Friday, April 24, 2015

ISLAND WATERFRONT - Then and Now - Crew - Part XIX

Picking up food orders at the dock.  Erik Foss in red vest.  Back to
camera, Chris Fosco (of Fosco's Famous For Nothing Restaurant)
and looking into camera, Tom Harvey.   (taken 1980)
The Ferry Line's freight truck would limp along for another 30+ years,
sometimes with suspect brakes, sharp springs poking through the
driver's side upholstery, but never requiring a key for the ignition.

Washington Island, Wisconsin -

When looking back on various milestones of the past 75 years, it's hard to pick one event, one achievement, or one decision as being the most important, with the greatest long-term benefit, either to the ferry business, or to the Island as a whole.

Instead, each new vessel christened, each major dock development or renovation, each dredging project, each new or improved shore facility builds on preceding work.  So, it's not just difficult, but impossible to say what was the most outstanding accomplishment.

Most important, however, and not to be forgotten, is the continuum of men and women who carried out their work, often behind the scenes, performing the daily tasks that actually make the ferries operable, who collect each payment, balance the accounts, provide answers to questions, direct drivers, handle freight, packages and mail, and accomplish those thousand-and-one things that support such ferry service 365 days a year.

This posting will reproduce photos of some of our crew, past and present, who may also be found on WIFL's Facebook page when they're posted in future days and weeks.

There are new faces who come to work at the docks each summer, often young people hired to staff the ferries, freight garage and ticket booths.  But, we're also pleased to name so many captains and crew who have made careers with the Ferry Line,  some with as many as three or four decades, with loads of experience behind them.  

It might be hard to beat the 60+ years of an Arni Richter, but I think of Dave Johnson and Nathan Gunnlaugsson, two captains who each had 40 years of service.   Based on unofficial data, at one time Nathan may have held the record for most crossings of Death's Door, but that record will probably be eclipsed by Bill Jorgenson (if it hasn't already been beaten) who spent the greatest share of his employment time on board a ferry (vs. working on shore).   Erik Foss, still a youngster, is, like Bill, fast approaching 40 years with the Ferry Line - longer if you count his time helping around the dock when doubling as a bike shop attendant.  Bill Schutz, office manager, recently started on his 36th year of service.

So, with no particular order in mind, here are some of the faces, past and present, of people as they worked for the Ferry Line, or who staffed the mainland Chamber of Commerce information booth, or who were our frequent customers - after all, our customers are who we are working for - captured in photos.

Many thanks, perhaps belated, for all you've done to keep the ferries and traffic moving!

- Dick Purinton

Jon Gunnlaugson, Arni, Nathan Gunnlaugsson
Dave Johnson
Vi Llewellyn and Gordon Wedel

Sylvia (Hansen) Andersen - 1953
Steve Kalms, WIFL's Peninsula mailman
Brothers Con and Ray McDonald
Joel Gunnlaugsson - 1993
Beatrice (Anderson) Mott - 1986
Trucker Bob Bouche, Algoma
Greg Carr
Pete Nikolai and Lydia Foss (soon to be Nikolai)
Fred Hankwitz
Dave Johnson, Jr.
Kim Hansen and Janet Hanlin
Gil Truax and Randy Andrus - 1993
Alvin Cornell 
Carol (Swensen) Fruin - 1986
Bill Schutz - 1995
Gordon Steiner - 1989
Kurt Meyer Jr.
Lance Ellefson - 1993
Al Stelter - Ken Berggren - 2005
Getty Foss - 2005
Dave Johnson, Al Thiele, Rich Ellefson
Matt Kahlscheuer - 2006
Island Pizza neighbors Dan and Ethan Mathy with Nick Young
Erik Foss - 2004
Eric Bonow - 2003
Jim Rose
John Rose - Island Chamber - 1993
Bill Crance - 2000
Mark Dewey - 1995
Larry Goodlet - 1995
Arni Foss - 1993
Joan Blair - 1999
Jens Jacobsen
Our posting began with this truck, a late 40s Chev, purchased long ago from Egg 
Harbor Farms and used for freight until … about 2011.   Loaded with a hardware 
shipment, the hood is up, an indication of problems.

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