2008-09-06 / Columnists



The holiday weekend offered the best and most beautiful weather in many years. The bright, sunny, warm days brought crowds of visitors who were eager to see Mackinac in all its summer beauty. Main Street was very busy Sunday, August 31, with folks bicycling, taking carriage tours, shopping, and enjoying the historic museums. Hotels and bed and breakfasts were filled, and the wonderful odor of fudge welcomed happy customers. The evenings were gorgeous on the Straits of Mackinac, with bright, beautiful, colorful streaks dancing in the evening sky. Visitors came from every corner of the globe, eager to see our Island. With perfect weather, everyone could see the elegance and beauty of Mackinac.

Deepest sympathy to the family of James Brown Sr. of St. Ignace, who passed away Monday, September 1. He was a staunch friend of the residents of Mackinac Island, and we mourn his passing. An obituary for Mr. Brown is published in this week's issue.

The flowers in front of Grand Hotel continue to be even more beautiful each day. So many varieties are in full bloom, including dozens of dinner-plate dahlias in an array of colors. It's a breathtaking sight, with Old Glory proudly flying from the front porch.

Brothers Donald "Duck" Andress of Mackinac Island (left) and Carl Andress of St. Ignace took part in the Rendezvous at the Straits French Voyageur Encampment and Powwow in St. Ignace Saturday, August 23, and Sunday, August 24. Descendants of Chief Mackinac, the men display their Native American regalia. Brothers Donald "Duck" Andress of Mackinac Island (left) and Carl Andress of St. Ignace took part in the Rendezvous at the Straits French Voyageur Encampment and Powwow in St. Ignace Saturday, August 23, and Sunday, August 24. Descendants of Chief Mackinac, the men display their Native American regalia. An early happy 50th birthday to Debbie Pajakowski. Debbie and her sister, Sue Bybee, are spending their annual vacation at the Windermere Hotel.

Walking down French Lane, the aromas from Dwight LaPine's garden permeates the air, as folks stop to admire the natural beauty. It certainly is a tourist attraction.

Happy birthday September 7 to Debbie Bradley, Loretta Spata, and Carmen Golden. Have a wonderful day.

Sale signs can be seen in the display windows of many shops. It's a great time to do some Christmas shopping.

Donnie and Gracie Francis will be celebrating their eighth wedding anniversary September 9. They're enjoying a nineday northern fishing trip for walleye to Moosehorn Lodge in Sioux Lookout, Ontario, with beautiful scenery. This is an annual trip for Donnie and Gracie.

Monday evening, September 1, I was invited to the 18th birthday party for my nephew, Robert Chambers, on the upper deck at the Chippewa Hotel. The view was magnificent, with the marina filled with yachts, the sun shining on the steeple of Ste. Anne's, and waters of the harbor very calm. The yacht Grand Finality from Kingstown, Virgin Island, could be seen; it is more than 150 feet in length. At the end of the Arnold dock, the beautiful yacht Blue Moon was moored for the night. After the last departure of the Arnold ferries, looking down at the water in the harbor, we could see about six lights under the water. It was a group of divers, looking for artifacts, some of which may have been from the old D & C cruise ships. It was interesting to watch them work.

Jim Fisher and his motherin law, Joan Barch, share the same birthday September 7. They will have a family gathering. Jim will be traveling to Las Vegas, Nevada, at the end of the month for the annual bicycle convention. He will be accompanied by his brother-inlaw, Jay Barch.

An 80th birthday dinner was held Sunday, August 31, at the Carriage House dining room, honoring Phyllis Dunham of French Lane. It was hosted by her son, Jaimie, and his wife, Marie, from Maryland. Guests included her companion, Wayne Jungman of Gladwin, granddaughter, Marisol, and her husband, Justin, of St. Louis, Missouri, a stepson, Ted, from Phoenix, Arizona, two nieces, Kim and Julie, with a friend, Tina, from California, a sister-in-law, Maggie, from Pinckney, and good friends Jeff Shaffer and Dwight LaPine from Mackinac Island. It was a wonderful gathering. Happy birthday to Phyllis September 7 from Island friends.

Saturday, August 30, and Sunday, August 31, sounds of the Jazz Weekend in the Grand Hotel Tea Garden could be heard. Many joined in the picnic lunch, and heard some of their favorite music selections. Later in the evening, following dinner, entertainment was held in the Woodfill Center. It truly was a memorable weekend.

Caroline and Robert "Porky" LaPine spent the weekend in Fremont visiting the Milton Bazinaw family.

Happy anniversary to Marvin and Christy May September 10. Happy birthday to Marvin September 8. Enjoy your day.

Keith and Mariann Hahn of Big Rapids are back on Mackinac, working in the Benjamin shops. Nice to see them again on the Island.

There will be a Patriot Day ceremony Thursday, September 11, at 6 p.m. in front of the Mackinac Island Courthouse/ Police Department. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Tim and Sherry Plutchak of Stephenson are enjoying their beautiful new home in Forest Bluff. Welcome to Mackinac.

Guests of Jeff Shaffer and Dwight LaPine this week have been Jeff's parents, Jack and Sharon Shaffer of Gwinn. They walked the Mackinac Bridge and enjoyed spending time with family members.

The late Dr. Robert Holle, D.D.S., of St. Ignace charmed everyone he met, with his gracious smile and warm personality. He always eased our pain and suffering. I can remember one incident in his office, when the SOS message sounded over his marine radio, that the freighter Cedarville had collided with a Swedish vessel near Mackinaw City in dense fog, causing the Cedarville to sink. Dr. Holle, being a member of the United States Navy, responded to the call, and helped with victims from the accident, as did Dr. Joe Solomon from Mackinac Island. These are memories of a great friend.

The last concert of the summer season was Sunday, August 31, at Ste. Anne's Church. It featured Heather May on the flute, and Angela Biedenbender on piano. It was truly a delightful afternoon with two talented young ladies.

The school bell rang loudly Tuesday, September 2, calling Island students back to the Mackinac Island Public School. A picnic lunch was served and enjoyed by parents, friends, and members of the community. After lunch, all of the students were invited to the Fort Mackinac Tea Room for ice cream. It was a great way to start the new school year.

Jane and Glen Young and family returned to their Petoskey home Monday, September 1. Glen and Jane are both teachers in Petoskey. They've enjoyed the summer in their cottage on Market Street (Benjamin Lane), the home of Jane's great-grandparents, the Robert Benjamins. Mr. Benjamin was the Island postmaster for years.

Island students returning to college are Emily St. Onge at Northwestern Michigan College, Woody Beardsley at Michigan Technological University, Blisse Beardsley, Sarah Porter, and Lily Porter at the University of Michigan, Tyler Finkel and Kyle Sweet at Michigan State University, Emma Chambers at Ferris State University, and Richard Chambers at Northern Michigan University. Hope you all have a great year.

Word received today from Trish and Alice Martin, on the medical condition of Dr. Joe Solomon, a patient at the University of Virginia Hospital, is that he is suffering from pneumonia. Dr. Solomon was a dedicated physician at the Mackinac Island Medical Center for more than 17 years, along with his wife, Thelma, who is a registered nurse. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

Happy birthday to our neighbor, Ann Timmons, September 9. Have a wonderful day.

Dr. Bill Chambers is recuperating well following leg surgery Tuesday, September 2, at Munson Medical Center in Traverse City. Island friends wish him a speedy recovery.

Paula McNamara of St. Ignace visited Island friends and relatives Monday, September 1. Best wishes to her husband, Art Underwood, whom we met recently at Dr. Holle's funeral.

Happy anniversary to Mike and Jane Bacon September 9. Enjoy your day.

Jason St. Onge's band, "Tricky Dickie and the Spoonmen," entertained on the patio at the Chippewa Hotel Friday afternoon, August 29, and Sunday afternoon, August 31. His parents, Glenn and Deana St. Onge of Remus, joined the happy gathering.

Happy birthday to our good friend, Jerry Fenlon, September 10. Have a great day.

The Brian Dunnigan family left Mackinac Monday, September 1, for their home in Grass Lake. James is attending Lake Forest College in Lake Forest, Illinois.

Helga Doud recently suffered a fall in her home. She was treated at the Mackinac Island Medical Center by Dr. Karen Miljour, and she is recuperating very nicely. Her daughter and son-in-law, Anna Mary and Gary Cusack of Petoskey, spent the weekend with her.

Nicholas Davis will celebrate his birthday September 12. Enjoy your day.

The big Antique Show will be at Grand Hotel Friday, September 5. Paula McNamara and Janis Holle of St. Ignace will be guests of Margaret McIntire at the Iroquois Hotel.

Dr. Cathy Rollinger and her family from Royal Oak spent several days on Mackinac last week, attending the Mackinac Island Medical Center Auction at Grand Hotel. Dr. Rollinger has been the doctor in residence at the Mackinac Island Medical Center.

David and Nancy Walker of St. Ignace visited Mackinac Tuesday, September 2, and enjoyed a ride around the Island.

Congratulations to David Rowe, the new commodore of the Mackinac Island Yacht Club.

Folks walking past the McGreevy property on Market Street will see a very attractive garden in the yard, in an array of colors.

We said goodbye to our dear friend, Rosie Charnes of Indianapolis, Indiana, Monday, September 1. Rosie spent several months on Mackinac, enjoying her home in Harrisonville and Tuesday night bingo. Have a great winter.

Welcome home to Kitty Bourisaw Schadel of Arcade, New York, who is enjoying the Bourisaw Cottage on Bourisaw Lane.

It was nice to see Louie Bunker of St. Ignace visiting the Island over the weekend.

Spending the holiday in their cottage on Mahoney Avenue were Mike Corrigan and his daughter, Kelly, of Detroit. Kelly is a teacher in the Livonia School System.

Karen Hodgman, with family and friends, spent the holiday weekend on their favorite Island. Her husband, Dr. Richard Hodgman of Kalkaska, was unable to be on the Island because he was on call in Kalkaska. We missed him, but he will be covering the Island at the end of September.

See you at the Antique Show Friday, September 5.

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