Put-in-Bay Diary December 2019 – What Happened On The Island!

Sun. December 1st – It’s a gorgeous first day of December. Heavy rain overnight gives way to a delightfully sunny day, then rain again. Bret Klun from the Keys and his wife Meredith leave Florida on a cruise to the Bahamas. The last ferry of the season leaves Middle Bass for the Diary December 2019

Mon. December 2nd – A historic island home located across the street from the Put-in-Bay Airport terminal was torn down. It was the home of Milt Hersberger, the pioneer pilot who brought Ford Trimotor service to the island, and later, Harold Hauck, the pilot who logged more hours flying the Tin Goose than any other pilot.

Tues., Dec. – 3rd – Workers are putting up fencing around the Put-in-Bay Village water plant. There’s an event at the Lake Erie Islands Nature & Wildlife Center to celebrate Giving Tuesday. Tom and Paula Bartlett band two beautiful screech owls at the event.

Wed., December 4th – At dusk, a crowd gathers for the community tree and decoration lighting in DeRivera Park. A big thanks go out to the Rec. Committee and everyone who helped with decorations this season. Shawn Dages bags his first coyote of the winter season. Put-in-Bay’s volunteer firefighters are practicing hose laying on Loraine and Erie streets near the Put-in-Bay Resort.

Thurs., December 5th – The Panther basketball teams leave for Mackinac Island to play teams from Beaver Island, Washington Island and Mackinac Island.

Fri., December 6th – The second annual “Battle of the Great Lakes Tournament” begins on Mackinac Island. Put-in-Bay girl Panthers win two games, one being a very, very exciting knuckle biter against Beaver Island. The Put-in-Bay boys play the Beaver and Washington Island teams, but unfortunately don’t come out on top in either game. Al Ashley from Island Hardware is headed to the Inter-Lake Yachting Association (I-LYA) fall meeting in Westlake, Ohio.

Sat., December 7th – Chris Cooper reports skim ice on Pinky’s Pond in the morning. Both Put-in-Bay Panther teams play their Mackinac Island counterparts. The girls walk away the undisputed winners of the second annual Battle of the Great Lakes Tournament. The boys also win and return to Put-in-Bay with the coveted “Island Rock Trophy.”

Sun., December 8th – Susan Thwaite heads to the mainland to get supplies for the Senior Luncheon scheduled for Wednesday, December 11th.

Mon., December 9th – Miller Boat Line runs a “Christmas” ferry to Middle Bass. The Village council holds a special meeting to approve the 2020 budget for the Village of Put-in-Bay. At the Forge, they are serving eggnog martinis for Martini Monday! Yummy!

Tues., Dec. – 10th – Members of the Lake Erie Islands Conservancy meet at the South Bass Island Lighthouse to enjoy their annual potluck. Tom Thanasiu climbs to the top of the tower to take a few photos.

Wed., December 11th – At 7 a.m., the windchill factor on the island is a shade above 4 degrees. All ferry trips for the day are canceled due to icing conditions on the docks and boats. The Christmas Senior Luncheon at the senior center is a wonderful success with more than 80 meals served. In the afternoon, there’s a surprise 60th birthday party for Lisa Brohl. The kids’ concert takes place in the gym at school. Some of the kids sign one of the songs, plus there is a sing-along of Christmas carols at the end of the concert.

Thurs., December 12th – If you were out and about, you might have noticed the skim ice at the downtown public docks. The Village employee party takes place at the Town Hall in the late afternoon. In the white elephant gift exchange, Captain Matt Mariano from the police department walks off with a pair of binoculars.

Fri. December 13th – A Village Council committee meets to discuss housing for village employees such as police officers, dockmasters, and utility workers. Like every employer on the island, the Village must deal with arranging for the housing for many of its employees. The fifth and sixth-grade boys are out judging the Christmas Lighting Contest sponsored by the Rec. Committee.

Sat. December 14th – At the Put-in-Bay School gymnasium, basketball play begins in the early morning. There’s a break between games to remember and honor Patrick Myers’ contributions to the community with a special scoreboard ceremony. Patrick’s many contributions to making the islands a great place to live was his announcing at the Put-in-Bay School Panther sporting events. Gary Kowalski makes his last trip of the season to Catawba on Cantankerus to haul over the island’s winter fuel supply. There’s a holiday party at Melinda Myers’ home for the employees from the Crew’s Nest. The party includes a secret Santa gift exchange.

Sun. December 15th – The Audubon Christmas Bird Count is taking place on the Lake Erie Islands, including Pelee Island, across the border in Canada. The duck hunters keep many of the ducks away. Susan Harrington sights an Eastern Phoebe, a bird that is rarely seen in the island area at this time of year. Santa Claus shows up at the Put-in-Bay Town Hall to pass out gifts to the good little island boys and girls. A big thank you to the Rec. The committee which puts on this event each year and purchases the gifts given to the excited kids.

Mon. December 16th – There’s a bit of snow on the island in the morning, but quickly goes away when the sun comes out. In the afternoon, there’s a ceremony at the Town Hall for the Daisy Girl Scouts who graduate to Brownies. A group of islanders enjoys celebrating Anita McCann’s birthday at Martini Monday at the Forge.

Tues., December 17th – There are about 3 inches of new snow on the ground in the morning. It’s enough that the post office parking lot has to be plowed. We spot David Hill out early, shoveling the snow in the parking lot at Topsy Turvey’s.

Wed., December 18th – There’s a bit more fresh snow in the morning, plus the cold and wind halt ferry service for the day—the tellers who fly to the island to open the bank report a bouncy flight. The Put-in-Bay Village Council meets in the morning. It is Paula Ladd’s last meeting of her term in office. Over on Kelleys Island, islanders there are watching Jeopardy see Dave Algase, the son of Kelleys Island Landowners Association VP Drew Algase, compete on the popular game show. At the Island General Store, there’s a tasty holiday spread, plus a drawing of gifts by Rob Hard and Justin Thompson.

Thurs., December 19th – Ferries are on hold in the morning due to ice on the docks, plus there’s skim ice along the shoreline in the harbor. A couple of trips run in the afternoon. Thankfully, there’s a forecast for a bit of a warm-up that will allow the ferries to keep running through the holidays.

Fri. December 20th – The Miller Ferry Boat Line employee party at the beautifully decorated home of Billy and Allie Market is an overwhelming success! The food was phenomenal, the drinks were flowing, and the friendship was remarkable!

Sat. December 21st – Some of the island men meet at Topsy’s in the morning for breakfast and coffee. Services are held for Virginia Schillumeit
Blumensaadt at St. Paul’s and Maple Leaf Cemetery. A group of islanders heads to Bar 145 in Toledo to see the Mad Dog Show. Another group of islanders heads to Oak Harbor to see Blake Booker play in Oak Harbor High School’s first basketball game of the season. Blake, the son of Eric and Jen Booker, goes to school on the mainland in order to play the game he loves. It’s Travis Kowalski’s 40th birthday.

Sun. Dec. 22nd – Mild weather with temperatures reaching into the low 40-degree range makes for a pleasant day on the island.

Mon. December 23rd – The “great minnow hunt” for the ice fishing season is underway. A group of islanders is busy searching for the elusive “shinners.”

Tues., Dec. – 24th – It’s a calm, foggy morning on the island with temperatures in the high 30s. The island library closes for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Santa makes a pass by Liam Market’s house just before midnight.

Wed., December 25th – Unfortunately, there is no “white Christmas” for the Lake Erie Islands. Miller Boat Line runs one boat off the island in the afternoon. We’re treated to an extremely beautiful sunset over the still waters of Lake Erie.

Thurs., December 26th – Diane Nemec from Mitchell Rd. is spotted coming over on the ferry to her cottage for her last trip of the year. By mid-afternoon, temperatures on the island are a tad more than 50 degrees. With these temperatures, we’ll be having an open winter. It’s no wonder Billy Market wants Patty Bauer to get working on her snow globe according to Diary December 2019

Fri. December 27th – Another nice day at the Bay. Put-in-Bay Fire Department Airboat receives its annual maintenance and tune-up done by Lakeland Auto & Marine and is now ready for the 2020 winter season. Hopefully, it won’t be needed.

Sat. December 28th – Ohio State fans are eagerly waiting for the playoff football game to start in the evening. A group of islanders gathers at Topsy’s to watch the game. The word CLEMSON will be remembered for many seasons to come.

Sun. December 29th – A dense fog covers the island in the morning, you can barely see the monument from the public docks downtown because of the rain. The Browns Backers are at Topsys for the last game of the season. Did you see the wave runner zooming around in Put-in-Bay’s harbor? It was PIB’s very own postmaster John Domer!

Mon. December 30th – At 6 a.m., winds are clocked at just under 50 miles per hour with gusts at 57 mph from the southwest. The ferries continue to run, making it free car wash day!

Tues., Dec. – 31st – The cold has moved in, and the wind is whipping in the morning. Miller Boat Line has limited service to one boat in the morning and one ship in the afternoon from Put-in-Bay and Catawba. Celebrating the arrival of the New Year is not what it was 50 years ago when islanders filled the decorated upstairs of the Town Hall and ushered in the New Year dancing away the night. Islanders now gather at The Forge or Topsy Turvey’s to ring in the New Year. That’s all for Diary December 2019