Memorial Day was beautiful on the Island. Ted and I biked over to the Post Cemetery to wait on Fort Mackinac interpreters, dressed in period costume, to arrive. A small crowd had gathered by the time we heard the drum cadence in the distance.
We stopped by Surrey Hill to pick up some fresh-baked donuts, then went back to the condo until it was time to walk downtown for the Memorial Day service at Veterans Park. Crazy me – I forgot to take my camera card out of the computer and arrived downtown with no way to snap photos . . .
Since Ted hadn’t visited Sadie’s Ice Cream Parlor yet, we stopped in there on the way home. I ordered Royal Coconut Chocolate (one dip, sugar cone), and Ted ordered his first of many Jersey Mudds.
We Tuesday morning to chilly temps and rain – a really yucky day to go off-island for Bear’s grooming – but I wasn’t about to put it off any longer! Bear and I walked down the hill, caught the ferry, and rode to Alanson, where we stopped at Taylor’d Grooming and Pet Resort, a groomer recommended to us by the Conlons. After dropping Bear off, I rode into Petoskey and spent a few hours exploring. It’s a much larger than Cheboygan, and I can see myself really enjoying shopping there this summer. Bear looked awesome, by the way, when I picked him up later in the afternoon.
Around noon I received a text message from Jill to call her “when I stopped somewhere” because she needed to tell me something. My immediate thought was, “This can’t be good.” And it wasn’t. Our cab driver to The Woods last night was our friend Ron McCord. We all chatted together on the drive out through the woods to the restaurant, and the subject turned to ghost stories on the Island. Ron shared a couple of his favorites and told us a funny story about one night when he discovered thousands of frogs on one of the Island’s deserted roads. He dropped us at the restaurant, and I remember turning around on the porch and calling, “Thank you, Ron!”
He answered, as always, “My pleasure!” Then, smiling and waving his hand, he drove away.
That was at 6:45.
A couple of hours later, Ron died from an apparent heart attack as he sat on his taxi seat, talking with someone on the street downtown. He simply bowed his head and was gone, his hands still holding his team’s reins.
I will miss Ron so much, and so will everyone on Mackinac. He was one of the people I most look forward to seeing each year when we arrive, and I’d already ridden with him several times this year. He leaves a wife and at least one grown daughter. Our hearts and our prayers are with them tonight.