2007-08-04 / Columnists



It was a magnificent sight as a radiant, star-filled sky suddenly burst into a beautiful fireworks display as folks lined the boardwalk on Lakeshore Drive. It was a gorgeous summer night on Mackinac, Saturday, July 28. What made the evening even more perfect was the full moon shining down on the Straits of Mackinac. In the distance, both Mackinaw City and St. Ignace, from each end of the Mackinac Bridge, lit the evening sky with a vibrant display of fireworks in honor of the bridge's 50th anniversary. Just standing on the beach here at home, to see the bridge connecting the Upper and Lower Peninsulas, suddenly makes us realize that a true miracle is here. Many small boats were in the Straits to view the display, as were special cruises hosted by the ferry lines. The weekend of celebrations for the anniversary of the Mackinac Bridge was indeed one to remember. It started with a banquet Friday evening, July 27, parades in St. Ignace and Mackinaw City Saturday, July 28, and ended with fireworks in the evening. Barbara Brown organized the celebration. It was indeed a reunion, and a wonderful remembrance.

We are very proud that Mackinac Island was part of the Mackinac Bridge celebration, which included Mayor Margaret Doud and the Mackinac Island cheerleaders. The parade was led by brothers Donald Andress and Carl Andress, in full American Indian dress, riding horses and carrying the American flag.

Happy birthday to Mary Jane Barnwell August 2. Enjoy your day.

When the Mackinac Bridge was under construction, Arnold Line took the school children from the Thomas W. Ferry School out to view the building of the bridge. I can also remember the late W.S. Woodfill, owner of Grand Hotel, telling my late husband, Robert, that someday this dream would come true. They both lived to see the dream become a reality.

Margaret McIntire will celebrate her birthday August 5. Have a wonderful day.

Thursday evening, July 26, at Ste. Anne's, a fabulous international concert was held with participants from The Bible Church, Trinity, Peggy Bynoe and Heather May, the Porter family, and summer workers from Jamaica, Mexico, Africa, and Slovakia. It was a most enjoyable evening.

Happy birthday to Louann Kolatski August 5. Have a great day.

The weather has been beautiful, warm, and sunny. The lawns and gardens are picturesque. Please take time to view the large pots of different colored petunias that surround the Veterans Memorials in the City Park. The entrance to the Mackinac Island Yacht Club is very impressive with huge Shasta daisies lining the walk. The salmon-colored geraniums on Market Street, in front of Dwight LaPine and Jeff Shaffer's London Square shop, make it very inviting.

Happy birthday August 6 to our good friend, Marilyn McCready in Cheboygan. Island friends send best wishes.

Many brides were joined in holy matrimony Saturday, July 28, keeping the wedding carriages very busy.

Saturday, July 28, was a beautiful Mackinac day for the wedding of Suzanne Plunkett and Timothy Donovan of Chicago, Illinois. They were married on the beach at the Henry Murray residence. Congratulations to the happy couple. Many relatives came from far and near to join in the celebration. Suzanne's Aunt Anne came from her home in New Mexico. It was so nice to see Annie again, as she spent much of her early childhood on her favorite Island. Annie was the guest of Helga Doud and Anna Mary Cusack and her family, who came from Petoskey for the Plunkett wedding.

Happy birthday to Nancy Keogh August 6. Enjoy a wonderful day.

Last year, we wrote about the rare birds that made their nest high in the maple tree in the backyard of the Windermere Hotel. Bob Benjamin and Brian Hellis both took pictures, which appeared in the Town Crier. This year, we were hoping to see them again. Kevin Leveille, head of maintenance at the Windermere, reports that the Black Crowned Night Herons returned to the same tree Sunday, July 29. Kevin estimates that they've been coming for the last five years.

Just a bit about my feathered friends that I feed throughout the long, cold winter, especially the ducks. One mama duck comes each day and lets me know that she is hungry by her steady quacking. Nature is interesting.

Peggy Bynoe will celebrate her birthday August 8. Have a wonderful day.

While riding around the Island a few days ago, a woman saw something black on the road ahead. Much to her surprise, there were at least 15 black otters crossing over the road. It was an amazing sight.

Brian Dunnigan spent the weekend with his family at their Easterly cottage. Brian is employed at the Clements Library in Ann Arbor.

Elaine Murray celebrated her birthday July 28. She was thrilled with the fireworks display on her special day.

Jane Winston of Georgia spent time this summer on Mackinac at the Cable Cottage. She left the Island Friday for her winter home and visited family and friends in Indiana on her way.

Happy belated birthday wishes to Betty McGreevy Burr of Cheboygan, who celebrated July 10. Betty was happily surprised to receive a visit from her brother, John, and his wife from Cleveland, and her sister, Catherine, from the Island.

A bridal shower was held Saturday, July 28, at the home of Laurie Gough for Debbie Klos, who will become the bride of Jack Dehring III Saturday, September 22. A wonderful evening was enjoyed by all.

Mary K. McIntire enjoyed the weekend on Mackinac.

Cal Rogers of St. Ignace has not been feeling his best and spent a few days at Northern Michigan Hospital in Petoskey. He is back home, and doing better.

News from Brother Jim Boynton informed me that our pastor, Father Rey Garcia, S.J., will be arriving back at Ste. Anne's Friday, August 3. He has been to Lourdes in France and he also visited Germany. We give him a warm welcome.

Mary and Wes Maurer were guests of Elliot and Rita Sue Cohen at dinner at the Mackinac Island Yacht Club Thursday evening, July 26.

The beautiful Brigadoon cottage, owned by Janet and Jay Stingel, with its magnificent view of the harbor and Straits of Mackinac, is receiving a fresh coat of paint.

Warmest and best wishes to Mrs. Alexander of the East Bluff, who was recently injured by her horse. Hope you're feeling better.

Greetings to Rosie Charnes of Indianapolis, Indiana, who has not been able to come to Mackinac this summer. She hopes to visit in September. We miss you.

Mr. and Mrs. Dan Hesslin of Manistee enjoyed their annual visit to the Windermere Hotel over the weekend.

Candi Dunnigan and Laurie Gough will both celebrate their birthdays August 9. Have a wonderful day.

Mark your calendar for the annual Mackinac Island Medical Center auction Sunday, August 26, at Grand Hotel. Any donations would be greatly appreciated.

Jeff Shaffer and Dwight LaPine have spent a week fishing at Jeff's parents home in Gwinn. Jeff's parents, Jack and Sharon, have been in charge of London Square in their absence. Great to see them on Mackinac.

Each Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m., a wonderful concert is held at Ste. Anne's Church, sponsored by the Mackinac Island Community Foundation. Concert pianist Peggy Bynoe entertained family and friends Sunday, July 29, with selections from Handel, Beethoven, Chopin, and Bach. Guest artist was Becky Weis on the clarinet. She and Peggy are roommates, and both are graduates of Aquinas College in Grand Rapids.

Kelly Bean, with her daughters, Hailey and Mackenzie, attended a family reunion in White Rock over the weekend.

At May's Candy Shop, I was pleased to meet Tienne May Matthews of Levering, daughter of Marvin May. Tienne spent most of her childhood on Mackinac. Now it's history repeating itself, as her son, Eddie (Marvin's grandson), is one of the candy makers. Marvin's parents, Ethel and Harold May, made candy on the Island for years and were from Rockford, Illinois. Marvin, with his wife, Christy, and children, Heather, Carolyn, and Marvin Lee, are all involved in the business.

We have some sad news to report. Sharon Reese, former Mackinac Island schoolteacher, died at her home in Escanaba Wednesday, July 25. Former students Jason St. Onge and Louann Mosley attended her funeral Wednesday, August 1. Sharon is survived by her son, Jeremiah. Deepest sympathy to the family from Island friends.

The Mark Timmons family from Missoula, Montana, are enjoying their cottage on the East Bluff.

The Randy McKay family from Chassell visited the Bynoe and Schoenborn families over the weekend before leaving for Canada to celebrate Randy's grandmother's 94th birthday.

Bonnie Schoenborn, mother of Brian, and aunt from Grand Rapids were on the Island Sunday, July 29, to attend Peggy Bynoe's piano concert at Ste. Anne's.

An open house was held at the Stuart House Tuesday, July 31. It was well attended and many folks enjoyed viewing the historic building.

Proud grandparents for the first time are Kelly and Robin Dorman of Mackinac. Saturday, July 28, their daughter, Chris, gave birth to a baby boy, Henry Pierce, in Lansing. He weighed 7 pounds, 5 ounces, at birth. Proud parents are Chris and Corie Pierce. Congratulations from Island friends.

The annual Cowell family reunion will be held in Carp Lake Friday, August 3, through Sunday, August 5. Here for the big event is David Bradley and his family from Lexington, Kentucky. In 2006, more than 300 family members were present.

Tuesday, July 31, was a very warm summer day on our beautiful Island, which is at its peak with the gorgeous flowers in full bloom. It's hard to believe that we're now in the month of August.

Enjoy your week!

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