Fun Under $50
Drink Like a Local
A Lot of Local Color Go Ahead — Paint the Town
Streets with Great Names
Meet Feed the Fight Kalamazoo
Southwest Michigan’s Magazine
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How Difficult Times Help Long-Term Investors By Scott D. Knapp, CFA Chief Market Strategist, CUNA Mutual Financial Advisors These are truly extraordinary times. Pandemics have occurred in the past, and each one exacted a different toll on society versus its predecessors. We tackled SARS in 2002, MERS in 2012, and an especially ugly bought of seasonal influenza during the 2017-2018 winter months. Historians also remind us how devastating a pandemic can become by memorializing the enormous loss of human life during the Spanish flu outbreak in 1918. Now we have COVID-19, which in some ways has been elevated above other pandemics by social distancing requirements and a shutdown of a large portion of the global economy. Behavioral finance academics help add perspective to crises like COVID-19 by identifying a condition among human beings, including investors, called “recency bias.” That’s when people place more weight on current events than on others that occurred in the past. When they do, difficult circumstances feel bigger, more challenging, and more difficult to solve than anything encountered throughout history. It leads to frequent use of the word “unprecedented” when describing current circumstances. COVID-19’s disruption is real and the pain it has caused shouldn’t be minimized. This crisis is indeed unique and it will take its own place in history books. But it will be added to a long list of previous crises, each of which felt so challenging that we’d never recover. Let’s walk down memory lane by revisiting some recent crises. Let’s remember how we felt at the time, and let’s explore what we learned from those experiences. We’ll see many similarities to the current crisis. We’ll also encounter important lessons learned and insights gained that are fortifying us as we battle COVID-19. We’ll see how difficult times help long-term investors. September 11 Do you remember how you felt when terrorists attacked New York City, Washington DC, and a plane over Pennsylvania fields? It was horrifying. Our new worries included possible dirty bomb attacks and sabotaged food and water supplies in the U.S. We also knew we were about to go to war against an enemy that seemed willing to fight to a bitter end.
Sept 11 was so shocking we were certain life would never get back to normal. Remember? But we got better at managing the crisis in the months and years that followed. We learned how to bridge to the other side of a near stop in economic activity. We also learned how to mobilize government and industry to concentrate on emergency needs. We decentralized the financial system so a physical shut down of Wall Street would never lead to a shut down on Main Street again. We, as investors, still benefit from changes and improvements that were forced on us by the terrorist attacks. 2008 Global Financial Crisis The Great Depression was back. Banks failed, markets were pummeled, and the very underpinnings of our free-enterprise system were shaken. Our savings and retirement accounts were halved, we or our neighbors lost jobs, and malaise entered the country’s collective psyche. We described the moment as our “new normal” because we were certain growth and prosperity would never return. Remember? But along the way we got better at managing the economic crisis. We adopted stricter capital standards to protect the financial system from future shocks, and we invented new monetary and fiscal tools to combat economic downturns. We got better at managing distress in the financial system and a big economic downturn. Any that followed would be dispatched with greater speed and effectiveness as a result. COVID-19 Once again, we enter seemingly uncharted territory. Will we ever eat at restaurants, fly on planes, or attend sporting events again? Will our economy enter a period that is permanently beset by poor operating conditions due to social distancing? At this point, it’s difficult to answer any of these questions with a sense of conviction. It all seems so uncertain, just as it did during previous crises that now only appear in our rear-view mirror. But there is good news. We’re already getting better at handling pandemics. So much better that the next one will likely be much less disruptive than COVID-19. Likewise, we’ve uncovered risks in the global economy that were mostly invisible prior to the crisis. Who knew moving manufacturing of medical equipment
to foreign sources was so risky? We get it now. Yes, we’re already getting better at crisis management as we respond to COVID-19. It’s what we do. Our new insights don’t stand alone. They are added to hard-won predecessors that emerged out of previous crises. We’re currently benefitting from being forced to navigate September 11’s near stop in economic activity. The fiscal and monetary tools that policymakers are using to stabilize the economy were built during the Global Financial Crisis. This time, they just needed to quickly reuse them rather than take months to build them from scratch. Each crisis listed above made the present one easier to conquer. This one will make us better at conquering the next. Investing is, by definition, an expression of optimism. Its basis is belief that the future will be brighter than the present. Why will the future be brighter? Because improvement in the human condition is the natural byproduct of struggle. Through each crisis we face, we learn and we get better. Our recovery from previous crises and ultimate recovery from COVID-19 sends a signal that the human spirit’s trajectory is ever upward and continues unabated. That’s why we invest.
Saundra Ivy, Advisor Molly Cusumano, Associate Advisor www.kalsee.com | 269.382.7898 The views presented here are the author’s alone and not necessarily representative of opinions held by CUNA Brokerage Services, Inc. or any affiliated entity. CUNA Mutual Group is the marketing name for CUNA Mutual Holding Company, a mutual insurance holding company, its subsidiaries and affiliates. CUNA Mutual Financial Advisors is a marketing name and service of CUNA Brokerage Services, Inc. (CBSI), 2000 Heritage Way, Waverly, Iowa 50677, tollfree 866.512.6109, member FINRA/SIPC, is a registered broker/dealer in all fifty states of United States of America and a registered investment advisor affiliates of CUNA Mutual Group. Nondeposit investment and insurance products are not federally insured, involve investment risk, may lose value and are not guaranteed by any financial institution. Representatives are registered, securities sold, advisory services offered through CBSI. CBSI is under contract with the financial institution through the financial services program, to make securities available to members and individual investors. For more information please call 800.356.2644, ext. 665.8486. CBSI-3041420.1-0420-0522 w w w.encorekalamazoo.com | 3
Fun Under $50
Drink Like a Local
Streets with Great Names
Meet Feed the Fight Kalamazoo
Southwest Michigan’s Magazine
A Lot of Local Color Go Ahead — Paint the Town
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Encore Magazine is published 12 times yearly. Copyright 2020, Encore Publications, Inc. All rights reserved. Editorial, circulation and advertising correspondence should be sent to:
www.encorekalamazoo.com 117 W. Cedar St. Suite A, Kalamazoo, MI 49007 Telephone: (269) 383-4433 Fax: (269) 383-9767 Email: Publisher@encorekalamazoo.com The staff at Encore welcomes written comment from readers, and articles and poems for submission with no obligation to print or return them. To learn more about us or to comment, visit encorekalamazoo.com. Encore subscription rates: one year $36, two years $70. Current single issue and newsstand $4, $10 by mail. Back issues $6, $12 by mail. Advertising rates on request. Closing date for space is 28 days prior to publication date. Final date for print-ready copy is 21 days prior to publication date. The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by those interviewed and published here do not reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of Encore Magazine or the official policies, owners or employees of Encore Publications.
ENCORE EDITOR'S NOTE
From the Editor Every June for the past couple of years, Encore has presented its “See Your Town Like
a Tourist” issue, which has articles featuring the great places and things to see and do that, as residents, we tend to overlook or take for granted. The annual issue’s genesis was a summer full of family and young visitors who all repeatedly said the same thing: “Kalamazoo has so many cool things to do and see. You must love living here!” These comments brought up nagging self-realizations that while we do love where we live, we don’t partake in those cool things nearly as often as we should. If COVID-19 doesn’t drive that point home, nothing will. All those cool things to do and see are on hiatus or postponed or will be permanently changed to reflect what people keep saying is our new normal. The June Jubilee, that glorious first weekend of June with its Do-Dah Parade and art fairs and other events all over downtown that usually kicks off our summer, has been postponed until August. Many outdoor concerts and indoor concerts are on hold. Even our trails and other natural getaways have limits on their use. But I am ever the optimist. I believe things will go back to somewhat normal — that we will once again have concerts and festivals and fun things that crowds of people can participate in. Things will be different for sure. Face masks will likely be the new fashion accessory that none of us can do without, and we might start bowing to one another in greeting rather than shaking hands. And maybe we will be kinder and more patient with each other in stores, at restaurants and anywhere where we need to be more kind and patient. (See, I said I was an optimist.) And maybe we’ll be willing to give people their space and understand that things might not move at the same pace as before. I have often referred to our hunkering down at home during the stay-at-home restrictions as the “COVID Cocoon.” We all look forward to emerging from that cocoon soon and safely and I hope that, like butterflies and moths, we will be more beautiful and wise creatures because of it.
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Some go to the bank for change. Perry Wolfe did the opposite. Perry Wolfe wasnâ€™t looking for change. He had a rewarding career in banking; engagement in economic initiatives to create jobs; leadership positions on not-for-profit boards; and lifelong involvement with local charities. His philosophy of leaving things better for those who follow was in full swing. So, when the bank expanded its opportunities through a merger, Perry did the same. Greenleaf Trust knew Perry well, having long collaborated with him in the service of clients. We admired his reputation for being a good and honorable person, and for earning the trust of others by doing the right thing first. One conversation led to another until Perry, in a true win-win scenario, accepted our offer to join us. As Senior Vice President, Executive Director of Development, Perry will help us extend our reach throughout Michiganâ€”a reach that will soon, we hope, find its way to you. Welcome, Perry.
211 South Rose Street, Kalamazoo, MI 49007 269.388.9800 greenleaftrust.com 6 | ENCORE JUNE 2020
J une 2020
A Lot of Local Color
Streets with Great Names
Color the Zoo
Drink Like a Local
Fun Under $50
Our annual See Your Town Like a Tourist issue invites you to color your world
The history of how five local streets got their names
Iconic Kalamazoo scenes for you to make your own
Beer tour guru John Liberty reveals the back stories behind area libation locations
Inexpensive ways and places to entertain yourself and your family
DEPARTMENTS 5 From the Editor 8 Contributors Up Front
Like what we do? Help Encore continue to tell the stories of the people, places and things of SW Michigan by subscribing today! See page 39 for details to subscribe online OR Send in the subscription card in this issue Thank you for your support!
First Things â€” A round-up of happenings in SW Michigan
38 Back Story Meet Feed the Fight Kalamazoo â€” This grassroots group is supporting local restaurants and COVID-19 frontline workers
ARTS 33 Events of Note 35 Poetry
On the cover: Our talented designer, Alexis Stubelt, colored this beautiful image of the Kalamazoo Mall. Original photo by Brian Powers.
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During the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been no shortage of examples of good people helping out other good people, but the efforts of Feed the Fight Kalamazoo, featured in this issue’s Back Story on page 38, appealed to Marie. “I found it compelling because Colleagues International, a local nonprofit whose work had been stopped dead in its tracks by the COVID-19 pandemic, found a new way to work within the community,” she says. “At the same time, the organizers behind FTFK are a disparate group — CI’s executive director, a history professor and a video-game designer — but have a strong love for the community and compassion in common.” Marie is the editor of Encore.
Fence, gate and railing services since 1981 Kalamazoo, MI • 269.381.0596 • www.fngfenceandgarden.com
Here For You At First National Bank of Michigan, we’re grateful for our customers, employees and the place we call home. During this challenging time, we’re here for you and your neighbors, whether it’s serving your banking needs, lending support to the community or donating to local food banks.
fnbmichigan.com Downtown Kalamazoo | Kalamazoo West | Portage | Grand Rapids | Holland | Lansing 8 | ENCORE JUNE 2020
If there’s one thing John knows as the general manager and cofounder of West Michigan Beer Tours, it’s the area’s craft brewing industry. He has closely followed the industry for more than 12 years as a journalist and beer tourism professional, so he has the inside scoop on fun backstories and features of the area’s breweries and pubs, which he shares with readers in his “How to Drink Like a Local” feature on page 22. Like many people, he is eagerly awaiting the reopening of the area’s bars and restaurants. You can read more about how local breweries are coping in the COVID-19 world on John’s blog at westmichiganbeertours.com.
Julie was the perfect fit to write this issue’s “Fun Under $50” feature, since she is always looking for fun new activities for her own family. “The ‘Fun Under $50’ article is really just a starting point,” she says. “There are so many great opportunities for families in the area.” Julie began writing for newspapers after college and then moved on to the nonprofit and local government sectors. She is thrilled to return to writing now, as a freelancer. “I’m so happy to be in a place where I can get back to doing what I really love to do,” she says. Julie lives in Plainwell.
ENCORE FIRST THINGS
Please Note: Due to the COVID–19 virus, some of these events may have been canceled after press time. Please check with the venue and organizations for up-to-date information.
Lunchtime Live! in Bronson Park
Something Delicious Lunchtime Live! returns
What are you looking forward to more? Choosing among varied dishes available at many food trucks or eating among the leafy greenness of Bronson Park? You’ll be able to get both when Lunchtime Live! returns to Bronson Park on June 12. The event, which runs from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. every Friday, offers a variety of food truck vendors, live music, pop-up retail vendors and activities. At press time, the event was still scheduled to begin in June, according to Ashton Anthony, recreation manager for the Kalamazoo Department of Parks & Recreation.
A weekend to get hooked on fishing If
you’ve been itching to try out angling (fancy word for fishing) but not ready to splurge on getting a license, no worries. You can go fishing for free June 13-14. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ Free Fishing Weekend allows Michigan residents and outof-state visitors the opportunity to fish without a fishing license. All fishing license fees will be waived those two days, and participants can fish on both inland and Great Lakes waters for many species of fish. All fishing regulations, including catch and keep limits, will still apply. For more information, visit tinyurl.com/mifishfree.
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FIRST THINGS ENCORE
Do-Dah, KIA Fair rescheduled for August June Jubilee, the official kickoff to summer each year in downtown Kalamazoo, includes the annual Do-Dah parade, the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts Fair, Art on the Mall, and a host of other activities. They’re normally held on the first weekend of June in downtown Kalamazoo, but this year, well, they’re not happening the first weekend of June. The anchors of this weekend of events — the parade and arts fair — have been rescheduled to new dates in August, according to event organizers. The Do-Dah Parade, originally scheduled for June 6, has been rescheduled for Saturday, Aug. 15. This parade of parody, which started in 1984, is all about businesses and organizations celebrating silliness. This year’s theme is “Hindsight is 2020," and the deadline to sign up to participate in the parade is July 10. For more information, visit deb7293.wixsite.com/dodahkzoo.
The KIA Arts Fair 2020, originally scheduled for June 5-6, has been rescheduled for Aug. 14-15 at its usual location, Bronson Park. At press time, Art on the Mall, a complementary art fair on the Kalamazoo Mall that usually runs at the same time as the KIA Fair, had not been rescheduled.
Something to Sing Along To Drive-in concert kicks off series
Leave it to the Portage Parks & Recreation Division: They’ve figured out a way to have a summer concert series and maintain social distancing. The first event of its free Summer Concert Series, which begins at 7 p.m. June 18 at Ramona Park, 8600 S. Sprinkle Road, will be “drive-in style,” letting attendees listen to the music from the comfort of their own cars. The tribute band The Boy Band Night will perform songs made famous by boy bands such as ’N Sync, the Backstreet Boys, New Kids on the Block, Boyz II Men, One Direction and others. Three other concerts are planned in the series, all of them beginning at 7 p.m. at locations to be announced: June 25 —Tribute band The Hair Band Night will perform hits from 1980s hair bands, including Bon Jovi, Mötley Crüe, Poison, Def Leppard, Guns N’ Roses and Van Halen. July 30 — Tribute band Motown Nation will perform songs by Motown artists, including Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Frankie Valli, The Supremes and The Temptations. August 6 — West Michigan R&B musicians Al Hight & The M6 West Band will perform. The band’s name refers to the highway that runs through their hometown of Grand Rapids. For an updated schedule of concerts and locations, visit the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo’s website at kalamazooarts.org/concerts-inthe-park. 10 | ENCORE JUNE 2020
Kalamazoo Pride takes celebration virtual They
can’t take their celebration to the streets this month, but OutFront Kalamazoo has found a way to celebrate Kalamazoo Pride virtually. According to Amy Hunter, the organization’s executive director, times and details were still being confirmed at press time, but these events will be happening in a virtual format: • June 5: #StillProudStillPerforming, a virtual drag show will kick off Pride Month. In collaboration with I.B.S. Productions, OutFront Kalamazoo will be hosting local drag performers virtually. • June 12: Amy Hunter, OutFront's Executive Director talks with LGBTQ+ leaders in a series of interviews called Profiles in Pride. • June 19: The Coming Out Monologues will be presented by the WMU Office of LBGT Student Services, a fundraiser for WMU LGBTQ+ students. You'll find these stories of discovering who you are poignant and inspiring.
Thank you to all those helping in the fight against the coronavirus. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and those families whose lives have been affected. STEWARDSHIP STABILITY SUCCESS
• June 27: A special guest artist performance is in the works; check the website for more information. Visit the website at outfrontkzoo.org/ or OutFront’s Facebook page at facebook. com/OutFrontKzoo/ for more information on the schedule. A fee-only wealth management firm 7840 Moorsbridge Road Portage, Michigan 49024 269.321.8120 | 800.488.2036 lvmcapital.com
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Horton’s Haberdashery is a lifestyle clothing store that offers a personalized shopping experience. Offering a full selection of men’s and women’s apparel from brands such as lululemon, Johnnie-O, Vineyard Vines, Peter Millar and more. Stop by today!
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Massa Body merges expansive clinical knowledge with intuitive touch to deliver outstanding massage, detoxification and biofield-tuning experiences. We also feature Access BARS, infrared sauna, small-batch lotions, scrubs and tinctures, all in picturesque Saugatuck.
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12 | ENCORE JUNE 2020
emporium Explore. Shop. Enjoy.
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The Pantry on Tap
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A Lot of Local Color F
or the last few years, Encore’s June issue has had the recurring theme of “See Your Town Like a Tourist,” with articles on places, people and events in our own backyard that we residents might just take for granted. This year, cognizant of us all remaining in or slightly emerging from our COVID-19 cocoons, Encore invites readers to see our community through their own eyes with our adult coloring pages. Admit it, during the stay-at-home restrictions you might have done a few jigsaw puzzles or colored a few pictures. It was relaxing, wasn’t it? It’s fun to exercise those creative, colorful impulses you’ve repressed since childhood. So keep doing it. This issue offers coloring pages reflecting scenes from Kalamazoo as well as images that go with our “See Your Town Like a Tourist” stories. While glossy, the pages are well suited for coloring with markers, colored pencils or crayons. (We recommend markers to really make your pictures frameworthy.) So get out your Crayola 64-pack and go to town.
Paint the town red, yellow, indigo, periwinkle or whatever color you want
In this issue:
16 19 C olor the Zoo Drink Like 22 a Local Under 28 Fun $50
Streets with Great Names
Things are looking up on the downtown Kalamazoo mall in this coloring page image created from a photo by Brian K. Powers.
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FIVE FAVES ENCORE
Historian reveals the stories behind Kalamazoo street names by
Our homes, our places of work and our houses of
worship are located on them. We walk them, drive them and sometimes get lost on them. These are our streets, and, as in every other city, town or village, they have names. With all the time we spend on them, do we ever wonder the origin of their names? All over Kalamazoo County, there are streets with similar or unique monikers. They may reflect a person, place, natural feature, thing or maybe nothing at all. Here are five streets whose names are some of my favorites:
Peeler Street George C. Winslow’s family was a part of Kalamazoo since the 1830s, when his father, George Washington Winslow, arrived from Massachusetts and eventually opened a marble works business that his son took over. Elected to both city and county positions, George C. Winslow also became Kalamazoo’s first city assessor in 1897 and held that post for the next four years. During his tenure, he discovered that a small street that runs from Crosstown Parkway to Hudson Street, just to the south of Maple Street, had no name, so he took it upon himself to name it after his dog, Peeler. Available information does not indicate that he named any more streets after his pets.
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Westnedge Avenue An 1834 map of the village of Bronson, Kalamazoo’s name until
1836, shows many of the city’s first streets. Three of these marked the boundaries of the community and were appropriately called South, North and West streets. The people creating these streets felt no need for an East Street since the Kalamazoo River created the village’s eastern boundary. South and North streets still exist, although they have not served as the city’s borders for many years. West Street kept its name until 1920, when the Kalamazoo Rotary Club requested that the city rename it to honor brothers Joseph and Richard Westnedge. Born and raised in Kalamazoo, both served in the military and gave their lives, Richard in the Philippines during the Spanish-American War and Joseph in France near the end of World War I.
ENCORE FIVE FAVES
Vine Street There are many streets in the Kalamazoo area named for natural features, including trees (Walnut Street), orchards (Cherry Street) or water (Spring Street). At times streets would get these names even though there were no trees, orchards or water nearby. There are two possible reasons for why Vine Street received its name. One was that a large collection of unidentified vines were located near the road. Another was in an undated Kalamazoo Gazette article, which stated that the proprietors of the village, all unidentified, wanted a fancy name and felt Vine fit the bill. Anna Balch den Bleyker, an early resident of the area, said in a December 1929 Gazette article that many people thought at the time that it was a very pleasing name.
Oakland Drive This road runs from Kalamazoo to Schoolcraft, and Asylum Avenue was the name for a small part of it when the Michigan Asylum for the Insane opened in 1859. The asylum, the first such institution in the state of Michigan, spanned 160 acres along the road, from Oliver to Howard streets. Nurseries and farms located to the south of Howard were replaced with homes and businesses by the early 1900s. The renaming of the asylum in 1911 to the Kalamazoo State Hospital led residents and property owners along this road to request that the city of Kalamazoo change the roadâ€™s name. Potential new monikers included Upland, Fairmont and Oakland, the latter being the one that city leaders chose in March of 1912, offering more of a rural sound.
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FIVE FAVES ENCORE
Whiskey Alley Readers of the Kalamazoo Gazette on Sunday, Dec. 21, 1913, found the headline “Kalamazoo Has State Record for Inebriate Names of
Its Streets.” The article described two, Alcohol Alley and Whiskey Alley, both located in the city’s downtown. Alcohol Alley ran parallel to East Ransom Street. Whiskey Alley, or Whiskey Row, first appeared in city records in 1883. It was located directly behind the buildings on the north side of East Michigan Avenue from North Burdick Street to North Edwards Street, and the article reported that several businesses could be found there. They are not listed in city directories from that time period, so it is not known if these were alcohol-related businesses or not. The article did not mention Kalamazoo’s other inebriate street names, which will remain an intriguing mystery. About the Author Lynn Houghton is the regional history curator at the Western Michigan University Archives and Regional History Collections, located in the Zhang Legacy Collections Center, on Oakland Drive. She is the coauthor of the book Kalamazoo Lost and Found and leads the Gazelle Sports Historic Walks and other public history programs. She also participated in the PBS series 10 Streets That Shaped America. She has bachelor's and master's degrees in history from WMU and a master's in library and information science from Wayne State University. Coloring page images created from photos by Brian K. Powers.
What wealth management should be.
Setting a clear path forward. Michael Brundage, CFP® & Michelle Eldridge, CFA,CPWA® Wealth Management Partners 18 | ENCORE JUNE 2020
259 East Michigan Avenue, Suite 105 • Kalamazoo 269.381.1700 • www.clearridgewm.com
Color The zoo
The Kalamazoo Mall alley. Courtesy Discover Kalamazoo. w w w.encorekalamazoo.com | 19
20 | ENCORE JUNE 2020
Scenes of Kalamazoo clockwise from top left: Air Zoo; the Chihuly sculpture at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts; State Theatre; Civic Auditorium; a welcoming wall at Discover Kalamazoo; and the water tower at the Kalamazoo Psychiatric Hospital. For more coloring pages, visit discoverkalamazoo.com/color-kalamazoo.
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How to drink like
22 | ENCORE JUNE 2020
History, rivalry, funky features and ways to explore Kalamazoo’s bar scene
alamazoo has long been known for its craft beer culture, thanks to the presence of Bell’s Brewery and its Eccentric Cafe. The city also has a slew of other breweries and craft beer bars — the Kalamazoo Beer Exchange, Shakespeare’s Pub and Central City Tap House, to name a few — inside some quirky buildings boasting some interesting history. Here’s a quick glimpse at how you can experience Kalamazoo’s local bars (once they reopen, of course) and with the knowledge of a local: ‘Rivalry’ between oldest bars Under the cover of darkness, at around 4 a.m. on St. Patrick’s Day two years ago, an employee of Louie’s Trophy House Grill hung a banner over the front door of the Green Top Tavern. The banner contained Louie’s logo and the year the Kalamazoo bar was established: 1918. Below the antler-adorned logo, the sign read, “Little Brother,” with an arrow pointing to the Green Top’s entrance. It remained there for several hours during one of the busiest drinking days of the year, until the staff at the Green Top noticed and removed it.
Left: The back entrance of Green Top Tavern on Bates Alley in downtown. Courtesy of Discover Kalamazoo. Above: The infamous Little Brother sign Louie’s staff posted at rival Green Top Tavern.
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It marked one of the latest shots fired in the “friendly rivalry” between downtown Kalamazoo’s oldest bars, says Louie’s Operations Manager Joe Wolf. The Green Top originally opened as a cigar shop in 1924, during Prohibition, and became a bar when Prohibition ended. Louie’s operated as a deli and convenience store during Prohibition, although its basement served as a speakeasy (an illicit establishment selling alcohol), Wolf says. In the basement today, which is not open to the public, the stairwell and the low doorframe leading to the former speakeasy are still visible. The bar and restaurant area of Louie’s is filled with animal taxidermy. It’s known for its thin-crust pizza, burgers and the “shotski,” a vintage wooden ski with four holes cut in it to hold a series of shot glasses for group consumption. After decades of being owned by one family, Green Top Tavern was purchased by Randy Newby in 2018. Louie’s Wolf says he’s worked with the Newby family for years and they are close friends. Not long after taking ownership of the Green Top, Wolf says, Newby dropped by Louie’s wearing a T-shirt saying the Green Top was established in 1917, a false, but good-humored jab at its longtime rival. The musical lineage at Louie’s remains notable. Its proximity to the original Gibson Guitar building, on Parsons Street, made it a natural pit stop for famous musicians traveling to Kalamazoo to research or purchase guitars. Warner Bros. country artist Frankie Ballard cut his teeth playing weekly jam sessions at Louie’s prior to signing his record contract with Reprise Records/Warner Records Inc. in 2010 and moving to Nashville. More recently, Grammy Award-winning musician Jack White, a Detroit native who purchased a restored George Nelson-designed home in Kalamazoo in 2017, paid a visit to Louie’s. Wolf says a bartender recognized White and mentioned it to him. “I was like, ‘Shut up,’” Wolf says. “I looked out and I was like, ‘Holy s---, that is him.’” The bartender eventually snapped a photo with the famed rocker, who grabbed lunch one more time there after his initial 2016 visit. Wolf says he expects to see the back-and-forth between Louie’s and the Green Top Tavern continue, including a collaborative event at some point.
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From left: The original logo for Tornado Pale Ale created by Olde Peninsula to commemorate the 1980 twister that hit downtown Kalamazoo; more than 1,000 tap handles hang from the ceiling at Shakespeare’s Pub; and the beautifully restored backbar at O’Duffys .
Tornado Ale In late spring or early summer, Olde Peninsula Brewpub, in downtown Kalamazoo, releases a specialty seasonal IPA (India Pale Ale) using citra hops. The beer, produced by the brewpub’s longtime head brewer, Dan Kiplinger, is called Tornado Ale, a reference to the F3 tornado that ripped through downtown Kalamazoo shortly after 4 p.m. on May 13, 1980. The devastating tornado killed five people and caused an estimated $50 million in damage. The brewpub is currently redesigning its original, cartoonish logo for the beer, which over the years has been featured on pint glasses and T-shirts. There’s also a framed version of the logo over one of the booths in the dining area. If you missed the seasonal release of this small-batch beer, perhaps you can snag a pint of Olde Peninsula’s popular Pumpkin Ale in the fall.
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O’Duffy’s Pub’s historic bar
Shakespeare’s alluring history One of downtown Kalamazoo’s oldest buildings is also home to one of its longestrunning bars, Shakespeare’s Pub. The bar and restaurant opened on July 19, 2003, and quickly became known for its lengthy list of craft beers. Its recognizable name stems from the building’s early occupant, the Shakespeare Co., which was founded in 1897 by William Shakespeare Jr. and became
one of the leading manufacturers of fishing equipment, especially lures. The bar at Shakespeare’s Pub showcases several old advertisements from the Shakespeare Co. Another fun fact: Pub coowner Ted Vadella collects tap handles from the various beers he’s carried during the pub’s 16 years in operation and hangs them from the ceiling. There are more than 1,080 handles on display.
If you’re looking for a hidden gem and cozy neighborhood bar, O’Duffy’s Pub will hit the spot. This Irish pub, owned by Jamie Kavanaugh, opened in the summer of 1999. A hulking wooden backbar dominates the room. At 12 feet tall and 24 feet long, it perfectly fits in the pub, leaving about 4 inches of clearance between the top of the backbar and the ceiling. Kavanaugh says it was built around 1905 by Brunswick — known more for its bowling and billiards work than bars. It produced bars only between 1890 and 1915. Kavanaugh says the backbar was made in Cedar Springs, Iowa, and occupied the Spaulding Hotel in Michigan City, Indiana, before antique collector William John Upjohn brought it to Kalamazoo. The quarter sawn oak fixture sat in storage for more than 30 years before Kavanaugh bought it in 1995 from the Heritage Company, a Kalamazoo salvage company. It came in 15 pieces and didn’t include assembly instructions when he installed it. “I won’t tell anyone what I paid for it,” he says. “All I’ll say is it’s the biggest and most complicated jigsaw puzzle I’ve ever put together."
THE BUSINESS AND ESTATE PLANNING
THE BUSINESS AND ESTATE PLANNING
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MICHAEL J. WILLIS, J.D., C.P.A., WILLIS LAW
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Michael J. Willis, J.D., C.P.A.
Willis Law 491 West South Street Kalamazoo, MI 49007 269.492.1040 www.willis.law
THE BUSINESS AND ESTATE PLANNING
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down at thepractice nursing home.and isyour Is thata certified true? 491 West South is andanCounselors irrevocable for persons Michael J. WillisStreet is the Managing Partner of Willis Law, Attorneys at Law, is licensed totrust law in Florida and Michigan, in registered ascircumstances public accountant that can be in the state of Illinois. Attorney Willis is rated as an A V -Preeminent Attorney by Martindale-Hubbell. This rating, according to Martindale, which has been rating lawyers for over a century, Kalamazoo,signifies MI 49007 established with foryour the Heextent exceed that an attorney has reached the heights of professional excellence and is recognized the highestassets levels of skill to and integrity. is listed in thethey Best Lawyers in America. the protected 269.492.1040 amount (whichYes. under Michigan law will cap folks at a little Most often when talkover on$125,000). trust planning, they are www.willis.law If the trust is irrevocable and the assets are effectively established in an referencing a revocable trust. In fact, that is the case probably more annuity income stream back to you per the terms of the trust, then in than 99% of the time. A revocable trust under Michigan law generally such a circumstance the trust will no longer be considered a countable up only to avoid probate--that’s its only benefit. However, there asset, isbutset instead an income stream and thereby exempt for Medicaid purposes. is a sophisticated I highly is an This irrevocable trust forplanning personstechnique, in your and circumstances that can be encourage you to seek this technique or the protected established withcounsel your before assetsimplementing to the extent they exceed any other Medicaid planning. amount (which under Michigan law will cap at a little over $125,000). Michael J. Willis is the Managing Partner of Willis Law, Attorneys and Counselors at Law, is licensed to practice law in Florida and Michigan, and is registered as a certified public accountant If the trust is irrevocable and the assets are effectively established in an in the state of Illinois. Attorney Willis is rated as an A V -Preeminent Attorney by Martindale-Hubbell. This rating, according to Martindale, which has been rating lawyers for over a century, signifies that an attorney has reached the heights of professional excellence and is recognizedincome for the highest stream levels of skill and integrity.to He isyou listed inper the Bestthe Lawyersterms in America.of the trust, then in annuity back such a circumstance the trust will no longer be considered a countable Michael J. Willis is the Managing Partner of Willis Law, Attorneys Counselors Law,and is thereby licensed to for practice asset,and but instead an incomeatstream exempt Medicaidlaw in Florida and Michigan, and is registered as a certified public accountant the isstate of Illinois. Attorney Willis purposes.in This a sophisticated planning technique, andisI rated highly as an A V -Preeminent Attorney by Martindale-Hubbell. This rating, according to Martindale, whichimplementing has beenthis rating lawyers for encourage you to seek counsel before technique or over a century, signifies that an attorney has reached the heights ofanyprofessional and is recognized for the highest other Medicaidexcellence planning.
levels of skill and integrity. He is listed in the Best Lawyers in America.
Michael J. Willis is the Managing Partner of Willis Law, Attorneys and Counselors at Law, is licensed to practice law in Florida and Michigan, and is registered as a certified public accountant in the state of Illinois. Attorney Willis is rated as an A V -Preeminent Attorney by Martindale-Hubbell. This rating, according to Martindale, which has been rating lawyers for over a century, signifies that an attorney has reached the heights of professional excellence and is recognized for the highest levels of skill and integrity. He is listed in the Best Lawyers in America.
practice their animal first aid as teacher Noreen Heikes observes. On the law (which in most cases won’t matter if landlord and tenant are in an honest dialogue): federal law prohibits eviction activity for most “affordable rentals” through July 24. w w w.encorekalamazoo.com | 25
Other Tidbits on Kalamazoo’s Bars Kalamazoo County voted to go dry in April 1915, five years before Prohibition began. On May 1, 1915, 65 businesses closed their doors, including 34 of the city’s saloons. • Bell’s Brewery is the seventh largest craft brewery in the United States, based on 2019 sales volume. When ordering at Bell’s Eccentric Cafe, be sure to try something that is made only on-site. The taproom features several brews that are available only there, not distributed. The adjacent Bell’s General Store carries tons of packaged beer of the more popular staples or specialty releases. • The Kalamazoo Beer Exchange’s craft beer menu operates like a stock market, with fluctuating prices displayed on TV screens. The bar and restaurant’s owner is also planning a new location for the east side of the state. • Kalamazoo is home to two distilleries: Green Door Distilling and the Kalamazoo Stillhouse, both in downtown Kalamazoo. • If you’re one for kitschy touches and decorative eye candy, take a peek at Old Dog Tavern. Amy and Sean Smith, owners and longtime Kalamazoo residents, display a variety of fascinating objects — hand-painted signs, wooden fish, a giant moose head, vintage beer cans and much more. You should also make a point to venture out to the tavern’s beer garden and outdoor stage.
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Top: The “ticker screen” at Kalamazoo Beer Exchange shows the fluctuating prices of the craft beers and ciders it serves. Bottom: Wooden fish and a moose head are all part of the décor at Old Dog Tavern.
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“It smelled like it was stored in a horse barn. It actually smelled like that for years in the pub.” To this day, Kavanaugh says, he doesn’t allow any technology to sit on it, out of “reverence” and to “maintain its integrity.”
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Principle’s dumb waiter One of the more entertaining local venues at which to grab a cocktail is in the lower level of Principle, a restaurant on the Kalamazoo Mall. The basement lounge features a spiral staircase, original brick walls and a plethora of vintage touches. "It’s rustic and cozy. It’s meant to be kind of like a speakeasy, leather-sofa vibe. Dim lighting,” explains Principle Assistant Manager Emma Balliet. This Michigan basement room also features a dumb waiter, now used as a cocktail lift between the resturant and the lounge. To save the frustration of accidently dumping drinks while navigating the tricky stairway, Principle’s staff cut a hole in the floor to allow the dumb waiter to operate. The mechanism for it comes from an old garage door, says Balliet. “It’s pretty creaky, but it’s super easy to transport drinks so servers don’t spill drinks everywhere … (Customers) love it,” she says. Balliet said the lift works fine for all drinks, but it tends to perform best when carrying the restaurant’s most popular beverage, smoked sazerac.
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Brian Powers 28 | ENCORE JUNE 2020
Kalamazoo Balloon Fest
Fun for Under $50 Outdoor and indoor activities that are easy on the wallet by
When the green light to be social has finally been given, we will all be ready to get out and find a little adventure. However, the green in our wallets might not be abundant. Good news — the greater Kalamazoo area is rich with things to do for $50 or less, and we’ve selected several to start with. And while COVID-19 restrictions may still be in effect for some activities, it’s still a handy list to have for future months. But make sure to check on the availability of these activities before you head out.
Outdoor fun By far, the biggest bang you and your family can get for your buck is from buying a $25 annual vehicle pass from the Kalamazoo County Parks, which reopened May 6. The pass allows you entry to all five parks as often as you like for that one low fee. (And if you’re a senior 62 or over, it’s only $20.) For lovers of the water, several of the parks offer lakes for swimming, fishing and kayaking and canoeing. River Oaks Park, in Galesburg, even boasts a splash pad. At various parks you can take in the fresh air while playing horseshoes, tennis, disc golf and more. When the restrictions are lifted, children can burn off energy at several playgrounds and so can your canine companions at designated dog parks. All the parks have miles of trails with plentiful views of nature.
Kids run on the trails at River Oaks Park. Bottom: An aerial view of the balloons launching over Gull Meadow Farm at the Kalamazoo Balloon Fest.
The best part is, because the parks pass is an annual one, you can enjoy all that the parks have to offer year-round (think sledding, ice fishing, and cross-country skiing once the snow falls). Each of the parks is unique, so visit the Kalamazoo County Parks website, at kalcounty.com/parks, to find the locations where you can enjoy your favorite activities. For walking, hiking and bicycling, the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail offers 22 paved miles, with convenient parking, benches and picnic tables, and it’s all free to use. Challenge your family and other riding companions to one of the self-guided scavenger hunts available on w w w.encorekalamazoo.com | 29
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the KRVT webpage, at kalcounty.com/parks/ krvt, and you might even win a prize! For three fun-filled days in August, assuming we can gather again, you can get blown away for free at the Kalamazoo Balloon Fest at Gull Meadow Farms, 8544 Gull Road. Beginning on Aug. 28, kids and adults will marvel at the hot-air balloons as they light up and take to the sky. The tentative schedule of activities can be found at gullmeadowfarms.com/special-events/ kalamazoo-balloon-fest. That website says you can also stay up to date with launches on the festival’s Facebook page, at facebook. com/KalamazooBalloonFest. Evening fun may be found in the form of free outdoor movies in Kalamazoo and Portage. The area offers two great cinematic choices: The Kalamazoo Summer Cinema, which moves from park to park around Kalamazoo, and Movies in the Park, immediately following the Portage’s familyfriendly Friday at the Flats events at Celery Flats Interpretive Center and Historical Area, 7335 Garden Lane. Bring blankets and lawn chairs and sit back to watch free movies on giant screens under the stars. Pack your own snacks or purchase some from available food trucks and vendors while enjoying the free entertainment before the movie.
Clockwise from top: Kids check out oak leaves at the W.K. Kellogg Biological Station; fishing at Kalamazoo’s Cold Brook Park; and watching movies at Celery Flats Historical Area in Portage.
Times, location and movie titles are available at kzooparks.org/programs (for Kalamazoo Summer Cinema) and at facebook.com/CityofPortageMI (Movies in the Park). Families with young children may be able to enjoy Wild Wednesdays at the Bird Sanctuary in the W.K. Kellogg Biological
spots. Each year, they also have free fishing weekends when you don’t need a license to fish and they offer learn-to-fish programs. The first is tentatively set for June 13-14. Find all the fishing details you will need at michigan. gov/dnr.
Station, 12685 East C Ave., in Augusta. For the low price of admission — $3 for kids, $4 for seniors, $5 for other adults and free for kids 2 and younger — you can partake in an hour-long educational and fun program. Each Wednesday evening event features a different topic, such as dragonflies or moths. A full list of events may be found at kbs.msu.edu/events/ categories/bird-sanctuary.
Where there’s a body of water, which are plentiful in these parts, there is an opportunity to plop a worm and bobber in it and find a fish. In Michigan, kids 16 years old and younger do not need fishing licenses, and a license for Michigan residents 17 and older is $26 annually. Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources makes it easy — you can apply and get your license online and its robust website provides guides for family-friendly fishing
For rainy days or just to get a break from the sun, the area has a long list of low-cost adventures. For an out-of-this-world experience, the planetarium at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum, 230 N. Rose St., typically offers a variety of shows five times a day, and admission is just $3 per person. Before or after the show, families can enjoy the rest of the museum at no cost. Keep in mind that you will likely have to use paid public parking. To see a show schedule, visit kalamazoomuseum.org/ planetarium. A little farther north, up in Allegan County, an inexpensive movie experience awaits at M-89 Cinema, 392 Cross Oaks Drive, in Otsego, where first-run movies are shown with tickets starting at just $2.50. Share a popcorn bucket for $3 and refill it on most days for just 75 cents (free fills on Thursdays). Movie times and ticket purchase options can be found at m89cinema.mooretheatres.com.
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w w w.encorekalamazoo.com | 31
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Top: Playing pinball at Klassic Arcade in Gobles. Bottom: Skating at Rollerworld. 259 E. Michigan Avenue, Suite 307 Kalamazoo, MI • (269) 385-0001
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32 | ENCORE JUNE 2020
drive-in Concert Kick off!
Thursday, June 18 at 7 pm Ramona Park, 8600 S. Sprinkle Rd. Enjoy this live band event paying tribute to everything that is Boy Bands from your very own vehicle! Safe, socially distant and SO MUCH FUN!
Retro fun If you’re looking to recapture some of your youth or introduce your offspring to a little old-school fun, there are a couple of possible options to help you stroll, or roll, down Memory Lane. Klassic Arcade has two locations in Gobles (206 S. State St. and 22711 M-40) to indulge in all-day unlimited play of classic arcade games like Pac-Man, Galaga and Tempest, as well as a variety of pinball machines, for just $7 per person. If you have been humbled by your kids’ gaming abilities, here’s your chance to show off your mad Ms. Pac-Man skills while challenging them to a game that you might just have a chance at winning. Check out the hours and the games available at each location at klassicarcade.com. Yet another chance to impress the young ones with your mad moves, while you shoot the duck or do the toe jam, is at Rollerworld, 7491 Stadium Drive, where kids 12 and under can skate for free. The program does have limitations, but never fear — Rollerworld has many great deals that families can take advantage of. Check out the specials and prices at rollerworld.net.
Virtual Art Hop — Art displayed online by area artists, 5–7 p.m. June 5, 342-5059; visit kalamazooarts.org for details or facebook.com/ acgk359.
For all theater performance schedules, please visit theater websites. Visit the Farmers Alley Theatre website for online events: farmersalleytheatre.com. Plays
The Savannah Sipping Society — Four Southern women reclaim the enthusiasm for life they’ve lost through the years, opens June 19, New Vic Theatre, 134 E. Vine St., email@example.com. MUSIC Gun Lake Live Summer Concert Series — Soulstice, June 3; Sushi Roll, June 10; Union Guns, June 17; Funkle Jesse, June 24; all shows 6–10 p.m., Lakefront Pavilion, Bay Pointe Inn, 11456 Marsh Road, Shelbyville, 888-486-5253. Team Two CD Release with Last Gasp Collective, Nothing New — Team Two is a Midwestern math rock four-piece band, 9 p.m. June 13, Bell’s Eccentric Cafe, 355 E. Kalamazoo Ave., 382-2332, bellsbeer.com. The Boy Band Night — Boy band tribute, drivein concert that’s part of Portage Summer Concert Series, 7 p.m. June 18, Overlander Bandshell, 7810 Shaver Road, Portage, mypark.portagemi.gov. Passafire — Georgia-based rock band, 8:30 p.m. June 21, Bell’s Eccentric Cafe, 382-2332, bellsbeer. com. The Hair Band Night — ’80s hair metal, drive-in concert that’s part of Portage Summer Concert Series, 7 p.m. June 25, Overlander Bandshell, mypark.portagemi.gov. VISUAL ARTS Kalamazoo Institute of Arts 314 S. Park St., kiarts.org 2020 High School Area Show and Congressional Art Competition — View showcase of juried works online.
Art is Ageless — Exhibition of art by Portage Senior Center members, 8 a.m.–5 p.m. June 8– July 31, Portage City Hall, 7900 S. Westnedge Ave., portagemi.gov. Friday Night Print Party — Learn to make background prints and use letterpresses for greeting cards and wall art, 6–8 p.m. June 19, Kalamazoo Book Arts Center, 326 W. Kalamazoo Ave., Suite 103A, 373-4938, kalbookarts.org. Nature Prints — Make prints using botanicals from your summer garden, 6–9 p.m. June 23, Kalamazoo Book Arts Center, 373-4938, kalbookarts.org. LIBRARY & LITERARY EVENTS Kalamazoo Public Library kpl.gov 2020 Pandemic: Share Your Story —Submit materials and stories that demonstrate the impact of coronavirus and COVID-19 on our community at kpl.gov/local-history/covid-19-stories. Page Turners Book Club — Online discussion of Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss, by Rajeev Balasubramanyam, 6:30 p.m. June 1. Comstock Township Library 6130 King Highway, 345-0136, comstocklibrary.org
Due to the COVID–19 virus, some of these events may have been canceled after press time. Please check with the venue and organizations for up-to-date information. Book Buzz — Online book discussion (book to be determined), 7 p.m. June 24. Richland Community Library 8951 Park St., 629-9085, richlandlibrary.org Closed until further notice. MUSEUMS Air Zoo 6151 Portage Road, Portage, 382-6555 Launchpad to Learning — The Air Zoo is temporarily closed to the public, but you can still explore new games, activities and documentary clips online daily: airzoo.org/launchpad-tolearning. Gilmore Car Museum 6865 Hickory Road, Hickory Corners, 671-5089, gilmorecarmuseum.org Model T Driving Experience — Learn to drive a Model T Ford, June 21 & 27; registration required. Kalamazoo Valley Museum 230 N. Rose St., kalamazoomuseum.org Call for COVID-19 Community Stories — Share your COVID-19 story online with KVM as the museum documents experiences in our community.
Closed until further notice.
360 Virtual Tour — Explore the museum’s exhibits online.
Parchment Community Library 401 S. Riverview Drive, 343-7747, parchmentlibrary.org
Closed until further notice. Portage District Library 300 Library Lane, 329-4544, portagelibrary.info PDL Film Club — Discuss a movie over Zoom (movie to be determined), 7 p.m. June 18.
Binder Park Zoo 7400 Division Drive, Battle Creek Binder Park ZooCam — Offers remote access to watch a variety of savanna animals go about their business in real time, binderparkzoo.org/ zoocam.
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EVENTS ENCORE Kalamazoo Nature Center 7000 N. Westnedge Ave., 381-1574
Wild Edibles Workshop — Learn to identify edible plants, 9 a.m.–noon June 6.
Nature Now — Connect with nature from home and in your own backyard: naturecenter.org/ naturenow.
Paddlesports Sampler — Introduction to a variety of watercraft, 6 p.m. June 9, Ramona Kalamazoo Farmers Market Opening Day Park, 8600 S. Sprinkle Road, Portage, mypark. — 7 a.m.–2 p.m. June 6; regular hours: 8 a.m.–1 portagemi.gov. p.m. Tuesdays, 2–6 p.m. Thursdays, 7 a.m.–2 p.m. Portage Culinary Academy — Learn to create a Saturdays, 1204 Bank St., pfcmarkets.com. stir-fry dinner with Chef Joe Tsui, 6 p.m. June 10, Portage Farmers Market — 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Celery Flats Historical Area’s Stuart Manor, 7340 Sundays, beginning June 7, Portage City Garden Lane, Portage, imypark.portagemi.gov.
Kellogg Bird Sanctuary 12685 East C Ave., Augusta, birdsanctuary.kbs. msu.edu Trails remain open 9 a.m.–5 p.m. during temporary closure of the sanctuary’s Resource Center.
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Hall parking lot, 7900 S. Westnedge Ave., farmersmarket.portagemi.gov.
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Ready, Set, Grow! — Annual fundraiser for Comstock Community Center, with games, prizes and food, 5:30–8 p.m. June 11, River Street Flowerland, 1300 River St., 345-8556, comstockcc.com. Friday at the Flats — Enjoy local food trucks and vendors across from where the Movie in the Park will be shown (see next listing), 4–8 p.m. June 12, Celery Flats Historical Area, 7335 Garden Lane, Portage, mypark.portagemi.gov. Movies in the Park — Showing Frozen 2, 9 p.m. June 12, Celery Flats Grain Elevator, 7336 Garden Lane, Portage, mypark.portagemi.gov. Bike-opoly — Test your bike safety knowledge with a game-board-style interactive trail you can bike on, 1–4 p.m. June 14, Celery Flats Historical Area, Portage, mypark.portagemi.gov. Tune and Ride with Open Roads — Guided bike ride with trained instructor, 9–11 a.m. June 20, Eliason Nature Reserve, 1614 W. Osterhout Ave., Portage, 329-4522, mypark.portagemi.gov; registration required. Kalamazoo Reptile & Exotic Pet Expo — Buy, sell or trade a variety of reptiles, amphibians and small mammals, 10 a.m.–3 p.m. June 20, Kalamazoo County Expo Center, Room A, 2900 Lake St., 779-9851. Healing Body and Spirit Expo — A weekend of experienced psychics and mediums, 10 a.m.–7 p.m. June 27, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. June 28, Wings Event Center, 3600 Vanrick Drive, healingbodyandspirit. com. Portage Repticon — Reptile expo, 10 a.m.–3 p.m. June 27, Celery Flats Historical Area, mypark. portagemi.gov.
Evaluation & Care of Trees and Shrubs Kalamazoo, MI • 269-381-5412 • www.arboristserviceskzoo.com 34 | ENCORE JUNE 2020
Great American Campout — Camp and join in family-friendly activities, 3 p.m. June 27–10:30 a.m. June 28, Celery Flats Historical Area, mypark. portagemi.gov.
Jeopardy We talk about the virus to ourselves under our breath, a passive whisper like a guess while watching Jeopardy at home. Answers only come in the form of questions.
Sweet Sacrament I open the back door and—surprise— the world is still here:
Today we had some sun. It spread like a golden gauze over the lawn, the street, the entire subdivision. The people came out, lapping it up like puppies new to blood.
I’m not alone after all. Wind is blowing, rain is falling.
Reverse Samson They banned haircuts with everything else, and now, like some reverse Samson, we’re weaker as our hair grows long, and even for the strong there’s no pleasant pushup. Everything’s a struggle, especially nothing. — Three poems by Simon A. Thalmann
These droplets won’t kill me. I tilt my face up and drink, cup my hands together and wash. — Margaret DeRitter DeRitter is the copy editor and poetry editor of Encore. Her first full-length poetry collection, Singing Back to the Sirens, was published in March by Unsolicited Press. It’s available from local bookstores and at Michigan News Agency.
Thalmann is a lifelong area resident who grew up in Richland and lives in Kalamazoo. He has a degree in creative writing from Western Michigan University and has had his work published in a number of print and online journals. He is also a former Kalamazoo Gazette reporter.
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Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport . . . . . . . . 40 Kalamazoo Community Foundation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Kalamazoo Public Library . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14 Kalsee Credit Union . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Kazoo Books . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 LVM Capital Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Masonry Heater Design House . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Massa Body . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Mercantile Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4, 36 Noteworthy Invitations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Osher Lifelong Learning Institute . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Pantry on Tap . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Park Village Pines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services . . . . . . . . . . .31 Portage Printing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Brian K. Powers Photography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 RAI Jets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Jeff K. Ross Financial Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
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Feed the Fight Kalamazoo (continued from page 38) So, along with game designer Adam Strong-Morse, they launched Feed the Fight Kalamazoo in mid-April. In just seven days, the organization went from idea to launch, purchasing more than 800 meals from 15 restaurants and delivering those to health care workers at such locations as the Family Health Center, Bronson Hospital and Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety stations. In an interview with Encore in mid-May, Michaels discussed the work of Feed the Fight Kalamazoo (FTFK). What synergies did you see between the FTFK effort and Colleagues International? Colleagues International strives to enrich the local community with global diversity one relationship at a time, and in 2019 it brought more than 380 leaders from 52 different countries to Kalamazoo. But in this moment of COVID-19, we are not doing in-person exchanges. While borders have always existed between countries, we now have borders between apartment units. People are staying in and not engaging with each other in person. I saw this effort (FTFK) as being in sync with the part of CI’s mission that focuses on enriching the lives of our local community. FTFK will help these restaurants, most of which are small businesses, to stay afloat by ordering food from them. At the same time, it will also show that the local community supports and appreciates the work — amidst dangerous circumstances — that our essential workers in the health care and first responder realms are doing. I reached out to our board of directors, and Sally prepared an overview about what it would look like, and the board said, “Wow, this is, this is amazing!” They did an online vote and agreed for CI to become FTFK’s fiscal sponsor, to facilitate and manage donations for the effort. What’s your role now? I am 100 percent volunteer organizer. FTFK has no staff. It is entirely volunteer run. Sally, Adam and I all volunteer about 30 hours a week, but we also have more than 60 volunteers working
ENCORE BACK STORY in a variety of teams, from public communications to logistics to restaurant recruitment to the folks that built our website and do our social media. We have also had so many people who want to volunteer to drive the meals out to the smiling faces of the health care workers and first responders. How many meals are you delivering each week? We are in the range of providing more than 800 meals a week and hit our 3,000th meal the week of May 11. How did you recruit restaurants to participate? We set it up so restaurants could register online, and we're adding partners and restaurants all the time. In fact, Bravo! did a delivery yesterday (May 7), just as they're closing for good. The feedback that we've been receiving from restaurants has been so wonderful — a lot of thank-yous and telling us how much these orders are appreciated. It’s a way for restaurants to feel they're helping the community too. How long will FTFK continue to do this work? Depending on who you talk to, it seems West Michigan has not hit its COVID-19 peak yet. And even as things begin to open up, it is likely the restaurant community is not going to be opening back up to what it was before. In addition, our health care system will be dealing with COVID-19 on an ongoing basis until — if and when — there is a vaccine. And it is such a high-stress environment for them. You know, everyone at these organizations, from the people who are cleaning to the medical workers, are keeping people alive. We want to show them support. We don’t know what the next phase of this might look like once places open up, so for now we will be here through the biggest time of the crisis. Find out more about Feed the Fight Kalamazoo at ftfkalamazoo.org. — Interview by Encore Editor Marie Lee, edited for length and clarity
w w w.encorekalamazoo.com | 37
BACK STORY ENCORE
Adam Strong-Morse, Jodi Michaels & Sally Hadden
Organizers, Feed the Fight Kalamazoo
hen Sally Hadden, an associate professor of history at Western Michigan University, saw a story about Feed the Fight — an effort to help Washington, D.C., restaurants during COVID-19 by buying meals from them to provide to front-line health care workers in that area — she knew a similar effort might be needed in Kalamazoo. After talking to that group’s organizers about how it got started, she reached out to Jodi Michaels, executive director of 38 | ENCORE JUNE 2020
This composite image shows Feed the Fight Kalamazoo organizers, from left, Adam Strong-Morse, Jodi Michaels and Sally Hadden. To maintain social distancing, each individual was shot separately and a composite of those photos was created by photographer Brian K. Powers.
Colleagues International. Hadden knew that, through her work with CI, Michaels might have some ideas for implementing Feed the Fight here. CI is a nonprofit that engages in citizen diplomacy by bringing leaders from around the globe to Kalamazoo to engage with peers in their fields. “Sally knew I know a bit about what's going on around town,” Michaels says, “and was originally looking to find out if anybody had started something like this locally. I
knew that many restaurants had been very generous donating food, and I made a few calls and found that no one had really organized around those efforts yet.” At the same time, Michaels became hooked on the idea. With no visitors coming through CI, she was looking for ways for the organization to be able to continue to contribute to the community. “I was like, ‘You caught me at a great time,’” she says with a laugh.
(Continued on page 37)
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