Quilt Guild Creates Comfort
Kalamazoo Ringers Begin New Era
Holiday Gift Guide
Images too good to keep to ourselves
Meet Steve Stamos
Southwest Michiganâ€™s Magazine
Donating a gift to your community is a personal, meaningful and fulfilling experience.
Kalamazoo Community Foundation connects your gift to our communityâ€™s greatest needs through our Love Where You Live fund.
GIVE ONLINE TODAY AT KALFOUND.ORG! Or contact our Donor Relations team to learn more about our Love Where You Live funds at firstname.lastname@example.org or 269.381.4416. KALFOUND
Helping children thrive. All children benefit from Positivity. That’s why Bronson reaches out to families throughout southwest Michigan. We’re involved in the community and in schools helping kids prevent injuries and learn healthier habits. We help them make smarter food choices. And we teach them why it’s important to stay active. Of course, some children need more than that. Not all are born healthy. And not all healthy children stay that way. As the area’s only children’s hospital, we’re here for them. We not only provide essential medical care, we partner with families and community agencies to build a culture of caring around each child. With our support, more children can grow up healthy and resilient. Learn more at bronsonpositivity.com. Or follow us on Facebook.
Quilt Guild Creates Comfort
Kalamazoo Ringers Begin New Era
Holiday Gift Guide
Meet Steve Stamos
Southwest Michigan’s Magazine
Images too good to keep to ourselves
encore publications, inc.
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YMCA of GREATER KALAMAZOO
Stop in for a tour of our newly renovated facilities or call for information on how you can support the Y mission. Maple 1001 W. Maple St. Kalamazoo MI 49008 269-345-9622 Portage 2900 W. Centre Ave. Portage MI 49024 269-324-9622
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FOR YOUTH DEVELOPMENT FOR HEALTHY LIVING FOR SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY ®
Exciting things are happening at the YMCA of Greater Kalamazoo! We’re connecting people every day with opportunities for youth development and healthy living. As for social responsibility? We work hard to ensure that the YMCA is a place where ALL feel safe, respected and empowered to reach their fullest potential. We’re not just a gym. We’re a community center built up through a membership that lifts our neighbors and each other. For a better community. For a better us.
Encore Magazine is published 12 times yearly. Copyright 2018, Encore Publications, Inc. All rights reserved. Editorial, circulation and advertising correspondence should be sent to:
www.encorekalamazoo.com 117 W. Cedar St. Suite A, Kalamazoo, MI 49007 Telephone: (269) 383-4433 Fax: (269) 383-9767 Email: Publisher@encorekalamazoo.com The staff at Encore welcomes written comment from readers, and articles and poems for submission with no obligation to print or return them. To learn more about us or to comment, visit encorekalamazoo.com. Encore subscription rates: one year $36, two years $70. Current single issue and newsstand $4, $10 by mail. Back issues $6, $12 by mail. Advertising rates on request. Closing date for space is 28 days prior to publication date. Final date for print-ready copy is 21 days prior to publication date. The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by those interviewed and published here do not reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of Encore Magazine or the official policies, owners or employees of Encore Publications.
ENCORE EDITOR'S NOTE
From the Editor A
s a writer and editor, I relish using the currency of words and stories to share with our readers just how dynamic and special our community is. But for all the great storytelling within our pages, it’s the images that truly show what we’re talking about. Just as our stories often have to be whittled down to fit in the available space, so, too, we have hundreds of photos and images that never make it into print. So we are happy to present Encore’s second annual Revealed issue, which showcases dozens of shots taken for Encore that are wonderful and beautiful but, for one reason or another, didn’t make it into print. And as we did last year, we are combining this issue with a Revealed exhibit that will display more of these shots during December’s Art Hop, from 5—8 p.m. Dec. 7 at Mercantile Bank’s downtown branch, at 107 W. Michigan Ave. Our first Revealed issue and exhibit last December were hugely popular and inspired us to have a little more fun with this year’s efforts. For instance, this issue features outtakes — images of spontaneous moments that occurred during our shoots, complete with a photo-bombing or two. Take a quiet moment during this very busy month to enjoy the images and stories within this issue, and make a point, on Dec. 7, to venture downtown to see more and join in all the Art Hop fun. Encore staff will be on hand to meet and greet folks, so make sure to stop and say hello.
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Our annual collection of never-before-published photos from Encore stories with a few outtakes thrown in for fun
DEPARTMENTS 5 From the Editor Contributors 8 Up Front
2018 Gift Guide
Happenings and events in SW Michigan
Created Comfort — Kalamazoo quilters bestow handcrafted blankets on children, cancer patients
Meet Steve Stamos — Why Blue Dolphin’s owner has hundreds of folks over for Christmas dinner every year
ARTS 34 Handing Off the Handbells — Kalamazoo Ringers’ new director finds ‘big shoes’ a perfect fit 38 Events of Note 43 Poetry
On the cover: Cocktails made from handcrafted syrups and pickled foods at Old Dog Tavern from Encore’s April 2015 issue. Photo by Brian K. Powers.
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Jordan had only a passing knowledge of bell ringing but found attending a Kalamazoo Ringers practice for her story in this issue a delightful experience. “The way handbell choirs work is incredible,” she says. “Each ringer is responsible for a set of notes, usually two or three, those notes’ sharps and flats, and the octave above or below as well, all of which are created with individual bells. No one person can play an entire melody on their own. You really have to trust the people you’re ringing with to complete the whole musical picture.” Jordan is an editorial assistant with Encore.
Chances are, readers have seen Brian’s photographic work outside of Encore. In addition to Encore, Brian shoots for clients that include Hour Media, the University of Michigan and Bronson Healthcare. His images grace billboards, magazine covers and books. Brian, who grew up in Kalamazoo, says he never tires of shooting new people or places. “Photography allows me to see the world around me with a unique perspective. Even though I’ve lived here my whole life, I see something beautiful and interesting in everything and everywhere I go — it’s like seeing my community through new eyes.” To see more of Brian’s work, visit briankpowers.com.
Ready for Company?
Organizing Tips for Upscale and Casual Entertaining
Kara lives in Kalamazoo, where she is a writer, designer and coffee-crazed mom. For this month’s issue she wrote about the Kalamazoo Log Cabin Quilters' annual service projects, which she found very moving. “Good Lord, what these quilters do brings hot tears to my eyes! It's just so beautiful. I was honored to spend time with their generous, colorful souls.” You can read more of Kara's work on her website, karanorman.com, where she writes about books, travel and — despite her best intentions — celebrity gossip.
Adam is a college student whose family lives in Monroe, on the other side of the state, so he wasn't surprised to hear that many of the people the Blue Dolphin serves on Christmas Day are folks who just miss their family for one reason or another. Adam, a senior at Western Michigan University majoring in journalism, works as a freelance writer and radio journalist.
Having friends or family over to share a meal or watch the big game? Nothing says “welcome” to your guests like a beautiful, well organized home.
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Does Your Home Love You?
Anna loves her house. She loves its big front window; she can sit by and watch the kids head off to school in the morning. She loves the back porch where she can see the sunset. She loves the half-finished basement where she can escape the ruckus upstairs and get some of that never-ending laundry done. She even loves the bathroom, with its big tub and lock on the door to keep the kids out. But lately she and her home have been at odds. The relationship has grown cold — literally. Her front window is drafty and she can hear the wind whistling through it. The back porch gets bigger and scarier icicles every year. The basement laundry is starting to smell musty and damp. And the bathroom is freezing all the time.
Luckily for Anna, she found Patrick and fell in love all over again — with her house, not with Patrick (he was lovely but not quite her type). Patrick is a Change Agent at Better World Builders, and with one simple call, he put all of Anna’s worries at ease. He did a comprehensive Energy Audit of her house and was able to identify all the home’s problem areas — loose windows, old insulation, inadequate ventilation — he found it all, even the mold hiding behind her washer. He explained the issues, causes and how they could be fixed every step of the way. He was not pushy, worked with her budget, and gave her valuable information, so they could plan how to get things done right the first time.
A little while later, a Better World Builders’ crew was at her house. They were fast, respectful and made sure Anna was aware of the progress they made every day. They even cleaned up after themselves — something she hoped her kids were paying attention to. Before she knew it, Anna’s house was like new again — better even. With the environmentally friendly materials Better World Builders used and the energy efficient additions they put in, Anna was feeling good about the impact on the environment and her wallet. Her home was cozy again; the drafts were gone, the cold spots disappeared, the smells evaporated and, most importantly, she felt reassured her house was safe for her and her children. Anna loves her house, and now her house loves her back.
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FIRST THINGS ENCORE
First Things Something Revealing
See unpublished Encore photos at Art Hop We just can’t keep them to ourselves. Encore has hundreds of photos taken to accompany our stories, but we can’t print them all and feel bad that they sit, unseen and lonely, in a digital folder somewhere out on the Cloud. So, to bring them down to earth, we’re sharing many of those images, that, while lovely, didn’t make it into the pages of the magazine, at an Art Hop exhibit on Dec. 7. You’ll be able to view the photos from 5-8 p.m. at Mercantile Bank’s downtown location, 107 W. Michigan Ave., as well as meet and talk with Encore staff members and photographer Brian Powers. We’ll also have live music performed by Neil Jansen. It might also be a great opportunity to find a photographic Christmas gift or two, as the images will also be available for purchase.
Something Marvelous Get your girl-group groove
Farmers Alley Theatre will bring some girl-group
groove to the stage Dec. 7-30 in its production of the off-Broadway hit The Marvelous Wonderettes: Dream On. The show follows the Wonderettes as they reunite to wish a happy retirement to a favorite teacher and catch up at a 20-year class reunion, singing some classic tunes from the 1960s and ’70s along the way, like “Gimme Some Lovin’” and “We Are Family.” The show will be staged at Farmers Alley Theatre, 221 Farmers Alley, at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 13, 20 and 27; 8 p.m. Dec. 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22, 28 and 29; and 2 p.m. Dec. 9, 16, 23 and 30. Tickets are $39, or $15 for students. For tickets or more information, call 343-2727 or visit farmersalleytheatre.com.
10 | ENCORE DECEMBER 2018
ENCORE FIRST THINGS
Crawlspace Eviction serves up improv
Whether you are looking to become more merry or to laugh away your holiday blues, check out Crawlspace Eviction’s latest improv comedy show, the soup-themed Chowder, Dec. 21 and 22 at Crawlspace Comedy Theatre, 315 W. Michigan Ave. Performances are at 8 p.m. both nights, and tickets are $12–$13. For tickets or more information, call 5997390 or visit crawlspacetheatre.com.
Vocalists join KSO for holiday show Hear some songs of peace, love and joy when local chorus members and renowned vocalists Marissa McGowan, J. Mark McVey and Valerie Lemon join the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra for its annual “Sounds of the Season” celebration Dec. 15. The show, under the direction of conductor Daniel Brier, begins at 8 p.m. at Chenery Auditorium, 714 S. Westnedge Ave. Tickets are $12–$60. For tickets or more information, call 349-7759 or visit kalamazoosymphony.com.
J. Mark McVey
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FIRST THINGS ENCORE
Take in a Christmas cabaret If a little treat and some holiday tunes will get you feeling jolly, then the Barn Theatre’s Christmas Cabaret, set for Dec. 7–22, should be on your family’s todo list. The cabaret, presented by the Barn Theatre School for Advanced Theatre Training, will feature performances of classic carols and holiday tunes while the audience noshes on pie, coffee, pop or hot chocolate. Tickets are $30. Show times are 7 p.m. Dec. 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 21 and 22 and 2 p.m. Dec. 8, 9, 15, 16 and 22. For tickets or more information, call 731-4121 or visit barntheatreschool.org.
Celebrate the solstice at Boatyard At sunset on Dec. 21, candles
will light Boatyard Brewing Co. for its Winter Solstice Celebration, when you can raise a glass to toast either the longest night of the year or the fact that the days will only get longer from then on out. The brewery is located at 432 E. Paterson St., and the event runs from 5–11 p.m. Admission is free, but the beer is not. For more information, call 226-0300 or visit boatyardbrewing.com.
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ENCORE FIRST THINGS
Take a Krampusnacht tour A Christmas light tour in Kalamazoo will honor an obscure European, um, holiday called Krampusnacht. This holiday is observed every Dec. 5 and involves people dressed as Krampus, a half-goat, half-demon anti-Santa, running through the streets frightening children and perhaps hitting a few of the naughtier ones with bunches of birch sticks. To help you forget this horrific holiday tradition, or to celebrate it, the Kalamazoo Brew Bus is hosting a Krampusnacht Christmas Light Tour Dec. 5, with brewery stops and Christmas ale samples. There will not be any birch sticks, however. The bus departs at 7 p.m. from Boatyard Brewing Co., 432 E. Paterson St., and you must be 21 to take this tour. Tickets are $25. Plan to bring some of your own brews, since you’re allowed to take them as well as food on the bus (as long as you can fit the items in a small cooler bag that fits under your seat). For tickets or more information, call 760-8162 or visit bit.ly/2qD05gV.
FOR THE LAST 75 YEARS, WE’VE OPERATED BY THE ‘GOLDEN RULE’. Who knew that whole “Treat others how you would want to be treated” thing would be so well received.
Those words our great grandfather taught us, still hold true today. The cars may have changed over the years but our commitment to our customers hasn’t. We value the lifelong, multi-generational relationships we have built. Thank you for entrusting DeNooyer Chevrolet with your confidence and patronage for the past 75 years. We hope our dedication to being good stewards in our community has made a difference in the lives of your family. We look forward to continuing to serve you in the Miles Ahead.
Stop in for the BEST PRICING OF THE YEAR, Now until December 31st!
DENOOYER.COM w w w.encorekalamazoo.com | 13
FIRST THINGS ENCORE
Exhibit explores refugees’ mementos
Above: Coffee cups brought to America by an Iraqi refugee are featured in the exhibit. Right: Jim Lommasson.
What would you take if you had to flee your home forever? That question, at least for Iraqi and Syrian refugees, was explored by photographer Jim Lommasson in his exhibit What We Carried: Fragments and Memories from Iraq and Syria, which opens Dec. 16 at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum, 230 N. Rose St. With more than 85 images, the exhibit showcases the significant personal items that Iraqi and Syrian refugees carried with them. Along with their mementos, the refugees share their stories and how these small objects and images represent what they left behind. All of the stories are presented in both English and Arabic. Lommasson will discuss the exhibit and his work at 1:30 p.m. Dec. 16 in the museum’s theater. The event is free. For more information, call 373-7990 or visit kalamazoomuseum.org.
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Fresh Coast Auto Detail 6811 West KL Ave., Suite A 269.459.9900 freshcoastautodetail.com
2413 Parkview Ave. 269.553.6506 • kazoobooks.com
Check out the season’s newest titles! We also have signed books from favorite authors and a staff skilled at tracking down hard-to-find treasures. Spend $25, get a Blind Date with a Book. Celebrating 30 years as Kalamazoo’s best independent bookstore!
Surprise your loved one with an auto detail gift certificate! Fresh Coast’s Certified Detailer has over 20 years’ experience detailing classic, luxury and exotic automobiles. Call today and we can help design a beautiful gift basket featuring our gift certificate.
260 E. Michigan Ave. 269.342.WINE • tempovinowinery.com
Looking for a white Christmas? Maybe you prefer red? "I've Got a Gal in Kalamazoo" handcrafted Red and White Wines will ensure you or a loved one get into the holiday spirit! Wine tasting and personalized wine labels available.
Binder Park Zoo
7400 Division Drive, Battle Creek 269.979.1351 • binderparkzoo.org
Tulips Little Pop Up Shop 2030 Parkview Ave. 269.459.6481
For all your gift ideas, pop into the best little pop-up shop in Kalamazoo, where you will find fabulous apparel, beautiful accessories and unique gift ideas.
Give the gift of a Binder Park Zoo membership and your loved ones will unwrap an entire year of exploring the zoo! Memberships start as low as $75 and include many perks. Begin (and finish) your holiday shopping at www. binderparkzoo.org!
UniQ Jewelry Gallery 3940 W. Centre Ave., Portage 269.459.1669 • uniqjewelry.com
We’re dreaming of color this holiday season. Bright and bold to soft and subtle, we have the hue for you. Prices from fun to fine. Find us in the Woodbridge Shopping Plaza or online at uniqjewelry.com!
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Air Zoo – Aerospace & Science Experience 6151 Portage Road, Portage 269.382.6555 • airzoo.org
Gifting just got easier. There’s a place, right here in Southwest Michigan, where “kids” from 1–100 can spend countless hours exploring history, aerospace and science. Air Zoo memberships are affordable and fit everyone. Give imagination and discovery this holiday season.
Lawton Ridge Winery
8456 Stadium Drive 269.372.9463 • lawtonridgewinery.com
Have a wine lover on your holiday list? Give them the “Magic of Michigan Wine.” Whether giving a single bottle or customized gift basket, choose from our variety of wines — elegant dry reds to dessert wines — and fun wine accessories.
Down Dog Yoga Center The Moors Golf Club 7877 Moorsbridge Road, Portage 269.323.8873 • MoorsGolf.com
The Moors is a private golf club, but our Golf Shop is always open for public shopping! More than a golf shop, featuring great brands including Vineyard Vines, Missen+Main, and Hudson Sutler, just to name a few. Stop in today!
316 S. Kalamazoo Mall, #108 269.993.2486 • downdogyogacenter.com
Give the gift of yoga! Down Dog gift cards can be used for Beginning Yoga, Prenatal, 30+ weekly classes, and fun special events like Yoga On Tap! Join our friendly community for supported health and happiness in the New Year.
Design 1 Salon Spa 212 W. Milham Ave., Portage 616.301.1400 • design1.com
Gift giving has never been easier. Whether it’s Christmas, Mother’s Day, or anniversary, Design 1 Gift Cards are the perfect gift! They’re available in any denomination and can be used toward any of our world-class services or spa packages.
16 | ENCORE DECEMBER 2018
The Pantry on Tap
7642 S. Westnedge Ave., Portage 269.978.6641 • thepantryontap.com The Pantry on Tap is a gourmet store with a European touch, specializing in oils, vinegar, herbs, spices and fine foods imported from around the globe.
3021 Oakland Drive 269.341.4444 • initialattraction.com Established in 2004, Initial Attraction has been helping holiday shoppers with gracious giving and stylish living for over 14 years. Where trend meets tradition, you'll find a diverse array of gift, apparel, tabletop and custom offerings for giving and home.
MacKenzies’ Cafe & Bakery
The Spirit of Kalamazoo 154 S. Kalamazoo Mall 269.382.6249 • spiritofkalamazoo.com
527 Harrison (Downtown) 4426 West Main (Westwood Plaza) 269.343.8440 • mackenziesbakery.com
Gifts that remind them of home! The Spirit of Kalamazoo has unique gifts for everyone on your list. We have hoodies, crewnecks and T-shirts representing Michigan, Kalamazoo and WMU; area-themed mugs, beer glasses, bottle openers, ornaments and much more!
Treat your guests this holiday season with bakery-fresh butter cookies — made locally with delicious natural ingredients and packaged for your convenience. Mention this ad for $1 off one package of butter cookies. Offer ends December 29, 2018.
Kalamazoo Nature Center
7000 N. Westnedge Ave. 269.381.1574 • naturecenter.org
Give the Gift of Nature this holiday season! Select a KNC gift membership, animal adoption, or gift certificate. Explore the Trailhead Gifts & Books shop in the KNC Visitor Center, where you'll find something for everyone on your list!
321 S. Kalamazoo Mall 269.343.1255 • morrisonjewelers.net Add sparkle this season with Morrison's stunning earring jackets! These beautiful jeweled enhancers instantly transform classic diamond stud earrings into a dazzling new look. Stop in to see our latest designs with diamonds, sapphires, rubies & emeralds starting at $795!
Tiffany’s Wine & Spirits
1714 W. Main St. (269) 381-1414 • aatiffany.com
We’re more than just a fine wine & spirits shop! We offer an array of artisan gourmet foods and deli with a full catering menu available. We’re a local, independent wine merchant providing superior service, quality and value since 1982.
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GOOD WORKS ENCORE
Quilters bestow blankets on children, cancer patients KARA NORMAN
utside Kalamazoo’s Second Reformed Church on a warm June evening, the license plate on an SUV reads QLTKAZO, while inside, the sanctuary buzzes with the voices and anticipation of more than 100 women gathered for a monthly meeting of the Kalamazoo Log Cabin Quilters. This is more than just a regular meeting — tonight guild members will unveil 242 quilts, most of which will be given away.
18 | ENCORE DECEMBER 2018
The guild, which is in its 40th year and has nearly 200 members, undertakes two service projects a year. The first, in November, is to create “lovees” — small quilts that are wrapped around a stuffed animal and distributed to children by various community organizations, including the Kalamazoo County Department of Health and Human Services, public safety departments, foster care organizations and shelters.
Above: A member stitches a quilt to be displayed at the Kalamazoo Log Cabin Quilters meeting. Opposite page, top: Handcrafted quilts created by members line rows of seats. Bottom: Members watch as the quilters reveal their works onstage.
In the spring, group members turn in quilts made for a different organization chosen each year. In the past, quilts have been created for hospice organizations, the Battle Creek VA Medical Center, organizations that support young mothers, and nursing homes.
ENCORE GOOD WORKS
For 2018, the guild chose two organizations to make quilts for: Binky Patrol and the West Michigan Cancer Center. Draped in colorful piles across chairs spanning nearly an entire wall are the 146 quilts to be donated to Binky Patrol, a national nonprofit that distributes blankets to children who are born HIV-positive, drugaddicted, with chronic or terminal illnesses, or abused, in foster care or experiencing trauma. Bunnies, alphabets, diamonds, stars, and Dr. Seuss icons adorn some quilts; a giant panda stares cheerfully from another. Guild members admire the blankets, before the meeting, some keeping an excited count. The remaining 96 quilts being shown tonight have been made for the West Michigan Cancer Center, where they will grace the walls as art and be given to cancer patients.
Quilted tribute During the meeting, quilters stand on a stage and reveal, one by one, the quilts that are designated for the Cancer Center. Holding the 36-inch-by-36 inch-works aloft, quilters announce the people in honor of whom they
made their quilts. Sometimes the quilt has been crafted for loved ones lost to cancer; sometimes it has been made for the living; and sometimes it has been made to honor specific cancer survivors, including some of the quilters themselves. The ceremony is understandably moving â€” to see so much labor in service to others, well, just try to sit through that without shedding a tear or two. But the quilts are
the real showstoppers. Ranging in color and height, pattern and style, from complex and brightly kaleidoscopic to understated, sophisticated and traditional, the quilts are emblems of not only a dedication to helping others, but an astonishing amount of skill. â€œThe more that you do, the better you get,â€? says Jenny Grunberg, a 70-year-old practicing dentist from Kalamazoo who has been quilting for 10 years.
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Describing her devotion to “piecing” the top of a quilt (matching different fabric corners when sewing), Grunberg says, “Some patterns are very forgiving. Others are not.” She is interrupted by a woman holding a square of fabric with a busy, almost neon-
green pattern. “Do you think this is ugly?” Sandy George asks. Grunberg assures her it is. “Oh, good,” George says. George explains that the guild is engaging in an “Ugly Fabric Challenge,” in which every
member gets a “fat quarter” — a quarter of a yard — of the offending fabric, which they must make something with. George recounts all the people she has talked to this evening, and the consensus is enthusiastically unanimous: The fabric is horrible.
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ENCORE UP FRONT
Opposite page: Kalamazoo Log Cabin Quilters members, from right, Lynne Hall, Sharon Cervoski, past president; and Carol Fogle Grant, chairperson for the group’s grant, education and communications committee. Above and right: Members admire the display of the hundreds of quilts to be given away which covers several rows of seats.
In one corner of the room, two women troubleshoot a quilt’s colorbleed problem that occurred after one of the quilters dyed her own fabric. In another corner, a lending library awaits those not already saturated with ideas from Pinterest. Billie Gunderson, who owns Lucy in the Sky Quilts & Fabrics in Kalamazoo, has fabric for sale. There’s also a snack table, a demonstration table, and a “yard sale” table where people have placed materials they’d like to sell. At the “free” table, fabric scraps, books and magazines await the taking. “I don’t go over there,” says Carol Fogle Grant, motioning to the free table and wryly suggesting a habit of collecting too much through the years. “I don’t want anything else in my house.” Grant, 68, who oversees publicity for the guild, once brought an unfinished crocheted comforter started by someone else to the free table. She brought it in as a favor, uncertain what would become of
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Kalamazoo Log Cabin Quilters Meetings: The group meets on the third Tuesday of the month, February through November, at Second Reformed Church, 2323 Stadium Drive. Doors open at 6:15 p.m. for social time and member demonstrations. The formal meeting begins at 7 p.m. Dues: Yearly membership dues are $35. More information: klcqg.org
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it. Log Cabin quilter Marilyn Seats picked it up, finished it and then incorporated quilting into it, awing Grant and delighting the family of the woman who had originally started it, who had recently died.
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22 | ENCORE DECEMBER 2018
Pauleen Kaiser, a 64-year-old guild member who organized the Binky Patrol service project, is pleased with the number of quilts turned in, saying the guild was aiming to donate 100 quilts to the charity and far surpassed that number. Sharon Cerovski, co-organizer of the cancer center service project, says the quilts “are smaller than what most of us normally do.” “It’s fun to make those little, creative quilts. And you can whip right through them, just like that,” she says, snapping her fingers. Standing on stage, the Cancer Center’s marketing manager, Lynne Emons Corbus, motions to the quilts that cover several rows of chairs and says, “I see what you do, and I’m absolutely awed.” When she says she might join the group if they will teach her how to make a quilt, there is thunderous applause, showing just how much these talented quilters adore their craft. Good thing, because the group has already chosen its 2019 recipient of quilts: Western Michigan University's Seita Scholars program, for college students who have aged out of foster care.
Images too good to keep to ourselves photography by
BRIAN K. POWERS
More than ever before, it seems, people love photography. How else to explain our love
affair with photo social media sites like Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr and Flickr? But, despite the ease of sharing photos on these sites, viewing a digital image on a little screen is just not the same as seeing that photo in big, beautiful print. To prove our point, we present Revealed, our second annual issue of never-before-published photos taken for Encore stories that are just too good not to share. Our staff picked these from hundreds of photo files and along the way found a few outtakes — moments captured during photo shoots that are genuine and humorous and give a sense of just how fun our jobs really are. The staff often refers to this as the “Eye Candy Issue,” and they are right: Each photo is unique and delicious and meant to be savored.
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Previous page: Paintbrushes in artist Mary Hatchâ€™s studio (May 2018). This page, clockwise from above: A display of peppers and mushrooms await customers at the Bank Street Winter Market (February 2016); the doorway to escape room establishment Final Clue (February 2018); the small detail of a squirrel in an exhibit at the Midwest Miniatures Museum (August 2018); Artist Singh atop one of his creations (November 2017); customersâ€™ mugs hang at One Well Brewing (November 2017); and City of Portage mascot Mr. Crispy (June 2018).
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Clockwise from above: A spiral staircase handcrafted by Bill Nichols for his Schoolcraft home (August 2016); artist Mary Hatch in the living room of her home (May 2018); some of the Heritage Guitars tested by Rendal Wall (November 2018); and clothespins hold wicks as candles harden at the Kalamazoo Candle Co. (December 2015).
26 | ENCORE DECEMBER 2018
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Clockwise from top left: A latte awaits a patron at Coexist CafĂŠ (February 2018); cosplayer Matt Perigo as Star Wars character Kylo Ren (February 2018); an illuminated church window and light at Texas Corners Brewing Company (October 2017); and a bevy of My Little Pony and other action figurines among the wares for sale at Kalamazoo Comic-Con (February 2018).
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Revealed at Art Hop Like what you see? There's more where these came from! Check out additional unseen Encore photography at the Revealed exhibition at Art Hop! When: 5-8 p.m., Dec. 7 Where: Mercantile Bank’s downtown location, 107 W. Michigan Ave. What else: Live music by Neil Jansen
Award-winning filmmaker Nathan Ginter from Encore’s July 2018 issue.
In Your Corner. ®
■ National and state financial institutions, commercial and real estate finance and workouts ■ Restructuring, complex commercial transactions, and receiverships
Contact Bruce Grubb at firstname.lastname@example.org 30 | ENCORE DECEMBER 2018
Ann Arbor | Detroit | Grand Haven | Grand Rapids | Hastings | Kalamazoo | Lansing | Novi
Above: Fire Historical and Cultural Arts Collaborative’s Executive Director Allison Kennedy makes a point, literally (April 2018). Clockwise from top right are images taken for the Tourist in Your Own Town special issue in June 2018: Mr. Crispy surprises our picnickers; model Peter Broe takes a swig from one of the props at the picnic shot while Jordan Bradley smiles obliviously; a sweet woman photobombs the pair at the Kalamazoo Farmers Market.
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Handing off the Bells
Choir's new director finds ‘big shoes’ a perfect fit story by
They may sound beautiful and crystalline, but when handbells
ring this month, the music will be bittersweet for members of the Kalamazoo Ringers. The group, which has existed for more than three decades and is the oldest community handbell choir in the country, will play its first concert under Martha Matthews, who assumes the helm as the group’s second director ever. The changing of the guard comes because Jan Van Valey, who co-founded and served as the group’s director for 37 years, is stepping down after an arduous battle with cancer. But Van Valey, who led the Kalamazoo Ringers to achieving the most advanced classification of bell choirs in the country, the bronze
34 | ENCORE DECEMBER 2018
level, hears nothing but beautiful music in it all, calling Matthews’ serendipitous transition to director “amazing.” In September 2017, the Kalamazoo Ringers were gearing up for a full season under Van Valey’s direction. At the same time, Van Valey was battling multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer. “I knew I had cancer, but I did not know what was happening to me,” Van Valey says. Over time, the cancer made it too difficult for Van Valey to extend her arms away from her body to conduct and caused three compression fractures in her back, leaving her unable to walk. Meanwhile, Matthews was undergoing a transition of her own. Like Van Valley, she had founded an advanced handbell choir, Philadelphia
The ‘God wink’
Opposite page: Martha Matthews, left, takes over the Kalamazoo Ringers from Jan VanValey, right, who co-founded and directed the advanced choir for 37 years. Above: Handbells waiting to be rung. Top right: Kalamazoo Ringers members, Jesse Olson, right, and John Thomas, play their bells during rehearsal.
Bronze, and had directed it for 10 years. But she had recently married and had left Philadelphia, and her handbell choir, to begin a new life in Holland, Michigan. “I was in mourning, missing my team there,” Matthews says. So she reached out to Van Valey to ask if she could attend a Kalamazoo Ringers practice. “That was the beginning of an amazing event in our lives,” Van Valey says.
Matthews and Van Valey had known each other for years — both are representatives for Malmark Inc., a company that makes handbells, and were active in the Handbell Musicians of America. “We had crossed paths many times at guild events and had a distant friendship,” Van Valey says. “You know, we liked each other. We always got together. When we were together, we had a common bond." When Matthews came to a Kalamazoo Ringers practice, “I did not tell her I was sick,” Van Valey says. “I was in a lot of pain and I could just barely move, and she came in and actually it was a shock to her, but she was very gracious.” Not long after that rehearsal, Van Valey realized she could not lead the group through the rest of the season as she had intended. She reached out to Kalamazoo Ringers Board President Karen Lorenz and suggested Matthews as a possible substitute director. “When I called Martha, she and I had a conversation about this ‘God wink’ — you know, like sometimes people are in the right place at the right time,” says Lorenz. “She was in Michigan and she had come to visit and we had this need for a concert in a month.” “There was no question. Just ‘yes,’ which was amazing,” says Van Valey. “And she was at the next rehearsal.” Matthews filled in as director for the remainder of the handbell choir’s 2017-18 season, leading the group’s Tuesday night rehearsals and working on Van Valey’s repertoire for its concerts and an event in Ohio with six other advanced choirs. By May, Van Valey was well enough to co-direct and share the podium with Matthews for the group’s spring concert. By then, it was clear to the KR family that Van Valey’s substitute was more than a ‘God wink'; she was a perfect fit. w w w.encorekalamazoo.com | 35
“I kept saying to them from the first day, ‘This is a real class act. This gal is really top drawer,’” says Van Valey. In July, at its National Seminar concert in Grand Rapids, the choir announced Matthews as its new director, marking the end of the era. Coming into an advanced choir like the Kalamazoo Ringers presents an “exciting” challenge for Matthews. While both Van Valey and Matthews have similar musical backgrounds, they have different approaches to directing — Matthews approaches it as an instrumentalist, whereas Van Valey approaches it as a vocalist. “During my last six months here, I showed them my philosophy because I thought, ‘If they don’t like it or want it, they need to know now,’” says Matthews.
Linda Holzwarth, a member for 15 years, says Van Valey “was a task master for playing well. She did not accept sloppiness.” Fellow member Jennifer Heeres describes Van Valey’s influence this way: “I think (the Kalamazoo Ringers) have, from the beginning, set a standard of excellence, that they’ve grown into excellence, but they’re always striving to be better. A lot of the times,
people are good with the status quo, and those people don’t join a group like KR. The people that are here want to keep learning, want to keep doing really good stuff,” she says. “That’s the ‘Jan spirit,’” Holzwarth says. Matthews has seen it, too. “It truly is different from any other community group that I’ve ever worked with in terms of how
Big shoes to fill They must like it, because Matthews says she has felt welcomed by the group, which is a comfort given Van Valey’s legacy. Speak to any members, past or present, and praise resounds for Van Valey’s leadership.
Above: Kalamazoo Ringers members Julie Jursinic, left, and Linda Holzwarth during rehearsal. Right: Martha Matthews leads the group in her first rehearsal as the new director.
Kzoo’s answer to the Polar Express. Holly Jolly Trolley Time! gets it. 36 | ENCORE DECEMBER 2018
Hear the Handbells Upcoming Kalamazoo Ringers concerts: 10th Annual Christmas in Kalamazoo (with Kalamazoo Male Chorus and Kalamazoo Youth Jazz Orchestra), 7:30 p.m. Dec. 4, Centerpoint Church, 2345 N. 10th St.
(Van Valey) has it organized, that it really is a democracy,” Matthews says. “Everybody has a voice. It’s a family.” But change can be hard, although the carefully orchestrated transition over the past year has helped. “The two of them collaborated together,” says Karol Dill, now the last founding member actively ringing with the Kalamazoo Ringers. “She (Matthews) just stepped right into a hole we had, and we filled a hole she had. We’re so lucky, because we kind of draw from a smaller area and there aren’t many choirs and directors that would be able to come into a higher-level choir to direct.” While Matthews does things a little differently, Dill says she sees a lot of similarities between the former director and the current director. “She’s so personable, so easy to be with,” Dill says of Matthews. “You know, she will continue the family.” Just minutes before she steps into her first rehearsal as director, Matthews says, “It is one of the deepest honors of my life. And if I’m nervous about anything, it’s about following in her (Van Valey’s) shoes, because they’re about the biggest shoes there are in the world.” For Dill, those shoes might seem just a little bigger than for some other members. She has been with the Ringers as long as Van Valey and grew up with Van Valey in Ohio, where they attended the same church. Both Van Valey and Dill moved to Kalamazoo in 1977 and, once again, attended the same church, rekindling their friendship. “Having grown up with her (Van Valey) and knowing her forever,” Dill says, “I will just miss her every Tuesday night.”
38th Annual Christmas Concert, 4 p.m., Dec. 16, Grace Harbor Church, 811 Gorham Lane.
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A Christmas Carol — Dickens' holiday classic, through Dec. 28, New Vic Theatre, 134 E. Vine St., 381-3328, thenewvictheatre.org. Next Stop, Broadway — WMU Music Theatre students join Broadway star Brenda Braxton for this cabaret event, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1, Williams Theatre, WMU, 387-2300. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang — A family-friendly musical about an out-of-this-world car that flies, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1, 7 & 8, 2 p.m. Dec. 2 & 9, Civic Auditorium, 329 S. Park St., 343-1313. Christmas Cabaret — Featuring favorite carols and holiday songs, 7 p.m. Dec. 7–9, 14–16, 21 & 22, 2 p.m. Dec. 8–9, 15–16 & 22, Barn Theatre, 13351 West M-96, Augusta, 731-4121. The Marvelous Wonderettes: Dream On — A 1969 girl group celebrates its 20-year reunion with pop and rock hits of the '60s and ’70s, 8 p.m. Dec. 7–8, 14–15, 21–22 & 28–29, 2 p.m. Dec. 9, 16, 23 & 30, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 13, 20 & 27, Farmers Alley Theatre, 221 Farmers Alley, 343-2727.
Frankie Ballard's Country Christmas — Cirque Dreams Holidaze — A holiday Michigan-born singer/songwriter, 8 p.m. Dec. spectacular with acrobatics, gravity-defying 15, State Theatre, 345-6500. feats and theatrical production numbers, 7:30 May Erlewine & The Motivations — The p.m. Dec. 21 & 22, 2 p.m. Dec. 22, 1 p.m. Dec. 23, Americana singer/songwriter with her retroMiller Auditorium, WMU, 387-2300. groove band, 8:30 p.m. Dec. 21, Bell's Eccentric Café, 382-2332. MUSIC
Fake NYE with Joe Hertler & the Rainbow Seekers — Michigan-based folk-pop band, 8 Baccano — Progressive rock band, 8 p.m. Dec. p.m. Dec. 29, State Theatre, 345-6500. 1, Bell's Eccentric Café, 355 E. Kalamazoo Ave., Last Gasp Collective — Local jazz, funk and soul 382-2332. ensemble, 9 p.m. Dec. 29, Bell's Eccentric Café, A Very Merry Christmas with Joel Mabus — 382-2332. This folk singer and instrumentalist presents music and stories of the season, 3 p.m. Dec. The Dead South with The Crane Wives & 2, Transformations Spirituality Center, 2929 The Hooten Hallers — Bluegrass, folk and rock bands, 8:30 p.m. Dec. 31, State Theatre, Nazareth Road, 381-6290. 345-6500. Second Sundays Live: The Allegan Brass Collection — Local area musicians perform, 2 Orchestra, Chamber, Jazz, Vocal & More p.m. Dec. 9, Parchment Community Library, 401 A Choral Christmas — Western's University S. Riverview Drive, 343-7747. Chorale, Cantus Femina and Collegiate Singers Christmas with John Berry 25th Anniversary perform, 4 & 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1, First Presbyterian Tour — Country singer/songwriter, 7:30 Church, 321 W. South St., 387-2300. Bands & Solo Artists
p.m. Dec. 9, State Theatre, 404 S. Burdick St., 345-6500.
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Revolution: The Beatles Symphonic Experience — The Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra and top vocalists perform over 25 top hits, with video and animation, 8 p.m. Dec. 1, Miller Auditorium, WMU, 387-2300. Holidays with the Bach Festival — Bach Festival Chorus and Maple Street Magnet School for the Arts Chorus present music from around the world, 4 p.m. Dec. 2, Stetson Chapel, Kalamazoo College, 337-7407. Clarinetist Georgiy Borisov & Friends — WMU faculty recital, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 2, Dalton Center Recital Hall, WMU, 387-4667. At This Special Time — Celebration of the words and music of Christmas, 8 p.m. Dec. 3 & 4, New Vic Theatre, 134 E. Vine St., 381-3328. Advanced Jazz Ensemble — 7:30 p.m. Dec. 4, Dalton Center Recital Hall, WMU, 387-2300. Christmas in Kalamazoo — Kalamazoo Ringers, Kalamazoo Male Chorus and Kalamazoo Youth Jazz Orchestra perform, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 4, Centerpoint Church, 2345 N. 10th St., kalamazooringers.org. Campus Choir — 7:30 p.m. Dec. 5, Dalton Center Recital Hall, WMU, 387-4667. University Percussion Ensemble — 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6, Dalton Center Recital Hall, WMU, 387-4667. Kalamazoo Mandolin & Guitar Orchestra — This plucked string ensemble presents new and old holiday music, 6 p.m. Dec. 7, Stryker Theater, Kalamazoo Valley Museum, 230 N. Rose St., 373-7990. A Holiday Spectacular — The Watters Brothers and WMU jazz faculty perform with the Kalamazoo Concert Band, 8 p.m. Dec. 7, Miller Auditorium, WMU, kalamazooconcertband.org. University Concert Band — 8 p.m. Dec. 7, Dalton Center Recital Hall, WMU, 387-4667. Mall City Harmonizers Barbershop Chorus and Battle Creek Barbershop Chorus — Free holiday concert with donations for the Salvation Army, 4 p.m. Dec. 8, First Baptist Church, 315 W. Michigan Ave., 350-4085. Cyrus Chestnut & Friends: A Charlie Brown Christmas — Fontana presents the jazz pianist performing the music from A Charlie Brown Christmas, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 8, Dalton Center Recital Hall, WMU, 382-7774. A Baroque Christmas — Kalamazoo Singers concert, 3 p.m. Dec. 9, First Presbyterian Church, kalamazoosingers.org. Sounds of the Holiday Season — Western's university bands perform, 3 p.m. Dec. 9, Miller Auditorium, WMU, 387-2300. Sounds of the Season: Songs of Love, Joy, and Peace — Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra musicians, local chorus members and renowned vocalists Marissa McGowan, J. Mark McVey and
Valerie Lemon perform, 8 p.m. Dec. 15, Chenery Auditorium, 714 S. Westnedge Ave., 349-7759.
A Brass Celebration of Christmas — 3 p.m. Dec. 16, Dalton Center Recital Hall, WMU, 387-2300. Kalamazoo Children's Chorus Holiday Concert — 3 p.m. Dec. 16, Chenery Auditorium, 547-7183. Kalamazoo Ringers' Christmas Concert — This handbell choir performs music of the season, 4 p.m. Dec. 16, Grace Harbor Church, 811 Gorham Lane, kalamazooringers.org. Burdick-Thorne String Quartet — These KSO musicians present a holiday program, Dec. 17, Atrium Lobby, Borgess Hospital; Dec. 19, Garden Atrium, Bronson Methodist Hospital; both concerts at noon, 349-7759. DANCE Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker — The classic holiday ballet presented, with Western's University Symphony Orchestra, 7 p.m. Dec. 5, Miller Auditorium, WMU, 387-2300.
In the Works with Western Dance Project — A sneak peek into the works of WMU Department of Dance, featuring guest artist, faculty and student works, 6 p.m. Dec. 7, Wellspring Theater, 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall, 387-5830.
WMU Dance Fall Showcase — Featuring choreography by WMU dance students, 3 & 7 p.m. Dec. 8, Dalton Center, Studio B, WMU, 3872300. COMEDY Crawlspace Eviction: Chowder — Improv and sketch comedy show inspired by soup, 8 p.m. Dec. 21, Crawlspace Comedy Theatre, 315 W. Michigan Ave., 599-7390. VISUAL ARTS Kalamazoo Institute of Arts 314 S. Park St., 349-7775 Exhibits
The Way Forward: New Acquisitions at the KIA — Paintings, photography, mixed media, prints and ceramics, through Dec. 2. Inka Essenhigh: A Fine Line — Large-format paintings filled with otherworldly expression, through Jan. 6. do it — An exhibition engaging the local community in dialogue that responds to instructions by artists, through March 3. Watanabe: Japanese Print Envoy — Prints that combine Japanese techniques with Westerninfluenced style, Dec. 15–March 10.
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Events KIA Holiday Sale — Purchase art created by art school students and faculty, 9 a.m.–3 p.m. Dec. 1. ARTbreak — Weekly program about art, artists and exhibitions: Black Death and Its Influence on Western Art, talk by Dr. James Carter, Dec. 4; Remembering Norman Carver Jr., talk by David Curl, Dec. 11; How They "Did It," talk by artists Karen Bondarchuk, Nayda Collazo-Llorens and Emily Berezowski, Dec. 18; sessions begin at noon, KIA Auditorium. Sunday Tour — Docent-led tours: Inka Essenhigh, Dec. 9; Watanabe: Japanese Print Envoy, Dec. 23, sessions begin at 2 p.m. Art League Lecture — Clemens Reichel, University of Toronto Associate Professor of Mesopotamian Archaeology, discusses Erasing Mankind's Heritage: The Monuments of Palmyra and Their Devastation by the Syrian Civil War, 10 a.m. Dec. 12. Unreeled: Film at the KIA — View a holiday film, The Acorn, and join in a conversation with filmmaker Kyle Misak, 6:30 p.m. Dec. 13. Book Discussion: On Color — David Senecal leads a discussion of the book by David Scott Kastan and Stephen Farthing, 2 p.m. Dec. 19. Richmond Center for Visual Arts Western Michigan University, 387-2436 WMU Art Faculty Exhibition — Through Dec. 9, Monroe-Brown Gallery.
Photo by Rudy Malmquist
Art is for everyone.
Admission $5 / $2 students / children & members free Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday 11-5 / Thursday-Friday 11-8 / Sunday 12-5 435 W. South Street 269/349-7775 kiarts.org 40 | ENCORE DECEMBER 2018
Yuanliang Sun: Landscape Restructured — Explore the cultural transformation of modernday China and the hidden side of globalization, through Dec. 9, Netzorg and Kerr Gallery. Other Venues Art Hop — Art at various Kalamazoo locations, 5–8 p.m. Dec. 7, 342-5059. Revealed — Art Hop exhibition of unpublished photographs taken for Encore, with live music by Neil Jansen, 5–8 p.m. Dec. 7, Mercantile Bank, 107 W. Michigan Ave., 383-4433. Painting in the Parks — Create a masterpiece of your own, 6–9 p.m. Dec. 13, Schrier Park, 350 W. Osterhout Ave., Portage, 329-4522. LIBRARY & LITERARY EVENTS Kalamazoo Public Library Classics Revisited — Discussion of Germinal, by Emile Zola, 7 p.m. Dec. 20, Boardroom, Central Library, 342-9837. Parchment Community Library 401 S. Riverview Drive, 343-7747 Parchment Book Group — Discussion of Mr. Owita's Guide to Gardening, by Carol Wall, 6:30 p.m. Dec. 3. Parchment Holiday Chocolate and Wassailing — Citywide holiday celebration with music and activities, 8 p.m. Dec. 5.
Adventures in Mindfulness — Lori Gray, assistant professor in WMU's Integrative Holistic Health and Wellness program, speaks about mindfulness and offers ways to support health and well-being, 10:30 a.m. Dec. 8. Front Page: Donuts & Discussion — Experts lead a discussion of current news topics, 10:30 a.m.–noon Dec. 15. Mystery Book Club — Discussion of The Christmas Visitor, by Anne Perry, 6:30 p.m. Dec. 17. Portage District Library 300 Library Lane, 329-4544 Friends of the Library Book Sale — 9 a.m.–3 p.m. Dec. 1. Go VR — An introduction to Oculus Go Virtual Reality and some short adventures; Games, Dec. 7; Adventure, Dec. 21; both sessions begin at 4 p.m.; registration required. SciFi/Fantasy: Trivia Contest — Topics related to science fiction, fantasy, comics and manga, 7 p.m. Dec. 11. International Mystery Movie Night — Enjoy a film, food and fun, 6–7:45 p.m. Dec. 13. Open for Discussion — Discussion of Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher, by Timothy Egan, 10:30 a.m. Dec. 18. Other Venues Gwen Frostic Reading Series: Dennis Hinrichsen — The Lansing-area poet laureate reads from his works, 7 p.m. Dec. 6, Rooms 157– 159, Bernhard Center, WMU, 387-2611. MUSEUMS Air Zoo 6151 Portage Road, Portage, 382-6555
Wild Weather — Hands-on, immersive journey through the science of extreme weather, through January. Gilmore Car Museum 6865 Hickory Road, Hickory Corners, 671-5089
Duesenberg: Celebrating an American Classic — This exhibition showcases up to 20 rare Duesenbergs in rotation, through fall 2019. New Year's Eve Celebration — Semi-formal event with dancing, live music, car-themed photo booth and ball drop, 9 p.m. Dec. 31–1 a.m. Jan. 1. Kalamazoo Valley Museum 230 N. Rose St., 373-7990 Frank Lloyd Wright: Architecture of the Interior — Designs of the American architect's houses and their interiors, through Dec. 9. Let It Snow — Full-dome video images choreographed to classic Christmas music, 4 p.m. Saturdays, through Dec. 29, Planetarium.
Seeing: A Photon's Journey Across Space, Time and Mind — Take a ride on the optic nerve and learn about the structures of the eye, 4 p.m. Sundays, through Dec. 30, Planetarium. Season of Light — How candles, Christmas trees and Santa Claus became holiday traditions, 11 a.m. Mon.–Fri., 1 p.m. Sat., 2 p.m. Sun., through Dec. 31, Planetarium. Mystery of the Christmas Star — A scientific explanation for the star the Wise Men followed, 3 p.m. Sun., Mon., Wed., Fri. & Sat., through Jan. 4, Planetarium. Bikes: Science on Two Wheels — Interactive exhibits about the history and evolution of the bicycle, through Jan. 6. Your Kalamazoo Wings! The First 45 Years — The history and culture of Kalamazoo's oldest professional sports franchise, through March 31. Sunday Series: Exploring the Treasures of Refugees — Photographer Jim Lommasson speaks on the power of art for social change and evolution of the exhibit What We Carried: Fragments and Memories from Iraq and Syria, 1:30 p.m. Dec. 16. What We Carried: Fragments and Memories from Iraq and Syria — Refugees' journeys to America through images of their personal carried objects, Dec. 16–April 15. Orion Nights — Learn to locate stars within the constellations, 3 p.m. Jan. 3 & 5, Planetarium. NATURE Kellogg Bird Sanctuary 12685 East C Ave., Augusta, 671-2510 Birds and Coffee Walk — A morning bird walk and discussion over coffee, 9–10:30 a.m. Dec. 12. MISCELLANEOUS Christmas at Wings Arts & Crafts Show — 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Dec. 1, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Dec. 2, Wings Event Center, 3600 Vanrick Drive, 345-1125. Traditional Holiday — Caroling, tree lighting, ice sculpture, music and Santa, 6–9 p.m. Dec. 1, Celery Flats Historical Area, 7335 Garden Lane, Portage, 329-4522. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation — View the 1989 film about the Griswold family, 8 p.m. Dec. 1, State Theatre, 404 S. Burdick St., 345-6500. Holiday Gifts & Greens Sale — Live greenery on sale by Kalamazoo Garden Council, 9 a.m.–1 p.m. Dec. 1, Kalamazoo County Expo Center North, 2900 Lake St., kalamazoogardencouncil.org. ZooLights — Binder Park Zoo is decorated for the holidays, 5–8 p.m. Dec. 1–2, 7–9, 14–16 & 21–23, 7400 Division Drive, Battle Creek, 269979-1351.
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EVENTS ENCORE Victorian High Tea — Grace Anne Kalafut journeys into the customs, fashions and accessories of the Victorian Era and the Golden Age, 2–4 p.m. Dec. 2, Ladies' Library Association, 333 S. Park St., 327-7798. Tea at the Manor House — Specialty teas, a guided tour and holiday market for families: Mrs. Claus Tea, 11 a.m. & 3 p.m. Dec. 2; Holiday Snowflake Tea, 3 p.m. Dec. 9; Holiday Tea–Joyeux Noel, 3 p.m. Dec. 11; Holiday Spice Tea, 3 p.m. Dec. 18; 3–5 p.m. W.K. Kellogg Manor House, 3700 E. Gull Lake Drive, Hickory Corners, 6712400; registration required.
Underwear Party — Support Ministry with Community's warm clothing collection, 5–7 p.m. Dec. 3, Radisson Plaza Hotel, 100 W. Michigan Ave., 366-3095.
K-9 Fanciers Dog Show — UKC multi-breed dog show, 3–11 p.m. Dec. 7, 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Dec. 8, 8 a.m.–4 p.m. Dec. 9, Kalamazoo County Expo Center South, 989-860-9845.
Kalamazoo Indoor Flea Market — New and used items, antiques and handcrafted items, 8:30 a.m.–2 p.m. Tues. & Wed., Dec. 4–19; 8 a.m.–3 p.m. Dec. 8, Kalamazoo County Expo Center, 383-8778.
Pre-Kwanzaa Bazaar — Vendors, food, music and activities, 5–8 p.m. Dec. 7, Black Arts & Cultural Center, 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall, 3491982.
Krampusnacht Christmas Light Tour – Hop on the Kalamazoo Brew Bus and sample Christmas ales at brewery stops, 7 p.m. Dec. 5, starting at Boatyard Brewing Co., 432 E. Paterson St., 760-8162.
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5K Santa Run & 1-Mile Fun Walk — Participants wear a Santa suit during the walk/ run through downtown Paw Paw, 9 a.m. Dec. 8, Paw Paw Middle School, 313 W. Michigan Ave., 624-4841. Buy Local Art & Gift Fair — Local artisans and one-of-a-kind gifts, 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Dec. 8, Kalamazoo Nature Center, 7000 N. Westnedge Ave., 381-1574. Candy Cane Hunt — Candy canes, crafts and a visit with Santa, noon–2 p.m. Dec. 8, Homer Stryker Field, 251 Mills St., kzooparks.org. Holiday Walk and Market — Tour the decorated W.K. Kellogg Manor House and buy handcrafted gifts, noon–5 p.m. Dec. 8, 15 & 22, 671-2160. Holiday Ice Revue — The Greater Kalamazoo Skating Association presents this holiday show, 2:30 & 7 p.m. Dec. 8, Wings West, 5076 Sports Drive, 978-0118. Country Dancing in Kalamazoo — Contra and square dancing to live music, 7:30–10:30 p.m. Dec. 8, with beginner's workshop at 7 p.m., Oshtemo Grange Hall, 3234 N. Third St., countrydancinginkalamazoo.com. Holiday Farmers Market — Fresh produce, baked goods and handcrafted gifts by local artisans, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Dec. 9, Portage Senior Center, 320 Library Lane, 329-4522. Kalamazoo Record & CD Show — Collector records, memorabilia and supplies, 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Dec. 9, Kalamazoo County Expo Center, Room A, 734-604-2540. Kalamazoo Reptile & Exotic Pet Expo — Buy, sell or trade reptiles, amphibians and small mammals, 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Dec. 15, Kalamazoo County Expo Center North, 779-9851. Santa Skate — Holiday music and skating with Santa, 3–5 p.m. Dec. 15, Millennium Park, 280 Romence Road, Portage, 329-4522. Winter Solstice Celebration — Toast the longest night of the year in candlelight, 5–11 p.m. Dec. 21, Boatyard Brewing Co., 226-0300. New Year's Eve Skate — Upbeat music and party lighting, 5–9 p.m. Dec. 31, Millennium Park, Portage, with special countdown at 7 p.m., 329-4522. New Year's Fest — Performing arts, fireworks and food to bring in the new year, 5:30 p.m.– midnight Dec. 31, various venues in downtown Kalamazoo, 388-2380 or newyearsfest.com.
42 | ENCORE DECEMBER 2018
First Snow I want the world to stay like this, fragile and new in the early morning: first snow on the silhouette of every tree, stars fading into the sunâ€™s first light.
Maybe his breath is the sun. I pull him close, turn his face to the window: beauty is a silent teacher. A doe lifts her head in the frozen field.
Fragile and new in the early morning, I wake to lift my son from his crib. Stars fade into the sunâ€™s first light. Sunrise is a blossom through winter fog.
My sonâ€™s face at the window, first snow on the silhouette of every tree, a doe lifts her head in the frozen field: I want the world to stay like this.
I wake to lift my son from his crib. His eyes watch me. I listen to his breath. Sunrise is a blossom through winter fog. Beauty is a silent teacher.
â€” Julie Stotz-Ghosh Stotz-Ghosh teaches creative writing and college writing courses at Kalamazoo Valley Community College. This poem, a pantoum, appears in her chapbook All Sky, one of the winners of last yearâ€™s Celery City Chapbook Contest. It first appeared in the journal Literary Mama.
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Constance Brown Hearing Centers A Higher Degree of Hearing Care
INDEX TO ADVERTISERS
Air Zoo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Arborist Services of Kalamazoo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Artisan Sandwich Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Better World Builders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Betzler Funeral Home . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Binder Park Zoo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Brink, Key & Chludzinski, PC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40 Bronson Health Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Burtrum Furs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 The Civic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Confections with Convictions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Constance Brown Hearing Centers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Dave’s Glass Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 DeMent and Marquardt, PLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 DeNooyer Chevrolet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Design 1 Salon Spa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Down Dog Yoga Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Farmers Alley Theatre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Fence & Garden . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Framemaker . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
Our audiologists have advanced degrees in hearing health care. Their tests accurately assess hearing health. Free screenings don’t.
Gilmore Real Estate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Call to schedule an appointment for a hearing evaluation.
Halls Closets & More . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Fresh Coast Auto Detail . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Greenleaf Trust . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 HRM Innovations, LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
Kalamazoo 1634 Gull Rd. Suite 201 269.343.2601
Portage 4855 W. Centre Ave. 269.372.2709
Initial Attraction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Kalamazoo Community Foundation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Kalamazoo Institute of Arts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Kalamazoo Nature Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17 Kalamazoo Valley Museum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Kazoo Books . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Keyser Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 Lawton Ridge Winery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Lee’s Adventure Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
WE specialize in impossible deadlines.
Lewis Reed & Allen, PC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Lusso’ Chic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .33 LVM Capital Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 MacKenzies’ Café & Bakery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Mangia Kitchen + Bar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Masonry Heater Design House . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Mercantile Bank of Michigan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Miller Davis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 Moors Golf Club . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Morrison Jewelers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17, 32 Nature Connection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 New Year’s Fest . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 North Woods Village . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 The Pantry on Tap . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Parkway Plastic Surgery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services . . . . . . . . . . .21 Portage Printing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Rocket Fizz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 The Spirit of Kalamazoo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Stifel/Ray Financial Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Tempo Vino . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Tiffany’s Wine & Spirits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Trust Shield Insurance Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Tulips Little Pop Up Shop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 UniQ Jewelry Gallery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 V&A Bootery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
1116 W Centre Avenue 323-9333 PortagePrinting.com
VanderSalm’s Flowershop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Varnum Law . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Willis Law . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 WMUK . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 YMCA of Greater Kalamazoo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
44 | ENCORE DECEMBER 2018
BACK STORY (continued from page 46)
The tradition of offering the free Christmas dinner followed Stamos to Blue Dolphin. From noon to 3:30 p.m. on Christmas Day, Steve, his family, staff and volunteers serve a free steak, prime rib or turkey dinner to anyone in the community who walks in the door. Stamos says that they serve about 1,500 people each year, 50 percent of whom he estimates are homeless or needy.
How did this Christmas tradition start? When I was a kid, we would have our Christmas morning, and then by 2 or 3 p.m. my dad would have some of his employees and customers from the old Rex come over. He'd feed them, and they'd all get a present. When I was 11 or 12 years old, there were 10 to 15 people; when I was 13 or 14, there were more; and by the time I was 19, there was a houseful, so my mother suggested we open the Rex up and just serve a little free meal for any customers and employees that wanted to come. The first year, we served over 100 people, which was nice. And then we started doing it every year. By the time the Rex closed in 1990, we had served 600 people in a day. When we moved over to the Dolphin, we kept that tradition. Being a much bigger restaurant, the most we ever served here was 2,200 in four hours.
Who tends to come to this dinner? I would say 50/50 between needy or homeless people and people that want to come out and just be with other people. We also have 150 volunteers that come in and a lot of them have similar issues — they can't get home or they're alone, so they come down and volunteer and that fills a void for them. They get here at 11:30 a.m., and they're here until 3:30 or 4 p.m. and they feel very good about themselves.
How does running the dinner make you feel? The feeling of a little old lady giving you a hug and saying "If I hadn't come out today, nobody would've said ‘Merry Christmas'” just warms your heart and makes you feel good. There's no other explanation than that. We're all so busy — we would like to have a little time to ourselves on the holidays because we're with family, running an event and such, but we don't realize how many people don't have that. They are home by themselves. Hence, why suicide rates are so high during the holidays.
What’s Christmas like for your family? I have a 30-year-old daughter and a 29-year-old son, and this Christmas dinner is all they've ever known. They have Christmas at our restaurant because we've done it for
longer than they’ve been alive, and they don't know anything different.
Are your children involved in the business? My son (Pete) played football in Chicago for five years, went overseas and played a year and then came back here and decided to be part of the business. He's running Papa Pete’s with music, pool leagues and handtossed homemade pizzas, so it's really its own entity now because of what he's done.
Knowing many of the folks who come for the Christmas dinner are homeless or in need, how did you react in August when the city of Kalamazoo moved a homeless camp from Bronson Park to a site across the street from your restaurant? There really wasn't any tension. I talked to them every day when they were here. I felt a lot of them needed help. They didn't quite know how to express it, and so this (protesting by camping in Bronson Park) is what they did. I thought the city handled themselves pretty well, trying to understand the homeless people’s needs. We’re figuring out what we can do for them, and that's going to take time. The only problem that we have is that sometimes people don’t have patience. — Interviewed by Adam Rayes
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BACK STORY ENCORE
Owner, Blue Dolphin Restaurant Every Christmas Day since the 1970s, the Stamos
family of Kalamazoo has had folks over for dinner — hundreds of them. That’s because each year the Stamoses, who own Blue Dolphin in downtown Kalamazoo, offer a free Christmas dinner at their restaurant for all comers. The free Christmas dinners started at the Rex Café, which was opened in 1940 at 432 S. Burdick St. and run by Steve Stamos’ great uncle until he died in 1978. The Rex was then operated by his nephew Pete Stamos, who sold it to his son, Steve, in 1990. Unable to buy the property where the Rex Café was located, Steve moved the restaurant to where it is today, on the corner of Cedar and Burdick streets, and renamed it Blue Dolphin.
(continued on page 45)
46 | ENCORE DECEMBER 2018
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