Sun Lakes Store and Coffee Shop

When my Grampa returned from the South Pacific he teamed up with a war buddy and together they took out the lease on the gas station / store in Sun Lakes. My Grandpa was a regular work horse with a good attitude, no matter what needed done he would get the tools he thought he would need, grab his hat and get to work. And he never frumped or groaned, but he would sometimes sneak away and in the shade of a tree or building relax with a rolly. He was a shy man, single, good looking, tough as nails and easy to get laughing. He was originally from Springdale, and one day when he was back home visiting he met the girl of his dreams. Rather than dating long distance, my Grandma took a job at the park and the two courted for a year before tying the knot in 1948.
Later that year my Mother finished the school year and moved up. She was 10 years old, and it was a whole new world compared to the farm with all the animals, trees and tranquility. Now she was dumped in the middle of summer vacation at a very busy store on a highway surrounded by lakes and tourists.
It wasn’t always tourist season though, and after summer all the campers and fishermen would go away leaving the Park Lake to the handful of people who lived there all year round.
While working at the store my Grandma heard that Mary McCann could no longer maintain the little beach front property she had called McCanns Beach and was thinking about putting it on the market. My Grandma decided to investigate so she walked down the highway the little distance, and cut through the sage to McCanns Beach. It was run down, weedy and snakey. There was a ranch house that sat a little ways back from the sandy beach, a few cabins and an outhouse. Obviously the property hadn’t been used in a while. As she wandered around the land she noted that it had its own private inlet that ran to the sandy beach, and also the property had two waterfronts, Park Lake and Blue Lake.
It turns out that what my Grandma saw as a great investment my Grandpa saw as a great investment in labor, long days, and cold winters. He was already in his late 30s, returned from war and doing great slinging gas at the 76, plus he had a new family and a new life. But he was also in love, and love makes you do silly things so he found himself agreeing and soon was driving Grandma and Mary Maude McCann down the Scenic Highway to Ephrata to sign papers.
My Grampa ran the store from 1946 to 1949 when he sold the lease and moved down the road to the resort to start a new life with new family.
c.1948

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