Issue 6

Issue 6 | 11.21.2018 | Holland, MI

Red berries hang on to a dry green leafed branch as bare trees line the background
Van Raalte sledding hill. Photo by Holland Weekly.

Holland Weekly Feature Article: Autumn Leaves Holland

 

The black and white logo of WYCE features lightning bolts extending out from the top of a radio tower.
Music: A Community Of Sound

 

A maize and blue Michigan Wolverine helmet faces a gray Ohio State Buckeyes helmet, with those stupid buckeye leaves that look like pot leave GO BLUE!
Sports: The Game

 

Madam puppy dog astrologer, Sylvia. Photo by Michael Tuccini.
Weekly Horoscope: Sylvia Reads The Stars

Red berries hang on to a dry green leafed branch as bare trees line the background
Van Raalte sledding hill. Photo by Holland Weekly.

Autumn Leaves Holland

By Audrianne Hill
Nov. 21, 2018

The first day of autumn exhales with a berry-breath and all nature catches scent. It is always the air that announces the change. ~ Jim Crumley

I tried to get myself in the autumnal mood by searching for a definitive version of “Autumn Leaves.” Frank Sinatra’s and Nat King Cole’s versions were classic but seemed too dated. There is a ten minute version by Vince Guaraldi with hints of Charlie Brown dancing through it. Eric Clapton’s version is too Eric and not enough of that something I was looking for. Even Ella Fitzgerald fell short. Believe me, they were good renditions but not one that struck home. And then, along came Eva Cassidy. Her soulful version offered a yearning missing from the others. Eva had me at “The autumn leaves drift by my window…”. The manner in which she drew out that lyric was pure soul. I wanted to hug my sweatered self.

To quote F. Scott Fitzgerald, “Everything starts over in the fall.” School busses appear at corners in the early morning light. One can barely make out the heads of children in the darkness. One season ending while another one not quite begun. Friends, lost earlier in the year, would be celebrating birthdays: 77, 94, and a 71st wedding anniversary. Kindred spirits with whom I discussed books, politics, life. They lived such positive, deliberate, honorable lives. This, too, is what autumn is about. In its season of change, it can also mean letting go.

In the village store someone says, “I heard the geese fly over,” and there is a moment of silence. Why this is so moving I do not know. But all of us feel it. ~ Gladys Taber

There is much to do to ready the house for winter. Mow the lawn one last time, finish pruning, wrap the air conditioner, remove screens. The winds and rains kept the preparation to a minimum. The painter who had planned on working while we were out of the house was unable to finish. Each time he would let me know he’d be at the house, rain would hamper him. Eventually we got it done. Even the squirrels weren’t detoured! When the winds removed the leaves from area trees, their little nests were revealed. I don’t know why this tickles me so, but it does.

With the rain keeping me inside, I read. Doris Kearns Godwin’s new book, Leadership, was interesting. Kearns has written about Lincoln, Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt, and Lyndon Johnson. This book looks at various events in their lives that led them to the presidency and the challenges they faced while in office. Becoming Mrs. Lewis, by Patti Callahan, is the fictional novel about Joy Davidson who befriended C.S. Lewis and eventually married him just prior to her death from cancer. As Halloween approached, the publication of Deborah Harkness’s Time’s Convert, an offshoot from her All Souls Trilogy intrigued me. Set during the Revolutionary War, it was the perfect segue to my revisiting Ron Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton for November’s book club presentation.

Needing some positive perspective on current affairs, I wrapped up the season reading Anne Lamott’s Almost Everything: Notes on Hope and John Pavlovitz’s Hope and Other Superpowers. The thoughts of those who are out in the world and just not in my corner of it offers me hope that all is not lost, even when I get nervous by the narrow-mindedness, complacency, and surrender of others.

But there is always a November space after the leaves have fallen when…it was almost indecent to intrude on the woods…for their glory terrestrial had departed and their glory celestial of spirit and purity and whiteness had not yet come upon them. ~ Lucy Maud Montgomery

And so, we are in November. The stores surrounding the downtown bookstore where I work began decking the halls two days prior to Halloween. As if Thanksgiving doesn’t count! It truly hurts my heart to see a holiday based on food, family, and thankfulness thrust aside in lieu of commercialism. I can become Charlie Brown looking for the meaning of Christmas sometimes. The solstice is over a month away, but just as the last days of summer get lost between school days and final harvest, so is the end of autumn outshone by Christmas parades, school concerts, and holiday open houses.

As Thanksgiving approaches, may you count your blessings, honor those loved ones who have crossed over, and prepare to settle in for winter.


Audrianne Hill is in the fifth generation of seven generations of Hollanders. Hill is semi-retired from teaching high school English and works a few hours a week at Reader’s World on River Avenue in downtown Holland. Her memoir, Graduation: Making a Life After Teaching, is available at Reader’s World.


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The black and white logo of WYCE features lightning bolts extending out from the top of a radio tower.
Image courtesy of WYCE.

Set A Place For Radio

By Kathleen Schenck
Nov. 21, 2018

Whatever happened to radio?

We have all the technology at our fingertips, what with our iThings, to play anything from our own collections that our hearts desire. We can be in total control of our own sonic experience.

But radio, like life, is a communal affair, where people you may or may not know listen to the exact same song at the exact same time as you. It’s the rare shared experience where we may be alone but connected to one another in the ethereal way only music can do.

It’s also a generous affair, where you as the listener can sit back and let someone else drive. It is a treat to have someone share with you her/his musical tastes when the music shared is just so good.

Commercial stations, well, play commercials. Who likes to be told what to do every 10 minutes? Buy this or Don’t vote for that. And public radio is great for information, but can you hit the OFF button fast enough when you-know-who’s voice comes on, grumbling about caravans or covfefe? I can’t.

WYCE in Grand Rapids is a non-commercial radio station that, wait for it, plays music. Good music. Fascinating music. A mix of old and new, of local and world.

If you haven’t had a chance to listen yet to this station, leave the shuffling to the experienced programmers and tune in to 88.1 FM this Thanksgiving. It’s one less thing to worry about. Here in the Holland area, the signal comes in nice and clear, and the eclectic mix of music is somehow smooth and engaging, never harsh or alienating.

And I can attest personally to the station’s willingness to play requests, as they played Josh Ritter’s Kathleen on my birthday. Thank you, WYCE! Requests can be made here: https://grcmc.org/wyce/request.

This week Holland Weekly caught up via email with Cassie Betten, Programming Manager for  88.1 FM WYCE in Grand Rapids.

HW: What does WYCE have planned for Thanksgiving?

CB: That’s the thing about WYCE, we are a world of music and you can hear anything at any time.

HW: Do you expect more listeners on Thursday?

CB: Not necessarily, but we hope that listeners invite us into their homes to share the holiday.

HW: How do the DJs/Programmers choose the music?

CB: Our Programmers participate in a music training course that helps guide their picks for sets. The world of music comes from choosing artists from each of our general genre categories: Folk, Blues, Jazz, Rock, and World. There are about 450 sub-genres in each general genre. We also allow spins from personal collections. The on-site library is also cataloged digitally and available for Programmers to listen at home and build eclectic sets.

HW: How many requests are played an hour/show?

CB: We encourage Programmers to play as many requests as they can as long as they are FCC clean and fit the flow of their show. However, if you can hear the song requested on another station within our reach it will not be considered.

HW: Do you anticipate more on Thanksgiving?

CB: I’m not familiar with any Thanksgiving-themed songs that listeners would request. We hope our listeners are aware of the Native American music that we have in our library.

The station is unsure of the exact listener-ship at particular times because we are non-commercial. Our budgetary means do not cover Nielsen ratings, which are quite pricey. Contributions are welcome at wyce.org/donate!

HW: Do you enjoy receiving and playing requests?

CB: Requests are the oldest form of genuine connection between listener and programmer. We love hearing that we can make people’s day with a good tune!

HW: I read the WYCE pages on Philosophy and Inclusion. How are those taken into consideration in programming?

CB: Becoming a Programmer at WYCE is an opportunity available for anyone in the greater Grand Rapids area. We hold an open informational meeting to the public and then train them how to use the equipment, speak on-air, and how to best use the musical library.

The station focuses on the importance of including music from all genres in each show to cater to every musical taste in the city.

We also provide a platform for non-profit organizations and local musical artists.

HW: Thank you so much, Cassie.

CB: Thanks for spreading the good word about WYCE!


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A maize and blue Michigan Wolverine helmet faces a gray Ohio State Buckeyes helmet, with those stupid buckeye leaves that look like pot leave GO BLUE!
Image courtesy of mgoblue.com.

The Game

By Chuck Valleau
Nov. 21, 2018

The game of the 2018 college football season is this Saturday. Teams around the country have already played 11 games, conference and non-conference, this year. But if you are from Michigan and grew up expecting the Wolverines to win the Big Ten and go to the Rose Bowl, the game has always been the last regular season battle against bitter rival Ohio State University.

In January of 2000, ESPN listed University of Michigan vs. Ohio State as the number one rivalry of the last century—ahead of the Red Sox vs. the Yankees and Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier. Beating the Buckeyes is always the goal. And this year it means something. As it should. As it always used to.

Not only Big Ten Conference bragging rights, but in this era of Bowl Championship Series playoffs for a National Championship, a shot at that crown is also on the line. Just as it was when the #3 Wolverines went down to Columbus to face the #2 Buckeyes in 2016, and the Wolverines beat the Buckeyes in the second overtime. Except they didn’t. Down south not only do the students and fans bleed scarlet and gray, so did the refs in that contest. When Michigan’s talented defense stopped OSU’s J.T. Barrett a foot and a half short of the first down marker on a fourth and short yardage, the game should have ended in a 27-24 victory for Michigan. Except it didn’t. Instead the Buckeye-biased officials gifted the home team the first down and extended the game. With the momentum from the extension of the second overtime, the Buckeyes subsequently scored to take the game 30-27. Then the refs were satisfied that the game could end.

Everything is on the line this Saturday. Not only will Michigan have on its mind avenging that stolen game two years ago to wrap up this season’s revenge tour (a tour that has seen the Wolverines give payback for beatings last season when injuries took ferocious tolls in key games), but also a trip to the Big Ten championship game against the west division champion Northwestern Wildcats. Beyond that is the potential bid to the Bowl Championship Series playoffs and the possibility of a National Championship.

First we have to take care of business in Columbus.

While the OSU game is always the biggest rivalry for Michigan, earlier this season it would have been hard to predict this year’s match would mean so much. After Michigan stumbled in its opener and quarterback Shea Patterson fell short of expectations in his debut—his poorest showing of the season—and with OSU climbing the top ten rankings, it looked like the Wolverines may be destined for second best yet again. But in this Harbaugh era that has restored the luster and swagger of the team, Michigan’s defense under Don Brown keeps getting better and Shea Patterson keeps improving, becoming what every Michigan fan hoped he would be: an agile quarterback who can dominate opponents with his arm and his legs.

Michigan keeps reeling off win after win, yet the Buckeyes ran into an inspired Purdue Boilermakers team and suffered a conference loss. They have struggled to win since, barely getting past Maryland last weekend. The Wolverines play like they know this year their destiny is in their own hands.

At 10-1 with 10 straight wins, Michigan Football’s 2018 campaign has already been a success. But beating the Buckeyes and continuing the season is all that matters now. So the game in Columbus this Saturday at noon is the 2018 college football season. Just like it used to be. Like it always should be. Bo would be proud. Anything beyond Saturday is gravy.

#4 University of Michigan at #10 Ohio State, Saturday Nov. 24 at noon on Fox television and Michigan IMG Sports Network radio.


Chuck Valleau is a freelance writer who splits his time between Leelanau and  Oakland Counties. Valleau attended Michigan during the Bo-Harbaugh years, and visits Ann Arbor every chance he gets.


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Madam puppy dog astrologer, Sylvia. Photo by Michael Tuccini.
Madam Sylvia. Photo by Michael Tuccini.

Sylvia Reads The Stars

Week of Nov. 21, 2018

Sagittarius Nov 22 – Dec 23

It’s your season, Sagittarius. What will you make of it? Will you be the life of the party or take the life out of it? No time for an anger streak. When you feel the fumes start to get the best of you, get outside and strut those thoroughbred legs.

Capricorn Dec 23 – Jan 20

Capricorn, I know you can get a little squirrelly with too much free time. Become the photographer of every event, party, dinner, and stroll you will undoubtedly take. Then share those pictures with the ones you love.

Aquarius Jan 20 – Feb 18

Ahoy, Aquarius. Water is the source of your happiness these days. Get thee to the beach—yes, in the cold. Yes, in the snow.

Pisces Feb 18 – Mar 20

Pisces, Pisces, Pisces. Don’t let too many dogs in the air overwhelm you. Why do I say “dogs”? Because you took my advice and adopted some new furry friends last week. Time to give them baths and take them to Thanksgiving dinner. What’s a gathering without a little canine chaos.

Aries Mar 20 – Apr 20

I once knew someone who had tattooed on his wrist: ASK. It makes a lot of sense to be reminded of this action, since when are you eager to ask for help, for more information, or for an explanation? Do first, ask later, right? No. Ask more questions than usual, dear Aries. You’ll be pleasantly surprised not at the answers, but the effects of being open to them.

Taurus Apr 20 – May 21

Taurus, you said you’d be home in time to make the pie crust. Where are you?

Gemini May 21 – Jun 21

For you, bright Gem, do something a little different, and with a different crowd. Go to a new cafe, dance a new dance, walk through a new park. Cheer for the losing team. You will find a new understanding of fairness if you do.

Cancer Jun 21 – Jul 23

Cancer, don’t try the old standard recipe. Find a new one, a weird one, a bright one…involving lemons, if possible. And if you’ve been stuck in the kitchen for too many hours already, sub in “radio” for “recipe.” May I suggest giving WYCE a call and requesting a song about lemons? Led Zeppelin; Peter, Paul and Mary; U2 and Beyonce all give you fine options.

Leo Jul 23 – Aug 23

Lovely Leo, you’ve got yourself into a wee bit of a pickle. Don’t frown. Climb on out and shove your hand back in the jar to help another poor soul out, too. You’ll be back to shining your signature light in no time.

Virgo Aug 23 – Sep 23

Do a little research, Virgo. Not the kind you have to do for work or school, but the kind that puts you that much more in touch with your own understanding of yourself. I predict this time spent will be a) rare, and b) regenerative. Beauty is you.

Libra Sep 23 – Oct 23

You’re a triple threat, Libra. You sing, you dance, you act. Loosen up the act. Speak the truth with kindness wherever possible. And it is always possible.

Scorpio Oct 23 – Nov 22

Take all that sparkle found during the last month and put it to use, Scorpio. In other words, take the inspiration and get down to work. I foresee fortune in your path if you do.


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