August 4, 2021

Al Parker | Author


Dig In: Cherry Fest 2021

June 26, 2021

It's been a long time coming, but the National Cherry Festival 2021 promises to be one of the most interesting in years – combining much-loved classic attractions — like Arnold's Amusements Midway, the Gold Pin Program, and the Cherry Farm Market — and some new activitie... Read More >>

Words to the Wise

June 26, 2021

It could be the setup for a corny joke: A former monk, English professor, and advocate for senior citizens walks into a radio station.

It’s a joke that only word geeks — local word geeks, in particular — might understand.

“Words to the Wise,” ... Read More >>

Labor of Love

June 19, 2021

It takes a lot of confidence to launch a new service-oriented business during a pandemic when the national mantra urges folks to mask up, socially distance, and, basically, don't touch each other.

But that didn't deter Brit Averill from founding the Birth Center of Northern Michig... Read More >>

Dinghy’s Restaurant & Bar

June 12, 2021

Kelly Sandman chuckles at a customer’s joke, runs a cloth across a section of the 33-foot-bar, then greets a famished family seeking BBQ at one of northern Michigan's most venerable eateries, Dinghy's Restaurant & Bar. 

Sitting on Frankfort's main drag, right across... Read More >>

Home Run Summer!

May 29, 2021

Northern Michigan baseball fans will finally get a chance to see live games when the Traverse City Pit Spitters throw out the first pitch on May 31.

It's been well over a year since the Pit Spitters took the field before a live audience, and the squad returns as reigning champions... Read More >>

Gaylord’s Cops & Doughnuts

Sept. 12, 2020

There's a cop shop in Gaylord where the phrase “D.W.I.” has nothing to do with adult beverages or erratic driving.

At the Cops & Doughnuts Bakery, “D.W.I.” means “Donuts Were Involved,” a bit of sly humor that adorns coffee mugs, T-shirts, h... Read More >>

A State of Copper

Aug. 29, 2020

A family of Michigan artists is gaining quite a reputation for their use of Upper Peninsula copper in their eye-catching creations.  

Alex and Becky Teselsky, along with their son Alex R. Teselsky, operate A State of Copper, an energetic family business that produces ori... Read More >>

Aero Artist Willie Jones Jr.

May 16, 2020

You can't hardly swing an easel in northern Michigan without hitting an artist painting a landscape, crafting jewelry, or creating a piece of pottery.

But you have to look far and wide to find one who creates vivid images of military aircraft any better than retired U.S. Air F... Read More >>

A Woman, her Horse, and a Dream

April 18, 2020

Aleta Daniels is prepping for what she calls a “soul-shaking” adventure.

The former Petoskey resident is training for the Ride the Wild Coast endurance horse race in South Africa, a 370-kilometer (230 miles) trek across some of the most rugged territory in the world... Read More >>

Hockey Kids

March 14, 2020

After poking the puck past the opposing goalie, the energetic young hockey player got high-fives from teammates, then briskly skated to the bench for a 90-second shift change. 

“That was SOOOO cool,” she squealed, with all the enthusiasm that an 8-year-old girl... Read More >>

Wonder Woman

Feb. 29, 2020

Without much fanfare or fuss, one of America's outstanding young athletes works out every day in a small no-frills fitness center in East Jordan.

Seventeen-year-old Lillii Armstrong is a weightlifter. But not any ol’ teenage weightlifter. The soft-spoken high school senior h... Read More >>

Tater Time: Inside Kitchen Farms

Feb. 15, 2020

Just north of Alba and south of Elmira, a foot-thick blanket of crisp snow covers the dormant fields of Kitchen Farms, a 5,000-acre potato-growing operation that straddles both sides of US -131.

The fields are quiet and will remain so until spring when planting begins.
 ... Read More >>

Alpine Chocolats

Feb. 8, 2020

Here's your chance to score some sinfully delectable treats for your Valentine from the number-one chocolate shop in the state, Gaylord's Alpine Chocolat Haus. The chocolatier was given that high ranking late last year by mentalfloss.com. Manager Heather McKinnon says that chocolate-... Read More >>

Nearly 70 Years MIA, A Patriot Returns

Jan. 25, 2020

Nearly 70 years ago, a young soldier from Glen Lake went missing in action in the Korean War. In July 2018, 65 years after the fighting stopped, North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un allowed the first release of American remains held since. Army Sergeant Walter “Babe” Tobin was ... Read More >>

Repping the Man — and Woman — in Red

Dec. 21, 2019

Every year a dedicated cadre of Kris Kringles man the front lines of the Christmas season. From Thanksgiving to nearly Christmas Eve, these are the Santas that you see in stores, parades, parties and anywhere else a dab of holiday jolliness is required. 

It would be easy ... Read More >>

Kaleva's Christmas Gift

Dec. 14, 2019

One of Kaleva's newest residents is making a 30-foot creative gift to honor her adopted Manistee County home.
        
Mosaic artist Patricia Boucha is donating a large six panel glass display that will illustrate Kaleva's Finnish legacy.... Read More >>

East Jordan's Charles Eisendrath

Dec. 7, 2019

Noted journalist, college professor, inventor and Charlevoix County cherry farmer Charles Eisendrath didn't set out to write a book.
           
“I'd been writing these essays and putting them away in a box,” he... Read More >>

Can One Volunteer Change the World?

Nov. 9, 2019

Carrie Hessler-Radelet came across her life's passion more than 35 years ago during a stint as a Peace Corps volunteer in the island nation of Western Samoa, now known as Samoa. 

“I was living with a host family, and the wife was a 32-year-old woman with eight childr... Read More >>

Miracle on Wheels

Oct. 26, 2019

Camille Frede (pictured above, center) was only 4 years old when her parents, Nancy and Eric Frede, received the devastating news that their daughter would be lucky to live to age 9.

Diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension (PH), young Camille constantly struggled with health problem... Read More >>

Meet the Artist: Colorado’s Bobby MaGee

Oct. 12, 2019

Traverse City's coming display of public art, a colorful mural in the Clinch Park tunnel, will be full of eye-catching images with several splashes of “glyphitti.”
        
“Glyphitti is a form of writing that combines e... Read More >>