2017-09-28 / Columns

Chenault hits milestone; MH missed

Omena big on UnCaged
Omena News
By LESLIE DISCH
Phone/fax 386-5686

Lots of Omena folks will be attending, volunteering at, and participating in the Fifth Annual Leelanau UnCaged Saturday in Northport from noon to 10 p.m. The Prevailing Winds will be the opening musical performance at the Willowbrook Stage at noon, and Rob Mulligan’s Grupo Aye will close out the evening at the Waukazoo Stage from 8:30 – 10.

Omena residents Maggie Racich and Jimmy Linenberger will perform their Fire Dance in the Center Stage at about 9:15 p.m. In addition to music and visual arts, there will be a full day of events for children including painting a hippie bus, making Popeye sailboats, puppet-making and a puppet show, and more. I may just hang out in the Kids’ Corner all day.

Go to leelenauuncaged.com for schedules and maps and other information, including how to donate so that this free event can continue to flourish.

They can still use more volunteers for set up, clean up and to man the barricades throughout the day so that performers can be let through.

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The weather has certainly been the news this past week – record heat. I hear mixed reviews, but I have loved this additional taste and feel of summer. While we won’t have this heat, I hope we at least have dry weather for UnCaged.

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The Omena community is deeply saddened by the death of Mary Helen Ray last weekend. Mary Helen, MH as she was known (just don’t call her Mary!), was a member of the Omena community her entire life. She started coming up here with her parents in the summer from Evanston, Ill., when she was just a child. She has been a lifelong member of the Omena Traverse Yacht Club, sailing Penguinclass boats as a teen-ager serving as an active volunteer as her children grew up. Mary Helen was one of the early board members and dedicated volunteers of the Omena Historical Society. She was a current Omena Woods Association board member, and also helped out with Blessings in a Backpack. She and her husband, John, attended the Omena Presbyterian Church. Her life in Wilmette, Ill., ws busy with friends, church and community, and mirrored her life here. But Omena was always MH’s special place.

She also remained an active and enthusiastic alumna of Denison University and Kappa Alpha Theta fraternity. When she wasn’t busy with her many activities, she and John loved to travel and to entertain friends. Most important in her life was her family — her husband, three children and eight grandchildren. In recent times, MH was the “go to” person for Omena history questions. She was one of the key sources often cited in Amanda Holmes’ “Omena – A Place in Time.”

Mary Helen will be missed in so many ways in the Omena community. Our sympathies go to her husband John, and to her three children, Kevin, Michael and Linda, and to their families. The entire family, except for her two twin granddaughters who are in their freshman years in college, gathered at the family cottage this past week before a private burial at the Omena Cemetery. She will always be part of the place that she held so dear.

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Cynnie Renz Dotzauer is in town from Snohomish, Wash., visiting her parents, Rat and Bill Renz. Her brother and sister-in-law, Bill and Tish Renz, were up from Cincinnati for a few days of her visit.

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Rink Smith is back from attending his 50th class reunion of Walnut Hills High School in Cincinnati. He said that about 100 classmates, and 50 spouses, out of a class of slightly over 300, attended. Rink stayed with his aunt Alis Robinson, and got to visit with his other aunt, Betty Rule, and a number of cousins and their families. Alis and Betty were just two of four 93-year-olds that he enjoyed spending time with while there. I guess that helped him feel young while celebrating 50 years since high school. One of the nonagenarians is still driving his Porsche around town.

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Linda and Charlie Melville, from Cincinnati, and their daughter Francie Melville from Chicago, are in town to enjoy some of this fall weather.

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Congratulations to Mark and Jan Morgan and to Mark and Sue Holtz on the birth of their grandson, Owen Chase Morgan. He was born in Denver, Colorado on Sept. 24. Owen’s parents are Bryan and Meghan Holtz Morgan. His great-grandparents are Doug and Patty Sherman.

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The Leelanau Conservancy has lots of wonderful early fall events coming up. The Conservancy does request that you sign up ahead for their docent-led hikes. You can sign up or get more information at their website, leelanauconservancy.org.

On Saturday, Oct. 7, at 10 a.m, Omena resident Jack Dunn, Ann McGinnis and Jane Gale will lead a hike at the Kehl Lake Natural Area where you can experience the lake and wetlands, virgin woods and recovering meadows of the former old Kehl homestead.

On Saturday, Oct. 14 at 10 a.m., Omena resident Marsha Buehler and fellow docent Jane Gale will lead a hike at the Finton Natural Area, part of a critical wildlife corridor between Northport Bay and Cathead Bay. The gentle terrain makes the hike suitable for children and anyone challenged by steep climbs and descents.

The Conservancy is looking for volunteers on Thursday, Oct. 19 at 10 a.m. at Houdek Dunes to help limit erosion and restore the dunes around the observation platform. They will be transplanting native grasses back onto the dune and working to secure the area, limiting foot traffic down to the creek and keeping the dune healthy. It’s a great time to see fall color and a variety of fungus at Houdek Dunes. Volunteers should bring gloves and water.

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Happy Birthday to Melissa Chenault, who just might be celebrating a significant milestone this year. Happy 95th birthday to Liz Schleef. Happy Birthday also to Phil Goldman, Greg McMorrow, Hannah Fitzgerald, Jack Joyce, Doni Lystra, Guy Kalchik, Drew Putnam, and Kristi Hallett. Happy Anniversary to Richard and Cheryl Huffman, Linda and Al Cherne, John and Judy Smart, and David Lightner and Susan Valiga.

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