Greetings from a snowbound post in Charleston, North Carolina.  As I write, the meteorologist tells me the official amount is 5.3” but that doesn’t include the freezing rain and ice that came first. This would not be much up in Wisconsin but this part of the country doesn’t have the experience or the equipment to handle what came down today.


I am told this amount and type of precipitation has not been seen here since 1989. So, we sit and wait patiently.  I was raised maybe not this far south but in my area of Southern Illinois I saw quite a bit of icy weather. Very little can be done to erase its effects more quickly. So far, we are patient.

The break has allowed me to catch up on my year end summary!


2017 has come and gone. As I take a breath and prepare to hit the road for warmer climes, I have had time today to review the past year’s  posts made here and on Facebook to see what was liked and appreciated last year. One of the patterns on Facebook were road trips or street scenes, more like the one in the picture above.

Photo: Don Crouse

Photo: Don Crouse

Scenes of the water and sunsets were appreciated, too. Don (of the Sunset Resort family) took several stunning shots when he was here over 4th of July. Time gets too short, the photos pile up and some get missed on the desktop. This one is too good to pass up and certainly represents local elements beautifully during the Summer season.


Local news, whether an announcement of Jonathan Bass’ solo concert at Trinity or Hours at Mann’s Store - as they do change— or a program time at TPAC  all get noticed. People do want to know what happens on the Island. So, noting another local happening, one not so happy is necessary, too. 


The Island lost the Danish Mill in August in a tragic fire.  After much thought, the decision was made not to rebuild. The pastries were delectable along with the rest of the menu. It won’t be the same without them! The conscientious effort to produce them as well as maintain the retail inventory was evident. However, time had moved on and family interests had changed. There were also grandchildren to enjoy. I will miss that Eric Brodersen gnome painting. 

Photo: Dick Purinton  

Photo: Dick Purinton  

Another topic of interest on Facebook was items pertinent to the running of the ferry.  Often people like the changing scenes on the runs back and forth - “rock and roll”rides being the most appreciated. Here is another update. At the end of October, Captain Bill Jorgenson after 30+ years retired from the Washington Island Ferry Line. This was hard to see. Hard to imagine  a ride w/out Captain Bill. I remember a very foggy crossing years ago. I was tentative. I decided to stay near the pilot house to observe. BJ had that run. Stoic as always, his efforts made that trip seem totally routine. I learned a bit while watching that day. Consequently, being on a boat w/ this guy always felt good, secure. Captain Bill, I wish you fair winds and following seas!  

photo: Doug Foss  Greetings from M/V Stewart J. Cort

photo: Doug Foss Greetings from M/V Stewart J. Cort

Although there were fewer entries in 2017, several blog posts were high in views. One was young Doug Foss’ travels on the Lake for Interlake Steamship.  Doug has returned to steamboatin’ over his holiday break from school.

photo: Doug Foss  Hugging Rock Island

photo: Doug Foss Hugging Rock Island

His Christmas and New Year’s “cards” were quite impressive. Chipping ice has been added to his duties while in port and he assures me he has already spoken to his professors to alert them he might be late to class this January. 


The Plum Island posts were well received. People are curious about activity on Plum?  They care about the place given everyone’s memories? Maybe a little of both. This photo is from the Sunset Cruise last July. Another trip is planned next summer with music, food, and glorious views like this.

2017 saw the passing of three lovely Island women, each memorable in her own way. 


Joan Blair - shown here in the 2013 Island Players production of Pygmalion. It’s been a while and my labeling back then was sketchy at best but I feel sure this was a Steve Waldron photo. 


Barbara Hansen - here with daughter Paula singing with the Island Sunshine Singers at the Red Barn in 2014.


Carolyn Koyen - with son Kenny at KK Fiske. I will miss her stories of growing up on the Island, her wit, her candidness.


More activities, happenings, thoughts, are on the horizon as we settle into this next year. My thanks to you all who follow these posts, here and on Facebook. I especially appreciate the willingness of folks who allow me to post their images, their words. My focus has always been to share and connect people and information on the Island and beyond. By curating a fuller more encompassing content, we are all enriched. 

‘til next time.


PS I was touched by the photo of Carolyn and Kenny when I found it back in my files but my laptop is in the shop and I can’t reference it. I am struggling with a new IPad so if someone out there can help identify the photographer I REALLY would appreciate it!