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Trivia: what actor spent boyhood in Omena?

Lots of people were in town last week to celebrate the New Year. Everyone braved the fog to go to various New Year’s parties in the area.

Mike and Laurie Adelson came up from Brighton right after Christmas and enjoyed a week in the area. Jim, Bonnie and Kelli Scarlett came from Grand Rapids to ring in the New Year. Kelli partied right up to midnight. Jamie and Barb Karchon were in town from Bloomfield Hills and had a house full of guests for some New Year’s fun.

Bill and Susan Krusel were here from West Bloomfield for about a week over the holidays and had a great time celebrating the New Year. Rick and Trish Bryan came up from Cincinnati after Christmas and stayed through the New Year.

Bill and Paula McMenamy were in town with their daughter and son-in-law, Carole and Troy Amber, from Columbus, Ohio. Carole and Troy had just returned from a ten-week working farm tour in Italy. They travelled by train and bus, stopping at different locales to work in a variety of roles – cooking, harvesting olives, making wine, and finding products and recipes, the latter being the objective of their food blog “Chop, Sizzle, Pop – our quest for the best food in the world.” They returned home with some olive oil that they had helped with the harvesting and pressing of the olives. Carole is a professional food writer and Troy is a professional photographer. You can read their blog at www.chopsizzlepop.com.

It turns out that Bruce and Judy Balas’ daughter-in-law, Erika Sloan, from San Francisco, also writes a food blog. Before she had children, Erika was an editor and manager for a San Francisco publisher, and her area of expertise was cookbooks. About a year ago, she started her blog to explore different ways to prepare pork, but she actually includes many types of food in the blog. Her interest in pork came about because she and her husband wanted to buy meat that was raised without hormones, so they bought half a hog. (I guess it’s really a hog blog). Her objective is to “make great food and share it with family and friends”. Her blog site is www.justpigs.posterous.com. The blog also has some stories that include her children, so you can read a little about Bruce and Judy’s grandchildren. Some of Judy’s favorite non-pork recipes that you can find there include Granola, Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Blueberry Sauce, and Potato Gratin with Tomatoes and Olives.

Gil and Annette Deibel’s daughter, Andrea Muladore and her husband Mike and their two children, Meagan and Erik, came up from Saginaw on New Year’s Day. There wasn’t any snow left for snow sports, but they all enjoyed visiting and particularly looking at the pictures and hearing all about Andrea and Meagan’s trip to Costa Rica for the wedding of Meagan’s Costa Rican “sister”. Meagan had stayed with her family when she was in Costa Rica as a student.

Larry and Joey Bensley had another big family weekend over New Year’s. Their family tradition is to have their New Year’s Eve party at the family cottage north of Northport. There were about 20 people this year, and almost all of them spent the night in the cottage. This year, their daughter and son-in-law, Carrie and Rich Roman were there from Traverse City with their three children. Their son Jim and his wife Mary Kay and three children were also there from Traverse City. Their son Bob and his wife Kathy came from Schoolcraft with their 4 children, including Cara who is in graduate school in London. She was tied up at Heathrow for 4 days waiting to get out in that freezing weather that hit Europe around Christmas. Their granddaughter Anna was also there. Larry and Joey opted to drive through the fog in order to spend the night in their own bed back in Omena. Shortly after they left, ten of their progeny, including son Bob, daughter Carrie, and eight grandchildren took a dip in Lake Michigan.

Ron and Mary Tonneberger thought they’d be home to celebrate the New Year with friends, but Mother Nature had other plans. They had been in Salt Lake City for two weeks with their daughter Karen Edgley, her husband Roger and their children. The day they left, a snowstorm hit Denver, which delayed their plane from getting into Salt Lake City. As a result, they left four hours late and were diverted to land in Milwaukee instead of Grand Rapids. They checked into a hotel at 3 a.m. on New Year’s Eve morning, and didn’t get a flight out of Milwaukee until 3 p.m., and then had to drive back to Omena from Grand Rapids in that fog.

Aric Browning had a fun – and almost perfect - birthday present last Sunday. Aric was born in Sheboygan, Wisconsin and was four years old when Brett Favre started playing for the Green Bay Packers. He has been die-hard Favre fan ever since. You may have noticed his vanity license plate around Omena – 4BFAVRE. For his birthday, his girl friend Mandy bought tickets for them to see the Vikings – Lions game on Sunday. Unfortunately, Favre was still on the inactive list, and Aric didn’t get to see him play.

Nancy Gregory is recovering well after her recent quadruple bypass surgery. She and Jim will be in Omena all winter this year while she recuperates.

Scott Craig’s piece on Bea Kimmerly will air on IPR 88.7 Friday at 8:30 a.m., and again on Saturday at 9 a.m.

The answer to last week’s trivia question, who was the actor who had lived in Omena for a while as a child, is Wally Cox.

Happy Birthday to John Harris, Judy Balas, Linda Cherne, and Pat Bussey.

Thanks to Jim Miller for that very nice letter to the editor last week. It was sincerely appreciated. I’m just not sure if he was trying to get on my good side so that he would be in the column more or less.

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By Leslie Disch
Phone/fax: 386-5686
email: phen.omena.2@gmail.com

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