Ongoing Projects

Just to bring those who are interested up to snuff on a couple projects, the 2001 Christmas ornaments have been shipped and I should be receiving them within the week.  As soon as they arrive I'll be mailing those who ordered theirs.  Sorry for the long delay.  The events of 9-11 slowed packages from overseas.

The Archives that I've received so much email about, will soon be available on CD-ROM as a years' worth of island history.  All those old News on the 'Net stories along with the photos from November 2000 to November 2001.  I'll keep you posted how that project is proceeding.  At the moment it IS on a CD, however it needs some tweaking to make some minor adjustments.

You Know You're An Islander If...

Probably the 2nd most popular page on this website after the News on the 'Net, You Know You're An Islander is made up of one-liners poking fun at what it takes to be a Beaver Islander.  Every so often someone sends me another one to add to the list.  Mark Ricksgers sent one the other day, however it wasn't a single line so I'll just include his email, as Mark wrote it,  for you to enjoy.  Thanks, Mark.

My father Roger Ricksgers, graduated in '44 at age 16 and went to the mainland to work....    He wanted to leave...there was nothing for work then on the Island..and he was too closely related to everyone to marry another Islander...He told me that once...if you want a woman up here, be prepared to bring her're related to everyone up here!...So it was on the way to "Detroit City"...on $25 borrowed from his uncle George Ricksgers....    At first dad went to visit his cousin Tony O'Donnel, (his mother Helen McDonough's cousin who was a tool and diemaker....he had a shop called Lincoln Products Company in Lincoln Park), but Tony didn't have any need for more help then at that time, even though he always told dad to look him up when you get to the big city.........and he watched a turret lathe's bull gear get recut on a milling machine...It had broken and they had welded the broken sections together and had to save it..machinery was in short supply during the war...this lathe made a huge nut to bolt down the engines on Navy ships...and only one man was trusted to operate it...The machinery was rented and went with the job...Tony told him that he always wanted to have a shop on the Island but it wasn't practical because they would have to ship in everything they needed by boat....but my realization was that then they were at war with a formidable adversary, the Japanese, who did exactly that...Dad said that Charlie Martin collected old iron and sold it before the went to the Japanese who later turned it against America...   He went to work for the Ready Power Company building generators for the War effort...He earned the Navy's "E" Award...with other Islander's...Danny Greene, Jewell gilespie, and cousin Corneil Gatlif...(Ready Power was the start for Jewell's eventual job as the operator of the first Power Plant on the Island)...and then signed on with the Strm. Richard Trimble as a ordinary seaman with his cousin Bob Ricksgers, when his older brother, John Anthony (Ablebodied Seaman and Wheelsman) came into the shop and said that Captain DeWitt was hiring....time for another Islander to go to sea!....  I remember him talking once with Jimmy Cole back when he was still in his teens, and how Jimmy found it so hard to leave the Island....Dad said that it got easier with's hard, but you'll always come back!'s in your blood as an Islander...     Before my father died at age 66 on the 19th of October, 1994, I went up to the Island with my oldest son Sean Roger, then 3...Dad, even though he was a dying man, took the time to teach Sean how to properly plant a cedar fencepost on his farm's east boundary..... and Sean and I moved dad back to Grand Rapids on the 3rd of October....We had talked a lot that past year...he was dying in front of my eyes, but I didn't realize it...and he was my best friend...     During one of those talks, I realized that he had spent 50 years trying to leave the Island....and he wasn't very successful at doing that...he always came back....He loved his 40 acres on Bonner's Bluff that had been in the Ricksgers' family since '03...and the log cabin that he built in '47 from cedars that he cut on the property the previous fall after he laid up the steamboat for the shipping season.......    During that 50 years after graduation..(in a class of three!...with Lillian Conaghan and Larry Cull....) he saw his classmates every year....(that's something that I can't say...the last time I saw all of my classmates was when I graduated...1972)...they went out for a 50th reunion dinner...not too many high school classes have that record I'm sure...    He came back for deer hunting every year,,,.....for the sake of the experience and solitude rather than the meat...(I feel the same way..I'd rather eat a piece of beef)...He was in supervision and management in the Postal Service...Retired as Postmaster of Mt. Pleasant in '85.....and there was a lot of pressure there that was relieved with a trip "up home"....I remember him going through the books when he was PM ...trying to find an error in one of his supervisor's reports....trying to find a .17 cent mistake....while I waited for him so we could go to the Island for Christmas in '81...      So.....I guess You're a Beaver Islander when you try to leave the Island and can't...even with 50 years of trying....and still come back home.... Islander's still keep coming back...
                       Mark Anthony Ricksgers

We Need Some Prayers & Cards

Tom Morlan, of Beaver Island, is very ill, having suffered a stroke last week.  He is now in Boulder Park in Charlevoix and I know he'd sure appreciate hearing from those who know him.  Tom and his wife, Dorris, have been very involved with the Beaver Island Christian Church for many years.  Tom's address is:

Tom Morland

Boulder Park Rehabilitation

14673 West Garfield Road

Charlevoix, MI 49720

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