All of the time the grandchildren were here the weather was rainy, and Monday was fierce. Ken Larson reports “the stiff winds that tore down the river on Monday blew the top off the Holt’s light house on Aunt Jane’s Bay.  The lighthouse has been a landmark and unofficial  ‘aid to navigation’ on Long Point since 1931.  A new light was installed atop the tower on Thursday and  South shore boaters will be happy to know that  the old copper-roofed cupola will be reconstructed and reinstalled, though the date for that is uncertain right now.


Friday evening, however, was a gloriously clear night.  The stars all shone bright and big for the island shower for Urch Balcom’s baby-to-come. Venus was high in the sky and the dippers were full. 76 people, women, men, children, brought their gifts to Dodge Hall, along with a scrumptious dish for the pot luck dinner at 7:00 pm.  And they ate and stayed and stayed and stayed while Urch opened her gifts, and everyone else munched the beautiful cake, chatted and watched and smiled.  One great gift was a little elementary school chair that Doreen Meeks had bought when one of the schools on the mainland was changing furniture. Grindstone babies are always everyone’s, so it was a happy, happy evening. 


And the next night we were back at the Hall again with The Bandits making music, many of us had gone down to the schoolhouse at 6:00 to hear another story at the little red schoolhouse.  This time Regi Carpenter told a river story, and then joined the rest of us at the Hall. She went home on Saturday because the rain came back and she had a homesick little son.  But she will be back on Friday just for one night to say good-bye.


Children dancing with their mothers,  groups scattered about talking about one thing and another, hamburgers and hot dogs roasting on the grill…and being eaten by the teen- agers, and the older boys  talking as they always do out by the cars in the yard. Until the lightening began and the thunder.  Then, suddenly the hall was crowded, then the dance floor filled up.  Bubby Bazinet held the drawing when he saw the great gathering-in for the 50-50.  Imagine!  Susie Marshall won again.  She also won last week! Brian Russell who owns and operates The Navigator  won an Obrian’s T-shirt, and an apron!  John Cupernall won a hat.


Next Saturday night, Dodge Memorial Hall is going to hold a benefit for Liz Brown Whiten who is undergoing treatment in Syracuse for a brain tumor.  They are selling raffle tickets for three decoys, one by Jim Garnsey, one by Frank Slate, and one by Dick Bauder. Urch Balcom has the tickets and will gladly sell you some.  She has already had to print another batch.   John Morrow will be the DJ. The Hall is the community house on Grindstone.  The members keep in touch with all the old time Grindstone Islanders even when they move off the island, and in winter when the church is closed, it is the only common meeting place for people who stay the year through. The Halloween party brings all the cousins and aunts and uncles and connected kin back for an October get-together before the snow comes.


Saturday night was also Jacie Donaldson’s birthday and the family had a big celebration cake for her before she sets out for college in Canada!  She has the week off from work, so we hope we see a lot of her here on the island.


It was a big day for the Church on Sunday.  The Rev. Bruce Chapman, minister at Woolworth Memorial United Methodist Church in Great Bend, NY   represented Wendy Rhodehamel, the District Superintendent who couldn’t be on the island this week. He worshiped with the congregation and chaired the Charge Conference immediately after the service.


During the worship service, Ken Larsen read this report.  A full report will be presented next week to the congregation. “The meeting of the combined Board of Trustees and Church Building Committee on Saturday was a great success.  The board reviewed, discussed and voted on a dozen different elements and details for the reconstruction of the church interior.. 


“The original wood interior walls were uncovered  during the cleanup of “the bat problem”.  Much of the original wood will be restored.  Wainscoting will be added to cover old damage to the side walls and a new wooden ceiling will be installed.  A smaller storage area will be constructed behind the pulpit wall and the front wall of the church will be strengthened.


While some details remain to be decided when the basic construction is completed, the overall design is done and construction can begin.  The first step will be the final exclusion of the bats.”


At the Charge Conference we began a consideration of  whether our church which is so different from the norm of Methodist churches  should rethink  its  present governing system we now  put an enormous burden on a very few people, people who do it so well that we hate to jar it.  That was left for us to think about next year.   Minister Jane read her report to the great amusement of us all and summed up a critical year in the church:


“ 1998 Church Conference

Grindstone Island UMC

Pastor’s Report


            “It has been my pleasure to be the pastor for the 1998 Summer season of the Grindstone Island UMC. I feel that I have fulfilled my pastoral duties in the following ways:

            1) First and foremost I have prayed with, prayed for, loved and worked alongside the people who make up this community of believers.

            2) According to the original agreement, I have planned and led 12 Sunday morning worship experiences.

            3) Sharing in the church’s sorrow and joy; I officiated at the funeral for Marjorie Rusho and assisted Rev. Dr. John Marks in the Baptism of Katie Mae Carlisle.

            4) Other pastoral duties included hospital visits, home visits, and a firm resolve to never turn down an invitation to come for coffee, lunch,  dinner, or a piece of pie in the afternoon.

            5) Helping with the Turkey Dinner and the Barnyard Olympics were wonderful opportunities for fellowship.

            6) John Marks and I also had the pleasure of forming and working with a Junior Choir of children ages 4 to 11, which sang nearly every Sunday in the service of worship.

            7) My daughter Joy and I also hosted a work night at the parsonage where 12 people participated in the project of painting all of the interior doors. (Only a small bribe was necessary.)

            8) Perhaps my most effective ministry was both for myself and others, in giving people the opportunity to help me. It might be expected that I would ask the people to participate in the worship services in sharing their gifts of music and reading scripture. But I went far beyond my call of duty in letting them help me when the church van was blocked in at the town landing, had a flat tire, and then there’s the time it decided it didn’t want to stop anymore when the brake pedal was pushed down.

            “Other opportunities that arose for lay participation involved our boat, the Blue Goose. Three different men had the opportunity to work on the engine, someone else loaned me a battery. I was given gas when I underestimated how many trips you could make on a tank of fuel and knew I would never make it back to Clayton. People carted my guests across the river when the boat refused to run, or was not large enough. Others blessed me with dock space when I froze at the idea of trying to dock alongside other people’s boats at the town landing.

“When my steering wheel came off half way across the river, a rescuer came across the river and reattached it for me, and for the fete-a-complete; 5 people and one tractor helped me resurrect that mighty vessel from the bottom of the St. Lawrence after last Sunday’s storm. One of those 5 has had the opportunity to observe my boating activity from his home and told me that he has had many discussions with God about it. Wasn’t that my job, to bring people closer to God?

            “Some possible suggestions for next year follow:

1)      It might be very helpful to both the new pastor and the Trustees to have a 1996 Book of Discipline.

2)      Also a United Methodist Book of Worship would be a real asset to the pastor for planning worship services. (Both books can be ordered at Cokesbury.)

3)      It might also be helpful for the new pastor to have someone share traditional worship practices, such as “Prayers of the People.” (This should not be another duty for Doc Schultz.)


“All in all this appointment has been a blessing for Joy and me. We have found a very special community of believers here, very accepting of us, and very appreciative of my attempts at ministry. We have found here a special bond between people, in that, if someone has a need and others have the resources to help them, it is as good as done. That is what Christian Community is all about, but it is seldom lived out in the way we have witnessed here. May God bless you all as you continue to grow in your knowledge of the Lord.


                                                                                    Respectfully Submitted,

                                                                                    Jane Wagner


I have just two other notes: “ Lost or borrowed, “NOT found!”  Phyllis Schwartz, south-shore resident of 45 years. (686-5746) is asking for the return of her woman’s new electric- blue London Fog rain jacket with hooded visor, black-mesh lining, lots of belts, velcro tabs, snaps and a large blue front zipper.  Please and Thank you.”


And from Phil Marra:  Sunday, September 6, “ Squatter’s Day picnic following services.  Bring a dish to pass. Dinner starts at one o’clock rain or shine.  If rain, it will be held in the carriage house.  Come and visit with friends.”  Next Sunday is the last service of the year.


I considered sending the TI Sun a puzzle this morning:  Neither my “N” nor my “B”, nor even my “go left” arrow will work this morning. But I thought better of it and borrowed Jane’s KOMODO!  Thanks to Jane,


So it is.

Aminta Marks