2012-09-20 / Columns

Omena politicians in doghouse this week

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With an English setter as Mayor and an all canine and feline Village Council, it’s no surprise that National Dog Week is an important time in Omena. Mayor Maya Deibel and Vice Mayor Shimmer Disch are working on something to commemorate the event in future years.

Riley Miller is celebrating the return of his owners Jim and Kathy from their sailing outing. The Millers enjoyed several days of sailing aboard the Brassy, as guests of Lew and Norma Van Kuiken of Grand Rapids. The Brassy is a 61-foot boat out of Ludington. The Brassy, and two other boats, broke a long-standing Chicago to Mackinac record in the early 1980’s. This was the Millers’ fifth annual outing with the Van Kuikens. With the gloomy forecast for the weather, they cut this year’s sail a little short, but still enjoyed two great days of sailing between Manistee and Ludington with shopping opportunities in between. On a non-sailing day, Jim and Kathy visited the Manistee Historical Society’s museum which they say has an extensive collection of memorabilia and artifacts.

Barkley Balas had weekend guests from Cape Cod, Bill and Alice Iaquessa, who taught with Bruce at the American School of London for 24 of Bruce’s 25 years at the school. They had spent the earlier part of the week at Silver Lake with two other couples who were also former teachers from ASL. They all met for cocktails and dinner for a fun reunion, having not seen each other since 1995 when Bruce retired and moved to Omena. Alice and Bill spent the last part of the week with Bruce and Judy in Omena and loved Leelanau County. They got to see the Leland Heritage Fest on Saturday with the antique cars, Kilcherman’s Antique Apple Farm, Martha’s Leelanau Table Cafe and a hike through Omena Woods. Barkley liked the hike best.

River Dickerson’s family all volunteered at the Inland Seas booth at the Leland Heritage Festival Wooden Boat Show on Saturday. Each year, Chuck directs a project in which students work with volunteer instructors to build a beautiful wood canoe, which is raffled off at the Wooden Boat Show to benefit the Inlands Seas program. Work on this year’s canoe began at the show last September with Omar and Isaiah Roman starting to assemble the frame. Work continued throughout the year by Spencer Seeley and Christopher Somero. Christopher put in 35 hours, and was awarded a high quality paddle for his efforts. Between the volunteer instructors, who make the parts, and the students, who assemble the canoe, about 200 hours went into this year’s boat. Chuck’s wife Janet and their daughter Rachel North, and Jill LeClair sold tickets at the event.

River and neighbor Shimmer Disch have been enjoying swims at Frieda Putnam’s beach, where Debby Disch and Helen Putnam Bradley throw tennis balls which they race after in the water. They are both undaunted by even the biggest waves.

Mayor Maya Deibel is getting to know Neeka, an eight-week old lab- Bernese Mountain dog-hound mix, who belongs to Annette’s granddaughter, Kady Fox. While eight-year old Maya was somewhat perplexed by the puppy initially, they are getting to be good friends. Neeka was over one day when Maya had returned from a walk with her tail full of burrs. The next thing Annette and Kady saw was that Neeka was chewing the burrs out of Maya’s tail. The Mayor is thinking that Neeka could become her personal attendant. It’s not clear whether the Village Council has allocated a budget for that position.

Kady has been in Omena doing an internship at Martha’s Leelanau Table as a pastry chef. She will be there for about two more weeks before returning to Los Angeles to study at Le Cordon Bleu.

Bill and Be Fuertges were in Washington, D.C. the weekend before last for the wedding of their grandson David Farhat and his wife, Nicole. David lived with Bill and Be for a couple of summers when he had summer jobs in the area. There were thirty family members at the event, and they had a wonderful weekend together. The couple lives in Georgetown.

Rink Smith had a big surprise last week when he was at work at Radio Shack in Suttons Bay. Two family friends from long ago appeared at the store. Peter Stolley and his sister Megan are two of five children who grew up in Cincinnati with the Smith family. Their five lined up in age with the five Smith children, and their mothers were friends from high school. The Stolleys spent summers in Interlochen and every summer, the two families would get together. Peter and Megan were in the area and stopped at Omena Bay Country Store to inquire if any of the Smiths were around, and Sunny directed them to Rink. Peter lives in Vermont now, and Megan is in Columbus, Ohio.

Rink and Karon’s daughter Jenni has completed training in newborn care, and is now in Eufaula, Ala., where she is enjoying her first assignment.

Omena was saddened by the death of Bill Emmert this past week. Bill loved the Omena area, where he and his wife Lin have lived year-round since they both retired. Bill served in the Navy during WWII, and then got a degree in engineering at the University of Michigan. He loved outdoor activities, and after they moved up here, he continued boating and skiing. In later years, he got into model boat racing. He will be missed by his friends and neighbors.

Birthday wishes this week go to Maureen Nelson, Marsha Fehrenbach, and Mark Frank.

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