A trip down Memory Lane

March 2, 2017

 The question always comes up, 'how did you get started in writing?' I think I caught the bug when I saw my first piece published as part of Tom Gnewuch's "Green Lake Memories." Tom compiled a book on the history of Green Lake from it's start in 1847 until 1997.

 

I was already living in Las Vegas, but Tom wrote and asked me to write about our family restaurant, "Van Rhyn's Steak House. My submission is too long to reproduce here but I can give you an over view of it.

 

My dad grew up in Dreumel, Holland. His father passed away when he was twelve, forcing him to quit school and go to work for the local butcher. After immigrating to America and settling in central Wisconsin, he opened meat markets in Kaukauna and Little Chute. As part of his business, he cut steak for a number of upscale restaurants in the area. My Dad liked to tell the story of why he went into the bar business. He said, "I was selling a T-bone steak to the restaurants for seventy-five cents and they were selling it to their customers for two dollars and fifty cents.  I decided I wanted to be the one selling it for the higher price." He purchased a local tavern, and over the years built it into one of the area's most well-known supper clubs.

 

Besides being known for cutting our own steaks, we also claimed the title of "House of the Grand Champions. For the advertising value, each year my dad would buy the Grand Champion steer at the county fair.

 

People remember different things about our restaurant but the cooler with the big window where you could see up to forty full loins aging and trays of cut steak, impressed everyone. We sold the restaurant in 1974.

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