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Life as performance art

Life as performance art


By Fr. G. Corwin Stoppel
This will be my last column for a while, at least until the latter part of the year. It isn’t as much by choice as it is of necessity.
Very simply, I have filed for a seat on the Saugatuck City Council and it isn’t appropriate to be running for office and writing this column until after the election. It’s a matter of fairness to everyone.
I’ve had the pleasure of living in this area for the past 30 years, and for most of that time served as the rector of All Saints’ Episcopal Church. Both the late Henry van Singel and I often said, “A day away from Saugatuck is a day wasted.”
We never could figure out who said it first and it doesn’t matter. We’re both right. I can’t think of anywhere else in the world I would rather be than here. Pat and I have travelled to some pretty nifty places, but none of them compared to here.
Visitors often comment about the scenery, the water, dunes and amenities in the area. They come here because they choose to, and many come back to experience even more. They like the lodging places, venues for food and drink and/or delight in many of our activities.
We who live here know what truly makes this place special is the people. We’re surrounded by good, wonderful, kind people. When Dinah Shore sang about “Warm Hearts and Gentle People” it could have been about Saugatuck.
During World War II, Englishmen Flanagan and Allen were constantly asked to sing “Home Town.” It could have been about Saugatuck too.  I love it here.
Over the years people nudged me to run for city council and I always answered that it was not in All Saints’ best interests. That changed at the end of this past February. So this may be a new way to continue supporting and caring for this community.
Finally,  a thank you to Scott Sullivan, affectionately known to me alone as “Walter Burns,” and before him Walt and Cheryl. Thank you to the staff at The Commercial Record.
But above all, thank all of you for giving me so many ideas and suggestions for articles. Sometimes you didn’t even know you were doing it.
I just saw you quietly being a good neighbor to people around you. I watched as you gave the best of yourselves and brought out the best in others.
That’s a legacy you are handing on to those coming up behind us, and the lessons you taught have stayed with me.