We quite often tout the amazing things that go on at the library now a days. The days where the library was defined by the somewhat short tempered lady behind the desk who was quick to get her index finger to her lips and shush anyone who dared speak above a whisper are long gone. Yes, the library is still a place where courtesy is still best practiced when it comes to shared space with others, but they have also become centers for cultural happenings, media outlets and community gatherings centered around interesting speakers and topics that you'll probably not hear anywhere else. They are especially important in communities to share historical knowledge and to bring in exhibits that you'd be very hard pressed to find anywhere else on topics of any kind. Books are great, but what if you were able to bring those books to life for people and invite in those who fill the pages? What if too, you were able to bring in someone to speak first hand on someone who left a lasting impression on their field and inspired so many others? Well, that's happening tomorrow night, November 16th at the Loutit District Library in Grand Haven.
Laura Grimshaw is the widow of renowned artist Gary Grimshaw. Back in the 60's Gary spent some time in the Navy and while in San Francisco, he got to spend some time at some "psychedelic" concerts. He went to the Avalon and the Fillmore and saw the light operators at work. After his time in the service, he came back to Detroit and Russ Gibb hired Gary to perform light shows at his new venue called the Grande Ballroom. Gary designed the first poster to spread the word about a show coming. The show was to be "A Dance Concert in the San Francisco Style" by a band called The MC5. You might have heard of them. Gary went on to design not only a great deal of the art for shows and venues around Detroit, but he also did commercial work for other companies and endeavors and worked with some other remarkable artists along the way. He was pretty politically active at points. His artwork appeared in "underground" publications like "The Berkeley Tribe" "The Fifth Estate" and "The Ann Arbor Sun". He spoke out against the Vietnam War, he was arrested on a marijuana charge which he later beat in court and for a while there, he was an associate art director for Creem Magazine, if you can remember back then.
Well, all of that art...and all of that experience is now being told by his wife of 25 years Laura Grimshaw. She's still in Detroit, right in the same neighborhood where it all went on all those years ago, and she's brought her collection to Grand Haven to speak about and for you to see until the end of November. On display will be some of the bigger pieces. Some of the commercial art as well as some of the more famous pictures that you'll recognize. As we were setting up to tape, I was even kind of surprised at how many passers by stopped and said "I remember that". Sure, it was just before I was hatched...but those memories for some are like yesterday.
I had a chance to meet Laura Grimshaw as she was just coming in to Grand Haven to start getting set up for the show. Take a listen to our chat below.
A pretty facsinating topic, from a pretty fascinating time. Head down to Grand Haven to meet Laura and hear her talk about Gary. I am sure there will be plenty of fascinating stories and you'll get a chance to see first hand some of the amazing art she's kept over the years and brought to share. The exhibit runs until the end of November but you get one night to meet Laura and her her stories. Don't miss it. For more at the Loutit Library, click on their logo below.
Almost a year ago, we stopped into a new restaurant in a familiar spot. The old West Side Inn sat empty for quite a while on Beidler street in Muskegon after 65 years of being the neighborhood watering hole. Three years or so passed and some eyes took another look at the location and the opportunity and rethought what the building could be inspired by his passion for unique food and a taste that couldn't be found anywhere else in Muskegon...or anywhere near for that matter! Gouleese was born serving specialized goulash dishes from all over the world! Mexican, Hungarian, Czech, Italian American...served as a platter or in some sample plates or maybe a cone...it was a culinary experience unique to the quaint setting and renewed decor in the neighborhood.
Now, what made Gouleese special to us was what happened when we published the story. We can't really explain how or why, but the story took off like an Atlas Rocket. To date, it's the most viewed story on The Muskegon Channel other than the Andy and Dave Daily which gets an update 5 days a week. We sat and watched the view count grow and were just amazed! We were very thankful for the hand in gaining some exposure for the new site and as we helped spread the word about the new restaurant, those who were excited about a new dining experience helped share the fact that we were here ready to share the news how we saw it. To us, that's what a local media company should do.
In the past "almost year" The Muskegon Channel has grown as has Gouleese. They have new menu options, they have added beer and wine to the menu for those who'd like to enjoy a local brew or fine win along with their meal. They dropped in a pool table as well as some games. They have kept the family setting and have even put in some $6 specials for lunch! All supported by groups who come in together, families who are looking to try something unique or maybe just the individual who's looking for a quick bite and wants to support a local business.
We stopped back in to see Tim Painter. He's the managing partner behind it all to catch up on the "almost year" and find out how it's gone! Take a listen!
New menu options....same delicious goulash to try from all over the world, unique and quaint location and a re-imagined and reborn step in the right direction for a Muskegon neighborhood. If you've not tried Gouleese yet....do it....if you've not been there in a while, head back. Exciting times for everyone at the restaurant as their 1 year anniversary approaches. For a complete look at the menu, business hours and more, visit Gouleese website below!
Becky's back with episode 70 of Fit and Healthy With Becky. This time, she's got your legs in mind! She's even busting out some barbells to add to the experience! These after all are important muscle, not only do they help you get around, they keep you looking good too. It's worth spending some time taking care of those legs of yours and Becky is going to show you how to do it!
We remind you every week, make sure you ask your doctor before you start this or any work out program. Plenty of water, and remember to warm up and stretch out! Here comes episode 70 of Fit and Healthy with Becky.
She's awesome and now you are a little more too! Well, more awesome when it comes to being fit and healthy! If you like what you're feeling and want more, visit Becky online for a group class of maybe a one on one training session! She's a Certified Personal Trainier who's mission is to make Muskegon a little healthier one person at a time! You can get a hold of her at the link below!
So, one day you're at work and you meet the new hire. Nicety's are exchanged and you go to your respective job and do it, not to see the new recruit for a while. As time goes on, assignments change and up pops the coworker again, and now, you get to have lunch together where you get a chance to talk a little, dream a little and find the commonality that makes up a pretty potent idea IF you're willing to roll up the sleeves and give it a try! Such is the story of Brittany Meloche and Bethany Bauer.
They met up at Shape Corp. Time rolled on and their friendship grew. No doubt Shape is a great place to work, but that burning ember inside them told them to take a chance on a little something that they both held dear their entire lives and that's the experience of bonding over food. How it brings families and friends together. How there are so many unique ways to take the "family recipe" to new levels and how it's fun to bring a product to life, from the pipe dream to reality. They decided to start seeing what it took to get in to the cannoil business, where to make them, where to sell them....how would an area used to glazed donuts and blueberry muffins take on to an "old world" treat like a cannoli? What is a cannoli anyway? It's a cheese filled pastry....yes cheese.
A little snooping around on the internet and the pair found Kitchen 242 at the Muskegon Farmers Market. It's an open source kitchen for business development in the culinary world. It's also a learning kitchen where classes are held in culinary arts and you may have seen it's a back drop for Chef Char and her wonderful segments here on The Muskegon Channel! A little more investigating, into where to sell, how to develop a little catering clientele and then to spread the word....you've got a great start to a business that can grow past all expectations. About the only thing that they couldn't get was "Grandma's secret recipe" as mom wouldn't just let that go, rather she told the gals to work on memory and do what you love.
I sat down with two of my newest favorite people of all time ever to hear their story and throw a little light on their endeavors.... take a listen!
I loved everything about this interview. What a treat to see young people just go for it and to see them take the steps needed to build for themselves. The food is delicious, their future is very bright and as you can tell....they put as much love into their business as they do their food, and more over, each other. You can get yourself a taste of The Only Cannoli at the Muskegon Farmers Market or, if you'd like to consider them for your next occasion, you can visit their website by clicking on the photo below. Our very best wishes to these emerging rock stars of the culinary world! There will be a day when you will say "I saw them when they were on The Muskegon Channel"
Ok, I am going to start right off with some honesty. I got a message from Brooks Wheeler who owns and operates Muskegon Monument and Stone on Pine Street across from Evergreen Cemetery after we ran the story on The City of the Dead historical event coming up. I thought.... "Great...a tour of a bunch of computer programmed cutters, a topic people hate...death....and a place they would rather not have to spend a dime, this will be fun." Yes, even the most positive of us grumble sometimes....but I am here to tell you....what I walked into was breathtaking to say the very least. I mean truly jaw dropping history of who we are and how things have been done for over 100 years in Muskegon and everything included from the paperwork to the tools it took to do it. I walked into a living working time capsule and I was just floored at every turn.
Let's start off with Brooks. An unassuming cat. An artisan of the highest order who still does all of his engraving by hand on every stone, minus a little sand blasting. He painstakingly hand draws ever single carving on the monuments and has hundreds and hundreds of sheets of his work he's done. If it was something someone loved in life, from NASCAR to the outdoors to their favorite tattoo....Brooks has turned it into a forever engraving. He's kind, he deals with people who come to him in the hardest times of their lives and, there are those too who come to him well in advance of the inevitable and plan something cool to mark there spot in the forever after. He's figured out how to handle the emotional state of just about anyone, at any time and that's got to be an essential part of his success.
Now, on to the business and building. Living. Working. History. I have had the good fortune to be in the catacombs of more than one place here in town. I mean some deep spots where who we are and what we are about is held. I have also been given the privilege of talking to some of the keepers of our history and of all that, you would be remarkably hard pressed to find a spot in town that has more than Muskegon Monument and Stone. Every hand written record of their sales back to 1901. Machinery that still thrives and functions that has been there since the beginning or nearly the beginning and if it has been retired, it's tucked away upstairs or in the back. Old hand tools, the stove they use to heat the place is #25 in production from the Kalamazoo Stove Company which has been extinct since 1952, and only opened a year after Muskegon Monument and Stone. The air compressor they use I believe he said is from the 30's and it's still chugging along as solid as a rock. The floor boards creek....the safe is unbreakable and has an internal surprise in case anyone does try and the over all feeling of nostalgia is overwhelming. A walk through the unseen at Muskegon Monument and Stone is as exciting as a museum tour anywhere and you'll get an exclusive look in the video below.
I don't recall ever meeting Brooks in the past, but we do share some pretty cool mutual friends, so we could have bumped into each other somewhere in the past. Probably a race track. His daughter is quite a popular National Anthem singer which he's quick to boast about as anyone would be. Take a listen to our chat and enjoy the tour. This is one of the most fun things I have ever been able to see.
For every time I am standing there shaking my head thinking that what I do and why is hard work.... and how much easier it would be to just go find some job and punch a clock....along comes a guy like Brooks and says.... "Hey, come see this!" Don't get me wrong... a flood of advertisers wouldn't get turned away, but what a gift it is to be Muskegon's story teller! Who else gets invited in to see the un-seeable and given the all access pass to the people and places who make us who we are? Brooks, thanks man! What a great day! If you'd like to know more about Muskegon Monument and Stone, click below to visit their website.
October 5th was the day! It's what the Muskegon Airport has worked for behind the scenes for years and it's a step to make our airport more viable for the business or leisure traveler looking for the easiest and most hassle free flight experience they can find. The 6a early flight to Chicago was launched giving people travelling the most convenient connection options in Chicago to any destination they choose. Up and on your way from one of the best kept secrets in travel, which we're proud to try and help change a little. After all, who wants to add things like a long drive, and overnight in a hotel, one of those big city park and shuttle services....the crowds...the prices...everything people dread about air travel....all MIA at the Muskegon County Airport.
You pull up to a parking lot that's not even 50 yards from the terminal. You are surrounded by a wonderfully manicured landscape and you enter a low stress environment to board your United flight with no more than 50 other passengers. Check in is a breeze, security is as solid as you'll find anywhere but the pressure is WAY lower than what you'll find anywhere else and after a very brief wait, you're up and on your way to Chicago to connect with the flight to take you where ever you are heading. Doesn't that sound much better than the rig a ma roll you find everywhere else? Add in to that the affordable pricing and the pop up specials you can find if you take a look in advance and are a little flexible with your schedule...it's a value that can't be beat. What? You are banking up frequent flyer miles on some other airline? You might want to look in to United's Mileage Plus Status Match Challenge. (Hint Hint)
All of the chat about how great the Muskegon County Airport is, is one thing...but, there is also a need here. We need to use it or lose it. Like anything, the competition for this flight schedule is tough. There are only so many flights and they will go to where they are utilized the best, so if you are planning a flight or taking a business trip, ALWAYS check Muskegon first to see about flights, prices and schedules and specials....we don't want to lose this great option! There are also plenty of fun options as well at the airport. Casino get away's are doing great and more are planned and if you need a Winter vacation, you can leave Muskegon at 6a and be in Cancun by 11. Umbrella drink by 11:05! Nice!
Jeff Tripp is the Executive Director of the Muskegon County Airport and he invited me out to talk about the new schedule now that it's up and running. Take a listen!
The Muskegon County Airport is a great sponsor of The Muskegon Channel and we appreciate their support. We also appreciate the hard work it took to bring this vaulable travel option to Muskegon! If you're travelling....check Muskegon first. Simple as that. Protect our own resources and keep our airport alive and well. To visit the Muskegon County Airport's website and check that schedule and price info, click on the photo below!
We've enjoyed covering the work that goes on by the M.A.R.S. 4004 Robotics team in Muskeogn for a while now. They are a group of students from multiple area schools and their advisors who come together to compete in the FIRST robotics competitions that are held all over the country. They are intensive projects that focus on science, technology, math and team work. They meet up and work out of the back of local business Pribusin. Pribusin manufactures quality process controls and instrumentation not far from the Our Lady of Grace Church. They employ a shop cat to keep an eye out for the occasional mouse. The family dog is also a regular on the premises as you'll see in our chat here in a little bit. It's a humble place is what I am getting at, but the truly amazing things that are coming out of it will blow your mind. More over, the amazingly intelligent young people who are working on the FIRST Robotics projects will make your jaw drop.
When we last visited, they were just past their World Finals appearance back in April in Detroit. The group was putting their skills to practical use outfitting motorized toy cars for kids with mobility issues. Yes, "geeks" have heart. It was a great story where families who never thought their kids would do what "normal" kids do, but the MARS Team made it happen. There were not many dry eyes when the technology made the kids smile and laugh as the cars zoomed all over the floor at Pribusin.
Well, technology marches on as do the FIRST Robotics teams. That was last year and this year, their project is called "Destination Deep Space" inspired but the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. The teams have the title but not the specifics on what needs to be designed just yet and they also have something that will peak the interest of the Muskegon. They have a destination "West Coast" where the regional teams will converge on Muskegon for the competition at Orchard View High School. March 14th-16 the eyes of the tech world will be on OV as the competition gets underway with these brilliant young people. L3 is the first to jump up and want a role in this, truth be told...they are keeping an eye on the competitors as a recruiting tool. Good for these kids.
Now it's up to us! Let's roll out the red carpet. We're going to have hundreds, maybe even thousands of people in town. They will be here to brag up their kids. Boast about their schools. Take in some of the great dining opportunities, fill the hotels, see the sites and enjoy Spring in Muskegon as nature reflects what we're seeing in the changes of our town. We're busting at the seams in everything from how we're perceived to the young people we're putting out with smarts...drive and no question in their mind that they can do it.
I got out to the shop to get the details. I met up with Michael Gerstweiler who is one of the groups advisers along with team members Andrew Uriarte and Harrison McIntyre to talk about the event. There is a need for some people to help out when it's going on. They are also interested in hearing from area business and people who might want a sponsorship role. This is a BIG deal to welcome to Muskegon and something we all need to rally around. Take a listen to what this program does for our students and out area.
We're ready to rock!! Deep Space here we come and welcome to Muskegon! For every story you hear on the news about some kid doing some dimwit thing at school, trust me when I tell you that there are 10 kids doing something great. So great in fact that they go out and impress the world enough to bring their competition right back home to their own field! We're going to build toward March with the MARS Rovers and our other area teams who compete in FIRST Robtics. The countdown is on and we're excited to follow the action leading up to launch at Orchard View on March 14th!! To be a part of the action, click on the image below to visit their site.
We're heading back to the polls pretty soon and no matter where you stand on the entire voting process, making your voice heard is important and your vote is especially important when it comes to making sure our local municipalities have the needed equipment to make sure the services they offer are the most efficient and effective. Quite often, especially when it comes to a request for money, there will be a lot of voices heard, and some of them get quite loud as to why people shouldn't vote to pay a little extra for essential services. Let's be honest, no one wants to pay more for anything, but...what if one of those essential services is desperately in need of modernizing on a number of levels, and it's literally a life or death matter we're talking about? Such is the case with the Muskegon Central Dispatch 911 Service.
The need is real and the costs of the old radio technology being used by the Central Dispatch Service are getting to the point that it's actually going to cost people in Muskegon County more to try and maintain the old system and repair the outdated equipment, some of which parts are no longer even available for in the long term. Combine that with the fact that 74 out of 83 counties in Michigan have already migrated to this newer more functional 800mhz band for communications between all departments, we can see pretty easily that Muskegon County is behind on this needed upgrade. It's said that the technology in place is the equivalent of "having a cassette tape in a world of streaming music" it's that far behind. This is also an essential upgrade to give the first responder services of Muskegon County the ability to talk to other teams of responders from around the state. Currently, if our county services need to communicate to ask for assistance from another agency, all they have is a cell phone. Imagine trying to place a phone call in the middle of a disaster? No thanks. Let's make sure that the bare essentials are covered for those who protect us.
The costs? Well, let's just explain it to ya. Right now, for 911 service anyone with a cell phone or land line is paying .42 cents a month. If approved, beginning in July of 2019 that rate will increase and can go no higher than $2.75 per month. It's an equal share for anyone who might need to dial 911. It also should be known that Muskegon Central Dispatch is a stand alone service. They are an independent authority who reports to the state and none of this money being asked for can be diverted to pay for anything else. It's not a ploy to get a bunch of money into one fund or another so something else can be paid for...this is essential life saving technology that has long been waiting for an upgrade.
I was invited down to Muskegon Central Dispatch by Shawn Grabinski and she asked Fire Chief Dave Glotzbach of Muskegon Township and Whitehall Chief of Police Roger Squires to join us to talk about the necessity and urgency for this surcharge ballot request. Take a listen for yourself and learn....
In a time where disaster can happen anywhere, and seems to more and more...this kind of technology is essential. It's never anything anyone is all fired up about having to pay a little more for essential services, but as a community our safety and the safety of those who are the front line for all of us is paramount. There's no bait and switch going on. There's no governmental "bloat". This is a bare bones essential need for the safety of all of us. You can read the complete list of nuts and bolts of this needed equipment in the link below. We have it set to take you directly to the info page at MCD-911's site. Learn what's needed and please, vote to help pass this for everyone in Muskegon County.
It's time to work those pecs! Welcome to episode 69 of Fit and Healthy With Becky on The Muskegon Channel!! Becky gave you and arm work out last week as bow season got underway in Michigan and we managed to get a few minutes with her in between time of her ventures into the woods ready to fill a freezer! Yes, she takes a break from the tree stand to make sure that you stay on point when it comes to staying in shape and in good health!
Since we worked the arms last week, it only makes sense to balance it out a little and go after that chest! To get the proper pump-a-tude in your pecs is what this episode is all about! As always, please consult a doctor before you start this or any workout program and always warm up, stretch out and stay hydrated! Here comes episode 69 of Fit and Healthy With Becky on The Muskegon Channel!
Did you follow the instructions? Do all the reps? Make plans to come back and do it again later today or tomorrow? Good for you! You've caught on! Becky is an awesome Certified Personal Trainer and offers both group and one on one settings to help you further your fitness goals! She's also branching out into some products which you may have seen in her video today. If you are interested in more, you can click on the photo below for her website...or, stop into The Gym in North Muskegon! Becky works out of The Gym where you will find a great atmosphere for grown up's to work out in. It's friendly, inviting and feels more like being among friends than your typical health and fitness club. Stop in and see The Gym on the 4 corners in North Muskegon for yourself!
Maybe you're getting pumped up for the game or possibly, you are out for a new taste to wow your family or friends at the next dinner party? Well, there's one gal in town who's got the answers to life's riddles like this...Chef Char! She rules the roost down at Kitchen 242 at the Muskegon Farmers Market and specializes in showing YOU how to make the good stuff in ways that are easily understandable, fun and efficient on time!
Today, we're back to the garden. There is a lot of food coming out of back yards and if not, the local farmers market...so, let's eat it while it's fresh! How about if we chop it up, mix it up and add a little zip and make a finger food like bruschetta? It's amazingly simple and the taste is out of this world! We'll quit wasting time on words and get right to it!! Here's Chef Char from Kitchen 242 at the Muskegon Farmers Market!
Just as easy as that!! Doesn't she make it simple and who knew what that amazing brown sauce was that set's off the dish like it does! When we wrapped shooting, Andy pigged out on what was made, it was all he got to eat that day! :) Thank heavens for Chef Char! If you'd like to join Chef Char at Kitchen 242 for one of her classes, you really should! They are fun, informative and you'll walk away with skills you never dreamed possible! You can click on Chef Char's pic below to visit her website and find a schedule of classes she offers! She's even got cooking classes tailor made for kids! Help those youngin's out early on with their ability to cook! The recipe for the bruchetta is at the bottom!!
Crisp air, leaves starting to turn...all the closed up stores are now fly by night Halloween specialty shops and you've probably already bought a bag or two of "trick or treat" candy that hasn't lasted. It's October, it's Michigan and it's how it goes. We all get it. The haunted attractions will be open soon, there's plenty of "scary" stuff on your Facebook feed as dead deer are hanging there beginning with the youth hunt a couple weeks ago and now that bow season is here....they are hanging in garages all over town. But, it's also a great time to take that haunted vibe and maybe put a little educational spin on it in a setting like no other... the cemetery!
Not everything surrounding Halloween needs to be a heart attack around every corner. In fact, in Muskegon you have a chance to come out to a very unique and very educational event focusing on our history....the people who made it and hear them tell it in real life...next to their grave site in the Evergreen Cemetery. It's the 9th City of the Dead Muskegon and it's happening October 13th and 14th. You'll find the entry to this event at 400 Irwin Street in Muskegon and tickets are only $5. This is an event geared toward the whole family, there won't be anyone jumping out at you and there won't be any Zombie Apocalypse happening. There will be actors lovingly appearing in period costumes by the graves of the real history makers in Muskegon talking about the lives they lived, including some of the potentially scandalous events you might not know about, and how Muskegon became the town it is because of their contributions over the years.
This is the 9th year for the event and it brings together people for a number of reasons. Some like the history, some enjoy the acting and theater part of their role while others, just like the costumes and the chance to represent our forefathers in a way that most will never get a chance to hear about. It's a living history tour of those who made Muskegon and it happens only 2 days a year.
Jackie Engel got a hold of me again to invite me out to talk about this years event. We were joined by Bruce Froelich, Ellen Pallasch and and Jessica Sheldon. We talk about the characters they play and their reason to be so passionate about City of the Dead. Take a listen!
Take the kids out for a little education that they won't even know hit them! Then, carry on with the rest of the Halloween fun! This is an incredible way to learn more about our home and those who made it happen! Real history speaks to you from where real history was laid to rest. This is part of our heritage and it's an incredible way to get your learn on before you head out to your cavorting and monster mashing! We're proud to support this great event in Muskegon.
A week or so ago, a message popped up on my computer wondering if I'd be interested in seeing what Eagle Alloy of Muskegon was all about. Sure! I have never seen anything like that up close and I am always kind of fascinated by things I am not really cut out to do. Believe it or not...I am not one for the attention span it takes to focus on the job at hand at Eagle Alloy. It's a job of focus, precision and strength. I am more of an easily distracted artist as you've probably figured over the years, so to be able to see how folks get big jobs like these done is absolutely amazing to me. I will say however, that over the course of my career, it's always been my great honor to be right next to workers like the folks at Eagle Alloy as their companion on the radio or in some form of media, so when they can grab a few minutes away from the task at hand, I am there to give them something to laugh about...at least that's always been the goal for me.
Eagle Alloy is an employee owned company and in 2015 they very proudly won the Metal Caster of the Year Award from Modern Casting, The level of pride that you feel from the workers there is amazing and it is felt from the moment you walk in the door till you leave. On my way out, I even met a woman, who needed a kidney transplant, found a match who also worked at Eagle Alloy and the company backed them BOTH to let the miracle happen of a kidney transplant. Amazing solidarity among coworkers. Their first customer came along in 1979 and they have retained them and added over 200 more in the meantime. They service dozens of industries from agriculture to construction and if you see a Harley-Davidson trike rolling around, you're seeing parts from Eagle Alloy at work!
As the tour got under way, I was joined by a group of students from the Muskegon Career Tech Center. One of my favorite places in Muskegon. It's a hands on learning experience for the young people that attend there. Eagle Alloy extends the opportunity for the students to see in practice what they are learning in books and getting the beginnings of at the CTC. It's a great way to show young people the opportunities that await them here in Muskegon post education and that they can be part of some pretty amazing endeavors right here hat home.
The first contact I got was from Mark Hollenbeck who is a Senior Sales Engineer at Eagle Alloy inviting me out and Mark handed me off to Scott Merz who I sat down with to talk a little about what we were to see on the tour. It's kind of loud in the plant, so...we left the audio out and added a little soundtrack under the process parts. You'll see the steps from design, to 3-D modeling, the incredible view of the "pour", some finishing, some robotics, some of the applications of their work and then we head into Eagle Precision to see another process they do with wax. It's a fun and fascinating process, I'd recommend the biggest screen you can find to watch this on!
Rockin huh? Just amazing to see how it gets done!! It's hard work, it's hot work but if you stop and think of just how much won't be possible without the products that Eagle Alloy supplies to industry...we'd be nowhere without them. Add to that the amount of good, high paying jobs they provide right here in Muskegon and it's pretty easy to see why Eagle Alloy and all of it's associated companies are a true asset to our area! Can't thank these guys enough for such an amazing experience seeing inside what goes on there. I give my most sincere tip of the cap to the workers and staff there for the hard work they do! Amazed! To learn more about the company, click on the photo below to visit their site! Word on the street is that they are in serious hiring mode too!! Need a job.... here's your sign!
A few years ago, I was scrolling across Facebook and I saw a group of friends up to some shenanigans, I know...surprise...right? Well, this particular group of people was working on a podcast and they were calling themselves the "COJ" The Circle of Jerks. The went out of their way to be cut up's. The joked about all things Muskegon, they hammered on each other pretty hard and they really pushed the envelope when it came to subject matter. Hey, it's the internet and it was their thing, so I would watch occasionally but kinda figured it might burn out quick so I didn't think much more about it. Well, as time went on, that "circle" expanded and contracted some when it came to the original cast and from the podcast thing was born the idea of a Circle of Jerks movie. Who's to stop anyone from making a movie right? Well, the COJ movie led to another film project called "You Mad Bro?" and as production was ramping up on that, some one in the group says..."Hey! You know who would make a great actor to play our dad? Andy O!!" Now, here I am appearing in one of their films. I mean, I kind of see myself as more their age, but I guess since it's the movies we can cast aside any preconceived notions about age.
Through the entire process, I have gotten to know Hank Hawkins a little better and to have watched him grow and develop in his art and his continued desire to write, produce and direct films...I gotta admit...it's pretty contagious. He's gone from the podcast idea to using what he's got at hand for equipment as well as who he's got at hand for acting to work on projects from inspiration to completion and to be honest, he's kind of mirrored me along the way. Like we've grown things from the one GoPro we had to start Positively Muskegon with to the truck load of equipment it takes to run what we've got now, Hank and company have upgraded bit by bit, learned by mistakes, reinvested in what they do and worked to grow an audience with both live and recorded events here in town. All this while maintaining a full time job and being a parent to a 15 year old daughter. It's one of those growth stories in Muskegon you might not hear about anywhere else.
The production company he's founded is called Red Chunk Productions and their latest film will make it's debut at the Harbor Cinema on October 13th. "LDR" is short for "Long Distance Relationship" and it's a story of how people try to make things work today with relationships in the middle of all of the technology and social media we are immersed in. I was able to catch up with Hank and Kyle at Harbor Cinema to talk about the history of their company as well as the premiere coming up, take a listen to our chat below.
Details and tickets are not on Harbor Cinema's page just yet, but keep an eye out for it and buy yourself a ticket!! You know....I applaud these guys and their efforts. From the concept to writing and producing and all that entails making a motion picture, they are grinding it out. It was a fun experience to be in one of their films and as they work on more, we'll keep you up to date on what's next and where you can see it. It's small films like "LDR" that quite often get picked up by bigger movie production companies and then make their way out to Hollywood, so...I guess we keep our fingers crossed for Hank, Kyle and the rest of the crew at Red Chunk Productions. Who Knows, maybe someday there will be an "actors colony walk" for the work Hank and friends are doing. To visit Red Chunk Productions on Facebook, click on their image below, follow along for up to the minute productions, casting calls and more!