Winter Fun Comes to Milford – Community Snow Day

January 31, 2014

Milford Community Snow Day 2014Bundle up the kids and come join the fun at the Milford Community Snow Day at Central Park. Mark your calendars for February 8th from 3:00 to 5:00. This event is brought to you by the Milford Township Parks and Recreation and is free to all.

Sometimes you just have to go for it, even if it’s cold or snowy and this is one of those times. This winter event is designed to get everybody out and moving and give families something fun to do.

There will be lots of activities, including winter crafts and games (one might assume that there could be a snowball fight or two, whether planned or not), sledding and skating and a visit with a sled dog. A storyteller will also be on hand to entertain the young.

More physical activities will include snowshoeing and kayak tobogganing (much less dangerous than kayaking on the river at this time of the year). There will be a bonfire and, of course, cocoa and cookies and S’Mores.  Maybe there’ll be a stray marshmallow or two to roast.

So, starting getting your outdoor fun outfits ready and plan on joining your neighbors at Milford’s Central Park for this afternoon of fun. To view the event poster full size, click here.

Divorce and real estate – it takes a team

January 30, 2014


When things go south in a marriage and divorce seems to be the only way out, the people involved may think of calling their priest or pastor and they may call friend s to commiserate; they may even have already called a lawyer; but, they seldom think of calling a Realtor® and they should.

Divorce is an extremely emotional process, filled with remorse, doubts, regrets and sometime (maybe too often) distrust and hate. It is a time of great vulnerability for all parties involved and a time when there are many decisions to be made, none of which should be made in haste or in hate and without professional advice.

While it may not be top of mind at the time, making good decisions about the single largest asset that most married couple have – their home – is critical for the future of both parties. Make bad or hasty and ill-advised decisions and they might haunt you for years, as you try to rebuild your life.

There is so much complexity surrounding the real estate (and other assets) that may be involved in a divorce that you really need to assemble a team to help you and your Realtor can be the person who does that for you. On the team, you’ll need a good divorce lawyer, your Realtor, your insurance agent,  a tax/financial adviser, an appraiser and a mortgage adviser. Your Realtor can probably make recommendations or assemble the rest of this team.

Why all of those folks? Well, each one will either be providing you with advice about products that you already have (insurance, for instance) or products that you will need to get (a new mortgage) in order to move on with life. You need to understand your current homeowners policy – who’s listed as the policy owner (s) and who as the beneficiaries? What happens to that insurance when the divorce is final? Who needs to be listed then and who will be paying for it? As for the tax adviser or financial adviser (it probably will take two people for this), you need to understand the tax consequences of the divorce and make sure that you can file for your fair share of things after the final decree. You may need a good value appraisal if the family home is to be sold as part of the decree. You also need to understand the consequences on any long-term financial plans or policies or shared assets that you had in place. And, when the dust settles, you may need to get a new mortgage, in order to move on with life. How will this divorce leave you in terms of qualifying on your own for a mortgage? Can you do anything until your name is off the old mortgage or that mortgage has been discharged? Where will you go may be an easier question to answer than how will I afford it?

So, why I’m I writing about this? Because I care, for one, and because I have the team members already in mind to be able to help, from one of best family and divorce lawyers that I know, to a great insurance person, to a very thorough financial adviser and a great tax accountant and a mortgage rep that can make it possible for you to move on in life. These are people that I’ve worked with and trust to advise you on the aspects that go beyond my real estate capabilities. More importantly they are people that I trust with your fragile emotional state during this very trying time. I can introduce you to a team of professionals that will work with you through this process in a caring, respectful and empathetic way that will lift a lot of burdens from your shoulders and let you start the healing process.

So let’s start off by agreeing that divorce sucks and try to go forward from there the best way that we can, with a caring professional team of people on your side who can make sure that you make the right decisions during the process to come out whole on the other side. Call me and put my team to work for you. If you already have some people for some of these roles, great; let’s just add them to the team. If you don’t even know where to start; call me quickly so that you don’t spend another day by yourself in this process.

Recommended local business – Nicholson Appraisal Services, Inc.

January 28, 2014

Nickolson header

As a Realtor® I work with appraisers quite a bit on home sales. These days appraisers are assigned mainly through appraisal management companies, but not always. There are many other reasons why you may need to call an appraiser, which I will discuss here. When you do, you can’t do better in this are than Nicholson Appraisal Services, Inc.

Obviously if you are buying an individual home (house or condo) or if you are buying a rental property of up to 4 units, you will need to have the property appraised. If you are refinancing those same properties or taking out a home equity line of credit, you will also need to have them appraised. Norma Nicholson, owner and principal at Nicholson Appraisal Services, Inc., has been a licensed appraiser for over 20 years. Norma covers many of the counties in Southeastern Michigan – Oakland, Livingston, Wayne, Macomb, Washtenaw and Genesee.

Appraisals are also critical when major life changes occur, such as deaths and divorces. In most divorce cases the division of the real property in the divorce settlement requires that the home either be bought out by one of the two parties or that it be sold outright and the proceeds split. That requires that the value of the home be determined and the courts often require that an appraisal be done. The same thing happens in estate settlements when the surviving owner dies. In order to settle most estates the property must be sold and the proceeds split. Again it is critical to get a good appraisal.

Do you feel you are carrying too much of the Property Tax Burden in your community? Have an appraisal report completed by a professional licensed appraiser that will provide supportable documentation of the true market value of your property within the present market, not a market value that was assigned to you years ago. You stand a much better chance of getting your tax basis lowered when you go to the appeal process prepared with a professional appraisal.

If things have gone south for you and you are considering bankruptcy you will need to have your home appraised. Why do you need an appraisal for a bankruptcy filing? Because the court will order one and/or sometimes two if the final opinion of value has a wide range. A licensed appraiser must generate the appraisal report. The courts will not accept what is termed as a CMA (Certified Market Analysis) by a licensed realtor. So get ahead of the game and get an appraisal from Nicholson Appraisal Services.

Other reasons or times to use a professional appraiser include:

Insurance Claims for Fire, Wind and Water Damages – There needs to be a restoration value established before you should settle any claim, especially if the damage is such that replacement of the structure is required.

For Sale by Private Owners – the most common mistake made by FSBO sellers is pricing. You need to know the value that someone is going to be able to get a mortgage for, before set a price for the property; otherwise you wasting your time and that f potential buyers.

Pre-Marriage Estate Planning and Pre-nuptial  agreements – you don’t have to be Donald Trump in order toe have a pre-nup agreement, but you do need to know what the value of the things are that you are trying to protect in the agreement.

Nicholson Appraisal Services uses state of the art appraisal software that includes digital photography and they are are EDI compatible for timely turnaround time via email transmissions. As they state on their web site – “Our Company is small enough to hold quality as the number one priority. That also allows us to extend the lowest appraisal fees within the area on to you.” To visit the Nicholson Appraisal Services, Inc. web site click here. Nicholson Appraisal Services, Inc. is located in Milford at 786 S. Milford Rd, Milford, MI 48381

Nicholson Appraisal Services, Inc. accepts VISA, Mastercard and American Express. Call Norma Nicholson if you have any of the needs discussed above. You’ll be glad you did. Office: 248-684-7987 or Cell: 248-342-9637

Where there is hope there can never be complete darkness…

January 27, 2014

Pastor Jack Freed, the retired pastor at my church, was a guest pastor this past weekend and preached on a theme of hope.  I get quite a bit of the inspiration for my blog posts from Jack’s daily blog posts in his blog – Jack’s Winning Words. In his sermon, he told the story of the four candles- the candles of peace, faith, love and hope.

I looked up the story he used on the internet (as you can almost everything these days).  There were lots of results returned, as the story has been told and retold many times. I chose to watch the YouTube Video about the story of the four candles that I have linked to here.

Candle Stock Photo By Arvind Balaraman, published on 15 September 2010  Stock Photo - image ID: 10020552

Candle Stock Photo By Arvind Balaraman, published on 15 September 2010 Stock Photo – image ID: 10020552

I am struck by a two things in this story…the sadness of the first three candles slowly going out; as first peace and then faith and then love were extinguished, as much caused my being ignored or cast aside in our modern world as anything else.

It sometimes may appear that no one wants peace anymore, but I suspect that for those caught up in the ongoing conflict in Syria, peace is very dear to them and something that they would welcome into their homes. For most of us the concept of peace in our lives probably does not include a stoppage of bombings and killing; but, it probably does include the secession of many disturbing things going on around us.

Faith often gets hidden because it seems not to be hip or “with it” and then eventually it gets pushed aside in the pursuit of material things or power in our very secular world. Faith also requires a humbleness that the hubris of our world is want to deride. Faith also requires a letting go of the concept that we can solve everything ourselves. It depends upon believing in a higher power that we can call upon in times of need.

Love, one would think would have stayed lit, even in the face of the loss of peace and faith; however, when peace and faith are taken away, fear often becomes one of the strongest emotions in many people’s lives and perhaps that crowds out love, too. Fear also causes isolation, so loved ones may be forgotten or pushed away.

In the end, with peace and faith and love seemingly gone we really do only have hope left to light the way out of whatever darkness in which we find ourselves.  For many people that is a darkness of the mind, sometimes called despair. It is a darkness unlike any that we have ever experienced.

I recall a trip I took with my son when he was little and we were in Indian Guides together. We spent the night in a cave. As part of that trip we took a boat ride on the underground river that flowed through the cave. When we were well underground the guide stopped the boat, which had headlights to see where we were going, and extinguished the lights. I had never been in total darkness like that before. It was scary. Then the guide lit a single match and in that total darkness there was enough light to see everything around us from that one tiny flame. Hope is like that tiny flame. As long as you keep hope lit you will not be in total darkness.

The second thing that struck me is the use of the image of the little child as the means of relighting the candles of love and faith and peace. That is an image of innocence and purity. It is the image of the ability to love without questioning or demanding. It is the image of that state of humbleness and acceptance that lets faith back in to our lives. And, it is the image of peace of the little child playing in a home or street without fear.

So watch the video (again, if you already did) and ask yourself if you have let the candles of peace or faith or love go out in your life. Maybe you have been through experiences that caused these things to be extinguished in your life and maybe things look pretty bleak; but, remember that as long as you cling to hope you are not in total darkness and you have the means of reigniting the other three candles in your life. Never lose hope. Drop the adult façade and become a child again and light the other three candles in your life. The darkness in your life will quickly drop away.

Help the Milford Historical Society when you shop at Kroger

January 23, 2014


Shop at Kroger and help the Milford Historical Society

Did you know that you can sign up your Kroger Rewards card for the Kroger Community Rewards program and the Milford Historical Society will receive quarterly donations from the Kroger program, based upon how much you spend at Kroger on groceries, gas and at the Pharmacy?

This program is part of Kroger’s give-backs to the communities that they serve and does not impact at all the points that you get for gas discounts. It is an additional donation that Kroger makes to support local non-profit organizations in the communities that they are located in.

Click here to read a Frequently Asked Questions article about the program. The Historical Society will be registered, but each person who wishes to contribute will have to re-register annually.

Click here or on the Kroger graphic to go to the Kroger Community Rewards site and sign up.

A new rewards year starts MAY 1st and you must sign up each year, so there’s still plenty of time to sign up for the current year and get the donations rolling before the May 1 renewal date.

The Non-Profit Organization (NPO) number for the Milford Historical Society under this program is 91661. Write that down, because you’ll need to enter it at the Kroger Community rewards site. You do not have to live in Milford in order to support this effort, just shop at your local Kroger store and register your Kroger Rewards card to this worthy charity.

If you don’t have a computer or feel comfortable using one, bring your Kroger card to the next Milford Historical Society General Membership meeting and we’ll help you sign up. You can find out when and where those meetigns are taking place by going to our Web site –  You can also come into the Museum when it reopens on a Wednesday or Saturday between 1 & 4 PM and we’ll help you register your card to help the Milford Historical Society. While you’re there, if you aren’t a member, you can join the society, if you’d like. Remember our motto – you don’t have to be a relic to be a member.

Even if you aren’t a member of the Milford Historical Society, you can register your card to help support the MHS and the Milford Historical Museum. Having a group dedicated to preserving and sharing our area history and a museum right in town is not something that many local communities have, so we hope that you will help out in this painless way to help keep Milford the great place that it is to live and work.

Make your dreams come true – share them…

January 22, 2014

“A dream you dream alone is only a dream.  A dream you dream together is reality.”  (John Lennon)

Lennon was a dreamer and his song Imagine became the anthem of his time. It is true that a dream not shared seldom becomes more than a dream. A dream shared with others can quickly becomes an idea or a goal and a commitment to reach that goal. It turns into a project, with milestones and measurable and one can quickly become accountable for making that dream come true. It becomes real.

dreamsSo the lesson here is to share your dreams, maybe with your life partner or maybe with workers or members of an organization. Turn it from an abstract notion into something that can be discussed and refined and debated. Embrace your dreams as aspirations, a part of your bucket list. According to the power of positive thinking theories, once you turn your dreams into goals and plans, your subconscious mind will start working to help you achieve those goals. Good things will start to happen, because you will now believe that you can accomplish your dreams and that you are on a mission to do that.

So why is it important to share your dreams? Because it is all too easy to suppress your subconscious mind by keeping your dreams in and a secret. You can convince yourself that it’s all just a silly dream and that’s there’s no way you can ever accomplish it. That’s the pessimist in you coming out. History is full of great inventions, great novels and plays, great works of art and other great accomplishments that began as someone’s dream. In many cases those dreamers had to endure initial ridicule when they first shared their dream, but eventually they found others who believed and persevered until they made that dream come true.

Many dreams are very personal and are really only meant to be shared between life partners; but, what better support system could you have than the sharing and support of your dream with the one that you love?  Sometimes achieving a dream means sacrifice and suffering on the front end, in order to get to the goal at the end. Who better to share the pain than the one who has perhaps already pledged to stick with you through good times and bad and through sickness and in health, in this case, not until death do you part, but until your dreams come true.

So, dream it, share it and make it a reality. It’s your dream; don’t dream it alone.

Fish or Cut Bait? How do you make the decisions?

January 18, 2014

“One of the hardest decisions you’ll ever face in life is choosing whether to walk away or try harder.”  (Ziad Abelnour ) from the Jack’s Winning Words blog.

It seems that as I get older I find more and more excuses to avoid trying harder. It is mainly my personal trait of hating to walk away from things that I’ve begun that keeps me hanging in there on many things. I suspect that it is also the wisdom gained through much trial and error in life that gives me pause more often to think about whether I should try some things in the first place.

There is an ad running currently on TV that shows a bunch of people doing things and has the tag line that “there is no fear” amongst the people shown in the activities that they are enjoying with great abandon. I can’t even recall what the ad is for right now; but, it got me to thinking about the influence that letting fear creep into our lives has on us. Fear is probably a good deterrent to doing really stupid things. Fear is something that can be overcome through knowledge and experience. Once one has done something that they feared and gotten through it, that fear is lessened because the element of the unknown is removed. It may still be scary and dangerous and something that you will still try to avoid, but you no longer have to fear it.

women looking at direction signChoosing to walk away from something, rather than try harder may also be something that benefits from knowledge and understanding (which we eventually call wisdom). There are things that are literally impossible, no matter how hard we try. Remember that Albert Einstein defined of insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Sometimes no matter how hard you try the desired outcome cannot be achieved. Choosing to walk away from those things in life just makes sense. Other things that may seem impossible can be accomplished through trying harder and perhaps trying smarter. The ability to differentiate between the two is probably what keeps us from going insane.

Insanity aside, there is also the personality trait sometimes called “bull-headedness” that keeps some people trying things that bull-headedthey should walk away from. The difference between being resolute and being stubborn is a fine line, but one that age and wisdom eventually allow most people to see more clearly. Some, of course, never “get it” and are just bull-headed to the end. Sometimes that very bull-headedness brings that end sooner than otherwise would have occurred.

So, when faced with one of those tough life decisions about trying harder or walking away; it’s important to take a few moments to reflect on what you are attempting (is it really possible) and why you have been continuing the effort up to this point – bull-headedness or intelligent perseverance. In many cases you might find that the time that has passed while you were stubbornly pursuing the goal has caused things to change so much that the goal is no longer worth the stubborn effort. In some cases taking that time for reflection on the situation may allow you to see a different path to preserver and  reach the goal; and, in some cases, it just may make sense to walk away and forget about it.

Dr. Seuss might have made a good story out of this topic…oh wait, he did – are you the North-Going Zax or a South-going Zax?

Bitcoins – if you believe in them, then they are real money

January 17, 2014

Like most, I’ve been seeing a lot of buzz – articles and news stories and such – about the new virtual currency called Bitcoin. Now, let me state up-front that I still don’t feel comfortable that I understand this whole thing about how Bitcoins are mined, i.e. created or brought into existence, at least in cyberspace somewhere. This is one of those concepts that can easily give one a headache when trying to understand it; however, I do believe that the concept of Bitcoins has a reasonable chance of catching on.

Let’s start at a more basic and understandable level, with an understanding of the concept of currency in general. Currency, money if you like, was created way, way back to facilitate trade. Before that everything was pretty much on the barter system. Prior to currency a bottle of wine might have been “worth” a half peck of wheat or some other commodity. Much of what was actually being exchanged in those days was probably food, but there were other things, even back then – household goods and of course jewelry (ladies always had to have jewelry).

So, sometime way, way back the concept of creating an easy to carry and exchange form of surrogate for actual goods was created and dubbed currency (likely not the work used back then, but give me some license on that). Perhaps the first currency was actually a commodity itself, like gold or silver. Some of the first scales developed in civilized worlds were used to measure the weight of this currency, in order to determine how much of some other items it could buy.

Fast-forward to the Roman Empire and we see some of the first use of coins as currency. The concept had evolved such that this trade surrogate, which itself had some intrinsic value (they were forged from gold or silver), was used because it was easy to carry about and generally accepted between people who had other things of value to exchange.  I’m sure that the value of exchange was locally determined, i.e. how many Roman denarius for that goat probably varied by regions. The important thing about this era is that it established firmly in everyone’s minds that they could accept this currency for their goods and use it to buy other goods – it was real money.

The concept of money evolved over millennia and settled into an exchange mechanism that was controlled by and backed by the governments of the various countries in which it was issued and used. That led to the establishment of very complex systems for establishing exchange rates between countries, systems so complex and so corrupted with political influence that they eventually became cumbersome. Eventually all currencies were freed from any connection to an underlying object of intrinsic value (the gold standard was abandoned).

Hit the fast forward button again and you have the concept of the Euro replacing many local currencies in the countries of Europe. The larger world is still awash in various currencies and there is still a very large and sophisticated mechanism in place to establish and maintain exchange rates, although the common interests of countries involved has dictated a more stable and less corruptible system for those exchange rates. At its absolute core it still comes down to how many of the X? (name that you call your currency) does it take to buy that goat. The concept of there still being some official entity in charge has hung on, whether it be called the central bank or the treasury of the country. The other thing that has endured is the existence of a physical instrument, whether it is a dollar or a franc or a pound note. There has always been something that the common man could hold in his hand and put in his wallet.

Enter the BItcoin. The Bitcoin is a virtual currency that had s no connection to any central authority. It is not backed by the faith and good credit of the government of the United State or any other government. It has at its core nothing of intrinsic value; in fact it has no physical embodiment. There is nothing beyond computer files somewhere in the “cloud” to represent this new value placeholder. It is truly a virtual currency.

An even stranger (at least to me) aspect of this virtual currency is the concept of how it is created or “mined”. I’ve  read 2-3 articles on this process and still don’t understand it well enough to explain. Apparently the whole Bitcoin concept was dreamed up by a mysterious and as yet unidentified technology guru who put forth the challenge of solving an increasingly difficult set of mathematical problems, each of which, when solved would result in the creating of some number of Bitcoins. The create of Bitcoins also put a cap on the total number that can ever exist. For reading on this topic which could serve as a great cure for insomnia go to . I suppose that this process is no more starnge than the government’s (all governments) ability to create more currency by just turning on the printing presses. More money exists because they say it exists.

For a while after they were created, BItcons were for a while the fascinating playthings of the technical community elite. Then a strange thing happened and they got out into the world at large and finally somebody asked, how many BItcoins for that goat over there? When the owner of the goat accepted whatever number that he took, Bitcoins became real currency.  An exchange mechanism to establish the rate at which Bitcoins can be exchanged for other currency is growing and the “value” of Bitcoins has fluctuated based more upon that than anything else – remember that there is no underlying intrinsic value or backing by any central authority. As I write this, the current Bitcoin to dollar exchange rate is $854.75. If you want to know what the exchange rate is at any time go to . Coinmill is one of the companies that is offering exchange services. You won’t be able to exchange your Bitcoins at the border at the exchange window.

Recent, I’ve read that at least a few real estate brokerages have been advertising home for which the sellers would accept Bitcoins as payment and they have stated that they will pay their agent’s commissions in Bitcoins. That should be interesting. Since they don’t exist physically, all you would get, one can assume, is some sort of pointer to a file somewhere in the cloud which would be your Bitcoin account. There’s probably an App for that, too; I just haven’t checked.

So, will Bitcoins be the next big thing? Will they take off and replace currency as we know it? It’s interesting to think about it this way – currency is all in our minds anyway. Since there is no intrinsic value in any modern currency, it is just our belief that it is worth something that causes us to stick it in or wallet and pull it out when we want to buy that goat over there. If you really consider it, most of what you think you have that is measured in modern currency terms only exists as files somewhere in the cloud now – your bank statement or investment statement tells you how much of this currency you have somewhere. It is basically your belief that you can turn those reports into real currency that can be spent to buy something that gives you comfort in the fact that you have nothing in your hand (or wallet) at the time. Bitcoins just take that thought process a step further – there is nothing ever in your wallet with them; but, you can still buy things with them.

Bitcoins feel weird to me right now as a day-today currency and I don’t understand the process through which they are created. They are a little awkward right now because we don’t yet have names for the subdivisions of this currency that might make sense. After all who wants to carry around a coin that is worth $854? Imagine trying to get change for that at your local filling station or 7-Eleven at midnight. I suppose we could have milli-Bitcoins (worth about $.84 at current rates) and micro-Bitcoins (ten of them would about equal a penny), but that gets cumbersome, too. Eventually those issues will be solved. I suspect that our Bitcoins will exist on our smartphones as files that can be accessed and used interactively at places like Starbucks for purchases, where the “change” is returned as a balance in the file. Of course you would have to get used to seeing some pretty small and weird looking numbers, like your cup of Starbucks coffee for .004079B (if that becomes a shorthand for Bitcoins).  I’m still trying to figure out how the Salvation Army Red Kettles will have to be upgraded to let me tap my phone on the kettle and transfer some small portion of a Bitcoin to the kettle. At least I may end up with a smaller bulge in my back pocket. In the meantime, I have a house listed for sale for 281 Bitcoins, if anyone is interested.

I tried to add a picture of a Bitcoin to give this post some visual oompf, but, of course, they don’t exist anywhere physically, so it’s hard to get a picture.

What’s happening at the Milford Historical Society?

January 14, 2014

January 16th – General Membership Meeting at the Milford United Methodist Church on Atlantic Street, starts at 6:30 with a potluck dinner. Program  – The Unusual, The Unique and The Ugly. Bring your favorite family heirloom, collectible or great garage sale find and show it off.  Tell us a little about it and maybe win a prize for your story.

This is a pot luck dinner meeting and these are the assignments for what to bring – A—F– Main Dish G—Q—Salad Q—Z—Desserts.

Even if you can’t bring a dish to share, come on out and enjoy the evening with us. You will need to at least bring a serving setting for yourself and whatever you wish to drink. Our members tell us this is the best pot luck dinner in Milford.

General Membership meeting are open to the public and are held every other month at the Milford United Methodist Church at 1200 Atlantic Avenue in Milford. There are two special meetings shown for April and October that are not general meetings and have no pot luck dinner. We may add more special meetings during the year, so stay tuned.

The rest of 2014 –

The other programs that we have planned for the year are shown below:

Mary_Todd_Lincoln_croppedMarch 20th (Potluck)  Mrs. Lincoln (alias Pam Dawson). Meet Mrs. Mary Todd Lincoln and hear her story while in the White House. If you haven’t seen Pam become Mrs. Lincoln you’ve missed a very believable transformation and acting job. The White House years were a relatively good time for Mrs. Lincoln who suffered bouts of depression in later years. Pam is well known amongst Civil War re-enactors for her portrayal of Mrs. Lincoln.

April 17th (No Potluck)  Mary Lou and Main Street.. Our own Mary Lou Gharrity will tell her great stories about Main Street, Milford. Mary Lou didn’t show up on the first wagons to make it to Milford, but she wasn’t far behind. Listen to some fascinating stories of Milford from someone who has lived here for a very long time. Mary Lou can tell you all about the Milford Hotel, where she grew up, because her dad ran the place. She also knows what every store on Main Street used to be, at least back to the early 1900’s.

May 15th (Potluck)  Annick Hewarth will  return and tell about the iconic CCC. Her book tells the stories from the men who worked those jobs. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was a public work relief program that operated from 1933 to 1942 in the United States for unemployed, unmarried men from relief families, ages 18–25 as part of Roosevelt’s New Deal.  A part of the New Deal of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who provided unskilled manual labor jobs related to the conservation and development of natural resources in rural lands owned by federal, state and local governments. The CCC was designed to provide jobs for young men, to relieve families who had difficulty finding jobs during the Great Depression in the United States while at the same time implementing a general natural resource conservation program in every state and territory.

July 17th (Potluck)   Powerhouse Picnic Potluck (say that three times real fast). A tour will be included with this historic building. This is a potluck picnic on the ground of the Pettibone Creek Powerhouse, with tours of that historic building as the program

Sept. 18th (Potluck)  The Chelsea Jiffy Mix Story complete with free recipe books. Chelsea Milling Company is operated by a familyjify mixwhose roots in the flour milling business date back to the early 1800’s. They’ve been milling flour in Chelsea, Michigan, for over 120 years. Mabel White Holmes, grandmother of Jiffy President, Howdy S. Holmes, developed and introduced to the homemaker the first prepared baking mix product, “JIFFY” Baking Mix, in the spring of 1930. They currently offer a variety of “JIFFY” mixes. Our mixes provide you, our consumer, with the best value available.

Oct. 16th (Milford Library, No Potluck)  Phyllis Barkey will speak on the famous downtown J. L. Hudson Building. She will bring with her a display case full of J. L. Hudson memorabilia and we are asking for everyone  to bring their favorite cherished item from Hudson’s. Mine is a tin tea canister. Phyllis’ book about the downtown Hudson’s eateries is in the works.

JoeSalviaNov. 20th. (Fall Potluck)  Milford’s own Joe Salvia will be telling his war and military stories after eating a delicious turkey dinner. Joe works tirelessly every year to make the Memorial Day Parade a success in Milford. For those who’ve heard Joe speak you know he talks from both experience and passion about our military people and those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms.

We are also planning a series of workshops on topics like how to preserve and repair historic home windows. Stay tuned to our web site – – for more on those workshops. So, come on out and join us during the year. You don’t have to be a history buff to enjoy these programs and remember our motto – “You don’t have to be a relic to be a member!”

LaFontaine Charity Bash – Jan 19

January 13, 2014

LaFontaine Fashion Bash PosterOn Thursday, January 19, from 6 to 9 PM,  plan on attending the 5th annual Charity Bash in the LaFontaine Automotive Group dealership at 4000 W. Highland Rd (M-59), Highland, MI 48357. This year’s event features the traveling Fashion and Automotive exhibit Fashion and the Automobile – 10 Era Exhibit. See how fashion in ten different eras of our history impacted the design of the cars of those eras.

Donations will be accepted at the door benefiting Childhood Cancer Campaign. A complimentary valet service will also be provided. There will be a strolling fashion show provided by Lady La’s Boutique, as well as the Fashion and the Automobile exhibit.  Food and drinks will be available. In addition there will be entertainment throughout the evening. Special Guests will include Matthew Richmond a paper dress designer and Dave Santia, a speed painter. See below for more on them.

The evening will allow you to drive down memory lane and see how trends in the fashion, art and design worlds have influenced each other and the cars that we all drove at the time. You’ll better understand how color choices were made and where some of the iconic design features of the time were influenced by fashion and art. To view the event poster full size, click here.

To learn more about the  Fashion and the Automobile Exhibit traveling show and the people behind it, click here. To see what Matthew Richmond can do with a stack of paper, click here. You’ll be amazed at his dress designs using nothing but paper. Finally, to see the results of some of Dave Santia’s speed painting efforts of many well-known celebrities , click here.

The Childhood Cancer Campaign is a fund-raising effort of Optimist International clubs everywhere, with a goal of wiping out childhood cancer. To read more about the Campaign, click here

So, come out to LaFontaine’s Charity Bash on Jan 19, have fun and contribute to a great cause.