My parents took our family 60 years ago — two adults and three kids 5 and under — to Vacationaire resort in Park Rapids, Minn. We met a family, the Grahams of Omaha, Neb., at the resort and became friends when my 3-year-old sister and a Graham daughter, also 3, each stuck out a foot to show that they were wearing the same shoes. The families decided to vacation again the next year, the next year … and 60 years on we are still vacationing together every summer.
The first 19 years were spent together at resorts in the Park Rapids area, frequently spending a day or two of vacation looking at possible cabins to buy. Finally, 41 years ago, my parents bought a cabin on Two Inlets Lake. The cabin was one level and painted pink, with a flat roof that leaked. Some remodeling was needed. A construction crew from my parents’ hometown in southern Minnesota stayed with its families for a week at a neighboring resort the following summer, while working up a second story with a new roof for our cabin. Our family finished the inside of the new construction during the next several years.
My family could now make several trips to the lake cabin every summer. The Grahams continued to join us, residing at a resort on Two Inlets Lake. Members of three other families have joined us for many of those vacations: the Hagens of Park Rapids, Pirsches of Edina, and Gallaghers of Des Moines.
Only three of the 10 members of the first generation still are living, so last fall I proposed having a 60th reunion at the cabin this summer. We hosted 38 people from Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Utah, Washington and Montana on July 16-17. Memories, photos and stories were shared, including the oft-repeated story of how we once got up seven skiers behind an underpowered boat. During those years, Don Hagen invited the group over each summer for turkey on the grill. Honoring that tradition, we grilled four turkeys using Don’s basting recipe. Another tradition was Walt Graham’s magic show. At 93, he presented another show that left us all scratching our heads. Sunday found us at some other traditional dining places.
After the reunion weekend, the Grahams and Jacobsons spent the next week on vacation at the lake. Everyone vowed that we needed another reunion at the cabin before another 60 years pass.
Rolf Jacobson, St. Cloud