Book Review: The Tenant
By Alexis Mercer
Summer reading can go one of two ways: light and carefree or deep and intense. With longer days comes more hours to indulge in a book of one’s choosing. I have the tendency to read three or four light and carefree books and then dive into a deep and intense novel that requires concentration before heading back to light and carefree.
The most recent choice was The Tenant by Katrine Engberg. In her debut novel, Engberg tells a tale of murder and the detectives who investigate the crimes. A young woman is found brutally murdered in the downstairs apartment of a building with a unique carving on her face. The owner of the building, the victim’s roommate, a mutual acquaintance and another tenant all get pulled into the investigation and terrifying continuation as the search for the killer goes on.
In an interesting difference with other murder mysteries I have read lately, this is a Swedish author. The names, locations and references are all unfamiliar to me, but in an intriguing way that doesn’t require much concentration to allow the story to progress.
While this wasn’t the most titillating thriller I have ever read, it certainly held my interest and fit the bill for a light (mind you not light in topic, but in an easy way) read. Despite its being translated into English, the language flows well, adding to the intrigue.
The Tenant fit the bill for the last of the lighter reads before finding a deep, intense novel to settle into. A perfect summer read, this mystery won’t disappoint.
68th Golf-O-Ree Coming to Village Green Golf Course
WHITE CLOUD, MI - White Cloud Rotary will hold its 68th Golf-0-Ree at Village Green on Friday, July 31. It will be a 2-person scramble which includes 18 holes, cart, snacks and a delicious lunch.
The event will feature a range of activities before, during and after golfing from a raffle and giveaway prizes, including mulligans, and contests at every hole; including closest to the pin, and longest drive for men and women.
The scramble begins with a shotgun start at 9:00 a.m., with sign-in beginning at 8:00 a.m. The golfer registration fee is $60 and includes a cart, 18-holes, snacks, hot dogs, pop and water, delicious lunch and giveaways.
The White Cloud Rotary Club Golf-O-Ree is one of the longest running golf events in the State of Michigan. The proceeds from the event support the Club’s good works, including; a student scholarship fund, life leadership youth training, stewardship of White Cloud Rotary Park, and other community projects. To register, interested golfers can call Holly Moon at 231-250-0369 or sign-up with any White Cloud Rotary member.
White Cloud Rotary is a volunteer organization, encouraging the model of ‘Service Above Self’ and the advancement of high ethical standards, goodwill and civic responsibility. Our club’s emphasis is the betterment of opportunities for our youth and strengthening our community. The club meets every Wednesday, starting at 11:45 a.m. at White Cloud/Rotary Park (temporarily because of Covid-19) in White Cloud.
Please call Nancy Harper 231.689.6631 of White Cloud Community Library, if you have questions.
By Jackilyn Roseberry, Library Director
Everyone knows that the library has books, but what else is available at the Fremont Area District Library? Here are just a few that might interest you:
DVDs. The library carries TV series, new releases, children’s movies, documentaries, workout videos, classic favorites, and more! All available for you to check out and take home. If we do not have what you are looking for we can (usually) get it for you from another library within a few days.
Computers. Our computers are used daily by those who need to check email, browse Facebook, apply for jobs, file for unemployment, file their taxes, type up a resume, or maybe just play games. Did you know that you do not need a library card to use our computers? Although, if you need to print something or make copies there are small fees for those services.
Magazines/Newspapers. There is no need to purchase your own personal subscription to your favorite periodical, just come on in and read ours while relaxing in a cozy chair by the fireplace.
Large Print. We have an expansive collection of large print materials for those who need, or just prefer, larger text.
Audiobooks. We have books on CD as well as “Playaways” which are small MP3 players on which you can listen to an entire book – just plug in your own earphones!
e-Materials. We have ebooks, emagazines, and eaudiobooks available on two different digital platforms. Check our website or call us to find out more.
Amazing People. Library staff members are ready to help you with anything we can. We answer reference questions, recommend books, assist with computers, and more every day. Our staff members are friendly and helpful.
Programs. The library offers a variety of programs for all ages and interests. At this time almost all of our programs are virtual but we look forward to offering in person programs again soon. Some of those programs include storytimes for children, crafts for teens and adults, computer classes, author talks, book clubs, magic shows, and more!
Would you like to know what else you might find here? Normally the library has toys and games for you to enjoy (although most of these are put away while we are in Stage 2 of our reopening plan). We have access to Ancestry.com for patrons who login on our computers. We have free WiFi available to everyone 24/7. The list seems never ending so come on in to find something I haven’t mentioned!
We can’t wait to see you at the Library!
P.S. Did I mention we have air conditioning?
2020 (the year, not the hindsight) reached the halfway point last week as we edged into the second half with understandable caution given what has been tossed our way thus far this go around the sun.
As we mentioned in a previous article the annual transcontinental birthday bash took on a different flavor with fewer community-wide celebrations taking place, particularly those that involved the phenomena of fireworks.
But in true Bipeninsular fashion, folks reacted with some serious celebrating despite the dearth of displays at the usual community venues.
We had heard fireworks were selling big and judging from the view gleaned at the shore of N3 World Headquarters on Saturday night the boost in sales wasn’t going to be about hoarding like the run on toilet paper earlier this year.
No, these purchases were meant to be consumed as if an approaching expiration date loomed on their packages.These were meant to go out with a thunderous showing of luminescence
And from our observation point, a glorious showing it was.
Under a large yellow moon the denizens of Hess Lake poured out a cavalcade of pyrotechnics to be proud of. It was lengthy, luminous and captivating.
And for a while one could put the trials and tribulations of this challenging half year on hold and embrace the celebratory spirit our country's birthday deserves.
By Ken DeLaat
It’s a strange year to be sure.
The parade and doings at Croton are always a good time but not this weekend.
The Hesperia Fun Fest bit the dust earlier this spring as well.
Nearly all festivals have been cancelled and that means their fireworks displays will be equally absent.
But we’re bipeninsular peeps who are resilient, particularly when it comes to having a good time and celebrating a big day.
After all it isn't often one gets a chance to celebrate a 244th birthday.
Man, two hundred and forty four.
I remember when it turned 200. Everything was about the bicentennial, and Lil and I, in our third year of marriage, lived up in Manistee. It was our pre-children era when life was a tad looser than it would become once our family began to grow beyond the two of us.There were a lot of parties if I recall. Beach parties, park parties, house and yard parties, pool parties and it lasted for days because the 4th was on a Sunday so serious celebrators of America’s birthday started in earnest about Wednesday and carried on through the following Tuesday it seemed.
And there were fireworks. Lots and lots of fireworks.
There have always been fireworks.
The first year we were wed we sat down in a softball field near where we lived in Ada as an impressive set of ‘works’ went off above us.
The dozens of mid summer holidays spent at a family cottage on Crystal Lake never disappointed when it came to a colorful showing of pyro-patriotism
In our Grand Rapids years we hit the dazzling downtown displays while sitting on the 6th Street bridge.
The past two decades plus we’ve lived on a lake so fireworks are sort of a part of summer.
And well into fall most years.
Something about proximity to water ignites amateur pyrotechnicians and while generally limited to some bottle rockets and loud bangers most of the summer, the 4th brings forth some impressive collections that complement rather than compete from the various locations. It’s generally a stunning show of firepower.
And of course there is the iconic Ring of Fire.
The flares have been purchased as N3 World Headquarters does its part to give old Hess that slice of magic once again this year.
I’m certain there will still be some large gatherings and by dark those gatherings will likely include some boomers, bangers and explosions of light.
But it’s still a little strange this year.
Here’s hoping birthday 245 arrives with far fewer ‘surprises’ pandemically speaking.
And Speaking of Hess Lake…
If you haven’t taken advantage of the steady stream of food trucks that have made cameo appearances at the site of Smugglers Cove, there will be portable eatatoriums pulling in all weekend.
And it’s an appealing schedule with Sweet Rack’s & Smoking Butts (try the loaded Mac & Cheese) on Thursday while Friday and Saturday Silver Star Cafe will be dealing out some upstanding eats and their Colonel Peltier Sub is on my personal radar. Ohana Ice will cool things off with their shaved ice treats both days as well and Ice Box Ice Cream dishing up some faves.
On Sunday local epicureans Rita and Reuben a.k.a Two Hot Tamales arrive with their celebrated Mexican menu and Ice Box will return for a third day
It looks to be a good weekend.
And hot.The weather folks usually don’t get this amped up unless it’s in anticipation of an impending snow storm, but they are visibly excited while calling for an extended scorcher. This predicted stretch steaminess will give those who like to lament about meteorological matters ample fodder to do so.
And of course we will get to hear the predictable refrain “It’s not the heat, you know, it’s the humidity.”
As if somehow that’s supposed to make any difference whatsoever.
And listen folks, go to the Friday Farmer’s Market at Brooks Park in downtown Newaygo (2-6pm). It has been revitalized with a number of vendors plying their wares and if we want to keep the vendors happy we need to support them and thus allow the market to continue to thrive. At N3WH we’ve purchased pork, procured produce, bought from bakeries, secured some sassy soap and acquired a barn quilt thus far and hey, it’s barely July.
And there are food trucks on hand for a quick bite or a cold drink or you can wander up the road where Newaygo Brewing Co. is serving up their bodacious brews with some alluring alley seating.
The Dragon is open!
About 6 miles of the proposed 47 mile trail around Hardy Pond has been made available for bikers and hikers itching to put the new trail through its paces. Check out the story at https://www.nearnorthnow.com/news/igniting-the-dragon
And again it looks to be a hot one so stay cool, be kind to one another and revel, bipeninsularians, revel.
After all, it’s a birthday party.
"The air - moist, sultry, secretive, and far from fresh - felt as if it were being exhaled into one's face. Sometimes it even sounded like heavy breathing.”-Tom Robbins, Jitterbug Perfume
Food Truck Follies, (Un) Employment Record Set, Lions Take Ford Prizes, Dragon Details and Dads
By Ken DeLaat
Onsite Dining at The Cove
Well, the site of Smugglers Cove saw its first dining experience in nearly 2 years when a sea of customers flocked to the pair of food trucks parked at the lakeside lot.
LSC Lil and I used the event to have a little outside socialization with friends so six of us took advantage of the opportunity to eschew food preparation on a sweltering evening.Pizza Parliament weathered a rush of folks who seemingly all wanted their pies at the same time to produce what each of us declared as some of the most righteous pizza ever experienced.
Next Saturday will see another foodery on wheels make an appearance and I’m thinking the Parliamentary peeps will be a hard act to follow...but we’re certainly anxious to see them try.
We all know how the pandemic has crippled many aspects of our lives and no small part of that involves unemployment rates.
As per info from Michigan Works the lowest numbers for Newaygo County occurred in 2000 when just 3.1% were tallied..
The highest in history came in 1983 when our county stood at 20.9%.
Until this past April when it ballooned to 26%
And yes we all know about the increase in benefits that has influenced people to stay on the rolls and given the ‘elder statesmen’ among us fodder to complain about the poor work ethic of younger folks nowadays.
But that percentage represents a bit more than 1 out of 4 of our citizenry. In March that figure was 4% or 1 out of 25.
And though consistent with the stats in our neighboring counties it is nonetheless disconcerting at best because of the profound ripple effects high unemployment has on our communities.
Each year, high school students are invited to compete for awards offered by the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation by participating in the President Gerald R. Ford Student Writing Challenge.
Megan Grant and Sabra Wolven of Newaygo finished in the Top Ten and we asked the organization for copies of their essays but have not heard back from them.
So in our effort to encourage our younger writers we hope they might see this and allow us to reprint their efforts.
Dragon Keeps Growing
Have you checked out the new website promoting the Dragon Trail? If you are a true biker (pedals not motors) you likely not only know about it but are eager to give this amazing initiative a trial run. If you are a casual pedaler you might be intrigued by the opportunity to cruise a bit around Hardy Pond. If you’re neither perhaps there’s some interest in the economic potential the Dragon brings. Any way you shake it the website is very cool and will keep people who have an interest at any level updated.
And here it is.
And finally, a Happy Father’s Day to those who have embraced the most wonderful and challenging undertaking one could possibly imagine.
My Dad has been gone from this Earth for the last 27 Father’s Days but he remains in my heart and as much a part of me as I am certain he is for my much older siblings.
Lately I've been noticing
I say the same things he used to say
And I even find myself acting the very same way
I tap my fingers on the table
To the rhythm in my soul
And I jingle the car keys
When I'm ready to go
When I look in the mirror
He's right there in my eyes
Starin' back at me and I realize
...That everyday I see
A little more of my father in me
-Keith Urban, Song For Dad
One day picnic tables magically appeared at the site where Smuggler’s Cove once tossed out eats for folks who enjoy a little lakeside view with their dining.
Then once it made the social media rounds another salvo was fired when it was announced that food trucks would begin to find their way to the now empty parking lot.
Intrigued, we caught up with Raeanne Huskey a Hess Lake neighbor of N3 World Headquarters who provided the skinny on what could very well become the newest option for al fresco dining with a vista familiar to many of us.
Who is behind this intriguing enterprise?
We are a family owned and operated business. All American North Country Store is run by myself & my husband Greg Huskey, my parents Leon & Terrie Thompson, and my brother and their wives (Nathan & Shannon Thompson and Jacob and Katelyn Thompson). We also operate other local businesses such as American Classic Roofing & Building Supply, American Classic Dumpsters, & American Classic Forestry. We are a family that learned at a young age the importance of family, teamwork, hard work ethic, and dedication to our goals. Now today we consider ourselves fortunate and blessed to be able to live the dream my parents (Leon & Terrie) had for us to all work together and build a legacy for our family. Not today we have 16 kids amongst us that we continue to teach the value of family, team work, hard work, and dedication.
How did the original idea of the tables come about?
Leon stumbled across an ad for picnic tables being built in the Allendale area by a local craftsman. We hate to see the beautiful view of Hess Lake not be enjoyed by our community. We thought the tables would be a nice addition for our local community to still enjoy the lake view this summer.
There was some action on social media posts about the tables regarding food trucks. Was this already in the works or did the feedback influence the idea?
The food truck idea has been in the works for awhile now. We just had not announced it to the community. We are still locking in vendors for the remainder of the summer to set up on site so that our community can sample some of the great cuisine these food trucks have to offer.
There are a couple of trucks coming up this Saturday.Who are they and are there plans for others? Any candidates?
How did the trucks (who have been idled a great deal this year) react?
This Saturday (6/20) Pizza Parliament and Ice Box Ice Cream will be joining us for the day. Serving both lunch and dinner. We also have Kool Breze coming on Fathers Day (6/21) for the day. Ohana Ice will be here over the 4th of July holiday weekend. I've been making and taking a lot of different calls from various food truck vendors. We will have several other trucks visiting Hess Lake this summer. They will each be announced as the plans come together.
Hours will vary depending on the vendor. Most plan to stay between 11am and 8 or 9pm.
The truck vendors have all had very positive reactions. This summer season has turned out to be vastly different then they had all planned for at the beginning of 2020. Many have stated that they are enjoying being able to serve in new local communities and try out new areas that they haven't been to previously. They have all been excited for a new opportunity.
Why is this being done? What are the hopes?
Honestly, we are doing this to give back to our community who greatly miss the beloved Smugglers Cove and having a food option available on the lake. We are also hoping that this opens up some new doors and opportunities for food truck vendors that need to fill their summers where they have suddenly found voids. And just for fun! My husband and I live on the lake and we think this will just be a much needed fun thing to do this summer. 2020 has been a year with lots of unexpected interruptions and food trucks on the lake with fun menus might just be something small to bring some smiles and joy to our small community.
Anything you want to add?
Since moving here and deciding to add the All American North Country Store - Hess Lake to our chain we have just fallen in love with this great community. We are blessed to be surrounded by great people around Newaygo and on Hess & Brooks Lake. We are excited to continue to breathe some new life and try some new innovative things here. We truly hope our everyone enjoys the food trucks as much as we have enjoyed putting this all together.
There you have it. The opportunity to sit awhile at the North Shore/Smuggler’s site, enjoy some good food and take in a familiar view.
The only thing missing?
Kudos to the folks behind this initiative. If there’s anything we all need after weathering the recent trying times it's something new to get a little excited about.
And nothing gets us excited like the prospect of an enticing variety of food truck dining.
And Pizza Parliament is a seriously good start.
See you there.
Camp Newaygo will welcome campers
LANSING, Mich. — Governor Whitmer today signed an Executive Order lifting restrictions on overnight residential, travel, and troop camps beginning June 15.
“As we’ve worked together to bend the curve and protect our families from COVID-19, our kids have lost time in the classroom and missed out on playdates, birthday parties and graduations,” said the Gov. “That’s why I’m glad they’ll have an opportunity to spend a week or weekend away at camp,”
We asked Camp Newaygo Executive Director Jane Vitek to deliver the skinny on what this means for the treasured local Chain of Lakes camp now in its 94th year of providing summer fun.
“We received the news today that Michigan Resident Camps will be able to open immediately. The support of so many people over the past three months has kept us going as we planned for a summer resident camp we were not sure would happen.
“We are confident Camp Newaygo along with our campers and their families can provide a safe summer camp experience this year like those in the past 95 years just in a new and different way. From pre camp COVID-19 testing of all campers and staff, smaller living areas, to meals and songs stretched out from one end of camp to the other we will incorporate the recommendations of the State of Michigan Childcare Licensing, Covid-19 State Task Force, the CDC and the American Camp Association.
“This is my 45th year associated with camp Newaygo and I have never experienced a staff quite like the 2020 year round and summer staff we have this year. They recognize the risk and are determined to do what they need to in order to mitigate it to the greatest extent possible. Camp Director, Jalisa Danhof, has been at Newaygo for nine years getting to know each of our campers and their families. She, along with the rest of our staff, really cares about the health and safety of each of our campers and will be implementing procedures to do just that.
“We know there is still risk there of COVID-19. The decision to send your child to camp this year is one only parents can individually make. We can implement best practices in this situation but there is always a possibility of contracting an illness.
“We know kids really need a way to safely reconnect and we are excited to be offering this opportunity for Girls Resident Camp. Unfortunately we have decided to put our coed Day Camps on pause for this summer but they will be back again next summer.”
If you have questions please call 231-652-1184
“I have a conviction that a few weeks spent in a well organized summer camp may be of more value educationally than a whole year of formal school work.”-Charles William Eliot
Story by Ken DeLaat
Photos by Ramona Deters and Ken DeLaat
Last year the Newaygo Farmer’s Market shut down in late August due to dwindling interest as fewer vendors led to fewer customers resulting in fewer vendors and so on. The decision was also made at the time to not reopen for 2020, given the diminished participation the market had been experiencing.
Enter Ramona Deters who was determined to breathe life back into this long standing Friday afternoon event.
“Revitalizing the Newaygo Farmers Market was already tricky in the beginning because we had to gain trust from farmers and artisans, then throw a pandemic in on top of it all,” said Ms. Deters. “ Many thought we were crazy and should just wait a year but I felt the market already seemed forgotten.
“There was some convincing that I had to do to my friends, the city, the Chamber, the farmers and basically anyone who would listen to me that we needed to get our market back up and running again. This is Newaygo County for goodness sake, vegetable and fruit farms are abundant.”
And last Friday the market returned to Brooks Park with 8 vendors, a food truck and over 200 visitors to an early season opening with many of the home grown goodies yet to make an appearance.
The folks from Happy Hog Farm were on hand (we bought the brats) and there were baked goods, pierogies, annuals, asparagus, rhubarb as well as some craft items all welcoming in a steady stream of customers on a gorgeous Friday afternoon.
Given the positive response to last Friday’s Opening Day the Newaygo City Council gave the ok for the market to continue to hold court in the park every Friday throughout the summer and early fall.
“I have two friends who have supported my vision and helped make it a reality,” Deters added. ““Renee Finkbeiner and Danya VanderLugt. We each play a role to make sure the market provides a positive experience for all the farmers, artisans and anyone who participates in the market.”
So come on down each Friday from 2-6pm and support the efforts toward keeping a farmer’s market in the downtown area. And hey, you can save a little gas with the convenience of gaining access to some of our area’s home grown goods with a few surprises tossed in as well.
The building that has housed many eateries including most recently Smuggler’s Cove remains just a memory since it was taken down last year.
The folks at the All American North Country Store and American Classic Roofing & Building Supply who own the property decided lakeside dining on the site of the once popular venue might still be desirable.
They sponsored a series of picnic tables placed along the lake for the pleasure of anyone who might want dinner (or lunch...or even breakfast) with a view.
We contacted the owners who sent us this:
“We just wanted to put them there so the community could sit and enjoy beautiful views of the lake. We are still thrilled to be part of this great Newaygo community.”
Kudos to the kindness shown and the opportunities offered by these fine businesses.
And if you haven’t been to their Hess Lake store since they have transformed it into an extraordinary little oasis of convenience, you really need to stop in.
Their ice cream cones are the perfect treat to enjoy at those inviting tables along the lakeshore.
Well done folks. Well done indeed!
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“We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media, the question is how well we do it.”
- Eric Qualman