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You know, it's a lot easier to post while things are fresh in your mind. So watch this video while I collect my thoughts, because things are not exactly fresh in my mind.

It's easy to idealize Mancelona when you don't live there. You don't have to find a job and you can appreciate the beauty: the lakes, the rivers, the fields full of thistle which make everything on a sunny day seem like a painting by Claude Monet.

But I know underneath there is a harsh reality: good jobs are hard to come by and people struggle to get by.

We pulled into town Friday evening. I put my bike together, and rehabilitated my dad's old bike for my daughter. We rode down to Antrim and then looked at the small lakes down there. Hotwater is no longer fenced off, but the lake level is low. Then we looked at Nelson Lake from the road. Barry says that back in the day a proof of manhood was to swim out to the middle, dive down ten feet or so and touch the windmill that is submerged there. With lake levels what they are, the windmill is probably just a few feet from the surface.

On Saturday I took a tremendous bike ride during which I passed through Antrim, then down Elder road to Green Lake (which is still green, but, again, the water level is too low), then down past Smith Lake (which no longer has water in it), to Chapman Cemetery. Came back via Leonard Road, which is now paved.

In the evening we went to my 30-year class reunion. There were only twelve grads there, plus family and significant others, but I had a good time. Talked a lot to Bear Dog. The following dialogue took place, which my daughter enjoyed immensely.

ME: Jackie, you know you're semi-famous in our family.
JACKIE: oh yeah?
ME: Yeah, I often tell my daughter how I had a crush on you for four years: fourth grade, fifth grade, sixth grade, and seventh grade ...
JACKIE (turning red): I never knew that ...
ME: yup.

I also talked to Dave Derrer, whom I played football with. He is now the coach, and led the Ironmen to some playoff success, beating UP power Norwary before falling to another UP team. I told him how I listened to that last game via an internet stream.

Sunday was the second annual Destination Unknown / Lyzzy Bordyn reunion jam, with Kenny T, my brother, Barry W. and me. What fun. There will be pics posted on Mondo Marco when I get around to it.

Monday, a visit with Mary Beth, lots of bike ridiing, and a trip down to Wetzel Lake with my sis. That deserves an entry unto itself, which hopefully will be forthcoming....

I always console myself with the thought that if everything goes south in my life I'll move back to Mancelona, farm the lot next to my mom's house, raise chickens, and play rock 'n' roll in the bars for a few extra coins. Pipe dream.


Passenger Side

Thanks for the virtual vacation. A bit too much bike riding for my weary legs but then again I was only pretending to peddle. And as always, I enjoy your wordy words!

Re: Passenger Side

Thanks, Jimm(y)

April 2019



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