Reflections Summer 2019
A special supplement of the Arenac County Independent, Ogemaw County Herald and Oscoda County Herald
Page 2 • Reflections - Summer 2019
A supplement of the Arenac County Independent, the Ogemaw County Herald and the Oscoda County Herald
3 - Natural solutions for going gray with style
9 - Comins man shares passion for collecting trains
5 - Enjoyment of the job keeps 40-year tradesman at it
10 - Rose City treasurer celebrates 50 years on the job
7 - Jan and Dave Schleicher reflect on 10 years of community service
14 - Your thoughts
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Natural solutions for going gray with style Gray hair is a natural side effect of aging. The rate at which hair will turn to gray differs based on genetics and other factors. Some people may go gray seemingly overnight, while others may gray at the temples first before the rest of their hair gradually changes color. Aging women often wonder if they should cover up their gray hair or embrace the silver. Going gray is no longer something that has women running to their stylists at the sight of the first gray strand. Some actually opt for silver even before their own gray sets in. According to a 2017 survey of hair trends by L’Oréal Professional, 28 percent of women embraced or considered opting for silver hair. The trend has continued to gain steam. Celebrities like Jamie Lee Curtis and Helen Mirren were some of the first to embrace their grays. Younger celebrities like Kendall Jenner, Pink and Lady Gaga have opted for silver tresses to make a statement. But there are still many women who prefer to transition gradually or avoid the harsh chemicals in some hair products. The National Cancer Institute states that more than 5,000 different chemicals are used in hair dye
Many women are seeking natural options to look their best. Embracing grays or creating subtle tints with natural ingredients can help women feel confident and beautiful. products, some of which are reported to be carcinogenic in animals. There are many natural ingredients that can add tint to hair to make gray less visible. Coffee, for example, can cover grays and add dimension to dark tresses.
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is a popular natural method to add a red-orange color to hair. Creating highlights to offset gray hair can work as well. Spraying lemon juice on hair and sitting in the sun can produce lightening effects.
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Page 4 • Reflections - Summer 2019
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Reflections - Summer 2019 • Page 5
Enjoyment of the job keeps 40-year tradesman at it By Scott Nunn WEST BRANCH — More than 40 years ago, when Richard Hamilton and his wife Marilyn purchased B. Blumenthal & Co., Richard never anticipated he would still be working today. The same could have been said 13 years ago in 2006, when they closed the business, liquidated the assets and sold the building, both agreeing it was time to retire. However, at nearly 79 years old Richard is still at it, adorning the windows around the county with high-end draperies and blinds. “Mr. Blumenthal was working at 75 and I decided I didn’t want to do that,” Richard said as he began to laugh. “I am still working and I am 79.” In part, Richard keeps going because he loves the work, the challenge of installing the perfect product that blends clients’ needs with functionality. “In the window treatment business everything is not the same,” Richard said. “You have so many variables.” Richard spoke of a recent service call he went on, with his trusty “tackle box” full of miscellaneous pieces and parts in hand, where he was challenged in the way he enjoys the most — finding a solution to a problem. Perhaps it was Richard’s love of a challenge that led him to forgo his years of experience selling appliances to step into the new challenge of owning a business he knew little about. For more than 10 years, Richard had run the roads selling appliances.
See HAMILTON, 11
Mr. Blumenthal was working at 75 and I decided I didn’t want to do that. I am still working and I am 79.
— Richard Hamilton
The staff of Fashions ’N Things in 1977 included Helen Hamilton, Marilyn and Richard Hamilton, Sally Kingen and Inez Schubert.
Page 6 • Reflections - Summer 2019
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Jan and Dave Schleicher reflect on 10 years of community service By Dominic Trimboli
MIO — As the 10-year anniversary of Jan Schleicher’s life-threatening car accident approaches, she and her husband Dave are looking back at the moment that changed their lives forever and reflecting on the decade of community service that sprouted from it. Jan and Dave have been members of the Mio community for nearly 20 years, coming from Detroit where they grew up. In that time Jan has volunteered with multiple charitable organizations. She was integral to the creation of Love INC, she volunteers with His Love Family Resources, is co-chairperson of Oscoda County CHOICES and more. Dave, currently a special deputy at the Oscoda County Sheriff Department, was chairman of the Economic Development Corporation, worked at the housing commission and was involved in the previous iteration of the county parks and recreation board. He also teaches women’s self-defense classes around the area. While the two have been involved with various groups since they moved to the area, Jan said they really began to dive head-first into giving back after her accident. In November 2009 she was driving on M-18 and attempted to pass a car, but hit black ice in the process. The front end of her car collided with a tree at roughly 60 mph, breaking both of her ankles, pulverizing one of her arms and causing nerve damage to her eye. Dave said that was a frightening morning. “I was sitting here drinking tea, like I am now, and got a call from the Roscommon sheriff that she had been in an accident and they were transporting her to the hospital.” Dave said. “I’d been at the scene of a ton of accidents, and usually when you see one like that, the people don’t survive.” While Jan was recovering she said the outpour of support from the community was palpable. They received multiple cards, phone calls, home-cooked meals, visits from friends and prayers from various members of the community. Dave said
I have a very strong faith, and I believe our giving back to the community was made stronger after my accident in 2009. I was just so blessed to be alive, and I wanted to give back. — Jan Schleicher
there was one moment in particular when he found out just how much their local community was willing to go out of its way to help a neighbor or friend. “Jan was in a wheelchair when we came back home because she couldn’t walk on her ankles,” he said. “Before we even got home, people had built us a ramp for our home to get a wheelchair in.” Jan said while the accident was terrible and the resulting recovery difficult, there was good that came out of it. “I have a very strong faith, and I believe our giving back to the community was made stronger after my accident in 2009.” she said. “I was just so blessed to be alive, and I wanted to give back.” While the community support was substantial, Jan said her urge to give back came more from her faith than a belief that she needed to pay back those who helped her in a time of need. She said she felt as though God let her survive for a reason, and she wanted to fulfill that purpose by helping as many people as she could. While the Schleichers volunteer with multiple entities that are geared toward very different end goals, Jan said her personal focus is on what she calls “wholeness.” She said that refers to managing physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health in tandem in order to have the healthiest,
happiest lifestyle possible. Jan said that while many people are able to properly manage one or two of these traits, she wants to help them reach a point where they have it all. “In some ways, all of us are broken,” Jan said. “There’s something that we all need help healing.” Going hand in hand with wholeness is Jan’s dedication to teaching resilience to youth in the area. She said it’s important for parents and role models to instill children with the strength to power through adversity, something she learned herself through her accident. “How can we help youth bounce back, how can we help them with mental health issues?” she said. “We teach them resilience, because that comes from the inside. Life is going to throw a whole bunch of things at you. It’s all about how you react to that.” Looking back on the last decade of volunteering, Dave and Jan said there are a few moments where they feel as though what they’ve done has made a significant difference. For Dave, that comes mainly from the women who took his self-defense classes. Since starting he has taught more than 200 classes with roughly 1,500 students overall. What drove him to start teaching the classes were the news stories
he’d read and the cases he’d seen being a member of the sheriff department. “I saw that a lot of females were being abused, physically and mentally,” Dave said. “So I had to do something about it. If you grew up in this area, you probably never locked your door. It’s a lot safer here than in Grand Rapids, or Detroit or California. But all of these 18-year-old girls are leaving here and going out into the world.” So far, Dave said nearly a dozen of the women who have taken his class have called him back to say that his lessons saved their lives in one way or another. “When I get a call from someone who has taken my class, and she says ‘What I learned from you saved me,’ there has been a lot of diverse cases, but when they tell me the story, it’s always very cool.” Dave said. “Even if I had only ever gotten one of those calls in the 20 years, it would make it all worth it.” Jan said one of the big things she likes to look back on is the success of Love INC, which she was involved with from the very beginning. She said seeing that the most recent triathlon the organization hosted had nearly 50 organizations donate to it in one way or another was very satisfying. The Schleicher’s both said after growing up in the city, it is sometimes still a surprise to them how much community matters to the people in Oscoda County. Fortunately, that makes them all the more proud to live here. “We didn’t grow up with that,” she said. “We grew up in the suburbs of Detroit. This is a real community. Despite political differences or anything else, we always come together.” Jan said if people learn one thing from her, it would be to take advantage of the time we have, because we never know when a day may be our last. “Celebrate life every day, because you never know,” she said. “One day you are doing great, then you hit a tree at 60 mph. Life is so fragile, it’s all about the what ifs. What if I hadn’t survived? What would happen to those relationships?”
Page 8 • Reflections - Summer 2019
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COMINS MAN SHARES PASSION FOR COLLECTING TRAINS By Emily Tierney COMINS — While a life-size railroad doesn’t make its way through Comins, many people might not know the community is home to a miniature railway, the Fredrickson Express. Norm Fredrickson of Comins has been involved in the community for many years, from working for the Oscoda County Road Commission to owning a gas station in town. He also has his own model railway, located in his and his wife Carol’s basement. “I enjoy it and I’m sure the people who come in here enjoy it,” Norm said. Norm has been collecting trains since the late ’90s, and soon after started the long process of transforming his basement into a large display area with several tables covered in trains, tracks, road signs and more. He said he continues to add to it still more than 25 years later. His collection also includes different items such as tracks, trees, roads made out of duct tape, log mills and sawmills. “That’s what Oscoda County is known for are sawmills,” Norm said. Some of Norm’s more recent additions to his display include a large model of the Mackinac Bridge that lights up in a variety of colors and a train with a live camera on it. Before beginning his ongoing project, Norm said a tornado blew down his house in 1999, and it had to be rebuilt. But his trains were safe. “Most of the trains were in the boxes still in the basement,” he said. Norm said he has gathered trains from train shows, garage sales and more. “I’d go any place I thought I could make a good deal,” he said. As for why he started collecting See TRAINS, 12
Norm and Carol Fredrickson pose for a picture in front of Norm’s Macinkac Bridge in their Comins home. Emily Tierney
Page 10 • Reflections - Summer 2019
Rose City treasurer celebrates 50 years on the job By Kimberly Landenberg ROSE CITY — One lady’s milestone in years of service to her community was honored during the Rose City parade this past Fourth of July. Carol Lee Butler has been the Rose City treasurer for 50 years, prompting the parks and rec committee to bestow the honor of grand marshal on her this year. Butler, who was born and raised in the area, was originally appointed to the position. “When I started out, we did the bills manually,” she said. “They printed them off at the old courthouse building in the basement. All the treasurers had to manually fill out the blank tax notices that we picked up at the courthouse and mail them.” Even though Butler said she is not See BUTLER, 11 Grand Marshal Carol Lee Butler waves to the crowd as she passes by in the 2019 Rose City parade, driven by her granddaughter, Theresa Feldhauser. Kimberly Landenberg
Reflections - Summer 2019 • Page 11
FROM PAGE 10
computer-savvy, over the years she learned a few different programs as technology developed, starting with one called Manatron. Now, at 85, Butler is learning the latest software, BS&E. “Each time we changed it was a challenge, but it gets easier,” she said. For a while Butler was not only the Rose City treasurer, but she also worked in the Ogemaw County treasurer’s office, from which she retired after 15 years. Currently she is also treasurer of the Rose City Downtown Development Authority. Outside of these duties, Butler has kept active in her community through the
years. In past years, she was active in the chamber and in beautification of the city, and volunteered to help organize events like Easter egg hunts and the fall festival. She served on the 4-H council and as a 4-H leader, chaperoning Exploration Days to Lansing and two trips to Washington, D.C., and volunteered with the performing arts program at Kirtland Community College. At her church, Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, she was on the council and served as an officer for the Lutheran organization Thrivent, through which she even took a mission trip to El Salvador helping to
build homes. “I just feel that you should pay back,” she said. “I believe personally in getting involved. I believe in the town.” Butler also emphasized that she alone doesn’t deserve the credit. “We work together,” she said. “... I’m not singly doing this stuff; I have all the other people involved. If you talk to any of your townships, you need everybody. You have the clerk, you have the mayor — we all have to work together. It’s a good working team.” Butler humbly described her enjoyment of being grand marshal — an
experience that included her granddaughter driving her through the parade in a classic car. “It was a surprise, overwhelming,” she said. “I’m still having a lot of fun with it. It was fun enjoying the comments and compliments. ... All people should experience this. There are a lot of workers who deserve this honor.” Butler’s late husband of 57 years was Ken, the owner of Ken’s Barber Shop. She has a daughter and a son, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and in her spare time she enjoys gardening and yardwork.
customers’ needs. “It was kind of a variety store,” Richard said. “Mr. Blumenthal had drapery sample books and he did a little bit of drapery. I decided I was going to pick up on that side of it. We gradually transitioned that business from all these different products down to women’s clothing and window treatments.” Narrowing the product lines allowed Marilyn and staff to handle the store and Richard to focus on the drapery. Richard said before heading into the business, he was inexperienced at window coverings. But through workshops, product presentations and trade shows he learned the trade that he continues today. When the Hamiltons decided to close
the business, Richard was approached by Morse Clark Furniture Company owner Joe Clark, who expressed an interest in getting into the window treatment business. Richard said after agreeing to a parttime schedule, which has been further tapered down over the years to allow him and Marilyn to live a snowbird lifestyle, he went to work for Morse Clark continuing in the trade. “Each year I say, ‘Am I going to do this again?’” Richard said. “But I firmly believe that keeping going and keeping your mind busy is good for your health, so I am doing it.” Richard in part credits staying busy for his overall good health, despite his age.
“Until last fall I had never been in the hospital — 77 years and I had never been,” Richard said. “I think you have to keep using your brain.” “I am going to keep busy doing something until my body says, ‘You can’t do it anymore,’” Richard said. “When? I don’t know. I think activity has a lot to do with it. Some people retire, sit and not do anything. Then they can’t do anything. I am not as agile or as fast, but I can still move pretty good.” Richard still enjoys it, not only the work but the people and the community, which he has been deeply ingrained in since the beginning. “It is the people,” he said. “I love the people.”
Hamilton FROM PAGE 5
Later he joined his father and brother in the family business before venturing off on his own. “My history was either wholesale or retail,” he said. “We decided if we are going to starve, so to speak, what we would want for a business. We decided we would start a shoe store or buy Blumenthal’s.” Richard said he decided to approach Blumenthal about possibly buying the business. “I went in and within a half-hour he was ready to sell,” he said. “That is how we ended up in that business.” When the Hamiltons purchased Blumenthal’s, the store was a hodgepodge of products ranging from towels and linens to fabrics and notions to meet
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Page 12 • Reflections - Summer 2019
Norm Fredrickson’s basement is full of train sets, which he has incorporated with displays on several tables, such as the one pictured here.
Photos by Emily Tierney
Trains FROM PAGE 9
trains to begin with, Norm said he started because he has always had a passion for them. “Even when I lived in Ferndale — I was only 6 years old — I used to walk down to the railroad tracks, which were maybe two blocks away, and watch the trains,” he said. Carol said she also enjoys looking at the trains and display. “He started with a nail and a hammer and a piece of wood,” she said. Carol and Norm have been married for more than 50 years and have six children and eight grandchildren. Carol worked for the Oscoda County Council on Aging and was
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a trustee for Clinton Township for many years, and Norm was on the county road commission for 18 years. He said he started building and adding more to his collection after retiring in 2001. Norm said he also was a truck driver for the county, so he has many semitruck models that are part of his collection as well, which are on shelves on the basement walls. He said he has more than 100 trains and almost 600 railcars. Even though Norm is 80 years old, he said he doesn’t plan to stop going to sales. He plans to keep adding to his collection, sharing it with his grandkids and the community.
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Norm and Carol Fredrickson look through a book all about trains in their basement.
Reflections - Summer 2019 • Page 13
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Page 14 • Reflections - Summer 2019
We asked residents of the Ascension Standish Skilled Nursing Facility:
If you could give yourself any advice when you were younger, what would you say?
e rn a ca re er, li k a le d n a on ti a ur educ Te xa s “G o ta k e up yo s, Fo rt Worth, en v te S e n re -I e th ing .” n ursi ng or som
“Think of yourse lf a nd think o pe ople sin f o the rs. I’ ce I was 7. ve bee n he T he re’s alw th an you, lping ays someb and you c a ody worse n always h of f e lp some MacDon a ld, Ste r ling body.” - Mae
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Reflections - Summer 2019 • Page 15
“Live your li
pand. to pieces and ex “Tear the place e .” -Marguare tt ts uc od pr e or m Carr y busines s ow ner Pe st rue, former from St andish
fe r igh t to th e f ulle s t. Do e ve r y thing y ou wan t to, w he t he r you c an af ford it or no t.” -M ar y Es the r R ise n bar k , Pincon ning
“I wo uldn’t go to Ko re a. I wa s th ere 18 mo nt hs an d th at wa s to o long.” -Tom Dubie l, St an dish, Ko re an War ve te ra n
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Page 16 â€¢ Reflections - Summer 2019