1967 to the present…and beyond!

 Why 1967? Vermilion Bay Lodge was called Little Norway Camp back then and was owned by Norm Berry. He was the second owner….the first being the original Arnie Bratland. For those of you old enough, this is not to be confused with his son Johnny Bratland who lived on the point and would drive through camp with his old Cadillac bearing the bumper sticker “My wife is in the trunk”. We think that this was a joke, as we never did hear any screaming…

1967 centennial
Ah yes, 1967. Canada was a hundred years old and we had flexible bunnies on our coins!
It was the “Summer of Love”….soon to be followed by the “Winter of…wow, my arse is cold!”

Cars were designed to look cool, burn gas, and hold an A & W tray on the driver’s window.

Fast forward to 2014, and the reason for this post…

Larry Desmarais

 The question becomes “Who is this man, why is he smiling, and why is he in my basement”? Also what does 1967 have to do with any of this? Well, I knew you would ask…and it will be answered…in good time. In the meanwhile let’s look at some deer pictures from last week!
Paul's whitetail deer

Paul and Jon with a couple of nice whitetail bucks. Good hunting boys!

Now back to the story at hand…1967,,,

cabin 3 renovation

1967 and cabin 3 was already in mid-life.  Interesting fact:  This was one of the original cabins at Little Norway Camp, but it started it’s life on an island down by Buzzard Falls on Eagle Lake.  It was hauled down the lake across the ice pulled by a Jeep and drug up the hill to it’s present location with a crawler.  You may be wondering what this has to do with 1967?  Not much.  You may be wondering what is happening in this photo.  That is fodder for yet another post…stay tuned.

Let’s get back to the man in my basement…

Larry DesmaraisLarry Desmarais has been a plumber in the area for many years and has worked at most of the tourist camps in our area.   Back in 1967 Larry installed this funky green sewer pump (yes, that’s right) for the then owners Norm & Char Barry.  Since that day, and for 47 years it has provided continuous service for one of those important details that only seems important when things go wrong.  Even Larry is amazed that “the sucker” still works.  It’s a bit faded these days, and makes a little more noise than when new, but SEWER PUMP I salute you, and may you “poo-form” well for many more years!

old photo of larry

Will someone in the future uncover a dusty box containing this photo and wonder about the mystery of the man in my basement?  All I know is that 1967 must have been a good year.  Let’s hope for similarly good times for 2015…

12 thoughts on “1967 to the present…and beyond!

  1. Nice bucks, nice post! I am just glad to hear the man in the basement wasn’t a pulp fiction gimp.

    I was a little worried that you were going to tell us that the pump had failed. That would have kept the professor up at night as he flushes 3-4 rapala’s down the toilet each year for good luck.

  2. What the professor is trying to say is that back in the day he used to moonlight as a bunny at the old Playboy club in Lake Geneva. Its a very long story and one that would no doubt be of interest to the perchmaster. Gord, do you have any pictures?

    1. Andy, I’ve actually seen the Professor wear parts of his costume around the lodge. Don’t you remember those really tight white shorts he used to parade around in ? Minus the puffy tail of course. Thankfully they won’t fit over his “tree trunk” thighs anymore.

        1. So Andy you have to go and drag me into this topic of conversation…
          I look at that picture again and why am I not surprised Gord was stuffing his face.

  3. While checking the weather & the extent of the storm that was dumping on us here in Fond Du Lac, WI, I began to zero in on Vermillion Bay. This began a cascade of fond memories of our weeklong stays two years being 1976 & ’77. I was 13 & 14years old. Our hosts at Little Norway, the father & two sons left a pleasant, lasting impression, an experience that I, my brother & dad cherish down the years. I can still hear his voice, young Jimmy explaining the distinction between the sauger & the walleye as he effortlessly filleted our catch with utter precision. His older brothers’ name may have been Andy. From these kind folk, I learned …. More later

  4. ….Continued, from these kind folks at Little Norway, 1976 & ’77, I learned that time stands still, long as you wish it. At the time, it was a minor case of culture shock. Through the years, any recollection of the experiences on the lake, in town at the cafe or the bait shop, is a reaffirmation of a sustained enrichment & magical time that continues to accrue depth & meaning,

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Thank you very much for making my get a way week so enjoyable. Dan and I had a great time. You and Susanne should be commended on how clean and well maintained your cabins and lodge are. I will recommend you to anyone that is looking to go to Canada fishing and I look forward to the time I can come back.

Jody Hansen

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