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Guest Comments

Quotes from Book Owners

   I'm  really  pleased  at  the  wonderful  comments  made  by  these  persons,  used  with  permission, jlw.  If   you  wish  to  share  a  comment,  please  send  an  email  to  

 Andrew  Hanna 
Student  of  Lighthouses
Andrew  Devouring  the  Book

December 22, 2022

(This note followed the mail delivery to a neighbor's home although the package was addressed to Lisa's mother's home.)


The book is absolutely incredible.  I'm in awe. In fact, I was so excited that I ended up giving it to my mom. She was ecstatic.  We are still looking at it. What a beautiful book you have created. 


The package was not open. They have some absent minded neighbors unfortunately. But in the end,  it all worked out. You are truly an amazing author and photographer. 


Thank you for creating this work of art and masterpiece. Merry Christmas!



Lisa Nocerini


January 14, 2020

   With my employee as well as myself retiring, my gift to him was your book if you recall.  He loves it!  In fact, he was on the verge of buying that very book when I gave him this last weekend.  Sorry I cut your business a little.  He plans on visiting every lighthouse in Michigan.
   Thank you for this John!
   T. Fullford


   In recognition of the passing of our 44th Governor of Michigan William G. Milliken—with pleasant memories of my occasionally flying the Governor and Helen Milliken.

I share with you his letter to me! 

A recent anonymous telephone message

   Thank you so much for sending that book out! I just think it’s fantastic, I love the inscription, everything about it, and the extra card you put in there, the picture postcards, the brochure, the little note page bookmark, the place where you signed it—very, very classy. So very grateful for my book also, that I get to share it all with my sisters and my mom, we get to relish the pictures as well, you’re a gem. Thank you so much! Bye

October 10, 2018

   My wife and I were in St. Joseph Saturday and saw your photographs at The Heritage Museum. They were beautiful. I am looking forward to seeing them again when the book arrives.


   Crawford Ward

   For that person who is hard to buy for, I got a signed edition of your book. I finally found a gift that was perfect—special for him.   

   Jan Joss 

   (at the 2016 Exhibit in Pointe Aux Barques, MI)


   I believe I have the first copy of your book! I am now 25 years old but I sent you money via a flyer my parents received in the mail at age 12, I believe. Your book cost me nearly my entire personal life savings at that age, however, the book was completely worth it! I still look at it quite frequently; the pictures and stories are absolutely priceless. I do remember there was a delay when I sent the money long ago because the book was still being printed. I wanted to thank you for you gracious personal words you wrote in my book when you mailed it to me after the delay, I still read them every time I pick up the book. As a lifelong sailor out of Muskegon, thank you again for making such a quality book!
   Eric Bombery

Hi John,
   Received your lighthouse book yesterday after-noon. Had to drop everything and look through it! What a wonderful piece of work—it must have been truly a labor of love, as what a beautiful piece of work it is, indeed. At the lighthouse festival in Alpena, I just glanced at a few pages, but the entire book is wonderful and the photography is superb. Reading it from page to page is in the future for me, but I certainly enjoyed looking at every picture in it yesterday. Thanks again!  Sincerely,

   Ron Doke, Elkhart, IN

   I bought John's book in 1998, shortly after it was published because I love Michigan Lighthouses and wanted to keep track of all the lighthouses our family has visited over the years. What I love about this book is its thoroughness of information, its colorful beauty, and the amazing fact that John was both pilot and photographer. Another aspect of its beauty is that lighthouse pictures were taken in all the unique seasons that Michigan can claim as its own. I continue to page through this book and uncover gems I have missed before, and will continue to keep track of the many more lighthouses I hope to discover on my travels in this majestic state we live in. A remarkable book and a sweet keepsake.
    Deb DeHaan, Grand Rapids

Dear John, 

   I was one who looked at and purchased your lighthouse book on the Michigan lighthouses and you were good enough to ship it back to me in Massachusetts. We met on the island of Mackinaw during the Harbour Lights reunion. 

White Shoal

   To be honest, when it came I put it on the coffee table and it sat there all the while I was enjoying the great fall season here in the Berkshires, western Massachusetts, and the recent holidays. After the company all left I had a few days to relax and do nothing. That is when I picked up the book and looked at it page by page and began to appreciate what you put together without crashing the  C-172.

Specticle Reef 

   Your shots from the air reveal the dangerous rocks under water and the why of a lighthouse in that location much more so than I have ever been able to do on a boat. White Shoals, Spectacle Reef to name a few. You are also able to get a good look at the private ones that we mortals can only hope to see some day. Last summer I was on the bus trip from Chicago to Mackinaw and back again seeing about 45 lighthouses in the process. The summer before, which was my first time in Michigan and it was the upper peninsula, I took a five day WILD trip around the peninsula and out to Isle Royale. Of course, I have only seen about one half of the Michigan ones. Thank you for putting together the book. It was a delightful experience to revisit so many of the lights that I have seen and it reminds me that I have more to go.


   Robert C. Taylor, Pittsfield, MI

   I bought your Michigan Lighthouses book from you back in October 2000 at the Lighthouse Festival in Alpena. Thumbing through the aerial photos. Once again, simply amazed at the beauty of the lights captured by your camera. Wonderful! In particular, the breathtaking and seclusiveness caught on film of Stannard Rock from above! AWESOME! Anyways, you signed my book and seeing your kind words to my wife and I was a nice memory of a wonderful time at that festival. Thanks!  

   Mike Ebel

Phenomenal & Outstanding
December 11, 2002
   You’ve never really seen a lighthouse until you’ve seen it from the air. This perspective is totally new. The pictures are wonderful and the history of the lighthouses is fascinating. If you have any interest at all in lighthouses or boating this book is a “must have.” It’s a great coffee table book—you can pick it up and open it to any page…there’s no beginning or end.
   Reviewer: A reader from Grandville, MI USA

Dear John,
   We received your book today from my children; it is just beautiful, and we enjoy it immensely. My daughter, Amy, from Dallas, TX is the one that contacted you and had you personalize it for me. That makes the book all the more special to me. I can’t wait to show it to our friends who are also interested in Michigan’s beautiful treasures. Thank you,

   Patricia Dankert 

Dear Mr. Wagner,

   I received your book on Friday as a heartfelt thanks from a patient's daughter I had the privilege to know for a short time.  I work for Hospise of Little Traverse Bay in Petoskey, MI as a patient care tech. During one of my visits to the patient's house, I had mentioned my love for visiting and learning the history of our Michigan lighthouses...the character each one holds, from the stories passed on, to the solitude each one brings, leaves me at awe.  How it touched my heart to receive such a gift. I found myself so enthralled when I finally got to sit down and look behind the cover.  Thank you for sharing your knowledge and talent and for letting us get a glimpse at such breathtaking views.  Sincerely,

   Carol Phillips

Little Traverse Lighthouse

   Being an avid lighthouse collector/aficionado—but especially Michigan lighthouses (because I live here)—I was impressed and awed by the beauty of this book. I appreciate very much the time, care and hours of flying and photographic manipulation necessary to create this wonderful endeavor. I love your artistry and the words by which you describe it. I also enjoy the symbolic nature of lighthouses.
  Thank you so much for “bringing to light” Michigan’s heritage of lighthouses and their treasured nature.
   Dennis Kelley, Lansing, Michigan

   Our 9-year-old grandson, Kyle, spent Friday night with us, and he told me the next morning that he stayed up late going through this great book on the Great Lakes. He commented that it was so interesting he just couldn’t close the cover. His family spends time in the summertime camping along Michigan’s shores, and he has visited some of the Lake Michigan Lighthouses....
   MaryAnn Fedewa, Fowler, Michigan

Dear Mr. Wagner,
   Hello, my name is Johnny Gin. I have just had the tremendous pleasure of receiving two of your beautiful limited edition, personally inscribed books for my birthday from my friend Carrie    Chan.
   I would like to congratulate you on this spectacular collection of aerial lighthouse photographs. This is by far the most extensive and the most breathtaking collection I have ever seen. You are a man of many talents and a truly accomplished photographer. I hope you will continue to record these wonderful images for people around the world to enjoy. Thank you!

    Johnny Gin, Hong Kong

   The books are perfect. I got them and opened mine. What a great book. This will be the perfect present! Thanks for getting them so quick for me.

   Jeff Rochefort, Bad Axe, Michigan

Unique perspective of lighthouse locales
September 22, 1998
Reviewer: from McLean, Virginia
   Having recently completed a self-guided lighthouse tour of Michigan’s lower peninsula, I found this provides many pleasant reminders. The aerial perspective uniquely shows why lighthouses are built in the locations selected by the government. The stories of trying to fly an airplane and use a camera simultaneously are a delight. After my short aerial journey over the Straits of Mackinac, I can appreciate the difficulty the author had. The large format of the book allows one to study the details of each color photograph.  The photos of Great Lakes cargo vessels and icebreakers are an added bonus. I recommend this book to all lovers of lighthouses, whether you have been to Michigan or not.

   From by permission of the writer

Round Island
Mackinac Island

Dear Mr. Wagner,
   I wanted to let you know that I received the Round Island poster in the mail yesterday and it is great. Thank you for signing it—that made the poster even more special to me. I also wanted to thank you again for working with me and being so patient.
   I am hoping to come to Michigan some day and visit the Round Island lighthouse. You have just brought my dream a little closer. Thanks again. I really love the poster!

   C.B., Lawton, Oklahoma

Round Island Lighthouse

Dear John,
   A month ago I ordered, and have since received, your aerial photography book. I sent it to my parents in Grand Rapids and my Mom’s response is with much appreciation for the great book. She thinks it’s wonderful. My Dad agrees and is waiting to take it on vacation when he can sit for hours and view it. Thanks again for a fine book.

    Bob Scholten, Kissimmee, FL

Dear Mr. Wagner,
   I received your book, Michigan Lighthouses, as a Christmas present and have enjoyed it immensely. I have gone through it three or four times so far and each time was as though it were the first. I majored in photography in college and have also done some recreational flying with a friend, so I have some idea of what skill it requires to do either—much less both—at the same time. Each of your photographs in the book are nothing short of a work of art. My great grandfather was a lighthouse keeper at the Marquette, Michigan lighthouse from 1909 through 1921 or 22, so I have a sort of vested interest in lighthouses.

   Perry Laing, WNMU-TV,

   Northern Michigan University, Marquette, MI

Marquette Lighthouse

Hello John,
   I love your photographs. You know my uncle, Bill Craig, a fellow pilot and photographer. He had a copy of your book, which I also purchased. I spent most of my formative years in Michigan and try to get back there as often as I can. I love the water and everything associated with it, especially the lighthouses! I’ve lived in Chicago for 22 years but make it a point to visit Michigan’s lakeshores, mostly on the western edge.
   I, too, love photography and truly enjoyed your book. Friends from the East Coast have also marveled at your work. I happened on your web site while surfing, and the picture on your home page struck me, since it’s the one on the cover of your book! I hope you’re doing well.         Lisa Diment

Joseph L. Block

Dear Mr. Wagner,
   I am a recipient of your marvelous book, Michigan Lighthouses. A friend…presented a number of these to our group at a Christmas luncheon. I have thoroughly enjoyed the magnificent photographs and the very interesting prose. While an employee of Ryerson Steel, a subsidiary of Inland Steel at the time, I enjoyed three separate cruises aboard ore-boats from Indiana Harbor to Escanaba, MI. In fact, one trip was aboard the Joseph L. Block pictured in your book.

   Gil Kett, Carmel, IN

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