Lambton Heritage Museum
Grand Bend, Ontario

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Grand Bend - Our Stories, Our Voice



My first memory of Lake Huron is playing on Ipperwash Beach in the fall with a few native children. We had seagull feathers in our hair and ran around with bare feet, mindless of the wind that threatened to blow out the flame of the Coleman stove my mother used for cooking. As I recall, the beach was empty, no doubt due to the season, but my parents were new immigrants from England and of hardy stock. The English are known for sitting on the beach in any weather.

It was 20 years before I returned when, as Cam's girlfriend, he brought me to the "cottage" in the early summer of 1969. His aunt Vera, of amazing age and memory, was at the old Taylor cottage and she was the first family member I met. Cam knew where the key was hidden so we were able to use the facilities at his dad's place across the laneway from Vera's. I had been to a few cottages before, mostly rather rough affairs with unfinished interiors and very basic facilities. Cam's father's cottage was a house you could comfortably live in all year. As we walked the beach and swam that warm summer day I remember thinking how much I would love to be a part of that lifestyle. There are many factors that enter into our choice of a life partner and I credit that day in Grand Bend as one for me.

There were many family gatherings at the cottage but I remember one of my first. New Year's Eve 1970 Cam's mother invited us to come to a party. When I asked Cam what I should wear he replied that any cottage wear would be suitable so I packed thick sweaters and jeans. To my horror at about 8 pm Helen, my mother-in-law, announced that she and the other women present were going to change. Within a short time it was obvious that jeans and sweaters were not going to cut it as the women drifted downstairs in cocktail wear. There was a lot I had to learn about cottage life la Taylor!


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