2016-09-15 / Columns

Omena News: Long tea held in small Omena house

By LESLIE DISCH
Phone/fax 386-5686

Recently, Helen Putnam Bradley and Gail Southwell Koch recreated a summer event that they hadn’t done in almost 60 years. They had a tea party in the playhouse on the Southwell farm where Gail grew up. Helen said that the site of the play house just south of Omena was her family’s signal that the drive north had ended, and she always wished she could have one. When she was about 10, she met Gail, who was a few years older, and told her how much she liked her play house. Gail invited her over for a tea party. The young Helen was thrilled.

This summer as they were reminiscing about it, Gail suggested that they do it again. They had a grand time, and enjoyed sharing memories of growing up in, or summering in, Omena. Maybe they’ll do it again sometime.

* * *

The site of Helen’s favorite first glimpse of Omena was right across M-22 from Debby’s family’s favorite first sighting. If you look to the right across the bay — instead of to the left at the Southwell farm — you’ll see Omena Bay for the first time as it comes into view from the south. It was always a moment to let out a cheer by the five Smith children (even if it was dark and you couldn’t actually see the bay, you knew it was there!)

* * *

Last week witnessed the annual invasion of the “Boys from Cincinnati” at the Sulau household. Rick Henthorn, Buzz Dow, and JC Bloomstrom joined Bill for a long weekend of golf and fun, as they have for several years. Bill and Rick both attended Aiken High School in Cincinnati, as did another Omena resident, Kanda McKee, so there was lots of joking about the old days going on as well. The “gang” tried in vain, again, to get Kanda to perform some of the Aiken cheers that she had done as a cheerleader.

* * *

Every summer, the major highlight for Ed and Caroline Oberndorf is the annual August visit of their son, Rob, who is an environmental lawyer who has resided in Southeastern Asia for the past 15 years helping countries such as Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, and Afghanistan, to name a few, develop rules and regulations related to land management and forestry preservation. He just returned this past week to Burma where he is currently spending a second year with a special mission — writing laws giving their citizens the right to private ownership of property. Ed and Caroline said that they are fortunate for emails and skype, which help maintain his distant presence in their household.

* * *

The next two weekends mark the final hours for the Omena Historical Society (OHS) museum to be open for the season. I will be training as a docent next weekend there, and have the honor to be the docent on the final day that it is open, Sunday, September 25. It is open Saturdays and Sundays from 1 – 4 p.m. for the next two weekends. I hope to see you there!

* * *

That Sunday is the day after Leelanau UnCaged so I will have to limit how much fun I have on Saturday. That won’t be easy because UnCaged is an amazing day of music, art, and seeing lots of people that you know in the streets of Northport. The street festival, centered around local arts, goes from noon to 10 p.m. This is the fourth annual UnCaged, and it just gets bigger and better. If you haven’t been before or just want to see what this year’s line-up looks like, go to the Leelanau Uncaged website. Many thanks to this year’s sponsors — Coldwell-Banker Schmidt Realtors, Grand Traverse Resort and Casinos, the Leelanau Township Community Foundation, and Thomas and Milliken Millworks.

* * *

Another entry in Leslie’s Believe-it-or-not collection – was that really Caryn DeVries sporting U of M colors – and a gold baseball cap with a big “M” on it??

* * *

Happy birthday to Kyle Colling, Don Lystra, Jim Kimmerly, Chris Bishop, Maureen Nelson, Bob Smart, and to Preston Tyler, who is 3. Happy anniversary to Walter and Beverly Gaudette and to Jen and Amar Shabbir.

Return to top