I Love My Job! 9/9/2010

When I left for work at the Stuart House Wednesday morning, I knew I was going to have a hard time finding a blog subject for that night.  Ted and I planned to attend the City Council meeting on Wednesday evening and then eat dinner downtown.  I would have just enough time to get off work at 2 o’clock, run a few errands, and get back up the hill to get ready to come down again for the five o’clock Council meeting.  I was still fretting about this as I parked my bike at work. 

Candy, who opens the building at 9 a.m. on the days I work, told me it would probably be a slow day and left to go to her real job next door at the city govenment building.  The storm we had yesterday was still the talk of the streets, and friends coming in and out the first hour told me half the town was down at the harbor watching all the proceedings with the sailboat that had run aground last night. 

I got out my glasses, my novel, and a “Find the Word” book that is always available at the desk and settled in for a slow four hours.  Didn’t happen! 

I had hardly opened my book when a couple walked in, and I said, “Would you like to go through the museum?”  The lady replied, “No, we came to meet you!”  Blogging buddies!

Sue and Bob Pavlich from Troy, Michigan. They've been coming to the island every year for 30 years and have stayed at nearly every hotel here. This time they chose the Island House. Sue told me she had only commented once on the blog so I didn't immediately know her by name, but by the time they left, I had their life story. By the way, Sue, when you were standing in front of The Village Inn Wednesday night and someone was screaming, "Sue! Sue!" - that was me. I was in a taxi, but was seated right behind the driver and couldn't lean out past the plastic curtain so you could see me. Have a safe trip home!

Mary, from the Grand Hotel, stopped by and took the above picture.  Bob and Sue began their tour of the museum, I welcomed a few more folks, then looked up as another couple walked in.  “Hi!” I said.  “Would you like to tour the museum?”  The lady smiled and said, “No, I read your blog and just wanted to drop by.”  More blog fans! 

Charlotte and Jim DeBroka from Mishawaka, Indiana have been coming to the island off and on since 1958 for Jim and 1963 for Charlotte. For the last 20 years, they've come every year. Charlotte comments quite often on the blog, and I immediately recognized her name. I jumped up and gave her and Jim a hug. Charlotte discovered the blog after their trip to the island last year and followed us to Georgia on the winter blog from there. When we returned to Georgia, I mentioned hearing the sandhill cranes flying overhead, and Charlotte sent me a photo of the cranes resting in Indiana before they flew south. I posted that on the Georgia blog. Charlotte and Jim were staying at Small Point Inn, which they love because of the family-like atmosphere. Charlotte stopped by just as I was leaving the museum to tell me she had just bought a Biria bike like mine at Mackinac Wheels. She loves it! Safe travels as you both as you continue your vacation!

Since Sue and Bob were still in the museum, the two couples got to meet each other, and I took a photo of the four of them outside by the steps.

The Pavlich's and the DeBroka's.

The DeBroka’s toured the museum also and after they left, I stepped out on the porch to watch traffic.  It was a good morning for that.

I hadn't been outside more than a minute when the firetruck came by, with lights flashing . . .

. . . followed closely by the ambulance.

Now those of you who know Mackinac Island like I do know that you very seldom see any motorized vehicle on the street (we only have emergency vehicles), and to see two  at the same time was not a good thing.  I leaned over the porch railing enough to see both the firetruck and the ambulance turn down Fort Hill toward the water.  I walked back inside, and two minutes later my cell phone rang.  Jill (the Lois Lane of Mackinac Island) reported that there was smoke coming from a condo on Main Street, and since they couldn’t get anyone to the door, they were going to have to break in to find where the smoke was coming from and to make sure no one was inside.  A malfunctioning heater turned out to be the culprit – no injuries.  Except the door.

By now it was 12:30, and the building was empty of visitors.  I opened my novel again (still hadn’t read a complete sentence)  just as another couple walked in.  “Hello!” I smiled.  “Would you like to go through the museum?”  “No,” the lady drawled, “I read your blog!”  Wow!  And this lovely couple was from the South!

Cindy and Chuck Kelley are from Pickens, South Carolina, and it was their first visit to the island. They were staying at the Murray Hotel and were having a wonderful time seeing the sights. Jill stopped by just in time to take the photo. Thanks so much for stopping by, Cindy and Chuck - safe travels home!

When the Kelley’s left, I walked back to the porch to see what else I could spot on the streets.

Just as I was about to go back inside, this hay wagon turned onto Market Street on its way up to the horse barns.

Just before time for me to leave, Dale Gensman, whom I had never met, but who is quite a celebrity on the island, came by the museum.  Mr. Gensman is in the process of building replicas of every historic building on Mackinac Island, and he displays them in the Stuart House.  His father helped build the Round Island Lighthouse, and Dale is continuing that legacy by providing the fine workmanship that goes into each of his miniatures.  Another big news item for Dale is the publishing of his book, “Cubbie the Bear”, next week.  This is a children’s book and tells the true story of Cubbie, a baby bear cub raised by Dale on the island many, many years ago.  This is going to be the “have to have” children’s book on the island as soon as it hits the stands.  I can’t wait to get copies for Jordan and Matthew.

Dale and I in front of his replica of the Biddle House.

I left the museum at 2 p.m., ran by the post office, and started down Main Street to see if the sailboat was still aground.  I had heard (through the grapevine) that a barge was trying to get it pulled back off the rocks into the water.  Jill was ahead of me and flagged me down before I got past the marina.  The sailboat was off the rocks and heading out into the Straits under its own power.  Very lucky owners!  I headed home with about an hour to spare before Ted and I went back downtown for the meeting.  Afterwards, we ate dinner at the Chippewa and took a taxi home.

A big thank you to my blogging assistants who emailed the following pics to me today.  What would I do without you!

Jill snapped this photo Tuesday of the first group of horses leaving the island. I had followed another group down from the barn when I was leaving the condo with Bear for his grooming appointment, but I was too far behind them to get a picture. I heard later that a group of 60 left Tuesday. I just cannot believe it's that time already.


Two pics from Jill earlier Wednesday morning - volunteers working to pull the stranded sailboat off the rocks . . .


. . . and - how do you block traffic during an emergency on the Island? With a police bike, of course!

Jill took this pic Wednesday morning at the Stuart House while I was inside with visitors (I wondered why she grabbed my camera). This is Dennis Bradley (our Fire Chief and Assistant Airport Manager) doing a little repair work on an upstairs window at the museum.

Thanks to Smi Horn for this photo from Tuesday's storm. These were the waves breaking below the West Bluff, before the storm hit the Island.

From Smi again. A freighter cuts between Round Island Light and Round Island Passage Light. Wow - this should have been quite a show for the diners at the Iroquois Hotel!

Don’t know why I ever worry about something to write about – I always find it . . . or it finds me! 

22 thoughts on “I Love My Job! 9/9/2010

  1. Loved your post tonight Brenda, I was just getting ready to log off my laptop and decided to check your blog…by the way I think you meant Wednesday morning not Tuesday..when you went to work..hope you don’t mind me correcting you!! LOL I loved seeing all your fans from your blog..we love you and your blog!! Blessings to you!!

  2. Wow lots of excitement for you! How nice to get to meet the couples from your blog and see faces to the names. I’m glad no one was hurt with the smoke in that condo. Thanks for the pictures of the fire truck and ambulance – something you don’t see very often I’m sure – but that’s a good thing isn’t it. That miniature house model looks very detailed and pretty. Mr. Gensman is very talented. That freighter is huge! Last time we were up on the island one went by and I could not believe how big they are. Happy Thursday!

  3. How nice to meet more people from your blog Brenda…3 couples in one day, wow! That picture of Mr Gensman was really cool too. I remember you telling us about him. I can’t believe some of the horses are leaving already, it seems like they just got there. Makes me sad to think the season is almost over.
    Have a great day!

  4. That picture of the ore boat is amazing! I don’t ever remember seeing one that close. wow! (and yes, we have quite a collection of ore boat pictures from over the years!)

    We’ll be up next week for the reunion – so if we get there soon enough, you might have visitors next Wednesday, too. Thought I should warn you! 🙂

    As I’ve said before, I love your ‘nothing to write’ blogs!

    • Barbara, I WON’T be working next Wednesday! We have family coming in on Thursday from Atlanta, and I’m taking Wed. off to get ready for them. When are you arriving?

      • We’re coming in Wednesday afternoon. I can’t say when for sure – depends on 75 traffic. Irene sent me your email addy I’ll fill you in there, ok?

  5. Bree you are a celebrity! I hope to be on the island at the end of the month with my wife, we will stop by the Stuart House to see you as well!

  6. Hi Bree,

    You are becoming a Mackinac Island attraction yourself! Shows how much people enjoy your blog. It’s nice to see all the blogging buddies and to be able to put the comment names with faces.
    Take care…

  7. You did have one busy day. Good news that no one was hurt in the fire and the boat seems to be o.k.
    Unbelievable, 3 blog couples within such a short time! Enjoyed the pics as usual!

  8. I was just on the island (and in Michigan) for the very first time ever about 3 weeks ago. I’d just barely found your blog right before we left so I didn’t have much time to plan a stop in at the museum to meet you too. However, I love checking it every day now and it makes me wish I were back there. Every day I read or see something that is now very familiar to me and I love it. While we were there, we also got to see the fire engine and the small paramedic/fire truck. The Island Slice had had a small oven issue and the fire department was called right out. Of course, we missed most of the action because we were on a carriage tour, but as we came back into town, all the taxi and carriage drivers were sure to let us know what was going on. I hope to be able to come back to the island often…it’s a little magical place! It is truly amazing to me how Labor Day is pretty much the official end of the island season…it’s odd to see such little “traffic” on the roads in your pictures now!

  9. Not only are you a celebrity but now you have a new celebrity doo. I like your new “flat hair” but you always look gorgeous.

  10. I just recently started reading your blog and OMG! I am a huge fan of you and the island. I try and visit 2-3 times yearly. I have two in and am trying to make it one more time. After seeing your visit this winter for the festival, I am thinking maybe…I have been to the island for all seasons but never winter. I will be checking in with you daily to see what is happening on the island. Thanks so much for the enjoyment and bringing me back to the island for a little while.

    • Welcome, Trisha! Glad to have you aboard, and yes – you should definitely consider a trip to the Island during the winter. Stay connected through this blog and other Mackinac Island websites to choose a good time when something special is going on – Christmas Bazaar, New Year’s Eve, Winter Festival, Valentine’s Day, etc. Hopefully, I’ll be returning for a winter trip also. Again, welcome!

  11. Bree, I discovered your blog a few months ago, and read it when ever I can. My wife and I visit every year usually. We stayed at the Chippewa in August and will be back at the Grand in Sept. Just wanted to comment on the pic above of the condo that has the fire truck in front of it..I always wondered if you would mention the condos or show a picture and now you have .This was where my wife’s grandpa lived in the early 40’s, The original house is the main part on the sidewalk. He also lived on Bois blanc, where the family had 40 acres, called Culver Field. His mother is buried in the catholic cemetary, on the Mcarthy plot in an unmarked grave. If you know of any history of this house I would be interested. Thanks for all your work in sharing the beautiful island with us. It is my dream too to own a home on the island someday!
    Regards, David Kallin

    • HI, I am searching for information on my family that lived in that house, and on Bois Blanc. My family are the Culver’s. We are planning a trip to the island in August. Ii’m just hoping to find some family while we are there.

      Please contact me if you think there is a connection here,

      Emily Moran

  12. Hi Brenda,
    I knew that I heard someone calling my name outside the Village Inn on Wednesday Night. However, I thought the person might have been calling to one of the carriage drivers that was named Sue. Only on Mackinac Island!!. Well, didn’t you have a busy day on Wednesday!! Wow, you just never know what will happen from day to day. You know I love your blog, but have not made many posts(I think only one). But, I read everyday. Now that Bob and I have met you( as we visited on purpose at the Museum) and Ted( by chance) I have two things to say. I will be posting regularly, and there could be no better Goodwill ambassadors for Mackinac Island than both of you. Your warmth and Southern charm are so endearing. I feel lucky to have found this blog to keep up with the Island and even luckier to have it written by you!! Thank you!!

  13. That is so awesome how your bloggers are finding you and want to meet you!! That must be a great feeling!! Your definatley an icon on the Island!! Next year I am hunting you down and get my picture taken with you!!!!!!! I should of took a picture with Jill but I just wasn’t thinking cause I was so excited!!

    • That is so funny, Michelle. Jill has had her photo made with blog fans much more than I have because everyone knows she’s in the bookstore everyday! It’s just lately that readers who are visiting know they can find me on Wednesdays at the Stuart House. It is so much fun to meet them!! See you next summer, good Lord willing.

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