2012-06-23 / Letters

Mechanical Noise, Smoke Take Away from Charm of Island Visit

To The Editor:

I have been visiting Mackinac Island for more than 60 years, fondly recalling the early days crossing from Mackinaw City in one of the Chris-Crafts. For all but one of the last 32 years, my wife and I have celebrated our anniversary there, coming from wherever we lived at the time, including Tokyo. The charm of “the Island” is something we always cherish.

But this year we noticed a couple of things that bothered us. First, the smoking. The flowers and scents are so wonderful, but ruined by offensive smoke. Mostly “downtown” there seemed to be more people smoking than any other city we have visited, anywhere. Could not a “no smoking ordinance” be adopted, at least for downtown? Or could there not be designated smoking areas?

Second, mechanical noise. We anticipated an airplane landing when we biked up British Landing Road as we heard the roar of an engine, but, no, it was a truck! And owned, no less, by the State Park Commission. Later, as we made our way around the Island, we saw grass being cut and trimmed, again by state workers, with gas mowers and trimmers. All of these tools are available in electric models. What would be more fitting for Mackinac Island? It would seem the State of Michigan would want to be seen as environmentally conscious, especially on the garden spot of the state!

If the talented wagon drivers can back up their horses and wagons in the midst of a busy main street, and then carry goods throughout the Island, why can the state workers not use the same method? The horses and sound of the clip-clop, clip-clop are part of the magic that brings us and thousands of others back each year. That should not be taken away just because it’s easier to do things the “modern” way. After all, Mackinac Island is “Somewhere in Time.”

T. Michael Jackson

Traverse City

Return to top

Click here for digital edition
2012-06-23 digital edition