Open house at the Whallonsburg Grange | Essex Column

This Sunday afternoon there will be an open house from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Whallonsburg Grange to benefit the food pantries of Willsboro, Westport and Elizabethtown. Santa will be on hand to pose for photos, refreshments will be served, and at 3 p.m. Steven Kellogg will read from his new book and sign copies. Local farmers will be on hand selling their wares. Please bring toiletries and non-perishable food items for the pantries, and remember that you can’t go wrong with a nice cash donation.

The town board recently hired a new manager for the transfer station. She is Edith Smith of Willsboro - welcome, Edith, and good luck in your new position.

My recent travels took me to Texas and then north through the prairie states to the upper peninsula of Michigan. Farmers had for the most part finished the corn and soybean harvest in Illinois and large numbers of them were installing underground drainage to boost yields. The land is so flat it was hard to figure out how water would flow. The upper peninsula feels a lot like this area, with very small towns, lots of logging, many pick-up trucks, the French-Canadian influence but without the hills and mountains. I tried some of the famous Lake Superior whitefish, a local delicacy that was mild to almost flavorless but took to deep frying quite nicely. On my way home, I took US 2 along the northern shore of Lake Michigan on a stormy day, and the lake was churning and frothing like the ocean, with tall breakers rolling to shore getting their tops blown away by the wind. I went over the four mile long suspension bridge over the Mackinac Straits, which, because of the heavy wind that day, required trucks to cross in slow moving convoys. Many drivers are unnerved by the height of the bridge, its strong lateral movements and the low guard rails, so the bridge authority has employees who will drive your vehicle over the bridge for you, while you presumably try hard to not look down.

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