Stories of A Lifetime Presents: “The Letters”
Community correspondence sparked from the isolating 2020 pandemic focused on easing the burden of loneliness.
Hello, my name is Holly. I am 40 years old and a single mom of a 9-year old boy named Easton. His father, Brian, passed away from cancer two years ago. I enjoy writing, I love history, and I like being a helpful, involved community member. I keep thinking about my grandma, and if she were alive today how lonely she would be because of this pandemic. I know receiving a letter would turn her day around. It wouldn’t matter if the writing was profound or merely about what I ate for dinner. Knowing someone cared to communicate would bring instant joy. So, my friend, I’d like to write some letters to you. I know they will help me feel useful and less lonely. I hope these letters are helpful to you and that they spark you to reminisce about your own life, love, and good times.
August 16th, 2020
Kenosha is located on the southwestern edge of Lake Michigan. The Kenosha Harbor is such a gem for our city, and in my opinion some of the best seats in town are at the Kenosha Yacht Club overlooking the harbor and downtown.
I’ve frequented the Yacht Club this summer as it has outdoor seating and it’s a great stop on my bike rides, too. Prior to this summer I hadn’t been to the Yacht Club in almost 30 years. Back then, it was a high-class, members only type establishment on the tail end of a by-gone era. As a child I was a regular with the “ladies who lunch” because I was my grandma’s shadow and she helped care for her cousin Ann. Ann’s late husband had been an executive at MacWhyte (a company that produced wire rope and was an integral part of both the WWI and WWII war efforts), he owned a yacht, and he was the 1969-1970 Commodore of the Kenosha Yacht Club. It was a fancy place to eat club sandwiches and watch the classy old ladies, like Aunt Ann, pull their cigarettes out of gold cases and hear them talk about the old days and events and people they dearly missed.
As I now sit on an Adirondack chair outside the Yacht Club, sipping on a lemonade, enjoying lunch, and soaking in the view, I can’t help but feel my ancestors smiling down on me. It’s been a long time and I miss those lunches with my grandma. Very few people here, if any, remember how this place used to be. There are only pictures in the stairwell and names on the plaque on the flag pole to remind people that others came before us and that this location has an extensive history. Do you have stories of the Yacht Club or Kenosha Harbor? Is there a place that you hadn’t been to in decades and when you returned you felt the memories?
My friend, Marc, has a boat- definitely not a yacht- but just a boat. For the first time ever, we put the boat out on Lake Michigan a few days ago. We launched at the Kenosha Harbor and it was fascinating to see the very familiar terrain from the perspective of being on the water. We cruised all the way to Milwaukee and docked downtown for lunch. Being out on this lake with very little boat traffic and an entire eastern sightline of just water was really calming and peaceful. I loved it! I’m sure it could change in an instant if the wind picked up even slightly. The dangers of the water and weather must always be respected. I’m so happy we had a beautiful day! Have you ever boated on the Great Lakes? Do you enjoy boating?
If you’d like to write back to me, you are very welcome to.
I will get a PO Box soon and let you know what that is. For now, maybe someone could help you scan and email your letters back to me at Holly@StoriesofALifetimeLLC.com. Otherwise, maybe you’ll find it helpful to just journal your thoughts and write them down without sending them. You do what is helpful to you, friend.
Do you have stories of the Yacht Club or Kenosha Harbor? Is there a place that you hadn’t been to in decades and when you returned you felt the memories? Have you ever boated on the Great Lakes? Do you enjoy boating?