As you’ll read in my feature about the new Art Preserve in Sheboygan, I first, and last, visited the area a couple of times on business in the late eighties and, with an expense account at my disposal, stayed in the American Club.
Thirty-plus years later, I can still count on one hand the number of times I’ve stayed in five-star luxury anywhere, so my memories of the experience stayed with me. Especially since there was that time I had the strangest experience I’ve ever had in a hotel…
On this particular trip, I arrived in the afternoon, with my business meeting the next morning. Since I had some time, and the bathrooms were fit for a prince, I decided to take a bath, something I never did in Chicago. Who takes a bath on a weekday afternoon? I filled the giant tub, turned on its whirlpool jets and eased into its waters, magazine in hand, not even bothering to close the bathroom door. I was staying alone, so why bother? It felt decadent, in a very clean way.
Suddenly I heard a sound, the door was opening and someone was in my room! I called out, and a man popped his head in. “This is my room,” he said. “I just checked in.” “This is my room!” I responded. The front desk must have made a mistake. (These were the early days of electronic keys and clearly they’d coded his incorrectly.) I’m not sure if I was more embarrassed to literally be caught naked by a stranger, or by the strange act of afternoon bathing I’d been caught in. I expected he’d quickly leave the embarrassing situation and head to the front desk to straighten it out, but instead, he said he was going to use the phone in the bedroom to call the desk, would I mind? Of course I’d mind, I was naked in the bathtub in the middle of the afternoon on a weekday, but I was also in no position to quibble, so I acquiesced.
I was fortunate enough on this recent visit that the Kohler Company offered to put me up in the American Club for old times’ sake. I can report that both the keycard and the bathtub performed without incident.
Look for Newcity’s July 2021 print edition at over 300 Chicago-area locations this week or subscribe to the print edition at Newcityshop.com.
In this issue:
The Conversation: Jennifer O’Brien Helps Us Deal with Love and Death
Tending to Queer Histories: Edie Fake returns to Chicago in a big way
Big in Sheboygan: How the new Art Preserve will transform coastal Wisconsin
Succession: Or, the circle of life systems