Last week we took what will likely be our last road trip with the “BBB” for this year. The original purpose of the trip was to take my Dad to “the island” (Manitoulin) - the land of the “Haweaters” - for a golf game with my cousin Norris. It also turned out that our friends Dave & Maxine Bringleson were going to be camping at their lot on Lake Kagawong so we planned to spend a couple of days with them.
My mother was raised on Barrie Island which is just a short causeway away from being a part of Manitoulin. Linda’s maternal grandparents were both raised on the Manitoulin. So we have some “roots” there. Last year we were there for a Baker (my mother's family) reunion. The picture shows Dad with those of our family who were present.
When I was growing up a reference to “the island” was understood to be Manitoulin/Barrie Island. When Linda & I moved to Sault Ste. Marie (over 30 years ago) we soon discovered that we had to be careful when speaking of “the island” since most people here think it means St. Joseph Island (click HERE for a “virtual tour”).
We left here Monday morning (August 14) and made a short stop in Thessalon. Dad & I remained in the motor home while Linda visited with her mother. We were parked on the main street and I saw Marilla Mulligan walk by – so I called her over and we chatted for a while. Marilla is the daughter of Jack & Barb King who are very good friends from the church here. During the conversation she asked where we were headed. It occurred to me that here we were in this “bus” going on a trip to play golf— so I said we were taking Dad “on a golf tour”. We also saw and talked to Arliss Klazinga –Arliss is the daughter of Colleen Seabrook who is also a friend from church. We knew both Marilla and Arliss when they were growing up here in the Sault -- this is one of the advantages of having connections in a small town—if you sit there for a while you are bound to see someone you know.
Our first stop on the “tour” was at Richard & Myra Tallman’s. Myra is my cousin. Her brother Norris who lives in Ottawa was visiting and he had contacted my Dad to arrange the (3rd annual) golf game (They had met in Meaford for a game the previous 2 years). Wilma Lansdell, who I’ve mentioned before, is Myra and Norris’s sister . Their late father Clarence was my Dad’s older brother. Actually, I likely owe my existence to Uncle Clarence because he married Martha Robertson who was my mother’s cousin. It was at their wedding that my Dad met and fell for my mother and the rest, as they say, is history.
Richard& Myra “retired” to the Manitoulin in the late 80’s. to join their son Peter and his family who had purchased a dairy farm there. They severed a lot from the farm and built a lovely home on the hill overlooking “treasure island” on Lake Mindemoya . Peter (with Richard’s help) operated a dairy farm for several years until 2004 when he sold of the diary herd and went back to school to get his teaching certificate. The picture was taken at the Bringleson's on Wednesday afternoon when Richard & Myra (left)and Norris & Julie (right)came in to drop Dad off for the afternoon.
Anyhow – enough geography and personal history.
We arrived at Richard & Myra’s place on the north side of Lake Mindemoya ( on Hwy 551 between M’Chigeeng and Mindemoya) around 4. Myra had prepared a great turkey supper and afterwards we visited & played dominoes until bedtime.
Tuesday morning was the big golf game. Dad played with Norris & his wife Julie. I played with Peter and his daughter Emma. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your view) I forgot my camera so I don’t have any pictures – We enjoyed ourselves and I managed to find as many balls as I lost so, by my definition, I had a good game.
After lunch, we left Dad at Myra’s for more visiting and we headed off to Kagawong. The camp lot is about a mile & a half (2 km) off the highway on a narrow gravel road through the bush.
They had been hit pretty hard by high winds (maybe a small tornado) in early July.
There were several big trees down that had been across the road but they had been cleaned up so we had no serious problems getting in. We had brought our extendable pruning shears and I had to walk along and trim back some branches to make room for the BBB.
We got in and set up a couple of hours before Dave & Maxine arrived. Wednesday morning Dave & I did some cleanup work around the campsite.
Thursday morning Dave & I cleaned up a couple of big cedars that had been broken off by the storm. Linda did some painting to brighten up the “little house out back”. All in all it was a great visit. Pictures show Dave outside there trailer and Maxine withLinda
Dave & Maxine are long time friends. We met in the mid-70’s when we were asked by a visiting preacher to have Bible studies with them.. This developed into a close friendship and Christian fellowship.
Their children were close in ages to ours. We had many good times together as our families grew up together.
We helped them build a house on St. Joseph Island and visited with them many times while they lived there. We went cross country sking in winter and enjoyed times at camp at Goulais Bay in the summer. However, Dave’s work took him to Elliot Lake where he worked in the mines until they closed. He then studied for and wrote his tests to qualify as a stationary engineer. He worked in Thessalon, then moved to Cochrane and then Red Rock. When they moved away we still saw they once in awhile because Dave’s family is from the Sault and Max is from Manitoulin Island so they would be in the Sault fairly often. However, as their children married and moved to Southern Ontario and we were frequently away on long week ends visiting our kids – it seemed we rarely connected.
It was a blessing when we discovered they would be on the Manitoulin the same time as we were and we were so grateful for this chance to renew and strengthen our friendship.
Alas, all good things must come to an end so Friday, we picked Dad up and headed home. –
Charlie & Linda