Lake of the Ozarks: My Surreal Summers in a Vanishing America by Bill GeistBeloved TV host Bill Geist pens a reflective memoir of his incredible summers spent in the heart of America in this New York Times bestseller.
Before there was tourism and souvenir ashtrays became kitsch, the Lake of the Ozarks was a Shangri-La for middle-class Midwestern families on vacation, complete with man-made beaches, Hillbilly Mini Golf, and feathered rubber tomahawks.
It was there that author Bill Geist spent summers in the Sixties during his school and college years working at Arrowhead Lodge-a small resort owned by his bombastic uncle-in all areas of the operation, from cesspool attendant to bellhop.
What may have seemed just a summer job became, upon reflection, a transformative era where a cast of eccentric, small-town characters and experiences shaped (some might suggest slightly twisted) Bill into the man he is today. He realized it was this time in his life that had a direct influence on his sensibilities, his humor, his writing, and ultimately a career searching the world for other such untamed creatures for the Chicago Tribune, the New York Times, and CBS News.
In Lake of the Ozarks, Emmy Award-winning CBS Sunday Morning Correspondent Bill Geist reflects on his coming of age in the American Heartland and traces his evolution as a man and a writer. He shares laugh-out-loud anecdotes and tongue-in-cheek observations guaranteed to evoke a strong sense of nostalgia for the good ol days. Written with Geistian wit and warmth, Lake of the Ozarks takes readers back to a bygone era, and demonstrates how you can find inspiration in the most unexpected places.
The Lake of the Ozarks: Then and now
The Lake is Waiting for You! Welcome, neighbor! Kick off your shoes and sit a spell. You've come home to The Lake Area History Pages! On the following pages you'll find all sorts of interesting facts and stories about the history of Missouri's scenic Lake of the Ozarks and the surrounding area.
Oddly enough, this mirrors the story of how the Lake of the Ozarks came to be in the decades prior. Partnering with a fellow Kansas City angel banker on the venture, they acquired the permits necessary to proceed with the project but it was for naught as banking and financial controversies plagued the principal players and the project ran out of steam. The threat became real when Union Electric now Ameren entered the picture. Vincent of the Linn Creek Reveille and residents fought to legally halt the project. The Depression and World War II would hinder this concept in the following decades, but the leisure industry surged in the post-war s where jobs were plentiful, gas was cheap and every family had 2.
When we built the Lake of the Ozarks
It is the year , and the Union Electric Co. Union Electric, now known as Ameren Missouri, began building the dam in August and finished in only two years. It is a concrete gravity dam, which means its weight is enough to overcome the lateral force of the water pressing against it. Beforehand, the river was studied for more than two years to determine its maximum and minimum flows as well as the geologic formation. An average of 3, people at a time were employed to work on the dam.