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Lilacs Just an old bush by the driveway ......................................8 Summery Summer things, in summer time....................................... 10 Scarred Air Conditioning is a gift........................................................15 Along The Way The drive isn’t supposed to be fun .................................. 16 Walk This Way What a ridiculous way to travel .........................................21 Today Enjoy today, every day ......................................................... 22 Not The Same Don’t confuse this place with any other ...................... 26 Gone Summer ends early ................................................................ 28 A Wish Some wishes matter more than others ........................ 33 Decisions You must pick a season ....................................................... 34 Two Seasons The road is either opened or closed .............................. 38 Winter It's not so bad ............................................................................ 41

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. 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.

Hannah Lee Noll / @hannahleenoll

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.


I know what you’re thinking Another fish? Yes, another fish. But it’s not just any fish, it’s a brown trout, and there are reasons that trout matters to me and to this lake. You see, on May 7th, 1984, Perry McKittrick caught a brown trout in Geneva that tipped the scales at 18 pounds 6 ounces. That fish became the inland state record, a title that it still holds to this day. Brown trout aren’t just pretty to look at, they’re a rare trophy that spend their days gorging on Ciscos in the deep, clean water of our beloved lake. My first introduction to these fish came by way of a large trout flopping in the back of Mel’s old Jeep, and from that late November afternoon through today, the brown trout has held my attention.  But this isn’t a fishing magazine, it’s a real estate magazine— the 10th in this series of Summer Homes For City People— and we find ourselves at the doorstep of another Lake Geneva summer. The market remains active, boasting a powerful upper bracket that makes Geneva the most unique market in our state, and perhaps the most unique upper end market in the Midwest. For my involvement, I led the 2018 Walworth County market once again (individual agent sales) with more than $36,000,000 in closed transactions, bringing my closed transactions since 2010 to a market leading tally over $288,000,000. That’s a number that I’m proud of, and could not have reached without my valued clients and customers who trust me to help guide their Lake Geneva real estate decisions.  These active markets make market mistakes more common, as buyers rush to find their piece of our rare, lakeside scene. If you find yourself at the lake this summer and need a bit of real estate advice, I hope you’ll let me know. If you’d rather watch the market from afar and educate yourself, I encourage you to read my blog, which is the original source of the stories you’re about to read. I’m a husband and father, a marginal writer, a skilled fly fisherman, and a nostalgic Lake Geneva yarn-spinner, but I’d also like to be your real estate agent. 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 genevalakefrontrealty.com

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Lilacs

Just an old bush by the driveway

T

here was an old Lilac outside my childhood bedroom window. It wasn’t a great bush, or majestic tree, it wasn’t the finest example of what that plant could have been. It was just a bush around the corner, wedged in between that old garage and older house, down around the cracked concrete driveway that later would be paved. When the pavers came they found an old brick cistern under the driveway that no one knew was there. Well, I suppose someone knew, but that someone was dead. He might have been the one who planted the lilac. No one knew for sure. Down the road, around the corner, up a ways and over just a bit, there was another man. An older man, a shorter man. Just a man, really. I met him on the pier, his fishing rods stuck into PVC holders that he affixed to the outside horses on that long association pier.  The lilacs were in bloom. His bucket was full of bloody, stale water. Rock Bass instinctively twitched their fins. Bluegills, belly up, their sad eyes blank and wondering. Lower still a crappie, maybe two. Large and white with black dashes. Papermouths, the old timers called them. A smallmouth bass, wedged in the bottom of that bucket of death and dying, not longer than 12 inches. It turned my stomach. It’s a Rock Bass, the old man told me, his tone easily proving his lie. I knew better. I knew it was a smallmouth and I knew it wasn’t legal. I knew it was too small. It bothered me something terrible. Later, as the years wore on and both of us grew older, I’d sneak down in the morning and release the fish that the old man had caught and tethered to the pier with an old sailing rope. Other times there would be no fish to release, so I’d open his minnow bucket and let the minnows swim free. If he didn’t have any minnows then he couldn’t skewer them with a hook. If he couldn’t thread that hook through their eyes then he couldn’t cast that old frail monofilament out and set the worn rods into those 8

SUMMER HOMES FOR CITY PEOPLE genevalakefrontrealty.com

homemade holders. If I could stop the first part of this cycle, the death could be spared. My desired end more than justified those particular means. He’d give me advice, once in a while. Sometimes, the water was too cold. It’s early yet, he’d say. The water needed to be 50 degrees, or maybe 55. His old thermometer would dangle from the swim ladder, close enough to where he’d store those fish that I’d later release. I wondered if he knew what I was doing. I assumed he didn’t, but, now as I think about it, he must have known. There was no one else but me.  It was just him and then it was me, there were no other characters in this skit. Without the thermometer, he told me, it wasn’t hard to know when the bass would be biting. When the lilacs bloom, that’s when they’ll be biting. There was another large lilac on my way to and from school, and in April and then May I’d walk by that bush with eager anticipation. That lilac, and the one by my window, took forever to bloom. Cold, late spring would cling for so long. Every day, nothing. Then, something. Tiny sprouts at first, but within days, maybe just hours, I’d witness the unfurling and pushing of all those leaves. Bright green, young green, then, when the blossoms were near, deep and lovely green. Every day, a little more and a little more. And then, like magic, the flowers. Those flowers with their purple petals and overwhelming perfume, they told me it was time. Time to grab my rod and reel and cast those chartreuse jigs as far as I could, sometimes towards shore and sometimes towards the depths, sometimes off the diving board and sometimes off the boat. Smallmouth bass would eat, greedily, angrily, their red eyes overwhelmed with carnivorous malice towards that little collection of fluttering feathers. These days, I don’t fish in the lake very often. I want to, but I don’t. There are times when the pull is greater than others, like late into a


JAKE SCHNAKE, BLUE CHAIR STORIES

summer evening when the southwest wind falls flat and I see the bass chasing minnows to the surface. My eyes can’t help but look for the telltale boil of hungry fish. Or in the fall when the boating traffic has gone and the lake is clear and the water cools. I know the big fish are in shallow. I know the lake trout and the brown trout are spawning, and I know the musky and the pike are stuffing their toothy faces before a

dark, cold winter. But the strongest of pulls is right now. In the spring, when the grass is green and the lilacs are purple. I haven’t fished in the lake for a few years, but I know the bass are biting. The lilacs told me so. Written 5/23,/18 Few things in life as are certain as the connection between lilacs blooming and smallmouth biting.

SUMMER HOMES FOR CITY PEOPLE genevalakefrontrealty.com

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Summery

Summer things, in summer time

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10

y calendar said spring turned to summer last week. The first day of summer, it said, capitalized and emphasized further with an exclamation point. The hardware stores had an ad in the paper, every paper, telling us that because it’s summer time and we need things. Grills! Plants! Bee Killer! I was in a hardware store over the weekend when a man walked in with a bee problem. He told the store worker that his bees were out of control. They were in the rocks and around his waterfall. They were a problem and his children wouldn’t be happy if they were stung, even though no one had been stung just yet. I kept quiet for a while but ultimately decided to ask if he was certain these were not honey bees, because honey bees are valuable and shouldn’t be choked out by a foaming pesticide. He didn’t know, and it didn’t matter. They’re all bees, he said. And they’re all going to die. Welcome to Summer.

by summer dirt that washed from the spring fields during the last storm.

A woman drove a convertible down the road and across the intersection where I was stopped. There was something going on around the corner, a race maybe. Some bikes zipped past. Numbers painted onto the participants’ arms. So much determination, so much haste. The woman in the convertible didn’t care, she had on her big hat, and I wondered how it stayed attached to her head without blowing away in the open-top-breeze. Pins, maybe. I figured there was a trick, something women know that I didn’t. She turned the corner too tight and her wheel clipped the curb, causing the car to bounce and her hat to flop and her neck to whip back like something happened that she couldn’t control. Later, when she’s home she’ll tell her husband that she just can’t understand what happened to that wheel. By then the scrape on her shiny rim will be smudged dark

It’s raining again. It’s not a spring rain, it’s a summer rain. I’m sure because the weather woman said it would be a passing shower, like how it rains at Disney every afternoon. It always amazes me how much rain we can get in the summer and yet when I want precipitation in January so my kids can ski, it’s as dry as the driest of deserts. It’s dry in the Southwest, and they have purple mountain sunsets there. Come to the Southwest and see our cacti and our purple mountains and our sunsets! There’s nothing like a sunset over a purple mountain with some cacti in the foreground. That’s what they say, but I don’t believe them. Because it’s summer here and our sunsets are better. Once this rain passes I’m sure there will be a better sunset tonight. A summer sunset. The humidity will make the sky dazzle and there aren’t any scorpions.

SUMMER HOMES FOR CITY PEOPLE genevalakefrontrealty.com

No one knows when it’s summer more than boaters. You can see the boats now, sitting on trailers and in slips, full of gas and ready. There’s no time like now to boat, at least now that it’s summer. If you have a boat and you own it during summer, what a thrill. Boats in the winter aren’t nearly as much fun. That’s when the bills come due. Winter service, winter storage, winter protection from the winter: $2650. Last year it was $2250, but the economy is better and the labor is tighter so the price has to go up. Boats are like that, a good measure of inflation and of the economy. Need your boat waxed? It’ll cost you $550 during a recession and $825 during a boom. It’s booming now, and the bill was $900. The extra is the Geneva fee. It would have still been $825 in the Chain, but no $75 has been better spent.


JAKE SCHNAKE, BLUE CHAIR STORIES

The calendar told people it’s summer, and they’re reacting. Boats are boating, sunsets are filling up Instagram. #summervibes, someone writes. Others Like. It’s that time, when summer comes to those who otherwise wouldn’t know. But I know. You know. We know summer has nothing to do with the calendar. Summer arrives when we first feel it on our skin. When the first pier is in, white and sturdy. The first boat pushes through the water from West

to East and back again. When that first sunset is no longer visible through the bare branches of winter, but instead hides behind a deep, dark canopy of Oak and Maple. Summer doesn’t start at the end of June unless you’re not paying attention. Summer for me started sometime in May, whether the calendar watchers knew it or not. Written 6/27/18

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M I C H A E L

A B R A H A M

A R C H I T E C T U R E W W W . M I C H A E L - A B R A H A M . C O M


Hannah Lee Noll / @hannahleenoll


Scarred

Air Conditioning is a gift

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t’s still not clear to me whether or not the air conditioning worked. I remember a serviceman arriving in his rusted Suburban, the smell of his cigarettes, the sound of wrenches and hammers coming from the basement, the assumed result of that work. But in spite of those visits, who could know if the air ever, actually worked? The excuses were many. It’s an old house, my dad would say. My mom, wiping sweaty bangs from her face, would echo the same. But her words were less certain. Like she was reciting a line rehearsed in private. In private, from that room at the end of the hall, that larger lakefront room with so many windows, that’s where they hatched the plan. I’ll tell them the house is old, my dad would say. My mom would nod. They disagreed often, but on this they could agree. No one thought of the children. My dad thought only of the $8 he would save that month from keeping the air conditioning at bay. That $8 would be worth the shared suffering. I’ve owned plenty of older homes in my life. All of them had air conditioning. I paid to have it installed, because without it there could be no peace. In these older homes, some older than my parents’ home, the same man with the rusted Suburban would take his hammers and wrenches down to the basement. But when he had finished his clamoring, there was some obvious sign of his success. Cool, dry, life sustaining air would pump from the registers in these old homes, bringing relief to the residents. During that sweaty childhood there was an ongoing debate, a nightly decision to be considered and made. If the outside, nighttime air temperature was 80 degrees, would it be better to shut the windows and wait for that slow, slight trickle of coolish air

to pulse from the scant registers in my room, with the hope that the system would be able to cool the room to at least 79 degrees? Or was it wiser still to leave the window open, with the sounds of the fighting raccoons and the passing nighttime boats, and the slight chance that the air would cool on its own and settle, in the depth of a dark summer night, to 78? This was my arbitrage, a degree or two would make the difference, and the debate raged in my mind as my sweat soaked into my bed. Decision making skills wane during an 80 degree summer night under that blanket of intense humidity and a sheet of still, suffocating air. Today, I’m wont to turn on my air conditioning at the slightest hint of warmth. Some choose to leave their windows open during soft spring days. I say no, because I have no choice.  On hot summer days when the night cools and the humidity falls, many will open their windows and rejoice in those cool summer nights. Not me. I can’t. I set my air conditioning to 70 in the spring and leave it there until it’s time to switch the cool to heat. I cannot consider another night in a sweaty bed. It’s been noticed that the thing most of the tortured souls who have been lost adrift at sea crave is ice. Ice cubes. Not water, not food, but ice. The sound of it in their teeth, the sharp sting of cold in their throat. The numbing of their cheeks and tongue.  Lost at sea once, forever in search of ice. I, too, was lost at sea, and I, too, crave the comfort of cold. It’s just that my sea was a childhood bedroom, and it was hotter, and more humid, and my chances of survival, less. Written 6/13/18 If you think I’m exaggerating, you obviously never tried to sleep upstairs in my parents’ house circa 1988.

SUMMER HOMES FOR CITY PEOPLE genevalakefrontrealty.com

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Along The Way The drive isn’t supposed to be fun

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love my kids. I really do. Of the few things in this life of which I’m certain, that condition is firmly assured. With that deep and lasting love understood, know that I can’t stand driving anywhere with them. Short trips, long trips, it’s all the same, and it’s all awful. Social Media, this week and the last, has been full of road tripping families, heading to some awful place in Northern Florida, the kids crammed into the backseat with pillows and blankets and iPads and earbuds. The images are supposed to evoke feelings of good old fashioned family fun, but to me, they are the stuff of nightmares. Loving my kids is one thing, loving spending time in cars with them is an entirely other thing. During the summers of my youth, in between bouts of rag tag, lawn mowing and, well, rag tag and lawn mowing, my family would take to the interstates and spend two weeks in another place. We did this for many reasons, but mostly so my dad could rent out his house to raise money to help pay his property taxes. We packed our station wagon, whichever one it was at the time, either blue or red, hitched up the trailered Boston Whaler, and proceeded to pack the Whaler full of everything we thought we might need for two weeks in the north woods of Minnesota. The preparation for the trip was remarkably stressful, and to this day, I cannot pack for a trip anywhere without falling into my father’s pattern of yelling and stressing over every detail of the chaos. Most years, we’d cram into the back of that station wagon, first the blue one and then the red one, three brothers in the back, parents in the front, and we’d drive through the night without much excitement. The drive was long, perhaps eight or nine hours worth, and exceedingly boring. There were no iPads to distract. No iPhones to amuse. Just the road and the night and three sweaty boys, packed like sardines in a can lined with itchy upholstery. One year, a wheel bearing gave out in Minneapolis sometime around midnight. I don’t remember the

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SUMMER HOMES FOR CITY PEOPLE genevalakefrontrealty.com

details of that night, but it was similar to when Clark fell asleep and took that exit to the wrong part of Saint Louis. In spite of the hiccup, we arrived the next morning in those northwoods, the washboard rumble of the camp’s gravel driveway serving as our only notice. Once we arrived, we’d spend our time swimming and following girls and attending more church services in two weeks than most fit into a year. After two weeks we’d pack up and drive home through the summer night. We’d be back by morning, because there were lawns to mow, and my dad knew it was going to rain. The summer trips we took were never about the journey. They were only about the destination. We didn’t stop to see the World’s Largest Ball Of Twine. We didn’t stop to take pictures at overpasses. We just drove because we knew the destination was worth the effort.  The journey? That was just the price we had to pay. There’s a Pure Michigan commercial disrupting my television commercials of late, and it’s a commercial that praises the journey.  Along the way, Tim Allen insists, is where we have the most fun.  Along the way, he says, is the place we’ve been longing for. This is a most ridiculous assertion. I’ve always been trained to endure the journey and embrace the destination. Suffer through the trip, because it’ll be worthwhile when you get to where you’re going. This is why I fly Frontier to Denver. Tim Allen says otherwise. He’s told us that the journey is where it’s at. But, like in every Michigan commercial, he’s wrong. This is what people say when the destination isn’t very good. This is what people say when the journey is long and the travelers are weary. Drive to Michigan if you must, but remember, the commercial commands you to enjoy the journey because the destination is bound to let you down. Written 4/4/18. Because the drive isn’t supposed to be the fun part of your weekend.


JAKE SCHNAKE, BLUE CHAIR STORIES


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Walk This Way What a ridiculous way to travel

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nce upon a time someone decided that walking was a nice thing to do. Let’s go for a walk, someone once said. Others joined in. Those few who were weary of walking likely declined, but the rest followed. Most followed. Scan any sidewalk today in any city and you’ll see them. Walkers. If you’re on the beach this morning, like everyone else from the Midwest, take a look at what’s happening around you. It’s a bunch of people walking, getting those ankle pains from walking on that sideways, shifty sand. Oh look, a special shell! Out of trillions and trillions of shells, I can assure you that your shell is not particularly special.  But this is the sort of thing of which walkers have convinced us. Let’s put our shoes on and go for a walk, they say. Walk to the store, walk to get coffee. Is it walking distance?  There are websites with algorithms that score the walkability of a particular property. Congratulations, your house scored an 8 on the Walkability Scale! This is where we’ve all been tricked. Walkability? I can walk anywhere. I can lace up my shoes and walk to New York City. Is New York City walking distance from here? You bet it is!  Walking knows no bounds. Walking can be done anywhere. Is there a difference between Wisconsin walking and San Diego walking? No. Walking is as terrible there as it is here. Walking, this institution of travel, is overrated.  I can walk and walk and walk and someday I’ll get somewhere. This is true of anywhere, any place, at any time.  Walking is out, strolling is in. There’s a distinct and meaningful difference between these

two verbs. If I’m going for a walk, it implies I have some purpose. I’m walking. I’m starting here and going there. I’m lacing up my shoes, checking my callouses, hydrating, and pushing off on my walk. Like a ship leaving harbor, I’m on my way. Strolling? I might not even go anywhere. Now that’s a movement I can get behind. To stroll is to walk, sure, but only under the loosest definition of the word. To stroll is more likely to saunter, to wander, to casually shuffle from one place to another. There’s no timeline for a stroll. No aim. You don’t ask how long the stroll took. When you walk from your house to the coffee shop, you check your watch. How long did that take? No stroller has ever asked how long something took. No stroller ever promised to meet someone anywhere at a specific time. Strolling doesn’t allow for such rigidity. This summer, you can stay at home. You can. It’s your right. And when you’re at home, you can cinch tight your laces, stretch in your driveway, and walk on a sidewalk into Whatever Town. This is up to you. Entirely and totally up to you. You’re an adult. You can spend the summer walking, as your cardiologist advised. Or you can come here. To this place where you can leave your shoes at home. To this shore and this lake path, and you can join us on a stroll. When are we leaving? We don’t know. Where are we going? No idea. Written 3/30/18 It was barely spring and I was already tired of all the summer walking that I was going to have to do.

SUMMER HOMES FOR CITY PEOPLE genevalakefrontrealty.com

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Today

Enjoy today, every day

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t’s another nice day here. The sky is calm and the birds are chirping. Some water from the sky would be nice, but that’s an opinion only shared by the farmers, me, and those birds.  My Hydrangeas are nearly in bloom. I’m excited to see them again. I planted a few Hydrangeas at my office and they’ve already found the time to bloom and be eaten by the deer that stalk these mean Williams Bay streets under the cover of dark. Come to Nantucket, they say, we have all of the Hydrangeas! Look, some shingles and Hydrangeas and beaten up old shingles. I’ve been looking around here, and we’ve got all of those things. Big deal, Nantucket. In spite of this delightful sky and these big, white blooms, I can’t help but look forward. It’ll be football season soon, someone just said. “55 days until College Football,” written so boldly over a picture of a running back from some school diving into the end zone. I want to resist this. I want to think that football is a silly sport that I don’t even like, and fall is a time that I know will come at some point so why long for it now? Why, under these bright skies and with so much summer still in the tank, do I think about how lovely fall will be? It’s July now. My son turned 15 last week. My dad will turn 74 next month. Or maybe it’s 73. Who could know? My uncle turned 60 recently, I think, or maybe he’ll turn that next year. My cousin got married in May and another cousin announced his engagement in June. I saw a license plate in town the other day, a recognizable plate that I’ve seen in this little town for the entirety of my life. I hadn’t seen the plate for a few years, so when I did notice it, I focused on the driver to see if I recognized her. Sure enough, it was the lady who owned that plate when I was a kid, except she wasn’t the woman I remember. She was old and gray, weak in a way. If she’s that old now, so much so that she looked like maybe driving a car wasn’t the best idea, then what

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SUMMER HOMES FOR CITY PEOPLE genevalakefrontrealty.com

does that make me? Half of the cars driving past my office this morning aren’t even cars. They’re trucks, big ones with trailers toting lawn mowers and weed whips and blowers and gas cans. It’s Wednesday and they’re mowing lawns. They mowed yesterday, too. Last weekend I showed a house in a neighborhood where I used to mow lawns. I looked at one house in particular and remember the owner coming out while I was mowing. He came out to yell at me. The lawn mower, he insisted, while leaving behind nice striped lines that I was extremely proud of, was also pushing the grass down before it cut it. The grass was matted, sort of swept in the direction I was mowing but not entirely cut. It looked terrific from a distance. As I drove past that house last weekend I stopped and stared at the exact spot that this old man violently raked his leg against the grain of that grass. He was pushing the grass up to show me what I wasn’t doing right. He was right. I had been doing a less than perfect job. But that old man is dead now and his lawn is being mowed by someone else. My wife said that her days pass slowly. That summer lasts too long. That time doesn’t march nearly as militantly as it once did. But I beg to differ. This morning I was scrolling through the photos on my phone, and found myself looking at 2015. What a year that was. My children were little, still children. We had pictures from vacations to the beach, trips to the ski hills, and afternoons spent splashing under this bright Wisconsin sun. I looked much younger in those pictures than those three years should look. But I thought about the pictures from this year that I’ll be looking at in three more. How much younger I’ll look today. How much less gray. My son will have graduated high school by then and my daughter will be begging for her first car. Things will be different then, and then is right around the corner. That’s why today I’m just going to be. I’m going to


JAKE SCHNAKE, BLUE CHAIR STORIES

work and I’m going to play. I’m going to sand down the patio chairs that my wife decided to buy from the resale shop down the road from our house and up the road from this office. I’ve been painting them green, like a Paris Patina, apparently. Later, I’ll swim or maybe I’ll fish. I might see the old lady with the license plate or ask my dad what it’s like to get old. I’ll drop my daughter off at sailing school, and I’ll bring my son with me to the gym and afterwards we’ll all stop at the lake for a swim. He benched 135 for the first time last week.

There’s nothing I can do to stop this fast progression of time, but I can stop to enjoy the unimportant moments once in a while. The moment isn’t some far away vacation. Some dreamt of goal and we might one day achieve. Some day far into an uncertain future that we’re foolishly counting on. It’s just today, and it’s another sunny summer day and we should be swimming. Written July 18th, 2018 Another summer, another year, another goal for another day. Sometimes, it’s just best to go for a swim.

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Not The Same

Don’t confuse this place with any other

I

don’t really know exactly how Hamburger Helper works. I assume it’s just a powder mix, with some starch to bind and some salt to flavor. Maybe a dash of onion and garlic powder for good measure. I’m guessing you brown some ground beef, strain off most of the fat, add a splash of water and then stir in this powder. Give it a bit of time on some heat and it thickens and becomes Hamburger Helper. Maybe you add in macaroni or other noodles, I can’t be sure. But whatever you’ve made you can eat it, and if you’re not a snob you can recognize that in spite of its name it tastes ok. It’ll satisfy your hunger, much in the way that a fine Porterhouse steak cooked on the dying embers of a wood fire will accomplish the same. Both are food, both come from a cow, and both will allow you to push away your pangs of hunger. In this, they are the same. When I eat fish fry and tell the world about it, I get mixed reviews on my reviews. Some people like them. Good one, Dave. Other people shake their head because I just insulted their favorite restaurant. Others still tell me that fried fish isn’t good at all. That it’s not really food. Unless you’re grilling a fine piece of line caught Tuna or a fat sliver of a Swordfish steak that you’re not really eating fish at all.  But that’s where they’re wrong, because I am eating fish, and it did taste fine, and my hunger was satiated. Would a nicely seasoned, seared piece of fresh Tuna be a finer option? Of course it would, but I was just looking to eat an easy dinner with $12.99. This market of ours is causing buyers significant pain, as you know. It’s causing strife and anguish and terrible, terrible bouts of regret. Should you have listened to me and bought that lakefront home in 2013? Obviously. Increasingly, as buyers find little to pick over in this Lake Geneva market of ours, they’re turning to other ideas. To other lakes. Other places. Other states (shudder).  Michigan is better they say. Michigan has antique stores!

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Michigan has Tim Allen! they plead. Do you know what Michstakegan also has? Inventory at lower prices. No one will admit this, but inventory and price drive decisions, and if water is water and a tree is a tree, then some water and a tree anywhere will do. Maybe it’s not in Michigan, maybe it’s here. Another lake, perhaps. Farther away where the dollar stretches a bit.   Beaver Lake, that’s a nice place. Look how clear the water is! Yes, it’s clear and you just might have two or three feet of it off the end of your brown wooden pier. Maybe another lake in this area, where the water is clear and the shoreline green, where you can sit on your dock (they don’t get piers there, these are ours) and watch nothing go by. If you’d like to sit in the woods by yourself, these lakes are fantastic. If you’re hungry and you want to go to dinner but you’re a recluse now and you’ve forgotten to renew your driver’s license, you could shoot a deer and eat it. No one will notice. There are other options. Lots of them. Anywhere you want to go, options.  If your standard for a lake house involves just a house and a lake, this can be accomplished anywhere. Want to save some money? Go to Tennessee, there are loads of lakes there and wonderful, plucked banjos to provide the soundtrack of your float. Or drive to the Northwoods, like so many do. It’s nice up there. Just plan to leave by 5 pm so you can roll in around midnight. Rainy on Saturday, oh well! You can go take your picture next to a giant wooden fish. As I stood on a pier last night with the last few bits of sun peeking out around the Observatory’s iconic dome, I breathed the scene in. Soft waves, a gentle breeze, a boat or two slowly pushing past, heading to their nighttime piers. In the shallows, a Heron plucked around the rocks looking for the minnows that couldn’t escape his beak. In the distance, a sailor sat stationary, hoping for a few last gasps of wind to bring him back to the pier. There’s something


Hannah Lee Noll / @hannahleenoll

about this place that the uninitiated cannot fully grasp. Something rare. A blend of action and solitude, of peace and motion. Something unique that other lakes simply cannot attain. You could leave this place in search of a lake that will more generously offer you inventory. They’ll give you nice homes for much less money. They’ll give you some water to swim in, no matter if your bathing suit will

slowly turn green from the exposure. You could go to these places, it’s fine by us. But please don’t you ever mistake their Hamburger Helper for our wood-fired Porterhouse. Written 7/25/18 It dawns on me every so often, that this place isn’t like those other places. It’s just better.

SUMMER HOMES FOR CITY PEOPLE genevalakefrontrealty.com

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Gone

Summer ends early

T

his week wasn’t like the other weeks. It wasn’t like the one before it, or the two before that one. It’s been a week unlike any since this week last year. No amount of sun can coax the summertime swimmers back to the shallow beaches. No particular daily special, even one of the all-time favorites, can tempt the diners back to those summery patios. There’s nothing that can be done now to slow this week down. The next week will come, soon enough. Summer is still all around us, but it’s mostly just a memory.

We here count our perfect weather days on one hand. Maybe two. This past week was just fine for me, I liked it rather a lot. But it stormed on Monday and it blew on Tuesday and only Wednesday and Thursday were nice days. Today it’s Friday and it’s cool again, cloudy and sprinkly. Like a warm day in late October, except it’s August and some still crave summer. I don’t. The two days this week were plenty for me. I loved them very much, and yet in spite of this affection, I feel no particular need to dwell in them. They’re too perfect to expect too often.

And we’re fine with that. Sure, some aren’t. Some are making their travel plans even this morning, as they sense the morning chill of September and wish it weren’t so. It’s too cold to golf today, someone will say. The club in Naples has their annual Welcome Back outing October 21st, and what an event that will be. It’ll be warm and sunny, so long as no hurricanes see fit to disrupt that ideal. What a life it would be, to leave summer and find your way to another summer. So much summer, all summer. All the time, summer.

It isn’t just late August that has me in this mood. I felt this way earlier in summer, too. A stretch in July where it was hot and sunny, then sunny and hot. A week, maybe more. Steady and unwavering, sweaty and persistent. Then, one day, I woke up to clouds and a wet sidewalk. Rain. My eyes rejoiced in relief. I needed that day, because who am I if not a Wisconsin creation through and through? I was not made for intense summer, for the constant pressure that it brings. Yes, I know I should go down for a swim because it’s so nice out, but what if I just want to rest once in a while?

With age, this is supposed to be what we crave. Summer, only. I had a good friend once tell me that it’s not good for kids to be raised in a climate where half of the year they have to stay inside. I agreed, thinking that the American South would indeed be a terrible place to raise a family, what with the summer heat. I have other friends tell me they dream of days where they can transition from our summer to another summer, from our blue fresh water to the blue salt water. From one summer utopia to a winter utopia that stays dressed as summer each day of the year. I say this is all foolishness. 28

SUMMER HOMES FOR CITY PEOPLE genevalakefrontrealty.com

Yet here we are. The end of a summer. The kids are back in school, and those that aren’t won’t be able to escape it forever. The school bell is tolling. The forecast still promises summer, and it will for quite some time yet, but the mood has been lost. If you’re sad for that, and you’re ready to escape this place in favor of another place where the summer never stops, I wish you well. I’ll abide your irrational mistake. But if you’re like me, then you’re reasonably disappointed that summer is over but you’re more


JAKE SCHNAKE, BLUE CHAIR STORIES

than ready for the next season. You’re ready for cool mornings and still afternoon waters. For a town set free from its summertime hustle. You’re ready for all of the joys of a Midwestern fall, and in case you weren’t aware, our kind of fall is glorious in a way that few places can comprehend. But so is what comes after, the cold rain of late October and the transition of color from red and yellow to the dull

grayed out calm of November. From November to Thanksgiving, to that great feast, and into the first snow. The firewood is idle now, but its time will come. I, for one, cannot wait. Written 8/24/18 It seemed to me that summer was already over, even though it had plenty of life left. Summer is like that.

SUMMER HOMES FOR CITY PEOPLE genevalakefrontrealty.com

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JAKE SCHNAKE, BLUE CHAIR STORIES


A Wish

Some wishes matter more than others

I

used to wish for things. Lots of things. In the third grade, I wished that a girl I liked wouldn’t move away. She did. Later, I wished that the tight ankle roll I’d apply to the hem of my jeans wouldn’t come undone during the school day. But they always did. Later still, I’d wish for a listing or a sale, I’d hope for something to break my way. After a decade or so of futility, it happened.   As I’ve grown older, my wishes seem less important than they once did. In the third grade, the act of that girl who didn’t even like me moving away was very devastating, my wish rendered useless. Now, I don’t even know what I’m wishing for. At least I didn’t know, until a couple of weeks ago. Times were, I’d spend this month wishing for more. Wishing for the sun and the heat, for the calm water and the continuation of a summer that never left me feeling full. I craved summer, and how much more delicious that summer was that came after everyone else thought it had ended. I’d boat and I’d swim, I’d work and I’d play. I’d live my best life in September. The life I was destined to live, the life I wished for without knowing it. Typically, on this late September morning, I’d be out there, living. But not today. That’s because it rained on Labor Day, and it rained a lot. It rained the day before, too. And maybe the day before that, and a few before that one. It rained too much, and we all knew it.   What we didn’t know was what would come next. A swarm. A plague. When we hid in our houses on Labor Day, we bemoaned a soggy end to our summer, but we didn’t understand the greater evil that was brewing. Or breeding, as it was. Those puddles left behind, those low lying areas of mud and wet, those corners of shade under the trees where the grass won’t grow. The rains came and the rains went, but they left behind those incubators of terror and we didn’t even know it.

My house is normally a nice place to live. It’s in the country, but it’s close. It’s a rare combination here, something out away from the people but something so near to it all. During the month of September, it wouldn’t be a surprise to drive by my house in the evening and see my son shooting hoops. I’d play as well, only for a while until my back hurt and I realized that I will never, ever, regain whatever semblance of basketball skill I used to possess. My wife might be out tending to her chickens. My daughter might spread out a blanket on the lawn and paint her toenails.  We’d be enjoying the cooler, calm afternoons, aware of their fleeting nature and wishing for just a few more weeks. Things would normally be pretty, pretty, nice. Those rains, though. Those rains and those puddles and then that sunshine and that heat. The nicest, sunniest two weeks of the year followed that dark, stormy holiday weekend, and those puddles warmed and billions of biting demons crawled from that yard soup. The mosquitoes— normally an afterthought by this time of year, came back with an ungodly vengeance. They bit and they ate and they sucked and they ruined. Basketball tonight? No thanks. Lawn needs mowing? Pass. Garbage cans need to be taken to the road? What, and walk that 500 feet through a winged, sucking gauntlet, the likes of which no one has ever seen? Today, I’m no longer wishing for summer. I’m just wishing for a hard frost. Damn the flowers and the rest of the fall niceties. If we have to kill summer to kill these bugs, I won’t lament the cost. This time around, I’m only wishing for the death of the mosquitoes and their banishment to eternal hell, and no other wish I’ve ever wished has mattered nearly as much. Written 9/26/18 If you think I’m exaggerating about this mosquito problem, you obviously didn’t go outside that week.

SUMMER HOMES FOR CITY PEOPLE genevalakefrontrealty.com

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Decisions You must pick a season

O

n a day last week, in the afternoon of that day, there was a choice to be made. The sky cleared above me after a brief period of rain and a period of summery warmth. The day had been hot. Hot for October but hot for any month, really. Only the most ardent admirers of heat could pretend that it wasn’t. It was humid, too, and revelers took to the water and captioned their posts something about this being the last. This is it. This, this span of a few days during this month, this was all that we had left. That afternoon, after the sun warmed and the southwestern winds pushed in the last puffs of summertime air, there was something of a choice in that sky. To the south, towards Fontana and beyond, the sky was dark. Not formidable, not stormy, but darker than pale. It looked like it might rain. Like it might spread over the lake and then the houses and the corn and golden bean fields. To the East, to Williams Bay and then Lake Geneva, the sun was still shining, the sky still blue. The brightness was a stark contrast to the darkness, the separation that I found myself in the middle of, jarring. A decision would need to be made. In Williams Bay, the sun. The warmth. A chance at some warm fall, or some slightly cooler summer. The leaves were just beginning to change, and if you squinted and looked away from the maples you might be forgiven if you thought August had somehow, against all odds, returned. There was a

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SUMMER HOMES FOR CITY PEOPLE genevalakefrontrealty.com

chance to live out another day, or another afternoon, or at least another moment, under that sun and in that place. A warm place. Summer, extended. To sit on a bench on that northern shore and be cleansed once again by the pleasant southern wind. To crunch over shore path leaves with t-shirts on, to take the boat for another ride on top of those blue, excited waves. To embrace what is almost over. To the south, to Fontana, those clouds. Ominous, but not really. The temperature was the same, but it looked colder. It had to be colder. The gray sky hanging low over the field that was, just a week prior, standing tall and upright. Now the field was reduced to stalks, and the leaves on the trees looked frail. They were fluttering from view, ripped by that wind, matting on the ground under the tires and boots. Boats were being hurried into their winter caves, stacked five tall— hatches were being battened. Winter was coming, but first a blustery and cold fall. The colors were failing, the wood was stacking, the fireplaces were lit. Two options, but only one choice. I could live out the summer into October, or I could move to fall, to the colorless gray that I know so well. I chose the latter, because I’m ready for this new season. Ready for fall. And I was heading to Fontana anyway. Written 10/15/18 Each fall this has to happen: the choice between seasons. And on this day I was ready for fall.


JAKE SCHNAKE, BLUE CHAIR STORIES


Hannah Lee Noll / @hannahleenoll


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Two Seasons

The road is either opened or closed

I

n the northern reaches of this state, where monuments to large men and larger fish draw camera-toting worshippers and summer starts and ends in the span of barely more than a month, there are two seasons. Sugaring season, and the other season. If you’re of the persuasion, that is. Maple trees freely offer their sap for a couple of weeks each early spring, causing the men and women to take to the woods and spend their days and nights in their sugaring shacks. They’ll collect and boil, collect and boil, and soon enough they’ll have have enough maple syrup to last a few days, maybe more. It depends on the season. In those same woods, but farther north, there’s another season. This one overlapping with the sugaring, and running both in the fall and the spring. It’s still one season, mind you, no matter if it comes around twice in the same calendar.  For a while at the start of winter and the end, and at least a bit of the in between, the rainbow trout run out of these great lakes and into so many little streams. They charge in on the first heavy fall rain, and again on the first early spring melt, intent on fulfilling their reproducing responsibilities. The men of the area go out to catch them, the better men throwing flies of varying sizes and intentions, the lesser men reeling back in large spoons or worse, soaking sacks of spawn on the bottom down line from a heavy hunk of lead. A bit after the steelhead start, the whitetail rut, another season for another group.   Cautious animals abandon that deeply ingrained instinct to chase a more meaningful goal. A doe scatters and bucks chase, while the men who aren’t fishing paint themselves with markers and drizzle urine on their clothes before scaling trees to sit so very still for so very long. Maybe a buck will snort and scratch its way down that path, the one that the hunter cut in August for that very purpose. Maybe the buck will come close enough so the arrow or the slug will

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find its fleshy target. Maybe it won’t. I’ll cheer for the hunter in theory and out loud, while I quietly but fervently root for the buck. Down south, another season for another set. Morel season comes and morel season goes, and most of the world is blissfully, but ignorantly, unaware. If one morel is harvested, then fifty thousand more wither in their place. This haunts the morel hunter, and the need to capture as many mushrooms as possible in such a short, temperamental window dictates swift and decisive action. This is no prey, in the sense that the hunter and the fisher aim, but it is as confounding of an opponent as the most wary buck or skittish steelhead. This season lasts but two weeks, maybe three, and as soon as it starts, it’s over. The hunter must prepare, the hunter must pounce, and the hunter must endure the threat of ticks and the anguish that can come from pretending to be unaware of private property boundaries. Here, too, there’s a season. Just one, really. Off of Geneva Street, just east of the beach, there’s a small road that runs from the north and towards the south from the start of Cedar Point Park and just barely into it. It’s a short road, stubby. An unnecessary road, one that everyone could do without. In preparation of summer time, the village drops a gate there, for some reason or another, to keep passersby from wandering down that little road. There is no celebrity residing there, no special or unique house worthy of protection. It’s just a road. And in the summer, it’s blocked off. But after Labor Day, the gate is removed, and the thoroughfare of Bayview Road is once again connected to Geneva Street. In Williams Bay, there are only two seasons. It’s either Bayview closed or Bayview opened, and I don’t have a particular preference. Written 9/7/18 The road had just closed, so it was on my mind.


JAKE SCHNAKE, BLUE CHAIR STORIES


JAKE SCHNAKE, BLUE CHAIR STORIES


Winter It’s not so bad

I

entered February with a heavy heart. Things were happening that were beyond my control. These things were beyond your control, beyond anyone’s control. They weren’t even things, really. It was just one thing, one quiet, unspoken thing, marching slowly but obviously, out of my control. It was January and it turned to February, and soon it’ll turn to March. Marching through March, like the meme or the poster or like nothing at all. April comes next. Rainy April, with showers and following flowers, May. Soon they’ll all be here and the piers will be in and the sun will be on my face, on yours. It’ll be summer and we’ll laugh and splash and things will be different. They won’t be better. That’s because it’s winter in Wisconsin, and it’s winter that I’m worried about missing. January turned to February and I couldn’t do a single thing about it. I stacked my oak high and I turned my thermostat higher, to 68 sometimes when I’m feeling a chill. The Facebook is full of summertime wishes, of warm tropical beaches. Did you know a palm tree saw its shadow and now there will be six more weeks of paradise? How preposterous. I don’t even know what the woodchuck, or the hedgehog or the badger saw. A shadow? I saw mine, does that count? Do I get to decide this thing called winter and the leaking towards spring? If it was my choice I’d vote winter. In my old age I’m not wishing for summer, I’m embracing Wisconsin winter.

And why wouldn’t I? My house is warm and my car prepared. My jackets have liners, cotton or down. A bald eagle just flew over my office on his way to the lake where the arctic birds flock. Dinner, it’s calling. And so is my house and the firewood and the fireplace and a college basketball game, the outcome of which I couldn’t care less. It’s dark now, but it’s lighter than it once was. Soon I’ll be driving home in the sunshine, and soon I’ll have to tend to my lawn and edge the beds where my summer flowers now lie still. They’ll be alive soon, sprouting and shooting and thriving. How I wish they’d lie dormant just a bit longer. Rush through winter if you must. Hurry up for the summer sun if you cannot find your wintery peace. As for me, I delight in these days. In the chill on my face and the fire in my hearth. I soak in this low, dim sun, wishing for a few more weeks of it. My eyes aren’t ready for the brightness. The snow piles, finally, and I welcome it. Pile higher, please snow. There will be time enough for summer. Time for the sun and time for the water. Time to fish and time to lounge under a shade tree while the waves lap and the seagulls call. But for now, it’s time to be still. Time to enjoy the scene. To appreciate the snow and the crisp and the calm. It’s winter, still, and I’m glad. Written 2/7/18 Everyone wants to rush through winter. Everyone, except me.

SUMMER HOMES FOR CITY PEOPLE genevalakefrontrealty.com

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SOLD

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SOLD LAKEFRONT LISTINGS With a robust market comes a heavy tide of new agents and new brokers, all vying for your attention. Everyone is an expert, everyone a top agent. There are pie charts and graphs, dizzying displays of prowess and expertise. But the thing is, there’s just one Lake Geneva agent focused so steadfastly on the Lake Geneva lakefront market. The properties below represent the lakefronts sold by David Curry since the start of 2010. The total is humbling, and it’s one that we’re proud to share with you. There are plenty of other brokers who would love to represent you as you buy and sell Geneva Lake, and in that, we have company. But after you review the results below, you’ll see that we have very little competition. W4116 Lakeview Rd. Linn $925,000

1599 E. Lakeside Ln. Linn $1,725,000

1100E S. Lakeshore Dr. Fontana $2,475,000

N2263 Bonnie Brae Ln. Linn $3,800,000

W3298 Park Dr. Linn $1,200,000

1588 N. Lakeside Ln. Linn $1,800,000

254 Circle Pky. Williams Bay $2,595,000

W4437 N. Lakeshore Dr. Linn $3,930,000

66 Oak Birch Williams Bay $1,225,000

60 Oak Birch Williams Bay $1,810,000

N2201 Bonnie Brae Ln. Linn $2,650,000

N1619 E. Lakeside Ln. Linn $4,175,000

7 Dartmouth Rd. Williams Bay $1,225,000

W3846 Lackey Ln. Linn $1,910,000

N1592 Lakeside Ln. Linn $2,750,000

W3818 Lackey Ln. Linn $4,275,000

W4160 Lakeview Rd. Linn $1,260,000

W3852 Lackey Ln. Linn $1,925,000

274 Sylvan Ave. Fontana $2,775,000

N1622 E. Lakeside Ln. Linn $4,600,000

556 Sauk Trl. Fontana $1,313,000

W4190 Southland Rd. Linn $1,925,000

W4107 Jerseyhurst Ln. Linn $2,795,000

N1921 Loramoor Dr. Linn $4,950,000

1540 Lakeshore Dr. Lake Geneva $1,335,000

N2319 Geneva Oaks Trl. Linn $1,925,000

507 N. Lakeshore Dr. Fontana $2,850,000

W3821 Creek Ln. Linn $5,195,000

N1611 Shadow Ln. Linn $1,400,000

N1939 Bluff Ln. Linn $1,950,000

976 S. Lakeshore Dr. Fontana $2,950,000

1014 S. Lakeshore Dr. Fontana $5,885,000

190 Circle Pkwy. Williams Bay $1,440,000

W2904 Hollybush Dr. Linn $2,000,000

2224 N. Bonnie Brae Ln. Linn $3,005,000

700 S. Lakeshore Dr. Lake Geneva $5,900,000

N1546 Forest Hills Ct. Linn $1,450,000

Lot 7 Loramoor Linn $2,000,000

1554 N. Oak Shores Linn $3,100,000

880 S. Lakeshore Dr. 1RL Lake Geneva $5,995,000

274 Sylvan Ln. Fontana $1,495,000

Lot 7 Loramoor Linn $2,075,000 (2016)

N1878 Black Point Dr. Linn $3,250,000

389 N. Lakeshore Dr. Fontana $6,950,000

1530 N. Lakeshore Dr. Lake Geneva $1,530,000

W3252 Park Dr. Linn $2,100,000

976 S Lakefront Dr. Fontana $3,300,000 (2016)

1014 S. Lakeshore Dr. Fontana $7,350,000 (2016)

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

N1595 E. Lakeside Ln. Linn $2,150,000

N1621 E. Lakeside Ln. Linn $3,575,000

N2270 Folly Ln. Linn $7,400,000

N2280 Folly Ln. Linn $1,650,000

412 Harvard Ave. Fontana $2,269,000

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

W4449 N. Lake Shore Dr. Linn $9,950,000 SUMMER HOMES FOR CITY PEOPLE genevalakefrontrealty.com

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Large homes tend to have similar problems. When designing a custom home, there is one usual and obvious limitation. Budget. But this is when you’re designing a normal house, something you’re trying to make fit into a particular lot and a particular segment of a particular market. What if we throw out the limitation of market segment concern? What if there is no budget? Still, a singular problem exists. The design. If the wife sews and the husband smokes cigars, then a large house design would dictate that a sewing room and a cigar room be incorporated. Let’s put those at opposite ends of the house, the architect says. And let’s not forget about the children and their children. Those loved ones need space, too. And little Karen just loves to make bead necklaces, the kind that tourists buy when on FunJet vacations. Karen, your bead room is down this hallway, across from the twelve bedroom suites, opposite the cigar room and above the sewing room. This is the large house problem, and it’s an epidemic.

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The home at 4396 Basswood Drive is large. Some 15,000 square feet above grade, large. That’s a big house. To enter it is to know it’s big. The gate is big. The guest house is big. The lawn is big. The circle driveway is big. The fountain? Big. The grand foyer is as grand as any foyer has ever been, outside of a building designed for members of parliament. While we cannot ever mistake this house for being small, what’s important here is how logical the big is. The layout of this house is symmetrical. Nearly perfectly so. There’s a lakeside kitchen that spans the width of the lakeside pool. There’s a breakfast room, a formal dining room. The sunroom on the east end of the house takes in private views of lush perennial gardens. The great room is vaulted, soaring really, as high as it should be and not a penny higher. The fireplace in the lakeside great room is one of five that you’ll find here. I always say if you think one fireplace is good then you’ve obviously never had five. We have 3.28 acres, which isn’t any particular feat on this lake. The level nature of the entire property from entry to water is what’s rare, as most 3.28 acre parcels on Geneva will suffer from some variety of cliff or ravine or other slope. There is none of that difficulty at Royal Oaks, which is what this estate has been called since it was first constructed in the early 1990s. Royal Oaks. That has a nice sound to it, but it would be overwrought if we didn’t have a lot graced by so many large oaks. The frontage is as the rest of the estate parcel- beautifully level. The pier is large, two slips worth, centered so properly on that wide frontage. The lakeside patio holds an in-ground pool, just like you know it should. Any proper estate should have a guest house, and as we know, these are not all created equal. The guest house is large, with three bedrooms and more garage spaces. You’ll find seven total garage stalls on this property, so please do bring your summer car and leave a winter one any stall you please. Unlike homes built in the 1980s and before, homes built in the 1990s generally follow a nice pattern of scale. At least this home does. The layout is, as I said earlier, symmetrical and well thought out. There is nothing wasted here. No rooms for superfluous specific uses. There is just a large house that has been well taken care of, ready now for you to use immediately and enjoy, or ready for a tidy winter surface update.  The choice is yours. Spare yourself the uncertain prospects of building a new estate. Spare yourself the years of construction. Spare yourself the unknown cost overruns. Buy this home. Enjoy your weekends here, in immense style, on Lake Geneva’s luxury lane. Basswood. $8.495M.

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

SUMMER HOMES FOR CITY PEOPLE genevalakefrontrealty.com

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W5609 COBBLESTONE RD, WALWORTH I’ve never been to Edgar, Wisconsin. The odds are good that you haven’t been there either. Because I’ve never been, I don’t know much about it, other than they used to build some rather spectacular barns there. How do I know this? Simple, one such barn was built nearly 100 years ago in Edgar and in 2002 it was patiently and painstakingly moved to its new location just outside of Walworth a few miles from the south shore of Geneva Lake. That project was significant, as you might have guessed, and the end result is available today. This farm, known as Five Star Farm, features this vintage barn, masterfully converted into a dynamic living space adorned with old growth timber, combining for more than 7000 square feet. The land that was chosen for this home is 40 or so acres (some of which lies under the marsh line) along the North Shore of Lake Petite, a 200 acre lake known as being

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a springtime favorite of weary migratory birds. Five Star Farm is unlike anything in our market, which is perhaps the greatest understatement you’ll read in this magazine. You’ll find a four bedroom farmhouse at the front of this country estate. This is an ideal home for an on-site caretaker, or perhaps for use as a rental. Beyond the farmhouse you’ll see the first of two barns, connected by large vestibule. The garage barn is 40 x 80 and has a second floor that would make for a most perfect party venue, or perhaps you’d like to return that upper floor to its original purpose and store your hay there? Follow the first barn through that foyer and you’ll arrive at the post and beam constructed main barn, the one that began life in Edgar. Today it is a posh country retreat anchored by a three story free-standing stone fireplace. Explore further and you’ll be greeted with a custom kitchen boasting two stainless steel islands, Viking ovens, Sub-Zero refrigeration, and two sinks with accompanying dishwashers. Planning to entertain here? Good thing, the large dining area comfortably seats 18, but that’s assuming you won’t be eating dinner al fresco in the adjacent screened silo.  Beyond that,  on the main level, there’s a private master suite with built in dressers and full bath, and a spacious sunroom cleverly built in to a silo that matches the one on the East end of the structure. The walkout lower level has a 15 seat theatre, large family room, and two more full baths. In total there are seven bedrooms and seven baths, including two bunk rooms capable of sleeping as many guests as you’ll allow.   The property itself is a quiet oasis in an otherwise bustling vacation home scene. Enjoy time on the lake, time at the Yacht Club, or time on the golf course, but when the day is done, return to your unique country retreat. The property is vast and calm, and when I tell you there’s nothing else like it here, you just need look at these photos to know that’s no exaggeration. Contact me for a private tour. $2.15MM

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

SUMMER HOMES FOR CITY PEOPLE genevalakefrontrealty.com

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SUMMER SOUNDS BETTER HERE. Sunday, June 23 | 4 p.m.

Saturday, July 13 | 7:30 p.m.

DISNEY FANTASIA LIVE IN CONCERT LAKE GENEVA SYMPHONY

AN EVENING WITH JUDY COLLINS Known for her soothing vocals and seamless guitar playing, the folk, country, and rock ‘n’ roll singersongwriter boasts an iconic 55-album body of work, including numerous gold and platinum-selling records.

Experience one of the crown jewels of feature animation with a live orchestra accompanying scenes from Walt Disney’s original “Fantasia” (1940) and “Fantasia 2000,” highlighting a selection of magnificent repertoire.

Saturday, June 29 | 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, July 28 | 4 p.m.

THE OAK RIDGE BOYS

ARRIVAL FROM SWEDEN: THE MUSIC OF ABBA

One of country music’s legendary acts brings 50 years of tradition that have garnered Grammy, Country Music Association, and Academy of Country Music awards with hits, such as “Elvira,” and “Bobbie Sue.”

Back by popular demand, one of the world’s most popular and best-selling 12-piece ABBA tribute bands returns with their uncanny voices to perform hits, such as “Dancing Queen” and “Waterloo.”

Saturday, July 6 | 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, August 10 | 7:30 p.m.

DENNIS DEYOUNG AND THE MUSIC OF STYX

A SPECIAL EVENING WITH RUSSELL WATSON AND THE CHICAGO PHILHARMONIC

Founding member and lead singer of Styx showcases the group’s greatest hits with a six-piece band, including “Lady,” “Babe,” “Come Sail Away,” “Mr. Roboto,” “Renegade,” and more.

UK’s best-selling classical artist makes his Midwest debut, performing favorites as “Nessun Dorma” from Turandot, “Somewhere” from West Side Story, as well as songs from Les Misérables and Phantom of the Opera.

PURCHASE TICKETS AT MUSICBYTHELAKE.COM. PLATINUM SPONSOR

GOLD SPONSORS

Performances take place on the shores of Geneva Lake in Williams Bay, Wisconsin.


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1619 EAST LAKESIDE LANE, LINN

PIER 545

The South Shore Club is all quite nice. The pool and the entrance, the tennis courts and the piers. There’s nothing like it here, and likely never will be anything like it again. Within the South Shore Club there are nice homes, some better than others. Some new, others older, some by the pool and some near the tennis. But beyond the typical homes in the SSC, there are the elite. There are the select homes that do not merely angle over lawn and towards the water, but those that sit right on the water. The front row. There are four of these built homes that

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match this description, two of which sold in the past 24 months for prices that broke the existing South Shore Club sales patterns. N1619 East Lakeside Lane was one of those sales. It closed north of $4MM, and the new owners immediately began the process of making a 15 year old home new again. Styles have changed, a possible surprise to some, in the event that you are sitting at home with your feet buried in forest green carpet. The process was thorough. Painstaking. Expensive. But no stone was left unturned and a house that felt very much like 2002 now feels very much like 2019. The finishes are superlative, with Plato cabinetry and Wolf appliances anchoring a stunning kitchen. Where there once was carpet, there is now oak. New paint, new trim, new floors, fixtures and stone. The audio visual components and hardware have been updated throughout and a theatre room has been added to the walk-out lower level. There’s nothing lacking here. No space concerns, with four levels of living space spanning nearly 9,000 square feet. No quality issues, with the extensive updates and recent repairs. And quite obviously, no location issues. This is the front house. The best house. The lot that faces the water fully, with a slight western tilt to take advantage of the sunsets. The location on the water is tremendous, opening to the widest section of the south shore, offering easy viewing of the nearby Lake Geneva Yacht Club regattas. And now it also plays like the newest house in the club, and it’s being offered mostly furnished for immediate use this summer.  If you’d like a tour of this home and the remarkable South Shore Club property, I’m here to help. $6.495MM

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

SUMMER HOMES FOR CITY PEOPLE genevalakefrontrealty.com

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PHOTO COURTESTY OF MORGANTE-WILSON ARCHITECTS

LAKE GENEVA WINDOW & DOOR

LAKE GENEVA WINDOW & DOOR

262-245-6023

202 N. ELKHORN RD. WILLIAMS BAY, WI

LAKEGENEVAWINDOWANDDOOR.COM


dream BIG. Barrington Pools, Inc.


Fabricators of Custom Canvas Covers BOAT COVERS 路 PORCH CURTAINS 路 MARINE UPHOLSTERY PIER CANOPY SALES & SERVICE 路 CANVAS SEWING 路 CONTRACT SEWING

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262.275.5067


9 S. WALWORTH, UNIT 101 There’s a thing about lakefront condominiums. The typical way to remodel these condos is, well, typical. Some new countertops. Paint. A backsplash of something from Home Depot. And this way of doing things is just fine. When people visit to see the newly remodeled condo they’ll tell you it looks nice. Good job, they’ll say. But they won’t really mean it. They’ll wonder why you put new counters on old cabinets and painted the old doors. They’re still hollow, after all. White paint doesn’t change that. But they’ll tell you it’s nice and they’ll leave wondering if the lie was convincing. At my lakefront listing in Bay Colony, there’s nothing to look at that isn’t new. There’s nothing that was missed by the luxury builder Lowell Management. What started out as an intended surface renovation ended up including new everything. Everything? Everything. And instead of the typical wares you’re used to seeing in this segment, the owner decided to do the unit right. The floors are rift oak. The counters are quartz. The bathrooms are marble. There are custom built-ins galore. There’s a new laundry room. There’s style here that is not just rare on this lake-—before now it didn’t even exist. Two bedrooms and two baths with a slip. Immediate outdoor access from both the parking side and the lakefront, making for no annoying hallway conversations. Is this unit simple? Yes. It’s simple. But in the simplicity is the value. If you’ve been in the market for a turn key lakefront residence but have been let down by your condominium options, come visit me at Bay Colony unit 101. It’s stunning, and that’s not the slightest hyperbole. $799k

PIER 286

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

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1100E S. LAKESHORE DR, FONTANA

PIER 517B

You don’t really want to be me. Some of my friends think they’d like to be me. To work a bit and make money a bit and drive a nice car a bit. To have nice things and to sell this place. It’s luxurious, they think. It’s fun, they imagine. But they’re wrong. Everyone is wrong. What I really do is take nice people out in my car and show them this lake. I show them this lane and that drive. I take them here and down there. I show them what it is we do here, how much better it is. The scene is easy to love. The water, same. The boats and the woods and the sails, it’s all rather intoxicating, and nearly everyone agrees with this. The problem is the real estate. Do you know how deflating it is to show someone homes that cost millions of dollars that are, as a point of fact, awful homes? This is the Lake Geneva problem. This is my problem. This market is expensive, there’s just no getting around it. But it’s expensive for a reason, for many reasons, and it’s worth it. But whether it’s worth it or not, the homes that buyers can buy are often disappointing. They need significant updating. Or a wrecking ball. Or they lack this and that. They always lack. I’d buy this house if only it had (insert anything here, anything

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at all). With this housing deficiency understood, imagine now my delight in bringing you this new listing at 1100E South Lakeshore Drive in Fontana. This house measures more than 5000 square feet. It has a two car garage. Five bedrooms. A large great room with tall ceilings. Four fireplaces. Huge outdoor patio space. 1.78 acres of wooded privacy. Two driveways with ample room to park as many as a dozen vehicles. It has a shared pier with a canopied slip. The current owner keeps his 27’ Cobalt there. I suppose you could put yours there as well. There’s SubZero and Wolf. Stone and granite. Big wooden doors that swing on huge steel hinges. This isn’t so much a mere lake house in Fontana as much as it’s an Adirondack Lodge in Fontana.

But this is the house, the big, beautiful house. That’s not what really sets the property apart. It’s that privacy, that delicious, rare, wooded privacy. It’s the Fontana location with water and sewer and an easy walk to town or the Lake Geneva Yacht Club. It’s these things, but it’s much more. Here we have an in-ground swimming pool, set back in the woods surrounded by lush perennial gardens. There’s a Lord and Burnham Greenhouse, one that causes me to green with jealousy every time I enter. The current owners don’t use it as a greenhouse, they just use it as a pool-toy storage center, but I’d use it as a greenhouse if it were mine. Once you buy this house, I’d like it if you’d use it as a greenhouse again.

It’s not just a big house with all those fireplaces and a pool and a greenhouse and so much wooded privacy on all that land. There’s a tennis court, too. A tennis court with lights and basketball hoops. The current owner holds the Spotted Cow Open here each year. I’m surprised you’ve never heard of it. The sponsorship by Spotted Cow isn’t official yet, but they should appreciate the free advertising. If you’re tired from tennis you can retreat to the pool, and when you tire of the pool you can enter the greenhouse. The tomatoes need picking. $2.875MM

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

SUMMER HOMES FOR CITY PEOPLE genevalakefrontrealty.com

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PENDING

WORLD CLASS EQUESTRIAN RETREAT If you’ve never looked for a large swath of available land in Southern Wisconsin, then it would be impossible for you to understand just how rare this offering truly is. West of Walworth a world renowned physician spent decades assembling this sportsman’s paradise. A passion for Peruvian horses and a desire to create a first class equestrian facility fueled this remarkable effort, and today this amazing estate is for sale. While the property must be toured to be fully understood (watch the video on our homepage), you can see from these photographs that this is not your normal Wisconsin equestrian property. This is a retreat for any outdoor enthusiast. 

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Here we have more than 250 acres of contiguous farmland, woodlands, and pasture; with a flowing stream winding through it all. The house is large and upgraded, the grounds immaculate. There’s a pool and tennis court, a guest cabin and more. The horse facilities themselves are among the finest you’ve ever seen, complete with indoor riding area, conditioned stables, office space for facility managers, and pastures galore. Turtle Creek flows through this property and divides the woodlands from the pasture, creating wildlife habitat that has been undisturbed for decades. Hunters will enjoy the upland fields and heavily wooded hillsides. Trails are cut through much of this property for horse riding or perhaps just UTV riding. If you’ve been looking for the ultimate Wisconsin retreat that can offer you a little of everything, this is it. If you’ve been looking for a first class equestrian property less than 90 minutes from Chicago, well, you’ve found that, too. $2.499MM

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

SUMMER HOMES FOR CITY PEOPLE genevalakefrontrealty.com

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246 CIRCLE PKWY, WILLIAMS BAY

PIER 203

Wander through Williams Bay and follow the lakeshore to the southern tip of Cedar Point Park and you’ll notice something. Something serious. Something obvious. Something unavoidable. You’ll notice, if you’re the noticing sort, considerable and significant gentrification along the lakefront. Old houses have been made new. Renovations have taken old cottages and turned them into new creations, mixing some quaint lake house features with modern day amenities. To the north, new 70

SUMMER HOMES FOR CITY PEOPLE genevalakefrontrealty.com


construction abounds. Spec homes, sold. Four million dollars, give or take. And to the south, new construction and more renovations. Shingle style examples of lakeside bliss. If there is a trend on the lakefront in Williams Bay it’s simple: Buyers are showing a particular affinity for the southern edge of Cedar Point Park. Why do you suppose this is? Why are buyers, with a wide lake full of opportunity, focusing on this section of shore to design their version of vacation home perfection? It may have something to do with the views. They might be the best on the entire lake, after all. It might be that westerly exposure, that afternoon sun that lights the pier long after evening has fallen on the western shore of Williams Bay. Or it might be that buyers feel comfortable investing here simply because other buyers have already been doing so. Investment spurs investment, in the event that you didn’t know.  246 Circle Parkway is a capable lakefront home designed in the cottage style of many of the most desirable Cedar Point homes. Here you’ll find three bedrooms and two baths, with a detached garage and 92 feet of lake frontage. The pier is large, two slips worth, and new. It’s ideal, as is the positioning of the home along that southwestern shore of Cedar Point. While this home is easily a proper lakefront home right now and ready for your immediate enjoyment, the real magic lies in the opportunity. Renovate this home, and do so feeling secure in your investment. The end result will be a vacation home equal to the setting, and that setting, in case you haven’t been paying attention, is remarkable. $2.099MM

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

SUMMER HOMES FOR CITY PEOPLE genevalakefrontrealty.com

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

531 PARK RIDGE, WILLIAMS BAY Much of the development around Geneva Lake in the early and mid 1900s focused on cottage building. How can we force as many small summer cottages as possible into this smallish section of land? This is what the developers must have had on their minds when they set about slicing up the large estate parcels that surrounded this lake. When the developer of Cedar Point Park arrived at the scene, he, or she, made a decision to develop single family homes around large grassy swaths of land that would connect these homes to the water in a most unique way. With that, the Cedar Point parkway was born, and the homes that line these select parkways are among the most desirable in our entire lake access market.  This home on Park Ridge is one such home. Close enough to the lake to have a pleasant lake view and easy stroll from the home to the pier, yet far enough to feel immensely private, like a lakeside tree house. This four bedroom parkway home

might be in need of a bit of updating, but it’s this location that is so very rare in our market. The home itself has a cutgranite wood burning fireplace, a large lakeside screened porch, and hardwood floors throughout. The lot is wide and deep enough to hold a two car detached garage. As of this printing, this is the only available parkway home in Cedar Point, and if you’re looking for a way to get as close to the lake as possible with delightful water views, you should contact me for a tour. $765,000

1250 ST ANDREWS RD, GENEVA NATIONAL A most desirable location and beautiful views of the golf course complement this meticulously maintained ranch style home in  Geneva National. Convenient split bedroom floor plan features large master suite with double vanity, jetted tub, separate shower and walk-in closet. A sunfilled kitchen opens to family room with fireplace. All appliances and mechanicals have been replaced in the past few years. Full basement is plumbed for a bath. Enjoy Geneva National’s swimming pools, tennis courts, walking trails,  gated privacy and world class golf from this affordable single family home. $325,000 SUMMER HOMES FOR CITY PEOPLE genevalakefrontrealty.com

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A BETTER SELECTION... A BETTER EXPERIENCE

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KENOSHA 10901 75th St. (262) 694-9300

MUKWONAGO WATERFORD 280 E. Wolf Run (262) 642-4700

29000 Sharon Lane (262) 514-4000

WWW.SHOPLYNCH.COM


N1525 OAK SHORES LANE, LINN If you’ve been looking for a lake house with transferable boat slip, it feels like it’s time to call off the search. This four bedroom, three bath home on a large sunny lot is in the highly desirable Oak Shores neighborhood on Geneva’s southern shore. Here you’ll find a main floor master bedroom, main floor laundry, along with three guest bedrooms and three full baths. Clean, well maintained, ready for immediate enjoyment, complete with ample parking and a spacious sunroom. All of this just a short stroll from Geneva Lake where the picture perfect lakefront park and your transferable boat slip await. $649,900

CONFERENCE POINT VACANT PARCEL, WILLIAMS BAY High above Conference Point you’ll find this rare three acre vacant parcel of land. Situated along Conference Point Road, this wooded property is an ideal place to build your next home, be it a primary or a vacation home. You can walk to the lake and Pier 290 to take in the scene, but when the day is done you can retreat to the quiet calm of this hilltop oasis. This is a rare opportunity to own a sizable piece of property close to the lake in the Village of Williams Bay. $339,900

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

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A LAKE GENEVA COUNTRY MEATS GUIDE TO

BEEF FOR SUMMER GRILLING RIBEYE STEAK

PORTERHOUSE STEAK

NY STRIP STEAK

Full of rich beef flavor, the Ribeye is a grilling favorite.

A big, juicy, bone-in steak to feed big appetites.

A certified lean, boneless cut, it still has great beef flavor.

SKIRT STEAK

TRI-TIP STEAK

BRISKET FLAT

Robust flavor & great for fajitas. Season well, then serve sliced.

A California classic that is perfect to season, grill & slice.

The cut to know if you’re a smoker: low & slow does it.

TOP BUTT STEAK

BBQ SHORT RIBS

A flavorful sirloin cut to make into ka-bobs.

Cut thin, these are great to marinate & grill

Taste the Lake Geneva Country Meats difference: • Exclusive Leahy’s Angus Beef. • Top choice quality, Midwestern beef. • Hand cut daily by butchers like Ron (to the left.) • Family owned & operated since 1965.

LAKE GENEVA COUNTRY MEATS

3 miles east of Lake Geneva on Hwy. 50 www.lgmeats.com | 262.248.3339 Monday - Friday 8 AM - 6 PM Saturday 8 AM - 3 PM | Sunday 10 AM - 2 PM


A FEW OF DAVID CURRY’S NOTABLE

RECENT LAKEFRONT SALES Between April 1st of 2016 and May 1st of 2019, thirteen lakefront sales on Geneva Lake have closed above $4,600,000. Of those thirteen sales, David Curry closed eight of them. If you’re a buyer or seller and you’d like qualified help understanding the heavily nuanced upper bracket market on Geneva Lake, there’s no other agent who can boast this level of segment specific success. If you’re a luxury buyer or seller on Geneva Lake, you need to be working with David.

PIER 82

SOLD $3,800,000

PIER 394

SOLD $6,950,000

PIER 403

SOLD $2,775,000


Melges Performance Sailboats / Hannah Lee Noll


"I have been buying and selling real estate for many years. From my personal experience, I can say most realtors follow the same pattern of listing, advertising and showing a house. They rely solely on their “For Sale” signs, web sites and regional publications to market the house. Then, they sit and wait for someone to call. When they do show the house, they offer little effort in  actually trying to sell the buyer on why this house is unique and the right house for them. When their minimum efforts don’t yield results, they immediately want the owner to reduce the price. It is always the price and never their efforts (or lack thereof) for why the house won’t sell. Working with David Curry was a refreshing and pleasant change for me. David met with me and listened intently to what I had to say about pricing and the unique attributes that made our property special. David did not rely solely on putting pictures in local publications, instead he networked with his many contacts to find the right buyer for our property. In a matter of weeks, he brought me several offers. David was then instrumental in helping me through the offers, the negotiation, the house inspection and the closing process. He is a wealth of knowledge and he gets the job done with perfection. Through 40 years of buying and selling real estate, David is the best realtor I have ever known."

Scott and Amy, Lake Geneva

"My wife and I have purchased numerous homes around the country. David is by far the best realtor that we have ever worked with. David is honest, to the point, didn’t waste our time, and made us laugh along the way. David understood what our priorities were and was a voice of reason when our emotions tried to lead us to overspend. We are thankful for his guidance and ultimately for helping us find our spot at the lake."

Jeff and Lisa,

Indianapolis, IN

"Dave is the best pizza-making, tennis-playing, fish-fryrating, mushroom-foraging, fly-fishing realtor around Geneva Lake! As a true local, Dave’s knowledge of the market can’t be beat. He’ll tell you about any number of listings well before they hit the open market. Dave is practical and commercial, which helped to complete our closing in near-record time. If you’re looking for the “what” or “why” behind an unimproved lot, a home or an association, Dave will have the answer for you. Also, he doesn’t disappear after closing. Whether it’s a referral for a service provider or a suggestion for the best burger in Walworth County, Dave is always happy to share his thoughts and lend a hand."

Mark, Chicago


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Profile for Geneva Lakefront Realty

Summer Homes For City People 2019  

The 10th issue of Summer Homes For City People. Featuring original content by David Curry and original artwork by Neal Aspinall.

Summer Homes For City People 2019  

The 10th issue of Summer Homes For City People. Featuring original content by David Curry and original artwork by Neal Aspinall.

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