Great Lakes Memories

The 1,004-foot James R. Barker off Whitefish Point, Lake Superior, Upper Peninsula

The 1,004-foot James R. Barker off Whitefish Point, Lake Superior, Upper Peninsula

COMING ATTRACTION: Watch the James R. Barker, a 1,004-foot lake boat, pass Whitefish Point on Lake Superior in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.




bob_kids_beach_61_12-26-103It all started with a Great Lakes moment, captured in black and white by Mom

For my siblings each Christmas I print and frame a family photo, something unearthed from the archives that hasn’t been seen in decades.

This snapshot was taken by Mom at a Lake Michigan beach in the summer of 1961. (Note the date on the right; the film wasn’t processed until November, probably when the last image on the roll had been shot.)

We were en route to or from the Upper Peninsula and the 313. Dad is fully dressed for driving, sitting in the sand with the two-year old twins Karen and Dennis. Six-year old brother Gordie and yours truly are wading in the water.

The original photo was very washed out—you can see how the lake and sky blend in the distance. But I really liked the composition and the mood Mom captured.

So I posted this photo on the Great Lakes Gazette blog and a local video producer who works with Detroit Public Television came across it and wanted to use it in a bit segment for a show called GreatLakesNow Connect. The program, one of a series produced by DPTV and The Nature Conservancy, was about the importance of beaches in the region.

I was thrilled that Bill Kubota, the producer, thought the black and white, square picture would strike a chord with a lot of people who shared memories of traveling to the beaches and touring Michigan on vacation. Until I realized he wanted me to be on camera. After stalling him as long as I could we got together and did the taping and it was fun.The segment, just a couple of minutes long, incorporates home movies from his family’s vacations Up North.

It goes to show that I have a TV presence made for blogging.

(The video is no longer available for viewing online.)