Flash Back Fridays
EARLY GUESTS 1960
“It was 1960 when I came up here to rent a boat and put out our motor to fish. We were from Seattle and were guests of Dr. Simpkins. How things have changed since then. (Jim has gone.) I was planning to give him a bad time as we two used to go at each other with barbs. He was a large, great guy who we all loved and respected from 1960 through 1972. Sorry I missed his beautiful bride.” John McQuaker
Dr. Simpkins came to the Lodge to rent boats many times over the early years. I ran into him at an exercise class in Campbell River in the late 1980s. I remembered his distinctive voice. He was 93 by then. He was a dentist and lived in Seattle. All those years he had owned a small waterfront house south of Campbell River where he would stay to fish the Campbell River area. I went salmon fishing with him one day. On another occasion, he cooked dinner for all the female staff at the exercise studio and invited me along as well. A fine dinner it was too, with lots of fresh vegetables including peas that he was shelling just before dinner. He had two convection ovens and used a meat thermometer. I invited him out to the Lodge to talk to an Elderhostel group because I thought he was so inspiring for his age.
LEAVING THE LODGE WITH FRIENDS
On a November weekend in 1960 Jim and I left the Lodge for a weekend with friends and fellow teachers, Bill and Patsy Abbott and Rollie Finness. Bill remembers that Rollie used to do massive graduation and school dance decorations in the school gym and that the guy was big and fair. On this Lodge occasion, Bill stated that Rollie was a big talker and gave the impression that he had known us all his life, all not true, we had probably known him for a few months. Anyway, Rollie talked about how things were done at the Lodge, the history of the building, chipped away at the ice in the freezer area of the fridge, cooked dinner, lit the fire, talked to the generator, checked the water supply, etc., etc., etc. He made the weekend very memorable for the Abbotts.
In December of 1961, Bill Abbott did an oil painting of the Lodge. Bill was an excellent artist and we valued that painting. Unfortunately, the painting burned with the Lodge in 1973. In 1985 Bill gave us a gift of a new, almost identical, painting which I enjoy showing to people, particularly those who think that the Lodge was always the same, or as Jim liked to put it that “history started when they got there”.