Hannah Tetzlaff and Rosie Alsum stand before the surrey bike they rode around the city of Green Lake, a fond memory for both of them from the summer of 2016. Rosie Alsum photo
by Hannah Tetzlaff
Little did I know that when I hit the last keystroke on my computer for my final Green Laker article in 2016, that it wasn’t goodbye forever.
When my summer as a Green Laker reporter came to an end two years ago, I never thought that I would have the opportunity to come back and cover the Green Lake area as a reporter for The Ripon Commonwealth Press.
Had I known then what I know now two years later, then I would like to think I would have left with a little more style and flair. Maybe something along the lines of a dramatic, intense look and a terrible imitation of “I’ll be back.”
I could quote famous movie lines all day, but the quotes wouldn’t come anywhere close to conveying how excited I am to be back.
My time as a Green Laker reporter enabled me to experience once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, and the memories I created from those experiences are ones that I still treasure to this day. Over the last two years, I would catch myself reminiscing about the people I met and the stories they told me, and those memories would always bring a smile to my face.
However, some memories would make me almost fall out of my chair laughing.
When I remember the time that my friend, Rosie Alsum, and I rented a surrey bike from Creative Soul in downtown Green Lake, it always makes me chortle, imagining us huffing and puffing as we tried to go up even the slightest incline and the relief we felt when we soared down any hill.
I can honestly say that I haven’t grown since that experience, so my poor little feet still can’t quite reach those pedals; I guess I will always have to have someone taller than me when I go surrey bike-riding. Hopefully, the person won’t notice that they’re doing most of the work because with my short stature I’m really just sitting there, looking pretty.
Another memory that has me snickering and shaking my head is my adventure out to Dalton to find the Amish bakery, Pleasant View Bakery. My sister, Sarah, and I had gotten lost on our way there; I personally blame
Google Maps for telling us the wrong directions.
What was supposed to be a 40-minute drive through some beautiful farmland took more than an hour.
It probably would have been quicker if my sister and I had just used our noses and sniffed our way to the bakery, following the warm, delicious scent of cinnamon rolls, homemade bread, pies, cookies and more.
We remember the way, so when we venture out to get more yummy breads and huge pretzels, we don’t rely on Google Maps anymore or our noses.
Google Maps and I are on better terms now; it hasn’t lied to me since, and I haven’t had to scold it for leading me astray.
Though Google Maps may not have misdirected me after that incident, I still had a tendency to get lost that summer. Go figure.
My pride had taken hit because I thought I was a decent navigator until my friend, Jess Eidenshink, and I continued to get lost during our mission to scour through all the thrift shops in the area to find cowboy boots.
We did not find any cowboy boots at the thrift stores that fit, which is a typical problem with thrift stores. You may find the exact item that you’re looking for, it just doesn’t fit, or you find many items that you weren’t looking for but now must have.
Even though we didn’t find any cowboy boots during our long and winding hunt through the stores, we still walked away with a decent-sized bounty of clothes, shoes and accessories.
I may have gotten quite lost on the thrift shop trip, but I still believe the misadventure to the Amish bakery was all Google Maps’ fault.
Despite my odd misadventures and talent for getting lost even when modern technology is guiding me, there are many memories where I was able to find my way and enjoy my destination.
One such memory is of my experience helping deliver the marine mail, riding in the Chris Crafts on Green Lake. I found my way perfectly to the boat launch by Deacon Mills Park; it helps when you’ve driven through the city of Green Lake a few times, can read signs and see the water.
Me and several mailmen and women met down at the boat launch, carefully entered the boats and then had the time of our lives as we glided smoothly through the water and delivered people’s mail.
Had I known then that you can deliver mail by boat, maybe I would have changed my profession to mail carrier because being on the water, breathing in the fresh lake smell and feeling the warm sun on me was simply amazing.
The experience was breathtaking, and I loved the history and tradition behind marine mail route.
As I recount my experiences as the Green Laker reporter, many more memories pop into my mind, and try as I might, I think it would take a book and a solid decade to tell all of my tales from that summer.
The one thing that I will always take with me that summer is that Green Lake and its surrounding area is the place to be during the summer. Once you have fun under the Green Lake sun, you always come back until the summer is done. The people of Green Lake area are generous, hospitable and kind, and they always have a good story to tell.
I am honored to have the pleasure to come back and regale everyone with how much fun can be had under the Green Lake sun this summer.
There’s always something exciting to do in Green Lake that is within a hop, skip and a jump, or if you’re feeling adventurous, a mere surrey-bike ride away.