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  • Writer's pictureKeeper

Chris and Friends

One of the great things about owning a lighthouse is that you have a lot of visitors. Most are strangers who contact me for a tour or just happen to wander by and ask to come in for a look around. Other visitors are friends I’ve met there and volunteers who have helped with the renovations. I have a few college chums who live in the area and visit, and on a rare occasion, out of town friends or relatives will pop in.

Such was an August 2018 weekend when my nephew, Chris – who was toiling at a summer job in Chillicothe, OH – dropped by with nine of his friends. All of them had been working on the summer theater production of Tecumseh, a few hours south of the lighthouse. Since they were off on Sundays and it was late in the season, a road trip to a lighthouse sounded like a great idea. All ten were in or recently graduated from college, studied theater or stage production, and happy to be spending time in Ohio getting experience for their future careers. They came from as far away as Florida, Oklahoma and Georgia and frankly, were just happy to see a beach after being in landlocked southern Ohio.

While most of the group had visited lighthouses in other areas of the country, none had stayed overnight in one. I rendezvoused with them in the parking lot offering to cook a homemade dinner if they helped carry out the groceries. In addition to bags of food for dinner, there were breakfast provisions and, of course, plenty of adult beverages. Hauling their overnight bags along with the supplies was not a problem for them and after settling into their overnight accommodations they quickly headed back to the beach.

Tired from the drive and playing in the Lake Erie waves, the group enjoyed dinner prepared on the grill and settled in for an evening of libations and board games. They watched the sunset and at some point after I had gone to bed opted for a moonlit stroll on the beach before crashing on every bed, couch and chair that was available. A curious raccoon was so enamored by the noise and laughter, that he climbed the access ladder to get a better look at the party. Fortunately, he retreated fairly quickly after getting the hint that he was not invited.

In typical young person fashion, they struggled getting up in the morning needing to be bolstered by strong coffee and sugary pastries. Once everyone was accounted for and somewhat coherent, they started packing for the drive back. They slowly made their way back down the breakwall and enjoyed a long stroll on the beach before piling into their carpools for the ride back. They detoured through downtown Cleveland for a look-see and tacos before heading back south. It was great to have them and I know they enjoyed their time at the lighthouse.

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