As we pulled into our Thurso Bay dock late Friday afternoon, Peter Strong called out, "You missed the excitement here." But the real excitement was at Potter's Beach where a 20-foot Bayliner had come too far into shore and had been swamped by waves rolling in from the west. Alice Peron, who had come to Potter's with grandma Marjorie Rusho and young Steven Peron for an afternoon swim, hurried to the parsonage to telephone the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard did come, after she had called a second time to tell them more precisely where Potter's Beach is, but if they had come close enough to help, they would have swamped their boat too.
They told the Bayliner crew to go to Thurso Bay where they could board the Coast Guard boat and be taken back to Swan Bay near. Alexandria Bay where they had embarked, and suggested that the Rusho barge might rescue the boat which was being badly battered by ' then.
So the five wayfarers were transported to Thurso Bay in a truck and at least one four-wheeler, Grindstone conveyances. Then the Grindstone Islanders who live on the north side came to the rescue of the boat,
They were afraid the barge might batter the boat more than the waves. So the rescue crew, Buck Slate, Jeremy Slate, Frank Slate, Harry Slate, Steve Donaldson, and Steve Frazier, got to work. First, they simply baled out the water. When the boat was light enough, the six strong men heaved her around so she was facing out to sea and water could no longer wash over her stem. Frank Slate then checked her oil to make sure there was no water in it, and got her started. Presto. The boat was snug at Amie Cero's dock in Thurso Bay in no tune at all.
So the family, who had owned the boat for three weeks and taken her out for a maiden voyage, having had a good night's sleep, retrieved her in the morning.
People help each other on the island in many ways, taking care of the children, for instance. Brenda and Buck are like second grandparents to Robert Bazinet (2 years old), Debbie Donaldson trucks cart loads of children to the beach every day in her five-wheeler.
Then there is food. When we have a party, food just comes and comes. Over at the Remar marina, I see that Grindstoners take their generous ways to the mainland.
And maybe it is catching. I watched Jackie Lashomb enjoying Eric's graduation party with him, and defining a few limits, too. A parent who expends the energy to define and enforce some helpful limits is a good parent. Jackie and Rob Lashomb married when Eric was a little boy, and Jackie became, immediately, a staunchly loving mother to Eric, a good Grindstone mother, one of us.
Saturday night there was a full moon, so people walked up the long hill without flashlights. And the dance floor was crowded with people dancing to the music of the Kopy Kats. Eric Lashomb won the 50-50 and gave $20 back to the Hall. Amie Cero won last week and also gave his winnings back. Next week the High Riders will provide music for the dance.
Although the full moon made the dancers linger longer than usual at the Hall, Sunday morning found a full church. There were 29 Davidsons standing to sing lustily, "Shall we gather at the river where bright angel feet have trod." And 29 Davidsons rolled back after church in their "chartered" bus to the little farmhouse which Grandfather William and Grandmother Virginia bought 50 years ago.
Andy, in church, reminded us that his father once preached about "faith" in that very church, saying "faith is like the turnbuckles in the old building. As the turnbuckles hold the walls together and keep the building true, faith holds people together and keeps them true."
Mrs. Davidson said they had all joined in a memory time the night before, and that one of the best things about the weekend was that the grandchildren made and executed almost everything!
Out in front of the church, the lilies planted by the Larsons, the Holts and the Davisons on the day we celebrated Ray and Lolita Pfeiffer's 25th anniversary, were bright in the sunshine. They made even lovelier, the little garden Ray and Lolita planted in memory of Martha Davidson. Inside the church, Tiger lilies brought by the Larsons and Queen Anne's Lace brought by Margaret and Chet Taylor brought our colorful outdoors inside. Helen Ingerson came over to sing for the great reunion day. And Barbara Kuempel preached about discerning signs, how we all try to do it, red sky in the morning....red sky at night..., but she wondered how we know, when we see a sign, what it means? As Barbara said last week, we cannot understand, we dare not demand signs or proof of the way. We can only accept God's compassion and let it work. It's the turnbuckle sermon all over again.
Aminta Marks taught Sunday school and was delighted to use Mary Lou Rusho's color-coded crayon boxes. Next week, Erma Slate will be the teacher.
Sometimes I feel like a Pollyanna writing about this people and this island I love so much. But we are a lot of Jonahs here (of Barbara's sermon) - very human! This week the signs were hard to interpret. We have to get together to talk about the new church car, to figure out how to get out of a whale of misunderstanding. Alluding to Barbara's sermon, we do trust, though, we'll get vomited out and sent on to Nineveh. And there, too, we'll pout if the Ninevites whoever they are, are saved. But there, too, God will have compassion on us all!
We bid good bye to the Binhammers, once more, hoping Ann's pluck will give both her and Bob a winter of contentment.
And we welcome Polly Rusho back to the island's peace, and Milton's care.
Brenda is canning beans already, and Erma promised cucumbers for the pot-luck supper that will be held next Saturday night, Aug. 7, at 5 p.m. Do come! We're going to play games and have fun.
On Aug. 8, the Aunt Jane's Bay service will be held on the Brooks' lawn overlooking the river, on the south shore. Aug. 15 is the rain date. A bus will run from the church at 10 a.m. The service starts at 10: 30.
So it is.