Say Yes to Michigan by
(34 Stories)

Prompted By Family Trips

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Written in response to The Surrey With the Fringe On Top.

Hey, there’s gray poop on everything here!

I’m glad you can remember at least some of the trip. At various times, I have visited all those sites except for Sault Ste. Marie.

My then-wife and I and our daughters made one vacation trip to northern Michigan in 1994, and spent one night on Mackinac Island, and like your family we took several trips on the horse-drawn carriages there. Invariably, any time one carriage passed another heading in the opposite direction, one of the drivers would hold up a small mustard jar and ask the other driver “Say, do you have any grey poupon?”, to which the other driver would respond “Hey, there’s gray poop on everything here,” which resulted in much glee among the kids.

We have two especially wonderful photos from that trip, both taken at a beach near Petoskey. One shows our older daughter, Adrienne, 11 at that time, sitting on a dune, looking down and quietly contemplating the sand. The other has her younger sister, Danielle, 9, standing atop a dune with her arms outstretched, owning the world. Those two photos portray the essence of those two young women even today.

I had never heard this song  before, but it seems to fit the bill.

Profile photo of Jeff Gerken Jeff Gerken

Characterizations: funny, well written


  1. Wonderful Jeff, especially the photos of your two lovely daughters!

  2. Betsy Pfau says:

    Great response to Suzy’s story, Jeff. As a native Michigander, we used to spend a week at a guest house in Charlevoix for many summers, enjoying the beauties of that part of (cold) Lake Michigan. I learned to float (if not swim) up there on the last day of vacation when I was a youngster. We spent a few hours on Mackinac, but not overnight, but it was long before the Grey Poupon advertising campaign, so I didn’t hear that exchange, which certainly would have caused great hilarity, as it did for your daughters.

    I spent six summers at the National Music Camp (now the Interlochen Arts Camp). You’ll read about my last summer in a few weeks. Mondays were our day off (we practiced on Saturdays because we had performances on Sundays). With our cabins, we explored lots of the sights of that part of the world, including trips to the Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes…marvels!

    Though I never got to Petoskey, I did find a Petoskey stone on the shores of Lake Michigan when I was a kid. My dad had it polished up and set with a bail so I could get a chain and wear it as a pendant. I never did and it’s sat in my jewelry box for about 60 years. But my son’s partner is interested in fossil remains, so I bought a silver chain and gave it to her (she is expecting our first grandchild); part of my family legacy, last month, while explaining what a Petoskey stone is. She seemed very pleased. And now she had a piece of Michigan.

  3. Laurie Levy says:

    As a native of Michigan, I have said yes many times over.

  4. Dave Ventre says:

    The UP (and the far north of the LP) are magical places.

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