Ok, so earlier this week we told you about the Hazardous Waste Collection Day at the Road Commission from 8am-2pm and of course there’s the premier event for kids known as Free Fishing Day up in White Cloud with registration starting at 8am and poles in the water at 9am.
Here’s more stuff to check out should you be so inclined.
It’s Saturday Drop-in Art for Kids featuring Clay Garden Birds at the NCCA-Artsplace in downtown Fremont . This is a ‘make and take’ art experience with all ages welcome though 5 and under will need an adult to accompany them.
Instruction begins promptly at 11:00 a.m. Jus three bucks per person and you bring home a piece of artwork to grace the family home.
Nate Dill is a local area guitarist, pianist, performer and instructor that plays original, innovative and creative solo jazz guitar and this Saturday from 12-4pm he will be delivering his music at the Acoustic Lunch Series hosted by Newaygo Brewing Co.
Speaking of music the RiverStop Saloon in Newaygo loves Rock and Roll and Friday night starting at 8pm check out Eyes 12 a trio with some definite torque.
Heard of Bigfoot Buffalo? Well you should have if you follow the music scene in our metro neighbor to the south.
Brew Works in Fremont will be featuring Kyle Brown one of the BB members from 7-10pm Friday.
Feel like a short road trip? Muskegon does a great job with their Friday Party in the Park and this week they are featuring l. Sharrie Williams and Vincent Hayes Band and the food vendors include: Abeshi Ghanaian Cuisine, Infused / Just Klassics Deli, Ruth Ann's Ice Cream, Bernie O's, and Rosita Tacos.
Also in Muskegon is Beach Jam a4v4 co-ed beach volleyball tournament paired with quality live music all day from West Michigan artists including George Moss and KLEEN SL8! Come for the volleyball, the music, beach games, or just to hang out. 1130 -6pm Pere Marquette Beach.
And Newaygo has a new store downtown as The Vintage Cottage makes its official debut (they had a soft opening earlier) Friday from 4-8pm and Saturday from 10am-3pm. VC is located in the cute little place next to New Ewe.
Check it out. We understand there will be cupcakes on hand.
How do you get a famous poet to share his talents at your local Poetry Night?
As it turns out, you just ask him!
By Marsha Reeves
Robert Fanning is a Foley Poetry Award recipient and the author of six poetry collections, including four full-length collections. His poems have appeared in Poetry, Ploughshares, Shenandoah, The Atlanta Review, and other journals. Recent work has also appeared on The Writer's Almanac on NPR, and Fanning was interviewed at the Library of Congress for the nationally-syndicated radio program "The Poet and the Poem." A graduate of the University of Michigan and Sarah Lawrence College, he is also the founder and facilitator of the Wellspring Literary Series in Mt. Pleasant, MI., where he lives with his wife, sculptor Denise Whitebread Fanning, and their two children.
John Reeves, owner of Flying Bear Books, heard an NPR interview with Mr Fanning last winter and was struck by his love for poetry and his enthusiasm. John thought about Flying Bear Books’ first Wednesday of the month Poetry Night and the idea of inviting Mr. Fanning to Poetry Night started to bloom in his imagination. He want back and forth, and talked with Gabe (Studio 37 owner and operator) his friend and partner in MC’ing the poetry night thinking it might be a long shot, but wondering if Mr. Fanning could make time or be interested in our little local Poetry Night.
In the end he decided ‘What the Heck? It won’t hurt to ask.’
By the time John decided to give it a try, he’d lost track of the famous Poet’s name, but he remembered that he was at Central Michigan University. In a flash of inspiration, John called the CMU switchboard and the very kind and patient operator sorted through several possibilities before sending his call over to Fanning. Howah! He was the guy!
So Robert Fanning will be sharing his work and listening to the work of our local poets as people share at the Flying Bear Books Poetry Night Wednesday, June 5th, starting at 7 PM.
Everyone is welcome and you can read your own poetry , read something that is meaningful to you written by someone else, or just settle in and listen.
The Poetry Night Motto: “Gash Kozin, Niibawin, Giigidoon”. (English Translation: Wake Up. Stand Up. Speak Up.)
Robert Fanning website: https://robertfanning.wordpress.com/
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Becoming Book Review
By Alexis Mercer
When I was training for a marathon, I needed a way to pass some time on the hours-long runs. I listened to music, then sometimes podcasts, and other times the Harry Potter series - starting with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (my fourth time reading the series). So began my experience with Audible.
It was a special circumstance which began this new way of reading a book. I’m somewhat of a purist otherwise. I love the feeling of a book in my hands. Paperback, hard cover - either one will do. If in a pinch, I’ll read a book on a kindle or my phone. But a book in my hands is a little piece of magic.
I can hardly run while holding a book, though. Audible will do for that. Because of my introduction to this experience, I considered other situations when I could use the app. Driving! So I purchased Becoming and off I went.
Listening to Michelle Obama tell her tale in her own voice added an authenticity to the story. Where there was anger in her words, it came through in her voice. Where hurt, where pain, where pure joy - it was all there.
Michelle’s memoir tells many details of her youth - growing up on Euchlid Avenue on the south side of Chicago with her mother, father and brother in the upper level of her Aunt’s house with makeshift bedroom walls. She builds a picture of what made her who she is today - long before she was the wife of the President of the United States.
There are stories of her education, both from her teachers and also her family and the environment in which she lived. How she loved to learn and loved to ask questions. How she was accepted into an Ivy League school but felt out of place and not nearly as social as her friends - instead connecting with children she babysat and tutored.
Eventually meeting Barack comes into the story. She, an established lawyer, he a recruit of the company paired with her to show her around and to help convince him to become part of their team. Though Barack is part of the book from this point on, Becoming is still Michelle’s story. Her experiences throughout the years. Their collective choices. How she didn’t always want to be 100% of his campaigns over the years. Her vulnerabilities being in the public eye - her fear of raising children in the White House and how she fought for even a remote sense of normalcy for them.
I found the memoir intriguing, intelligent and refreshing. It was honest and straightforward while still showing Michelle Obama’s vulnerabilities and fears.
While I will always prefer the experience of holding a book in my hand, reading at my own pace and being able to curl up under a warm blanket to soak in a great story, I am glad it was Becoming I enjoyed on Audible for no other reason than hearing a memoir in the author’s voice adds an authenticity to the words.
Father's Daze is hilarious and heartwarming show designed specifically for Dads and the people who love them and will be at the Dogwood Center Black Box on Friday, June 14 at 7:30 p.m.
The program is a delightful view of the world through the eyes of three Dads who just happen to be highly accomplished humorists, storytellers and performers. Don White, Bil Lepp, and Bill Harley join forces to take you on a wild journey of love and laughter through the Dad experience. Storytelling and music at its best!
Performer Don White has survived and thrived for twenty-five years, bringing his audiences to laughter and tears in his live performances, studio recordings, and on the printed page. He is a storyteller-comedian-author-troubadour-folk singer-songwriter.
As storyteller, author, and recording artist, Bil Lepp’s works have received awards and recognition from The Parents’ Choice Foundation, The National Parenting Publications Association and the Public Library Association. In 2011, Bil was awarded the National Storytelling Network’s Circle of Excellence Award. Lepp has been featured 15 times at the National Storytelling Festival, and performed at major storytelling festivals, at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, and at corporate events and functions across the country.
A two-time Grammy award-winning artist and recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, Bill Harley uses song and story to paint a vibrant and hilarious picture of growing up, schooling and family life. His work spans the generation gap, reminds us of our common humanity and challenges us to be our very best selves. A prolific author and recording artist, Bill tours nationwide as an author, performing artist and keynote speaker.
Tickets are $20.00 and are available through the Dogwood Center Box Office, NCCA-Artsplace in downtown Fremont, or on-line at www.dogwoodcenter.com. Take your Dad out for a treat….a perfect Father's Day weekend gift! For information, phone 231.924.8885. The Dogwood Center is located one mile east of downtown Fremont.
Ok so here we are on the cusp of that welcome wave of warm weather wonder we bipeninsular types revel in known as summer.
Forget the whole “official” beginning known as the Solstice, scheduled to arrive in these parts at about 5 minutes to 10 the morning of June 21st, because this is Memorial Day weekend the first of the Big Three of summer.
Lots going on around and about so let’s get to it…
What better way to start out the weekend than with some good and messy eating and who wants to cook on a Friday anyway?
Hit The Road Joe is featuring one of their nearly world famous BBQ Smoked Rib Dinner specials for takeout only from 5-7pm with a couple of sides and a slab of cornbread for the bargain price of 14 bucks.
Been there, eaten them, can’t go wrong.
Call ahead (652-6020) because they only make so many and when they’re gone...they’re gone.
The Riverstop Saloon will welcome in the Guinness Brothers Band on Friday starting at 8pm. The GBB is well known hereabouts for putting out well played and performed rock and roll with some blues and soul folded in seamlessly so things should be cooking in the Saloon.
On Saturday from 6-10pm Catfish and the Man toss out a bit of harp driven blues to the Saloon scene.
For rodeo fans the Adam Scott Memorial Ride and Rodeo begins Friday with a 4d Barrel race beginning at 430pm. Saturday features the 15 mile trail ride which is described thusly: “Hit the trail by 10am, lunch is included at the halfway point around 12pm, 8pm Dj-karaoke barn party”.
Registration for the ride starts at 9am.
$10 registration fee, $15 to ride the wagon
Get details at their facebook page Adam Scott Memorial Ride/ Rodeo
The Newaygo Brewery returns Isaac Schneider for their Saturday Acoustic Lunch series beginning at noon. Schneider’s keyboard skills provide some very pleasing listening and the Brewaygo experience includes some rather righteous food and drink.
Memorial Weekend in Newaygo means lots of activity as the annual Arts & Crafts Show populates the park and spreads the doings throughout the town. Look for some random art work to be found here and there while strolling the downtown area and Saturday morning there will be some classic cars and bikes near Brooks Park as well.
Love community theater? Well, a friend told me the current production of “Burr: The One Who Won” a comedy with music that tells the other side of the screamingly popular “Hamilton” play is well worth the trip to Cedar Springs.
The Kent Theatre is the home of the CS Community Players and they will be doing two more shows, Friday the 24th and Saturday the 25th at 7:30. Tickets are 15 bucks at the door and $6 for under 18.
Ready to rollercoaster?
Michigan Adventures opens at 11am Saturday.
Memorial Day means flea market at Burley Park.
Never been but have heard epic tellings referencing the impressive magnitude of the thrice a year event.
Personally we’re Mari Kondoing phase so a flea market would be kind of defeating the purpose but if you’re inclined I believe they begin at 8:30am and there’s an entrance fee of about 3 bucks or so though details on it seems to be a bit elusive.
By Ken DeLaat
John Waite brought it last night.
He and his talented troupe of extraordinary musicians shook the Dogwood Center’s Main Stage to its very rafters with a combination of hard rockin’ relics, compelling acoustical adaptations and a way to make the most memorable of his hits feel like they were brand new to the audience.
The week before we had conducted an interview by phone with Waite for a previous story. He and the band were on the road with a day off and in a good mood and the experience led me to want to catch the group when they hit town Saturday. Familiar with the well known titles Waite is associated with I had not realized how long he has been plying his musical artistry whether through performing in a wide variety of venues across the country, collaborating with a lengthy list of highly regarded musicians or working with the song writing skills that have led to a prolific portfolio.
The interview went well and when asked why people should come to the show I liked his assurance of excellence in the reply.
“I mean, why shouldn’t they come? The band is on fire right now and everyone is having fun. It will be a good night”
He was spot on.
The foursome who took the stage following an intriguing opening set by Dan Correa was indeed on point from the start.
Mark Ricciardi put on a guitar clinic firing off some bone rattling riffs in a display of master musicianship. Percussionist Michael “Rhondo” Gilham went beyond the steady backbeat his work provided when he launched into a solo revealing not just the depth of his talent but an impressive endurance and bassist Tim Hogan fired off some innovative runs while providing a solid rhythmic foundation.
Then there was, of course, John Waite. He charmed, cajoled, and shared anecdotal snippets but most of all he did, indeed, bring it. I don’t know what it’s like to be performing a similar show night after night but the difficulty in doing so would seem to be harnessing enough enthusiasm to make it fresh each time. To draw enough energy and passion toward the process and put out a show worthy of your talents.
There was a level of polished professionalism on stage and yet Waite and the band seem to still embrace the wonder associated with live performance and the development of a relationship with a grateful audience.
Waite took us on a fun and fetching journey through some familiar past times with the well known music while adding new songs to my working knowledge of his repertoire.
All his selections were obviously familiar to the folks in the audience who commanded the front rows. They seemed to know every word and were unencumbered by any hesitation about accompanying Waite on vocals or breaking out some impromptu dance moves in the aisles or at their seats.
The entire crowd seemed to get into the spirit of the evening and Waite’s offerings proved to please the flock of followers familiar with his work and concerts as well as the neophytes such as Ms. Lil and myself.
Highlights were many and included an intriguing version of Dylan’s "All Along the Watchtower” and a great wrap up with Led Zep’s “Whole Lotta Love” but it was “Missing You” segueing nicely into “Back on My Feet Again” that truly captured the crowd.
John Waite promised a good show, a fun time and a band that was ‘on fire’.
And he certainly, unmistakably, delivered on all counts.
By N3 Entertainment Crew
First off it is Blessing of the Bikes weekend in Baldwin.
That means there will be considerable motorcycle traffic about and our local establishments that deliver great food and beverage will likely be inundated with two wheeled travelers in need of refreshment and sustenance.
This event spawns a lengthy marketplace along M-37 beginning far south of the town Of Baldwin and extending its reach way north with small venues hawking a variety of goods. It also brings a lot of tourist money to the city and the towns along the way.
So let’s not be in a hurry when met with a traffic tie-up here or there and be aware that timing when it comes to dining in one of our fine fooderies may be essential. Remember, these folks are merely visiting and we are privileged to live here 24/7.
Oh and if you might be heading farther north than our Lake County neighbor?
Might think about an alternate route.
The Family Expo is a free friendly fun festival that not only lays out an absolute boatload of activities, giveaways, raffle prizes, snacks, and more but also gives goers access to a ton of information about the initiatives and programs that help promote healthier living and improve the quality of life in our community.
John Waite is one interesting cat. We spoke with him as he and his band were meandering their way across Ohio for a trio of shows in Michigan including Saturday’s performance at the Dogwood. Though known for his hit ‘Missing You’ Waite’s musical resume runs deep from his days with the Babys through the decades of solo work and collaborations that have him packing venues whenever he tours.
Like rock and roll with a bluesy touch or two and some acoustic flavoring tossed in?
See this show.
More music you say?
Isacc Schneider will be tickling the ivories from 12-3pm during Saturday’s Acoustic Lunch at Newaygo Brewing Co.
River Stop Saloon features Innuendo Friday starting at 9pm and Tommy Foster and No Outlets Saturday 6-10pm
Outlaw Express will bring some tunes to the Driftwood Deck Saturday and Sunday 3-7pm
And as a little change of pace the River Country Community Choir Spring Concert will be held Sunday from 6-8pm at the Grant Fine Arts Center and feature songs to celebrate the season.
A freewill offering will go to Love INC Newaygo County
Head to Rosa Parks Circle Saturday from 1-5pm for the Great Lakes International Cider Festival where tasting will be on tap. 15 bucks gets you 10 drink tickets.
Speaking of two wheeled wonders (well it was a lot earlier in the story but hey…) It is the season opening weekend at Big Air our local Motocross venue. If you like or do motocross you are likely already heading there but if you’ve never been it’s a slice of excitement in our own backyard.
Gate fee: $10 ages 12+
Gate fee: $5 ages 4-11 (non racer)
Kids 3 and under free
Yard Sale season is upon us. This weekend if you like this kind of thing Little Whitefish Lake is having their Community Yard Sales Friday and Saturday from 8am-6pm. This might help get you prepped for the world famous Hess Lake sales coming June 7&8.
We have this ongoing theory that every yard/garage sale must include at least one set of long neglected exercise equipment.
The Musician Behind 'Missing You'
We caught up with British-born rocker John Waite as he and his fellow musicians were crossing the Cuyahoga River in northern Ohio on their way to gigs Thursday and Friday in the easy part of the state. On Saturday they will be performing at the Dogwood Center Main Stage Saturday at 7:30pm.
N3- Playing tonight?
“We have a day off so we’re going to hit Ann Arbor and get some Indian food and a beer and kick it a bit.”
N3- Got time for a few questions?
“Just don’t ask about the incident ok?”
N3- What incident?
“There isn’t any” (laughs).
N3- You’ve collaborated with a lot of musicians over the years. Who among them was the most memorable.
“Alison Kraus. I was at the Opry with her and we did a coupe duets, Lay Down Beside Me and Missing You. She was great to work with. You know, bluegrass has this deep bloodline, it’s that West Virginia storytelling kind of thing. It’s beautiful.”
N3- Well, you’ve talked about being influenced by Celtic music and bluegrass is a close relative.
“Yeah they have that whole Scottish/Irish tremendous pull to the music. It's the music of the people and the community. Of faith and true life.”
N3- Speaking of ‘Missing You’, the single reached #1 on the charts relieving Tina Turner of that position. Later she recorded the song. How did that feel?
“When I was 12 I remember hearing River Deep, Mountain High and thinking. ‘Man, how does it sound like that?’ It was incredible...Tina and Ike... I mean, the way they brought it was something.
“To have someone you admire your whole life sing your song all those years later ... I went to Central Park all alone to listen to it for the first time. I had to be by myself. It was that much.”
N3- Musical Influences?
“I came from a musical family. My brother Joe had the first Telecaster in the country I think. My Mom played piano and sang. I had a cousin who played banjo.When I was young I was enamored with Elvis, Marty Robbins, Bill Haley, Brenda Lee.Then came the Liverpool sound and American sound and blues and more.
“I can’t say one influenced me most it would be like picking out one bird in the sky. You sort through it all and get at what works and develop a style.”
N3- How has your music evolved?
“I don’t think it has. I’ve learned a lot and I hope I have more wisdom now but the basic palette is the same as when I was a kid. I knew what moved me.
You need to leave a mark like they did in the late 60’s and 70’s. When you think about those musicians you realize we’re standing on the shoulders of greatness.”
N3- What are you listening to these days?
“Everything. From Bill Evans to Howling Wolf to Food. Listening to opera... Pavorotti mostly. Some classical. Bob Dylan Radio covers a lot of bases so I listen to that a bit.”
N3- You’ve written numerous songs over the years. Do you write toward an audience or..
“I don’t write to an audience. I didn’t write Missing You to be a single, it just happened. You know, I’m not in the music business. It’s not a logo. I’m a musician. We’re musicians not tied up with all the other crap. I don’t have a publicist or any of that. I’m a musician. I play music.
N3- Why should people come to the concert?
“I mean, why shouldn’t they? The band is on fire right now, we’re playing to packed houses and everyone is having fun.
We start out with some of the hard stuff then shift in the middle to some Wooden Heart acoustical sound before cranking it up again. It makes for an interesting evening with some twists and turns. It will be a good night.”
Tickets are $25.00 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.
There is also a $90 VIP Meet & Greet. Fans will get the chance to meet John Waite in the Black Box before the show. Each person will receive one signed lyric sheet to "Missing You," fans can bring merchandise to be signed and have a photo taken with John. Meet and greet will take place from 7:00 p.m. to 7:25 p.m.
This does NOT include a ticket for the concert. Concert tickets must be purchased separately.
By Terry Grabill
Spring migration is an exciting time for birders, it’s also one of the times that we all become birders, to some extent. While the calendar proclaims spring in late March, here in my home in West Michigan, winter is often still holding on. It’s at this time that resident owls and Red-tailed Hawks are already tending eggs that will be this year’s offspring.
Who hasn’t measured the coming of relief from winter by the sighting of the first American Robin or Red-winged Blackbird? These harbingers of spring are usually the mature males arriving early to secure prime territory. The risk of resource shortage is a necessary trade-off for real estate attractive to the later-arriving females. These hardy souls often find themselves in snowy conditions. Along with the blackbirds and robins, waterfowl are among our earliest spring migrants. Late March and early April are busy times for ducks and geese. While the Canada Geese and Mallards are with us until fall, many interesting species use West Michigan as a stop-over to more northern breeding grounds. Often, we can find Ruddy Ducks, Buffleheads, Scaup, and several other divers on our lakes.
As April progresses, migratory raptors move northward. The Red-shouldered Hawks and Broad-winged Hawks appear with the loosened grip of winter along with the sanitation workers, the Turkey Vultures.
With the changing of the calendar from April to May comes several waves of songbirds. As a lifelong bird enthusiast, this time really gets my blood pumping. The tiny bursts of color and song traveling north now are the warblers. No other North American bird group captures the imagination of birders quite like these little gems. The first signal of warbler migration is the relatively plain Pine Warbler. Their sweet, slurred call is a welcome sound that really signals winter’s end in my mind. Another early warbler arrival is the Yellow-rumped Warbler. These are beautiful blue and gold birds with a diagnostic yellow patch above the base of their tails. Many times, I’ve been birding and found nearly all of my warbler sightings are “butter-butts”. Warblers are certainly not the only birds on the move in early May: Sparrows, those “little brown jobs”, arrive too. The White-crowned Sparrows are just passing through, but the White-throated, Chipping, and Song Sparrows make their homes here until fall.
Interestingly, species come through in relatively predictable sequences. The second group of warblers include Black-and-white and the marsh-loving Yellow Warblers and Common Yellowthroats. Later arrivals are some of our most brilliantly-feathered ones. The Magnolia and Blackburnian Warblers are among our summer residents that don’t arrive until mid-May. These fair-weather migrants are accompanied by the insect-eating flycatchers.
Spring migration is an excellent time to look for new arrivals as well as many birds that are just passing through. And, when Michigan spring turns nasty, these night migrants are sometimes held against their will by north winds and storms. These weather patterns in May often result in the stuff of birders’ dreams: Fallout. These birds are staged to move north and hunkered-down, waiting for the sky to clear. Trees can be found virtually “dripping” with birds forced to stay in this holding pattern until they are released by clearing skies.
I invite you to get outside this month and look at birds. You may be surprised by the diversity of color and shape that awaits you!
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