2006-07-13 / Columns

Mackinac Island

By Jeannette Doud

"Oh beautiful for spacious skies" described July 4, the birthday of our nation. Old Glory, with its white and crimson bars and the blue dome of sparkling stars, flew proudly from the ramparts of old Fort Mackinac and everywhere on our beautiful Island, depicting the strength and freedom of America. Windermere Point was the center of attraction for Island children and visitors with games put on by members of the Mackinac Island Fire Department and volunteers. The greased pole was a tremendous hit. All the children were trying to get the prize at the top. There were face painting and icecream cones, and the thrill to many of the children was squirting the fire hose. It was wonderful to see the children and adults having so much fun.

At 3 p.m. Ben Nye from Great Turtle Toys had a grand ascension of kites to music. Brevin Cawthorne provided the background music as 18 kites ascended into the sky in unison. It was a tremendous sight. At 8 p.m. American Legion members Paul Wandrie, Glen St. Onge, Gracie Francis, and Roy Bessell led the Mackinac Island fire truck through the town with patriotic music playing in the background. Two World War II veterans, William Porter and Leo Krzeminski, rode high atop the truck, waving the American flag. It was truly a very moving sight. As the evening was winding down, folks enjoyed a wonderful picnic dinner at Fort Mackinac, where they had a magnificent view of the fireworks. The evening was crystal clear with the Mackinac Bridge sparkling in the background. The fireworks burst into the air with brilliant colors shining down on the Straits of Mackinac. Mackinaw City sparkled with fireworks, lighting up the night sky, and on Round Island, the lighthouse stood stalwart with its light still guiding boats through the passage. It was a breathtaking way to end the day.

It was a very busy Fourth of July weekend on Mackinac. Record crowds enjoyed the beauty and various activities on the Island. Business was brisk in the restaurants, shops, and hotels.

Happy birthday to Dan Seeley July 9. Hope you had a wonderful day.

Joe and Mary Rogers of St. Ignace were recent guests of their Aunt Debbie and Uncle Mike Carley, enjoying a fun time.

What great fun for the children of the Island and visitors, too. Two special playgrounds can be found at the school and in Marquette Park, where sounds of delight can be heard as the little ones jump aboard the slides and swing into the air. One little visitor is twoyear old Jack Riordan, son of Mike and Libby of Marietta, Georgia, and grandson of Virginia and Dan Riordan, who is spending a week visiting his grandparents at their cottage on historic Market Street. Jack is enjoying the Island, where his great-grandparents and great-great-grandparents made their home.

High on the West Bluff is the beautiful Warp cottage with its magnificent view of the Straits of Mackinac and the Mackinac Bridge. Enjoying a Mackinac vacation are Mary and Skip Warp of Chicago, who are carrying out the tradition of his late parents. In speaking with Skip Tuesday, July 4, he was delighted to say that he had his dad's boat, FOG, running in perfect shape. Nice to see Mary and Skip on Mackinac.

If you would like to see the smile of a proud new grandmother, just watch as Barb Kovalak passes by pushing her new twin grandbabies. She was on Windermere Point with them for the Fourth of July festivities.

I recently received a visit from one of my favorite young men who I watched grow up on the Island, Kennie Thompson and his wife, Louann, on Mackinac visiting Ken's parents, Mary and Charlie Thompson, at their Lilac House on Market Street. When Kennie is around, everyone has a great time because he has a wonderful personality. Kennie is stationed in Kaneohe, Hawaii, with the U.S. Navy, a veteran of 25 years. He is the maintenance officer for a Navy C-20G Squadron. Kennie and Louann had a wonderful time visiting family and friends.

A very happy birthday July 4 to our special friend, Jay Porcaro of Weber's Flowers. Jay and his lovely wife, Melanie, were on Mackinac for the special occasion. The Porcaros have a very attractive shop on Market Street.

Great to welcome Joe Porcaro back to Mackinac following knee surgery. Joe is Jay's father and he gives the hanging baskets on the city lampposts lots of tender loving care. He is assisted by Richard Bolander. The hanging baskets are just beautiful and give special charm to the streets of our community.

Friends, please remember Marian Petersen, who remains a patient at Boulder Park Terrace Rehabilitation Center in Charlevoix after her serious accident this past winter. We sincerely hope that you're feeling much better.

Back on their favorite Island are Jo Helen and Paul Schneider and family from Laurel, Mississippi, who are comfortably settled in the Hagenbaugh condominium at Lesley Court. Their love for Mackinac brings them back each summer, where they have a host of friends.

Birds of many varieties and colors can be seen and heard all over Mackinac as they sing their joyful songs. Our woodland is bright with wildflowers of every description. Biking nine miles around the shore, one can see natural beauty everywhere. Tiny red wild strawberries often can be found along the side of the road.

Wednesday, July 5, was a perfect time to tour the Island in a buggy with the fringe on top. Many people took advantage of the sunshine and cool temperatures. Cadotte Avenue was a busy place.

Enjoying their Easterly Cottage on the east end of Mackinac are Brian, Candi, James, and Claire Dunnigan of Grass Lake. Brian visits on weekends until August, when he takes his vacation. They're avid horse lovers and enjoy riding the many beautiful trails on the Island.

Dr. Jeff and Tammy Chambers, with daughters Catherine, Elizabeth, and Emily, have returned to the Island for the summer months and are comfortably settled in the Chambers residence on Cadotte Avenue, which was the home of Jeff's great-grandparents. The family lives in Minnesota.

Brad and Nancy Chambers are in their home on Market Street with their three daughters, Hannah, Sydney, and Ellie. Their winter home is in Petoskey.

Tony Corrigan of Detroit enjoyed spending the holiday at the Corrigan cottage on Mahoney Avenue with friends.

Dr. Richard Hodgman of Kalkaska is the doctor in residence at the Mackinac Island Medical Center this week. He and his staff were busy over the Fourth of July holiday. We are most thankful for our wonderful facility, where folks from all over the country are treated. The Hodgman's daughter, Mary Deb, and family were guests of the Windermere Hotel over the weekend, where they celebrated Alex's ninth birthday. The family all enjoyed a hayride.

Bob and Bev Benjamin and Jane and Glen Young entertained friends and family at their annual Fourth of July cookout. The Mike Benjamin family is here from Boston, Massachusetts, and the Tom Benjamin family is visiting from the Detroit area. The families are enjoying their new kitchen at their lakeshore residence, which was built by Matt Myers.

Hurry and get well to Roxanne Pettit, who has not been feeling her best. Roxanne is the daughter of Jim and Brenda. She attends Grand Valley State University.

Helga Doud was pleasantly surprised to receive a visit from her granddaughter, Marge Coolman and family over the Fourth of July holiday. Her great-grandsons, Franc and James Doud of St. Clair Shores, are visiting their dad, Franc. They all enjoyed a family cookout.

A guest of his grandparents, Nancy and Larry Keogh, at their East Bluff cottage "Crosstrees" is Matthew James Keogh. He was seen recently having fun with his Grandpa Larry downtown. Matthew James is five years old.

I was delighted to have a visit Tuesday, July 4, with my good friend, Matt Pizzedaz of Traverse City and his friend, Liza Hayka. I have fond memories of a young lad who loved the freighters, especially the Edward L. Ryerson. Matt's late grandmother, Kay Gabay of Columbus, Ohio, and Hessel was a good customer at our Windermere Imports. One day she saw a wonderful picture of the Edward L. Ryerson in our shop and she immediately purchased it for Matt. Since that time many years ago, Matt was graduated from the Great Lakes Maritime Academy in Traverse City. He sailed on many freighters, always giving me a salute. Great memories! Matt's mother is Chris Tuckett of Hessel and his stepfather is Martin Tuckett, who is a patient at the Mackinac Straits Hospital Long Term Care Facility in St. Ignace.

Happy birthday to Marti McIntire July 2. The family enjoyed a cookout. Hope you had a great day, Marti.

Tim, Erin, and Abby Leveille of Newburgh, Indiana, have been visiting Tim's parents, Pat and Louie Leveille, and brother, Kevin, all of St. Ignace.

The big opening party of Wawashkamo Golf Club was held Sunday, July 2. It was a beautiful evening for this special gathering.

Anna Cowell and family were recent guests of her mother, Peggy, over the weekend.

Enjoy the beautiful summer weather.

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