Archive for the ‘dogblog Mrs. Wilson’ Category

Suomi for Breakfast

Monday, August 25th, 2014

No attorney in view, the restaurant and bakery in Houghton, a local tradition, is the Suomi. (pronounced Sue Me) *.  The bearded busboy, a student at Finlandia University, is very polite, yet appears a raccoon with distemper.

The no-nonsense waitresses, so quick you feel their passing breeze lift the napkin from the counter; the French toast made from freshly baked cinnamon bread, exquisite. This is Paris, in denim, hiding from polyester vacations.

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Sunday regatta, looking toward Hancock, MI and the Finlandia campus

Since our first visit to the Keweenauw, 2008, the entire peninsula has become more vibrant.  Calumet and sister city, Laurium, on the verge of extinction, are now in resuscitation.  Not hip or trendy, i.e. disney, cruise ship, water park, cookie-cutter franchises.  Tourism, home-grown small business, renewed historical interest in mining, and the abundance of natural beauty trump Priceline.com or Sandals® resorts.  Credit the Pure Michigan campaign.
(full disclosure: I am not an actor or compensated spokesperson)

The entertainment choices, like most university towns, are often unique.  The Festa Italiana in Hancock boasted its headliner, “The World’s First Indestructible Italian Polka Band”, but ran out of spaghetti, overwhelmed by hungry festival goers.  The Michigan Tech Pep Band is reputed to be a techno-geek sensation, but sadly, we arrived a month prior to practice.

band“The ice bucket challenge is for wusses”

DSCN1495Laurium’s own, George Gipp, immortalized on the football field and in fieldstone by Knute Rockne and Ronald Reagan.

DSCN1486The lodge of the Keweenauw Resort, built in the early 1930′s has changed little in eighty years.  Built by the WPA to provide labor for the 80-90% unemployment among miners, it retains the craftsmans’ unduplicated charm to this day. A baked haddock sandwich, cole slaw, chips and beer never tasted better.
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Nearing our goal, the Copper Harbor lighthouse from across Horseshoe Bay as seen August 2008.  A beautiful, lonely, desolate finger into the teeth of northwest winds of Lake Superior.
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August, 2014, same view, Lynn explaining to Mrs. Wilson our first visit with Jack.

We’ve reached our goal, the genesis of U.S.41.
DSCN1830Family portrait; and a vow to one another we won’t wait 6 years to return. 

This is where snowfall is measured in feet, not inches.  Where people think hockey is an actual sport although admit never seeing the puck.  And most important, the natives regard the current frenzy, the ice bucket challenge**, as a thermal joke.  They wouldn’t consider participating unless they needed to warm up.

 

*reputed to be the best breakfast in MI by Rachel Ray, the chatty, chubby, petite Jewish doyenne of kitchen kitsch

**when will this ever end ?

 

 

©insightout2014

Introducing Mrs. Wilson….

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

Wearing nothing but a halter top, frightening full frontal nudity, that which follows may be unsuitable, a rating of PG-55 for the easily offended. A six month Insightout absence, a vacuum created by the loss of family pet, Jack, is over.

The grieving, the failed attempt to establish a website, www.doggone.org, was not working by early April, 2014. A visit to the local Pet Refuge reversed course; a two y/o female (gasp), rescued and fostered by a loving couple, was available. With zero Westminster breeding, and much more likely the result of hasty, unplanned dog sex, she appeared to be 12 pounds of terrier exhibiting a less than subtle attention-deficit disorder; imagine popping corn in a microwave.

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Naming her would be a hurdle. Calling her Orville Redenbacher would cross a sexual boundary. And maybe subject her to a suit from Old Orv’s intellectual property lawyer. Her markings were similar, in miniature, to those of a famed pinto pony, Scout*. Once again, crossing the gender line, nixed Scout. Monikers like Butterscotch and Cafe Au Lait sounded curiously Starbucksian. No thanks a latte.

To those of you familiar with the geography of southeast Asia, her dorsal fur resembled Malaysia to the east and Sumatra to the west….but who would name their dog “Strait of Mallay”?

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Days after the ‘adoption’, when she failed to respond to a command, my friend said, “can’t you call her by name” ? How dumb is that…naming your dog, Byname. Better that, I suppose, than Beyonce.

And so it went for a week. During a quiet moment of contemplation, our eyes deeply embraced, I realized this furball, like Jack before her, was destined to transform me to a better self. Behind that cornea emerged the vision of Washington Grade School, Hammond, Indiana, 1953, and a 14 y/o dyslexic kid. A chronic troublemaker whose future changed when an elderly teacher, Margaret Wilson, triggered his discovery of mathematics.

Who among us has not had a life altered, by a thoughtful, caring person with no intension of personal gain, yet who never lived to witness the ripple on the pond.

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The gratitude and fondness for one lady, a silver-haired arithmetic teacher, sixty years later, has never waned.

In remembrance…..meet Mrs. Wilson ⬇

Airborne, on a favorite beach, the deserted north shore of Lake Huron

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* Tonto, sidekick to the Lone Ranger

 

©insightout2014

About the Author

Retired 1997.
Frequent travel. Loyal companions: wife, Lynn; dog, Jack.
Avocation: writing social and political satire.
Past life: three decade clinical pharmacy owner. Now in recovery.
Location: Northern Indiana, Eastern U.P. of Michigan, Southern Arizona

No telephone;
E-mail cspiher@aol.com