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•   Mike Franke  2/8
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•   Randall Schopf  2/10
•   Klara Ruppert (Grigg)  2/12
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•   Warren De Smidt  12/29
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•   Judy Blaske  10/6
•   Sandra Sleik (Yetman)  8/1
•   Mike Franke  6/23
•   Art Perez  6/14
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•   Klara Ruppert (Grigg)  2/15
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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
5 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
10 live in Texas
2 live in Virginia
5 live in Washington
176 live in Wisconsin
1 lives in Wyoming
176 location unknown


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


Percentage of Joined Classmates: 43.5%

A:   208   Joined
B:   270   Not Joined
(totals do not include deceased)

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Ray Thompson a.k.a. The Grinch – Took my wife to a mall for some Christmas shopping.  We got separated so my wife texted me and asked where I was.  I said, “Remember a long time ago we were in that jewelry store and you saw that necklace you loved?  I told you we couldn’t afford it but maybe someday I would get it for you?”  Well, my wife got all choked up and said, “Yes I remember exactly where that store is.”  I said, “Good.  I’m in the bar next to it.”

  Merry Christmas Santa Claus GIF - Merry Christmas Santa Claus Santa GIFs

Nancy Davison Boerger a.ka. Princess Elsa – Thanks to Cyber Monday, I can now go hopelessly in debt from the comfort and convenience of my own home!

Yay Excited GIF - Yay Excited Woo GIFs 

 Larry Scholl a.k.a.Santa (at a local charity where he has a special way with kids!) -  Last Christmas I finally gave in and got a hearing aid.  Went back to the doc for fine tuning.  He said, “I’ll bet your family is pleased that you got it.”  I told him, “No, I haven’t told any of them that I can hear just fine now.  And so far I’ve changed my will 4 times!”

  Shock Disbelief GIF - Shock Disbelief Stunned GIFs

   John Gilbert a.k.a. “Here’s Johnny!”  I told my wife that for Christmas I’d like something that went from 0 to 100 in 4 seconds … my not so subtle hint that I’d like a sports car!  So at Christmas my cheapskate wife gave me a scale!

  Elf Elf Meme GIF - Elf Elf Meme Holiday Classics GIFs

    Bryan Gutnecht a.k.a. Olaf – My wife always donates a bag of old clothing at Christmas time.  I told her it was easier to just throw it in the trash.  She said there are poor starving people who can really use all these clothes.  I said, “Honey, anyone who fits into your clothing is not starving!”  The doc says that my head wound and double vision should probably heal around New Years!

Playing Wresting GIF - Playing Wresting Pillow GIFs

   Marian Schopp Bringe (the truth be known this is a photo from a couple Christmas’s ago) – On a senior’s outing I was on, an old guy said he could guess my age just by looking at my breasts.  I thought what the heck so I pulled up my blouse.  He stared for a minute and said, “You’re 78 years old.”  I said, “Wow, how do you know that?”  He replied, “You told me this morning.”

  Shocked Surprised GIF - Shocked Surprised Speechless GIFs

  Ken Kuester a.k.a. Hermey from Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer – Just sold my homing pigeon on Ebay for the 22nd time.  The gift that keeps on giving!

  Pigeon Vibes GIF - Pigeon Vibes Emmit Fenn GIFs

 Patricia McCarthy McCarthy a.k.a. Mrs. Claus - When the kitchen smells wonderful and spicy it can mean only one thing.  It’s not my kitchen! You know, I started untangling our Christmas lights the day after Thanksgiving.  I should have them done by Valentine’s Day!

  Luzes De Natal GIF - Christmas Lights Decoration Tangled GIFs


To a joyful present and a well-remembered past. Best wishes for a very Merry Christmas and a magnificent New Year!


And here's another special gift courtesy of the Piano Guys:




Christmas is Coming

Rudolph Cute GIF - Rudolph Cute Christmas GIFs

In the meantime we've found some old home movies of your classmates at Christmas time.  Wonder what this year will bring?

This one's from Gordy's first marriage.  Hmm ... it might explain a few things.

  Christmas Tree GIF - Christmas Tree Spirit GIFs

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Here's Karsten going for a fresh tree for Nancy! 

Christmas Tree Ouch GIF - Christmas Tree Ouch Fail GIFs

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And Judy's first topless Christmas!

Christmas Surprise GIF - Christmas Surprise GIFs

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And John coming home from the office Christmas party!

Santa Claus Fail GIF - Santa Claus Fail Fall GIFs

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Stay tuned for soon to arrive classmate Christmas quips!!!

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Anytime you get our Custer classmates together, it leads to interesting and often strange conversations.  You’ve seen the photos from this year’s “Christmas in September” gathering but you haven’t heard anything about what was said between attendees. 
It is our good fortune to have discovered an iPhone that was left "open" and it picked up some of the conversations in the room.  Here’s a sample of just a bit of the chatter, at least that which is printable on a highly educational and cultured website such as this!
You may get some denials but we always strive for the truth on!!!

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Dean Schwarten: “Bill, I'm 78 years old now and I'm just full of aches and pains.  I know you're my age.  How do you feel?'
Bill LaBonte: “Well Dean, I feel just like a newborn baby.”
Dean:  “Really!?  Like a newborn baby!?”
Bill: “Yep. No hair, no teeth, and I think I just wet my pants.”
Omg Nasty GIF - Omg Nasty Nasty Baby GIFs 

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Sue Dumproff Steffen: “Windy today, isn't it?” 
Bonnie Seitz Kenny: “No, it's Thursday!”
Gordy Sauer: “So am I.  Let's go get a beer!”

The Muppets GIF - The Muppets Kermit GIFs

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John Leopold - A couple days ago coming out of my doctor’s office, I stepped into an elevator and a large breasted woman stepped in with me.  As I was staring at her because I couldn’t help myself she said, “Would you press one please.”

So I did … and I really don’t remember much after that … until I came to in my doctor’s office again.

Im An Idiot GIF - Im An Idiot Elmo Shrugs GIFs

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Vaughn Trudell (husband of Trudy) and Gerard Iwinski (husband of Kathy)

Vaughn:  Trudy and I were watching TV and I heard a notification on my phone that I just got a text.  I realized that I had left my phone in the kitchen.
Gerard:  Yeah, that happens to me all the time too.  What’d you do?
Vaughn:  Of course I got up and checked it. It was a text from Trudy!
Gerard:  Huh?  What’d it say?
Vaughn:  “While you’re out there Honey, would you bring the chips back with you?”
(Editor:  Ooops!  I just caused a bit of a stir in the Trudell and LaBonte household.  Peggy, Vaughn's actual wife is wondering what he was doing sitting on the couch with Trudy, who is actually Bill LaBonte's wife!  It sounds like a marital problem to me, not as I have been accused, an error on the editor's part.  Besides, Trudy really did need the chips no matter who brought them to her.  And, I ask you, what do we really know about the personal habits of the Trudells and LaBontes?)
  You Rock High Five GIF - You Rock High Five Awesome GIFs

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Steve and Mary Hartung
Steve:  “What did you get in the gift exchange Sweetie?”
Mary:  “It’s a book about anti-gravity.  I just can’t put it down! How about you?”
Steve:  “I got a blue rooster … and some batteries that were free of charge.”
Facepalm Oh No GIF - Facepalm Oh No Dismay GIFs

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Kathy Piette Iwinski and Coleen Kober Marshall
Kathy:  Now listen Coleen, if you don’t remember to pay your exorcist you can get repossessed!
Coleen:  Oh right Kathy, hadn’t thought of that.  Did I tell you that I stayed up all night to see where the sun went?
Kathy:  And what happened?
Coleen:  It just dawned on me.
Kathy:  That’s about the time I saw my first grey hair and I thought I’d dye.
Golden Girls Shocked GIF - Golden Girls Shocked Stunned GIFs
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Lois Graf Schwarten:  Mary, did I tell you that I volunteer at a hospital?  Yeah, they have this policy that everybody who is discharged must leave in a wheelchair. 
Mary Hartung:  Makes sense.  Does it usually work out?
Lois:  Well one time this elderly gentleman was sitting on the edge of the bed with a small case in his lap.  He said he didn’t need me to take him in the wheelchair but I insisted and told him it was hospital rules … liabilities and all of that.
Mary:  Did he cause a problem?
Lois:  No, but when I asked him in the elevator if his wife was meeting him he said he didn’t know because she was upstairs in the bathroom changing out of her hospital gown.

Silent Gift Tr GIF - Silent Gift Tr The Realness GIFs

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Sue Mardack Page:  Some advice for my friends at this “Christmas in September” gift exchange … Don’t drink while you’re wrapping presents.  And by the way, if any one of you get a remote control in the gift exchange … I’m gonna need that back.
Margarita Time GIF - Margarita Time That GIFs 

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Jeanne Zinser Gottschalk:  I’ve been doing some redecorating at home and the guy at the furniture store said that the couch I liked would seat 5 people without any problems.
Gordy Sauer:  That sounds great.  Did you buy it?
Jeanne:  It made me think, I don’t know 5 people without any problems!
Buzz Lightyear GIF - Buzz Lightyear No GIFs

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Werner “Bernie” Raml:  If you see me talking to myself, I’m self-employed and I’m having a staff meeting.

  Bh187 Minions GIF - Bh187 Minions Hi GIFs

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Marilyn Griffith Bauer (and husband John):  As a retired educator and Grandma I like to think I relate pretty well to my grandkids.  But I discovered Grandmas don’t know everything!
A long time ago I was watching my grandson Drew while his mom was shopping.  He came in from playing with his friend Jimmy and asked me, “Grammy, what do they call it when two people sleep together and one is on top of the other?”
I was a bit taken aback but I thought I’d tell him truthfully, “Well Honey, they call that sexual intercourse.” 
He was fine with that and ran back outside only to come back a few minutes later and angrily said, “No Grammy, it’s not called sexual intercourse!  It’s called Bunk Beds and Jimmy’s Mom wants to talk to you!”

Boring Unimpressed GIF - Boring Unimpressed Meh GIFs

There you have it, an insight into the intellect of your classmates.  Almost like being there in person, huh?  REMEMBER, our 60TH REUNION IS NEXT YEAR, probably around October 1st, in a setting befitting the spirit and energy of our group ... excluding pysch wards and ICU's.

Abuelas Bailonas GIF - Abuelas Bailonas GIFs


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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)

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.

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Barbara Becker, who always seemed to be exceedingly happy, and Ward Allen, both weather people at WITI, Channel 6 (which at one point was located at 27th and Silver Spring, almost in Pat McCarthy’s backyard!  Then that location became a Mama Mia’s but it sadly went away) along with Albert the Alley Cat.  Barbara had a cartoon show too with Albert, and it may have been called “the Funny Farm.”


“Pops” of “Pop’s Theater” (a.k.a. Tony Richards) featuring the 3 Stooges … who actually paid a live visit!

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