the high school once again. He still holds that position today.

There aren't enough kind words to describe Mr. Schott. I can honestly say that out of the five schools that I attended as a child, Mr. Schott was the only principal that I actually got along with. Quite often the mere mention of the word "principal" conjures up images of a mean disciplinarian. Mr. Schott was nothing of the kind. I hope he continues as principal for years to come.

UPDATE - 2/12/07 - I found a recent photo of Mr. Schott. You can see it below.


As was the case last week, fellow graduate Greg Pagel will join his band and play at "The Sands" on Holmgren Way - right next to Lambeau Field. The dates - tonight AND tomorrow. Take your pick. The show runs from 7:30 - 10:00 each night. So for you Green Bay people - Brad, Brandon... Lisa Pauze, Matt Doran - get out there! I realize the likes of Lisa and Matt are probably not reading. But so what. Someone look them up and get them out to The Sands! Oh, and if you do go, bring a digital camera and take some pictures. For if you don't... you're no longer allowed on the blog!

On another note, I will be in the Manitowoc/Two Rivers area tomorrow and Sunday. So if you see me, wave and tell me you love me. If you don't love me, just lie about it.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


Mr. Scriver (Jerome) was a history teacher at Washington High School. I first had him during my freshman year. I think the class was called something like "Civil War - WWII." I had this class for the second semester. That's curious, because in the first semester, I had Mr. Hough for "WWII - Present." Good planning!

I didn't do too good in his class. In fact, I think I got and "F" for both quarters and the final exam. I just didn't care. We had a lot of films in that class. So that meant some good sleeping time. I sat in the row closest to the door, right up against the wall. I talked to no one in that class. To my left was the trio of Shawn Olson, Stacey Erickson and Brenda Linzmeier. The three of them yacked the whole class. Stacey was in the desk next to me. I found her to be incredibly annoying. She was obnoxious. I even recall her yanking my arm from my head, as I was leaning on it (asleep) during a film strip. She got a lot nicer to me at the end of the year though, wanting to know all about the ceiling tile incident. Go figure.

The class was made up of sophomores and freshman. No one sat in front of me. But two desks in front of me sat the brother of fellow freshman Leslie Weber. I think the guy's name was Larry Weber. He slept a lot too. In fact, one day Scriver caught him. He went up to him, very gently nudged him, and told him to come see him after school for a detention.

The following year, I had Scriver again for the entire year. I decided to sit in the exact same seat. It's a comfort zone, you know? Dave Svatek was on my left, in Stacey's chair. Jeff Gordon sat in front of him. As much as I loathed Dave at the time, it was in that class that the two of us started to become friends - a friendship that lasted 15 years.

I don't know if it was the increased social aspect of talking with Dave and Jeff, but my grades in his class improved. I still had trouble with the subject. But at least I passed. In fact, as I was on juvenile probation at the time, in order to extend my curfew (enforced by my social worker and my parents) I had to get C's or better in every class. For someone like me, who didn't give a shit about grades, that was a tall task. In the 3rd quarter, I pulled it off, with one exception - Mr. Scriver's class. Scriver game me a C-. Nonetheless, my social worker was impressed with my effort, and let it slide.

Later on in the year, I switched seats for some reason. I ended up in the row by the windows, in the last seat. For whatever reason, one day Mike Zeman and I developed a system to pass notes. We got some sort of string or yarn, and tied a circle around one of the legs of each of our desks. We would then tape a note to the string, then pull on one end, until the note got to the other. Mike was in the row next to me, but in the first desk. It worked. But it wasn't exactly covert.

Speaking of Mike, I remember writing the word "idiot" on a piece of paper, then attaching it to Mike's back. It took him a long time to notice. I think he ended up punching me for that. It was worth it.

After that year, I had Scriver for summer school. I was making up for the class I failed my freshman year. I think the course ran six weeks. If we missed more than three days, we failed. I ended up ditching just once. Summer school was annoying. But it was a breeze. I was stuck in a class with a bunch of morons from the class of 1990 - none of whom probably graduated. So Scriver "dumbed down" the curriculum. For a guy like me, that was perfect. I could still do virtually nothing, yet coast with a good grade.

After summer school, I never had Scriver again. Although I wouldn't have minded one bit. Scriver was a nice guy. He wasn't loud or demanding. He treated his students with respect. Scriver had a big red beard. In fact, he looked a little bit like Grizzly Adams. In one of my years, the yearbook was dedicated to him. It showed a picture of him from the 1960's. He looked totally different. He looked like some sort of preppie - the kind of guy you'd see leaning up against some books in a library, smoking a big pipe.

I believe Scriver had two kids - who were roughly my age - I think. Today Scriver is one of the few holdouts at the high school. He still teaches there. I wish him nothing but the best.

Friday, September 08, 2006


I added a tidbit about Greg's new employment. Also, for those of you in the Green Bay area (like Brad Strouf or Mrs. Neveau) you may want to head on over to "The Sands" on Holmgren Way - right next to Lambeau Field. Greg and his merry band of misfits will be playing a gig there - TONIGHT! So if you're able to attend (I believe it's free) take a camera with you and get some pictures of Greg "in action." While you're there, enjoy a good meal. I'm pretty sure the restaurant is brand new. And if the rain stays away, you may be able to enjoy the event outside. Greg will be playing from 7:30 - 10:00.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


I added another news article about Scott. You'll see it in the post-murder timelime, dated December 20th, 2005. It provides additional details which came out during his trial. I also added an address for him, if anyone cares to write to him in prison. In a short time, I should have his mugshot available to see as well. I'll keep you informed.

As for Richard, I found out where he moved after 8th grade.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


Thanks to Cindy Rohrer for digging up this gem. She says it's from 1983, at a Rambler dance. I'm going to do my best to identify these folks.

Far left: (in glasses - ???) , Brenda Dax, Wayne Rebarchek? , (in Raiders shirt - ???) , Rob Ebbole, B.J. Lutterman, Chad Bennin

Row 2: "upper right - ???) , Troy Messman, Jamie Tadych, (fingers above head - ???) , Ross Hofmann, Tammy Franzen, Craig Rysticken (with glasses?) , Lenny Lewis, Nikki Baugniet? , Lisa King, Pookie Bergeon?

There's a face just over Ross' shoulders. It looks like she's the one putting the two fingers above that other guy's head. Is that Carrie Collard? And who the hell is that guy next to Ross anyway? He was also in that other picture that Cindy sent me several months ago.

In fact, let's revisit that one too. I can't identify everyone in that one either.

Bottom row: Sheila Vanne's brother??? , Sheila Vanne, Jenny Malley, Chad Bennin, Lisa Pauze

Row two: Elmer Mikeal, Brett Gruetzmacher, Cory Schultz, Brenda Dax, Becky Koeppel, Chris Soppe??? , ??? , Nick Novachek

Top row: John Steltz, Ross Hofmann, Cindy Rohrer, (in back - ???) Jen Andersen, Kelly Hall??? , Nikki Baugniet, Josie Scott??? Lisa King, Julie Scott, Paula Jonas, Chip Pelnar, Drew Konop

Help me out. Who are all these question marks?

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


About two hours ago, the classmate affectionately known as Meff (Jeff Messerman) was in the hospital, watching his wife give birth to a brand new daughter. That makes three for him. Apparently when the doctor came in and said, "Congratulations, it's a girl. What's her name?" Meff blurted out the name of my youngest daughter by mistake. I can't wait to see that video.

Congratulations Meff! He's one up on me now.

Friday, September 01, 2006


Ms. Neveau (Sandy) showed up during my junior year. I believe that was her first year teaching anywhere. She was still in her 20's at the time.

I first had her for speech, during the second semester. And man, what a cool teacher she was. She was fun. In many ways, she was like a peer, as opposed to an authority figure. At that time, I was hanging around with Richard Wheeler and Dave Svatek. And Neveau took a liking to all of us. Although she and Richard got along better. In fact, as we had her during 4th hour, and had our lunch break in the middle of class, near the end of the year, Richard started eating his lunch in class with her. They would just sit and talk. I think Richard kind of had a thing for her. In fact, I know that Richard even went to her house a few times to watch movies. Yes, she was that cool.

Ms. Neveau was into running. In fact, we would often see her running at night, along with fellow teacher Mrs. Fischer. One time Richard and I were driving around, and spotted them. Richard got out and wanted to say hi. But they were intent on their run, and just kept on going.

See my entry on Al Wegner for a quick memory of her.

I don't remember the circumstances. But for some reason, during my junior year speech class, some of us started to do the limbo in class. We tried to get Neveau to do it. She refused. However, she said, "If you actually had the song playing, I'd do it." Calling her bluff, during lunch, Dave drove me home to my house, where I quickly gathered up a tape I had of Chubby Checker's "Limbo Rock." True to her word, after lunch, I played the song. And she did it - just once. But she did it.

Neveau often gave us some free days. Each Friday a student would pick a topic of importance. Then we'd move our desks in a circle and discuss. That was always a lot of fun. On occasion we would also play charades. That too was fun. But people like Richard and myself were so competitive that we would come up with the most ludicrous titles for the other team to pick. In other words, each side would write down potential choices for the other team. Then a member of the other team would simply pick a piece of paper at random, and have to try and do it. Imagine playing charades, and having to try and do Pink Floyd's song, "Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving With a Pict." Keith Welnicke got stuck with that one. He did not succeed. I can also remember Kelly Siudzinski struggling with, "I've got those front door, back door, hey good buddy, listenin' C.B. blues." I remember I also tried to use " Also Sprach Zarathustra" - which is the instrumental title for the film, "2001 - A Space Odyssey." But Neveau wouldn't allow it because, "That's not English!"

I have a very brief memory from speech class. There were a couple class of 1988 students in there, including Connie Bruette - who I don't think actually graduated. Anyway, I was talking to Dave about something. And he mentioned the word "anorexic." Connie (who sat right in front of Dave) heard just that one word, quickly spun around, and in an accusatory tone said, "Who?" Dave wasn't talking about her. But she was pretty thin. And based on her reaction, I'm guessing that people often accused her of being anorexic.

In the summer between my junior and senior year, I was riding around with Dave. For whatever reason, we stopped by Neveau's house. She was just leaving though, and didn't have time to chat. So we left. I remember it well because I pulled my door shut while grabbing the top of the door. And I didn't pull my fingers back in quick enough. I ended up having the door completely close on three of my fingers. I was screaming. But it looked funny as hell - something right out of a movie. I didn't break them. But two of them got sprained.

In my senior year, I had her for mass media. That was also a cool class. See my entry on Tina Short to see a goofy song we wrote during that class.

During my senior year, I got in trouble in her class on one occasion. It was the only time I've ever seen her mad. I had her stapler. And someone else (perhaps class of 1990's Chad Lichteman) needed it next. So I threw it to him. I basically tossed it over three rows of tables to get it up to Chad. I sat in the back row. Chad was near the front. Anyway, he missed it. So it crashed to the floor. She had one of those big heavy-duty staplers. Needless to say, she was not pleased with me. It didn't break or anything. But she was furious that I would toss it. I remember saying, "I thought he would catch it." She replied, "Well, he didn't." She gave me a detention. But it wasn't a normal detention. It was a detention with her. In fact, she let me come in and serve it during my study hall - which happened to be a free hour for her. By then her anger with me was completely gone. So we sat and chatted a bit. Great punishment! But I never did throw another stapler in her class again.

As I stated, I sat in the back row. I believe there were three tables in each row - all pushed together. So there were two per table. I sat with class of 1990's Kristine Strong. She was pretty cool. Her trapper keeper was covered with pictures of all the hairbands of the time. She'd sit and tell me about all of them. Then for about three months, she disappeared. Then out of the blue, she started coming to school again. I don't know. The table to our right had Jason Krings and Tina Short. The table to the right of them had class of 1990 members Dawn Warden and Tammy Berzinsky. The two of them were best friends. But they didn't stay that way.

I have no clue as to what happened between them. But Dawn and Tammy got into some sort of fight. I think they pretty much hated each other at that point. I believe Tammy ended up switching seats with class of 1989's Chris Kaminsky - who was in the row in front of them. Anyway, one day, the two of them were apparently arguing with each other. Tammy let loose with some sort of verbal barrage, which ended with her calling Dawn a slut. Then she shouted (and I do mean shouted) "And I emphsaize the word SLUT!" This was right before class started. People were milling around. But that line brought the class to a dead silence, followed by a bunch of "oohs" and "ahs." Dawn looked aghast. It was one hell of a confrontation. What's interesting is that later on in that class, Neveau needed the TV and VCR. So she needed someone to go and wheel it in from whatever room it was. Being the nice teacher that she was, she decided to let two friends go and get it. She picked Dawn and Tammy. Obviously she didn't know that the former friends were hating each other. There were a few giggles and a lot of stares. Tammy didn't move. Dawn kind of got a sheepish grin on her face. Somebody must have whispered something to Neveau. Because she then asked someone else to go. Incidentally, at some point later on, the two of them seemed to make up to some degree. I think Dawn had just gotten a new puppy. And I heard Tammy ask her about it. Although you could still tell that their relationship was icy. Ah... high school drama.

Speaking of Dawn, Chris, Jason, and Tina, I teamed up with the four of them for our mass media project. We all went to my house to film an episode of "The Dating Game." Jason had a camcorder. During our episode, I took a machete (yes, I do have a machete) and "chopped" Jason's hand off. Then I started to eat the hand. Yes, I had a rubber severed hand too. Neither Jason nor I got the girl (Dawn). Chris was the lucky guy. I still have that tape. Tina did most of the filming. But she appears on the video as well.

At some point during mass media, Neveua showed us two films in class. One was "Broadcast News." The other was "The Breakfast Club." In fact, I remember writing about "The Breakfast Club" for whatever assignment she gave regarding it. And I mentioned that the film was unrealistic, saying that if this happened in real life, there's no way these five students would become so close and friendly. She made a comment on my paper of, "Then why do you like it?" Well, I like "Star Wars" too. But I don't live in fear of tie fighters blasting me out of the sky.

Class of 1990's Monica Engstrom sat in the row in front of me. She was a huge Bon Jovi fan. I remember she once brought in a picture of herself with Jon Bon Jovi. But in reality, it was a cardboard cutout. Speaking of Monica, one day she apparently wanted to be risque. So she wore a pair of jeans that had a horizontal rip right below her entire left butt cheek. But she wasn't ready for the attention. She wore a long T-shirt that day - or just long enough to cover it. She spent that entire class period being self conscious and continuing to cover it up. When she sat in her chair, the rip would inevitably open up wider. I guess she wasn't expecting that. Nonetheless, she wasn't perfect about covering it up the whole time. So I got a couple of free looks. Yes, I was looking.

As the year ended, I remember Neveau telling me that she was going to go biking with her boyfriend overseas somewhere during the summer. She was very excited.

I don't think I've ever crossed paths with Ms. Neveau since high school. That's too bad. She was so cool. I'd love to talk to her again. Today she still teaches at the high school. I know she teaches English classes. However she is no longer Ms. Neveau. Today she is Mrs. Olszewski. I believe she lives in Green Bay. I wish her nothing but the best. Her classes were always fun.