Picture of the Week


Construction continues on the Ypsilanti Freighthouse.
For more information on the Freighthouse restoration, visit www.foyf.org

Still Cookin’ with Aunt Gerry

June 16, 2010 by  
Filed under Columnists

Ypsilanti weather has been hot & humid the last few days, reminding us that those “Lazy Days” of Summer are just around the corner.  So Aunt Gerry went through her recipes looking only for the word “EASY.”  Here’s what she came up with:

Easy Mexican Casserole
“Hola mis amigos! Este guiso es fácil y deliciosa. Disfrute!”
(I really don’t know Spanish so I hope I wrote that correctly.)
I don’t want to start an international incident
! -Aunt Gerry

2 lbs. ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
salt & pepper
1 10 oz. can mild enchilada sauce
12 corn tortillas
1 can cream of chicken soup
3/4 cup milk
1 small can chopped green chillies
2 cups grated cheddar cheese

Brown beef & onions with chili powder and salt & pepper. Add enchilada sauce. Put 6 tortillas in a 9×13 pan, pour beef mixture over, then put remaining 6 tortillas on top. Mix together soup, milk, and chillies; pour over tortillas. Cover with grated cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Easy Corn Bread
This is just sweet enough to be the perfect accompaniment for spicy dishes.
For a sweeter treat, serve it with honey.
If you need more sweetness than that, come meet my granddaughters!
-Aunt Gerry

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup corn meal
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup skim milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 egg, beaten

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease an 8 or 9 inch pan. (Recipe can be doubled for a 9×13 inch pan.) Combine dry ingredients. Stir in milk, oil and egg, mixing just until dry ingredients are moistened. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or untl light golden brown and a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Easy Pineapple Upside Down Cake
The recipe says that instead of pineapple you can use apples, apricots, prunes or peaches.
In my opinion, pineapple is the original and only “Upside Down Cake.”
This one is good enough to stand you on your head
! – Aunt Gerry

1 1/4 cups sifted cake flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons softened butter
1 egg, well beaten
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
5 slices drained pineapple
5 cherry halves (optional)
1 cup chopped nuts
whipped cream

Combine sifted flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Stir with whisk until thoroughly mixed and then sift. Add softened butter and cut into the flour mixture with whisk until mixed. Combine beaten egg, milk and vanilla. Add to flour mixture until blended, then beat vigorously for one minute with whisk or electric beater. Melt 4 tablespoons butter in 8x8x2″ pan or oven-safe skillet over low flame. Add brown sugar and cook & stir until thoroughly mixed. On this, arrange drained pineapple slices with half cherry (if desired) in center of each pineapple slice. Sprinkle with chopped nuts to fill the empty spaces. Pour batter over and bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes. Loosen cake from sides of pan with spatula. Turn upside down on dish so pineapple is on top. Serve with whipped cream.

Gerry Burns (Aunt Gerry) is an octogenarian & Ypsilantian who has resided with her husband Joe in their Augusta Township home for 43 years. After working 20 years at Eastern Michigan University, she retired in 1992. In addition to knitting and baking, Aunt Gerry enjoys the company of her husband & family which includes three grown children, three grandchildren and Minnie; a large, rambunctious, black Labrador retriever. At 80 years old, Aunt Gerry is happy that she’s “Still Cookin'” You can email Aunt Gerry at AuntGerry@YpsiNews.com

The Armchair Investor

June 15, 2010 by  
Filed under Columnists

ynarmchair-75QUESTION: Are there opportunities for investment in Ypsilanti?

While Washtenaw County is becoming a hot-bed for high-tech and green companies, I would steer you in simpler direction. There are many houses & buildings in financial distress that could be excellent investments. A person with time on their hands and some fundamental carpentry skills could purchase a home or building and convert it to a rental. Two major Universities plus WCC and many other learning operations in the Ypsilanti area bring in 50,000+ students – many of who will be looking for off-campus housing and a short commute.

Cheaper rent in Ypsilanti would definitely be a selling point.

Secondly, President Obama has instituted a tax credit called Energy Star. Under this stimulus plan Licensed Contractors replace defective windows, doors, appliances, furnaces, hot water heaters, etc. in the house that are not energy efficient. Visit www.energystar.gov for more information.

It’s a windfall for a home-owner and a great opportunity to invest in your infrastructure. You’ll be putting revenue back into the community by purchasing from local hardware stores, lumber yards, etc. and hiring local contractors. You’ll increase the value of your home, which brings up the value of your neighborhood, increasing tax revenue for schools, public transportation, roads, etc. That’s an investment in Ypsilanti! ~ The Armchair Investor

Pat Joseph is an alumnus of Eastern Michigan University and previously worked for the Internal Revenue Service. Joseph is not a professional financial counselor, accountant or stock broker. The information in “The Armchair Investor” is Pat’s opinion based on personal study, research and experience. Email The Armchair Investor at PatJoseph@YpsiNews.com

Crossroads Concert Schedule


The Downtown Association of Ypsilanti welcomed local blues acts Chris Canas and the Martindales for the opening weekend of Crossroads.  The free outdoor summer concert series takes place 7pm-10pm every Friday through August on Washington Street in downtown Ypsilanti.

06.11           Hullabaloo
                     Dragon Wagon
06.18         Barbara Payton
                     Just Jill
06.25      FOLK / ROOTS  FEST  (8:30pm)
                    Washington Street Stage
                    Back Forty
                    David Rossiter
                    Dave Boutette
                    Library Stage
                    BJ Walraven
                    Michael Lipson
                    Eric Moore
                    Norm DeAngelis
07.02        First Class Band
                    Martin Simmons
07.09   (8:30pm)
                    Six Foot Poles
07.16    (8:30pm)
                    Bill Bynm & Co.
07.23         Horse Cave Trio
                    Tracy Mack & The Magic Land Band
07.30        Dave Sharp Seven
                    Tracy Kash Thomas
08.06       Bugs Beddow Band
                    Paul Miles
08.13        Jill Jack
                   Detroit Luddites
08.20      Harper
                   Flying Latini Brothers
08.21   (3:00pm)
                   Lady Sunshine & The X Band
                   Eddie Hughes

Just In At The Ypsilanti District Library

June 13, 2010 by  
Filed under Humor

I’ll Mature When I’m Dead: Amazing Tales of Adulthood

barry1By Dave Barry     New York:  G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2010
The popular humorist tackles the rocky challenges of adulthood, from technology and the battle of the sexes to parenting and unmentionable medical procedures.
Contact Ypsilanti District Library to check availability:
Whittaker Road: (734) 482-4110 
Michigan Avenue: (734) 482-4110
Superior: (734) 482-3747 

The Perilous Danger of Microbes in the Scalp

June 13, 2010 by  
Filed under Columnists

The advertisement passed itself off as a legitimate news story.

The advertisement passed itself off as a legitimate news story.

Patent medicine makers sold their wares in Ypsilanti, as elsewhere, using fraudulent sales techniques. In the late 19th and early 20th century, no regulatory agency existed to analyze makers’ “medicines” or question their florid advertisements. One such ad for Rexall’s “93” hair tonic, on sale at the Rogers-Weinmann-Matthews drugstores at 118 Congress Street, 29 Huron, and 509-511 Cross Street, appeared in the January 29, 1909 Ypsilanti Daily Press. Written by Rexall, the ad was presented, as was common at the time, as a “straight” news story. The ad used several classic patent medicine advertising gambits.

One was to capitalize on current health issues or news. Under the headline “Microbes in the Scalp,” the article said, “Professor Unna of Hamburg, Germany, and Dr. Sabourand of Paris, France, share the honor of having discovered the hair microbe.” At the time, an interest in microbes, a term coined in 1897 by French surgeon Charles Sedillot to denote any life form too small to be seen without magnification, had seized the popular imagination. Pasteur and other scientists had made recent discoveries of microbial causes for feared, heretofore poorly-understood diseases such as rabies, malaria, and syphilis. The notion of new, invisible organisms that were ubiquitous and unpredictably lethal mesmerized the public. As a result, microbes appeared in many popular novels, poems, and plays. Mark Twain wrote a 1905 satire “3,000 Years Among the Microbes,” and Hilaire Belloc included his poem “The Microbe” in a 1897 anthology. Writers used such metaphors as “the microbe of love” or “the microbes of boredom.” There was even a drinking song about microbes, and poems such as W. C. Cooper’s 1895 verse “The Scheming Microbe.”

A microbe sat on a maiden’s lip, right an its kissiest part,
And murmered, “I’ll work that young man off in the highest style of art;
I’ll send a raging colony careering through his veins,
And they shall soak his system with a choice lot of ptomaines.

O, I’m of the choleric sort and the epidemic brand,
And you may bet the victim knows whenever I’m on hand;
For I raise a rumpus in his guts, like a slowly bursting bomb,
Which only ends, as a general thing, when he reaches kingdom come.”

Now, him that the grizzly microbe had in its measly, pizen mind
Was a niceish, youthish laddie of the hottest blooded kind;
Who loved the sweetish, youngish girl with an incandescent vim,
Which only found an offset in the way that she loved him.

Well, on the next sweet Sunday night, this niceish, youngish man
Was seated on the same chair with his darling Mary Ann;
And he hugged until he nearly busted her precious diaphragm,
And kised her sixteen hundred times with the zest of a battering ram.

The microbe had been swapped at least one thousand times, and when
The young man left the ornery beast was still with Mary Ann;
When her beau was gone, she finished up by kissing “Puggy Wee,”
And the next day that devoted pup most died of diarrhee.

Another advertising technique was to invoke “foreign experts,” whose citation combined Old World gravitas and (in those days) difficult-to-check credentials. It is likely that Professor Unna and Dr. Sabourand existed only in a copywriter’s imagination.

A common ad feature was “junk science.” The Press article said that baldness “is not caused through a few weeks’ work of these hair microbes, but is the result of conditions brought about by their presence. Baldness may not occur until years after the microbes begin work, but it is certain to come sooner or later. The microbes cut off the blood supply. They feed on the fatty matter about the root of the hair, through which the blood is absorbed. Finally the fatty matter is wholly consumed, the food supply of the hair is gone and it starves and finally dies.”

An additional gambit, seen in the Rexall ad, was the iron-clad guarantee. “If it does not grow hair on your bald head, stop your hair from falling out; cure you of dandruff; make your hair thick, silky, luxuriant; if it does not give you complete satisfaction in every particular, return the empty bottle to us, and we shall return every penny you paid for it, without question or formality.” Many nostrum ads similarly offered monetary “rewards” if a disease sufferer could be found who couldn’t be cured by the potion. But since the function of nostrums was to make money, not to cure, there was usually a caveat.

“Of course, you understand that when we say that Rexall “93” Hair Tonic will grow hair on bald heads, we do not refer to cases where the roots are entirely dead, the pores of the scalp closed, and the head has the shiny appearance of a billiard ball.” If a patron said “93” didn’t work, the makers could explain the failure as due to the maladies of “closed pores” or “dead roots.” “In cases like this, there is no hope. In all other cases of baldness Rexall “93” Hair Tonic will positively grow hair, or cost the user nothing. . . Two sizes, 50 cents and $1” [the equivalent of $12 and $24 today].

The proprietors of the Ypsi drugstore and their customers didn’t know that “93” was a useless concoction of boric acid and wood alcohol. But thanks to fraudulent advertising techniques like those in the 1909 ad, such potions were popular and profitable. From its inception the Rogers-Weinmann-Matthews store was an official Rexall franchise, one of the 2,218 licensed distributors of Rexall products in 1909, a number that would rise to 5,877 by 1915. The chain had been founded by Detroit-born patent medicine entrepreneur Louis K. Liggett. A fraction of Liggett’s eventual wealth came from Ypsilanti purchases of items like “93”.

Empty bottles of Rexall’s “93” Hair Tonic likely litter filled-in and forgotten privy pits around Ypsilanti, vanished testimony to an unregulated era when enterprising nostrum-makers hoodwinked Ypsilantians.

Laura Bien is the author of “Tales of the Ypsilanti Archives.” You can reach her at ypsidixit@gmail.com.

June Obituaries

June 13, 2010 by  
Filed under Obituaries

June 1, 2010

dove7Dugas, Janet B.
Ypsilanti, Michigan

November 7, 1918 – June 1, 2010

dove7Nathan, Jesse C.
Ypsilanti Township, Michigan

July 1, 1956 – June 1, 2010

June 2, 2010

dove7Carmichael, James
Ypsilanti, Michigan

July 25, 1931 – June 2, 2010

dove7Collins, Reginald L.
Ypsilanti, Michigan

February 5, 1975 – June 2, 2010

obitskeegannatguardlogoKeegan, James
Ypsilanti, Michigan

Died Wednesday, June 2, 2010 at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital with his loving family at his side. He was born November 13, 1941, in Liberty, New York, the son of James John and Winifred Patricia (Wharton) Keegan. He was a graduate in the class of 1959, from Ypsilanti High School and attended Eastern Michigan University. Mr. Keegan served in the National Guard where he received an Honorable Discharge. He was employed as a Salesman and Service Manager for several of the local General Motors Dealerships. He also owned and operated D.J.’s Auto Inc. in Saline for over 25 years. Mr. Keegan was the Founder and first President of the Huron Valley Corvette Club in Washtenaw County and a Governor of the National Council of Corvette Clubs. Survivors include his daughter, Shannan (Victor) Pereira of Brighton; 2 grandchildren: Kathryn and Rachel Pereira; his loving companion, Linda Liechty; l sister, Patricia Ann Keegan Steimle of San Jose, California; l brother, Kevin Wharton Keegan of Ypsilanti; niece and nephews: Ann (Tony) Batis, David Hugh Steimle Jr. and Sean Keegan (Stacey) Steimle; l great niece, Caitlin Steimle; l aunt, Gene Wharton Geise and numerous cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents. Funeral Service will be held Saturday, June 5, 2010 at 1:00 p.m. at the Janowiak Funeral Home with Rev. Robert Noe officiating. Burial will follow in St. John Catholic Cemetery, Ypsilanti with Military Honors. Contributions in his memory may be made to the Ypsilanti Heritage Museum. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home where the family will receive friends on Friday from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. and Saturday from 12:00 noon till time of service.

June 3, 2010

obitkenyonKenyon, Kirsten A.
Ypsilanti Township, Michigan

Age 31, passed away peacefully Thursday, June 3, 2010 at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital with her loving parents at her side.   She was born November 6, 1978 in Ann Arbor, the daughter of Russell and Maealyce (Dapprich) Kenyon. Kirsten graduated from Highpointe and attended “Just Us Club” for many years. She enjoyed her family and music. In addition to her loving parents, Russell and Maealyce, she is survived by her brother, Heath Kenyon of Dearborn, her niece, Amelia and her maternal grandmother, Florence Dapprich of Ann Arbor. Cremation has taken place. The memorial gathering will be 4-7 pm Monday, June 7, 2010 at Stark Funeral Service. Contributions in her memory may be made to “Just Us Club” of Ann Arbor.

obitswilliamsmWilliams, Hugh Michael Sr.
Ypsilanti, Michigan

Age 55, passed away suddenly Thursday, June 3, 2010 at Oakwood Heritage Hospital. He was born April 29, 1955 in the Virgin Islands.  Hugh was the loving companion of Donna McBride for the last twenty years. He worked for Ford Motor Company for 34 years, retiring in 2007. He enjoyed gardening, playing cards, barbequing and spending time with his U.A.W. friends. He loved being with and spending time with his children. In addition to his loving companion, Donna of Ypsilanti, survivors include: two sons, Hugh Michael Jr. and Raymond Jones, both of Ypsilanti; three daughters, Brandy of Ypsilanti, Lisa of Toronto and Tranasha of Ypsilanti; five grandchildren; four brothers, Randolph, his wife Jocelyn and their seven children, Clemont, his wife, Denice and their thirteen children, Calvin, his wife, Peggy and their seven children and Alphonso, his wife, Gena and their eight children; and his father of St. Charles, the Virgin Islands. He was preceded in death by his mother, Estella Williams. The funeral service will be 1:00 pm Saturday, June 12, 2010 at Stark Funeral Service with Pastor Freddie Banks of New Testament Baptist Church officiating. Burial will follow in Highland Cemetery. Contributions in his memory may be made to the American Diabetes Association. Visitation will be 6-9 pm Friday.

June 4, 2010

dove7armylogoMartin, Marvin M.
Ypsilanti, Michigan

Age 85, passed away Friday, June 4, 2010. He was born July 15, 1924 in Oakdale, NE, the son of Edward and Mary (Rawmaker) Martin.  Mr. Martin was a highly decorated WWII veteran, serving honorably in the U.S. Army. He was employed for ten years with the Ann Arbor school system. He was a longtime member of Transfiguration Catholic Church, and a member of the Ann Arbor Moose since 1966. Survivors include: one daughter, Connie (Gary) Allen of Belleville, MI; three grandchildren, Jennifer, Julie and Matthew; two great grandchildren; three sisters; two brothers; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, wife Helen, daughter Linda Bickley and two brothers. The funeral mass will be celebrated 10:30 am Tuesday, June 8, at St. Aloysius Catholic Church, 37200 Neville, Romulus, MI 48174. Burial will follow in St. John Cemetery, Ypsilanti. Memorial contributions may be made to “Flight for Freedom.” Envelopes are available at Stark Funeral Service Moore Memorial Chapel where the family will receive friends 6-9 pm Monday with the rosary being prayed at 7 pm.

dove7 Thompson, Gayland Ann
Ypsilanti Township, Michigan

Age 49, passed away Friday, June 4, 2010 at University of Michigan Hospital. She was born October 12, 1960 in Oakland, California, the daughter of Betty Jean Calbert and Mervin C. Thompson. Gayland graduated from Pioneer High School. Later, she went on to receive a certificate in accounting from Washtenaw Community College. She was an accountant for years for the city of Ann Arbor. Gayland spent most of her life helping others. The “Candy Lady” is what the children in the neighborhood called her but everyone else called her “Gay-Gay.” Gayland leaves to cherish in her memory: two children, her son, James Mitchell and her daughter, Tiana Jones, a special son, Davidson Hook and one grandson, Derian Raggs Jr., all of Ann Arbor; her father, Mervin C. (Theresa) Thompson of Richmond, CA; three sisters, Karen Thompson of Ann Arbor, Carolyn (Jedd) Harvey of Richmond, CA and LaJuana (Shawn) Garrett of El Sobrante, CA; and six brothers, Brian (Sandra) Calbert of Ann Arbor, Bradley Calbert of Dunsmir, CA, Darren Pinell of Union City, SC, Darren (LaTonya) Thompson, and John (Linda) Thompson and Phillip (Christine) Thompson, all of Richmond, CA. Gayland will be greatly missed and remembered by her nieces, Shantell McCoy, Chyvonne Washington, Isha Frame, Aisha Harp, Monique Calbert, La Kea Thompson, Asia Gray, Allysha Tomlin, Ashely Tomlin, Tamika Walton, Asia Thompson, Courtney Garrett, Ebony, Brandy and Tiana Thompson Nakiya, Kimari, Tiara and Kyra Thompson and nephews, Charles Agnew, Marvin Thompson, Marcus Monroe, Donte and Freddie Washington, DeVon Tomlin, Josh and Justin Harvey, Daren and D’Marea Thompson, Shawn Garrett, and Antonio and Malik Thompson; her great nieces and nephews, Deidra Calbert, Zaire McBride, Jakobi Wooten, Kyree and Corey Burris Jr., Kontae’ Edwards and Cimani and Ciniya Harvey; and a host of other family and friends. The funeral service will be 1:30 pm Thursday, June 10, 2010 at Stark Funeral Service with the visitation from 12:30 pm until time of service. Cremation will follow.

June 5, 2010

obitswatkinsWatkins, Harold W.. Sr.
Ypsilanti, Michigan

Age 64, passed away on June 5, 2010. Public visitation will be held on Thursday, June 10 from 4 – 7 p.m. and the family hour to follow from 7-8 p.m. at C&H Community Home for Funerals, Lucille’s Memorial Chapel, 411 S. Adams Street, Ypsilanti. The funeral service will be held on Friday, June 11 at 11 a.m. at Metropolitan Memorial Full Gospel Baptist Church, 431 Hawkins St., Ypsilanti where Rev. Dr. S. L. Roberson is pastor. Rev. Anthony Vick officiating the service. Cremation to take place following the service.

June 6, 2010

dove7Farr, Clinton E. Jr.
Ypsilanti, Michigan

Died Sunday, June 6, 2010 with his loving family at his side. He was born February 12, 1941 in Ypsilanti, Michigan the son of Clinton E. and Anna M. (Schafer) Farr Sr. Mr. Farr was employed as a roofer for over 27 years. Survivors include several children, grandchildren, brothers and sisters. He was preceded in death by his parents and 2 sisters Mary Day and Annamae Farr. Funeral Service will be Wednesday, June 9, 2010 at 11:00 a.m. at the Janowiak Funeral Home with Pastor Kevin E. Lovejoy of Antioch Baptist Church officiating. Burial will follow in Highland Cemetery, Ypsilanti. The family will receive friends at the funeral home on Tuesday from 4-8 p.m.

dove7Green, Barry Lynn
Ypsilanti Township, Michigan

Died Sunday, June 6, 2010 at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital. He was born August 14, 1954, in Ypsilanti, Michigan, the son of Bill McKinley and Alma (Lawson) Green. Barry had lived his entire life in the Saline and Ypsilanti area. Survivors include his 5 brothers and sisters: Bobbie Kay, Gwendolyn (Gerry) Goodman, Marlin “Buster” Green, Larry (Laurie) Green and Elaine (Bret) Glaser; numerous nieces and nephews; l uncle, Billy Lawson. He was preceded in death by his parents. Cremation has taken place.

obitsstarrStarr, Alta Mae
Ypsilanti, Michigan

Died Sunday, June 6, 2010 at Bortz Healthcare of Ypsilanti with her loving family at her side. She was born April 1, 1924 in Warfield, Kentucky the daughter of James M. and Edith (Kirk) Starr. Mrs. Starr was a former member of the Willow Run Church of God. She was employed as a Professional Nanny for several families for many years. The proudest moment of her life was when she was Salutatorian for her High School graduating class of 1994 at Ypsilanti High School. She will always be remembered for her love of traveling and sponsorship of children for World Vision and St. Judes Childrens Hospital. Survivors include 3 children: Brenda Beaver of Whitmore Lake, MI., Tommy (Jan) Taylor of Ypsilanti Twp., and Peggy Williams of Ypsilanti; 8 grandchildren; 21 great grandchildren and 2 great great grandchildren: 1 sister, Thelma (Mel) Luoma of Mobile, AL., and 1 brother, William Starr of Florida. She was preceded in death by 16 brothers and sisters, l grandchild, Andrea Mullins and l son-in-law, James Beaver. Funeral service will be held Thursday, June 10, 2010 at 11:00 a.m. at the Pentecostal Church of God, 45 Oregon Street, Ypsilanti with Pastor Bobby Ray officiating. Burial will follow in Highland Cemetery, Ypsilanti, MI. The family will receive friends at Janowiak Funeral Home on Wednesday from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m., and at the Church on Thursday from 10:00 a.m. until time of service.

June 7, 2010


Williams, Lillis F.
Ypsilanti Township, Michigan

Age 87, passed away Monday, June 7, 2010 at Saline Evangelical Home. She was born   October 2, 1922 in Henderson, GA, the daughter of James and Rosa (Wilson) Davis. In 1940, she married John Powell in Washington, GA. Lillis worked as a clothes presser in a dry cleaners for many years and was a foster grandparent. Survivors include: one daughter, Parthenia Coley of GA; six grandchildren; fifteen great grandchildren; twelve great great grandchildren; and a host of nieces, nephews and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, two brothers, one sister and one great great granddaughter. The funeral service will be 11:00 am Saturday, June 12, 2010 at Stark Funeral Service. Entombment will follow in United Memorial Gardens. The visitation will be 6-9 pm Friday at the funeral home.

June 9, 2010

dove7Huffman, Jeffrey Wayne
Ypsilanti Township, Michigan

April 12, 1959 – June 9, 2010

obithenkel1Mihajlov-Henkel, Catherine
Ypsilanti, Michigan

Age 59, passed away Wednesday, June 9, 2010 at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital. She  was born March 11, 1951 in Dearborn, MI, the daughter of Obrad and Helen (Cash) Mihajlov.  On May 1, 2000, she married David Henkel in Key West, FL and he survives. Cathy worked at the UM Hospital Oncology Department for four years. She loved her dogs, Xena and Blackie Dream. In addition to her loving husband, survivors include her brother, Dennis (Sandy) Mihajlov of Atlanta, MI and several nieces, nephews and cousins. She was preceded in death by her parents. Cremation has taken place. A remembrance service will be held at a later date. Contributions in her memory may be made to the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

dove7 Williams, Nikayla Rose Vonciel
Ypsilanti Township, Michigan

Infant, age one day, died Wednesday, June 9, 2010.  Survivors include: her parents, Dennis and Cytisaney (Hatch) Williams of Ypsilanti; two brothers, Dennis and Jay’lan; paternal grandmother, Rebecca Williams; maternal grandparents, Derrick Stewart and Deanine Hatch. The funeral service will be 11 am Tuesday, June 15, 2010 at Stark Funeral Service with Pastor Donald Viers of Community Free Will Baptist Church officiating. Burial will follow in Highland Cemetery. The family hour will be 5-6 pm Monday at the funeral home.

obitszagulaZagula, Richard A.
Ypsilanti, Michigan

Born July 17, 1937.  Survived by his fiancée, Elsie Burke; his mother,Stella Zagula, son, John Zagula; daughter, Katie LaFountaine; his sister, Helen Dulinsky; four grandchildren; several nieces and nephews; many friends and loved ones. A member of the Ypsilanti Eagles #2250,Moose Club, Dick was an avid fisherman and he also loved bowling and playing cards. He retired from Ford Rawsonville after 38 years. Memorial luncheon June 26th, 2-5 pm at Ypsilanti Eagles. The Family welcomes friends to come join in this celebration of his life.

June 1o, 2010

dove7Hawkins, Susan E.
Ypsilanti Township, Michigan

June 11, 1959 – June 10, 2010

dove7 Morgan, Walter
Ypsilanti Township, Michigan

Age 91, passed away on June 10, 2010. The Funeral Service will be Wednesday, June 16, 2010 with Family Hour at 10 a.m. and the Funeral to follow at 11 a.m. at C&H Community Home for Funerals, 411 S. Adams St., Ypsilant, Pastor Clara M. Simon officiating. Interment to follow in United Memorial Gardens, Plymouth, MI.

dove7Sellers, Beverly
Ypsilanti, Michigan

Age 64, passed away on June 10, 2010. The family hour will be held Thursday, June 17th at 10:30 a.m. followed by the funeral service at 11 a.m. at Metropolitan Memorial Full Gospel Baptist Church, 431 Hawkins St., Ypsilanti where Rev. Dr. S. L. Roberson is Pastor and Rev. Johnnie Swanson officiating the service. Cremation will take place following the service.

June 11, 2010

dove7Payne, Willice E.
Ypsilanti, Michigan

Age 57, died June 11, 2010. Willice was born in Clarksville, TN the son of Rose Lee Payne. Survivors include his wife, Sonya Payne, his children, daughter Rose Payne and step daughter Lili Payne. Survivors also include his siblings, Princess Edwards, Billy Long, Joyce Donley, Wanda Long, Roosevelt Long and Dwight Long along with many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. He was preceded in death by his mother and his daughter Alia Payne. A family hour will be held from 11 a.m. until the time of his funeral service at 12 noon on Friday, June 18, 2010 at the Nie Family Funeral Home, Liberty Road Chapel, 3767 W. Liberty Road, Ann Arbor. Interment will be private.

dove7Reaume, Jeffrey F.
Ypsilanti, Michigan

Born Januar 12, 1951 son of Edith and Franklyn Reaume. He is survived by his loving wife Claudette (Stumbo), stepdaughter, Renee Newsome, stepson, Chad (Ashli) Tallent, grandchildren, Breann, Chad II and Peter. Jeff’s sister, Angela (Dave) Larson, his brother Frank (Candace) Reaume, nieces and nephews Marc and Jeff Reaume, Megan (Aaron) Hendricks, Kari and Stefan Larson, Laura Reaume, Alexa and Payton Hendricks also survive. Jeff was an outstanding golfer who won several high school, college and state titles and competed in three USGA Amateur events. He was a five-time club champion at Washtenaw Country Club. While at Eastern Michigan University, Jeff was a two time NCAA All American. In 2008 he was inducted into the Eastern Michigan Athletic Hall of Fame. Jeff enjoyed hunting and fishing with a passion. He owned Jeff Reaume Construction. He leaves behind a slew of close friends, hunting, fishing, and golfing buddies and his beloved dogs and cats. Jeff’s family will receive friends on Monday, June 14, 2010, from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. at the Nie Family Funeral Home, 2400 Carpenter Rd, Ann Arbor, MI 48108. A Memorial Service will be held on Tuesday, June 15, 2010 at 1 p.m., at the funeral home.

June 12, 2010

dove7Gorham, Stella Jane
Ypsilanti Township, Michigan

September 17, 1918 – June 12, 2010

obittaylorTaylor, Helen A.
Ypsilanti, Michigan

Age 100, passed away on June 12, 2010. Public visitation will be held Thursday, June 17 from 4 – 7 p.m. at C&H Community Home for Funerals, Lucille’s Memorial Chapel, 411 S. Adams St., Ypsilanti. The family hour will be Friday, June 18 at 10 a.m. with the service to follow at 11 a.m. at Messias Temple Church, 200 Harriet St., Ypsilanti. Burial will take place in United Memorial Gardens, Plymouth, MI.

dove7Van Keuren, Leona
Ypsilanti, Michigan

October 28, 1917 – June 12, 2010

obitwhiteWhite-Walter, Jacquelyn “Jackie”
Ypsilanti, Michigan

Passed away, Saturday, June 12, 2010, at University Hospitals in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She was born on June 10, 1953, the daughter of L. Jane and Morley Kellogg and the late Robert James White. Jackie was a very loving mother and grandmother. She loved children and worked as a daycare provider for many years in Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor. She is survived by her daughters: Natalie Walter and Jennifer Walter; one grandson: Brenden Walter; her father: Morley Kellogg; one brother: Mike (Sue) White; two sisters: Janis (Skipp) Riley and Joette (Russ) Ward; nieces and nephews: Chad (Karla) Raymond, Nicole White, Courtney Komperda, Bryan Riley, Chloe Ward and Jonah Ward; great nephews: David Raymond, Joshua Raymond and Andrew Pruett. She was preceded in death by her mother, father and nephew, Scott Dugas. Memorial contributions in her memory can be made to the Children’s Creative Center Scholarship Fund, 1600 Pauline, Ann Arbor, MI. 48103. Envelopes will be available at Janowiak Funeral Home on Tuesday, June 15, 2010, where the family will recieve friends from 3:00pm until the time of her memorial service at 6:00pm.

June 13, 2010

obitandrewsAndrews, Clarissa “Tubby”
Ypsilanti, Michigan

Age 31, was called home Sunday, June 13, 2010 at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ypsilanti. She was born March 25, 1979 in Superior Township, MI, daughter of Ravis Thomas and Monda Andrews. Clarissa was a loving and devoted mother, daughter and friend to many. She will be remembered for her smile and compassion for her family and friends. She was an employee of the Willow Run Public Schools for several years and enjoyed the many children and co-workers whom she worked with. She will be missed dearly.  Her untimely death leaves to mourn her two daughters; La’Aja and La’Nya Walker, her parents; Ravis Thomas and Monda L. Andrews, two brothers; Ravis Andrews and Derrick Andrews (Tyiana Freeman) and Tubby’s special companion and loving father to her children Elvin “Face” Walker, all of Ypsilanti. She is also survived by two sisters; Maria Evans and Akira Wilson, both of Ypsilanti, her grandmother; Louise Jones, her three very special friends; Aisha Jones, Contrina Reid and Okema Stevenson and a host of uncles, aunts, cousins, nieces and nephews. Funeral Services will be 1:00 pm Tuesday June 22, 2010 at Metropolitan Baptist Church 431 Hawkins, Ypsilanti with Elder Ricky Henderson, officiating. Burial will follow in St. John Cemetery, Ypsilanti. Donations will be accepted at Stark Funeral Service, Ypsilanti in the Honor of Trust, for La’Aja and La’Nya Walker. Envelopes are available at the funeral home where the family will receive friends 4-8 pm Monday June 21, 2010. Your contributions and condolences are sincerely appreciated by the family. May God bless you and keep you forever Tubby, for you have touched all of our lives.

June 14, 2010

dove7Muir, Aiden John
Ypsilanti Township, Michigan

Age 3 months and 16 days passed away Monday June 14, 2010 at the St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ypsilanti. Aiden was born February 26, 2010 in Ann Arbor, MI. Loving son of Michael J. and Jayme (Taylor) Muir. In addition to his loving parents, survivors include; his maternal grandparents; Sherry and Jeffrey Taylor of Cincinnati, OH, his paternal grandparents, Michael Muir, Sr. and Teresa Hall, both of Cincinnati, OH. Great-grandparents; Charlene Webster of Milan and Ina and Norman Carpenter of Aurora, IN. Two aunts, Erica Taylor and Christa Collins, both of Cincinnati, OH and one uncle, Chris Collins of Cincinnati, OH. He was preceded in death by his grandfathers, David Spade, Norman Applegate and Roger Webster. Funeral services will be 2 p.m. Thursday, June 17, 2010 at Stony Creek Free Will Baptist Church, 8735 Stony Creek Rd., Ypsilanti with Rev. Wayne Jacobs officiating. Burial will be in Oak Hills Cemetery in Cincinnati, OH. Memorial contributions made to the Family of Aiden Muir would be appreciated. Envelopes are available at the church where the family will receive friends from 11-2 p.m. Thursday.

dove7Roberson, Lynnie Sr.
Ypsilanti Township, Michigan

Age 49, passed away June 14, 2010. Public visitation will be Thursday, June 17th from 6 – 8 p.m. at C&H Community Home for Funerals, Lucille’s Memorial Chapel, 411 S. Adams St., Ypsilanti. The funeral service will be Friday, June 18th at 11 a.m. also at C&H Community Home for Funerals. Officiating ministers are Odell Hamilton and Harvey Roberson. Cremation to take place following the service.

dove7Smith, Margaret Moore
Ypsilanti, Michigan

November 23, 1914 – June 14, 2010

obittowlerTowler, Dorothy A.
Ypsilanti, Michigan

Age 85, passed away Monday, June 14, 2010 at home. She was born November 23, 1924 in Eldorado, Arkansas. Daughter of Brownie and Alice (Hornaday) Porter. On June 2, 1946 she married Lionel “Zeke” Towler in Ypsilanti and he preceded her in death on September 29, 1975. Dorothy originally was a member of the Forest Avenue Baptist Church where she taught Sunday School. She then became a member of Calvary Baptist Church. She worked at the National Bank of Ypsilanti, then St. Regis Paper Company (Georgia Pacific). She found great pleasure in baby sitting all her grandchildren.  Survivors include: two sons; Micheal (Betty) Towler and Gary (Candace) Towler, both of Ypsilanti. Six grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. She is also survived by one sister; Marjorie Murph of Arkansas and several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, three brothers and two sisters. Funeral services will be 11:00 am Friday June 18, 2010 at Stark Funeral Service, Moore Memorial Chapel with Pastor Matt Mickelson of Calvary Baptist Church, officiating. Burial will follow in Highland Cemetery, Ypsilanti. Memorial contributions may be made to the Calvary Baptist Church or St. Joseph Mercy Hospice. Envelopes are available at the funeral home where the family will receive friends 6-9 pm Thursday at the funeral home.

June 15, 2010

obitelliotElliott, Norma Jean
Ypsilanti Township, Michigan

Age 87, passed away Tuesday June 15, 2010. She was born June 19, 1922 in Ashland, KY the daughter of Clarence and Della (Blanton) Brown.  Survivors include: one daughter, Barbara DeBord of Ypsilanti; two grandchildren, Debbie DeLano of Ypsilanti and Terry (Ramona) DeBord of Chelsea; great-grandson, Josh DeLano; and one sister, Rachel Wireman of Galion, OH. She was preceded in death by her husband Curt in 1992. The funeral service will be 1:30 pm Saturday, June 19 at Stark Funeral Service Moore Memorial Chapel. Burial will follow in Highland Cemetery, Ypsilanti. Family will receive friends at the funeral home 5-8:00 pm Friday.

June 16, 2010

obitfarleyFarley, Kacey W.
Ypsilanti, Michigan

Age 14, our sweet baby boy was called by God to rest in Heaven June 16, 2010. Kacey Wayne Farley was born October 2, 1995 to Kimberly Farley and Patrick Twigg.  Kacey was raised by his loving great grandmother, Opal Thomas. Through this loss and sadness of our beautiful gift from God, we find comfort knowing Kacey was taken to church all of his life by his great grandmother, Opal Thomas. Kacey was saved and baptized in the name of Jesus. With this we find peace in knowing he is wrapped in the arms of Jesus. Kacey enjoyed listening to music, hanging out with friends and spending time laughing with his family. He was an amazing kid with a wonderful heart. His memories will be cherished. Survivors include: his great grandmother, Opal Thomas; his sister, Caley Twigg; his brothers, Noah Farley and Dominique Twigg; two other brothers, Jayce and Eric; his mother, Kimberly Farley; his aunt, Susan Thomas; cousins, Alexis and Ciara Thomas; grandmother, Terri Shorter; grandfather, Kenneth Thomas; and many other cousins, aunts, uncles and friends. He was preceded in death by his great grandfather; Paul Eugene Thomas. He will be forever missed and never forgotten. I miss your face, my baby. The funeral service will be 2 pm Monday June 21, 2010 at Stark Funeral Servicewith Pastor Brad Farley of Cornerstone Church officiating. Burial will follow in Highland Cemetery. Family will receive friends from 1:00 pm until time of service Monday. Contributions in memory of Kacey made to Opal Thomas, 150 Allen Ypsilanti, MI 48198 would be appreciated.

obitkidderKidder, Donna
Ypsilanti, Michigan

Age 70 passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday June 16, 2010. She was born May 20, 1940 in Cadillac, MI. On July 6, 1957 she married David Kidder in Cadillac, MI and he survives. She was a member of Graceway Baptist Church and the church choir. She enjoyed bowling, but her favorite pastime was spent with her grandchildren and their activities.  In addition to her loving husband of 52 years, survivors include, two sons; Michael of Ann Arbor and David of Ypsilanti, two daughters; Debbie (Bill) Carpenter of Canton and Marilyn Beldyga of Ypsilanti, five grandchildren; Michael Paul, Jason (Sarah), Alisha (Jon), Ashley and Heather. Four great-grandchildren; Jordan, Katie, Dakota and Madison, two brothers and two sisters. She was preceded in death by her parents Clark and Violet Fauble, three brothers and one sister. Funeral services will be 11:00 am Monday at Graceway Baptist Church 2201 Grove Rd, Ypsilanti with Rev. Keith Worrell, officiating. Burial will be in Maple Hill Cemetery, Cadillac, MI. Memorial contributions made to Graceway Baptist Church would be appreciated. Envelopes are available at Stark Funeral Service 101 S. Washington Street Ypsilanti where the family will receive friends 6-9 Saturday June 19, 2010 and 2-4 & 6-9 pm Sunday June 20, 2010 then from 10 am until time of services at the church.

June 17, 2010

obitbrownarmylogoBrown, Frank R.
Ypsilanti Township, Michigan

Age 83, died Thursday, June 17, 2010. Born in Alum Bridge, WV on November 14, 1926 to the late John and Mary (Burk- hammer) Brown. Survived by his wife Jeannine (Perry) Brown, three children; Dennis (Jody) Brown, Cathy (Lonnie White) Spiess of Bay City, MI and Bruce (Denise) Brown of Fowlerville, two grandchildren Lori and Aaron, two great-grandchildren, Shane and Shannon, one sister Mary Adams of OH, and many nieces and nephews. He served in the US Army during WWII and retired from General Motors, Power Train-Willow Run plant in 1992. After, Frank enjoyed working as courtesy driver at Jack Webb Chevrolet. Member of Belleville Free Will Baptist Church, American Legion and Washtenaw County Sportsmans club. He coordinated the Neighborhood Watch along with Deputy Chuck Mullins and loved to hunt and fish and cherished having Pug dogs. He will be remembered as being devoted to his family and church. Visitation Monday 2-4 and 5:30-9 p.m. at Brown Funeral Home, Belleville, with an 11 a.m. Funeral Tuesday, June 22, 2010 at Free Will Baptist Church, Belleville. Interment Washtenong Memorial Park, Ann Arbor. The family would like to thank St. Joseph Mercy Hospice for their loving support and care. Memorials to St. Joseph Mercy Hospice or his Church. www.davidcbrownfh.com

dove7Cebelak, Hilda M.
Ypsilanti Township, Michigan

September 5, 1926 – June 17, 2010

obithastingHastings, Richard Allen
Ypsilanti, Michigan

Age 52, passed away Thursday June 17, 2010.  He was born May 6, 1958 in Chicago, Illinois.  He has been employed by Ceva Logistics, Brownstown, MI, for the past six years. Richard was always willing to help others, fixing cars or remodeling homes. He will be missed by many. Survivors include: his parents, Harold and Sonia Hansen; two sons, Joseph (Lori) Hastings of Jackson, MI and Robert (Jennifer) Hastings of Ypsilanti; four grandchildren; one sister, Teressa; brother, Kyle; and his girlfriend, Sandra Langdon. The funeral service will be 11:00 am Tuesday June 22, 2010 at Stark Funeral Service. Burial will follow in Highland Cemetery. The family will receive friends at the funeral home 6-9 pm Monday.

dove7Smith, Alicia
Ypsilanti, Michigan

Age 42.  Arrangements are being handled by Crystal Fountain Chapel Funeral Home in Ypsilanti, MI.

June 18, 2010

obitdenhamlogo-smlDenham, Dennis Wade
Ypsilanti, Michigan

Age 53, passed away on Friday, June 18, 2010 from injuries he sustained in a motorcycle accident. He was born November 23, 1956 in Ypsilanti, Michigan to Russ and Edna (Taylor) Denham.  He served proudly in the U.S. Marines, being honorably discharged in 1978. Dennis was a union carpenter for most of his life. He was an avid motorcyclist. He loved his family and enjoyed spending time on his property in Kalkaska.  Survivors include his loving wife Paula; two daughters Meranda (Nicholas) Sawabini and Nicole Denham; one granddaughter, his “ladybug” Emma and her sister Zoe; and four grandchildren on the way; two brothers Robert (Brenda) Denham and David (Vonda) Denham; two sisters Brenda (David) Maurer and Glenda K. (Avery) Hurd; and a host of relatives and extended family. He was preceded in death by his parents and one niece Amanda Denham. Funeral services will be held at 11:00am on Tuesday at Ochalek-Stark Funeral Home with burial following in Highland Cemetery, Ypsilanti. Visitation will be Monday from 2-4 and 6-9pm. In lieu of flowers, contributions to the family would be appreciated. Envelopes are available at the funeral home. www.ochalekstark.com.

dove7Laubernds, Josephine Victoria
Ypsilanti Township, Michigan

Age 92, died Friday, June 18, 2010 at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital with her loving family at her side. She was born June 18, 1918 in Copper Harbor, Michigan. On October 12, 1946 she married Richard “Dick” Laubernds in Ahmeek, Michigan and he preceded her in death on December 6, 2000. Mrs. Laubernds was an active member of Transfiguration Catholic Church where she was involved with the Womens Club and helped on the Funeral Luncheon’s. She also volunteered her time and talent at Beyer Hospital for 18 years.Survivors include 2 children; Sharon Ann Laubernds of Saline and Martin R. (Gail) Laubernds of Ashley, Ohio, 3 nieces, 2 nephews and special friends. She was preceded in death by 4 sisters and 4 brothers. Funeral service will be held Wednesday, June 23, 2010 at 11:00a.m. at the JANOWIAK FUNERAL HOME with Fr. Robert Roggenbuck officiating. Burial will follow in St. John Catholic Cemetery, Ypsilanti. The family will receive friends at the funeral home on Tuesday from 2-6 p.m.

June 19, 2010

dove7logo-smlMichaels, George
Ypsilanti, Michigan

Age 79, died Saturday, June 21, 2010. He was born December 1, 1930, son of the late Andrew L. and Palmier (Sargeant) Michiels. He served in the U.S. Marines and worked for Draw Tite. He was a member of St. Anthony Catholic Church, Belleville and was in the Men’s Club. He loved to travel and was a photographer. Mr. Michaels was extremely devoted to his wife of 57+ years, Leona (Kish) Michaels, four children Debbora M. (Kurt) Olin, Mark G. Michaels, both of Houston, TX, Jeffrey K. Michaels of Kansas City, MO and Lois (Darick) Golden of Belleville, eight grandchildren Ryan Michaels, Heather Wright, Nicholas Olin, Darick and Andrew Golden, Stephanie Michaels, Katherine Olin, and David Michaels, two great-granddaughters Mya Carrion and Liliana Vera. His two loyal caregivers Lawrence Bradley and Jennifer Bond. Preceded in death by brothers Maurice, Arthur and Marcel. Visitation 5-8 p.m. Monday and 12-8 p.m. Tuesday at Brown Funeral Home, Belleville. Funeral Mass 10 a.m. Wednesday, June 23, 2010 at St. Anthony Catholic Church, Belleville. Entombment Michigan Memorial Park, Flat Rock.

June 20, 2010

obithyslopHyslop, Clarence R.
Ypsilanti, Michigan

Age 88, passed away on Sunday, June 20, 2010 at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Port Huron. Clarence was born July 17, 1921 in St. Clair, MI, the son of Louis Albert and Mary Elizabeth Hyslop. He has been a resident of Ypsilanti since February 1967. On June 20, 1958 in Muskegon, MI, Clarence married Beatrice Lena Squires who preceded him in death, along with his brother, Raymond; his sister, Lillian (Babe) Elery and a great grandson, Timothy Grammar Jr. Clarence is survived by his granddaughter, Denise Grammar (Craig) Williams of Ypsilanti, his daughters, Betty (Gene) Cox of Cairo, GA and Dorothea (Joe) Saunders of Thomasville, GA.; 9 other grandchildren, 19 great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. Visitation will be Wednesday, June 23, 2010 with the Memorial service taking place 11am Thursday, June 24 at Nie Family Funeral Home Carpenter Road Chapel.

June 21, 2010

obitfurtneyarmylogoFurtney, Donald “Bud”
Ypsilanti, Michigan

Age 85 died June 21, 2010 at Bortz Convalescent Center. He was born October 7, 1924 in Detroit, Michigan to Carl R. and Vera M. (Shaules) Furtney. On October 18, 1947 he married Joyce Millspaugh in Ypsilanti and she survives. Bud served in the Army during WWII and was a member of the Emmanual Lutheran Church in Ypsilanti. He enjoyed golf, bridge and retirement in Florida. Besides his wife Joyce he is survived by his daughters Sandra Miller, Cynthia (Peter) Walline, Diana (Jim) Fleszar all of Milan, seven grandchildren Michelle (Chris) Olmstead, Mattheus (Jennifer) Walline, Heather Walline (Todd Festerling), Amy (Ryan) McGovern, Jonathan (Stacey) Fleszar, Rebecca (Anthony) Thomas and Stephanie Ries, 11 great-grandchildren, a sister Marilyn (Carl) Miller and brother Carl “Jerry” (Mary) Furtney. He was preceded in death by his parents and daughter Gail. Visitation will be held at Ochalek-Stark Funeral Home in Milan on Wednesday from 4-8pm where services will be held 11:00am Thursday followed by military honors. Memorial contributions may be made to Veterans Hospital.

A Midsummer Night In Spring

June 12, 2010 by  
Filed under Columnists

NOTE: YpsiNews.com regrets being unable to post this as a current review during the LHS Drama Club’s production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”

msnd2-1Discovering that the drama department of my alma mater, Lincoln High School, was presenting William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (“Your Ypsilanti Weekend” YpsiNews.com May 20, 2010) my first thought was “Hmmm, that’s quite ambitious…” After attending Friday night’s performance, I’m happy to report that Director Martin Jacob’s students did a fine job with one of Mr. Shakespeare’s most popular works.

Little has changed in the Lincoln High School auditorium since my day as a student actor. The same heavy, velvet curtain (now more gray than blue yet still keeping with school colors) still adorns the stage. It opened to reveal a simple, yet colorful & detailed, multi-level set designed by Christina Czaja. A dramatic full moon did indeed provide a feeling of “A Midsummer Night.” I much preferred this traditional set- design to others I’d heard about such as a 1970 production staged in a blank, white box.

Throughout history, directors have felt free to take their personal interpretation of AMSND and to represent that on the stage. In a Director’s Note in the program, a time-line explanation is offered to clear up any confusion as to why traditional roles such as “Theseus, Duke of Athens” is now “Theseus, CEO of Athens Corp.” It has been quite some time since I had read (was forced to read) AMSND and other Shakespeare works so I appreciated the FYI as well as the printed summary:

“The play revolves around the adventures of four young lovers, a group of amateur actors and their interactions with the fairies that inhabit a moonlit forest. The story takes place in midsummer and is a complex farce. Their romantic intrigues are confused and complicated still further by entering the forest where the King of the Fairies and his Queen preside. Other visitors to the enchanted forest are the amateur dramatists who want to rehearse their terrible but hilarious play.”

With the first laugh from the audience, I was reminded, “Oh yeah, this is a comedy!” I didn’t need the laughter of others to remind me again as I found myself chuckling often throughout the play. Sean Houston, as Demetrius, displayed great comedic timing, particularly with offstage cries of distress. Caleb Foote’s Bottom was delightful to watch (I know that doesn’t sound right but the character’s name is “Bottom!” ) and honked the best donkey bray I’ve ever heard. Victoria Stachlewitz was appropriately flighty, playful and light on her feet in her portrayal of the mischievous Puck as were the fairies of Tatiana’s Crew. Delivering her lines without any noticeable nervousness was Anna Reiter, an exchange student from Switzerland making her stage debut as Mustardseed.

There’s always a stand-out in high school productions and in this case it was Ryan Chruscial as Oberon, King of the Fairies. This young man delivered his lines without getting tangled up in the difficult Shakespearean form and had an awesome stage presence that left no doubt he was indeed portraying a king. If Mr. Chrusical is considering a future in the theater, I look forward to seeing him perform again.

It was good, but of course it wasn’t perfect. There were a few technincal drawbacks; In an attempt to create “Night” the stage seemed lit too dimly to adequately see the facial expressions of the actors and often the actor’s microphones were not on when they started speaking. But those are the type of things that get worked out before the next curtain. The cast was well-costumed by Aviva Neff and Laura Wynne with make up by Phillisha Smith and Paige Reynolds. Everyone involved seemed to be having a lot of fun – especially the audience, including me.

Save These Dates

June 12, 2010 by  
Filed under Announcements






You Can Get There!

June 11, 2010 by  
Filed under Announcements


The Whittaker Road branch of the Ypsilanti District Library wants you to know that they’re still open, and even with the construction – yes, you can get there! Visit www.ypsilibrary.org for detour updates.

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