Yesterday coming home from Grand Marais, a sow and cub crossed in front of us. Cub numero due went up a tree, not ten feet from Jambe Longue’s window. Great photos. UP at its finest now, full color here, salmon in, animals moving, pure splendor. Over.
October 3, Sportsman’s Restaurant, GRAND MARAIS– Some bits are harder than others to write. Shanahan began feeling sick in May, just before we came up here. Stopped eating his dry dog food, and he was NOT one to miss a meal willingly. We took him to our vet in Battle Creek and Dr. Ron said, “Just leave the dry food out and he’ll eat when he gets hungry enough. He looked at one of his lumps. Not malignant. Said let him enjoy summer and we’ll see how he is in fall when you get back.
He was excited to come north, but continued to be sick and in June we took him to Dr. Jeff at the Sault Animal Hospital. Jeff had worked with Ron in Battle Creek and they were friends. Lonnie found a “mass” in Shan’s stomach and that prompted us to seek vet help — two hundred mile round-trip. It was DAY 34 of our five months in the Yoop. We spent better part of morning with tests and after ultrasound we saw a huge mass in his belly and Dr. Ron said, “I don’t know what the hell that is.”
We asked what he would do if it was his dog, and he said, “Exploratory.”
“When can you get him in?”
Vet Tech Josh, former Marine said, “We have a cancellation this afternoon.”
Ron asked, “What if I get in there and there’s nothing to be done?”
We said, “Let him sleep. Don’t wake him up.”
So we went from there down to the Sugar Island Ferry and sat by the river and worried and sobbed and waited for a phone call, and the vet called about 4 p.m. and said he had removed a huge (between one and two cantaloupes in size) mass, which was “free floating” in the abdominal sac and not attached to any organs, but it obviously had been pushing on Shanny’s lungs. It was attached only toe the sac, and the vet said we’d have to wait for tox, but it didn’t look like a malignant tumor to him, had too much substance. “Usually,” he said, cancers are amorphous blobs that fall apart in your hands. This didn’t. But the tox will tell.”
We drove back to Deer Park for the night and the next day back to the Soo to pick up the patient, who was as spry as a puppy. Dr. Ron said keep him quiet for 7-10 days, no running, no jumping. Right…. The incision was over a foot long. By the next morning he was raring to go – like a puppy, and eating like a hog!
Ten days later the vet called, “It’s malignant. Hemangiosarcoma.” I looked it up, a cancer of the blood vessels, fast growing and fast spreading, always lethal. The vet told me because of how the thing had been situated, with no organ attachment he hoped that meant that getting out would be enough. I asked if it’s going to come back, when should we expect to see that?”
“Six months to a year.”
Well, it came back sooner. Three weeks ago, he stopped eating dry dog food again. We took him to the vet on DAY 102. X-ray showed lungs clean. Dr. Jeff gave us some pain pills and an antibiotic in case he had another infection, and something to help his diarrhea, which had developed. We took him home. This was on a Monday. By Friday, DAY 105, he was lethargic and clearly in misery, but not complaining and eating from hand. The next day he awoke renewed and spunky and we took a long walk on the Lake Superior Beach and as usual he rambled and explored while we looked for agates. Lonnie took him along for her walk every day, and he took a couple of long walks. By DAY 107 he was limping and we thought maybe he pulled something during his woods rambles. Mornings he could hardly move, but his morning pain pill helped him fast and within an hour he was back at his dog-job. DAY 108, Lon took him for a road walk (she had pulled a muscle in her hip) and he went into the woods for a hunting expedition and came back to her, but he was limping. The morning of DAY 109, at 0330 he was dancing in the kitchen and came to the bed to get me twice to let him out. I pulled on my Uggs and in my skivvies went outside and away he shot, chasing something. The chase went on for 30 minutes until he treed a coon in tree beside our cabin and began his two-bark “treeing-bark” and I got him in the house, lest he awake the guests next door. He came in all proud of himself, had a cookie reward, went to the “bedroom,” lay down and went to sleep, content in his doggily prowess.
Yesterday morning he was limping badly and we had errands to do in town and when I told him “truck,” he went right to the Green Streamer, I opened his door, he put up his paws and I lifted him inside and he lay down, as he always did before a road trip.
Lonnie dropped me at Bob’s Barber Shop (only one customer ahead of me) and went to the bank where she let him out and re-loaded him, then got gas and fetched me. We did a couple of errands and decided to eat lunch at Zellars and took him in parking lot by woods behind there to take a leak, which he did, but when he came back to the truck, he didn’t want to get it and when I finally coaxed him to put up his front paws he did so, then cried. I immediately lifted him in the truck and he lay down in back. He had not been deficating, was not eating well and was generally lethargic in a far-from-normal way. He had always had fatty deposits and last week when the vet aspirated one of them, all he got was blood and he told me then, “I think it’s back.”
So we knew then. When we called the vet from Noobs we explained what we were seeing and that I was guessing tumor involvement in the kidneys. They said Dr. Jeff was out on large animal calls, but they would schedule another vet.
I grabbed a plain burger at Micky D’s and we started east on a long 60-mile trek. We stopped at the Strongs General Store for some pops and I saw a sign declaring NO DOG RUN, which struck me as ironic. Further east we pulled down a two-track.
When we road-trip Shanny lounges until I touch the brakes or pull onto a two-track, at which point he pops up and wants out. This time he did not move. Not a bit. He just lay there, and we knew he was out of gas.
Vet appointment was for 1545, but we got there around 3 PM, went inside and did all the paperwork. Told them he was having trouble moving and in pain, so two techs brought out the stretcher. One of the techs, Josh the former Marine, was sobbing. He said “I saw his name on the chart and my heart stopped.” Josh carried him inside and another tech got a blanket, ironically, EXACTLY the same checkered pattern of one he uses at home, made for him by our daughter Tara. Stunning moment. Then Dr. Jeff showed up, had come back from his other business to take care of this. I told him what we had seen, he checked Shanny quick, he and Josh shaved a spot on his leg and Jeff gave him the injection and he was gone in seconds. Just like that. Alive, not alive. Lonnie stayed in the room for a long time and came out with her eyes swollen and face red, I thanked the two men for their help. We pick up his ashes next week and will bury him here at the cabin, where he was happiest, and where he could be a dog, unleashed and unfettered.
We cried and sobbed all the way back to Noobs, did our grock-shopping with stoicism, and cried our way north.
Hard day’s night followed. This morning I got up at 0330, 24 hours after his last hunt, stepped outside and our four solar lights were all dark and above and between them was the moon shining down and I saw the lights as his paws and the moon as his heart. At 4 AM I went outside and looked up at the Belt of Orion and get this, I heard a large dog bark twice up in the woods, 24 hours after his tree-bark the night before, in the same area where Shanny had hunted during his walk with Lonnie on Monday. There are no large dogs living up there. I took it as a message that he was in his element.
Wishful thinking, Who knows? We had him ten years and he taught us to feel and to love, and what more can you ask of any person or beast?
Emily Dickinson wrote: “Unable are the loved to die. For love is immortality.”
So please hug your mutts tight today and tonight and for as long as you have them. The last words Shanny heard from me were: “Shanny, good boy.” More heartfelt words were never spoken.
1) Peter Steinman. The Company of Wolves. [NF]
2) Malcolm Gladwell. Outliers. [NF]
3) CO Sylvester Mowson. Dictionary of Foreign Terms.[NF]
4) Lois Crisler. Arctic Wild. [NF]
5) Lois Crisler. Captive Wild: One Woman’s Adventure Living With Wolves.[NF]
6) Lolita Hernandez. Autopsy of an Engine, and Other Stories From the Cadillac Plant. [SS]
7) Frank Corbin. The Wolf Hunter’s Guide: Tell How To Catch ‘Em All About the Science of Wolf Hunting. [NF]
8) Adam Johnson. The Orphan Master’s Son.
9) Karen Russell. Swamplandia.
10) James Oliver Curwood. Son of the Forest: An Autobiography. [NF]
11) Isabella L. Bird. A Lady’s Life in the Rocky Mountains. [NF]
12) Margaret E. Murie. Two in the Far North. [NF]
13) Stanley P. Young. The Last of the Loners. [NF]
14) Chistopher Chabris and Daniel Simons. The Invisible Gorilla: How Our Intuitions Are Deceived. [NF]
15) Judith A. Eldridge. James Oliver Curwood: God’s Country and the Man. [NF]
16) Don DeLillo. End Zone.
17) Suzanne Collins. The Hunger Games.
18) Adam M Soward. The Environmental Justice: Wm O. Douglas and American Conservation. [NF]
19) Two Hearted River Watershed Management Plan. [NF]
20) Stanley Wells. Coffee With Shakespeare. [NF]
21) Katherine Duncan Jones. Shakespeare: An Ungentle Life. [NF]
22) Suzanne Collins. Catching Fire.
23) Jim Harrison. The Great Leader.
24) Howard Papp. The View From the Creek: Notes From Lake Superior’s Ojibwe Country. [NF]
25) Trevor Burnard. Mastery, Tyranny & Desire: Thomas Thistelewood and Slaves in the Anglo-Jamaican World. [NF]
26) David Treuer. Rez Life. [NF]
27) Robert Douglas Fairhurst. Becoming Dickens: The Invention of a Novelist.[NF]
28) Carter Niemeyer. Wolfer [NF]
29) Bill Holm. The Music of Failure. [NF]
30) John Krakauer. Under the Banner of Heaven. [NF]
31) Ed Decker and Dave Hunt. The God Makers. [NF]
32) Grace Tiffany. Erotic Beasts & Social Monsters: Shakespeare, Jonson, and Comic Androgyny. [NF]
33) Jim Harrison. Songs of Unreason. [P]
34) Paul W. Mapp. The Elusive West and the Contest for Empire. [NF]
35) Bill Holm. The Heart Can Be Filled Anywhere. [NF]
36) Bill Holm. The Windows of Brimness: An American in Iceland. [NF]
37) Ian Stewart. Another Fine Math You’ve Gotten Me Into.[NF]
38) Walt Harrington. The Everlasting Stream: A True Story of Rabbits, Guns, Friendship, and Family. [NF]
39) Albert E. Cole. The Great Black Wolves.
40) Anita Brookner. Hotel Du Lac.
41) Carl Hiassen. Kick Ass. [NF]
42) Rick Bragg. The Prince of Frogtown. [NF]
43) Bill Holm. Eccentric Islands. [NF]
44) Rita Crosby. Quiet Hero. [NF]
45) Joseph Heywood. Red Jacket. [MS]
46) Daniel K. Richter. Before The Revolution: America’s Ancient Pasts.[NF]
47) Jaroslav Hasek. The Fateful Adventures of the Good Soldier Svejk: Book One.
48) W.D. Hulbert. The Dappled King. A Tale of a Northern Trout Stream. [NF]
49) Ed Gray. General of the Army:George C. Marshall: Soldier & Statesman. [NF]
50) Suzanne Collins. Mockingjay.
51) Patrick F.McManus. The Blight Way
52) Bill Holm. Cabins of Minnesota. [NF]
53) Laurence Durrell. Bitter Lemons. [NF]
54) Wm. H Glass. Finding a Form: Essays. [NF]
55) Tom Franklin. Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter.
56) Wallace Stevens. The Necessary Angel: Essays on Reality and the Imagination.[NF]
57) Rob Ruck. The Tropic of Baseball: Baseball in the Dominican Republic. [NF]
58) H.A. Dorfman & Karl Kuell. The Mental Game of Baseball: A Guide to Peak Performance. [NF]
59) Joseph Heywood. Red Jacket [Page Proofs]
60) John Fowles. Wormholes: Essays and Occasional Writings. [NF]
61) Joseph Heywood. Killing A Cold One. [MS]
62) E.M.Forster. Aspects of the Novel. [NF]
63) David Lodge. The Art of Fiction. [NF]
64) Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The General in His Labyrinth.
65) Tim Parks. Hell and Back: Reflections on Writers and Writing, From Dante to Rushdie. [NF]
66) Cordelia Candelaria. Seeking the Perfect Game: Baseball in America’s Literature. [NF]
67) Philip Kerr. Prague Fatale.
68) Robert N. Bellah, et al. Habits of the Heart [NF]
69) Michigan Department of Natural Resources & Environment. Law Enforcement 125th Anniversary. [MS- Proofs]
70) Carlo Ginzburg. The Cheese and the Worm. [NF]
71) Christopher Fowler. The Memory of Blood.
72) Jose Ortega y Gasset. Meditations on Hunting. [NF]
73) Hans Helmut Kurst. Officer Factory.
74) Dan O’Neil. The Firecracker Boys. [NF]
75) Daniel Woodrell. The Outlaw Album.
76) Margaret E. Murie. Two in the Far North. [NF]
77) John Grisham. Playing for Pizza.
78) George Orwell. A Collection of Essays. [NF]
79) Carlos Ginzburg. Threads and Traces: True False Fictive. [NF]
80) John Grisham. The Brethren
81) Peter Matthiessen. Far Tortuga.
82) Arturo Perez-Reverte. The Fencing Master
83) Jay Tolson, Ed. The Correspondence of Shelby Foote & Walker Percy. [NF]
84) Carlo Ginzburg. The Night Battles: Witchcraft and Agrarian Cults in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries. [NF]
85) Tad Crawford. A Floating Life. [ARC, Novel]
86) Arturo Perez-Reverte. The Seville Communion.
87) Arturo Perez-Reverte. The Queen of the South.
88) Marc Bloch. The Historian’s Craft. [NF]
89) Gunter Grass. My Century. 
90) Joseph L. Arbena, Ed. Sport and Society in Latin America: Diffusion, Dependency, and the Rise of Mass Culture. [NF]
91) Joseph Heywood. Red Jacket. [Proofs]
92) Joseph Heywood. “Black Behind the Black.” [SS]
93) Joseph Heywood. “The Third Partner.” [SS]
94) Joseph Heywood. Killing A Cold One. [MS]
95) Joseph Heywood. Brown Ball: A Summer Joy and Suffering. [MS]
96) Joseph Heywood. Jabbertown[MS]
97) Daniel Woodrell. Woe To Live On.
98) William Alexander Percy. Lanterns on the Levee: Recollections of a Planter’s Son.  [NF]
99) Josefa Heifetz Byrne. Mrs. Byrne’s Dictionary of Unusual, Obscure, and Preposterous Words. [NF]
100) Tom Anderson. Things That Bite. [NF]
101) Molly Gloss. Wild Life.
102) Clyde L. L. Newnom. Michigan’s Thirty-Seven Million Acres of Diamonds.  [NF]
103) Michael Wex. Born To Kvetch: Yiddish Language and Culture in All Is Moods. [NF]
104) Bill Bryson. Bryson’s Dictionary of Troublesome Words: A Writer’s Guide to Getting It Right. [NF]
105) Ray Ovington. Tactics on Trout.  [NF]
106) Fred Kogos. A Dictionary of Yiddish Slang & Idioms.  [NF]
107) Kathleen Stocking. Letters From The Leelanau: Essays of People and Place.  [NF]
108) Robert Leighton Dresser. The History of Pike Lake: Luce County, Michigan [NF]
109) Larry Chabot. Saving Our Sons: How the CCC Rescued A Generation of Upper Michigan Men. [NF]
110) Luce County Historical Society, Minnie Ida Mattson, Comp. Luce County History: Centennial Issue. [NF]
111) Luce County Historical Society, Minnie Ida Mattson, Comp, Ed. The History of Luce County from Its Earliest Recorded Beginning. [NF]
112) Sprague Taylor. Tahquamenon Country: A Look At Its Past. [NF]
113) Jan McAdams Huttenstine. Remotely Yours: A Historic Journey Into The Whitefish Point Area. [NF]
114) Dutch Hanes, Delbert Musgrave, and Bohn Musgrave. History of Columbus Township. [NF]
115) Domingo Martinez. The Boy Kings of Texas: A Memoir. [NF]
116) Michael Crichton. Pirate Latitudes.
117) Shelby Foote. The Civil War: A Narrative: Volume I– Fort Sumter to Perryville. [NF]
118) Shelby Foote. The Civil War: A Narrative: Volume II – Fredericksburg to Meridian [NF]
119) Shelby Foote. The Civil War: A Narrative:Volume III – Red River to Appomatox. [NF]
120) Robert A. Heinlein. JOB: A Comedy of Justice.
121) Daniel Woodrell. Tomato Red.
122) Arturo Perez-Reverte. The Club Dumas.
123) Henry Kisor. Hang Fire. [MS]
124) Tom Franklin. Smonk.
125) Umberto Eco. The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana.
126) Joseph Heywood. Hard Ground: Woods Cop Stories. [MS]
127) John Lescroart. Rasputin’s Revenge.
128) Ian Rankin. Knots and Crosses.
129) Robert L. Phillips, Jr. Shelby Foote: Novelist and Historian. [NF]
130) Erik Larson. In the Garden of Beasts.[NF]
131) Mickey Mantle and Phil Pepe. Mickey Mantle: My Favorite Summer 1956.[NF]
132) Carlo Ginzburg. Clues, Myths and the Historical Method. [NF
133) Robert W. Henderson. Ball, Bat and Bishop: The Origin of Ball Games. [NF]
134) Edward Marston. The Merry Devils.
135) Knox Jamison. Bergland. [NF]
136) Edward Marston. The Roaring Boy.
137) Frank Deford. The Entitled.
Gary Soto. Baseball in April.
138) Robert Linsenman. Snowblood’s Journal. [MS]
139) Mark Rucker and Peter C. Bjarkman. Smoke: The Romance and Lore of Cuban Baseball. [NF]
140) W.P. Kinsella. The Iowa Baseball Confederacy.
141) Marcel Proust. On Art and Literature. [NF]
142) Ed Davison. Uncle Ed Said. [NF]
143) John Smolens. Quarantine.
144) Peter Heller. The Dog Stars.
145) John Knott. Imagining the Forest. Narratives of Michigan and the Upper Midwest. [NF]
146) Stephen Marche. How Shakespeare Changed Everything. [NF]
147) Nancy MacLean. Behind the Mask of Chivalry: The Making of the Second Ku Klux Klan. [NF]
148) Dennis Lahane. Live by Night.
149) Thomas Daniel Young and John Hindle, Eds. Selected Essays of John Crowe Ransom. [NF]
150) John Crowe Ransom. Selected Poems [P]
151) Marcel Proust. Rembrance of Things Past: Part I: Swann’s Way Within a Budding Grove.
152) James Joyce. Ulysses.
153) Thomas Mann. The Magic Mountain.
154) Peter C. Bjarkman. Diamonds Around the Globe; The Encyclopedia of International Baseball. [NF]
155) Bill Wise. Louis Sockalexis: Native American Baseball Pioneer. [NF]
156) Wallace Stegner. Where The Bluebird Sings to the Lemonade Springs. [NF]
DAY 130: Sunday, Sept. 30, DEER PARK—A windless pacific day, even the animals are quiet. Having been here several times in this season you begin to notice things. For example, last year the local eagles disappeared from Sept 23-27, one showed on the 28th and absent again Sept 29-30. This year no eagles Sept 24-28, one showed on the 29th and none on the 30th. I posit that they are not here because they are on the river feeding on salmon both fresh-run and sloughing carcasses. That’s part of the attraction of living here, you get to sense and see and feel the rhythms of the place, which are far more apparent out in the woods, than in some suburban crawleyhood where noise “obliterates” life and the rhythms are all artificial, related almost exclusively to mass entertainment events. Here is a great line from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Claudius addressing his queen: “O Gertrude, Gertrude/ When sorrows come, they come not in single spies/ But in battalions.” A poetic way of saying troubles and sorrow come in bunches. Our dog is seriously unwell and this dulls every other part of life, present and future.
We’ll be at Horizon Books in Traverse City next Saturday (Oct. 6), from Noon until 2 P.M. Will read short stories from the coming April collection. Some photos of the lake this morning follow. Our color is coming on quickly now. Probably we’ll take Shanny and make a color tour tomorrow; or even later today. We continue to have little contact with the presidential campaign, but I continue to get 3-5 emails a day from campaigns. Do they do no evaluation? Of course they don’t. They just keep sending. Pathetic more than sad. A mere fiver contribution from me accomplishes squat and is designed only by the campaign people to make me think I count, when they know and I damn well know I don’t. These elections are about corporations and the rich using Super PACS to try to buy the White House. My $5 is better spent on other things that promise something real and useful. Anybody ever notice there’s only one letter difference between politicking and potlicking? Or notice that the scent of politics is what Limpy Allerdyce calls “poofume,” you know that scent you get when you open the privy door right after another depositor has been there? Just saying. Over.
DAY 128:Friday, September 28, DEER PARK: The Northwoods Call, our state’s premier outdoor/conservation news publication went belly up 18 months ago after 59 years in print when outspoken editor Glen “Shep” Sheppard passed away. Fridays are mail day here, and I got a postcard from the new owners, Newshound Productions of Kalamazoo, our own home turf. Never heard of the outfit. So I went to their website: www.mynorthwoodscall.com
Where I was asked to fill out a questionnaire presumably aimed at letting the new owners fine-tune their publishing plans. Primarily they are talking about an electronic publication, but for premium added $$ you can get print also. Guess what? Their “electronics” kicked my questionnaire back twice. I said screw it and wrote a snippy note and got a professional and calm return message from long-time newsman Mike VanBuren this morning, telling me he’d had at least one other such report, but dozens of others had completed the survey without a problem, nevertheless, he would look into it. This is exactly how Shep would have responded and I took this as a great sign for the future.
Van Buren is a long-time newshawk and has some solid conservation tickets as an activist, and award-winning conservation reporter. He seems to have the chops needed to make this work, and I’m pretty sure he knows this, but I would remind him (as a Kalamazoo Gazette Geezers Poker Club Member, and long-time viewer of the news scene) that what made the Call was Shep’s straight-on reputation, and the cri de coeur positions the old Army veteran took. I was Shep’s volunteer editorial cartoonist for more than 15 years and he and I had our differences of opinion. I also did illustrations for him from time to time, and wrote various columns about a variety of subjects, the main one being what Shep and I called the Me-and- Snooker series. With Shep you always understood where he stood, AND he listened carefully to opposing viewpoints, and didn’t reject them out of hand. His litmus test though, was not him, but this: “The Call is an admittedly biased newspaper dedicated to the proposition that there is only one side in any issue involving resources: NATURE’S.”
People knew who Shep was and what he and the publication stood for. My CO pals admired him for his candor, though at least one DNR director banned having the publication on the 5th Floor of the Mason Building because he was sure Shep was an enemy and out to get him and his people. He wasn’t. The COs in the trenches knew that.
Bottom line: all kinds of folks rallied to him, not the publication, Mike, you’ll have to accomplish something similar and this will take time and trials by fire. I wish you luck. The name: THE NORTH WOODS CALL, has huge editorial equity, built over 59 years, first by founder Margaret Gahagan, and after her by Glen and Mary Lou Sheppard. We, and the natural resources of our great state have never needed a hard-hitting, candid pro-conservation/resource paper more than we need it now. As Shep might growl, “Take no prisoners and get her done, son.”
I was sort of trolling for names through the web, using obits from the 19th and 18th centuries (got Domathilda Locoursiere), and as I read I began to notice how obits handled their news. I can remember in J School having to write obits, not so easy as it seems superficially.
Let me just skim over some direct lifts from the reports. I’ve added the sort of questions a modern news editor (Ed.) might ask of the writer tongue-in-cheek, of course (which as I look at it might somewhere have been a line in these real obits). These are the sorts of blue pencil interrogatories our journalism profs at MSU used to scribble on our yellow dog drafts.:
- “Dropped dead this morning.” [Ed. Of What?]
- “Called to his final rest.” [Ed. Where exactly IS that?”]
- “Answered his final summons last Friday.” [Ed. Served by whom?]
- “Death due to general disability.” [Ed. Seriously, we need some details.]
- “Ailments incident to old age caused her death.” [Ed. Ailments such as? We all hope to reach old age, and maybe we’re just curious.]
- “Died following a major operation.” [Ed. For what? Was there a reason or is this some kind of new-fangled destination surgery deal?]
- “…Called from this earth.” [Ed. Where to? Students are increasingly ignorant of world geography, so let’s at least provide a hint – if we can.]
- “Passed away last Saturday, just before the midnight hour. For several days previous to her death it was evident the end was near.”[Ed. Evident in what way? Details, details, details!]
- “A heart ailment from which he had suffered since last April was stated as the cause of death.” [Ed. Stated by whom? Is there some reason to think this a dubious statement? If not, why say it?]
- “Passed away.” [Ed. You mean the subject is deceased or more to the point, dead?]
- “Passed to the Great Beyond on Sunday.” [Ed. Which is where? Does the Sunday date have relevance to destination?]
- “Death claimed…” [Ed. How, in a letter, by decree, what?]
- HEADLINE: Pioneer of City Dead. [Ed. Geez, this headline leads one to suspect there’s an organization of the city dead in place, zombies, maybe?]
- “The Italian man who accidentally shot himself about two weeks ago has died. He was out hunting when the gun went off by accident, went into his face, hands, and eyes. Six shots were taken out of the eyes. He was 30. [Ed. How is the man being Italian relevant to this story?]
- “…died at the Houghton County Jail yesterday. He had been un-well for some time and had been drinking heavily of late. [Ed. Unwell from what cause? Alcoholism?]
- “…died yesterday at the insane asylum, age 26.” [Ed. That’s it, Died in the looney bin, no other details? Are we talking about a patient, a custodian or other staff member?]
- “Age, 17, died of typhoid fever at her home yesterday.” [Ed. Is her family house quarantined? Any other cases? Typhoid rarely comes one case at a time.]
- “11-month old daughter died of cholera infection yesterday.” [Ed. Any notion what brought the cholera, are public health people looking into this?]
- “…met death Sunday morning while baling hay on his property.” [Ed. Hay or straw? There’s a difference, you know.]
- “…found dead in the hold of the ship BULGARIAN. It is supposed he fell down to the bottom of the ship’s hold.” [Ed. Supposed by whom?]
- “John Makander is the name of the unknown man who was sent down from Calumet Sunday to be taken to the Houghton County Poor Farm, but was so sick on arrival he was sent to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Hancock, where he died Monday afternoon. He was a total stranger to these parts. He was buried in Potter’s Field.” [Ed. If he is a total stranger to these parts (everywhere around here or only up in Calumet, eh?) And said stranger is an unknown man, how did we learn his name?]
- “Died at home due to congestion of the brain.”[Ed. Like bad sinus or something? Please explain.]
- “Age 76, she died of old age.” [Ed. Years alone are lethal?]
- “Died of stomach hemorrhage.” [Ed. Like an ulcer, or ate ground glass? What caused the bleeding?]
- “62, died of complications of disease.”[Ed. C’mon. Name some, and the disease while you’re at it.]
- “56, he had an operation that resulted in his death.” [Ed. So there is some sort of destination hobby thing going on in the community? This is the second case you’ve reported. Shouldn’t that suggest more questions and a larger story?]
- “He died of tuberculosis.”[Ed. Overnight, when and where was it contracted, was he in isolation?]
- “As a child, Velma was wounded during a wild shooting match in Beaverton in 1901. On June 5, a drunk and mean Will Arnell Jr. got into a gunfight on Brown Street with Sam Dopp. Dopp shot Arnell twice in the stomach. Dopp and others entered the Commercial House Hotel, which Arnell managed. There they found Arnell’s five-year-old daughter, Reah, dead, Arnell’s wife, May, dying, and Arnell’s invalid mother and brother, Frank, both wounded, all from gunshot wounds. Arnell has also shot his sister Maude, who was uninjured. Velma had been wounded by shattered glass. Will Arnell Jr. was sentenced to fifteen years in Jackson Prison for manslaughter.” [Ed. This story, so scant yet full, could serve as the nexus of a novel. Why the gunfight? Why manslaughter and not murder? The story begs all kinds of questions, which of course a novelist can feel artistically free to answer, as long as the readers will buy the premises and explanations. Maude was shot but not injured? How? As a reporter you have to stick with the damn truth, so do it!]
At times obits have been flowery and religious, other times Sergeant Fridayish (just the facts…). Would be interesting to do a study of a prolonged period to see what changes took place in how death was described, when and perhaps why.
Oh yeah, I have an idea for a website to filter all political and election news. We’ll call it Vomit.com. But wait: I just looked at the web: Damn, there’s already a domain with that name! Damn, back to the drawing board. Over.
Here are some bracket dates to loosely keep in mind when thinking of Michigan’s history: 1763-1783, Quebec Territory; 1787-1899, Northwest Territory; 1800-1805, Ohio/Indian Territory; 1805-1837, Michigan Territory; 1837, Michigan became a state.
Now, here’s the interesting stuff, a brief look at county names, some of which (many of which) I’ve never heard or read before.
- Aishcum County, f. 1840, became Lake County, 1843.
- Anamickee County, f. 1840, became Alpena County, 1843.
- Bleeker County, f. 1861, became Menominee County, 1863.
- Cheonoquet County, f. 1840, became Montmorency County, 1843.
- Isle Royal County, f. 1875 from Keweenaw County, disbanded in 1897, returned to Keweenaw.
- Kanotin County, f. 1840, renamed Iosco County, 1843.
- Kautawaubet County, f. 1840, renamed Wexford County, 1843.
- Kaykakee County, f. 1840, renamed Clare County, 1843.
- Keskkauko County, f. 1840, renamed Charlevoix County, 1843, annexed to Emmet County, 1853, split into Emmet and Charlevoix Counties in 1869.
- Manitou County, f.1855, disbanded 1861, attached to Mackinac County 1865, then to Leelanau County, reattached to Mackinac 1869, disbanded and abolished 1895, parts given to Charlevoix and Leelanau Counties.
- Maegisee County, f. 1840, renamed Antrim County, 1843
- Michilimackinac County, f. 1818, renamed Mackinac County, 1843.
- Mikenauk County, f. 1840, renamed Roscmmon County, 1843.
- Newegon County, f. 1840, renamed Alcona County, 1843.
- Notepekago County, f. 1840, renamed Mason County, 1843.
- Okkuddo County, f. 1840, renamed Otsego County, 1843.
- Omeena County, f. 1840 from part of Mackinac County, annexed to Grand Traverse County, 1853.
- Reshkauko County, f. 1840, renamed Charlevoix County, 1843.
- Shawano County, f. 1818, renamed Crawford County, 1843.
- Tonedagana County, f. 1840, renamed Emmet County, 1843.
- Unwattin County, f. 1840, renamed Osceola County, 1843.
- Wabassee County, f. 1840, renamed Kalkaska County, 1843.
- Washington County formed from Marquette County in 1867, declared “unconstitutional,” returned to Marquette County.
- Wyandot County, f. 1840, from Mackinac County, annexed to Cheboygan County, 1853.
You get the feeling that whatever sympathy lay with using native American words and leaders for county names in 1840 was gone three years later.