“Choose your pleasures seriously”

…… a quote by the renowned furniture designer of the twentieth century, Charles Eames, provides the entry into today’s subject, PINCHING.

Before you elect not to read on, be assured, this will not be a vulgar essay  on inappropriate behavior.  Yes, yes, one can almost hear the gag reflex as Sylvia shouts the length of her modular, “ohmigawd, Stanley, the pervert is spewing more of his R-rated trash”.

No, please turn your attention to the photo below:  Pinch PointLong a fan of the unusual sign, this was a first.  Taken at the dock landing for the Neebish Islander, a ferry serving a few hundred residents across the western span of water less than 500 feet, it is located in Barbeau Township, Chippewa County, twenty miles south of Sault Ste. Marie, Mi.Neebish Islander

The channel provides passage for the Great Lakes freighter traffic from Lake Superior to Lake Huron on the scenic St. Mary’s River.  So narrow, that northbound ships travel up the east side of the island, also less than 500 feet wide separating Canada (St Joseph Island) and the U.S.A.  You might feel genuine concern about the porosity of our border, and the ease this most vulnerable position would be for the transfer of illegal drugs and/or aliens, but a minor presence of Customs Service and Border Patrol agents reduces most smuggling activity to cigarettes headed for Ontario in canoes and kayaks (where provincial taxes make them $ 7 to $ 8.50 per pack).

 The presence of the sign was precipitated by the following:The Joseph L. Blockso close you can wave to the crew:The stern, Joseph Block, Indiana Harbor  who, according to Wikipedia:on October 12th, 1990; the Joseph L. Block grounded in the St. Marys River (Neebish Channel) causing bottom shell plating damage by the #’s 1, 2, and 3 port ballast tanks including a hull puncture. The carrier proceeded in ballast to Fraser Shipyards, Superior, WI for repairs.

 The ship has always been a favorite of this writer.  Having been born in Indiana Harbor, I was an employee (read : grunt laborer) at Inland Steel during a college summer, 1958, at $ 2.25/hour.  The President and CEO then was one Joseph Leopold Block, salaried at $225,000/year.  We never saw him anywhere near the blast furnaces, ample cause for me to consider a different career.

Understand then, why I take serious pleasure watching 778 feet of Joseph L. Block, carrying 30,000 tons of taconite ore lazily through the Neebish Channel on a warm August day.                


  1. Beloved Brother says

    As always, too tearful to comment…
    Blue Hair Vistas, Phase 14
    Northern Sonora, Mexico