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Homme Home For Boys Wittenberg, WI

looking back at a by gone era

Above you see the woods that lined the driveway going into Homme Home For Boys. I was reluctant to provide the details of a lawless, anti authoritarian life... but realized and I can say and affirm by experience: "Be sure your sin will find you out!"

Once I was brought by God's grace to see my sin and guilt before Him I started searching the Bible and found my life experience was summed up in this verse: "Even in laughter is the heart pained, and the latter end of joy is affliction..." Proverbs 14:13. I too realized "there is a way that seems right to man, but the end thereof are the ways of death" Proverbs 14:12.

The Apostle Paul vividly states the reality of the sinful human experience we revel in called life when he stated to the Ephesian believers: "This I say and testify in the Lord, that you henceforth walk not as other gentiles (the nations distinct from Israel) walk in the vanity of your mind, having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart, who being past feelings have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness." Ephesian 4:17-19

I realized this truth and you too will need to realize this before you can be saved (forgiven of your sin, born again from above or reconciled to God). Before anyone is saved they need to realize they too are sinful, lost, guilty, with out hope, and without God; the judge of all the earth.

Entering The woods

This is the drive way leading into Homme Home. This would be the view as seen from the guest house which was used by residents and their families up for weekend visits. Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Dill

The Guest house

Here is the guest house I stayed in when my mother would come to visit me. We would have spent time reconnecting as she would remind me of her love for me and prayer for change that would move me in a successful direction. I still remember her green Buick Regal and her desire I would turn from my anti-authoritarian ways, but all attempts of man apart from the Gospel of our God and The Lord Jesus Christ were futile. Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Dill

The main building

Here is the front entrance we used as we came and went from the dorms, kitchen, dining and counseling that was a part of our daily life. Above Todd Lodholz is seen with Rick Ramos. This facility was amazing, we played sports, had a full shop and graphic arts department, fished, swam, tapped maple trees, went canoeing and rode mini bikes in participation with NYPUM (National Youth Project Using Minibikes). Homme Home was situated on Homme Pond Lake that had a dam at one end; I remember there was a big tree with a rope we could swing on and drop to the water below. Often we'd hear the dinner bell while swimming and would have to swim from the dam back to that tree and run to the dining room for dinner. Additionally we would go into Wittenberg to bowl, drive to Rib Mountain and go hiking or spend time at Dells of the Eau Claire east of Wausau where there were various rock slides. There was also Panic Park and the Embarrass River located in Whittenberg. Periodically we would drive to Wausau, WI too and go shopping for clothing etc. While speaking of clothing, I remember the laundry staff not only laundered our clothing, but folded it too; once the laundry was done, we'd have to go pick it up. The laundry staff were awesome, I spent a lot of time visiting them... the staff would repair our tattered threads and alter our garments upon request. They were very loving ladies indeed! They took a great interest in our well being. Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Dill

Some of the best times of our youth!

Left to right you have Cindy Burak Gresmer(Art Teacher) Jay Nyhart, Bob Fields, Todd Lodholz, and Kerry who was the Industrial Arts teacher and brute force that kept us in check as needed. I am not sure all the names are spelled correctly but you know who you are. I literally jumped into this photo on the shoulders of Bob Fields and Todd Lodholz. I made the REO Speedwagon shirt I am wearing in Graphic Arts. Todd is seen wearing his long sleeved Ozzy Osbourne tee-shirt he made in the same class that I remember so well. That tee-shirt dates this picture 1981.

The staff

Here are various staff and workers that would have been familiar to Todd, and all others who are seen in these pictures. This picture was taken in the dining area, to the left was the backside of a big stone fireplace with an entrance on both sides leading into the smoking area. The smoking area had picture windows on all three sides giving a great view the surround grounds. These windows also gave us the ability to see who was headed to the smoking area; opposite of the fireplace was the backdoor of this end of the main building. We used to sit by the fireplace, smoke our cigarettes, and pass many long hours entertaining ourselves all the while dreaming about our future exploits...At these very same tables seen here we played not a few games of Spades and backgammon.

We had every opportunity to excel and we learned a lot!

Seen here is Jeff Morey. Jeff taught Wood Shop, Photography and Graphic Arts. It seems he might have been a Christian? I am not sure, but it strikes me he was. I remember he was a very caring individual and someone who commanded respect. Homme Home was an amazing experience and represents some of the best times I had as an adolescent. Unfortunately, even the best surroundings didn't change the passions that moved us for good or bad.

The meals were awesome! our friendship binding, the memories remain...

Here is one of the chief cooks. I remember we took turns serving tables and that the food was always good at Homme Home. We really lacked nothing on these grounds; we had good food, got a well rounded education and were exposed to all the good life had to offer. I unfortunately was not appreciative and went in the way of Cain. I do thank God for his providence though I am saddened by the way most of the youth went. There are very few success stories to be told from what I have learned over the years. But God is at work for good and He sees and knows all about these souls. With God the impossible is a possibility, He can do and does what we are incapable of. By God's grace I am here to recount what I can remember and tell my story.

Genuine Happiness was experienced

Here is "Eddie" and Todd... one thing we all loved was smoking our cigarettes, you certainly would not get away what that in a Residential Treatment Center for minors now days; we even had indoor smoking privileges! of course insubordination would see those privileges taken away... In the background is the school and gymnasium we played basketball in. On one occasion I remember we had a professional player show up and teach us how to shoot free throws, we perfected the 3 point shot long ago...what great fun that was! Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Dill

Working on a PHD from the School of Hard Knocks!

Here is a picture that depicts the craziness of life as we lived it with all the other residents! This picture was taken in the school attached to the gymnasium. In the back row left to right is me, Steve Dill, Todd Lodholz, Cindy Burak Gresmer(Art Teacher), Jeff Morey (Graphic Arts and Wood Shop Instructor) , Patty (Instructor), a guidance staffer (unknown name) but one who educated us on daily living skills and interpersonal etiquette , and last, Eddie soiling the picture with an old school photo bomb. In the front row left to right would be James Ewert, Jay Nyhart, Dominick Grill and an unidentified silhouette. I remember preparing for my GED (which I obtained in Oct. 1981) in this classroom with Patty who was the main school teacher. Looking at this picture reminds me that both Eddie and I wore bell bottoms the laundry staff created for us by slitting the legs of our jeans just below the knees and by sewing in triangular wedges of fabric. We loved those jeans! He was also responsible for piercing my left ear. He used just a potato and a needle sterilized by a lighter and/or alcohol and his steady hand. It was brutally painful as I recall. Again, viewing this group shot brings to my remembrance one time I was chasing James Ewert into the main building who upon passing the threshold slammed the door behind himself; this action caused my hand to go through the window leaving me a nice glass cut and a scare on my arm that I have to this day! I am quite sure there were repercussions and various sanctions incurred that day.

Todd and I

Here is Todd and I...If you were in the "IN" crowd, you were treated better than a brother, however, if you weren't I'm sure it was a nightmare at best. We were a tough group of boys who sought mischief out, sarcasm was our second language and we pushed every boundary to the limit. We tackled everything we did with unrelenting passion, and ruthlessness depending on our mood, but that was why were were at Homme Home. We had numerous voices reasoning with us and knew what the correct thing to do was, but we chose the wrong way...Our wills would not be broke, this alone was reserved for God himself, but at that time we would not hear it. Make no mistake though, while our way was hedged up at Homme Home, we all willing went to church most Sunday mornings... I don't recall what we heard, but God was speaking...and when he does some people hear. I am thankful for his persistent call, his patience, his love towards this fallen sinful world and his personal interest in me. How amazing he is! Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Dill

Compliance, incentive, & higher living!

Here is an un-named staffer; The face is familiar, but I can't recall his name. All the staff were outstanding from what I recall, but they did not play games, we were accountable. Often our lawless ways made us lose privileges and despise those who wielded the sword of justice, but again, we knew what the consequences were before we set out on our destructive course and took our chances. For those who complied, you could graduate from the dorms to apartment living. These apartments had locked doors and were just that, furnished apartments. This image was taken on the deck above the smoking area outside one of the higher living apartments occupied by several residents. I for a brief time graduated to higher living and roomed with Andy Devine. I spent many long hours hanging out with Andy and listening to Michael Schenker Group and UFO recordings at that time; I still have him to thank for the music education he gave me! Music was our great therapy in those days and had charm to soothe the savage beast...
On the run?! Here is me (L) with my 1976 Gibson Les Paul Custom and my brother Stuart!

recounting an era

What I learned about the glorious gospel of our God and his only begotten son Jesus Christ

Search the holy scriptures and see!

[Last updated 11.01.2021]

Created By
Steve Dill
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Photos courtesy of E. Dill