Recently, Bobby Tanzilo was introduced to Paul Walker and the Slinger Future Authors' Camp. They were inspired by Bobby's Urban Spelunking series and decided to do their own "Suburban Spelunking" in some notable Slinger spots. The middle and high school students then wrote about the locales, with the best pieces making their way here on OnMilwaukee.com. Here's one of the chosen pieces, a collaborative effort created by all of the camp participants, written and inspired by the George Ella Lyon poem "Where I'm From."
I’m from George Ippel, 1857 and his Schleisingerville
hotel and tavern the center of social activity.
I am from George Frederick Roth,
locally produced cream city brick
and the miracle of safely used gas lamps with brass valves.
I am from a meeting place for farmers
after selling and buying
or while awaiting the blacksmith.
They ate, drank and laughed at the tavern,
with a bartender who looked like Theodore Roosevelt,
as their children played.
I am from the stables below,
the steep, brick pathway leading horses
to rest their weary legs.
From a carriage shelter of sturdy stone walls
still standing next door.
I am from the popular ballroom
and late evenings spent dancing.
I am from 400-year-old growth trees,
hand-hewn logs used as pillars,
revealing a long-forgotten second floor.
I am from historical talk, not proof
that perhaps my walls provided shelter,
my lamps provided light, for those
I’m from a long and successful history,
changes between owners and customers alike.
The dance hall became basketball gym for the local school
complete with locker room on the third floor
and soon will return to being a hall once again.
I am from 2015,
the renovations that honor my history:
replication windows and the original front door,
a tin ceiling preserved to look over diners past and present,
the dug-up ground revealed only a bottle of beer
I am from current owners Kelly and Tracey Henrickson
who renovate gathering spaces
mix old and new faces
hoping to see the Slinger House
become the center of village life once again.