After careful close observation of the locals in Munising and now Ironwood, I thought I should share truths of the Upper Peninsula. This is how my Yooper friends would want me to share their culture. The first thing you need to know is that it’s miles and miles of not much more then miles and miles. They don’t understand why people would drive hundreds of miles to get here.
You may have seen glossy brochures promising fun in the far north. Residents assure me those are all fairytales. The terrain is rocky and difficult, the weather is terrible, the wildlife can be unfriendly and residents quirky. Especially the last one. After all, this is the end of the road, so there are all kinds of characters up here! This desolate experience could lead to depression, but Yoopers seem to cover it well with odd, special sort of humor.
Consider this typical Upper Peninsula anniversary toast: Elmer and Gladys Trelawny celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with a sit-down dinner for ninety-seven guests at the Chenoweth Bar and Grill in the small village of Dismal Seepage. Champagne flowed and toasts were made by several relatives and close friends. Gladys was the last to speak. She raised her glass and began: “I’ve been married to this man for fifty years,” she said, pointing at Elmer. A long pause ensued. “And if I had killed him when I wanted to, I’d be out of jail by now.”
Da U.P. is wonderful, wacky wilderness, eh?