Haunted Island Better in Summer Than Winter

I don’t think that the Haunted Island in winter would have been as foreboding as in the summer. For one thing, without the leaves on the trees, you could see from one side of the island to the other. Sure it would be somewhat lonely, and I’m speaking of a time before the current resident moved in, and desolate but it would be somewhat easier to get around without all that underbrush to contend with.

In the summer, you can see the other side of the island from various points on the north and south sides, but for the middle of the island, all the leaves and the wind through them provide all that errie atmosphere where you can’t make out that other side. It also would be something interesting to just walk out to that island over that of always rowing over there. Then again, that could take away some of the mystique of that island.

No, I prefer the Haunted Island in the summer time. It was made for that season. Mystique always wins over desolation.

Christmas in Wabash

Dave, Sam, and Buff

I was in the junior high when this photograph was taken and it came in front of our Christmas tree in our living room. Our tree was always placed in front of our huge picture window facing Wabash Street. Our living room was rather large with two sliding doors on either side of the room. One faced the stairway and the front door while the other led into the dining room. A fireplace was on that side of the living room. There was also a patio door to our porch which swung around the entire living room.

My two companions are Sam, the Beagle, and Buff, the all American mix who I found on my paper route. He followed me home and became probably the best dog the Norris family ever had. The other two notable dogs were Waggles in Forest Park and Wilson who replaced Sam after he died in Wabash.

At the back of our property were gigantic hills for sledding and there were three varities of hills in all. It was a great place to test out that Christmas sled or sauncer. Many times sledding lasted well into the night.

Merry Christmas from Big Bass Lake and Beyond, from all of us to all of you!

First Congregational Church Organ

IMG_20171108_115959 this was the original organ at the First Congregational Church in Oak Park. It had seven divisions including two in the balcony. This organ could out play a 1,000 member congregation plus 5 choirs. It was a Skinner organ and could even out play an orchestra.

Expandable Pontoon Boats

This is a pontoon boat but new technology has the expandable pontoon boat on the market now starting at $40,000. I have a video for you about this new boat. expandable boat Who will be the first Big Bass Lake occupant with this new technology? It won’t be just another boat on pristine Big Bass Lake. Party time!

Cottage on Four Winds Island

Here is one of the seven structures on Four Winds Island that were once part of Camp Martin Johnson. To me it was a rather impressive structure. In the summertime that view is obscured by trees. The entire Island camouflages it’s seven buildings well. But in the winter most of the buildings can be seen from the ice. Many of the buildings today are winterized. With all the history connected to that Island you would think the current owners would allow access to the island to former campers. Even the graffiti remains on some of the buildings. If only That History could talk.


I’ve checked  out 20 Midwest clubs about the size of Joplin and discovered that the club   Charges more for their services than any other club. They only are open 20 hours a week which is five hours less of any of the 20 clubs I surveyed.

The Joplin club is closed often when school is not in session which was a rarity in my survey. How do they account for that? When I was director there, the membership was ten dollars a year. That was still the case in 18 other clubs today. If you have four kids in Joplin, your total yearly membership is well over ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS A YEAR. And for operating hours of only 20 a week! That is an outrage!

And, now a separate charge during Christmas break Week. They should rename this club the Joplin Ripoff Boys and Girls Club.

Pirate or Turtle Island?

IMG_20170923_210508 When I was growing up this island was known as Turtle Island. It seems on Big Bass Lake each generation comes up with a new name for the five Islands on the lake. Now this island is referred to as Pirate Island which I have to admit I like it. Elsewhere on Big Bass Lake & Beyond I have a full tour of the island which does have a pathway system. The island is uninhabited.

CWS- Michael Jordan, Right Field

For a lifelong fan of the Chicago White Sox, this year really hard to be, I have a video for you with the Sox playing the Cubs and the starting right fielder for the Chicago White Sox, Michael Jordan.Michael Jordan Maybe they should resign him for this year?

Clear Morning at Big Bass Lake

Often mornings at Big Bass Lake had a low fog hanging over the lake for a few hours. One aspect I haven’t mentioned much about our early morning routine was on getting the water for the days meals. In the 1970’s all our camping trip drinking water came directly from Big Bass Lake. However, water purification tablets were added to each jug of water that was pulled from the lake prior to drinking it.

The jug was used to fill canteens for hikes and when the boys drew the water from the lake they were to stand perfectly still for several minutes allowing the sand they had stirred up to settle back on the bottom. Then the jugs were filled and Helazone Tablets added and then the jugs were set aside for several hours.

On a trip with the Marion Boys Club the same boys were used each day to fulfill this purpose so they would get it right each time. Water for any given meal was fully boiled to take out the impurities. Never once on any trip did any boy get sick from water that was not treated prior to drinking it.

Water could be drank from area rivers such as the Little Manistee and the Pere Marquette as in those days the water from there was pure. I’m not sure if the same could be said for that today.

Christine Nolan- rest in peace

Christine-Nolan-1431347795 I found out today that my dear friend and board member of the Hoffman Estates Boys Club passed away 2 years ago. Chris had a blonde pixie haircut and was stunningly beautiful. She was also very intelligent. She was the secretary on my board of directors and was responsible for hiring me. She will be sorely missed by all who knew her. She had a wonderful personality and great sense of humor . She could take on the leaders of our community at anytime.  There will be no one else like her ever. I thank God for letting me know her.