Earl Young - His Life and Legacy

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Charlevoix Courier, Letter to the Editor, Wednesday, October 16, 1968

Reader applauds Earl's stand

Dear Editor:

Congratulations to Earl Young for saying about Medusa what has needed to be said for so long.

Coming from a person who has done so much in his own right to make Charlevoix beautiful, his words carry double the weight.

Having followed the pros and cons of Medusa's Charlevoix building program for the past three years, I have noticed that chief opposition to the plant has come from two sources: summer people and former big-city residents who are new to the community.

The summer people, of course, contend that Medusa has ruined the picturesque primieval wilderness of South Point. Newcomers from the city fear that Medusa is the first step toward complete industrialization of the area and that Charlevoix will soon be like the factory towns they fled north to escape.

By and large, it seems the old timers -- the pioneers -- are squarely behind Medusa. They remember the days when Charlevoix was a one-industry town -- tourism -- and they recall only too well the long, lean winters when there was no new money in town for months on end. They also know what Medusa taxes and an infusion of new blood can do for a commmunity.

To Medusa opponents we can only say that beauty still resides where it always has -- in the eye of the beholder. Mr. Young likens the plant at night to a huge Christmas tree. I think it is just as attractive by daylight. With its massive silos and the clean lines of its kiln, rock crushers, storage sheds and other buildings it is a prime example of beauty in functional architecture.

To those who remember with nostalgia the birches and evergreens of South Point, I can only say that Round Lake itself would lose 90 percent of its charm without the structures man has built around its banks -- homes, a highway bridge, a railroad bridge, a Coast Guard station, a lumber yard, boat houses, workshops, docks, marinas and even a sewage disposal plant.

Thanks again to Mr. Young for saying what needed to be said -- and for saying it so well.

Bob Clock