Monday, June 18, 2007


In quite literally a last-minute decision, on Sunday, June 17th, 2007, Kevin Dehne and I took our third trip up to Two Rivers and Manitowoc in order to knock on the doors of unsuspecting classmates.

Our first stop was at the home of Kevin Minkel. We arrived about 9:15 in the morning. It looked like someone was home inside. But despite our knocks, no one came to the door. Later on in the day, we were told that Kevin had been out partying the night before. So perhaps he was sleeping in.

Our next stop was to the home of Becky Monka. One of her sons answered the door. He told us that Becky was at church, but that his dad was home. So we decided we'd try again later. After we'd left, we wondered how odd the conversation would be. "Dad, there were two guys here looking for mom. They wanted to talk to her, but not to you." I hope that wasn't awkward.

Our next stop was to the home of Shannon Koch. Again - no luck. No one was home.

Our final stop in Manitowoc was at the home of Tim Hauschultz. It took a bit of looking to find him. But we did. Needless to say, he was not happy to see us. He seemed to recognize us immediately, and knew exactly why we were there. I hadn't laid eyes on him in alomst 22 years. But I recognized him right away. One of the first things he said was that somebody had alerted him to this blog, and that it had a couple of lies in it. I asked him a couple of times what I had written that was incorrect, and assured him that I would correct it or take it out. He never gave me an answer, other than to say it had been awhile since he'd read it. Then he did mention that he didn't like people writing stuff about him. Later on Kevin mentioned that the vein in Tim's neck was coming out. Tim maintained his cool. But clearly, he was angry. Kevin then asked, "I suppose a picture is out of the question, huh?" Tim concurred. He then said he had to get ready to go to church. So we left. Kevin and I surmised that Tim was probably more upset by the fact that some of his past had been profiled online. Later in the day, someone told us that Tim actually attended Lincoln High School for awhile. So perhaps that was the "lie" that he was referring to. I don't know. I have to respect his opinion. And I respect the fact that he got in my face and told me how he felt. So be it. I hope all is well with him.

Based on the style of this blog, Tim's reaction isn't too surprising. Granted, 95% of the feedback I've received has been very, very positive. But I also realize that due to the brutal honesty I've tried to display, occasionally some feathers are going to be ruffled. And when that happens, some people are going to be pissed off if they see me. As Kevin said, "You gotta expect them sometimes." Indeed I do. It bothers me when something I write upsets somebody. But I think you have to take the good with the bad. Again, based on the overwhelming positive feedback I've received, it far outweighs the negative, and makes it all worthwhile.

Our next stop was the home of Sara Kvitek. She confirmed her job at Natural Ovens, and her work with greyhounds. We also found out that she has one child. She wasn't up to take a picture. But she did promise she'd E-mail me a decent one. So hopefully look for that soon. We did however get a couple shots of me with Sara's greyhound statue. You can see them below.

Our next stop was the home of one of the L.B. Clarke art teachers, Mr. Swokowski. When we pulled up, we noticed a "for sale" sign. No one answered the door. But a minute later, a van drove up and parked in the driveway. The woman turned out to be Swokowski's daughter. She said he'd be back in about 10 minutes. So we left to stop at Charla Peters' house - who lived real close by.

As we pulled into her driveway, we spotted her and her entire family outside in the yard. We sat and talked with her and her husband for awhile. Kevin remembered Charla's husband Dan. But Dan didn't seem to remember him. The two of them had a few interesting stories to tell about a few of our former teachers who apparently were let go from their teaching duties for a couple of "inappropriate" acts.

Before we left, we snapped a few pictures. You can see them below.

Once we left Charla's house, we went back to Swokowski's. Sure enough, as we walked up the driveway, we noticed him in the garage. Save for the hair and moustache being gray, he looked pretty much the same. He genuinely seemed overjoyed to see us. He maintained that he recognized our names. He also told us that he has students recognize him all the time - including a time he was in Jacksonville, Florida. Most amazingly, he also had a student recognize him when we was visiting Innsbrook, Austria!

Swokowski had a ton of stories to tell - mostly about fellow art teacher, Mr. Kjelstrup. Apparently he still sees Kjelstrup quite often. In fact, he said a lot of the retired teachers get together for breakfast on a regular basis. We happened to catch him literally as he was in the process of moving out. Both his sons were there to help out - as well as some grandchildren.

Swokowski said that he recently had a rummage sale, in which Mr. Kjelstrup had given him several items to try and sell. One of them was a door. Kevin snapped a picture of myself with that door. It's the bottom one below.

Swokowski was really, really nice. He mentioned that he retired in 1998. Visiting him also gave me the opportunity to apologize to him for the prank phone call I mentioned above. He said he remembered getting it actually. He also said that in all his years of teaching, he only got two or three prank calls. I guess I was one of them.

We took a couple of photos before we left. You can see them below. In the second photo with me, he's actually pointing at me and saying, "prank phone call."

Our next stop was the ome of Randy Ertman. We thought no one was home. But as we were just about to leave, a dog flew out of the garage, followed closely by Randy himself. We had literally gotten him out of the shower.

Much to my surprise, Randy was not the big tank of a guy I remember. In fact, we were about the same height. And at this point, I probably weight more than he does. Randy was really good-natured and talked with us for quite awhile. In fact, he said that last summer, he had hooked up with class of 1990's Sally Graczykowski (whom Kevin and I had visited on our previous trip to Two Rivers). Randy informed us that they were just finishing up moving her into his place. Small world!

As for drinking, Randy said that he "shut 'er down." He was sick and tired of the numerous fines - and of course being sent away for awhile. So good for him.

We took a few photos. The bottom photo is of a bear cut out of a tree stump. Randy described it as the first purchase he and Sally had made together. They got it in Door County. They had bought and paid for two of them, but apparently didn't have a vehicle to bring them home. So when Randy went up later on to pick them up, he found out that the guy had sold one of them - even though he'd already paid for it. Oh well. He got his money back for the one, and took the remaining one home.

Our next stop was Toby Schwartz. We had tried to find him on four previous occasions. This time we were pretty sure we'd spotted his car in the driveway. We thought for sure that we had him this time. But no, no one was home yet again.

So we pushed on to the home of Jason Grenier. The air conditioning unit was on in the window. But no one answered the door there either.

Our next stop was the home of Chad Daffner. Someone (presumably one of Chad's sons) answered the door, then partially closed it after seeing me. We assumed he was going to get one of his parents. But no one ever came back! We stayed about five minutes, then knocked again. But nobody ever came. That was weird. But we pushed on.

We then tried the home of Chris Kaminsky. His mom answered and told us that Chris was out golfing. We figured we'd try to come back later.

We then walked down the street and into Berserkers bar - owned by Tim Petri. The bartender inside informed us that Tim wasn't around. Being that it was Father's Day, he may not have been around all day. Before we left though, I snapped a few pictures of Tim from the photos that were hanging on the wall. While I did that, Kevin forked over a few bucks and bought a T-shirt.

We then took a drive by David Coenen's house. But the place looked deserted. So we didn't even try to knock on the door.

As our next stop was on the north side, we decided to break for lunch. We chose Fatzo's. Fatzo's is another one of those Two Rivers staples that I somehow had managed to live my whole life without ever eating there. We each ordered a full-length sub. And holy crap, was it huge! I managed to eat the whole thing - as did Kevin. But that was the last bite of food I had for the entire day. I was that stuffed!

One of our former classmates (Becky Kriescher) allegedly works there. And I'm pretty sure I saw her. But it was too busy to find out for sure. I snapped a picture of Kevin with his sub. Look down to see it.

Once we left, we headed to the north side, past the old high school grounds, and onto Mr. Ott's house. Unfortunately, he too was not home. So then we turned the corner and found the home of Nicole Baugniet. Her mom greeted us, then went in to get her. Apparently she was taking a nap. When she came out, she eventually recognized me. I'm not sure if she remembered Kevin or not. But we she stood and talked with us for quite awhile. She pretty much looked exactly the same. She said that she does a lot of babysitting these days.

She said she'd heard of this blog, as Jill Jansky had told her about it. But to date, she hadn't seen it. She said that in high school, she was kind of irritated at how "cliquey" it was. She maintained that she always talked to everybody, regardless of social status.

She had a lot of stories about growing up in her neighborhood. Amazingly, her block was filled with tons of people from our class - Shane Peterson, Jeremy Karman, Cindy Rohrer, Sheila Vanne and Cory Schultz. She still sees some of them from time to time. She even said she'd been to a wedding recently that felt like a high school reunion, as so many of our classmates were in attendance. Before we left, we took a few pictures. You can see them below.

We then drove up to the home of Wendy Kappelman. She happens to live right next door to where Scott Jaklin did. There were some dogs running around barking inside. But nobody was home.

We then headed up to the home of Rob Sisel. This was our third attempt to reach Rob. Unlike the previous occasions, there were two vehicles in the driveway. So we thought for sure he'd be there. But it wasn't meant to be. Nobody answered yet again.

About a mile down the road is the home of Kevin Shillcox and Brenda Linzmeier. We knocked, and got an answer - presumably from one of their kids. But he informed us that his parents weren't home either.

Thus far, we had struck out far more times that we had been successful. But we pushed on, undaunted. We then headed to the home of Elmer Mikeal and Jennifer Hansel. As we pulled into the driveway, we noticed the heads of two dogs standing up and staring at us through the door. I wondered if we should try to knock on another door. But before we had a chance to make a decision, we were greeted by Elmer. They live on a farmhouse with cattle. Although the cattle are owned by someone else. Elmer does have some pigs and chickens though. In fact, he laughed and called himself, "a poor pig farmer."

When we got there, Jen was sleeping. But Elmer went and got her up to see us. Elmer's sort of going bald. But to make up for it, he has big, bushy beard. He joked, and said, "I started losing my hair when I got married." With that remark, Jen slapped him on the arm.

Elmer had a lot of good stories. He mentioned that in high school, he had put some manure on Mr. Wood's front porch. The next school day, Wood apparently made an announcement and said something to the effect of whoever put the manure on my porch, be assured that it is doing well in my garden.

Elmer also had a story about fellow graduate Jim Messman. Elmer didn't care too much for Jim. And he noticed Jim's car at some party once. So Elmer opened up the door and took a piss all over the front seat.

Elmer also said he was in the new Two Rivers High School at one point, and happened to see fellow graduate (and current teacher) Craig Rysticken walk down the hall. As they passed each other, Elmer said, "Hey asshole." Craig shrugged it off and kept walking. But a few seconds later, he turned around and said, "Elmer?"

Elmer and Jen got married in August, 1990. They have two boys. I believe their ages are 16 and 14. Both Elmer and Jen have at least one tattoo each.

Elmer mentioned that he has his own equipment for butchering and processing his own meat - which he uses on some of the pigs he raises.

We snapped several pictures before we left. Kevin got some of their two dogs. I loved the blue-white eyes on one of them. You can see all the photos below.

We then set off to see our freshman year study hall monitor, 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.

We then went a little ways down the road and tried to find Craig Rysticken. But just like last summer, there was no sign of Craig. One of these times, we're bound to reach him.

Our next stop was the new home of Brian Klein. But much like the old home last summer, Brian was sleeping when we got there. He apparently works third shift.

So we then headed towards the home of Jerry Legreve. When we got there, we found that Jerry had just gotten up - even though it was late in the afternoon. His stepson answered and let us in the house. When Jerry came out, he was happy to see us. He said he'd been out drinking a bit the night before. So he was a little slow in starting his day.

Jerry said he'd read this blog before. He seemed to get a kick out of it. He said word had spread fast and that he'd heard about it from a lot of people. As far as he knew, no one was mad about it. But he surmised that Craig Rysticken might have been. In fact, his stepson apparently just graduated from Two Rivers High School. And he had Craig as a teacher. He told us that some of Craig's students had teased him about this blog a little bit. But Craig apparently brushed it off and moved on to another topic. He did go on to say that Craig is a pretty good teacher, and is well-liked by the students. Thankfully I have now put in a big disclaimer at the top of Craig's entry on this blog.

As it turns out, Jerry was not a part owener of Studio 8. In fact, that bar was one of his rivals. He ran a bar called Charlies. It sounds like he's thought about reopening at some point down the road. But as of yet, he has no future plans to.

With a full beard, Jerry somewhat resembles Michael McDonald, the lead singer of The Doobie Brothers. Before we left, we snapped a few pictures in Jerry's kitchen. Look down to see them.

We then stopped by Lenny's II bar to try and find Mark Henrickson. When we arrived, the bartender told us that he had just left. So we turned around and went back to the car.

We then tried to hit Toby once again. This time, we noticed a third vehicle parked in the driveway. We were sure we'd finally get him. But no, it was not to be. We learned that Toby was visiting his parents, and was probably an hour away from getting home. Oh well. We've tried six times. We're bound to try again.

By this time we were on our way to Manitowoc. We decided to try Shannon Koch once again. As it turned out, I consider it saving the best for last. Thankfully she was home this time! We had a blast with her. We talked with her for maybe an entire hour. Shannon had lots of stories. What struck her most was that of all people to do something like this, Kevin and I are the ones. The irony was not lost on her.

Like I said earlier in this entry, I don't believe Shannon and I ever said one word to one another. As it turns out, she thought I was some sort of freak - which was pretty much accurate. She even remembered that my trapper keeper had pictures of Charles Manson on it - as well as other vile things. I got the impression that back in high school, she viewed me as someone she wanted to stay very clear of.

Shannon was quite surprised to see us. She apologized that her house smelled like onions. She also said that had she known we were coming, she would have cleaned herself up a bit. I told her she looked good - to which she scoffed. Then again, that's a common reaction from nearly every female in the world. But truth be told, I thought Shannon looked real pretty - prettier than in high school.

I'd heard a rumor that Shannon and her husband had a ton of kids. As it turns out, they have three. Their oldest in nine. The two youngest ones (I think) are four and two.

Shannon let us into her house, and down into her basement, where she pulled out her photo albums. Needless to say, she had TONS of pictures - many of which were taken in school. She let us borrow them. The total count is well over 100. So it will take some time to scan them in. But once I get them, they're all being posted on this blog.

I think we could have talked to her and her husband for another hour. But it was time to go. So she supplied us with sodas, and sent us on our way. Before we left, we took a bunch of pictures. You can see them below.

Shannon actually tried to call Becky Monka to see if she was home. Had she been, we would have stopped out to see her. But no one answered. So we headed out of town. On our way out, we had one final stop - Kevin Minkel again. This time somebody answered. But it wasn't Kevin. We were told that Kevin wasn't home. So in essence, our day had come full circle. So we headed out on the highway, our day completed.

Considering it was a Sunday and was Father's Day, I think we did ok. I wasn't expecting a ton of people to be home. But I consider this trip a "bonus trip." The next time we come back, we'll hit all the people we missed this time - as well as some new people, no doubt. Save for the unfortunate incident with Tim Hauschultz, it was a really good day. Trip #4 will be coming soon.


Both of these class of 1990 members have left comments on this blog. Now,thanks to Paula, I have pictures of both of them. The first five feature Paula or her son. The last one is a candid shot of Andrea - which I believe was taken by Paula.

Thanks Paula!