ASHLAND CURRENT ARTICLE DISCUSSES WHO'S CONSIDERED A "MADELINE ISLANDER"
A recent article in the Ashland Current contains an interview with a Pennsylvania researcher who spent several summers on Madeline Island, in an effort to determine who could be justifiably considered a "Madeline Islander".
This is a subject that has interested me for years now. I've owned property on the Island since the early 1980s and my real estate office has been open on Madeline Island for over ten years now, but I still feel that there is some sort of dividing line between being a local merchant and being considered a true local.
The Pennsylvania researcher apparently divided "Islanders" into three classifications: long-term, medium-term and short-term. And according to his study results, I am what he would consider a "medium-term Madeline Islander". That is to say, someone who owns a home and/or business on the Island, but who does not reside there twelve months per year.
I'm satisfied with the researcher's conclusion, particularly since the only requirement I seem to be lacking is that my ancestors didn't settle the Island.
It also means that quite a few people I know who consider themselves "long-term islanders" actually fail to meet that test.
This all reminds me a bit of those old Clint Eastwood westerns, where Clint rides into town and some lowly guy on the street walks up to him and says, "You ain't from here, are ya mister?"
No, I'm not from the Island. I've loved it and I've found it frustrating at times. My family built a summer home on the Island and before that we lived aboard a boat at the Madeline Island Marina. I bought my office building in 2000 and I've never regretted making that purchase.
So over the past three decades, I went from being a mere tourist to become a "summer person" and now finally I've graduated to becoming a "medium-term Islander". I can live with that.