It Was Summertime In Northern Michigan

Summertime of ‘82. I remember it so well. The great Ronald Reagan was seated in The White House keeping the Soviets with their hammers and sickles in check. Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands, the IRA was bombing London, and two of my friends road-tripped to NYC’s Central Park to join a massive crowd of others to protest nuclear weapons and take a stand for peace.

Me? I was catching walleye from the dock, watching the waves roll off the rocks… as “it was summertime in northern Michigan.” Unlike Kid, however, I wasn’t smoking funny things nor sipping whisky out the bottle. Although I was indeed caught somewhere between a boy and man. Me and my pal Donnie both were, and I remember many hours spent with him that particular summer pulling salmon and steelhead from Lake Michigan and canoeing the pristine rivers of our beloved mitten state. We were the best of friends, and remain good buds to this day. He checked in with me over the Christmas break and sent this image of us together that I had never seen until now.

Paddling the betsie River with my long pal Donnie.

I love it when a moment you’d completely forgotten is remembered in an instant when a photograph surfaces to serve as a reminder. Photographs are so powerful, I can even remember the shoes I was wearing when we waded into the Betsie to launch our canoe when this pic was snapped. Little did I realize in this boyhood moment that years later as a man I would come to recognize and appreciate that my most cherished moments in life have mostly happened with a paddle in my hands and a campfire at my feet. And always, always, when just appreciating the “simple things in life, like when and where.” For this forgotten memory my when was the summer of ‘82, and my where was northern Michigan with my good pal Donnie.

Thank you, Donnie, for always being just around the corner and for this amazing Christmas present. Much love my friend.

~ Peace.

Jamie Mink