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  • Writer's pictureRobert Adams

All Grown Up

Updated: Sep 21, 2023



THE FIRST TIME I SAW GLEN LAKE an impression was etched in my memory and has been with me for a lifetime.

It was early August 1953; I was riding with my siblings in the back of my parent’s Ford Country Squire. We were nearing the end of our six-hour trek heading from the suburbs of Detroit to start our annual summer vacation. We reached the top of a large hill on Plowman Rd. just north of M-72. From this perch, you could see the distant aqua-blue waters of Glen Lake framed by lush green hilltops. The panoramic view caused me to bob my head around each family member in an attempt to catch the view of the lake. It was simply breathtaking. I was in awe.


Within minutes we arrived at our destination at Old Orchard Inn on M-22. We unpacked the station wagon and placed our suitcases under our metal framed beds in the rustic cabins. We quickly slipped into our bathing suits and crossed the highway, careful to look both ways, heading down to the beach where we jumped into the chilly blue water of Glen Lake. This memory is still so fresh even after seventy years.


I decided to visit the location of my first sighting and take it all in again. I was anxious to see the view and enjoy a reflection that would surely surface. I pulled over on the crest of the hill with such anticipation. As I looked north, it became apparent that something had changed. Like in a dream when one can’t find solid footing, I felt unsettled, realizing the view had changed dramatically. Mother Nature had performed her duty growing oaks and maples to astonishing heights creating a forest whose canopy blocked the view of the lake.


On my outing, I traveled a few additional miles coming upon the once vibrant 70-acre summer resort. The only thing still standing with any familiarity were large sugar maples equally spaced along M-22. The Inn, sheds, and rustic cottages were all missing. The cutting gardens and outdoor furniture on the vast front lawn were also long gone.


I shall always remember the sight that presented itself when I first came upon Glen Lake and the Old Orchard Inn and shall keep it as a very happy memory.


Tempus fugit.


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