Elizabeth Braatz is a long time time Mequon resident with a very busy life.
She owns and operates Red Mango Frozen Yogurt & Smoothies in Fox Point (along with her husband). She’s a freelance writer for Metroparent Magazine, a group exercise instructor for the YMCA and super mom to three-year-old boy/girl twins and a 15-month-old girl.
Elizabeth spent almost her entire childhood in Lac du Cours (LDC). Recently, she took time out of her busy schedule to answer some questions about what it was like growing up in LDC.
When did you move to Lac du Cours?
“My family moved to Mequon into Lac du Cours a week prior to me starting kindergarten at Donges Bay School. I was five, my brother was a few months old and my sister was a twinkle in my moms eye.
At the time, my dad’s sister also lived in Mequon, though most of our other family did not live in the immediate area.”
How long did you live there?
“My mom sold our house when I was 24. My dad passed away after being in a motorcycle accident when I was 20. At the time, my sister was only 14 and a freshman at Homestead High School. Once she graduated and went off to college, my mom sold our house and moved into a smaller home in Mequon. That house was precious to all of us but it was too much of a reminder of my dad and the memories that we shared together. She needed to start fresh.”
Where did you live in Lac du Cours and can you describe it for us?
“We lived on Upper Picardy Court. I was three courts away from the pool so, in little kid bike language, that’s about three minutes on the bike going to the pool or about five minutes coming home (because you need to bike up the big hill).
I had friends on almost every court, most of which are still my good friends today. In fact, two of them stood up in my wedding.”
What did you like best about living in Lac du Cours?
“The best thing was the closeness and friendships that everyone had with their neighbors, whether you were next door or across the subdivision.
As a small child, I made lots of friends at the pool, as my parents met others with common interests and small children. They were part of the LDC Yacht Club and on various planning committees.
As I got older, my parents felt comfortable letting me ride my bike to the pool or to a friend’s house alone so we would all gather and ride our bikes around the subdivision. At night, we would play “night games” (Kick the can, ghost in the graveyard, capture the flag, etc.). Between 8:30 – 9 p.m., you’d hear every one’s parents start to yell for their kids. We’d dissipate until the next night.”
Are there any Lac du Cour traditions you can share with us? Maybe things only residents would know about?
“There were several really fun things that residents did on a regular basis.
We would get up really early every couple weeks in the summer and have fishing derbies. We’d get donuts, orange juice and coffee, and fish for blue gills off the dock. Then, we’d go home and take a nap and meet up later at the pool to swim.
We’d also play “king of the raft” on the large raft that was in the middle of the lake. Once we were in middle school, it was tradition to swim out to the raft, jump off or play games on it.
The best day of the year living in LDC is Lac du Cours Day. It’s an annual event in which there are games, meals, snacks, popcorn, snow cones, swim races, games, a bon fire, s’mores and so much more for residents. The crowd is huge but everyone is a friend, and it’s a fantastic way to wrap up the summer.”
What are some of your favorite Lac du Cours memories?
“Some of my favorite memories are playing with my friends in my backyard. We had good friends who shared a backyard with us and lived a court above us. We would run back and forth and play soccer, baseball and night games together. Then we’d have sleepovers in our camper on hot, summer nights.
I also have great memories of my dad from LDC. He taught me how to fish and kayak, and most importantly, put a worm on a hook.”
Are there any quirks to Lac du Cours? Rumors? Famous or infamous events?
“If you’ve grown up in LDC and were in high school at the time, you definitely jumped the pool fence and went swimming in the pool after hours. You’ve also probably had your first alcoholic beverage near the lake while hanging out with friends.”
Would you move back there?
“I would move back in a second. My husband and I have actually talked about it extensively. To have such a fulfilling experience as a child makes me want to provide the same thing for my own children.
There are many residents who grew up in LDC and have found their way back. There are also many people (including myself) who have very close friends who they met as youngsters at the pool or while riding their bikes, and are still close friends as adults.
Further, when you see someone from LDC at the grocery store or sporting event, the neighborhood always comes up in conversation. It’s like an extension of your family that you’ll always love.”
Image source: Marla Morris-Kennedy (Elizabeth’s mother)
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