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1031, 17 Feb 18

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Bob Pick Jr. has died

A piece of West Bend died Friday evening, Feb. 16, 2018, as word came out of Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee that Bob Pick Jr. passed away. Pick entered the hospital on Tuesday, Feb. 13 and declined thereafter.

The news comes as a shock to many as Pick was a fixture in West Bend, especially at sporting events.

“It will be hard for any male or female athlete that went through the West Bend High School system in the last 40 years, not to have a memory of Bob Pick,” said West Bend Mayor Kraig Sadownikow.

“He made an impact on literally thousands of people, he was a guy who was always in a good mood, a guy who always thought he had a funny joke…. whether they were or not and just an icon on every athletic field, gym or court in West Bend.”

Pick was part of the fabric of the community.

Former coach and Major League Baseball player Willie Mueller of West Bend said Bob’s been “a part of the baseball scene and such a helpful person for years.”

“He was a unique kinda guy but he will be truly missed,” said Mueller.

The sporting community wrapped its arms around Bob Pick; many said you “couldn’t help it because he was everywhere.”

“If there was anything going on he was at that game and he’d always bring scorecards or programs back,” said Mueller.

“It was truly amazing what he did. If the 7UP team was playing he’d come in after the high school games were done or he’d be walking down and getting a burger or brat and he’d have his Navy hat on.”

In 2017 Bob Pick was inducted into the West Bend Baseball Association Wall of Fame and recognized for his dedication to meticulous score keeping for over 50 years.

“Good evening friends of baseball. This ride has lasted over half a century and the reason that’s happened is because I’ve lived long enough,” said Pick.

“West Bend is a baseball town,” said Pick. “People have a passion for the sport. I thank the Association for the award and for the friendships that came with it.”

Deb Butschlick, athletic director at UW-Washington County, said Bob’s dad started the Robert D. Pick Male and Female Athlete of the Year Award in 1988.  “Once his parents passed Bob always represented the family at our athletic banquets,” said Butschlick. “Bob always greeted the student athletes and talked to them and he was always a big part of that.”

Mitch Knox played for the Lithias in 1983. “Bob was one of the friendliest guys you would ever meet; I don’t know that he ever knew a stranger,” said Knox. “He was always on the ball field or the track or cross country.”

Knox said Bob Pick would always come armed with a gift, either a simple scorecard or a t-shirt. “He knew I went to Kentucky and the next thing you know he gives me a shirt from Kentucky for the kids.”

Knox recalled another time, years ago, when he was with Bob Pick at a Foghat concert at the old MECCA in Milwaukee.  “Bob was with us and he ended up knowing the security guard and he got us all in for free,” laughed Knox.

“And he took in his bag of peanuts and his warm skim milk in a bag. I remember we went to a Milwaukee Brewer game too and he knew the security guard there as well,” said Knox.

Funeral arrangements for Bob Pick are pending. He was 76 years old and would have turned 77 next week.

Eaton’s Pizza coming to West Bend

It looks like Eaton’s Pizza will be returning to West Bend. The franchise owner in Fond du Lac posted today that a new pizza place would be opening soon in West Bend. Neighbors who have lived in the community a while will remember when Eaton’s Fresh Pizza was located downtown West Bend at 105 S. Main Street. Dale Hochstein ran it until 2004 when it was sold and turned into The Daily Grind.

The Daily Grind eventually sold to Miguel Herrera who opened Jaliscos and now the location is home to Casa Tequila.

Back in the day of Eaton’s Pizza in West Bend the store had great sub sandwiches and you could order 2 different meats or cheese on a ticket then 5 veggies and they’d stuff it full of goodness and wrap the sandwich tight in cellophane. I think they even wrapped a peppermint with every sandwich. Also there was somewhat of a gift shop with white lattice-work and green cloth draping. The new Eaton’s Pizza will not be going downtown. It will open by July 1. Stay tuned.

Cougar confirmed in Washington County

The DNR said the Feb. 7 video of a cougar caught on security camera happened in Colgate in Washington County. Dianne Robinson, DNR wildlife biologist for Washington and Ozaukee Counties, said the area was “residential but surrounded by a bit of agriculture.”

“It’s not in the city but it is around other houses,” she said.

The video shows a cougar walking up a paved area near a building and next to what appears to be a fenced-in yard with bird feeders. Robinson said there were no reports of small animals missing.

“Cougars move relatively quickly so I’d be surprised it was still in the area at this point in time,” she said. While more details about the cougar are not known, Robinson said she’s pretty sure it’s not a female.

“We’ve never confirmed a female moving through Wisconsin as far as we can tell, they’re young dispersing males from South Dakota.” While the DNR has not confirmed other sightings, neighbors have chimed in with their own cougar stories.

Dan Strzyzewski lives in Wayne Township on Wilson Drive. He said early Monday morning, Feb. 12, he went to clear 2-3″ of snow off his quarter-mile paved driveway and observed “never before seen cat-like paw prints in the fresh snow.”

“They were leading 450 feet from the road to our home, around the home and heading into our woods at rear of the house.” Strzyzewski said the “gait was noticeably longer” than an ordinary house/feral cat, print size/diameter larger also.

“Given the size of the paw, toe count and gait length I determined prints I saw were made by a very large cat. Cougar?”

Strzyzewski said since the sighting on Feb. 7 was in the southern part of Washington County and he lives in the northwest corner of the county he believes there could be more than one “of these creatures in the general area.”

On Wednesday morning the cougar sighting in Colgate was a hot topic at the West Bend Elevator. “I warned the people at the checkout that if they have small pets, cats/lap dogs etc, beware,” he said.

Strzyzewski also wonders if the cougar is to blame for the lack of deer, raccoons, opossums this winter. “We’re normally flush with wildlife out here, but this year everything seems to have vanished, without explanation,” he said. “In any event, I know what I saw. Just my humble opinion but it’s critical word gets out regarding this development, regardless what the DNR says.”

Video footage of a large cat recorded by landowners in Washington County on Feb. 7 has been verified by Department of Natural Resources biologists as a cougar. This is likely the same cougar that was recently identified in Fond du Lac County and is now out of the area. The DNR said the video was taken in the southern part of the county in the Colgate area.

Currently, there is no evidence of a breeding population in Wisconsin. The nearest established cougar population is in the Black Hills area of South Dakota, and animals dispersing through Wisconsin are believed to originate from this population.

Former Long Branch Saloon has sold to Boro Buzdum

The former Long Branch Saloon in Barton has been sold. The property, 1800 Barton Avenue, was listed through Re/Max United and Paula Becker. It was initially priced at $184,500 and eventually dropped to $139,000.

The parcel sold Friday, Feb. 9, 2018 to Boro Buzdum for $100,000. The property was last assessed at $242,200.

Step out back the building and there’s a huge Dumpster as contractors are already gutting the interior. The local restaurant at the corner of Barton Avenue and Commerce Street closed in early 2016.  Over the years the building went to a sheriff’s sale and then got hung up in the system.

On Monday, Feb. 19 Buzdum will appear before the West Bend Licensing Committee for a Reserve Class B Combination License for Buzdum’s Pub & Grill in Barton.

There’s expected to be some scrutiny of the request as West Bend Police Chief Ken Meuler has documented in an 8-page report a troubled past for Buzdum.

Buzdum currently owns Buzdums Pub & Grill on Maple Road in Germantown. Buzdum previously owned Sophia’s Pub and Eatery in the Dove Plaza in Slinger. That opened in June 2015 and has since closed. In 2012 Buzdum purchased the former Players Pub & Grill and opened Spearmint Rhino Gentlemen’s Club on Highway 33 east in the Town of Trenton.  That establishment opened in 2013 and closed a couple years ago. In 2016 the West Bend Common Council did pass a cabaret ordinance which prohibits adult entertainment within the city limits.

Joyce Albrecht Lane coming to Washington County Fair Park

The Washington County Fair Park will be naming one of its roads after longtime fair manager Joyce Albrecht who was heavily involved in the County Fair before and after her retirement.

“It was the decision of the Ag and Industrial Society Board that because of her years of dedicated service as a fair director and a volunteer through Washington County 4-H and the home economics projects we felt she deserved special recognition,” said Kellie Boone, executive director of Washington County Fair Park.

This week the Washington County Administrative Committee reviewed a proposal: Should the Administrative Committee recommend authorization for the renaming of a road at Fair Park?

DISCUSSION: At the 12 December 2017 AIS Board Meeting, the board approved a recommendation to rename Hartford Savings Circle to Joyce Albrecht Lane upon approval from the County. It has been the tradition at Fair Park that roads signs be named in honor of contributors and supporters of Washington County Fair Park. As the Hartford Savings Bank is no longer in business, the AIS is requesting to rename the existing Harford Savings Circle to Joyce Albrecht Lane. Joyce served Washington County as the Home Economist for UW-Extension and as the Washington County Fair Manager and continued to volunteer her services at the Washington County Fair for many years after retirement.

After some discussion the committee voted to approve the resolution. “This is very, very deserving,” said former Fair Manager Sandy Lang. “She was always active in the home economics area with cake decorating and quilting and with the ladies at Trinity Lutheran Church.”

County Board Supervisor District 14 Marilyn H. Merten said “Joyce did an awful lot for the county” and is very deserving of this tribute. “She was a good supporter of Fair Park and she was very involved in the Build-a-Brick fundraiser, and 4-H,” she said. “Joyce was so passionate about working with kids and working with ladies, formerly known as homemakers.”

Albrecht taught at Big Foot High School for two years and then became the Home Economist for the University of Wisconsin Extension Office in Washington County and served as the Washington County Fair Manager until her retirement in 1997.

Ann Marie Craig first got to know Joyce Albrecht through 4-H. “I did projects like baking, canning, and sewing along with other projects nearly every year of the 9 years I was in 4-H and she was always at the dress reviews,” said Craig.

“Joyce also worked behind the scenes with the home arts judges at the Fair. She is another icon that several generations of 4-Hers and others in her field will remember and miss.”

Agnes Wagner was with Washington County for 18 years.  Wagner and Albrecht were both extremely visible when the fair grounds were located in Slinger.  “Joyce was a great worker and a great friend,” said Wagner.

Albrecht was a regular guest on the “Neighbor to Neighbor” show on WBKV AM-1470 with Steve Siegel.

Judy Etta said Albrecht was a fixture with 4-H at the County Fair. “She was a dear person,” said Etta. “She was smart and witty and a good person even after she retired.”

Albrecht, 74, died after a lingering illness on Feb. 28, 2017. Joyce attended and graduated from Waukesha South High School in 1960. She continued her education at the University of Wisconsin Stout campus where she majored in Home Economics Education.

During her career, Joyce was very active in the State & National Home Economist Association. She was active in the Washington County Retired Educators, the West Bend Women’s Club and was an active member at Trinity Lutheran Church in West Bend.

Joyce enjoyed basket weaving, quilting, needle work, chair caning, and having fun playing Bridge. She loved to travel and downhill ski. She had a large collection of kitchen aprons and enjoyed collecting vintage items. She also enjoyed entertaining and hosted many “Packer Dinners.”

Joyce was proud that she inspired one of her own goddaughters to pursue a career in Home Economics Education, now known as Family & Consumer Education.

Declining enrollment projections in WB School District

The West Bend School Board received a review of 2018 -2019 enrollment projections for the school district. Interim director of finance and support services Dave Van Spankeren reviewed the numbers from the Robert W. Baird forecast model.

“You can see the decline, the gradual decline,” said Van Spankeren. “I know the districts done studies before, we have some of that information; this is just a projection it’s about 1.5 percent each year declining.  But this all could change with the economy changing, jobs changing, but this has been a pretty normal trend in many school districts.”

School board member Monte Schmiege said he had a difficult time making sense of the numbers. He said he didn’t understand how numbers could be dropping in kindergarten and then hold steady at 408 moving from 2019 – 2023.

Former School Board president advises on superintendent search

At Monday night’s West Bend School Board meeting, during the 3-minute public comment portion, former West Bend School Board President Charlie Hillman offered some wisdom on the district’s search for a new superintendent.

“I’ve walked a mile in your shoes,” said Hillman who explained his role on a school board that had to dismiss a superintendent and hire a new one.

At that time the board dismissed Randall Eckart and conducted a search to eventually hire Dr. Patricia Herdrich. Currently the board is looking for a superintendent to replace Erik Olson

On Monday night, Hillman offered the board three pieces of advice.

Maintain high expectation. “West Bend has historically had a very good reputation in the state. There are 426 public school districts in Wisconsin and West Bend is in the top 5 percent in terms of size. What that means is there are 400 sitting superintendents in Wisconsin for whom coming to West Bend would be a step up.”

“If you look at the districts that are bigger than we are and you add another 20 to 30 assistant superintendents and that might be interested and I think we might have what we need right here.”

“We are a desirable district and we deserve top talent and we should act like it.”

Take your time. “This is the most important task the school board has.  We all hope for a hire who will settle in West Bend. In order to take enough time to ensure success is to have a parallel effort on an interim superintendent. It’s a common gate for retiring superintendents to double dip for a while and are flexible in their tenures.”

“The idea is to hire an interim to shore up administrative resources at central office, help us with the selection of a superintendent and then go away.”

There are at least 40 people who may be interested.

Involve the community. “When the city had to replace TJ Justice as an administrator it was very clear they could not make a mistake and wisely they brought in community groups. The more people you involve the less probability of making a mistake.”

On a side note: There has been scuttlebutt in the community as two local names keep coming up for the superintendent job. John Engstrom is an administrator in the Friess Lake School District. That district is consolidating with Richfield Joint #1. A new administrator has been selected for that Holy Hill Area School District. That new administrator, Tara Villalobos will start July 1.

Engstrom worked in the West Bend School District before leaving for Friess Lake around 2012.

Another name is Jim Curler, currently the assistant superintendent in the Slinger School District. Curler was also previously employed in the WBSD for over 13 years as principal at the high schools.

In January 2018 after the job for a new superintendent in West Bend was posted at the Wisconsin Education Career Access Network website Tiffany Larson, West Bend School Board president, was asked about the two possible candidates.

Her response was “At this time the board encourages all qualified candidates to submit their applications via WECAN, we have not discussed individuals.”

The School Board will meet Monday, Feb. 19 “to go over the executive search firms for the superintendent search. The board will interview the search firms,” according to assistant superintendent of teaching and learning/ lead district administrator Laura Jackson.

Demolition of former Walgreens

Demolition of the old Walgreens, 806 S. Main Street, in West Bend is underway. A crane was brought onto the site and into the north parking lot off Decorah Road on Tuesday.

The Walgreens building is being demolished to make way for a second Kwik Trip in West Bend.

According to the city: Kwik Trip will be leveling the building and removing all the asphalt in the parking lot.

-The new building will be smaller than the current Walgreens; the front of the building will face S. Main Street. There will be a canopy with five islands and 20 pumps running parallel to S. Main Street.

-The driveways will remain the same with one entrance/exit onto S. Main and the same two driveways out the back onto Fifth Avenue.

-The proposed Kwik Trip building is 7,316 square feet, which is the same size as the Kwik Trip on Silverbrook Drive. The Walgreens measures 16,459 square feet, so the Kwik Trip building will be about half that size.

That location, according to the West Bend City Assessor’s office, has been vacant since late 2010 when Walgreens closed because its new store opened just south of Paradise Drive. Halloween Express did open in this location, but that was temporary and seasonal.

This will be the fifth Kwik Trip in Washington County. West Bend’s first Kwik Trip opened on Silverbrook Drive on Oct. 27, 2016.

Kwik Trip’s Hans Zietlow said he likes this location for several reasons, but primarily because it’s the center of town.  On more of a neighborhood note, folks on Decorah Road will appreciate it because they’ve been without a convenience store since Pat’s Jiffy Stop closed in November 2016.

Updates & tidbits

Tuesday, Feb. 20 is Election Day. Polls open at 7 a.m.  There’s a race for a seat on the West Bend School Board. Vote for two candidates, the top four will advance to the April 3 election. There’s also a county supervisor race and a race for the State Supreme Court.

The annual Bowl-A-Thon for the Washington County Dive Team is coming up Saturday, March 3. The event is held in memory of Michael Mann who fell through the ice on Big Cedar Lake and died in 2003.

– Join the Wisconsin Antique Power Reunion for its 19th annual Farm Toy Show on Sunday, Feb. 18 at Circle B Recreation in Cedarburg from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. The show will feature over 50 tables for dealers and displays. Food and refreshments available.

– The Washington County Fair Park will be celebrating this St. Patrick’s Day with an indoor concert featuring Irish and Scottish folk tunes and classic pub songs from bands Tallymoore and Ceol Carde. Headlining the event will be U2 Zoo.

-The 7th annual Diamond Dinner & Benefit for the West Bend Baseball Association is March 3 at The Columbian. There will be a tribute to athletes who made their mark in local baseball circle including Mark Scholz, Adam Rohlinger, Bob Meyer, Bob Kissinger and TJ Fischer.

In honor of Valentine’s Day – a true story of love

There’s a familiar couple that walk arm in arm around West Bend; their pace is steady, their love is evident:

Nancy Schultz and Jerry Cash.

Cash and Schultz – it sounds like a country-western band.

“We met one another at The Threshold 34 years ago and we’ve never had an argument,” said Jerry.

At 80 years old Jerry is sharp and spry, and he tells it like it is.

He holds on to Nancy’s arm while they walk so she doesn’t stumble and fall.

Nancy, 66, said she holds onto Jerry because she loves him.

Jerry graduated from Barton Grade School 66 years ago. “Then I went to work on the farm with my parents,” he said. “I’m an old-time West Bender.”

Several years ago Jerry volunteered his time at The Threshold. “I sat down next to Nancy to talk to her and she said ‘I’m not even going to look at you,’” he said, recalling his first meeting with the love of his life, “And now look at us.”

The couple belong to Good Shepherd Church in West Bend. Nancy embroiders, makes colorful tablecloths with butterflies and she collects church bulletins. “If you have any church bulletins or tell your parents to save their bulletins for us,” she said. “I save them and when it’s raining or icky outside I take a hand full and read them.”

Nancy and Jerry talk about the simple things in life. Nancy said they have a washer and dryer at their house, they have a brand new vacuum, and she likes watching birds.

Nancy reaches out and tenderly strokes the back of Jerry’s head. She readily expresses her genuine love for him.

“I sing him beautiful songs,” said Nancy.  “The Polish Lullaby, May you Never be Alone Like Me and What a friend we have in Jesus.”

Jerry said he loves Nancy because of what she can do. “She can cook, she can bake, she’s always got a wonderful smile, she talks very polite to everybody and she likes children,” he said.

Ten years ago, Jerry wrapped up a 15-year career working at the Old Fashioned Bakery. “Rich Schommer was my boss,” he said, “I went in late at night. I made donuts, bread, everything.. you name it.”

The pair are walking on a sunny Sunday to McDonald’s for supper; it’s about 11:30 a.m.  “I really like their salads,” said Nancy.

McDonald’s is an easy jaunt for the couple who walk from their home on East Decorah Road across from the high school. “We’ll walk to Walmart and back,” said Jerry, “That’s about 10 miles and sometimes we even walk out to Burger King.”

During lunch Nancy talks about her sisters, how her father has died and how her mother can’t wait to join him.

And then the conversation shifts to polka.

“We love polka,” said Nancy. The pair listen to the music Sunday morning on the radio. “I listen every day, every day,” she said, “We have cassette tapes and we listen and we embroider and then when 10 o’clock comes we close up shop for the night because then it’s time to go to bed.”

As I wrap up my visit, the couple make a simple request.

“If you see any polka music or nature tapes, just put it in the bag next to our door and mark it Schultz and Cash,” said Nancy. “We just love polka music and this has been such a good day because I can’t believe you took our picture.”


1031, 17 February 2018


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