Welcome to the 2021 version of SCHOCK MCCOY PRODUCTIONS by J.H. McCoy. This website is named in honor of my mother, Gloria (Schock) McCoy, and dedicated to her memory. Since it was founded in 2015, her JOURNAL and ALBUM have always been prominent features - now some of her recipes have been added to the website (RECIPES).
The new format for the HOMEPAGE is seasonal and changes as the seasons do. The NEWS section contains some of my recent photographs and comments on the local scene. PHOTO-ESSAYS is a record of my trips to iconic locations in the U.S. A short history of the Schock family, written over 50 years ago (1970) by my great uncle, Edward D. Schock, is presented in HISTORY. I edited it in 2020.
I hope that you will always find something interesting on this website and that you will pass the word about it, especially since Schock McCoy Productions is no longer on Facebook or Twitter. Thank you for stopping by.
Please sign the Guest Book, and come back soon!
J.H. (John Herbert) McCoy
9636 Roberts Rd., Harbor Beach, MI 48441 // [email protected] // (989) 479-9594 // (989) 551-9487 (cell)
***CLICK ON THE NAME FOR A SHORT VIDEO***
AUTUMN - THE CAMERA SKETCH BOOK ***
*** With apologies to Washington Irving and THE SKETCH BOOK OF GEOFFREY CRAYON, GENT. (1819-1820).
(Click on small "pics" to enlarge)
THE "BURN BOSS" IN THE WHITE HELMET
++ some photos in THE CAMERA SKETCH BOOK have been edited ++
"THE QUESTION IS NOT WHAT YOU LOOK AT BUT WHAT YOU SEE."
HENRY DAVID THOREAU (1817 - 1862)
SAND BEACH TOWNSHIP
"Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower."
"THE SCHOCK FAMILY TREE" by Edward D. Schock (1970) edited by J.H.McCoy
"Wild is the music of the autumnal winds among the faded woods." W. Wordsworth
IN MEMORY OF RICHARD J. MCCOY, COUSIN AND FRIEND
MAY 3, 1951 - JANUARY 8, 2021
IT IS HARD TO SAY "GOODBYE" TO RICK. THERE ARE REALLY NO WORDS TO EXPRESS THE PROFOUND SADNESS I FELT AT HIS UNEXPECTED AND UNTIMELY PASSING. HE WAS A SPECIAL PERSON - INTELLIGENT, FOCUSED, THOUGHTFUL AND CONCERNED. HE WAS INTERESTED IN EVERYTHING AROUND HIM AND GENEROUS WITH HIS TIME. NOW AND THEN, HE STOPPED IN TO SEE MY PARENTS, "UNCLE JOE" AND "AUNT GLORIA." THEY ALWAYS ENJOYED HIS VISITS.
SOMETIMES, RICK BROUGHT ME LITTLE GIFTS WHEN HE DROPPED BY:
A BOOK ABOUT JOHN MUIR THAT HE READ AND WANTED ME TO HAVE; AN
AFRICAN ANTELOPE CARVING HE SAW AT A SALE AND THOUGHT I WOULD LIKE.
HE TOLD ME MANY TIMES HOW MUCH HE ENJOYED MY ARTICLES IN "THE MINDEN CITY HERALD." HE WAS MY BIGGEST FAN.
I WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER RICK READING A POEM AT HIS DAD'S 80TH SURPRISE BIRTHDAY PARTY IN THE MINDEN CITY HALL. IT WAS SPRINGTIME - MAY OF 1997. HE HAD FOUND A POEM HE THOUGHT APPROPRIATE FOR THE OCCASION - "A PRAYER IN SPRING" BY ROBERT FROST:
"OH, GIVE US PLEASURE IN THE FLOWERS TO-DAY;
AND GIVE US NOT TO THINK SO FAR AWAY
AS THE UNCERTAIN HARVEST; KEEP US HERE
ALL SIMPLY IN THE SPRINGING OF THE YEAR...."
RICK LOVED NATURE: THE FLOWERS, THE TREES, THE CHANGING SEASONS. HE COULD NOT STAY, BUT HIS MEMORY WILL LIVE ON, ESPECIALLY IN THE "SPRINGING OF THE YEAR" WHEN NEW LIFE EMERGES AND THE DEADNESS
OF WINTER IS FORGOTTEN.
REST IN ETERNAL PEACE, RICHARD JOHN MCCOY. YOUR LIFE WAS A BLESSING
TO MANY. I WAS HONORED TO KNOW YOU.
DEEPEST SYMPATHY TO PATRICIA, JUSTIN, SIMON, KATHRYN, WILLIAM,
AND THE ENTIRE FAMILY.
GO PLACIDLY amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there
may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms
with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull
and the ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you
compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always
there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own
career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for
high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child
of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be
here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding
as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him
to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.
By Max Ehrmann © 1927
Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf,
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day
Nothing gold can stay.
Rick loved the Verona State Game Area. He enjoyed the beauty, peace, and solitude. He was often seen walking
the roads near this spot.
MEMORIAL TRIBUTE / RICK MCCOY (scroll down)
RECENT PHOTOS/ARTICLES FROM THE MINDEN CITY HERALD
"Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home"
"Day is done, gone the sun
From the lakes, from the hills, from the skies
All is well,
God is nigh"
++ "BE IT EVER SO HUMBLE, THERE'S NOT PLACE LIKE HOME" ++ SINCE 1986
"There is a harmony in autumn, and a luster in its sky, which through the summer is not heard or seen, as if it could not be, as if it had not been!"
PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY
"Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall."
F. SCOTT FITZGERALD
At first, I thought a large, colorful moth was fluttering around the back porch light. I soon realized, however, that it was a monarch butterfly. Surprisingly, it continued to buzz the light and bang off the screen door. I got my iPhone and tried to take a picture.
When I stepped out on the deck, the butterfly circled and brushed by me in its erratic flight. Occasionally, it landed on a nearby object: the screen door, the top of the light, a deck chair. But each time, darkness and shadows made it impossible to get a good photo.
Eventually, it landed on my foot… then my pant leg. I took a few pictures from above, but its wings were closed.
At one point, I noticed that it was resting on the deck. I reached down, and the butterfly crawled up on my fingers. I slowly maneuvered it into the light, eliminating the shadows and documenting what I consider a very strange and unusual event.
After putting the monarch down on a cushion and taking a few more pictures, I turned off the porch light; and my “unexpected and unexplained visitor” flew back into the darkness.
Photo by J.H. McCoy, Sand Beach Township, August 26, 2021.
Whenever I see hollyhocks, I am reminded of Minden City’s bygone days and the profusion of color these old-fashioned flowers added to the local landscape. I especially remember the hollyhocks that bloomed every summer along the driveway on the west side of my great-grandmother’s dime store. Cook’s 5 & 10 was owned by Theodore and Theresa Cook (we called her “Bammy”), and they lived there in the large, white two-story complex on Main Street, just a few doors down from the newspaper office.
Every summer, the entire side of the building from front to back was lined with colorful hollyhocks in various shades of red, pink, white, and yellow. Hummingbirds and bumblebees visited the showy blooms and added motion and sound to the annual display.
Eventually, however, “Bammy” retired; the store closed; and the building became a private residence. Years later, it was abandoned and then finally condemned.
On January 6, 2011, the front page of The Minden City Herald featured a picture of the partially demolished structure and reported that Cook’s 5 & 10 “met the wrecking ball.” However, the hollyhocks lived on…. but not at their original location.
Many years ago, I collected hollyhock seeds in Minden City and planted them on the south side of my house in Sand Beach Township (Huron County). However, they never flourished and took hold. Perhaps it was the sandy soil or a lack of sunlight in the woodsy subdivision. Maybe it was insects or fungal plant rust, which often attacked the green leaves and caused them to shrivel and turn brown. In any case, the hollyhocks slowly died out, and I thought they were gone for good.
Then last year unexpectedly, healthy new shoots sprang up on the lawn behind my house - not where I planted the seeds or where they had grown previously, but in the grass. This year, these “hobo-hollyhocks” are the best I ever had…. blood-red descendants of those vanished stalks that once graced the side of Cook’s 5 & 10 and added an old-fashioned touch of color to Main Street.
Photo by J.H. McCoy, Sand Beach Township, July 9, 2021.
In late July, I found an unusual wildflower in the shade of an old maple tree on one of my wooded lots. It is called “Indian pipe” (Monotropa uniflora) because it resembles a calumet, the ceremonial pipe used by Native Americans in their solemn rituals. Other more ominous names come from the flower’s strange, eerie whiteness. It is also known as “ghost plant,” “ghost pipe,” or even “corpse plant.”
Since it lacks chlorophyll and does not depend on sunlight, Indian pipe grows in the shady understory of mature forests It is considered parasitic because it does not rely on photosynthesis but borrows nutrients from certain tree roots, fungi, and decaying plants.
Sometimes mistaken for a fungus, Indian pipe is actually related to the common blueberry. Its single flower on each stem (uniflora – Latin for “one flower”) is tipped downward at first (Monotropa – Greek for “one turn”), but after pollination, the bloom points skyward.
Monotropa uniflora can be found throughout most of the United States and Canada, but only where and when conditions are right. It is absent from the Southwest and the region around the central Rocky Mountains.
Indian pipe was the favorite wildflower of the reclusive New England poet Emily Dickinson. Like her, it shies away and hides from common view.
Photo by J.H. McCoy (iPhone), Sand Beach Township, July 28, 2021.
On the first day of spring 2021, I spotted a young raccoon along a country road in Huron County. I stopped at a distance and took several pictures from the car window before it ran away. Then, I pulled up a little closer and snapped a few more. However, the raccoon stayed put. Eventually, I parked right across from it.
To my surprise, the raccoon began to calmly walk across the road toward my car instead of running off. I took more pictures as it approached the driver’s side.
I am not sure what it did when it reached the vehicle because I could no longer see it. Eventually, I slowly drove away, and the raccoon returned to its position on the side of the road.
Was it somebody’s pet? Had it been tamed? Was it hungry? Curious? Sick? I’ll never know, but it was something you don’t see every day…. or get a chance to photograph up close.
Photo: J.H. McCoy, Dobson Rd., March 20, 2021.
Backyard - wild flowers and "weeds" instead of mowed lawn