The Book - Bart Beck

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CRAIG LAKE

I have previously mentioned the C&C Camp, in Dickenson County, in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. That camp must have been built in about 1954 because it was in the Fall of 1955 that I first went up there Deer Hunting.

We used that Camp to hunt, fish and entertain customers, until the summer of 1959. It was then that Mr. Clifton bought the Lodge in Baraga County, near Nestoria. This camp had been built for Mr. Fred Miller of the Miller Brewing Company, shortly before he was killed in an airplane accident.

Mr. Miller had built a beautiful main lodge and a guest lodge, on Craig Lake, and had stocked the lake with thousands of Walleye and Bass. Mr. Clifton's purchase included the two lodges, six acres of real estate and exclusive hunting and fishing rights on five Sections of some of the most primitive forests and lakes in Michigan.

The Camp and the Twin Beach Airplane that was operated under the name of The Clifton Aviation Company, made it imperative that we promote construction activity, in the Upper Peninsula, even if we lost money on it. We could always think of some customer that needed "greasing".

Prior to the Twin Beach, the Boss owned a Cessna 180, but like the present day farmers, with their tractors, he couldn't claim enough tax advantage with the small plane, so bought a bigger one.

It did work out real good, when we were doing the work in Florida, because the wheels could, and did, fly back and forth with a whole cargo of free loaders and legitimately charged all of the expense to my job at the Missile Base. Not only was the cost of the entertainment charged to the job, Clifton Aviation would bill Clifton Engineering for the use of the airplane.

Even though my job had to subsidize the entertainment of the wheels and their free loaders, I rather liked that airplane. Red would let me co-pilot, when ever possible, and as a result, I got so that I could handle the navigation as well as fly it. I did, on several occasions, land it and take it off, and once I landed it under practice Radar Approach and Landing Procedures, at the Jacksonville, Florida Airport.

The lodge, at Craig Lake, was equipped with it's own light plant, water heater, automatic hot air furnace and a mammoth stone fireplace. As I remember there was, between the two lodges, sleeping accommodations for about ten men.

I must admit that the camp was not always used, exclusively, to entertain customers. Many times the customer that we took along, was there only to sign the register, so that the trip could be expensed as a tax deduction, for the Clifton Engineering Company.

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