Grindstone - It's raining, of course, though it is no longer June when, I have been saying, I remember often being chilly and wet... why else would I have brought my yellow boots! Nevertheless, island life goes happily on. There was a good crowd at the Saturday night dance and The Night Wind Band gave everyone a fine time. Sue Dorr won the 50-50, and no people got lost looking for their boat at the Fisherman's dock.
If anyone thinks that the Grindstone Island Methodist Church is run by "summer people," he or she just doesn't come to church! "Doc" Schwartz can vouch that there is a momentum that drives an annual reawakening, a momentum derived from time as far back as the Rev. Shorts or the Rev. Gabriel which mysteriously primes the well of summer goings-on. One happening that always occurs and never disappoints is the desserts that appear at the turkey supper: every family who comes brings two pies!
Sunday, the congregation remembered and gave thanks for the lives of five people who died during the past year: William Kendall George, son of Ruth and Sterling George of Clayton; Joseph Watson, son-in-law, of the Custises of Grindstone Island;
Patty Bain, mother of Doug, Jeff, and Evelyn of Juniper Island; Grace Johnson, one of the three Johnson sisters, one of whom became an Elder, the other, an Afflack. Their home in the islands is Boscobel.
Mary Carnegie House, who grew up on the north side of Grindstone where Kitty and Salt Garnsey now live.
At the July 12 service, the congregation celebrated communion. Mr. Meakin, having reminded the children that a little sanding is necessary to smooth our rough edges, assured the congregation that the roughness of troubles, anger, greed are not necessary to the life of peace that we are promised, that we dare, and should try to right wrong, feed the hungry, enjoy God, forever.
The church was once more full, "islanders from all the distant cities and towns are arriving back.
Janice Brooks Bice introduced us to some friends who are visiting, announced that their son. Brooks, was celebrating his 15th birthday that very July 12, and welcomed the congregation to the Brooks residence on Aug. 9 for the Aunt Jane's Bay service, regretting that she cannot be there.
Frank Augsbury introduced Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Sullivan, June Augsbury's mother and father. They are visiting from Quaker Hill. June and her daughter Abbey Rand taught Sunday school this week, and helped the children make little pots from St. Lawrence clay they found on Juniper Island.
The congregation welcomed Ansley and Joan Read, friends of Debbie and Steve Marra, from near Gananoque. They come with boys, puppy, and lots of wonderful, creative ideas!
Margaret Hein was also at church, daughter of Norvin and Jean Hein. She had flown by herself from Connecticut.
Our greatest joy, however, was welcoming with heart-felt gratitude, Polly Rusho, who is recovering, at the home of Leon and Marjorie Rusho, from a long illness. Polly's husband, Milton, is on a special assignment with the Coast Guard in the St. Lawrence River this summer.
So, there is, as there always is, much joy on the island. . and peace. People have done a lot of talking together this week, and have come to much understanding.
Any anger left over from last week's discussion about "organizing" this motley and independent community has washed away. Marjory Garnsey has offered her barn as a shelter for the fire truck, the young men are agreeing together to get some training to become firemen, and all are hoping that the island will soon have fire protection, which is more quickly "on the spot."
Mrs. Shirley brought us two wonderful bits of memorabilia: one, a small book. Thousand Island House from about 1905, and another, Arthur's Home Magazine, October, 1885, with an article about the St. Lawrence and several lovely woodcuts showing river life. Looking at the pictures reminds us that much has changed along the river, and that the beauty we live in is a gift we must, as Buck said last Sunday, treat with respect and care.
Ada Bazinet has yet another pictorial memory. She found a photograph of the Rev. and Mrs. Gabriel, the pair who are remembered by so many of the church people for having overseen the digging of the deep well at the church which symbolizes for so many the refreshment we find here every summer. And more than that, the well supplies many of us with good, cool, real, thirst-quenching water!
Aminta Marks July 12, 1992