As bunny_hugger pointed out the Point Betsie Lighthouse, and we, were in Frankfort, Michigan, and not Empire. Her brother and his girlfriend went into Frankfort proper to poke around. We never got into that town. It's possibly one where Father Jacques Marquette died and was buried. Interesting stuff.
bunny_hugger's father had word that her brother and his girlfriend were going to meet us in Empire, at Joe's Friendly Tavern, in forty minutes. That was forty minutes from some moment not really specified or made clear to me, so we had some anxiety about what time, exactly, we ought to see them. We got to the town, which is barely more than a crossroads, and waited a bit for her brother and his girlfriend to make it. Not long, just enough to feed everyone's anxiety about whether we had a proper rendezvous scheduled.
Joe's Friendly Tavern is another of those spots bunny_hugger's family went all the time. We went there once for our 2014 visit, when her brother and his girlfriend joined us in the area. (They were camping that, cold, week; this time they stayed in one of the other bedrooms.) In days gone by it was your average sort of bar-restaurant. They've upgraded, as the area's gotten richer, and they're now more of one of those New American Cuisine places, the kind where they make grilled cheese sandwiches using more difficult-to-pronounce cheeses.
They had a pinball machine! They had one in 2014, a Tales from the Crypt with a broken plunger. This time they had Fish Tales, a game bunny_hugger and I know well. And the high score table was nearly empty too. If you can dial in a few shots --- alternating ramps, followed by the left orbit --- you can score pretty much anything easily enough. We tried and didn't find the shots, but given a few more games we probably would have. We didn't get a few more games. We didn't bring many quarters and while bunny_hugger knew she had more in the car, her father was anxious about hanging around too long after we'd finished eating. So we left, non-conquerers of another table.
We walked around a little bit. bunny_hugger's brother's girlfriend walked the farthest off, to catch a Pokemon. (Remember that?) We got ice creams from a parlor near to Joe's Friendly, and took in the summer evening air in a tiny town.
There's a public beach in Empire, just a few blocks off, and we went there. bunny_hugger's parents wanted to see the shore, and they sat on a bench there just barely long enough for bunny_hugger to photograph them before they decided they'd had enough. They, her brother and his girlfriend left in the other car. bunny_hugger and I stayed, taking in the sunset and walking the length and breadth of the park. I was interested in a lighthouse at the north end of the park; it proved to be a non-functional replica that in some way honored a local notable. We stayed into the sunset.
That night bunny_hugger's brother started a little music potluck. He shared some of the songs he's working on for his new album (overdue but coming soon, we hope). I put forth something that made bunny_hugger roller her eyes, but that I like anyway. In the 90s some lucky discoveries at used record shops brought Ferrante and Teicher to my attention. They have this severely schlocky, corny style that answers the question ``what would a disco version of the theme to 2001: A Space Odyssey be like, exactly?'' But as often happens with this sort of thing they did the schlocky, goofball stuff because it sold, and it supported their more avant-garde experiments. And also, as often happens, they were pretty technically proficient. bunny_hugger's brother said he liked the energy they put into playing, I think it was, the theme to The Apartment. I think he was sincere about it.
We inspected our pet rabbit for signs of trouble. All seemed well, which we'd learn Friday was wrong. But for just then everything seemed all right.
Trivia: Abut 500,000 workers in 21 states joined the General Textile Strike of 1934, the largest such worker action in United States history, organized by the United Textile Workers of America. Source: Big Cotton: How a Humble Fiber Created Fortunes, Wrecked Civilizations, and Put America on the Map, Stephen Yafa.
Currently Reading: Broadcast Hysteria: Orson Welles's War of the Worlds and the Art of Fake News, A Brad Schwartz.