2007-06-16 / Columnists



Under brilliant blue skies and warm temperatures, crowds of visitors came to our beautiful Island this past week to view the magnificent lilac trees, many of which were brought over by the early missionary fathers. Wherever one looks, they find the colors ranging from soft pink, white, lavender, and the deepest of purple, truly a wonderful sight. One will find small shrubs in full bloom, while many others are huge trees dating back hundreds of years. Their fragrance permeates the air. It's lilac time on Mackinac, much looked forward to each year. Friday evening, June 8, a beautiful young lady, Kristi Kamphuis, the daughter of Dr. Don and Karen Weersing, was crowned Lilac Queen, and Dana Roguska, daughter of Randy and Chris, was crowned Lilac Princess. The ceremony took place on the upper deck of the Chippewa Hotel. Congratulations to these lovely young ladies.

Paul and Mandy Wandrie are the proud grandparents of Aiden James Alden, who was born Saturday, June 9, weighing 5 pounds, 4 ounces. Aiden James is the son of Katie Wandrie and William Alden of East Falmouth, Massachusetts. Paul, Mandy, and Paul Martin will travel to Boston Tuesday, June 26, to visit their new grandson. Congratulations from Island friends.

Mayor Pro Tempore Armand "Smi" Horn models an award he accepted on behalf of the City from the International Lilac Society Friday, June 8, at Murray Hotel. The award recognized great work and planning by the Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau for the Lilac Festival. Mr. Horn also accepted an award by the Society in memory of Stella King, who organized the first Lilac Day. Mayor Pro Tempore Armand "Smi" Horn models an award he accepted on behalf of the City from the International Lilac Society Friday, June 8, at Murray Hotel. The award recognized great work and planning by the Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau for the Lilac Festival. Mr. Horn also accepted an award by the Society in memory of Stella King, who organized the first Lilac Day. At 2:30 p.m. Saturday, June 9, a beautiful summer wedding was celebrated at Ste. Anne's Church. Melissa Riel, daughter of Vicki and Richard Riel of South Bend, Indiana, became the bride of Shan Jaffar. The lovely bride was driven to the church in a special Grand Hotel antique carriage with two prancing hackney horses driven by Ben Mosley. Following the ceremony, guests enjoyed a cocktail reception on the porch of Grand Hotel. Melissa chose Mackinac for her wedding, for it was here that she spent her summers with her parents and grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Hoover Bankard Sr. at their lovely West Bluff cottage. The weather was perfect for the wedding, a remembrance that Melissa and Shan shall carry in their hearts forever. Congratulations from Island friends. Guests attending the wedding included Lorne and Bill Porter, longtime neighbors of the Bankards, Mary and Wes Maurer, Debra and Sandra Orr, and Mary K. McIntire.

There will be a Johnson family reunion Tuesday, June 19, at the Chambers' Gatehouse at Stonecliffe. Jody's family will be here to celebrate Clara's third birthday June 18, and Richard's 21st birthday June 19. Happy birthday to Clara and Richard.

This past Thursday evening, a weather forecast alerted everyone to beware of a strong storm, which would hit the Island around midnight. About 12:30 a.m. the wind started to howl, the rain came down in sheets, and lightning and thunder rumbled in the darkness. It was fierce, but it only lasted an hour. At La Chance Cottage, a huge tree in the front yard fell into the building, causing some damage. The Mackinac Island Fire Department, Mackinac Island Police Department, and Belonga Plumbing did an excellent job assisting with this emergency. Dan Seeley, our night manager at the Windermere, watched the wind attack our beautiful lilac tree in the front yard of the hotel. We were saddened to lose this beautiful tree. Just a short distance from the fallen tree is a very old double white lilac, planted by the late Patrick Doud. There it stands today, stalwart after the terrible storm.

Happy birthday June 19 to Will Porter and Mona Carley. Enjoy your day.

Sunday, June 10, was a very special day for Marian Petersen, whose son, Jay, brought his mother to her favorite Island, where she was joined by her daughter and sonin law, Marta and Pete Olson, and Wes and Mary Maurer for lunch at the Carriage House. This is wonderful news for all of Marian's friends. She is making a good recovery after the accident she suffered several years ago.

I enjoyed a visit this past week from Alice Myron of the East Bluff, who loves Mackinac and her home with its wonderful view of the Straits of Mackinac. After a trip back to Port Huron, she hopes to return by the end of this week.

Happy birthday to Dennis Bradley Jr. June 20, and Robert McGreevy June 21. Have a great day.

We send warmest greetings to Dave and Grace Armour at their new home in Grove City, Pennsylvania. When Alice Myron was heading home from Florida this spring, she stopped to visit them.

We continue to get updates from Dr. Chris LaTocha, who received a stem cell transplant at the University of Chicago Hospital last week. He continues to make a steady recovery, but still needs lots of prayers.

We have many great artists capturing Mackinac in all of its elegance and beauty. Richard Wolfgang's work can be found in his studio on Market Street. Pam Finkel's paintings are on display at the Mackinac Island Public Library. Mary Lou Peters of Mackinaw City can be found at the Victorian Summer Gallery on Market Street, and today, June 12, Noel Skiba is the artist in residence at Victorian Summer Studio. She has been coming to Mackinac since she was five years old and now makes her home in Grand Rapids. Still another Island artist is John Manikoff, whose paintings are on display in Island shops.

The beautiful flower baskets are hanging gracefully from each lamppost on Mackinac, making our city more charming each day. If anyone would like to make a contribution to the flower basket fund, mail it to Kathi Wightman on Mackinac Island.

Brigadoon Cottage at the Mission looks beautiful with its front yard displaying many flowers in an array of colors. Jay and Janet Stingel have arrived for the summer, coming from their winter home in North Carolina.

The Mackinac Island Community Foundation will hold a reception Tuesday, June 19, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Mackinac Island Community Hall. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Susan and Jim Lenfesty of Minneapolis are enjoying their East Bluff cottage with its great view of the Island and harbor.

We welcome the Bart Huthwaites back to their cottage at Woodbluff.

This past week I had the extreme pleasure of a visit from Susan Sanderson and her three grandchildren, triplets, two little girls and one little boy. They're beautiful children and very healthy. They were accompanied by their mother, Nina, and father from Savannah, Georgia. Dave and Susan's son, Chip, is also here, along with Susan's sister, Diane.

Barb and Sam Kovalak are at their Mackinac cottage and are having a great time with their twin grandchildren.

Guests of the Windermere are longtime friends Carol, Max, and Cindy Clifton from Muncie, Indiana. They're enjoying the beautiful, sunny weather and relaxing on the front porch of the hotel.

Coming from their home in LaSalle, Illinois, to see the Mackinac lilacs are Peggy and Dennis O'Keefe.

Best wishes to Adrienne Coyne of St. Ignace, who has been ill. She has been visited by her longtime friend, Kitty Bourisaw Schadel of Mackinac. Happy birthday to Kitty June 24. Have a wonderful day.

Great to have a wonderful visit from Captain Paul Allers of Mackinaw City, who stopped over to see me. We had a wonderful afternoon.

A very happy birthday to Lois Griffin of Findlay, Ohio, June 23. Lois is the mother of Jennifer Karhoff.

Welcome back to Rita Sue and Elliot Cohen of Bloomfield Hills, who are comfortably settled in their Hedgecliffe cottage. Their friends, the Brad Conkey family of Sylvan Lake, are here helping the Cohens open Hedgecliffe for the season. The Cohens' grandson, Jonathan Cohen, will be arriving for a visit during the Lilac Festival.

We send greetings to Carmen Golden at her home in Monroe. We miss you on Mackinac.

The big Lilac Day Parade will be Sunday, June 17, at 4 p.m. It should be loads of fun. Come and enjoy the festivities.

Doud's Market has been freshly painted on the outside, where a handsome new sign has been hung on Main Street.

Dwight LaPine's garden on French Lane is becoming more attractive each day, as many flowers have begun to bloom. It's truly a showplace.

The Mackinac Island Yacht Club is open for the season. Members are enjoying Friday night dinners at the club.

There will be a pancake breakfast at Ste. Anne's Church Sunday, June 24, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Donations are accepted. Everyone is welcome.

The Glen Young family of Petoskey has arrived at their Benjamin cottage on Market Street for the summer. Both Jane and Glen are teachers in Petoskey.

Phyllis Dunham is enjoying her cottage on French Lane. Great to have another light in the neighborhood.

Members of the International Lilac Society visited Mackinac last week, giving walking tours and lectures about the Island lilacs.

Geraldine Wellington is back in her comfortable home in Harrisonville following a visit to hospitals in Petoskey and Traverse City. Take it slow and easy, Geraldine.

Mike Corrigan of Detroit enjoyed the weekend at his cottage on Mahoney Avenue.

Enjoy the Lilac Parade!

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