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All Things Michigan

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Some of the best folks you will ever meet live in Michigan's U.P.

Andrew Norton

Take that headline at face value because I don't believe it is hyperbole. The people that inhabit the U.P. are as kind as the views up there are beautiful. The ongoing Sleeper Lake Fire has provided a chance for more of the state (those of us below the bridge in particular) to see just how wonderful Yoopers are. Today's Detroit Free Press has an article about the Upper Peninsula community of Newberry in particular. Newberry is the largest community (about 2,000 folks) in range of the fire and has been used as a base camp of sorts for firefighters and other necessary workers involved with fighting the fire.

My favorite quote from the article -

"We are Yoopers," said Janet Linck, who owns a Jimmy Buffett-style restaurant in Newberry. "If our backyard is on fire, we'll just go camping in the front yard."

That right there sums up the mentality of Yoopers. Not much seems to faze them and I think that is a fine quality to have.

The fine community of Newberry has had numerous volunteers donating and preparing food for the firefighters. Residents have put up 'thank-you' signs in their yards and most nights as the weary firefighters are returning to their hotel rooms they are greeted by enough clapping and cheering residents that you would think it was a 4th of July parade.

The U.P. is full of the same kind of people that make up the community of Newberry. They are a hard-working group that enjoys the simple pleasures of a slower lifestyle. I think that gives them the time to realize the importance of doing what you can to help others even if your resources don't seem too great. It's amazing what can take place when you band together to get a job done.

One last quote from the article-

Newberry is not a rich community. It is a blue-collar community with heart. You can go for days without seeing a Mercedes, Saab or Volvo roll through. But you can look in any direction and see an American-made truck.