"I've lived in Alpena now for about 19 years, decided this would be a great place to raise our kids, and one of the things we love about the area is its focus on the beauty of the surrounding area, and that has been highlighted over the years with the incorporation of music into the school, into the festivals. There have been three artists in particular that we have enjoyed over the years that have brought songs of the Great Lakes into our homes. We've bought all their CDs.
We had a sailboat, and we used to always listen to them or take the CDs as we journeyed into the UP (Upper Peninsula) and got to travel through all of the great pine trees, and they told stories that helped my children connect with this region and the state in general. They told history, and then they'd get to meet the artists too because they'd come right down to where they were--be it in the schools or the festivals. So, it's made our community, to me, more alive, being able to enjoy the heritage of the Great Lakes, and the fact that we have such a fabulous body of water that we're surrounded by."
Part of the "Stories from Main Street" project--an effort to collect stories about small-town life across the United States. The project was the brainchild of the Smithsonian's "Museum on Main Street" program, an initiative that brings traveling exhibitions about subjects of national importance to small towns across America.