Thursday, March 08, 2007

Post War Beer Hall Babies Recall Spirit Lake, Idaho

(Cousin Jan and me)
SEE COMMENTS FOR GOOD STUFF FROM THE BARERS AND ZARKINS
In post World War II America at an Idaho Lake near Spokane, the Zarkins and Barers would gather for a week or more of fun in the sun, sharing magic moments as five year olds in the beer hall at Settelmeyers Resort amidst the stench of stale beer and cigarettes. Collection bottlecaps from Olympia, Rainier and Bohemian bottles was a favorite pasttime.
Spirit Lake was the start of the lake adventures and the memories linger today.
Feeding nickels into the Wurlitzer jukebox at the saloon we would listen to ”Rum & Coca Cola” or “Beer Barrel Polka” with the Andrew Sisters or the annoying Woody Woodpecker song. "Across the Alley form the Alamo" by Hoagey Carmichael was a big jukebox hit (remember this was before Top 10 radio was known. "My Happiness" by Connie Stevens and Jonny Raye and
"The Little White Cloud that Cried"are other lake jukebox favorites but from other lakeside beerhalls Spirit Lake marks the start of my life-long fascination with cars and I could tell a Chevrolet from a Plymouth, even then.
There ws a guy named Kenny who was either retarded or drunk who swigged Pepsi continuously but it may have been at Loon Lake.

15 comments:

Dave Zarkin said...

My sister Claudia says, “We used to stay for a whole month at
Spirit Lake and Uncle Dave and Dad would come on the weekends. Once in a while we went into the city of Spirit Lake and saw a movie. I remember seeing some black and white film that scared me but I think it was about Christmas, had some old man in it and a little girl and a lot of dark scenes.”
That movie was Edmund Gwen and John Payne in “Miracle on 34th St” but the movie that scared me was about a leprechaun with Victor Moore. Mom wouldn’t let us see “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein” although cousins Jan and Stan were allowed to go. I was angry and 50 years later finally saw it on cable.
Claudia says: “Also I too remember the swimming lessons that we walked to, along a dirt road and one day we saw an animal coming toward us on the road and Stan said it was a bull and that it would charge at anyone with red on because it made them mad and I had on a red cardigan and I was scared but Stan took off his Mickey Mouse watch with the red patent band so the bull wouldn't get him. It turned out it was
somebody's sheep. I don't know why you guys didn't like the swimming lessons; I liked them.
Cousin Jan says: I giggle thinking of that bull/sheep.  What a riot.

Claudia says: I remember we had to do the "jelly fish" grab our knees and float for so many seconds. The summer after the polio epidemic in Idaho, several of the regulars who came every summer had been sick and some of the
kids were recuperating. And then there were Tommy and Jimmy Settelmeyer, two skinny little boys a bit older than me who were close in age. One winter Mom read in the paper where Mrs. Settelmeyer had saved one of the boy's lives because he had put a swim cap over his face and almost suffocated., and she found him in time and revived him, which ws reported in the Spokane paper. They had a red pedal car and I always wanted a turn on it but I was never brave enough to ask.
There were the big hydroplane boats that raced on the 4th of July and one year one of the boats flipped and someone got hurt. Everything seemed big to me then fireworks from the lawn outside our cabin #1. We used to have cap guns and that was our thing on the 4th. I can still remember that smell (sulfur).
The 4th was the day that David cut his foot (off the side of the dock on a broken bottle.) Someone had a surprise party for him that we led him to with his eyes covered and it was cake and ice cream or something like that. Oh, and I remember that the Settelmeyers used to raise some sort of brown and white hunting dogs and we would go and see all the puppies in the pen and I was disgusted by the poop and the smell but everyone else thought they were cute.

There was a burned out cabin on the path between Conklins and Settelmeyers and I always ran past it because it scared the hell out of me. Thought it was haunted. We took a picnic lunch
and hiked up a hill where they had a brush fire and got into trouble with the landowner.
I had a wood tick removed by a doctor and Dad also removed our tickets with a turning cigarette. I know it sounds like child abuse but the ticks didn’t like the heat.

Cousin Jan says: “I have a picture taken then with David's eyes covered. I gave that album to my daughter Linda but the photo was in that.I remember that (surprise) party very well. Cousin Dorothy was there then, too. We stayed in cabin #1 down by the lake and then the next year when we had Burl we stayed in another cabin and I hated it cuz I had to share a bed with the babysitter who had the name Wretha.
Mom always made me share a bed with the sitter so I hated that part of going to the lake. One year the sitter was Alda. I'm sure Stan has vivid memories, too, especially since I think he had a crush on Lynn Gillette.
 
I cheated in the finals of swim lessons. I discovered that my feet touched the bottom of the lake - so I swam along, but was really walking in some murky sand!
 
Do you guys remember Diamond Lake and our folks leaving us outside the gambling hall while they went in to gamble or were you too little? I remember I was " in charge". Guess there wasn't any baby sitter but seems to me Uncle Gordon was there for the day or something.
I have no memories of any cabin there, only of that gambling hall and the sign for private property.
 
Stan was allergic to mosquitos and if he got bitten he got blood poisoning and his eyes would swell shut. There are photos of him with a swollen eye.
 
Glad you are keeping all this.
My kids love Loon Lake, talk about summers there and things all the time, a zillion funny stories they have about Uncle Phil, or times in the boat -- lots about being at Granite Point.
Don't know if you know this, but as my father was dying he was hallucinating and he thought he was at the lake and Uncle Phil was in one boat and he in the other -- he was talking to him. Stan and I were in the room and played along with it, telling him he was at the lake and he was fishing.
 
I remember your Dad building those steps and when Alan and I were in college your parents once gave us the cabin for a week. Wonderful memories of that and the humor, too -- Alan was too tall to use the bathroom and the bed was also too short for him. My dad always teased your dad about that small bathroom.
 
You know that Lee has the ZarkInn sign? It is the back wall of his garage. I think it is Burl who has the original Granite Point Park sign from the hiway. Must be in storage now.
Talked to Stan last night and we had some good laughs about Spirit Lake. Claudia is right, we went in and out of beer halls, laws must have been very lax. I remember someone who was retarded or physically disabled at Spirit Lake but he didn't drink Pepsi -- that had to be the kid called Pepsi at Loon Lake. This was a man with one arm that was short or disabled.”

Burl Barer said...

I remember our cabin at Diamond Lake. That's where my mom complained about the smell that got worse every day. Finally I said, "Maybe it's my pet dead fish." Yes, i had a pet dead fish that "lived" under the cabin. It wasnt a very active pet, except for the aroma.

Dave Zarkin said...

Claudia adds: I remember the Dr. from Spokane; his
name was Gillette and he had a very pretty daughter about Jan's age and a son who was very handsome (OK, I was five, but I knew a cute boy when I saw
one.) His name was Raymond (that was the Dad's name too) and later he went to Lewis and Clark, ahead of David I think. The wife was very fancy, jewelry and makeup. He was the Dr. who told us about drinking on the wrong side of
the cup to get rid of hiccups.

James R Taylor said...

I don't know if I lived in Spirit Lake at the same time as you, but some of the things that you talk about, I lived in the Aptm's by Tchetters drug store when I went to high school. I moved there in 1945 and lived there until about 1952. I remember the boat races at the lake. They were a lot of fun then. We always went to Sedelmeyers to watch them and to swim. I was wondering if you have any pictures of the old wooden bridge that we had to cross to get to Sedelmeyers. We used to fish and swim off of it all the time. By the way, I belive that the person that you were talking about as being disabled, his name was Kenny Blood. He was quite a person but he was harmless. He drank a lot of pepsi and it made him to have a very large stomache. He had a deformed left hand but he could really through a mean snowball with his right hand. He died after I left Spirit Lake. I really had some great times in Spirit Lake and I try to remember them all. I could go on forever as I believe that some of the best times that I had as a kid was there. If you would like to write about times back then, I would love to exchange stories. I was 17 when I graduated from Spirit Lake and am now 74. We still go over there from Olympia Washington every summer. We still have some property in Spirit Lake but are fimally trying to sell it I would love to hear from you. James Ronald Taylor. My email address is fordrose@aol.com.

Scott said...

I have a home on Spirit Lake. It was originally owned by a Dr. Mowrey and then Mr. and Mrs. Fred Shaw. My family purchased it from the Shaws in about 1981.

I am looking for information and old photos of the property. If you can be of any help, I would very much appreciate it.

Thank you.

Scott Simpson

simpsonatty@gmail.com

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.