The seasoning of lake glass

By Tom Montgomery-Fate

In the 1960s my family spent a week every summer at Tower Hill church camp — a row of beat-up old cabins in a pine forest in southwest Michigan. The woods were full of owls and raccoons and poison ivy and blackberries, and just beyond them lay the dunes and the slow, blue pulse of the lake.

It was a “rustic” (inexpensive) getaway, and since the camp staff was overworked and underpaid, a “low-maintenance” camp. The tennis court demanded a nuanced game. The challenge was not to keep the ball inside the lines, which were mostly worn away, but to hit a piece of the pavement that wasn’t buckled or cracked or overgrown with weeds. The playground was a heavy splintering teeter-totter, a metal merry-go-round and a steel slide that grew so hot in the afternoon it would raise blisters on your legs.…

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