Letters

Letters 09-07-2015

DEJA VUE Traverse City faces the same question as faced by Ann Arbor Township several years ago. A builder wanted to construct a 250-student Montessori school on 7.78 acres. The land was zoned for suburban residential use. The proposed school building was permissible as a “conditional use.”

The Court Overreached Believe it or not, everyone who disagrees with the court’s ruling on gay marriage isn’t a hateful bigot. Some of us believe the Supreme Court simply usurped the rule of law by legislating from the bench...

Some Diversity, Huh? Either I’ve been misled or misinformed about the greater Traverse City area. I thought that everyone there was so ‘all inclusive’ and open to other peoples’ opinions and, though one may disagree with said person, that person was entitled to their opinion(s)...

Defending Good People I was deeply saddened to read Colleen Smith’s letter [in Aug. 24 issue] regarding her boycott of the State Theater. I know both Derek and Brandon personally and cannot begin to understand how someone could express such contempt for them...

Not Fascinating I really don’t understand how you can name Jada Johnson a fascinating person by being a hunter. There are thousands of hunters all over the world, shooting by gun and also by arrow; why is she so special? All the other people listed were amazing...

Back to Mayberry A phrase that is often used to describe the amiable qualities that make Traverse City a great place to live is “small-town charm,” conjuring images of life in 1940s small-town America. Where everyone in Mayberry greets each other by name, job descriptions are simple enough for Sarah Palin to understand, and milk is delivered to your door...

Don’t Be Threatened The August 31 issue had 10 letters(!) blasting a recent writer for her stance on gay marriage and the State Theatre. That is overkill. Ms. Smith has a right to her opinion, a right to comment in an open forum such as Northern Express...

Treat The Sickness Thank you to Grant Parsons for the editorial exposing the uglier residual of the criminalizing of drug use. Clean now, I struggled with addiction for a good portion of my adult life. I’ve never sold drugs or committed a violent crime, but I’ve been arrested, jailed, and eventually imprisoned. This did nothing but perpetuate shame, alienation, loss and continued use...

About A Girl -- Not Consider your audience, Thomas Kachadurian (“About A Girl” column). Preachy opinion pieces don’t change people’s minds. Example: “My view on abortion changed…It might be time for the rest of the country to catch up.” Opinion pieces work best when engaging the reader, not directing the reader...

Disappointed I am disappointed with the tone of many of the August 31 responses to Colleen Smith’s Letter to the Editor from the previous week. I do not hold Ms. Smith’s opinion; however, if we live in a diverse community, by definition, people will hold different views, value different things, look and act different from one another...

Free Will To Love I want to start off by saying I love Northern Express. It is well written, unbiased and always a pleasure to read. I am sorry I missed last month’s article referred to in the Aug. 24 letter titled, “No More State Theater.”

Home · Articles · News · Random Thoughts · The bittersweet season
. . . .

The bittersweet season

Robert Downes - September 20th, 2010
The bittersweet season
Fall is that time of year when we “get our life back” here in Northern Michigan.
I’m always amazed at the hush that falls over the region just after
Labor Day Weekend. Suddenly, the road along the bay looks less like
the Daytona 500 and more like a country lane. As the smog and
automotive roar of the tourist migration dissipates, you can start to
see something of that small town we remember from way back when -- a
place more like Lake Woebegone than the Vegas Strip. Fall reminds us
that life here isn’t all just a cabaret, old chum... we get our sense
of home back.
By August, our heads are ringing from attending the summer-long
avalanche of festivals, starting in May with the Zoo-de-Mac and
running through the Leland Wine Festival and Spirit of the Woods in
June; the Cedar Polka Fest, Cherry Festival, BlissFest, PaellaFest and
TC Film Fest in July; the new Wine & Microbrew festivals in August;
Bay Harbor Vintage Car & Boat Fest, Festival by the Bay, Dunegrass,
Hoxieville, FarmFest, Forest Fest, Venetian Fest, Alpenfest,
Harborfest, and all of the dozens of other mini-fests punctuating the
summer. Not to mention art fairs -- you could spend the whole summer
hopscotching to different art fairs each weekend, filling your home
with thousands of loon carvings, Petoskey stone lamps and old barn
paintings.
Attend all of summer’s events and you turn yourself into a human
pinata, knocked silly from one commitment to the next -- call it
“minifest destiny.” Unfortunately, this gives the sensation of
speeding up time as your event calendar becomes a mandatory checklist
year after year. Here in TC, for instance, summer becomes a blazing
downhill run after we’ve finished the Cherry Festival, and yet the
season seems barely just begun.
Going to festivals, concerts and gallery openings is an occupational
hazard at Northern Express and I wouldn’t trade them for all the green
cheese on the moon; but by fall I’m ready for a slower pace, along
with the news that the only big thing happening in town is a high
school football game. Thankfully, I’ve been to some of those many
years ago and don’t feel the need to attend.
So festival fatigue eases in the fall and there are fewer events
around to drain the swamp of your wallet (or desert as the case may
be). Amen to that, because before you know it, it will be Halloween
and the Christmas shopping season will be sprung full-blown upon us
along with another round of parties, visitors and expense.
Fall has its own rewards: the air is crisp enough to make for good
sleeping and snuggling weather at night, but not cold enough to hear
the costly rumble of the furnace kicking on. Hikes in the country
replace days at the beach, and soups replace salads as the days grow
cooler. Men huddle around electronic fires to squint at football
games, raising the same grunts and yells as their caveman forebears
20,000 years ago. Cider mills carry us back to our roots, reminding us
that there’s something better to quaff than the carmelized,
carbonated, caffeinated bilge in polyethylene terephthalate bottles
that we trashed ourselves with last summer. And of course, the blaze
of changing leaves reminds us that life is short & sweet, so better
grab all of it that you can while it lasts.
Before you know it, we’ll be rummaging around in our closets,
wondering where the heck we put all of the scarves, hats and gloves we
packed away last spring. Dimly, we’ll recall that it’s time to get
the snowblower tuned up, like we forget to do every fall until it’s
too late. And we’ll find ourselves putting things away: patio chairs
and tiki torches, swimsuits and soaker hoses. We won’t be seeing any
more knobby knees and hairy legs in plaid shorts downtown, but neither
will we enjoy the sight of pretty women in mini skirts and halter
tops. We’ll savor the goo of caramel apples, but maybe lose a tooth
in the process. Fall is the bittersweet season.

 
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