About Tosa East '76 Website


2019 Year in Review

Tosa East Class of 76:

Debbie and I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and we now wish to extend to our entire class a very Happy New Year!

It was another good year of basically not hearing from me because I only received one report of a classmates passing: David Hart.

Here are some of the year's highlights and all of this was posted on our class Facebook page. I did this last year and because of the positive feedback I thought I'd do it again because not all of our class have Facebook accounts or are active on that site. And for those you who follow our Facebook page, I hope you enjoy looking back.

For myself, the big highlight of the year was updating the entire class website to make it mobile friendly which in turn has made finding the site easier.

November 18

As a nod to the update of the website, I changed the cover image of our Facebook page. There are 198 classmate faces here so this is roughly half of our class. I tried to include everyone who is in the Facebook group and did not include anyone on our Fallen List.

Though they are basically in random sequence, I will mention a couple of things. First, the very first picture is Patty Ulschmid and that's because this was her idea as she used this for the covers of the 20th reunion booklet. I also put the classmates who are married together.

If you want know any of the names, I made a key which you see by clicking/tapping here.


October 21

It was brought to my attention that Marilyn Nusbaum, one of the Spanish teachers at East, passed away back in 2016. In the discussion the following question by Ed Chan generated 31 responses which I believe may be a record.

"Foreign language. Does anyone remember if this was a requirement for graduation?"

There was a clear division between those who thought it was a requirement and those of us (I was in this group) that said it wasn't because they didn't take any language. So maybe it was a requirement and they're going to take my diploma back! But one memory everyone seemed to recall was we all took a foreign language in 6th grade.

Click/tap here if you wish to see the string of responses.


October 30

Here is my posting about Pumpkin Caroling:

I'm wondering how many of my fellow choir members remember this night (Oct. 30th) 44 years ago. Lead by our choir director, Robert Michaelsen (Mr. Mike), we dressed up in costumes and went "Pumpkin Caroling" which was singing Halloween lyrics to Christmas songs. We stopped at Mayfair Mall to sing and I think Gilles (and please chime in if you can remember where else we went), but our evening ended by going down to the PAC (Performing Arts Center - now known as the Marcus Center) to get a chance to sing to President Gerald Ford who was speaking there that night. We were not permitted to go in, so we waited on State Street for him to come out.

I remember seeing guys who were obviously part of the security (my guess was they were Secret Service agents) occasionally walking by. And at one point people were congregating on the bridge that goes from the PAC to the parking structure, but that area was soon cleared of anyone because, again, security. Not a surprise to any of us as there were 2 assassination attempts on Ford just the month before.

When he emerged we sang "The Lord Bless You and Keep You." I remember it seemed appropriate because of the attempts on his life.

Here I am in my chosen costume (also sporting my long dark hair which Debbie wishes I still had) and the article that appeared about it in the Milwaukee Journal the next day.


November 1

Then 2 days later our classmate, Lisa Niewoehner, found this photo. Here is the posting:

As a follow up to the picture of myself in a Superman costume when the chorus went pumpkin caroling in 1975, Lisa Mooney (Niewoehner) ran across an article from the Milwaukee Journal and was shocked to find a picture of her smiling self with several other chorus members as we were waiting outside the PAC waiting to sing to President Ford. Some of our classmates are hidden behind masks so they're going to be almost impossible to identify, but others are not. Besides Lisa, Nan Larson is to her left and I think that's Jenny McCarthy to her right. At the far right is Mary Papendieck (DeGraaf). Right behind Lisa is Jim Swanson (class of '77) and at the very top I'm not entirely certain, but my guess is Judy Stockinger.

To see the Milwaukee Journal article, click/tap here.

My wife, Debbie Hetzel, spotted me at the upper left, just peeking over.


September 25

In order to get as many identifications as possible, I posted the group picture from the 25th reunion.

This is the group picture from the 25th reunion held on Sept. 8, 2001 at the Hyatt in downtown Milwaukee. Though the picture has been on the website for a long time, I was wishing to add a key. So I've inserted identifying numbers to the photo and want to add as many names as possible. Click/tap here or on the picture to see the result of the identifications. And let me know if you can identify any of the missing ones.


October 18

I received from our classmate, Janis Gaulke, over 70 pictures from the 25th reunion in 2001 (which was just days before 9/11) which were all posted on Facebook to help with name identifications, but they've also been uploaded to the 25th reunion section of our website. Click/tap here or on the photo to see all of her pictures.

Click/tap here to see the other pictures we have from the 25th.


December 9

I also received from Janis about two dozen pictures from our graduation party which was held in the Highlands. Click/tap here or on the photo to see all of the the pictures.

The picture of Sue Baumann generated some interesting discussion because though I thought she was in the George Webb down on State Street, I wasn't certain so thought I should ask. The definitive answer came from Chuck Manthy who said, "the two clocks are a dead giveaway." Why are there two clocks? The answer is on the George Webb website and you can read it about it here.

Because she is not on Facebook, I emailed Sue and shared this photo of her. This was her comment: "Hi, wow loved that photo from Janis! Many after party nights were there until we discovered a spider in a burger. I'll have to talk to Pat [Downey] and Jim [Proft] and see if my memory is correct on that!" Pat Downey responded: "This is not an urban George Webb's legend. But a true story."

Sadly, I had to share the bad news that the George Webb's on State Street is now gone.


June 22

Our classmate, Jeff Lenzen, posted this picture to our Facebook group. While attending the American Family Golf Championship which is held at the University Ridge Golf Course in Madison, he ran into Tosa East teachers and coaches, Sam Waala and Joe Vitrano. Sam Waala was a math teacher who coached wrestling and cross-county. Joe Vitrano was a Latin teacher and coached cross-country and track. Jeff Lenzen was a distance runner so had Vitrano as his track coach and in cross-country he had Vitrano and Waala.


June 17

Debbie and I had the privilege of being invited to Longfellow teacher and football coach John Mathie's 90th birthday celebration held at the Crown Plaza hotel in Wauwatosa. This was largely due to Debbie's dad, Ralph Hetzel, was also a teacher at Longfellow (Industrial Arts) and Mathie had been a friend since the 70's. In fact Debbie babysat John Mathie's kids! I got to make an improptu speech at the event where I talked about John's pinnacle of his football coaching career: an undefeated and unscored upon team in 1972. As a member of that 9th grade team, I offered my memories and perspective. There was a very audible gasp in the room when I told them the final score: Longfellow 128 points, opponents: zero.

Also present at the celebration was our Vice Principal: Richard Hess, Longfellow math teacher: Dolan Dybdahl, Social Studies teacher (and McKinley 5th grade teacher: Larry Hanna, and Longfellow English teacher, Gary Nevens.

John Mathie and Debbie Hetzel

John Mathie and Debbie Hetzel

Gene Hanson and Dolan Dybdahl

Gene Hanson and Dolan Dybdahl

Richard Hess

Gene Hanson, Richard Hess, Judy Hess, and Debbie Hetzel

John Mathie's 9th Grade Undefeated unscored upon football team.

John Mathie's 9th Grade undefeated and unscored upon Longfellow football team.

Dolan Dybdahl's speech.

Richard Hess' speech.


April 23

In April I reported the passing of Joe Barolotta. Some of you might have remembered him from school (I certainly did) as he was in the grade behind us. But he became a Milwaukee area celebrity because he owned and operated a number of great restaurants: Harbor House, Baccus, Downtown Kitchen, Lake Park Bistro, The Rumpus Room, Joey Gerard's, Ristorante Bartolotta, and a number of others.

You can read more about Bartolotta here.


December 18

Animated%20Christmas%20special%20poll%20from%20our%20childhood.I thought it might be fun to have a poll among our class about their favorite (or favorites) of the animated Christmas specials, but only the ones of our youth, so 1970 or earlier. There were 6 choices. Here are the specials, year first played, and number of votes:

Mr. Magoo Christmas Carol (1962) - 2
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964) - 11
Charlie Brown Christmas (1965) - 9
How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966) - 1
Frosty the Snowman (1969) - 0
Santa Claus is Coming to Town (1970) - 2
All of the above - 1


Various dates in the year - Who are these kids?

Lincoln Grade School 6th Grade

6th Grade - Lincoln.

Washington Grade School - 5th

5th Grade - Washington

St. Bernard - 6th Grade

St. Bernard 6th Grade

St. Bernard 6th Grade - Name Key

St. Bernard 6th Grade - Mark Gostisha's Key

I am always looking for class pictures as we're still missing so many. But recently some of our classmates supplied some new ones. Mark Gostisha provided some from St. Bernard, Janis Gaulke from Roosevelt, and Karl Spring sent a bunch of them for Lincoln.

All of these class photos get posted here on the website, but I also share them on Facebook where I'm always trying to get identifications. In order to make that easier, I've been inserting numbers onto the photos so a position is easily stated.

It is my hope that I will eventually add this information to the photos here on the website.


November 20

Holly Beyer Birthday PartyThis simply falls under the category of too adorable not to post. The picture is from Holly Beyer and it's from her birthday party in 1963 or 1964. Holly posted that it had to be Kindergarten because she remembers that some of these girls transferred to Catholic schools in first grade. She also notes that, "This was an after school December birthday party and notice all of us are in dresses, tights and Mary Janes."

Front row: Joan Marotte, Rita ?, Mary Jashinsky.
Back row: Dede Rogers, Cheryl ?, ?, Cathy Melchert, Renee Frey, Holly Beyer.


Summary and Looking Forward

If you're not on Facebook, I highly encourage you to at least have a logon so you can see and hopefully participate in the Facebook group. Keep in mind this is a private group and no one outside the group can see the postings so you can otherwise stay anonymous. Also, anyone can post on group and anyone can respond to any posting.

As we are looking forward to what we're going to do about a 45th reunion, though I can say we'll definitely be doing something, we need to do the planning. And toward that end I plan on sending out a questionnaire to get the classes input into what they'd prefer.

Gene Hanson