Forever Mastadon ~ Episode 200
… I would have been foolish not to take advantage of the name branding of my family…
The newest visitors to SE Wisconsin have allotted one full day of getting familiar with the lay of the land (and lakes) and several varied combinations of Polly Pabst meals and country wisdom. Over liters and quarts of caffeine fortified coffee, they get answers to their most prominent questions…
“The name “Pabst” is everywhere around here, are you…” Connie begins to place people to places and places to history.
“Yep. I used to run away from it, unlike my brother Davey, who loves the family business and racing cars. But when I opened this diner, I would have been foolish not to take advantage of the name branding.”
“I saw the Pabst Blue Ribbon neon sign in the window.” Ace has been known to sample adult malted beverages on occasion, so Pabst Beer has passed by his lips before.
“I don’t live out at the mansion. I have a small house nearby.”
“We took a long drive,” she uses hand signals, “counterclockwise around Oconomowoc Lake and Pabst Farms is the first thing you run into. You know, I didn’t know that cows made beer.”
“What else do you do with 1200 acres, Ace? Hops do not grow well above the 40th parallel, but corn and dairy cattle do nicely.
“There isn’t a better area in the country, it has it all; fresh water, oak forests, fertile soil, friendly people and all this only 30 miles from a major city like Milwaukee.”
“God certainly outdid Himself here, that is for sure,” adds Constance from her two day perspective. “I don’t know if we mentioned it, but we are going to get a tour of Danforth Lodge tomorrow. I hear that it is magnificent.”
Polly has perspective of her own, having grown up in a moneyed family, with a long storied legacy, “That is a good example of what happens when the patriarch senior, then junior get older and all that ostentatious construction makes less and less sense; the kids sell off and divide up the riches, without mom or dad to make a fuss. After Valentine took over Danforth, the luster of the Roaring Twenties and the money island that brought them through the Depression had faded into the past. Property like that just doesn’t make sense any more.”
“You are a bright woman, Polly, I’m impressed. What keeps you tucked away in Eagle?”
“I am tucked, but productive. You may not realize it, but we cater far more food, to wedding and banquets, than we serve out here. There are twenty people in the back getting ready for a party this weekend.”
“This building must be bigger than it looks!”
“It used to be a textile factory, an example of the shrinking manufacturing base in the United States.”
She may be tucked away, but an entrepreneurial treasure nonetheless.