2018-07-19 / Viewpoint

The VIEW from here

Where’s your quiet place?

Jeff Hogan—Editor Jeff Hogan—Editor Where is your quiet place? You know, the place or activity that grounds you — that you look forward to in order to restore calm and peace in your life.

For some guys that special place is with their back against a tree in a clearing as they wait for a wild turkey or whitetail to cross their path, it’s on the water at their favorite fishing hole, a morning on the links or under the hood tinkering with their vehicle. Mine is at “The Beach.”

But not just any beach. Ever since I was a young teen my favorite escape getaway has been a public beach just north of the Fort Gratiot Lighthouse in Port Huron. Located about a mile north of the Blue Water Bridge, the cool, clean fast-flowing water and the great view of Lake Huron from this beach has been a perennial destination. Once there, the soothing sounds of waves crashing on the shore, passing pleasure boats, children’s laughter as they play in the water and seagulls overhead lift the stress from my body like nothing else. It’s where I need to go to recharge and refresh.

Now the beach is a favorite destination for my wife and her youngest daughter. We were just there Sunday, our second trip this summer. It’s a straight one-hour shot across I-69 to the east, and within no time we’re diving to the bottom to retrieve beautiful smooth stones or drifting in the strong current.

Being the boat nerd I am, it’s also a great vantage point to watch passing Great Lakes freighters and oceangoing ships a couple hundred yards off shore. The Port Huron riverfront has long been a favorite of mine, as I love the water, boats and to fish. The calming aqua-blue water of the St.

Clair River is like a magnet, it pulls me toward it as often as time and opportunity allows. It also has huge sentimental value.

It was there during a long, slow walk along the riverfront on a late summer’s afternoon that I knew I was falling for my wife Maria. While we sat and talked about family and life on broken concrete slabs below the twin spans of the

Blue Water Bridge I had a pretty good idea I was going to marry her. The same day further down the river near St. Clair at the River Crab restaurant we enjoyed a delicious dinner and more good conversation. I knew even more then.

Things were coming together, and the river was our constant companion.

And so it only seemed appropriate it would be along the St. Clair River I would propose to Maria. We purchased and packed a submarine sandwich lunch in Lapeer and made the short drive that would change our lives. Transported in a soft, fluffy sock from my dresser for protection I stored the ring in my pocket until the right moment.

Not far from where the Huron Lightship is permanently moored at Pine Grove Park on a preselected picnic table overlooking the river I asked for her hand in marriage, and as a result forever made Port Huron and “The Beach” our quiet place. It’s amazing how an inanimate object like a river can become a close personal friend, but that’s the relationship I hold with this special body of water.

Until next time, be well and I’ll see you around.

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