November 17, 2011 by Manny Wordsmith
Today, my weekend officially starts. I’m especially excited about this because I’ll be spending two glorious night in Alpena, Michigan.
(pause for dramatic effect)
For the people who don’t live in Michigan, Aplena is around the nail of your index finger on your left hand.
(Yes, Michiganders do use their left hand as maps. The state is shaped like a damn mitten, it makes sense.)
I never really ventured around Michigan before I left for the Army. While many other people had family up north and an insatiable need to four-wheel and hunt (probably at the same time), I was more worried about scavenging for my next fifth of cheap vodka and organizing my Bruce Lee book collection.
The first time I came home on leave from Germany, I realized I knew more about Europe than my own state! It was embarrassing. Everyone else in my unit talked about low-key “less touristy spots” they would take people and beautiful scenery they could bask in. At the age of 21, I wouldn’t have been able to take anyone anywhere really cool or personal. Maybe just Wild Woody’s or Jon Jon’s Cabaret, a trailer park or two or my apartment complex. And believe me when I say the scenery in all those places were pretty much the same…and not very beautiful.
It wasn’t until I left from home did I actually feel a need to explore.
So I vowed when I got out of active duty that I would explore the state I grew up in. And so far I’ve managed to follow most of my white friends and see some really breathtaking spots. Alpena itself has nothing overwhelming to brag about. It’s just quaint and unassuming. The type of place I could really settle down and write my first novel in. The people there seem nice. And even though there aren’t many minorities around, it has never stopped anyone from being nice to me.
This weekend will concentrate on catching up with my good friend Jessica, perfecting my recreational drinking and maybe shooting a deer. But that last one will solely depend on what time brunch will be. I love it.
Lake Huron on my way to Alpena last year.