Joe Hertler & the Rainbow Seekers
Meditation for Beginners
Concoct a Love Potion
Southwest Michiganâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Magazine
Spring Training Fans flock to Florida
What if? What if, just because you lived in Kalamazoo County, it meant you were loved, encouraged, educated, engaged, empowered â&#x20AC;&#x201D; that you mattered? We believe, by working together, we can make Kalamazoo County a community where all people have the opportunity to reach full potential. A community where every person matters. A community where we all love to live.
“I’ve always loved to golf. But as my heart condition got worse, I couldn’t do much of anything anymore. Even walking across the room left me feeling tired and out of breath. Fortunately for me, the doctors at Bronson helped change all that. They told me about a new heart surgery called TAVR that could actually give me my life back. And that’s exactly what happened. Within days of my surgery at Bronson Methodist Hospital, I could walk without feeling out of breath, and I wasn’t tired anymore. My nurses, they were great, too. They talked to me, listened to me, even gave me pudding and popsicles in the middle of the night. Better yet, I’m back doing all the things I did before my heart condition: mowing the lawn, going to the gym and playing golf with the guys — terrible as ever.” Roy Kidney, Battle Creek, Michigan, September 17, 2014
When one person shares their positivity, we all share in it. To share how Bronson Positivity has impacted your life, or to watch a video of Roy’s story, visit bronsonpositivity.com.
Joe Hertler & the Rainbow Seekers
Meditation for Beginners
Concoct a Love Potion
Southwest Michigan’s Magazine
Spring Training Fans Flock to Florida
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Carole Morgan When I first started, I just wanted to lose weight. But Genesis helped me to see that health is not just about weight, but rather striving for a healthy lifestyle. I love the progression that they take me through. I may be 68 years old, but I’m motivated because they assist me and help me to see my successes. Each day is a victory. Now I want a quality life style; with stamina, balance and confidence. The benefits for me go way beyond the exterior, the benefits are helping me to grow from within.
Owner, StageRight Home Staging
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, you may visit www.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.
In-Home Personal Training & Wellness Services GET A FREE IN-HOME CONSULTATION:
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FEATURES Trailing the Tigers
Meditation for Beginners
Escape SW Michigan’s wintery gloom to bask in the glory of spring training with the Detroit Tigers
This reflective exercise is credited with health benefits for body and mind
Chasing the Rainbow
A new CD and tour has Joe Hertler & the Rainbow Seekers exploring unfamiliar terrain
DEPARTMENTS 6 Contributors Up Front 8 First Things — What’s hip and happening in SW Michigan
Curling Cues — The U.S.A. National Curling championships sweep into Kalamazoo
Trauma Recovery — Duo’s program helps trauma victims heal
Cutting Edge — Local salon owner committed to product safety, knowledge
Love Potions — Mixologist Angie Jackson concocts specialty cocktails for lovers
46 Back Story
Meet Janis Clark — Just call her “The Connector”
32 Grayling Ceramics How crowdfunding kick-started ceramicist Shay
Church’s new venture
34 Family Time Arts center puts families in the spotlight 40 Events of Note 43 Poetry On the cover: Justin Verlander pitches in a game in Lakeland, Fla., during the Detroit Tigers’ spring training. Photo by Mark Cunningham.
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A frequent contributor to Encore, Kit says the rising attention given to meditation as a solution to many conditions piqued her curiosity. In addition to writing about the topic, she’s also given it a try. “I have not taken it up formally, but I have tried to sit mindfully for about 15 minutes a day, semi-regularly,” she says. “After only a few weeks, I’ve begun to notice more often when I’m about to react to a stressful situation automatically and stop to realize I can choose a better response. So maybe there is something to it.”
Olga is a frequent contributor of trend stories for Encore, but she is also adept at telling the story of good works in the community, such as her piece on Trauma Recovery Associates. A freelance writer and a college professor, she has previously been published in the Huffington Post, U.S. Catholic, Planning (the trade journal for urban planners) and the Kalamazoo Gazette.
Robert M. Weir
Andrew Domino, who wrote about the Family Center for the Arts in this issue, admits his own acting career peaked in sixth grade, when he portrayed a Greek god in an elementary school play. These days he’s a freelance writer. You can find more of his work at www.dominowriting.com.
6 | Encore FEBRUARY 2015
Robert, who grew up near Detroit, has been a Tigers fan since his youth. His all-time favorite athlete is Al Kaline, who played right field for the Tigers from 1953-74. Robert’s reporting on the Tigers spring training for Encore allowed him to fulfill a longtime dream: meeting Kaline, as well as other Tiger greats from the past. Robert is a writer, author, speaker, book editor and authors’ coach whose work can be seen at RobertMWeir. com.
His article, Chasing the Rainbow, is Jarett’s debut as a feature writer for Encore. While chronicling the rise of Joe Hertler & the Rainbow Seekers, Jarett found the band’s members to be remarkably humble and continually grateful to those who have supported them along the way. Jarett is an indie music fiend and sports aficionado. An intern with Encore, he previously worked in media relations for the Kalamazoo Growlers. He’ll graduate in May with a B.A. in public relations from Western Michigan University.
that’s where giving up
was never an option Chris Denick
Chris Denick needed a miracle. A severe heart attack left him in a coma and left the team at Borgess fighting an uphill battle. That’s where connecting innovative care with a team that never gave up made all the difference. Borgess fought for Chris with more than leading technology and expertise that day. They fought for him with passion. That’s why Chris is alive and well today. Watch his incredible story and share your own at ThatsWhere.com
ThatsWhere.com A member of Ascension Health® w w w.encorekalamazoo.com | 7
up front encore
First Things Something Good
Support the Bigs and Littles of Kalamazoo Break out the bowling
shoes and some buddies for a good cause. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kalamazoo is hosting its annual Bowl for Kids’ Sake bowling event Feb. 20-22 at Pinz, 4500 Stadium Drive. Participants register a team of at least five people who work together to collect donations from friends, family members and coworkers in person or via a personalized team Web page provided by Big Brothers Big Sisters. All donations go toward Big Brothers Big Sisters programs. Once the money is raised, teams are rewarded with a two-hour bowling event complete with door prizes and a team costume contest. For more information, to register a team or to join a team, visit BBBSMI.org.
Something Romantic Skate under the stars Ice
skating under the stars is a romanticcomedy-perfect activity, and Millennium Park Ice Rink, in Portage, is offering a chance for you and your sweetheart to do just that at its Valentine’s Day Skate. The Feb. 14 event starts at 4:30 p.m. and offers participants a private skate, live music and dinner at the rink. Grand Traverse Pie Co. will cater the event, and patrons will be served by wait staff on skates. To participate, register by Feb. 12 by paying $15 per person at the rink. For more information, visit PortageMi.gov.
8 | Encore FEBRUARY 2015
Something Delicious Wake up on the right side
At the intersection where the Stuart, Douglas and Northside neighborhoods meet sits Station 702, a new fast casual breakfast and lunch eatery. The restaurant opened in September, and owner Brad Loomis says it has had “an absolutely phenomenal response” from the community. Loomis and his business partner, Jason Newton, are focused on homemade foods using fresh ingredients. For new Station 702 visitors, Loomis has several recommendations: the breakfast flatbread, the breakfast burritos and one of his personal favorites, the Barbeque Brisket Scramble. “It’s a smoked beef brisket that we caramelize in a pan with onions, scrambled eggs and spuds, which are chunked potatoes, and it’s topped with barbecue sauce and cheese,” he says. “I haven’t had anyone who’s been disappointed in it.” Station 702 is at 702 Douglas Ave. and open 7 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday. For more information, visit Station702.com.
Something Dramatic The Whale
The first weeks of this month are the last chance to catch Western Michigan University Theatre’s production of the nationally acclaimed play The Whale. Written by one of the most honored contemporary playwrights, Samuel D. Hunter, The Whale tells the humorous and emotional story of a 600-pound man shut up in his apartment and eating himself to death. The man begins a journey to reconnect with his long-estranged daughter, and the play follows the ups and down of his attempt. Mark Liermann, a WMU associate professor of theater and director of The Whale, says University Theatre chose the play because of Hunter’s acclaim and because of the subject matter. “This is a beautiful play that deserves to be seen,” Liermann says. “On a personal note, I read a lot of plays and I have never reacted as strongly asKPL_Encore_Feb2015_RTAd.pdf I did to this play. I knew the moment 1 1/15/2015 2:30:33 PM that I finished it —
after I closed my office door because I was sobbing, something I have never done after reading a play — I knew I had to do this play.” The Whale runs Feb. 1, 6 and 8 at the York Arena Theatre. Visit WMich.edu/Theatre/Season/Whale for show times and tickets.
Reading Together 2015
Meet Jerry Dennis Tues, March 3, 7 pm
Kalamazoo Central High School Auditorium
Set sail with Jerry Dennis and explore the history, nature, and science of our most vital source of fresh water - The Great Lakes. More than just a travel narrative, The Living Great Lakes, Searching for The Heart of the Inland Seas is a meditation on nature and our role as conservers as well as consumers. Michigan News Agency will sell copies of The Living Great Lakes at the event. w w w.encorekalamazoo.com | 9
up front encore
U.S.A. National Curling Championships sweep into Kalamazoo T
his month marks the second time in five years that Kalamazoo’s Wings Stadium has hosted the U.S.A. National Curling Championships, a competition that decides which curlers will compete in the World Championships. “We put on such a great event in 2010 we were contacted to host the Nationals again in 2015,” says Rob Underwood, Wings Stadium entertainment director. “We have a local curling club too so curling is already a part of our culture, and this event helps creates an awareness of the sport.” The Kalamazoo Curling Club, which is housed at Wings Stadium, was established in 2008 as a hub for new and experienced curlers in the greater Kalamazoo area. Since the 2010 U.S.A. Nationals, the club has grown in membership. The club worked in conjunction with Wings Stadium and Downtown Kalamazoo Inc. to create a welcoming atmosphere for the championships in 2010, Underwood says, and they’re all hoping for an equally successful event Feb 14-21. “When Wings Stadium hosts an event like this, it really helps the whole community,” says Michael Mortlock, director of operations at Greenleaf Hospitality, which owns Wings Stadium. “People come from all over the country to stay at our hotels and eat at our restaurants and so it boosts our local economy.” Curler Joe Polo, the defending champion of the 2014 U.S.A. Curling Nationals, a champion of the 2011, 2010, 2006 and 2005 U.S.A. National Championships and a 2006 Olympic bronze medalist, will be one of the competitors. 10 | Encore FEBRUARY 2015
Historic images of Kalamazoo adorn the lids of the handmade candles of the Kalamazoo Candle Co.
Teammates Tyler George, left, and Joe Polo sweep in front of a stone during competition at the 2010 U.S.A. National Champtionships in Kalamazoo.
“I had a lot of fun in Kalamazoo (in 2010), and I really like it there,” Polo says. “I even came back to be in the Do-Dah Parade in June. The last time we were in Kalamazoo we won the nationals so hopefully it’s a good omen to come back.” Polo, who lives in Duluth, Minn., first started curling at age 10 when he and a friend started playing in a Sunday-night junior league.
“Neither one of us was very good at basketball so we decided to try curling,” he says. A lot of people start curling with their families, and amateur and professional curlers span many age and skill levels, Polo says. The Kalamazoo Curling Club offers membership and league play for locals interested in beginning to curl or picking up the sport again. Polo says having local clubs and leagues makes it possible for anyone to learn how to curl. “I know a lot of people who started earlier than me and a lot who started in their 40s,” he says. “There are also curlers in their 80s who are still playing. It’s an easy sport to play. It’s just a hard sport to play very, very well.” To achieve an Olympic level of curling, Polo spent many years practicing every day, he says. He has other commitments now, like work and family, that keep him from a strict
daily practice schedule, but he still spends a lot of time on the ice. “I like the camaraderie of all the people I know from all over the world, “ he says. “We just got done playing the Curling Night in America event against New Zealand, and I saw someone I played against in 2003. We hit it off again. It’s fun to see the people you know from competing the last 10 to 20 years.” If you don’t know a lot about curling, or even how it works, being a spectator at Nationals is a great way to learn, Polo says. “Anybody from Kalamazoo that comes to the event can sit down next to anyone who looks like they know what they’re talking about and that person is going to talk to them, welcome them in and try to make them feel as comfortable around the sport as they possibly can,” he says. A lot of people who attend the Nationals know a lot about curling, says Underwood,
and come from all over the country to see the championships. “There are some avid curling fans, and we have clubs that offer to volunteer to put the event together, be on-ice officials and scorekeepers.” Aside from sitting in the stands with people who are intimate with the sport and willing to teach, there’s one other amazing opportunity for Kalamazoo residents, Mortlock says. “People attending will get the chance to be close to athletes who are either Olympic athletes or who are vying to be Olympic athletes,” he says. “That doesn’t happen every day.” To purchase tickets ($10-$20, or $100 for full event) or to view times and details, visit www.2015curlingnationals.com.
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good works ENCORE
Getting Past the Pain
Duo’s program helps people recover from trauma Olga Bonfiglio
t didn’t start out with a plan or a strategy, only with a desire to serve and the ability, training and experience to follow through on what seemed to be the right thing to do. And it has already made a difference to thousands of people. That’s the story behind Trauma Recovery Associates, a counseling training program co-founded by the Rev. Ken Schmidt, pastor of St. Thomas More Catholic Student Parish, and his colleague Sharon Froom. TRA grew out of a counseling program the two began in 2002 as a response to revelations of child sexual abuse by Catholic priests in the U.S. James Murray, who was then bishop of the Diocese of Kalamazoo, had been appointed by the National Council 12 | Encore FEBRUARY 2015
Trauma Recovery Associates, founded by Sharon Froom and the Rev. Ken Schmidt, grew out the counseling program started by the pair in 2002.
of Catholic Bishops to address the issue, so he was very supportive of Schmidt and Froom when they stepped forward to offer this counseling program for Catholics in the diocese. After consultation with Colin Ross, an internationally renowned clinician, researcher, author and lecturer in the field of dissociation and trauma-related disorder, the two developed the Trauma Recovery Program, based on the core concepts of Ross’s Trauma Model. Schmidt and Froom teach participant victims how to regulate their feelings in healthy ways to enable them to live healthier
lives, grieve their past and forgive their perpetrators and those who failed to rescue them. Participants also learn to distinguish between the past and the present in order to inform their thinking, feelings and behavior with the “truth of the now,” Froom says. “We don’t rehash the past,” she says. “We focus on skills to live effectively now.” Schmidt and Froom soon recognized that childhood trauma is much broader than sexual abuse, and they made the program available to adult survivors of any childhood trauma — severe neglect, domestic abuse, Satanic ritual abuse, substance abuse or a multitude of other traumas.
More than 400 people have participated in the 10-week program, which is offered to area Catholics free of charge four times a year for English speakers and twice a year for Spanish speakers. “Healing is one of Jesus Christ’s primary ministries,” Schmidt says. “Healing is a sign that the reign of God is present. This is a charism (gift) God has given to me as a priest and a counselor.” Both Schmidt and Froom have a master’s degree in counseling and psychology from Western Michigan University. He is a licensed professional counselor, and she is a limited license psychologist. While Schmidt and Froom’s work with trauma survivors has been done primarily on a local level, they began to receive phone calls from people across the U.S. who were interested in the work. As a result, they formed Trauma Recovery Associates in 2003, an organization focused on training mental health professionals, pastoral care personnel and other helping professionals to offer the Trauma Recovery Program. Many other U.S. dioceses have replicated TRP, including those in Orange County, Calif.; Los Angeles; Atlanta; Manchester, N.H.; New Orleans and Phoenix. CLIMB Wyoming, a nonprofit organization based in Casper, Wyo., that trains and places low-income single mothers in careers, implemented a statewide trauma treatment program. “People were asking to be taught,” Schmidt says. “We didn’t decide to train them.” So far, Schmidt and Froom have provided training workshops to more than 500 professionals in Kalamazoo and more than 4,000 people all over the country. They have also provided training workshops in Kenya, Palestine, Israel, Wales, England and Norway. The Catholic Church in Ireland adopted the Trauma Model. One day in 2010, they received a call from a priest in Rwanda, one of the most traumatized places in the world, where a million people were hacked to death in 100 days during the 1994 genocide. Froom had met Ubald Rugirangoga of Rwanda at the annual conference of the Association of Christian Therapists in California. After she gave a presentation about the Trauma Model,
Rugirangoga approached her because he recognized that this information would be useful to priests, teachers, social workers and health care workers in his Diocese of Cyangugu, in western Rwanda. He asked if she and Schmidt could come to Rwanda, and they agreed. While in Rwanda, they did not focus exclusively on the participants’ experiences during the genocide. Instead, they helped the participants understand the relevance of the Trauma Model no matter the trauma. “Therapy and mental health issues have a cultural context,” Froom says. “Yet there are some things that are true for all human beings.” One of them is the impact of trauma on people who are hurt and suffering. The trauma in Rwanda was a result not just of genocide but also of poverty, drug and alcohol addictions and a variety of childhood traumas, Schmidt says. “They think it’s the genocide, but it’s more,” he says. “And if one generation doesn’t recover, the same symptoms of trauma will be passed on to the next generation. The kids think, feel and act like trauma survivors, although they were not even born at the time of the genocide.” Schmidt and Froom say they have been able to work across cultures because there is a universality of pain that people experience from trauma. No matter the culture, trauma can result in post-traumatic stress disorder, personality disorders, stress, depression, dissociative identity disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder. “There is a universal human nature,” Schmidt says. “Trauma damages mind, body and spirit.” In 2011, the duo felt a calling to bring the program to an even wider audience. They began offering it to inmates at the Kalamazoo County Jail. “Our work is important because we address the pain of people who’ve suffered,” Froom says. “It’s exciting to discover that this training effectively translates across cultures.” For more information about Trauma Recovery Associates, call Sharon Froom at (269) 381-8917 ext. 222.
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Local salon owner committed to product safety, knowledge
rue McPherson met Vidal Sassoon during a book signing at a hair show in Chicago shortly before Sassoon died in 2012. Seizing the opportunity to tap the genius of a role model, McPherson asked Sassoon if he had any advice for a new salon owner like himself. “He told me to just stay positive,” says McPherson, who has returned to that advice over and over as he develops his career and works at a breakneck speed that would exhaust most of us. The 28-year-old is the owner of Drue salon, at 115 W. Lovell St. Devoting his life to hair styling was an abrupt decision — McPherson left Kendall College of Art and Design in the middle of pursuing a photography degree. “I was styling at photo shoots when I realized that hair was more exciting to me than being a photographer,” he says. After graduating from Wright Beauty Academy in 2007, McPherson dove head first into building a complete clientele in a little less than two years — no small feat for any stylist.. “In the beginning I would pull people off the street maybe grab a waitress or a post office person — someone who doesn’t make a lot of money but is around a lot of people. I would do their hair just to get free publicity,” he says. “And I’m a workaholic. I’ve always worked a lot of hours, at least 50 or 60 (per week).” 14 | Encore FEBRUARY 2015
Salon owner Drue McPherson, shown working with client Cindy Tibbs, teaches and employs cutting-edge coloring techniques.
The hard work and free haircuts paid off: Within a year and a half in the business, McPherson became a co-owner of Hydrate, a Portage salon that was open from 2011 to 2013. Despite his success, McPherson wanted to start a small salon in “a warm, eclectic, inspiring” space. When a suite on Lovell Street became available, McPherson jumped at the chance, opening Drue in May 2014. “I won the jackpot of real estate for a salon,” he says. “This space used to be a boutique. I actually bought a pair of pants here for the Hydrate opening, and I always thought, ‘This would make an amazing salon.’ And it is.” As the sole owner of Drue, McPherson works 90 to 100 hours a week. In addition to working a full schedule as a stylist, he puts in many hours managing the business after the salon closes and also travels to major cities like New York, Detroit and Chicago and to other places in the Midwest as a coloring expert and educator. McPherson teaches as a representative of Kemon, a coloring line he uses in his salon. Kemon, an Italian company that manufactures ammonia-free and paraphenylene-diamine-free coloring products made with natural ingredients. McPherson showed so much interest
in the chemistry aspect of coloring products and the danger of exposure to the kind of human carcinogens that many traditional hair-coloring products contain that Kemon asked him to come on board as a specialist and educator. “Kemon is a family-owned company, and the woman whose husband started it was a hair stylist,” McPherson says. “He started looking for a way to make the products she used safer. That was in 1959, and it’s still family-owned today.” The classes McPherson teaches are hosted at salons, hair schools or rented studios. Kemon might send McPherson because a salon is new to the product line or because the salon has a lot of questions about how to use the products. McPherson also teaches cutting-edge coloring techniques. Teaching these classes requires training and education, says McPherson, but it’s worth the hours devoted because product education is particularly close to his heart. “The rate of Alzheimer’s and dementia is very high among stylists,” McPherson says, a fact he learned through his intensive training with Kemon. “A lot of stylists don’t really understand the chemistry of the products they use or how it works. They know how to apply the product and use it, but they think the color gods come out and do the rest of the work.” McPherson says that ammonia and other chemicals in coloring products can be absorbed through the skin and into the bloodstream. When he became a stylist, the self-proclaimed “nerd” started researching the chemical compounds of common products and the effects those chemicals can have on stylists and customers. His research uncovered serious, negative effects on the health of stylists from longterm exposure to products that contain carcinogens like parabens, formaldehyde and coal tar, so McPherson became committed to carrying products that use natural ingredients and don’t pose a risk to his employees or customers. “We’re the people working with these chemicals every day,” McPherson says. “It’s not just for us, though. It’s healthier for our clients as well as ourselves when we use better products.”
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Professional mixer gives us elixirs to swoon over No holiday elicits the strong
ambivalence that Valentine’s Day does — people seem to either love it or hate it. No matter what your personal bias, why not use the sugarcoated day for lovers as an excuse to imbibe in a delicious love potion concocted by local professional mixologist Angie Jackson? Jackson, known as The Traveling Elixir Fixer, has been perfecting her craft for almost 20 years, since she began as a bartender in 1996. Jackson has created custom cocktails for numerous distillers, distributors, bars, restaurants and events in Chicago and Southwest Michigan. She taught mixology at Chicago’s Kendall College in 2009 and 2010 and was the resident mixologist at Cooking Fools, in Wicker Park (a Chicago neighborhood), and Flavour Cooking School, in Forest Park, Ill. “This profession picked me,” says Jackson, adding that she can’t believe she’s makes a living doing something she enjoys so much. “I never thought I would be doing this the rest of my life.” Now Jackson travels to local neighborhood bars like O’Duffy’s or Old Dog Tavern, events and private parties with a vintage black medical bag containing an antique Friedman silver shaker, classic glassware (coups, flutes and cocktail glasses), exotic vials, tubes and equipment for pouring and mixing. She makes her own “Elixir Mixers,” like her secret-recipe blueberry lavender syrup, which she is hoping to bottle and sell sometime in the near future. Jackson takes her craft very seriously — she won’t use premade mixers and she doesn’t call anything a “tini.” She takes her inspiration from a time when cocktails were an art that everyone knew how to partake in. “I grew up in the ‘70s, when people knew how to entertain and have a good party and make a good drink,” she says. “After the ‘80s, we had the grab-and-go drinks, like Zima, and we kind of got lost and forgot how to entertain and how to do cocktails and in what succession — an aperitif, long, tall, short cocktails, a digestive and a cordial after dinner.” 16 | Encore FEBRUARY 2015
Professional mixologist Angie Jackson has recipes for romance in her cleverly crafted custom cocktails.
Jackson says consumers’ growing interest in handcrafted wares and locally sourced ingredients and products has fueled a revival of the craft cocktail market — just what Jackson specializes in. A panel of Encore tasters personally tested a few of Jackson’s complex cocktail concoctions by inviting ourselves over to her place — she had us come to her parents’ (Sharon and John Jackson) beautiful home instead — where she made three drinks for our panel: The Marc Antony and Cleopatra (a champagne cocktail), The Duke and the Divorcee (a gin-based cocktail) and An American in Paris (a creative take on a Manhattan). The tasters’ verdict was unanimous — all the cocktails were amazing. “All of the drinks were so good,” said one of the tasters. “I could drink The Duke and The Divorcee at every bar. I love it.” Most of the panel’s tasters gravitated toward The Duke and The Divorcee, a refreshing drink with complex citrusy flavors that aren’t too sweet or overpowering. “I could drink it in one sitting, in front of a warm fire,” one taster said, promptly sitting down to do just that.
Our Valentine’s gift to you, dear readers, is to let you try Jackson’s signature drinks for yourself. The recipe for The Duke and The Divorcee is below, complete with where to buy The Duke and The Divorcee The drink is named for the Duke of Windsor, who abdicated his throne as the King of England to marry the love of his life, Wallis Simpson (an American divorcee). Ingredients (for one drink) • 1.5 ounces Tanqueray Gin • 3/4 ounce Evan Williams American Bourbon Honey Liqueur • 1/2 ounce fresh-squeezed lemon juice • 1/2 ounce simple syrup • 2 dashes Amaretto • 2 quick dashes orange bitters • 2 drops rosewater
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Directions • Fill a cocktail shaker at least three quarters full of ice • Add all ingredients to the shaker • Shake ice and ingredients for at least 10 seconds • Pour drink, preferably into a vintage U-shaped cocktail glass • Drinks should be 3 to 4 ounces • Enjoy! Hints • Find rosewater at Sawall Health Foods, 2965 Oakland Drive. • Find orange bitters at Mega-Bev, 7921 Oakland Drive. • To make simple syrup: Cook 2 cups sugar and 1 cup of hot water in a non-reactive saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Extra syrup can be stored in the refrigerator for future use.
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A Beginner’s Guide to
o many people, meditation once seemed exotic — something done by someone seeking spiritual enlightenment. But meditation has moved out of the New Age realm into the mainstream. It is recommended by such authorities as the Mayo Clinic and the American Heart Association for treating a growing variety of physical and psychological conditions. Despite the growing interest in it, meditation is not easily defined. It is often thought of as a contemplative practice, but local meditation experts describe it not as an action but as a state of awareness or connection with oneself or with a spiritual realm. The word “meditation” is used to refer to
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Paul Ginter, far left, and Patricia Frawley, center, lead a meditation group that includes Hana Livingston and Carol Post, far right.
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both this state and the practice of achieving it through various methods.
Learn locally For the uninitiated, meditation need not be daunting. (In fact, a sense of apprehension runs counter to the sense of calm associated with meditation.) Southwest Michigan has many options for learning and practicing meditation, and area meditators are open and eager to share their experiences and dispel misconceptions. For example, no religious conversion is required, they say. While individual meditators may be personally attached to their chosen spiritual influences, most encourage others to follow whatever spiritual path they choose. Two local meditation groups rooted in religious traditions are open to people of all faiths. The Kalamazoo Meditation Group of SelfRealization Fellowship welcomes anyone to attend meditation services at its Paw Paw chapel, 51755 30th St., and the Shambhala Buddhist Meditation Group of Southwest Michigan holds regular open meditation sessions and classes at its Meditation Center, 1611 W. Centre Ave., in Portage. “Actually a lot of people who get into working with meditation (are) not necessarily Buddhist,” says Robert Walker, lead teacher of the Shambhala group. “In general, for us Westerners, if we get into this at all, it’s because there’s some kind of desire to work with oneself.” The goal of meditation is not to empty the mind or eliminate thought. The specific purpose of meditation may vary, but, in general, meditators seek to uncover something that is already within themselves. “It’s not about trying to develop some kind of state of mind that you don’t have, but it has to do with waking up right in the middle of how you are,” Walker says.
Wisdom wit hi n you The Shambhala Group follows the teachings of Chögyam Trungpa, a Tibetan meditation master who brought his methods to the U.S. in the 1970s. “This approach has to do with the conviction which has been passed down through generations that you already have wisdom within you, and the discipline has to do with connecting with 20 | Encore FEBRUARY 2015
that, uncovering that, discovering that,” Walker says. Similarly, members of Self-Realization Fellowship believe that meditation is one of the keys to connecting with our true nature — the soul — and directly experiencing God. SRF is a worldwide religious organization founded in 1920 by Indian yogi Paramahansa Yogananda. It blends Eastern yoga traditions with Christianity. “Yogananda came to bring the scientific techniques of meditation from India (to the West),” says Libby Slocum, a member of the Kalamazoo Meditation Group of SRF. “He was sent by his teacher to bring the message of original Christianity as taught by Christ and original yoga as taught by Krishna.” Kim Hill, coordinator of the Kalamazoo Meditation Group, explains the name of SRF. “The title ‘self-realization’ is because
Yogananda’s message was that each of us should have that experience of God for ourselves. Meditation is the way to help us get centered and still so that we can have that experience.” Yoga and meditation are closely linked. Karina Mirsky, director of Sangha Yoga in downtown Kalamazoo, explains that the word “yoga” comes from the root word “yuj,” which means to join or unite. “This refers to the unification of consciousness with one’s essential nature and the universal source of creation, which one could call God,” she says. According to classical yoga texts, true meditation is the penultimate stage of an eightfold path to enlightenment, achieved when energy flows between the mind and what the mind is concentrating on. The physical postures we think of as yoga today are called hatha yoga, an earlier stage on this
path “used as preparation for meditation, a way to prepare both body and energy for higher states of consciousness,” says Mirsky, who integrates sitting meditation into every class at Sangha Yoga. The mechanics of meditation vary widely from one tradition to another. Sitting practice is most common, with variations including how and where one sits, how one breathes and whether or not mantras are used. As with other practices, SRF techniques “engage the mind in such a way that restless thoughts are quieted and the body becomes still,” Hill says. SRF members learn these techniques through written lessons from SRF headquarters, she adds. Patricia Frawley and her colleague Paul Ginter teach mindfulness meditation at the Center for Psychotherapy and Wellness, 900 Peeler St. Even though it is rooted in
Buddhist tradition, mindfulness meditation is not necessarily spiritual in its focus, Frawley says. It can involve sitting or walking practice as well as just “learning to be aware of what you’re doing right now” by bringing your attention to everyday activities like eating or routine chores, she says. “It’s about increasing your awareness in the present moment without judgment,” she continues. “Normally we have a lot of thinking that’s going on, kind of an undercurrent that never really stops … thinking about stuff in the future or the past or a to-do list.” This pervasive restlessness causes problems in our lives, meditators say, but, with practice, a space or gap can open up between thoughts in which one feels a connection or insight that was otherwise obscured. “A lot of times when you do something careless and destructive it’s just because
our minds are so jumpy,” Walker says. “But by slowing down, you might have little gaps in your experience where you actually have a choice.” In fact, when first taking up meditation, Walker says, “I didn’t really notice much when I was on the cushion, but in my daily life I noticed there was more space, there were more options.”
St ress reliever Although meditation is not a way to escape having to think about your problems, the awareness gained through meditation can promote compassion for oneself and others. “Even if there’s something unpleasant going on, we usually can also notice that there’s something pleasant at the same time, so it starts to build our sense of resiliency and more acceptance of the fullness of life, the good and the bad,” Frawley says. “People start to feel calmer and more present with their life and more accepting of it and more at peace with it.” Frawley teaches classes based on mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), a program developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical School to assist patients dealing with chronic pain. Scientific studies of meditation in various forms, including MBSR, have found it to be beneficial in the treatment of a variety of health conditions, including gastrointestinal problems, high blood pressure, anxiety, depression and ADHD. “All these things have been measured,” Frawley says. Neuroscientists say meditation actually changes the brain so that people respond to stress in healthier ways. A study at Massachusetts General Hospital published in 2011 compared before-and-after MRIs of the brains of people who had never meditated and then went through an eight-week program in MBSR. It found that areas of the brain associated with learning and memory, as well as self-awareness, compassion and introspection grew denser, while areas relating to anxiety and stress became smaller. “One of the things that meditation teaches us is how to pause our response from ‘fight or flight,’ when it’s appropriate, and move to a higher level (of thinking),” Frawley says. This gives you the ability or a greater ability to Kalamazoo Meditation Group members Libby Slocum, left, and Carol R. Buck, meditate in the organization’s chapel in Paw Paw. w w w.encorekalamazoo.com | 21
Paul Ginter and Patricia Frawley, center, teach mindful meditation at the Center for Psychotherapy and Wellness to, clockwise from top right, Carol Post, Hana Livingston, Candace Ross and Lisa Kaplan.
step back and analyze a situation “so you can choose your responses rather than just react.” This higher level of thinking has physical benefits as well as psychological and emotional ones, she says. Meditation “doesn’t take away the pain, but it teaches people how to learn to be with it without resisting it, because it’s in that resistance that sometimes we actually create more stress and pain for ourselves,” Frawley says. Other meditators also see the practice as valuable to health. Many members of the Shambhala group are health care professionals. Slocum and Hill, for example, are practitioners at the Acupuncture Center of Southwest Michigan, where they encourage clients to have some sort of spiritual component in their lives. “It’s so important for people to find some time in their day to be still, to do some introspection. It’s a very important part of our health,” Hill says. Mirsky, a longtime practitioner of yoga and meditation, agrees, crediting meditation with saving her life. She says she meditated during a period of severe anxiety to discover what was going on
within her body and became aware of something wrong with her tonsils. Doctors found that her left tonsil was inflamed, but initially saw no need for surgery. Eventually Mirsky found a specialist who agreed to remove her tonsils and, in doing so, discovered she had lymphatic cancer. The cancer was discovered at an early stage, and Mirsky says she is now cancer-free. “Meditation is a defining part of me,” Mirsky says, and she feels a duty to teach it as “a way out” of suffering. “This is what works for me in my own direct experience, and therefore it’s my duty to share that with other people, because there is so much suffering in the world on so many different levels: physical, emotional, spiritual.” Hill voices a similar perspective. “I don’t know where I’d be if I didn’t have these teachings and the meditation,” she says. “Not that it would be necessarily horrible, but I just know what I have gained and how I’ve benefited and how I continue to benefit. Every day is different. There’s just a sweetness to it now. It just keeps getting better.”
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Spring ‘A Fantastic Place, A Fantastic Time’ by
ROBERT M. WEIR
In February 2014, Encore correspondent Robert Weir visited the Detroit Tigers’ spring training camp in Lakeland, Fla., where he enjoyed a one-week close-up view of major league baseball. The following is his report — from a fan’s perspective. In a related story, former Tigers star Charlie” Paw Paw” Maxwell, talks about how the game has changed in recent decades. All photos, except on the opposite page, are by Weir. Come springtime, hope springs eternal in the world of baseball. And if you’re a fan of the Tigers, Joker Marchant Stadium, in Lakeland, Fla., is the place to be. The weather is warm, the ballpark is filled with energy, and the players are accessible for photos and autographs. The vendors even offer fresh strawberry shortcake in addition to traditional hot dogs and brats. On the field, the air is tickled with the crack of bats against balls and the smack of balls into gloves. The players stretch, run, hit, field, throw and, almost every day, play nine innings of America’s Game. The fans, some from Michigan and some from Florida, are here to witness this annual rite known as “spring training.”
Fans delight in seeing Tigers players, such as Miguel Cabrera, up close and personal at spring training games in Lakeland, Fla.
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26 | Encore FEBRUARY 2015
Baseball’s preseason is unique among professional sports. Football players practice on their home fields. Basketball players do likewise on their home courts. Hockey clubs might tour ice rinks in their home states; the Red Wings, for example, hold practice sessions in Traverse City. But baseball players congregate every year in Florida and Arizona seven weeks before the start of the regular season. In open-air stadiums landscaped with palm trees, fans enjoy blue skies, green grass and the umpire’s pronouncement to “Play ball!” The atmosphere in Lakeland is laid-back. Players, management and stadium personnel know the fans are here for more than the game — they are here for the experience, whether sitting in the stands or lounging on the famous “berm,” a land formation rising several feet above the left-field home-run fence. Joker Marchant Stadium is built on land that was a training facility for the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. It became a ballpark in the late 1950s and was named after the man who was then Lakeland’s director of parks and recreation. “Joker was a great person who loved to be with people, and he loved baseball and the Tigers,” says Don Westbury, a security guard at the stadium who keeps fans from wandering into the Tigers’ clubhouse. Delton residents Ruth and George Broadhurst are among hundreds of fans sitting on the berm. “We put spring training on our bucket list several years ago,” Ruth says. Then, she says, with the winter of 201314 being abnormally cold, the she and her husband decided, “This is the year. We’re going.” The family’s devotion to the Tigers is multigenerational. “Ruth’s dad lived on a dairy farm and listened to the Tigers while milking,” George says. “He said the cows gave more milk when the Tigers were winning.”
‘There’s an aura here’ From the stands to the press box, the clubhouse to the executive offices, people talking about spring training in Lakeland always seem to mention the fanClockwise from top, an unidentified Detroit player takes a swing; a view of the Tigers dugout from the field; looking down at the diamond and field of Joker Marchant Stadium, the “berm” is on the left; Max Scherzer pitching.
player connections and the warm Florida temperatures.. “People in Kalamazoo would love to be here,” says former Tiger Al Kaline referring to the weather. “There’s an aura here,” says radio announcer Jim Price, who was a Tigers catcher from 1967-73.”The players are more accessible than during the season. That’s the big difference that makes spring training special.” Tigers Manager Brad Ausmus agrees. “Spring training is about getting our work done, coming together as a team and having fun,” he says. “For the fans, it means knowing that summer is around the corner. Here in Lakeland, it’s easier for them to get a player’s autograph or shake a hand than during the regular season.” Tigers General Manager Dave Dombrowski echoes Ausmus. “Spring training reflects the start of baseball and warm weather,” he says. “It’s a way for us to get ready for the season, to get molded as a team. There’s more fan interaction — the facility is made so the players can sign autographs when they come off the field. It’s a fantastic place, a fantastic time.”
Gathering the news Bringing the scores, stats and scoops to the fans is the domain of the media corps, which represents major Internet, newspaper, television and radio entities such as the Detroit News, the Detroit Free Press, USA Today, the Associated Press and MLive.com. These reporters can be found in the press box covering the games, in the clubhouse interviewing players as they lounge by their lockers in various stages of dress, and in the manager’s office peppering Ausmus with questions. For a few reporters, such as one from the Dominican Republic, the privilege of being here is unique and lasts about a week at the most. Writers for Major League Baseball are also on hand to gather information and write stories for the website MLB.com. Each day, both before and after the games, Tigers media relations staff usher the dozen or so reporters into the manager’s office, a space about 10 feet by 10 feet with a single desk. A few reporters sit on a couch; most stand. Ausmus directs one of the media stalwarts to sit in his chair behind the desk while taking a less prestigious seat himself.
How Has Baseball Changed? An interview with Charlie ‘Paw Paw’ Maxwell Charlie Maxwell hailed from Paw Paw — thus his nickname. He broke into the major leagues with the Boston Red Sox in 1950 and played for the Detroit Tigers from 1955 to 1962. He led American League outfielders in fielding percentage in 1957 and 1960, with, amazingly, only one error in each of those seasons. He finished among the league leaders in home runs four times. Retired from baseball since 1964, Maxwell still lives in the Kalamazoo area with his wife, Ann. They have four children and 14 grandchildren.
Encore: How have spring training and baseball in general changed? Maxwell: For us, spring training was for getting in shape. We all had jobs then, and we worked up until the day before we had to go to Florida. We took our families. My wife homeschooled (the children). My starting salary was $5,000. We had to find a home in Florida, and that cost was out of our pocket. We also had to maintain our home in Paw Paw. So the money didn’t go far. I did winery work in the winter, so I got home from the baseball season in October and blended wine or grape juice during the winter. Spring training was six weeks. It took a week to get the soreness out. Another three weeks to get in shape. The last two weeks were a drag. Every player had to make all the road trips and play every day. For an away game, we would leave at 6 in the morning and get back at 9 at night. That included two or three hours on a chartered Greyhound bus on two-lane roads. In those days, we didn’t interact with the fans like they do today. There were no throwing balls in the stands. That came in the 1990s, after the strike, when baseball knew it had to get fans back. I was friends with Ted Williams; we had lockers next to each other. He taught me how to play the wall (the famous Green Monster in left field at Boston’s Fenway Park). When we were ahead, Ted would tell the coach to put me in the game. I threw left-handed and used to pitch batting practice to Ted so he could hit with a southpaw on the mound. 1955 and 1956 were my best years with Detroit. They called me “Sunday Punch” because I hit a lot of home runs on Sunday. w w w.encorekalamazoo.com | 27
The reporters ask about the daily grind: Who’s going to pitch today? How is so-and-so’s health? How will baseball’s new replay rules affect the game? Do you see the Tigers stealing more bases this year? Ausmus answers each one, giving detail when appropriate, being noncommittal when necessary, providing the guys and gals present with sufficient material to write their stories.
Famous former Tigers on hand Al Kaline is not the only famous old-time Tiger who can be found in and around Joker Marchant Stadium. Both he and Willie Horton have been retained by management as special assistants to team owner Mike Ilitch. Horton, the Tigers’ left fielder from 1963-77, encourages players to be like a family. The youngest of 21 children, Horton speaks of his brothers and sisters, and a minister who instilled him with character. He talks about his first year as a Tiger, when he walked six miles to the old Tiger Stadium because, as a black man, he couldn’t ride in a taxi driven by a white person. During the Motor City race riots of 1967, Horton stood atop his car wearing his Tigers uniform, attempting to restore peace. He also recalls celebrities who worked to get housing for black players, who were not allowed to stay with the other players. “Other players couldn’t understand why we couldn’t (all) stay together,” he says. Now involved with youth, wellness and humanitarian programs in Detroit, Horton provides scholarships for financially deprived inner-city youth through the Horton Foundation. He’s one of only four people for whom the Michigan Legislature named a day in their honor; Rosa Parks is another. Of Tiger fans, Horton says, “They’re extended family. When I was hurt, they got me through the pain. When I played and the team went on the road, I stayed with fans, had dinner with them. People would see us in a store or barbershop, and they would talk to us. It’s harder for the players to do that today. They don’t have that freedom.”
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Opposite page: The relaxed, close-to-the-players atmosphere of spring training is evident as fans in the stands get to chat with Tigers ace pitcher and former Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander as he relaxes in a folding chair, bottom, and Tigers star slugger Miguel Cabrera, top. Below, new Tigers manager Brad Ausmus, in the blue shirt, and former Tigers manager Jim Leyland observe the players during warm-up.
Horton pauses, then with a smile, says, “I have a good, warm feeling being in Lakeland. I walk around here and say, ‘Thank you.’” Al Kaline, the Tigers’ All-Star right fielder from 1953-74 — his entire career — is revered as “Mr. Tiger.” Kaline’s presence on the field during spring training, when he wears his uniform with the number 6 on the back, is an inspiration to current players, whom he encourages to “enjoy and respect the game … to be mentally strong during the highs and lows.” Kaline broke into the Tigers’ starting lineup at age 18, fresh out of high school, one of only a handful of players never to have played in the minor leagues. An All-Star for 18 of his 22 seasons, he was the first Tiger player to be paid $100,000. “I’m blessed to still be in the game I love so much,” says Kaline, now 79 and a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. He says being around the young players and their new slang makes him feel young. The people in Lakeland are clearly glad to have him there. “I got my first Al Kaline autograph in 1955 when I was 11,” says security guard Westbury, a Tigers fan for 60 years.
Besides the two well-known former Tigers players, there’s another familiar Tigers fixture in Lakeland: former manager Jim “The Old Skipper” Leyland, who retired at the end of the 2013 season. After retirement, Leyland was retained by the Tigers as an advisor and consultant, especially to Ausmus, who replaced him. Often the two men, 25 years apart in age, stand together on the field, sharing observations and wisdom. Ever professional, though, Leyland remains in the background, acknowledging the leadership of the new field general. Likewise, Leyland’s interviews are few, but one day he did gather an audience of reporters during an opposing team’s batting practice. The location was near the Tigers’ clubhouse, next to the field and about 250 feet from home plate. That area is protected from flying baseballs by a pair of nets: one vertical, 60 feet away from where the cadre stood, and the other horizontal, directly above — but the two don’t meet. Sure enough, a foul ball found the gap and traced a perfect trajectory toward the back of Leyland’s head.
The reporters facing the ball saw it coming but were too far away to react. Fortunately, Aileen Villarreal, the Tigers’ director of media relations, who was standing at Leyland’s left shoulder, caught a glimpse of the fastdropping ball and deflected it with her hand at the last split second, saving Leyland from a painful conk on the noggin.
‘We’re having a blast!’ Inevitably, some spring training games are rained out. During one downpour, thousands of fans huddle in the stadium’s concrete concourse under the seats. They talk about their love of the game and why they’re visiting Lakeland. Johanna Kahny and Nicole Millering, Grand Valley State University students, know shortstop Hernan Perez. “He lived with my grandma, a host family, when he was with the White Caps [the Tigers’ minor league affiliate in Grand Rapids],” Millering says. John Holmes, of Kalamazoo, says he likes spring training because “they change pitchers a lot more, so you get more variety. The excitement of it all makes it fun.”
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Tigers mascot “Paws” clowns with two young fans in front of the dugout prior to a spring training game.
30 | Encore FEBRUARY 2015
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Lindsay Dood, of Grand Rapids, says she and her huisband, Ken, like the fact that “at spring training you get to see the players closer up than at Comerica Park. It’s a lot more relaxed, so the players are more willing to talk to you and give autographs. This is our first time, and we’re having a blast!” But perhaps the best comments on baseball’s enduring appeal come from the perspectives of age and youth. Boomer Mentzer, of Kalamazoo, who is in his 60s, has been coming to spring training since he was a teenager. He’s been here to see the Tigers and to Arizona to watch the Chicago Cubs. “Baseball is baseball, and I love it,” he says. “It’s in my blood. Once, a lady I was with got a kiss from Lance Parrish,” he recalls. Parrish was the Tigers’ catcher from 1977-86 and is now manager of the Seawolves, a Tigers’ farm club in Erie, Pa. Brennan Ansell, 12, of Battle Creek, is at the game with his father and grandparents, Spencer, Judy and Bill Ansell. “I grew up watching Tiger baseball,” he says. “I would like to meet Justin Verlander and ask him how he stays accurate with his pitching.” Whether young or old, whether a longtime fan who claims Kaline as a boyhood hero or today’s tween who reveres Verlander, all wait for spring to arrive and for the welcome cry of “Play ball!”
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Successful campaign launches Grayling Ceramics
n the basement of the Reality Factory, at 213 E. Frank St., in Kalamazoo, sculptor and ceramicist Shay Church is crouched down side-by-side with an electrician, scoping out connection options for two electric kilns Church ordered for his new studio, Grayling Ceramics. Church bought the kilns with money raised through a Kickstarter campaign in the fall of 2014. A total of 203 backers pledged $20,000, and Church not only used the money to buy the kilns, but he rented and cleaned up his new studio space and began producing an inventory of handmade clay creations — cups, bowls, steins and growlers. “The idea of having my own studio has always been in the back of my head,” says Church, who is also a part-time ceramics instructor at 32 | Encore FEBRUARY 2015
Above, ceramicist and sculptor Shay Church poses in his new studio space in the basement of the Reality Factory, in Kalamazoo’s North Side neighborhood. Opposite page, Church forms a vessel.
Western Michigan University. “I’ve been thinking of it for a very long time, and even though I didn’t know what to expect in the Kickstarter process, it’s worked out almost exactly as I hoped it would.” Part of the reason Church’s Kickstarter campaign was so successful, he says, is because he was consistently engaged with it. He hired videographers to translate his story into a video that was featured on the Kickstarter site, and he built in a tiered gift system on the site to give back to all of his supporters. Church raised about $4,000 more than his goal of $16,000 and now uses his Kickstarter page to keep backers updated on his
progress. The page includes images of him power-washing the studio space, making new molds and installing the new kilns. For Church, the Kickstarter campaign didn’t end when he received funding — he wants to build a community around the products. “I just want to be from the heart,” he says. “From the beginning, I wanted people to know what I was thinking, what I was planning and what the potential could be.” Church says the Kalamazoo area is the perfect place to organize private artisan funding because of its arts community. “There are a lot of good, young, curious people here,” he says. “I’ve lived all over the United States, but I just kept coming back here.” Church, who is originally from Saginaw, lived in Omaha, Neb., Richmond, Va., and San Jose, Calif., before deciding to put down roots in Kalamazoo with his wife and two children. After graduating with a B.F.A. from WMU in 1994, Church apprenticed with Japanese ceramicist Jun Kaneko for two years in Omaha. Church completed an M.F.A. in San Jose, taught in Richmond, Va., married, had children and moved to Kalamazoo. Before starting Grayling Ceramics, Church was known for producing large-scale clay
sculptures of wolves, whales and elephants — sculptures that were erected temporarily in unused industrial spaces such as abandoned factories and neighborhoods or as exhibitions in galleries. One whale is in permanent residence at the west entrance of WMU, near the Faunce Student Services building. Church’s current work at Grayling Ceramics has a unique look – natural brown clay kiln-
fired pieces dipped in chartreuse, green and blue glaze so that the bottom remains unglazed. Each piece includes a sketched fish, moth or other native Michigan imagery. Church says the look and feel of these works are meant to mimic the ecosystem and natural beauty of the Great Lakes area. “This style has been the result of my evolution over maybe 20 years,” says Church, who explains that there isn’t one clear origin or explanation of the visual quality of his work now. “I’ve been developing this for a while, and I can never really stay in one place for too long either. I’m going to play with functional object conception, and I’d also like to evolve to porcelain.” Church’s pieces are for sale online at GraylingCeramics.com, but Church says if folks come by the Reality Factory building (which is also home to 1977 Mopeds and Read and Write Kalamazoo), they can stop downstairs and see if he’s in. “I want people to feel welcome to come down here and visit the studio,” he says. “I’m not always here because I teach too, but if I am, I’d love people to come on down.”
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Everybody Plays a Part
Family Center for the Arts wants families to play together by
Among the 26-member cast of Babes In Toyland were, from left, Lydia Achenbach as Mother Hubbard, Alexis Johnson as Little Boy Blue, Erik Achenbach as Mr. Spratt, Rebecca Achenbach as Mrs. Spratt and Lia Achenbach as Jack Be Nimble.
34 | Encore FEBRUARY 2015
the stage show Babes in Toyland, characters from nursery rhymes explore a fairy-tale land, battle villains and share in adventures. While it’s a children’s story, it’s also something families enjoy together. The same can be said for the local venue that staged the show recently. The Family Center for the Arts, at 6136 S. Westnedge Ave., is definitely a family affair. The center offers classes and activities for parents and for children in a variety of art forms, from theater to painting to dance to music. It has its own theater company, which stages four productions a year, and in late December children, teens and adults put on Babes in Toyland, bringing all of the age groups together. The focus isn’t just on the art, it’s on the family, says the center’s owner, Rebecca Achenbach. “When a family comes in, everyone is engaged in doing something,” says Achenbach. “People are not rushing to leave after class. It’s becoming a warm place for people.” Hidden away on the back side of the Southland Mall in Portage, the Family Center for the Arts is in the same location as the Y Art Center, a program of the YMCA of Greater Kalamazoo that began in 2012 under Achenbach’s direction. It quickly became her pet project, and in September 2014 the center separated from the YMCA and Achenbach recreated it as the Family Center for the Arts. “This is my dream job,” she says. “I love working with children and families.” The center offers annual memberships ranging from $185 per person to $375 per
family. People can sign up for individual classes or events, which range in cost from $15 for arts-and-crafts activities to $50 or more for acting workshops. Center participants include children as young as 18 months to adults, and more than a dozen students have signed up for classes in the last six months. Achenbach says each month another three to five families join the center. The stage shows garner the most participation, since there’s one every two to four months. Auditions for new performances begin just weeks after the last show ends. Everyone is welcome to take part in a musical — auditions are free — though members of the center are guaranteed a speaking role in each performance and can receive acting and voice classes at no charge. “If a child is really dying to be in a show, I’ll put them in,” Achenbach says. That’s what keeps 11-year-old Anastasia Zepke, of Kalamazoo, coming back. “I am passionate about acting,” Zepke says. “There are a lot of opportunities. You can go through the entire play and be different characters.” Matt Grimm, of Kalamazoo, says his family started participating in the Family Center for the Arts in September, when his 7-yearold daughter, Lydia, wanted to take an acting class. Lydia’s younger brother and sister, 3-year-old twins, wanted to join after hearing Lydia talk about the show. “They needed little lambs and brought them both into the play,” Grimm says.
For parents or older siblings who are at the center while young children take part in an activity or class, there are also ample opportunities. The art room is set up for small painting or drawing projects, some of which hang on the wall of “Student Masterpieces.” Across the hall is a dance studio, and in the music room instruments are available for experimentation. For Alison Barnett, 13, of Richland, the Babes in Toyland production was a father-daughter event. Alison played the role of Contrary Mary, while her dad, Mike Barnett, helped with the set design. He repurposed the Tin Man suit from the center’s spring 2014 production of The Wizard Of Oz into a chimney for a house on the Toyland set. Mike Barnett says driving together to and from the center gave him time to talk with Alison. And the theater work, he says, has given his daughter more confidence and himself a sense of accomplishment. “I enjoy seeing what I’ve built (on stage).” Achenbach says one of her goals is to get everyone in a family involved. “There were mothers just sitting and talking, waiting for their kids,” Achenbach says. “So we’re bringing in Just Move,” a Portage-based women’s exercise studio. Ballroom dance, Zumba and other classes aimed at adults are in the plans for this year. Achenbach says that as the center evolves it will continue with programs that offer something for moms, dads and older siblings so everyone can take part one way or another. And when everyone is taking part, they’re all enjoying time together, Achenbach says. “The social aspect just happens,” she says.
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Home Hospice Care • Rose Arbor Hospice Residence Grief Support Services • Adult Day Services w w w.encorekalamazoo.com | 35
Joe Hertler & the Rainbow Seekers are venturing into new territory
36 | Encore FEBRUARY 2015
For Joe Hertler & the Rainbow Seekers, a band from Kalamazoo and
Lansing, the name of their sophomore album couldn’t be more apt. It’s called Terra Incognita, meaning “unknown land.” And although the band has been pushing the boundaries of the Michigan music scene for a little more than four years, it is blazing into new territory with the release of Terra Incognita and a tour out West. Terra Incognita, being released Feb. 17 on the label Bad Mascot, has been highly anticipated since the Rainbow Seekers’ 2011 debut album, On Being. With that album, the band began to amass a loyal following,
Joe Hertler & the Rainbow Seekers’ frontman Joe Hertler in his classic “winged cape.”
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playing Michigan venues such as the Common Ground and Electric Forest festivals. The band had gained notice beyond the Mitten state, however, nabbing a coveted gig at last March’s SXSW, the massive arts and music festival in Austin, Texas, and playing alongside groups such as MGMT, Phoenix and Aloe Blacc. Not bad for a group whose music seems to defy categorization. When asked what genre the Rainbow Seekers fall into, drummer Rick Hale admits, “We’re still trying to figure that out.” The band’s Facebook page refers to their sound as “psychedelic post-Motown pop with a side of funk, folk, and R&B.” Whatever kind of music they make, the Rainbow Seekers have come a long way from the Lansing attic where they began. In 2009, Joe Hertler was a student at Central Michigan University when he bought a guitar and some recording equipment to impress a girl. He didn’t get the girl, but he did find a new vocation. He connected with guitarist Ryan Hoger, and the pair was invited to Lansing by Bigger Brush Media to record a series called the “Quilted Attic Sessions.” It was in that attic, with quilts covering the walls, that Hertler and Hoger first met Hale and bassist Kevin Pritchard, who were members of the band Loune. Later that year, Hertler was booked as “the opener’s opener” at the 2010 Mittenfest, a music festival held in Ann Arbor on New Year’s Eve. He ended up sharing a hotel room with members of Loune, who offered to back his set the next day. They did, and it was the first time the musicians who would form Joe Hertler & the Rainbow Seekers performed together. It was the start of something good. At first, it was just the four of them. In the last two years, however, the band added violist Josh Holcomb, keyboardist Micah Bracken and saxophonist Aaron Stinson, a Kalamazoo native. Holcomb has since left the band. “The first arrangements we had were bass, lead guitar, drums, and Joe,” Hale says. “Everything was sort of folk rock, and that was pretty much all we could reach for. But when we added our keyboard player and saxophonist, it really let us go anywhere and touch other genres. It gives us a lot of options.” Stinson, a graduate of Portage Northern High School, brings a little of Kalamazoo’s jazz-rich influence to the band. “I’ve been playing gigs (in Kalamazoo) since I was 13,” he says. “I started with a jazz quartet called the Northside Jazz Quartet out of Portage Northern High School. Over the years I’ve built a good following in Kalamazoo playing in different bands, and then I joined the Rainbow Seekers.” Both Stinson and Hale live in the Kalamazoo area, while Hertler and the band’s other members live in Lansing. All are Michigan natives, 38 | ENCORE FEBRUARY 2015
but their varying backgrounds influence the band’s unique sound. “My vision for the band is to have everyone’s own background and personality expressed,” Hertler says. One of the ways they express their individuality is in their unusual attire at live shows. Loud, floral shirts and funky hats are staples, but the members often take it a step farther. Stinson has performed adorned in a vest/hat combo crafted from tree branches and bark.
Couple the outfits with the band’s energetic stage presence, and Joe Hertler & the Rainbow Seekers have become the group to see in 2015. Chicago’s live music syndicate Audiotree agrees, noting in a review, “Bringing undeniable talent and natural charismatic exuberance to the live show, Joe Hertler & the Rainbow Seekers’ performances are not to be missed.” Hertler says the band really tries to connect with people through its recorded music and on stage. “That’s why I’m part of
encore ARTS this and love doing it,” he says. “It’s one of the big things I pull from, people in the crowd or a couple hundred, the shows were a blast. and that’s what our music is there for.” “For me, it doesn’t feel any different. I very distinctly recall the first On New Year’s Eve, the Rainbow Seekers opened for Michigan time I released a record there were 50 hand-drawn albums that I had music phenomenon Greensky Bluegrass in a sold-out Royal Oak at a coffee shop, with just about 60 of my friends there. I remember Music Theatre. The performance after that thinking, ‘Man, I love marked Joe Hertler & the Rainbow this. This is so much fun.’ I just Listen to their music Seekers’ unofficial four-year remember that feeling, and, You can find more information about Joe Hertler & the Rainbow anniversary and was symbolic of compared to now, it hasn’t Seekers and listen to songs from Terra Incognita and On Being at the band’s burgeoning popularity. changed.” joehertler.com. “The ride is one mountain after Despite the attention Joe another,” Hertler says. “Will we Hertler & the Rainbow Seekers ever be satiated? Probably not. But it’s that same lack of complacency are attracting, the band strives to maintain a humble, Michiganthat keeps you wanting to drive forward and do something different rooted mentality. “It’s Michigan. It’s home,” Hertler says. “There is such every time.” a great sense of community here. I love this state, and wherever we On Jan. 31, the Rainbow Seekers kicked off a 15-city tour at the may end up, this will always be home and I will always do my best to Pyramid Scheme in Grand Rapids. This month the band will perform represent that.” across the western United States, playing in Denver, Seattle and Los Hertler admits that the band’s future is as uncharted as it is exciting. Angeles before ending in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Feb. 26. “We’re crossing our fingers,” he says. “Either way, we’re gonna play “We’re so excited for the tour. This is what I want to do,” Hertler rock ’n’ roll.” says. “Our last run was really enjoyable. Whether there was a couple
Opposite page: In this photo, Joe Hertler & the Rainbow Seekers are, top row from left, Kevin Pritchard, Aaron Stinson, Josh Holcomb (former member) and Rick Hale; bottom row, from left, Ryan Hoger, Joe Hertler and Micah Bracken; the cover art of the band’s new CD Terra Incognita. Above, from left, Holcomb, Hertler and Pritchard perform.
w w w.encorekalamazoo.com | 39
PERFORMING ARTS THEATER Plays The Cowfoot Stand Down — All Ears Theatre presents Von Washington’s story about a woman whose magical powers can make other women unattractive, 6 p.m. Feb. 7, First Baptist Church, 315 W. Michigan Ave., 342-5059. The Whale — The story of an overweight man desperate to reconnect with himself and his long-estranged daughter, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 6 & 7; 2 p.m. Feb. 8, York Arena Theatre, Western Michigan University, 387-6222. Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike — 2013 Tony Award-winning play, 8 p.m. Feb. 6, 7, 13,14, 20 & 21; 7:30 p.m. Feb. 12 & 19; 2 p.m. Feb. 8, 15 & 22; Farmers Alley Theatre, 221 Farmers Alley, 343-2727.
Stomp — The percussion troupe creates rhythm and sound using offbeat instruments, 8 p.m. Feb. 27, Miller Auditorium, WMU, 387-2300.
Bands & Solo Artists
Chicago Afrobeat Project — A 14-piece world music ensemble versed in Afrobeat, funk and jazz, 8 p.m. Feb. 5, Bell’s Eccentric Cafe, 355 E. Kalamazoo Ave., 382-2332.
Peter vs. The Wolf — A spin on the classic Russian tale, featuring the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, 3 p.m. Feb. 8, Chenery Auditorium, 714 S. Westnedge Ave., 349- 7759.
champion, 8 p.m. Feb. 13 & 14, New Vic Theatre, 134 E. Vine St., 381-3328.
The Big E — A tribute to Elvis Presley with a live band, 8 p.m. Feb. 7, State Theatre, 404 S. Burdick St., 345-6500. Super Happy Funtime Burlesque — A live band, burlesque troupe and circus act rolled into one performance, 8 p.m. Feb. 7, Bell’s Eccentric Cafe, 382-2332. The Crane Wives — Grand Rapids-based indiefolk group, 8 p.m. Feb. 13, Bell’s Eccentric Cafe, 382-2332.
Gaslight — A classic Victorian thriller and story of insanity and dysfunction, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 6, 7, 12 & 13; 2 p.m. Feb. 15, Williams Theatre, WMU, 387-6222.
Jason Isbell with Damien Jurado — Country artist Isbell performs hits and songs from his newest album, 8 p.m. Feb. 13, State Theatre, 345-6500.
The Adventures of Zorro — All Ears Theatre presents the epic adventures of the masked swordfighter, 6 p.m. Feb. 21, First Baptist Church, 315 W. Michigan Ave., 342-5059.
Digital Tape Machine & Cosby Sweater — New-school electronic artists, 8 p.m. Feb. 14, Bell’s Eccentric Cafe, 382-2332.
The Hobbit — Civic Youth Theatre stages J.R.R Tolkien’s famous tale of Bilbo Baggins’ adventure through Middle-Earth, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 20 & 27; 1 & 4 p.m. Feb. 21; 2 p.m. Feb. 22, 9:30 a.m. Feb. 25 & 26; noon Feb. 25 & 26, Kalamazoo Civic Theatre, 329 S. Park St., 343-1313.
Musicals Stephanie Jass: Out of Jeopardy and Into the Spotlight — A romantic evening of songs and stories from Michigan’s own Jeopardy
40 | Encore FEBRUARY 2015
1964 The Tribute — A re-creation of an early 1960s live Beatles concert, 8 p.m. Feb. 14, State Theatre, 345-6500. Kris Bowers Trio — Fontana presents a performance by pianist Kris Bowers, paired with a three-course dinner, 6:30 p.m. Feb. 20, Cityscape Event Center, 125 S. Kalamazoo Mall, 382-7774. Scythian — A quartet that blends rock-star charisma with Celtic dervish fiddling, 8 p.m. Feb. 20, Bell’s Eccentric Cafe, 382-2332.
Charles Seo — The Stulberg Competition bronze medalist performs with the Kalamazoo Junior Symphony Orchestra, 4 p.m. Feb. 15, Chenery Auditorium, 714 S. Westnedge Ave., 343-2776. Heavenly Life — The KSO presents this lullaby describing heaven through the eyes of a child, 8 p.m. Feb. 15, Miller Auditorium, WMU, 349-7759.
Vocal St. Olaf Choir — The a cappella choir is presented by the Kalamazoo Bach Festival Society, 4 p.m. Feb. 1, Chenery Auditorium, 337-7407. Gold Company: From Brazil with Love — WMU’s award-winning vocal group explores sounds of Brazil, 2 & 8 p.m. Feb. 14, Miller Auditorium, WMU, 387-2300. Sure on This Shining Night — The Kalamazoo Singers present choral pieces by American composers, 3 p.m. Feb. 15, Second Reformed Church, 2323 Stadium Drive, 373-1769. A Bell-entine Affair: Love Is (Still) in the Air — A performance by the Kalamazoo Male Chorus, 4:30 p.m. Feb. 15, Bell’s Eccentric Cafe, 382-2332.
DANCE Ballroom With a Twist — Finalists from Dancing with the Stars, American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance perform, 8 p.m. Feb. 6, Miller Auditorium, WMU, 387-2300.
VISUAL ARTS Kalamazoo Institute of Arts 314 S. Park St., 349-7775 How to Return: Contemporary Chinese Photography — Visual examination of postboom China, through March 8. Wired and Wrapped: Sculpture of Seungmo Park — Wire sculptures by contemporary Korean sculptor, through March 15. Redefining the Multiple — Exhibition of 13 Japanese artists whose printmaking has transitioned into other media, through April 26. Second Sight/Insight II — Works from the KIA permanent collection paired with poetry from local writers, through May 10. ARTbreak — Free presentations on art-related topics: Elaine Seaman, Curator of Second Sight/ Insight II, Feb. 3, film presentation of Kehinde Wiley: An Economy of Grace, Feb. 10; Josef Albers’ Homage to the Square: The
Science and Art of Color, Feb. 17; How to Return: Contemporary Chinese Photography, with David Curl, Feb. 24; all sessions begin at noon, KIA Auditorium.
Richmond Center for Visual Arts Western Michigan University, 387-2436 NYPOP Emerging Curators Series II: Nature Loves Courage — A group of emerging New York artists interpret nature through the lens of the city, through March 6, Monroe-Brown Gallery. HOME: An Artists and Writers Project — Local artists and writers express and celebrate the idea of home, through March 6, Netzorg & Kerr Gallery, with poetry reading at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 19, Room 2008.
West Michigan Glass Art Center Chase Away the Chills — A live blown-glass ornament workshop with bead making and a tour of the Reflections Gallery, 5-9 p.m. Feb. 6, 326 W. Kalamazoo Ave., Suite 100, 552-9802.
LIBRARY & LITERARY EVENTS Kalamazoo Public Library First Saturday @ KPL — Family-friendly activities and more, 2-3:30 p.m. Feb. 7, Central Library, 315 S. Rose St., 553-7800. Food for Your Soul — Discover healthy cooking with Cooking ’N Heelz author Keneisha Morgan-Darden, 6-7 p.m. Feb. 3, Alma Powell Branch, 1000 W. Paterson St., 342-9837. Olivia Mainville — This emerging indie-folk artist from Holland performs, 7-8 p.m. Feb.18, Central Library, 315 S. Rose St., 342-9837. Picturing Kalamazoo’s Past — Historians will discuss works by six photographers documenting 100 years of Kalamazoo’s history, 7-8 p.m. Feb. 23, Central Library, 342-9837.
Portage District Library 300 Library Lane, 329-4544 Romance Alive — Romance writers & readers will present insights, and chef Candace Strong will offer food ideas, 1-3 p.m., Feb. 14; registration required.
Art Hop — Local artists and musicians at various venues in downtown Kalamazoo, 5-9 p.m. Feb. 6.
RAYMOND HARVEY Conductor
MICHAEL CHRISTIE Conductor ARNALDO COHEN Piano
ANDRIANA CHUCHMAN Soprano Strauss From Six Songs (Brentano Lieder)
Berlioz Overture to Benvenuto Cellini
Mahler Symphony No. 4 in G Major
HEAVENLY LIFE 02.21.15
Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat minor
Saturday | 8pm | Miller Auditorium
Debussy La Mer (The Sea)
FIRE AND WATER
Saturday | 8pm | Miller Auditorium
FOR TICKETS: KalamazooSymphony.com or 269.387.2300 w w w.encorekalamazoo.com | 41
EVENTS encore After Hours Broken Hearts Club — An antiValentine mixer with games, a cathartic craft and a movie, 9-10:30 p.m. Feb. 16; registration required. Come Spin With Us: A Demo by the Weavers’ Guild of Kalamazoo — Learn about animal and plant fibers and see demonstrations on spinning yarn from these fibers, 2-4 p.m. Feb. 21. Great Books Discussion Group — Discuss Happiness & Discontent, the anthology from the Great Books Foundation, 2 p.m. Feb. 22.
Hands and The Moody Coyotes, American tunes from two Kalamazoo bands, Feb. 27; all performances 7-9 p.m. Evidence Found: Explorations in Archaeology — The science and methodology of archaeology, Feb. 14- Aug. 30. Artifactory — An annual event combining works by local poets with museum artifacts, 1:30 p.m. Feb. 22.
Oral Tradition in the African-American Culture — A discussion of Zora Neale Hurston’s work presented by Michelle Johnson, and a dramatization of The River To Cross performed by Von and Fran Washington, 2 p.m. Feb. 22.
Kalamazoo Nature Center
Walk on the Wild Side: Heronwood Field Station — Stroll through the field station and surrounding area, 10:30-11:30 a.m. Feb. 21, 6378 Hart Drive, 381-1574.
Kalamazoo Valley Museum 230 N. Rose St. 373-7990 Storytelling Festival: Words That Heal — With storytellers, poets and musicians, 6-8 p.m. Feb. 6; 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Feb. 7. Friday Night Highlights Series — Chris Vallillo’s Abraham Lincoln in Song, a telling of Lincoln’s story through folk songs, Feb. 13; Kevin Collins and Kuungana, a traditional African music performance, Feb. 20; The Hired
Yoga in the Glen Vista — Yoga in the Glen Vista Gallery, surrounded by a beautiful forest, 6-7:30 p.m. Feb. 4, 7000 N. Westnedge Ave., 381-1574.
W.K. Kellogg Biological Station Birds and Coffee Walk — Join an experienced guide for a short birding walk and discuss the morning’s sightings over coffee, 9-10:30 a.m. Feb. 11, Kellogg Bird Sanctuary, 12685 East C Ave., 671-2510.
Valentine’s Dinner — A romantic meal at the historic W.K. Kellogg Manor House, 6:30-9 p.m. Feb 14, Kellogg Manor House, 3700 E. Gull Lake Drive, 671-2400.
FESTIVALS Wine Not? Winter Wine Festival — Local and national wines along with other wine industry-related products, food and live music, 6-9 p.m. Feb. 7, The Annex at Wings Stadium, 3600 Vanrick Drive, 978-2167.
MISCELLANEOUS Winter Snow Party — Sledding, snowman building and a bonfire, 12-3 p.m. Feb. 7, Oakland Drive Park, 7650 Oakland Drive, 3294522. Kalamazoo Dance — A social dance for singles and couples of all skill levels, 7 p.m., Feb. 21, The Pointe Community Center, 2595 N. 10th St., 344-5752. MiniMax Slopestyle Competition — Skiers and snowboarders ages 14 and under are invited to compete in entry-level slopestyle, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Feb. 22, Timber Ridge Ski Resort, 7500 23 1/2 St,. Gobles, 694-9449. Twilight Skate — Skate under the stars with friends and family, 8-11 p.m. Feb. 26, Millenium Park Ice Rink, 280 Romence Road, 329-4522.
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42 | Encore FEBRUARY 2015
Teakettle After the first snow, I burn to death another teakettle, the second one in as many months,
He browses college catalogues in the Los Angeles Library
and the kitchen’s full of smoke. An hour ago, I slipped into my husband’s barn coat and headed out to the woodpile, but the forest
Filtered light, the atmosphere a seep of gray.
was ice jewels, so I took a walk.
A photo distinct from all others on the page—
This is how we trace our paths
the look of home, here between the lakes.
back to the source of trouble. I’d turned off
My son in California calls to say
the whistle so’s not to wake my husband
he knew at once the Kalamazoo landscape:
in case he was dreaming of flying.
its filtered light, the atmosphere a seep of gray.
Then the sun-dazzled hedges bowed down for me,
Not the street or college buildings, per se,
blocked the road. Already this year
but the way clouds mist brick in sepia haze.
autumn was golden, and summer ripened
Familiar look of home, here between the lakes.
to sweetness on vines. Spring buds burst
A climate he can read as easily as his name
into blossom. And now this crystal forest!
from one snapshot in a catalogue. Can’t mistake
How have I not yet burned down the house?
that dim light and atmosphere of weepy gray
Later, when my husband opens the bathroom door,
in which he walked to school on February days.
he is lit from behind, steam curling
Far off in a southern wash of sun he nearly tastes
into a lion’s mane around him.
the weather of his childhood home between the lakes.
We were so young when we got married.
Though L.A.’s where he’ll stay, he says,
I was carrying something heavy
suddenly, deeply, he misses this place
when he dropped to one knee
of filtered light. The atmosphere and seep of gray,
and proposed. I put down the heavy thing
the look of home. Here between the lakes.
before saying yes.
— Lynn Pattison
— Bonnie Jo Campbell
Campbell is a poet and best-selling novelist who lives with her husband and donkeys just outside Kalamazoo. This poem first appeared in Southern Review.
Pattison is a retired Kalamazoo teacher whose work has appeared in numerous literary magazines and reviews as well as several anthologies. She is the author of the poetry collection The Light that Sounds Like Breaking (Mayapple Press).
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Four Roses Café . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Genesis Fitness & Wellness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Gilmore Real Estate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Great Lakes Shipping Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Greenleaf Hospitality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
We’re So Fond of Fonts! Although the days of hand-set type are long gone, typesetting remains a very tactile thing for most printers. Beyond the practical elements of letters, numbers, punctuation, spelling, and grammar, there’s an aesthetic that can only be achieved with fonts. Fonts can be subtle or dramatic. They can be elegant or playful. They can convey meaning in ways beyond A-B-C and 1-2-3 ...
Henderson Castle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Horizon Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 Hospice Care of SW Michigan . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Kalamazoo Community Foundation . . . . . . . . . . . 2 KNI/Southwest Michigan Imaging . . . . . . . . . . . 48 Kalamazoo Public Library . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 KRESA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 LVM Capital Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Mercantile Bank of Michigan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Merit Dental/Dr. Bruce Magnuson . . . . . . . . . . . 11
... and they’re fabulous.
Parkway Plastic Surgery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
They build a mood with the slightest sweep of serif or languid lope of ligature. The tools of any trade you love are endlessly fascinating. I guess you could say we printers run true to type!
Professional Clinicians & Consultants Inc. . . . . . . . 4 Portage Printing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Saffron . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 UniQ Jewelry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Varnum Law . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Weed Man . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Wild Ginger . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
1116 W Centre Avenue 323-9333 PortagePrinting.com 44 | Encore FEBRUARY 2015
WMUK . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
BACK STORY (continued from page 46) The Chamber, she has been on numerous boards and committees over the years and currently serves on committees for the Kalamazoo Promise’s 10th anniversary, Binder Park Zoo and the United Way of the Kalamazoo and Battle Creek Region and as a tourism ambassador for Discover Kalamazoo. Ask anyone, Clark seems to know everyone and everything — a quality she is happy to share.
How do you describe what you do? I meet with small- and mid-sized businesses in the community, many of whom have never had a relationship with WMU, and explore possibilities. WMU has a multitude of services and programs that are available to the business community at little or no charge. I act as a connector and introduce them to the right departments, people or programs within WMU that are best suited to the company’s mission and goals. As the relationship develops, I also try and find ways for the business to engage with our students, our alumni, our staff and the University as a whole and help each find a way to make a difference.
What do people say when you tell them what you do? “What a perfect job for you!” The comment I get the most is, “You are such a great connector.” Someone said to me recently that it seems when I meet someone new, I’m
flipping the Rolodex in my head, saying, ‘Who would be a good connection for that person?’ It’s true. Because I love to do that.
Why do you do what you do? I truly believe we can all do anything with a little help from our friends, and my friends are your friends, and since I never met a stranger, neither have you. I would never do anything I didn’t believe in from the heart. What I do is good for the community; it’s good for everyone. I feed off of people. I really like people. I like knowing about them and helping them, and good gossip (I don’t like bad gossip, just the good kind). I am the only person I know who really does like to look at other people’s pictures of their children and grandchildren.
What’s an ideal day like for you? I meet someone for coffee and muffins, I meet someone for lunch, I meet someone for coffee, I meet someone for drinks, and I tell them all the great things WMU can do for them. I eat four times a day. It’s amazing I’m not bigger.
What keeps you up at night? Nothing. I am so happy. Things are just great and I love what I do and I get so much support at work. I know that nothing is that bad that you can’t find that silver lining. I ask what can you gain, what can you get out of it and is it at least a great story?
What has influenced you most in your life? My mom. She raised me to think I could do anything. She doesn’t realize I can’t sing, even though I had a voice teacher who told me I would have to have surgery just to be able to carry a tune (and this was after I paid for lessons). But still I delight in singing in front to everyone, and it was because I was raised to believe that there wasn’t anything I couldn’t do.
What do you do outside of work? If it’s summer I like to be at the beach, I like being by the water. I like art, theater …I do all those art things. I work out. I like doing exercise classes. It’s fun and social and changes the routine.
What words do you use to describe yourself? Explosive (laughs). I like to have fun. As I get excited, I get louder, hence the explosive. But I would also say I am incredibly loyal. I would do anything for my friends. I never met a stranger so everyone is my friend. I really care. Loyalty, integrity and honor are super high for me. I really value integrity, honesty and doing what you say when you say it. If I say I’m going to follow up, I do, because my word is really important to me.
You want a bank that understands parenting is a full-time job. So we offer a suite of online tools and apps that help you track and manage your finances from your home to your phone. That way you can spend your time being The Best Parent Ever.
When you’re here. [so are we]
Mercantile Bank. We are where you are. mercbank.com w w w.encorekalamazoo.com | 45
BACK STORY encore
Director of Business Engagement Western Michigan University
Janis Clark is a connector. The former lawyer,
(continued on page 45)
46 | Encore FEBRUARY 2015
QVC host and game show contestant who landed in Kalamazoo 26 years ago, is a go-to person for putting people together with other people, resources and ideas. The New York City native, who still has that iconic, brashy accent, worked in fundraising for the Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan and as membership development director at the Beacon Club before she landed at WMU. Clark is hyper-involved in her adopted community. A two-time Ambassador of the Year for
building healthy communities AVB has completed several high-end physical therapy suites for multiple healthcare clients. These suites are specially designed to help people regain or improve their physical abilities through exercises and therapy. The main focus of the physical therapy suites is to improve someoneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s quality of life by improving joint and muscle function, as well as decreasing pain. AVB is proud to be involved in community health focused projects. Visit www.avbinc.com to learn more about our healthcare projects.
4200 w centre ave
portage, mi 49024
Keep your options open. Your physician has powerful tools to provide you with medical images.
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KNI partners with Borgess to provide the most powerful and versatile medical imaging equipment available in Southwest Michigan. Working with Premier Radiology, KNI has the medical expertise to provide your physician with the test results you need.
KNI • 1700 Gull Road • Kalamazoo, MI 49048 • 269.342.1099 • www.kniimaging.com