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LOWELL

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262 245 9030 www.lowellmanagement.com


IT’S ALL ABOUT

YOU

You have impeccable taste. You like to go fast, have fun, yet take time to relax. And, you want to compromise nothing. You don’t have to. When you buy a Cobalt, Marker One or MasterCraft from Gordy’s, you are not only getting a world-class luxury boat, but world-class

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service as well. We’ll help you find that summer love, and we’ll take care of you both all the way.

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The Great Ice Out............................................................8 Invasives.............................................................................10 The Lot ............................................................................... 14 A Noble Tree .................................................................... 18 Poolishness......................................................................20 Dinner Time ..................................................................... 24 Toys ..................................................................................... 28 The Procession .............................................................. 32 The Blues ..........................................................................36 Open .................................................................................. 40 Who’s The Boss? ..........................................................46 Forecast Insecurity ...................................................... 52 Fishing 101 ........................................................................ 56

BRUCE THOMPSON | www.genevaimages.com

This Time ..........................................................................60

Cover art an original work by Neal Aspinall. Magazine title, Summer Homes For City People was borrowed from a 1898 real estate brochure called “The Story of Geneva Lake,” written by F.R. Chandler, under the auspices of the Lake Geneva Village Association. Lake photographs have been provided by Bruce Thompson. This magazine was printed by David Curry of Geneva Lakefront Realty, LLC. Any questions relating to this magazine or to future advertising may be made directly to dave@genevalakefrontrealty.com. Reproducing any of this content without owner consent is prohibited. This magazine is published for information and entertainment purposes only. Geneva Lakefront Realty LLC is not responsible for any claims, representations, or errors made by the publisher, author, or advertisers. For specific details, please consult your attorney, accountant, or licensed Realtor. Geneva Lakefront Realty LLC is a fair housing broker and limited liability company in the state of Wisconsin. Listings are subject to prior sale or price change.


Quality Craftmanship Designed for Your Way of Living.

Lake Geneva, WI 262-248-9210 EngermanContracting.com


Welcome to summer 2016 and the 7th issue of Summer Homes For City People. Before we get too excited, we should recognize that summer isn’t fun for everyone. Some people don’t get to enjoy this season like we do. Some people, those people who are vacation home-less, just spend summer in the city. For the rest of us, it’s time to celebrate. We’ve made it to another summer. The market has performed remarkably well over recent years, with 2015 experiencing an incredible surge in lakefront home sales on Geneva Lake. As always, I was thrilled to be part of that marquee market segment. With more than $132MM in sales since the start of 2010, few other agents have played such a large role in placing as many happy Lake Geneva lovers into new lake homes. This year, the theme remains the same. The markets have normalized, but market mistakes abound. There are blue chip properties waiting for new owners, just as there are outliers looking to snag a straggler. I’m here to make sure you’re not the buyer that purchases the outlier. If you’re new to the market, welcome. If you’re like me, and a summer at Lake Geneva is as comfortable and understood as a dear old friend, welcome back. Whatever your aim, should you find yourself in Lake Geneva and in need of some real estate assistance, I’m here to help. For now, I do hope you enjoy the new magazine, and I look forward to seeing you lakeside. Here’s to a most outstanding summer at the lake, David C. Curry

Geneva Lakefront Realty, LLC 57 West Geneva Street, Williams Bay, WI 53191 262.245.9000 | dave@genevalakefrontrealty.com

SUMMER HOMES FOR CITY PEOPLE www.genevalakefrontrealty.com

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THE GREAT ICE OUT BY NOW EVEN THOSE WHO LOVED IT HAD STARTED TO HATE IT

The snowmobilers were over it, having long since fogged their engines and stowed away their sleds. The ice fishermen, once the biggest proponent of this, had decided that they would no longer sharpen their augers. The guy who lives down the road a ways- the one who ice skated across the Bay as if he hadn’t a single land-based care in the world- he didn’t even feel like looking out his window anymore. This is why the town devised a plan. It had been decided that enough was, by now, enough. The ice had grown thick and strong, and the townspeople had skated over it, drilled through it, sledded across it. They had loved it. But that was then and this was now, and now no one had any time for it. There was so much sunshine and some tepid warmth, so some thought the ice would simply go away on its own. One old man said he hadn’t a doubt in the world that the ice would be gone by the first day of spring. The week that the first day was to occur, it was obvious to all, except that old man, that the ice was not going to leave by then, and in fact, some wondered if it would leave at all. At the meetings that followed, the confident old man was no where to be found. At first the plan wasn’t all that clear. The ice would need to be removed, everyone agreed upon that, but how? One veteran of some peace-ship told of how he and his crew would clean up oil spills by lighting the oil on fire and simply watching it burn. When some woman in the front row suggested that this couldn’t be true, and that she had seen commercials about how Dawn soap is what they use to clean up oil spills, everyone laughed. She continued, and so did the eye rolls and laughter and hushed whispers of low IQ innuendo. The peace-ship-veteran furthered, one time in the north seas they were cleaning up the oil by fire when he noticed that the fire not only consumed the oil, and the oily bits of

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birds and baby seals with it (the crowd murmured), but that it also ate away at the ice. He suggested that if we could drop a sizable amount of oil onto the ice, then light that oil on fire, we could easily remove most of the ice. After some deliberation, it was decided that this was not a well thought out plan, and both the man who suggested it and the woman who interjected that Dawn soap was how oil spills were cleaned up were removed, he for his outlandish idea and she for her naïveté. At the next meeting, ideas were bandied about, with none carrying any particular heft because they were either entirely detrimental to the environment or because they were simply absurd. One idea, however, did stick, and great conversation and debate ensued. A smart looking young man in the back row mentioned that he had a helicopter, and that during prior efforts to thwart Western forest fires, he had piloted this chopper into the teeth of the fire to drop a payload. In the case of the Great Western Fires, or so they became known, he would drop a chemical fire retardant, and then the fire would smolder and eventually go out. He said he still had the series of straps and pulleys that held that chemical container, and that this container weighed quite a lot and that his helicopter was strong and agile, and that he was a most skilled pilot. He continued by asking his fellow citizens what breaks up ice the best. People shouted, Fire! Rain! Then someone shouted Oil that’s been set on fire! And he was removed from the meeting. One child, a boy who couldn’t have been more than 12, spoke up. Rocks, he said. Rocks. The crowd quieted. He explained how he had sat on the shore just the day before, throwing rocks at the ice and watching each one plunk down to the slushy surface and then through it. If we could drop a large enough rock, during a most windy afternoon, the rock would break


BRUCE THOMPSON | www.genevaimages.com

a huge hole in the middle of that lake, and the wind, with that new foothold to whip waves, would be able to do the rest. One environmentalist shook his head and explained how the fragile ecosystem of a lake such as this couldn’t be tampered with by adding one giant rock to the bottom of the lake. He tried to go on but he was swiftly removed from the meeting. The pilot said that his chopper could indeed hold a rock of this size and weight, but where would such a rock come from? It would have to be big enough to knock a hole in the ice, and that hole would need to be very, very big. There were rocks around town, sure, but none big enough. The crowd stirred. There was one rock, obviously, that everyone knew of. It was a large rock, round and smooth, worn down from so many teenaged kissers and elderly leaners. It had been there forever, and there was no one in town that had known a life without it. It was a huge rock on the shoreline, and it had been featured in postcards from the turn of the last two centuries and high school senior pictures and wedding photos. It was a rock, sure, just a rock, but it was more than that to so many. The meeting was adjourned and everyone was tasked with finding a suitable rock, but not that rock. The next night, some rocks were in the parking lot. Some smooth and some ragged, some of granite and some of limestone. None of them were big enough, none up to the task. So it was decided, we had

lived with this iconic rock for long enough, and it was time that the rock gave something back to us. The rock would need to be sacrificed to the depths, because nothing else could break up such thick ice. There were protests, shouts, tears. One elderly women started to tell a story of how her father had come home from the war and how he proposed to her mother… The Constable removed her before she could finish her story, because no one had time for that. The rock would be tied up to the helicopter, carried out to the middle, and dropped. There would be a pot luck at the village hall after. This was Friday, and the rock drop was to take place Monday. The town was full of nervous energy over the weekend. People called relatives, friends. Old village residents who had long since moved away made plans to travel back for the Monday morning drop. Everyone was excited, some where nervous, others just cried. The young pilot was the hero of the town, and every man slapped his back and every woman kissed his cheek. But on Monday, it snowed too much and the chopper couldn’t fly in such limited visibility, so the entire thing was delayed. By Tuesday, everyone had realized what a horrible idea it was in the first place, and the town voted to just wait a little while longer. The ice wouldn’t last forever even though it really did seem as though it would. The rock would stay. Originally written March 23, 2015 Because it seemed as though the ice was never going to melt.

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INVASIVES NO MATTER WHAT, THEY MUST GO

There was a man I knew from the town where I lived. He was old when I knew him, and I never knew what it was that he had done when he was younger. When I would see him in town, he was often driving a small truck, the bed of which was filled to overflowing with bits of branches, small trees, bushes, thorns, that sort of thing. He worked for the nature preserve in town, and his goal was to remove the species that he had come to consider invasive. No matter the size or shape of the plant, no matter the proficiency of the bloom or the hardness of the wood; if it shouldn’t be here, well then he tore it up and hauled it away in his truck. After some time of this clearing, the conservancy began to look less like a woodland and more like a prairie, which is how he said it should have been all along. Once when I was flipping through pages of a local history book at the town library, I saw a whole chapter about the great woodlands of this area, and how when the settlers arrived the woods were dense and deep, and the settlers thought the woods to be so deep that they rumored spirits lived in them, and this made them nearly turned back to the East. I told the old man this, and he shook his head with disgust. He said that before those trees there was just prairie, and that the trees themselves were invasive. His quest continued for many years. After the obvious invasives were gone, the old man took to his research. He found in some obscure reference book that some varieties of maple were native to this town, but others were not. Maples were not maples, he insisted, and so he cut down the maples that didn’t belong, much to the dismay of the Maple Society, to whom maples were, indeed, maples. Some oaks were fine to remain, but other oaks were generally only found on the eastern end of this town’s county, so he cut those down, too. When the old man was much older, the wooded

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land was gone, and only prairie remained. The prairie was nice, most of the people thought. They would cross country ski over it in the winter and walk through it in the summer. After time, woodland creatures were replaced by prairie creatures, and once someone mentioned that, through the early morning fog, he thought they saw a bison on the far northern edge of the prairie. Everyone agreed that this was a terrific possibility, no matter how unlikely. With no more work to do, the man aged more rapidly, and he took up the assistance of a walker. He wasn’t found driving around town quite so much, but if anyone wished to see him they could find him on the boardwalk, sitting on the bench that he built atop the stump of the last invasive oak that he felled by himself. He felt his age and his recent lack of purpose accelerated the process that would lead to his end. Recognizing that he needed a new focus, he loaded into his small truck and drove the margins of town, looking for something that he might champion before his light went dim. People waved as he drove through the neighborhoods, and as he drove down the country roads that hemmed the farmer’s fields. He hunched over his steering wheel and peered out the window, scanning the foliage for something that didn’t belong, when he took note of the incredible numbers of mulberry trees that dotted the edges of those farmer’s fields and that hid in the woods behind the neighborhood houses. How he loved mulberries, and for a moment he sat in the truck and remembered the fine mulberry crisps that his mother made when he was just a child. He remembered greedily eating them straight off the low hanging branches with his grandmother. He remembered his wife making sweet mulberry jam, and he wished that she were still with him to make


BRUCE THOMPSON | www.genevaimages.com

just one more jar. That night, he went to the old tree in his own back yard and picked mulberries until his fingers were stained and his belly ached. The headline in the Wednesday paper read, “TOWN DECLARES WAR ON INVASIVES.” The old man saw the headline and prepared himself for a gushing review of his lifetime of work. Satisfied with what he was about to read, he sat and turned to the article. Quickly, he realized that this wasn’t to be an ode to his efforts, there would be no community applause for the hard work that he had done. This was, instead, an article that was written by the newest volunteer at the conservancy, a volunteer who had taken aim at an invasive “weed tree,” as he called it, from Asia. This tree

hosted silkworm, which no one liked because the accompanying picture was grotesquely close up. The tree that would need to go was the Mulberry. The black mulberry, the red mulberry, and the white mulberry. They would all need to be cut down, because an invasive is an invasive. The old man, his belly still full from the night before, reached his stained fingers into the bowl and fished for last few mulberries. He shook his head in resignation. The young volunteer was right. Written July 1, 2015 This is fictional. But it’s loosely based on reality, like all good fiction is, though that isn’t to say this is in any way good fiction.

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THE LOT WHEN CARS ARE LAKES

The car was rusted. I swear to you as sure as today is Monday the car was rusted. It was new, on the lot, positioned next to the other cars and this one was rusted. Down the aisles, near the rusted car, it was soon apparent that the other cars were also rusted. Some worse than others, but rusted. The dealer had the cars under lights, different lights at different angles, each aiming to present the highlighted car in its best possible light. If one car had a very nice front grill, then there was a light shining brightly on that grill. If a car had a huge dent in the driver side fender, that side was positioned to face away from the people, away from the street and away from the light. The lot went on and on; it was a big lot. On this Saturday, there were people everywhere. The people looked at the cars closely, but never too closely. One family of four saw the car with the pretty grill and stood in front of it, focusing on the light and the dazzling chrome that sparkled like so many diamonds. The salesman saw this interest, and before I could watch more closely and listen in on the conversation, the deal was done. The hands were shook. The family loaded into their new car and eased toward the roadway, content with their shiny grill. As they pulled from the lot, the back bumper came into view, or more accurately stated, the area where the back bumper should have been came into view. They drove down the road, oblivious. I thought this was odd, that someone would spend some money to get from A to B without finding concern in how that trip made them feel. I looked at the crowd mulling through that lot, focusing on the shiny bits that were lit and waxed, I watched the salesman talk about miles per gallon. In the distance, I saw one car with lights on all sides, wax on every piece of exterior, chrome on all of the edges that should have been chrome. This car was beautiful, and everyone knew it. Some thought it

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was too beautiful, too shiny, too waxed and too bright. Most took a walk by it, and many marveled at it, but just as they’d pause and gawk they’d keep walking down the lines, towards that car on the end, the one with the beautifully curved windshield and the dented passenger door. I thought it odd that so much attention was being paid to such compromised cars. I thought that maybe, just maybe, it was because the cars with the dents and the mud were cheap, and the one with the perfect everything was just too expensive. I thought maybe the crowd that had gathered simply lacked the financial qualification to purchase the shiny one, which is why they were more attracted to the other ones. It wasn’t that they didn’t like the shiny one, maybe they just didn’t want to afford it, or maybe they couldn’t afford it. I watched and guessed, and thought that this must be the reason that the other cars were selling while the beautiful one sat. One couple pulled up in a car that was as shiny and beautiful as the one that sat at the aisle end, positioned so that all sides were on display. The couple walked directly through the litter of dingy cars directly to that car that so closely resembled theirs. They knew what they were looking for, and as they walked to it I leaned in to listen, to watch, to observe. They walked around the car, admiring each side and angle, complimenting the designer, wishing that they had known of it sooner. They touched the graceful curves, and when the salesman opened the engine compartment they could only shake their heads in awe. I saw in the salesman’s eyes the shimmering excitement of an imminent sale. Just as the couple was about to shake hands on the deal, the wife noticed the car next to the perfect one, she was undoubtedly drawn to it by the fiberoptic lighting that washed reds and then blues


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and whites against the fine trunk area of this car. It was mesmerizing, I had to agree. Especially on the Fourth of July weekend. She told her husband that they should at least consider the car with the sharply painted, smartly polished trunk and rear bumper. The husband turned from the perfect car to consider the other, and he asked the price difference between the two. For that sort of savings he could buy the car with the nice trunk and also go on vacation that winter, to those islands that they so like that are so very far away. They hemmed and they hawed, and I watched the salesman’s eyes turn dim. They decided to buy the other car, the imperfect car, and once the deal was done and they rolled from the lot, I heard the brakes squeak through the next several lights.

They had saved money, all right, and subjected themselves to the squeak that may or may not be fixed. The rust that had been hidden from view in the lot was covering the front bumper, and was slowly expanding its reach to include the two front fenders. The car would get them from A to B, the husband said, and he was right. If A to B is all that matters, rusty cars find their buyers. If A to B is the goal, a dent in the fender is fine, and it will not get in your way. If you simply wish to spend your Saturday jumping from some boat into some water for the purpose of getting wet. Any old lake will do. Written August 10, 2015 Sometimes, it’s important to compare lakes to cars, and cars to lakes. It’s not literal.

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A NOBLE TREE TREES ARE TREES, EXCEPT IN THE SPRING

For all of the moving I’ve done, and all of the land that I’ve called home, I have only owned one prized Oak tree. The trees that typically fall under my temporary ownership are scrub varieties, those Boxelders and its twisted cousins that lack any sort of pedigree. Even the Boxelder at least has a name that people know, and that’s more than can be said for most of the trees that I’ve owned. They’re just trees, the variety that grow tall and skinny or short and curvy, without much to offer while living, and without burning long and hot when dead. At my current home, I own that one singular Oak, and what an impressive tree it is. It’s huge, this Oak, big and tall and sturdy. It’s old, so old in fact that I hesitate to guess its age. If you were to guess the age of an old woman, it would be best to err on the side of youth. If the old woman looks 90, guess that she’s not a day over 78. But with an Oak tree, to guess less is to insult its heritage, to insult its will to live and thrive and grow tall and round. Its wrinkles are never covered and filled to hide age, the just grow and groove, deeper with each year and proud. But this Oak tree, though I love it and appreciate it, is on the margin of my property where it intermingles with small trees of varying makes and models. The majesty of this Oak is obscured by the company it keeps. If you drove South Lakeshore Drive heading from the Fontana lakefront to the East, this is a pleasant drive in May, and in July, and in January. If you made that drive in July, you’d notice some scraggly trees that jut out at odd angles from a property just to the West of Westgate. Those trees in July look like weedy trees, the sort that I would own, and in January they look the same, sans leaves. During any month of the year they blend in to a larger tree line, and they mean absolutely nothing. But that’s not the case in May, because right now those trees are ablaze in a hot pink glow, the color radiating from the otherwise greening scene. Those trees today don’t just mean something to that landscape, they mean everything. In fact, everywhere today there are trees just like

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those. No-name trees that burst in pink flowers, and apple trees dressed in white and pink. Pear trees do the same, and crabapples make up for their mostly inedible fruit with their remarkable spring display. Cherry trees, both the ones cultivated for their tart fruit or the ones that grow wildly on the lot lines of properties like mine, they’re magnificent right now. I don’t even need to mention Magnolia trees, because they’re the most beautiful of all. My aunt owns a home in Williams Bay on the main street. It’s a great little house, and for eleven and a half months of the year it’s just a small vacation home a short walk to the lake. For those other two weeks, the perfectly shaped, towering Magnolia blooms and blooms, and then no driver heading in either direction can avoid the blossoms, even if they had a debilitating fear of things bright and beautiful, they must look and engage and think, What. A. Tree. A boat trip around the lake in July is really terrific. The shoreline and the hills that rise beyond it are deep and green, dark and full of life. Wisconsin flaunts its deciduous heritage in July, and you’d be remiss if you didn’t pause to appreciate this landscape. But today, a boat ride around the lake features a dull hint of green, contrast by the bright yellowy-green of the willows, and accented by the pops of white petals from the cherries and the apples, the pinks from the crabapples and the purple from lilacs. The steady deep tone of summer is beautiful but unvaried, whereas the pastel tone of May is exciting and colorful, a visual treat to reward us for enduring the months of dull and gray. Summer is where I’d like to spend most of my time, but the flowering trees of May cannot be overlooked. The Oak tree in my yard is slowly sending out its leaves. Oaks are like that. They’re old, after all, so they move more slowly and deliberately. Acorns are neat tricks, so tidy and important, but an acorn cannot hold a candle to a scrubby tree that blooms with so much pent up vigor. Here’s to you, miscellaneous flowering trees, for making beautiful my wait for summer. Written May 11, 2015 I admit I was captivated by those trees.


POOLISHNESS POOLS ARE NOT LAKES

Certain things bother me. For example, when my contacts are blurry, even though I’ve properly rinsed and stored them according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Maybe it has to do with my eyes, not my contacts, but the gentleman at ShopKo whom I presume is indeed an eye doctor of some variety tells me my eyes are fine. Fine or not, if I have anything blurry in my way, I’m bothered. But blurry vision pales in comparison to other things that bother me. The larger of my dogs had to get a haircut the other day. As is the case with most dogs of this genetic concoction, he had to be shaved. He looks horrible now, part anteater part giraffe, with bits of deer intermixed. When I come home and this dog with this buzz cut greets me, I’d rather he not. I’d rather he spend some time alone, focusing on growing out his hair as quickly as possible so that I, his owner, can find it in my heart to acknowledge him again. But this isn’t really what bothers me, either. What really bothers me is when I’m cooking dinner for friends and I’m in the middle of things, in the weeds as it might be, and all I really need is a dish towel. A rag, as we call them at home. We have one drawer dedicated to these towel rags, and if I’m in the midst of a culinary emergency there is little question that this drawer will be empty. The other day this happened, when a dish was on its way to burning in the oven, all I needed was a towel to protect my grip. The primary drawer was empty, so I checked the back up drawer, the one you can’t count on. That drawer was empty, excepting one glove made out of scratchy metal with the word POTATO written across the palm. But I’m kidding at this point, because what really bothers me is when someone talks about putting a pool in their suburban backyard. Whether this is spoken as a threat by customers that cannot quite find what they want on these near shores, or if it’s spoken in jest, I cannot be sure. What I do know is that the mere mention of a backyard suburban 20

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pool makes my eyes blurry, my hands sweaty, and my heart weak. It bothers me. Even slightly considering bailing on a lake home search and deciding on spending untold sums on a backyard pool is something I cannot abide. This would be similar to a car search. You’re looking for a car, but not just any car. You want a murdered out Porsche 911, the turbo sort, and you want it in a particular year, with a particular mileage count, because you’re particular. You search and you search. You look online, offline. State lines mean nothing in this hunt. You search and you search, sometimes passionately, other times with bored curiosity, but your incredibly precise requirements have made the search so far fruitless. After some time of this search, you decide that you cannot wait any longer. You call the dealer, place the order, and when the deal closes you have bought a very nice, very white Toyota Carolla. This is still a car, you figure, and it’s just as good as that blacked out 911 from that particular year that you were lusting after. You wanted that Porsche because you knew how you’d feel when driving it. You knew how it’d look when you park it outside your favorite restaurant. You knew how you’d look when you drove it on a summer Sunday. But you couldn’t find it, so you bought a Toyota, because it’s also transportation. Swimming in a pool will make your skin wet, just in the same way as swimming in the lake will make it the same. This is where the comparison between a backyard pool and this brilliantly blue lake ends. Maybe, if our Porsche-craving-friend had simply decided to consider a different year 911, in a different color, with slightly different miles, he’d have that car sitting outside his favorite coffee shop right now, and we all know how that would make him feel. Written June 19, 2015 A customer said he was thinking of building a pool in his back yard, because he thought that would be just as good as a lake house. He’s ridiculous.


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DINNER TIME EVERYTHING WAS FINE, UNTIL I SUGGESTED WE LEAVE THE LAKE

The guests had been treated to four straight days of sameness. Blue skies in the morning, blue skies in the afternoon, and blue skies into the evening. A sparkling sunset to the West just as a bright, bold moon rose in the East. The sun was hot, but the umbrella shade and the breeze took care of any excess. These days were all the same, and they were leisurely and full. It shouldn’t have been such a big deal to swap that scenery for just a few hours. I’ve found that I don’t like to cook for my family anymore. My wife eats food more out of duty to remain alive than because she likes the way a particular food item tastes. My kids eat anything, so it isn’t much congratulation to make something that they eat and declare to be good. This is why I don’t like cooking for them anymore. While my desire to cook has waned some in recent years, I still enjoy the process and the outcome. I wouldn’t have suggested cooking at my house on day one of the visit. My visiting aunt and uncle and cousin wouldn’t have been up for such an initial abstention from the lake, and that’s why I waited for those first few days. I let them bake under the summer sun and swim from the pier. I let them lounge under those umbrellas and boat over those waters. Had the days been iffy and the intended cooking day been delightful, I would have pulled the plug at the last minute, preferring that they soak under a rare sun rather than sit at my house and subject themselves to my dinner plan. But the days were all the same, all bright and blue, and by Sunday evening I figured enough had been enough. My cousin appreciates the cooking process in the same way that I do, and so we made a plan to cook dinner on Sunday evening. The family, both mine and the extended, soaked under sun and swam the day away. Because I dislike cooking in my parents’ home, and much prefer the company of my own pots and pans, my own knives and my own grill, I suggested that the cooking and the dining should take place at my house. When I suggested this it was around noon. There would be five hours left at the lake, so the out-of24

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towners could bask and gobble up that view and float in those waters. I was being benevolent with their lake time. My house is quite delightful. It’s not extra fancy, because I’m in real estate, but it’s nice and new-ish and the flowers are in bloom and the grass mowed in alternating lines, dark and light. My air conditioning is cold and thorough. My parents house is old, and the air conditioning either doesn’t work or my father still won’t let it work, and there’s a musty smell that wafts up from the basement. I only asked that they trade that house for mine for a couple of hours, maybe two and a half, tops. It shouldn’t have been such a big deal, but my house is in the country, surrounded by flowers and trees and that striped lawn. My parents’ house is on that lake, with a lakeside porch and pier-kept boats and chairs of varying makes and models littering the pier and lawn. When I suggested that the dinner be at my house, it didn’t go over well. Why would we go there? How far away is it? Will we be safe there? What if we just went to buy groceries and cooked them down here, at the lake, in that musty house up there? Confusion was rampant. I didn’t think it would matter, because of the long days that preceded that one, those days where the sun and the pier and the boats and the water were everything. Wouldn’t a break be nice? Doesn’t anyone want to see my sunflowers? In the end, I had my way, but the dissent was palpable. My older brother, he who turns 40 this week, refused to make the difficult five minute drive from the lake to my house. Everyone who did come was disoriented, wondering where the lake was and why I’d live out here. Having eaten dinner, everyone who did come left in a hurry, returning quickly to the lake and the pier, so they might purify themselves in those waters. In the end, they obliged me and my house, but to say they would have preferred leftovers lakeside than fresh fare farmside is to state the obvious. Sure my house is nice, but it isn’t on the lake. Written August 3, 2015 No one wanted to eat dinner at my house because my house isn’t on the lake. For my shame.


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TOYS I’M A GLUTTON FOR THINGS

Before that day I had never known the word: Revo. I had heard of other words and brands, like the normal ones that you hear when you’re a kid growing up in Williams Bay, but never before that day had I known what a Revo was. Spending the entirety of my life wandering in the Revo wilderness, I had come to the place where my introduction would be made. It was Stone Manor, and the owner of that glitzy condo on that middle floor was wearing his Revo sunglasses inside, during the day, like he didn’t even care. He had at least one giant diamond earring as well, but that wasn’t what impressed me that day. That day, it was all about those black matte framed sunglasses and those mirrored lenses. Revo. I couldn’t buy that condominium, not then and not now, nor could I buy that giant diamond earring, nor would I, not then and certainly not now. But I could buy those sunglasses. And buy them I did, nearly immediately after my first encounter with that new style. It must have been 1999. I wore those sunglasses for quite some time, and the first picture that my wife ever took of me (the first one that I was aware of, that is), I was wearing a blue shirt that I still wear today and those matte black Revos. This cycle continued after those glasses were bought, and the catalyst always presented in the same way. I’d see something that I liked, something that someone who had means would own, and I’d buy the bits of it that I could afford. A few years ago, I was checking on a client’s house and noticed a shiny new axe in his foyer. It was a handsome axe, big and hefty, tall and proud. I couldn’t buy that house, but within a few days I owned an axe just like that one. I split wood with it in the winter time and I think about how happy I am to have such a pleasing, high caliber axe.

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I visited another client’s house last summer and he had on display a most beautiful, brand new computer. It was a Mac with a screen larger than that of my first purchased television, which, as a way of mentioning, was a Sharp Aquos that I bought from another customer because I saw it and thought that I needed it. That Mac was brilliant, but I struggled with the notion of becoming a pure Apple person. I had long resisted the iPhone, opting for the clunky comfort of my Blackberry keyboard. Then, I resisted the urge to buy the iPad, because that is nothing but a bigger iPhone that lacked the ability to make phone calls. Now, I was resisting the Mac, because what is a Mac if not a giant iPhone on a stand? Later that week, I, too, owned a great big Mac, and each morning when I type on its tiny keyboard I feel as though the day is going to be a success. When I was 19, I owned a jetski, not a silly waverunner that you sit on and command with nothing more than the squeeze of a throttle, but a real, live, stand up jet ski. It was a Kawasaki 550, and I liked it quite a lot. After some time of this machine, I bought another, a 650 this time, and I zipped and zoomed around the lake with my two stroke toy. After some time of this, the phenomenon dulled, and for a few years I didn’t even bother with that jetski. One summer, many summers after I had first ignored the machine, I took it to a mechanic to repair it. I needed to ride it again, to feel the waves and the swells of water, and so I dropped it off and asked that it be made whole. A couple of weeks later I picked it up, begrudgingly paid the $1100 tab, and hurried to the lake. In short order it was obvious that the repairs were not correct, or at least they weren’t the right repairs. The ski didn’t work then any better than


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it had years before, and so in angry haste I gave it away to a friend, and told him I didn’t want to see it again. This was at least 10 years ago. A few years after I parted ways with the Kawasaki, my back blew up and I had decided that my jetskiing days, much like my Revo days, were over. Last week, a friend who is also a client asked me to come over to help him with the launching of two new waverunners. Waverunners bore me, but I was willing to help. When I pulled into his driveway I was met with a new trailer and two new toys. One was indeed a waverunner, big and fat and tedious. But the other wasn’t waverunner at all, it was a brand new Yamaha Superjet. It was the jetski of my youth, reimagined, and at that moment- before we launched it, before I fired up that two stroke, and before I ever

rode on it, the decision had been made. I needed to have one.It took a while to get my head around such an unnecessary purchase. It took longer to convince my wife that it was an acceptable acquisition. That last part is still a work in progress and will likely always be a source of contention. Grown men look stupid on jetskis, she said. How will we buy groceries this month, she added. Where will you keep it? If only one person can ride it, how is this not a ridiculously selfish purchase? These are the unimportant questions that could only be asked by someone who has not tasted the unique brand of freedom that only a Japanese made jetski can offer. Written August 14, 2015 That Yamaha SuperJet is just the latest in a long line of collecting things. Because if you first collect things, collecting memories is easy.

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THE PROCESSION IT’S A PARADE WITHOUT A MARSHAL

In person, one can scrutinize every curve and polished detail of any sort of boat. Under this close surveillance, it would be easy to see a thin scratch and examine it as though it were, indeed, a very difficult situation. Who could cause such a scratch and who could ever live knowing of its presence? That same scratch on that same boat, when magnificently under power on a flawless summer day, is undetectable to even a most trained eye. In fact, even the same eye that saw and wondered about that scratch while it rested in its slip during some boat show or another would be completely and entirely unable to see the scratch from that distance, and under that power. The boat that I keep on a trailer in my back yard for at least half of the year is, as of this writing, on a trailer in my back yard. It isn’t that I wish it to be there, but I have taken varying approaches to making sure this boat is ready for open water. For instance, I have washed the boat. Admittedly, my washing is enthusiastic for the first few minutes of the wash and then at once lethargic and rushed, a combination that seems impossible only if you’ve never watched me wash my boat. I have tightened the various and seemingly random wire connections that plague the interior of the console, making sure each is tight and secure and ready for a season of jiggle and wobble. I have removed the engine cover many, many times, and looked at the engine. I have even moved certain pieces with my hands, shaking them and examining them up close, in the way that someone would touch and examine something they knew very much about. After this careful examination, I return the cover to the engine, satisfied that I have learned nothing and adjusted nothing and made no impact on the outcome. For each town, for each season, there are common sights. Williams Bay has been told to me as once

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being a village that long ago allowed leaf burning in the fall, even when other towns decided against it. And so I have a friend who tells me that whenever he drives in the fall and smells burnt and burning leaves through his open car window, he thinks of his childhood spent, at least in some part, in Williams Bay. I feel this way when I hear happy boats motoring under slow speeds under the cover of a Lake Geneva night. I hear the revelry, muted and vague, and I think of nights spent in my childhood bedroom where I would tussle with the fear of sleeping with my window open and the suffocating heat of an upstairs bedroom that lacked air conditioning. In the midst of those sweaty nights, I would find peace in the sounds from those slowly cruising boats, and some day I wished to spend a night not in that bed, but on those boats, joyous and proud, unafraid of the night. In the fall, there is a visual agreement with any small town in any rural area of these continental states. The agreement stipulates that any driver, progressing in any direction for any period of time, will come upon either one of two things: They will find a grain wagon overflowing with beans or corn, being towed to the local granary. Or, as the second option finds us, they will be stuck behind a tractor, a combine or otherwise, a John Deere, or a Case, or a Cat, or maybe even a Kubota, and they will remain stuck behind that tractor as it slowly plods along the margins of that road, making its way to or from a field where it will either have just harvested, or will be soon to harvest, that corn or those beans. This is the agreement, and rural life dictates that we enjoy the seasonal parade. In the spring, too, there is a common sight, but only if your city or village has any meaningful water near by. In the section of Manitoba where my wife grew up, this scene would not play out. Not in the spring,


BRUCE THOMPSON | www.genevaimages.com

the summer, or the fall, and most certainly not the winter, when engines are too busy idling, plugged into wall outlets to consider towing a trailer. But in the rest of the developed world, wherever water is present, there is a springtime procession of trucks and trailers, SUVs and trailers, even cars and trailers. These vehicles tow boats of every make and every model, from winter hiding spaces in barns and under tarps, from conditioned spaces with humidifiers and from backyard wood patches where a boat can be stored without interrupting the serenity of a winter view. This processional has now begun, and in Lake Geneva where there are several lakes but only one lake that means anything, this visual sequence plays out every hour on the hour, from weeks ago until the final boat is made ready for another season of floating.

Just yesterday, I drove down Highway 50 as I do every day, most days more than once. I was following a Chris Craft Sportsman, the sort that my father has owned for years, that I am, at the age of nearly 38, still not allowed to drive on account of my father having terminal sharing issues. The boat was polished to a different shade of mahogany than most of these 24' boats, and while the color wasn’t what my eye expected, the boat, aloft on that trailer, being pulled behind a truck that has been towing those boats daily for the last month and will do so daily for the coming month, well, that fit my eye as well as anything ever has. Written April 29, 2015 My office window faces Geneva Street, so in the spring, I see a lot of boats.

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A DIVISION OF ACKMAN GLASS & MIRROR

Celebrating 39 years in Business! 202 N. Elkhorn Rd. Williams Bay, WI 53191 jennifer@ackmanglass.com 262-245-6023

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THE BLUES SKIES COME IN ALL COLORS

The weather, they said, was delightful. On a Monday it was sunny with skies so blue it was difficult, after some time of gazing, to imagine what they might look like in any different shade. On Tuesday, the sun was bright, so bright that people wondered if something had gone wrong. Should it be this bright? On Wednesday, the sky was blue and the sun was full, which was what they expected. Thursday the same and on Friday, somehow things were bluer and brighter. The next week was the same, and the week that followed. The next month, blue, too. They say that out there it’s like that, just sunny and blue, or blue and sunny. In the winter it snows, but it snows only at night, so that the blue skies aren’t interrupted. Their children grow to be quite old before they learn what clouds are, and even then they’re mostly uncertain what Cloud Cover means. Cloudy skies are for storybooks and movie screens, not for their out of doors. In the winter it is blue and in the summer it is blue. It’s blue in the spring and blue in the fall, and no one wonders anymore why, they just know it is. I see our sky today and I see it blue. I see the sun that’s bright and full. I see the water that’s painted with the same brush as the sky, the only thing separating one from meeting the other being a tenuous line of deep green trees. Sometimes, I see a cloud float by. For a while there are many, then few, then, later into the afternoon when the evening sets in, I see none at all. The sun fades away, slowly, teasingly, and we go to bed in the dark unsure of what the next day will bring. Will it be sunny and blue? Will the clouds puff and dot the sky, or will they build and twist and darken?

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Will there be wind today, or will the lake rest again, for what might be the third day, or the fourth day in a row? It couldn’t be the fifth day, because even children know the wind here cannot rest for that long. Will the sun return, to warm my skin and to dry my lawn, or will the next morning bring with it those clouds, thin and high, whitewashing the sky and paling the water to silver? I can not know what it will do, which is why today I must savor what it is doing. These skies are blue now, but they won’t be forever. Forever might be a few days, or it might be just the morning hours, or it might be, as I see more than sometimes, an hour in the morning followed by an interval in the evening, and solid clouds in between. On these days when the sun shines and the sky stuns blue, I know I need to pay attention. They say that we should move to where the skies are always blue, and the sun always bright. They say it’s better there. They say that it’s too cloudy here, or too cold, or the summer is too short and too hot, but sometimes too cold and too wet. They say that this place isn’t as good as that place. I say they’re wrong. I want to live where the right days aren’t something I count on. I want to live without expecting, and when I see a blue sky and a bright sun I want to drop the cloudy day things and rush do something that matters, to do something that I cannot do when the blues are gray and the sun has lost its way. Without so many clouds, these days couldn’t mean so much. Written July 24, 2015 The blues are nice, but it seems to me that too many of them in a row lead to complacency.


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OPEN COME ONE, COME ALL

There was a time in the town when the townspeople who had chosen real estate as their profession held houses open for the public to see. The sales people, with their logos emblazoned on their car doors or at least on the back window of their SUVs, made a plan on most of the Saturdays and some of the Sundays to stick signs in the yards of the homes that they were trying to sell in hopes that passersby would stop, see the home, like the home, then buy the home. This was the intent of the open. There were drinks at these opens, sometimes food, certainly brochures, and the agent with the car and the stickery adornment. At first, the open houses were few, seldom even, as agents fit them in when they could, to appease their sellers who demanded they do something. Who demanded they do anything. When these open houses were new to the town, the town paid them no mind. Who would want to see the Johnson’s living room, they wondered. And so they went about their weekend business, ignoring the once-in-a-while-open-houses, in fact, viewing them as annoyances. Some people from neighboring cities would come to town on those open days, and they would drive poorly and without knowledge of which streets were one way and which were both ways, without awareness of school zones. They would turn left when they should have only turned right, and when they did turn right they would do so on red, which everyone who was from the town knew was something that only people from the other town would do. The open houses, though despised by the local population, were increasingly popular amongst the be-dazzled Realtors, because they knew they could find people who didn’t know the town, people who didn’t know one Realtor from the other. They knew they were on to something. After a season or two of these opens, the towns people began to venture out, because the Johnson’s living room had been the buzz at church last Sunday, and why should the tour only be for those from other towns? So they started to make a practice of visiting these houses when they were open. Saturday morning

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was for soccer, or baseball, but mostly, soccer. Then, lunch. Sometimes only ice cream. After ice cream, it was open house time, and such a great flood of traffic would arrive at the doors of those agents who parked their tattooed cars in the driveways of those houses. After some outcry, there was a demand that the after soccer ice cream be skipped, and that the Realtors, in exchange for being visited by so many potential clients, should provide lunch and desserts, drinks, too. So the Realtors engaged companies to bring small food for napkin eating. Desserts, sure, but those were just homemade bars with nuts and raisins. The next Sunday, everyone talked about how the house with the raisin bars would not be visited again unless the dessert was changed. The Realtors, awash in new people who purported to be clients and buried deep in catering bills, decided that it was time to ask visitors to bring a dish to pass, something savory for those whose last name started with any letter between A and M, and something sweet from those who had any other last name that started with another one of those later letters. The towns people grumbled at first, thinking that the open house was merely a chance to accumulate decorating ideas from their neighbors, and to ooh and aah at the splendor of the Miller’s dining room chandelier. But slowly the dish-to-pass idea caught on, and the Saturday pot-luck was a raging town success. Mrs. Huffaker brought her potatoes, and Mrs. Wilderman brought her famous deviled eggs. At church on Sunday, it was decided that the best open house of the weekend was the one at the Sterling house, because they had both the potatoes and the eggs, and the Realtor was there but he wasn’t all “you should buy this.” How best to eat and drink and view the incredible pool table room of the Farrel’s if not without the constant badgering from the host Realtor? After more weekends had passed, everyone decided that it would be best if the Realtors were no longer involved in these open houses. The brochures, the name-tags, the cars-with-websites; it was all


too much. But the Realtors persisted, and though the people wished them to just leave the houses open and return to the house when the food had run out, the Realtors stayed. Sunday, it was agreed that the Realtors must be selfish, certainly a very un-Christian characteristic, and that they should be chastised by the minister. The minister, having heard the complaints, sided with the townspeople. The Realtors were greedy, and this sin would not be tolerated. The next weekend, there were open houses. The food was plentiful, the drinks flowed, and the homes, without the annoyance of the Realtor and the brochures, were much easier to wander through. The Realtors were perplexed by this development, and so they called a meeting. The restaurant parking lot was filled with stickered cars, and the waitress had no trouble calling each patron by name, on account of the name tags. Gold blazers littered the coat rack.

Flowery perfume and cologne hung heavy in the restaurant air. The Realtors, after a season of open houses, of providing food and drink and tours and brochures, realized that the homes they had been holding open in August were the same homes they held open in May. It was decided then and there that no further open houses would be scheduled, hosted, or allowed. Open houses, they realized, didn’t help sell a house, they just helped feed the neighbors. The next Sunday at church, the minister heard complaints about how the Realtors had selfishly decided to stop holding open houses, and the minister agreed that selfishness was still a sin. Written May 27th, 2015 It seemed to me that open houses don’t serve buyers well. It’s a process where a buyer is forced to submit allegiance to an agent before that buyer does their homework. Also, I like pot-lucks.

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FEATU R ED

Listing

1014 SOUTH LAKE SHORE DRIVE, FONTANA 42

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Offered at $7.95MM

PIER 507

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WHERE SCIENCE & ART MEET IN THE DARK Energy efficient, dark-sky friendly lighting solutions for your home, landscape and shorescape.

262.249.2000 www.twilightsolutions.com 44

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LED · ARCHITECTURAL · LANDSCAPE · PIER · HOLIDAY · MAINTENANCE · IRRIGATION


If you wanted a sprawling lakefront home, with 165’ of dead level frontage and you wanted that home to be newer, built of the highest fit and finish and construction pedigree, generally speaking you’d have to waste two years and build that home. There are plenty of newer, beautiful homes on the lake that boast these credentials, but these homes are currently being enjoyed by their proud owners, which means you can’t buy them. There are other homes, large ones with small lots or small ones with big lots, but rarely do they hit all of the items on the most discerning wish list.  1014 South Lakeshore Drive, situated on Fontana’s wildly desirable southern shore, doesn’t want for anything. The Engerman built home wasn’t built all that long ago, but the current owner decided to elevate its finish and functionality to the highest level. The home was built without any lakeside porches, which is tantamount to lakefront sacrilege, and so one large-scale addition later we not have not one, but two lakeside porches. We have ample decks, incredible views looking north all the way past Conference and Cedar Points. I could list what we have, but it’s better to sum it all up: We have lakefront perfection.  While some of our world class lakefront homes border on the serious, this lakefront home is classic without being stuffy. It’s comfortable, open, and as built for large-scale entertaining as any home you’ve ever seen. There is a three slip pier, lit tennis/basketball court, carriage house with full amenities and a four car garage. The main house boasts seven fireplaces, five bedrooms including a bunk room with kitchen, baths, and private stair.  The 2.8 acre property is thoughtfully designed with dazzling perennial gardens framing large swaths of lawn. As with the rest of the property, everything is in place and impeccably maintained. To build new when this home is available for immediate weekend fun would be an egregious mistake. Enjoy Lake Geneva in the most stylish way possible, and make 1014 South Lakeshore your family retreat. $7.95MM www.1014southlakeshore.com

David C. Curry, GRI 262.745.1993 dave@genevalakefrontrealty.com

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WHO’S THE BOSS? PARENTS, WE SHOULD BE PARENTS

I do not remember having any bit of input into any singular plan during my youth. This was true whether the decision should have involved me, even if the decision should have involved me only in theory. I took piano lessons for ten years that would have been easier if served at Rikers. When the lessons began, I do not recall sitting down with my parents to discuss the merits of me taking piano lessons. I only remember complaining about the lessons. I remember going to the lessons, first with Miss Marie then with Mr. Mark. I remember how silly I must have sounded when I told the teachers that I had been practicing, because my stumbling fingers proved my lie. I remember the intense nerves of piano recitals, where I would breathe deeply and the air rushing over my teeth felt like a dentist’s drill. These are my experiences of piano playing, and no where in my deepest memories can I pull forward a conversation where my parents asked me if I wanted to play. It’s because they were my parents and I was their son, and if they wanted me to play, I played. This is how it all used to work. In the summer, I mowed lawns. At the time when I turned 12, maybe 13, I do not recall any parent meeting wherein I was asked if I felt I was ready to mow lawns. I was not along for the ride when my dad bought a very used, very orange Simplicity tractor. I did not have breakfast with him where we talked about which lawns I should mow, which ones I thought might be too big for me at that tender age, and which days of the week I wanted to have off to play with my friends and ride my bike around town. I was simply told which lawns to mow, and the expectation was unspoken but clear, so I added more lawns to my route and emblazoned my name and number on the side of the small trailer I pulled behind that tractor. One summer, I decided that I wanted to spend the semester abroad, learning at those temples to academia in foreign lands. My parents considered the idea, and after several family meetings they agreed to fund the trip, because I really wanted to go. Just kidding. I mowed lawns.

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Family vacations were singular, annually. We went to Detroit Lakes, Minnesota for two weeks each summer. This, as I’ve come to learn, had two purposes. One was to vacate the house so my dad could rent it and use the money to help pay his taxes. I cannot remember what the second reason was. I jest, it was so we could spend time together as a family, with my parents napping and then with the kids napping tortured, forced naps. We went there on vacation because we all liked it, and we had fun and I fished and met girls, including one who is now my wife. But at no point did we sit down over an Olive Garden lunch and plan our summer vacation together. We didn’t each write our preferred trips on a scrap of napkin, and we didn’t then add them to an upturned hat, and then no one picked the winning destination, and no one was then surprised. We just went to Detroit Lakes because that’s what my parents said we were going to do. We went to Disney World once. It was 1985. I was 7 years old, and in this old dim I cannot recall much of the event. I was exposed to the ocean for the first time, to that kelp-filled angry sea. I rode Space Mountain and have never ridden a roller coaster since, not even a teacup at the fair. When we planned the trip, I wasn’t around. My brothers weren’t either. My parents planned the trip, and we were pulled from school to go. We had a great time, but we didn’t discuss which rides to go on and which day we’d go to the beach to see the kelp. We just rode in the back seat of that rented white Lincoln Towncar, and we took it all in. We were passengers in the truest sense, along for the ride that was engineered to create memories that we might one day recall 30 years later when typing at a computer far more futuristic than anything Epcot Center could have imagined in 1985. Today, I see things differently. I see my life, and I see that I plan vacations with my kids’ input, even if I listen and don’t act on that input… I tell them


BRUCE THOMPSON | www.genevaimages.com

now that we’re going to go out to dinner, and I hear them whine. They wanted to go somewhere else. I still tell my son to mow the lawn, and at the age of almost 12 I cannot imagine he’d be able to ride a tractor around town and mow lawns for strangers. On vacation, they tell me where they want to eat dinner, and they tell me when they want to leave because they miss their own beds. I ask if they want to fish with me and they tell me that they are too tired. They tell me what they want to do during their summer days, and when I interject that the lawn must be mowed I feel more like a peer asking them to please consider the chore, rather than a parent directing the chore to be completed on time and under budget. Things today have changed. We are coddling our children, likely too much. When my kids jumped and swam from the piers on Sunday, I couldn’t help but think about customers that ponder a vacation home purchase and pause, thinking about their children. If we buy this home,

where will my little princess swim? This is what they wonder. With no beach, and no pool, how will they learn? How will they survive? Or it’s the other problem, of little Jimmy’s baseball practice, and then his games. We can’t come to the lake this weekend, because Jimmy has that baseball game on Saturday morning, and then another one on Sunday afternoon. I’m sure I missed some things when we went on vacation every summer. I’m sure piano lessons were skipped or baseball practice was missed. But none of that mattered, because my dad was in charge and we did what he said we were going to, without debate. Perhaps we need to add a bit of old school parenting style to our 2016 playbook. Our kids will someday look back and appreciate that we made then swim from piers, and skip Saturday morning baseball for Saturday morning boat rides. Besides, your princess really needs to learn how to swim and little Jimmy is horrible at baseball, everyone knows that. Written June 24, 2015 It seems as though we give our kids too much power. Let’s take the power back, one weekend at a time.

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16,000-Square Foot Showroom Specializing In: • • • • 48

Home Accessories Furniture Drapery and Blinds Design Services: Interior Design & Accessorizing Assistance

Showroom Hours: Monday - Friday: 9AM - 5:30PM Saturday: 9AM - 5PM Sunday: Closed

138 E. Geneva Square Lake Geneva, WI 53147 | 262-248-6268 | www.paperdollsinteriors.com

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F EAT URED

Listing

946 MARIANNE TERRACE, LG This lakefront home isn’t going to require much of you. It was built in 2008, and it’s been maintained beautifully by the same family ever since. Fresh to market this summer, this five bedroom lakefront has the sorts of new-home amenities that you’d expect. There’s a wonderfully open floor plan with a two-story great room that opens onto a spacious lakeside deck. There’s a loft upstairs along with three additional bedrooms, and there’s a finished lower level that walks out to the lakefront lawn. You’ll find two fireplaces, a heated two car garage, and plenty of room for the whole family. Enjoy this western exposure for long lake views, sunsets, and full afternoon sun. Lounge on your sturdy private pier with canopied slip, and walk to town from this Lake Geneva location. Newer construction isn’t easy to find on the lake, unless, of course, you’ll come look at this home with me. $2.475MM

PIER 869 David C. Curry, GRI 262.745.1993 dave@genevalakefrontrealty.com

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F EAT URED

Listing

LAKEWOOD ESTATES Entirely and completely unrivaled in this market, Lakewood Estates offers buyers the opportunity to build their dream home on pristine Wisconsin land, just minutes from downtown Lake Geneva.  This lush residential property sits on 336 acres surrounded by 1,000 acres of Wisconsin nature preserve of the most picturesque land Wisconsin has to offer. Offered for sale are large lakefront and countryside lots, each with views of water or the private 18 hole golf course, each within walking distance of the equestrian center, the skeet shooting range, and the private member’s clubhouse.  Beautiful green fairways and luscious leafy trees line this magnificent 71.3 USGA ranked 18-hole golf course. This members-only 120-acre course includes 42 bunkers and several water hazards, three sets of tees for different skill levels, and a 4,000 square foot club house with full bar, men’s and women’s locker rooms, card area, and screened-in porch and patio with grilling area.  Rediscover the leisurely game of golf, unhurried by long lines at the first tee, completely and thoroughly enjoyable at your own pace, because it’s your own private club.  If you love horses  like we do, you’re in luck. Begin with a trot around the indoor heated riding arena and then continue onto our vast outdoor pastures. Adventure around the property’s nature trails and even further into 1,000 acres of Department of Natural Resources Preserve. The 75-acre lake is the focal point of this enchanting property. Its calm, clear waters are ideal for waterskiiing, kayaking, canoeing, sailing, and paddle boarding. The lake is stocked full of bass and northern pike, as well as numerous pan fish like crappie, perch and blue gills and more.  For your private tour of Lake Geneva’s most exciting new offering, please contact David Curry. Lots priced from $250,000.

David C. Curry, GRI 262.745.1993 dave@genevalakefrontrealty.com

www.lakewoodestatesgolfclub.com SUMMER HOMES FOR CITY PEOPLE www.genevalakefrontrealty.com

51


FORECAST INSECURITY WEATHERMEN AND THEIR WHIMS

The rapids twist away from the road, but only briefly, before twisting back, cutting against the bank and throwing riffles and bubbles down the rocky slope. The run spills into a pool, a large glassy pool that looks, at least to this trained eye, as though it easily holds an abundance of trout. There are feeder streams, those that flow from different hillsides, bubbling and babbling their way down to the main branch. They bring nutrients and oxygen and cold, clean fresh water that the trout need. There are many runs and riffles and pools like this near my home, and they follow the road all the way from that home to this office; it’s just that they’re only rainwater, and there are no trout. It’s raining here, again. Yesterday, while I was diligently mowing my front lawn, a patch of blue sky appeared in between the varying colors of clouds. The blue sky was over my house, as if it were a sign of something, and while I watched that blue patch come and then go, I thought it to be a beautiful section of sky. Bright and blue, cheery and fresh. It wasn’t like the clouds at all, with their dark and darker still mood, their ability to generate rain without even a moment’s notice. I thought of that blue patch and thought of a land where that blue patch wouldn’t be just a patch at all, but the entire tapestry filling the sky. I thought about how great it would be to go through my day without a single concern as to what the weather might be like. I thought about the freedom it would give me both in thought and in action, if I didn’t need to wait for a patch of blue to indulge me. I thought about how my son would be home soon to mow the back yard, and how he would complain and plead with me. He’s too tired from swimming all day, he’d say. I kept mowing, the clouds kept their interval of dark and bright, of sunny and cloudy, of pleasure and pain. The front lawn done, my son not yet released from his arduous schedule of pier swimming, I didn’t want to mow the back lawn. It’s much bigger, this back part, and it’s daunting. No one knows this better than my son, because it is always his part of 52

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the chore. When I tell him to mow it, I act like it’s no big deal. Like it won’t take any time at all with that walk behind Gravely PRO-500 lawn mower, the same one I mowed lawns with when I was in high school. Like it’s a breeze. But I know the truth; it’s a miserably large lawn. I decided, instead, to take my bike out. This is the bike I bought, but not the first bike I bought this year. I took that first bike back, because of incessant ridicule from a friend who decided that my bike wasn’t up to the standard, that it didn’t have nearly enough carbon fiber. The new bike hasn’t any of that either, but it was more expensive, so presumably it is better. I latched on my helmet, strapped on my gloves that I bought because I felt like I should, and pedaled. It was sunny, ish. I dislike riding bikes. I reminded myself of that yesterday while pressing against a seat that could only be made more uncomfortable if it were made of broken glass and drywall screws. After the ride, an invite. Tennis was to be played, and it was to be played now. I didn’t waiver in my immediate commitment, but I decided that I shouldn’t have gone for the bike ride first, nor should I have mowed the lawn, even if it was only the front. My son wasn’t home yet, the sun was still sort of shining, the tennis court and my friend beckoning. I played tennis for the next two hours. The sky was bright, the court hot, the humidity making it difficult to hold on to my grip. It wasn’t raining. In fact, it wasn’t even sort of raining. It was clearing, and when I wondered how that could be possible after the deluge of earlier, and the dark sparked cloudiness of the afternoon, I remembered that it was, after all, Sunday evening. Sunday has a way about it, that sort of way. If there is a day you can to see the spectrum of Midwestern weather, that day is Sunday. In the morning yesterday, it wasn’t raining but everything was wet. After that, a downpour that lasted 15 minutes or more. After that, most people had decided that Sunday was a wash out, and that it would be prudent to get an early start on the work week by making the Sunday drive home an earlier


BRUCE THOMPSON | www.genevaimages.com

one. Then I mowed my lawn and the hope began, and by the time the tennis was over the skies were clear, the lake having long ago fallen soft and quiet. The darkness and gray of earlier replaced with the soft pastels of a summer evening, the fulfillment of a blue sky made that much better by the gray that preceded it. Forecasts can do lots of things. They can make farmers plant on a Tuesday because it’s going to rain on Wednesday. They can make you informed, educated, aware. But mostly they make you timid, unwilling to embrace the fact that the forecast just might be wrong. They can make you miss mowing

your lawn in the afternoon. They can keep you from a horrible bike ride. And they can keep you from playing tennis late into the afternoon. They can keep you from a Sunday evening that was as nice as any Sunday evening has ever aspired to be. This summer, let’s forget the forecast. Let’s just be. My son was home by the time I returned from tennis, and he was tired from his difficult day spent swimming. He said he’d mow the lawn on Monday, just as soon as it stops raining. Written June 15, 2015 It all happened just like that. Forecasts ruin lives. Don’t let it ruin yours.

SUMMER HOMES FOR CITY PEOPLE www.genevalakefrontrealty.com

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FE AT U R ED

Listing David C. Curry, GRI 262.745.1993 dave@genevalakefrontrealty.com

4160 WEST LAKEVIEW, LINN TNSP I was once told that I shouldn’t describe a house as being charming because that implies that the home is somehow unsubstantial. I think that was bad advice, and I plan to describe this lakefront home as charming both now and forever, because that’s exactly what it is: charming. Hardwood floors, two fireplaces, vaulted ceilings, and a massive lakeside deck make this lakefront home a turn key proposition. The pier is large and perfect, and at the water’s edge there’s a rare boathouse with hardwood floors and a most charming kitchen and bathroom. It’s charming, it’s ready for immediate occupancy, and it’s just $1.475MM

PIER 605

FE AT U R ED

Listing David C. Curry, GRI 262.745.1993 dave@genevalakefrontrealty.com

W3545 COUNTY ROAD B, LAKE GENEVA This isn’t your average home. It’s special. It’s unique. It’s rare. It’s an award-winning contemporary retreat that’s a masterful blend of old and new. Well planned function incorporates both reclaimed items and maintenance free materials. Designed to take in the southern view of the rolling pastures, this rolling countryside home will delight you in any season. You will not find anything like Simera, especially if you’d like it to be minutes from downtown Lake Geneva, the Lake Geneva Yacht Club and our exciting lakefront scene. A most surprising vacation home near everything, but so very private. $625k 54

SUMMER HOMES FOR CITY PEOPLE www.genevalakefrontrealty.com


F EAT URED

Listing

LORAMOOR LOT 7, LINN Much of the magic of Geneva Lake is found in its unique architectural blend. Old and new, small and large, alternating along the shoreline. But one thing is certain- if we had our druthers, we’d position like kind homes next to each other. We’d have sections of the lake where estates rule the day, and we have that on Snake Road. We’d have areas where large lots rule, with large homes and estately prices, and we have that on Basswood and North Shore Drive. We’d also have a tidy, dead end lane where large lakefront homes are spaced well and appropriately, where one new home is not out of place next to another.  We have that in Loramoor, and today, you have an opportunity to join that most exclusive lane. Enter Loramoor Lot 7, the obvious solution for any house hunt that finds a buyer seeking new construction in the $4MM or less price range. Today we have a noticeable absence of quality homes in the $3-4MM price range. We have plenty of nice properties, terrific lots with old, bad houses, or terrific houses on sub-standard lots. In this parcel, the buyer found what they wanted in the existing vacant land, and knew they could build the exact lake house that would scratch all of their weekend itches. With 1.43 acres of wooded depth, the lot is larger than similar properties that have sold in the last few years as tear downs, and since it was already vacant there would be no added cost involved with deconstructing an existing home. The property was perfect, and unlike others in this range, it is surrounded by ample homes of newer birthdates, very obviously a secure location to add value in a new build. Compare this to a vacant lot in the $2MM price range that’s located next to smaller, lesser priced properties. It makes more sense to have a $3.75MM house next to other houses of equal or greater value and here, in Loramoor, we have that. There’s safety in building in a   neighborhood with a proven tendency to support your target value, and that’s why this Loramoor lot is better than the others in this price range. There is no association immediately adjacent, no shared driveway, no sloped frontage or rough landscaping. There is only a beautiful canvas, grassed and treed and ready to host your lakefront vision. If you’re a buyer in the $4MM range you owe it to yourself to consider this parcel as your first and finest option. $2.34MM

PIER 774G

David C. Curry, GRI 262.745.1993 dave@genevalakefrontrealty.com

SUMMER HOMES FOR CITY PEOPLE www.genevalakefrontrealty.com

55


FISHING 101 FISHING PROPERLY ISN’T THAT HARD

Last week, while the soft suburban children played on sand beaches within close proximity of their sunscreen slathering, summer-hat wearing mothers, my son and his friend dove from piers and hid near where the horses make their ascendance to meet the stringers. They dove and swam, swam and dove, fighting and playing, hiding and seeking. Swimming under water with his eyes open, my son spotted something that captured his attention. A large bass, carefully guarding the gravel spawning redd that she had brushed bare with her powerful tail. My son returned to the pier to tell his friend where the fish was, how big it was, and what they would do next. The plan was to tie on a small jig, a white one with a feather for a tail and big yellow eyes drawn onto a round lead head. They assembled their gear and made casts. The first cast fell short. The second, too. They switched positions, the friend now in the starter slot, casting as far as he could cast. Each effort fell short, there was to be no catching that fish on that day, because the jig was too light and the line too heavy. The soft beach children would have given up by now, assuming they somehow knew that fish was there, which, of course, they couldn’t have known if they were only splashing in the shallows with small plastic shovels and buckets made specifically for the building of sand castles. Every fisherman knows there is no greater frustration than the inability to catch a fish that has presented itself as a target. This is why bonefish are highly prized quarry, and equally disappointing when they refuse to eat a well-presented fly. There had to be a way. There was no boat, and eleven year olds shouldn’t be driving those, anyway. There was a dingy, but the one oar slot is loose, and when the rower attempts to row, the left oar always pops out of place. The exercise is confounding, and if the desired goal is to row from A to B, there will be circuitous visits to C,D,E,M along the way. No, the rowboat wouldn’t work, but they hatched a plan that would, in theory.

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The friend was to hold the rod, with the bail open so the line would pull freely. My son would hold the jig in his hand, and swim carefully and slowly out to where the bass was on guard. Once over the target zone, he would release the jig. His friend would know he had released it by the thumb’s up my son would give as he thrust his hand out of the water. Once the jig floated slowly down to the bass, my son would give his friend another, more excitable thumb’s up, this one to indicate that the bass had eaten the jig and that a swift setting of the hook was in order. When the bass moved quickly to bite the jig, it was clear this plan had worked. The friend battled the great fish, while my son swam from the scene. On the pier, they held the fish briefly for a photo and released it to the depths. They have been taught many habits by their fathers, habits both good and mostly bad, but to carefully handle a fish and release it immediately is counted as one of the better habits learned. That evening, when my son told me the story of his efforts, I couldn’t help but smile. He has learned well. Parents ask me about fishing often. They ask the best way to catch fish from piers in Geneva Lake. As I have more experience on the subject than any other Realtor in this market (without any question), I will offer you my sage advice. The fishing rig should be simple. A lightweight rod and reel, no Snoopy emblems allowed. The line should be six pound test. Any lighter and you risk a break off from an ornery fish, any thicker and you look like a New Jersey surf fisherman hurling baits for Stripers. The next key to successful pier fishing involves small jigs. It does not involve worms or other forms of live bait. I know, I know, worms are a staple of pier fishing worldwide. But they are also messy and once a mess of them die in your refrigerator the smell is as ungodly as any smell could ever aspire to be. The other problem with small children fishing with worms is that inevitably the fish swallows the hook,


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and then the dad or mom spends a few minutes ripping the hook out of the fish’s throat, rooting around for that hook as though it were made from gold exhumed from the Titanic’s dining room. This is unacceptable. As an aside, if you must fish with worms and the fish swallows the hook, you should quickly cut the line right next to the fish’s mouth in hope that the fish survives the ordeal by digesting the hook over time. Another key to understanding fish is to understand that they do not breathe well outside of the water. I’ve watched a parent rip a fish apart for a few minutes, then throw it back into the lake. If the fish somehow survived the massive stomach trauma, it certainly didn’t survive the minute or two spent out of the water. Parents, be smart. Don’t fish with worms because worms are for people who don’t understand things particularly well. Practice what my son knows, hold your breath from the moment you pull the fish from the water- when you need to take a breath, so does the fish. So, we have the line and the rod, now the jigs. Buy small feathery looking ones, in chartreuse or white. They should be 1/32 ounce jigs. Not big ones. Once you have the jigs, take a pliers and bend down the barb of the hook, so that the hook will easily come out when the time comes. This is very important if you want to teach your kid to fish on their own, as the largest part of that fishing is the removal of a hook from the fish. The jig should be tied directly to the line, not onto some leader or some metal clip

thing. That way is horrible; I see it often and then go wash my eyes with bleach. Rod, line, small jig, ready to fish. But how? Easy, silly. Let the line out near the pier and have your kid jig it very subtly, very slowly, right next to the cribs. The fish hide there, and they’ll come out to eat the jig. Your child will be thrilled. And since you had the good sense to bend down the barb, you’ll be pleased because your kid can remove the hook without your assistance. In this, the fish should be held gently and the hook removed. My daughter saw a kid step on a fish to get the hook out, and she yelled at him, because she’s smart and this kid was not. Hold the fish carefully, quickly remove the hook, and return it to the water. Don’t put it in a bucket for a few hours to play with it, because you’ll then be like my dog when he plays with a chipmunk, which is only play time for one of the participants. There you have it. The guide to pier fishing Geneva with kids. Follow these steps and you’ll be a star, but more importantly you’ll teach your kid some valuable lessons about respecting fish. You’ll also set your child up for future independence, and your lake time will be so much sweeter if you don’t need to constantly monitor and assist in their fishing endeavors. Written July 10, 2015 My son and his friend caught that fish. My son catches lots of fish, but I’m more proud of the gentle way he handles and releases them than I am of his productivity. SUMMER HOMES FOR CITY PEOPLE www.genevalakefrontrealty.com

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FE AT U R ED

Listing

W2998 S. LAKESHORE DR, LINN One of the terrific things about private frontage is that every variety of private frontage is generally good. Now, there are good spots and bad spots, but even the bad spots on Geneva are better than the good spots everywhere else, so that’s nuanced. The other thing about private frontage is that it’s varied. Some lots are wide, others narrow, some deep others shallow. There is no pattern to the frontage until we confine certain types of properties into segments. If we’re talking entry level lakefront homes, we’re talking about smaller lots (60’ or less) and we’re talking about neighbors. Lots of neighbors. Now consider this fun listing on South Lakeshore Drive. It’s a five bedroom modern house that’s rather nicely updated with new bathrooms and a very flexible layout. It has a slip on a pier that is shared by only seven total owners, and this house functions as the lakefront house in the association. But that’s not what’s especially rare here. Consider the proximity to the neighbors, and the quality of the neighbors. To the East, Casa Del Sueno, to the West, a fabulous newer build on a massive lakefront lot. This is a setting that is, quite literally, unavailable to any other entry level home anywhere on this lake. It’s special. If you like privacy and you like the woods, and you like that privacy and those woods to be on the lake, then this property is for you. $1.395MM

PIER 777 David C. Curry, GRI 262.745.1993 dave@genevalakefrontrealty.com 58

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Architecture / Engineering / Design CUSTOM RESIDENTIAL · COMMERCIAL · INDUSTRIAL · RENOVATIONS

Designing Quality Custom Homes for Over 30 years! RusseLl J. DePietro, Architect

262.728.9300 www.depietrodesign.com

russ@depietrodesign.com Licensed in Wisconsin & Illinois SUMMER HOMES FOR CITY PEOPLE www.genevalakefrontrealty.com

59


THIS TIME FLOWERS THAT REFUSE TO DIE ARE THE BEST FLOWERS

The flowers are blooming in that big patch of flowers that looks just like a garden of weeds. Most of the flowers are dead now, having long since given their blooms to the bees and their scent to the air, then withered. The grass that was so tall, so green, so bushy and strong, now bends brown in the slightest wind, offering little resistance, just waving in whatever direction it’s told. There’s no strength left to fight. But those flowers are blooming anyway. Not many, but some, the few that don’t give up so easily. The few that see sun and feel warmth and ask, why not? And so they bloom. You have to walk for a while before you will notice them, but they’re there. Blooming. Surrounded by browns and grays of all shades. There is some green still, the just cut lawn still showing off its stripes that I so intently mowed into it all summer and fall. The trees have long since bailed on the notion of a showy fall display. They turned colors, vibrant reds and oranges and so many yellows. But now they’re mostly just bare, the oaks hanging to some brown leaves, the maples still hanging to a few yellows, the other trees, whatever they all are, stripped by the November winds of anything they had left. Everything is failing now. Not dying, but withering nonetheless, and if you had never known this particular change of season you’d fear that this was indeed the end. That death was coming, nearly complete, an unavoidable demise. But we know better, because this isn’t our first time. We know the greens are replaced by oranges and reds, and those are replaced by brown and gray. The cycle of this season is nearing its completion, and stores are telling us that it’ll be Christmas soon. It’s always like that. There is a strange build up to Halloween, which is a holiday in the same sense that I am a skilled and delicate ballerina. Thanksgiving is near, we all know that, because it’s getting brown

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outside and the mornings are crisp, and that wind is blowing. Thanksgiving is coming, Christmas follows right behind, and everything outside is dying, everyone who fears the cold is leaving. Except those few flowers that are blooming in my garden. They don’t really care that snow will cover them after some many more weeks. And when I walk now, the grass is still green and the lake is still blue and the trees are still standing tall and strong. I don’t mind that the brightness of early fall is now past, I relish the browns of November. In fact, this might be my favorite month of the year. Yes, I said it, November with its sometimes rain and oft wind, with its brown trees and browning grass, with its sparse out of place flowers and its bendy grass. This is a month that I would miss. This is a month here that’s unique and rare. This is the only month where we can celebrate sepia tones and still find an unexpected flower blooming in the midst of it all. This weekend the smoke will hang low in the November air. It’s been hanging low like that often, except for this week when the wind came and blew it away. The wind is settling now, the temperatures rising, the smoke settling low in these small valleys. The leaves are being raked, blown, burned. The summer things are being put away, fogged and wrapped tight in covers of plastic and canvas. The winter things are being prepared, but we have no use for them now. This is fall, this is the season of harvest and thanks, because November is so much more fall than October could ever hope to be. Enjoy it while it lasts. Walk the paths. Stroll the sidewalks. Sip strong coffee and take it all in. Soon, it will be winter, and these glorious washed out browns and greens will be blanketed in white. Written November 13, 2015 Those flowers wouldn’t give in. They bloomed for a few more weeks until that deep Thanksgiving snow fell.


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Full Service Professional Grooming Compassion for your pet’s health & safety, plus individual attention since July 2012!

32 W Geneva St., Williams Bay, WI

1-262-325-2364

Grooming by appointment dogharborgrooming.com

SUMMER IS BETTER HERE. Experience entertaining events throughout the summer in a breathtaking, open-air setting on Geneva Lake.

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PRESENTED BY GEORGE WILLIAMS COLLEGE OF AURORA UNIVERSITY F E R R O P A V I L I O N | W I L L I A M S B A Y, W I 62

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1014 SOUTH LAKESHORE DRIVE, FONTANA

SOLD LAKEFRONT LISTINGS With an improving market comes a heavy tide of new agents and new brokers. They have new offices, shiny ones, with splashy ads featuring the finest stock photography. The thing is, there’s only one Lake Geneva broker that’s focused so narrowly on the Lake Geneva lakefront market. The properties below represent the lakefronts sold by David Curry since the start of 2010. It’s a humbling total, and one that we’re proud to share with you. There are plenty of other local brokers that would love to represent you in your search to buy or sell lakefront property on Geneva Lake, and in that, we have company. But when you review the results below, you’ll see we have very little competition. 66 Oak Birch Williams Bay $1,225,000

1530 North Lakeshore Drive Lake Geneva $1,530,000

W2904 Hollybush Drive Linn $2,000,000

2224 North Bonnie Brae Linn $3,005,000

7 Dartmouth Road, Williams Bay $1,225,000

6 Upper Loch Vista Drive Williams Bay $1,610,000

Lot 7 Loramoor Linn $2,000,000

1554 North Oak Shores Linn $3,100,000

556 Sauk Trail Fontana $1,313,000

N2280 Folly Lane Linn $1,650,000

N1595 East Lakeside Lane Linn $2,150,000

N1878 Black Point Drive Linn $3,250,000

1540 Lakeshore Drive Lake Geneva $1,335,000

1599 East Lakeside Lane Linn $1,725,000

412 Harvard Avenue Fontana $2,269,000

N1621 East Lakeside Lane Linn $3,575,000

N1611 Shadow Lane Linn $1,400,000

1588 North Lakeside Lane Linn $1,800,000

1100E South Lakeshore Drive Fontana $2,475,000

1100C South Lakeshore Dr. Fontana $3,700,000

190 Circle Parkway Williams Bay $1,440,000

60 Oak Birch Williams Bay $1,810,000

N2201 Bonnie Brae Lane Linn $2,650,000

W3821 Creek Lane Linn $5,195,000

N1546 Forest Hills Court Linn $1,450,000

W4190 Southland Road Linn $1,925,000

507 North Lakeshore Fontana $2,850,000

1014 South Lakeshore Drive Fontana $5,885,000

274 Sylvan Lane Fontana $1,495,000

N2319 Geneva Oaks Trail Linn $1,925,000

976 South Lakeshore Fontana $2,950,000 SUMMER HOMES FOR CITY PEOPLE www.genevalakefrontrealty.com

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W4350 BASSWOOD, LINN

PIER 568

By now, everyone knows Basswood. It’s a street on the lake, or it’s the street on the lake, either position is acceptable though the latter is preferred. On a  lake where there’s little uniformity of parcels, it’s obvious that there would be little uniformity of value. A large home here, a small home there. Some giant estate here, a small house next to it, on top of it. There’s not much by way of consistency here, and in that lack of consistency there is character. Like finding anonymity in a crowd, Geneva is a group of different things that all make up a rather magical whole. But Basswood is one of the last few enclaves of near perfection in design, perfection in purpose, and perfection in execution. The large lots have, for the most part, been spared the subdivider’s stakes. Subdivisions never slivered the expanse. It’s just a street with large lots, most in the 150-200’ range, and impressive homes. It’s also the street that’s anchored on its Eastern edge by Woodhill.

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You likely don’t know this estate. It isn’t in the guide book and the captain of a slowly chugging tour boat won’t point it out. The family that owns Woodhill isn’t named Wrigley or Schwinn or Maytag. They’re just a family that decided many decades ago that this 4 acre wooded parcel on Basswood was a great place to call home. And so it went, a generation raised summering on this shore, on that Basswood shore. A generation spent playing in the woods, slopping through the stream, catching frogs and fireflies and diving from the long, white pier. Life was good at Woodhill for all who had the privilege of calling it home. In the early 1980s it was decided that the old cottage that had played host to so many family weekends for so many years would need to be replaced with something bigger. Something modern. Something better, perhaps, but mostly just something, more. The new house was designed by the owner and his architect, an owner it should be mentioned, who was a contractor and real estate investor who knew his way around a set of plans and a job site. In 1984 the new Woodhill was born of brick and concrete and that cedar shake roof.  The four wooded acres and 205’ of lake frontage now played host to a brand new family home. The new home was ample, with more than  6000 square feet of living space spread out over three finished floors. There were five bedrooms, five fireplaces (all masonry, all woodburning, of course), and an expansive lakeside patio made of the finest bluestone the owner could find. The house was built to last of flexicore  and brick, with two kitchens and two wet bars, and a cherry wood library. Today, the Walnut and Oak floors glisten as new. Over the years, another savvy purchase. Lot 12 in the Lindens was available, and adjacent, and 1.5 wooded acres with a transferable boat slip. The lot was purchased to maintain privacy and future opportunities for Woodhill, and today, it might be the only lot of its kind that exists in the Lake Geneva market. Off water vacant lots exist, but this lot is barely off water, with lake views and that slip and a most exclusive Lindens membership. Today, you can be the next steward of Woodhill, a sale that now includes the two parcels at W4350 Basswood (1.93 and 2.22 acres, respectively), and the 1.49 acre Lindens lot. With 205’ of frontage, 5.65 total acres, and the ability to build another home (possibly two), this is the most compoundready property to hit the market in years. $6.95MM  

David C. Curry, GRI 262.745.1993 dave@genevalakefrontrealty.com

SUMMER HOMES FOR CITY PEOPLE www.genevalakefrontrealty.com

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880 SOUTH LAKESHORE DR. APT 1RL, LAKE GENEVA 66

SUMMER HOMES FOR CITY PEOPLE www.genevalakefrontrealty.com


Offered at $5.995MM

PIER 880

SUMMER HOMES FOR CITY PEOPLE www.genevalakefrontrealty.com

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Lake Geneva Country Meats

3 miles East of Grand Geneva on Hwy 50 262-248-3339 | www.lgmeats.com

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Otto Young was born in Prussia in the year 1844. He moved to London, then to New York. He made his fortune in Chicago, and in 1901 he built his limestone masterpiece, dubbed Youngland Manor,  on the eastern shore of Geneva Lake. After decades of meticulous restoration, the entire first floor of his palacial lakeside retreat is available for sale. The spaces are unlike anything most have ever encountered, with dedication to the restoration and preservation of orginal finishes typically reserved for public buildings of cultural importance.  The ultimate in lakefront luxury, Stone Manor. This first floor residence in Otto Young’s palatial lakefront mansion is now available after decades of painstaking restoration. Enjoy the lake in a most unique fashion, from this 12,000 square foot residence with underground parking, deep-water boatslip, and private grassed terrace. Rooftop swimming pool, tennis courts, and acres of manicured lawns and gardens. Full time caretaker on site makes this property so much easier to own and enjoy for the discerning vacation home owner. Confidential tours upon request. $5.995MM

www.880southlakeshore.com

David C. Curry, GRI 262.745.1993 dave@genevalakefrontrealty.com SUMMER HOMES FOR CITY PEOPLE www.genevalakefrontrealty.com

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High above the west end of Geneva Lake you’ll find this picture perfect two bedroom lakefront penthouse. Lots of lakefront condos have great views, but these views are so very much better than those views. From Fontana’s downtown all the way beyond Cedar and Black Points, this view is the absolute best. Like new construction, with two bedrooms, a gas fireplace, access to a private lakefront pier, available buoy, shared lakeside patio with grills, and plenty of parking. Turn key offering for immediate weekend fun. $489,000

If tiny cottages on tiny lots don’t turn you on, perhaps this large home on a one acre lot in highly desirable Ara Glen will. This updated home features an outstanding great room, two fireplaces, two kitchens, five bedrooms, heated garage, and ample outdoor space on both decks and patios. Large driveway for overflow parking, spacious lawn, and that short golf cart ride to the impressive Ara Glen lakefront where your transferable, deepwater boatslip awaits. $899,000

Lackey Lane is not an easy street to wander down. It’s private, secluded, a dead end hosting just a handful of lakefront homes. Here’s this easy lakefront ranch with 100’ of level frontage on that most exclusive lane. Renovate or build new, this is your blank canvas surrounded by high quality homes. $2,150,000

Exclusive Black Point Farms. Enter through your private, meandering drive to find this 3800 sq ft home on five acres. Flexible layout with walkout lower level and five bedrooms, with ample room for everyone. A massive oversized deck spans the width of the house and offers views of the orchards and grounds. A country estate close to the action. $549,000

If you find yourself bored at Vista Del Lago, then you’re not really trying. This four bedroom loft unit is fantastically renovated and ready to infuse your weekends with a jolt of fun. There’s a canopied boatslip, tennis courts, indoor pool, swim pier, and a detached garage to store your toys. Lakeside living with four bedrooms and all those amenities within walking distance to downtown? Exactly. $539,500

Walk to Pier 290, walk to town for breakfast, walk to the shore path. In fact, there’s really nothing in Williams Bay that’s not close to this well maintained home. Finished lower level with extra bedroom, main floor with hardwood and back deck, large fenced lawn. Built in 1996, this home has been lovingly used by a Chicago family as their vacation home- a use made convenient by the proximity to Geneva Lake and Pier 290. Enjoy this fantastic residence as a full time home or just visit on the weekends. $289,000

David C. Curry, GRI 262.745.1993 dave@genevalakefrontrealty.com

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Architectural

When only the best will do.

Cabinetry

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Church

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Our latest restoration , launched Spring 2016 J Craft 42’ Torpedo “La Decadence”

Cabinetry

Wood Boat Restoration

Commercial

Custom Residential

• Home Theatres

• Design Services

• Nautical Furniture

• Libraries

• Architectural Millwork

• Liturgical Furnishings

• Kitchens & Baths

• Furniture Repair and

• Office Furnishings

• Wood Boat Restoration

• Custom Furniture

Lake Geneva

Restoration

6035 E. Highway 50

www.langecustomwoodworking.com

(262) 249-0576


FE AT U R ED

Listing

976 S. LAKESHORE DR. FONTANA

72

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PIER 503


It’s no particular secret that buyers like Fontana. If I have 100 lakefront buyers call me this year, there’s a strong chance that 70 of them may specifically ask to be in Fontana. Why this is I cannot be certain. Fontana has, for eons, been home to many cottages. Glenwood Springs, Country Club Estates,  Buena Vista, Indian Hills- these associations are loaded with homes, many of which used to be rental cottages.  As a result of this, many would be buyers were first introduced to the Lake Geneva scene by way of Fontana. Chuck’s and Gordy’s played a role as well, with many first beers consumed at Chuck’s, and many first boats bought at Gordy’s. This prior familiarity is possibly a reason why people love Fontana. Or it might be the new streets, the new lights, the new beach house, the quaint and tidy nature of it all. For whatever reason, Fontana is king. 976 South Lakeshore Drive is just East of the Fontana beach, just East of the original Westgate property, in fact, on the original Westgate property. The tell is the old (but fantastically and beautifully remodeled) cut granite boathouse tucked into the hillside at the water’s edge.  The entry gate is of the same cut granite. The home that resides there is not old, rather it’s somewhat new in the context of lakefront homes on Geneva. It has four bedrooms,  high end bathrooms, an upscale kitchen, a huge lakeside deck, a screened in porch, and a most remarkable view of the lake. A view so remarkable, that upon deciding to list the home the owner questioned her own sanity. Are we crazy to sell this? The home is fresh, clean, updated and ready for summer. The boathouse is at home among the finest on the entire lake, perhaps the finest? The pier is large, two slips worth, and the frontage is wide, 142 feet of meandering flagstone shore path providing a clue as to the beginning and the end of it.  Four bedrooms, four baths, a full boathouse with living area and storage, that huge wooden pier, that Fontana location— it’s all unique and rare, but that view, that view is the extra special bit. Elevated just enough, but not too much, this home is, as I mentioned, positioned adjacent the original Westgate home which means the homes to the immediate West are set back, far out of view. The result is a view that extends over that manicured lawn and all the way to the Fontana beach, then again back to the East all the way past Cedar Point to Black Point and beyond. Yerkes and Conference Point fall in between. Now that’s a view.  If you’d like to have the opportunity to own this piece of the lake, you’d do well to let me know. Here you can walk to Gordy’s for a lazy Sunday lunch, or walk to the Lake Geneva Yacht Club for fish fry. You could do those things, or you could just sit on that couch and quietly take it all in. $3.395MM

David C. Curry, GRI 262.745.1993 dave@genevalakefrontrealty.com

SUMMER HOMES FOR CITY PEOPLE www.genevalakefrontrealty.com

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Nestled within the heart of the Kettle Moraine State Forest, The Trout House at Rushing Waters Fisheries is the nation’s premier, all-natural Rainbow Trout farm and on-site Restaurant. For the ultimate farm to fork culinary experience, enjoy a meal in our on-farm dining room. Take part in our “Hook & Cook” experience by catching your rainbow trout in our pond and having our kitchen cook it up for a Shore Lunch. Available Wed. – Sun., 11a.m.- 3p.m. Located at N301 County Road H in Palmyra, WI Phone: 262-495-2089 Restaurant Hours: Wed. – Sat. 11 am – 9 pm; Sun. 9 am to 3 pm www.rushingwaters.net


F EAT URED

Listing

W3036 S. LAKESHORE DR. LINN At this Loramoor home, the property tells much of the story. There’s the brick pillared entry with gate, the private drive, the 3.3 private acres. But there’s also a detached garage, measuring at least three cars worth with a finished upper level for use as an office or bunk room or studio, should you be an aspiring artist. There’s an in-ground pool surrounded by an intensely large stone patio. There’s an outdoor kitchen with grill and refrigerators and enough counter space to entertain as many people as you see fit. There’s that lawn, that huge, sprawling lawn, and there’s a water fall feature that you’re not expecting. The small playhouse is finished as well as many homes that I sell, though it’s small, so it’s a playhouse, and it’s doubtful your children or your friends’ children will appreciate the wainscoting on the ceilings. The house itself is roughly 5000 finished square feet, with six bedrooms and five bathrooms and a three car attached garage. The house is formal in design, but supremely functional as a lake house for a large group of family and friends. The kitchen is finely appointed with Sub-Zero and granite. That wonderful kitchen opens out to a breakfast room, which opens to a screened porch, which commands a spectacular view of the pool and grounds. The upper level is loaded with bedrooms, some owning their own bathrooms. The master is on the main level, which is good in the event that your knees have been bothering you. The lower level is a game room with wet bar that walks out to the pool and patio.  But this isn’t just a nice house on a nice lot somewhere near the lake. It’s a house that’s part of Loramoor, so you also have a transferable slip and a slight lake view from the property. It’s unlike anything in our market, and it’s ready for immediate use.  $1.895MM

David C. Curry, GRI 262.745.1993 dave@genevalakefrontrealty.com SUMMER HOMES FOR CITY PEOPLE www.genevalakefrontrealty.com

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138 CONFERENCE POINT RD, WB When I was a kid, I’d walk to Gage Marine. It wasn’t far from my house, and so I’d walk down the shore path, across those green lawns, up those few railroad ties that worked as stairs, and I’d be at Gage Marine. The pro-shop wasn’t so much a pro-shop as it was a place to buy those little leather pieces that hold together the eye of a buoy lead. The other direction, I would walk to George Williams. The camp when I was a kid was old, neglected, uninteresting. There was the ability to order ice cream from some building on campus, as there is today, but that was about it. There was nothing else to do there. My brothers and I would explore the hills of Conference Point camp, digging into the earth that was exposed when the hillside gave way to erosion.  Now Gage Marine has Pier 290, a restaurant and scene worthy of your time. George Williams  has been entirely renovated, and their Music By The Lake series hosts exciting musical acts all summer.  138 Conference Point Road is close to both of these newly reborn attractions, an easy flip-flopped stroll to either, within minutes. Think that’s not important? Try strolling to restaurants and musical venues from most lakefront homes. The house has 103’ of frontage, a large canopied pier, and a very well maintained three bedroom ranch with a two car attached garage and a walk out lower level.  I’ve sold many lakefront homes with fantastic lake views, but the general rule here is that the better the view, the higher the frontage. The reason is obvious. The magic of 138 is that the frontage is gently sloping, nearly level, and yet the lake views are absolutely second to none. The views are to Cedar Point, Black Point, Majestic, and points beyond. It’s a peninsula view without the peninsula, it’s a tree top view without the hike. It’s a perfect view and a perfect lake house, and it’s yours for $2.185MM

PIER 297

David C. Curry, GRI 262.745.1993 dave@genevalakefrontrealty.com

SUMMER HOMES FOR CITY PEOPLE www.genevalakefrontrealty.com

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W4437 NORTH LAKESHORE DR, LINN

PIER 162

My grandmother was not necessarily a memorable fashionista. The was too old by the time I was old enough to recognize style, and by then I recognized that she veered towards the loud, and the sparkly. She wore bright red lipstick often, and later in life she would generously apply it in the general area of her very old lips. She was a lovely woman, but she was not a style maker. This is why it was curious that her favorite house on the lake was the understated Pikewood Estate on Pebble Point. Pier 162 was never the loudest house on the lake. In fact, it looked under built compared to the behemoths both of very old and of very recent. The house was built in 1923 for the family of a barbed wire magnate. Later, it was owned by a well known Chicago Family. It was a classic home, perched confidently in the deep woods of

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Pebble Point, with 181’ of level frontage and a view to Black Point, Majestic, and beyond. It was a fantastic house, one that my grandmother boasted often was her favorite house on the lake. The original Pikewood home went the way that so many of the old builds; it fell to the wrecking ball. Neglected over many decades, the home had fallen into ill repair and needed either massive restoration work, or it needed to be removed from the estate. In that sentence there is a not so obvious truth- the estate of Pikewood remains, it’s just the house that has been torn down. The driveway for Pikewood used to be as understated as the house that graced the lakefront. It was gravel, dippy and rough. On a section of the lake that houses some of the most prestigious lakefront homes ever built here, this driveway was out of place. So the current owner took to building a proper entry, with proper landscaping, and stone walls crafted by artisans to reflect the walls of the original era. Earth was moved, dead trees were cut down, new trees were planted. Grass was made to grow by the irrigation that was installed. The property, over the past three years, has been the focus of significant and meaningful restoration. But the restoration and revitalization of this property has been focused on the landscape —  on the estate itself. The site, all 181 level feet, all four wooded acres, rests just to the East of Pebble Point. On one side, the magnificent home that is reminiscent of Frank Lloyd Wright’s famed Falling Waters , on the other, an incredibly beautiful dutch colonial that was built just a few years ago. Behind, a huge tract of deep woods where a conservation project is underway to restore those woods to their natural glory. This site is insulated from some of the things that plague other sites. High density nearby, there’s none of that. Associations within ear shot, of course not. Just beautiful land that has been remarkably improved over recent years.  The property is, by many miles, the best vacant parcel available on Geneva Lake. Other properties have too many entanglements, or they’re limited by the presence of an existing house that’s somehow too good to immediately tear down, and not good enough to actually want to live in. This site has been readied for construction, and the new owner gets the benefit of some $700k in soft costs that have already brought a raw property up to this polished position in the market.  If my grandmother were still alive, and if she had the money, I would have already had this estate sold. $4.475MM

David C. Curry, GRI 262.745.1993 dave@genevalakefrontrealty.com

SUMMER HOMES FOR CITY PEOPLE www.genevalakefrontrealty.com

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R I V E R VA L L E Y R A N C H family owned since 1976

39900 W. 60th Street | Burlington, WI 53105 “Celebrating Our 40th Year�

Open 7 Days A Week (262) 539-3555 www.rivervalleykitchens.com


Barrington Pools, Inc.


Summer Homes For City People  

The 2016 issue of Summer Homes For City People. Lake Geneva's finest real estate lifestyle publication. Available on newsstands now!

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