MARK EDINGER DOES his signature Elvis routine back in his days as a hunka hunka Heidel Singer in the early ’90s.     submitted photo
MARK EDINGER DOES his signature Elvis routine back in his days as a hunka hunka Heidel Singer in the early ’90s. submitted photo

     This is not how it should end.

     Twenty years ago when I first started as a journalist, the Heidel House was a shining star on the shores of Green Lake.

     It was a fine establishment to carry the mantle of keeping Green Lake as the “oldest resort town west of Niagara Falls.”

     But times have been tough at the Heidel House in recent years.

     Rumors of an uncertain future beget the actual news last week that Green Lake’s only resort would be closing.

     Maybe some see this as a necessary move, but it’s a sad day for Green Lake.

     So many happy memories were formed at the resort and spa during its many decades of existence.

     While social media comments seem to focus on negatives — and I won’t get into those now — there are so many positives worth remembering there as well.

     MANY PEOPLE REMEMBER their years at the Heidel House fondly.

     The relationships built, the moments shared … These form the foundation for the love many share for the 74-year-old resort.

     I recall interviewing Mark Edinger five years ago. To refresh your memory: though you know him as a Ripon chiropractor today, Edinger of yesteryear was one of the famed “Heidel Singers” who would perform “Kids from Wisconsin”-style shows at the resort every summer. ...

     YOU DIDN’T HAVE TO hold a flashy position at the Heidel House to love this resort on the shores of Lac Verde.

     Take Charles Busha, who today lives in Ripon but used to live in Florida — but didn’t let that get in his way of a fun summer job.

     “From 1995 ’til the end of 2007 I would come up to Wisconsin during some of the summers and work at Heidel House for the season. They usually had me in housekeeping or laundry, which l enjoyed very much,” he said. “I met many nice people who worked there and a lot of nice guests who came from all over and some from other countries.

     “One summer, Heidel House had some work-exchange students from overseas working there: two from Russia and three from Slovakia near Poland. I got to know them well during that summer.”

     Kathy Mansueto of Berlin recalled that she “loved my job” and that others, did, too. “The staff was close and we enjoyed awesome manager outings ...

     PART OF THE FUN, OF course, of working at the Heidel House in its heyday was the chance of seeing someone famous pass through.

     “Wayne Newton, John Travolta … Sometimes staff wasn’t even told,” Mansueto said. “John Travolta stayed there over EAA, when his son, Jet, was still alive. He stayed in the Stable House, and had all the windows blacked out, and he would ride around the property on the golf carts. The band Kansas also played there for a group that had an event there.” ...

     To read the entire column, see the March 7, 2019 edition of The Ripon Commonwealth Press.