Aug 20-06

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2006: August: Aug 20-06
Sitting pretty on the beach    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Bert DeVriendt

Charlie at Pasty Central (Chopper) on Sunday, August 20, 2006 - 06:58 am:

In a little more than 3 months their world would be rocked by Pearl Harbor. But on this sunny August day in 1941, there wasn't a care in the world. The warm "singing sand" at Bete Gris was ground zero for a photo shoot by Bert DeVriendt with two lovely locals. The young lady on the right looks a little like Jacquie Jaaskelainen, although I'm sure Dr. J's birth was years away. (Perhaps it's her mom?)

The young man up the beach (look through the crook in her arm) is headed toward the channel end of the shoreline, sliding his feet across the surface of the beach to hear that mysterious music. I think I mentioned once on the Pasty Cam that we took some of it home, but found the vibrating phenomenon of the grains of sand to be uniquely associated with the beach itself.

Bete Gris means "Grey Beast", and it's a modification of the French spelling "Bete Grise". Our thanks again to Brian Rendel for his part in preserving the excellent photography of the late Mr. DeVriendt.

Have a good week :o)

2016 Update: NEWS FLASH - This week (June 10) USA TODAY announced that Pasty Central's U.P. Style was voted the Best Pasty in Michigan. See all of the top 10

By WishingIWasInDaUP (Sur5er) on Sunday, August 20, 2006 - 07:25 am:

Makes you wonder how many Yooper military folks during WWII, dreamed of this beach, while they were overseas.

By Clara Huhak (Mugga) on Sunday, August 20, 2006 - 09:45 am:

Did they have colored film in 1941?

By Patti - TN (Patti) on Sunday, August 20, 2006 - 10:27 am:

Kodak invented 'Kodachrome', or colored film in the 1930's. Agfa also invented their version about that same time.

By John Preisler (Jpreisler) on Sunday, August 20, 2006 - 11:33 am:

What grey beast would a Jesuit have seen at that location?

By Russell E. Emmons (Russemmons) on Sunday, August 20, 2006 - 01:22 pm:

I think a few German & Japanese companys also had color film, or it was being developed by the beginning of WW2.

By Russell E. Emmons (Russemmons) on Sunday, August 20, 2006 - 01:31 pm:

What a couple of "cuties" or as they say nowadays--"hoties"
Has anyone ever noticed the girls back in those days (30s, 40s, 50s,) ---for the most part,--- exceptions of course,---looked trimmer, thinner, healthier, and generally happier then later generations? ! :)

By Mona Grigg (Islandantique) on Sunday, August 20, 2006 - 01:45 pm:

I'm pretty sure the girl on the right is Margaret Jaaskelainen, Jacquie's mom. She and Paddy owned the lighthouse at Bete Gris for many years, but that was long after this picture was taken! What a lovely lady she was--and is.

By Mona Grigg (Islandantique) on Sunday, August 20, 2006 - 02:24 pm:

That famous sand was called "the singing sand of Bete Gris". The story went that there were only two beaches in the world that "sang" like that--Bete Gris and Waikiki.
I ran my foot across the Waikiki sand once, anxious to make that story true--but that sand didn't even moan. I talked to people there who said they had hauled in so much sand from other places to fill in the eroded beach over the years that there was no chance of finding any of the "original" sand.
The white sands of the eastern gulf shore from Destin to Mobile Bay "sing" at certain times, but it doesn't even come close to the sweet songs I remember at Bete Gris Bay.

By Bill Williams (Dbyooper) on Sunday, August 20, 2006 - 03:25 pm:

In the yellow is Helen Beaudry, the other gal is Kay Anderson.

By David Soumis (Davesou) on Sunday, August 20, 2006 - 06:32 pm:

they look like twins...maybe they were thinner back then because there wasn't as much to eat...
they don't look like they're wealthy or anything.
and for sure none of the garbage processed stuff we have today.

By Interested visitor (Tangobravo) on Sunday, August 20, 2006 - 06:41 pm:

"Did they have colored film in 1941?"


Will your digital pictures be around sixty some years later?

By David Soumis (Davesou) on Sunday, August 20, 2006 - 07:24 pm:

You'll be lucky to have your digital prints in 3 years if you put them on CD. Not to get way OT here, but do a search for CD storage life and you will be shocked.
The printed ones won't last anywhere near to the claims of the ink and paper manufacturers...
You need to use premium paper and store them properly...they may only last 15-20 years if you don't do this..sometimes all depends. I've read reports of 7 years and fading going on.
Again , do your homework...Wilhelm Imaging Research is a good source if you want to get technical and have independent unbiased information

By Deb S. (Usedtobeayooper) on Sunday, August 20, 2006 - 08:01 pm:

Dave, Thanks for the info. My friend was just telling me to get the pictures that I've saved on my computer, on to a CD. She said her computer crashed and she lost all of her pictures. Not a good idea then?

By k j (Kathiscc) on Sunday, August 20, 2006 - 09:13 pm:

Deb S.- I would say it would beat losing them completely. As the technology changes, you can put them on a DVD, then whatever comes next... I'm sure they are already out there, whatever it is.

By Mark Turpin (Markturpin) on Sunday, August 20, 2006 - 09:14 pm:

I switched to digital photography in 2001. I have about 50 Gb of family and casual photos. I have a new hard drive in my "photo" computer that is not connected to the internet (reduced virus risk), and I have backed up my photos thru 2005 on a hard drive (that I store in our safe deposit box at the bank) an external hard drive next to my computer, an external hard drive that I take to work and lock up, and I write everything to DVDs that I store away in a closet. I plan to buy a new hard drive every year and copy everything to my newest hard drive. I never delete originals from my camera's memory cards (Digital Rebel) until I am sure that I have 2 deep back up. I upload to BestBuy and go pick up my prints for use in photo albums, but at our last family gathering everyone got out their laptops and connected to the projector in turn for photo shows that the extended family (20 of us)could watch. Happy Digital Photography - Mark

By eugenia r. thompson (Ert) on Sunday, August 20, 2006 - 10:04 pm:

I have experienced "singing" sands on a number of beaches. I think it's just a combination of type of sand, dampness/dryness, and the way you walk. It's always fun to do.

By David Soumis (Davesou) on Sunday, August 20, 2006 - 10:13 pm:

That picture up above is actually a really nice looks better al the time...

-------------------------- to Deb, all
yes, its sure better on CD, then a hard drive crash. I use CD, DVD, and a second hard drive. I'm going to buy an external drive for storage as well. I had CDs that I recorded a couple of years ago that had bad file and data errors when I tried to use them. There is software to do recoveries, but it doesn't always work.

I actually lost quite a few photos about a year ago to a hard drive crash. As you know, those family photos are irreplaceable, and we lost some that were truly as sentimental as you could get. .so the main thing is to have a couple of ways to save. That way, if your prints start to deteriorate, or you lose a drive, or whatever media, you always have another copy.

Also..inks and paper are improving all along...but I know when I first started with digital, I was trying to save money and used cheap paper and ink...i don't think its really worth it for a keepsake....although you could reprint every now and again if you want to give them to somebody as a gift.

By Interested visitor (Tangobravo) on Sunday, August 20, 2006 - 10:31 pm:

To all the digeratti out there:

Kodachrome only requires a shoebox and a dark closet.

By k j (Kathiscc) on Sunday, August 20, 2006 - 11:16 pm:

Deb S.-Better on CD than lose them completely. Besides, you can always transfer them as the new technology comes out- DVD, then blue tooth- oh wait, that's phones, I think.- What is it? Blue Ray? Anyway, better than losing them with the hard drive crash.

By k j (Kathiscc) on Sunday, August 20, 2006 - 11:21 pm:


By Mona Grigg (Islandantique) on Monday, August 21, 2006 - 09:06 am:

By eugenia r. thompson (Ert) on Sunday, August 20, 2006 - 10:04 pm:

I have experienced "singing" sands on a number of beaches. I think it's just a combination of type of sand, dampness/dryness, and the way you walk. It's always fun to do.

Oh but Eugenia. . .if it's not a Copper Country beach, it can't possibly "sing" like ours! :)

By eugenia r. thompson (Ert) on Monday, August 21, 2006 - 10:30 am:

I agree, Mona, it's extra special when it's in the CC! :)

By Stephanie (Stefani13) on Monday, August 21, 2006 - 11:52 am:

Here's some additional info on singing sands:


By Mona Grigg (Islandantique) on Monday, August 21, 2006 - 05:31 pm:

Stephanie, that is so cool. Thanks for sharing.

(Glad my Mom's not alive to see this. She spread that "Singing Sands of Bete Gris and Waikiki" all over the country. I'm sure she went to her grave believing it. It was one of her answers to what makes the Copper Country unique. Another one was based on that sign that said something like, "Welcome to the Copper Country. You are now breathing the Purest, most Vitalizing air in the World". We surely believed it, and breathed deeply every time we passed that sign!


Eloise (Mrsbill) on Monday, August 21, 2006 - 11:35 pm:

According to this website, Bete Grise actually means Sandstone Bay:

By FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Tuesday, August 22, 2006 - 12:23 pm:

Although I claim absolutely no expertise in French, I'm not sure how one would get "Sandstone" out of Grise/Gris = gray/grey!?

Coincidentally, doing some brief research on this question turned up a web site for the tiny little town of L'Anse Grise, Louisiana, which may be of interest relative to the names of both Bete Grise, MI and L'Anse, MI!

By Dan Cunningham (Uporbust) on Wednesday, August 23, 2006 - 12:41 am:

Yes, some very beautiful ladies indeed.
My mom looked like that too, and maybe I am a little biased but I think my mom was prettier.
What happened to the people in my generation?
Did somebody say McDonalds?

By Mona Grigg (Islandantique) on Wednesday, August 23, 2006 - 03:01 pm:

Well, well--some friendly little imps put up a photo of that very sign! The wonders of Pasty Cam. I'm THRILLED to have found this site! Thanks so much.

By Lin Bailey (Baileys) on Saturday, August 26, 2006 - 09:16 pm:

Well, Dan, the guy in the background is a hottie too! No golden arches in HIS sight, I bet! Where ARE guys like that these days????

By Russell E. Emmons (Russemmons) on Sunday, August 27, 2006 - 01:31 pm:

Baileys: Yes you are right---I should have stated in my comments also this goes for men too--all people, and sadly nowadays even way too many young children are way overweight and out of condition!

By Dowell Lafleur (Dowell) on Thursday, September 28, 2006 - 11:45 am:

Hi, I'm the owner of the L'Anse Grise website in Louisiana, and thanks for visiting our site lately.

In reference to the discussion of the name Bete Grise name above, this may help to solve the mystery of name. Sandstone Bay in French is "Bai de Grés," which was probably corrupted over the years to "Bete Grise."

Dowell Lafleur

By FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Thursday, September 28, 2006 - 01:11 pm:

Dowell Lafleur (Dowell):
"Sandstone Bay in French is "Bai de Grés,"

Wow! Thanks very much for the input, Dowell!

As noted previously, I claim absolutely no expertise in French (Finnish is enough of a handfull/mouthfull!)

Not to doubt your expertise, but could there possibly be a wee bit of confusion with the accent mark - accent aigu vs. accent grave (Grés vs.Grès)?

You can't imagine the crazy results I get from various on-line translation engines for "Bai de Grés", including "Bai de Grés" = "Bay of Wills" (?)

Meanwhile I just hit on this one at Applied Language Solutions: "Bai de Grès" = "Bay of Sandstone"!

Eureka/(Voilà)! (?)

By Dowell Lafleur (Dowell) on Thursday, September 28, 2006 - 01:40 pm:

My apologies, Grès is the proper spelling for the word for sandstone and I stand corrected. I confess that I am far from an expert in the French language. Although Cajun French was my first language, I only recently (within the last 4-5 years) learned to write some French, but I do rely heavily on my Cassell's French Dictionary.


By FRNash/PHX, AZ (Frnash) on Thursday, September 28, 2006 - 01:49 pm:

Thanks again, Dowell, with your kind help, I guess we can now finally close the book on the long standing "mystery of Bete Grise" (a.k.a. "Beet Grease" or "Bay Degree").


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