Does Monday of the Labor Day weekend call a close to all our lake shore fun? First, before I answer that question, let's talk about the picture of a man playing Conga drums on top of the Kirby House, a Grand Haven destination restaurant, taken Labor Day weekend in 2014. My iPhone still had the picture; I had looked for it as I remember that evening with friends. That Labor Day weekend finished the season with much cooler days and nights. This Labor Day weekend looks upon a forecast of much warmer days. I swam in Lake Michigan last night and I had never experienced the waters that warm before. This heat might keep the scene alive on Washington Boulevard, where people are still strolling along the sidewalk cafés in sandals and flip flops. It's just that school is started and every one is going to lock into hometown celebrations, the Friday night lights of Football and Saturday around the house. The drive to the shore won't be so compelling anymore.
A squad of volunteers from the Rotary Club have started at the base of Washington Boulevard, taking down the large American flags on wooden poles, hanging at an angle from the lamp posts. The team has rolled up a block's worth and loaded them into a wagon pulled by a police cruiser with flashing bubble lights going red and blue. Banners celebrating the 225th Anniversary of the Coast Guard still hang from lamppost arms. The banners will remain up until cold weather requires their removal. A local photographer made them on his computer, featuring images of Coast Guard ships and helicopters in action.
At the stadium, the Grand River is a calm broad water with no visible current. We all know the current flows left and west and into Lake Michigan, no hint needed. The sun has settled down below the southern shoulder of Dewey Hill, a sand hill now part of a nature preserve. Tonight is the last night of the season when the twenty minute spectacle of music and illuminated water streams will delight visitors starting at 9:30 in the evening. The fountain now begins a weekend schedule, Fridays and Saturdays until September gives way to October. As night falls earlier and earlier, September 18, the fountain begins its show at 8:30 PM. In October, the fountain goes dark until May, just as many restaurants go dark until Mother's Day.
The sun sets under the shoulder of Dewey Hill and the shoulder season begins. Maybe it's time to take a lease on a beach rental, no longer expensive to rent, live on the blustery coast of Lake Michigan until Memorial Day? One has to wonder when this late summer heat will give way to early Fall chill?
A couple sits on the edge of the concrete riverfront, relaxing in those cozy chairs that fold up and fit in a bag. The two have a paperback each well on the way to completion. I am wondering where the RV awaits their return. I wonder when they'll point their RV south for Florida or even Texas. A handful of visitors sit upon the bleachers, more than a hour's wait before the fountain awakes. A man and women stop me and ask, "Will the musical fountain sing tonight". Yes, but get some ice cream from the Pump House and bring it back to the bleachers. You have a bit of a wait".