I thought that Andy Bagnall was my first boyfriend, but I think there might have been someone previous to him (that I never told my parents about!)
The distance from our beach to the public beach, was about a 20-minute walk along the lake, which my friends and I would take whenever we got bored with just laying out in the sun.
I must have been 14 when I met Andy because I remember my parents telling me that I was too young to be “dating” anyone yet, yet alone a guy who was at least 4-5 years older than me! My girlfriends and I probably walked by the lifeguard stands a few times, before Andy got up the nerve to come and talk to me. After that, walks to the Lifeguard stands became a daily if not twice daily ritual for myself and my friends. Since no one really needs to be “saved” from the waters of Lake Michigan, Andy and I could just sit for hours and talk, while he was working. There was also nothing more beautiful than the days it was too cold and overcast for “beach activity”. Those days were the best to huddle under our jackets or a blanket and just enjoy the wind-swept glory of the beach in inclement weather.
My parents allowed Andy to come to our Cottage and hang out with me, but I wasn’t allowed to go anywhere with him, in his car. (Sounds ridiculous even now!) I think that first summer of our “beach romance”, I maybe rode in his convertible Fiat Spyder one time and then it promptly broke down on us, leaving my father to wonder if we lied about the whole thing! Andy was very Blonde, tan and cute (in a very “lifeguard” way) but he was a tad shorter than me. I remember only walking around barefoot when I had to walk next to him.
Our “structured” romance was going along fine until one fateful night. Since I couldn’t go out at night (or anytime) with Andy, he would just come by at night and we would sit on the front porch and talk. One night, he stopped by with a friend, and we all sat around talking but our neighbors had company coming over and Andy’s car was blocking the driveway. The driveway to our house was U-shaped and it came down steeply from street level. You entered at the top of the “U”, then had to make a sharp left turn because the house walkway was at the bottom of the “U” and then to get out, you had to drive up the steep, other side of the “U”. This driveway was a monster to negotiate because it was so steep…trying to drive it using a stick shift, had disaster written all over it.
Andy had left his Fiat parked at the top of the driveway, and since other houses utilized the driveway, I told him he had to bring it down. As he drove the car down, I don’t know if he hit the gas instead of the brakes, but he ended up running into the steel handrails that lined the walkway up to our house. It wasn’t really any big deal…there was no huge damage, but my father came out and all hell broke loose. He was yelling at Andy for running into the handrails and Andy kept apologizing and Andy’s friend tried to take the blame, to get it off of Andy, but nothing good came out of it. My dad “proclaimed” that I was forbidden from ever seeing Andy again!
Princess…..er, me, was forbidden to see her Summer Romance, and that caused all sorts of “drama” around the house. The good thing was, my Mother and Grandmother absolutely adored Andy, so they would get me in the car, (on the pretext of going shopping), and then they would drive me down to the public beach, and leave me there, to hang out with Andy while he was working, while they did go shopping! I remember being so surprised that they would do something like that for me! So, that’s how the rest of the summer was spent…my Mother and Grandmother plotting ways to get me to see Andy, that my Dad wouldn’t find out about!
Eventually the drama all blew over (or my Dad just forgot what happened) and the next Summer and Summers after that, I had no restrictions placed on me anymore, and my friends and I would get together with Andy and his friends, whenever we were at our cottage. I visited Andy once at his College, and I kept in touch with him through my early College years but by then, I had quit going to the Cottage as much, since I was usually living elsewhere.
Follow up Note: My friend (partner-in-crime) Karen, from Michigan City, informed me that we used to walk down the beach, early in the morning, dressed in odd clothes to “deface” the Lifeguard stands! I think I might have some photos of that as well!