Memory lane: MSP visit stirs up nostalgia

Being in the parking lot of the Michigan State Police Post in Negaunee Township this week launched a wave of nostalgia. It had been a long while since I had visited the building. Years in fact.

But walking into the facility triggered a host of memories.

This week’s visit was part of some research for a story I will be writing in the near future.

Years ago, a visit to the MSP post was a five-day-each-week occurrence.

Lo those many years ago, when my career at The Mining Journal started, one of my first regular assignments was to visit the state police to check the activity log every morning before going to the Ishpeming office out of which I worked. That necessitated me traveling from my apartment in the city of Negaunee to the post, which is located just down the road from my childhood home in the township.

One of the memories the visit triggered involved my niece Marga. At the time my MSP visits started, she was living in my childhood home with her mom – my older sister Christine – and her younger brother, Maxx.

As many teens did, Marga despised riding the school bus, so most mornings, I swung by to get her, even though that meant she had to leave earlier than the bus would have picked her up.

Keep in mind this was the Big ’80s: While I was in the post, Marga would be in my red Chevy Cavalier using a butane curling iron to finish her hairdo. By the time I returned to the vehicle, there was a cloud of AquaNet filling the air.

That recollection made me smile.

Marga is now the best mom on earth, living in Rhode Island with her husband, Jim, and her children, Maija and Jacob. When I talk to Marga this Sunday, like I do every Sunday, maybe we will recall those days in our conversation.

Standing at the counter inside the building brought me back to all the troopers and sergeants and dispatchers who helped me out through the years.

The first week of my visits, one of the MSP sergeants tried to prank me by telling me “we just had a report of an ore boat sinking in Teal Lake in Negaunee.” He was most disappointed upon learning Negaunee was my hometown.

“I get the new TV6 people with that all the time,” he said. “They get so excited.”

Even knowing I am going to miss a few names – for which I apologize: my memory’s not as sharp as it used to be – some of the folks who I fondly recall from those days include Dick Aper, John Colantonio, Ron Uvila, Mike Boone, Donna Beauchaine and Joe Van Oosterhout. The titles escape me but the kind treatment which they afforded me as a young reporter is not forgotten. Sometimes the subject matters we had to discuss were horrifying, yet because these officers were so helpful, that made things a bit easier for me. Don’t think I ever thanked these great people for their kindness.

Thank you all.

The daily visits to the post ended when my job transitioned from being an Ishpeming Bureau reporter to the lifestyles editor in the main office in Marquette in 1986. In the years since I have been in contact with the MSP for a number of stories, but hadn’t been to the post building in years.

Revisiting the past, in this case, was a good walk down memory lane.

Renee Prusi can be contacted at 906-228-2500, ext. 253.