Sunday, October 27, 2013

Cleveland: The Trout Club

I have a lot of very lovely memories from my childhood, and am especially fond of the time my family spent at a trout fishing club called Pine Lake Trout Club. Dad had a corporate membership through Johnson Plastics (see post from yesterday about Johnson) and then, I think, a private membership when he took a new job in 1960, with another plastics manufacturer in Stow, Ohio.
I remember fishing with Dad there, as does my brother. We both, to this day, like fishing and have many wonderful memories of it, both with Dad as well as in our adult lives. There's even a photo of Mom fishing as well as a couple of her Dad fishing too, which I posted earlier to this blog. This family just loves to fish:)
I also remember us going there to select and cut down our Christmas tree at least one year. Somehow we got transported deeper into the surrounding woods and wandered until we could all agree on the "perfect" tree. Then back to the Lodge to warm up before the fire while the hired men chopped and readied it for us to take home. I think it must have been the best tree we ever had! Now, all of those pine trees are gigantic, as you can imagine, because it's over 50 years later.
So there was the fishing at the Trout Club, but there was eating too. They served, and still do, outstanding cuisine, and on this recent trip I had a Chilean Sea Bass in the Dining Room that might make you weep with joy! But let me tell you about the Lodge first. It's such fun!
The PLTC has no liquor license, therefore the members each have a locker for their chosen adult beverages. Mixers are supplied by the club. I always loved the personal and corporate locker doors because each member could have it decorated any way she or he pleased. Some of the corporations have a corporate theme but the personal locker doors have it all going on! Here are some images of what we saw on Saturday afternoon of our recent trip. Click on these two to get the full effect!

Wild, right? Some of the doors haven't been decorated yet and you can easily spot them in these pictures. I decorated a door for Dad, and from what I remember now. I'm thinking that when he left Johnson Plastics he must have gotten an individual membership because it was just about the time we moved to Hudson that I painted a door for his locker: a jumping rainbow trout on the outside and the Three Graces (three naked ladies) on the inside. As I think about it now, that was a pretty sophisticated concept for a high schooler! Now a days "anything goes" on the locker doors, from actual objects, collages, assemblages, and even some old fashioned painting. I'm still fascinated by those locker doors:)
The Lodge is what the bar is called. It's a very cozy room where members go to have a drink or eat a casual meal. And Especially in cooler weather, it's a welcoming place. Check it out.

Here's Mom and my sis-in-law sitting by the fire on a cold and rainy Saturday about lunch time.

The walkway between the Lodge and the stream.

On Sunday the weather was perfect. We went back to the Pine Lake Trout Club after another round of looking at the old places we lived, which we'd visited in the rain on Saturday. On Sunday we got to see them all over again but in beautiful October sunlight. We ended up staying in one of the cabins at the Trout Club, with a wonderful fireplace, two baths, and a fully equipped kitchen. My brother commented that he was perfectly happy and could just go on and live there. Me too!

Sunday afternoon I wandered the grounds getting in touch with that little girl in me and watching the fishermen at play. No one was overly serious about it all. They were well equipped, no doubt about it, but even so were obviously there to relax and enjoy the surroundings. I had to wonder what these folks (all men) did for a living... and if there were any serious women members who love to fish as much as I do?

On the flight back to San Diego from Cleveland I happened to sit next to a guy who lived close to the Trout Club. He'd been there as the guest of someone and was glad that I mentioned it because he had two sons and thought it might be the perfect place to enjoy some quality time with them. Yes, it's exactly that kind of place. He also told me that there are other trout clubs in north east Ohio: one near Pine Lakes and four more neat the Blue Hole. Really! Who knew!
Yeah, if I lived in the area the first thing I would do is join Pine Lake Trout Club!

The pond at the Pine Lake Trout Club on a beautiful October Sunday afternoon.

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