Friday's Weekend Column
It Is Downright Balmy Out

by James Glaser
February 6, 2004

Last week it was 34 degrees below zero and today it was in the twenties above. That is over 55 degrees in the right direction. I went into town and people were upbeat. The sun was shinning and everyone had a smile on their face.

What really made my day was when a woman came up to me and said, "You were right." Those words always make me feel good, especially when a woman says them, which is seldom. I had to ask what she was talking about and she said that she had heard me telling some people in the café that the war in Iraq was wrong and she thought I was wrong, but now she knows that I was right and wanted to tell me so.

So, I got to run around town doing my business with a smile on my face too. I would have told the guys that this woman said I was right, but they would never have believed me. She did find me alone in the Post Office and she did speak rather softly so that no one would over hear, yeah, I wouldn't believe it either.

When the weather starts to change up here, people start to talk about planting and growing things. Yes I know that it is still below freezing, but when it is above zero up here with no wind, people don't even have on heavy jackets. In fact I wear the same jacket in the spring and fall as I do in the bitter cold. It hits twenty below and I have a leather one that keeps out any wind, but if you are moving around, your body stays warm no matter what the temperature is.

On the way in to town I had to stop down the road as a semi was blocking it and they were unloading a truckload of logs for a house being built on Ellinson's Bay. That is about a mile west of here along the shore.

A few weeks ago I wrote about getting a petition up to stop the closing of one of our public accesses to the lake. It was given to the Public back in 1942 and right on the Plat Map it said that it was given "forever" to the public. I argued at the Township Board meeting that Forever had not come yet. The township Board members didn't care if it was given to the public; they wanted to get rid of all public accesses to the lake to keep people off the lake.

Now our lake has 3000 acres of open water and is about 3 miles long. We have less than 40 year around homes on the lake and maybe another 50 cabins. When you live on the lake you use it less and less every year. So the pressure on our lake is low and these access points help the few resorts we have. I don't think people using the lake in the numbers we have hurt it at all. Most people are not fortunate enough to live right on the lake, but we all own it, so I figure everyone should have a way of getting on. Also there are many people right on the lake like I am, that don't have a shore line that would allow them to put a boat in. My piece of shore is very steep with huge white pine and cedar trees. It would be a shame if everyone cut a road in on their property so they could launch a boat. So like many others I take my boat down to one of the seven public access points to launch.

Here is an interesting story about those lake accesses. They were originally given to the public so that all people could get on the lake to cut ice for their ice houses which were made like a log basement, built into the side of a hill. There was a log wall on the outside and another one on the inside with the space between filled with saw dust. Ice could be kept in there all summer and into the fall until the next freeze up. That is when everyone up here had ice boxes instead of refrigerators and some still use that old method as they don't have electricity.

The Township board after talking to their lawyer decided that I was right and they voted not to vacate the access. So not only did a women say I was right, but a lawyer, and I guess I would say that the Township Board did too, you know even with all the bitter cold, this hasn't been too bad of a winter.

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