Jeremiah was my white long-haired cat for 15 years. He was one of the best pets I’ve ever owned. I often called him The Reincarnation of Buff who was a dog I found on my paper route when I was 11. Jeremiah must have been part Italian because whenever I made spaghetti his eyes were fixed on it. I used Parmesan cheese in my spaghetti and Jeremiah would often eat two strands of it and that was about it. He also liked KFC chicken but was rather negative to tuna fish. I guess Charlie got a reprieve. Jeremiah passed away several years ago but he will always be in my memory. Of  all the toys I bought for him which were largely ignored, his favorite was a simple piece of string and he loved stalking it as I moved it back and forth. What a hunter!

The Manistee National Forest Festival

The Manistee National Forest Festival, presented by the Chamber since 1936, promises entertainment and fun for the entire family. Carnival rides, parades, fireworks, art exhibits, tours, and so much more! It will be in beautiful Manistee, Michigan. The famous clown band from Scottville Michigan usually performs.

It begins with a flag raising ceremony. Then the 4th of July Parade will commence to be followed by Bravo Troop’s Hot Dog Stand and Garage Sale. Then the Festival Marketplace will open along with the Whispering Pines Mobile Zoo. The 4th of July events will close with fireworks over Lake Michigan.

Other happenings in the Festival will be the annual Manistee World of Arts and Crafts on July 6. Later that day Li’l Abner will put in an appearance. And many of the features from the 4th of July will occur every day during the Festival. It should be a great time for everyone so come and join the fun this year.

Great Winding Roads

One thing that the Manistee National Forest does not lack is dirt and sand roads. They are found in abundance within that forest.  In fact, the road that covers the east side of Dave’s Big Bass Lake was not paved over until only just recently.  Until that time it was a rather bumpy stretch of road that passed both Lakeview Cemetery and Camp Martin Johnson. 

I actually prefer the sandy roads even though car wash owners also adore them for they are good for their business.  The roads I enjoy most are those that wind their way through the forest with only a rare straight-away.  They are largely one lane roads but I rarely see another car on them when I travel them.

I have a map at home telling me of every road within the national forest that I have taken and one day I hope to travel them all.  By my calculations that will take about ten more years for the one’s I have marked down for future reference.  Each year I rotate around a different county covering as many roads as I can.  Paved roads do not count yet they are often the one’s that take me to the unpaved pathways. 

The one in this photograph is near Irons, Michigan.  Next week I have one planned for near Luther.  What a great past time to have!

The Only Time My Sister Was Taller Than Me

Now being six foot ten inches, this was the only picture that I can recall where my sister was taller than me. Yes, this little towheaded little boy has now stretched himself out to be me. The tree in the background can be seen elsewhere on our photo page and it appears as if it were not even a day older. Trees are like that, you know. They don’t show age as our human bodies do.

In height I passed the majority of my family by the seventh grade. By the time I left for college, I was at my full growth. It is widely reported that our family milk man cried when I went away because he lost half his business at our house. Yes, milk DOES do the body good.

I can’t remember myself at this height much but I do remember meeting my grandfather at this one and only time when I was that small.  Even though I couldn’t understand him much, as he spoke broken English accented by heavy Lithuanian, I know he loved me as the smile on his face was more than showing. 

Maybe I should have remembered more at this age but unfortunately that is not the case.  At least this memory is fresh.

Jack Knysz and the Deer!

5e486027adc58d016568a6738085d74b--funny-signs-funny-memes back in the 1980s, I had sold Jack my green station wagon. Jack was the owner of the Big Bass Lake store at that time. He was driving   it home on Michigan Highway 37 when he met one of those suicidal deers. The car was totaled but Jack was okay. In 10 years of driving that car I had never had an accident. Jack was not as fortunate. Oh well he still had the store. Jack never told me what he did with the deer.

Comfort Zone or Twilight Zone?

what is your comfort zone? For most of us it’s in front of our television set. Of late, it could be our computer screen. Instead why not try a trip to the Great Outdoors? Get out of your comfort zone and into the Twilight Zone. You don’t need Rod Serling as your tour guide. The Twilight Zone implies uncertainty. And you never know what to expect on a camping trip. That’s where you invigorate your soul. Isn’t that better then being a couch potato?

Where’s The Back Porch?

This was our home at 570 North Wabash Street over the Hipskind garden next door. One thing is missing though and that is our back porch. In the back of the house, where you can observe those three windows, was the location of our back porch. Apparently, the new owners chose to enlarge the kitchen thus forfeiting the porch.

That porch was my quick exit out to the back yard and down the Nagel’s hill, across Charley Creek, and then across some open stretch en route to Wabash High School each day. It seems strange not to see the back porch there anymore. The house now only has two exits and that would be the front door and the french doors just to the south of the front door.

This was probably the best house our family ever lived in and its too bad we couldn’t take it with us when we moved to Illinois. It was really hard leaving Wabash in 1967 as that is still considered my home town. Growing up in Wabash was great.

Our house was built-in 1910 and is a 3,026 square feet home. It has three floors and a full basement.  The estimated worth of the home is $154,700 dollars.  There are four bedrooms and three bathrooms.  The third floor has a bedroom, bathroom, a walk-in closet, and a full attic.  The second floor consists of the other full bedrooms and bathrooms. 

The first floor has a large living room with sliding doors on each side of the room with one of them leading into the dining room.  There is a full pantry just outside the kitchen and a sunroom.  A half bathroom is just off the pantry. 

Francis Fox Lake- In and Out Views

Yesterday I mentioned that I never liked swimming in League Lake, which has since been renamed Francis Fox Lake, however I did enjoy boating on it. used a half rowboat called a dingy and I got great usage out of those boats.  Here you can only see a full rowboat as they are much safer to use.  I also enjoyed going into the lagoon which was quite close to the waterfront area.

As you can see, the majority of he lake is surrounded by a thick green forest which I also used as a counselor.  This past year the waterfront area received an actual sand beach which must have been received greatly by the kids. 

However the algae problem seems unchecked as recent photographs of the camp on this website show that the algae is right behind the pool.  And that area is right next to the swimming area.  I would think that to be a great concern to administrators of that camp?  Much has been written on the subject of unchecked algae in swimming areas and the health hazards that can come from that.

I would hope that the ULBC Camp Director is accessing that situation on a continual basis? 

Traveling Through the Manistee National Forest

My favorite way to our family farm is through Grand Rapids, Michigan, and onto M-37. For the last seventy miles or so the trip is through the Manistee National Forest. The forest seems to begin at Newyago, and then through White Cloud, and then into Baldwin. From there we travel past Wolf Lake and then at the Club 37 Restaurant, which by the way has excellent potato soup, you make a left turn and then onto Big Bass Lake.

The entire trip from Newyago to Big Bass Lake is through the Manistee National Foxerest and on the way many lakes and rivers are passed along the way, which are some of the most scenic woodlands ever. The Manistee National Forest goes for many miles past that turnoff toward Big Bass Lake, almost all the way to Traverse City.

The word Manistee, is an Indian name, meaning “Spirit of the Woods” which I take to be a refreshing concept. I will have many more pictures of this wonderful National Forest in the months to come so stick around.

How do Flea Burgers Taste?

If you never made a flea Burger you really haven’t lived. First you have to extract them from a mother dog and that’s a tedious process. Once you have about a hundred of them you mix them in with flour which suffocates the Little Devils. Then you add a half a pound of butter and one cup of water. By the way, make sure that when you extract the fleas that no ticks get in the mixture as they can be very bitter in taste and stick to your ribs far more than fleas do. Mix the ingredients together in a bowl and then form the mixture into paddies. Grill them up adding salt to taste. Make sure they’re well done and then sit back and enjoy a feast like you’ve never eaten before. By the way if you believe this recipe, I have some swamp land in the Manistee National Forest to sell you.


How many of you ever skated at the Loon Lake Pavilion? Remember the one skate times? Then a voice would announce couples only giving me time for their great creamy ice cream.

Sometimes Dixie would do a solo. She was superb on skates and her father owned the facility and the Big Bass Lake Store, Otto Bartlett.

I  remember looking out the shuttered windows at Loon Lake. What were some of your memories at the PAVILION?











The Blizzard at Alice Lake

Recently, both Ed Hawks and his wife were up at their Alice Lake cottage when Ed’s wife suggested it would be nice if they had a blizzard. Ed thought the request was rather strange but began praying for such a result to happen. The next morning, a full scale blizzard set upon Alice Lake. His wife was near livid as she wondered how they would be able to return to Grand Rapids later that day.

Ed seemed beside himself saying, “But, honey, you asked for a blizzard??” “Ed, I meant a blizzard from Dairy Queen!” Ed wlll really have a hard time gulping down THAT response!