Family Time

Here's a shot of Isle Royale from a long time ago, the summer of 1970 to be exact. I was 14 years old. I'm the curly blonde-headed kid standing in the middle of the crowd. We had taken the well-known hike up to Lookout Louise, which is on the Greenstone Ridge on the northeast end of the island. Nixon was president. He had recently ordered the bombing of Cambodia. Kent State had just happened, Woodstock a year before. The two families, the Ben and Eva Lassila clan of Farmington, MI, and the Don and Betty Kilpela clan of Livionia, MI (both Finnish-American families), were close friends and spent time on the island a couple times way back in the late 60s. We had great times together. The Lassilas had four kids, my parents' had six, for a total of ten. We always stayed at the Rock Harbor Lodge (in the Housekeeping Cottages) back in those days. My parents weren't much for camping, though I became a wilderness-loving guy in no time because of my exposure to Isle Royale. My folks bought the Isle Royale Queen II in 1971, just a year after this photo was taken, which is when or family's connection to the island began. Is it time to begin your own family tradition on Isle Royale? If it has already begun, send me a photo and I'll be happy to post it on this blog. It can be a great way to stay together and form lasting memories.


Capt. Donald Kilpela Sr. said...

Actually, the picture must be from the 1970 trip, our last one as a two-family outing to the island. John was only 6 months old in 1969.

The picture is one of my favorites and I am telling the Lassila family to check out this blog.

Thanks for posting it. Do you have the one of Uncle Ben tossing an empty ice cream carton over his shoulder as though he was discarding it on the island? Since Ben died a short 12 years later at the age of 52, his kids would appreciate any pictures we have.

Don Kilpela Sr.

Ben Kilpela said...

You're right. I edited the post. I don't think I have that shot of the ice cream carton. I'll keep me eyes open for it.