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A midsummer day’s dreams

Located on the shores of Lake St. Clair, Grosse Pointe is, naturally, a community of sailors. That truism was pleasantly brought back to me while reading Editor Lauren McGregor’s excellent piece on professional sailor Wally Cross in this issue of Pointe Magazine. 

As all Pointers know, this year is the 100th Port Huron to Mackinac Race held by Bayview Yacht Club. It will be Cross’s 54th Mackinac. Now 69 — my age! — he sailed his first Mackinac at age 13.

While I know many of the sailors in the Mackinac Race, after reading Cross’s story, I’ll be rooting for his boat, Ohana, this year — as well as my wife’s other business partner Tim McGuire’s Elevation.

Grosse Pointe children learn sailing as soon as they can swim. Cross learned sailing from his father and became the youngest junior member at Bayview in 1969. As an adult, he taught Youth Sailing at the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club for five years and is still involved in the club’s Youth Nautical Education Foundation.

Grosse Pointers’ version of summer school is sailing. Crescent Sail Club, for example, offers Learn-to-Sail six- or seven-week classes in the summer for youth 8 to 18 years old. It starts as soon as school is out. What a way to start a summer!

I’ve never been a sailor, but I have always admired the sport ... and its participants. In what other sport can you say, “The worse the weather the better!” I had a small motorboat once for fishing, but that gave way when I decided golf was my preferred sport — much to my wife’s relief — on dry land!

If you would like to learn the “Rules of the Road” of boating, America’s Boating Club (formerly Grosse Pointe Power Squadron) offers courses this summer at the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club. Look for their ad in this issue of Pointe Magazine!

Lastly, we would like to wish the sailors in this year’s 100th Bayview Mackinac Race favorable winds and godspeed!

We hope you enjoy this issue of our magazine. As always, remember to patronize our many loyal advertisers, without whom this magazine would not be possible. Be sure to tell them you saw them in Pointe Magazine! See you around the Pointe!

John Minnis


As I write this in June, I am anxiously awaiting the end of the week when my husband and I will load up the car for a too-brief weekend in one of my favorite cities, Stratford, Ontario, an arts and culture haven less than a three-hour drive away. 

I spoke with Stratford Festival’s publicity director, Ann Swerdfager, for a story on page 12. She calls Stratford, “around the corner and a world away” and that’s especially true for us Michiganders. Arriving in Stratford feels a bit like landing in the UK. There’s an authentic British pub, the Boar’s Head, an Avon River with gliding swans, and, of course, some of the best theater in the world.

A lot has changed since I started visiting Stratford with my uncle and aunt, John and Terry Minnis, as a young teen, but most hasn’t. The dining scene has exploded, with a slew of trendy restaurants on every block and countless new boutiques, but plenty of my favorites are still there ­— The Parlour Inn, MacLeod’s Scottish Shop and the ice cream window next to the boat rentals on the Avon River. 

This year, I’m most looking forward to Romeo and Juliet. Of the dozen or so Shakespearean plays I have seen live, I have never seen this iconic tragedy. It’s especially meaningful this year because it is directed by Detroit’s own Sam White. Several Stratford staff and crew members have called this the best Romeo and Juliet they have seen in 25 years. 

When I chatted with Sam last month, she said that Shakespeare has been a part of her life since she was eight years old. When her mother heard Sam listening to rap, which was forbidden, she handed her The Complete Works of William Shakespeare and said, “if you like lyrics so much, read this.” Though Sam didn’t understand most of the plays at the time, Romeo and Juliet was one of the earliest that she did grasp. Now, she will direct it on the largest stage at Stratford Festival as the first African American woman to do so.

Sam said, “It’s amazing how a mother can give you a book on Seven Mile that can take you to directing at an international festival.” She also said Shakespeare is for everyone. Visit to see all of the season’s productions, which run through October. 

Whether it is at Stratford Festival or not, I hope you also find some way to fill your creative cup this summer.

Lauren McGregor