On This Date.
Ten Years Ago
The November 1992 Beacon's headline announced that Ross Perot had beaten George Bush Sr. on the Islandby one vote. The referendum to revoke the 200' rule for R-1 property was defeated by 70 votes. The two new Supervisors, Joan Petrak in Peaine and Neal Boyle in St. James, both said that their primary agenda was to improve the roads. Rich Gillespie, elected to the County Commission, also rated this as important, and said he would try to get a handle on whether Beaver Island was receiving its fair share of funds coming into the county (such as for a County Transit bus) as well.
The School supplied its Honor Roll, which included 9 members of the second grade (Seniors today.) The Chamber of Commerce printed the names of their 45 business members and 32 associate members; their "annual hunter's dinner" drew 76 people, who particularly enjoyed the elk enchiladas. The Tennis Court Committee listed the 40 donors who had contributed $4,860 towards the project. The Boat Company stated that passengers were down by 5% but freight was up enough so that the total revenue was the same as the previous year.
Kevin White's performance at the Denmos Museum received a glowing review. Plans were announced for a Community Christmas Tree, and a candlelight walk and caroling. Island Airways once again flew in over 100 pumpkins, purchased by Paul and Ellen Welke. Dana Gillespie (Hodgson) returned home from five weeks in Europe, glad to be back.
A profile of Murray and Wave Wanty included their story of enjoying a fish fry at the Parish Hall when a fire broke out. Instead of succumbing to panic, the tables were moved outside and the meal continued as the firemen arrived, went to work, and put out the blaze. In exchange they were invited to sit down and have a delicious free dinner.
Twenty Years Ago
People are still talking about the Halloween party at which Rick Speck dressed up as a Playboy Bunny and won first prize. Other winners were Laurie McGlocklin and Barb Rakowski. Other events of note were the CMU Orchestra performing (under the direction of Mike Scripps) at the Holy Cross Church, and the Sweet Adelines singing at the Regional Meeting in Flint. The volunteer firemen received more training. The Junior Class raised funds by selling princess pine wreaths.
ET, the school biology experiment (a presumptuous basilisk lizard), was the only hatching from a group of eggs. When it became apparent there would be no other births, the students proposed dissecting the eggs. Darrell Butler did the honors, after which a funeral was conducted for ET's stillborn brothers. KK Belfy made the casket and Amy Green created a tombstone. Robert Cole said a few words at the grave.
Obituaries included Ed Demorest, Peaine Township Supervisor who died in office, and Lil Gallagher's sister Mary Green, who had taught at the Greentown School in 1925.
Thirty Years Ago
After a school trip around the Island for the 1st- and 2nd-graders, and a tour of the Big Rock nuclear generating station for the High Schoolers, the 3rd- through 8th-graders had a two-day outing to Mackinaw City. Phil and Lil Gregg and Bill and Marge Wagner were the chaperones. They visited Fort Michilimackinaw, drove over to St. Ignace, and stayed at the Wilderness State Park, where the Conservation Officer gave a talk and showed a film about the park's rich endowment. The next morning, while eating a hearty pancake breakfast, the Island kids saw a skunk outside the mess hall window. It too was presumptuous.
Friends of Milt Bennett finally caught him and forced him to ... celebrate his birthday, which he'd refrained from doing for almost ten years. To make up for it they threw him an old-fashioned Polish Party, a three-day affair starting with a turkey dinner followed by broiled steaks the next night and then a whitefish fry. Just enough tippling was done to float the food down. Bucky Vreeland and Joe Kilmartin were present for the entire shindig, but to this day don't remember a thing.
Forty Years Ago
The Beacon reported that for the third time this year a Coast Guard boat was found washed up, this one, 54' long and in good shape, at Cable's Bay by Ralph Rutt and Island turtle king Milt Bennett. They decided to move it to Lake Geneserath to give excursions, but Charlie Martin also wanted it. Before the dispute could be settled, the Sundew arrived to claim it.
Karl Keubler, our Conservation Department's officer, has single-handedly (this is literally true) been improving the Township Airport, digging up stumps and hauling them away in his pick-up. He had thinned the surrounding woods, improved the access road, and started to widen the N/S runway. While he worked he registered the planes to land. His list topped 400, and he felt he'd missed another 400 while attending to his many other duties.
In game news, 257 of the 458 allowable deer permits were issued. The previous year's stocking of Fox Lake with rainbow trout was so successful that this year 3,000 brown trout were added. Fishermen were warned that when baiting up, if they were in a boat they should kneel down and apply the worm to their hook under the seat, or if they were on shore step behind a tree, because the new fish were desperately hungry.
Two bold hunters arrived on the Beaver Islander and were driven to Donegal Bay, where they launched their 12' motorboat for a sojourn on High Island. Two days later they did not return to the prearranged pick-up point, and people began to worry. It turned out their motor quit, so they attempted to sail back, using a blanket for a sail. Having no oars, they were unable to steer, but luckily were blown ashore near Bonner's Landing.
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