2018-04-19 / Columns

Cedar chests emptied to provide post cards for museum exhibit

Joyce has raised $17,000
Phone/fax 386-5686

GETTING A cup of coffee wasn’t easy Saturday morning, although one patron of Peddling Beans in Lake Leelanau found a way to stay above the dozen or so inches of snow that fell overnight. In total the mid-spring snowstorm dumped about 20 inches on the Peninsula over four days. GETTING A cup of coffee wasn’t easy Saturday morning, although one patron of Peddling Beans in Lake Leelanau found a way to stay above the dozen or so inches of snow that fell overnight. In total the mid-spring snowstorm dumped about 20 inches on the Peninsula over four days. The “prolonged” winter weather has allowed people in Omena to continue to work on their indoor projects without competition from the needs of their lawns and gardens. As we all know, the first sign of spring in Omena is Jim Miller on his lawn mower. That’s how the robins know when it’s okay to arrive.

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One big project underway is the new exhibit for the Omena Historical Society (OHS) at Putnam Cloud Tower House Museum. It will feature historical Omena postcards retrieved from OHS archives and from the cedar chests of Omenians around the country.

The large exhibit room will be used to display over a hundred old postcards, enlarged for easier reading, from Omena’s past. Many of these cards have interesting snippets of news of the day that people were sharing during their summer vacations while visiting old Omena resorts and friends back in the early 1900s. Some of the images provide a rare look back at scenes and buildings long forgotten. The story of Omena’s postcards — who made them and how they were made — is interesting as well. For example, did you know that many of our old postcards were printed in Germany before the First World War! Come see that and much more this summer at the OHS museum in beautiful downtown Omena.

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This January, after a number of years of living in both Omena and Petaluma, Calif., Ed Hinkelman and Gayle Madison moved their primary residence to Omena. They have spent the winter moving their publishing company to Traverse City. Their publishing company is World Trade Press (WTP), which publishes reference books on international trade and has large-scale electronic databases of country-by-country information. They purchased a building for the business on 8th Street in Traverse City and have been busy hiring staff these last three months.

This is how they describe their publishing company: “The mission of World Trade Press is to help people understand, appreciate and experience the diverse cultures of the world. Essentially, we want people to fall in love with the world! We do this by developing information products that make it easier to interact internationally through culture, travel, business, language, food, and local living.”

Since 1993, WTP has developed a Master Database of country information covering 243 topics for each country of the world. It contains 12 million words of proprietary editorial, 75,000 native speaker video clips, 45,000 photographs, and 120,000 maps. More than 320 in-house staff and worldwide freelancers have contributed to this database. The 18 digital information products that are derived from this database are licensed to public libraries, academic institutions, K-12 schools, government agencies, NGOs, and global businesses.

To “get a taste” of World Trade Press, check out their latest product with a free subscription to Food Passport, a digital cookbook for each of 174 countries all in one package. On the web go to FoodPassport.com, and type in username “family” and password “friend.”

I think we’re lucky that they made a decision to move here before they understood what “April Showers” can mean!

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Jack Joyce has spent his winter months on a very worthy project. Jack, who is a sixth grader at Leland Public School, is leading the nation in raising money for the American Heart Association’s “Jump Rope for Heart”. He has already raised about $17,000 on his way to his goal of $20,000. Over the past few years, he has raised over $40,000 through Jump Rope for Heart. If you would like to contribute, contact Diane Joyce at 231-883-6520 for details on how to give.

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Over the winter, Dennis Turner, a seasonal Omena resident, completed his book, “What Did You Do in the War, Sister?” During World War II, Belgian nuns created a system of alarms and delaying tactics, including flirting and “not understanding” German, to hide refugees and Jews from the Nazis. Their stories, recently discovered in letters and other documents written by Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur (SNDdeN) in German-occupied Belgium and Italy during World War II inspired the book. Dennis, a law professor at the University of Dayton, is a friend of Sister Kim Dalgran of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. She is the archivist of the Midwest Region of the SNDdeN, and several years ago came across about 500 letters written by the sisters in Belgium and Italy during the war. She shared those with Dennis, who was a history major before becoming a lawyer, and the vision of a book took hold.

Dennis calls the book “imaginative nonfiction.” While remaining true to the historical accuracy of his source material, he has crafted an engaging account of World War II. He and his wife, Kathy, even traveled to Belgium to view many of the sites for themselves. Through his research, he became friends with Jean-Michel Veranneman, Belgian ambassador and author of the book, “Belgium in the Second World War,” who was very complimentary of this book. Because of his work, he met several people in the Dayton area who were children in Nazi-occupied areas during WWII. They added to his knowledge as well as provided pictures.

The most amazing small-world story was when he mentioned the book to his Lifelong Learning class and one of the students jumped out of his chair. He was one of the children rescued by the same group of nuns!

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Kristen Brown, the daughter of Omena residents Joan and Dale Blount, has thrown her hat in the ring for Michigan’s 99th District House seat that represents all of Isabella County and 10 townships in Midland County. The priorities that she mentions at this time are public education and roads and infrastructure. It’s always good to see people willing to get involved. Good luck, Kristen!

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As of Monday, most of Michigan has experienced record snowfall for April, and most of that came during the recent four-day “prolonged winter storm”, as the experts termed it. I don’t think we have an official site here in Omena, but Traverse City had almost 23 inches. I feel sure that we have topped two feet here. Lots of people stuck in and out of Omena due to the weather.

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Happy Birthday to Xzander Roman, who becomes a teenager this week, and to Charlotte Lichtel, who turns eight. Happy Birthday also to Roger Edgley, Joan Blount, Aimee Harris, Caryn DeVries, Karon Smith and Abby Van Dusen.

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