And now something from the "Random Piece of Nerdery in the Form of a Memory That I Feel Like I Need to Share Because, I Don't Know, I Just Find it Interesting" file.
(The lettering on that file is incredibly small to accommodate such a gigantic file name. Anyway.)
I don't know where I was or who I was talking to, but we got on the topic of secret passageways and hidden rooms - I think it was an interior design conversation, one of many I'm sure I've had, as is my wont - and I was suddenly reminded of this lodge out in the middle of the forest in Michigan that was built by a lunatic.
That's right. I'm an excellent conversationalist and not at all given to awkward outbursts of hazy memories of my past.
I had visited the place when I was a kid because it was now part of a Boy Scouts camp. I was a Boy Scout for about a year and a day, until I realized that everyone in the troupe was in the early stages of becoming douchey and that I much preferred playing video games.
Anyway, I remembered that the lunatic had build the lodge out of cement but had it formed to look like log cabins. There was a moat - an actual ditch around the whole property that was filled with spikes - a machine gun pit for a BBQ area on the roof, and a bunch of secret passageways that lead to indoor shooting galleries and tunnels to a garage where a car was constantly left running and all sorts of other insanity that only a true lunatic with a lot of money could possibly dream up for a vacation home.
Naturally, my conversational partners must have thought I was insane for bringing up a demented Boy Scout memory in the middle of a conversation that must have been about interior decorating. They also probably thought I was making it all up too.
Well, I had completely forgotten about that conversation, as well as the lunatic and his summer home in the middle of the forest, until today when I randomly came across an article about Harry Bennett.
Mr. Bennett was a former Navy-sailor and boxer turned head of security for Henry Ford back in the 1930's and 40's. His general animosity towards union workers and gang members lead to rampant paranoia, so as a result his house in Ann Arbor AND HIS LODGE are like fortresses for the insane.
The Lodge, Bennett's Lodge, is now part of the Lost Lake Scout Reservation in Freeman Township, MI.
Here's a wikipedia article about Bennett and his summer home. It's a quick read, and kind of shows the extend of the guy's paranoia, which for whatever reason had stuck with me through the years.