The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

May 13, 2013

Two traditions — Mother’s Day and GOTL kicks off season

Celebration of family, resort’s soft opening are rites of spring

By MARGIE NETZEL - mnetzel@starbeacon.com
Star Beacon

GENEVA-ON-THE-LAKE — The wind whipped past Eddie’s Grill on Sunday, leaving celebrated mothers to pull their children’s coats closed and reach to catch napkins caught in the gusts.

Mother’s Day weekend is the unofficial opening of the little resort town on the lake, Kent resident Sarah Catalucci came home to the Geneva area Sunday to visit her father and to share in the joy of a freshly grilled hot dog and a still-warm donut.

“It’s all I wanted,” she said. “I wanted a Madsen’s donut and an Eddie’s hot dog. I had to come here.”

So the Cataluccis packed up and drove an hour for a hot dog lunch.

Virginia Catalucci, 6, said she enjoys her mother’s gourmet cooking.

“She makes the best sloppy joes,” she said.

Brock Catalucci, 4, said he jumped on his mother’s head to wake her up on Mother’s Day and gave her the best present.

“We came here,” he said.

Elijah Herman, 2, of Ashtabula guzzled soda in honor of mom Brooke Herman.

“This is our Mother’s Day tradition,” Brooke Herman said. “We have come to Eddie’s Grill every mothers day since I was his age.”

The best Mother’s Day gift for Herman came with a side of fries.

“I’m all about the chili cheese dog,” she said.

Ashley Wilhelm, 11, of Madison stood with mom Linda Wilhelm as they waited in a long line to place their food order on the patio.

“We brought 12 people with us today,” Linda Wilhelm laughed as she looked at the packed restaurant. “I don’t know where we think we are going to sit.”

Many people drove just minutes to get their first-of-the-season goodies, but Frank Cicogna came all the way from Champion to eat his hot dog.

“You gotta be here for the opening on Mother’s Day,” the Ashtabula native said. “We have been doing this for years. We’ll all be back here at Geneva-on-the-Lake at least five times this summer. I mean, you can’t beat it. This is the best chili dog and the best burger in the entire world.”