At the moment, the talk of the town in Berlin is going to the lake: What lakes are the best for swimming? What lakes are the least crowded? Good questions because truth be told…I am a lake snob. My trip to the Schlachtensee a couple of summers ago reduced me to a deep despair. I owe my bad attitude to my origins, a land of lakes. Lakes are everywhere in Minnesota—in the city, in the suburbs, “up north,” and everywhere you go, basically. They are big and they are beautiful, but most of all there is a lake culture, something that I cannot explain to the people I meet here. So here’s to my grandparents and great-grandparents (pictured in this photo) and all of my friends and family enjoying summer on the water these days. Drink a Party Coke for me!


  • The following is an email I received from my good friend, Bob, in response to this post. He gave me permission to add it here. Beautifully said. Thanks, Bob!

    Oh – how your “Out at the lake” brings back memories for me – when I would stay out at my grandpa Joe Roscoe’s cabin with him during parts of summers in my 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th grade years – that last being a few months before he died. 30 amp electricity, no running water (hand pump outside, as was an outhouse and the lake to bathe in) no other inside plumbing, cast iron stove for heat. Fishing 4-5 times a day, no outboard motor but oars such as the boat in one of your photos indicate. No rod and reel, but cane poles. Beautiful sunsets, terrific and scary thunderstorms that would come at us, after we would see them approaching from the far side of the lake.

    An uncle who lived a few miles away would stop Thursday nights, driving his 1937 Ford just like the car in one of your photos, to check up on us and bring groceries. Especially important was the ham and eggs he would cook every breakfast. Long neck bottles of Fitgers beer for my grandpa and his friends who stopped by and creme soda for me. He could not read or write, and sometimes would talk the German and a bit of Polish he remembered from growing up that he would use with some of his old friends who would stop by to go fishing. Thanks for the memories.

  • Wonderful tribute to the Lake, B and also Bob R!! A simpler time in many ways – good for us to look back at the people and places that were and are still important!

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