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Harrison hits 40th year with Dysart Drive In

May 3, 2018
CJ Eilers - Editor (editor@dysartreporter.com) , Dysart Reporter

For 40 years, Rhonda Harrison has been the friendly face at Dysart Drive In on Highway 21, serving up ice cream, burgers, tenderloins as she has since working the business with her parents Tony and Dorothy Pospisil in the beginning.

Dysart Drive In was first opened in 1960 by Vivian Wiebbecke, Harrison's great aunt, and operated for 18 years. When Wiebbecke decided to sell the place in 1978, Tony and Dorothy were eager to get out of farming in Wisconsin after Dorothy was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.

"My dad thought this would be easier than milking cows," Harrison said. "Mom would always prepare the buns and dad would cook the food. I'd help out wherever I could."

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The family trio ran Dysart Drive In together for 34 years, until Tony passed away in 2012. Dorothy was unable to make the trip to Dysart over the warmer months and Harrison took over the business with a little help from her husband Steve. Harrison employs several part-time workers over the spring and summer as she works to keep Dysart Drive In going.

"It feels like every year people are excited for me to come back and open up," Harrison said. "I like the people, I like making for people and I like making people happy."

Harrison opened Dysart Drive In again for the season, but a few regulars were rather amused not by the timing, but the weather around her timing.

"When I opened last week, people made a joke of it by saying 'geez I never thought you'd sell me a cheeseburger during the winter' because it's never been this cold when I've opened," Harrison said.

Cold or not, Dysart Drive In still offers the same tasty food people have come to enjoy, walls lined up memorabilia collected over the years, and a gumball machine in the corner her sister bought their dad for Father's Day. For many years, patrons have left pennies for kids to buy a gumball.

"A lot these things people give to me," Harrison said. "I really don't know if it started out with smiley faces, but I've picked up stuff every now and then. People talk about what they see."

While Harrison isn't sure just how long she'll continue with the business, but for now she simply wants to enjoy her summers in Dysart with the people who have supported Dysart Drive In over the many years.

"I love working here," Harrison said. "I'm proud to see this business last so long because you don't see many stick around.

The Dysart Drive In is open Mondays from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesdays through Thursdays from 9:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Fridays through Sundays from 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.

 
 

 

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