To the Journal editor:
Being a troll (one who lives below the bridge) it's easily forgotten that another world exists beyond the Mackinac Bridge, a world of unadulterated scenery that goes on forever. Miles of trees, lakes and land, with water and air creatures abound.
How can you not marvel at wild turkeys along the roadside or being watchful of deer sharing your road. Each season brings a new panorama.
The brilliant white of winter, rich golds of autumn and vibrant greens of summer make this palette readily nature's best work. Somehow spring gets lost in the lingering of winter's hold.
This is a place of lumbering and mining. Ore boats ply the waters during navigation season. Visitors and locals alike partake in the ever-present fishing, hunting and snowmobile activities. Traffic moves at a different pace. Hearty souls hike trails. There is more to this land. Ask any Yooper (yes they are proud of that title) about their home. One could easily exist on their diet of smoked fish and pasties.
You either love or hate these treats. The pastie (a meat and veggie pie), harkens to the coal mining days and is a regular on local menus. Friday night fish fries are another culinary staple. Bingo and casinos satisfy the gambler's desires.
This land is far from provincial. The northern universities equal any of their southern counterparts. Marquette is a bustling college town meeting the needs of students and faculty. Culture beyond the bridge exists. Ask any symphony attendee. Cable television is a click away with the remote.
Beyond all this is the idea of a neighbor being there. Perhaps they may not be steps away but there is a feeling that they would step up whenever the need arose.
Can you even imagine going to the local library, choosing a book, with only your signature? Little things, but worth savoring. Small town local museums tout their history. Artists capture on canvas amazing visions.
This may seem like an idealized view of the area, it is more truth than fiction. Of course snowdrifts, black flies and impassable roads exist, but only stand on the edge of a lakeshore as the sun dips below the horizon and hear the call of an eagle or loon to know something special exists in this land.
A time to step back, soak it in and file it away for another time.