Did you know that the 13/24 drive-in theater, located in Wabash Indiana, is only one of 18 drive-in theaters left in the United States? It’s a great place to take a family to view good movies. Plus you get all that great other stuff such as popcorn, hot dogs, cotton candy, soft drinks, and candy. You even get fresh air and you can’t get that in your local movie theater. Did you know that in the concession stand they also sell you bug spray? What could possibly top This sort of evening for your family?

Boys Clubs and Our Forest

On the first full day of any camping trip, whatever boys club was at our property spent some day light hours in our forest and our main course of entry was our logging trail. From that vantage point the boys could observe the pathway to Matson Road or the cut of the phone lines leading to multiple trails, one toward Matson Road on the north and the other past another swamp leading to Big Bass Lake Road.

The kids could also circle one swamp and then head back west without a real trail to reconnect with the path that led toward the south end of Matson Road. I wanted the kids totally familiar with our wooded property as there would be night hikes and games such as hound and the hare and tracking contests.

I also showed the boys our wooded creek just past the main swamp. Often, on somel days, we would just observe quietly waiting for deer to get themselves a drink there. Then we’d head back to our wooded beach on Big Bass Lake for their first swim.

An Attempted Duplicate of our Red Barn

the gentleman that built this red home initially wanted to convert our Old Red Barn into his home. After due consideration he felt it would take too much work and money. So he did the next best thing. He tried for a duplicate. This was built just west of the old barn location. Now, as I understand it, he is trying to sell it. It is always difficult to maintain a home in another state and a summer Cottage at the lake. The location of this home is close to Lost Lake just to the Northeast of the home. It was called Lost Lake because in the spring it filled up and over the course of the rest of the year it reverted to a marsh. Great looking home thoug23

Wintery Big Bass Lake

Here we are in mid-April and, although Big Bass Lake is no longer frozen like this, the snow is sure flying here today!  When will Spring stay put?  It’s time for the flowers and trees to stay green for good till September.  I’m tired of snow and ice.  Soon our lake wlll be full of boats and fun and the ice will be a very distant memory. 

But not today as the snow continues to fall.  Better put another log on that fireplace as the cabin tends to get a bit chilly even at this time of year when the snow doesn’t fall.  I just hope that the lake doesn’t freeze over again.    Winter just won’t seem to pull away from us this year.  Old Man Winter is sure stubborn!  Maybe he’ll take to slumbering soon and it can’t come fast enough for me!  Scenes like this can wait until later this year.  Much later!

Steve in Tire Endurance

Steve was the all-time Champion Tire Endurance at the Bradenton Boys Club. The object was to swing yourself in and out of 5 tires standing straight up. The event was timed and if the tires fell the player had to restock them while the clock was still running. Two advantages of this game was a slender body and small feet. The kids had to take off their tennis shoes to play. No one ever beat Steve as he was quite agile. He was 10 years old which is a Cadet in our club. He won this trophy two straight years. He always had a great attitude and played baseball at the club as well.

What Crucial Element is Missing Today at Big Bass Lake?

What is missing today from this picture at Big Bass Lake? Have you found it yet? Maybe you can observe it by the number of exclamation points over it? Yes, gasoline service is missing at Big Bass Lake and has been since the Big Bass Lake store closed its doors. How convienant it once was to just pull over to the dock and fill up your tank. But those were the days of yesteryear.

Now gasoline has to be carried to your boats wherever they might be on the lake. I have always said that a self-service gasoline pump should be installed at the public landing. The State of Michigan should install it in a way to get some extra funding for that state.

Maybe some residents of Big Bass Lake have some other ideas on how to get a gasoline pump near that lake again? The floor is open!

Fall at Haunted Island

Wow! There are now 2,700  articles on Big Bass Lake and Beyond ! My thanks to Mike and Darlene Reynolds, Dawn, and all our guest authors for all their great work. I don’t know how many more we’ll be able to produce? I had a hard time deciding what would be the 2,000th Post. I’ve never had a picture of haunted island in the fall so here it is. And you get the whole island in the photograph. I’m still searching for pictures daily and Mike and Darlene are infusing Arizona photographs along with Michigan. They will be going back to Michigan this year for vacation for about 2 weeks. I’m sure we’ll get more pictures from them. As I’ve said before, my grandparents initially owned about a half of this island. I wish they had kept it in the family. Aside from using it with various boys clubs I would have liked to do things with the island. Perhaps even setting up a camping area for overnights. It was a great asset on all our camping trips. I’m not sure who owns this island presently but they have a great place. Starting April 30th our March to 3,000 begins .

Night Hiking the Logging Trail


I loved taking various boys clubs on night hiking, especially on our property. The rule of the night was no flashlights as they tend to rob one of their vision. Now, flashlights came with us but were only to be used in an emergency. I wanted the kids to develop their listening senses to the woods.

Most of our on property hikes started on the old logging trail. Often times a game of hound and the hare would start off the night close in to Noreika Road but far enough away from the other cabins so as not to disturb them. You see our hikes usually began at 11:00 pm.

As one progresses on that old logging trail the trail itself drops below some hills on either side of it making stalking games fun and exciting. One boy was to move ahead about a hundred yards and then hide within ten feet of the trail. As the rest of us advanced the boys were to listen for clues as to where he was but if we passed him he could leap out behind us and try to scare us.

As our hike entered the swamp area of our property it reverted back to just a hike and stayed that way until we reached either Matson Road or Big Bass Road depending on what trail we chose to take. Then we usually hiked another route back to Noreika Road along the phone lines.

North Island View Lane

This is Big Bass Lake Road taking in North Island View Lane which is a fancy name for our old driveway. Earlier today, I displayed my grandmother tending to his crops along that same then gravel road. This lane is now paved. Another difference is that there are a lot more driveways upon it as you can plainly see in this next photograph.

One thing that these new homes have with our old cottage, now painted yellow, is that they seem to all display propane tanks. More wells have to be established for drinking water for one sure doesn’t want to consume the water from Big Bass Lake. By the way, our old driveway is now called North Island View Lane because the island it views is that of the Haunted Island.

How many of these folks are using their new homes for year round living at the lake? It sure would be easier to plow this new lane over that of our driveway. However, since the field remains virtually unchanged, the prevailing winds tend to drift that driveway over quite easily which would necessitate plowing that lane nearly every day the snow flies.

Here is how this lane and the properties would look from the air-

Here you can take in the individual properties including that of the red barn home as well as the tree in the midst of the field which is also shown in one of the other photographs. Now that tree seems to have a series of bushes around it. My thanks to Ed Hawks who took the surface pictures and who will be taking more of this area just behind our garage leading into Noreika Road.  Thanks Ed for all the work you do for Big Bass Lake and Beyond!

GOSA Boys Club Soccer

in my opinion Joplin Boys Club was used by the greater Ozarks Soccer Association to get a soccer field for their league. They were not interested in the boys club at all and made that clear to me at several meetings. But my board of directors liked having a soccer program at the club. The current executive director was able to end that program. Good riddance. That Soccer Association ignored Boys Club playing rules that were sent down from the national office. Boys Club rules have all children playing in a game. Gosa played to win thus some kids did not get to play. I’m glad Gosa no longer has a presence at the boys club. Now if soccer is played it is played by boys club rules.

Matthew’s Kids Playing Ball

 This was the Mathews extension of the Marion Boys Club. From the onset this was a co-ed Club. Matthew’s was a small community about 10 miles from Marion. The club is open twice a week and the only facility I had to use was an old gymnasium.. I did have a Group on the bleachers. The kids there really needed something daily but the community could not afford it. I remember going there only one year out of the four I was there. But those kids had fun every week. It was a great experience for me.