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Hughie Papworth, The Flat, And Nemahbin Lodge

872 words - 4 pages

The being-a-kid part of the summer really got rolling with Hughie’s arrival. I could hear them calling to one another, and playing while I cranked the mulish water pump. It seems that moments of extreme frustration register more vividly in my memory. I confess to banging the gas tank with my fist that morning. I’d have picked up the whole assembly and thrown it in the river if I’d been as strong as the lumberjack folk hero, Paul Bunyan. It took no longer than usual to get the pump going and to raise the water pressure sufficiently, but it seemed like it took three times as long.
I remember hustling next door after finishing my chores to find five boys playing softball on the large flat ...view middle of the document...

I can still hear in my memory the sound of the dinner bell ringing. I was invited to stay for lunch. We sat at a giant picnic table on the lawn facing the back of the house. The house buffered the prevailing wind. It is no trick to remember where the table was, or its homemade wooden design. It was painted green, and it is still there as I write this, fifty years later.
Hughie’s two sisters, Annie and Joy ate with us. They were the youngest and both brunettes. They were cute kids who turned into pretty women. At the time I took little notice of them. Boating, fishing and softball had my focus at that moment.
I asked Hughie if they went water skiing or toured around the river. “No ... We aren’t allowed to run any of the powerboats,” he said. I tried to hide my surprise because I was already learning to run Buzz. I wondered where this no motorized boat policy came from. Our family consisted of Mom, Dad, Deb, Betsy and me. None of our relatives or other cousins used the island except for rare brief visits. The Papworths had sixteen grandchildren, and about half of them were boys with a thirst for excitement and a deficiency in common sense. There weren’t nearly enough boats to go around, and boats tend to be easy to break and expensive to fix.
They did have...

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