Bits and pieces from the weekend…

November 17, 2013

My wife and I tried the new Smoke Street restaurant in Friday night. It seems to be off to a great start, as it was packed by 6:30 that night. The food was great and the atmosphere better that many places locally and quieter, too. You could actually carry on a conversation without having to shout at the other person to be heard. We certainly appreciate that. Obviously one visit isn’t enough to form a real strong opinion, but that one visit convinced us that we’ll need to go back and try more of the menu. We met manager/owner Greg Mitchell while we were there and he indicted that he is very happy with how things have gone during opening week and the reception that the local restaurant crowd has given this new place. Milford needed a good BBQ place and now it has one. This is sure to become another destination restaurant for Milford. Click here to view their menu.

We went out to the Livingston County Animal Shelter on Saturday to take one of the new Pet Calendars to them. We adopted our little dog Skippy from there and wanted to share his appearance in the Calendar (he and our other dog, Sadie, are the October dogs in the calendar. We are fortunate in this area to have Michigan’s only Pet Food Pantry for people who just can’t afford pet food anymore. The Pet Pantry is part of the Community Sharing food pantry service for needy families in this area. If you haven’t purchased your Pet Calendar yet, you need to go find one. They are only $10 and all of the proceeds go to support the Pet Pantry. Calendars are on sale a various retail stores around the area and at the Digital Document Store. They make great Christmas gifts that will bring joy the whole year. Community Sharing is much more than just a food service for people and pets. To read about the full spectrum of services that they offer, click here.

On our way back from the Livingston County Shelter we noticed that  new store has opened in Highland Station – Odds and Ins. This is a resale and consignment shop and has some really interesting stuff. They are having a Ladies Night Out on Wednesday, Nov 20, from 5 – 9 PM. If you bring a can of food to donate you will receive 10% off any purchase. Kathy Mika is the owner. The shop is located right on Milford Rd at 144 S. Milford Rd. There is parking in the rear and to the side. They have some real quality stuff on consignment there and you’re sure to want to come back often to see what’s there. Kathy told me that they turn over the merchandise quite rapidly, so there is always something new.

Yesterday was the Fall Tea at the Mary Jackson house, sponsored and put on by the Milford Historical Society. The Tea was a great success and sold out two weeks ago. The Milford Historical Society inherited the house when Mary Jackson, an actress in movies and TV and a lifelong Milfordite passed away. Mary played one of the Baldwin sisters in the TV series Walton’s Mountain and was in many movies, including Airport. Mary was born and raised in the Milford area and went to school in the Milford schools. She bought her early childhood home on Canal Street  in Milford and used to come back every summer to renew old acquaintances. The home is kept pretty much as Mary left it and is used by the Historical Society for meetings and special events.

Today is the Hunter’s Ball at Colasanti’s in Highland. This is an annual charity fund raising event that is held to give the ladies a shopping event to go to while the men are away at deer camp. Funds raised go to help women who can’t afford mammograms pay for that service. The program is administered through The Botsford Foundation. Click here to view the event poster.

As usual, there are lots of things to do in the Milford area this month and next. To keep up with all the events that are going on in the area be sure to check in regularly at www.movetomilford.com . There is a poster window there with as many of the event posters as I can find. It is available also formatted as a mobile site for smartphone users.

 


Reading the histories of lots of Milfords

October 23, 2013

Did you ever wonder every now and then about other towns around the world that have the same name as the town that you live in? I do. So below is a collection of links, admittedly hastily compiled,  that will lead you to several other places named Milford. I live in Milford, Michigan; which is a relatively young iteration of Milford, given the oldest Milford on this list goes back to about 500AD in Wales. The newest one on this list is out in Utah. There are several in the New England area, as you might expect. Some of these are fairly dry accounts and some have very rich histories to relate.

The histories of other cities, towns, boroughs and villages called Milford. Arranged generally in chronological order of when the places were established. As one might expect there is a common thread through all of these histories, since all of the locations were on rivers or streams where water power could be used for transportation or harnessed for power.

Milford on the Sea , Wales, United Kingdom – http://www.milfordonsea.org/#/the-village-history/4533907218

Southwest Wales, Milford Haven – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Milford_Haven

Milford, Delaware –  http://www.cityofmilford.com/index.aspx?NID=166

Milford, Massachusetts –  http://milford.ma.us/pages/boards-committees/historical-commission/milford-history.php

Milford, New Hampshire –  http://www.milford.nh.gov/about-milford-nh/history/how-milford-came-about

Town of Milford, New York – http://www.townofmilfordny.org/town-history.html

Milford, Ohio –  http://www.milfordhistory.net/slide-view/slide-5/

Milford, Pennsylvania – http://www.milfordtownship.org/2009/mt_hist/history.html

Milford, New Jersey –  - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milford,_New_Jersey

Milford on the Delaware, New Jersey – http://visitmilfordnj.com/Our_Town.html

Milford, Maine – http://history.rays-place.com/me/milford-me.htm

Milford, Michigan – http://www.milfordhistory.org/milford_history.html

Milford, Utah – http://www.onlineutah.com/milfordhistory.shtml

For much more on the history of Milford, Michigan, please visit our Historical Society web site – www.milfordhistory.org

 


Lots to do in October

October 9, 2013

There’s certainly lots to do in the Huron Valley area – Milford, Highland White Lake and Commerce – in the month of October, much of it to do with pumpkins and hayrides and  little ghosts and goblins. To check out the events in this area go to my Web site – www.movetomilford.com I try to keep up with the posters that pop up around town and the events that various groups and organizations are running during the month.

If your group or organization has an upcoming event that you’d like to see posted in the calendar or a poster for the Poster Wall on my site, please send me an email – normwerner@comcast.net If you have a PDF file of your poster or flyer that would be great.

One of my favorite annual events is coming up near the end of the months – the Milford BOO Bash. There is nothing that epitomizes small town America more than this parade of costumed kids past the doors of the downtown stores and businesses. Merchants and restaurateurs hand out candy to the kids as they pass by. I’m sure that Mayberry probably had something like this, too; or they wish that they had.

Looking further forward there’s an interesting Survival Training weekend at Kensington Metropark on he first weekend in November. Participants will learn how to find their way out of being lost on Saturday and how to build as shelter (I guess if you can get out) on Sunday. Also on Sunday is an event in Milford at the Hibbard Tavern commemorating the 120th birthday of Edsel Ford. See  more about all ofth is on the calendar at www.movetomilford.com


Featured Business of the Month

August 8, 2013

This month on my web site www.movetomilford.com I’m featuring the Blue Grill restaurant in Milford.

blue grill logo

Milford has long been known as a town with several “destination restaurants” – eateries that attract people from fairly far away because they are so good. The list of places that might fit that category changes over time and is rather electric. There are fine dining establishments and very casual places. One of those very casual restaurants, which has now been open for a little over a year, is the Blue Grill. This is a casual dining place without beer and wine or liquor; but one that has earned a reputation for really good food and good service. The Blue Grill specializes in Mediterranean cuisine and emphasizes its fresh foods and raw juices. You can find out more about its menu at

http://www.thebluegrill.com/.  Owner Dimitri Mansour visits Detroit’s Eastern Market several time a week to buy the freshest produce and fruits to serve in the Blue Grill. If you like Mediterranean food this is the place to go in Milford and the surrounding area.

Food like that served at the Blue Grill is something that you develop a taste for. I lived in Iran in the Middle-East for a couple of years (many, many years ago) and can attest to the great differences in foods and preparation and the tastes involved when you experience a completely different culture. Some of our favorite foods even today are receipts that my wife Carolyn picked up in Iran and brought back. They aren’t things you’ll ever see on regular restaurant menus.

Mind you that Mediterranean fare isn’t for everyone. Some people don’t like hummus and farfelle and shwarmas and it may seem that there is always lots of garlic; however, for those with a taste for something other than American comfort food and something made fresh every day this is a great change of pace. Their salads and rice bowls are great and the pitas, made to your specifications are always very good. There is also a large body of evidence that Mediterranean foods are healthier for you than most of the standard restaurant fare and certainly better for you than almost all of what is served at fast food places.

The real proof of the pudding for any restaurant can be found in its customer reviews. There’s no way to really fake it for long when then Internet supplies people (customers) with such an easy way to share with others what they liked or didn’t like about a place. The Blue Grill has marvelous reviews and this year won the Talk of the Town 5-star award for customer service. You don’t get 5 stars unless you provide satisfying food and great service. In addition, the Blue Grill is rated as Milford’s top restaurant on the TripAdvisor.com site. There are many other sites that rate local restaurants and I visited a few. The Blue Grill gets those consistently high marks from the most important reviewers – its customers.

So, don’t go to the Blue Grill expecting elegant sit-down dining. There are places to sit, but you move through a line “Subway-style” to order and get your food and there are only a few desserts if you are into dessert. Drinks I already mentioned are restricted to pop or water.  The reward is when you do sit down (inside or outside in the summer) and dig into the generous helpings that you have carried to the table – really good food at really good prices and served in really generous portions. What more do you really go out to eat for than that?


Today I march in Milford…

May 27, 2013

marching troopsThe annual Memorial Day parade in Milford Michigan happens today, starting at around 11 AM. The first ½ hour of the parade is devoted to things like bands and military vehicles and boy scout troops and other crowd pleasing stuff, and then we get to walk by – the active duty troops and veterans of various wars. We are usually lined up 2-abreast and with 700-800 marchers, it takes a while for everyone to pass by. The crowds lining the streets stand and applaud the whole time, many shouting out “Thank You”. Along the route there are children handing out flowers that are supplied by the local florist.

 

Whether you are a marcher in the parade or a spectator it can be quite an emotional moment and is certainly a lot different than when I returned from my tour in Viet Nam. We had to sneak back into the towns and villages that we can from back then, hoping no one would recognize us as soldiers in that very unpopular war

When they line us up for the parade they put the ranks in order of the eras of the wars that one might have been in at the time. So, the WW II and Korean War vets go before the Viet Nam vets. Both their ranks and our group are fast thinning, as we age. I suspect that out group will be at the head of the parade before too long. At the head of each marching group a banner proclaims the era and the number of Americas who died in that war or conflict. Some marchers are not vets themselves but march carrying pictures of family members or loved ones lost in the various wars.

So, today I march. Today, unlike those many years ago, I get to hold my head high and accept the applause that was missing back then for a service that I accepted and rendered for my country. I’m thankful for all of the people who come out to line the streets and I’m thankful for all of those who gave so much more than I to defend our country and our liberties so that we can have days like today. I’ll see you there.


Museum Open House this Saturday – May 18

May 13, 2013

museum

If you haven’t been to the Historical Museum lately (or maybe ever), you’re in luck.  Our museum opened for the season on May 1st and will be open on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

In honor of our opening, the Historical Society will be hosting an Open House on Saturday, May 18th from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.   This family friendly event will allow guests to visit our museum and see displays depicting Milford over the years.  Demonstrations will be on going thru out the day.  On our front lawn, you will be able to see candle dipping, woodworking, yarn spinner, and basket weaving demonstrations throughout the day.  Kids of all ages will be able to participate in games from long ago.

We will also have a special guest in the Parlor.  Wife of the 16th President, Mary Todd Lincoln will greet guest and give a glimpse of live in the White House.   Also on hand will be the Huron Valley Numismatic Club that will be able to answer questions from coin collector eMilford Museum interiornthusiastic. Hands on demonstration will take place in our log cabin display where kids will be able to make a cornhusk doll and in the kitchen see how butter was made.

It will be a day full of fun activities for the whole family! Admission to the museum is free and open to all; you do not need to be a member to attend. Bring the whole family out and see what life in Milford used to be like. The Milford Historical Museum – our very own time machine into the past.


Little League Parade Day in Milford (and probably in Mayberry too)

April 27, 2013

This afternoon, right around what passes for a “rush hour” in Milford the local Little League baseball teams held their annual march down Main Street. I’m sure most of the people who were scurrying along trying to get home at the end of the week didn’t appreciate it as much as those who participated and those of use lucky enough to live here.

The only way this scene could have been quainter would have been if Sherriff Andy had been leading the parade in his police car and Deputy Fife was directing traffic, while Aunt Bea handed out cookies. Were Norman Rockwell still alive this would be a Saturday Evening Post cover painting for sure.

We have lots of parades and events in Milford that close down Main Street for a few hours, almost one event or -parade a month throughout the year. In addition to our big street festival – Milford Memories – which takes place in August; we have three major parades – the Memorial Day Parade in May, which honors our military men and women; the Independence Day Parade, which usually takes place on the 4th of July and celebrates the birth of our country; and then there’s that  Christmas Parade, which is on the weekend after Thanksgiving.

There are also the minor parades and events, like, the big, summer downtown shopping event – Summer Palooza.  In the late summer Milford also hosts the Milford Criterion (aka. the Milford Crit), which is a sanctioned bicycle street race that takes place down Main street and around a course that closes off several other streets. In the fall there’s the Homecoming Parade for Milford High School. All summer long, starting in May there is a Farmers Market on Liberty Street, just off Main Street, every Thursday evening.

Then there is the Milford Car Show in September that closes all of Main Street and Central Park. Of course we also have an event downtown for the kids at Halloween called the Boo Bash, where the local merchants stand in their doorways and give out candy – got to close Main Street for that.

So you can see why our Department of Public Works (DPW) and the local police have become quite good at the exercise of closing off Main Street for whatever event is going on. I suppose the people who pass through Milford everyday aren’t really all that surprised when they encounter the detour signs – they know something in happening in Milford on Main Street and that’s a good thing. That’s what makes it Milford.


How walkable is it where you live?

April 20, 2013

“Anything’s within walking distance, if you have enough time.” (Steven Wright)

But what if you don’t have all the time in the world to get to something? That’s where the “walkability” of your neighborhood comes in. I met the lady who wrote the book on “walkability”, which is a measurement of how convenient it is to walk to things from where you live. Out of her work a Web site was born that has the URL  http://www.Walkscore.com. The book focused upon family walkingwhat makes a neighborhood walkable – the places that you can reasonably walk to and the things you can do once you get there. Included in important places that you might be able to walk to are stores, libraries, parks, restaurants and more.

There are urban areas like Chicago and Boston and New York where you would see a very high walkscore, since they have very dense neighborhoods that have most of the things one needs integrated into the fabric of the neighborhood. Once you get out to the suburbs you often lose that ability to walk to the store or the restaurant.

I live in Milford, Michigan which has a very high walkscore of 77 (out of 100) when I type in my address. I used to live in Orchard Lake in a typical bedroom community and when I put in that address the score is 9, which means that it is almost a totally car-dependent neighborhood. Go to walkscore.com and type in your address. What score do you get? If you’d like to be in a more walkable place, call me and I’ll find you a home in Milford, where you can walk to almost anything you need.


Things to do and places to go over the Spring Break and beyond

March 29, 2013

Whether or not you’ll be traveling out-of-town over Spring Break, go to my Web site – www.movetomilford.com and check out all of the fun things there will be to do around the Huron Valley area over the next few weeks. You can start with The Great Egg Hunt out at Kensington Metropark  this week and go from there. Actually you could end up back at Kensington quite often, since they have lots of upcoming events andpiglets many of their animals will be having spring babies or litters.

For the wee ones there’s a whole series of events coming up at Max & Izzy’s in Downtown Milford. For the older kids there’s the shoot ‘em up, blow ‘em up movie GI Joe Revenge showing at the Milford Cinema.

With warmer weather finally arriving getting outdoors will be high on the list. Take the kids to Central Park to play on the play structures or get really adventuresome and go rent a canoe and get out on the river. Kensington will be hosting all sorts of outdoor activities , as well as their first “Farmer for a DAy ” events out at the Farm Center. This program is offered to boys and girls, ages 7 to 15 years old, interested in working on a farm. Kids will work alongside the farmers and in teams to accomplish daily or seasonal chores. This program is designed to be educational and fun. Children will leave with a greater appreciation of farm life. Most will probably come away saying, “So, I decided not to be a Farmer”, but they’ll have a better appreciation for farm life.

VFAA_PAN_GraphicThe arts are not to be forgotten either. April 13 is PAN – Poetry Art Night – at the Huron Valley Council for the Arts in Highland. Then on April 20 the final performance in the Classic Series featuring a performance by soprano Karen Roberts at the HVCA. Go tp the Move to Milford web site and click on the poster for all of the info on that event.

For those who love garage sales there are two events – the Community Sharing Garage Sale April 17, 18, 19 at the Apollo Center in Highland and the Mom 2 Mom sale at Lakeland High on April 20.

There is also a job fair for Lakeland High School Students on April 24 to allow the students and potential summer employers to get to know each other.


Come meet The Purple Gang

March 20, 2013

The March General Membership Meeting of the Milford Historical Society is this Thursday, March 21st. Our guest speaker for the March General Membership meeting is Paul Kavieff author of three Purple Gang books, who will tell the gruesome tale of this juvenile Jewish organized crime gang reigning from 1910 – 1945. Long time Milford residents can probably recite stories about the time when some members of the Purple Gang used to like to hang out in Milford. So come hear about purple gang bookMilford’s gangster time. It’s certainly more interesting than digging up farms around Milford, looking for Jimmy Hoffa.

Paul Kavieff holds degrees from Oakland and Wayne State Universities. He is a nationally recognized organized crime Historian. Using rare police photos, mug shots and group photographs the book takes you back to the days of hijacking and bootlegging. Something the Purple Gang were experts at. But they could not play nice together so power and jealously eventually lead to their own destruction.

The Meeting kicks off with a pot luck dinner at 6:30, followed by the meeting and Paul’s presentation. The meetings are held in the Milford United Methodist Church at 1200 Atlantic St in Milford (near the post office). Remember to ware something purple or make a mobster dish to pass - like Gangster Goulash or Machinegun Meatballs or even better a cake with a file in it. You should also bring your own dinner serving set-up and a drink for yourself. The pot luck dinner is considered one of Milford’s best. I’ll see you there.


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