2017-11-02 / Columns

Omena fall colors linger; ode to John

Public art feted in Npt.
By LESLIE DISCH
Phone/fax 386-5686

Omena lost a caring and talented friend and neighbor this past Sunday with the death of John Kinker. He was a very talented woodworker, who over the years worked on many boats, built beautiful furniture and did other fine carpentry, as well as home construction. He restored the Omena homestead where he and his wife, Lynn, and their two daughters Olivia and Lillian lived. His Omena home and the surroundings provided both the inspiration and the solitude that nurtured his creativity. He instilled strength and sensitivity in his two daughters, and inspired their creativity. He was very proud of both girls, and was a mentor to Olivia when she created her Northport School senior project with Jeremy the Frog on the Northport hiking trail.

John’s friends and family were important to him. He was a deep thinker, sensitive to and analytical of the world around him. He was also a lot of fun, and will be missed by all. Our sympathies go to his family at this time.

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Although it has turned cold and wet, the fall colors continue to brighten the landscape. It’s a good time to be in Omena.

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Harold and Kanda McKee just returned from Ashland, Ky., and Cincinnati where they attended their 55th and 50th high school class reunions. Both attended high schools with initials AHS (Ashland High School and Aiken High School). In Ashland, they stayed with Jack and Cheryl Thompson, who have visited Omena several times. Harold and Jack were in the same graduating class. Harold was disappointed that his old girlfriend didn’t show, but Kanda’s old boyfriend did! Lots of 50s and 60s songs were played and friendships renewed.

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Omena’s Vice Mayor Sweet Tart McKee, a Norwegian Forest cat, was happy to be back in Omena in time for International Cat Day, which she spent watching chipmunks dig up her parents landscaping and blue jays eating all of the birdseed. Apparently there is an abundance of them this year.

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Dick and Nana Kennedy just returned from a delightful paddle wheel cruise on the Columbia River in the Pacific Northwest, following Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery. They enjoyed magnificent scenery with breathtaking views, and learned so much about that incredible venture into then-uncharted territory. Nana commented that the U.S. is truly an amazing country.

As a little history on their trip, in 1803, President Thomas Jefferson commissioned what he named the “Corps of Discovery,” and named as its leader his personal secretary and U.S. Army Captain Meriwether Lewis, who selected his friend William Clark as a partner. The goals of the Corps of Discovery, whose cadre would be raised primarily from the U.S. military, was to explore the Louisiana Purchase and establish trade and U.S. sovereignty over the native peoples along the Missouri River. Jefferson also wanted to establish a U.S. claim to the Pacific Northwest and Oregon territory by documenting an American presence there before other Europeans, such as the British, could lay title to the land.

The foundations for the Corps of Discovery were laid when Thomas Jefferson met John Ledyard to discuss a proposed expedition in the 1780s. In 1802, Jefferson read Alexander Mackenzie’s 1801 book about his 1792–1793 overland expedition across Canada to the Pacific Ocean; these exploratory journals influenced his decision to create an American body capable of reaching the Pacific as well. Two years after taking the presidency, Jefferson asked Congress to fund an expedition through the Louisiana Purchase.

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Linda and Kim Kemper are back from southern Oregon where they attended the October wedding of Linda’s daughter Leigh and her fiancĂ©, Jared Dove. The wedding was held at the rustic Applegate Lodge with the beautiful Applegate River running alongside. Two of Linda’s children, Ward Welch and now Leigh, were drawn to Jacksonville, site of one of the earliest gold claims, and Ashland, Oregon. Growers like “Harry and David,” “Jackson and Perkins Roses,” along with a huge wine industry have taken advantage of incredible horticultural conditions. Family time, the wedding celebration, and breath-taking mountains and landscape made for a wonderful fall trip.

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Kathy Schaeffer and Gary Roll were two of the chaperons for a trip to Chicago with nine teens from their Traverse City church, the Central United Methodist Church. It is an annual trip for the confirmation class to visit other religions, as well as the city of Chicago. On Friday evening, they attended a Jewish service at a synagogue. On Saturday, they attended the Willowcreek Evangelical Church, a megachurch. Sunday they attended two services, one at a Serbian Orthodox church, and one at former President Obama’s church, Trinity United Church of Christ. They visited the Baha’i House of Worship in Wilmette. It was a fun and educational trip, they reported.

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Congratulations to Dennis and Kim Armbruster on the birth of their grandson Hudson James Irrer in Denver, Colo. While the birth was in August, Kim and Dennis only recently were able to travel to Denver to spend some time with Hudson and his parents. Kristin Armbruster and Dr. Dana Irrer were married in Omena in July 2016, and earlier this year moved to Denver from Minneapolis. While in Denver, Kim and Dennis visited some of the sights, enjoyed sunny and warm weather, and spent much quality time with family. Hudson is their fifth grandson — no granddaughters yet!

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Friday, Nov. 10, is the annual Mariner’s Memorial, a tribute to all mariners who have lost their lives at sea. It has been organized by the students at NMC’s Great Lakes Maritime Academy every year since the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald. The service is at noon at the Great Lakes campus.

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The Northport Arts Association continues to be busy, with a full November schedule. On Sunday at 3 pm, Deborah Mikula, Executive Director, Arts Council of Greater Lansing, will give a Power Point presentation on the benefit of public art to the community. It is free to the public.

This coming Monday and Tuesday, Charles Passerelli will conduct a watercolor class. You will be shown how to see colors in your subject you have not seen before. On November 11, there will be self myofascial release workshop with Karen Cross.

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Happy Birthday this week to Susa Barrera, Helene Mack, Zac Kalchik, Kelli Fitzgerald, Ralph Kalchik, Jackson Dailey, who turns 14, and to Owen Cooper Nyland, who turns 4. Happy Anniversary to Dusty and Jan MacDonald.

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Thanks for the writeup of our

Thanks for the writeup of our confirmation trip! We always enjoy reading your column, and it was fun to see one of our adventures in print.