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A card game to remember

Tom, I hope this finds you well.

I have been on a bit of a nostalgic tear lately and would love if you’d fill the blanks in for me on some topics. I am looking for some specifics on the nature of fox lodge, the location, the members…

Hi Patrick,

I was never an official member of Fox Lodge. Most of my summer weekends from say ’63 to ’66 were at Willow Beach, Lake Simcoe with some cross-over time spent in Muskoka which is a lot further north. (maybe another three beers). I have lots of memories and photos but Paul Foster, Gordie Adams, John James, and names I can’t remember are a better source.

Peter Legrice and I became good friends and shared a cabin at Thornbury with Jim and Janice for two seasons where I then met Anna skiing. We all became members of the Blue Mountain ski-patrol with Anna’s future brother-in-law, Jim Stuckey as Patrol Master. Your dad and I were quite close buddies for those couple of years. Now, in my extended life, I realise how important those concentrated periods were.

Peter introduced me to Bob Martel who knew some guys in a rock band who had started to build a pontoon ‘party boat’ before they disbanded. The three of us bought it for $600 and somehow got it trucked to Peter’s folk’s property somewhere around Markham Road and Steel’s Avenue where we could work on it.

The plan was to float around Muskoka between Fox Lodge and other party cabins, one of which Anna was part of. We just tidied the boat up and added a ladder and railing to the roof which was made of 2×3’s on edge to support 40x fun guests. An amazing (and expensive) truck took it to Lake Joseph(?) for a ceremonious launch. Oh yeah? No one had done any calcs and the heavy roof and wall structure meant that with even one person on board, the floor was under water. The “BITOA” (Booze Is The Only Answer) was then ingloriously towed to the water’s edge of Fox Lodge where it sat in 6 inches of water as our bunks. I have the inglorious photographs.


…and specifically a card game that resulted in my dad winning the first houseboat that eventually became the first of the Egan Marine fleet. Who was at the table, what were the other stakes? Who’s boat was it, what was the condition? Some extra colour would be appreciated! Let me know…

After two summers Peter was married; Bob was in Hong Kong and I was a partner in an Industrial Design firm and running the Mariposa Folk Festival as well so the houseboat became more a liability than an asset. It’s all a bit hazy now but, in an inebriated state, I lost the houseboat on a poker bet to Jim. I don’t know who was at the table – gambling was not a regular occurrence and the money was not important to any of us – I was relieved to no longer have to drag it ashore for another winter. As described, the existing houseboat was a far too heavy box plonked on a well constructed pontoon base. That gave Jim some vision – bigger pontoons or a lighter box, and he took it from there.

I am intending to write a ‘memoirs’ type thing this year so always happy to exchange notes and names. I think your Mom keeps in touch with Susie (Fawcett) who, with Bob, was a major member there.

Best regards to all your family.

Keep in touch!


egan marine houseboat

This is one of the Early Egan Marine Houseboats that Jim Egan and my mother built.

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