What in the world is a pit pass?
I grew up in Lake Villa by a lake. In fact, during hot weather I spent most of my time in the lake, and quite often on it. We lived between Sherwood Park and Cedar Lake Park, one lot away from Cedar Lake. Clair and Edith Sherwood, owners of the two parks, lived on the lot behind us in a lovely ranch-style house perched on the bluff above the lake.
Our tiny little subdivision, which consisted of three year-round homes and three summer cottages (one of which was later converted to year-round), had lake rights to a little beach down the bluff from the Sherwoods’ home. As kids, my brother, friends and I spent most of our time down on that beach, fishing with bamboo poles, rowing around in our old wooden flat-bottom rowboat, digging clay out of the lake bottom to make little sculptures and pots, building sand castles and swimming.
My brother also ran a set line to catch catfish in the weedy, mucky area to the south of the beach. In the winter, we went ice fishing and skating, although most of my skating was on my rear end! When we were teenagers, we did most of our swimming at Sherwood or Cedar Lake Park. That was the place to go to hang out with friends and meet new ones. We town kids never paid to swim at the parks. Although we were supposed to go through the front gates, we usually just crawled through the fence or waded along the shore until we got to the park beach. We not only knew where to find all the holes in the fence, we knew how to get through the barbed wire without getting a scratch.
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