New courts put a shine on the tournament
Story and photos by Mark Pitzer
Note: The Pickleball mania that has swept through the country is no more apparent than here in Fremont where players from throughout the county and beyond have embraced the impressive, newly inaugurated courts on Maple St. N3 asked Mark (who previously shared his Electric Forest experience oin our pages) to give us the skinny on how the first event held at the new courts played out.
Fremont recently hosted a successful two day Pickleball Tournament at the new outdoor courts on Maple Street; close to downtown.
Over one hundred volunteers and players came together to participate in Newaygo County's biggest Pickleball competition Friday 7/18 and Saturday 7/19. Forty two, 2 person teams registered and played on six newly completed courts. Players competed in categories based on ability, age and gender, with some players competing in multiple categories with mixed doubles on Saturday.
Special recognition is earned by the players that travel the greatest distance to participate. The winning couple traveled 430 miles downstate from Marquette. Volunteers and competitors worked together to make this tournament a landmark event for Newaygo County players.
Baby Food Festival Pickleball Tournament Medal Winners
Friday, July 19, 2019
1st Place Roger Hershberger and Steven Hershberger
2nd Place John Sinicki and Tony Linn
3rd Place Aiden Fickle and Jeff Drudi
Men’s 3.5 50 years and above
1st Place Tom Schlaffer and John Durham
2nd Place Jim Walker and Matt Feldpaush
3rd Place Ben Bonk Sr. and Scott Bonk
Men’s 3.5. 49 years and younger
1st Place Richard Betz and Chris Christoffersen
2nd Place Lance Anderson and David Castillo
3rd Place Steve Coxon and Cole Hudson
1st Place Jaymie Riedel and Jen Stuppy
2nd Place Julia Henderson and Denise Fishell
3rd Place Betsy Jasper and Christine Christoffersen
1st Place Jonra Jacoby and April Rastoskey
2nd Place Kim Schoof and Tracey Holmberg
3rd Place Rayme Supernaw and Kristin Krim
1st Place Bev Leimback and Vicki Howard
2nd Place Pat Durham and Christie Pollock
3rd Place Lynn Brookhouse and Katie Harrington
Saturday, July 20, 2019
1st Place Jodie Kyes and Walker Christoffersen
2nd Place Christine Christoffersen and Lance Anderson
3rd Place Jen Stuppy and Jeff Stuppy
Mixed 3.5 50 and Above
1st Place Denise Fishnell and Tony LInn
2nd Place Mary Reese Pumford and Mike Pumford
3rd Place Marilyn Reichardt and James Kremer
Mixed 3.5 49 years and Under
1st Place Angie Patton and Matt Feldpausch
2nd Place Rayme Supernaw and Rich Betz
3rd Place Tracey Holmberg and Chris Christoffersen
1st Place Barb Jamros and Rob Jamros
2nd Place Tawnie Kane and David Castillo
3rd Place Amanda Danley and Mike Kane
The courts are open to the public from 7:30 AM through 9:00 PM. Newaygo County Pickleball Club host regular play for locals and visitors on M-W-F from 9:00 - 12:00 for mostly competitive players and T-Th-F from 9:00 - 12:00 for recreational and newcomers to this popular game.
Drew Nelson, a Michigan native and Navy veteran, writes down-to-earth songs with a striking clarity and depth of feeling and will perform at the Dogwood Center Black Box on Friday, August 2 at 7:30 p.m.
Nelson is a storytelling songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. A fly fisherman and world traveler, he writes as a witness to the lives and journeys of those he has met along the way, mixing Americana and roots-rock with traditional folk styles.
Drew has toured across North America and Europe, performing solo and opening for popular rock artists like Melissa Etheridge and Edwin McCain as well as esteemed folk singers like Josh White Jr. and John Gorka. He has earned critical acclaim for albums such as “Tilt-A-Whirl,” “Dusty Road to Beulah Land” and “Immigrant Son.”
Tickets are $10.00 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.
Newaygo Athletes Speed Through Summer
By Alexis Mercer
Nothing screams summer like a day at the beach, relaxing with friends, followed by a pizza dinner and ice cream to top it off.
Maybe that’s how the 50 Newaygo athletes spend their summer days, but not until after their 8:00 am speed and agility workouts every Monday and Wednesday all summer long with Truss and Johnson Training.
Courtney Truss and Tyler Johnson are recent graduates from Aquinas College. Both were All-Americans in Track and Field. Tyler specialized in the 400 while Courtney ran short sprints, including 100, 200 and 400. They graduated with degrees in Exercise Science (with business and coaching as well) and started their own business together: Truss and Johnson Training.
Scott VanEssen, Newaygo’s Athletic Director and Varsity Football Coach, contacted and then worked with Truss and Johnson to have them come to Newaygo every Monday and Wednesday morning from 8-9 am to work with any Newaygo athletes who were interested in bettering their speed and agility.
Athletes from every sport at Newaygo and all grades at the high school, with some brave middle school students jumping in too, were represented the very first week. Participation only grew after the first session when those present spread the word about what they had done.
Each session Truss and Johnson would follow an outline beginning with warm-ups, move to mobility and dynamics, followed by a speed warmup, speed and agility workout, followed by plyometrics and then deep stretching to finish. Every workout varied in activities, keeping the days fresh and exciting for the athletes.
This opportunity to learn from experts in the field was not wasted by Newaygo athletes. While teenagers may have a reputation for staying up late and sleeping in past noon, these Newaygo athletes had nothing to do with living up to that lazy reputation. They showed up, worked hard, got better, and are stronger, faster and more agile for having done so.
The Song of Achilles Book Review
By Alexis Mercer
Madeline Miller earned her BA and MA in Classics. She has taught Shakespeare, Greek and Latin to high school students for 20 years. Additionally, she studied in the Dramaturgy department at Yale School of Drama, where she focused on adapting classical texts to modern forms. According to her biography information on her website, all of this and more led to her authoring her first book, The Song of Achilles, in 2012.
This extensive study of Classics, including Greek mythology, and the unique aspect of transforming the stories into contemporary forms works perfectly for her to author this book.
The story is of Achilles, one of the greatest warriors in Greek mythology. Born of a human father and Goddess mother, the traditional tales are of his part in the Trojan war and his warrior strength that is unequaled.
Miller’s tale holds true to the traditional aspects of his story, but weaves intricate details of imagination and intrigue to his life not found elsewhere.
Many Greek characters appear in the story, all fitting perfectly into Miller’s dream of what Achilles would have been while remaining loyal to their historically known characteristics.
While I enjoyed Circe, by Miller, more (see the book review I did in June of N3), this was an entertaining, utterly unique novel I am glad to have read. It’s certainly not for everyone - as Greek mythology goes - there are scenes that aren’t for the faint of heart. So long as you know what you’re getting into - and that the novel shies away from nothing present in classical mythology, the story is fascinating and enjoyable.
By Ken DeLaat
It’s Friday night and no one feels like cooking after a week of battling not only the daily grind but the orange menace taking over our roadways with their barrels, cones, and sign twirlers creating a general aura of agitation among the caravans of commuters.
Ah but it is Rib Night at Hit The Road Joe where for a mere 14 bucks one can nab a to-go serving with the aforementioned ribs, a choice of two scrumptious sides and a hefty slab of cornbread. Friday 5-7pm. And when they are out, they are out so call 231-652-6020 to reserve your rack.
Knocked down the ribs and into some serious tunage? RiverStop Saloon will welcome in Whiskey Bizzness Friday evening.
If you took in the music of Kaitlyn Zittel during her last visit you need to know she is returning to the Newaygo Brewing Co Saturday for their Acoustic lunch from 12-3pm. If you missed her last time make it a point to catch the performance of this gifted songstress.
Want to see a really well done play featuring some of our area’s talented young people in the production of an old favorite story?
You’re in luck.
The Dogwood Summer Youth Theater is performing the classic tale of Tom Sawyer Friday and Saturday at 7:30pm and as an added bonus admission is free, nada, nil, nothing.
Of course one would expect under such bargain conditions a donation might not be out of the question so…
Ok we know the last couple of times we mentioned the Star Parties over at Wessling Observatory that the viewing prospects proved to be less than stellar (pun intended) due to our beloved Bipeninsular meteorological nuances.
This Saturday (July 27) at 9pm looks to be different as the forecast calls for clear skies.
Should this prove to be the case (it is, after all, Michigan) you would do well to take advantage of this astronomical gem we have in these parts. Bring the family or a young person intrigued by the stars and check out a meteor shower (think shooting stars so there will likely be wish opportunities) Jupiter and its moons and everyone’s favorite, Saturn the ringed wonder.
The SF Wessling Observatory is located 7 miles north of Fremont at 6523 W. Baseline Road. Turn left (west) at the corner of Baseline and Stone Road.
I recall stopping at the Hilltop Bakery in downtown Bailey as a child (yes it was in a car) and being taken in by the same aromas I experience today.
They’re having a Summer Celebration Saturday from 11am-6pm with giveaways, a bounce house, a free (love that word) hot dog with some chips and more. It’s their 85th summer and no I wasn’t at the first one but thanks for asking.
Holton Days starts tonight (Thursday) and runs through Sunday. Steak fry and silent auction on Thursday, Christian Music with hot dogs and ice cream on Friday, full day of fun and events on Saturday, ending with community worship service and picnic Sunday. Arts/crafts, food, kids games, book sales and more. And who doesn’t love a parade(?) so one is scheduled for 1pm Saturday. Downtown Holton.
Dogwood Summer Youth Theater 2019
By Katie Clark
Photos by Chelsea Webb
Walking backstage of Dogwood Center for the Performing Arts, props for the upcoming Summer Youth Theater presentation are scattered around. As I look them over, Marianne Boegeter, Dogwood’s Executive Director, laughs as I point out the plastic hotdogs among the old fashioned fake food items. “I don’t know what hotdogs have to do with Tom Sawyer,” she states. “You’ll have to ask Chelsea and Casey Webb about that!”
The Dogwood is located just outside of Fremont proper, off of West 48th street (which really is a continuation of West Main street in downtown Fremont). It is beautiful, easily accessible facility that rivals any of those found in larger cities.Every May finds this facility buzzing with preparation for the upcoming summer’s performance.
Sitting down with the sisters in the Green Room about a half hour before the cast and crew would arrive they shared a bit about the program.
“We make sure to choose plays that can support a lot of character parts as well is fun for our actors and recognizable to our community audience,” stated Chelsea Webb, long-time co-director. “We don’t like to turn away any young person who wants to be a part of our production.”
Last summer they had their largest cast at 60 actors and created little vignettes that fit with the play during set changes to make sure everyone had a part.
According to the sisters the program has been generally a one family show when it comes to the behind the scenes work.
“Our mom and dad were big fans of the theater and when a family friend who had started the summer program had to focus on his college classes, our family jumped in and has been swimming with it ever sense.”
Chelsea, just 19 at the time, became the director along with her mom as assistant. Casey, 15 years old or so at that point, acted in the productions but has now taken on the main director role from her sister. Their dad’s handywork has been in the set design and prop building right from the start, and he continues to love the work. The three brothers have acted, directed, and worked backstage on and off for the past 15 years.
We finished our interview just as practice was about to start. The backstage was already bustling with actors (ages 12-18), Webb family members, and volunteers who help make the show a possibility.
The Webb family have been in this for so long that they know just what needs doing. This is a really high-quality production that is free for the audience to attend.
Each year a grant request is submitted for the upcoming play. The grant from the Fremont Area Community Foundation covers the cost of the production (costumes, props, setting, and part-time pay for the director) as well as a DVD copy of one of the formal performances given to each cast member as a memento.
“We have really supportive families, so many help out however they can; many cast members return again and again until they hit the age limit.”
I had to ask one last question before I left; what about the hotdogs? Chelsea and Casey give a sly look to each other. Casey smirks, “That started out with our brother who would secretly add in a mannequin head-you know, the kind cosmetologist use to practice-somewhere on set during a performance. It was something that only we cast members knew about-an inside joke.
“Our family has a lot of fun while we do this every summer together, and we’ve kept this tradition alive, although we’ve ditched the head.”
So, come to this summer’s production of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer on either Friday, July 26th or Saturday, July 27th at 7:30pm. Admission is totally free.
You can keep your eyes open for the fake hotdogs and get a little giggle right along with the cast.
Donations are welcomed the night of the play. Concessions are offered for purchase during the intermission.
For more info:
Newaygo County Museum and Heritage Center Speaker Series continues Wednesday
The Newaygo County Museum will continue our speaker series with Ken DeLaat, publisher of Near North Now, who has prepared an interesting talk entitled Local News: To Enlighten, Entertain, Educate and Encourage Dialogue. Please join us at the Museum on Wednesday, July 24th at 6:30 pm.
The presentation highlights his time in the local news business. As Ken puts it, “I will likely ramble on a bit about how I fell into this, share a few anecdotal stories, make a few observations, talk about some cool interviews over the years and endeavor to be somewhat interesting.”
He will also be speaking about a lengthy personal obsession with those lone abandoned shoes (always just one) found alongside highways across America, which he has chronicled through the years via columns, stories, travel pieces, and assorted articles.
Ken worked as a counselor/therapist for a few decades before transitioning over to writing, which led to the journalistic endeavors. Ken has lived in Newaygo County for 20+ years and has been married for 47 years to his “Lifetime Spousal Companion” Lil, and he has “almost given up on my dream of being a relief pitcher for the Tigers”.
Please join us at the Museum on Wednesday, July 24thth at 6:30 pm for this forty-minute presentation, the second of this year’s 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.
Kairi visits Fremont
The 2019 Gerber Spokesbaby Kairi Yang will appear in this year’s National Baby Food Festival parade on Saturday, July 20, starting at 10:30am in downtown Fremont, MI.
She will be accompanied by her mother, Ying Vue, her aunt, Baohoua Vue, and Gerber employee representatives.
Kairi was chosen as the 2019 Gerber Spokesbaby out of more than 500,000 Gerber Photo Search 2018 contest entries, which is almost triple in size from previous years. She is from Hickory, NC.
During the Photo Search contest, which has run annually for nine years, Gerber judges set out to find children from birth to two-years-old, who best demonstrate visual appeal, expressiveness and consistency with Gerber’s heritage, which is grounded in recognizing that every baby is a Gerber baby.
It is hot, no doubt about it. But we are bipeninsular bipeds, toughened by the tenacity of winter and unwilling to hunker in because of a little heat.
Here’s a few options for the weekend...when you’re not cooling off with a splash in one of our lakes or a timely tube down the waterways, that is.
Pig Roast Today!
Might not even need the roaster on a day like today but if you want to grab a plate with some outstanding eats on it and not have to turn on the oven or light the grill check out the White Cloud Library’s annual event of porcine preparation. Side dishes galore, tasty desserts, games for kids and all for just 7 bucks and young folks 8 and under slide in for just $4. Tonight (Friday) 4-7pm.
Good cause since the proceeds support the Friends of the Library who support the library.
If you missed the Tuesday Sky Party at the Wessling Observatory another opportunity awaits because Saturday starting at 9pm the Dark Sky Astronomers will be taking a tour of the constellation featuring the arm of that ancient warrior Orion.
This is one of the true treasures our area offers to those who might be intrigued by the endless mysteries that inhabit the skies above us.
Check out their facebook page for more info
At the NCCA-Artsplace in downtown Fremont check out the Big Lake Exhibit.
Many artists in our region can’t help but be influenced by or inspired by the Great Lakes that surround us.The Big Lake exhibit features painting, printmaking, sculpture, and photography by Lee Ann Frame, Ken Foster, Roycine King, Cara O’Brien, Diane Zoellmer, Tracy Maike Kehr and Shelley Hale.
All are artists living in West Michigan, in whose work you may see a direct connection or at the very least see the connection of the power of water, wind and sand, of a magnificent force applied through time.
The exhibit runs from now through August 17th but tomorrow (Saturday) from 10am-2pm you cane peruse this intriguing exhibit in their wonderfully air conditioned setting. If you miss it this weekend daily hours are 9am-5;30pm except Thursdays when they are open until 8pm.
The Driftwood Deck will welcome Big Cadillac from 5-9pm Saturday and D.C.True hits the deck Sunday from 3-7pm.
And no better time to grab some good eats and a cold brew than a steaming Saturday afternoon so head to the Newaygo Brewing Co. where this pleasing combination of food and drink will be accompanied by the music of Ben Kolk who returns with more of his sweet mix of folk inspired tunes.
And do not forget about the Bitely Homecoming Celebration happening all weekend in one of the county’s most treasured northern towns.
Activities for kids include a giant bounce obstacle course, pony rides, barrel train rides and a “walk on water” feature.
Also on hand will be games for kids and adults, the car show, a flea market, fireworks (everyone’s fave), a craft show, mini & large horse pulls and, of course, the parade at 1pm Sunday.
Here’s their fb page for more info
Summer fun gets serious this week as the National Baby Food Festival (nee Old Fashioned Days) gets rolling in Fremont to start off the week then the Bitely Homecoming brings it with their unique brand of summertime celebration.
But to start of this week of merrymaking?
Tonight (Tuesday) under a full moon (the follow up to a breathtaking version rising out of the sky last night) the Dark Sky folks are having one of their sky parties up at Wessling Observatory.
Don’t give it another thought, just go. The events are always a good time and if you or someone you bring along is a novice to the pursuit of the wonders to behold in the night sky all the better.
Many are the number of current star gazers who began their journey with their first trip to an observatory.
Time? Well, they say they will ‘roll back the roof’ at 9 pm so plan accordingly.
Check it out here
Wednesday the NBFF kicks in with many activities throughout the week and of course, the traditional carnival taking up residence along the main drag to provide the backdrop for the other doings.
For the pickleball folks the ever growing legion of participants at all levels who play with a passion that would cause even the most avid golfer or committed kegler to pale in comparison, there is a tournament on Friday and Saturday at the new (and extremely impressive) Rec Center outdoor courts
Action begins at 8:30am and in case you have not yet caught pickleball fever we suggest you take in a match or two if only to witness the elevated level of competitiveness among the more seasoned p-ballers.
There’s something about people who experience The Bitely Homecoming for the first time.
They generally stumble onto the doings or have been invited for years and never took up the offer until finally deciding to go. Or maybe had heard about it and decided to give it a spur of the moment go, or because they knew someone in the parade that year or even perhaps felt they still hadn’t seen and heard enough fireworks this summer (yeah,some people are seriously into ‘works’).
Whatever the reason people find themselves at the Bitely Homecoming they often come back a bit amazed at the amount of sheer unabashed revelry that cranks up in one of our county’s most intriguing little burgs.
Luellen DeWall contacted us about this annual get together
“We are a very small community, but big on our annual celebration which brings friends and relatives to the area for a fun filled weekend!”
Bitely Homecoming is a seriously good time. There are events Friday Saturday and Sunday and they have a facebook page with details.
But Sunday at 1pm is the parade.
Don’t miss the parade.
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