"The Summer is Launched"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Friday, June 3, 2016

In my last column, I spoke about the upcoming holiday weekend and addressed the business owners and workers. I suggested a smile or friendly greeting to visitors might be welcomed and provide a reason for their return.

As I got out and about over the holiday, I noted many of my readers had followed my advice. I also noticed, visitors were impressed and happy to relate their pleasant experiences. There were so many events where people gathered and everyone seemed to really be enjoying themselves. When I spoke with friends, we all agreed the weather forecast, which had called for storms, didn’t keep people away.

The Farmer’s Market in Port Austin was overflowing with vendors and shoppers. It’s such a great place to re-connect with friends and catch up on what they have been doing. Big smiles were on all the faces as they mingled and enjoyed the event. After the Memorial Day launch of the summer market season, all the other community farmers markets will join in and add to the enjoyment.

I ran into an old friend as I traveled around during the weekend. He had purchased a restaurant last season and experienced a rocky start getting the business going. When I ate there last year, the food was poorly prepared and service was very slow. I shared my opinion about the meal with my friend. As we chatted this week, he was excited to tell me he had hired a manager and a new cook and was looking forward to his business doing much better. He encouraged me to stop by and check it out.

My wife, Pat, and I found ourselves in the area where my friend’s restaurant was and we were hungry so we decided to give it a try. When we entered and looked around for a table, we saw friends dining and decided to stop by their table and say hello. Before we could inquire about their meal, they expressed how good everything was. One of them had ordered a favorite of mine and suggested I try it.

As we chose a table, a pleasant young lady greeted us with a big smile and said our waitress, Kayleigh, would be right over. When she arrived she had an even bigger smile and was eager to serve us. Our meals were excellent, generously portioned and quickly served. If you’re thinking someone knew I was a friend of the owner — that was not the case. He was not there and none of the employees knew who we were. How great to have such a turnaround and sure hope it continues. I will certainly go back.

Our veterans were honored throughout the area with parades and memorial services. The Huron Daily Tribune front page photo expressed it well in last Tuesday’s reports: “The Thumb does not forget the fallen.” Hundreds of people in all the communities gathered to pay their respects and give thanks for the sacrifices made to protect our country’s freedom.

As I see it, there could be no doubt that the first big weekend of 2016 was a rip-roaring success and it laid the groundwork for many more to come. We need to remember, the Thumb is not “on the way to somewhere,” it is a destination. People who visit want to enjoy the waters along its shore, camping, walks in the woods, farmland views. I always laughed when youngsters I encountered on my charter boat expressed they had never seen a cow. The chance to get away from city life is what brings them and the dire forecast of bad weather for the holiday could not keep them away.

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