Flash Back Fridays
MARIA MCLEISH, Daughter of Jack and Lila Berman, 1962.
As I recall, my parents began taking vacations without my brother and me the year before my senior year in high school. Johnny had just graduated; Jack got a full month off every August and they would get in the station wagon with their camping gear and head up to their favorite spot in Gold Beach Oregon. Since they were not burdened with two bored teens, they decided to drive up through Washington State to Vancouver Island. After stops in Seattle and Vancouver they went up-Island and camped by the Quinsam River. A park ranger told them about the Lodge and they went up for a visit. They stayed a day or two. That year, 1962, was a banner year for the Tyee and there was a long article in the Vancouver Sun about Jim that my parents saved. Then in 1963 they went again and this was their first extended stay of more than a few days.
You see, there was a problem. Jack (my beloved step-dad) was a very loyal person and he could not bring himself to abandon ‘Pop’s Landing’ in Gold Beach where our family had camped for ten years. Jack and my mother Lila were enthralled with the Strathcona scenery, the fishing, and the young Boulding family. Jack was a great raconteur, musician, and family
man, and Jack and Jim really hit it off. 1963 was the year that they spent their last year at Gold Beach, because ‘Pop’ was retiring. This left them free to commit more vacation time to Strathcona Lodge.
I visited again each year through 1967. I did not fish but I enjoyed riding Myrna’s horse my first year there and loved the ambiance and beauty of the Lodge. It was a respite from university life.
My aunt Doris (my mother’s sister) would come every year for several weeks. Jack’s nephew,Steve,visited in 1967 and had a great time. My brother came up that summer and worked for the Lodge while evading the Vietnam draft..
That winter Myrna and Jim were on sabbatical in England and my friends Jim and Candace Nichols helped managed the Lodge for them.
My parents were also visited by a steady stream of friends who had become intrigued by Jack’s fishing tales and their digs in Cabin One.
In 1968 my mother started look ing for property near Campbell River; she wanted her own summer cottage and through the help of Brenda Hancock found the old McIvor place on Island Highway south of Willow Point. In 1969 they took occupancy, but Jack insisted that they continue to rent Cabin One at the L odge for at least one week each summer.
Over the years Jack and my mother recounted many adventures fishing with Tim Timmons, the guide, and with Jim, especially on the west coast. Some of those adventures were accompanied by their German shepherd Lily, who went everywhere with them, including fishing. As I recall Jack telling me, Lily was very fastidious, so getting her on and off the boat each day so she could relieve herself was quite a to-do.
There were several close calls,including one rescue at sea. Myrna joined them on short trips where they fished some of the more remote rivers and also hung out at Hot Springs Cove.
It was a wonderful era in our family’s life, and brought us great joy, especially for Jack. Although their cottage near Campbell River was treasured, Jack’s true love was always “the lake.”