Friday, August 31, 2007

Yesterday and Today Photos

Buth's Ice Cream Shop was located on the far left side of this building during the time Bill went to East Grand Rapids High School. One of his classmates was Tom Ford, brother of President Gerald Ford. They played together on the school football team.

Building where Buth's Ice Cream Shop was.

2007 View

During the 1930's Bill spent his summers at his grandfather's cottage at Portage Lake near Onekama, MI.

1935 Cottage Porch

2007 View

1935 Path to Lake Michigan from Cottage

2007 view

1935 Cottage at Portage Lake in Michigan

2007 View

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Back From Michigan

We got back from our trip to Michigan last night. It was exhausting but great fun! We met with Brooks Applegate, II and his family. Brooks is mentioned in Bill's diary and there is a nice photo of him. He was one of Bill's cousins. We had a lot of fun going to places that Bill went to during his life. Brook's wife, Doddin, was very helpful. She located and arranged a meeting with two other women who are mentioned in the diary. It is so exciting to see these people I have been reading about for the last two years.

I am seated with the Applegates (Brooks and his wife and one of his sons and his children.) We did so much on our trip. Check back for more information and photos about our trip!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Some Women Who Knew Bill Perkins

I just got an email from Brooks Applegate's wife Doddin. She has found two women who were mentioned in Bill's diary. They are sisters that are living in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Bill was dating one of the sisters. And the other sister married Bob "Bogey" Chamberlain, Bill's best friend in high school. I can't wait to meet them and find out more about Bill and his life in Michigan.

Our cameraman is now going to join me on this trip. It is obvious there is going to be a lot more happening than I originally planned. I could sure use his help. We will now be flying in to Chicago on August 23(my birthday) and then driving to Grand Rapids. We are meeting with my Aunt Ila and her husband Fred on the 24th. That night will be a drive up to Portage Lake. We will meet some of Bill's relatives on the 25th. We will stay two nights at Portage Point Inn to shoot the lake. We drive back to Grand Rapids on Sunday night and will shoot some places that Bill went to during the rest of our trip.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Other Places I Hope to Find and Videotape in Michigan

My mother, Clarice Franklin, has just sent me about two dozen scans of photos she found in one of the albums of Gordon(aka Ed) Perkins, here second husband. There many great ones from the summers Bill and Ed spent at the cottage near Portage Lake. I hope to find these places when I get to Michigan and take photos to see how much has changed.

Bill, George and Jack Bernard at Portage Lake

Back porch of the Perkin's cottage

Jack Bernard and Bill on Portage Lake

Friday, August 10, 2007

Donation to a Memorial Football Field

This is letter to Bill's grandmother, Mary, sent after his death. This refers to some kind of memorial that includes Bill's name. I hope we can find this in Grand Rapids. It must be somewhere near the East Grand Rapids High School.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Plans for the Michigan Trip

I am planning my trip to Michigan. Bill Perkins went to East Grand Rapids High School. I think he graduated in 1938. The Grand Rapids Main Public Library has a local historical department and I hope to do some research. They tell me they have a few yearbooks from this high school in the 1930's. I hope to find some more photos of Bill in those yearbooks.

These are a few of the places Bill spent his time in the 1930s. Many bands played at the Pantlind Hotel and Bill loved Big Band music. The home where Bill lived had to be sold after the death of his grandfather, Judge Willis B. Perkins. Buth's Ice Cream Shop was one of Bill's favorite hangouts during his high school years. I have a scrapbook that he kept during high school. He tells of dates he's gone on, achievements in sports, big bands he travels to see, dances he attends. It seems like a much simpler time. I hope we can find these places when I get to Michigan.

The Pantlind Hotel