“Who wants to go into town?” Grandma Betty called.
“I do!” yelled Emmy.
“Me too!” I screamed.
“Go grab a dollar each and let’s be on our way then,” Grandma Betty replied.
One of my favorite parts of my family’s cottage is that it is literally across the Kalamazoo River from the town of Saugatuck. Walk out the front door and in front of you in the hustle and bustle and noise of a tourist attraction. Many nights I fell asleep to the lull of music and voices from town.
Saugatuck, one of the most visited towns in Michigan for travelers who want to get away, has artsy shops and boutiques and delish restaurants that keep people coming throughout the summer. It is ALWAYS busy. And busy means hard to find parking spots when you want to go hang out there for a couple of hours.
Because of this, years and years and years ago, the town of Saugatuck put in a ferry to transfer people across the river to town so they wouldn’t have to drive. Ingenious if you ask me. It takes about 5 minutes to get across, a dollar each way, and wa-la… you are in town.
The ferry was Grandma Betty’s favorite way to get into town. We would walk down to the get on point; it took about a minute from the cottage (maybe two if grandma was going slow that day) and got on to cross. You always knew when the ferry was running because of the bull horn. It was always shot off to let boats know it was coming and to slow down as to not break the chain that attached the ferry from one side of the river to the other.
I don’t know why we always had so much fun on the ferry. To get across there was a crank lever that needed to be continuously pushed to get across. Even though there was always a teenager working on the ferry, Grandma Betty would always make us crank our way across (and pay too).
My value of hard work to get what I wanted started on that ferry.