Wednesday, February 5, 2014
NOTES FROM SEDONA
This blog is somewhat of an experiment, because in previous years I've not been able to construct text from my iPad. Now, text seems to work, but so far I haven't been able to access my photos to illustrate and dress up this communication. (photos shown were added 2.14.14 from my home computer.)
We're in Sedona, Arizona, where we'll complete two weeks of hiking, visiting historical sites, and relaxing, fully conscious of the cold and snow that's smothered the upper Midwest since Jan. 12th, the day we left Washington Island and headed to Houston. Texas weather was quite pleasant...upper 60s, even low 70s several days...but it really didnt matter much since nearly the entire five days there were spent inside an sir conditioned Hyatt hotel, at the Passenger Vessel Association Maritrends Conference.
What I can pass along that has some bearing for readers is that here in Arizona, we've had very pleasant, and meaningful, visits with two men whose names might be familiar to Washington Islanders.
Monday we drove to Prescott, a drive of some 60 miles from Sedona, to see Goodwin Berquist. I learned when I called Goodie several days earlier that Nancy, his wife of many years, had passed away Sunday, Jan. 26. Nancy, many will recall, was the Chair of the Island Music Festival in its early years and she worked closely with Stephen Colburn to coordinate the many details -including performance locations prior to the existence of the TPAC. I believe Nancy was a regular in the bridge circle that included Mary Richter and Clara Jessen, among others. Their day to play was Tuesdsy, an all-day affair, more or less, rotating among homes, with each participant bringing their own lunch.
Goodie indicated that Nancy's wish was to have her ashes brought to Washington Island.
During their years on Washington Island, Goodie, who was Professor Emeritus, Ohio State Speech Department, participated on the Archives Committee. He was also a member of the Trueblood Theater Committee, as it was then known, during the formative years of the concept that eventually morphed into the Trueblood Performing Arts Center. He co-authored a number of history books, including one on Milwaukee's founding fathers. For nine years, I believe he said, early in his teaching career he taught at UW-Milwaukee, before returning to Ohio State where he became a tenured professor.
His interest in the people and activities of Washington Island, and Nancy's, continued through their years in Arizona, partly through letter correspondence, but also through the pages of the Island Observer, of which they continued to subscribe. In later years, because Nancy's eyesight had failed, Goodie read to Nancy.
Unfortunately, I'm unable to bring up a photo taken of the three of us on Monday - Goodie, Mary Jo and me. Our visit over lunch covered many pleasant topics, often with us supplying the answers to Goodie's questions about Washington Island in the present day. We hope he might be able to visit this summer, as he and Nancy had planned to do last September, before travel for her became impossible.
Island Tour Guide
We called on Bill Krieger last week, and following breakfast together, Bill offered to lead us to several local points of interest. He guides Road Scholar groups in the Sedona area, and also to the Grand Canyon, which he will do again later this winter. Bill's island home is adjacent to the Red Cup, in summer months. We three seemed to share a common interest in history, especially Indian history, but also Washington Island and Rock Island history. Bill and his late wife, Dottie, were docents on Rock Island at the lighthouse before they bought their island home.
That's our news - if it can be classified as news. During our time away, several reviews of my book,Thordarson and Rock Island, have been published - Lakeland Boating Feb. issue was one - and I've been able to monitor my online website successfully for orders, of which there've been several. All of this is heartening as we head home and my thoughts turn more seriously to another writing project. - Dick Purinton
PS - By the time we arrived home, Feb. 12th, following our visit with him in Prescott, two books co-authored by Goodie Berquist were found waiting in our island mail box.