NCCA-Artsplace Statewide Photography Competition award winners Gail Howarth, Dianne Carroll Burdick, Deborah Clark and Kris Brown received their awards on June 15. Tim Motley (not pictured) was also an award winner. Their work will be on exhibit at the gallery along with other intriguing photographs until July 13.
NCCA-Artsplace Photography Competition Award Winners
The award winners of the 2019 NCCA-Artsplace Statewide Photography Competition were announced on Saturday, June 15 at the exhibit reception. Photographers and their families and community members waited in anticipation as the first, second, third place winners were announced, as well as the two honorable mention winners.
The competition is an annual event that exhibits and acknowledges some of the finest photographers in the state of Michigan. The exhibit and awards this year were selected by Kelly Walkotten, a professional photographer from Hudsonville.
Award winners are: 1st Place – Tim Motley of Lamont for “Venice", 2nd Place – Gail Howarth of Holton for “The Return”, 3rd Place – Dianne Carroll Burdick of Grand Rapids for “Trees Along Lake Superior”, Honorable Mention – Kris Brown of Grand Rapids for “Country Morning Reflection”, and Honorable Mention – Deborah Clark of Manistee for “Yellow Dog Falls".
This interesting exhibit is a must-see and everyone is encouraged to stop in and take a stroll around the many photographs on display through July 13. NCCA-Artsplace is located at 13 E. Main Street in downtown Fremont. Gallery hours are Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., with Thursday evenings until 8:00 p.m. and Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Opera Grand Rapids “La Traviata”
Story and photos by Mike Gesler
I was first introduced to Giuseppe Verdi’s popular opera, “La Traviata,” many years back. I was working for a company that produced business/industrial films, and doing some post-production editing on a series of films we were producing for Saginaw Steering Gears. Since we were using Mozart within the soundtracks, I was kind of burnt out on “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik,” but wanted something playing in the background as I worked. The only other music in the studio was “La Traviata.” I was soon captivated, drawn to the true tale of Parisian courtesan Marie Duplessis.
If you have the chance this weekend to attend Opera Grand Rapids production of “La Traviata,” I suggest you jump on it. Tickets are sold out, and for very good reason. Director John Hoomes has masterfully taken this tragic story and placed it into the 1920s complete with wonderful Art Nuevo video projection that brilliantly reflects the opulence and self-indulgence that was both upper-class society in nineteenth century Paris and early twentieth century United States. The costuming is spectacular complete with tuxedos and glittering flapper dresses. But the performance given by lead actress, Sarah Joy Miller, will soon have you forgetting about sets, scenics, and costumes as she effortlessly draws the audience into the world of Violette Valery.
Sarah Joy, a soprano Metropolitan Opera star and widely acknowledged as one of the industry’s foremost emerging talents, is joined on stage by another new emerging vocal talent, tenor Zach Borichevsky, who plays Alfredo Germont, the young, impetuous suiter to Violette. Alfredo woos Violette to be his lover and leave her salon in Paris to join him in the country. But when news of the lovers scandal breaks, Alfredo’s father, Giorgio Germont, played by Grand Rapids favorite, baritone Mark Rucker, pays Violette a visit and persuades her to leave Alfredo for the sake of his family. In anger, Alfredo wrongly blames his relationship demise on the Count, and it isn’t until Violette’s death that the truth is revealed.
“La Traviata” is one of, if not, my favorite operas, and, as I am beginning to learn, Opera Grand Rapids does not disappoint. I know the opera, and yet I still found a tear in my eye during the third act. With special permission, my twenty-two year-old daughter accompanied me to the final dress. Having never been to the opera, she didn’t know what to expect. Afterward, I asked her if she enjoyed herself. Her response was better than anything I could write. She looked at me with glowing joy in her eyes, and said, “Wow! That was amazing.”
As I stated, if you receive the opportunity to attend Opera Grand Rapids performance of Verdi’s “La Traviata” this weekend, I recommend you do not let that chance idly slip by. Both shows at the St. Cecilia Music Center on Friday, June 14 and Saturday, June 15 are sold out. However, Opera Grand Rapids will be performing Gilbert and Sullivan’s “The Mikado” the first weekend of November, and I am positive that too will be a performance you do not want to miss. I, for one, am really looking forward to that production.
You can see what Opera Grand Rapids has to offer, and purchase tickets, on their website, operagr.org.
By Ken DeLaat
Here’s hoping we snare a little respite from the rain because things are happening around and about.
At the first Trail Town celebration held at the WC Campground in the Cloud I recall talking with a guy who had trekked the entire North Country Trail, hearing a couple of bands, watching the folks who did the run come in at the finish (because we don’t, and never have, engaged in running) and sharing a few brews at the beer tent with people we know and people we met at the event.
The first Rockin’ the Park festival last summer brought some great music to the WC Campground with tunes taking front stage and sharing the fun with a wealth of other activities for all ages.
Now the two have come together like Batman & Robin or Macaroni & Cheese to form one big beginning of summer splashdown event, called Rockin’ the Trails.
With races by land and sea, kids activities, vintage campers on display, cornhole for cancer, kids dance party and the Standup to Cancer walk one would think ‘Wow. That’s a lot.”
But remember we’re combining two great events here so on top of all this and more there is music, sweet music.
It starts with sitting around the campfire crooning on Thursday night, moves on to the Battle of the Bands on Friday and finally a Saturday filled with terrific tunesmanship featuring country rock and blues on stage from noon to 6pm then a half hour later the Denise Anderson Connection takes over and rocks the celebration home.
Can’t get any better?
How about a beverage tent featuring some fine brews and the kind of food vendors that make you forego lunch and dinner. Tent opens 5-11pm Friday and 10am-11pm Saturday because ...well… because all that fun makes one thirsty
Friday and Saturday. White Cloud Campground. See the ad on our home page
The Cloud has a lot of action this weekend. The White Cloud Tail Twisters the group with some of the finest radio controlled things that fly to be found anywhere will be taking over the WC Airport Saturday.
If you have not been to this please go. You will be amazed at what these planes jets and helicopters can do and kids absolutely love this event.
WC Airport. Get there mid morning and hope it doesn’t rain.
And Sunday you can return to the airport from 7-11am for the Fathers Day Fly-In Pancake Breakfast.
Like I said lots going down in the county seat.
Father’s Daze at the Dogwood. Take your Dad, your Mom, your kids or anyone who enjoys great storytelling and comedy
Who feels like cooking on Friday? Especially when the option is the nearly world famous
BBQ Smoked Rib Dinner To Go at Hit The Road Joe in Croton.
Ribs,slaw potato salad and baked beans (choose 2) and a mouth watering slab of some really fine cornbread.
5-7pm. First come first served and when they’re out, they’re out.
You can call, and reserve a few dinners at 231.652.6020.
Chef T’s take-outs are always a treat but the ribs? Man ,the ribs are just plain righteous.
Saturday means Acoustic Lunch at the Newaygo Brewery Co and this week they’re bringing in Bruce Johnson from noon to 4pm. Bruce has been knocking out some great sounds during Newbrewco’s Open Mike nights so here’s a chance to see him toss out a few sets of his own.
There are also a pair of festivals in our metro neighbor to the south. Saturday starting at noon at Calder Plaza is the Grand Rapids Pride Festival and Friday and Saturday at Rosa Parks Circle is the Asian-Pacific Festival.
Lots of good times to be had this weekend and you know, summer really doesn’t even begin until right around noon next Friday when the Solstice arrives.
Might even dry out a bit by then.
The Little Paris Bookshop Review
By Alexis Mercer
Nina George writes a delightful tale of the adventure of a man named Jean Perdu in The Little Paris Bookshop. He spent years of his life in deep grief from the loss of his mistress and love of his life, a woman Perdu calls Manon. His life’s work since his loss has been creating and operating a floating bookstore on a barge on the Seine river.
One day, after finding a letter from his beloved from all those years ago, he releases the bookstore from shore in a rash decision to float to the area where Manon lived. He ends up with a companion, a young author, Max, who has come upon great fame with his recently published novel, but who is lost and unable to find inspiration for a new book and is buckling under the self-imposed pressure.
Max and Jean, an unlikely pair, take off on the literary barge and learn about themselves, each other, and what it means to really live. Upon arriving at the childhood home of Manon, both men discover more of what life is all about, with surprising twists in the tale until the very end.
The Little Paris Bookshop is a delightful read. One that will keep you up at night to read “just one more chapter.” Despite its insightful messages and views on the meaning of life, it is light hearted and humorous throughout. This book is perfect for getting lost in a wonderful tale while on a road trip or sitting on your porch with a fresh mug of coffee.
"...you have to travel south by water to find answers to your dreams. He says too that you find yourself again there, but only if you get lost on the way - completely lost. Through love. Through longing. Through fear." -The Little Paris Bookshop
Ooo, ya did it, now you’re gonna get it
By Tim McGrath
In Part One of Burning Down the Boy Scout Camp, (https://www.nearnorthnow.com/features-and-fun/random-bitsburning-down-the-boy-scout-camp)
we left the scouts of Troop 1234 recovering from a dreadful night. Snoring, farting adults, and a spring thunderstorm turned Michigan Monsoon threatened to bring an untimely end to the camp out. But these scouts are steadfast, and it would take more than these piffling inconveniences to send them packing. Hoo-rah!
“All our gear is a soggy mess, but this breeze, and that bright sun’ll get it all dried out in no time; so don’t look so glum, fellas. We’re cut from sterner stuff than that.” Mr. Franklin looked around at the dirty dozen standing in the dripping mess lying around the campsite.
“Well, lads, let’s get some hot grub rustle up. That’ll make us all feel better. Then we’re going to hit the trail – got all kinda things good scouts need to know about nature; you’ll love it. All our chow is safe and sound in the back of the car, so everybody hop to it. You all know your jobs.”
Camp stoves, coolers, grocery bags, pans, plates, silverware; everything needed for a breakfast feast, all appeared. A well-oiled machine of wrinkly, rumpled scouts knew what to do, and soon the magical smells of bacon, eggs, and pancakes – Mr. Franklin called them “pannycakes” - filled the air around our soggy site. He was right; a hot breakfast was the ticket.
Nature hikes are OK, unless every tree, bush, bug, and tiny bit of fungus becomes an opportunity for the scout leader to go on and on about it. Mr. Franklin thought we were complete ignoramuses about anything outdoors related, and, as such, believed it his duty to fill in all the holes of what we lacked in outdoor acumen. Soon, the enthusiasm of our merry band of scouts began flagging. Surprise and happiness at all the minutiae our leader was laying on us was gradually replaced with eye rolling and muttering. We sounded like the gripy old ladies who sat in the back of church.
“I can’t take this nature hike crap any more,” Chuck whispered to me. “Let’s ask him if we can go back to camp and start getting the fire ready. We’re gonna make hobo dinners for lunch.”
“Yeah, let’s go,” I whispered back.
“Mr. Franklin, is it OK if Tim and I run back to camp and get the fire going so it’s all ready when you guys come back?” Chuck asked.
“Sure, boys, that’ll be A-OK. Just make sure you use good scouting fire safety procedures. Wouldn’t want anything going up in flames. You know the way back?”
“Thanks, Mr. Franklin, we sure do,” Chuck yelled back over his shoulder as we skedaddled back down the trail to camp.
The fire pit we’d constructed was right out of the scout manual: large rocks forming a perimeter, all debris mostly cleared around the pit, a small indent in the ground for the wood to lie in: we had it going on, baby. It was the perfect set-up for hobo dinners. Just wait until the rest of the troop sees this masterpiece. Piling up small sticks, dry grass and weeds in the pit; we stood back to survey our handiwork.
Chuck grabbed a pack of matches from the storage box, and lit one.
“Stand back, Tim, I’m going to get this sucker rolling.” He lit one after another, and soon our pile of stuff was burning nicely.
Carefully, we added larger sticks, followed by a small log – a triumph of fire building right in front of us.
“Let’s let it burn down a little, Chuck, it’s big enough,” I said.
I turned away to pick up a large stick, and out of the corner of my eye, I saw Chuck lob a large log onto the fire. A plume of sparks shot up, and drifted into the dead grass and weeds alongside the pit. A tiny patch of fire crackled to life. “Chuck, look!” I yelled. Sprinting to the spot, I desperately tried to stomp it out, but in that instant a gust of wind blew the small patch of flames into a roaring inferno. “Put it out! Put it out!” I screamed.
In less than a minute our entire campsite was ablaze. A group of older scouts saw what was happening and came running with shovels. “What’re you stupid little shits doing?” one of the older scouts bawled. “Don’t just stand there with your faces hanging out, get busy. We’ve got to get this out before the whole camp goes up!”
Chuck and I tore off our hooded sweatshirts and tried beating out the flames – an entirely futile gesture, as the flames moved so fast, and were so hot, it was impossible to get close.
Seemingly from out of nowhere fire engines appeared, and some old guy on a tractor began turning up the ground with a plow. Mr. Franklin, Mr. Bogard, and the rest of our troop came running into camp and battled the inferno with whatever they could grab. Scouts and leaders from the other troops ran every which way in a desperate fight to save the camp. After what felt like eternity, the tide began to turn, and soon the last flames were extinguished – the fire was finally out.
Looking at Chuck through the smoke and heat, I noticed his eyebrows were burned off, and his Princeton bangs were singed back up to the top of his forehead. Dirty trails of tears ran down his face and dripped off his blackened chin. He clung to the scorched remnant of his sweatshirt. Oh my gosh, what have we done, I thought.
After the last fire engine had left, the other troops had gone to pack up their stuff, and the old guy on the tractor had chugged off for home, Timmy Franklin walked up to Chuck and I. “Ooo, you did it, now you’re gonna get it. You’re in big trouble. You’ll probably get sued and end up in juvie. I’d hate to be you two idiots.”
“Pipe down, Timmy, don’t want to hear any of your guff. Go help Mr. Bogard and the other boys.” It was Mr. Franklin. “Chuck, you and Tim come with me. I want to show you two something.”
We walked silently around the charred field that was the camp. Little wisps of smoke filled the air, and ash we kicked up from the burnt grass and weeds covered our shoes.
“Look around you fellas, what do you see?” Everything was charred and smoky.
“It’s all burnt, Mr. Franklin. It was an accident; really. We did everything just like we were supposed to. I’m sorry for burning down the camp… am I really going to juvie? My mom’ll be really mad if I have to go. I’m supposed to go to my grandma’s house tomorrow,” I sniffled.
“Look again, men, what didn’t get burned?” he quietly asked. Chuck and I shrugged. “Look at our tent, all the buildings, the tents from the other troops. Not one of those things got burned. I don’t understand it; must be some sort of miracle. The fire stopped just short of all of it; can’t explain it. And, I know it was an accident, so don’t worry about going to juvenile detention. Timmy can be a big gasbag sometimes; don’t listen to him. I can’t figure out where he gets it. Well, c’mon, boys, it’s time to pack up and ship out for home.”
Photos and story by Alexis Mercer
The days may seem long, but the years pass so quickly.
For the past four years, Ryan Brummel has been an athlete on my cross country team. At the beginning of the year, his senior year, his mother Allison asked me to capture memories of all his sporting events with photographs.
Because I also take photos of other events as the yearbook adviser, I was present for many of his academic and social experiences throughout the year as well.
When I began to collect the memories from this year, I realized that the story would be more complete by adding at least a few photos beginning with Ryan's freshman year in cross country.
Today, Sunday, June 9, Ryan will celebrate his high school accomplishments, culminating with the reception of his diploma, at a graduation party. He earned the honor of Top Ten, Academic All-State for cross country twice, and countless other athletic All-Conference honors and academic distinctions.
When I saw Allison just the other day, we discussed her emotions the week of the party.
Allison: "I think I am over my tears now."
AM: "The other day I was editing the boys track page for yearbook and loved Ryan's quote where he said that he was sad about running his last ever track meet, but proud of all he accomplished on the track."
Allison: (with tears in her eyes) "Maybe I'm not done yet. I think he has good perspective about all of this. He enjoyed his time in high school but he is ready for the next step. I'm so proud of everything he accomplished."
This is the story of one high school student athlete's journey of four short years through photographs.
Cross Country 2015 was Ryan's first fall in high school.
Cross Country 2016 where Ryan started to lead the boys team with his race times.
Fall of 2017 began Ryan's junior year. He qualified for the State Meet this year and earned Academic All-State.
Senior photos are often one of the first of many indicators of the senior year. Ryan chose to have his photos taken at the Croton Dam and surrounding areas to display where he grew up.
Ryan's senior year in cross country, his teammates voted him in as captain. He ran his way to a second consecutive State Meet and Academic All-State honors. Over the course of his years running cross country, Ryan logged thousands of miles.
The ceremony for National Honors Society his senior year involved Ryan sashing the incoming members.
Winter is basketball season for Ryan. The team made it to District Finals this year, with an exciting underdog win in the semi-finals.
Part of the fun of the winter season is the Snowcoming Pep Assembly.
In his final season of high school athletics, Ryan completed his fourth year of varsity track. He represented the Newaygo on his jersey with pride and honor.
The final moments of the senior year. Honors banquets, traditions, reminiscing before walking across the stage as an official graduate. Next year Ryan will be attending Grand Valley State University.
Saturday is Kids Day at Brooks Park in Newaygo from noon to 3pm one of the outstanding ideas that has grown to a much awaited event. The concept of celebrating the children of our community while providing them with an introduction to the folks who help keep us safe is a good long game strategy.
It’s also a boatload of fun and best of all perhaps?
Thanks to the many who have donated time, money and other resources…
Kaitlyn Zittel will be the musical artist for this weeks Acoustic Lunch Series at Newaygo Brewing Co Saturday from 12-3pm.
The Guiness Brothers will be on the deck at the Driftwood in Croton Saturday 5-9 p.m. and Sunday 3-7 p.m.
If you want to head to Woodville for some of the famous pizza at Woody’s you can double your pleasure by listening to Whiskey Bent starting at 7pm.
On Saturday the National Asparagus Festival in Hart has many events and even a parade in the afternoon (2pm) but for asparagus aficionados the action is at the K of C hall where the Taste of Asparagus Competition will kick off at 11am .
It’s all about the food for some of us.
It’s the 50th year for Festival of The Arts in our Metro neighbor to the south and yes I not only can recall the first one, I attended it and thanks for asking.
This event.has always been a favored destination for at least a part of the weekend-long festivities if only to nab a little souvlaki and hear some samplings from the local music scene.
Lots to do lots to see lots to hear lots to smell and most of all…
Lots to taste.
Friday noon- 10pm, Saturday 10am-10pm and Sunday 10am-7pm.
Mary Pekel got the idea when traveling through the U.P. While approaching Munising she saw an older plow truck with the blade painted in a design and the idea appealed to the artistic nature of the Fremont High School Art Instructor.
She was put in contact with Derek Wawsczyk of the Newaygo County Road Commission who arranged to have one of their blades brought to the back part of the school.
In the meantime Ms. Pekel was able to gather together the paints and supplies needed for the project from a number of sources including a donation from Ace Hardware.
Enter the efforts of Lauren Boerger, Kaitlyn Sanborn, Isabel Johnson, Emma Kartes, and Audrey Johnson. The five FHS students created the new look for NCRC despite having to work around the many cold and wet days this spring that didn’t allow for painting.
Now the project is finished and the results will be witnessed clearing our roadways next winter.
Free event returns to Brooks Park
There’s something about those last days of school before the much awaited span of time known as summer vacation begins.
There is a pent up excitement among the kids who are busting to get out the door for the final time while teachers and other staff members are doing whatever they can to rein in the tsunamic energy surging through the buildings.
Soon it will be over. Streams of young children will pour out of our schools and be given hours of free time to engage in some serious summer fun.
And with safety as our top priority for our progeny, the Annual Newaygo County Kids Day is an ideal setting for the younger set to become acquainted with the women and men who help keep our community safe.
This event, spawned from rather humble beginnings nearly 20 years ago, puts a perfect punctuation mark on the school year and celebrates not just the start of summer but our most valuable of all resources our children.
Kids Day has expanded into an exciting extravaganza with an enticing array of activities for families to participate in.
“This will be another great year for Newaygo County Kids Day,” said Dr. Ross Nelson who has organized the event the past six years.
“The event continues to grow with more fun activities and participants and it is great to see. You won’t want to miss it”
The fun begins at Brooks Park in downtown Newaygo Saturday June 8th at noon and runs (in a rather spirited manner) until 3pm.
Best of all?
It is Free.
Sign up for Cirque Amongus at the Dogwood Center
Cirque Amongus will provide “Circus Day” at the Dogwood Center on Friday, June 21 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The one-day Circus Camp will introduce children, ages 6-12 years old, to a range of circus skills. There will definitely be an abundance of fun as participants laugh and giggle while they ride unicycles and tiny bikes, walk a tightrope or with stilts, jump rope, do magic tricks, stay atop a rolling barrel, swing on a trapeze, or learn to juggle.
In the morning, students will learn each of the 10 different circus acts. After lunch, they chose their favorite and spend the afternoon perfecting it and putting together an act with other participants, assisted by Cirque Amongus instructors and volunteers. At the end of the day, when their families come back, the whole troupe puts on a show with their newly found skills.
The daylong program by Cirque Amongus, a Livonia company that brings all the equipment and instructors for “Circus Day”, will promote teamwork, self-esteem and fun throughout the day.
The program is funded in part by a grant from the Michigan Humanities Council and Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.
The cost for the day is $30 per child. Children must be ages 6-12 years old to participate and the program will be limited to 50 participants. It will be a full day of activities between 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. and followed immediately with a performance for the families at pick-up time. Children will need to bring a sack lunch. Light snacks will be provided mid-morning and mid-afternoon. Advance registration is required. Register at www.dogwoodcenter.com, through the Dogwood Box Office, or downtown Fremont at NCCA-Artsplace.
The Dogwood Center Box Office is open Tuesday - Friday, 10:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. For information, phone 231.924.8885.
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