A dream comes true for the Arenzville man

ARENZVILLE — Isaac French loves his family, his business — Isaac’s Coffee Shop in downtown Arenzville — and watching the weather on TV.

But not just any weather report. Weather report by Cheryl Lemke. On Friday, the 23-year-old Frenchman met his idol, Newschannel 20’s chief meteorologist. The experience left him almost speechless.

“He knew she was coming,” said Sally Stock, French’s aunt who helps out at his cafe. “As she got out of the car, he said, ‘Oh my God, she’s really here.’”

French, who has Down Syndrome, has always loved the weather. Learning about storms and seeing weather-related numbers are high on his list of favorite things to do.

“Isaac has always been a big fan of the weather,” Stock said. “If someone stands in for (Lemke), he’s not happy.”

Not only French and his family met Lemke at his coffee stand; it was a good portion of the population of Arenzville, including the mayor.

“A lot of people came out,” Stock said. “They wanted to meet Cheryl, but a lot of them also wanted to see Isaac meet them. They just love him.”

Lemke, not coincidentally, visited Arenzville for another story and stopped for coffee. She was there especially to visit one of her top fans.

“We drove into town and saw all the cars lined up and thought: ‘This must be the place,’” said Lemke on Tuesday. “You could see his eyes were shining.”

Lemke said she started getting messages on social media that “probably started a few weeks ago” — messages like “boy it would make his day”.

They didn’t stop.

“People bombed me,” said Lemke.

After speaking to their news director, they found a reason to bring Lemke to Arenzville and offered an opportunity to visit their top fan – French.

“It was over the top,” she said of everyone’s hospitality. “It put a smile on his and my face.”

At French, Lemke and her cameraman shot a video that aired on Newschannel 20 late Friday and Saturday. They also took photos and presented French with a bag full of goodies.

“Oh boy,” Lemke said of what French said, adding that it was one of his favorite phrases.

It was also something special for Stock to see her nephew’s dream come true. But it wasn’t just a meeting with Lemke; it was the entire event.

“They came to support Isaac,” Stock said. “She and her cameraman were so gracious, so nice.”

Lemke’s career as a meteorologist spans many years, but meeting Isaac is something she will always cherish.

“That was definitely one of my top experiences,” said Lemke. “That melted my heart.”

Lemke also received a key to Arenzville while in town. A proclamation that also officially names May 20 as Cheryl Lemke Day in Arenzville.

“It was so jubilant,” she said.

About Mike Crayton

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