Finally Home

Whew! I'm finally home and don't plan on leaving again for quite a while. Summer mainland traffic is, for me, on par with Christmas shopping. Cars going every which way and not many having a clue of where they want to go. Bumper to bumper and breathing in exhaust fumes doesn't do a whole lot for me either so two trips within one week put me on overload for tension. Just very glad to be back home again. Sorry about not being able to update Monday and that today is so late. Next week I should be back to normal - whatever that is.


Krystle Timsak captured this waterspout over the Weathervane in Charlevoix on Sunday afternoon just as it was retreating back into the clouds. Joe and I saw it from Bridge Street in Charlevoix but I didn't have my camera with me. Pretty interesting to watch it come down and then go back up. The weather by late Sunday afternoon produced several of them over Lake Michigan. Thanks for sharing the photo Krystle.


Rubbing elbows with Ernie (Martin) providing the inspiration.
For Ernie's Family and Friends
by Jack R. Spanhak 8/16/05

What is it then, when people talk
What will they say of me
A blessing surely comes to mind
And "that poor family"

But will they ponder search their hearts
And talk about my good
Or will they talk of judgment failed
Or things misunderstood

Perfection was my lofty goal
Got by I did for sure
Helping my fellow man in need
My sharing with the poor

My wanderlust and love of work
Would on the go me keep
For love of country fight I did
For comrades lost I weep

My purple heart I proudly wore
A pin for pain endured
to Islands Vets I gave a voice
Our Amvets Post procured

My legacy I pray will be
A kinder isle for all
Please do love one another
And leave me standing tall

Mark Your Calendars, Sam Hanks will soon be 65!

Jerry LaFreniere will be celebrating his 65th birthday on Saturday, September 17th and everyone is invited to his garage.

The festivities will begin at 7:00 P.M.

There will be live music, beer and mix (B.Y.O.B.), and feel free to bring an appetizer!

No gifts please.

P.S. Mary Palmer's birthday (but we won't say which one!) is on September 18 so her birthday will also be celebrated.

For an unforgettable weekend, head to the
4 th annual “Bite of Beaver Island” Food Festival

If you've a yen to explore a unique destination with a weekend packed with fine cuisine and fun-filled activities, have we got the place for you!

Beaver Island, the largest inhabited island in Lake Michigan, is holding its 4th annual “Bite of Beaver Island Food Festival” on Oct 1. Getting to the island is part of the fun - select either the ferry service (a 2 hr. 15 min. cruise) or charter air service (a 15 minute flight). The Beaver Island Boat Company and Island Airways are both located in Charlevoix, MI.

On Saturday, starting at 10 a.m., the Island Boodle, a 5K Run/Walk will take place along the beautiful harbor of Paradise Bay. Medals for 1st - 3rd place for assorted age categories will be given out at the Shamrock at the conclusion of the Boodle, along with t-shirts for all participants. Advance registration forms may be downloaded from the Chamber of Commerce website:

From 1 to 5 p.m., Holy Cross Church Hall will be the site of the Bite of Beaver Island Food Festival, where professional and amateur chefs sell small portions of their favorite fare. Last year's sellouts included rack of lamb, grilled shrimp, escargot, and a wide variety of scrumptious desserts. Beer, wine and soft drinks are also available at the festival - along with music and a whole lot of fun!

The Island's Youth Consortium will oversee autumn crafts for the younger set – along with showing them how to use an old-fashioned cider press. There will also be an apple pie contest, with prizes for the top two bakers and an auction of their pies, with proceeds to benefit their favorite island charity. A “Bite of Beaver Island” poster contest is also in the works, and prints of the winning entry will be available for purchase. For information about entering the poster contest, download the rules from the Chamber of Commerce website:

Later in the evening, head to the island's favorite watering hole, The Shamrock. Live music is planned.

Also in the evening Irish music and dancing is slated for Holy Cross Hall.

Beaver Island, located 33 miles from the mainland, has a year-round population of 600. This beautiful island, with seven inland lakes and miles of pristine Lake Michigan shoreline, in known for the warmth and hospitality shown to visitors. The small community has two marinas, two airports, shops, hotels, restaurants, a spa, a school and three churches. Biking, hunting, fishing and hiking the many trails on the island are among visitors' favorite activities. The island also has a colorful history, which includes the saga of King Strang, who once declared himself “King” of America's Emerald Isle.

For more information about Beaver Island, the “Bite of Beaver Island” Food Festival or the Island Boodle 5K run/walk contact the Chamber of Commerce at 231-448-2505 or see their website:

Interesting Trivia

With the death of Ernie Martin and all the military pomp that was included, it makes one wonder how things like "Taps" began. Curt Petrak sent me the following:

If any of you have ever been to a military funeral in which taps were played; this brings out a new meaning of it.

Here is something Every American should know. Until I read this, I didn't know, but I checked it out and it's true:

We in the United States have all heard the haunting song, "Taps". It's the song that gives us that lump in our throats and usually tears in our eyes.

But, do you know the story behind the song? If not, I think you will be interested to find out about its humble beginnings.

Reportedly, it all began in 1862 during the Civil War, when Union Army Captain Robert Ellicombe was with his men near Harrison 's Landing in Virginia . The Confederate Army was on the other side of the narrow strip of land.

During the night, Captain Ellicombe heard the moans of a soldier who lay severely wounded on the field. Not knowing if it was a Union or Confederate soldier, the Captain decided to risk his life and bring the stricken man back for medical attention. Crawling on his stomach through the gunfire, the Captain reached the stricken soldier and began pulling him toward his encampment.

When the Captain finally reached his own lines, he discovered it was actually a Confederate soldier, but the soldier was dead.

The Captain lit a lantern and suddenly caught his breath and went numb with shock. In the dim light, he saw the face of the soldier. It was his own son. The boy had been studying music in the South when the war broke out. Without telling his father, the boy enlisted in the Confederate Army.

The following morning, heartbroken, the father asked permission of his superiors to give his son a full military burial, despite his enemy status. His request was only partially granted.

The Captain had asked if he could have a group of Army band members play a funeral dirge for his son at the funeral.

The request was turned down since the soldier was a Confederate.

But, out of respect for the father, they did say they could give him only one musician.

The Captain chose a bugler. He asked the bugler to play a series of musical notes he had found on a piece of paper in the pocket of the dead youth's uniform.

This wish was granted.

The haunting melody, we now know as "Taps" ... used at military funerals was born.

The words are :
Day is done..
Gone the sun.
From the lakes.
From the hills.
From the sky.
All is well.
Safely rest.
God is nigh.

Fading light.
Dims the sight.
And a star.
Gems the sky.
Gleaming bright.
From afar.
Drawing nigh.
Falls the night.

Thanks and praise.
For ourdays.
Neath the sun.
Neath the stars.
Neath the sky.
As we go.
This we know.
God is nigh.

I too have felt the chills while listening to "Taps" but I have never seen all the words to the song until now. I didn't even know there was more than one verse. I also never knew the story behind the song and I didn't know if you had either so I thought I'd pass it along.

I now have an even deeper respect for the song than I did before.

Remember Those Lost and Harmed While Serving Their Country.

And also those presently serving in the Armed Forces.

Kirk McBride has sent some additional historical information about military funerals that is interesting:

The three round rifle volley has a simular beginning as to the playing of taps.  In the Civil War thousands of men would lie on the battle fields wounded or dead.  Both armies would cease fire to allowed for the dead and wounded to be recovered by the respective side.  When each army had recovered their fallen men they would fire a three round volley to signal the completion of their mission.  At a military funeral that is why the rifle salute preceeds the playing of taps. The rifle volley is to signal to all that a fallen solider has been recognized and recovered; then taps is played to pay full honor and respect for the solider.