A Lake, A Cabin and a Little Hope

Depositphotos_1036334_xsAs we neared the front door of the cabin, I heard Grandmas voice from beyond the screened window followed by the sound of potato chips hitting a bowl. Hobie met us at the door. He wore a Penguin shirt and golf pants. He shook Dad’s hand and gave each of the girls a little kiss on the cheek as they entered the doorway. He held out his hand to me. “Hello old man” he said with a wink, shaking my hand.

The inside of the small, two-bedroom cabin was quite odd. It looked like nothing had changed since the Eisenhower administration. The kitchen had country-style cabinets with black iron hardware and vivid turquoise Formica counters. Cone-shaped lighting fixtures hung from the wood paneled walls. In one corner a green rotary telephone rested on a laced doily next to an enormous red leather chair and matching ottoman. For a cat with loads of dough, I wondered why Hobie hadn’t remodeled the place. He led us out to the redwood deck with a simple post and rope railing. Cedar trees framed a spectacular view of the lake.  “My son used to water ski while balancing his sister on his shoulders.” he said with a proud smile, nodding down toward the shore. “That dock down there is about to fall apart.” He said, tapping my arm. “How are you with a hammer?”

I shrugged my shoulders “Okay, I guess.”

“Good, you can help me build a new one.”

He chuckled as he walked us back inside, where Grandma was putting out more snacks. “And you know my live-in” he said, putting his arm around her shoulder. “Hobie!” she cried, as if taking his ribbing for years. He chuckled and kissed her on the forehead.

My eyes continued to study the surroundings. Hanging on the wall I spotted an old black and white photo. A well dressed woman in sunglasses was in the foreground, walking toward the camera, slightly out of focus, and seemingly unaware that her picture was being taken. Pyramids were in the background. Behind her, a darker-haired Hobie sat on a camel. I assumed the woman was his former wife. It was a strange picture – the type that typically ends up at the bottom of a box – not framed and enshrined on a wall. His wife had passed away only one year before he and Grandma got married.

“Would you kid’s like a soda?” Grandma asked. We eagerly shook our heads. Hobie offered my Dad a beer, then looked at me.

“How old are you?”

“I’m sixteen.”

He opened the refrigerator and poked his head inside. “Do you want a Coors or a Blitz?”

This was too cool. Coors wasn’t even available in Oregon in those days.

“I’ll take a Coors” I replied as if I ordered it all the time. Dad didn’t seem to mind.

Later, Hobie launched his old wooden-hulled speed boat and took us on a tour of the lake. On the shores people poured lighter fluid on charcoals and relaxed in folding chairs. Nice looking people in other boats waved as we passed by. It felt glorious to be part of this world.

NEXT: Bad Jokes and Off-key Singing

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