Boomer TV provides random reviews of current shows by an aging, episodic couch potato currently in cocooning mode.
Have you taken a peek at The Crown?
Lil began watching it awhile back and asked if I’d be interested in giving it a try.
She has always been a bit more of an Anglophile than I, however the PBS series Victoria had captured my attention so despite little personal interest in the doings of the royals it came to mind the length of time the good Queen has been on the throne. She passed her great, great grandmother the aforementioned Victoria about 4 ½ years ago after taking the throne in 1952 so the series was likely to have a good deal of historical perspective and we love historical perspective.
Granted, The Crown is ‘historical drama’ so liberties are taken which only serves to enhance its appeal since it provides speculative inside looks into the Windsors.
I was captivated by the performance of Claire Foy as QEII right away and found the series enticing enough to have plowed through the first two seasons in a couple of weeks. The writing is crisp, the portrayals believable and the backdrop of history taking place in eras familiar to my memory enhances the attraction.
With series 3 arriving there was some trepidation about a recasting as the previous roles were vacated to allow for the show to present the good Queen and those in her circle in the next stages of their lives,
A needless worry. Olivia Colman grabs the main role and in a short time one is transcended from the early mid 1950’s to 1964 without a glitch. Her performance is flawless showing a Queen roiling with unexpressed emotion and Tobias Menzies (‘Outlander’ villain extraordinaire) portrays a complicated Prince Phillip magnificently.
But you have got to catch the inimitable Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret. She drinks the role in with the same gusto as her character takes down cocktails and the interactions between Queen and sister/princess are priceless.
Series 3 lasted just a few days in our household and it’s likely to be a long time before number 4 drops but the wait will likely be worth it. They’ve just begun to get the kids nvolved and the history of Prince Chuck and the love of his life Camilla gives one a rather voyeuristic view into a complex relationship doomed to remain dormant for decades.
Speaking of burning through Netflix series The Kaminsky Method season 2 also had a rapid run in our living room. We spoke of this before but Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin are sublime as they successfully pull off that artful and elusive blend of comedy and drama with aplomb.
If you are of boomer age this is a must see. Arkin does curmudgeon better than anyone and series 2 adds Paul Reiser (Mad About You) and it is truly a most desirable addition.
The Grand Rapids Symphony returns to the Dogwood Center on Thursday, February 6 at 7:30 p.m. for a sure to be incredible performance! Join us and you will experience a world-class orchestra performing for you live at the Dogwood!
The evening's performance will be conducted by Marcelo Lehninger, and feature Copland's "Suite from Our Town"; Bach's "Concerto for Two Violins in D Minor, BWV 1043" with violinists Grace Kim and Chris Martin; Mozart's "Eine kleine Nachtmusik"; and Tchaikovsky's "Romeo and Juliet: Overture-Fantasy".
The Grand Rapids Symphony was officially organized in 1930 and is recognized as one of America’s leading regional orchestras. The Grand Rapids Symphony presents more than 400 performances each year, touching the lives of some 200,000. Nearly half of those who benefit are students, senior citizens and people with disabilities reached through extensive education and community service programs. Their mission is “to share great music that moves the human soul”…..and that is what they will be doing right here in Newaygo County!
This program is funded in part by the Fremont Area Community Foundation and the Jeff Kinzbach Family.
Tickets are $17.50 for adults, $5 children 18 and under and seating is reserved. Tickets are available online at www.dogwoodcenter.com, at the Dogwood Box Office, or at NCCA-Artsplace in downtown Fremont.
The Dogwood Center Box Office is open Tuesday - Friday, 10:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. For information, phone 231.924.8885.
What’s Going On delivers some weekend options
Friday is the rescheduled Rosali concert at the Dogwood’s Black Box beginning at 7:30pm. If you had tickets for last week’s cancelled show they will, of course, be honored and tickets remain available up until showtime for what looks to be an evening of captivating music in the club like setting of the BB.
Saturday’s Drop-in Art for Children at the NCCA Artsplace in downtown Fremont features ‘City in Winter’ as their make and take art experience.11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. $3 per person.
All ages are welcome; children under age 5 should be accompanied by an adult.
And don’t be late because it starts at 11am Sharp!
Saturday is also Free Family Fun Day at the Muskegon Museum of Art with a dinosaur themed Super Saturday. 296 W Webster Muskegon.Opens 10am.
Other music around and about:
The Cruel Flamingos will be rocking Sportsman’s Bar in downtown Newaygo from 8pm-midnight Saturday.
The Bootstrap Boys are at Whitefish Lake Golf Club in Pierson starting at 7:30pm Saturday.
If you are near the lakeshore check out Big Cadillac at Pub 111 in Whitehall staring at 9pm
And should you be a fan of the Fab Four from way back or the retro induced variety That Beatles Thing is playing at One Trick Pony Saturday from 7:30-10pm. Well worth the trip.
And remember the words sung by the great Commander Cody…
“A whole lotta things that I never done
“But I ain’t never had too much fun.”
Looking for things to do? Want to see what is happening hereabouts that might pique your interest?
We at N3 World Headquarters WGO (What's Going On) Division are here for you.
Midday Mind Expansion
The absolutely great idea known as the Calvin Speakers Series continues at the Dogwood this week.
Intrigued as to how morality varies among progressives, conservatives and libertarians?
How about how data is being used (and perhaps misused) these days?
Maybe a look at how small towns that are surviving and sometimes thriving?
Or perhaps catch a concert involving a talented quintet of siblings?
Well here you go. 12:30 each day.
And if you call (24 hr notice please) you can enjoy a tasty lunch with your talk for just a fiver.
Monday: THE CODDLING OF THE AMERICAN MIND: HOW GOOD INTENTIONS AND BAD IDEAS ARE SETTING UP A GENERATION FOR FAILURE- Jonathan Haidt
Tuesday: WEAPONS OF MATH DESTRUCTION: HOW BIG DATA INCREASES INEQUALITY AND THREATENS DEMOCRACY-Cathy O’Neil
Wednesday: OUR TOWNS: A 100,000-MILE JOURNEY INTO THE HEART OF AMERICA- James and Deborah Fallows
Thursday: THE 5 BROWNS IN CONCERTMore details?
Info on tap in Croton
One often hears about the dearth of people attending the meetings held by local governmental entities.
Croton Township meetings often bring in special guests to deliver presentations and on Monday Jan. 13, starting at 7pm they will hear from a trio of speakers.
Newaygo County Clerk Jason Vanderstelt-“Update from the Clerk’s office”
Mitch Rood, NPD school liaison officer at Newaygo schools- "A day in the life of an embedded police officer".
State Representative Scott VanSingel-”"What we can expect from our State Legislators in 2020".
Kudos to Croton Township folks for making these presentations available to those who attend the meetings and double kudos to the citizens who show up at these monthly gatherings.
Besides the informative talks there will also be the township business to attend to, of course.
Glass (not iced over) Trees
The NCCA Artsplace is a great venue for channelling that inner artist that has long been simmering. Lindsey Isenhart is one of those rare artists who can translate her creativity into instructional mode while maintaining patience and good humor. This combination makes her workshops fun and this Thursday she will be holding court over Fused Glass Birch Trees.
Here’s the skinny:
Using the season of your choice, create a beautiful fused glass birch tree panel using layers of COE 96 glass, glass paints, stringers, frit, and baubles. Each part of the fused glass panel will be demonstrated layer by layer. Proper use of glass cutters, breaking pliers, nippers and other glassworkers tools will be taught also. All materials pro- vided. Pick up the following week.
Thursday 6:00-8:00 p.m. January 16
Class Fee: $50($45 Members) Ages 16-Adult.
More info including seeing a finished product? Go to:
Malt & Minutiae
Like Trivia? Like beer with your trivia? The Social Nights series at Newaygo Brewing Co features Bar Trivia With Lady Elle Thursday 7-9:30pm. Downtown Newaygo.
Today's WGO Quote:
“People who say they don't care what people think are usually desperate to have people think they don't care what people think.”-George Carlin
By Ken DeLaat
It’s been awhile since I watched Jeopardy but I found myself alone at home on Wednesday night because LSC Lil had left town for the night and I kind of stumbled onto it while eating some ice cream standing up because we’re not allowed to eat on the couch and I can’t bring myself to break the rules even when I might get away with it.
And that’s when I discovered James, Ken and Brad, the ex champions who were participating in the Greatest Of All Time competition, an interesting title shortened to provide a categorical column during each game involving the acronym GOAT.
My past Jeopardy encounters came from watching the venerable Art Fleming who hosted the show the first 11 years or so. A group of us in college watched pretty regularly and once in a classic show all three contestants ended up in the minus column requiring Fleming to ad lib since there was no final jeopardy It was hilarious, particularly because toward the end no one was even trying to buzz in.
But I digress.
Need to put your ego in check when it comes to feeling like you’re pretty smart? Well, watch the wizardry of these guys who tear through questions about the most obscure topics imaginable. I was infinitely proud to have known some of the answers…I mean questions... as I sat there in the comfort of my couch but by and large it reminded me of when I was part of a team that took on one of Tony McHattie’s more dominant WC Quiz Bowl teams and were systematically spanked.
This current canny crew is brilliant and the questions (answers) are mostly really really hard. It was the equivalent of watching a heavyweight fight with three guys in the ring. For former fight fans James was Ali, deceptive, lurking in the background at times and lightning fast, Ken was Frazier, a grinder, a winner who won by pounding away with impressive streaks and Brad was Foreman, the guy who won by dominating the opposition (so long as it was human since he lost to IBM’s Watson) and never lost confidence that he was the best even in defeat.
It was compelling to say the least. For many years my similarly aged friends were the recipients of good natured Jeopardy jibes toward their tendency to engage in a daily dose of the show.
I stand corrected and apologize to those who were subjected to my sorry attempts at sarcasm.
This was quality television, particularly when compared to the absolute dearth of entertainment to be found in the rest of the network world.
James was fascinating the way he chose his questions...I mean answers... searching for the daily double, Ken’s artistic additions to final jep were entertaining and Brad who had crafted a career out of the game show seemed impressed by opponents who didn’t fade like many in his other ‘championships’.
In then the risks taken by James along with his seemingly streaky runs of dominance put him in front and Ken held on to be within range but Brad fell in dollars and confidence landing in negative territory and being eliminated from final jep.
Their interactions along with the artful guidance and good humor of host Alex Treveck kept me glued to the set.
I looked it up and the Wednesday win for James was game two with Ken winning game one so since the first to 3 wins is the GOAT not only is there another battle this week (THursday) but it’s a lock to have another go next week with match 4 on Tuesday.
And in a momentary personal visit to another reality, Alex drops the answer in the category Boomer Activities for $800.
“The answer is...“An interesting inspiring entertaining and thought provoking show featuring a celebration of knowledge.”
And I buzz in.
“What is Jeopardy?”
Rosali at the Black Box
Nothing helps diminish the winter blues like an evening in the cozy confines of the Black Box.The club-like atmosphere is an ideal place to settle in with perhaps an adult beverage or two and listen to the latest musical offerings served up by the Dogwood folks.
Saturday at 7:30pm Rosali, an accomplished Philadelphia based singer/songwriter who hails from the wonderfulness that is Newaygo County will be sharing her musical talents and we at N3 World Headquarters are looking forward to what is shaping up to be a compelling evening of music. Here’s a little more info.
No Soup For You?
Only if you don’t go.
Have you been to Amore Trattoria Italiana the exceptional eatery located on the east side of Alpine just before the congestion that is Alpine Avenue really kicks in?
If so you are aware of the delectable items that burst from their kitchen and have wondered perhaps as many of us have, “how do they make that wonderful soup?”
Well Saturday beginning at 2pm they will be holding a free cooking demo featuring, of course, soup.
The bar opens at 1:30pm in case you like wine with your soup demos and it’s on a first come basis
The Indoor Olympics?
The Driftwood in Croton is well aware of the restlessness that often accompanies winter. For some the pursuit of outdoor activities like snowshoeing ice fishing, skating, or skiing helps fulfill the need for sporting activity.
For others who might not be so thrilled about spending time in the Great Outdoors?
They are offering the first annual Winter Games with shuffleboard, cornhole, and pool providing a venue for the competitive juices to get flowing.
From what we understand registrations were closed Wednesday but if you want to see the games and perhaps be able to say 20 years from now you were at the first one, they start at 10am.
Yes on Saturday, January 11 from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm your young hockey wannabees can give the sport a try.This event is geared toward kids ages 4 to 9ish and all required gear will be provided or you can bring your own helmet, skates, and gloves. Register today at ramshockey.org or contact Holly at email@example.com for more information.
Cedar Rock Sports Plex 4758 Cornfield Road in Cedar Springs.
Other Saturday Sounds
David Lampmen will be entertaining folks at Newaygo Brewery’s Acoustic Lunch from Noon to 4pm, Sportsman’s Bar will have Outlaw Express juicing up the joint beginning at 9pm, and Backwoods Crazy is on tap at the Moose Lodge Steak Fry starting at 8pm
And should the idea of Sunday Brunch appeal to you give Brew Works in Fremont a try. Beyond some of the usual breakfast fare you’ll find Mac & Cheese, Chicken, Mashed Potatoes and more.
"Rosali's concert at the Dogwood for Saturday, January 11 has been re-scheduled for Friday, January 17 at 7:30 p.m. "
Rosali will perform in the Dogwood Black Box on Saturday, January 11 at 7:30 p.m. As a songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, she incorporates diverse musical styles from free improv, garage rock, country, pop, to folk-infused song-craft.
Rosali Middleman was raised in Newaygo County and is now based in Philadelphia. Through songwriting and performances, she shares resonant emotions and the authenticity of being, unveiling herself to connect with broad audiences. Rosali’s songwriting realizes life as rich and alluring melodies within the framework of traditional popular songwriting.
Tickets are $12.50 and are available through the Dogwood Center Box Office, NCCA-Artsplace in downtown Fremont, or on-line at www.dogwoodcenter.com. For information, phone 231.924.8885. The Dogwood Center is located one mile east of downtown Fremont.
Looking for things to do? Want to see what is happening hereabouts that might pique your interest?
We at N3WH are here for you.
Get a Clue!
Attention Thespians and Thespian wannabes!
If you have never been involved in community theater I implore you to give it a try.
Because it’s fun, it pushes you out of your comfort zone, there is a deeper appreciation for the whole CT process, you meet interesting people, and it is a new year so should you have a resolution of taking more risks this is a great opportunity to make good on at least one of those annual promises to self.
Did we mention the part about being fun?
And should you choose to audition or just show up to see what it’s all about,get involved in some of the backstage stuff because everyone works as a team in these things and LionHeart has some fine folks around who will welcome your assistance and do their part to help mentor newcomers to the floorboards.
Auditions for the play Clue are this week, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 6:30-9:00pm at 77 South Front Street in Grant so drop in and see how the process works then if intrigued give it a stab. It’s Community Theater not Broadway so you don’t have to be a Tony winner to take part.They are looking to cast 10 adults (5 male, 5 female), with rehearsals beginning January 27th and performances the weekends of March 20th and 27th.
And please as a favor to the staff of N3 World Headquarters read Kurt Vonnegut’s short story “Who Am I This Time?” before you go.
Oh and perusal scripts are available at:
https://broadwaylicensing.com/shows/plays/clue/ (click Read for Free) and copies will also be available at the Grant, Newaygo and Fremont area libraries.
The January Series Begins!
For those of us who have made it a habit to attend these gems whenever possible this is the best thing about January because, well, because there’s not a lot of great things about January anyway and it’s inside and free and never disappointing and you can get lunch for a mere fin if you call a day ahead (24 hour notice please) to reserve it.
It kicks off Wednesday with Calvin U. Volleyball coach Amber Warners.
Coach Warners has built an amazingly successful program with an incredible record of 541-87, meaning in 18 years she has lost less times than the Detroit Tigers did last season
Off the court, Dr. Warners has connected her love of volleyball with her degree in sports psychology. She has created a technology to help players develop their game. The device captures a player’s thoughts out loud and also allows them to receive feedback during practice.
If you have never been to the speaker series please give it a try. As we said, of all the ones we’ve attended over the years we have never come away disappointed(and not just because they are free, although we dearly love free) and often are enriched by the messages delivered, the knowledge dispensed,and the awareness that comes with listening to interesting people talk about interesting things.
Dogwood Black Box 12:30-1:30pm. For more info on the whole series head to
Moms Supporting Moms
The Newaygo Library does some very cool stuff. Their reading programs the various activities, and as we recently found out you can check out stuff like video cameras there.
They also have a Mom to Mom support group that will be meeting this Thursday at 11am to hear Tina McDonald speak on postpartum depression and her journey to recovery.
Is it the so called ‘Baby Blues’ or perhaps a bit deeper when an uncomfortable sadness visits after the birth of a child? Ms. McDonald will explore this with this message: “You are not alone and you do not have to walk through it alone.”
The group provides an opportunity for pregnant moms or moms of littles to share their story in a safe and nurturing setting.
Newaygo Brewing Co has been doing some interesting stuff on Thursdays with their Social Nights, a chance to hang out with some folks and either listen to some vinyl, take on some trivia or, like this week, compete with others in a little Bar Bingo with Kiana.
7-9:30pm. Downtown Newaygo. Good brews, good food, good times and good people.
There you go folks. A few tidbits of what’s happening in our parts. We’ll be back later this week with some weekend diversions.
And as always…
Got an activity you think people should know about? Send us an email at info@nearnorthnow.
Book Review: The Dutch House
By Alexis Mercer
One of the aspects of reading fiction novels I enjoy most is how each plot line, character, and story is in one way or another woven into my mind.
Books have the power to take the reader to places she has never been; get to know characters who may be fictional, but are born from a living, breathing, human’s creative mind and therefore hold in them pieces of soul and breath; teach lessons; or invoke raw emotions. Every once in a while a book does all of those things.
The Dutch House, by Ann Patchett, is a novel that though I read quickly to find out what would happen to the main characters Danny and Maeve, has slowly settled into my mind bit by bit, carefully chosen word by carefully chosen word.
It is not a happy story. It is quite tragic actually. Many times I found my mind screaming “just knock it OFF and get your shit together.” But perhaps that is what made the characters so real and the story so compelling.
Like many of Patchett’s novels, this is a tale of intricate emotions, complex characters and a story line that keeps the reader invested until the last word – and then some.
Cyril Conroy is a man who built himself up from nothing with a real estate investment that turned into an empire. With his newfound fortune, Cyril buys a house outside of Philadelphia that sits on a large amount of land with huge windows and detailed Dutch woodwork throughout to surprise his wife. Only she hates the house.
Danny, the narrator, and his older sister Maeve grow up in the Dutch House with a stepmother and their father Cyril after their mother’s departure. It is when the siblings are kicked out of the house that the two are thrown into a poverty they never knew and how they deal with their circumstances for the remainder of their lives.
Themes of forgiveness, fortitude, the meaning of family, and love all find their way to the surface of this novel. From the surface, though, they dig themselves deep into the reader’s mind – tumble around, linger, and ask to be considered in a new way.
Books are just printed words in a certain order. But the best books, like The Dutch House, are printed words that come alive in the reader’s mind and change her forever.
8th Annual FFA event draws near
Fremont – The eighth annual Fremont FFA Alumni & Friends Euchre Fun Night is fast approaching and you don’t want to miss out on this fun event that benefits the Fremont FFA program.
The event will be held on Saturday, January 25, 2020 in the Fremont High School Cafeteria with dinner being served at 5:30pm sharp followed by card playing. In addition, the evening will include door prizes, table snacks, a 50/50 raffle and the top teams will be recognized.
Pre-registration by January 20 is strongly encouraged; it is first-come, first-served and is limited to 56 teams. Registration is $30 per team. Registration is available online at http://www.signmeup.com/133331 or by mailing a check made payable to Fremont FFA Alumni to 727 Beebe Ave, Fremont, MI 49412.
All proceeds will go to the Fremont FFA Alumni & Friends. This group supports the Fremont FFA Chapter and its members. The profits will go towards conferences, conventions, leadership training, classroom materials and other items needed for agriculture education, inside and out of the classroom.
Sponsorship opportunities are still available. For $75 per table, you can have your name or business displayed on one of the card tables. Other sponsorship levels are also available. For further details on becoming a sponsor please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (616) 634-5200.
The event planning committee is excited to be partnering with returning caterer, Smokin’ Good Time BBQ, featuring pit master Mark Westcott.
For more information about this event, please email email@example.com or call (616) 634-5200.
FFA Alumni play a very important part in keeping agricultural education and FFA programs in our local schools. FFA relies on its alumni to garner support for FFA from their local communities, raise funds for chapter activities and scholarships, assist at FFA leadership camps and conferences, and much more. The Fremont FFA Alumni & Friends is one of the over 1,500 active Alumni affiliates within the National FFA Alumni Association.
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