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Dear Cottage Life

We use plastic bins to pack for the cottage at home and as storage containers once we are up there. (Rubbermaid is our friend.) They are mouse- and dog-proof and help keep things organized. I even have one that I use on the back rack of the car for transporting the dirty stuff (gas cans, garbage, etc.).—John Kaasalainen, Canning Lake, Ont.

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What a nice surprise to read that Summerland— the dance hall my grandparents built—is still being enjoyed, albeit in a different capacity (“Stocked Market,” Waterfront, Winter ’17/’18).

My grandparents Arthur and Etta Coulter had a cottage on Riley Lake, Ont. The Summerland property was owned by their friends Jim and Anne Mackie. While they loved cottage life, there was nothing fun to do on Saturday nights. So, Arthur and Jim opened a dance hall.

Locals played the music—it was always square dancing. After two or three sets, my dad would announce winning tickets—the prize for ladies was a box of chocolates; men received a carton of cigarettes. They held dances every Saturday night, and they were very popular. Even the crew building hydro lines through the area came to every dance. My dad’s other job was to head out early on Sunday morning to collect the empty beer and liquor bottles before church. —KAREN DACK, LITTLE LAKE, ONT.

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