2009-05-16 / Letters

Celebrating Andress' Achievement

To the Editor:

I am writing to celebrate the Smithsonian Institution's acceptance of Donald Andress' walking stick as an outstanding example of Native American art. Donald "The Duck" Andress is a very fine woodworker and the addition of one of his walking sticks into the Smithsonian's permanent collection is a very great honor.

Many of your readers are acquainted with Don Andress for his role in leading Mackinac Island's Lilac Day Parade each June. Some may even know his distinctive walking sticks. When I retired in 2003 The Duck presented me with a special balsam fir stick with its carefully intertwined branches.

I first met Don in 1967 when we moved to Mackinac Island to oversee the museum and restoration program. Don was a young craftsman who constructed kitchen cabinets, including the house where we lived. He also began to replicate historic furniture for our museums. We were sorry when, after a few years, Don resigned to open his own construction business.

The Duck is proud of his Chippewa heritage and we are all honored by having a Mackinac Island walking stick included in our nation's premier museum.

No higher tribute can be given to honor Mackinac's native heritage. Dr. David A. Armour Grove City, Pennsylvania

Editor's Note: Dr. Armour is the retired deputy director of Mackinac State Historic Parks.

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