Put-in-Bay Island Diary: July 2021

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Island Diary July 2021

Thu, July 1st – Many island businesses are short of employees. Brother Billy and Scott Market, owners of Miller Boat Line, are seen working on one of the ferries. A cool northerly wind drops the temperature on the island at dinner time. The office at South Bass Island State Park opens to the public for the first time since Covid started. Thanks goes to Burns Pierce for removing a downed tree at the Scheeff East Point Preserve. It was hanging over the path on a beautiful day when there were lots of visitors using the trail.

Fri, July 2nd – Jill Warga is spotted changing the message on the sidewalk signboard at Mossbacks. Before dark there are fireworks booming downtown. Captain Harry Foley is running Marty Harayda’s boat between Middle Bass and Put-in-Bay while the Sonny-S ferry is undergoing repairs on its hull.

Sat, July 3rd – Kendra Koehler and Barb Chrysler hold a joint yard sale at Kendra’s house between the Boardwalk and the Crew’s Nest. A man is arrested by police after assaulting an island man who is walking his two dogs on Chapman Rd. with his young daughter. The Sonny-S goes back into service after repairs are made by Marty Harayda and others in record time. Ed Hubner, a deckhand on the Sonny, claims he is as old as the Sonny-S. We fact checked and found this to be true. There are lots of little booms after dark. They are from individuals celebrating the Fourth early. The Boathouse hosts a wedding where entertainer Bret Michaels of Poison performs for about 500 for almost 1.5 hours. Over on Middle Bass there is an inaugural Fourth of July parade around the island featuring a variety of vehicles.

Sun, July 4th – The lead vehicle, Car 54, in the antique car parade has a bit of a mechanical problem, but that doesn’t stop the parade sponsored by the PIB American Legion and Nan and Mark Burr from the West Shore. Entertainers Joan Jett and Tone Loc are at the Boathouse. Boom on the Bay, Put-in-Bay’s annual 4th of July fireworks show, attracts many viewers around the harbor. The show can be seen from Middle Bass Island and the West Dock on Pelee Island in Canada.

Mon, July 5th – Usually when a big holiday weekend ends, the majority of the boats and crowds head home in the evening. It sure isn’t true for this one. It’s like everyone decides to stay on! There are still people flying Trump flags on boats and vehicles.

Tue, July 6th – At the PIB Village Council’s Workshop meeting, there are discussions about golf carts not being allowed on Village streets after 10 p.m. and the options for the new sewer line for Sybil Blvd.

Wed, July 7th – The grandson of the late Sonny Schneider, Devan Schneider, starts his first day of work on the Sonny-S, the ferry that runs from downtown Put-in-Bay to Middle Bass. Devan is the son of Bob Schneider (PIBHS Class of 1984). Kelly Faris and his grandson Zeke Gau put up new brochure boxes at Cooper’s and Benjamin Woods Preserves.

Thu, July 8th – Wendy Chambers from the Put-in-Bay Chamber of Commerce toured the island’s park preserves with Lisa Brohl so she can familiarize herself with them. There’s an 80th birthday party for Bernie Meyers complete with a live polka band at Das Lokal, the Goat’s Biergarten. The 140-ft. Coast Guard Cutter Neah Bay is at Fox’s Dock for the night. Cyanobacteria is not currently detectable by satellite in western Lake Erie. That’s always good info to know!

Fri, July 9th – The Neah Bay departs Fox’s Dock shortly after 9 a.m. for parts unknown.

Sat, July 10th – There’s a golf carter driving down Bayview Ave. with his foot on the horn button. Someone yells, “Take your foot off the button!,” followed by “Where are you from?” The driver yells back, “Michigan!” Customers enjoy the new outside patio at Tipper’s for the first time. At the yacht club, there’s a Building Fund Repayment Drawing Party in the afternoon. Building Noteholders are invited to a reception on the patio while 11 notes are drawn which will be repaid this year. In the evening, the Put-in-Bay Community Swim/Sail Program’s Taste of the Islands fundraiser takes place at the Lonz Winery Pavilion where guests enjoy six different island wines and hors d’oeuvres.

Sun, July 11th – It’s a gloomy day with rain and east wind. Due to rain, clouds, winds, high waves, cool temps and just generally crappy boating weather, Ray Fogg’s outdoor show at West Bay on Kelleys Island is called off. There’s a celebration of life reception for Kay Drake at the yacht club. The Antique Car Parade sponsors are Bill and Gail McCracken from Victory Woods, Bob and Dianne Smith from the Airport, Jack and Kathi Spayde from Fox’s Den, and Jim and Deb Traveny Linder from Miller Marina.

Mon, July 12th – About ten people are at the yacht club folding several hundred colorful I-LYA shirts for the upcoming regattas. Restorative Yoga takes place on the back porch at the Nature Center in the late afternoon for those who want to recoup from the weekend. The monthly PIB Chamber of Commerce membership meeting is held at the Island Club Pavilion and also by Zoom for those who cannot attend in person.

Tue, July 13th – There’s a bit of rain. One of the first items of business at the Village Council meeting is to vote on an ordinance to ban the use of golf carts on Village streets between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. The second reading of the ordinance receives no second, so it dies. Amy Alford talks “Fish” at the Nature Center’s Wild Tuesdays program. One of the Miller ferry boats is out of service for maintenance.

Wed, July 14th – PIB Garden Club members tour several of the nice gardens some of the island businesses have.

Thu, July 15th – There are reports of people spotting lots of Monarch butterflies, but Jackie Taylor reports finding 20 caterpillars on her milkweed plants. Milkweed is a host plant for Monarchs. PIB Nature Campers hit the lake in kayaks and head to Gibraltar Island for a walking tour.

Fri, July 16th – There’s a swim and pizza party at Adventure Bay for the kids who participated in this year’s community swim/sail programs. Later in the evening, there’s a wonderful awards ceremony for the young swimmers and sailors at the yacht club. Poor weather and low clouds nix the first day of Ford Trimotor rides scheduled at PIB Airport. Many of the Jeepsters who have arrived early for the weekend’s Jeep Invasion are involved in a really difficult island scavenger hunt.

Sat, July 17th – Islanders awake to rain, but that doesn’t stop the Jeep Invasion people from showing off their vehicles at Heineman Winery. There are 172 Jeepsters competing for “Best Mod”, “Best Theme” and the coveted “Best in Show” among their peers. There is a 50/50 raffle to benefit the St. Paul’s local food pantry, a blessing of the Jeeps and a parade around the island. At the yacht club it’s the final night for the Rolling and Reverse Raffles. Several people split the $5000 grand prize. The 140-foot USCG Cutter Morro Bay spends the night at the Jet Dock. Historian Mike Gora is selling his new book with historical stereo views of the islands at the Middle Bass Island Music Festival at Lonz Winery. It’s Cody Kowalski’s 14th birthday!

Sun, July 18th – Young sailors, ages 13 to 18, are arriving on the island to compete in the I-LYA Junior Bay Week Regatta. They pose for a group photo on the steps at the Monument late in the afternoon. There’s a retirement party for Diane Nemec from Mitchell Rd. at the Perry’s Cave Pavilion, and there’s a surprise 60th birthday party for Jack Zimmerman from the airport at Joe’s Bar. At 5 p.m., there’s a 3-hour wait at Catawba for the ferry to get your car over to the island. The “Tin Goose” flies over the 5 p.m. ferry from Catawba on its way to the Port Clinton Airport after two days of giving rides at Put-in-Bay. A big 50-ft.-or-so yacht runs aground on Alligator Reef that runs from Oak Point to Gibraltar Island.

Mon, July 19th – The sailors participating in the I-LYA’s Junior Bay Regatta head to the lake at 9 a.m. to begin this event’s competition.

Tue, July 20th – Brian Alford is at the Nature and Wildlife Center for Wild Tuesdays showing off some really cool aquatic invertebrates! The first wave runner brought to the island in the early 1980s by Steve Cooks is hauled off the island, hopefully to find a home elsewhere on the mainland. A bit of a rain squall goes though the islands as it starts to get dark.

Wed, July 21st – The weather is a bit cooler. The painting crew is busy restriping State Route 357. The Middle Bass softball team arrives at the PIB field about 5:30 p.m. to warm up ahead of their doubleheader. The Junior I-LYA sailors wrap up their few days of racing with a banquet at the Niagara Event Center. The Goat closes a bit early to give its employees a much-needed break. They enjoy a sushi party after closing hours.

Thu, July 22nd – The observation deck atop Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial reopens after being closed for since the fall of 2019. Masks are required for everyone inside the column. The Ottawa County Health department is administering free J&J vaccines at the Senior Center. Tom Michael uses social media to give away a 1982 golf cart he inherited when he bought his home on Grape Ave. at the West End Club on Middle Bass. It goes quick! A few PIB Garden Club are at the Bathing Beach doing a little cleanup and weed pulling.

Fri, July 23rd – There’s a lot of talk going around on social media about the number of busses expected to be coming to the island on July 24th, which would have previously been Christmas in July. Not everyone has gotten the message that Christmas in July at Put-in-Bay is a thing of the past. Travis Kowalski from Fox Stone Products fills in the potholes on Massie Lane at the Massie Cliffside Preserve on East Point.

Sat, July 24th – The Put-in-Bay Property Owners Association (PIBPOA) holds its monthly meeting at the Perry’s Cave Pavilion. Speakers representing the American Legion, the Lake Erie Islands Conservancy, the Lake Erie Islands Historical Society, the Lake Erie Islands Nature and Wildlife Center, the Put-in-Bay Antique Car Parades and the Put-in-Bay Garden Club are present to discuss their groups. About 60 island property owners were present. Officials step up police security on the island, and It’s a good crowd with no unusual or out of the ordinary things to report. The Black Squirrel B&B, Mossbacks and Put-in-Bay Brewery provide a feast of foods including snacks and salads, sandwiches, lasagna and brownies for the hard-working law enforcement officers on the island for the weekend. The Middle Bass Island Museum Benefit Auction takes place at the Middle Bass Town Hall. There’s a silent auction, plus more than 50 live auction items to bid on. There’s a pretty good rain, thunder and lightning storm that goes through the islands after the sun goes down.

Sun, July 25th – What a change in a week! Last Sunday evening there was a 3-hour wait to come over with a car to the island at 5 p.m. Today at the same time there is no wait at all.

Mon, July 26th – Put-in-BayOhio.com welcomes the return of the Amphicars to the Lake Erie Islands region. Eight amphicars from the early 60s are at The Keys around lunch time. Simona Michael and her son Emil get a chance to ride in one of them. Celebrating birthdays are Mack McCann, Mark Wilhelm and Liesl Jackson. Liesl enjoys a big party with many of her little friends at the Jackson home. There is a birthday gathering at Mack’s penthouse abode at the Dodge Dock. Among those in attendance who we haven’t seen recently on the island were Shelly Aigner, Barry Stumm and Marilyn Boron. Patricia Fisher is leading a restorative yoga session on the back porch at the Nature Center. The AYC (Associated Yacht Clubs) holds a dinner at the yacht club. The Sonny-S is filled with fans headed to Kelleys to cheer on the Middle Bass Dockers in a LEIML softball game there against the Green Team. The Upscale Wine Club honors Marylou Ramsbottom and all those no longer here! Fireworks shot off the Jet Dock light the harbor sky shortly after the sun goes down.

Tue, July 27th – Lisa Brohl is at the Nature Center’s Wild Tuesdays talking about Wild Edibles. At the Biergarten next to the Boathouse there’s a jam night for those who want to step up and do a little entertaining for the customers. To thank its wonderful staff, the Crew’s Nest treats them to an evening on the Jet Express.

Wed, July 28th – The Police deal with a golf cart in the lake at the Monument to start their day, the lawn is being cut at Maple Leaf Cemetery, Diane Nemec and Kim Reichert are at the Roundhouse enjoying the entertainment by Bob Gatewood and Calabash and it’s George Stoiber’s 80th birthday. Tim McNamara and his wife Paige visit family on Put-in-Bay. Tim spent summers in the 1970s on the island when his parents, Ted and Alice McNamara, owned the home on Victory Ave. where Jack and Janet Bergan now live. Over on Kelleys island there’s an event at the Kelley’s Island Brewery called “Ladies Night Out! Paint, Sip & Shop!” It sounds like PIB’s Martini Mondays, but without the painting and shopping. Vicky Wigle at Kayak the Bay rents a kayak to a fellow who takes his dog out with him. Sue Latham is having a yard sale in her front yard.

Thu, July 29th – Around 2 a.m., a driver hits a tree and signs at Oak Point State Park and spins over the curb onto the lawn doing major damage to the front of the car. There’s a little rain in the morning. There’s a small sailboat washed up on the rocky shore on the north side of East Point. The 128th Annual Regatta starts with an opening ceremony at the Commodore’s Memorial in the late afternoon followed by registration and free beer at the yacht club.

Fri, July 30th – Over on Middle Bass Island in the early morning, more than 40 people crowd the Middle Bass General Store to watch Adelaide Aquilla shot putting at the Olympic games in Tokyo. She places 20th with a best toss of 17.68 meters which did not get her into the next round of competition. There’s a gathering at the Crew’s Nest in honor of Buddy and Ruth Griebel who entertained on the island for many years. The sailboats begin three days of racing in the oldest and one of the most prestigious sailing competitions on the Great Lakes. Sadly, a hobie sailor from Texa suffers a heart attack in the harbor and dies. The day ends with more free beer and a Mount Gay Rum Party. Rudy and The Island Girl does their Show LIVE from the Beer Barrel Patio at 6 p.m.

Sat, July 31st – There’s a long white ladder truck being washed at the airport terminal in preparation for being in Sunday’s antique car parade in memory of Lori Milson who worked at the Keys and Topsy Turvey’s. It’s World Ranger Day at Perry’s Monument. The Inter-Lake Yachting Association’s (I-LYA) Ladies Cocktail Reception takes place at the Miller Marina Pavilion. The golf cart traffic in the downtown area is heavy. Dock B is filled with go-fast boats taking part in the Thunderfest poker run. Time for a bypass through the downtown park! On this date in 1931 there was a formal dedication ceremony for Perry’s Monument. The NBC radio network carried the ceremony live.

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