We enjoyed talking with the Snake Lady, Kristin Stanford, at the Black Swamp Conservancy Potluck the other night at the South Bass Island Lighthouse. She was reminiscing about some of the unusual things that had happened to her during her ten years of saving the Lake Erie watersnake. We all decided her tale would make either a wonderful book, or a TV sitcom. Did you get your 2010-2011 pass for the tunnel between Catawba Island and Put-in-Bay yet? Peter Huston had them for sale at the Holiday Bazaar. Natalie Ontko Price (PIBHS Class of 1994) is heading to Stuttgart, Germany, to live. Her husband Stephen is in the Air Force. It should be fun for Natalie who lived in Germany several years ago and speaks German. Natalie’s sister, Christie Ontko, had a party for the Price family at her home on the mainland to send them off in style. Andrea Gatewood tells us she won $3500 worth of prizes in an Ellen Degeneres contest. Andrea got all kinds of gifts, everything from cosmetics to sporting goods, plus a $2,000 watch. We read a wonderful article in Fall 2009 Inland Seas, the quarterly journal of the Great Lakes Historical Society, about Captain Alfred Parker written by John Borman. What a great job Sue Thwaite and her crew from The Butler Did It did catering the Community Holiday Dinner in the school gym on Sunday evening, Dec. 13th. The Italian dinner buffet was absolutely wonderful. Valerie Mettler awoke to an early morning phone call from son Staff Sgt. Alan Mettler (PIBHS Class of 1999) on December 8. He urged her to hurry to the TV and turn on the Today Show. Alan was at Camp Eggers in Kabul, Afghanistan and the Today Show was doing a live feed with Al Roker and Matt Lauer from the dining hall. Valerie saw Alan, on the phone with her in real time. If you’d like to log on and see the clip with Alan, you can go to http://today. msnbc.msn.com/id/26184891/vp/34324592#34324683. It is the clip “Al Roker talks to soldiers.” Alan is on the far left in the back waving and on a cell phone talking to his mother. Alan is the PSO (personal security officer) of Lt. Gen. William Caldwell IV, who leads the NATO training mission in Afghanistan. Alan is in charge of his personal safety wherever he goes. Dairy Air Bob passed his annual check ride with the FAA in December and is ready for the busy winter flying season. He has arranged with Maria and Rob from the Black Squirrel B&B to schedule flights for Dairy Air. If you are unable to reach him on his cell phone, 419-341-1305, you can call Maria at 440-289-6579 for reservations. Bob is charging $45 per person each way between Put-in-Bay and Port Clinton. Speaking of the airport, Dave Washtock will be available Monday through Friday from Noon to 3 p.m. at the airport to handle the freight deliveries. After the first few days, he realized there are many people who exclusively use their cell phone and don’t have a local “285” number. If you are expecting a package, let Dave know what your phone number is so he can contact you. It also is extremely helpful if anyone sending a package to you from the mainland has your name and phone number on it. That windstorm between December 9th and 11th, was interesting. There were sustained steady winds in excess of 30 knots from the west southwest for more than 36 hours. At one point, the water level dropped 36 inches below chart datum. Billy Market says he stops running the ferries when the water level is ten inches below chart datum. With temperatures in the teens, it didn’t take long for the docks at the State Park and the Lime Kiln to ice over. The beautiful formations of ice formed on the uprights and posts were spectacular. Paul Ladd wants to let everyone know he will be running charter service to the mainland in January if there’s open water. That’s a “big if” the way it looks now! Mary Ann Market tells us in lieu of Christmas cards this season, a donation was made to the William E. Market Community Foundation which comes back to the community.