The Staff camp is so accessible and cozy that the entire family gathers there for Thanksgiving dinner. Except for last year and Dan and DJ (Dan Jr.) remarked who it wasn't the same and they would have Thanksgiving dinner at camp every year until they have to tear it down, if it comes to that. Even the inside of the camp isn't your typical camp. At first glance it looks like a small home with a living room, bedroom and a kitchen/dining area. then you notice the small touches that are just like every other camp; the antlers, photo collages, hunting and camp themed signs, the camaraderie and the memories.
Like every other leaseholder I've talked to, it upsets Dan and DJ to even think about having to remove their camp. DJ even got up during part of the interview and walked away. I know how he feels. I almost cried during my Dad's interview.
After I videotaped Tom and Pete waving at the last of the ATV's I sat down with them at the picnic table along the river (Middle Branch of the Ontonagon River) and chatted about their thoughts on losing the camp and the various memories they've made throughout the years.
Hillbilly Heaven is chock full of mementos on the walls, carved into the table and carved into the hearts of the people who gather there. Tom pointed out various photos and antlers that brought back memories and his rack of hats from family and friends who have since passed. All of these items could be moved into a new camp and the memories will remain but I don’t think it will be the same. It’s all about location, location, location and I believe these two are attached to this location. A camp that is accessible by canoe, ATV or truck. Great for a day trip out to camp and far enough out to want to spend the weekend once you’re there.