Saturday, July 31, 2010

Francis Howell Class of 1990 (20 Year Retrospective)

This weekend is the 20th Reunion of my graduating class. I have to admit that it is hard to remember the young man I was 20 years ago. I have forgotten a great many things over the years but I seem to remember a great deal of the memories made during high school. I am not sure if all graduating classes feel this way, but I know that I feel as though my graduating class was pretty close for a large school. I thought I would take a little time to reminisce since I am unable to attend our reunion.

Our school was not your typical campus, converted from an Army barracks into a high school. The geographic placement was also fairly original, as it rested just down the street from a nuclear dump. I am still waiting for the effects of that to start kicking in. Maybe I can blame my gray hair on that and file a lawsuit. I'll have to look into that. I think Greg Spencer is a lawyer these days. Greg, give me a call and we can discuss the possibilities.

I suppose I will start by thanking a few people and sharing some memories...

Andrew Workman- Thank you for creating so many humorous moments throughout the high school experience. I believe we invented "tag team pizza delivery" and are certainly owed some type of royalties from anyone who performs it each day. Additionally, I am surprised Greg still communicates with us, as often as we ganged up on him in English class. However, the most memorable moments were our math classes. That split lunch class with Mrs. Bien was priceless. Stating "let's just go to lunch" as soon as she initiated the first complicated problem each day still makes me laugh, and if that didn't work then "it doesn't matter" certainly brought a smile. It was great to see you at the 10 year reunion and I'm glad we still keep in touch.

Jeff Lindeval- Actually, the funniest memory I have of Jeff took place in Junior High School. Our show choir traveled to Washington D.C. to compete at the Kennedy Center. We were staying in a Hotel and; go figure, as junior high kids we were being a little rowdy in our rooms. Mr. Gaston had come down to shut us up and make us go to bed on a couple of occasions. Shortly after one of these incidents Jeff, in his underwear, went trotting down the (outdoor) catwalk to Mr. Gastons room and in a voice only Jeff could create, chanted, "I'm not sleeping!" and trotted back down the catwalk to our room. I know I'm not the only one who remembers this.

Rick Donnelly- I have to thank you for always being in a great mood. I honestly don't ever remember you being in a bad mood. I also must thank you for expanding my vocabulary to include the word, "Pshaw." Also, remember the day we skipped school with Brad Schoonover and tried to steal that dog that looked like Spuds Mackenzie? I just remembered it as I was typing this...priceless! You are a good friend and I am glad that we still communicate as well.

I want to thank whoever it was that talked me out of hanging a blow-up gumby from our infamous water tower. I realize now that it was; in fact, a bad idea.

I wish to apologize to the entire graduating class for owning so many complete piece of crap cars throughout the high school experience. I realize what a diminished reputation it gave our student parking lot, especially the AMC Pacer. Though it did create a few rat-racing memories on Hwy 94. Speaking of student parking lot memories...remember when Mark Maynard drove over the parking slab and ripped his entire gas tank off of his car...or Bubba Barish locking his keys in his vehicle with it running and blasting....I don't remember what music he was playing anymore, but it was loud.

I recall what activists we were when we stood up and walked out in the middle of class to protest the teachers' contract dispute with the district. I also recall over half of us not actually going to the flagpole to protest, as instructed, but rather leaving campus and going to Taco Bell for lunch. We were dedicated to the cause!!!

Rich Kurtz- We rode a bus together for many years and lived but a few miles from each other, but we never really hung out in High School. We still don't really know why. It's funny how good a friend you've become over the years and even funnier that every time I come to town we discuss this at great length once we've consumed enough beer. I do recall us both harassing poor Mr. Wong regularly in Junior High.

Brad Kertz- We've maintained a great friendship for a long, long, long time now. If I started with memories I could never finish this article. You are as good of a friend as a guy could ever have. Okay I'm done being sappy...remember when you told the "first teacher in space" joke in the field at the Busch Wildlife Area and set (how many acres was it) on fire? Also, I just remembered when we used to sing the soprano's part in choir and purposely sing "flat" in order to get them in trouble with Ms. Wilson (ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-BAAHHHH!)

Greg Chatmon- Yes, we did quite a job of terrorizing Ms. Wilson our freshman year. I am amazed that we still remember some of the words to the song we wrote. Hope you've recovered from that accident the other month.

Jason Humphreys- We go way back to St. Peters Junior Football League...good times. I can't believe I don't remember more funny memories involving you since you are one of the funniest people I've ever met, but I do think you were in the car the day I got the bright idea to drive through that 6-7 ft snow plow drift on the way home from school. It was quite a shock when we discovered, upon hitting it, that it was frozen, causing the event to not quite take place how we originally envisioned it.

David Lindherst (sp?)- We were supposed to be running 5-6 miles for track I think when we decided it would be fun to pull the wooden pole out of the ground that was holding the Busch Wildlife rental boats in place. I don't remember how long we rowed around that lake laughing about the event, but it was definitely a funny memory.

Brad Schoonover- Like Jason, we go way back with the foosball. You were involved in a lot of the "shenanigans" including the Spuds Mackenzie story. You were also my partner in TP'ing a house or two. I recall our challenge of TP'ing DeeDee Hall's house three weekends in a row. That was quite a feat. We can also confirm that it is most assuredly a "small world" as we somehow ended up on the same tiny island of Okinawa 4 years after High School in the Marine Corps, having had no contact in the years between. Hope you are doing well.

I am sure I am missing a thousand other events but these are the ones that popped into my head while writing. If you come across this article and wish to add memories or events that I have forgotten please do so...just ensure that the statute of limitations is up on anything involving me.

In laughing at old memories I also find it important to note that over 20 years of reflection and maturation, it becomes clear just how self-absorbed we can become during our teenage years. I can look back now and see that on many occasions I was quite do I put this...Bag of Douche? I can see clearly that I was a pompous, self-serving, jerk at times. I'm sure most of us can look back and see that we were on occasion. Having teenage children of my own now I believe it comes naturally with those years....or maybe I was the only douchebag in the class of 90, anything's possible I suppose. Nonetheless, a few apologies are in order:

Dave Boucher (Class of 89)- I must apologize to you for throwing up on your bush. I understand that it is a large tree now, but it still doesn't look quite right.

Brad Schoonover- I made you late for football practice one day for my own selfish reasons. I am thoroughly sorry for that.

Brian Olsen- Our valedictorian...I am incredibly sorry for my part in transforming you from a scholar into a drinking, White Castle pickle throwing, trash-talking, Eddie Murphy reciting joker. It was a good memory, though.

Bill Wolf- I vaguely recall that you and I had a fistfight once, and I think I may have been the person who initiated it. This went completely against how I was raised and I was probably merely trying to show off for someone else. Complete jerkery (it's my word) on my part and I apologize.

The Entire Show Choir- I apologize for my part in TP'ing all of your homes, as well as stuffing one of your (don't remember who) cars with packing peanuts.

To sum up the "douchebaggery" section, I stated earlier that self-absorption comes naturally during those years, but I have to take time to take a step back and recognize that some never displayed selfish behavior.

Billy Kaimann (Rest In Peace)- Bill was always just about the nicest guy you ever wanted to meet. As popular as he was in high school, I don't recall him ever being unkind to anyone. We had some hilarious memories with Gary Gose in French class. I remember us driving the teacher nuts when we wouldn't stop turning on the french music on the stereo during his lecture. God bless you Bill!! You will always be remembered. Your wife Sandy (Gutleber) Kaimann deserves to be on this list as well.

Brad Kertz- Mentioned earlier, but belongs in this section as well. You don't have a mean bone in your body...don't worry, I won't tell anyone.

Chrissy Kriegermeier- whatever happened to you I am sure it involves success. You were always positive and never mean to anyone.

Andrew Workman- Again, mentioned earlier, but rates this section as well...even though he still owes me a can of tennis balls.

As stated earlier, I believe we had a pretty tight graduating class. We had a large class, so there are people I never really had a chance to get to know. There are always the different "clicks" but for the most part, there were a lot of great memories. The old water tower, the nuclear dump, the equidome, the boat docks, New Melle well water, the 5mph senior parade, the list goes on and on. Congratulations on 20 years Francis Howell Class of 1990.


  1. Ron - this is a very nice post - we had a blast you'll see the pictures and recognize that. Anyone who wasn't there was missed - including you. Go Vikings! Karen Courtright-Crnkovich

  2. Karen, thank you for the comment. I'm really glad to hear that everyone had a great time.