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UPCOMING BIRTHDAYS



•   Richard "Gino" Simone  12/8
•   Jean Vick (Lovy)  12/10
•   Barbara Blair (Brenzel)  12/13
•   Otto Felske  12/24
•   Karsten Boerger  12/25
•   Elsworth Gray  12/27
•   Art Perez  12/27
•   Eugene Melzer  12/29

WHO'S ONLINE NOW


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PROFILE UPDATES


•   Alan Close  9/23
•   Gordon "Allen" Mitchell  9/15
•   Daniel Merkel  9/14
•   Paul Schimbke  8/18
•   Art Perez  6/26
•   Kenneth Pallaske  4/1
•   Jim Cejka  3/12
•   Terri Levenhagen (Hoornstra)  2/25
•   Warren De Smidt  12/29
•   Judy Blaske  10/6
Show More

WHERE ARE THEY NOW


WHERE WE LIVE


Who lives where - click links below to find out.

10 live in Arizona
2 live in Arkansas
19 live in California
2 live in Colorado
1 lives in Connecticut
16 live in Florida
1 lives in Georgia
1 lives in Hawaii
3 live in Illinois
3 live in Indiana
2 live in Iowa
3 live in Kentucky
1 lives in Louisiana
1 lives in Maine
1 lives in Maryland
1 lives in Massachusetts
4 live in Michigan
6 live in Minnesota
1 lives in Missouri
1 lives in Montana
4 live in Nevada
1 lives in New York
4 live in North Carolina
1 lives in Oklahoma
4 live in Oregon
1 lives in Pennsylvania
2 live in South Carolina
2 live in Tennessee
9 live in Texas
2 live in Virginia
5 live in Washington
169 live in Wisconsin
1 lives in Wyoming
175 location unknown

MISSING CLASSMATES


Know the email address of a missing Classmate? Click here to contact them!

JOINED CLASSMATES


Percentage of Joined Classmates: 43.0%


A:   201   Joined
B:   266   Not Joined
(totals do not include deceased)

Sandra Elaine Wachs/Oldham
"Sandy"
September 28, 1944 - November 13, 2022
Details of Sandy's passing under "Recent Passings" in left-hand column
 
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"Bet You Didn’t Know" (BYDK)

Wtf What GIF - Wtf What Huh GIFs

"Bet You Didn't Know ... " is a game that we played with great success at the 60th reunion.  It brought a lot of laughs and disbelieving minds.  To extend the game to this website we needed more "events" from classmates who apparently are reluctant to share what were probably some embarrassing moments. 
So instead of a number of people with one "event" we'll use a few people with a number of events.  Your job will be to try to determine which event or events you believe to be true about that classmate.  If you were at the reunion and saw some of these, so what?  You were awful then and there’s little hope you’ve gotten any better!
The BYDK game:
Below you’ll find a person with a list of life “events”.  One or more of the events actually happened.  In some cases it will be only one, in others there may be more than one.   You’ll have to decide which event(s) most likely happened.
To find the correct answers you’ll find a tab on the left-hand column entitled “BYDK answers”.  Happy hunting!

  Bonnie Buck Walter

“Bet you didn’t know

  1. I gave away dozens and dozens of baseball caps at Ken’s funeral.

  2. I dated most of the guys on the Custer basketball team and a number of guys from the track team as well … all at the same time.

  3. I buried Ken at the bottom of a swimming pool.

  4. I missed the 50th reunion because I was being sued for sexual harassment.

  5. I had my class schedule hacked so I could be in the same class as my boyfriend.

  6. I am directly related to Don Nelson, former coach of the Bucks, Warriors and the USA Dream Team.

Which one(s) of the above are true? (Answer under BYDK tab)

  Omg Oh My God GIF - Omg Oh My God Seriously GIFs

   Sandy Wachs Oldham (Sandy has passed away since this was posted.  We continue to display it because Sandy's incredible sense of humor and force of character transends this lifetime.) 

“Bet you didn’t know …

  1. I managed to get a Custer master key that allowed me to open the door to the school’s roof.  Meribeth, Judy and I may have occasionally sneaked up there and had a smoke.
  2. After water ballet practice one of my friends dared me to go into the boys’ locker room.Just as I got in there I heard the guys start coming in from basketball practice.  Luckily I spotted the storage room where football and other equipment was stored and the door was open.  I managed to get in there before anybody spotted me and hid in the back behind stacks of smelly shoulder pads.  Thankfully they never discovered me although I had to stay there for almost an hour listening to the guys taking showers and snapping each other with wet towels.  Ouch!!!
  3. As a kid I once was being silly and was looking cross-eyed when I ironically got stung by a bee on my nose.
  4. When I was officiating a collegiate gymnastics meet, I was inspecting some of the equipment when a competitor warming up for his vault, ran into me and ended up laying on top of me in a very compromising position in front of 1000’s of people.
  5. Also, while traveling for a collegiate gymnastics meet, there was a huge, elaborate wedding in our hotel.  I crashed it with a couple of friends and got wedding cake!

Which one(s) of the above are true? (Answer under BYDK tab)

Let'S Cut The Crap Shall We? GIF - Crap Cut The Crap Atomic Blonde GIFs

 

  Jim Cejka

“Bet you didn’t know …

  1. Gave CPR to an almost nude stripper As a volunteer fireman in Waukesha I went on a call to a bar that featured “exotic dancers”.  The place was smoke filled and the “dancers” were coughing, screaming and trying to make their way outside.  An almost nude young lady collapsed in front of me and I had to carry her outside and give CPR!  As we were cleaning up afterwards I ran into the bar owner … none other than John Stanelle!
  2. Kept John Wayne waiting - Working in the ER of the Newport Beach community hospital I had a number of medical as well as clerical duties.  I was filling out forms and this guy at the window kept trying to get my attention but I needed to finish what I was doing.  Turns out it was John Wayne!  He was also on the Board of Directors of  the hospital, Jimmy Cagney had donated the land, June Allyson was the volunteer coordinator, and Andy Devine was a regular patient.
  3. Passed myself off as a “spotter” to get warm –  Was at a Custer football game at our new stadium.  It was bitterly cold and a nasty wind.  I was shaking like a leaf … I was so cold and this was before the game even started.  So I went up to the booth and told the security guy I was from King (our opponent that day) and sent to be a spotter for the stadium announcer.  It worked.  Of course the stadium announcer was from Custer but he didn’t rat me out!
  4. Put the “Golden Point” hamburger stand out of business.  Worked with John Griebel and several other guys from Custer at the Golden Point hamburger drive-in on Villard.  We gave away so many burgers and fries to friends, the poor guy who owned it literally turned into a poor guy. Ultimately he had to close it because he couldn’t find any buyers.
  5. Arrested my new sister-in-law at my wedding.  My bride had a mentally unbalanced sister who lost control at our wedding.  She broke out a window and was looking to harm her children.  Ultimately, me and another off-duty officer placed her under arrest, which was no small task since she was built like an NFL linebacker.  Ironically, she appeared in the court in which I was the bailiff at the time. The judge read the report and said, “Can you believe this?”  I told him, yes I could.  It was my wedding!

No Let Me Think GIF - No Let Me Think Nope GIFs

Which one(s) of the above are true? (Answer under BYDK tab)

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60th Reunion Photos

Photos from the 60th reunion are under the tab in the left-hand column creatively entitled "60th Reunion"
The weekend actually started with a few of the still upright classmates meeting at the Naga-Waukee golf course near Pewaukee lake for a golf tournament.  It was determined that nobody was the winner except the golf gods who statisfied their lust for golf balls and swear words!  In that nobody kept score, it was assumed everybody shot a remarkably good score!
Friday evening was the informal social event held in the lounge area of the Brookfield DoubleTree Inn.  Thanks to donations from some classmates the hors d'oeuvres were plentiful and delicious.  The drinks flowed literally freely as a gift from the California Contingency ... on the condition that for every drink the classmate had he/she should send a glass of water to drought striken California!  A surprising number of classmates showed up for the informal get-together and it was a delightful and relaxed evening.
The main event on Saturday was attended by almost 70 people, not bad for a class that graduated 60 years ago, even if there were a number of spouses at the dinner.  Again, the food was delicious and the drinks free.  As opposed to previous reunions, people were more interested in catching up with good friends who they may never see again rather than dancing.
It was therefore appropriate that all played a game called "Bet You Didn't Know" in which classmates were asked to send in "events" in their lives that other people wouldn't likely associate with them.  Then, 5 people at a time, were asked to come up in front of the audience and have each table guess which classmate went with which "event."  John Leopold led the group in this endeavor and determined that most of the table were totally inept at dectecting the correct answers.  After the tables guessed, the classmates revealed who did what and gave more details to the "event."
A few of the "events" included one classmate who saw a familiar looking guy on a Florida beach and  insisted he was a Custer classmate.  A rather irritated John Lithgow denied ever going to Custer!  Another person kept John Wayne waiting at a medical clinic!  Yet another classmate buried a spouse's ashes at the bottom of a swimming pool.
The hilarity was genuine and unending.  The more people revealed the funnier it got.  The "winning table" of classmates didn't get very many right and other tables could have guessed better using a lucky coin!  It was a fitting game for a bunch of old friends.
And then it was over.  For many it was the last reunion and the last chance to hug lifelong friends.  For those of you who could not make it, you were with us in spirit and getting lots of hugs.

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Those of you still living in Wisconsin, especially the southern portion, may well know about the KQED series “Around the Corner with John McGivern.”  Most of us living in other states have never heard of it.  Terry Levenhagen Hoostra was kind enough to suggest looking at one particular episode, “Havenswood State Forest” (named by a Custer High student).  Sounds like a remote part of the state?  Nope, it’s the area that we, as kids, had known as the area around 61st and Silver Spring, over to Hopkins and out to Good Hope.  It was the home of the Army Nike Site and the “Disciplinary barracks”.

And now it’s a state park and this episode of Around the Corner goes into the details. (Just click on this link)

www.pbs.org/video/havenwoods-704-kfvvil/

But note that this is from Season 7, episode 4.  If you scroll down the page a bit you’ll see a tab on the left hand side that says “More episodes and on the right hand side that says “Season 7”.  If you click on “Season 7” you’ll find a drop down menu with the programs for all 9 seasons.  Check them out.  For example, Season 9 Episode 12 features Christmas in Milwaukee past and present.  There’s live video of Capitol Court’s Christmas display and lots of other familiar displays.  Season 9 Episode 11 is called “Then and Now” and looks at some of the roots of Milwaukee and what it looks like now.

And so it goes, 9 seasons with 13 episodes each.  Brady Street, Shorewood, Sherman Park, Brown Deer, Menomonee Falls, Madison, Eagle River, St Francis, and on and on! 

McGivern is a “comfortable” host, quite likeable and he interacts with John Gurda, a historian who adds a lot of the historic perspective.  Bored?  Tired of the summer reruns or the Olympics without spectators … you might want to take a look.

Thank you Terri for sharing.

 

 

Danny Devito Nope GIF - DannyDevito Nope HeadShaking GIFs

 

Milky Way Frozen Custard Stand

The Milky Way Frozen Custard Stand on Port Washington just south of Silver Spring.  (Was that considered Whitefish Bay?)  At one point the carhops were on roller skates and my sister wanted desperately to one day get a job doing that.  When my family made a rare visit we had at least 4 kids in the car.  The order was so big that they had to bring two of those trays that attached to the window!  (Where were the carhops when it came to taking the tray and garbage away?) And a visit wasn’t complete until somebody spilled their drink or dropped their hot dog on the floor.  Later, a fun place to take a date.

Pig & Whistle

The Pig & Whistle, otherwise known to us groupies as “the Hog and Horn”!  This is a real photo of it coming out of Estabrook Park on a typical Milwaukee Spring day!  (Didn’t they also at one time of carhops on roller skates?)  As teenagers we almost always went inside which was supposedly the inspiration for “Arnold’s” on Happy Days.  That’s where somebody taught me to dip my French Fries in 1000 Island dressing … as if they weren’t bad enough for you already!

 

Ritz Theater - Villard

This 1930's scene of Villard looking east from about 37th street was well before our time.  But it’s the only photo that shows the Ritz before it became the Villa.  I remember it costing 18 cents to get in for the Saturday double feature which also included the cowboy du jour cliff hanger and at least one cartoon.

Inside the Ritz

Inside the Ritz (a.k.a. The Villa), taken in recent years after it became vacant.  Didn’t there used to be a short row of seats on the side aisles that was only accessible by crawling over or under people if you were up against the wall?  And didn’t they have maroon curtains lining the walls, probably for sound reasons?  Of course your feet stuck to the floor from all the soft drinks spilled and never an end to the gum under every seat.  Your coat was sure to find both.  Something happened in our teenage years when people actually went at night and there were some pretty dark corners in the back rows.  There may not have been much movie watching back there, not that I’d know from personal experience.   John Griebel told me about it.  In fact John told me all manner of things that I found shocking.

Swimming Kay Lawrence GIF - Swimming KayLawrence TheGillMan GIFs

The Creature from the Black Lagoon - 1954

It was at the Ritz when I first discovered total fear!  It was the 1954 showing of “The Creature from the Black Lagoon.”  The terror was so intense that I felt one shock wave after another and it totally consume my mind and body when the creature popped up unexpectantly or was pursuing an unaware swimming lady.  I never felt anything like that before and rarely since.

Villard at 35th Street - 1958

Villard, looking east, at 35th street with Prescription Chemist Drug store on the right (where at one time there was one of Milwaukee’s iconic “bubblers”taken out by this time), the Petcoff’s Standard Oil gas station on the left (with Maertz Department Store just north (left) of the Standard Station.) Next to going downtown, this seemed like the center of the universe.  I can remember going to the Ben Franklin 5 and Dime (or was it Kresge's?) with a dollar from my birthday and feeling like I could buy the whole store. And then picking out some piece of crap that fell apart before the end of the day.

 

35th Street at Villard

35th Street looking south from Villard, just passed the drug store, Wisconsin Bridge and Iron on the right.  Was it Claud’s on the left that became a local young crowd watering hole? 

 

Maertz's Department Store

Maertz’s Department store on 35th just south of Villard, across the alley from Petcoff’s gas station.  Bob Maertz’, the owner, in his store was also the father of Susie Maertz from our class who died the week before our 50th reunion.  The Maertz’s bought the house next door to mine when I was 11.  Two cute girls, Susie and her younger sister Sally, were now my neighbors.  I was immediately smitten.  Susie and I would ride our bikes up to the store, hang out for a while, go upstairs where they kept their extra inventory and walk around Villard.  I think it was in 1956 that a fire consumed most of the store and caused the death of their maintenance man.  Shortly after that Bob quit the retail business and moved into electronics.  He actually just passed away last year at the age of 94!

Susie and I reunited via phone calls 50 years later during the preparations for our class reunion.  She recounted that she and I had actually held hands a couple of times!  Wow, we were kinda risqué!

Lynn’s Service Station - Hopkins and Villard

Speaking of Villard, do you recall Lynn’s at the intersection of Villard and Hopkins? Or ….

 ...  Ned’s Pizza

Ned’s started on Villard about 33rd street.  There’s a whole long story about Ned and his family.  I never was a fan of their pizza but many people have told me it was very good.  Ned’s daughter married my cousin.  But my favorite pizza was Pete’s (formerly Piccolo’s) at 76th and Capitol.  That’s gone now so Mama Mia’s has taken over the top spot for me when I’m visiting Milwaukee … mostly because of its lethal garlic bread literally dripping with butter!

... and finally, Shorty's on Villard

Not sure if classmates are enjoying these look backs at the "good old days".  Let me know if it's time to stop or keep going.

Taylor Taylorswift GIF - Taylor Taylorswift Lazy GIFs

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More Milwaukee Memories

Silver Spring at 51st - early 1950's

Silver Spring was a two lane road with no sidewalks during most of our childhoods.  This intersection would be on the corner of McGovern Park on the lower left, and the Army Nike site would be built on the right.  And Nancy Root grew up near here on the left as well.  I recall walking to Carleton grade school on narrow foot paths along side of the road with cars zipping by a few feet away.  After our area was declared Granville and shifted us to Browning at 76th street,  during the summer I would ride my bike from 33rd to 76th to play baseball with Ray Thompson, Wayne Oneska, John Gilbert, etc., "sharing" the road with traffic! I specifically remember this area because it began a long, slow uphill portion of the ride, except it was downhill going home!

 

Hampton and Sherman - mid-1950's       Hampton and Sherman - 1960

Reopening celebration of Hampton and Sherman - 1960 (Are you in the photo?)

 

The Victory Drive-in in Butler      The Starlight Drive-in in "The Falls"

Recollections - Sneaking people in using the trunk; jocking around for the prime parking spot ("prime" being defined by whether you were there with a date or not); trying to find a speaker that works; windows steaming up; a zillion people trying to get to the snack bar or the filthy restrooms at intermission; trying to find your car coming back with an armload of goodies, or worse, going to the restroom during the movie and looking for your car in the dark while trying not to peek into other cars; and Ron Willman practicing palming basketballs with his date ... or so he says that's what he was doing.  I do believe there may have been some biology lessons involved here ... unless, of course, you were with your family.

Weather People

    

These two are easy, the gorgeous Judy Marks and Bill Carlson

(BTW - Judy died in 2011 at the age of 83.)

But do you recall the names of these people and their friend?

   

And finally ... who is this guy?

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Childhood Memories

in Photos

Recently discovered photos from our old stomping grounds on the northside of Milwaukee.  There's a bunch of them and each of them transport you back to those days gone by.  There's only room for a few of them on the website so here's a sample today.  Then it's time to figure out how to put more on the website without using up all of our memory allocation. 

Some of these will bring out specific memories for you.  We'd like to hear about them.  Use the "Message Forum" to tell us your story.

The caption for this photo says, "Silver Spring Pool" and has no date.  But clearly it must be McGovern Park pool and perhaps the grand opening.  Maybe it was the forerunner of the McGovern name or the lack of knowledge of the archivist.   Not many girls around and a bunch of old pervert guys in white shirts gawking.  Ron Willman insisted on pointing out that besides the girl on the end of the board there is another girl waiting at the back of the board.  To the right of the second girl is a man with his tie askew.  Behind him is another girl ... who appears to be having swimming suit equipment problems!  (You may have to exam it as closely as Ron did!)

McGovern pool ...foot inspections; wet changing rooms that got your clothes soaked but mostly your underwear; wire baskets for your clothes with numbers on pins that were sure to open unexpectedly while swimming; puddles of water on the deck heating in the sun in which kids laid, along with a zillion germs but it was warm; getting in line for tickets at 11:00 in time for the opening and staying until late afternon (sun screen?  what was that?); the snack bar with mostly junk;  and most everybody has a story of almost drowning at one time or another and/or learnng how to swim!!!

 

 

Check out the "In Memory" tab for information on the rediscovered commemorative video for our classmates who had passed prior to the 50th Reunion