6/15/2009 Mon 9:47 PM 3 of 3
What did we sell? The marina has a history man naof one of the largest sales in that area...a 42' yacht. Purchased by Bryant Bachman,(a college professor at Purdue University) who had a large home on the north shore, and bought many boats from my father. One of the last boats he purchased was a beautiful OMC IO.
In the late 60's we employed a total of 4 people during the summer to keep up with the business. We had one high school student from Kaleva, Dad hired the man who had owned the Sportsman's Headquarters (Glen MOore) to help do service work, my mother was a full time bookkeeper, plus dad and myself. We ran 7 days a weeks, 12 hours a day from decoration day til labor day.
The fall and winters slowed up, that was mostly dad and I...there was a time we sold a lot of snow mobiles, winter sports wear...service work.
Our summer inventory consisted of Boston Whaler boats (one of the finest boats made, even today) , Sea Ray boats, Starcraft boats, ShoreStation Boat lifts and docks, Johnson Motors, Mercrusiers IO line and a full showroom of marine accessories. At one time we had more motor parts than any dealer within a 50 mile radius. We were well known for our customer service....dad loved people and it showed.
Some of our best customers were the two brothers that owned Smeltzer Orchards...just about every person on Bear Lake, most of Onekama, Portage Lake, Platte Lake and some on Crystal Lake. Our customer base consisted of GM executives, Ford Motor executives, United Airline Pilots, business men from all walks of life, covering Mich, Ohio, Ill, Ind. When I did service work, I went to some of the most gorgeous places...I hope they still remain.
Most of our customers thought nothing of buying 2 boats a years. It was a time of booming business.
For your history lesson...in the time between 1962 and 1970, I did all the driving for the Bear Lake parades...we always had a float.
I did attend high school in Bear Lake and graduated in the class of 1961. My daughter Stephanie was born in Manistee...our son was born in Ohio. I am happy to say, I am still very happily married to 'the girl on the north shore'.
Both of my parents are buried at the cemetery on Potter Rd.
There was a time I could tell you every person in Bear Lake but that was a long time ago.
Beata, I have tried to cover your questions...there are or course many stories to be told, which I will not go into at this time...but if you have any further questions please do not hesitate to email me. The marina was a large part of my life and I am happy to know it is continuing to prosper in capable hands.
I enjoyed very much hearing from you,