The Book - Bart Beck

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About Bart Beck

OUR EARLY VACATIONS

Louise and I both like to travel and see things we have read and/or heard about but never thought that we would actually be able to see. Because of my work, many of our trips were not vacations, but were more like business trips. We did, however, enjoy them and, in most cases, we derived much more from them than just more miles on the car.

I think that our first vacation was taken during the second year of our marriage. We had a 1927, four cylinder, Dodge Coupe at the time and must have borrowed a tent from someone. We drove north, from our home in southern Michigan, to Arbutis Lake, which is in the Traverse City area. There we visited Mr. and Mrs. Bill Deaner, who were also vacationing.

Bill was a Head Fireman, on one of the shifts at the Paper Mill, and once in a while, I would get a chance to wheel ashes on his shift. That was before I had a steady job and would work at anything that I could get. Bill was always bragging about the big Bluegills that he had caught from Arbutis Lake, and by golly, do you know, he hadn't been stretching the truth one bit. The largest one that he and I caught, that day, weighed two pounds and two ounces, and that is a big Bluegill.

While in the area, we visited the Traverse City Cherry Festival and after a couple of days, we went on to Sault Ste. Marie. We spent two or three days in a camp ground, a short distance East of the Soo Locks, and then returned home. While we were at the Soo we went through a Hydro Electric Plant, on the St. Mary's River. That was the most amazing thing, in the way of power plants, that I have ever seen. There were, and I suppose still are, eighty four water driven generators in a row. Eighty were 750 KW Alternators and four were 500 KW, Direct Current machines, used for excitation of the alternators. They were all driven by water that by-passed the Soo Locks, via a canal that is built, in the shape of a horse shoe, through the City of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.

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