Sally Dandar and B.J. Lyons were introduced to each other while still in the arms of their mothers. This introduction took place between the Ligibel and Lyons’ cottages, located side-by-side on Eagle Point Road facing the west end of the lake. Through the years, the families always remarked, even joked, “wouldn’t it be something if Sally and B.J. would someday marry?” This truly is the story of the boy marrying the girl next door.
On a perfect summer day this July, Sally and B.J. exchanged vows in front of 300 people on Eagle Point.
As a location, Sally knew there was no other place than Clark Lake. “And I always loved the Point. There is so much lore about it in our family and I knew in my heart it was just the right spot.” Sally says there is a photo of her grandmother (Angela “Nana” Ligibel) and grandfather (Bill Ligibel) on the Point. “That’s a page in our family history that has always been important to me.”
The wedding day was perfect. According to Sally, “we were in a magical land—a breezy summer afternoon with lots of sun; once it set, lanterns burned brightly; live music echoed across the lake and the evening ended with a fireworks display!” But things were anything but settled the night before. The huge tent erected for the reception was in perfect position on Friday afternoon when a freak thunder storm blew through and knocked it down. Sally, B.J. and others who were preparing for the event under the tent had to scramble to safety to avoid being pinned underneath. Fortunately, no one was hurt, the damage was repaired, and the tent was raised again. The next day, unless someone told the story, no one would have known how disaster threatened the night before.
During the ceremony, Ted Ligibel, Sally’s uncle, spoke of the many connections between the two families. As mentioned earlier, B.J. and Sally were introduced by their mothers, Angel Ligibel Dandar and Deb Burns Lyons. Ted explained that the two had become life-long friends when the Burns family moved to Clark Lake in the 1960s. Quoting Ted’s comments, “that’s how B.J.’s parents, Roger and Deb met, and how both mother’s came to be in each other’s weddings in the 1970s.”
Ted continued, “It doesn’t stop there, however. B.J.’s grandparents, Dorothy Schill and Roger ‘Doc’ Lyons also met at Clark Lake, Roger from Jackson and Dorothy from Toledo. They were introduced to each other by Sally’s great uncle [Dick Ligibel], and her great aunt [Katie Rensch] who was also in their wedding. And it was at Clark Lake that Sally’s grandparents Bill Ligibel and Angela Rensch met and courted, often right here at Eagle Point.
“And it gets even more connected as we look back. Sally’s great, great and B.J.’s great- grandparents were early summer residents of Clark Lake and next door cottagers. Early in the 1900s, Ed and Mae Schill of Toledo, B.J.’s great-grandparents, bought a summer residence on Eagle Point Road from Sally’s great, great-grandparents, Toledoans William and Julia Preece. Sally’s other great, great-grandparents, Ben and Frances Rensch, also from Toledo, settled on the east side Eagle Point in the late 1890s. Amazingly, all of these properties remain with the original families, up to five generations later,” said Ted.
The reception went well into the night. It ended with B.J. and Sally hopping aboard the Ski Nautique belonging to B.J.’s father. That was significant because that is where B.J. proposed to Sally. As they made their way, the moon shone brightly, with the lake reflecting back. As true Clark Lakers, they took a midnight swim—in the same way that many others have done under the cover of night.
One final thought. Each guest was given a rock with his or her name on it that marked their place for the reception dinner. Sally has always been interested in geology, so not just any rocks would do. Her parents had to search for ones that would be just right. And if a rock is symbolic of a strong foundation, perhaps it speaks to the character of the connection between these two. They grew up together, shared many common experiences, and now continue to look forward to living a life together in a place they both love—Clark Lake.