September 18, 2019
As we conspire with the Universe conveying wants and needs, occasionally we pause to step back and take note of what we have and what we are experiencing at the moment, realizing the world is a fast-moving object and we a fast-moving element searching for the next success.
B.J. Shawn took a moment in 1998 and created a store, rather, a panacea of recreation for the soul. From clothing to camping and from extreme items to extra fluff one would care to have for a journey, The Bearcub Outfitters became a local shop one could walk into and feel as if the forest, lake, and mountain were out the backdoor. The aura and atmosphere brought comfort to the benign, excitement to the weary, and dreams to the adventurer.
B.J.’s adventure was surviving life. While providing me with equipment and necessities for excursions into the wildest of places, the danger paled in comparison to B.J.’s known fate. Death to some of us is to cheat and wave at while passing. B.J. walked the path for us making sure we would take a moment and relinquish selfish pangs of ambition to enjoy a soft moment or a quiet hour. She harbored a sense of humanity we could all share lending us an ability to understand life is so very precious.
People visit Downtown Petoskey and Bearcub sits as it has with most passing by unaware of the history and recent mourning. Perched above the shop is my writing studio bedecked with keepsakes and memories piercing through my glances toward Lake Michigan and it is here I can feel the difference. An iconic store on the street below has lost part of its past, part of its memory; perhaps, part of its soul, yet knowing family and friends continue the service and good wishes to all who enter, BJ’s memory and dream remain alive.
So, wander into Bearcub and adventure about. Find warm clothes and comfy blankets; plan backpacking trips with new stoves and cookware; splurge on the cappuccino machine; but don’t forget to take a memory of B.J. along with you, because, you see, traversing life can be easy knowing one has walked the path of survival and left a legacy to tell the tale.