IF IT AIN'T DAMP, IT AIN'T CAMP

By Bob Davis

My parents bought our camp on a back lot on Cambell Shore when I was eight.   My brother, two sisters, and I loved swimming in the summer and skating in the winter.   We became friends with the owners of all the camps on the road.  There were lots of children and we became good pals.

Our father bought us  21/2  horsepower Johnson motor and we would go to Turtle Cove and walk across to the Speirs candy store which was on the lower lake.  We would also walk to Boody's store in North Windham.  When paying there, I was impressed to see the clerk put the money in a cylinder and send it up the tube to the "change maker" upstairs, who would send the change back the same way.  You could buy anything and everything at Boodys.

There were only two Chris Crafts on the lake...Mr. Kincaid's and Mr .Martin's.  On the western side of the middle lake there was no road---only one hunting camp.  Now it is filled in with lights at each lot, and so many are year-round homes---not camps.

Our original camp had an outside pump for water.  It was a big improvement when the pump was put inside the kitchen, but you still had to hand pump for water.  Hot water came from a kettle on the woodstove. 

Needless to say, the cottages all had outhouses.  A friend constructed a real bathroom for us as a wedding gift.

My sister, Jackie and I both worked at Aimhi for many years, Jackie as a waitress and myself as a "go-fer".  I drove an old truck and delivered wood to the cottages.  One day, as I drove down the hill to the lodge, hoping to slow down, I put my foot on the brake.  My foot went all the way to the floor of the truck.  I couldn't downshift.   I laid on the horn and went round and round the circle until the truck stopped.   Thank goodness no one was hurt.

In Turtle Cove, we would dive to get turtles as they left the log.  We took them back to Cambell Shore and had races on the beach, before letting them go.  In the winter we used to ski into our camp.  My  mother would make chili on the woodstove.  My friend had an old Model A Ford and would drive it onto the ice.  We attached a rope and he would pull us over the ice.  After several winters of that fun, one year the car went through the ice and sank.  Divers can still see it at the bottom of the lake off Horse Island Point.

In the 1950's I inherited the camp when my parents built a new cottage on the shore.  Now we have our own camp on the shore.  It is fun watching my grandchildren enjoy the lake.  Now they have water-ski boats and jet skis---so it is a different kind of fun (louder, faster, and more expensive!)