2007-07-14 / Columnists



Saturday, July 7, Mackinac was a wedding haven. Seventeen brides chose the Island for their special day, many at Ste. Anne's and the Little Stone Church, while others preferred to be married outside on a magnificent, bright, warm sunny day. The wedding carriages with their hightopped drivers were kept unusually busy driving the beautiful brides; much cheering could be heard from onlookers. The date was especially chosen as it was the seventh day of the seventh month in the year 2007.

We send happy birthday wishes to Kelly Bean July 13. Enjoy your day.

I was delighted and honored to attend Cecelia Flanagan's 100th birthday celebration Wednesday, July 4. Her room at the Mackinac Straits Hospital Long Term Care facility in St. Ignace was filled with red roses and flower arrangements. The party was held in a large guest parlor decorated with balloons, and everyone was treated to a special birthday cake and ice cream. Music was provided by Cecelia's nephew, Jack Welcher, who played "Happy Birthday" on the piano as we all joined in the singing. Another delight for the guest of honor was the playing of many Irish songs and the theme from "Somewhere in Time." Cecelia was pleased to welcome a special guest, Father Rey Garcia, pastor of Ste. Anne's, as well as her daughter, Kay Hoppenrath, Mr. Welcher, and his sister-inlaw from Rudyard, and myself. Special greetings to Cecelia from Island friends.

Mackinac is at its peak for beauty. The pleasant days and temperatures bring many visitors each day. If you have leisure time, look to the east each morning to see the rising sun as it sends its rays all over the Island and the Straits of Mackinac. It is truly an unbelievable sight. Come evening, walk to the west end of the boardwalk to catch a glimpse of the setting sun as it slowly descends, with the Mackinac Bridge in the background. You must see it yourself, as it will be an unforgettable memory of your visit to our magical Island. Mackinac is noted for its charm and natural beauty.

Happy birthday to Ken Sawatzki of Lansing, the father of Jill Sawatzki, and to Jim Murray of Petoskey, both celebrating July 15. Have a great day.

"Five Swans a Swimming." A call Sunday afternoon, July 8, from Karen Leonard described the beauty seen from her cottage at Stonebrooke looking out at the Straits of Mackinac, where five beautiful white swans were swimming. It was fun for Karen's daughter, Shannon, and four-year-old granddaughter, who enjoyed such a natural picture.

We are very proud of four members of our community. They are Mark "Bo" Biellinski, Molly Green, Brandy Shunk, and Lorie Sturm, who completed Basic EMT training. They're very dedicated, and started classes last October and finished in April. They will join Allied EMS and work on the ambulance. Congratulations to Bo, Molly, Brandy, and Lorie from Island friends.

The Mackinac Island fire and police departments were alerted Saturday afternoon, July 7, that a plane had landed at the Mackinac Island Airport without its landing gear down. Fortunately, no one was injured and no fire occurred.

Jack and Sharon Shaffer of Gwinn have enjoyed a visit this past week with their son, Jeff, and Dwight LaPine at their home on Market Street. Great to see them back on Mackinac.

The old-fashioned Fourth of July celebration on Windermere Point for Island children and visitors warmed our hearts, seeing them have such a wonderful time. There was face painting, games, races, ice cream cones, balloons, spraying the big fire hose, and the traditional grease pole. Bob Benser had a wonderful time putting money on the top of the pole and watching the children try to climb up to get it. It was a beautiful day, with laughter, fun, and a magicial spirit. The Mackinac Island Fire Department, with helpers Jennifer Bloswick, Brenda Bunker, and Kelly Bean, who organized and worked this event. In the evening, American Legion Post 299 members Roy Bissell, Ben Horn, Paul Wandrie Sr., and Glenn St. Onge carried the colors in front of the Mackinac Island firetruck as it paraded through town and ended at the Mackinac Island Public School for the fireworks. Many people worked to bring delight and fun on this very special day.

Frank Bloswick Jr. and Eric St. Onge will celebrate their birthdays July 17. Enjoy your day.

A call today from Mary Wojcik gave me the following news. Judy and Joe Kubal of Berwyn, Illinois, have for years celebrated their wedding anniversary at Grand Hotel and were here in June. Sadly, we've learned that Judy's beloved husband, Joe, recently passed away. Island friends send their deepest sympathy.

Larry and Carolyn Kurowski of Kouts, Indiana, spent the entire month of June at Tom Pfeiffelmann's beach house. They've been coming to Mackinac for 15 years. One of Carolyn's pictures was chosen for the 2008 calendar for the month of July.

Great to have the Warp cottage on the West Bluff open once again. Welcome home to Skip and his family.

Ed and Nona Chambers are spending the weekend in Grand Marais. Happy birthday to Nona July 18.

Guests of the Brian Hellis' over the weekend were Brian, Kathleen, David, and Patrick Culleton from the Detroit area.

Dr. Dave and Grace Armour are visiting their daughter and son-in-law, Anneke and Matt Myers. Nice to have them back on the Island.

Mark Chambers and his brother-in-law, Jean LaBorde of Crivitz, Wisconsin, and good friend, Mike George, are on a sailing trip aboard Mark's sailboat Windermere. They're visiting the Les Cheneaux Islands, DeTour, and Drummond Island.

East Bluff cottager Nancy Keogh suffered a badly injured knee resulting from a fall from her bicycle. We hope Nancy will soon be free of pain. Best wishes from Island friends.

Brian Dunnigan of Grass Lake enjoyed the weekend with his family at their Easterly Cottage.

The West Bluff welcomes summer cottager Dottie Sharer, who has just arrived from her home in Bloomfield Hills. Dottie loves Mackinac, and has many friends who are pleased to see her back on the Island.

Dr. Helen Straus of Chicago, Illinois, and her brother, Frank, from Springfield, Illinois, recently enjoyed spending time on Mackinac. Their parents, Lorna and Dr. Fran, departed for Germany Monday, where they will attend a family reunion of the Puttkammers. Enjoy your trip.

Jamie Bynoe had a great trip Thursday to Detroit to attend the baseball game between the Detroit Tigers and the Cleveland Indians. He was joined by his cousin, Jordon Groseclose, as well as Austin Davis and Craig Skuft. The Tigers won, and Jamie came home with a lot of treasures.

Bob Benser's two daughters, Leslie and Amy, with their families, have spent the past two weeks on Mackinac. They had a wonderful time at the Fourth of July games on Windermere Point. It was great to see Gracie Irish, Amy's daughter, who is recovering from leukemia. She is doing very well. Uncle Bobby was thrilled to have his nieces and nephews on the Island.

Deana and Glenn St. Onge of Remus spent the Fourth of July on the Island visiting their son, Jason, and friends.

The Dennis Brodeur family from Traverse City spent the holiday weekend on the Island visiting his mother, Loretta, and Tony Spata. They all had fun at the Fourth of July games on Windermere Point.

This will be a very busy week coming up, as the Chicago fleet of sailboats will leave Saturday, July 14, bound for the finish line at Mackinac, which is the old Round Island Lighthouse. Best of luck to all the happy sailors. Lloyd Karzen arrived Wednesday to prepare for the race. We look forward to watching for the spinnakers in the west.

Happy birthday to Patty Schoenborn July 19. I'm sure that Lily will help you blow your candles out.

Sunday evening, July 8, the Island and surrounding areas experienced strong thunder, lightning, and high winds. Fortunately, it wasn't as severe as expected. We needed the rain, as our lawns were beginning to turn brown.

We send special birthday wishes July 21 to Pam St. Onge of St. Ignace. Island friends send best wishes.

Cyndi and Skip Kutsop and family of Mountainside, New Jersey, are enjoying a vacation at their Ship Watch condominium in the Mission.

A very happy birthday July 21 to Brenda Bunker and Paul Wandrie Sr. Have a wonderful day.

Andrew and Millicent Reynolds of Washington, D.C., were guests of the Reverend Vince and Molly Carroll this past week. Andy is Deputy Science Advisor to the Secretary of State. During their stay, Andy spoke to Little Stone Church's men's breakfast about global technology issues. The Reynolds have been searching for a retirement property in Petoskey.

Enjoy the beautiful summer evenings!

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