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HomeArts & EntertainmentMornin' from the Mitten: The Willy's leaves home; Events near us

Mornin’ from the Mitten: The Willy’s leaves home; Events near us

By Mark Constance

I sold my old Willy’s jeep today.

She was rough, in a gentle kind of way. Perfect in her imperfection. And as dependable as a boat in Lake Huron without a drain plug. But she was badass.

I called her Leepin’ Lina.

She was the first Willy’s jeep I had purchased. The front bumper was a pair of two-inch thick oak planks. Her body was a mismatch of parts scavenged from other Jeeps that have long since rusted away. She was loud and proud, even though she sat crooked and the old vacuum wipers didn’t work.

Lina had foam cushions in steel frames you sat on that barely passed as comfortable. And what we called a “princess seat,” an old Ford Bronco bench seat mounted on the rear fenders. It was perfect for kids because it had … Seat belts.

My son, Sean and I, in the front of the old Willy’s at the July 4 parade in Higgins Lake. My daughter, Elizabeth and Grandson Tyler Ellerbrock sat in the “Princess seat” throwing candy.

I took her for a spin this morning before she left in the capable hands of her new owner. Someone familiar with the weirdness and comfort of the old jeeps and was proud to show me pictures of the 1947 Willy’s he had brought back to life.

As I drove down the dirt road behind the house, a misty rain stung my face. I looked down at the old mechanical gauges as the needles bounced inside the glass. Felt the rumble of the road through the steering wheel. And pushed her up to her max of 35 miles an hour, because anything faster was NOT recommended.

Then I let her go.

As they drove her up on the car hauler, and headed down the driveway, it was like I was losing an old friend.

People who own cars can never understand how you develop a relationship with an old truck or Jeep. Even though they’re just steel, rubber, and glass, they each have their own personality.

I will miss her taking up space in the garage, leaving telltale oil spots everywhere she parked.

But we made a few memories along the way. 😊


Quote of the day is from Anne Heche:

“We do not fall in love with the package of the person; we fall in love with the inside of a person.”


Events around the region this weekend include:

GAYLORD – Alpen-Car Show May 20 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Otsego County Sportsplex at 1250 Gornick Ave. Fundraiser for AlpenFest.

GRAYLING – Downtown Grayling Block party May 19 from 5-10 p.m.

HILLMAN – Music at the Mill May 19 at 6:30 p.m. at Brush Creek Mill.

WEST BRANCH – O R BGeoTour kickoff from 9:30-10:15 a.m. at the West Branch Area Chamber of Commerce at 422 West Houghton Ave. Custom geocaching tour showcasing 30 locations around Roscommon and Ogemaw counties. Find at least 28 caches to receive a collectable, trackable, geocoin.

TAWAS – Spring Into Art May 20 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 302 Newman Street.

OSSINEKE – Thunder Bay Folk Society’s Spring Fling at The Lane Barn May 20 from noon to 12 a.m. at 12837 Behning Road. Music provided by various acts, including Wayout Wayne and Scholastic News. Smoking Trolls BBQ, bake sale, raffle, cornhole, and euchre. Donation.

MANISTIQUE – Warbler Wonderland May 20-21 at 100 North Cedar Street starting at 7:30 a.m. Guided morning bird hikes to a variety of Great Lakes habitats. Afternoon and evening

Kirtland’s Warbler

keynote speakers on interesting bird topics. Info: 906-286-2890 or schoolcraftcd.org. Suitable for novice to average skill birders and children 13 and up. Fifteen-dollar registration fee per family or individual, and includes one T-shirt.

CHARLEVOIX – Garden of Glass May 20 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 109 Clinton Street. Artist and sculptor Craig Mitchell Smith presents an exhibition experience combining stunning, larger-than-life floral forms with pieces made in Charlevoix.

CROSS VILLAGE – 18th Annual North Emmet Community Annual Yard sale May 19 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and May 20 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 20 at 30 locations in Levering, Bliss, Carp Lake, and Cross Village. For details visit mackinawareapl.michlibrary.org/.

ST. HELEN – St. Helen Summer Kickoff starting at 9 a.m. at the Richfield Township Park. Kids games, vendors, cornhole tournament, scavenger hunt, kids fishing fun day. Parade at 10:30 p.m.


NOTE: Mornin’ from the Mitten is posted on Friday mornings. It is distributed online at UpNorthVoice.com and various social media outlets serving the Northern Lower and Upper Peninsula. If you want us to include your event, please email it to info@upnorthvoice.com. We accept major events from all areas of Michigan North of Standish.


To promote your business in Mornin’ from the Mitten by bolding a commercial event, or placing an advertisement with a hyperlink to your website, call Tracy at 989-275-1170 or email tracy@upnorthvoice.com.



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