Dang! Almost 300 blog views within the first 24 hours! We’re all in this together now. We must find out what I did on January 13, 1999.
Thanks to your feedback, I was able to confirm that I was wrong about one thing: Bryon Noem was not the basketball coach; it was in fact Judd Fryslie. Thanks to Kaley Madsen, Nina Fryslie Doorenbos, and David Lusk for correcting me on that detail! I’m not sure that does much to help determine any details of that day, except to note that Judd Fryslie occasionally kept me after practice a few extra minutes to work individually on some post moves.
Astoundingly, over half the females in my graduating class have weighed in; many of them even checking diaries, notes passed in class, and even compatibility tests. So far, nothing has turned up. But you keep searching, ladies!
Now, back to the ongoing investigation.
I was able to dig up the 3rd quarter report card in a box of memorabilia in the garage that showed these were the classes that would have been on my schedule on January 13, 1999. I’m comfortable sharing these perfectly acceptable grades from literally half of my life ago, so I’m not going to go to the trouble of blurring anything out.
The classes were listed in order that they occurred during the day. Business with Ms. Berens was 1st period. Biology with Mr. Meyer was 2nd period. There were definitely two study halls mixed in here somewhere. Could they have been back-to-back and then Band/Chorus fifth period? Geography and World History were each one-semester classes, as we can see on the report card, and I’m fairly sure those were 6th period. English II would have been either Mr. Kinder or Mrs. Thoreson, and was 7th period… I just can’t remember when Kinder retired. Algebra II with Mr. Kruse ended the day.
I have plenty of memories from those classes. Ms. Berens had a game to study for tests where we raced to the front of the room and whoever grabbed the dry-erase marker first got to write the answer on the board for a point. I remember that resulting in several minor injuries to classmates, mostly rugburn. I also remember getting a perfect 10/10 on a biology quiz of the parts of the dissected frog, despite only getting a C+ in that class. Guy LaMont was beginning to come out of his shell a bit and was often in trouble in Mr. Kelley’s class, one time being forced to move his desk behind the world map. And this seems like the year that we read a lot of Greek mythology in English class. Rosencratz and Gildenstern are forever etched in my memory. But did any of these things happen on 1/13/99? No one can say for sure.
While this is valuable and indicates which classes I was taking that day, it still gives no true insight into any exact happenings involving me on January 13, 1999.
What next? Where else can I turn? What other resources are there available to me?
- The school’s website! Well, in theory it would have been a big help, but the old site has long since been replaced and none of the old content was archived. But thanks to the Internet Archive, I was able to dig up this snapshot of the school site from February 3, 1999. But, all of the images on the individual pages are broken, and those would have been critical. The lunch menu and calendar of events were scans from handouts and are forever lost. If there is anyone who has access to those files, I know who it would be… Mr. Meyer!
- There is one teeny tiny detail on that archived snapshot that specifically states January 13, 1999… the date that the Semester Calendar page was updated. That would have been done by Mr. Meyer. So at the very least, I can place Mr. Meyer in his classroom updating the school website at some point that day.
- I was unable to find any additional photos from 1999 that might have possibly been taken in January. Despite all my intensive scanning efforts from last fall, the Glanzer family archives seem to have some sort of black hole from 1998-1999.
- I was unable to dig up some sort of long-lost CD that had all of the files from our home computer archived. I found one that Alex appeared to have assembled with a lot of home PC files, but they were mostly from 2000-2001. I tended to create a lot of absolute junk on the computer. I’d just open Word and type some asinine story or a list of things and save it. But, no such luck.
- The other high school memorabilia that was in that plastic tote in the garage with the report card was mostly from senior year, or undated. There were a lot of cards in there wishing me well after my broken leg in 9/98, but they were a few months shy of 1/13/99.
In theory, I have a lot of really solid evidence that would tell the story of what happened to me on January 13, 1999. Mr. Meyer updating the website plus the weather report indicate school was in session as scheduled. My attendance report indicates a 98% chance I was at school (I missed just 1.5 days that quarter), and the report card shows the classes I had that day. I most likely had basketball practice with Judd Fryslie after school.
As for the rest of the Glanzer family, there’s almost a 100% chance Mom hauled mail that day and Dad undoubtedly tended to at least some farm and mechanic duty that day. The general outline is all there.
All I need is some definitive proof of something that happened to me that day. So far this is all good and well, but this could be the blueprint for any Wednesday in the winter of 1999. If I were on trial like Adnan Seyd, I’d need more than my course outline and a weather report to buy my freedom. I’m sure that there’s something out there that can be of use to me; I just need to figure out what, and how to access it.
The obvious next places to look are hard copies of publications–the school newspaper The Broadcaster, the local newspaper Clark County Courier, and of course that year’s yearbook, or annual as it was often called.
We’ll see what other information can be unearthed next time!
Lauren and I recently finished listening to the podcast that swept the nation last fall, Serial. In it, the host interviews various individuals associated with a murder that occurred on January 13, 1999 in Baltimore. Adnan Seyd was found guilty of the murder and imprisoned, but many believe he either was innocent or, at the very least, there wasn’t enough evidence to have indicted him. If Seyd really was innocent, then it would be very difficult for him to remember tiny details about a date in the past that to him previously had no significance. Sure, he and his friends and alleged accomplice were trying to remember the details of that day just a few months later, but throughout the podcast they are repeatedly questioned about the details of that date that had occurred over 15 years in the past. What details could they possibly remember?
That got me to wondering. Could I possibly piece together the details of where I was on January 13, 1999? It’s going to take a lot of devotion, a lot of investigating, and perhaps a few interviews, but I pledge to get to the bottom of this!
Let’s start with what we definitely know.
- It was a Wednesday.
- I lived on a farm near Carpenter, South Dakota with my parents, brother, and sister.
- I was a sophomore at Willow Lake High School.
- School was held from 8:20am to 3:32pm.
- I was a member of the basketball team, and basketball was in season.
- Basketball practices were held every non-gameday weekday after school from 3:30 to 6:00, sometimes later.
Okay, great start. The basics are out of the way. What else can I surmise?
- The second semester probably had just started the previous week, so school was only recently back in session after Christmas break.
- I undoubtedly was at school, unless of course it was cancelled due to snow, a distinct possibility. However, a quick online search shows a weather report for Clark, SD as having 0.0″ of precipitation that day, albeit a high temp of 5º F. I think we can safely conclude that school was in session.
- I know that over Christmas break I had fully recovered from my broken leg sustained the previous September, so I was freshly out of a cast. Our family Christmas photos from Thanksgiving Day 1998 seem to support my theory that I was well on my way to recovery and would have been back to playing basketball on January 13, 1999.
- Wednesdays were reserved for church activities throughout the state, so while there may have been basketball practice, there definitely would not have been a basketball game.
- I was not involved in any after-school church activities that year. Confirmation class ended after 8th grade.
- It would be reasonable to assume that I drove to school with Jordan and Alex in tow, but they likely would have ridden the school bus home while I stayed for basketball practice under head coach Bryon Noem. (Judd Fryslie was coach junior year and Paul Kelley senior year.)
- Basketball would have ended around 6:00pm; I would have gotten home no later than 6:30.
- I typically woke up around 6:30am on school days and went to bed no later than 10:45pm.
- I was in band and chorus, and all throughout my time in school they were 5th period. Mon/Wed/Fri was band, Tues/Thu was chorus. We went right up to the lunch bell at 12:36, then had a very small window of 20 minutes to eat lunch before the next bell at 12:56. Hardly seems fair!
Some plain guesses here, but let’s lay out my day so far.
- 6:30am – Wake up. Eat breakfast.
- 7:45am – Drive to school with Jordan and Alex in bitter cold.
- 8:05am – Arrive to school 15 minutes before first period.
- 8:20am – School begins.
- 12:36pm – Band
- 12:40pm – Lunch
- 12:56pm – Sixth period begins.
- 3:32pm – School ends, basketball practice begins.
- 6:00pm – Basketball practice ends, I drive home.
- 6:30pm – I arrive home. Dinner is served.
- 7:00pm – I likely spend the rest of the night in my bedroom.
- 10:45pm – I am asleep.
Some minor research and a whole lot of thinking has gotten me this far. Can I confirm any of this? What other sources could I check?
- I had no cell phone then, so there are no phone records to trace.
- We had a landline phone at home, though it would have been atypical for me to have made a phone call, nor do I suspect the records are easily accessible, if at all.
- We had the internet at home and school, and I had an e-mail account. Going back through my old Yahoo e-mail account, there are no e-mails saved prior to September 1999, neither in my inbox or the Sent folder. Nor do any of the messages in my Yahoo inbox contain any mention of the happenings of January 13, 1999.
- If I didn’t sign up for my own Yahoo account until the late summer, then it’s very likely I was still using firstname.lastname@example.org, an account shared by me, Brandon Hanson, Jesse Van Heukelom, and Guy LaMont. We used it mostly to sign up for junk, because e-mail and the internet were pretty new and that’s just what you did. Several attempts to log in were unsuccessful; I have no clue what that password would have been, or if the account is even active.
- I don’t have the high school yearbook handy, but it’s very unlikely that would have included any sort of clues as to what happened that day unless there was a sporting event, which there was almost certainly not.
- I have quite a few photos from 1999 available to me, many of them time-stamped, and many of them available to me right now on my computer. Unfortunately, it becomes clear while browsing the photos that I didn’t purchase my camera until the summer of 99. All of the photos with time-stamps are dated August 25 and beyond.
- This photo intrigues me. It is from 1999, but without being able to see the back of it, I can’t dial in on a particular date or time. It was obviously taken at school, during a Mr. Kelley class. There isn’t much else I can gather, though. Would it have been taken in the winter? Was it even from the right school year? Most people shown are in t-shirts, which doesn’t seem very wintry. There is a calendar in the far distance, but it is impossible to read. Someone has a textbook on their desk behind me, but it is mostly cut off. Nope, until I can find the actual copy and check the back, this isn’t of much use.
Okay, we’re not exactly getting anywhere here. Maybe the national news will help jog my memory.
- On January 13, 1999, Michael Jordan announced his second of three retirements from the NBA. “Baby One More Time” reached #1 on the pop charts. You’ve Got Mail was tops at the box office. Tom Brokaw’s book was a top-seller, especially locally. But those tidbits do nothing for me.
- The national TV schedule for Wednesdays in the 1998-99 season were pretty lame. The only show I conceivably would have watched would have been Whose Line Is It Anyway.
- Ah, now here’s something useful! Days earlier, on January 10, the Minnesota Vikings had defeated the Arizona Cardinals in the second round of the NFL Playoffs, 41-21. That I do remember, vaguely. And I definitely remember the following Sunday when the Falcons beat the Vikings in the NFC Championship Game. (Sorry to bring that back up!) So during that week, there must have been a lot of optimism in the community. Many Vikings fans surely were wearing their Randy Moss jerseys to school that week. I, however, was strictly a Chargers fan at that point in time, and they did not qualify for the playoffs. Nor does this give me any idea of any specifics of my whereabouts that day.
This is all the data I have at my fingertips from my work laptop. Any further investigation will have to be done the dirty way… by hand.