Waking at Schumann’s 7:00 am, gotta move on over to Fred Eagle Royce’s and then get to town for an interview with RJ Peterson, marina magnate, community booster, friend to the late Dennison and self proclaimed conservationist.
RJ asserts the development proposed by McClendon will be a boon and the best bet for low impact development on the dunes, but also opined that whatever happens on the former Dennison property will not make a wit of difference to the Saugatuck / Douglas economy. For RJ, the harbor is what matters. A municipal marina would help bring support for dredging and maintenance. What if bigger boats could get in as in days of old? What if the Kewadin could get out? RJ is gruff, outspoken and perhaps even a bit stubborn, but I suspect he is more open minded than most locals give him credit for. When I asked him if he was on the McClendon payroll, he barked “I wish!” That’s a sort of integrity, IMHO.
Ignoring or dismissing this dynamic curmudgeon would be a huge blunder. Like the shifting dunes and great pounding shoreline, RJ embodies the heritage and majesty of the region. He is practically a force of nature.
Later Alison and David Swan met with me. They described an aesthetic and economic vision for the community that I found far more compelling and realistic than any old school development so far proposed, low impact or high.
RJ and the Swans have two complementary hunks of one great plan. I wonder if they know…
Day 15 – 16
Paused in the Pine Motel parking lot on the way back from Wallys, riding the Zilliax Miyata back to Oval beach in the rain. It was a warm rain and I wanted to add a little more to this blog entry. I stopped there for some solid wireless, dripping and pecking at the screen. I should have just checked in. I got back to Oval Beach and following through on my promise to not camp. I pushed Hello World into the surf and anchored for the night… or so I thought. Once out there snug in the tent, the wind came up and started to buffet the boat. Waves smashed the bottom of the trampoline and rolled down my spine. Backwards and forwards, up and down with Hello World creaking and complaining all the while. I eventually bit the bullet and traded my warmish sleeping bag for a wet wetsuit in preparation for an emergency beaching. The worst thing is to do have to hard manual labor after nearly falling asleep. She was secure by the time first light arrived and I got started getting her ready for a few days alone, hauling gear to the parking lot.
Susan’s smiling face around 10:00 am then 45 minutes back to Kalamazoo (Kzoo, Kazoo) and Garland Gardens (Vince and Susan’s house). Trot the gear up to my garret and start charging. Quick tour of the home farm, 100+ tomato plants. Vince’s mom and Aunt Rose arrive, then Vince himself from packing his classroom, (they’re refinishing the floors at school over the summer). Pizza for dinner, then off to record Vince performing with the Kalamazoo Mandolin and Guitar Orchestra conducted by Miles Kusik and featuring Carlo Aonzo. There’s an after glow at our house where I finally break out the Larrivee and play and sing with members of KMGO. Vince fuels the evening with homebrew beer.
Since constant vigilance and top performance is not currently required, my body demands rest. I yawn and groan constantly.
Wake up on Thursday and organize the blog and posts. I am way behind and intent on catching up. Processing Vixia video with Final Cut Pro takes time, so the computer and hard drives are constantly munching. In the afternoon take the camera to a practice of Great Lake Aquatics (Akitas) the swimming club and racing team that Vince coaches. His coaching is what I’ve come to document. Use the Aquapac underwater bag for the Vixia successfully, tho it continues to be awkward. Kids are a little creeped out by guy in pool with camera. I am caught of guard when Vince introduces me after practice and do a lame job of explaining the project. Home for dinner with Susan and noodling on guitars. Blackout.
Great Lakes Aquatics Summer Solstice swim meet starts on Friday and I’m there to make movies of the Akitas racing against other clubs from around the Michigan and Canada. Catch a ride there and back with Dan from the team, a habitually happy guy. Big storm sweeps through with winds up to 70 mph on Lake Michigan. I fret for Hello World and put a call into Vicki at Oval Park and text to Dave and Allison at Saugatuck Dunes Coastal Alliance. While waiting for the pot of oopama I am making for the fam and visiting swimmers, get creamed at the card game Set by teens. Spend an hour or so interviewing Vince. Video processing is ongoing, begin to run short on hard drive space. Will have to buy additional drives eventually.
Visit the meet again on Saturday for events with Swim for Success kids. Party again at the house with the meet officials and some of the other coaches. Interesting conversation about how pool swimmers have anxiety about open water. Problematic to move pool swimmers to a wild venue (we got lakes) for promotion and expansion of swimming sports around Michigan. Vince and Susan force me to agree to visit the Ondrej, Mattej and Jan Pekarovic at their goat ranch on the way back to Saugatuck Sunday. I disappear to edit Vince’s video and blow off packing.