Lakeside, Ohio: porch central


The home that I grew up in has a small front porch; just big enough for the mailbox and three boy scouts to stand under and sell popcorn.  We use our back deck much more often; almost every night in the summer.

But porches make me think of Lakeside.  Its a Chataqua-eske town on Lake Erie, traditionally Methodist.  There are lots of retired pastors and others who retire there, and during the summer it turns into a gated community with lots of weekly tourists.  My family spend the first week in August at Lakeside for 16 years of my life.  Besides the lake, 15 mph speed limit,  evening entertainment, shuffleboard, and a plethora of ice cream shops, Lakeside is truly a porch town.  Almost all of the houses have a screened-in porch, and at any point of the day you can find people on them.  The elderly are out during the day, knitting, reading, or writing letters.  Around 6 o clock the younger people return from sitting on the pier (another form of porch) in adirondack chairs and families play games before dinner.  After the program, the elderly and children go to bed and those of a proper age relax under the stars.

Although you might think this expensive, old-fashioned kind of vacation will soon go out of style, I don’t think so.  Lakeside has been making efforts to connect with new generations through more youth activities, field trips, and stores.  They keep building houses, which means people keep retiring there- which means they will bring their grandchildren to sit on the porch with them.

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