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I feel so horribly guilty.

…to read a short sidebar I wrote for them called Bluestown vs. Brewtown.

And yes, I feel horribly guilty about writing this one. But, hey, at least I got to bag on that human turd Sheriff David Clarke.

You can also read it here. It’s at the bottom of the article.

Gonna get some shit from my family for this one,

-Shady

…but that didn’t stop teachers from giving me some sweet awards over the years.

First, I got this Certificate of Citizenship (whatever that means) from Principal Josie B. Gray and my fourth grade teacher Mrs. Koury of Lowell Elementary in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This certificate was for “continuous effort” and “development of responsibility,” which you’ll notice are underlined. You may also notice that “good behavior” and “practice of courtesy” are crossed out. Yeah… sounds about right.

Framing that one!

I hit that milestone on June 10th, 1986 at only nine years old. BOOM, Y’ALL!

And on April 23rd, 1990, at the obnoxious age of 13, I got this Certificate of Award (pretty sure that’s not even proper English) for “Acting a Fool in Music Class” from Principal I.M. Nutty of Reform School. Or, more accurately, Mr. Ellington, my chorus teacher at Jackie Robinson Middle School.

Truth!

I’ve made a living out of acting a fool,

-Shady

…and over the years I bought (and received) a lot of them.

Mo' sno' glo'!

If I bought one for myself, I’d write where/when I got it on the bottom.

Salem, Massachusetts: 10/9/99

If it was given to me as a gift, I’d write the year and name of the person who gave it to me on the bottom.

From Beth: 1999

But after sitting in a box in my dad’s basement for years, I finally donated all of them to Milwaukee’s ReStore, which raises money for Milwaukee’s Habitat for Humanity program.

So if you’re in the market for some old snow globes, get down there ASAP.

No mo’ sno’ glo’,

-Shady

The Cheese Gang of 1994

…and I was 17 years old.

We all rode the yellow bus to school together and were thick as thieves.

Last week, we shared beers together before one of us moved to Germany for work. We’re all fathers now. One of us will even be a grandfather by year’s end.

Where did the last 22 years go?

Great hanging, fellas. Let’s do it again soon. Or at least sooner than 22 years from now because, you know… we’ll all be in our sixties.

Jesus Christ. That’s terrifying.

The Cheese Gang,

-Shady

…because, you know, what kid didn’t?

Beth and I would throw them out the windows of our dad’s red Ford Escort—on the sly, of course (or so we thought)—whenever he’d pass by someone walking down the street.

At first, it made him nuts. He’d yell, “Don’t do that! You’re gonna get in trouble!” But one day, for some unknown reason, his opinion of our admittedly childish antics made an abrupt and unexpected 180-degree turn.

We were driving east on Morgan Avenue in Milwaukee and, as we approached the top of a small hill, he turned to Beth and I in the backseat and said, “There are two kids riding bikes coming up. Get ’em.”

Beth and I looked at each other and smiled. He didn’t have to tell us twice. We each chucked a bang snap out the window as we passed. As we drove on we heard one of the kids yell to the other kid, “Hold up! I think I just popped a tire!”

Success.

A couple weeks ago, Beth and my dad spent a night at our place. They were headed to London together the next day, and before their trip they decided to stop at a CVS and stock up on snacks for their long flight.

When my dad walked out of the store he handed me this:

BANG!

SNAP!

I’ll be driving with my windows down this summer, that’s for sure.

39 going on 9,

-Shady

…but something tells me they still haven’t worked out all of the bugs on the mobile version of their site.

Ummm....

...no...

...not even close.

I’d actually go see those bands,

-Shady

Matt Krings... 22 years later.

We had both just entered the sixth grade at Jackie Robinson Middle School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. At the time, Matt was eleven years old. I was ten.

We then both went on to attend Riverside University High School on the city’s east side. The last time we saw each other was at graduation in June 1994.

Two weeks ago, we got sushi together.

Matt turns 40 next week. That same fate awaits me this September.

Here’s hoping we don’t wait another 22 years before we hang out again.

Kicking it really old school,

-Shady

1703 W. Bolivar Avenue

This one, too.

905 E. Doty Place

Thanks to Beth for the photos,

-Shady

I'm seriously getting hungry as I write this.

…I know you’ve been gone awhile now, but I just found your matchbook.

Someone should reopen it,

-Shady

Carrie gifts!

…for bringing us these goodies all the way from Milwaukee!

That book’s gonna come in handy in about five weeks,

-Shady