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Rowin’ Through Summer

Howdy, Neighbor. People have been telling Phil he’s a good storyteller for a long time… so we are trying something new and pretty-much non-sales Just sharing occasional sweet stories, tall tales, and life lessons learned around these parts. Northwoods Notes are a new, semi-bi-irregular peek into the heart and mind of Phil Frasier… you can read or listen… whichever you prefer… and you are receiving a copy because you’re a current customer of Frasier’s Plumbing and Heating, Inc. We think you’ll like them, but you can unsubscribe any time by clicking on the link at the bottom. But we hope you give us a chance!



When I was young, my summer was a little different than other kids’.

Around the age of ten, I would stay out at my Grandpa’s cabin for a week or two… by myself.

You couldn’t get away with that today, and I suppose most kids wouldn’t want to stay in a cabin by themselves during the summer.

But I loved it!

I’d take the 1948 Alumacraft rowboat that Grandpa bought when my dad was in high school out to catch muskie, bass, and even frogs.

Man, the bullfrogs on Grandpa’s lake were loud and deep.


The cabin didn’t have any power so I’d run lights off LP gas.

I cooked my own meals and built a campfire in the fire pit every night.

I spent many evenings listening to the rustling of flying squirrels and the relaxing call of the whippoorwill.

Nighttime was magical.

But I couldn’t wait for dawn’s first light so I could get back out on the lake to do it all over again.

I got a lot of calluses from rowing that sixteen-footer miles and miles around the lake. Rain, storms, blistering heat… you name it, I’ve probably rowed in it.


Heck, I’d row so much the oar locks would go bad. Grandpa would drill out wood pieces and stick ’em where the oars would go.

When the oars started creaking, Grandpa taught me to dip my oars in the water to make the noise stop.

Back then, it was illegal to motor troll in Wisconsin. The only way you could do it was by rowing.

Come lunch time, I’d start frantically reeling in my lines because Grandpa would swing by real slow in his old Lund Tri-Hull, drop his anchor in my boat, and start pullin’ me toward shore.

Then, we’d go inside to sit, talk, and eat.


Grandma would usually cook three pieces of chicken, potatoes, and bread. I’d wolf down my chicken so I could get back out on the lake.

I never wanted summer to end.

How about you? Do you have summer memories you never wanted to end? I’d love to hear about ‘em.

Take care, neighbor. Take good care.

P.S. – Did you know that “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” was written in 1852 by Eliphalet Oram Lyte? I wonder if he wrote that song while trolling for muskie.


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