Digest>Archives> June 1997

June Mail Bag


Remodeling Leads to Lighthouses

My husband Bryan and I own our own business (Kitchen Designers, Inc.). When we remodeled Frank and Denise Petrasek's kitchen with new cabinets, we discovered that they also loved lighthouses.

Bryan and I have been lighthouse chasers for several years. We have collected all except two of the Harbour Lights replicas. When ever we go on vacation, it usually revolves around lighthouses and which ones we want to see next. Christmas last year we followed the coast of Georgia and Florida all the way to Key West. (of course stopping at every lighthouse along the way that we could get to on land). In Key West we took a seaplane out to the Dry Tortugas to see Garden Key Lighthouse and Loggerhead Key Light. Our pilot was nice enough on the way back to Key West to fly us over several of the lighthouses that can only be gotten to by boat,(that will be another trip).

In May of 96 we won a cruise (for sales of Woodmode Cabinets) to the Caribbean. As we sailed out of San Juan at 10:00pm that night we watched the light of the lighthouse that we had visited that day. One of the islands we stopped at was Aruba, so, of course, we headed for their lighthouse. It was beautiful. (I have enclosed a photo, see above)

We so look forward to your magazine every month, I try to read every thing I can find on lighthouses. I have information on every light we visited and a lot of books, but your magazine keeps me up to date at least once a month on so much, so I thought a gift subscription would make a great Thank-you for our customer.

Our collection of lighthouses and prints have spilled over from our home to our showroom. Even our screen saver is lighthouses (from Lighthouse Depot). Whenever I get tired of drawing or need a break, I just look up from my desk and there are several lighthouse prints I can look at and wish I was there, or remember how I enjoyed our visit to that lighthouse.

Marty Farrow

Marietta, GA

Digest Stirs up Memories

It is a delight to read through the copies of Lighthouse Digest that were sent to me recently. They stirred up many memories of my service in the Coast Guard as a lighthouse keeper. I served at Boon Island (Maine), White Island and Portsmouth Harbor (Both in NH) from 1955-1958. The wonderful people I knew, the things we did, and the adventures we shared will always be an important part of me.

A friend at Coast Guard headquarters sent me a video tape several years ago of the decommissioning of White Island Light on the Isle of Shoals. It was for me a most inspirational of moments to watch the lowering of the colors for the final time and to hear the tribute to those of us who served in the long history of that granite structure. For almost 200 years White Island Light has stood defiantly against nature's fury, warning sailors caught in the grip of raging storms of the present danger of those rocks.

That lighthouse represents far more than just a man made structure that has outlived its usefulness. For those who served, it represents a courage that was resistant to fear, heroism of spirit, and a solid sense of duty. Life on a lighthouse was not always ease and comfort as one might suppose, but very often a time to dare and to endure. It also represents a patriotism in knowing we were serving our nation, and all ships and their crews who sailed safely by.

I was just seventeen years old when I unpacked by sea bag on Boone Island. What a new face that experience put on everything in my life. For one thing the isolation itself required a perseverance and patience unnatural to youth. When the north winds and raging seas rose to their highest pitch, I learned the fortitude to endure things that can not be changed, and how to resist the sometimes fear and go about my duties. . Never have I felt so detached from the rest of the world and so terribly alone as during those dreadful storms.

A man learns a lot about himself, about courage, and fear when he has the occasion for it, and Boone Island and the Isles of Shoals were those occasions in my young life. When I stepped on those islands for the first time, I inherited-not only the past because I had become part of history-but I also inherited the future as well. I met my wife on the Isle of Shoals, and she learned the lessons I learned. Well, they have both served me well for the last forty years. As time went on I went to seminary, and eventually, my wife and I become missionaries in the remote islands of Micronesia.

Rev. Harold L. Roberts

Lynchburg, VA

Will never stay in Holland, MI

I recently noticed in a past issue that Holland Light is still off limits-what a surprise (NOT). Last year, over Labor Day, we went to the lights around Ludington, Grand Haven, White River, South Haven (and the wonderfully accesible Holland Light - sarcasm intended) When you try to visit that light now, it has to be a certain time and certain day. To get to it, you have to pass two guards, at different places, who ask you where you are going and what you are doing back by the marina and the whole time they are questioning you, they are checking out your car and plates and the people in it. Then you have to park about a mile away. Since most people who live there don't want you at "their lake," the side walks by the houses are blocked by lawn mowers, garbage cans, etc. So you have to climb and walk to the light on the Harbor Breakwall. This community does not even let private boats anchor at "their beach" to visit the light. As I was walking and climbing I heard residents talking to one another on how years ago they should have had the lighthouse torn down and not restored and they wouldn't have to go through this. Once we arrived at the light we had to wait an hour to go inside. It wasn't always this way. Years ago, when I first visited Big Red lighthouse you could go anytime you wanted. No other city in Michigan has the attitude they have there, it was a terrible experience. So what do we do now? We no longer stay in Holland or eat in their restaurants or shop in their stores. We simply pass through and think of all the other wonderful lights we've seen and the many other open and friendly cities of Michigan that love their lighthouses and the welcome visitors. So far we've seen all the lights around the entire Lake (Michigan) and bottom of Lake Superior and even chartered a plane to see the lights in the 'Straits.' So far no other city has Holland's attitude and I honestly don't expect to find it again. So boycott the town and their products and boycott Amway and buy your products in a store.

Tom Fauth

Burbank, IL

Poem Draws Donation

Enclosed is a money order for $50.00 that I would like to donate to the New England Lighthouse Foundation for use in the restoration of a lighthouse of your choosing.

Some months back, you published my poem "Ode to Little Red," dedicated to the old Jeffery's Hook Lighthouse in New York. A few months ago, I received a wonderful letter from Kim Andrews of Harbour Lights, informing me that they wished to include a copy of "Ode to Little Red" with each replica of Little Red that they sell - plus they would send me a replica of the lighthouse for my effort. (What a great way to do business).

John Biasco

Cliffside Park, NJ

Dewey Beach Lighthouse Info

We are writing to you in reference to your March, 1997 issue, where on page 4 you asked if the lighthouse in Dewey Beach, Delaware was real.

The lighthouse is located on the bayside of Dickinson Street, Dewey Beach, Delaware. Approximately 20 years ago, a gentleman by the name of Jay Prettyman had the lighthouse constructed as a replica of the old Cape Henolopen Lighthouse. This lighthouse sits on the Rehoboth Bay and the canal for the inland waterways. The structure is open to the public if they so desire to climb the steps to the top, with a complete view of Dewey Beach, down to Indian River and up to the Rehoboth Beach area. There is a restaurant attached to the lighthouse called The Lighthouse. Mr. Prettyman also owns one of the top restaurants in the state called the Rusty Rudder.

Mr. & Mrs. Robert Artman

This story appeared in the June 1997 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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