Living accommodations for staff at Muskoka Sands Inn in 1970 were less than palatial.  We lived in small cabins dotted around the resort that were probably built by the first settlers in the region in the late 1600s.  The ceilings were low and the windows small.  The screens on the doors and windows needed to be replaced so the mosquitos had ready access to our room and feasted on us every night.  I would hear them congregating outside planning their attack as I settled into bed.  I would do my best to hide under the sheets but they would find their way into the room then buzz around before lighting somewhere on me.  I would thrash about trying to wipe every square inch of my body and there would be silence for a moment then the buzz would return.  Inevitably I would get out of bed, turn on the light, locate the s.o.b., kill it then climb back into bed awaiting the next intruder and the whole process would repeat itself.

I shared a room with a university-aged fellow who never showed any interest in me and basically spent his time in the room avoiding his younger gardener roommate as much as one could in a 12 by 12 space.  His disregard for me was so complete that even when I was in the room he would bring his date home and do his thing with her on the top bunk as I cowered, pretending to be asleep, on the bottom bunk.  I remember clearly watching the springs overhead being stretched to their limit.  I wasn’t so much interested in what was happening over my head as I was scared for my life and imagining the two of then crashing down on me metal, mattress and all.  In the morning he would ask me with a smirk how I slept and I would pretend that I didn’t know what he was talking about.  Just once I wanted to have my own date and give him a little of his own medicine, however the girls at the resort seemed to have little interest in a skinny little kid from Niagara.

Eventually I asked to switch rooms as my job as a driver for Mr. East demanded that I be alert at all times.  I was assigned a single room and in all my years at resorts thereafter I never had a roommate again.