Cabin Country: Bringing in the dock

  • Article by: JUDY WRIGHT and MINNETONKA
  • Updated: August 15, 2014 - 6:50 AM
hide

Located in Otter Tail County, this lakeside cabin was built by Andrew Simon in 1968. His family recently made the painful decision to sell the property.

We sold the family cabin this summer, the last thing my father left us. He built it in 1968, with the same drive he showed in everything else. He pored over plans, contracted the work and kept meticulous records. I know because I have the receipts, detailing every purchase from the fireplace stones to a 45-cent pack of nails.

The plan he chose included huge beams and a wall of windows overlooking the lake; and although the decor is classic ’70s, it still stands as solid and beautiful as it did then.

Dad died on January 4, 1970, in a horrible accident. He had spent just one summer at the lake. And now that the cabin too is gone, it seems like someone should tell his story. Not the whole story, but some of it.

My father, Andrew Simon, grew up in northeast Minneapolis, one of six children of Lebanese immigrants. Dad was the rebellious kid. I’ve heard some of the stories, others I will never hear. I know he was kicked out of a Catholic high school and had to finish at the public school. I know he once got mad at a streetcar operator, stopped his car on the tracks and refused to budge, throwing the streetcar line off-schedule and the passengers into a tizzy.

When World War II came, Dad joined the army, serving most of his time on steamy little Pacific islands. At 19, he married my mother, a farm girl who was sweet, independent and good good good.

After the war, with a wife and two small daughters, Dad worked many jobs. He had always been smart — but who knew he was industrious and ambitious? Eventually, he started a business putting coin-operated equipment in apartment buildings throughout the Twin Cities, which made him, for his place and time, a rich man.

Dad wasn’t perfect. But he was fair and generous to a fault. He understood human frailties. He took care of us and left my mother well off. Mom kept the business running for another 25 years after Dad died.

And she kept the cabin. In the summers we watched our kids and grandkids swim, ski and fish off the dock. We cooked, played games, sang along to country songs and watched hundreds of sunsets.

At the cabin there is a little Jesus shrine near the lake with a plaque engraved with Dad’s name. I imagine the new owners will take it down now. Losing the cabin is a hard, hard thing, but let’s face it, families are about loss and families are about building up. Memories fade, memories are made. Really, that’s all it’s about.

 

TELL US about your hideout, be it a lakeside lodge or a primitive fire pit. Email your story along with photos to cabins@startribune.com or submit online at www.startribune.com/hideouts. Don't forget your name, city of residence and the general vicinity of your cabin or campsite.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

Click here to send us your hunting or fishing photos – and to see what others are showing off from around the region.

ADVERTISEMENT

Atlanta - LP: J. Teheran 2 FINAL
Philadelphia - WP: C. Hamels 9
Washington 0 FINAL
Miami 8
Boston 4 FINAL
Minnesota 4
Detroit 2 FINAL
Houston 3
Toronto - WP: C. Hynes 9 FINAL
Boston - LP: D. Hinojosa 7
Tampa Bay - WP: J. Norberto 3 FINAL
NY Yankees - LP: C. Whitley 0
St. Louis 5 FINAL
NY Mets 4
Los Angeles 4 FINAL
Kansas City 4
LA Angels 1 FINAL
Oakland 4
San Diego 8 FINAL
Chicago WSox 2
Chicago WSox 12 FINAL
Seattle 4
Cleveland 2 FINAL
San Francisco 5
Milwaukee 7 FINAL
Chicago Cubs 11
Arizona 3 FINAL
Cincinnati 0
Texas 4 FINAL
Colorado 10
Pittsburgh 3 FINAL
Baltimore 3
Detroit 78 FINAL
Charlotte 102
Philadelphia 93 FINAL
Washington 106
San Antonio 103 FINAL
Orlando 91
Indiana 87 FINAL
Boston 100
Brooklyn 100 FINAL
New York 98
Chicago 91 FINAL
Milwaukee 95
Dallas 135 FINAL
Oklahoma City 131
Sacramento 111 FINAL
Houston 115
Toronto 113 FINAL
Minnesota 99
Denver 84 FINAL
Utah 98
LA Clippers 126 FINAL
Portland 122
New Orleans 108 4th Qtr 2:31
LA Lakers 88
Toronto 3 FINAL
Buffalo 4
Philadelphia 4 FINAL
Pittsburgh 1
Edmonton 1 FINAL
Anaheim 5
Colorado 0 3rd Prd 13:39
San Jose 1
Loyola-Chicago 63 FINAL
ULM 62
UCLA 69 FINAL
Michigan 65
Temple 58 FINAL
West Virginia 66
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Should the lake where the albino muskie was caught remain a mystery?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close