Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Phone Rang Early One Morning

Life has been a little more hectic than usual around here. On Thursday night I was awakened at 1:00 a.m. or so by Sheryl. Cabin #26/27 was on fire. I looked out my bedroom window and could see the glow from the flames. Even though the fire department responded immediately and did a great job, the building is totally gone as the picture above shows. The most important thing is that no one was hurt.
As I watched the fire burn, my thoughts turned to where the cabin fit in our lives. We built it in 1978-79. Robert tells me he was in kindergarten. It was our first earth-sheltered unit. Bruce says he learned what not to do in the next unit. J. T. McMillion was working for us. He hauled by hand all the cement blocks down from the road to the building site for Bruce to build the foundation with. J. T. is now a senior pilot with Southwest Airlines. I think he got his pilot’s license after hauling all those blocks.
That winter we were really behind in building. Our neighbors, Fred and Lois Mauck, came down to help us. They used to own a recording studio in Davenport, Iowa. At any rate, Fred did paneling and Lois did sealing of the paneling. Bruce and I also worked down there every day. I did some paneling upstairs and help Lois seal the high ceilings in the stair wells. After work, I would make dinner for all of us. I got to the “J’s” addressing Christmas cards that year but never got any further. There was no time. Fred and Lois are both gone now but they were a godsend that year.
Many wonderful guests have used the cabin since then. When Walter Mondale stayed with us after he received the Democratic Nomination for President, he and his family were in #27. We had to run a telephone line to the cabin, after all, he was the Vice President of the United States! His staff also needed the phone line for this fancy new machine they had rented for the campaign. It came in an aluminum case with foam all around it. The machine was a facsimile machine – the first one we had ever seen!
The cabin will live on in our memory even as it is replaced this winter. That’s right – we are into full building mode. As I type Bruce is talking with our contractor. The insurance adjuster has come and gone. On Monday the contractor will come to start cleaning the mess up and putting in the septic system. I am sure that Bruce will have building plans by then. All the managers have their assignments for the new project. The replacement will be two cabins. At the moment after studying Dave Schudy’s statistics on our occupancy, it looks like one one-bedroom and one three-bedroom unit. The applications for building permits are sitting on Bruce’s desk. I will keep you current with what is happening.
Of course, life still going on at the resort. On Saturday we had our wine dinner. It was a sellout with 50 people and went very well. There is a picture of getting the wines set up. This weekend is wild game. Then we have two weekends of work weekend. Those are always fun. During one of them a group of eight women come up to split wood. After working, they retire to their cabin for some adult refreshments. But what a huge stack of wood they leave behind.
I’ll try to write more frequently but time is very short right now.


Carol Pearson - Lakeville, MN said...

Hello Everyone,
So sorry to hear the news about cabins 26 & 27. They were beautiful, but knowing Bruce, they will be replaced by something new and even more amazing :) So happy to hear the outcome was positive for all guests and staff. Buildings can be rebuilt, and the memories of times shared in those cabins, will live on. See you in December. The Pearson Family

Teresa said...

Sue, Bruce & all,
So glad to hear that no one was hurt ... and so sad to hear of the loss of cabins. I will always have fond memories of Cabin 26 as it was my "first" Gunflint experience (12 years now under the belt). I enjoyed that cabin with many friends for several years (till the hot tub left). Our group will look forward to seeing the growth after the fire - as we have with the forest. Looking forward and knowing that good things will come as they always have with you & the Lodge! Good luck on the venture and thanks for the updates!

Always An Adventure Group
Appleton WI

Patty Feeney said...

Sue and Bruce
Sorry about cabins 26 & 27. We stayed there with the Jaycoxes for several summers. Many great memories. The last year we were in the cabins, we let the older girls stay upstairs on 27 and the younger girls stay upstairs in 26. The rooms were a mess, but they loved it. The year Mondale stayed were in the cabins until you needed them to get ready for Walter. Jack wanted to make a sign to put on the bed that said Spike Slept here. We won't let him.
By the way are you aware that next summer when we come so are all the Jaycoxes.

I LOVE YOU said...