Bringing Share’n home

Photos above: The before, during and after shots of the Share’n renovation, with Cary Kirkham doing the work.

By Sharon Birlson Kirkham

It was around Valentine’s Day and snowflakes the size of cotton balls were pouring out of the sky. We had been up north for over a week to celebrate our 2nd grandson Marcus’ 19th, and my husband Cary was ready to come home. I said, “Give me one more day.” He said, “OK, but if we’re staying, I’m taking Max (Marcus’ older brother) and heading up to Iron Mountain to look at that pontoon I saw advertised on Craig’s List. We’ll stop at the Chinese buffet for lunch.” As we walked out the door into the freezing cold, he said, “This one will be for our family and friends to cruise Pine Lake on a warm summer evening.” Suuuurrrrre …

We had taken the South Shore to the boat show at McCormick Place a month earlier and Cary still had pontoons on the brain.  After an hour drive and a few missed turns we located the home and adjacent building. What we found tucked away, as far back in the woods of northern Michigan as our steel-stud Michelins would carry us, did not resemble — in any way shape or form — the shiny new pontoons we had looked at only a few short weeks earlier.

As the elderly gentleman tugged on the rope easing open the overhead door, my eyes feasted on the paint-chipped wooden legs of what was once a beautiful antique outdoor swing. In the back right-hand corner, however, and the reason for which we had come, was the worst looking piece of junk I had ever seen. (See pics.) The man actually said that he and his wife had had it out late last summer on the adjacent lake and it “ran like a breeze.”

I retreated to the truck to read my book, and Grampa and Max did their magic. As I exited the building, I said, “If a deal can be struck, how ’bout throwing in that swing?” “That,” the venerable old man responded, “would require clearance from the Mrs.”

About 30 minutes later Cary and Max returned to the truck and said, “Let’s eat.” Lunch was quick and easy. As he prepared to pay the bill, Cary said, “OK, we’re going back for Share’n.” Hmmm … he’s already named it … guess he meant what he said …

After close to an hour of negotiations and hook-up, as we pulled out of the long driveway, I looked back to see Share’n hugging our bumper. Propped upside down in the middle of the pontoon, sticking straight up in the air, were the four paint-chipped legs of the antique swing.  

Share’n made her way back to LaPorte and with lots of love and effort on Cary’s part, she has become the newest member of our used car/boat lot. (See pics.)

We would like to extend an invitation to all our family and friends in LaPorte to join us for a sunset boat ride on Pine Lake anytime this summer. We have been in the same place for 40 years, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding us. We are in every old phone book you have lying around or tucked away in your desk drawer. Call us … Looking forward to celebrating with all of you.

Happy 40th Anniversary, Cary. Thank you for share’n life with me.

SHARON BIRLSON KIRKHAM and her husband Cary love to travel, but always return to their beloved LaPorte.

8 Responses to “Bringing Share’n home”

  1. susi

    Jul 02. 2018

    Sharon, I want to see pics of that swing with legs .

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  2. Emily

    Jul 02. 2018

    Love love love it! The story and the boat. Great job, both of you. Happy anniversary❤️

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  3. Diane Borawski

    Jul 02. 2018

    And the pontoon truly does look snappy—super shiny and bright—Cary did a terrific job refurbishing it. Keep the wonderful stories coming. Oh, what about the swing?

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  4. Kathy Zoll

    Jul 02. 2018

    Pat and I love how you write. We enjoyed your story and will call you for a sunset cruise. Good job to Cary, too!!!!

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  5. Fran Milo

    Jul 02. 2018

    Sharon, you have a great story-telling style! A labor of love to make this transformation! Cary did a fantastic job, and we were honored to have domino-tested the table!

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  6. Randy McGriff

    Jul 03. 2018

    First of all, Happy Anniversary!! Sounds like it was a great one. I did so enjoy the article about the pontoon. We have been in Fishers 3 years now, but if we get back up that way, you may well here from us. I certainly have fond memories of coaching at KMS with Cary. It would be great to have a little more time together.

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  7. Sylvia

    Jul 05. 2018

    A beautiful restoration and loved the story–thank you for Share’n.
    Happy Anniversary!

    Reply to this comment
  8. Claudia. Raymond

    Jul 13. 2018

    Happy Anniversary. You guys love the water. So happy for you and I loved the story

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