Events Leading Up To “Ribs in Wisconsin”

Bill Prinzmetal (and a few others) write that my teen stories are fun for them because everyone from 1948 on knows me as the camp director, storyteller, folk singer, and a young, stocky student at UCLA who was equally ready with a true story or a made-up adventure!

What follows is a prequel to what I wrote recently about going into that Wisconsin town. All of it is true.

The summer camp I attended as a kid was called Camp Wooster, located in Northern Illinois, close to the Wisconsin Border. It was funded by wealthy Jewish businesspeople. At that time, if you were Jewish and needed a job, you usually worked for a Jewish firm. Being Jewish and not being hired by non-Jewish firms was common. In those days, most application forms asked for your religion.

I loved Camp Wooster, being in the country with a big lake, activities galore, and a caring and talented staff. My favorite activities were boxing and fencing. I was good, and no one ever beat me. I so enjoyed being in the ring and the battle. Although I went there for many years as a child, when I was 15 years old, I applied for and was hired as a dish washer. There were two of us who worked together after every meal. We prided ourselves on clean dishes, speed, and as few broken dishes as possible. We heard about the rib place in the small Wisconsin town and were told never to go there. But two teenagers and ribs? The attraction was too powerful for two fearless teens. You know the rest of the story.

The “stomach” drives us—And so we go, warned not to—A lesson forever


Author: Sy Ogulnick

Sy Ogulnick received a BA from UCLA, Teacher’s Credential from Los Angeles Board of Education and completed phase I (Master’s portion) in a Doctor of Behavioral Science program at California Coast University. Sy leased and operated a summer day camp in LA. He and his wife then purchased virgin wilderness land in Northern CA, where they built and operated a coed summer camp. They moved to Las Vegas, NV, and purchased, built and operated a community children’s program for families staying in a major resort casino in Las Vegas. They have created programs for children nationwide that employed many people and in the process developed successful training programs for personnel. This led Sy to lecture on how to train staff and the creating of community within the workplace. Sy was then invited to speak at professional conferences on how best to hire and train employees, which led to his becoming a consultant in the art of improving relationships in a work environment and eventually to his epiphany that “Leaders are the primary problem and the answer to the personnel issues that arise in the workplace.” Sy has written numerous papers on the subject of interpersonal relationships, leadership and power. He has lectured throughout the United States, has been interviewed by the media and has appeared on many radio and TV talk shows

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