2017-12-14 / Columns

Omenaites recovering from 30-hour outage; Shep Tate turns 100

Lunas, Kempers celebrate
By LESLIE DISCH
Phone/fax 386-5686

It’s déjà vu this morning as I write the column. I could just copy and paste a lot of last week’s column. Little sleep last night because of howling winds, KAL is still pushing out cherry trees, and the burn piles are consuming the ones that have been pulled. One major difference is that this week we still have power, as opposed to last week when I had to drive to Suttons Bay to write the column.

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Updates from last week’s “News from Omena Heights” include that we were out of power for over 30 hours last Tuesday and Wednesday, so we had to spend the night in TC. We were in Traverse for therapy when we discovered that the estimated restore time was the next day, so we spent the night with no bags packed. Had to use the hotel guest laundry to wash what we wearing for the next day, when we also had appointments in town.

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One of the appointments was Debby’s visit to the hand specialist for the little finger that she fractured. The good news is that she did not need surgery, but her right hand is in a cast for a month (and it’s purple – of course). The little finger is casted to the finger next to it, so she has some mobility with the other two fingers and thumb. But it’s hard and unwieldy, and hurts when she hits me with me (I’m sure it’s accidental).

For those of you who remember casts of the past, the new casts are amazing. She can get it wet, even shower with it unprotected. You can swim with it on. Well, maybe not swim, but go in the water. So, unlike kids when we were young, a cast doesn’t mean a totally ruined summer.

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As I listen to the north winds howling outside and anticipate the major snow storm that is forecast, I hope that those who are spending their first full winter in Omena aren’t wondering what they are doing here. Those new year-round Omena residents include Gayle Madison and Ed Hinkleman, David Lightner and Susan Valiga, and Kathy Schaeffer.

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Speaking of snow, Helen Putnam Bradley reported from San Antonio last Friday that they got 2 inches of snow – their first snow since 1985!

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Julie Krist is turning attention to Christmas after a special and fun Thanksgiving. She took both of her daughters and their families to Chicago for the Thanksgiving weekend. Jenny and Dustin Goshorn and their children, Abby and Ben, came from Farmington Hills. Abby and Ben are both students at Oakland Community College. Heidi and Andy Nelden came from Imlay City with their children, Cooper, 12, and Ella, 9. They all took the train together from Dearborn the day before Thanksgiving. They enjoyed a special smoked turkey dinner at the Weber Grill on Thanksgiving. They used Uber to get around town for their sight-seeing, and Julie said it worked very well for them.

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While in Chicago, they saw “Blue Man,” a musical, visited the Shedd Aquarium, and went to Millennium Park, where they enjoyed seeing its newest structure, “The Bean.” Cloud Gate is a three-story steel sculpture that has been dubbed “The Bean” by Chicagoans, because of its legume-like shape. The sculpture is the first public artwork in the United States by world-renowned artist Anish Kapoor. It is composed of 168 stainless steel plates welded together, so that its highly polished exterior has no visible seams.

Millennium Park is located in the Loop, and was originally intended to celebrate the third millennium. It is a prominent civic center near the city’s Lake Michigan shoreline that covers a 24.5-acre section of northwestern Grant Park. The area was previously occupied by parkland, Illinois Central rail yards, and parking lots. The park, which is bounded by Michigan Avenue, Randolph Street, Columbus Drive and East Monroe Drive, features a variety of public art. As of 2009, Millennium Park trailed only Navy Pier as a Chicago tourist attraction and by 2017 it had become the No. 1 tourist attraction in the Midwest. In 2015, the park became the location of the city’s annual Christmas tree lighting.

Planning for the park began in October 1997. Construction began in October 1998, and Millennium Park was opened in a ceremony on July 16, 2004, four years behind schedule. The park has received awards for its accessibility and green design. Millennium Park has free admission, and features the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Cloud Gate (aka the Bean), the Crown Fountain, the Lurie Garden, and various other attractions. The park is connected by the BP Pedestrian Bridge and the Nichols Bridgeway to other parts of Grant Park. Because the park sits atop a parking garage and the commuter rail Millennium Station, it is considered the world’s largest rooftop garden.

Some observers consider Millennium Park to be Chicago’s most important project since the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893. In 2017, Millennium Park placed among the top ten attractions in the United States with 25 million annual visitors.

The Krist family got in the Christmas holiday spirit as Michigan Avenue was decorated beautifully, and they went to the very special Christkindlmarket. The outdoor holiday market was inspired by the Christkindlesmarkt in Nuremburg, Germany, which began in 1545. It is Chicago’s largest open-air Christmas festival and is open until Christmas Eve. It brings a European tradition and international flair to the holiday.

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Happy 100th Birthday to Shep Tate. Happy Birthday to Karl Krusel, who turns 14; Hayden Dailey, who turns 12; and Dillon Patrick Kimmerly, who turns 8. Happy Birthday also to Nancy Kalchik, Sunny Colling, Jeff Singer, Bob Hauske, Georgienne Hammer, and Alex Edgley.

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Happy Anniversary to Chico and Mary Luna, and to Kim and Linda Kemper.

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