I wrote of my lone trip to Deep Lake, but I think it’s time I visit there again. Not physically — I’m diametrically opposed to walking anywhere out of cable TV range — but in …
I wrote of my lone trip to Deep Lake, but I think it’s time I visit there again. Not physically — I’m diametrically opposed to walking anywhere out of cable TV range — but in print. I’m only one of millions, literally, that brother Jess, the Deep Lake Godfather has guided into that sheltered Eden.
My niece Katie also wrote about Deep Lake, making it the envy of other Wyoming bodies of water. All the buzz is focused on Jess, but he has a wife ya know, and she’s made some DL trips of her own. Marti, or Martay as I call her, has made a gaggle of trips to DL over many years — the first being soon after Jess brought her home to PA to meet the family in ‘66. Thankfully she didn’t seek an annulment after meeting all the Blough characters.
At 11 years old, I just remember begging Jess to take me to a real bowling alley since I’d about worn out my plastic toy set. Jess did take me to Terrace Lanes in Jerome, Pennsylvania, 3 miles from our country home and it became a real bowling rivalry between us.
But returning to Marti’s first trip to Deep Lake as a bride, they went up the canyon and Marti still remembers being afraid crossing Little Fork Creek. Our family came out to visit in June of ‘67 and that was Marti’s second trip to the glorious, hidden lake. I stayed for the summer to play Little League with Jess and Marti in a tiny abode on a dirt lane that is now busy Cougar Avenue.
I remember that summer for three things: No. 1: I was always losing Marti’s bath towels at the city swimming pool. She understandably wasn’t ecstatic by the pricey losses, and it’s a maddening habit of losing stuff that’s continued into adulthood.
No. 2: There was a creep running around assaulting women, dubbed “T-shirt Man,” since that’s all he wore except for tennis shoes. During sleepovers, we all scared each other imagining T-shirt Man was outside the window.
And No. 3: Marti gave birth to my nephew Jay in July. She let me hold him once and when she went into the other room, little Jay’s head suddenly dropped like a rock from the crook of my protective arm. I was deathly scared I had broken the little guy’s neck. Thankfully he was limber and I wasn’t indicted for murder of an infant.
Marti took her third DL trip just three weeks after giving birth. There were a couple other trips in-between having another child, Stacy (Brown) and a brief move for work in Illinois in ‘68. In July of ‘05, Marti accompanied Jess and two other couples to Deep Lake for another two-day trip.
It was a couple months later on Sept. 24 when she noticed the sight in one eye had become blurry. Optic-neuritis was suspected, which normally clears up in a short time. It did not and then MS was a possibility. There was two years of constant blood-work and trips throughout the country to Mayo Clinic among many others. The cause remained a mystery, and I still remember our brother Paul calling two years later to say Marti was at the ER, having lost sight in her other eye.
That was ‘08 and they had to postpone their trip to Alaska to stay with Jess’ high school buddy, Dave Lazer. A month later though, they were in Alaska, and Marti has refused to let blindness steal her quality of life. I’m amazed at things she does like hiking, cooking her sumptuous meals and navigating her computer more adeptly than I can. Like Elton John sang, “your eyes have died, but you see more than I...”
Just a sidenote: I knew Martay loved Trena Eiden’s columns because she’s always been a fan of that self-deprecating, Erma Bombeck humor. Helpful brother-in-law that I am, I procured Trena’s number and the two lighthearted gals hooked up via phone and hit it off. Marti hopes to visit Trena in Big Piney one day soon. That’s what I do; I bring people together.