Petoskeyan Serendipity

I have probably been going to Petoskey my entire life but I don’t remember much about it until I was a teenager. It was around then that The Commander and Radical Betty started organizing trips down to Petoskey. Girl-type trips, don’tcha know. Others were welcome but we didn’t guarantee that they wouldn’t get bored. Lunch and shopping in Petoskey’s Gaslight District. The Gaslight District used to be filled with fancy old-school shops. Like Saks Fifth Avenue and Pappagallo and I forget what else. Those shops sold designer clothing and high-end housewares to rich and fancy women who had vacation homes in the area. Make no mistake, we-all weren’t exactly included in that demographic. We had pretty expensive taste but our budgets? Not so much. I think once or twice, The Commander bought me an article of clothing at Saks, if she liked it too and it was on sale. Mostly not.

Our trips began in the late 1960s and some shopkeepers in Petoskey were kind of experimenting with the whole hippie style. I don’t remember much about the hippie stores that were around then. They are long gone but similar new age stores have now replaced them and I have spent a few shekels in them, buying stuff for my own once-teenagers. My favorite memory about Petoskey in the 1960s is walking along the sidewalk behind The Commander and Radical Betty when The Comm spotted a young man with long brown hair like in the Sunday School Jesus picures. She nudged RB and stage-whispered, “Look Betty, it’s Jesus Christ!” They both doubled over, snorting with barely suppressed laughter.

We went to Houghton Lake this weekend. I have not been to Petoskey for a couple years now and I kind of wanted to go there. I have a little Holy Grail mission going on and Petoskey is one of the places I wanted to look but I also just wanted to shop (yeah, me, shop). And it’s nice little day trip from Houghton Lake. I didn’t think the GG was particularly interested and I was somewhat ambivalent, so I didn’t mention it to him. But when we got to Houghton Lake, The Beautiful Becky uttered the word “Petoskey”. Say what? You wanna go to Petoskey? Yes? Road trip. So yesterday, Becky and I and her youngest child (teenager) Ninja’d up there through intermittent rain. We did not succeed in finding the Holy Grail but it was a serendipitously wonderous trip anyway. I found a few little things that I have squirreled away for future giving to various folks. It was sidewalk sales, so we had a wonderful hotdog lunch in the street in front of the general store. We bought salsa at American Spoon and we used the public bathroom and I don’t really know what else to say except that this trip rivaled the ones that I took with The Commander and Radical Betty all those years.

As much as I loved going to Petoskey, probably my favorite part of the day occurred long after we left there. We were driving east toward Gaylord on M32, back toward the I75 SUV Speedway that would take us down to Houghton Lake. M32 is a busy, busy road and yiiy! a wild turkey mooma was fluttering around on the right shoulder with nine or 10 babies, trying to figger out how to cross the road. I slowed and came to a dead stop (for once, nobody was tailgating me, thank you god)! Mooma Turkey started tentatively out into the road. Traffic coming the other direction was heavy and fast. I was thinking, “will they stop? Will they see that I am stopped? Will they figure out *why* I am stopped?” Miraculously, the cars coming the other way STOPPED!!! Mooma Turkey and her family safely crossed the street mad, crazy, two-lane highway.

4 Responses to “Petoskeyan Serendipity”

  1. Jan Miller Says:

    Anne, Pete and I took Judd to the Traverse City Airport, yesterday and saw the same mamma and her baby’s, but she wasn’t trying to cross the road. She was on the south side of M32, it was about 1:30 or 2:00 PM.

  2. kayak woman Says:

    I think that we *were* just a bit behind Jan and Pete and I bet this was the same turkey family that they saw. Almost brings shivers up the spine, doesn’t it?

  3. becky Says:

    I will continue to look for the actual object.

    Is this what it looks like???

  4. Margaret Says:

    I’ve never seen a turkey and her babies–cool!! It sounds like a great day, in spite of the rain.