Sisters On The Dock – Idlewild, MI 1953

Pearl and Kristin

It was the summer of 1953. My sister and I stood on my uncle Louis Cleage’s dock in front of his cottage in Idlewild, Michigan holding our dolls. The summer of 1953 my mother, sister and I stayed with her parents on the East side while my father stayed with his parents on Atkinson. We were between houses as a Church fight had resulted in us having to vacate the parsonage. We moved to the new parsonage at 2254 Chicago at the end of the summer.

I remember riding on the floor of my grandparent’s car on the way there, my grandmother reading to us by kerosene lamp during a storm that put the electricity out, fishing off of the dock, the catfish that lived underneath it and being out of the city for an extended time for the first time in my life.

32 thoughts on “Sisters On The Dock – Idlewild, MI 1953

    1. We were worry free. Spending the summer with our grandparents while we waited to move. No real idea about the church fight. Probably heard talk swirling around but it didn’t really impact us.

    1. My mother was there in Idlewild too. I don’t remember missing my father because he was always busy even when he was around. I only remember once when we went to Idlewild with him, it was when I was in high school, the year of the March on Washington and my uncle Louis drove us 4 hours from Idlewild to Ann Arbor to hear John Lewis of SNCC give a speech, same one he later gave in Washington, I think. Then he dove us back to Idlewild. 90 miles an hour each way. Talk about a life defying ride!

  1. I spent summers on a lake, too…and that photo is wonderful. I can almost hear the water beneath the dock…that special sound it made beneath the boards!

  2. Such a cute & charming picture of the two of you on the dock – except I kept wanting to warn you not to trip over that stick lying on the deck in front of you. 🙂

  3. It must have been a magical time on the dock after living in the city. But a church fight? That must be the worst for the preacher’s family.

  4. A lovely happy photo. Was that an extended board behind you that could be used for diving/ jumping off?

  5. I can only echo the others. It is a real gem. Maybe because of the subtle tension of children standing near the edge of the dock, which in a way makes the water match the theme too.

  6. A lovely photo. And in that final paragraph you manage to distill such wonderful memories – that description of your grandmother reading to you takes up only half a sentence but fills a massive canvas in my imagination.

  7. A happy memory shot. A lovely old photo and a good match for the prompt. (even if they are boys)

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