I would like to take this opportunity to wish each and everyone of you a wonderful Christmas.

May 2006 bring you joy and blessings in abundance. Be safe, be well and God bless!

Harold W. "Bucky" Vreeland 1921 - 2005

Harold W. “Bucky” Vreeland, 84, of Beaver Island, died Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2005, at his home.

Mass of the Resurrection will be 11 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 27, at Holy Cross Church, Beaver Island. The Rev. Pat Cawley will officiate and burial will be in Holy Cross Cemetery on Beaver Island.

Bucky was born March 12, 1921, in Bowen Township, Kent County, Michigan, the son of Basil and Mary Emma Vreeland. He graduated from Caledonia High School.

On Feb. 14, 1952, he married Genie Setsma in Caledonia.

He was a veteran of World War II serving in the United States Air Force.

Harold worked as a tool and die maker, managing a shop for Middleville Engineering. He went to work for Bissell Corporation in Grand Rapids in 1964, and retired in 1980 as supervisor.

Bucky and Genie moved permanently to Beaver Island in 1980, where they had been part-time residents since 1956. For 16 years, they spent half of each year in Feakle, Ireland.

He was a member of Holy Cross Catholic Church on Beaver Island, Caledonia VFW, and Creston Rod and Gun Club in Ada.

Harold was an avid reader of westerns, a friend of the Beaver Island Wildlife Club and a supporter of the Beaver Island District Library.

His wife, Eugenia “Genie” Vreeland, of Beaver Island survives.

Contributions may be made to Holy Cross Catholic Church or the Beaver Island Wildlife Club. Friends may call at Holy Cross Catholic Church Monday evening, Dec. 26, where a rosary will be recited at 7 p.m.

The Winchester Funeral Home in Charlevoix is handling arrangements

2005 School Holiday Program

On the evening of December 20th the majority of the Island community gathered at the Holy Cross Parish Hall for the annual School Holiday Program. As usual it was a packed house as parents, siblings, grandparents, relatives and friends came to see the 1st to 6th graders perform.

Ms. Miranda Rooy coordinated the program and was assisted by Mike Myers, Loraine Dawson and upper classmen.

The program was kicked off by Caitlin Boyle (piano) and Joe Moore (violin) playing "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas". The grin on Caitlin's face when she finished was priceless.

The 1st through 6th grades told stories of Christmas around the world including Germany, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Israel and the Jewish Nation, Latin America and the United States. They were joined by the kindergarten students for the last few songs which including some signing for the deaf. All the students did an exceptional job.


Kindergarten: Katie LaFreniere, Austyn Oliver, sharon Schwartzfisher. First Grade: Ireland Bigelow, Erin Dixon-Myers, Hillary Rasch. Second Grade: Zack Bousquet, Emily Burton, Trace Butler, Liam Hodgson, Truman Left, Jordan Marsh. Third Grade: Willow Rasch, Hannah Robert, Meg Works. Fourth Grade: Jewell Cushman, Olivia Cary, Ron Marsh. Fifth Grade: McCauley Connaghan, Marissa Crandall, Dylan Left. Sixth Grade: Jenna Battle, Brighid Cushman, Jamie Campbell, Augustus Connaghan, Matthew Cull, Desire Duhamel, Daniel LaFreniere, William Lemmink, Brogan Maudrie, Michael Myers, Olivia Schwartzfisher.

After the last note of "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" faded off, the jolly, old, elf made his appearance just in time to hand out candy to the little ones. Two-fifths of the Class of 1967, also sat on his lap and were rewarded with candy. The poor old guys knees will never be the same.


Jeanne Gillespie whispered her wish in Santa's ear and said "Hi" to her sister Audrey in Alaska

Gee, thanks, Frank Solle, for the photo of me and Santa - watch out for coal in YOUR stocking

Beaver Island in the Winter

This past week my e-mail box was full of requests for island winter scenes. While I couldn't fulfil everyones wishes for special pictures, I hope this will give you each an idea of what the island is like at this time of year. Not a lot of cars parked in town, the harbor hasn't completely froze but it's working on it, Bud Martin's tug leaves a trail through the ice as she brings in another barge load and although it isn't "officially" winter for two more days, it's looking a whole lot like it.



Gingerbread Lane

Story/Photos by Frank Solle

If there is something Beaver Island's woman-of-many-talents, Heidi Connor can't do it's a good bet it simply hasn't been invented yet. You name it, Heidi has, or can, or will, do it, from her massive spring gardening efforts to her cake decorating to her christmas wreath making to her painting and other various arts projects to plowing the driveway or driving one of husband Jeff's many big vehicles. After you know her for awhile, nothing comes as a surprise.

Recently Heidi hosted a gingerbread house making event, something she had done for many years in Colorado, attended by eight candy construction rookies. Under Heidi's careful tutelage the results were impressive. As for her own effort, Heidi said she started with the idea of making a gingerbread Protar's cabin, but then "went off into fantasy land." Indeed she did. With, not surprisingly, wonderful results.


In addition to the gingerbread basics, construction materials included: life savers, candy canes, necco wafers, licorice, gum
drops, chewing gum, red hots, pretzel sticks, coconut, melted Jolly Rogers, icing, tootsie rolls, chocolate kisses and small bars, and who knows what else.

Not to be outdone by mom, not only did daughter Hannah create a terrific house, but so too did son Levi, who, as Heidi pointed out, turned a candy cane into a rifle. "Only a boy would do that," said mom, with a touch of pride.

There very well could be a repeat performance next December for those who missed this year's fun.


Page Two of the News on the 'Net