I could post a picture and a story about nearly every guest we have ever had. Lets face it, we all have a past and some juicy stories to tell, but some of them never get told. I have had the greatest opportunity and pleasure to get to know two people that will forever leave an impression on my heart. Shirley called me late spring inquiring about a 10 day stay in Oshkosh at our inn. Originally from Oshkosh, now living in Florida, Shirley and her husband Dutch would be coming for a family reunion, possibly being the last one. After talking to Shirley for several minutes, I wanted nothing more than to have this sweet couple, I had not met yet, stay with us. I was eager to meet, what I knew would be a spunky gal, but would have to wait until mid July for their arrival. Over the next several months, Shirley called me with all sorts of questions from parking, to payment, to the timing of their arrival. Needless to say, I felt like I had already knew her.
Since I had talked to Shirley so often, I knew the exact time they would be coming, who was dropping them off and what they would be driving. I saw the car pull up and I rushed out to meet this incredible lady. She was exactly how I had expected. The grandmotherly type that you just wanted to spend your days with. She hopped out of the car and I rushed to introduce myself. I didn’t hesitate once to give her a big old hug. I mean, why wouldn’t I? I felt like I had known her for years. You know what, she gave me the same old big bear hug back.
I knew they would be tired from their travels, so I showed them to their first floor room, went through all the ins, outs and questions and gave them some time. Not too long had passed though, when Dutch comes out of the room looking for a place to sit outside and relax. I should him to a couple of chairs right off of the back porch where they both made themselves comfortable during their stay. I had this opportunity to find out a little more about Dutch since Shirley and I had already hit it off.
Dutch Rennart is his name and this is a man with a past. Originally from Oshkosh and finally making it big as an umpire in the National league from 1973 to 1992. He was most known for his animated loud strike calls. Dutch is one charming, cool cat, that is laid back and easy going with just a little bit of spunk to his step that lets you know that he has still got it. How could you not though, with three world series under your belt.
My husband and I not baseball fans, so this name really didn’t mean a lot to us, but then again it didn’t matter. These two people had already warmed our hearts even before they arrived. Word started getting out though that this legend was back in Oshkosh. So my husband took it upon himself to set up a small gathering at a place called Jerry’s Bar, which is not only one of the oldest bars in Oshkosh, but also pays tribute to Dutch by displaying photos on their wall. Thinking that my husband was just taking him out for beer, Dutch walked into a place where nearly 50 plus people were waiting see and talk to him about the “good ole days”.
I hated to see this adorable couple that had been married for 50 plus years and still showed such warmth and compassion towards each other, leave our home after nearly 2 weeks, but I knew the time had come. I hope on our journeys this winter, we will see them again. I would hate to think this was the first and last time of seeing them,but if it is, I know that they have left an impression that will forever change my life.