Cameron Swallow, wife of new Carthage President John Swallow, is on a “Welcome Home Tour” as she gets to know Kenosha. Read her newest blog post below.
Andrea (Winbigler) Eiter ’13 had to ask permission to be my tour guide because she and her husband Tim ’12 are alumni, not current students. But their love for Carthage is strong, not least because it gave them each other, and their knowledge of Kenosha broad. I was pleased to accept their invitation to meet at Soon’s Sushi Cafe on 54th Street.
Soon’s looms large in the shared life of Andrea and Tim: It became their date-night spot during their courtship at Carthage, once Tim convinced Andrea that she really did like sushi. They ate there just before their engagement and also the day before their wedding, which was in the College chapel. They still sneak up for a date-night dinner every so often from their home in northern Illinois.
And they’d clearly made an impression on Soon and her husband, Bob, who both came to our table and greeted them by name. In May, Soon and Bob will celebrate 20 years of marriage, 10 years of regional awards for best sushi restaurant, and 80 years of life! Their love story — an unlooked-for second marriage for both — centers upon the restaurant as well, and it was very sweet to see them welcoming Tim and Andrea with a warmth born of that kinship.
We ate (more than) our fill of the beautiful sushi platter and talked about Carthage and post-Carthage life. Andrea is teaching Spanish at a large high school in Illinois, so we got to talk about public schools in different states (I was in the classroom for 18 years before moving to Wisconsin), plus language acquisition, which I’m finding lamentably more difficult in middle age than I did in my youth. It turned out that, while she had participated in other Carthage J-Term study tours to Latin America, she had never been to Nuevo Horizonte in Guatemala, where our family just spent several days after visiting Guatemala City with our daughter at Christmas.
Tim, however, had been on the Guatemala study tour with Carthage, and though he is not a Spanish speaker, he remembers the experience very fondly. Tim also spoke of a recent job change and an interview process that “didn’t care about my major or my work experience, just wanted someone who could think critically, work with people, and solve problems.” I told him he was the poster child for liberal arts education!
My marriage began with a college courtship as well, though it did not have a sushi restaurant as a setting. I was glad to be welcomed into Andrea and Tim’s story, which includes Soon and Bob’s, too. I’ll be happy to celebrate all the anniversaries with them in May!
See for yourself
Soon’s Sushi Cafe
2100 54th St.
Be a tour guide
Your turn! Want to show Cameron Swallow your favorite part of Kenosha? Be a tour guide.