Friday, June 30, 2017

Pentwater, Michigan

Located on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, about midway between Muskegon and Ludington, Pentwater is a typical summertime tourist town consisting of a serious marina, one main street, lots of homes for rent and a fantastic beach. If you go, be sure to stop in at the Petri Gallery right on the main street to wander through several rooms in stunning and whimsical creativity.

As you can see from the photos it was far too windy for beachgoers and swimmers or for our picnic lunch so we ate inside the car and watched the parasurfers who were clearly ignoring the red flag warning "no swimming."

After leaving town we drove north to the Pentwater Cemetery where I tracked down the grave of Edwin Nickerson, a former soldier in the 3rd Michigan Infantry. The cemetery in Pentwater is located on a series of wooded hillsides where many, if not most of the earliest grave sites are built with terraces to compensate for the slopes. Fascinating.

And on our way back to Grand Rapids we stopped at the cemetery in Hart, Michigan to look for Isaac Reed, another veteran of the Old 3rd Michigan Infantry. As I was returning to the car I came across a bit of wisdom on the Collier family stone, a couplet that spoke to me.

the Grand Army of the Republic memorial rock right along the main drag.

"So should we live that every hour 
Should die as dies the natural flower"

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Father's Day 2017

Sunday was Father's Day here in the USA, and we made the most of gorgeous weather right here in West Michigan. Before heading out to Clear Lake to be with the Ten Have-Chapman and Galloway clans, we stopped by Woodlawn Cemetery to pay our respects to a pair of special fathers. We made our way to visit Tunis VandenBerg and say hi.

Afterwards Bernice and Susan visited Emo Van Halsema, Bernice's father and Susie's grandfather, to pay their respects as well.

From the cemetery we made our way to US 131 and headed north to 10 Mile Road and Clear Lake for an afternoon of warm conversation, good food and lots of stories.

While there's always plenty of good conversation to be found outside on the deck, around the table or inside serving food, one of the more interesting events of the evening occurred late in the evening. After dinner was winding down Matt Makowski spent a half hour or so asking his wife Lisa's grandfather John Ten Have, the patriarch of the group, about his early life. Catching only snippets of the dialogue, Matt's genuine interest in the stories of days long gone but whose impact is ever-present in many around the table was fascinating to watch.

Bernice and her niece Jennifer

the setup

Gordon and Bernice
Scott, in between grill duties

the boys: Brenton Smith, Joe and Garrett Ten Have-Chapman

Lisa Makoswki

Maria, Zach and Susie

Monday, June 19, 2017

Summer evening on Lake Macatawa

Last Tuesday Susie and I drove out to Lake Macatawa near Holland and Lake Michigan to spend an evening with a few of her classmates from days long past.

It was a night of good food mixed with lots of laughter talking over old times when everyone was much younger. Although not a member of the West Michigan High School Class of 1970 it was a privilege to be included in such a group of friendly folk.

A warm evening, which some spent kayaking before dessert, passed quietly and too quickly.

 Thanks to Dave and Jane for hosting!

Don, Mary Beth and Brent

Jane and Luanne

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Happy Father's Day, Tune

Tunis VandenBerg, 1921-1999. Husband, father, grandfather, a small town physician who was part of the Greatest Generation. . . Photo taken c. 1944.

Happy Father's Day, Tune!

Happy Father's Day, Pop!

Dad and his older brother Carroll -- I'm guessing sometime in 1910 but, of course, I wasn't there so I can't be sure.

 I love you dad. Always have. Always will.

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

A little distraction please

Even if you've never seen the movie or know Morricone's music, chances are you're going to love this anyway. . .