Going toward Traverse City, through Beulah up the hill and a right hand turn at the Best Western, there is Bonnie Bros. land. They own lots and lots of acres. Lots and lots!
For our first Christmas here in Michigan, we wanted to go and cut a blue spruce to decorate. In California trees came already cut, loosing needles and generally looking pretty pathetic and they were incredibly expensive. So Mike and I always opted not to have tree and decorate our grocery store bought palm tree with tinsel instead.
So, for our first Christmas here, we wanted a real and beautiful tree – a tradition which we kept up until last year. But that’s a whole other (disturbing) story. Someone told us to go to the Bonnie Brothers down between Beulah and Honor, “they have gorgeous trees and a bunch of elk”. Huh? Did he say “elk”?
So, the Saturday after Thanksgiving 1995, we bundled up the boys, because It had snowed quite a bit already. We climbed into my Bronco, Mike grabbed rope and off we went. My eyes were as big as silver dollars when we arrived at Bonnie’s. There were the most magnificent blue spruces and there were elk 😯
Through the deep snow we climbed, choosing this tree and then that. One was more beautiful then the next, more perfect then the last. My smart husband had packed some red ribbons which we tied to the trees we liked best. Finally we made a decision and now it was time for Mike to pull out the saw and go to work. While he did that, I “herded” the boys towards the elk. I don’t think they realized what they saw there. I got no reaction from them. I was slightly disappointed about that but very happy to get this pretty tree home.
Bonnie Bros. has long since stopped selling trees and the elk are no longer here either.
Last week, when I drove to Traverse City, I took a jaunt down memory lane and drove by the place. The signs are still there and it looks like the elk are just out at another pasture, but sadly they are gone for good.
There’s the old, familiar sign
And here are some of the trees still standing
As I drove on, I came across this huge project. All these logs stacked so beautifully. There was a single man there working on this building – with hand tools.
I’ll have to go back soon to see the progress he’s made.