Saturday, October 20, 2012


Friday, October 19th.
Detroit Harbor, Washington Island -

It's been a rainy, gray week on the island, with temperatures consistently in the 40s, or low 50s at best.  But we're about to turn a corner, it appears, with sunshine and warmer days ahead.  Mixed with more rain, which in the scheme of things isn't all bad.  There are but two days, today and tomorrow, left with Cherry Train tours for this season.  Terri Moore has done her best to keep her passengers interested and warm, despite the dampness, and it goes to show what business might have been if skies had been sunny.  Our beautiful fall colors melted with the rain sometime in the past days, and now half of that color lies on the ground after pummeling winds. 

One qualification to the last blog:  I showed two photos of Kap's Marina's north section, which is currently very shallow.  What I failed to explain is that the entire south portion of the marina, toward the U. S. Coast Guard station, has adequate depth throughout, including the entrance, for all types of craft.  Thanks to extensive dredging last winter in preparation for the new Coast Guard vessel, including approaches to the fuel supply, no boater will have a problem in that part of the marina.  

Island Outpost receives commendation:   Our Wisconsin Assemblyman, Rep. Garey Bies, was on the island Friday morning to visit and also to present an Assembly proclamation to Jim and Debbe Anderson of the Island Outpost, in recognition for their successful 40 years in business.   A brief history of the Island Outpost appeared in the Island Observer in late summer, which recounted the use of the property by several owners for fishing, and freighting, before a shop was first opened in one portion of an old net shed by Cal Davidson.   One year later, with military service recently behind him, Jim opened up the Island Outpost, and it has been a landmark of Lobdell Point ever since.
  Rep. Bies, a U. S. Navy veteran, will be guest speaker for the annual Veteran's Day Program at the TPAC, Monday November 12th at 10:30 a.m.

From left:  Rep. Garey Bies, Jim and Debbe Anderson

What the heck? and other, similar, thoughts have run through the minds of people I've encountered since my nose surgery at the dermatologist's Thursday.   The Moh's procedure was performed, in which a thin slice of tissue is removed, then examined in the lab to determine if cells are cancerous.  After the second round, I asked the doc, "How big is it?" and he replied, "Smaller than a dime."  After the fourth, and final round, I asked again, "How's it looking?" and he said, with humor (I think), "It looks like someone stood on your nose and took a swing with a golf club."  Well, given the divot removed, it took a skin graft to fill, and with that, additional bandaging to secure the whole shebang in place, which I now wear for one week before removal.  Encounters since then have produced many humorous and expected remarks, like:  "Halloween's just around the corner", and "I'd like to see what the other guy looked like."  Personally, I think back to the Polanski movie, Chinatown, in which investigator Jack Nicholson gets his nostril sliced by a sharp knife from a tough guy, then wakes up in bed later and the camera angle shows the stitches up close, pointing toward the ceiling.   It was a classic, and I hope this nose will also return to classic form in a few week's time.

In the meantime, I had the pleasure one day later to parade my new, ridiculous face in front of a kind and attentive audience at the Clearing.  I had been invited by Norb Blei to speak for a bit on Rock Island and my current writing/history project on Thordarson.   Norbert's class had spent the previous week on various authors and sources that represented Rural Writing, and that was the point of my appearance.  (Julian Hagen visited the previous afternoon and spoke about his local, island inspiration for song lyrics.)  Anyhow, it was a pleasure to have been asked, and after the initial introduction, all eyes were on my nose - or so I thought.   Actually, it went very well, and afterward at least three people mentioned they had undergone similar treatment in the recent past, and all had emerged on the other end in good health and restored appearance.  My appreciation once again, for Norb Blei to think of me, and to extend that opportunity which caused me to organize my viewpoint on where I stand with the Thordarson project (maybe 2/3 of the way, at this point.) - Dick Purinton

Better days ahead!

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