Waking at Schumann’s 7:00 am, gotta move on over to Fred Eagle Royce’s and then get to town for an interview with RJ Peterson, marina magnate, community booster, friend to the late Dennison and self proclaimed conservationist.
RJ asserts the development proposed by McClendon will be a boon and the best bet for low impact development on the dunes, but also opined that whatever happens on the former Dennison property will not make a wit of difference to the Saugatuck / Douglas economy. For RJ, the harbor is what matters. A municipal marina would help bring support for dredging and maintenance. What if bigger boats could get in as in days of old? What if the Kewadin could get out? RJ is gruff, outspoken and perhaps even a bit stubborn, but I suspect he is more open minded than most locals give him credit for. When I asked him if he was on the McClendon payroll, he barked “I wish!” That’s a sort of integrity, IMHO.
Ignoring or dismissing this dynamic curmudgeon would be a huge blunder. Like the shifting dunes and great pounding shoreline, RJ embodies the heritage and majesty of the region. He is practically a force of nature.
Later Alison and David Swan met with me. They described an aesthetic and economic vision for the community that I found far more compelling and realistic than any old school development so far proposed, low impact or high.
RJ and the Swans have two complementary hunks of one great plan. I wonder if they know…