In exploring the options for the next stage of my trip, I thought I would drive on Friday to Mt. Pleasant where I attended undergrad at Central Michigan University. Then Saturday, drive to my hometown via the long way around to E. Lansing to stop at Michigan State (MSU), where I went to grad school. Fortunately I checked…. the University of Michigan vs MSU football game is at MSU on Saturday! It’s a huge rivalry and warrants avoiding the town that day.
Instead, I stayed in Traverse City until about noon. I heard about a new complex so went there. It is called Grand Traverse Commons that has renovated the main building and some of the cottages of the former State mental hospital. It closed in 1989 and was in danger of being town down. Renovation began in 2000 when a company bought the
property to develop. I was there for a couple hours.
It then took about 2.5 hours to drive to Mt. Pleasant. Once there, the weather was a much warmer 59 degrees. I wandered the north part of campus but didn’t go into any new buildings.
Then I drove around town, noticing what was different and what was the same. I found some of the many places I lived…. I moved about 10 times during my college days!
While driving up and down the “main drag” of commercial Mission St., I saw a Big Boy restaurant that actually had the iconic Big Boy Statue in front. So many of them no longer do. Though California used to have Big Boys, they closed before we left 14 years ago. I
don’t think I’ve seen one in WA. They are still all over Michigan, though. So I had to make a quick sketch. I’m reminded of Chandler’s obsession with road side attractions. The Big Boy is almost one of those.