The Grand Rapids Public Museum (GRPM) announced that a new display is now open highlighting its newly acquired Collection of toys that move. This display, located just outside the popular TOYS! special exhibition, features the magic of motion in toys.
From the ancient Chinese and Greek automatons to the clockwork marvels of the Renaissance, inventors have always searched for ways to make their creations change and move. In modern times, many German and Japanese companies specialized in making a huge variety of affordable wind-up toys. In the twentieth century, the American firm Fisher-Price became well known for its high quality wooden, and eventually plastic, pull toys, many of which are seen in this new display.
The toys featured in this collection are new to the GRPM's permanent Collection that contains over 250,000 artifacts and specimens.They come from collector Beth Schwartz, who began toy collecting in the early 1990s when she was traveling the country as an actress/singer working in touring Broadway shows. She loved searching out new pieces for her collection, especially Fisher-Price pull toys and antique wind-ups.
“We are so grateful to the family of Beth Schwartz for donating her amazing toy collection to the Museum. Although Beth passed away in 2011, her collection will continue to delight and inspire children of all ages who visit,” said Alex Forist, the GRPM’s Chief Curator.
'Toys that Move' is on display on the second floor of the Grand Rapids Public Museum, and will be part of the general admission experience. The exhibit is presented in both English and Spanish.
Shakespeare in Jazz: All the World's a Song will be performed at the Dogwood Center on Friday, March 6 at 7:30 p.m. for a sure to be incredible performance!
An engaging, participatory celebration of Shakespeare’s work, the program offers an exciting new way to experience his genius. Text from Shakespeare’s masterpieces including Midsummer Night’s Dream, Twelfth Night, Macbeth and Hamlet are transformed into fresh and dynamic Jazz songs that have audiences singing along in sheer delight, great for those discovering his plays for the first time and for Shakespeare aficionados alike.
Shakespeare in Jazz features composer and pianist Daniel Kelley and jazz vocalist Frederick Johnson. Johnson has performed on stage with such musical greats as Chick Corea & Christian McBride and has performed as an opening act for Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Aretha Franklin, George Benson, B.B. King and many others.
Tickets are $15.00 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.
By Marsha Reeves
Deep in the bowels of the Flying Bear Book Store lurks a budding poet – one who keeps his own secrets. Like the fact that he published his very first poetry book. The Bear knew he wrote poetry, but a book?! Justin was completely hush hush about this until late January when it was already published. It will be available February 24th on Amazon. So of course he is the March 2020 Featured Poet at Poetry Night.
Famous poets, budding poets, poetry students, poetry aficionados, and curious listeners as well as supportive family and friends gather at Flying Bear Books in Newaygo on the first Wednesday of every month at 7 PM for Poetry Night to share their work, share what they like and share what inspires them. It’s all free and everyone is welcome. They will be passing a hat to help the bookstore pay the rent, but that’s entirely voluntary. This month it’s all happening on Wednesday, March 4th.
Justin McGarry is an Actor, Poet, and teller of irreverent stories. He was raised in Newaygo, Michigan, and currently attends Grand Valley State University pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing. "A Glimpse of Purple", released in February 2020, is his first collection of writing. He will have copies of his book available for purchase and signing at Poetry Night and the bookstore will be carrying his book in the future.
Photos by Lil DeLaat
It was a gorgeous mid winter day as the second annual Freezin’ Season brought folks out of hibernation to enjoy some cold weather fun with families descending on the Newaygo County Welcome Center Saturday afternoon.
While many young folks took part in creating bat houses and bee boxes inside John Graves Lodge, sledding took center stage for young and not so young as conditions made the hill a snow covered highway of fun.
Bill VanAndel once again hitched up his horses to provide wagon rides, a blazing campfire allowed for some hot dog roasting and hot chocolate was the most popular beverage of the day.
Kudos to the Newaygo County Conservation Collaborative for putting together another successful event.
Book Review: My Sister, The Serial Killer
By Alexis Mercer
The title threw me for a loop. I’m not much for serial killers. But when Book Club names a book, I read it. So My Sister, The Serial Killer, by Oyinkan Braithwaite arrived, and I tentatively opened to the first page.
No wasting time. The reader jumps right in to the meat of the story told from Korede’s point of view. She is a nurse in St. Peter’s Hospital in Nigeria. She is practical, responsible, and mature. She is also in love with a doctor in the hospital, Tade.
Ayoola is the younger sister: beautiful, carefree, the golden child from birth. She has also killed three men she was dating - leaving Korede to clean up, both literally and figuratively, the mess.
Flashbacks and memories of the sisters’ childhood are interspersed throughout the chapters, revealing details of what has made the girls who they are today. Stories of their father, since deceased, and their mother, who favors Ayoola to this day without hesitation.
Despite the straightforward start and direct jump into the action, the plot takes many turns and unexpected twists. My attention was held captive the entire novel. I could not have anticipated the outcome or how the reader get there if I had 100 tries.
This book was not an example of “don’t judge a book by its cover,” but instead “don’t judge a book by its title.” I would have been missing out on an entirely original, intriguing story had I not given it a try thanks to Book Club.
Ever taken in a show you saw lots of flaws in, maybe couldn’t really always capture what was going on and yet there was something compelling about it that made you keep watching?
I mean other than the news?
Try Locke & Key, currently available on Netflix.
I have always been fond of the TV version of the macabre. Twilight Zone was a must see every Friday night though my friends and I preferred Way Out a show that lasted but part of one season but it was absolute brain candy. Both came on Fridays, non school nights and were perfect fare for middle schoolers mildly obseessed with the genre.
Twilight Zone begat Night Gallery a show that used to bring activity on the campus of CMU to a halt as we gathered in groups to check out Serling’s latest eerie offerings. It was superb and episodes like ‘The Big Surprise” remain ensconced in my ever depleting memory bank.
There have also been a lot of truly bad attempts at capturing just the right combination of terror and intrigue. American Gothic and Invasion were two I recall.
And now there is Locke & Key, the latest experimental watch Lil and I have indulged in of late.
It’s got a lot of loose ends and while Lil’s comments about parents in horror shows notwithstanding (“why on Earth would anyone leave a child that age stay alone in that house?”) I’m willing to let it go because, well, because it’s in the same ballpark as when people go in the basement in such shows, right? I mean, it’s supposed to be scary stuff so normal rules of conventional thinking get set aside.
The show has the standard characters, precocious young boy, sulky teenage girl and the likeable older brother along with the recently widowed single Mom who early on seems to be in a continual state of denial ala Wendy Torrence (Shelley Duvall) in The Shining.
There are an adequate number of intriguing scenes and while the plotline can wander into predictability at times there is a thread of intrigue and enough unrevealed mystery to hold interest.
But don’t get me wrong, it’s not epic. The writing is a bit flawed but the acting isn’t awful and despite what might seem to be described as shortcomings it has thus far been entertaining enough.
When we get caught up in a show we both really like there’s little discussion of its merits afterwards and more of a dialogue about what went on and what we found particularly enjoyable.
With L&K it's been more of,
'What do you think? Want to keep watching?'
‘Yeah, let’s give it another episode or two’
So buyer beware, you may not find Locke & Key to your liking but thus far we're just past halfway through and…
We haven’t pulled the plug yet.
Newaygo County Museum and Heritage Center Speaker Series continues with Dale Twing
The Newaygo County Museum will continue our speaker series with Dale Twing, Newaygo County Drain Commissioner and avid local historian, who will be discussing early White Cloud History. Please join us at the Museum on Thursday, February 20th at 6:30 pm at NCMHC. The presentation highlights his extensive knowledge of local history and his connections to the area.
Dale was born and raised in White Cloud along with his two brothers, Chuck and Jon. He graduated from White Cloud High School and then went on to Grand Rapids Junior College where he earned an associate degree. Once earning his associate degree, he obtained his bachelor’s degree at Grand Valley State University. He majored in Political Science and minored in Sociology. He was the owner of Sally’s Family Restaurant for 32 years as well as several rental properties, two other restaurants, a party store, and the first ice cream truck in the area.
He has served or is currently serving on the following boards: Dragon Trail Executive Board, Fremont Area Community Foundation, Amazing X Foundation, Big Brothers Big Sisters, 4H Council, Newaygo County Road Commission, Newaygo County Parks, Newaygo County Board of Public Works, White Cloud DDA, White Cloud Parks and Recreation, White Cloud Sherman Sewer Authority, Chain of Lakes Sewer Authority, River County Chamber, Fremont Christian School Board, and the Newaygo County Autism Board.
Dale is married to Susan Hines Twing and they have three daughters; Melissa Dykman, the Probate Judge for Newaygo County, Jenetia Hanna, who manages Starbucks, and Becky Bergakker, who is a professor at Grand Valley State University. They also have 8 wonderful grandchildren.
Please join us at the Museum on Thursday, February 20th at 6:30 pm for this forty-minute presentation, an ongoing part of our year round Heritage Speaker series, which will be followed by a time of questions and answers. The Newaygo County Museum and Heritage Center is at 12 Quarterline in downtown Newaygo. Doors are scheduled to open at 6:00 p.m. Admission is free.
Donations are matched at 50 percent by the Fremont Area Community Foundation, which provides core operational support for the organization.
Looking for a cure for the wintertime blues?
The Newaygo County Conservation Collaborative will be hosting the second annual Freezin’ Season Winter Carnival on February 22, 2020 from 12 p.m. - 4p.m. at John Graves Lodge, Newaygo County Welcome Center. Newaygo County residents are invited to join in on an afternoon filled with family friendly events. This free event includes sledding, horse-drawn hayride, ice fishing and learning about winter lake ecology. Participates can also assemble a bat house, Mason bee box or a seed bomb to take home. Afterwards, relax around a bonfire with a cup of hot chocolate while roasting a hot dog.
Grab a friend and join in the celebration and appreciation for the outdoor splendor Michigan has to offer!
A delightful doubleheader on tap
Got a bit of the midwinter blues?
Tired of getting your entertainment fix fromTV?
Longing to latch onto some live music?
Well lucky you because this week there are a pair of outstanding options within a short saunter to Fremont.
First off the GR Symphony comes to town for their annual visit Thursday at 7:30. Compositions from Copeland, Bach, Tchaikovsky and Mozart are among the classical tunes emanating from the Main Stage.
And here’s the thing for all of you out there who love a bargain. Next weekend a similar seat at DeVos for the GRS show would cost you $66. Then there’s gas to get down there, parking, likely a meal at one of the downtown eateries and a drive home late at night.
At the D-wood?
And even better? Should you want the student in your life to drink in a little culture?
A mere fin gets them in.
Unprecedented bargain to be sure.
Then on Saturday (also 7:30pm) another annual event comes to the club-like atmosphere of the Black Box when The Luthiers Concert returns.
This brainchild of Ms. Faune Benson Schuitema (one of our favorite people on the planet) has been introducing new Luthiers and musicians as well as bringing back familiar favorites to Dogwood audiences for over a decade. It is a combination exhibit/concert that has drawn huge crowds and rave reviews while giving folks the opportunity to meet these talented regional artists who create these magnificent instruments.
And though the emcee (yours truly) has a tendency to stumble through the introductions, the music that follows is well worth the wait.
So below you will find the skinny on both and if you’ve not been to the Dogwood since the renovation aimed at providing an amazingly easy access these offerings are a golden opportunity to do so.
See you there.
By Ken DeLaat
Eighth Year of Success for the Fremont FFA Alumni & Friends Annual Euchre Fun Night
The Fremont FFA Alumni & Friends held their annual fundraiser, a Euchre Fun Night, on Saturday, January 25 at the Fremont High School. This marked the eighth year holding the event and it was a great success. This year’s event sold out for the first time ever with 56 teams registering.
“We are so grateful to the community for supporting this event and the Fremont FFA program,” said Loretta Towne, Fremont FFA Alumni and Friends President. We are absolutely overwhelmed by the success of this event each year and the support we receive not only from the card players but local businesses and community members that sponsor the event.”
This year’s event net proceeds will be just over $3,100. The funds raised will be used to directly benefit the Fremont FFA Chapter and members. Areas include leadership conferences, State and National Conventions, FFA jackets and classroom materials.
The evening began with a delicious meal from award winning, Smokin' Good Time BBQ, featuring pit master Mark Westcott.
As dinner wrapped up, participants moved on to playing Euchre. In addition to enjoying cards and fellowship, many participants received door prizes and tried their luck in a 50/50 drawing.
At the end of the night, several teams were recognized and took home prizes. Finishing in fourth place was Rhonda Riddle and Bill Wallace. Taking the third-place spot was Mark and Jackie Hoogerhyde. In second place was Jim Schwartz, Jr. and his teammate Fred. Coming in first place was the team of Nancy Zeldenrust and Lucinda Thompson.
“This event would not be what it is without the generosity of our sponsors. We greatly appreciate their support,” said Towne. Gratitude is extended to Gold Sponsors: Cushman Meat Processing, Delia’s Stump Removal and Newaygo Insurance Agency; Silver Sponsors: Farm Bureau Insurance-Landheer Agency, Fremont Animal Hospital, JMAX LLC, Nieboer Electric, Seth Pell & Gary Sholty and Rob & Marva Zeldenrust; Bronze Sponsors: The Adsmond Family, Fremont Moose #1555 Euchre Club, Gerber Farms, The Houston Family, Brent Tanis & Travis Bennett and The Smith Farm.
For more information about this event or the Fremont FFA Alumni & Friends, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (616) 634-5200.
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