A Pocketful of Passage
Publication Year: 2007
Published by: Wayne State University Press
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A Note to the Reader
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1. Aboard the Winyah
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I remember that long-ago summer on Passage Island as if it were yesterday. It began, as every summer did, with a midnight boat trip from Duluth, Minnesota. April was always damp and ice cold in the North Country, but I was warm as toast, like a small moth in a snug cocoon. Mama wrapped us in gray woolen blankets to keep off the chilling drafts that crept through the porthole...
2. Magic Carpets on Lake Superior
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One glorious day in May, the last ice floes on the lake disappeared and spring arrived. Our American flag fluttered on a northwest breeze, letting each passing ship know that we were a United States Coast...
3. Captain Needlenose
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Mr. Lane and Daddy sat at the kitchen table early in the morning. They sipped black coffee and reviewed their chore list: clean the brass, wind the clockwork in the tower, paint the back door, overhaul the boat engine, and complete the maintenance check for the fog...
4. Tadpole Soup
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I was always a bit of a tomboy. I preferred overalls to dresses and my hair combed in braids rather than curls and ribbons. I had a doll with a polka-dot dress but rarely played with her. She was too fussy and fragile to take outside, and I loved playing outside...
5. Sky Watchers
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Daddy sniffed the wind and pointed to the dark gray clouds.
“Weather’s coming,” he said, “and it’s moving in fast.”
Mr. Lane nodded. “Rock of Ages Light Station radioed a few minutes ago. They reported thunderstorms and high winds. We’re in for a bit...
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Great Lakes lights, fog signals, and radio beacons have guided thousands of boats through murky nights and raging storms. Although these navigation aids saved lives over the years, many ships have still been lost...
7. Boat Day
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“Time to wake up,” Mama nudged us early one morning in
August. “It’s boat day.”
Boat day! Only Christmas or my birthday was more exciting. I elbowed my sister...
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The weather changed quickly, silently, as it often does on Lake Superior. As we made our way home from Isle Royale, cool air moved in over the lake. Within minutes a thin layer of haze formed and turned into a blanket of fog so thick we could not see Blake Point...
9. In Trouble
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As I got older I developed a real knack for getting into trouble. I wasn’t naughty on purpose, just curious and full of energy and imagination. Unfortunately...
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September brought change. The air turned cool. Crisp winds whipped Lake Superior into frothy whitecaps. Daddy and Mr. Lane cut lots of wood for the cookstove and stacked it in the basement. Mama made me recite my multiplication tables every day, and...
11. A Pocketful of Passage
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The Amaranth arrived as scheduled. Piles of wood were transferred from the ship to the dock while the captain and Mr. Lane discussed the weather, the war, and the latest Coast Guard news. Daddy put our...
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In 1943 Annie Bowen and her family moved to the Presque Isle Light on Lake Huron. The name Presque Isle means “almost an island” in French. The tall white tower and snug keeper’s house stood on the end of a skinny peninsula that jutted out into Lake Huron...
Page Count: 96
Publication Year: 2007
Volume Title: N/a