Esther Hackbarth lives in Wisconsin–the heart of Packer country–but her allegiance is to the Chicago Bears. Decades ago, she spent summers as a waitress at the team’s training camp and has books full of old autographed photos to prove it.
The Oconomowoc resident worked as a waitress when she was 18 years old at a military academy where the Bears held training camp in the early 1940s.
She and another girl were hand-picked by George Halas, the Pro Football Hall of Fame coach who founded and then led the team to eight titles, to serve his team food following practices.
Hackbarth has the autographed pictures of those players at her house and still has a watch given to her by Halas as a gift.