Some 1200 year-round residents live in our township, a long, narrow stretch of Michigan between Grand Traverse Bay and Torch Lake just north of the 45th Parallel. Half of us sleep a good eight hours per night, except during cherry harvest when we hardly sleep at all. We’ll be at the forefront of style when Carhartts and seed caps come into vogue. The other half wear intricate handknit sweaters and tailored wool slacks in winter and candy-colored cottons in July and are nearly indistinguishable from Summer People. In fact, some of us were Summer People until we gave in and moved up here, thus becoming Perma-Fudge.
Some of us were born here and live on gravel roads named for our grandparents. Others came north to work in the orchards and never left. Some of us lovingly tend cottages that have been in our families for generations. Still others came for a vacation and never shook the spell. Years later we found our way back to stay for good.
There are more than 1100 housing units in the township, from trailers parked in the woods to substantial farmhouses to timberframe mansions on Torch Lake. Fewer than half are occupied year-round. The rest are nearly all vacation homes owned by Summer People. Traditionally Summer People opened their lakeside cottages on Memorial Day and closed them on Labor Day. Then a few procrastinators found themselves pulling docks out in mid-September and experienced the golden peace of autumn. They blabbed, and now lots of Summer People come up on weekends from early spring until late in the fall, or even into the winter if they like to ski. (The ones in the last bunch are the Summer People who are most likely to become Perma-Fudge.)
More goes on here than you might think, and a lot of it is even interesting or useful to know about. Stay tuned.