“Where everybody knows your name,
and they’re always glad you came.
You wanna be where you can see,
our troubles are all the same.
You wanna be where everybody knows
-Theme from Cheers
The End Stool reminds me of the corner of the bar in Cheers, where the affable Norm and the expert on trivial matters Cliffy had squatter’s rights.
Yours truly fills the role of both characters, but in reality more closely resembles Coach who sort of floats through life and unwittingly comes up with a nugget of genius at the most unexpected time.
The recent death of Frank Trantow rekindled this thought, which often bounces around my mind, that the End Stool always has a welcome mat out much like Cheers.
No topic is off limits and everybody has an opinion. It is amazing how many simple answers we have for problems elected officials have no solution for.
Frank regularly visited me at the End Stool several years ago.
Frank wore many hats in his life, the preferred being husband for more than 60 years and family man. He owned a Manawa hardware store along with his brother Bill, was a deputy sheriff and police officer, owned the Edge of Town bar and eating place and was mayor.
He was an imposing, big man of good humor. It was natural that he would be called “Officer Friendly.”
He had great expectations for Manawa as mayor, but was frustrated by the pace of getting things accomplished. The snail’s pace of government is a difficult lesson for people accustomed to getting things done as a business person and citizen.
Frank did accomplish his goals while in office.
Sig Krostue , who served a couple terms as mayor in New London and is a regular visitor at the End Stool, accomplished many things in his brief stint in office. Krostue had the advantage of many years as the city attorney, he says.
“Sometimes you just do what you think is right,” Sig said during a recent conversation.
Sig and I had disagreements but I rate him as perhaps the most effective local executive because of what he was able to accomplish while in office.
Often the End Stool is just a place to continue relationships built over the years when covering local government.
Gene Rosin, current mayor of Kaukauna, is one of those people. He fills me in on John Lambie, mayor when I was covering that city and Gene Huss, who served on the council.
Dick Koeppen, former Clintonville mayor and Waupaca County Board chairman, also stops – usually to meet with committees or department supervisors.
Former Outagamie County Executive John Schreiter regularly stops for a noon meal. John usually has a funny story that brightens the day.
The visits become less frequent each year as we get older.
I am always glad when they came.
All visitors welcome at the End Stool.