Dangerous Life of Michigan Lumberjacks

MESICK, MI: In the 1880s Michigan was America’s biggest producer of lumber.  Magnificent stands of hard wood and white pine had been purchased on the cheap by timber barons who made great fortunes clear cutting Michigan forests. By 1930 it was gone.  But the hard-living men who sweated sawing and hauling giant trees became the stuff of legend like cowboys in the American west.   Lumberjacks (they called … Continue reading Dangerous Life of Michigan Lumberjacks

Ten Days to Key West

BRADENTON, FLORIDA:  Bob Blanchard, who will soon be 79, is about to ride his heavily laden Trek to Key West.  He expects the 475-mile trip to take ten days, averaging about 50 miles per day.  The most direct route would be 100 miles shorter but, as always, Bob will be doing things his way.            Bob Blanchard, Peach’s Restaurant, Bradenton, FL, … Continue reading Ten Days to Key West

A Father Scarred by the Great Depression

It’s nearly impossible for us living in the 21st century to imagine what life was like in the early years of the Great Depression after the 1929 stock market crash. The sudden arrival of what turned out to be a decade of hard times was a particular shock because the 20’s had been so good. Grand Rapids, Michigan had been booming because its several dozen … Continue reading A Father Scarred by the Great Depression