Before I show the five diagrams below, I must give some background information. In the mid 1950s, my parents were given the opportunity to rent a house for the summer in a small lake community for a total of $5. At the end of the summer, they had the option to purchase the property. It was a ranch house on approximately 1/4 acre of ground. A man-made cedar water lake was within walking distance. My parents did end up buying the property at the end of the summer. Our family went there every summer for many years. I was not yet born when they bought this house and am several years younger than my brother and sisters so my recollections of some things are quite different. However, we had many similarities as to what we remembered regarding the look of the house, property, and community. I asked my brother and sisters, without consulting one another, to draw the “Lake House” as they recall it. I have each diagram below and will decipher what is written. As for my drawing, there is no writing which is something I find interesting in and of itself. So for the purpose of describing my drawing, I inserted numbers via photoshop so I can refer to the various things I included. After I insert all the diagrams and descriptions, I will go over some similarities that were depicted as well as some that were discussed after the drawings were completed.
1. Mail box with flag on it, which I found odd. 2. A three trunk tree that I used to hide in. 3. The house itself, represented by this line. 4. A ping pong table in the addition that my parents eventually put on the house. 5. The nook kitchen table which barely held our family let alone the additional people that always seemed to be there at dinner. 6. A stove with a built in Dutch oven. 7. The Utility Room and back entrance. 8. An outdoor shower and water fountain. 9. The crawl space. 10. The central heater which was located in the hallway of the house. 11. An outdoor fireplace. 12. The picnic house that was filled with junk. 13. A swing set, very rusty but usable. 14. My playhouse. 15. A Zip line my brother made, but they were not called that at the time.
This is pretty self explanatory as far as me not needing to decipher handwriting. “Operation Ivory” refers to our neighbors.
So this version is quite detailed with lots of descriptive text. Most of it is pretty easy to read but because there is so much text I will highlight a few things. In the lower right hand corner there is a mention of a net for volley ball and badminton and blueberry bushes (this text got cut off). Above that the ping pong table is mentioned. Above that the rock drive way is indicated. In the kitchen area, below the kitchen table it says “maybe a booth”. Next to the kitchen, there is a mention of a laundry room and a “bug spray” shelf. There is great detail in the bedroom marked “our room” and there is mention of a TV that was put in at a later date.
This version uses diagrams and text. Since the text is sparse and some of it indecipherable, I will just do a recap of all of it. The upper part of this recollection is the house and yard. Attention is give to the badminton/volleyball net and rocks both in back of the house and in front of the house. There is also mention of weeds in front of the house. The lower part of this drawing depicts the community at large, including neighbors we had “Nancy & Jack” and “Cohens”. The Lake diagram also include a square marked Dance/church because that building served as both a community hall and where church services were held. The beach is also indicated.
This also includes a diagram and text that is indecipherable for the most part so I will translate this too. The lower part of the drawing indicates the beach, the lake, and a square that represents a blanket where pinochle was played. The “Whaley House” is the same as the “Nancy & Jack” house mentioned above as is the “Ivory house”. The top portion of this diagram shows blueberry bushes, a diagram of the house and a figure which is my mom baking a butterfly cake which is a reference to the shape of the cake, not the flavor.
Here are some actual photos I found. Shown below are my Mom, Dad, and brother working on the roof the the addition to the house. The other picture is of me in the Lake.
Things that were remembered by and large either in the diagrams or the conversations after the diagrams were drawn:
The various neighbors and playing cards
Picking up rocks in the yard (I have no recollection of this but it was big on the list of everyone else)
The net outback for volleyball or badminton
The blueberry bushes
The general layout of the house
The addition that was built
The Lake itself and the community house
One thing that now strike me as particularly interesting is the fact that we had no phone. Since both my parents worked shift work, it was not unusual for them to call and it was anyone’s guess which neighbor would be knocking on our door saying we had a phone call. I could go on with many things I remember about this place but I won’t. I will add that it seemed like about a million miles away and an endless drive from our house in Philadelphia but I just checked the map and it is only 40 miles. I also now leaned, after 60 some years, that it is Badminton and not Batmitten.