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Tag - Lake Michigan

Skip & Eddie Gonsorek

I don’t even remember when I first met Skip & Eddie. Their parents lived full-time in Michigan City, IN, where our Cottage was, and whenever we came to town, our parents always got together to play cards, drink and argue.

My Mother always told us kids to call their parents “Uncle Ed & Aunt Lorraine” so I thought we were all related and that Skip & Eddie were cousins of mine. As we got older, we (the kids) realized that none of us were related at all and our parents were just drinking buddies!

The original Gonsorek family had five kids – Diane, Eddie, Skip, Tina and Tim. After Lorraine passed, Ed remarried, and his new wife, Dorothy, had at least five kids of her own! (I actually lost count of how many people were in that extended family!) There were brothers and I think a sister that were older than all of us, but there was also Karen, who was a bit younger than me, who became part of my group of close friends.

Michigan City had a big Marina and lots of people from Chicago brought their boats over. There was only one small public beach there and the rest was all private beach property. Whenever we were in town, Skip & Eddie (and friends) and Karen would more than likely spend their weekend days hanging at the beach with us. My Dad was always conning the guys into doing manual labor, in exchange for free beer. The guys were more than ready to pitch in for that!

mc01_webI have so many memories of the Gonsorek Family…

Like the first time I ever got drunk, was on Harvey Wallbangers, at a party at their house, when I was maybe 13 or 14! (I think that Eddie was the bartender that night, so it’s probably all his fault!) What a bad influence they were! And, I never drank Wallbangers after that night either! (Thanks Eddie.)

We went to a lot of local fairs and carnivals together and did what everyone else in Michigan City did – cruised the McDonalds’s at night, looking for people we didn’t know! (Seriously – that was a big past-time in Michigan City!)

There are also some vague, vague memories of playing “Spin the Bottle” one night, on our backyard patio, but I’d never remember “who kissed who” and there are no photos to prove any of it happened anyway!

My mother loved Skip and Eddie so much, I’m surprised that she didn’t trade two of her own children, in exchange for the two of them!

Eddie even became sort of a “brother” to me, when he lived at our house in Chicago for a year, while he was working in the city. When I had a boyfriend who was seriously injured in a traffic accident at college, Eddie was the one who drove me down to Southern Indiana to see him, in the middle of the night. What are friends/brothers for?!

I’ve known for well over 15 years, that Eddie actually lives less than 35 miles from me now, and we have yet to get back together! I will now have to annoy him on Facebook, until he finally makes plans to do so! Or, threaten to post more photos, when I unearth them!

The Cottage in Michigan City, Indiana

Growing up, my Family lived in Glenview, IL, which was a suburb, north of Chicago. When we were really young, my parents bought a summer home, that we called “The Cottage.” The Cottage was about an hour and a half away, in Michigan City, IN, and it was this small house that was directly on the beach of Lake Michigan. The only thing separating us from the water was the rolling sand dunes and “Cigar” trees.

We didn’t go to the Cottage every weekend, but we did spend a majority of every summer there, (I sometimes went in the Winter as well) and we shared those times with a vast assortment of friends and family. All of us have fond memories of the Cottage and the times we spent there. It also had one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever been to in my life.

The Cottage - Michigan City, IN

The Cottage – When my Family owned it

The Cottage only had two bedrooms and one bathroom on the main floor, and an enclosed porch that faced the water. It seemed like there were always renovations going on as we got “drafted” into helping with all sorts of fixer-upper projects (until we did such a bad job that we were “banished” to the beach!) There was a large garage under the house, which a second bathroom and shower was eventually added to, along with a large room that had bunk beds and single beds, for additional sleeping areas. On any given weekend, before we could invite anyone along, we had to do a “head count” to make sure we had enough beds for everyone. Nine people could sleep upstairs and I think up to six people downstairs?

My Dad bought the Cottage for about $15K in the early 60’s. When he sold it in the 80’s, it sold for around $85K. Today, the property is worth in the multi-million dollar range, as lakefront real estate went crazy in that area. I will show photos of what the cottage looked like when we lived there and what it looks like now! You can’t even recognize it as the same place.

I will be sharing many, many memories from our Summers (and Winters) at the Cottage.

The Cottage - Michigan City, IN

The Cottage Today

The Cottage - Michigan City, IN

The Cottage – Today