Unforgettable flavors of GL: Reporter reflects on summer of food, fun

Green Laker reporter Hannah Tetzlaff takes a bite out of a big cookie in remembrance of the tasty and unforgettable summer she had.    

by Hannah Tetzlaff

For years, I walked past the café.

Sometimes I would glance at it and other times, I would get curious enough and peer through the windows.

I’d witness people eating, chatting and laughing, but I would never venture in.

Every time I glimpsed the sign or peeked inside, I’d wonder what it must be like to relax inside the Green Lake Good Life Café.

However, I no longer need to wonder or imagine. I know what it’s like.

With the Green Laker summer internship, I had been “invited” in, and once I had opened the door and stepped inside, I experienced unforgettable “flavors.”

Within the café, there was a plethora of goodies and wares offered to me and I sampled them all.

I devoured a gigantic pretzel baked by the Amish, a barbeque pulled-pork sandwich made by a fireman, Green Lake County Fair deep-fried Oreos and frozen cheesecake, homemade honey, a Subway sandwich sold on a boat, flavored popcorn and chocolate goodies from a candy shoppe and a five-course catered meal.

I had eaten my way through Green Lake and enjoyed every last bite, but the best part was the people I met.

I encountered car aficionados who loved restoring old cars, folks passionate about marine mail, marathon runners, health and wellness enthusiasts, individuals who cared for the walleyes, guides who knew all the fishing trade secrets, history buffs that brought the past to life, warm-hearted event organizers and many more.

Each one added their own flair and personality to the food they prepared, events they planned, hobbies they loved and stories they told; together, they created the unique flavor that is Green Lake.

It’s a flavor that welcomes, soothes and captivates you, and it’s seeped all throughout Green Lake; wherever you go and whatever you do, you can experience it.

More than the food, events and activities, I will remember these people.

When I made mistakes — such as botching a photo or getting lost — they were there, guiding me and supporting me.

When I doubted myself and my abilities, they were right there with compliments. And when I lacked ideas, they had suggestions.

As a rookie journalist, there was no better community to learn and cover.

After each person I interviewed, I constantly asked myself, “Why? Why haven’t I come here before? Why didn’t I do this before?” and every time, I didn’t have an answer.

I realized I had been like a passerby who would glance at a quaint café and then walk past. I had no reason not to enter and yet I never did.

All I know is that I couldn’t have asked for a better summer internship and I am grateful that I had the chance to venture into the communities and meet remarkable people.

Even if it was for a few short months, I had lived the “Good Life.”

Hannah Tetzlaff devours a large part of the pretzel she bought from Pleasant View Bakery during her first month as the Green Laker reporter.

Hannah Tetzlaff devours a large part of the pretzel she bought from Pleasant View Bakery during her first month as the Green Laker reporter.