Letters 10-24-2016

It’s Obama’s 1984 Several editions ago I concluded a short letter to the editor with an ominous rhetorical flourish: “Welcome to George Orwell’s 1984 and the grand opening of the Federal Department of Truth!” At the time I am sure most of the readers laughed off my comments as right-wing hyperbole. Shame on you for doubting me...

Gun Bans Don’t Work It is said that mass violence only happens in the USA. A lone gunman in a rubber boat, drifted ashore at a popular resort in Tunisia and randomly shot and killed 38 mostly British and Irish tourists. Tunisian gun laws, which are among the most restrictive in the world, didn’t stop this mass slaughter. And in January 2015, two armed men killed 11 and wounded 11 others in an attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. French gun laws didn’t stop these assassins...

Scripps’ Good Deed No good deed shall go unpunished! When Dan Scripps was the 101st District State Representative, he introduced legislation to prevent corporations from contaminating (e.g. fracking) or depleting (e.g. Nestle) Michigan’s water table for corporate profit. There are no property lines in the water table, and many of us depend on private wells for abundant, safe, clean water. In the subsequent election, Dan’s opponents ran a negative campaign almost solely on the misrepresentation that Dan’s good deed was a government takeover of your private water well...

Political Definitions As the time to vote draws near it’s a good time to check into what you stand for. According to Dictionary.com the meanings for liberal and conservative are as follows:

Liberal: Favorable to progress or reform as in political or religious affairs.

Conservative: Disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., or to restore traditions and limit change...

Voting Takes A Month? Hurricane Matthew hit the Florida coast Oct. 6, over three weeks before Election Day. Bob Ross (Oct. 17th issue) posits that perhaps evacuation orders from Governor Scott may have had political motivations to diminish turnout and seems to praise Hillary Clinton’s call for Gov. Scott to extend Florida’s voter registration deadline due to evacuations...

Clinton Foundation Facts Does the Clinton Foundation really spend a mere 10 percent (per Mike Pence) or 20 percent (per Reince Priebus) of its money on charity? Not true. Charity Watch gives it an A rating (the same as it gives the NRA Foundation) and says it spends 88 percent on charitable causes, and 12 percent on overhead. Here is the source of the misunderstanding: The Foundation does give only a small percentage of its money to charitable organizations, but it spends far more money directly running a number of programs...

America Needs Change Trump supports our constitution, will appoint judges that will keep our freedoms safe. He supports the partial-birth ban; Hillary voted against it. Regardless of how you feel about Trump, critical issues are at stake. Trump will increase national security, monitor refugee admissions, endorse our vital military forces while fighting ISIS. Vice-presidential candidate Mike Pence will be an intelligent asset for the country. Hillary wants open borders, increased government regulation, and more demilitarization at a time when we need strong military defenses...

My Process For No I will be voting “no” on Prop 3 because I am supportive of the process that is in place to review and approve developments. I was on the Traverse City Planning Commission in the 1990s and gained an appreciation for all of the work that goes into a review. The staff reviews the project and makes a recommendation. The developer then makes a presentation, and fellow commissioners and the public can ask questions and make comments. By the end of the process, I knew how to vote for a project, up or down. This process then repeats itself at the City Commission...

Regarding Your Postcard If you received a “Vote No” postcard from StandUp TC, don’t believe their lies. Prop 3 is not illegal. It won’t cost city taxpayers thousands of dollars in legal bills or special elections. Prop 3 is about protecting our downtown -- not Munson, NMC or the Commons -- from a future of ugly skyscrapers that will diminish the very character of our downtown...

Vote Yes It has been suggested that a recall or re-election of current city staff and Traverse City Commission would work better than Prop 3. I disagree. A recall campaign is the most divisive, costly type of election possible. Prop 3, when passed, will allow all city residents an opportunity to vote on any proposed development over 60 feet tall at no cost to the taxpayer...

Yes Vote Explained A “yes” vote on Prop 3 will give Traverse City the right to vote on developments over 60 feet high. It doesn’t require votes on every future building, as incorrectly stated by a previous letter writer. If referendums are held during general elections, taxpayers pay nothing...

Beware Trump When the country you love have have served for 33 years is threatened, you have an obligation and a duty to speak out. Now is the time for all Americans to speak out against a possible Donald Trump presidency. During the past year Trump has been exposed as a pathological liar, a demagogue and a person who is totally unfit to assume the presidency of our already great country...

Picture Worth 1,000 Words Nobody disagrees with the need for affordable housing or that a certain level of density is dollar smart for TC. The issue is the proposed solution. If you haven’t already seen the architect’s rendition for the site, please Google “Pine Street Development Traverse City”...

Living Wage, Not Tall Buildings Our community deserves better than the StandUp TC “vote no” arguments. They are not truthful. Their yard signs say: “More Housing. Less Red Tape. Vote like you want your kids to live here.” The truth: More housing, but for whom? At what price..

Home · Articles · News · Art · The Quilt Maker
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The Quilt Maker

Anne Stanton - May 11th, 2006
After my husband used to rearrange the living room furniture just so, he’d joke: “I’m a man and a woman, too!”
In artistic terms, the same could be said of David Lint, M.D., only he is a little older and has achieved great things with… quilts. You can see his creations hanging in the spacious, historic corridor of the Minervini Group offices until May 19th.Prepare to be amazed, even if you’re not a quilt aficionado.
They were created by an amazing man. Lint, a retired orthopaedic surgeon, is a rare breed, a renaissance guy. He enjoys bird hunting with his arthritic dog, hunting for morels, and ski racing. He plays classical violin and once tried to raise ostriches (but not successfully).

Stitching together a new life
Lint was introduced to quilting by his wife, Mary, a gifted quilter in her own right. But his decision to try it himself came after visiting John Liddicoat, a long-time friend and a retired heart surgeon. He and Mary went to Liddicoat’s Bay Harbor condo in 2002, at a time when Lint was winding down his practice. He admired Liddicoat’s long-arm sewing machine, an expensive contraption that allows you to sew the intricate designs on very large and thick pieces of cloth.
Liddicoat challenged him to sew a quilt of his own, and he did during the overcast, rainy days of that Traverse City autumn. Lint was immediately hooked. His quilts grew bigger and more intricate. He quickly rationalized how he needed his own long arm machine and bought one for $12,000.
But Lint acknowledges he’s really a novice compared to veteran quilters and admitted to being a little embarrassed about the exhibit.
“The women quilters I’ve met undervalue their abilities --‘My quilts aren’t good enough.’ But then they’ll look at these and say, ‘These aren’t so hard!’”
And Lint would agree with them. But Lint, who wore a vivid, grape-colored shirt the morning I met him, allows that he has a good eye for color and fabric design. He shops fabric stores across the country and talks proudly about his bargains. He showed me how he quilted different fabrics together that when seen alone would have no business stitched side by side. But they look gorgeous together.
“The batiks are my favorite. As you put this block together and then this block, the quilt begins to blossom right in front of you,” he said.
I perused the quilt exhibit with Lint and was impressed by the sheer range—quilts of African and Japanese influence; vivid, eye-popping color quilts and those with muted golds and browns; quilts for children and quilts reflecting his love of the West, where he likes to fish.
As Lint showed me around, he’d untack a bottom corner to show off the design pattern on the quilt’s backside. One sewing pattern is called “stippling.” He talked about his reasons for selecting the fabric and how he liked to patch a coordinating piece of the fabric from the front onto the back.
I learned how incredibly time consuming it is to quilt. Lint explained the process of first making the strips or the stars or the blocks of squares and then designing the border, which requires a good amount of math. I was impressed! I’m going home tonight and thanking my mom again for the quilt she made for my son, born two years ago. How I took it for granted.
There are different names of patterns—faceted jewel, heart’s delight, and flying geese. Do take the time to look at the quilts and admire how the star and square corners met up nearly perfectly—“You have to be extremely precise. You’re talking 1/16th of an inch and the fabric stretches as you work with it.” Step a few feet away and notice the geometric interlacing of circles and triangles. The way he plays with the intensity of color and geometric shapes brought to mind the work of mathematical artist M.C. Escher.
“I like the precision required and the striving for perfection. I want to do my best,” he said. “Of course, you can never be perfect in quilting or surgery, but the human body is more forgiving than fabric.”

A Zen approach
Lint takes almost a Zen approach to quilting. He doesn’t do it for the money; he’d like to make $10 an hour if and when he does sell a quilt.
He also doesn’t want any recognition. After the show, he’ll just fold up the quilts and put them back in the corner of his log home, tucked at the end of a long driveway in Elmwood Township. Lint says he simply quilts for the challenge and the joy of creating. Like all his other hobbies, he spurns official lessons. Puzzling it out is half the fun. As he talks, you can see how his skills as a doctor make him a gifted quilter.
Take his long-arm sewing machine, for example; he traces a pantograph with a laser on one area of the table, while the giant-sized sewing machine lays down the stitches a few feet away. It’s similar to when he used to operate on knees and elbows using the technique of arthroscopy, which involves looking at a blown-up view of a joint on a video screen while actually operating with a tiny instrument inside the joint. To acquire the coordination, Lint used to practice eating with his left hand.
Most quilters sew together the quilt and then send it out to have it quilted with a long-arm machine. It takes months and costs $100 to $200—all of which helped him rationalize spending $12,000 for his own machine.

The liberation of retirement
Lint, 68, came of age in the era of social upheaval and Vietnam; he served in the war, but was lucky enough not to see action. When he returned, he began a practice in 1970, one of a few orthopaedic surgeons in the area. Interestingly, the New Age philosophy influenced his approach to his practice. He provided back-pain patients with a yoga tape, for example, with the hope they could avoid surgery, and it often worked.
“In the early ‘70s, I attended a seminar and studied with all these New Age people, hands-on people, and that changed the rest of my life. I think so much healing has to do with empathy; healing can be achieved by words and by hands. But it took too much time and was offensive to some people.
“Becoming a doctor was a rare gift of God. I wanted to live up to the trust people held for me. I always sat lower than them in the office. I’d always be relaxed. I’d sit and listen until they didn’t have any more to say. People perceived they were in the office much longer than they were.”
Before quilting, Lint’s life was consumed by his surgical practice. He lived by the motto, “First do no harm,” and for him that took precedence and required thorough preparation.

“The night before an operation, I’d study and review the procedure, trying to think of all the contingencies if I encountered something unexpected. As a surgeon, you are at the end of the line; there is no one else to go to when a patient reaches you.
“For 35, 40 years, I dreaded hearing a siren. In this area, we’d get the calls from Grayling and it would take four hours to get the patient here, and you’d have to work at night with only the nurses. Sometimes you’d have only a 90-pound nurse to help try to lift a 350-pound man. I made myself believe I loved doing it, and therefore I did. But I was glad to have it over.”
Lint said that when he retired, he came to understand that his biological clock was ticking. “Your at an age when your parents die and your body begins wearing out. And you have pain most of the time. My shoulder hurts all the time. Ten years from now it will be awfully hard to bend over the long arm machine. You have a fixed number of years, so I’ve decided to live every day with gratitude for my life.”
So now he reads novels and books on theology, books that seemed like an idle luxury when he was a physician. He bought CDs from the Teaching Company, which compiles lectures from ivy league professors on a wide range of topics: “I just listened to one on calculus, in part, because I was not a good math student. I could hardly get through algebra. I learned that calculus was one of the great discoveries of the human brain. They had to invent the system to explain the world. The way this professor described calculus, I finally understood it.”
And that’s the beauty of retirement. You can challenge yourself in a way you never could as a full-time employee.
“I never thought I could make quilts. I didn’t think I could ever paint—it’s so mystical, so magical—but I can see now that I can. I know I could do woodcarving or fix my lawn mower or build a log cabin. All my life I never thought I could do all that.”

The quilt exhibit is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. until May 19 in the Minervini Group offices in Building 50, Grand Traverse Commons. Just go to Trattoria Stella and take the elevator to the second floor.
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