[current_date format=l,] [current_date]

Our Plywood Cabin

By Gary Jackson The father asked his son “Mr. Lazy, would you say grace before our meal”. The son replied “No, I don’t want to”. So the truck driver delivering lumber to build our cabin offered the blessing. Dad had ordered a truckload of lumber and other supplies. In the late afternoon this truck backed down the steep dirt road to our future lake cabin. After unloading the truck, Dad had asked the driver if he would like to stay for dinner although it was very basic since there was no kitchen yet. Well, I found out later that the truck driver’s name was Lacy, L A C Y, not Lazy and he was the pastor of a small church in a rural Idaho town. This was his weekday

By Gary Jackson

The father asked his son “Mr. Lazy, would you say grace before our meal”. The son replied “No, I don’t want to”. So the truck driver delivering lumber to build our cabin offered the blessing. Dad had ordered a truckload of lumber and other supplies. In the late afternoon this truck backed down the steep dirt road to our future lake cabin. After unloading the truck, Dad had asked the driver if he would like to stay for dinner although it was very basic since there was no kitchen yet. Well, I found out later that the truck driver’s name was Lacy, L A C Y, not Lazy and he was the pastor of a small church in a rural Idaho town. This was his weekday job to augment his income. Dad wasn’t trying to insult me, he was addressing the pastor, Mr. Lacy! As the saying goes, Live and Learn.

After Dad had purchased land for the cabin in 1959, we began construction the following year. My dad designed the cabin himself. With some help from the family, mostly me, a freshman in high school we started construction in 1960.

I helped my dad during that summer and subsequent ones also. Most of the work was in the summer but it was not continuous. He was a college professor and had spare time in the summers and this was his “recreation”, stemming from his roots in rural Montana.

When we started construction we had to live in a tent. When the whole family was there, it meant 6 of us (mom, dad, me, and 3 younger sisters) living in about 10ft x 10 ft space. We cooked on a Coleman underneath the front flap, where mom prepared meals, or Dad did if it were only him and me.

The first step was to lay the foundation. But before that we had to dig into the sloping hill to allow for downstairs bedrooms. I was in charge of digging. On some weekends I even had a friend helping me. The most exciting part of this experience was digging out a huge boulder, probably 3 ft in diameter. My friend and I then rolled it down the hill crashing through shrubs to the beach. Then we rolled it into deep water so that our boat, and future dock, would not interfere. This was the energy of youth.
Early on we realized that life would be a lot easier if we had water at the tent and cabin site. The lake was about 80 ft below on a steep slope. So dad constructed a small (4’ x 6’) pumphouse and ran cable to hook up electricity to the power line above our property. Both the pumphouse and the cabin still stand to this day, 2023. We then dug a trench to install a water line, and also a power line down to the pumphouse and then ran a hose into the lake and Viola, we had water!

Photo: Gary Jackson

We fairly quickly constructed the floor of the main cabin, above the 2 future bedrooms that were dug into the slope. This gave us a dirt-free place to cook, and work. I moved from the crowded tent to sleep under the stars in this flat space. Although I generally enjoyed working with him, and certainly our location, our father-son relationships were not always smooth. Dad liked to start work early, while I wanted a little more sleep. Dad needed a 2nd person to help him with the big lumber pieces to support the roof. To get my attention to give him a hand, one morning he ran the electric circular saw (a Skil saw) right by my head, while cutting some wood. This did not go over well, to say the least. I don’t recall him doing it more than once. I think we had a truce where I arose a little earlier, but not as early as he would have liked.

Once the roof was in place, living became much easier. Around this time, we also installed a toilet and bathroom sink and kitchen sinks. I don’t remember what we did before that for waste disposal. I do remember bedpans. I guess we probably imposed on the neighbors also.
At this point, the essentials of the cabin were nearly complete. This is when we started applying the plywood sides to make the enclosure complete and waterproof.

At the end of the second summer, as we were driving home one weekend, my dad said that as payment for all my work on the cabin he would buy me a motorcycle! This really excited me. But my dad’s version of a motorcycle was a Moped (a bike with a tiny motor and pedals) that he ordered from Montgomery Ward. This was an insult to a teenager in high school. In many parts of the world where I’ve since traveled, owning a Moped is viewed with pride. In my early trips to China in the 1990s, mopeds and scooters were an upgrade to be treasured, though later it was cars as the economy improved.

The trips to build the cabin were not all work. There are 2 beautiful rivers with small attached lakes that empty into Lake Couer d’Alene where our cabin is located and they are accessible by our boat. Also I learned to water ski. But this required someone driving the boat and Dad wasn’t always willing. I remember one time when we were alone he didn’t take me skiing until dusk. I fell down in the middle of the lake and he didn’t notice. I would guess that he was thinking about the work to be addressed the following day. When he got back to the dock (probably 1-2 miles away) he finally noticed I wasn’t there. By this time it was dark. All I had to stay afloat in those days was a ski belt, basically a thick belt of foam. I wasn’t panicked as I knew I could swim to shore, but I would probably have to wait until morning to get picked up. Dad backtracked and every so often he would kill the motor and shout and I would answer and each time he got closer and closer until I was finally picked up. All I can say is Those were the days. Nowadays he’d probably be arrested for child endangerment.

By the third summer the cabin was well established, though Dad worked on upgrades for years afterwards as it was his pride and joy. As us kids became adults and had kids of our own we would frequently gather at this cabin in the summer for family reunions. As of 2023 it is still in the family and we have family gatherings almost every year

You might ask why we call this The plywood cabin. Well there is a hangout across the lake from our cabin retreat in Idaho called One Shot Charlies. The story goes that 100 years ago, give or take, Charlie visited this bar every night and ordered one shot of whiskey. Whether it’s true or not, this ‘watering hole’ became known as ‘One shot Charlies’. In the last 60 or so years it’s the kind of place where everyone can mix, from locals and tourists, to the young and old. Someone even bought our dog his own pizza one time. In the 1980s there was a talented musician who periodically performed and usually most of the patrons, young and old, were up and dancing. My very attractive niece was dancing with a local man who was obviously trying to put the moves on her. In the midst of conversation between dances he asked her ‘do you come from one of those million dollar cabins across the lake?’ No, she responded, ‘we live in a plywood cabin’. Hence our plywood cabin got its name.

Even with those teenage disputes with my dad, the cabin construction was a bonding experience and we developed a strong and loving relationship. A couple of months before his passing in 2004 I flew up to Idaho to help him secure the cabin for the winter. At 89, he was in the ice-cold water working on the boat ramp with sleet raining down.

I treasure our time together and I’m thankful for helping in the cabin construction. I learned so many things, both practical and emotional. And it kept me out of a lot of potential trouble. In my work in prison ministry over the last 20 years I have seen the difficulties young men face when they don’t have a strong male role model when growing up. Thank you, Dad


Program for Memoir writing group May 24, 2023


More on this topic

More Stories

Refreshing and Insights
at No Cost to You!

Cancel anytime

Latest Articles

Leave a Reply


Top Products

Contact us

Wherever & whenever you are,
we are here always.

The Middle Land

100 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 700 Santa Monica, CA 90401
Footer Contact

To Editor

Terms and Conditions

October, 2023

Using our website

You may use the The Middle Land website subject to the Terms and Conditions set out on this page. Visit this page regularly to check the latest Terms and Conditions. Access and use of this site constitutes your acceptance of the Terms and Conditions in-force at the time of use.

Intellectual property

Names, images and logos displayed on this site that identify The Middle Land are the intellectual property of New San Cai Inc. Copying any of this material is not permitted without prior written approval from the owner of the relevant intellectual property rights.

Requests for such approval should be directed to the competition committee.

Please provide details of your intended use of the relevant material and include your contact details including name, address, telephone number, fax number and email.

Linking policy

You do not have to ask permission to link directly to pages hosted on this website. However, we do not permit our pages to be loaded directly into frames on your website. Our pages must load into the user’s entire window.

The Middle Land is not responsible for the contents or reliability of any site to which it is hyperlinked and does not necessarily endorse the views expressed within them. Linking to or from this site should not be taken as endorsement of any kind. We cannot guarantee that these links will work all the time and have no control over the availability of the linked pages.


All information, data, text, graphics or any other materials whatsoever uploaded or transmitted by you is your sole responsibility. This means that you are entirely responsible for all content you upload, post, email or otherwise transmit to the The Middle Land website.

Virus protection

We make every effort to check and test material at all stages of production. It is always recommended to run an anti-virus program on all material downloaded from the Internet. We cannot accept any responsibility for any loss, disruption or damage to your data or computer system, which may occur while using material derived from this website.


The website is provided ‘as is’, without any representation or endorsement made, and without warranty of any kind whether express or implied.

Your use of any information or materials on this website is entirely at your own risk, for which we shall not be liable. It is your responsibility to ensure any products, services or information available through this website meet your specific requirements.

We do not warrant the operation of this site will be uninterrupted or error free, that defects will be corrected, or that this site or the server that makes it available are free of viruses or represent the full functionality, accuracy and reliability of the materials. In no event will we be liable for any loss or damage including, without limitation, loss of profits, indirect or consequential loss or damage, or any loss or damages whatsoever arising from the use, or loss of data, arising out of – or in connection with – the use of this website.

Privacy & Cookie Policy

October, 2023

Last Updated: October 1, 2023

New San Cai Inc. (hereinafter “The Middle Land,” “we,” “us,” or “our”) owns and operates www.themiddleland.com, its affiliated websites and applications (our “Sites”), and provides related products, services, newsletters, and other offerings (together with the Sites, our “Services”) to art lovers and visitors around the world.

This Privacy Policy (the “Policy”) is intended to provide you with information on how we collect, use, and share your personal data. We process personal data from visitors of our Sites, users of our Services, readers or bloggers (collectively, “you” or “your”). Personal data is any information about you. This Policy also describes your choices regarding use, access, and correction of your personal information.

If after reading this Policy you have additional questions or would like further information, please contact us.


We collect and process personal data only for lawful reasons, such as our legitimate business interests, your consent, or to fulfill our legal or contractual obligations.

Information You Provide to Us

Most of the information Join Talents collects is provided by you voluntarily while using our Services. We do not request highly sensitive data, such as health or medical information, racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade union membership, etc. and we ask that you refrain from sending us any such information.

Here are the types of personal data that you voluntarily provide to us:

  • Name, email address, and any other contact information that you provide by filling out your profile forms
  • Billing information, such as credit card number and billing address
  • Work or professional information, such as your company or job title
  • Unique identifiers, such as username or password
  • Demographic information, such as age, education, interests, and ZIP code
  • Details of transactions and preferences from your use of the Services
  • Correspondence with other users or business that you send through our Services, as well as correspondence sent to JoinTalents.com

As a registered users or customers, you may ask us to review or retrieve emails sent to your business. We will access these emails to provide these services for you.

We use the personal data you provide to us for the following business purposes:

  • Set up and administer your account
  • Provide and improve the Services, including displaying content based on your previous transactions and preferences
  • Answer your inquiries and provide customer service
  • Send you marketing communications about our Services, including our newsletters (please see the Your Rights/Opt Out section below for how to opt out of marketing communications)
  • Communicate with users who registered their accounts on our site
  • Prevent, discover, and investigate fraud, criminal activity, or violations of our Terms and Conditions
  • Administer contests and events you entered

Information Obtained from Third-Party Sources

We collect and publish biographical and other information about users, which we use to promote the articles and our bloggers  who use our sites. If you provide personal information about others, or if others give us your information, we will only use that information for the specific reason for which it was provided.

Information We Collect by Automated Means

Log Files

The site uses your IP address to help diagnose server problems, and to administer our website. We use your IP addresses to analyze trends and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use.

Every time you access our Site, some data is temporarily stored and processed in a log file, such as your IP addresses, the browser types, the operating systems, the recalled page, or the date and time of the recall. This data is only evaluated for statistical purposes, such as to help us diagnose problems with our servers, to administer our sites, or to improve our Services.

Do Not Track

Your browser or device may include “Do Not Track” functionality. Our information collection and disclosure practices, and the choices that we provide to customers, will continue to operate as described in this Privacy Policy, whether or not a “Do Not Track” signal is received.


We may share your personal data with third parties only in the ways that are described in this Privacy Policy. We do not sell, rent, or lease your personal data to third parties, and We does not transfer your personal data to third parties for their direct marketing purposes.

We may share your personal data with third parties as follows:

  • With service providers under contract to help provide the Services and assist us with our business operations (such as our direct marketing, payment processing, fraud investigations, bill collection, affiliate and rewards programs)
  • As required by law, such as to comply with a subpoena, or similar legal process, including to meet national security or law enforcement requirements
  • When we believe in good faith that disclosure is necessary to protect rights or safety, investigate fraud, or respond to a government request
  • With other users of the Services that you interact with to help you complete a transaction

There may be other instances where we share your personal data with third parties based on your consent.


We retain your information for as long as your account is active or as needed to provide you Services. If you wish to cancel your account or request that we no longer use your personal data, contact us. We will retain and use your personal data as necessary to comply with legal obligations, resolve disputes, and enforce our agreements.

All you and our data are stored in the server in the United States, we do not sales or transfer your personal data to the third party. All information you provide is stored on a secure server, and we generally accepted industry standards to protect the personal data we process both during transmission and once received.


You may correct, update, amend, delete/remove, or deactivate your account and personal data by making the change on your Blog on www.themiddleland.com or by emailing our customer service. We will respond to your request within a reasonable timeframe.

You may choose to stop receiving Join Talents newsletters or marketing emails at any time by following the unsubscribe instructions included in those communications, or you can contact us.


The Middle Land include links to other websites whose privacy practices may differ from that of ours. If you submit personal data to any of those sites, your information is governed by their privacy statements. We encourage you to carefully read the Privacy Policy of any website you visit.


Our Services are not intended for use by children, and we do not knowingly or intentionally solicit data from or market to children under the age of 18. We reserve the right to delete the child’s information and the child’s registration on the Sites.


We may update this Privacy Policy to reflect changes to our personal data processing practices. If any material changes are made, we will notify you on the Sites prior to the change becoming effective. You are encouraged to periodically review this Policy.


If you have any questions about our Privacy Policy, please contact customer service or send us mail at:

The Middle Land/New San Cai
100 Wilshire Blvd., 7th Floor
Santa Monica, CA 90401

Article Submission


Are you sure? Do you want to logout of the account?

New Programs Added to Your Plan

March 2, 2023

The Michelin brothers created the guide, which included information like maps, car mechanics listings, hotels and petrol stations across France to spur demand.

The guide began to award stars to fine dining restaurants in 1926.

At first, they offered just one star, the concept was expanded in 1931 to include one, two and three stars. One star establishments represent a “very good restaurant in its category”. Two honour “excellent cooking, worth a detour” and three reward “exceptional cuisine, worth a


February 28, 2023        Hiring Journalists all hands apply

January 18, 2023          Hiring Journalists all hands apply


Leave a Reply

Forgot Password ?

Please enter your email id or user name to
recover your password

Thank you for your participation!
Back to Home
Thank you for your subscription!
Please check your email to activate your account.
Back to Home
Thank you for your participation!
Please check your email for the results.
Back to Home

Login to Vote!

Thank you for your participation,
please Log in or Sign up to Vote

Thank you for your Comment

Back to Home

Reply To:

New Programs Added to Your Plan

Login Now

123Sign in to your account