sept. 10, 2006
For years we've been saying that we need a shorelunch site in the back bay. One of the original ideamen for this was our favorite and longest-tenured guest Mr. Tom Greteman. Tom's first trip to Aikens was back in 1953. He passed away last winter (see our archived news items). We knew that we had to do something special for Tom and the whole Greteman family. Tom's two sons, Kirby and Dan, had accompanied Tom on many trips to Aikens, including his last in Sept 2005. They felt that tug to come back, so much so that Kirby dropped all of his affairs in Houston at 1:00 PM on Sept 8th and was on a plane headed for Winnipeg at 3:00 PM! Talk about last minute! Dan Greteman was already driving up from St-Louis with two of his friends Don Gardiner and Bob Matschiner for the trip they had planned a few weeks in advance. The group had no idea what was in store upon their arrival! We built the new shorelunch site in the back bay this past July. We had shiny new picnic tables and a filleting table on the rock in plain view as you drove in and out from the main lake! The guides Pat and Diesel had to distract the two Greteman sons every time they passed it, which was a lot of times because we planned the shorelunch for day 2!!! Without knowing it, Kirby had worn his father's pair of signature overalls on day 2!!! That lunchhour, everyone on the staff that had known Tom snuck away from camp and went to the shorelunch site to surprise the Gretemans. The guides, feigning having forgotten the shorelunch boxes on the dock that morning in order to get back to the lodge at the right time, brought Kirby and Dan to the site. There, we presented them with a plaque which read "Dedicated to the memory of Tom Greteman". With their eyes welling up, the sons picked the perfect spot and put the plaque up on a tree! It was a great moment and one that was incredibly well received and appreciated by not only Kirby and Dan, but also the rest of the Greteman Clan. Upon hearing the news, we immediately received emails from Celine (Tom's wife), and the three daughters Amy, Mary, and Jane! Here's to a wonderful relationship with a wonderful family... to the Gretemans!