Grindstone Island News - July 10, 1996


Fourth of July has come and gone. All up and down the river the sky has been lit with fountains of stars and the quiet of River nights has been set a rumble with fireworks. But Friday night, after all the celebrations were over, Bill MacLean brought a load of visitors back to Grindstone in the Hog, and then the stars were quiet, the Big Dipper was in its place, and the north star could have given us direction if we had known all that sailors know. But we didn't need more than the familiar lights and the tree lines that even the microburst didn’t disorder completely. The river at night, when the moon is down and the stars are bright is always wonderful.


At the head of the island, the Saturday marriage of Julie Anderson to Eric Salsbery brought their friends and relatives from "California to the New York Island" to celebrate with them on Grindstone. Fine launches from the boat museum were called into service, delivering the congregants to McRae Bay, where they followed the ribbon-marked road up to the Grindstone Methodist Church. Wild flowers enlivened the church, no bats visited the party this year, and Julie in a lovely ivory satin gown walked down the aisle with her father to meet Eric and be joined with him in marriage.


From the church the guests -and the bride and bridegroom - were transported in vans to Rock Ledge where Gordon Cerow's swingband made merry at the reception. Alison and Paul MacLean opened their house and their wide porches to me festivities, which went on until evening when the cake was cut and the newly-wed couple waved good­bye as they set off on the river, alone.    


That same afternoon, around the head at Red Boat House point, Fritzie and Norma Tottenham-Smith were entertaining other guests at cocktails. There, it was the first reunion of the year for old-timers at Grindstone, and as it is on Sunday morning at church, news good and not so good bound the party together in the warmth of long-time friendship.


On Saturday night, still further, around Grindstone, at Dodge. Memorial Hall, the Ray-John Band played as Sis Matthews held onto the banister and walked up the new ramp all by herself! A new porch and solid steps were also added. Two doors from the kitchen were opened for safe exits. All of these improvements greeted a "good crowd." Audrey Graham of Omaha won the 50-50. She is the daughter of Donald and Laverne Slate who were visiting with her, all the way from Nebraska! Yuvon Marra reported that lots of young people were there - dancing! - And that many parents were with them, having as good a time as their kids.


When I got to church on Sunday morning, the come-together hymn "Shall We Gather at the River" had brought so many people in that the only seat I could find was in the very first pew. Twenty-six children went out to Sunday school where Caroline Larson taught them "He's Got the Whole World in his Hand." After the sermon they all came back to the service and sang it. While John, the regular organist, marveled at what she can make the instrument do, Joyce Irwin played. For the offertory she accompanied Anna Larson in a duet for flute.


Baptisms held


Before the children went out, four children were baptized. And, you know, everyone comes to church for the baptisms! John Marks officiated. Chad Jackson Willis, the son of Aleatha Slate Willis and Charles Willis of Chipley, Fla. was baptized in the presence of Frank Slate, Nancy Marra, and Tom and Debbie Slate. Kitty Paxton and Joe Karpel were witnesses for Sarah Elizabeth Karpel, Benjamin John Karpel and Chelsea Marie Karpel, the children of Stephen and Mary Karpel of Crairieville, Stephen is Kitty's brother.

Aleatha is the daughter of Buck and Brenda Slate.


After the potluck lunch in the carriage house where the church people exchanged their news of the week and told a few jokes, the Slate extended family gathered for yet another meal in Buck's and Brenda's yard. The time we all find here at the River for just getting together for good talk around a table is one of the River's gifts to us all.


A lot of the men who gathered at the Slates left late in the afternoon to go over to Jeff Marra's house to finish the roof on the addition to Jeff’s house in "Hooterville." They had worked together most of the weekend. And had one accident. A scaffold gave way, so Jeremy Slate spent the afternoon on the couch resting a foot with two chipped bones. He promises, however, to be up and about soon!


Late on Sunday afternoon, Bonnie Leanna's two children, Kim and Tim, who were swimming off their dock in McRae Bay, reported that their grandmother, Ruth Kufchock is in the Samaritan Medical Center in Watertown because on the Fourth of July, while she was watching fireworks, she tripped on a log and broke her femure. The arthritis in her hip is complicating the break, so her doctors are deciding just how to treat it. Bonnie and Tom and the family are staying on Grindstone all week to see her through whatever operation is done. We all wish her well. I remember how she once loved to dance!


A few notes remain:


If you can find a copy of the Riverine, the story in it, written by second grader, Dorian Ladd, about Grindstone Island is fun to read. More than that, you won't despair about our public schools if Dorian can write such an entertaining account of our Island! He lives, in summer, on the south side of the island, near Aunt Jane's Bay, and is a playmate of Robbie Lashomb's!


The Marks family thanks August Frazier for sharpening their three lawn mower blades. He even got them off without difficulty.


Remember Old Home Day on July 28.


On July 21, the church will have its annual memorial service for those who died during the year. If you know of someone who should be on the list, please give either Dock Schwartz or Mary Beer the name and three or four sentences about that person.


The auction and turkey supper will be held on July 20. That is a change of schedule, so please mark it on your calendar.


Next week DJ John Morrow will provide music for the dance.


It's been a busy week. And the summer promises to be fun!

So it is.