TI Life News in June '20

By: Susan W. Smith

Volume 15, Issue 6, June 2020

We are in the sixth month, of 2020, and honestly, I never wake-up and know what day it is, for they are almost all the same. Luckily, we are Canadian, and our island is in Canada, so we are able to take-up residence.  Neighbors are not as fortunate; the consequence is simple: we see few boats, a lot more birds and we miss everyone!

Karen Millspaugh captures the night sky. [Editor's note: all may be changed in the world, but the stars are still shining brightly, Thanks Karen.]

Remaining Empty

Implementing socially-distancing and other safety recommendations, for Summer 2020, will not only affect the Arts and Cultural activities, but our religious institutions are changing.  Half Moon Bay Vesper Services on Sunday evenings have been cancelled. Boaters have been attending services since the summer of 1887.

Thousand Island Park's Tabernacle Community Association's 10 am Protestant Service, at the TI Park Chapel will most likely take place in the TIP Gazebo. For social distancing, parishioners will remain outdoors, spreading out on the grass. The Tabernacle structure will not open.

News from Grenell Island Chapel reports their first service will be July 5th, at 10 am, but not in the Chapel. People will bring blankets or chairs, and space their household/cottage group six feet from others. Everyone attending service must wear a mask and maintain social distance. Services will also be amended, and there will not be a passing of the peace, traditional passed offering collection, nor will they use hymnals, host a fellowship hour, or have Sunday School. However, "we will create new traditions, and our community spirit and love of the Chapel will be as strong as ever."

River sadness:

We lost two prominent members of our community recently.  

Paul Fournier died on May 20, 2020, in Brockville, after a battle with cancer. Paul was not just a Brockville community member, but someone who took leadership positions, to ensure that important projects had the financial resources needed, such as St. Lawrence College, the YMCA and the Aquatarium campaigns. I had the pleasure of being a member of Paul's Aquatrium's team. His meetings were always upbeat, and his wise counsel and cheerful demeanor were appreciated. He certainly will be missed.

Shawn McLaughlin died in February, 2020. Shawn was not an Islander; nor did he live in the Thousand Islands, but thanks to his research and writings he has left an a remarkable legacy. Shawn was from the Ottawa Valley and serving as Mayor from 2014-2018, in Mississippi Mills and Ramsey Councillor, from 2010-2014.  But we here in the Thousand Islands, appreciate his scholarly activities, as he was the leading authority of the life of our River hero - Pirate Bill Johnston.  Shawn published a history blog: Raiders and Rebels, beginning in 2010, about the Patriot War . His book, "The Patriot War Along the New York–Canada Border: Raiders and Rebels," was released by The History Press in February 2012.

Three of his TI Life article are well worth reading again:  Bonnycastle versus Johnston, January 2013; Searching for a Pirate's Lost Lair , February 2012, (This is a must-read. if you live near Ash or Wallace Islands in the Canadian Sector); and Bill Johnston: Correcting the Historical Record; September 2012 (another must-read if you join in Alexandria Bay's Pirate Days.)

Seaway Traffic

James R. Miller captured this "big guy pushing some big water near Fishers Landing....the water dropped 6 inches as it passed my boathouse!." [Editor's Note: Actually the May 2020 Seaway Monthly Traffic Results show tonnage is down 16,34% this year with a difference from 924 transits in 2019 at this time, to 773 this May, 2020.]


COVID – 19

On My Planet These Days I am... learning new recipes and so much more... by Marie-Anne Erki —

NNYCF Making a Difference… Who is stepping-up and helping, when some can’t help themselves? The answer is, ... by Susan W. Smith

Preserving Memories During Covid…Nothing will bring smiles and chuckles faster than seeing family and friends... by David Powers

Island Interest

A Stink of Mink… A group of minks saw this opening as an invitation: “Welcome! Spend your winter...  by Lynn E. McElfresh

The Legend of Ole' Snaggly Teeth… He said, “You’re wondering where I’ve been and what I’ve seen with these old eyes.. by Patrick Metcalf

STR's News, Including a Screen Door Heron… A magnificent Great Blue Heron, created by artist Doug Drumm, now graces STR... By John Peach

Unexpected Journey, Part I... In May 2019, I wrote my first story for Thousand Islands Life, "Unexpected Journey"... by Janet Guerrero D’Alessandro

There in nothing better than a proud fisherman and his catch! Lee Metcalf caught his bass this June. 


Ferry Boats: "James W. Curran" and "John A. McPhail" Lost at Sea… The mate grabbed the brake wheel and started leaning on it. “Billy!” he yelled ... by Brian Johnson

Recalling the Days of Rafting on the St. Lawrence River… In the 1860’s Canada’s export timber trade rose to its greatest height... By Richard Palmer

Book Reviews

Fields of Hope, in the Thousand Islands… is a photography farm project which turned into a book.  By Andrée Thorpe

The Book and the Sculptor… I probably met Will about 20 years ago when friends invited me to join them for ... by Richard Margolis

The Thousand Islands on a Thousand Bucket Lists… Scores of folks have added a visit to the area to their bucket lists because ... by Susan G. Mathis


Sudoku Puzzle #66… Hands down this may well be the most challenging Sudoku puzzle yet... Dan LeKander

Hey Volunteers!

Any volunteers out there? Do you have time and a computer and would you like to help with some posting and/or writing/updating of TI Life?

And as always... if you are on the River, or on the shoreline this month, please take photographs for TI Life.  By now, your fish stories must have started, and what about Social Distancing ideas to meet with family and friends?

Please contact me at info@thousandislandslife.com.

By Susan W. Smith, Editor info@thousandislandslife.com

[Special thanks to Bill Stallan, our comma guy, and Rick Taylor, Dane Zabriskie, and Georgia Barker for proofreading.]

Posted in: Volume 15, Issue 6, June 2020, From the editor, People, Photos

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