A Lifetime of Michigan Moments

Dennis Armistead shares his “Pure Michigan Moment,” a collection of wonderful memories from his life in Michigan, and what it means to be born and raised in the Great Lakes State.

My Michigan moment is a lifetime of moments. They are moments of joy on Mackinac Island and being comforted by warm Vernors ginger ale on a day home sick from school. They include running the air-conditioning and the furnace in the same 24-hour period and moments shared with my dad listening to Ernie and Paul or Bob Ufer cheering for Bo, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Tom Izzo, Sparky Anderson and Jud Heathcote are all part of my Michigan moments, along with a plucky kid named Stevie Y who wore the C on his sweater and Gibby versus the Goose.

My Michigan moments are in small streams and on great lakes, on mossy trails and busy highways. They are at the Freedom Festival, Hockeytown, the Mystery Spot and Greenfield Village. They are looking at the Mackinac Bridge and feeling a sense of pride.

Photo credit: Brian Confer

My Michigan moments walk the state in souvenir moccasins and are held tight in cedar boxes; they are celebrated with fudge or cherries. A taste of Sanders or anything at Lafayette Coney Island or American Coney Island is a Michigan moment.

My Michigan moments are racing my wife and kids to see the first robin of spring and the last snowflake of winter. Dueling my brothers on sleds—breathless and faces beet red—is a Michigan moment.

My Michigan moment is a lifetime of moments here: all lovely, colored in a palette of autumn brilliance and spring splendor. It’s the love I have for this place, the life it has given me. It’s the grit, the toughness and the hope that being a son of Michigan breeds. It’s the sound of the summer breezes in leafy trees, the smell of fresh cut grass on a Little League field or laughing with friends over a round of golf. These are my indelible Michigan moments.

Dennis, from Bath, wrote about his “Pure Michigan Moment” for Michigan Travel Ideas.