An Illinois couple returned to Summerfest Saturday, decades after their first date there years ago.
39 years later, Ellen and Jeff Krupp were back where it all started.
“We had a night off and so a whole group of us came to Summerfest,” Ellen said.
It was July 6, 1980. They were camp counselors in Oconomowoc.
“We sort of liked each other at the time,” Jeff said. “I wanted her to come along with me, enjoy an evening away from camp, and it was a lot of fun.”
They had only known each other for a few weeks.
“I really liked him, although it was a summer thing. I was going back to college,” Ellen said.
Ellen didn’t know if it would last.
“I was not sure. It was a summer romance,” she said.
But when they went back to school, they kept talking. The rest is history.
“I saw a good thing,” Jeff said. “Yeah, you were right,” Ellen responded.
Now for the first time since that day in 1980, the Krupps were walking the grounds again, this time with their daughter.
“There is a lot to see here. I’m kind of shocked,” Ellen said.
“It brings back memories from a long time ago. Even though the facility is different, the experience of being here again after 39 years gives a very warm feeling to me,” Jeff said.
The Krupps soaked in the moment, knowing that all these years later they made the right choice and took a leap of faith.
“Still lasting. Can’t get rid of me. I guess we’re going to stay together,” Ellen said.
The Krupps said back then there was a lot more grass and dirt and not as much pavement. There also weren’t any of the current pavilions. Instead, they sat on bleachers like at a high school football game.
They said next time they’re not going to wait as long to return.