Wondering what life was like in the forties on the Clark Lake Shore? Lend an ear and I’ll tell you more.
Eagle Point Hotel was the resort of the summer. Glorious southern hospitality ever-present with Virginia Every, who, with her charming southern smile, made all feel so welcome. Virginia’s other half, owner Rollo M. Every, carried enormous sets of keys that dangled from his belt loop. On special holiday occasions, he would load his prized cannon and its thunderous boom resounded for miles around. On a rainy day, the shore-folk gathered in the hotel lobby, playing games, singing with a talented annual guest pianist from Cincinnati, or be awed by magic performed by my uncle from Detroit.
Around the lake, orchards supplied us with delicious produce. We trekked into the fields, picked green beans, strawberries, cherries, even dug for potatoes, and then traveled home to enjoy our bounty.
Back then, water skiing was becoming a rapidly-growing sport on the lake. Doctor McKee, a dentist from Delta, Ohio, was always willing to pull us around the lake on skis with his beautiful, wood-hull powerboat. Needless to say, he had many waiting their turn to don the skis and glide across Clark Lake.
Ocean Beach Pier was host to the “Big Band” Era. We danced under the stars to the music of Tommy Dorsey, Artie Shaw or Glenn Miller. Their melodies resounded from shore-to-shore.
There are lots of other wonderful memories: Pleasant View Hotel, sitting on the lawn, sipping on a lemon slush; paddling in my row-boat to Sunday service at Saint Rita’s Church nestled into the North Shore; “The Burg” at the Head-of -the-Lake, with their mouth-watering hamburgs; the skating rink at Eagle Point; rowing to the dam at the foot of the lake, sitting on the concrete wall, letting the rushing water flow over our sun-tanned bodies; hunting for night-crawlers by the light of the moon, with flash-light in hand, quietly creeping across the cool, damp ground; the ice man or the huckster peddling from door-to-door.
As the saying goes, “Those were the good old days!” Well, here at Clark Lake, the good old days are ever-present, yesterday, today and always!