Runyan – Bud’s Memories

RUNYAN LAKE MEMORIES
FROM RALPH GUY ANDREW CASTILLO

GRANDFATHER GUY ANDREW LYON AND GRANDMOTHER JOSEPHINE LYON’s COTTAGE AT RUNYAN LAKE AT ONE TIME WAS A PLACE TO GO BOATING AND HAVE A BEER (ESPECIALLY DURING THE DRY DAYS OF THE ’30’s )

THESE ARE MEMORIES THAT I HAVE BEEN TOLD ABOUT, BUT CAN’T QUITE REMEMBER THEM AND SOME MEMORIES THAT ARE CLEAR AS IF IT WERE YESTERDAY.

CLIMBING THE EXTENSION LADDER TO THE ROOF AND RUNNING AROUND THE ROOF, EACH TIME SOMEONE CAME AFTER ME I WOULD TURN AND RUN THE OTHER WAY. FINALLY SOMEONE CLIMBED UP BEHIND ME AND WHEN I TURNED TO RUN I GOT CAUGHT.

GRAMPA LYON TAKING ME OUT AT NIGHT TO SHOOT THE GOO-GOO BIRD BEHIND THE 2 HOLE OUTHOUSE WITH MY NEW TRUSTY CORK DOUBLE BARREL SHOTGUN.

CHARGING THROUGH THE COTTAGE WITH GRAMPS CIVIL WAR MUSKET WITH THAT LONG BANNETT ON THE BARREL, MISSING THE TURN INTO THE KITCHEN AND RUNNING INTO THE REFRIGERATOR, POKED A NICE HOLE IN IT. NEEDLESS TO SAY MY CIVIL WAR PLAYING DAYS WERE OVER.

EATING AT THE BREAKFAST NOOK THAT GRAMP HAD BUILT FOR US KIDS, ON THE SIDE PORCH. WITH THE RED FLOOR.

PUTTING THE ROWBOATS IN THE WATER AFTER THE ICE MELTED, THAN SETTING UP THE DOCK ON SAWHORSE’S AND FLOATING THE SECTIONS OUT ONE AT A TIME UNTIL WE GOT TO THE END AND PUT THE BENCHES ON.

RAISING THE AMERICAN FLAG EVERY MORNING AND LOWERING IT EVERY NIGHT  LEARNING TO FOLD THE FLAG FOR THE NEXT DAYS FLAG CEREMONY.

SKATING ON THE ICE DURING WINTER AND FREEZING MY TOE’S, RUNNING COLD WATER OVER THEM TO UN-FREEZE THEM.

SWIMMING ACROSS THE LAKE BEHIND THE ROWBOAT WITH GRANMA LYONS ROWING, CARMEN SWAM ONE WAY AND I SWAM BACK. WE COULD REST BUT WE COULD NOT TOUCH THE BOAT.

WALKING FROM FENTON TO RUNYAN LAKE, STOPPING ALONG THE WAY TO START A FIRE AND EAT FRESH ROASTED CORN AND OTHER VEGGIES THAT WERE PLANTED ALONG THE ROAD.

CLIMBING THE “BIG” HILL TO THE MAILBOX WHEN I WAS SMALL THAN YEARS LATER SEEING THAT “BIG” HILL HAD GOTTEN SMALLER AS I HAD GOTTEN OLDER.

HAVING FRANK JR. SHOW ME ALL THE NEAT STUFF THAT I COULD DO.

TAKING HOWARD’S TOBOGGAN TO SLIDE DOWN THE O’DELL’S HILL AND HIT THE CONCRETE STEPS THAT WERE BURIED JUST UNDER THE SNOW , SORRY HOWARD THAT’S WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR TOBOGGAN.

FLOATING DOWN THE SHIAWASEE RIVER IN FENTON IN ALUMINUM TIRE TUBE TESTERS THAT WE BORROWED FROM THE TRACTOR DEALERSHIP. I COULDN’T SWIM A STROKE BUT I SURE COULD RIDE THOSE RIVER RAPIDS THAT IS UNTIL GRAMPA LYON SAW ME AND TOLD MOM, THAT ENDED MY RIVER RAPIDS SHOOTING DAYS.

SWINGING ON THAT THICK ROPE TIED TO THE TREE AT THE TOP OF THE HILL . LOTS OF FUN UNTIL I GOT STUCK AND HAD TO DROP OFF THE ROPE TO THE GROUND. I FELL FOR DAY’S.

CATCHING TURTLES AT THE POND WE CALLED TURTLE LAKE.

GIGGING FROGS AROUND THE LAKE TO GET FROG LEGS FOR GRAM.

EATING CRAB APPLES UNTIL WE GOT SICK

RAIDING SOMEONE ELSE’S GARDENS FOR STUFF , EVEN WHEN GRAMS GARDEN WAS THE BEST ONE AROUND, THINGS JUST TASTED BETTER FROM SOMEONE ELSE’S GARDEN.

CATCHING PERCH , BLUEGILL & SUNFISH CLEANING THEM, THAN PLANTING THE HEADS AND INSIDES AROUND GRAMS ROSE BUSHES. THE FRESH FISH SURE WAS GOOD.

SPENDING ALL DAY JUST EXPLORING AND JUST DOING BOY STUFF. CATCHING GARDEN SNAKES , FROGS & TADPOLES .

ROWING TO THE END OF THE LAKE TO GET FRESH MILK IN AN OLD MILK CAN, AND KEEPING IT COLD IN THAT SPRING FED WATER COOLER UNDER THE KITCHEN WINDOW NEXT TO THE GARAGE DOOR.

GRAMPA LYON SITTING NEXT TO HIS RADIO EVERY NIGHT TO LISTEN TO THE LATEST NEWS.

GETTING COVERED WITH POISON IVY ( ALMOST EVERY SUMMER ) AND GRAMA LYON MAKING ME SLEEP WITH SOCKS OVER MY HANDS SO I WOULDN’T SCRATCH THE BLISTERS.

LEARNING TO SWIM WHEN HOWARD THROUGH ME OFF THE DOCK, SINK OR SWIM AND I’VE BEEN SWIMMING EVER SINCE.

DRINKING WATER RIGHT OUT OF THE LAKE AND NOT WORRYING WHO WAS DUMPING POISONS INTO THE WATER, IT WAS FRESH AND IT WAS COLD YEAR AROUND.

NOT HAVING A T.V. TO DISTRACT US, WE MADE OUR OWN GAMES, HOUNDS & HARES, TAG, I SPY, WE WOULD JUST DO FUN STUFF. I CAN’T REMEMBER DOING ANYTHING AT THE LAKE TO DAMAGE OR HURT ANYTHING ON PURPOSE.

IT WAS JUST A FUN TIME IN MY LIFE AND I FEEL SORRY FOR ANYONE AND EVERYONE THAT COULDN’T ENJOY THOSE GREAT TIMES THAT WE HAD.

(Dave’s Notes: In 2001, I asked some of the family elders to recall some of their memories of Runyan Lake in the 40s. This is the 2001 submission of my Uncle Bud – Ralph G. Castillo, my mother’s younger brother.)