Roger Kelly was a well-known architect I interviewed decades ago for an article in the Cambridge News. His home near the lake was built to his design. Besides being talented, he was a good neighbor and friend. We knew because he was my daughter Deb’s next-door neighbor and friend.

The day I met him for the interview, we walked the short distance from his home down to his pier. We settled ourselves comfortably on his yellow boat and enjoyed a cool lemonade.

Kelly’s aunt lived on the lake and young Kelly spent summers with her during his pre-teen years. He told me this story:

One summer day they were relaxing and sunning on the pontoon. Young Roger was sun-drying after a dip in the middle of the lake. Or maybe they were on shore. Memories fade a bit.

All of a sudden, his aunt screamed. Roger looked and saw The Monster! It had a thick snake-like body, a big head kind of like a dinosaur, greenish brown color and buggy eyes. He did a surface dive like a dolphin and disappeared.

Kelly said he remembered every detail. Others reported seeing the monster as late as the 1970s and early 80s, but no one talks about it anymore.

It is said the monster was first sighted over a hundred years ago in Red Cedar Lake and came to Lake Ripley via a water passage. Maybe he went back to Red Cedar.

There is a car at the bottom of the lake near what was the Arbor Dell. I like to think the old guy slithered in the back seat and comfortably went to meet his maker.

P.S. Every lake in Wisconsin (and other states) have their own monsters. Google lakeripleymonster and click on the Lake Ripley Monster or Pine Barrens Institute. There is an interesting report on the monsters of Wisconsin lakes.

I thought fish stew would be a good recipe. On second thought, it didn’t sound very appealing. So, here is another summer recipe.

Frozen Dessert

Ingredients: 8 ounces cream cheese, softened, 1/2 cup white sugar, 2 cups sliced strawberries or berries of your choice, 1 small can crushed pineapple, drained, 9 ounces Cool Whip, 1/2 cup chopped nuts.

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