Ann Johnson


Eagle Harbor Web

An unofficial source of Eagle Harbor, Michigan news, views and information.

The Joy of a Harbor Winter

Ann Johnson's "Passport Picture"

AJ's Letter

Ann and Gerry Johnson are Eagle Harbor veterans and astute observers of the local scene. Luckily for us, Ann is also a wonderful writer. Their quarterly "letter to taxpayers" is a Harbor institution, eagerly anticipated and read by many Township property owners, especially those who are yet to make Eagle Harbor their permanent home. A big "Thank you" to Ann and Gerry for contributing their letter to George's Eagle Harbor Web.

January, 1997, News from the Johnsons at Eagle Harbor.

Dear Friends and Neighbors:

The Keweenaw is truly a winter wonderland--but as we look at weather news, we realize we are not unique. As far south as our family in Texas, you have all had snow, ice and frigid cold. The difference lies in the fact that our winter will last long after you are working on suntans. Another difference is our great road crews that keep us moving through the worst of storms. So far we have caught up with last year's snowfall and are a little ahead at this point.

Christmas in Eagle Harbor was magical. Beautiful snow, great cross-country skiing and snowmobiling as well as fun with family and friends. The Community Christmas tree was festive, as were the many decorated houses. We wish all of you could have seen the thirteen foot tree we had in our cabin. It was decorated from the top over the balcony and with a step ladder from below. The Township is growing in holiday population each year. The Christmas Eve service at St. Peter's was lovely in spite of a stormy day that threatened to wipe out the service. The ministers arrived, the church was beautifully warm and decorated, and with Carol Bogart substituting at the organ, we celebrated the Birth of Our Lord in peace and love.

Early in January, George Hite put Eagle Harbor on the internet with his Web Site. All you ever wanted to experience in the Keweenaw is now at your fingertips and on your monitor screen. Our letter is featured with a picture of Ann that rivals your worst passport or driver's license photo. Those of you who have access to the Internet and no longer need this "snail mail" version of the letter, please let George know and we will remove you from the mailing list. The Web Site address is George is receiving E-mail responses from around the world from current, former, and "wannabe" Harborites.

We have lost some wonderful neighbors and friends recently. Harold "Bud" Scrutton passed away before Christmas. Virginia Jacka Neil died just before New Years and this week we lost Phyllis Dininger Kellow. Our sympathy goes out to Bill Jacka, Gratia Scrutton and Fred Kellow. We will miss these friends at our potlucks next summer.

You won't believe your eyes when you visit the Township office! We have moved from the "dungeon" look to a bright, efficient, modern office. A thorough cleaning by the Clarksons and Olsons followed by new carpet, new desks and chairs has transformed the place. Now we are spending hours organizing and purging files--storing what is necessary from years past and dumping the rest. It will be great for those of us who spend lots of time there. Incidently, we are glad to report that Ivan Fisher is back at work in the office at last.

The Keweenaw Youth Academy, a facility for youthful offenders, is up and running at the old Radar base. So far we haven't heard of any problems or concerns, but will be monitoring the operation for any impact on the Township. The program focuses on discipline, studies and counselling. Those young men from urban areas probably feel they have been shipped to Siberia as they experience the Keweenaw winter.

There is a great deal of concern about the record-high lake level after last year's huge snowfall. If we continue to pile it up this winter, we will probably see even higher water tables. Don't get rid of your sump-pumps for draining basements and crawl spaces. The Corps of Engineers has already said they can't draw down Lake Superior because of high levels in Lakes Michigan and Huron.

If you happen to be here while the snow is still deep, don't try to drive to the cemetery!! Flat winter light makes it look like the road is plowed, but it isn't. Neither is Seventh Street. Every winter we have several cars stuck and Don Koop comes to the rescue. Sometimes it takes a tow truck. The latest were a couple of panicky teenagers from Mohawk around New Years. They made it quite a way up the snowmobile trail which meant Don had to find a lot of chain to reach them and haul them out.

Things we experience and observe that make life wonderful here in the Keweenaw no matter how deep the snow: The birds in constant graceful motion at the bird feeders (we could watch for hours); the stillness of the woods and the "swish" of skis on the beautifully groomed ski trails (thanks, Jon and Bruce); the lift of spirits on the sunny days (yes, we do have them occasionally); the bright moon casting shadows on the snow; the snow sculptures on overhanging branches (especially spectacular on the covered road to Copper Harbor); the joy to find your drive has been plowed by a kind Township Supervisor after a snowfall (thanks, Jim); and, the myriad animal tracks to identify--mice and shrews that tunnel, squirrels, rabbits, deer, fox, and even partridge that leave flutter patterns when they bathe in the snow.

We really appreciate all the kind comments about this newsletter effort. It would ony be better to see and visit with each of you in person--but that only happens on the 4th of July.

'Til the thaw begins (we hope) in March--

Ann and Gerry