Saturday, August 21, 2010

A True Lodgemaster...

This week we said goodbye to a very dear friend, surrogate father, grandfather...jack of all trades.  The man who took such good care of our resort before we got here, died this week.  We met Don 23 years ago on August 29, 1987.  We traveled 640 miles with our four little ones and all the belongings we could fit into the 2 UHaul trucks.  We got lost just about 5 miles from our destination and a man in Blackduck led the way in the dark so we could reach our destination.  Don & Vivian Helgeson were here to greet us...they took us into their home as if we were family.  Our kids took to them as if they were their grandparents.  Don & Viv moved into a cabin for 3 weeks and we settled into the "owners" home.  We worked side by side with them for those weeks, learning all we could about owning a resort.  That first week was busy with guests and we were the guests of honor at the weekly potluck...
Little did we know...that was the last time we got to go first for dinner!

Don & Viv came to this resort in 1970 with 4 little girls....and we followed in 1987 with 4 little ones.  The last 23 years have been very good to us.  We raised our kids and they all left the nest, coming home with their spouses....and now we enjoy visits with 9 grandchildren as often as possible.
Don & Viv continued to stop and visit through all those years.  Don always had a story to tell and we still have alot of the guests who came when he was the "Lodgemaster".  They all have great stories to share of the wonderful memories provided by such great people who loved their life at the resort as much as we do now.
We feel like we have such giant shoes to fill and we hope to enjoy many more years of "filling those shoes".
Thank you, Don, for all you taught us, for your help so many years ago, for being such a fun Minnesota grandpa for our kids when they left their own grandparents in Illinois 23 years ago.
We only hope to carry on as you did so many years ago and take this resort into the next generation...someday.
We love you and thank you for entrusting this little piece of heaven to us.
We promise to take good care of this gift from God!
Have fun fishing in the waters of endless walleyes!

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