Grindstone News - July 21, 1993
Some things are not a question for daisies. In spite of the children's game we all have played, love is not. As the minister (Barbara Kuempel) suggested in the children's sermon, there are questions too dangerous to ask a daisy, and you might have to cheat a bit to get the answer you want. But, she said, you never have to cheat when you ask God, "He loves me. He loves me, He loves me" is His answer.
June 30 was Buck and Brenda Slate's wedding anniversary, and Brenda received a card with daisies painted on the front. Inside, was inscribed, "And you don't have to ask a daisy..." When Brenda read it, she grinned, and, in her Grindstone Island "So-it-is"- voice, said, "I guess not," content. It happened that, a short time before, my husband and Buck had ted a discussion about their wives^ ineptitude in helping in certain operations — like repairing a mowing machine, and Buck is heard, now and again, to raise his voice to Brenda. But we all know, as surely as we know that Buck chose Grindstone Island for his home long ago when he came home from the navy, that he also chose Brenda, and that she doesn't doubt his faithfulness, dancing with him, her long-time partner. Their little house under the cottonwoods is alive with pleasant satisfactions not left for daisies to muddle in.
On Saturday night the annual turkey dinner brought a crowd of about 200 people to the carriage house at the Methodist Church. The dinner was, as always, delicious, with moist, just right turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, corn, string beans, gravy, fresh berry pies, and yes, cranberry sauce. After the dinner there was a small auction. Carolyn Bazinet now owns a Mixmaster that shines like new, I have four hand-knit wash cloths, Stevey Dorr has a two-wheeler to fix, five people have new books, Grindstone Island. Rachel Bazinet is going to have her portrait painted, and two people have wonderful Grindstone Island embroidered sweatshirts.
By 9:30 p.m. the dishes were done, even the tables in the yard were cleared, and everyone but Manley Rusho and two henchmen who were chasing a bat out of the church, had gone home or, more likely, across the road to the Dodge Memorial Hall to dance to the music of the Kopy Kats until ? sometime after midnight. It was a good dance with a good crowd, Jim Cupemall won the 50-50 prize, and everyone went off home having had a fine evening.
Morning found an only slightly different group at the eleven o'clock memorial service remembering with fondness and regret, and thanksgiving, those who died in the past year. We will all long remember the story-sermon about the old man from Crete who died clutching a handful of earth from his homeland. He had to wait a long time to get into Heaven. It was not until his arthritic hand could no longer close in a fist, could no longer hold the handful of dirt he had clutched for so long, mat he was allowed through Heaven's gate. And then he saw, lying out before him, his lovely island.
Ann Binhammer read a poem that the children in her Omaha church had sung last winter: "I believe in the sun even when it is not shining. I believe in love, even...I believe in God, even..." Marjory Dower talked about Jean Holt, of when they were young together on Aunt Jane's Bay, aquaplaning. Jean could do it standing on her bands. (Mrs. Shirley remembered, too) Marjory had with her one of the little Grindstone-clay, Grindstone-leaf dishes Jean taught the children in Bible school in 1962-63 to make, and we all remembered her gentleness and her delicate art
Caroline Larson had sent a poem about Mrs. Craig Wright, (Caroline), her grandmother. Since she could not attend the service herself, it was read by her proxy. Boiling Haxall of Club Island, just off Grindstone, was also remembered, and I wished we had had some of his wonderful poems about the river to read during the service. Finally, Manley Rusho spoke, first, about his mother-in-law, Marian Nunn Krine ("a wonderful mother-in-law," and can there be a kinder compliment?!) He then went on to recall good island tales about his boyhood cousin and friend, Alan Cummings who went to the island's Upper School when he and Manley were boys, and, briefly, about Raymond Sulier, whose father was drowned while Raymond attended the Lower School with Manley. The family then moved to the center of Thurso and Raymond went, then, to the Upper School.
After the service Manley talked some more, over coffee, about all those families who were on Grindstone for years and years, but who, for one reason or another, have left. Leo Sulier, Raymond's brother, is on the list in the back of the church of those who died in the second World War. Ater in the service, the congregation remembered in prayer Polly Rusho who is in the House of the Good Samaritan hospital in Watertown, Charles Taylor, Chester's brother, who will have open heart surgery, and John Kellogg, who is recovering from a massive heart attack.
Abbey Rand's wildflower bouquet on the pulpit brought the island's lovely and free gifts inside, as the service ended with a benediction remembering all those who had died, and those who are sick or in need, whether or not their names had been spoken.
Old Home Day
Next Sunday is Old Home Day. Dinner begins at 1 p.m. Islanders will bring both a covered dish and a dessert, so there will be plenty to go around. Steve Dorr will be at the village dock (by the Golden Anchor) between noon and 12:15 p.m. to ferry people across the river to Grindstone. A bus will take people across the island to Potter's Beach. The return trip will leave at 4 p.m.
The dance next week, thanks to Jimmy Matthews who has organized the bands for the summer, will feature The Marshall Street Band. Last Friday's meeting and election of officers was postponed until later in the summer.
Mary Lou Rusho's teaching Sunday school during the memorial service made me think of all the Rushos give to the island. Two of the nicest auction items were the t-shirts embroidered by Alice Rusho Peron. Alice has a small business embroidering shirts and other gifts for corporations in the area: the firemen, the Antique Boat Museum, and Fay's Drugs, for instance. She has now added Grindstone Island to her line, and those pieces may be found in the new art store Judy Bacci opened on July 4, The Grindstone, on Riverside Drive.
How shall we ever let go the handful of Grindstone earth we clench to our hearts?
We now let go with one last note: next Sunday's Sunday school
teachers are Robyn Davison and Carol Pierce. So it is.