As Bob Miller returns after his swim to his tree-lined farm, chest red and dripping from the bracing dip, he dismisses praise. Tell him that some people his age have already moved into retirement homes, and he has a quick rejoinder: “I am in my retirement home.” He’s there with his wife, Lilli, and his woodwork shop. Their grown children occasionally visit, and abundant gentleman-farmer projects spread across the acres where his dad’s sheep once grazed.
His local history project is also keeping him busy; Miller and Ray Berg, of the Manchester Area Chamber of Commerce, are working against the clock. “We’re encouraging people to write stories about their families, to salvage them while we still can, before we all die off and the history is gone,” Miller says. Having good township records doesn’t hurt in dealings with gravel companies either, he observes.
Miller recognizes the ways life on Pleasant Lake has changed. Light pollution means fewer stars visible at night. There’s more noise with more cars, school buses, gravel trucks, and home remodeling contractors—although the ostentatious boathouses that clog the shorelines of many an affluent lakeside community are thankfully absent. Even the motor home park near the inn is tidy and well kept.