The Cheerio is to the left and closer to shore

There really is a Cheerio (or was) at Fin Family Moominbeach. It was a big round cement-type thing with a hole in the middle that was a few feet out from the shore and when my “cuzzints” and I were four or five, we used to spend hours playing with it. Or *on* it, since it was too heavy for us to lift out of the sand and play *with* it. I don’t remember exactly what we played on the Cheerio. The Cheerio disappeared for many years and then a couple years ago at the annual 4th of July Potluck, it was a low water year and I spotted what I thought was about a quarter of the Cheerio, which probably broke apart over years of submersion in the sand under the water or wherever. I said, “There’s the Cheerio!” One of my favorite Piedmont friends looked at me like I was nuts and said, “Get out!” in her beautiful no nonsense Connecticut-type accent.

Alas, I don’t have any photooos of the Cheerio. Or even the Quarter Cheerio. In this photoooo, we are standing on a “raft”. Can you see it? Yes, it is submerged. When you live on a beach, like we did in the summer, all kinds of flotsam and jetsam and cosmic debris lands on your shore daily. Back in the days before rules about freighter garbage came into play, we would routinely get a lot more than we do now. Grapefruit rinds. Mesh onion bags (you can wear them as hats, don’tcha know). Pulp logs that escaped from their journey down from wherever (you could build forts and other structures from them). In this case, some sort of constructed piece of whatever had floated in and we used it as a “raft”. I guess we didn’t go very far on that raft that day.

By the way, the “cuzzints” in the photooo are not Fin cousins. They come from the MacMullan side of the family (aka The Commander’s family). That’s Sally on the left. That’s meeee in the middle. Yes, I was quite tall for a 6-year-old but I am also standing on a submerged raft. And I think that Sally’s sister Teri (a year younger than me) is on the right. I can’t quite tell because she’s bent over.

The interesting little factoid about these two cousins is that their dad was the director of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources back in the day. There is a facility in northern lower Michigan that bears his name and there are signs on the two area freeways that point it out. He’s long dead (alas) but he always loved to bring his family up to visit during the summer. And so, once when he was there, my uncle Duke and old Doc Read were out fishing with some sort of illegal fish trap. As they headed their little fishing boat toward shore, they realized that the director of the MI DNR was standing there on the beach. Well, what were they gonna do? Hmm. They landed the boat on the beach and hauled their traps or whatever they had up onto the land. The director of the DNR just looked the other way.

I am always careful about what I put on my blahg but, since this happened back in the 60s or thereabouts, and almost everyone who witnessed it is dead, I think it is okay to post it. Mom, please correct me about the details of the fish-trap thing!!!

2 Responses to “The Cheerio is to the left and closer to shore”

  1. Dona Says:

    I wonder if the Cheerio was an old grist mill stone. Or was it less flat?

    You’re lucky to have such good memories of hanging out with your cousins.

  2. Fran Says:

    Your description is pretty close to right. Since Austin was a visitor he had no comments, he had a lot of common sense.