Grindstone Island News August 22, 1993


There is a Comanche Legend that tells about the wise men from the tribe going to a high hill in a time of draught to listen to the wind and find out what the Great Spirit wanted of his tribe. They came back, somber, to report that He wanted them to give Him their most precious possession. The northeast wind rushing against the soft summer air of the island on Friday night made many of us somber with its message of approaching autumn, and it's demand that we give up our idyllic island life to return to the rush and intensity of our city lives, to return to our 'winter's tight scheduling.


Barbara Kuempel, the minister of the Grindstone Island Methodist Church, told this Comanche legend in response to the universal tale about the moment when the Hebrews, coming out from Egypt, found themselves without water, and began to wonder bitterly, "Is the Lord among us or not?" When Moses turned to find out if the Lord was there, and what the Lord would have him do, he heard a simple command, "Strike the rock, and water shall come out of it." But the Comanche message from the wind was closer to the New Testament message: "Whoever would save his if will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." (Mk. 8: 35) Few of us hear as : simple a command as Moses was .given, but we long for such simplicity. The northeast wind, reminding us of the complexities we have to go back to, made most of us cling to the beauty of the 'river this weekend as the little . Comanche girl of the story clung to her doll. But when the time comes, we will, as she did, give our treasured possessions to our own Great Spirit because that is our life, and so it is.


At the baseball game at the head of the island on Saturday, some of the players played as though they wanted to preserve, not the winning, but the friendship of the game. Later, at Max Kenner's birthday party, the celebrants talked happily, savoring the quiet, sunny expanse that overlooks the river, and finally, took a wistful departure. For many, it was their last day on the river.


The north shore, Erma Slate, Frank and Harry, Bubby and Caroline Bazinet, with Robert, Susie, Tom On and Shawn Marshall had a nostalgic and wonderful dinner together with the Rossmasslers who must soon return to the city.


At the hall on Saturday night, people danced late, late, hating to let the good times stop. Joan Reed, Debbie Donaldson's friend won the 50-50, lots of young people were there, and the knowledge that school is about to start lent vigor and noise to the dancing, and to the music of the Hitmen. Several people asked that we say thank you, Jimmy Matthews, for arranging for the bands each week this summer. You did a good job!

Because Judy Bacci is so busy with The Grindstone, her store, Yuvon Marra is now the treasurer of the Dodge Community Center. The other officers are continuing in the jobs they have done all summer.


Charge conference


Sunday morning brought a huge congregation to the church. It was the day of the charge conference, which, like the northeast wind, reminds us summer is coming to its end. The Rev. David Geer and his wife Jean joined us for the service and the pot luck lunch afterwards, and chaired the meeting after the church service. Carol Marsh sang, and Mary Lou Rusho told the children a story. And both of them, Carol singing the song of Ruth. "Whither Thou Goest, I Will Go," and Mary Lou telling the children not to be afraid of new paths, once more reminded us that new departures are upon us.


Doc Schwartz presented the treasurer's report at the charge conference with his usual clarity and specificity. We are all continually grateful for the time-consuming oversight Doc gives the affairs of the church. His attention has made possible all the maintenance that has been done in the last few years, and he keeps, as much as anyone could, the multiple wishes of our heterogeneous community from fraying the joy and sincerity of our worship. We elected Phil Marra and Aleatha Williams new members of the church board, and re-elected Sis Matthews (who is a life member), Fred Jackson, Fred Schwartz and Yuvon Marra to the 1993 class of the board. We also added members to the 1994 class: John Marks, Ken Larson and Manley Rusho.


Barbara Kuempel appointed several people to posts the conference designates:

administrative chair, Ken Larson; worship, John Marks; finance chair, Marjorie Rusho; pastor-parish relations, Marjorie Gamsey; president of trustees, Margaret Taylor; education, Debbie' Donaldson; evangelism, Erma Slate; United Methodist Women president,, Erma Slate; United Methodist Men president, Phil Marra; membership, Yuvon Marra; newsletter editor, Carolyn Bazinet.


The potluck lunch after all of that business brought welcome conviviality. We were especially pleased to have Sandy Kinney join us after so many years away. The Donaldson gals and some other good cooks held a bake sale outside the carriage house and presented the community hall with $55 from the church.

And right after the pot luck lunch, the church van, loaded with women, passed Buck Slate giving

Robert Bazinet a ride down the road on Buck's big tractor. Robert cuddled, all smiles, into the curve of Buck's arm. The women, all smiles at Buck's love of children, went on to the bridal shower Marjorie Gamsey and Aleatha Williams gave at Marjorie's house for her daughter Cindy. Cindy is planning to marry Marc McAleese of Watertown on Oct. 22.


These women gathered around the dining room table to present gifts to Cindy, whose delight in each gift she opened delighted all of us: Phyllis Schwartz, Barbara Kuempel, Yuvon Marra, Kitty Gamsey, Sis Matthews, Brenda Slate, Erma Slate, Marc's mother j and three sisters, Aminta Marks, j and Kristin, our island cherub who, | when I left, was wholly absorbed 1 in consuming a great dollop of ice cream and a large piece of delicious cake.


So a week keyed to the lowing of cows broken out of their fences following the scents of apples ripe in all the old orchards, came to a close, with a quiet river pink under the setting sun.


Last Notes: Here are a few last notes:


Beverly Pope celebrated her birthday with a few friends from

Thurso Bay serving her now famous homemade ice cream.

Karen Pickett, Polly Kole's daughter, and mother of Kristin and Kelly, gave a luncheon for her mother and some of her mother's friends from around Aunt Jane's Bay, before they go their separate ways for the winter.


The congregation for the Sunday service sends loving greetings to Polly Rusho and to Mrs. Sterling George who are not well. We long for both of them to recover. At the charge conference, the most urgent request was that Barbara Kuempel find some way to come back to Grindstone's pulpit again next year. Caroline Larson was Sunday school teacher this Sunday and took a huge following of children off to the carriage house. Marie Moore will teach next Sunday, Aug. 29. Barbara must be away then, so John Marks will preach and Mary Lou Rusho will play the organ. Jake Dorr will be baptized.


But it's along the road that the nicest stories are. Just before the charge conference. I found Brenda Slate awaiting the arrival of son Tom, his wife Debbie with their two children. No, she wouldn't come to any meeting, not with her children about to arrive. And Chris Matthews sat with her, drinking coffee, before she went on to clean up the hall after the Saturday night dance. There are saints in every nook and cranny.

And - barbecues all up and down each lane. Sunday evening, the scent of chicken filled the air as Bubby Bazinet manned the grill. The Marshalls and the Cerios and Ed Barlow awaited the good food as Carolyn gathered Bobby, comforting him after Tom's dog had said "Enough!" This group is not getting ready to leave for the city. No sadness quieted their spirits. But they talked together about they're pleasure in being part of the lives of so many people from so many "walks of life."


This week, Aug. 27, we all plan to go to Clayton to watch Debbie Donaldson's dancers in "Clowns:" at the Clayton Museum! Come along.

So it is.