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Island Diary December 2022
Thu., Dec. 1st – If you drive down Loraine Ave. you’ll find the old red barn behind the Park Hotel was torn down the day before. The barn was used as an accessory building for the hotel and it was estimated it dated from the 1880s. As workers prepare to replace the second story windows in the Mossbacks building, you can see the different types of siding the building had over the years.
Fri., Dec. 2nd – Laura Mendoza is working the counter at the Hardware store while Chris and Jason are off at a trade show. It’s an incredible day for the Panther Girls basketball team as they defeat both Beaver Island and Washington Island in this year’s Great Lakes Island Basketball Tournament on Beaver Island. Fans can watch the games streamed live at WPIB.com.
Sat., Dec. 3rd – The Great Lakes Island Basketball tournament concludes and due to inclement weather, the Panther basketball teams are stuck on Beaver Island.
Sun., Dec. 4th – It’s a beautiful, but quiet day on the Bay. Topsy Turvey’s is the place to be as the Browns beat the Houston Texans. Caleb Kowalski earns his green belt in taekwondo.
Mon., Dec. 5th – Sign up ends for the Gingerbread House Contest at the Library. Pelee Islanders watch the last ferry of the season depart for mainland Ontario.
Tue., Dec. 6th – It’s a very foggy day! For those not on the island, there are several island webcams to check conditions. The Village Council meets to discuss its 2023 budget, police issues and proposed permit parking. There’s construction outside at the gas station, but Heather Durdil is still open for lunch. After engine repairs, Jet Express III makes a test cruise to Put-in-Bay from Port Clinton. In the afternoon the PIB Vol. Fire Dept. responds to Langram Rd. for a “fire in the woods” call. The prompt response and effective dousing of flames is a testament to the expertise the department provides to South Bass Island.
Wed., Dec. 7th – Visibility is just a little bit limited this morning. You can stop by Painter Sarah Cochran’s Studio for a little Christmas shopping.
Thu., Dec. 8th – The Holiday Concert at PIB School takes place. Under the direction of music director Gay Pippert, the talented students entertain at the school gym.
Fri., Dec. 9th – There’s a short prayer service at the Carillon at noon in memory of the four brave men who lost their lives in an attempt to aid a rescue mission on Kelleys Island in 1983. Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial announces its first seasonal positions openings for the 2023 season. There’s a festive turnout for the Islander Appreciation Christmas Party at the Island Hardware & Market in the evening
Sat., Dec. 10th – PIB Girl Panthers play Emmanuel Christian in this season’s first home game. Unfortunately, they lose the opener in spite of Lilian Frederick’s 14 points and Ava Heineman’s 10 points. Jessie Greene, owner of Jessie’s Jewelry, opens her studio on Sybil Blvd. for a little Christmas shopping.
Sun., Dec. 11th – Many of the island’s over 60 seniors pick up their Christmas fruit baskets at the fire station. In the afternoon, postmaster JR Domer chauffeurs Santa around the island on a PIB Vol. Fire Dept. truck with a bevy of helpers from the high school and Rec. Committee who pass out gifts to PIB’s young kids.
Mon., Dec. 12th – The Lake Erie Islands Conservancy Potluck takes place at the South Bass Island Lighthouse. Several guests climb to the top where the light was once located. Billy Market warns of a big storm coming that could curtail ferry service.
Tue., Dec. 13th – After school, you can be creative with Legos at the library. The PIB Township Trustees ink a deal with the Ottawa County Sheriff to provide police service for the township portion of the islands for the next three years.
Wed., Dec. 14th – The annual Christmas Luncheon takes place at the Senior Center. Every table is filled and great food is enjoyed by all thanks to Sue Thwaite and her elves Oliver Thwaite, Kelly Mohn, Kendra Koehler and Tom and Stephanie Thanasiu. Terry Jenkins catches enough minnows in one evening to last the entire ice fishing season. There’s a lot going on at the yacht club in the evening. The Words & Wine Book Club meets and several good books are discussed. There’s an Island Transportation Christmas Party taking place, plus there are tables of euchre players in the back room. A large group of parents is feeding their kids there before going off to a party hosted by Madeline Pugh.
Thu., Dec. 15th – The Panther Lady Basketball team plays Fairport Harbor at the home of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Rocket Mortgage Field House. Those taking part in the Gingerbread House Contest have to have their complete entries turned in.
Fri., Dec. 16th – Council meets to discuss police mutual aid with the Sheriff Dept. over winter .The “Ullr Fest” burning takes place in the evening between the Boardwalk and A-Dock. Besides burning “BUGI,” there are fireworks and plenty of generous donations for the food pantry at St. Paul’s. Sue Thwaite opens the Picnic Basket in the evening for some holiday cheer and last minute Christmas gift buying.
Sat., Dec. 17th – National Wreaths Across America Day comes to the cemeteries on South Bass and Middle Bass Islands. A beautiful green wreath with a red bow is placed on the gravestone of each island veteran. The picnic basket is open in the afternoon for last minute holiday shopping. There’s an ugly sweater Christmas party at the Yacht Club in the evening. Paul Jeris is hosting his annual Christmas party at his home in Middleburg Heights.
Sun., Dec. 18th – There’s a one hour delay to the ferry schedule in the morning. The Audubon Christmas Bird Count takes place. Birders are out and about on Kelleys Island, Pelee Islands and the Bass Islands. Jack and Lorraine Zimmerman from Airline Drive are hosting Reindeer Days at their park, Hopfinger Zimmerman Memorial Park in Port Clinton. Santa and Mrs. Claus are joined by the live reindeer, the Grinch, and the Ottawa Co. Sheriff and Deputies are on hand taking fingerprints for kids and giving tours of SWAT vehicles.
Mon., Dec. 19th – Billy Market is watching the weather closely and posts a ferry schedule for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. He predicts a significant weather event starting Friday. The dates for Bash on the Bay are officially announced for Aug. 23rd and 24th, 2023.
Tue., Dec. 20th – Jon Scarpelli is busy filling islanders’ propane tanks in preparation for the upcoming winter storm. Island Hardware & Market Store is also stocking their shelves with storm supplies. Deist Road on Middle Bass is closed to make drainage repairs.
Wed., Dec. 21st – The lake around the islands has open water except for a little ice around some of the docks in the harbor. You have to look hard to find it. Work is progressing on wrapping the Mossbacks building with Tyvek and putting in new windows upstairs. If you like to hunt pheasant, today is the day hunters can begin buying licenses for the 2023 Pelee Island Pheasant Hunt.
Thu., Dec. 22nd – Connie Drake reports to work at the Lime Kiln ticket booth for her last day after 32 years at Miller Boat Line. Everyone wishes her well in her retirement. There are two ferry trips to the mainland in the morning and then fireworks as the last ferry comes into PIB harbor to take its winter rest before the predicted big blow. At 11 p.m. the temperature at Put-in-Bay is 40 degrees.
Fri., Dec. 23rd – At 7 a.m., the temperature at Put-in-Bay is 4 degrees and the wind with a steady 48 knots out of the west/southwest makes for a windchill of -25 degrees. By 9 a.m. the temp drops to one degree below zero. The lake water level drops dramatically, and you can walk to Gibraltar Island via Allegator Reef. The ice fishermen who have their minnow cars hanging off the floating docks at the public docks lose their minnows. Miller’s ferries and Cantankerus are sitting on the lake bottom. There’s a tree down across PIB Rd. Terry Jenkins from First Energy is out and about getting electricity back on for those who have outages. For anyone without power for an extended period, the Senior Center is open for refugees. On Kelleys Island and Pelee Island there are power outages, too. For anyone without power for an extended period, the Senior Center is open for refugees. There are no flights on or off the islands.
Sat., Dec. 24th – There’s no let up in the 40+ mph wind and sub-zero temperatures. There’s ice just about everywhere around the islands except for on the east side. The Lime Kiln dock, the State Park dock and the cliffs of the West Shore are coated with thick, bizarrely-shaped ice. There are still no flights on or off the islands. The Lime Kiln freight barn is open for a last chance to pick up Christmas packages.
Sun., Dec. 25th – Islanders are treated to a white Christmas as snow falls sporadically throughout the day. After a two-day hiatus, Dustin Shaffer from Island Air Taxi is flying.
Mon., Dec. 26th – Rob Hard opens “the coffee club” at the Black Squirrel. Hours are Monday through Friday 7 to 11 a.m. Bernie and Mary Ann Meyers get stuck in a snowdrift by Adventure Bay and are fortunately rescued by Todd Blumensaadt and PIBPD officer Eric Seitz. Over on Kelleys Island, the ferry tries to make a run to the island but gets bogged down by thick slushy ice.
Tue., Dec. 27th – The PIB airport freight room opens for the season. Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The PIB Twp. Office opens after being closed for the long Christmas weekend. Liam Market stops by the post office to wish Mayor Jessica Dress a happy birthday. On this date in 1887, the Village of Put-in-Bay was established amid fanfare of great and rowdy celebration. The Kelleys Island ferry stops running but will continue to evaluate conditions. Up on Pelee Island, the gasoline pumps at the PI Co-op are still frozen from the storm and fuel sales are put on hold until the situation can be rectified.
Wed., Dec. 28th – Holy mackerel, it’s a heat wave with a high temperature for the day a pinch over 40 degrees. There’s carol singing at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in the evening.
Thu., Dec. 29th – Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial announces that 1,717 feet of new seawall has been completed, but there are still another 1,484 feet to go.
Fri., Dec. 30th – Many winter residents are returning to the island after the holiday break. Island Air Taxi has 37 flights scheduled for the day. The ice surrounding the west side of the island is starting to break up as temperatures reach over 50 degrees in the afternoon.
Sat., Dec. 31st – At the yacht club, there’s cocktails starting at 5 p.m. with dinner at 7 p.m. The New Year is celebrated with live music by Lucas Guy and a champagne toast at midnight. Many islanders gather at Topsy Turvey’s to watch The Ohio State University Buckeyes play in the College Football Playoff game and ring in the New Year after.
Putinbay.com is proud to present the Put-in-Bay Gazette’s Island Diary for December 2022, in the January 2023 issue of the Gazette.
To subscribe to the Put-in-Bay Gazette please visit their website by clicking here.
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