Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Bickel Cabin - Frank & Mary

After my Great Grandfather Lou established our family cabin, My Grandma and Grandpa (born in 1900), Frank and Mary inherited it. They also lived in West Virginia and would make the long trip up in the summer with their children Bob (my Dad) and Barbara (my Aunt, who has since passed away at a way too early age).

Grandpa, Dad, Grandma, Barbara

My Dad took my Mom up when they were dating in high school.
Mom & Dad
My Mom and Dad would take us up as kids. This was a very important influence on me.  The anticipation of going to Canada each summer - making the two day trip - my parents letting me out of the car a couple hundred meters before the cabin so I could run ahead of the car - helping Grandma pick blueberries and make pies - helping Grandpa fill the generators to pump water or light the house each night - family fishing/picnic trips "down the lake" - quiet hours doing nothing but waiting for the fish to be ready with my line in the water next to my Grandpa - borrowing my Grandpa's worn pocket knife (still a cherished treasure) to whittle some wood or scape off some birch bark to write a letter home. I was so lucky.  

Mary Ellen and me on the "MaryFrank" big white wood boat with the 18 horse Johnson
Mary Ellen and me with a "string" of bass in front of an old wood boat my Grandma would plant flowers in each summer.
We were good fishers!

Gotta clean those fish if Grandma is making dinner...

I learned patience in waiting for the marshmallow to brown perfectly and evenly on all sides...
One year we overlapped with our cousins - Barbara and Woody's kids - Brian and Marianne

Unconditional love for and from a Hillbilly
My favorite picture. I would always sit next to Grandpa and he would teach me everything.
While we were fishing, Grandpa had ideas to keep Mom and Dad busy building a boat house...
Dad had hipster glasses before they were hipster...

I always hated this time. I was usually crying. We were leaving Canada for a whole year...
When I was in high school I got to go up just with my Grandparents to help them open up and do some running.
This is how I remember Grandpa. Guiding the big white boat down the lake with a pipe in his mouth and a smile on his face.
Here's another great one by the fish cleaning rack.
Grandma loved staying in the kitchen. That is the old wood stove where she used to make breakfast and dinner every day.

In 1979 the cabin was struck by lightning in the early spring and burned down to the ground. We lost all the old stuff like that wood stove. The real "ice box" that my Dad filled with blocks of ice when he was a kid (we had an ice house in the early days where Canadians would cut blocks of ice out of the lake during the winter and drag them up with horses to the ice house). An old long two handled wood saw used to cut down the old wood forrest that created the town of Blind River. And many more.

My Grandpa was determined to build the house exactly like it was. I graduated in June of 1979 and went up to Canada to help for a week.
Grandma and Grandpa outside the rebuilt cabin.

"Deed" Latarout rebuilt the cabin. He was a good friend of my Dad.
Our dock with the Beaver House on the far side of Bickel Bay.
While I was growing up, my Grandma and Grandpa spent their whole summers in Canada. While they did not have much money, they were happy...

Grandma and Grandpa

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