This is the last exit on the northbound I75 SUV Speedway before the Mackinac Bridge. I have been entranced by this sign ever since I can remember. I’m not sure who/what Jamet Street was named after but every time I saw the sign, I thought about my childhood friend Janet. She and Helen were sorta my first friends. I am facebook friends with Helen but not sure where Janet is these days. But Jamet and Janet were spelled almost the same and my young phonics/spelling-ruled brain always noticed it.
As I was thinking about this today, in my house and not just passing by the sign, I realized that I did not see this sign my whole life. Because until I was three, we had to take a ferry to get back and forth across the Straits of Mackinac. There was no I75 SUV Speedway and we probably took US27/23 up through Cheboygan. I’m sure Jamet Street existed but it didn’t rate a great big exit sign and I’m not even sure we traversed it to get to the northward ferry.
I have two very vivid memories from that era (before the age of three, therefore before bridge). 1) When I was really young, we visited an aunt, uncle, and cousin(s?) (was Terri born yet?) at Houghton Lake and I can remember a mileage sign somewhere north of there – 100 miles to the straits. (Actually, I have a vague memory of being at Houghton Lake and I’m probably remembering the sign that was still there when I was a young adult and The Commander probably told me about how my WWII pilot dad would drive like crazy to go 100 miles in an hour…) (He was an expert driver but not sure how true that was with a baby (me) in the car but…) 2) I was on the ferry walking on the deck with my dad, with my hands in my pockets just like him. And then a long drive down two-lane highways to Grandaddy and Bolette’s beautiful art deco house in Detroit, having good times shopping in the Big City and hanging out with my beloved Mac cousins.
What I can’t remember is whether the I75 SUV Speedway was built in the area of the Mackinac Bridge when the bridge was built. My memory is blanking on this big-time although I suppose I could easily google it. How did we approach the Mackinac Bridge before I75 or was I75 built in the area when the bridge was built? I don’t actually think it was but I could be wrong.
Nowadays, we have a beloved young family member named Janet and the GG *always* wants a photo of Jamet street to text or post somewhere. Neither the GG or Pengo were around back when I was a kid and first noticed the sign. The GG was alive and living in Royal Joke with the cFam. Pengo was not born for many years after that.