Connie Frank has been a member of the Oconomowoc Lake Club since 1962, and before that her grandfather’s membership granted her many happy moments along the shores of the lake as a little girl. Her family home was on the west side of the lake, and the club was the setting for many of her fondest memories, especially of summer day camps where the children were treated to tennis, sailing, crafting and picnic lunches by the pier.
As a teenager, Connie remembers being invited to the Debutante Ball as the daughter of the Miller Brewing Company family. The Ball was held in 1952 at the OLC, and unbeknownst to Connie, the man she would eventually marry was also in attendance at the very same party.
Standing by his side in marriage, the two enjoyed many years together in the OLC community. Connie reminisces about the days when they held Shipwrecked parties. Everyone would sit on the floor, wearing tattered pirate-style clothes and funny hats while they enjoyed picnic-style cuisine and waited for the dancing to begin. It was all about dinner dances in those days, and everyone was always anticipating the next one.
When I spoke with Connie, she was keen to share the most recent copy of The Docket with me because she had a story about how the newsletter came to be. The original newsletter was called the Blue Sheet, and back then it was a simple mimeographed affair. The Club quickly outgrew that format as it expanded its communications with its members. Connie came up with the name “The Docket”. Her husband, who was an architect, designed a logo and in 1977 The Docket was born.
While her husband was serving as Commodore, Connie took time to explore her role at the OLC. In those days, there really were no committees to speak of. The ladies would get together and decide what social parties they wanted to host. Connie enjoyed designing and decorating for these events. She said the seasonal parties, held around events like the 4th of July and Halloween, were always spectacular, featuring extravagant buffets.
To this day, Connie enjoys many activities at the OLC and still comes out with her daughter a few times a year to help judge the boat races. Connie and her husband served on judging teams for the C Fleet, back when the OLC had a C Fleet. She also enjoys the Friday Fish Fry, Bridge and inviting friends along to the Soup and Salad Bar Buffet.
“It is like a family to me” was Connie’s soulful response when asked what the OLC means to her. She can’t imagine her life without a membership at the club where her and her husband created so many cherished memories, as her husband passed away in 1999. She feels comfortable relaxing at the OLC. It is like a second home to her, and she is always excited to see the many familiar faces.
Connie was keen to share her thoughts on recent changes at the club. She is happy to see things evolving. She was very pleased to hear that the new chef will continue using local farmers to create the menus. Above all, she wants the OLC to be successful.
It was a true pleasure to interview a woman of such elegance, and I thank Connie for sharing how the OLC has played a part in her life’s journey.