October 17, 2012 - One of the cool things about working in the community news business folk seek you out. Most of the time it is for some of the neat things they or their loved ones have accomplished.
Sometimes they will let me know when some big wheel gets a sweetheart deal on property, then turns around and makes a killing on it. Sometimes they will let me know when government types help their buds and then put the screws to the little guy. (Hey, it happens and when we get proof we can publish it.) They may let me know that some bigger government type may be investigating a smaller government type. Sometimes they call me when they are getting picked on, ignored or done wrong.
Cool, too is most of the time whatever you write gets remembered by the readers. This is a double-edged sword. On the plus side, I feel quite honored that something I wrote was memorable. On the other side, when wrong, folks' elephant-like memories have come back to bite me in the rear.
Which goes to show when you (or me) write you (or I) should 'spect to git read, so make sure your spelling is good and your grammar ain't bad.
Back before the state governor was a Snyder, I went off on a tirade. Hard to imagine, I know, but I went off about both gubernatorial candidates calling Michigan residents a derrogatory "Michigander" versus THE correct term, Michiganian. That was about two years ago and I won't go into it again. (Suffice to say, I was right, and everybody else was wrong.) This column is about one of those good-memoried readers, Dave Williams of Lake Orion. (He really is from Lake Orion -- not just the township where living is a vacation, but actually the lake. He lives on an island.)
At any rate, where he lives is not really important, what is is, that he called me up and reported that back in the late 1970s, he and a bunch of othe Jaycees from across this great mittened state, kicked off a fund raiser, "I'm A Michigander."
They were selling buttons, bumber stickers and decals.
"We thought it would be kinda neat for the folks who drive to Florida in the winter. They could tell who other Michiganders were," Dave said.
Dave Williams and his Michigander button. (click for larger version)
To which I asked, "How'd that work out for you?"
"It went over like a lead balloon."
(I hate to gloat in my victories, but. I could've told all those Junior Chamber of Commerce types that, even back then when I was only a less than debonair teenager. Excuse me for a moment whilst I go spike my football somewhere in front of people and do my touchdown jig.)
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Okay I'm back. Dave has hopes of bringing back the bird, the button, the decals, the whole enchilada. And, as a great number of you folks like being called a loud and obnoxious goose, I bet he can make it happen. If you want to get in on the ground floor of this movement, contact me and I will get you in touch with Dave.
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Dave also show me some cool things the Lake Orion Jaycee's did the 1970s. One thing in particular was their Donut Festival. And, in 1978, they baked what may still be a world record-sized glazed donut.
"It took six to eight-people to lift it," Dave recalled. "It took three and a half hours to cook and another three hours to cool down. It weighed 340 pounds and was 93 and seven-eighths inches across."
Dave thinks it would be kinda cool to bring back the Donut Fest. In the four years of the DF, it brought in estimated crowds of 20,000, 25,000, 30,000 and over 40,000. He may have a point.
Don is Assistant Publisher for Sherman Publications, Inc. He has worked for the company since 1985. He has won numerous awards for column, editorial and feature writing as well as for photography. He has two, sons Shamus and Sean and resides in the area. To read archived copies of his columns, click on his name, just under his picture up top . . . He can be e-mailed at: email@example.com