The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

May 24, 2013

GOTL tourist, author to sign books Saturday

GENEVA-ON-THE-LAKE — With a hot dog in one hand and a pen in the other, tourist turned author Wendy Koile will sign copies of her historical reference “Geneva-on-the-Lake: A History of Ohio’s First Summer Resort” at Eddie’s Grill on Saturday.

Koile, of southeast Ohio, has been traveling to GOTL for many years and shares her memories — mixed with the history of Ohio’s first resort town.

Koile will sign copies of her book from 10:30 a.m. until at least 3 p.m. Saturday at Eddie’s Grill.

“My grandparents began the tradition of going to GOTL in the 1940s,” she said. “One week on the shore and they were hooked. My family is now on the fourth generation of GOTL vacationers. I have been to the lake every year of my life and it has always been the highlight of my year.”

Koile’s book is filled with photos and facts, history and memories designed to showcase the GOTL’s unique character.

An English professor at Zane State College, Koile said she wanted to write about something she is truly passionate about.

“I tell my students on a daily basis to write about something they love and it will come naturally. As I began my research, I realized that talking to people, or looking at old pictures of GOTL was not work at all,” she said. “In fact, it was one of the most enjoyable projects I have ever experienced.”

No matter how much fun she had writing the book, Koile said she had one goal in mind — preserving everyone’s memories of the lake.

“My main goal was to capture the history and feelings associated with the resort in hopes of forever preserving them,” she said. “I could have easily written a book of facts on the town history, but I knew there was just something more than that. It is my hope to have woven my love for the town into the history. Luckily for me, my publishers The History Press accepted my manuscript and promised to keep my voice in the work.”

Eddie’s Grill manager Marianne Sezon said she is excited to host Koile and is pleased with the grill’s place in GOTL history.

“Eddie’s Grill is featured in the book, and we are very proud,” she said. “Wendy will be here to sign books, but also to talk about her memories of the village and her inspiration to write about them.”

Copies of the book — and chili cheese dogs, fries and root beer, will be available for purchase at the signing.

“The Memorial Day weekend is one of our busiest weekends of the year here,” Sezon said. “It is the perfect time for this book signing.”

Koile said she still loves her special place by Lake Erie.

“Our times at GOTL were meant to make memories and traditions that we would forever hold in our hearts,” she said. “In my research, so many people that I interviewed expressed this same feeling with tears to go with it. The town of GOTL presented a perfect place to build those family moments. From laughing so hard we cried to fighting over an inflatable raft, to watching a purple pink sunset, it was always about experiencing it with family. I continue to preserve this tradition with my daughter and nieces and nephews. They, too, have come to understand that GOTL is our special memory making place.”

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