Notes from the Island
September 2006

The summer is winding down now but it has been an incredible month here on the Island. The river has been clear and low (I saw someone cross the river by walking on top of the dam!) and I've been swimming every day. The fishing has been exceptional as well and the fishermen have been regular early-morning bell-ringers. It has been the busiest month since I started here and it's been fun to see the Island active with people. We've had so many swimmers that I had to buy more "noodles." I also bought a volleyball and badminton birdies to go with the net I put up. There was a good turnout for the Fourth Annual Fishing Derby. Many fish were caught and many Malusky burgers were eaten. It's been four years since I first moved here and, even though I'm preparing for a flood as I write this, I still feel like I won the lottery when I got this job.

It isn't all fun and games, though. We replaced the pulleys on the ferry and I installed a brand new pull-rope across the river to pull the ferry. (No one is sure the last time the pull-rope was changed; but I'm guessing it's been at least twenty years.) I also had to unclog the sink in the ladies room. That might not sound like a big job but it ended up taking me over three hours and left me, and the men's room, very dirty and soaking wet. Nothing is ever easy in this old place. August has also become the time when I clear out the clutter and try to get rid of anything we don't really need. It's good policy, when you live on an Island, not to have a lot of excess junk once flood season comes. I also built a partition in the girl's room to gain them some privacy and to foster a little family harmony in a small house.

I want to start planning for the Fall Workfest on Sunday, November 12. We had such a good turn out for the last Workfest that I want to get prepared now. I'm looking both for ideas about what needs to be done and for volunteers to help get supplies and organize the work crews.

See you on the Island!

-- Joe Hage, Sycamore Island Caretaker