Monday, August 8, 2011

About Vacations By Abraham Lincoln

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Our Campsite
The National Cash Register Company, where I worked after getting out of the US Army in 1957, shut down for vacations in August. The NCR complex remained open but most of the offices thinned-out and some factory departments closed for 2 weeks. Nearly every one had been employed there long enough to get two weeks of fully paid vacation each year and when I left I was getting 3 weeks.

There was a great exodus from Dayton and vicinity to places like Michigan and Canada. Long before drugstores stocked over-the-counter Benadryl a lot of families headed north for some relief from the Miami Valley Drip. Once you crossed the Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge into Ontario, sinusitis disappeared. My father in law liked going to the fish at Blind River for walleye and always brought home an ice chest or two packed with them.

Patty and I went past their spot on Blind River and ended up fishing in Kagawong Lake. The camp was run by an immigrant family from England. The couple were eager to please and made our stay there a real pleasure. It was a primitive site and that meant the toilet was an outhouse or privy and the water you bathed in or drank came straight out of the lake.

I never caught any walleye fish but then I only fished for something I could catch and eat right away and that was their perch. I do remember taking my father in law out to my favorite fishing spot in the lake, beside an island and pointed out to him the monumental boulders you could see just a few feet below the surface. The water was crystal clear.

I just took a virtual vacation and will be on it through September. People who know me swear that I won’t be able to stay on the vacation but will resort to trickery and continue posting on my blogs. Just so you will know: I went on vacation because I felt “blogged-out” and was not producing my best work.

Me with a pike I had just caught
Minds do not work alike, I am told but when I think about vacations my mind is flooded with memories of vacations and none so vivid as one to Lake of the Woods, Ontario. I went in a brand new 1958 Pontiac accompanied by a friend from work, Howard Benner, a technician in our department. We met at State Route 40 and 49 in the wee hours of the morning and Howard transferred his goods into the cavernous trunk and off we went.

We found a place in Canada where we could stay and get the use of a boat. The mosquitoes were horrible and forced us to move and camp out on an island in the lake where a breeze blowed all the time and kept the mosquitoes away. It was a nice place to fish and we caught enough to eat while we were there. But there are consequences to pay when you have a new bride waiting for you back home and mine was waiting.

We had only been married since 1955 but I was overseas until 1957 so I was just getting to know my wife again when this fishing trip came up. I missed her more than I was enjoying fishing so I promptly announced I was going back home to Gordon the next morning. Somewhat surprised, my companion who had caught more fish than me, was disappointed but we came home after being gone two days. Well, we stayed one night and drove back the next.

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