Jan. 2019 Ontonagon

Page 1

January/February 2019


COUNTRY LINES Ontonagon County Rural Electrification Association JAKE INGLE:

Building Dreams OUT OF SNOW

The Path To Pottery

Ontonagon Welcomes New Lineman

A Passion For Excellence

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In This Issue January 2019 || Vol. 39, No. 1

Michigan’s Electric Cooperatives

countrylines.com facebook.com/ michigancountrylines

Executive Editor: Casey Clark Editor: Christine Dorr Copy Editor: Heidi Spencer Design and Production: Karreen Bird Publisher: Michigan Electric Cooperative Association Michigan Country Lines, USPS-591710, is published monthly, except August and December, with periodicals postage paid at Lansing, Mich., and additional offices. It is the official publication of the Michigan Electric Cooperative Association, 201 Townsend St., Suite 900, Lansing, MI 48933. Subscriptions are authorized for members of Alger Delta, Cherryland, Great Lakes, HomeWorks Tri-County, Midwest Energy & Communications, Ontonagon, Presque Isle, and Thumb electric cooperatives by their boards of directors. POSTMASTER: SEND ALL UAA TO CFS. Association officers are Robert Kran, Great Lakes Energy, chairman; Mark Kappler, HomeWorks Tri-County Electric, vice chairman; and Eric Baker, Wolverine Power Cooperative, secretary-treasurer. Craig Borr is president and CEO. CONTACT US/LETTERS TO EDITOR: Michigan Country Lines 201 Townsend St., Suite 900 Lansing, MI 48933 248-534-7358 editor@countrylines.com countrylines.com

CHANGE OF ADDRESS: Please notify your electric cooperative. See page 4 for contact information.



A Multitude Of Experiences

Rick Fowler, Great Lakes Energy member

7 SAFETY Portable Generator Safety Tips 10 MI CO-OP KITCHEN Tasty And Filling Pasta Recipes Christin McKamey & Our Readers

Enjoy our featured Jubilee Bean Turkey Chili, compliments of Bill Van Gilder, an FIS technical halfpipe delegate and an owner of Van Gilder’s Jubilee Restaurant in the Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania. Enter Our Recipe Contest And Win A $50 Bill Credit!

14 FEATURE Jake Ingle: Building Dreams Out Of Snow Emily Haines Lloyd


Oliver And My Father Karen Reilly, Midwest Energy & Communications member

The appearance of advertising does not constitute an endorsement of the products or services advertised.

Guess Our New Mystery Photo And Win A $50 Bill Credit!

ON THE COVER Petoskey resident Jake Ingle is the brain and brawn behind many of the famous snowboarding half-pipes and super-pipes across the world, including this one (pictured above and on the cover) at Colorado’s Copper Mountain and the highly-praised half-pipe at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Learn more on page 14.

Win $150 for stories published!

Guest Column Country Lines invites members to submit their fond memories and stories. Guidelines 1. Approximately 350 words 2. Digital photos must be at least 600 KB 3. Submit your guest column at countrylines.com under the MI Co-op Community tab






500 J.K. Paul Street Ontonagon, MI 49953

Web: ontonagon.coop Phone: 906-884-4151 Toll-free: 800-562-7128 After hours: 866-639-6098 OFFICERS & DIRECTORS Calvin Koski, President Aura District 906-524-6988 cgkoski@up.net

George Rajala, Vice-President Chassell/Keweenaw Bay District 906-370-0416 rajgeo50@yahoo.com James Moore, Director, Secretary/Treasurer Boston District 906-482-0465 district7.keweenaw@gmail.com Wayne Heikkinen, Director Pelkie/Herman/Aura District 906-353-6496 mustipuppy@gmail.com Paul Koski, Director Ewen/Trout Creek/Lake Mine District 906-988-2593 pkoski@jamadots.com Frances Wiideman, Director Green/Firesteel/Toivola District 906-288-3203 fwiideman@alphacomm.net William Hodges Lake Linden District 906-934-3743 mistermich52@gmail.com


Debbie Miles, General Manager Fay Hauswirth, Billing Clerk Bill Tucker, Line Superintendent


Date of Incorporation: Sept. 30, 1937 Fiscal year-end: Dec. 31 countrylines.com/coops/ontonagon Ontonagon County REA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. Join us on Facebook. facebook.com/OntonagonCountyREA

4 JANUARY 2019

The Value Of Electricity

Continues To Shine Debbie Miles, General Manager

How many of us remember dropping into a brick and mortar office with our parents and grandparents to pay the light bill? Whether you do that in person, by mail, or online today, paying your monthly bill does a lot more than just keep the lights on. Electricity keeps us connected to our modern world. Consider all the necessities and conveniences we enjoy in part because of the power lines running to the electric meter outside your home. Count up your televisions, desktop, laptop and tablet computers, printers, your gaming consoles, music and video players and personal assistant devices. Whether they get used every day or just occasionally, the electricity that keeps them working comes from Ontonagon REA. You use electricity to run all these devices, and we still keep the lights on. The good news is, even as we rely more on electricity, it’s still a bargain, especially compared to other things we pay for regularly. Since 2011, medical care, residential rental rates and education have increased at rates of three percent or more per year. Butter, meat and egg costs have been up by more than one to two percent annually. Electricity costs rise about one percent a year, but co-ops across the country have reported a decline in average residential use per household since 2010. That means we’re doing more things with less energy. When it comes to value, electricity is a clear winner, and we’re always looking for ways to work with you to make it even better. That’s why Ontonagon REA urges energy efficiency, encourages you to look for ENERGY STAR® appliances, and promotes technology, designed to give members more control over their electricity use. Energy performance dashboards, smart thermostats and power strips, and appliance settings that shift most water heating, laundry and dishwashing outside of peak rate periods help reduce the co-op’s overall power demand. They also give you opportunities to control or even trim your monthly utility bills. That’s good for families, couples and individuals trying to live within their budgets. And it’s going to become even more important as digital devices and internet-connected technologies become even more important in our lives. The average home now has 10 Wi-Fi connected devices. That number is expected to explode to 50 by 2020. Technology and the gateways that keep it working use electricity, so you’ll depend upon Ontonagon REA for more than the power that keeps the lights on. That’s why we’re always working to provide service that’s reliable, affordable, and valuable to you, your family, and your neighbors.

Meet Your New Lake Linden Director William “Bill” Hodges was recently seated to the Ontonagon REA Board of Directors to represent the vacant seat for District 7—Lake Linden. The board unanimously appointed him at their October 19, 2018, meeting. Hodges resides in Big Traverse, just outside the city of Lake Linden. He recently retired from a career as a land and heavy construction surveyor, and the last project he worked on was as operations manager for the Highland Copper Exploration Project in White Pine. “I have always been impressed with the REA’s linemen and the service they provided. When I noticed that a representative was needed for

Ontonagon Welcomes New Lineman

our area, I decided to apply as I am very interested in helping out my community,” Hodges noted. As for what he hopes to accomplish as a director, Hodges hopes to learn more about the opportunities available in small-scale wind and solar power. “Initially, I am concentrating on just learning the ropes of co-op operations. We are so fortunate to have the REA to provide service to our rural communities.” In his spare time, Hodges enjoys outdoor activities, such as hunting and fishing. He is married and the father of three children and the proud grandfather of two grandsons.

Ontonagon REA recently welcomed Justin Sironen, 27, as the newest lineman to the co-op team. Sironen, an Ontonagon County native, returned to the area after working for several power line contractors across the U.S. since 2010. A graduate of the NMU Electrical Line Technician program, Sironen has worked for the past eight years in Texas, North Dakota and Florida. Growing up watching many talented linemen perform technical and precise work initially drew Sironen into the field. “I knew it was a job that wasn’t ever going away,” he said with a chuckle. As a lineman working in different states, Sironen witnessed his share of devastation wielded by violent weather. In particular, he recalled the gratefulness of those affected by the recent hurricanes as he helped restore power to devastated communities. “Even though they had their own problems to deal with, people still brought us food and coffee. It was a

“We are so fortunate to have the REA to provide service to our rural communities.”

really amazing to experience,” he recalled. In spite of that fulfilling work, Sironen was eager to get back to the U.P. in order to be closer to family and friends. An avid outdoorsman, he enjoys the natural resources that the U.P. has to offer and is looking forward to spending time in the north woods and like most Yoopers, anticipating “going to camp.” Sironen has already earned high marks at the REA. According to Line Superintendent Bill Tucker, “One of the challenges of being a truly rural electric coop is recruiting and retaining employees who adapt and embrace rural living. We believe that we could not have asked for a new employee that fits with us any better than Justin. In addition to being a native of this area, he has proven to be a very intelligent and productive lineman. We look forward to a very long career with him at Ontonagon REA.”




MI CO-OP Community

A Multitude Of Experiences Can Be Fulfilled Within 20 Minutes By Rick Fowler, Great Lakes Energy member

Russian-born comedian Yakov Smirnoff’s shtick includes his catchphrase, “America, what a country!” As a life-long resident of Michigan if I ever find my way onto the outdoor speaking venue my shtick would be along the lines, “Northwest Michigan, what a beautiful piece of America!” Why wouldn’t I want to brag about this little area of our country? Within 20 minutes of stepping out my door, I can fish for lake trout, brook trout, brown trout, walleye, pike and panfish. Within 20 minutes I can ply the woods for deer, bear and grouse. Plus, I am only a few minutes away from paddling on exceptional kayak and canoe waters or hopping on a boat and going through a lock. Essentially, I have the ability to travel anywhere in the world on the waters which touch the shores of nearby lakes and rivers. A few miles down the road from where I live, I can get lost on a two-track road. It’s not a panicky lost, but an exhilarating lost. Knowing that the little-used road will eventually lead me somewhere makes me want to keep advancing and not turn around just from the fear of being lost. I go slowly because if I go faster the sound is not the

same. With additional speed, this venture would be more like a ride. I don’t just want a ride, I want an adventure. This is magical! THAT’S WHAT WE ALL CAN DO within minutes of our homes—seek the magic that waits in northern Michigan. Within 20 minutes of my home, I can awaken all of my senses. It might just be the smell of wild grape hidden amongst the tag alder and aspen, decaying moss, leaves and grass or the essence of wildflowers wafting in the air. It might be the crash of some creature ambling through the woods, the sight of flocks of birds, rolling hills and the Windex blue of any of the lakes only minutes away. Beautiful scenery, bountiful opportunities and a slate that can be filled every day without too much effort. How could anyone who lives in this two peninsula state ever utter the word boring?

Rick taught high school English in Boyne City for 34 years. For the past 25 years, he has been an outdoor freelance writer.

NO BARRIERS ADVENTURES FOR RURAL VETERANS—APPLY BY FEB. 28 Michigan electric cooperatives believe there should be “No Barriers” for veterans with disabilities. That’s the name and idea behind CoBank’s No Barriers initiative. Michigan cooperatives are looking for qualified veterans* from our local community to participate. No Barriers is a five-day, all-expenses-paid, expedition in Colorado, designed to help veterans with disabilities transform their lives through curriculum-based experience in challenging environments (climbing, rafting and hiking). If you are a disabled veteran, or you know of a disabled veteran in our community who would like to participate in the No Barriers program, please complete the form on our website:

countrylines.com/nobarriers *Must have VA disability rating to be eligible.

Portable Generator

SAFETY TIPS Carbon Monoxide And Ventilation

• Using a generator indoors can kill you in minutes. Exhaust contains carbon monoxide, a deadly, poisonous gas you cannot see or smell. • NEVER run a generator indoors or in partly-enclosed areas, such as garages. • ONLY use outdoors and far from windows, doors, vents, and crawl spaces, and in an area where adequate ventilation is available and deadly exhaust gas cannot accumulate. • Using a fan or opening doors and windows will not provide sufficient ventilation. • It is recommended that you install battery operated carbon monoxide alarms/detectors indoors according to manufacturer’s instructions/recommendations.

Gasoline, Fueling And Burn Safety

Always read the owner’s manual and instructions for your generator. Do NOT cut corners when it comes to safety. These tips are merely supplemental and are not intended as a substitute for reading the owner’s manual.

• Do not overfill the fuel tank. Always allow room for fuel expansion. • If the tank is over-filled, fuel can overflow onto a hot engine and cause fire or explosion. • Never add fuel while the unit is running or hot. Allow the generator and engine to cool entirely before adding fuel. • Never store a generator with fuel in the tank where gasoline vapors might reach an open flame, spark or pilot light. • Many generator parts are hot enough to burn you during operation and while the generator is cooling after turning off. Avoid coming into contact with a hot generator.

• Use the proper power cords. Plug individual appliances into the generator using heavy-duty, outdoor-rated cords with a wire gauge adequate for the appliance load. Overloaded cords can cause fires or equipment damage. Do not use extension cords with exposed wires or worn shielding. • Do not operate the generator in wet conditions such as rain or snow. • The generator must be properly grounded. If the generator is not grounded, you run the risk of electrocution. Check and adhere to all applicable federal, state and local regulations related to grounding.

Electrocution Hazard And Electrical Shock Hazards

• Allow at least five feet of clearance on all sides of the generator when operating. • Generators can be used during a wide variety of weather temperatures, but should be protected from the elements when not in use to prevent shorting and rusting. • Operate the generator only on level surfaces and where it will not be exposed to excessive moisture, dirt, dust or corrosive vapors. • Inspect the generator regularly. • Always disconnect the spark plug wire and place the wire where it cannot contact the spark plug to prevent accidental starting when setting up, transporting, adjusting or making repairs to the generator.

• Do not connect your generator directly to your home’s wiring or into a regular household outlet. • Connecting a portable electric generator directly to your household wiring can be deadly to you and others. A generator that is directly connected to your home’s wiring can “back feed” onto the power lines connected to your home and injure neighbors or utility workers. • Only start or stop the generator when no electrical loads are connected. • Overloading your generator can seriously damage your valuable appliances and electronics. Do not overload the generator. Prioritize your needs; do not operate more appliances and equipment than the output rating of the generator. A portable electric generator should be used only when necessary and only to power essential equipment.

Generator Placement And Operation

Source: American Red Cross with technical advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Fire Protection Association (publisher of the National Electric Code®) and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.




Prioritize Energy Efficiency In 2019

Tired of high energy bills? Now is the time to take action! Getting started is easy with the Energy Optimization program. Cash incentives are available to help offset the upfront cost of energy-efficient equipment—which can help you save energy and money for years to come. A few of the energy-saving opportunities currently available include:

FREE Farm Energy Assessment:

To begin understanding more about your farm’s energy usage, take advantage of our free assessment. The complimentary assessment will help identify where and how to implement practical, energy-saving alternatives to outdated, inefficient equipment.

Incentives For Energy-Efficient Products And Equipment: Receive cash back when you purchase and install energyefficient measures such as: • • • • • • • •

Low-energy livestock waterers Fans and controls Milk-handling equipment Variable speed pumps and controllers Dairy refrigeration tune-ups Irrigation system upgrades LED grow lights and poultry lights Long-day lighting systems

Incentives For Custom Projects:

Have an energy efficiency project in mind, but don’t see it on our list? The Energy Optimization program will work with you to provide incentives for innovative and unique energy efficiency projects designed to meet specific needs. Contact us to discuss your ideas!

Learn More Read about how your neighbors have utilized Energy Optimization program incentives to improve the energy efficiency of their agribusinesses at michigan-energy.org/testimonials. Relevant articles include: • “Coulter Farms Harvest Big Savings” • “Coveyou Scenic Farm Market Flourishes with Energy Savings” • “Award-winning Labor Housing Reaps Great Savings for Friske Orchards” • “Sklarczyk Seed Farm Shines Bright with LED Grow Lights” Get started today. View all farm services incentives at michigan-energy.org or call 877.296.4319 for details.

ENERGY SAVINGS ARE ON THE HORIZON The Energy Optimization program provides Michigan farmers with energy-saving incentives and solutions that can improve your bottom line: • FREE energy assessment • Cash incentives for energy-saving lighting, fans, pumps, and more • Custom rebates for large or complex projects

michigan-energy.org P H O N E : 877.296.4319 ONLINE:

Energy Optimization programs and incentives are applicable to Michigan electric service locations only. Other restrictions may apply. For a complete list of participating utilities, visit michigan-energy.org.

Photo Contest 2018 Photo Contest Winner

Cutest Kids

“Tyler and his raining leaves.” By Amy Coon, as published in the September/October 2018 issue.

1. Our two-year-old granddaughter, Lydia. By Judy Mattson, Hancock 2. Happy Halloween, little tiger! By Jana Korpela, Hancock 3. Our kids and grandchildren hiked McGunn’s Creek Gorge all the way down to Lake Superior from the farm. The hike was more than a mile and worth every step. By Jeanne Houle Peters, Calumet 4. Three-year-old Sienna and six-year-old Gavin enjoyed the first big snowfall of 2018 in Chassell. They spent two hours shoveling the deck and enjoying the snow! By Kristina Johnson, Chassell 5. Enjoying an organic apple from a tree that is 60 plus years old. By Beth Heikkinen, Pelkie



3 4

Submit A Photo & Win A Bill Credit!

Ontonagon REA members whose photos we print in Michigan Country Lines will be entered in a drawing. One lucky member will win a credit up to $200 on their December 2019 energy bill!

Enter to win a


energy bill credit!

Our upcoming topics and deadlines are: • Food and Drinks due January 20 (March/April issue) • Spring Flowers due March 20 (May/June issue) To submit photos, and for details and instructions, go to http://bit.ly/countrylines We look forward to seeing your best photos!




Pasta Perfect Quick, tasty and filling pasta recipes. Photos—Robert Bruce Photography

Winning Recipe!

Gigi’s Famous Farfalle And Sausage Pasta Gigi Bozzano, Midwest Energy & Communications

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 pound Italian sausages (sweet or spicy), casings removed before cooking ¼ to ¾ teaspoon dried crushed red pepper (optional according to taste) ½ small onion (red or white), finely chopped 2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced (optional) 1 can (28-ounces) crushed tomatoes (with puree) ¾ cup heavy whipping cream 1 pound farfalle (DeCecco brand works well) • salt for pasta water: 1 tablespoon table salt or 1.5 tablespoons kosher salt ½ cup packed fresh basil, chiffonade right before serving • grated pecorino Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano Heat olive oil on medium heat in a large (12-inch) heavy skillet. When simmering, add Italian sausage and crushed red pepper. Sauté sausage until no longer pink, breaking it up with a wooden spoon while it cooks for about 5–6 minutes. Add chopped onion and garlic; reduce heat. Cook until soft but don’t let brown, 3–4 minutes. Add tomatoes and cream and reduce heat to a simmer (so the cream doesn’t curdle). After about 5 minutes, taste. If the sauce is a little acidic, add ½ teaspoon sugar. Meanwhile, fill a large pot with water. Add salt and bring to a boil. When boiling vigorously, add pasta and cook until it still has a 10 JANUARY 2019

“bite;” undercook it by about 3 minutes, as it will finish cooking in the sauce in the skillet. When the pasta is ready, reserve and set aside 1 cup pasta water. Drain pasta or remove with a large slotted spoon and add to sauce/sausage. Toss pasta and sauce over medium-low heat and toss until all the sauce coats the pasta. Add pasta water by ¼ cups to ensure the sauce stays creamy and coats everything. The dish usually requires at least ½ cup of pasta water. After 2–3 minutes, taste pasta for doneness, and if it’s “al dente,” remove from burner. Taste for seasoning. If you think it needs salt, remember that cheese adds salt. Transfer to a large serving dish and chiffonade* and add fresh basil. Toss pasta with basil. Serve the grated cheese on the side. Gigi’s Tip: Basil chiffonade Pile basil leaves on top of one another and gently roll into a cigar shape. With a sharp knife, cut basil into thin strips. I’ve been making this for 30 years and it’s my most requested dish. Buon appetito a tutti! (Enjoy your meal!)

Watch a video of this month’s winning recipe at micoopkitchen.com/videos

Pasta Salad With Lemon Vinaigrette


Laura Burke, Great Lakes Energy 8 1 2 1 ¼ 3 1

ounces uncooked small shell pasta pint grape tomatoes, halved cups coarsely chopped fresh spinach yellow bell pepper, chopped cup red onion, chopped tablespoons chopped fresh dill package (4 ounces) crumbled feta cheese

Lemon Vinaigrette ¼ cup fresh lemon juice 1 teaspoon dijon mustard 1 large clove garlic, minced ¼ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper ½ cup vegetable oil

Cook pasta according to directions; drain. Toss pasta with remaining ingredients. For dressing, whisk together first five ingredients. Gradually add oil in a steady stream, whisking until blended. Toss pasta salad with dressing. Serve immediately or cover and chill up to 8 hours. Enjoy.

Jake Ingle knows it takes a team to create a successful snowboard half-pipe and it helps when a member of that team knows how to warm everyone up with something hot and delicious at the end of a day. Bill Van Gilder is an FIS technical delegate at half-pipe Grand Prix events. His family owns a restaurant in the Pocono Mountains——Van Gilder’s Jubilee Restaurant. So, when Bill is cooking up something——everyone knows it’s a meal that is not to be missed.

Mostaccioli Bake Susan Miner, Cherryland 8 1½ ½ 1 1 1 1 ½ 1 1 1 ¹⁄8 1 2 ½

ounces uncooked mostaccioli pounds hamburger cup chopped onion clove garlic can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes can (8 ounces) tomato sauce can (6 ounces) tomato paste cup water teaspoon salt teaspoon sugar teaspoon basil teaspoon pepper bay leaf cups shredded mozzarella cheese cup fresh grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 F. Cook mostaccioli. In a saucepan, cook beef and onion until done.

Jubilee Bean Turkey Chili

Add garlic; cook 1 minute and drain. Stir in tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, water, salt, sugar, basil and pepper. Add bay leaf and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for 30 minutes. Remove bay leaf; stir in mostaccioli. Spoon half of the meat mixture into a 9x13 pan and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese; layer with remaining meat mixture. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Cover and bake 30–35 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes.

Appetizers and Snacks: due February 1 Breakfast and Brunch: due March 1 Submit your favorite recipe for a chance to win a $50 bill credit and have your recipe featured in Country Lines with a photo and a video. Go to micoopkitchen.com for more information and to register.

Enter to win a


energy bill credit!

1 1 3 ½ ½ 28 28 14 14 14 14 14 2 1 1 • • •

lb. ground turkey medium onion cloves of garlic yellow pepper orange pepper ounces crushed tomatoes, undrained ounces diced tomatoes, undrained ounces black beans, drained ounces kidney beans, drained ounces pink beans, drained ounces Northern beans, drained ounces black-eyed peas, drained tablespoons chili powder tablespoon coriander tablespoon cumin dash of cayenne pepper salt and pepper to taste olive oil

Heat oil in pan on stove top. Sauté the garlic, chopped onions, and peppers until they begin to sweat. Add ground turkey until cooked through and mix. Move mixture to large pot. Rinse and drain all beans and add all ingredients to the pot, including the beans. Mix thoroughly. Simmer on low heat for 1.5 hours, mixing lightly as needed. Salt and pepper to taste. Chili can be frozen as well. It’s always better the next day! Read the full story about Jake Ingle and his half-pipe expertise on page 14 and visit micoopkitchen.com to find this recipe and others. MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES


I’ve always wanted to be the best that I can be.” ——Adam Bruce

Photo by Melissa Van Brocklin

A Passion For Excellence By Yvonne Whitman

Early in life, 18-year-old Adam Bruce, a senior at Gladstone High School, discovered he had a natural athletic ability. It was first grade, to be exact, when his mother (Alger Delta employee Shannon Priebe) enrolled him in a wrestling class. His hard work and natural abilities combined to help him take home some noteworthy titles. “I was a three-time National United Wrestling Association for Youth champion,” Bruce reminisced. Bruce went on to place Silver All American at the Disney Duals in Orlando, Fla., wrestling against teams from across the United States. Modest by nature, Bruce simply stated, “That was really cool,” regarding his youth achievements. As a high school freshman, his girlfriend, Zoie, encouraged Bruce to try track. He was reluctant, so he decided to try pole vaulting. That would quickly change. Bruce

12 JANUARY 2019

recalled sitting by the track one afternoon when his coach approached him and said, “I hear you’re not a bad runner. Just come and run one mile.” That mile run gave him a stellar time of 4:58—and it was his first attempt. “From that point on, I ran. I just sort of fell in love with it,” Bruce said. As a sophomore, he broke the school record for the mile—a record that had stood since 2005. “That was my big breakthrough,” Bruce recalled, “From there, I got faster and faster.” During his junior year, Bruce began his cross-country career—a move that brought him his greatest achievement to date. “Being the first male from my school to ever win the Upper Peninsula cross country finals was something I’ll

Photos by Adam Bruce

Adam with his top 10 shirt at the Duane Raffin Festival of Races in Holly, Mich. Adam placed second overall.

Adam, his brother James, his mother, and his girlfriend, Zoie, at a 5K run Marquette.

never forget. I was proud because we had a young team and we ended up placing third and beating Marquette. To me, that was my greatest achievement because we did it as a team. That is my proudest moment,” he noted. Today, Adam Bruce holds the Gladstone High School track team’s records in the 1,600-meter run (the mile) with a time of 4:31.7 and the 3200-meter run at 9:52.8, a record that dates back to 1988. He also ran the fastest 5000-meter race (3.1 miles) in the history of the Gladstone High School cross country program with a time of 16:05.2. Bruce attributes the early influence of his youth wrestling coach, Jesse Debacker, to his current success and athletic dedication. “When I didn’t think I could do something, Coach Debacker would tell me I could. I remember him saying, ‘You’re always able to push yourself a little bit harder than you really think you can.’” It was this advice that taught Bruce how to mentally overcome setbacks, even today. Coach Debacker fondly recalls mentoring Bruce. “I had the honor of being a small part of Adam’s life,” he noted. “Early on I could see that there was something special about Adam. He has this desire to be the best, unlike anyone I have ever seen. He has an unstoppable drive and, on top of that, he is an extremely gifted wrestler. To top it off, he is an amazing student and has an even bigger heart. I know whatever he does in his future he will do well and with a relentless work ethic.” When asked how he balances the demands of academics and sports, Bruce, who has a 4.0 GPA responds, “I try to

Adam and Coach Whitmer at the Bellin Run in Green Bay, Wis.

stay focused. I hold myself to a high standard. I’ve always wanted to be the best that I can be.” This has not gone without notice as Bruce was selected Male Runner of the Year by the Upper Peninsula Cross Country Coaches’ Association after taking his first U.P. Division 1 and Great Northern Conference title and his second straight Mid-Peninsula Conference crown. His highest praise, however, comes from his cross country coach Gary Whitmer, who said, “This is my 18th season of coaching at Gladstone High School and I have never had a more dedicated and driven athlete like Adam. Not only is he the best distance runner who has ever walked the halls of Gladstone High School, but he has also become a student of the sport—he loves running!” In addition to his athleticism and academic abilities, Bruce exemplifies the qualities of an exceptional leader. “During the cross country season, Adam was always encouraging all the other athletes on our team to do their best,” Coach Whitmer recalled. “Adam’s commitment and dedication to improving as a runner will guarantee his success as a college student, an athlete, a runner and in life.”

Adam Bruce holds the Gladstone High School track team’s records in the 1,600-meter run (the mile) with a time of 4:31.7 and the 3200-meter run at 9:52.8, a record that dates back to 1988. Adam has also run the fastest 5000-meter race (3.1 miles) in the history of Gladstone High School’s cross country program with a time of 16:05.2.


Building Dreams OUT OF SNOW

By Emily Haines Lloyd Photos courtesy of Tripp Fay

The Zaugg pipe monster is the machine used to rough carve the super-pipe at Colorado's Copper Mountain.


ike all sculptures, creating a masterpiece begins with an artist’s vision. Then the artist expertly makes use of the tools he or she has learned to use, and cuts, chips, and scrapes away at the material until beauty is revealed. For artists like Petoskey resident Jake Ingle, his material of choice is snow, his tools are anything from a giant snowcat dozer to a handheld shovel, and the result is an enviable living work of art called the half-pipe.

Jake Ingle uses the Red Number 9 to help build a legendary half-pipe for Olympic athletes. This machine was “the best snowcat” in South Korea, Jake attests.

“You live for these moments. To give these folks an amazing ride. For me, it was the perfect experience.” — JAKE INGLE

Skiing and snowboarding half-pipes, like the ones Ingle creates, are expertly-crafted, snow-made ramps with a U-shaped cross-section. This shape allows winter-loving athletes to perform remarkable aerial jumps and maneuvers that defy the general public’s imaginations. The journey to creating and building these massive canvases started in a much smaller way for Ingle. It began with a love of outdoor and winter sports that Ingle shared with his whole family, as well as a mentality to “thrive, not just survive” the cold Appleton, Wis., winters. It eventually meant heading off to college at Gogebic Community College in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to study ski area management. That led to an internship at Copper Mountain in Colorado, which led to building some of the most enviable half-pipes in the country and, as they say, things snowballed from there. “I just loved to snowboard and thought I’d go be a ski bum after high school,” said Ingle. “It would have been impossible then to imagine what I’d be doing now.” His half-pipe-building work got national attention when the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association approached him, Ingle said. From there, Ingle

14 JANUARY 2019

Top left: A view from the finish-line area of Jake and his team's super-pipe and boarder-cross venues at the 2018 Olympics in South Korea. Top Right: A spectator views the Mammoth Mountain Grand Prix Olympic Qualifier super-pipe all lit up and in its glory. Left: Jake Ingle and his wife, Clare, prepare to watch one of the fruits of Jake’s labor——the Grand Prix super-pipe event in Snowmass, Co.

started working on U.S. Grand Prix and FIS World Cup events—building massive half-pipes, as well as a reputation for himself. Working on these large competitive events eventually led to a recommendation from Roberto Moresi, the World Cup race director, to build the half pipe for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Along with Ingle’s partner Mark Pevny and Austria-based colleague Alli Zehetner, the trio set out to create a work of art for the largest sporting stage in the world. “There were definitely some nerves. The half-pipes at both the Vancouver and Sochi Olympics had gotten a lot of negative feedback,” said Ingle. “The weather was brutal and made building and maintaining the pipe so hard. You really feel for those guys who worked on those pipes when there’s so much out of your control. ”Ingle and his team began their plans well in advance with site visits, measurements, drawings and a picture in mind they hoped would live up to the reality. The building of the pipe itself is half construction site, half science experience. The team of 70 used huge construction dozers, taking days to build the first wall alone, followed by half-pipe cutter machines, and huge snow blowers. Following these massive tools, Ingle and crew pulled out the shovels and more than a few specialty tools that he has developed as a result of his experience.

We use “centimeter-accurate equipment,” Ingle said. Ingle and his partners completed their work of art in a little over two weeks and with more than a little pride. In the end, the half-pipe at the Phoenix Snow Park in Pyeongchang was 650 feet long with 24-feet-tall walls and 82.5 degrees of verticality. It surpassed even their own wildest dreams. Feedback from the Pyeongchang games was remarkably different than the previous two Olympics. Rave reviews of Ingle’s half-pipe came in from snowboarding gold medalist Shaun White’s coach and 2012 bronze medalist, JJ Thomas, as well as Mike Jankowski, head coach of the U.S. Freeskiing and U.S. Snowboarding teams. “You live for these moments,” said Ingle. “To give these folks an amazing ride. For me, it was the perfect experience.”

Watch a video of Jake Ingle building the half-pipe for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea at countrylines.com.


The Path To Pottery By Yvonne Whitman

Pictured above: William Thompson and some of his pottery 16 JANUARY 2019

Copper Country artist William Thompson’s path to pottery may not have been a straight line but, in the end, it led him home. After graduating from Calumet High School, Thompson joined the U.S. Marines. After being honorably discharged, Thompson returned to the U.P. and, in 2007, obtained a degree in physical therapy from Finlandia University. However, injuries from his time in the service, such as herniated discs and torn meniscus, made the work too difficult, and he knew he had to find another line of work. With the benefit of a VA program, Thompson was able to return to school, but was uncertain of what he should pursue. He had always been drawn to art. “I’ve been a compulsive doodler my entire life,” he said. “In high school my notebooks probably had more drawings than notes. I’ve always enjoyed whittling and carving wood, and I’ve always enjoyed the creativity.” And artistry seems to run in Thompson’s veins as his grandfather and uncle both paint, along with a great grandmother who painted and a mother whom he describes as “a chronic doodler.” Returning to school, Thompson knew he wanted to pursue a degree in Fine Arts, but was not exactly sure what area of art he should pursue. Then he met Kenyon Hansen, a ceramics instructor at the university who became an influential force. “Between his mentorship and my just getting my hands in clay and how much I loved the material, I declared ceramics as my major. Everything felt like it just kind of fell into place,” said Thompson.

Mich. More than $500,000 in prizes are awarded each year, which include a $200,000 prize awarded entirely by public vote and another $200,000 prize awarded by a jury of art experts. Thompson sent two pieces from his manifest pottery series representing Manifest Destiny, the colonization of America. The pots represented three cultures: Native American, Chinese and African. While Thompson did not win a prize at the event, he is still grateful for being selected to participate. Inspiration for his work comes from other artists who are making pots and ancient pottery. Thompson noted, “One of the things I love about pottery is that it has been made by humans for thousands of years. So, I like to tap into that tradition.” Thompson is also an inspiration to other Finlandia art students, such as Jayana Barrette, a senior studying art and design. When asked why he was such an inspiration she said, “He’s a veteran who went back to school later in life to learn pottery. He creates these awesome pieces that are both massive and breathtaking and that tell a story. I think his work is amazing.” Thompson’s works can be found at the Copper Country Community Art Center in Hancock. Follow Thompson on Instagram @williamthompsonart or visit his website at wthompsonceramics.wixsite.com/website.

Thompson graduated in the spring of 2018 and established a studio on the campus of Finlandia University. He mixes and makes his own clay, even harvesting local clay to use in his pieces. “What I do for the most part is create functional pottery,” he explained. “I like the idea of someone going to their cupboard in the morning and grabbing my cup because it is their favorite one to use.” Thompson also finds creating his pottery to be meditative. “The process of making a pot takes me away from whatever is troubling me as it requires me to be attentive and in the moment.” When asked about his favorite pieces, he quickly responds, “My best pieces were the ones that made it into ArtPrize. Those pieces have a lot more intellect behind them. And they exist as a means for me to speak a message.” In 2018, Thompson was selected to send his work to the world’s largest art competition, the renowned Grand Rapids ArtPrize. ArtPrize is an open, independently organized, international art competition which takes place every other fall in Grand Rapids,


Guess this photo and enter to win a

MI CO-OP Community


energy bill credit!


Oliver And My Father Where In Michigan Is This? Identify the correct location of the photo above by January 20 and be entered into a drawing to win a $50 electric bill credit. Enter your guess at countrylines.com or send by mail to: Country Lines Mystery Photo, 201 Townsend St., Suite 900, Lansing, MI 48933. Include the name on your account, address, phone number and the name of your co-op. Our Mystery Photo Contest winner from the November/December 2018 issue is Paul Bosker, a Great Lakes Cooperative member, who correctly identified the photo as the underside of the Mackinac Bridge. Winners are announced in the following issues of Country Lines: January, March, May, July/August, September and November/December.

November/December 2018

By Karen Reilly, Midwest Energy & Communications member

My father, my hero, was a jovial man who loved to share stories of the past. I especially enjoyed hearing about life on the family farm in Dowagiac. This is a story I captured from him nearly 20 years ago from his point of view. “Back in the 1940s, life around the family farm in Dowagiac really began to change. The outhouse hole was filled in and, for the first time, we had running water in the house. This made everyday chores, such as dishwashing and bathing, much easier. However, the biggest innovation of the decade for us was the gasoline-powered tractor. My first tractor was a shiny green one built by Oliver. At the front base of its long body were two small tires. In the rear were two large tires with thick treads. Compared to the small wheels on the family Buick, these were some of the biggest tires I ever saw! The tractor had the strength of 10 horses. The plow, planter, disk, brush chopper and trailer that attached to the back of the tractor revolutionized life on the farm. Work could be done in a fraction of the time, and with the bright headlamp on the front of the tractor, we could work past daylight, if needed. We planted larger plots of land and harvested greater quantities of crops. I had to save for that new Oliver—$800 was a lot of money back then. But, she was worth every penny. I sold the tractor in the late ’40s for $1,000; I wanted to buy a Chevy convertible. In the late 1980s, I heard my old tractor was once again looking for a home. By then I had newer, more powerful machines, but for old times’ sake, I decided to take my Oliver tractor back to the farm and fi x her up. She doesn’t do much farm work anymore. Like me, she’s retired. She sure looks good, though, in that shiny, new coat of green with the little wheels in the front, and the great big ones in back. I think I will hang onto her for a while.” The original family farm in Dowagiac still stands and will turn 100 years old in the next few years. My dad built his farm just down the road from it and it remains our home today. And the Oliver tractor is also still in our family.

Photo courtesy of Thomas Mann

18 JANUARY 2019

Karen is a co-op member who is a nature-lover at heart and enjoys bird-watching, exploring woodlands, gardening and long walks. She is a dean at a community college and lives at and runs her father's farm with her husband.


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From the battleeelds of Gettysburg to the halls of Congress in Washington, D.C.,

Youth Tour will explore the leadership

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