2016-12-01 / Columns

Omenites decorate their village

Community misses friend Larry Bensley
By LESLIE DISCH
Phone/fax 386-5686


HELPING “DECK the halls” in Omena are Bob Grabowski, Thad Tomlinson, Bill Krusel, Susan Krusel and Marcia Biskupski. 
— Photo by Jim Miller HELPING “DECK the halls” in Omena are Bob Grabowski, Thad Tomlinson, Bill Krusel, Susan Krusel and Marcia Biskupski. — Photo by Jim Miller A fun and ‘omenable’ crowd turned out last Sunday to Deck the Village. The very temperate weather made it a pleasant day for late November to be outside hanging lights and greens. Snow would have put the final touch on the holiday décor – but there’s plenty of time for that.

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Northport is also looking festive after its Holiday Merchants’ Day and Tree Lighting on Saturday. Karen Cross and all of the organizers did a great job, with horse drawn carriage rides and treats at many of the establishments. Carolers strolled the streets in fabulous vintage outfits — made by Janet Crane. The main corner was packed as musicians and carolers led the crowd in Christmas carols just before the switch was flipped on the tree. The tree is really spectacular this year.

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Thanksgiving was a busy time for many Omena residents. Some enjoyed the holiday here, and some traveled. Ron and Mary Tonneberger had a fun week in Salt Lake City with a smaller-than-usual Edgley family gathering — their daughter Karen, son-in-law Roger, and granddaughter Tess. Their other three grandchildren were far-flung this year. Alex and Claire were in London where the English do not celebrate Thanksgiving, and Katherine was in New York visiting college friends. Ron and Mary had a grand time feasting, enjoying mountain views, and being very grateful for escaping a snow storm when leaving and another major storm in Utah upon returning. They returned Saturday evening – just in time to help Deck the Village!

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Myrn and Nonie Steele enjoyed their favorite holiday with Myrn’s oldest son and daughter-in-law, Tom and Karen, who have recently retired to a home they built on a quiet sand lake in Williamsburg. Tom and Karen’s middle daughter, Andrea, and her husband Ryan, and adorable one-year old Rosabelle came, as well as their oldest daughter’s three children, Leticia, who is in college at Grand Valley, Diego, who is in high school in Waterford, and Roland, who is in grade school in Waterford. They had a wonderful time – and ate too much, Nonie reports. Be sure to ask Nonie about her special recipe for mashed potatoes, which Tom loved.

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Mike and Joan TenBrock returned from a 10-day tour of Scotland and Ireland. They visited many popular sites — too many to mention in one column, according to Joan. They thoroughly enjoyed riding through the Scottish highlands and many small, colorful villages in Ireland. And yes, they did kiss the Blarney Stone.

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Bill and Susan Krusel and their sons Karl and William were here for the holiday. They put up a Christmas tree in their new Omena home whose lights could be seen across the bay. They all helped Deck the Village. Mike and Laurie Adelson were here for a fun week leading up to Thanksgiving, and enjoyed being here over the holiday.

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Jack Joyce and his mother, Diane, recently traveled with Suttons Bay’s Friends of the Fine Arts to East Lansing MSU Wharton Center to watch a performance of Wicked-the Untold Story of the Witches of Oz. It was a great performance and a fun trip.

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Omena lost a valued and cherished friend and neighbor with the death of Larry Bensley on Nov. 21. Larry was deeply involved in the Omena community in many ways — as an historian, carpenter par excellence, actor/ prankster, and caring friend. Larry and his wife, Joey, were committed to preserving the heritage of Omena. They purchased the original Craker home on Craker Road and restored it with painstaking effort. They were instrumental in the restoration of the Putnam-Cloud Tower House after it was moved to downtown Omena. He was central to the creation of every Omena Historical Society (OHS) exhibit that has been in the museum since it opened. Larry served on the board of the Omena-Traverse Yacht Club where he led the effort to create a building fund to ensure that the historic building was maintained.

Family meant everything to Larry. He and his family were known to dress in period costumes for many community events, such as OHS open houses, and the square dances that were held for a number of years. He was the auctioneer for many years when the Questers held their annual raiser in Omena. Every auction also included a wonderful table or other piece of furniture made by Larry out of local, antique wood. Larry was both a hard worker and a person who loved to have fun. He will be deeply missed by the Omena community. Our sympathies to go his entire family.

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On Friday and Saturday at 7:30 pm at the Leland Community Methodist Church, the Leelanau Children’s Choir and Leelanau Youth Ensemble will perform their 24th annual Madrigal Concert. Tickets are available by calling 231-883-SING, or at the door.

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On Saturday at 3 p.m., the Northport High School Drama Class will present S. E. Hinton’s The Outsiders in Northport School Auditorium. The performance repeats on Sunday at 4 p.m.

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On Friday, Dec. 9, from 10 – 11 a.m., there will be a very special Northport Public School (NPS) student art show, “Paradox,” in the NPS lobby.

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How is it December already? Happy Birthday to Deb Van Pelt, Alex Putnam, Charlotte Read, and Shelby Lingaur.

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