Columns

2010.03.24 A surprise in store while vacationing by newspaper

on . Posted in Nowhere Road

By RICH FOLEY

This must be a good month for a short vacation. Last week, David and Colleen reported on their trip to New York City. At the same time as their little jaunt, a friend of mine was visiting the Tawas City area.

I visited Tawas City myself back in 1996 and have always wanted to go back. This year, instead of getting to return, my friend came back with several area newspapers which she passed on to me. Sometimes, that’s almost as much fun as going, at least until you finish reading and realize someone else had all the fun and all you got was some pre-read newspapers. They did prove to be pretty interesting, though. I even discovered a name from the past.

A drug bust carried out by the Michigan State Police and local police departments from the Tawas and Oscoda areas resulted in the arrest of 11 area suspects. Another man was charged with several felonies for alleged theft of scrap metal from area residences. Then there was the key case.

An item headlined “Troopers seek owner of keys,” explained that troopers from the East Tawas State Police post recovered a set of house and car keys on March first. So far, the owner of the keys, found near the county line on (surprise!) County Line Road, hasn’t been found and troopers are asking for help. Suspects have been arraigned from the drug bust and for the scrap metal thefts, but the owner of the lost keys has so far managed to elude authorities.

Under “Assumed Names Filed” in the court news, a man has filed to start a Baptist church in Oscoda, while a Tawas City woman is starting a tattoo business.

In other business news, local car salesman Jim Rademacher, who claims to be “A/K/A The Dandy of East Tawas” has joined the staff of a Rose City dealership. Seriously, he took out an advertisement calling himself that. Can you imagine telling your friends, “I bought my Camaro from The Dandy of East Tawas?” I guess you have to be from East Tawas to understand that one.

Then it was off to Bay City, or, at least, off to a copy of the Bay City Times. A color photo of a mink standing on a sheet of ice floating down the Saginaw River caught my eye. Apparently, there are many mink in the area and it’s legal to trap them. A DNR spokesman said many people do that as a hobby or supplement their income by selling the fur. And how about knitting your own fur coat?

Another photo a few pages later really grabbed my attention. A former co-worker from my first newspaper job over 30 years ago is now the outdoor writer for the Bay City Times.

I haven’t seen Bob Gwizdz since 1978 when he left the daily paper where we were both employed (have I really been in this business that long? This story is making me feel ancient). My most outstanding memory of him was when he went to some sportsman organization’s dinner to take a photo of the winner of a special gun they were raffling off as a fund raiser. There were still some tickets left for the drawing and he was hounded into buying one. You can probably guess where this story is going..

After Bob won the raffle, he had to show someone else how to use his camera and that Friday’s outdoor page featured a photo of him and his new rifle. More than three decades later, there he is, writing about ice fishing on Saginaw Bay. He caught his limit in less than an hour. A DNR biologist says the last time the ice fishing was as good as it was this winter was in 1993.

I also got a kick out of reading the classified ads in the paper. They have a special rate for low priced items, which brings some strange stuff out of storage. Like for instance, a 1950s Howdy Doody marionette, $69. Or how about a “Pencil sharpener, old, heavy, $25?” Think anyone will buy that?

Then there’s the person trying to get rid of some car parts. One ad offers a Chevrolet Corvair transmission for $49. Another ad, with the same phone number, advertises a Chevy Chevette transmission for the same $49. I kept looking for an ad for Chevy Vega parts, but no luck. They must have finally wised up and bought an Impala.

All of this reading is giving me the urge to travel. I think a road trip to somewhere exotic is in order. Anybody know how far it is to somewhere interesting?

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