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Having just finished reading the LSL newsletter I decided to tell a story of virtually a lifetime of memories on this beautiful lake every summer. I was three when my parents first discovered it. My two older sisters were to go to Camp Arcadia on Pleasant Lake in Casco. They came from suburban NYC with a trailer and 2 trunks to drop them off and somehow meandered into north Windham and Aimhi Lodge. They met Norm and Dotty Hodgson and my father helped Norm put in a well, as in the 40's Aimhi was just developing and cottages continued to be built. It was the beginning of a long friendship and many summers at Aimhi.
They would come for a week or two over "Parents" Weekend and somehow manage to fit in the horseshoe or shuffleboard contest, catch lots of fish that were cooked for breakfast, blueberry picking, walk to small store on Smith Road for Ice cream, spend a day going and coming and shopping at LLBean and maybe even help to build another cottage like Dr. Miller?s "Lookout". Oh, did I forget the water slide that kept everyone amused while others sunbathed on the sandy beach or the little motorboat that was tied up to the cabin dock with a huge old tractor tire tube for flotation should anything happen while fishing. My father could not swim! Norm would sometimes even stroll the grove after 10 p.m. as that is when everyone was to be in their cottages.
Sometime in the late 50's Carol, Norm's sister-in-law took over the management with her two children Steve and Suzie. She opened a studio and I well remember the pretty cigarette holder my mother made one summer.( I should remember it well as it sat on display on our coffee table for many years.) Then "chuck wagon" started delivering our lunch to the swimming beach;and the wonderful lobster cookouts on Fri. night, usually that was your last night as change over was on Saturday, and you would remember that delicious lobster, corn-on-the-cob, and brownie all year long.
There was deviltry also--like little stones thrown on the roof of new comers to remind them that they are in the woods of Maine. If you were a young guest you were sometimes asked to the evening gatherings held at the picnic beach and while you were at the picnic beach you might return to find a totally rearranged cottage with TP on the rafters and a canoe filled with water--in your cottage. If the regulars really wanted confirm that they indeed accepted you as a new friend, they also blocked the only road out of camp with trees and logs that you would have to remove to drive out when you left on Sat. morn.
Now we think of Little Sebago and most of us think of the beautiful pairs of loons, each with their own territory. In the 50's and 60's, due to the use of insecticides there were few and as a consequence the fish were not as plentiful. Fortunately that has changed. I remember loads of toads and families of mergansers. In fact my mother was sure that my warts came from the toads! As well we thought the ?itch? came from the ducks. Who knows?
One of the highlights was the entertainment. One night every year Princess Goldenrod came to tell her tales and sell her wares. Her home we were told was the tepee on Route 121. There was horse racing that involved putting bets on one of the staff that they would finish first in some silly race.
The guests at Aimhi were from all over and with varied backgrounds and of all ages that seemed to meld as the tables were all family style tables of 10. There were generations of families that might occupy one whole table. The last bell--there were three for each meal--meant that meals were served and lord forbid you should be late as the glasses would ring a note of disapproval.
Now Aimhi is no longer operating as a resort. But they have always held the Little Sebago Lake Association annual meetings in July, it must be 90 years by now.. As you note the wonderful closed-up cottages remember the many memories that are within. There are many!!!