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Gunkholing: We Had A Party In His Honor

Lake Elizabeth in Old Craigville Village – Photo by Brian
My family’s first visit to Cape Cod in 1955 was in one of these cottages overlooking the lake.
 From this vantage point, a short walk to the left brings you to Craigville Beach.
Straight ahead and up the hill, it is a short walk to the Old Craigville village green.

In February, if my father was alive, he would have turned 100-years-old. Several of us, starting with my nephew Chris Miller and my brother John, decided we should have a 100-year memorial birthday party in Dad’s honor; someplace where we could accommodate the entire family. What did that mean? I am one of eight siblings, and almost all of us are married.

The eight siblings have 21 children, and most of them are married. And from these marriages the family has 18 great grand children. Add in a couple close friends and the invitation list nudged around 70 people!

Where to have the party? My father first visited Cape Cod at Craigville Beach in 1938 and loved this area for the rest of his life.

Since 1955, the most constantly shared location in my family’s life has been Craigville Beach and the surrounding cottage communities. Many people were traveling a distance, so we needed to have overnight accommodations.

We contacted the Craigville Retreat Center in the village of Old Craigville. The Craigville Manor and Lodge, just large enough for our entire family, sits on the high bluff across the street from and overlooking Craigville Beach. The folks from the Retreat Center could not have been any more helpful and friendly.

We displayed many family photos and shared fun stories and memories in the living room around the great stone fireplace. Many members of the family helped organize and “run the party,” if you will.

Many photos were taken and provided. We are planning an article in an upcoming issue of Cape Cod Life to further share this wonderful event with our readers. Please stay tuned.

My Best,

Brian Shortsleeve

P.S. As my father liked to say, “A fine time was had by all.”

Gunkholing is the art of getting a boat into any small shallow cove, forbidden to boats of deeperdraft and out again, without running aground much over a dozen times. – J. Benjamin

Read Brian’s 2020 LIFE Annual Gunholing column here.



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