Ojibwa Indian Burial Grounds in the Upper Peninsula

Ojibwa Burial Grounds in Upper Peninsula

A few days ago I received a postcard from my dear friend Jeanne whom I’ve known since Kindergarten. We shared the same homerooms throughout our years in grade and high school in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, attended the same church and were active Thespians throughout high school. We attended each others birthday parties when we were kids and corresponded through the years as adults.

The post card I received said to watch for a surprise in the mail and have a camera on hand to take photos. So that is what I did. And what a wonderful & exciting surprise it was to discover a beautiful original oil painting of the Pentoga Park Ojibwa Burial Grounds (located a few miles from where we grew up) by my friend Jeanne. Her note said, “There is only one place this could go…It isn’t the exact shot as the picture in your book A Tree Grows in Trout Creek but it’s the same spot.”

I was deeply touched and thrilled to be the recipient of this memorable oil painting by Jeanne. It’s lovely to see every day this wonderful tribute to the area in which we came of age. But more important, it is the friendship of the many years our lives have been entwined that I cherish.


You can find more cultural information about Ojibwa/Chippewa Indians in my books: The Wishing Years and A Tree Grows in Trout Creek, both are collections of stories of growing up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Preserving a Family Memoir!

Here’s some hometown news from Joanne Coffin Ilkin, an old friend from Stambaugh High School. To both preserve a family memory and give her daughter Pinar a gift at the same time, she wrote the following play:

Real life characters:
Cecelia: Joanne’s friend.
Pinar: Joanne’s daughter.

The action takes place at a 2006 All-School Reunion in Iron River, Michigan.

CECELIA:  You must be Joanne’s daughter.

PINAR: Oh? Who?

CECELIA:  Joanne Coffin, of course.

PINAR: Oh…yes, I am.

CECELIA: Come sit with me! I have something to tell you about your grandmother Kata (Katherine Kruzich) and your mother Joanne.

PINAR: Okay.

CECELIA:  I have a little story to tell you about when your mother was a baby.

PINAR: Go on.

CECELIA:  My mother offered Kata my baby carriage because she did not have one and she accepted it graciously. Your mother, Joanne, rode and slept in my carriage until she was able to walk and no longer needed it.  Kata returned the carriage to my mother along with the most beautiful handmade dress she had made for me and told my mother that this was all she had to give except great love and gratitude. I still have the dress your grandmother made for me and it is one of my most precious possessions.

PINAR: Wow! Thank you for sharing my grandmother and mother with me!

CECELIA: The pleasure is all mine, dear.

Chicago Tribune Gives High Ratings to Upper Peninsula Pasties!

Just received this great bit of Upper Peninsula of Michigan (Yooper) hot breaking news from an old pal from Stambaugh High School, Carole Frighetto Stewart. She writes in regard to Tim Jones’ Chicago Tribune news article in yesterday’s paper: The Top of the Lake, A ride through Yooper land, from Menominee to the bridge: [Read more…]

The Author Couldn’t Be Happier!

Ah, the writing life is wonderful! Going to the post office has become my major source of entertainment since Wildwood Press sent out the pre-publication discount flier for my new book, A Tree Grows in Trout Creek. Why is the post office so exciting and fun? Well, for one thing, we are receiving book orders by the dozens and, along with those orders, many Yoopers (people who live, or once lived, above the Mackinac Bridge in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan) are writing their expressions of excitement over the new book’s forthcoming arrival. Congratulations and best wishes are the theme of each day.

But, even more important [Read more…]

A Tale of Two Cities (& a Village)

In August 2000, The Detroit Free Press praised the small Upper Peninsula of Michigan governments of two cities and one village for consolidating into one larger entity. On July 1, 2000, the cities of Stambaugh and Iron River and the village of Mineral Hills founded a new city called Iron River, Michigan.

Seeking a common good, wrote the Press, the three municipalities, “…put aside hometown loyalties and became one…”

[Read more…]