Islanders are just like others. Their lives change, they move and some end up far away from home. This past winter there were several islanders in Europe, namely Natalie Ontko Price (Put-in-Bay High School Class of 1994), Joe Suttmann, former owner of Joe’s Bar, One of the Put-in-Bay Bars, Louis Suttmann (Put-in-Bay High School Class of 2005) and Caroline Koehler (PIBHS Class of 2004). Natalie recently moved to Stuttgart, Germany, where her husband Steve is stationed in the U.S. Air Force. This past month, she and Steve and their two young daughters, Cassandra and Vivian, were able to move into the house they will call home for the next couple of years. Natalie speaks German and wants her daughters to learn the language, too. As a young mother, Natalie has her hands full, but now that’s she’s settled in, things should be a lot easier.
Joe is teaching at an international boarding school in Salzburg, Austria. Everything is done in English, and the ninety or so students come from many different countries. Joe deals with all kinds of issues with the kids. He has his own apartment away from the school and travels by bus to work every day. Joe has had so many visitors since he left the island last summer and moved to Austria, he can hardly keep track of who all have been there, and he’s expecting more in June, if not sooner. When islanders visit Joe, he treats them to a wonderful tour of Salzburg. Joe is an expert when it comes to Salzburg. Joe was recently with visitors from the island traveling in Bad Ischel. Several young ladies approached him and wanted to know if he was an Austrian soap opera star.
He wouldn’t tell them one way or another so it kept them guessing. Louis, Joe’s son and also an islander, is also working at the same school where his father works. He is working as a dorm supervisor for the kids who board at the school. He is also the coach of the school basketball team. The team consists of students from different countries who must all play the game speaking English because none understands the others if they use they speak their native tongues. Louis has his hands full as games are a bit different from when he played for the Put-in-Bay Panthers at Put-in-Bay High. And by the way, at the team’s first home game, the opposing team had Panther jerseys on.
How ironic for Louis. Louis says he plans on working at the school next year, too. Caroline spent November, December, January and most of February touring Spain, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy and Switzerland and visiting her guest family from when she spent a school year in Austria when she was fifteen years old. Caroline was a frequent visitor of the Suttmanns while in Austria. She spent one day in early February skiing with Louis, plus enjoyed the holidays with his sister, Erika (Put-in-Bay High School Class of 2001) when she was in Austria over the holidays.
Although not from the island, Zuzana “Susanna” Caplanova, a Slovakian girl who worked as a waitress at Pasquale’s for three years several years ago, now lives in Padova, Italy with her husband Stefano. Zazana, who babysat on a regular basis while on the island for Sara and Trey Sheehan’s kids when they were younger, now has a newborn daughter of her own. She says she would love to have her daughter come to Put-in-Bay when she is older and work for the summer.