Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Small World

Recently local author Rochelle Pennington was a guest on KFIZ's "The Focus." She was going to give a presentation at St. Agnes Hospital and we talked about her latest book and some of her others.

She talked about the Christmas Tree Ship, which would pick up trees in the Upper Peninsula and bring them back down to southern Wisconsin in the early part of the last Century.

During a commerical break I told her that when I was in college during the summer months I worked at a limestone mine in Gulliver, Michigan. At the time it belonged to Inland Steel and each Christmas the workers there would cut down a huge pine tree and ship it out on one of the big iron ore dockers bound for Inland's Chicago offices.

That's when she said the Christmas trees talked about in her books were cut in Gulliver and shipped out of Manistique, Michigan. She asked me if I knew where Manistique was? I told her I grew up there and found out I knew all the local places in Manistique where her books are sold.

A couple years ago I had a similar experience when an advance man for the John Edwards for President campaign called to arrange interviews with Edwards' family members. He was calling from Detroit and I told him I recognized the area code. Eventually I found out that he was also born in Manistique and it turned out his mother owned the local weekly newspaper that I sometimes wrote for when my journalism career began.

I could give other examples. A boyhood friend lives and works in Sheboygan, a cousin in Plymouth. They say you should never forget where you came from. I doubt that will ever happen, especially when life keeps throwing little reminders at me.

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