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Teen filmmaker Nathan Ginter

Great Lakes Burn Camp

July 2018

FROM THE ASHES A disaster launched their business on an unlikely course for success

Meet an Animal Acupuncturist

Five great spots to find nature

Southwest Michigan’s Magazine


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Helping children thrive. All children benefit from Positivity. That’s why Bronson reaches out to families throughout southwest Michigan. We’re involved in the community and in schools helping kids prevent injuries and learn healthier habits. We help them make smarter food choices. And we teach them why it’s important to stay active. Of course, some children need more than that. Not all are born healthy. And not all healthy children stay that way. As the area’s only children’s hospital, we’re here for them. We not only provide essential medical care, we partner with families and community agencies to build a culture of caring around each child. With our support, more children can grow up healthy and resilient. Learn more at bronsonpositivity.com. Or follow us on Facebook.


Teen filmmaker Nathan Ginter

Great Lakes Burn Camp

Meet an Animal Acupuncturist

July 2018

Five great spots to find nature

Southwest Michigan’s Magazine

FROM THE ASHES A disaster launched their business on an unlikely course for success

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www.encorekalamazoo.com 117 W. Cedar St. Suite A, Kalamazoo, MI 49007 Telephone: (269) 383-4433 Fax: (269) 383-9767 Email: Publisher@encorekalamazoo.com The staff at Encore welcomes written comment from readers, and articles and poems for submission with no obligation to print or return them. To learn more about us or to comment, visit encorekalamazoo.com. Encore subscription rates: one year $36, two years $70. Current single issue and newsstand $4, $10 by mail. Back issues $6, $12 by mail. Advertising rates on request. Closing date for space is 28 days prior to publication date. Final date for print-ready copy is 21 days prior to publication date. The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by those interviewed and published here do not reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of Encore Magazine or the official policies, owners or employees of Encore Publications.


ENCORE EDITOR'S NOTE

From the Editor Last month’s issue, in which we celebrated, highlighted and informed readers all

about the things they can do and see as tourists in their own town, was a great collage of what makes Southwest Michigan unique. It was heavy on the places and things of the area but, with the exception of our Back Story interview of Discover Kalamazoo’s Greg Ayers, a bit light on people. We make up for that this month. July’s Encore gives readers stories about several local folks who typify the creative, innovative and compassionate hearts and souls of our community. What I love about all of our stories this month is that they are about people you and I probably wouldn’t recognize on the street — just everyday folks who lead interesting lives. Take our cover story about Pat and Shelly Cooper, owners of Pine Lake Parts. They are hard-working small-business owners who realized their dream, watched it burn and then created something new and successful from the rubble. They aren’t big-time business moguls, but they are characteristic of that “try, try again” attitude that so much success is built upon and that we see so often in our local entrepreneurs. This issue also tells readers about Nathan Ginter, who has been making award-winning movies for a good number of his 19 years and whose talent has been recognized on a national level. On the compassionate side, we introduce you to animal acupuncturist — yes, you read that right — Rachel Mullins, who offers help and relief to our ailing furry friends when nothing else can. We also feature the folks behind the Great Lakes Burn Camp, which this summer celebrates its 23rd year of giving young burn survivors a chance to laugh, play, heal and grow. So sit down and relax with Encore and meet some people that any of us would be proud to call friends and neighbors.

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Lisa admits she found her visit to Pine Lake Parts, in Plainwell, for this month’s cover story more fun than expected. “Pat and Shelly Cooper’s friendly personalities win a person over immediately,” Lisa says. While the company sells most of its new, used and vintage marine parts and accessories online, the Coopers bring a small-town attitude to this sales platform by “actually talking to people,” as Pat says. “It seems that it’s not just the product that has made their business boom,” Lisa says, “but the owners themselves and their employees.” Lisa also wrote about the inspiring people behind the annual Great Lakes Burn Camp for our Good Works feature and interviewed animal acupuncturist Rachel Mullins for this month’s Back Story.

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Adam loves hearing about how art is created, so he was very curious to talk to Kalamazoo native and nationally recognized teenage filmmaker Nathan Ginter. The recent high school graduate’s comedic, yet dark, work made things particularly interesting, Adam says. “I don’t think I can look at a sock puppet quite the same way” after seeing Ginter’s short film “Little Voices,” he admits. Adam is a student at Western Michigan University but is currently interning for Homeland Security Today in Washington, D.C., and completing his second junior semester at George Mason University.


J U LY

CONTENTS 2018

FEATURE After the Fire

A devastating blaze derailed Pat and Shelly Cooper’s dreams, but launched them on a new course to success

20

DEPARTMENTS 5 From the Editor 6 Contributors Up Front

8

13

First Things

Happenings and events in SW Michigan

Five Faves — Favorite spots and ways to enjoy nature from some folks who know

16

Good Works

38

Back Story

‘Laugh, play, heal and grow’ — Summer camp builds bonds, esteem for young burn survivors

Meet Rachel Mullins — This animal accupuncturist helps our furry friends feel better

ARTS 28 Filmmaker on the Rise — Teen Nathan Ginter is winning national honors for his cinematic skills 32 Events of Note 35 Poetry

On the cover: Pat and Shelly Cooper stand amid hundreds of antique, old and new boat parts in their Plainwell business, Pine Lake Parts. See story on page 20. Photo by Brian Powers

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FIRST THINGS ENCORE

First Things Something Hip

Intentionally see The Accidentals Traverse City-based The Accidentals don’t call Kalamazoo

home, but we like to think of them as ours. And they might as well be, with four concerts scheduled in the area this summer (two of which were in June, bummer). You might recognize this Michigan-made band from their song “Michigan and Again,” which plays in a Pure Michigan commercial, but there’s a lot of other music coming from this young, dynamic trio. It was named one of Yahoo Music’s “Top 10 Bands to Watch” in 2017. Your first chance to see them will be at 5 p.m. July 15 in Bronson Park, in downtown Kalamazoo, as part of the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo’s Summertime Live series. The show is free. The band will be back in town Aug. 25 for a 7 p.m. show at Bell’s Eccentric Café’s beer garden, 255 E. Kalamazoo Ave. Tickets are $20, and the show is for ages 21 and older. For tickets, visit bellsbeer.com/events.

Something Good

Butterfly release honors loved ones Have a breathtaking, beautiful and butterflied moment in honor or memory of a loved one when Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan holds its annual Hospice Butterfly Release and Remember event July 21 at Leila Arboretum, 928 W. Michigan Ave., Battle Creek. It begins with a free one-mile Flutter Fun Walk at 9 a.m., followed at 10 a.m. by a ceremony that will include music and reading of the names of all those who are being honored or remembered. At the end of the program, participants will release their butterflies. A butterfly for the event can be purchased for $30 at hospiceswmi.org or by calling 345-0273. Proceeds will fund Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan’s work guiding and supporting individuals and caregivers who are coping with illness, aging, dying and loss.

8 | ENCORE JULY 2018


ENCORE FIRST THINGS

Something Enchanting

Fall in love with Beauty and the Beast See a classic tale that’s just as delightful now as the

first time around, when the Barn Theatre presents the Disney’s musical Beauty and the Beast July 31–Aug. 12. For those of you who were fairy tale-deprived as children, Beauty and the Beast is the story of a selfish, unkind prince who is turned into a hideous beast by an enchantress. The only way for him to be human again is to learn to love someone other than himself and earn that person’s love in return. Enter lovely Belle, who sacrifices her own freedom to save her kooky dad. Show times are 8 p.m. July 31–Aug. 4 and Aug. 7–11 and 5 p.m. Aug. 5 and 12 at the Barn, 13351 West M-96, Augusta. Ticket prices range from $39 to $48. For tickets or more information, call the box office at 731-4121 or visit barntheatreschool.org.

Something Funny

See Shakespeare in a park near you The play that inspired a phrase that a lot of us use to describe our Monday mornings will be staged in several area parks in Kalamazoo and Portage this month. The Kalamazoo Civic Theatre’s Academy of Theatre Arts will present Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors, a slapstick comedy that follows a set of identical adult twins who were separated at birth and somehow end up in the same city. Show times in Kalamazoo parks are 11 a.m. July 11, LaCrone Park, 535 W. Paterson St.; 11 a.m. July 12, Frays Park, 1006 Piccadilly Road; 2 p.m. July 13, Bronson Park, downtown Kalamazoo; 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. July 14, Upjohn Park, 1018 Walter St. The show will be staged at Celery Flats Historic Amphitheater, 7335 Garden Lane, at 2 p.m. July 18, 19 and 22 and 7 p.m. July 20 and 21. All performances are free, but, due to limited seating, tickets are required for entry to the Celery Flats performances and can be picked up between 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday–Friday at Portage’s Department of Parks and Recreation, 7900 S. Westnedge Ave. For more information, call 329-4522 or visit portagemi.gov. w w w.encorekalamazoo.com | 9


FIRST THINGS ENCORE

Something Artistic

Glory of glass art on display Ever since they witnessed lightning striking sand, humans have been

enamored of glass and of making art with it. An examination of glass as an art form is the focus of the exhibit Global Glass: A Survey of Form and Function, on display at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts through Oct. 14. Drawn from the extensive glass collection of the Alfred Berkowitz Gallery at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, the exhibition surveys important glass artists and works from the mid-1960s to the present. Among the 56 artists represented are glass giants Harvey Littleton, Howard Ben Tre, Dale Chihuly, Ann Robinson and Kate Vogel. For more information, visit kiarts.org.

Top left: Herb Babcock, Longhouse/Shelter #7, 1988. Right: Albrecht Grainer-Mae, Vessel, 1988

Something Good

Bizarre Bazaar to benefit Can-Do Kitchen An opportunity to sip on a locally crafted beer while doing a little shopping to support local food start-ups — who doesn’t love that? The Summer Bizarre Bazaar, to be held 11 a.m.–6 p.m. July 29 at Bell’s Eccentric Café beer garden, 255 E. Kalamazoo Ave., will feature unique wares, art and other goods from local vendors. Also called “Biz Baz,” this bazaar is a benefit — the fees that vendors pay to participate are donated to the Can-Do Kitchen, a nonprofit that provides education and access to kitchen facilities for Kalamazoo food entrepreneurs. Admission is free, but the beer and the goods are not. For more information, visit facebook.com/kzoobizarrebazaar or call 382-2332.

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ENCORE FIRST THINGS

Something Big

Blues Fest celebrates its 25th year Chase your blues away with three days of performances at the Kalamazoo Blues Festival July 12–14 at the Arcadia Creek Festival Place, in downtown Kalamazoo. Now in its 25th year, the festival has grown from a modest but innovative festival with local and regional blues acts to a well-known event that hosts national acts alongside locals. Among the 15 acts that will take the stage this year are Canadian vocalist Angel Forrest, blues keyboardist Victor Wainwright, Jason Ricci & Bad Kind, and the Nick Moss Band. Tickets are $10 for July 12, $15 for July 13, and $20 for July 14. Performances begin at 5 p.m. July 12 and 13 and noon July 14. To purchase tickets or for more on the schedule of performances, visit kvba.org.

Something Funny

Farmers Alley stages The Producers To wrap up Farmers Alley Theatre’s 10th season, Stephen Wallem, of TV’s Nurse Jackie, and Tony Humrichouser, an award-winning actor and Western Michigan University alumnus, will play partners who attempt to produce the worst show in Broadway history. Wallem and Humrichouser star as the lovable pair of swindlers Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom in Mel Brooks’ Tony Award-winning comedic musical The Producers, to be staged at the Little Theatre, on Oakland Drive, July 20–Aug. 5. There are plenty of laughs as Max and Leo attempt to produce the sure-to-bomb musical Springtime for Hitler, encountering a chorus full of colorful characters and surprises along the way. Tickets are $37, or $35 for ages 65 and older and $15 for students with valid ID. For show times and tickets, call the box office at 343-2727 or visit farmersalleytheatre.com.

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FIRST THINGS ENCORE

Something Tasty

Restaurant Week offers delicious deals If

you’ve been wanting to try a downtown restaurant for the first time or revisit one (and there are more than 30 of them), then July has the week you’ve been waiting for. Downtown Kalamazoo Summer Restaurant Week, from July 21–29 (OK, that’s two days more than a week, but in this case it’s a good thing), is a celebration of the downtown area’s fresh, fun dining scene. The best part: prix fixe (fixed price) menus with such deals as $10 lunch and shareables to $25 and $35 dinner options for one or two. And with downtown establishments’ bartenders engaging in the second annual Summer Cocktail Competition at the same time, there is food and drink to look forward to. To add to the delicious fun, Restaurant Week will be kicked off with the annual Salsa Cook-Off, in which you can visit participating downtown Kalamazoo shops, restaurants and breweries to sample delicious salsa concoctions and then vote for your favorite. The cook-off runs from 11 a.m.–2 p.m. July 21. For more information on Restaurant Week, including participating venues and menus, visit kalamazoorestaurantweek.com.

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ENCORE FIVE FAVES

Five Faves

Conservancy staffers share favorite spots to enjoy nature by

SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN LAND CONSERVANCY STAFF

Did you know that the Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy has 18 preserves that are open to everyone from dawn to dusk with no admission fee? With so many to choose from, most of them with trails, it was hard to pick just five that the conservancy

staff could all agree on. So, instead, five staff members share their personal recommendations for local getaways where you can find the relaxation that only nature can provide.

Courtesy

Bow in the Clouds Preserve 3401 Nazareth Road, Kalamazoo Teeming with life, Bow in the Clouds is like two preserves in one, packed with something for every nature lover to enjoy. Your greeting committee? A giant log playground that begs you — or your very energetic kids — to climb all over it. Just beyond it are breathtaking, expansive views overlooking the marsh — the perfect place to unwind and take in all the nature that the wetlands have to offer. Trails circle the preserve like natural tunnels, and on them you’ll cross a bridge over the quintessential “babbling brook” that writers like Thoreau mused about and find a boardwalk that sometimes “talks back” as it squishes underneath your feet. Stay on your toes because there’s always something new popping up at Bow in the Clouds. — Bruce Howe, Land Protection Specialist

A short drive west of Kalamazoo, Wolf Tree has become one of my “go to” places to run trails. There I trade in the smell of automobile exhaust and pounding the pavement for the smell of sassafras and the feel of firmly packed dirt under my feet. With a tight little 1.5-mile trail system — consisting of three trails that overlap one another — it’s a perfect place to run the exact distance I want at the degree of difficulty I want (if you run it three times around, it’s a little over 5k). On days when I have to drag myself out there, I keep it simple and run a nice lazy loop or two around the blue trail. On days when I feel a little more pep in my step, I take on the quad-busting hills, combine the green and blue trails, do three loops, and call it a day with a 5k! — Mitch Lettow, Stewardship Specialist

Courtesy

Wolf Tree Nature Trails 8829 West KL Ave., Kalamazoo

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FIVE FAVES ENCORE

A favorite preserve? That’s like asking which of your kids you love the most. But, if forced to choose, I’ll take an early May morning at the Portman Nature Preserve: The mist lifts off the lakes, the songbirds’ dawn chorus erupts, and the world starts to stir. Portman is where I’ve watched coyote puppies tumbling off a log while wrestling. Where I’ve seen one of the rarest butterflies on the planet, the Mitchell’s satyr (Neonympha mitchellii mitchellii), dance over orchids. Where I’ve stood transfixed witnessing water boiling up in a spring as big as a swimming pool. It is a place of both subtlety and grandeur where I can savor beauty in the delicate hairs of a pitcher plant as well as the glory of a sunset over a lake. — Nate Fuller, Conservation and Stewardship Director

Courtesy

Portman Nature Preserve 28779-27815 49th Ave., Paw Paw

Chipman Preserve 8497 East Main St., Galesburg I Chipman Preserve! It has become my haven, my teacher, my exercise partner, my reward after a long day at the computer. Chipman is one of our largest preserves, with 230 acres of oak savannas, rolling woodlands and prairies, and more than five miles of trails. My favorite things at Chipman Preserve: the fragrant and cheerful lupine blooms in May; hot, hazy summer days watching butterflies and dragonflies flutter from one wildflower to the next; the contrast of the crisp autumn air with the fiery colors of maples, sumac, sassafras and goldenrods; and following animal tracks in the snow and imagining their busy little lives amid the apparent stillness of winter. — C. Miko Dargitz, Development Associate

Courtesy

14 | ENCORE JULY 2018


ENCORE FIVE FAVES

Pilgrim Haven Natural Area Corner of 77th Street and 18th Avenue, South Haven

Courtesy

Ssshhhh . . . it’s our “secret” South Haven spot and an easy drive from Kalamazoo. With 27 acres, Pilgrim Haven is the right size to let the kids roam without fear that they will go too far. You can feel the site’s history — from the giant, freestanding stone fireplace (what’s left of the old camp lodge building) to the feeling that ghosts of campers from generations past are still running by. It’s easy to lose track of an afternoon here wandering through the spring wildflowers, exploring the beech-maple forest trails, searching for water critters in Dyckman Creek or losing yourself in a quest for the perfect rock on the Lake Michigan shoreline. — Nicole Speedy, Database Manager

Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy works with staff, dedicated volunteers and willing landowners to protect endangered and threatened habitats and species, rural character and open space, agriculture and passive recreation, and extraordinary vistas in nine counties of southwest Michigan. Since its inception in 1991, SWMLC has protected more than 15,000 acres of dunes, wetlands, forests, savannas, prairies, farms, and vineyards that give our region its distinctive character. Learn more at swmlc.org.

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GOOD WORKS ENCORE

‘Laugh, play, heal and grow’

Camp builds bonds, esteem for young burn survivors LISA MACKINDER

Courtesy

by

M

ike Longenecker, director of the Great Lakes Burn Camp (GLBC) and retired city of Jackson firefighter, has a standing appointment each August for a manicure at a special salon. “You have to set up an appointment and then you pay them in candy,” Longenecker says, chuckling, while describing a salon the youngest girls at camp opened to offer nail, hair and makeup services. “The girls are funny how seriously they take it. It’s a riot.” Having a riot is the point. GLBC, to be held Aug. 5-10 at Pretty Lake Camp in Mattawan, is an annual camp that offers burn survivors ages 6-17 a chance to “laugh, play, heal and grow” — four words that Longenecker says make up the camp’s positive motto. 16 | ENCORE JULY 2018

“We want the kids to come and just laugh, play, heal and grow, and it happens a lot,” he says. “When we have kids come back to camp (every year), I think that shows we’re doing something right.”

The camp’s origins GLBC held its inaugural camp in August 1995 after Chris Klavon, a friend of Longenecker’s and other Jackson and Ann Arbor firefighters, was inspired to start one after volunteering as a counselor at a burn camp in Minnesota in 1994. The year before, Klavon and his family were on their way to a Memorial Day parade, Longenecker explains, when a drunk driver struck their vehicle. Klavon was burned on 75 percent of his body.

This page: Campers enjoy such activities as swimming and crafts. Opposite page, clockwise from top left: A camp volunteer gets a makeup application by a young camper; campers enjoy a game of baseball; a camper rides in a fire truck during the parade to the camp in Mattawan. Photos courtesy of Great Lakes Burn Camp.


ENCORE GOOD WORKS

“We took it (the offer), and nine months later we did our first camp, with 45 kids,” Longenecker says. To get the camp off the ground, everyone went to work to get the word out. Between hospital staff and the “brotherhood of the fire service,” Longenecker says, it happened quickly. People and organizations readily responded by holding events to raise money. Others helped hammer out details, including programming for the campers. “Pretty Lake helped us a lot in the beginning because we didn’t know how to run a camp,” he says. “We would hire their staff and put in some of ours. Each year we started (adding) more and more of our staff. About year five, we were finally fully on our own.”

“He came back (from camp),” Longenecker says, “and called me and said, ‘Mike, this is the neatest thing I’ve ever done. Let’s set up a camp in Michigan.’” Klavon wrote to burn units in hospitals across the state to generate support for the camp and to refer their young burn-unit

patients to camp. At the end of November 1994, doctors, nurses and firefighters met in Jackson. Dr. Alan Messinger, a plastic surgeon at Bronson Plastic Surgery Specialists in Portage, brought along Don Jones, thendirector of Pretty Lake Camp, who offered to hold the camp there.

Starts with a parade Each year the camp kicks off with the Great Lakes Burn Camp Parade, which starts at Wings Event Center, near Sprinkle Road and I-94, and ends 10 miles away, at Pretty Lake Camp. People line the parade route, which runs down Portage Road to Centre Avenue to w w w.encorekalamazoo.com | 17


GOOD WORKS ENCORE

Courtesy

the camp on Q Avenue, as police, ambulance and fire trucks from Calhoun, Kalamazoo, Van Buren, Allegan and Barry counties and sometimes from Indiana and Lansing, with

lights spinning and sirens blaring, carry the campers to their destination. Motorcyclists including members of firefighter and other biker clubs, serve as parade escorts. “Last year there were over 470 motorcycles, and 42 fire trucks,” Longenecker says. Until GLBC, kids from Kalamazoo burn units attended burn camps in Connecticut and Colorado, he says, and burn survivors that were treated at University of Michigan hospitals went to a burn camp in Minnesota. Since that first camp, the number of campers has grown, as campers come from across Michigan and occasionally out of state. This year Longenecker expects up to 80 campers.

From left: Burn survivors enjoy such camp activities as archery, waterskiing, tube riding, playing on inflatables, and making close bonds with their counselors and each other.

While at camp, kids participate in typical camp activities like swimming, kayaking, arts and crafts, and field games, but there are also special activities such as playing in giant inflatables or exploring a mobile zoo. The U.S. Coast Guard has even flown in a helicopter and demonstrated simulated rescues. “We’ve had a drive-in movie night with an inflatable movie screen that’s 30 feet tall and 40 feet wide,” Longenecker says. “Our kitchen

staff will set up snacks in the field like a little concession stand.”

How it helps Every year, Longenecker is witness to the ways Great Lakes Burn Camp helps the campers, especially the way it opens them up,

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he says. Nobody points or stares at the kids’ scars, and no one teases them. “That’s really good for their social wellbeing and self-esteem,” Longenecker says. In his 20 years with GLBC, he has garnered too many special memories to count. He recalls that a camper from Texas whose arms were amputated below the elbows because

of burns wanted to kayak, so the camp staff carefully attached gloves over his arms with medical tape and then used duct tape to attach the paddles to the gloves. “It took him a little longer to get across the lake, but he could do it,” Longenecker says, noting the camper also did the ropes course. An 8-year-old girl who lost her left hand and four fingers from her right hand participates in archery. Longenecker says the girl’s father told him that she enjoys camp so much that whenever the family is heading somewhere, she asks, “Am I going to camp?”

Many campers return to GLBC as adults to serve as counselors. A former camper now volunteers as a lifeguard there. Longenecker says when this young woman came to her first GLBC camp, at age 6, she was crying and hugging her parents when she was dropped off at the bus pickup point. The next year at drop-off she hopped out of the car and forgot to say goodbye to them. “There are tons of stories like that,” Longenecker says. “The friendships are just incredible from camp. It’s like we’re a big family.” Another favorite story involves two former campers who returned as counselors. Two years ago they were married, and recently announced they had a baby on the way. “She told me she wouldn’t change a thing in her life because she met her husband at camp,” Longenecker says. “They would never have met had it not been for camp. That’s one of my real proud moments.”

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From the Ashes Pine Lake Parts turns disaster into an unlikely business success by

LISA MACKINDER

PHOTOGRAPHY by BRIAN POWERS

Pat Cooper, owner of Pine Lake Parts which supplies parts for old motors like this one.

Pat and Shelly Cooper make sales while they sleep. The owners of Pine Lake Parts, in Plainwell, which specializes in new, used and vintage marine parts and accessories, fire up their computers each day to find their eBay account greeting them with new orders: a boat motor, a gasket, a carburetor or perhaps a flywheel … the list goes on. “We make sales seven days a week and around the clock,” Pat Cooper says, a broad smile lighting up his face. “We have gotten up in the morning to find that we (already) hit our sales goal for the day.” Pat has good reason to smile. Back in 1998, he and his wife had a dream: to live on Pine Lake near Plainwell, run a fun business that was close to home and pay their bills. Despite a few hiccups and a devastating fire, the Coopers’ dream has come true. Building the dream Both Pat and Shelly grew up in Grand Ledge, but Pat spent summers on Barry County’s Pine Lake, at his parents’ cottage. In 1998, he and Shelly bought their own cottage on the lake. Over Christmas break that year, the Coopers — who lived in Portland, just west of Grand Ledge — spent time working on the cottage with their daughters, then-5-year-old Caitlin and 3-year-old Samantha. On the drive home, the girls bawled because they didn’t want to leave the lake. “If they’re crying now when there’s ice out there, what are we going to do in the summer?” Shelly says she remembers thinking.

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The Coopers decided to live at Pine Lake permanently, built an addition to the cottage and moved in. But achieving this part of their dream didn’t come without sacrifice. Pat was a corporate quality director at Lansing-based Demmer Corp., had a 70-mile commute each way and often worked seven days a week. “We just put a mattress in the back of the truck, and (he would) sleep in there for a couple of days,” Shelly says. Shelly juggled caring for their daughters and a large German shepherd with working from home as a bookkeeper for law and accounting firms. She says she worried about Pat having a heart attack from overwork or hitting a deer on his commute, with good reason. “One year he hit seven deer on the way to work,” she notes. In 2008, the Coopers achieved their next goal: owning their own business. With Pat’s brother, Jeff Cooper, they purchased Pine Lake Boat & Motor, a small marina on Pine Lake. The business had been around since 1928, and when the Coopers took it over, they discovered it housed boat parts dating back to that period. Lots of parts. Experienced at selling collectibles and antiques online, they planned to list all the old parts on eBay, and that would be that. But when $4,000 in parts sold the first month, the Coopers reexamined their plan. “We looked at how well it took off and thought maybe online parts sales had more potential than we originally believed,” Pat says. Selling boat parts became a “filler” business for the marina. Each year, after they tucked boats away for the winter and the marina’s business slowed, the Coopers went to work listing the boat parts they had for sale on the internet. By 2014, this sideline required one full-time employee and a few part-time employees. Things were going well. Then the terrible call came: “The marina is on fire!” Up in flames It wasn’t the first time the Coopers had received this particular distress call. Pine Lake Boat & Motor had a gas pump located on the water to fuel boats and fire trucks also fueled there when there was an area fire. Pat says people would often see a fire truck outside

22 | ENCORE JULY 2018

the business and assume the marina was burning. But one February night in 2015, the call wasn’t a false alarm. “We could see it as we were driving down Long Point (the road they live on),” Shelly says. “There was going to be nothing left.” Very little survived. The Coopers point to a few dark-green items around their office — they painted anything salvaged from the fire this color. “They didn’t let it get them down,” says Janice Tower, Shelly’s mother. “They picked it all up and started over.”


“I’m kind of OCD (afflicted by obsessive compulsive disorder),” Shelly admits, “but it pays off.” As if on cue, Pat wanders out to the warehouse to retrieve an order and returns in a matter of seconds. “See?” he says, holding up the bag. Feeding the monster

Opposite page, clockwise from top: Pine Lake Parts staff includes, from left, Samantha Cooper, Denise Peterson, Pat Cooper, Shelly Cooper, Janice Tower and Caitlin Cooper; an old Evinrude motor waiting to be sold or dismantled; various propeller-less motors at the company’s shop. This page, top: Caitlin Cooper, front, removes a cylinder head from a motor while Denise Peterson removes a flywheel from another. Bottom: This vintage propeller has seen many years of use.

Their living room became the sales department. Pat tore engines apart in their home’s garage, and Shelly organized the parts into boxes and listed them on eBay. “I had maybe 20 boxes,” she says. “It started going into the dining room.” Unexpected outcome The fire had an unexpected benefit, however. The Coopers long suspected there

was untapped potential in boat part sales and now, with no marina to operate day-today, they focused full time on that side of the business. They purchased a 12,000-squarefoot pole building a mile away that had electricity but nothing else, built a small heated area, put up racks and moved in with 7,000 parts. Jeff Cooper wanted to concentrate on rebuilding and running the marina, so they separated the businesses. In November 2016, Pine Lake Parts became an official corporation. “He didn’t want to live in a junk yard,” Pat jokes about his brother, Jeff. “I call it recycling,” Shelly responds with a smile, then adds, “We recycle just about everything.” That’s not stretching the truth. Many of the parts hang on repurposed metal bed frames salvaged from the roadside or are housed on shelving units once headed for a landfill. The company ships parts in used cardboard boxes collected from area businesses. Last Christmas, Shelly placed a sign in front of their shop that read, “You want to recycle your packaging? Bring it to us.” Even though the Coopers jokingly call their business a “junkyard,” every part at Pine Lake Parts is bagged and given an item identification number, barcode and bin number to allow employees to quickly locate items and fill orders.

“Ka-ching! Ka-ching! Ka-ching!” The eBay app the Coopers used to have on their phones made that sound to announce a sale, and the Coopers began to hear it often. If they wandered out of their phones' signal range and came in again, a cascade of “kachings” would ring out. “Everybody was looking at us,” Shelly says, “and we’re going, ‘We’re selling stuff!’” The full-time focus on the business resulted in skyrocketing sales. In 2017, sales were up 250 percent over 2016. “We figured out that eBay is a hungry monster — the more you feed it, the more it grows,” Shelly says, but admits they never expected the business to grow so quickly. Within the first six months of operation, Shelly couldn’t keep up, so Tower offered to do the business’s accounting. But looking at the business’s numbers, which showed that Pine Lake Parts was already making a profit, Tower became troubled, fearing that she must be missing something. “She did not think that this 7-monthold business that was constantly buying inventory could be profitable already,” Pat says. But it was. And the phone started ringing with more business opportunities. The Coopers bought the parts inventory from a small marina on Gun Lake and 60 outboard motors from Illinois. The inventory they purchased from a closed marina in Niles had 10,000 parts and 40 used motors and took five 20-foot-long enclosed trailer loads to transport. Their building was filled within two months, and the couple was determined to “not buy another thing.” Until they learned about a foreclosed marina in Arizona. “Three weeks later we pulled in (at their shop) with a full-sized Penske truck and another 10,000 parts,” Pat says. Those parts,

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Land Bank acquired in September 2017, have already brought in more money than they cost. The Coopers figure that a couple of factors account for their success. The internet allows them to serve customers around the world, says Pat who notes that most of their sales come from Texas and Florida, places where saltwater destroys boat motors and parts. In Michigan, many boat motors from the 1960s and 1970s are still running, but marinas won’t work on them, Pat says, because motor

manufacturers make parts only for 10 to 15 years of a motor’s life. The older a motor is, the harder it is to get parts for it. “A lot of (used) parts from Michigan are in good shape. Motors in general are cheap here compared to saltwater areas,” Pat says. “About every time we list a complete running motor (for sale), it will go to a saltwater client because those are a lot harder to find there.” The first motor they sold, which they estimated would sell for $400 to $500 in

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(continued from page 16) construction, many will be left as green spaces. “We can sell the property to neighbors for a very reasonable price, or residents on the block can opt to create garden space for vegetables or trees and bushes and places to sit and enjoy the surroundings,” Boring says. Galilee Baptist Church, on North Westnedge Avenue, hopes to create a serenity garden on property at 430 W. Paterson St., across from the church. The Land Bank Adopt-A-Lot program leases properties for use as green space and gardens. “”When we heard that the property would be available, we thought it would be a good place for a serenity garden,” says William Roland, a church elder for outreach ministry and board chairman. “We want to make it aesthetically pleasing and a place for peaceful reflection, and members of the church will maintain the garden.” So far, there have been 12 AdoptA-Lot leases as part of the Land Bank’s Community Garden program. Last year Boring approached A former bookkeeper, Shelly Cooper is the genius residents in the 1500 block of East behind Pine Lake Parts' inventory system that keeps Michigan Avenue, where there were track of the thousands of parts in stock. three empty lots, and asked if they would Michigan, went in forhaving $1,100.a garden space be interested “It was a shocking Shelly, there. “They not onlything,” agreedadmits but said “because we’re kind of an insulated little they would love to take over the building community here and there’s so many motors and maintenance,” she says. around.” The result is the Trybal Revival Eastside Eco-Garden, Small-town attitude with more than 100 plantings and 28 species of mostly From the beginning, the Coopers have food-producing trees and shrubs. Funds sought to bring a small-town attitude to their for the garden came from the Kalamazoo online sales. They do this by “actually talking many toCommunity people” and Foundation, helping themone findofwhat they Land Bank partners. need, even if it takes legwork, Pat says. “The neighbors have been great “Somebody will say, ‘Well, I don’t have partners,” Boring says. a model number,’ and rather than saying, ‘I As the Land Bank and its partners can’t help you,’ we will ask them: ‘What’s the look across the Kalamazoo landscape, number on your carburetor?’ We help them they see the fruits of their labors — figure out what they have,” Pat says. new homes, rehabilitated homes and “(We) treat each customer like they are lush gardens where dangerous eyesores standing at our sales counter in our small once stood — and know that they have changed the face of Kalamazoo in profound and lasting ways.


town. It works. Treat a customer right and they will come back.” Of the 15,000 customers the Coopers have done business with, they average 12 percent repeat business every month, Pat says, which comes from small marinas or collectors purchasing parts. A Tennessee client who belongs to the Outboard Antique Motor Club has even invited the Coopers to visit. Customers often call looking for parts to fix up their father’s or grandfather’s old boat motor. One client wanted to rebuild the powerhead on his dad’s 1949 motor and was looking for all of the parts. When Pat told Shelly, she chuckled and said, “Well, you never know what you’ll find at Pine Lake Parts.” She searched their stock and found they had every item. “I called him (the customer) back and he was so happy,” she says. The next part During peak season, which lasts for six months, Pine Lake Parts will ship 70 to 90 packages a day. Even with eight employees, those days get hectic. “Two people are packing, and two people are printing labels,” Shelly says. At the same time, parts still need to be identified and inventoried. “I need a full time ‘what-is-it?’ person,” she jokes. In the coming year, the Coopers plan to build a display area in the front of their shop to sell merchandise, because, even though they don’t currently have a storefront, customers routinely show up at their building. “They know where we’re at, and they don’t take 'no' for an answer. They’ll find an open door or window,” Shelly says, smiling. “I think you were the only one who came through a window,” Pat says, grinning as he refers to the time Shelly locked her keys inside the building. As she climbed through a window into the business, Barry Township Chief of Police Mark Doster just happened to pull into their parking lot. “I always get caught doing that kind of stuff,” she says with a sigh.

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ARTS ENCORE

Filmmaker on the Rise

Teen’s cinematic skills keep earning him honors ADAM RAYES

Terrifying sock puppets and a heartbroken robot helped area teen

Brian Powers

Nathan Ginter become a U.S. Presidential Scholar. “At some point, I just looked around and I was surrounded by these puppets and I was like, ‘I have to do something about this,’” says Ginter, staring into the camera, a look of confused terror on his face as he sits in a darkened room with a table full of puppets of his own creation in front of him. The scene is from Ginter’s short film Little Voices, which he wrote, directed and starred in. The four-minute 49-second film is a dark comedy about a boy visited every night by a hypercritical sock puppet that is driving the boy insane and, well, to say anything else would be a spoiler. In June 2017, Ginter submitted Little Voices, along with A Future Day Romance (another live-action short film that tells a comedic, yet tragic love story about a boy and a robot) and a fairly extensive

application (“almost like a college application,” he notes), to the National YoungArts Foundation’s national arts competition. Ginter says he didn’t expect anything to come of the application. “I think that my films are so personal and are small stories that are told in this larger-than-life way and I think that the humor is pretty dark and pretty subtle. We never would have thought that they would be selecting my work for something that was such a national thing.” To his surprise, Ginter was named a finalist in the competition in November and traveled to Miami in February for a week of classes, mentorship and opportunities to show his work to the public. “I had disqualified myself due to the nature of what I was making,” Ginter says, “so that really did catch me off-guard.” The surprises didn’t stop there. Ginter learned in February that YoungArts had nominated him, along with 59 other artists, for the U.S. Department of Education-run U.S. Presidential Scholars Program.

Ken Campbell

by

28 | ENCORE JULY 2018


Anthony D'Eredita

ENCORE ARTS

The making of a filmmaker Ginter grew up in Kalamazoo and graduated from Interlochen Arts Academy last month. Before he was a Presidential Scholar — in fact, even before he became an student at Interlochen — he was a 5-yearold boy making a “little monster movie” with his dad, Paul Ginter. “We made this ‘Dracula’ film on the family camcorder and used ketchup for blood,” he says. “And I think after that I was just really

At 19, Nathan Ginter, left, is an accomplished, award-winning filmmaker. Above: Ginter, in a scene from his film, Why God?, which was his thesis project as a student at Interlochen Arts Academy.

obsessed with it. I always loved watching films, and growing up I always called myself a filmmaker, even before I was making films by myself.” By middle school, Ginter says, he was making films with his friends. They would come up with and shoot the films “on the spot” and then give their families premiere showings. As Ginter got older, he became more and more invested in filmmaking and was “obsessed” with movie directors’ commentaries and behind-the-scenes featurettes. In 2013 he debuted a nine-minute 49-second mockumentary called Zombie Life at the Kalamazoo Teen Filmmaker Festival. It won the festival’s People’s Choice Award that year. “It’s so different when you experience people reacting to your film and you get a sense of what’s working and what’s not working,” Ginter says. Brian Powers

Of the 161 students from many disciplines that are annually selected as Presidential Scholars, only 20 are chosen in the arts category. In May, Ginter learned that he was selected to receive the award, which comes with a $5,000 cash prize along with the honor. “YoungArts kind of blew my mind and then this is a whole other level,” he says. “It’s really exciting and it’s motivating.” Ginter traveled to Washington, D.C., in June to receive his Presidential Scholar medallion and had his work exhibited in the Hall of Nations from June 9–July 1.

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ARTS ENCORE

Aubrey Rodgers, program coordinator at Kalamazoo Valley Community College’s Center for New Media, spent a few years teaching the young Ginter film-editing skills. As Nathan matured, Rodgers says, she stepped back from directly teaching him, becoming more of a mentor, critiquing his work and providing advice when necessary. “When I met him as a young teenager, he was just so committed to learning different types of film techniques and trying to come up with creative and unique storytelling,” Rodgers says. “Whether it’s with dark humor or just the editing style, it has a little bit of an unexpected and unpredictable aspect to storytelling, and I think that’s what makes his stuff unique.”

At Interlochen, which has about 500 students, Ginter was enrolled in the school’s motion picture arts area. This gave him an opportunity to spend more time focusing on his filmmaking and opportunities to connect with students with similar interests.

Ginter attended Portage Central High School as a freshman and sophomore before transferring for his junior and senior years to Interlochen Arts Academy, the renowned residential school for artists in Interlochen, Michigan, near Traverse City. “When I was going to high school back in Kalamazoo, I was spending so much of my time working on these school projects that weren’t an interest of mine,” Ginter says. “The amount of time that was going to that kind of limited the amount of time I could spend on these creative things.”

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Anthony D'Eredita

Finding like minds


ENCORE ARTS

Opposite page: Ginter, in a scene from his film, Why God?. This page, clockwise from top left: Ginter, with headphones on, as he interviews a subject for a documentary he did; Monolith, one of the black and white photos Ginter displayed at a recent Art Hop; and a scene from Ginter’s film, A Future Day Romance.

“My friend group in Kalamazoo was always really supportive and down to be in front of the camera, behind the camera and help out,” he says, “but that’s not their passion or what they were interested in, so I was just really excited to meet more kids like me.”

This fall Ginter will meet even more people like himself when he attends college at the Pratt Institute, in Brooklyn, New York. He says he isn’t sure what his future career will look like, but hopes to continue working in short films and one day make feature films. “The dark comedy, satire or horror elements in my work are a way of exploring difficult ideas or hard-to-grapple-with themes in a way that is manageable or even fun,” he says. “I constantly aspire to shine a light into the darkness of the world for myself and think that connecting with others over those ideas is really amazing.”

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PERFORMING ARTS

Other

THEATER

Young at Heart — New Vic Theatre Youth Talent Showcase, 8 p.m. July 6, 7, 20 & 21, New Vic Theatre, 134 E. Vine St., 381-3328.

Plays

The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland — Kindleberger Summer Festival youth production, 5:30 p.m. July 11–13, 3:30 p.m. July 14 & 15, Kindleberger Park, 650 S. Riverview Drive, Parchment, facebook.com/ pg/KindlebergerArts/posts.

Take My Wife . . . Please! — An original New Vic comedy revue of Anglo-American humor, 8 p.m. July 13, 14, 27 & 28, New Vic Theatre, 381-3328.

Run for Your Wife — A comedy about a taxi driver with two wives, 8 p.m. July 14–21 & 24–28, 5 p.m. July 22 & 29, Barn Theatre, 13351 West M-96, Augusta, 731-4121.

Bands & Solo Artists

The Comedy of Errors — Shakespeare’s shortest and most farcical play about mistaken identity, 11 a.m. July 11, LaCrone Park, 535 W. Paterson St.; 11 a.m. July 12, Frays Park, 1006 Piccadilly Road; 2 p.m. July 13, Bronson Park, downtown Kalamazoo; 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. July 14, Upjohn Park, 1018 Walter St.; 2 p.m. July 18, 19 & 22; 7 p.m. July 20 & 21, Celery Flats Historical Amphitheatre, 7335 Garden Lane, Portage, 329-4522. Musicals

Hairspray — A musical comedy about a teen transformed from a social outcast to a sudden star, 5 p.m. July 1, Barn Theatre, 731-4121. Bonnie & Clyde — A romantic musical about ill-fated lovers and outlaws, 8 p.m. July 3–7 & 10–14, 5 p.m. July 8 & 15, Barn Theatre, 731-4121. Little Shop of Horrors — Kindleberger Summer Festival musical, 7 p.m. July 11–13, 5 p.m. July 14 & 15, Kindleberger Park, facebook. com/pg/KindlebergerArts/posts. Willy Wonka — Roald Dahl’s musical about a candy man and his quest to find an heir, 7:30 p.m. July 13–14 & 20–21, 2 p.m. July 15 & 22, Comstock Auditorium, 2107 N. 26th St., centerstagetheatrekalamazoo.com. The Producers — Farmers Alley Theatre presents the story of two swindlers trying to put on the worst musical in Broadway history, 8 p.m. July 20–21, 27–28 & Aug. 3–4; 2 p.m. July 22, 29 & Aug. 5; 7:30 p.m. July 26 & Aug. 2, The Little Theatre, 798 Oakland Drive, 3432727. Disney’s Beauty and the Beast — A musical about an enchanted prince and the woman who breaks his curse, 8 p.m. July 31, Aug. 1–4 & 7–11; 5 p.m. Aug. 5 & 12, Barn Theatre, 731-4121.

32 | ENCORE JULY 2018

MUSIC Dacia Bridges Project — Summertime Live concert featuring the vocalist and female musicians, 4 p.m. July 1, Bronson Park, 342-5059. Gun Lake Live Summer Series — Brena, July 4; Kari Lynch, July 11; Crawpuppies, July 18; Fool House, July 25; all shows 6–10 p.m., Lakefront Pavilion, Bay Pointe Inn, 11456 Marsh Road, Shelbyville, 888-486-5253. Phoffman Davis Group — Americana, folk and bluegrass band, 8 p.m. July 5, Bell's Eccentric Café, 355 E. Kalamazoo Ave., 382-2332. Here Come the Mummies — Funk-rock band, 8:30 p.m. July 6, Bell's Eccentric Café, 382-2332. Zion Lion — Summertime Live concert featuring the reggae band, 6–8 p.m. July 8, Flesher Field, 3664 S. Ninth St., Oshtemo Township, 216-5233. Houndmouth — Americana, folk and rock band, 8 p.m. July 10, Bell's Eccentric Café, 382-2332. Kalamazoo Blues Festival — Local, regional and national blues performers celebrate the festival's 25th anniversary, 5 p.m.–midnight July 12 & 13, noon–midnight July 14, Arcadia Creek Festival Place, 145 E. Water St., kvba.org. Damien Escobar — Summertime Live concert featuring the world-renowned violinist, 7 p.m. July 12, Overlander Bandshell, 7800 Shaver Road, Portage, 342-5059. George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic — Funk, soul and jazz music, 8:30 p.m. July 13, Bell's Eccentric Café, 382-2332. The Accidentals — Summertime Live concert featuring the indie and alt-Americana band, 4 p.m. July 15, Bronson Park, 342-5059. The Lone Bellow — Folk, Americana and rock band, with guest Erin Rae, 8 p.m. July 17, Bell's Eccentric Café, 382-2332. Drive-By Truckers — Southern rock and alternative country band, 8 p.m. July 19, Bell's Eccentric Café, 382-2332.

May Erlewine — Indie folk singer, with guests Red Tail Ring and Anna Ash, 8 p.m. July 20, Bell's Eccentric Café, 382-2332. Kalamazoo Big Band — Summertime Live concert featuring the swing band, 4 p.m. July 22, Bronson Park, 342-5059. The Last Mangos — Summertime Live concert featuring the Jimmy Buffet tribute band, 6:30 p.m. July 22, Kindleberger Park, 650 S. Riverview Drive, Parchment, 342-5059. Frank Turner — Solo acoustic performance by the English punk/folk singer/songwriter, 8:30 p.m. July 23, Bell's Eccentric Café, 382-2332. Allen Scott — Summertime Live concert featuring the Tim McGraw impersonator, 7 p.m. July 26, Overlander Bandshell, Portage, 342-5059. Brett Dennen — Folk, acoustic and indie singer/songwriter, 8:30 p.m. July 26, Bell's Eccentric Café, 382-2332. The Insiders — Tom Petty tribute band, 9 p.m. July 27, Bell's Eccentric Café, 382-2332. Red Sea Pedestrians — Folk, psychedelic world-roots band, 8:30 p.m. July 28, Bell's Eccentric Café, 382-2332. Matt Giraud — Summertime Live concert featuring the singer/songwriter, 6:30 p.m. July 29, Kindleberger Park, Parchment, 342-5059. Flynt Flossy and Turquoise Jeep — R&B and hip-hop YouTubers, 9 p.m. July 31, Bell's Eccentric Café, 382-2332. COMEDY Orny Adams Comedy Show — American actor, comedy writer and stand-up comic, 9–10 p.m. July 23, Chenery Auditorium, 714 S. Westnedge Ave., 337-0440. VISUAL ARTS Kalamazoo Institute of Arts 314 S. Park St., 349-7775 Exhibits

Passion on Paper: Masterly Prints from the KIA Collection — Including works by Toulouse-Lautrec, Mary Cassatt, Howard Hodgkin, Richard Anuskiewicz, Luis Jimenez and Vija Calmins, through July 15. Vibrant Bounty: Chinese Folk Art from the Shaanxi Region — Folk paintings and artifacts of rural China, through Aug. 12. West Michigan Area Show 2017 — Works of artists from 14 Michigan counties, through Sept. 2.


ENCORE EVENTS

Global Glass: A Survey of Form and Function — Exhibition surveying artists and works from the mid-1960s to the present, through Oct. 14. Events ARTbreak — Weekly program about art, artists and exhibitions: Pilchuck: A Dance with Fire, video, July 10; American Photography in the 1930s, talk by David Curl, July 17 & 24; Detours: A Roundabout Route Through Life in the Arts, talk by Maryjo Lemanski, July 31; all sessions begin at noon, KIA Auditorium. Unreeled: Film at the KIA — Graveyard of the Great Lakes: A Shipwreck Hunter's Quest to Discover the Past, documentary and discussion with photographer/videographer Eric Seals, 6:30 p.m. July 12, KIA Auditorium. Other Venues

Rita Grendze: Signs for Those Seeking Light — Cast-off books that have been cut by hand, mounted and suspended give voice to writing as a powerful visual language, through Dec. 16, Atrium Gallery, Richmond Center for Visual Arts, WMU, 387-2436. Art Hop — Art at various Kalamazoo locations, 5–8 p.m. July 6, 342-5059. Solo Gallery: Nancy Arndt — Pastels on canvas, July 9–Aug. 25, Portage District Library, 300 Library Lane, 329-4544. Painting in the Parks — Expert artists offer step-by-step painting instructions, 6–9 p.m. July 20, Schrier Park, 850 W. Osterhout Ave., Portage, 329-4522. Richland Art Fair — Up to 100 artists from all over Michigan, 9 a.m.–4 p.m. July 21, Richland Village Square, corner of M-89 and M-43, 312-8271.

Urban Fiction Book Discussion — Discussion of August Snow, by Stephen Mack Jones, 6 p.m. July 24, and author talk, 6 p.m. July 31, Alma Powell Branch, 1000 W. Paterson St., 553-7960. Reading Race Book Group — Discussion of The Fortunes, by Peter Ho Davies, 6:30 p.m. July 24, Oshtemo Branch, 553-7980. Parchment Community Library 401 S. Riverview Drive, 343-7747 Parchment Book Group — Discussion of A House in the Sky, by Amanda Lindhout and Sara Corbett, 6:30 p.m. July 2. Friends of the Library Book Sale — 10 a.m.–3 p.m. July 14. Front Page: Donuts & Discussion — Currentevents panel discussion on income inequality in the U.S., 10:30 a.m.–noon July 21. Portage District Library 300 Library Lane, 329-4544 LEGO City — Western Michigan LEGO Train Club displays a city and local landmarks made of LEGOs, 9 a.m.–9 p.m. July 2, 3 & 5, 9 a.m.–6 p.m. July 6, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. July 7. Team Trivia—Battle of the Fandoms: British Brawl — Themed trivia night for adults, 6:30– 8:30 p.m. July 10. Kalamazoo Kids in Tune Instrument Petting Zoo — The young orchestra demonstrates its music and instruments, 1–2:30 p.m. July 11. Bob Ross Paint-Along — An episode of The Joy of Painting on painting little trees, 7 p.m. July 11. International Mystery Book Group — Discussion of The Keeper of Lost Causes, by Jussi Adler-Olsen, 7 p.m. July 12.

LIBRARY & LITERARY EVENTS

MUSEUMS

Kalamazoo Public Library

Air Zoo 6151 Portage Road, Portage, 382-6555

First Saturday @ KPL — Stories, activities and door prizes for the family, 2 p.m. July 7, Central Library, 315 S. Rose St., 342-9837. Meet the Author: Michael Zadoorian — The Detroit-based author reads from his latest novel, Beautiful Music, 6:30–8 p.m. July 17, Central Library, 342-9837. Life Cycle Presents: A Tea Program — Learn about organic Asian teas, 6 p.m. July 23, Eastwood Branch, 1112 Gayle Ave., 553-7810. Novel Ideas Book Club — Discussion of The Space Between Us, by Thrity Umrigar, 6:30 p.m. July 23, Oshtemo Branch, 7265 W. Main St., 553-7980.

Wild Weather — Hands-on, immersive journey through the science of extreme weather, through Sept. 5. Gilmore Car Museum 6865 Hickory Road, Hickory Corners, 671-5089 Deutsche Marques: A German Auto Event — Featuring "daily drivers" to "weekend treasures," including BMW, Audi, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen, 9 a.m.–3 p.m. July 7. Mad Dogs & Englishmen's British Auto Faire — British-made vehicles, People's Choice

judging, car games, bagpipers and British tea time, 9 a.m.–3 p.m. July 8. Club Meet: Volvos at the Gilmore VII — The Volvo Club of America hosts its biannual meet, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. July 21. All-Years Corvette Show & Swap Meet — 9 a.m.–3 p.m. July 22. MOPARS at the Red Barns Show & Swap Meet — West Michigan's largest all-Chrysler car show, 9 a.m.–3 p.m. July 28. Kalamazoo Valley Museum 230 N. Rose St., 373-7990

Kalamazoo A–Z — Items from the museum's rarely seen collections, through Aug. 26. Treasures of the Great Lakes — Learn how navigators used the night sky and lighthouses to guide them, 2 p.m. Sat., 3 p.m. Tues. & Thurs., through Sept. 8, Planetarium. Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here — The band's album set to stunning visuals, 4 p.m. Saturdays, through Sept. 8, Planetarium.

Cats & Dogs — Entertaining and interactive environments that help us understand life as a cat or dog, through Sept. 9. Journey to Space — What future space missions may look like, 3 p.m. Sat. & Sun., through Sept. 9, Planetarium. Out There: The Quest for Extrasolar Worlds — Learn about billions of stars in the universe, 4 p.m. July 1 & 8, Planetarium. Distant Worlds: Alien Life? — Investigate the conditions required for life in our solar system and out to exoplanets, 4 p.m. July 15, 22 & 29, Planetarium. NATURE Kalamazoo Nature Center 7000 N. Westnedge Ave., 381-1574 Discover the Source Pond Trail — A guided hike through DeLano Woods to the pond, 2 p.m. July 1; meet at DeLano Homestead parking lot, 555 West E Ave. Arboretum Sculpture Tour — Discover numerous sculptures placed along the arboretum trail, 2 p.m. July 15. Golf Cart Tour: Tallgrass Prairie — Tour the Emma Pitcher Prairie to look for wildflowers and birds, 4 p.m. July 16. Butterfly Count — Help KNC naturalists count butterflies to report to the North American Butterfly Association, 1 p.m. July 21. Zipline Adventure: Canopy Tour — Experience soaring through the summer foliage, 10 a.m.–noon July 21. w w w.encorekalamazoo.com | 33


EVENTS ENCORE

Discover the Kalamazoo River — Join a naturalist on a hike to the river, 2 p.m. July 22. Kellogg Bird Sanctuary 12685 East C Ave., Augusta, 671-2510 Birds and Coffee Walk — A walk to view birds of the season, 9 a.m. July 11. Garden Luncheon: Attracting Birds and Butterflies to Your Yard — Learn how to invite butterflies, bees and hummingbirds to your garden, noon–2 p.m. July 12, W.K. Kellogg Manor House, 3700 E. Gull Lake Drive, Hickory Corners, 671-2400. Dairy Open House — Celebrate farming with ice cream, cheese and wagon rides, 4–8 p.m. July 24, W.K. Kellogg Farm, 10641 N. 40th St., Hickory Corners, 671-2402. Other Venues Kalamazoo River Valley Trail Summer Wildflower Walk — Audubon Society of Kalamazoo leads this educational program on the KRVT, 9–10:30 a.m. July 9; meet at Markin Glen County Park, 5300 N. Westnedge Ave., 373-5073. MISCELLANEOUS Field of Flight Air Show & Balloon Festival — Hot-air balloons, air show, carnival and fireworks, through July 4, W.K. Kellogg Airport, 15551 S. Airport Road, Battle Creek, 269-962-0592, bcballoons.com. Portage Market — 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Sundays, through Oct. 28, 7900 S. Westnedge Ave., Portage, 359-6727. Kalamazoo Farmers Market — 8 a.m.–1 p.m. Tuesdays, 3–7 p.m. Thursdays, 7 a.m.–2 p.m. Saturdays, through Oct. 30, 1204 Bank St., 359-6727. Light Up the Lake Fireworks — Fireworks synchronized to music over Lake Michigan, 10:30 p.m. July 3, North & South Beach, South Haven, 269-637-5171. Schoolcraft 4th of July Car Show — Over 135 cars with trophies and door prizes, July 4, Burch Park, West Clay Street, Schoolcraft, 679-4304. Lunchtime Live! — Live music, food trucks and vendors; Kristen Kuiper, July 6; Kari Lynch Duo, July 13; Minor Element Music, July 20; Elle Casazza, July 27; 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m., Bronson Park, 337-8191. Kalamazoo Late-Night Food Truck Rally — Food trucks, artisans, booths, music and networking, 9–11:45 p.m. July 6, 201–299 W. Water St., 388-2830.

34 | ENCORE JULY 2018

Zoorific Kids' Day — Hands-on experiences, demonstrations and encounters with fitness, the outdoors and health, July 7, Binder Park Zoo, 7400 Division Drive, Battle Creek, 269-979-1351.

Olde Tyme Tractor & Steamer Show — Threshing machines, baling, community garage sale, parade and antique cars, July 20–22, Scotts Mill County Park, 8451 S. 35th St., Scotts, 223-0003.

Kalamazoo 4-H Open Horse Show — Classes for every riding discipline, 8:30 a.m. July 7, 9 a.m. July 8, Kalamazoo County Expo Center horse arenas, 2900 Lake St., msue.msu.edu/ kalamazoo.

Great Lakes Summer Postcard & Paper Show — Postcards, photos and paper items, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. July 20, 9 a.m.–4 p.m. July 21, Kalamazoo County Expo Center South, 517-230-0734.

Kindleberger Festival of the Performing Arts — Family musical production, youth play, 5K race, car show, parade, arts and crafts, and children’s activities, July 11–15, Kindleberger Park, 650 S. Riverview Drive, Parchment; see THEATER above and schedule at www. facebook.com/pg/KindlebergerArts/posts.

Downtown Kalamazoo Summer Restaurant Week — Restaurants highlight specials with fixed-price menus, July 21–29, downtown Kalamazoo, 344-0795.

Vintage Electronics Extravaganza — Vintage radios, TVs, record players, computers and video games, 7 a.m.–6:30 p.m. July 13, 8 a.m.– 4 p.m. July 14, Kalamazoo County Expo Center, 734-316-2803. Black Arts Festival 2018 — Youth Day, 11 a.m.–3 p.m. July 13, Bible Baptist Church, 1700 N. Drake Road; Festival in the Park, noon–8 p.m., July 14, LaCrone Park, 535 W. Paterson St., 349-1035, blackartskalamazoo.org. Corks for Conservation — A wine-tasting event with music, food, silent auction and live animal presentations, 6–10 p.m. July 13, Binder Park Zoo, 7400 Division Drive, Battle Creek, 269-979-1351. Broncos' Night Out — Magic Night with Gene Anderson, 7 p.m. July 13, WMU Heritage Hall, 625 Oakland Drive, 387-8816. Movies in the Park: U-Pick the Flick — Family activities at 7 p.m.; movie at sunset, July 13, Upjohn Park, 1000 Walter St.; July 27, South Westnedge Park, 1101 S. Westnedge Ave.; 337-8191. Movies in the Park: Coco — Enjoy a movie under the stars, 9 p.m. July 13, Grain Elevator, Celery Flats Historical Area, 7328 Garden Lane, Portage, 329-4522. Louie's Trophy House 100th Birthday Party — Celebrate the oldest bar in Kalamazoo, 5 p.m.–midnight July 14, 629 Walbridge St., 385-9359. 2018 USAPA Great Lakes Regional/ Pickleball Fever in the Zoo — A regional tournament of the paddle sport, 8 a.m.–10 p.m. July 18–22, Wings Event Center, 3600 Vanrick Drive, 345-1125. Movies in the Park: Roman Holiday — Watch a movie under the stars, 9 p.m. July 19, Oshtemo Township Park, 7275 W. Main St., 216-5224.

Hospice Butterfly Release and Remember — Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan’s event to remember and honor loved ones including a one-mile walk at 9 a.m., music and reading names at 10 a.m., followed by butterfly release, July 21, Leila Arboretum, 928 W Michigan Ave., Battle Creek, 345-0273, hospiceswmi.org. Kalamazoo Reptile & Exotic Pet Expo — Buy, sell or trade, 10 a.m.–3 p.m. July 21, Kalamazoo County Expo Center North, 779-9851. Downtown Kalamazoo Summer Salsa Cook-off — Sample salsas and vote for your favorite, 11 a.m.–2 p.m. July 21, downtown Kalamazoo Mall, 344-0795. Dokidokon Convention — Anime Idol, Cosplay Masquerade, karaoke, concerts, exhibits and gaming, 9 a.m.–3 p.m. July 27–29, Radisson Plaza Hotel, 100 W. Michigan Ave., facebook. com/dokidokon. AZO Air Fair — Aircraft on display, ticket giveaways, food trucks and family-friendly activities, 10 a.m.–3 p.m. July 28, Kalamazoo/ Battle Creek International Airport, 5235 Portage Road, 366-3002. Ramona Park Luau — Carnival games, inflatables, magic shows, balloon animals, Island Dancers and contests, 3–9 p.m. July 28, Ramona Park, 8600 S. Sprinkle Road, Portage, 329-4522. Summer Bizarre Bazaar — Market featuring unique wares, art and other goods along with craft beer to benefit the Can-Do Kitchen, 11 a.m.–6 p.m. July 29, Bell’s Eccentric Café beer garden, 255 E. Kalamazoo Ave., 382-2332. Historical Tours and Speakers Series — Michael Culp presents stories on those from Kalamazoo County who served in the 13th Michigan Infantry during the Civil War, 2 p.m. July 29, Celery Flats, 7335 Garden Lane, Portage, 329-4522.


ENCORE POETRY

Independence Day Field crickets and the deeper diphthongs of frogs sound their longings and locations in the dark. I lean over our deck railing to peer beyond the black tree line where chrysanthemum bursts and rocket flares blaze against the night. Small booms boom in the next county, setting off the fireflies in our back yard twinkling and a surge in the grinds and ratcheting. We’ve lived in this new house only a week. We are bone-weary and sore, a bit lost. Flattened cardboard boxes are piled in the hallway, a tangle of cords by the television, a lamp missing its shade. My husband calls out that the holiday blooms through the bathroom window from some other town in a different direction. We’ve moved here from another state,

another life. We know none of the neighbors We imagine folks way out there sitting on their distant blankets, children squealing, covering their ears, and every faraway, unfamiliar face aglow beneath showers of light. He walks to me across a sheet of bubble wrap. It pop-pops. Fireworks kaboom, the crickets and frogs volley again. Everything crackles around me, alive. — Marion Boyer Boyer is a professor emeritus from Kalamazoo Valley Community College who now lives in Twinsburg, Ohio.

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36 | ENCORE JULY 2018


BACK STORY (continued from page 38)

It works for all of those things?

five minutes. After that, the couple left with their greyhound and hoped for the best. Ten minutes later the phone rang. The couple wanted to speak with her. “Oh no, I killed it!” Mullins remembers thinking. But she discovered the polar opposite had happened. When the couple sat their greyhound on the ground to lift her into the vehicle, she leapt up into the backseat. “In her it was that dramatic,” Mullins says. So acupuncture works for animals?

You can use acupuncture for anything. I use it to fill in the holes in Western medicine. It can be for itching and allergies. It can be for anxiety. You can use it for pain. Describe some of those owners’ reactions when you suggest acupuncture.

It does. I’m so excited about it. Every time I get a new patient and it works I’m still like ‘It worked!’ It’s still so…I don’t want to say ‘bizarre,’ because there’s science behind it. But it’s impressive. Is it always that fast and dramatic? In general, the longer the problem has been going on, the longer it takes to fix. If it’s something like pain that’s acute — like little Dachshunds that hurt their backs — you can get immediate relief. If it’s been degenerative for a while it can take a month to really kick in. How did you decide to pursue acupuncture? One of my good friends does veterinary chiropractic. I was able to see how much he could help things that I didn’t have anything for, like back pain. I loved that side of it. I thought, ‘Well, we have a chiropractor (in the area). I could do acupuncture.’ Now I send him chiropractic cases and he sends me acupuncture cases, so within the area you can get both. What interested you in acupuncture for your patients? It fills a niche for certain things that Western medicine doesn’t have. I still do 95 percent Western medicine, but there are a couple of things I don’t have a pill for. Hind-end weakness is what I do most of my acupuncture for — older dogs that are kind of sinking in the back end because of nerve degeneration. We have some really good drugs for urinary incontinence, but sometimes the animals can’t take them or they don’t work. And I don’t really have anything for fecal incontinence. So far those things I’ve found when I don’t have anything Western, I can go to acupuncture.

Either a funny look, like ‘you’re just trying to con me out of money’ and ‘that’s ridiculous, I’m not doing that.’ Or ‘I didn’t know you could do that!’ and they are excited about it. What is the biggest challenge administering acupuncture to animals? I have one patient that I would love to do electric acupuncture on because it would help him so much more. But he’s a young, happy, bouncy Lab and you have to get him to hold still for 20 minutes and that’s not an option for him. And one of our receptionists’ dogs actually hated the needles, so I used what’s called aqua puncture. It’s just injecting a liquid into those (acupuncture) points. She would bear hug him. I’d inject a bunch of points and then let him go. He was 13 and had both of his knees done and (acupuncture) kept him playing disc golf. Have you performed acupuncture on any cats? I’ve done a few cats. I put way fewer needles in cats. They tend to be less patient and when I’m seeing them it’s for pain, so they’re grumpy because they hurt. I don’t have a lot of repeat cat clients for acupuncture because most cats don’t like coming to the vet. That’s another obstacle to overcome. Is it primarily for dogs and cats? You can do acupuncture on anything. In our classes they brought in a rabbit. People were also trained on horses. What advice would you a future veterinarian? Make sure you know what you’re getting into. Shadow somewhere because it’s not all happy puppies and kittens. Make sure you’re okay with gross stuff. If I show you something gross and you go, ‘Oh cool,’ then you can join the club. — Interviewed by Lisa Mackinder

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BACK STORY ENCORE

Rachel Mullins, DVM Animal Acupuncturist

When

associate veterinarian Rachel Mullins suggests acupuncture as a treatment for her furry patients she is sometimes met with skepticism from their owners. But Mullins, who works at Lakeview Animal Hospital in Portage considers acupuncture an important tool in her arsenal for helping pets, and says she has witnessed its benefits, in profound ways. Shortly after Mullins gained certification for veterinary acupuncture, a couple carried in her first acupuncture patient on a pillow: an extremely geriatric greyhound. The greyhound had back-end nerve degeneration and could no longer walk. Her owners had tried everything else and looked to Mullins for help. “I was terrified,” Mullins admits. “We had learned in Eastern medicine that in very, very sensitive, weak patients it takes energy to die. So if they’re super weak and you stimulate them, that can cause them to die.” So Mullins put in two acupuncture needles for only (continued on page 37)

Rachel Mullins with two of her acupuncture patients, Lynx, at left, and Stanley, a 12-year-old shepherd. 38 | ENCORE JULY 2018


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Encore July 2018  

Southwest Michigan's Magazine: How a devastating fire fueled the success of Pine Lake Parts; award-winning filmmaker Nathan Ginter; meet an...

Encore July 2018  

Southwest Michigan's Magazine: How a devastating fire fueled the success of Pine Lake Parts; award-winning filmmaker Nathan Ginter; meet an...