commented that the front cover showing the old water
tower at the Ellwood House was meaningful to him because he has
worked on the wall and gate next to it. What a coincidence
the front cover and the last name in the book.
Most people relish being first, but the Zweifel family
holds a special place at the end of the Frontier phone book alphabetically.
And they dont mind being there one bit. Jeff and
Erin, plus their kids Hunter, a sophomore at Genoa-Kingston High
School, and twins Jessica and Aidan, middle-schoolers in Genoa,
have lived in that community since moving from Lake in the Hills
in 2002. Erin said they wanted to raise their family in a smaller
town and have found Genoa ideal for that.
I looked the Zweifels up in the new phone book, initially
with the idea of interviewing the first and last families, but
the first person whose name begins with an A declined. I found
the Zweifels a delightful and interesting family to visit, so
can easily fill a column with their story.
Erin works for a doctor in Elgin, and Jeff works at the
DeKalb Park District. When he held up the phone book for me to
take their photo, he
Jeff and Erin Zweifel spot their name which is last
in the new Frontier phonebook. By coincidence Jeff has a connection
to the front cover, the Ellwood House water tower, where he has
worked around as an employee of the DeKalb Park District. (Schrader
Zweifel is a German name. Erin said the priest who married
them explained it meant doubtful in that language.
Since they have been happily married for 19 years, there is nothing
doubtful about their union.
Chatting with their children, I explained my ties to the
Cogs. I am a proud 1958 graduate of GKHS, spending four years
in the school building where their middle school is now.
Hunter plays football, basketball and baseball for the
Cogs. I was team manger for all three sports under coach Harry
Henigan. I didnt ask Hunter if he was in the Lettermans
Club, something coveted by every athlete who went to G-K. I also
didnt get into the touchy subject of the secret hazing
ritual we had to endure to be indoctrinated into the fraternity
of athletes. My memory is hazy, but I recall it included
running the gauntlet through a line of members while naked and
getting paddled on the behind, plus other indignities no longer
acceptable in this day and age.
The twins have extracurricular pursuits I never enjoyed
in school Jessica is active in the Art Club and Aidan
is in the Tech Club. We didnt have art in our day (except
finger painting and Crayola drawing in the early grades) and
the only high tech I experienced was using an electric
typewriter in Miss Tiffanys office practices class. Not
every boy took that class, but typing has served me well for
more than 50 years now. I should also have taken her shorthand
class, as my note-taking is dreadful.
When I walked into their living room I noticed three mounted
deer heads on the wall, including a 12-point mounted buck that
is the pride of Jeff, who takes his sons to Wisconsin each fall
during whitetail deer season. He said they also do some bowhunting
This is a fond recollection for me as I had almost identical
interests during my growing-up years. So it was gratifying to
spend a Sunday afternoon getting acquainted with the Zweifels.
I hope they enjoyed it as much as I did.