After the Blizzard of 1967 on Kalamazoo’s March Street Hill

march-street-hill-kalamazoo-january-blizzard

March Street Hill, Kalamazoo, photo by Joel Dinda

Joel shared these 50-year-old photographs from Michigan’s January 1967 blizzard. They were taken by his father after the snow stopped falling on January 27th. Seeking Michigan has a feature that looks back on two late January blizzards in 1967 & 1978:

The 1967 blizzard fell on January 26 and 27, and dumped twenty-four inches of snow on Lansing. Lansing State Journal articles from the days after the storm tell stories of stranded bus passengers, a mother who picked her children up on horseback, and neighbors who built a human-sized Snoopy snow sculpture. Rachel Clark, an education specialist at the Michigan Historical Center, remembers growing up and hearing stories about the time her father got a ride to work from the National Guard, because he had to abandon his car during the storm. He was a reporter for the WJIM television station in 1967, and the station needed him to read the news and help keep Lansing residents informed about the storm.

Read on for more. Also see this mLive series of photos from the Blizzard of ’67 and scroll down for a video from MSU’s Brody Hall taken during the blizzard.

View Joel’s photo background bigilicious and see more great old photos in his Roger’s slides slideshow.

More history, more Kalamazoo, and more blizzards on Michigan in Pictures!

Walking with Martin Luther King

Martin Luther King Park Kalamazoo
Martin Luther King Park, photo by Bill Dolak

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
-Martin Luther King

The sculpture is “Martin Luther King” by Lisa Reinertson and her site includes an article about the sculpture:

A bronze portrait figure of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. strides forward confidently in a small park in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The statue, created by sculptor Lisa Reinertson, is only slightly larger than real life, but its presence is monumental.

Seen from a distance, the clerical robe worn by Reverend King strengthens the tall, pyramidal composition, while the robe’s flowing contours both animate the design and echo the character of this restless minister who was constantly on the march for freedom and justice.

Upon approaching the sculpture, which the viewer is drawn to do by its placement on a simple low pedestal, one sees that the robe is embellished with scenes from the civil rights struggle rendered in low relief. A black slave labors in a field near the hem of the robe, while a dark fold of the garment reveals the lynching of a man by the Ku Klux Klan. A Montgomery city bus and a portrait of Rosa Parks adorn the lower left side. The Selma to Montgomery march and King’s I Have a Dream speech are depicted elsewhere. One also finds images of voter registration, school desegregation, the Greensboro, North Carolina lunch counter sit in, and the use of firehoses to break up the peaceful 1963 Birmingham demonstrations. Down King’s broad back the vertical folds of the cloth evolve into the bars of the Birmingham Jail with a pensive King seated behind them. Above him is the image of Mahatma Gandhi, who inspired King’s use of non-violent civil disobedience.

View Bill’s photo from MLK Park in Kalamazoo background big and see more in his MASSIVE Kalamazoo slideshow.

More about Martin Luther King on Michigan in Pictures.

A tragic reminder for drivers from Kalamazoo

I sincerely hope that everyone who reads today’s post remembers that three-quarters of all bicycle fatalities are caused by driver error. It’s your duty as a driver to PAY ATTENTION as you pilot a several thousand pound machine that can become a deadly weapon if you are not vigilant. I would also add that I am in no mood today to hear about the cases where cyclists violate the rules of the road. That does not happen in 3/4 of car/bike fatalities including this one…

Grand Rapids Ghost Bike

Ghost Bike, photo by Patrick Goff 

Today’s picture shows a ghost bike, a white-painted memorial for a bicyclists who was killed or struck while riding on the street. Accompanied by a small plaque, they serve as reminders of the tragedy that took place at their location and as enduring statements in support of cyclists’ right to safe travel.

The city of Kalamazoo now has need for a host of ghost bikes after the deadly bicycle crash on Tuesday, June 7, 2016 where five bicyclists died when a pickup truck hit them on Westnedge Avenue. Four more cyclists were seriously injured. That link has photos from last night’s Ride of Silence and also the horrible damage to the bikes.

Kalamazoo Strong is taking donations to help the victims and families of this tragedy.

View Patrick’s photo of a ghost bike from Grand Rapids bigger and see more in his slideshow.

Here’s a video from the Ride of Silence…

Another Day, Another Mass Shooting

Something in the Air

Something in the Air, photo by Brian Wolfe

Another day, another mass shooting – this time in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Beyond right and left, can we all agree that we need to figure out why we’re the only nation in the world who has this tragic problem and work on actually addressing this problem?

I’m guessing bolstering our gutted mental health system is a great place to start.

View Brian’s photo from Kalamazoo’s Bronson Park background big and see more in his Black & White slideshow.

O Tree, Live Forever

Kalamazoo Tree

O, tree, live forever, photo by Bill Dolak

Bill writes:

This tree in the Al Sabo Preserve in Kalamazoo County is a frequent subject and accessory for local photographers. I have images of it from the days I was still putting film into my SLR.

Regarding the Al Sabo Preserve, the Texas Charter Township Parks & Rec page says:

The Al Sabo Land Preserve was established in the early 1970’s in order to protect the groundwater supply of the Atwater wellfield. The 741 acres were purchased in the late 1960’s and a master plan was developed for its use as a passive recreation nature preserve. The City of Kalamazoo passed an ordinance that would ensure its protection as a water resource. The wetlands and sandy soils serve as a recharge area for the area’s groundwater.

View Bill’s photo background big and see more in his Al Sabo, Michigan slideshow.

December 1st … Back into the Woods Day

Sit for a Spell

sit for a spell, photo by Doug Jonas

Longtime readers may know that I celebrate December 1st as “Back into the Woods Day” because for my money, the hardest 15 days for the year for the non-hunting lover of the outdoors in Michigan are November 15-30th. Enjoy as you will – orange clothing not required!

The photo was taken in Michigan State University’s W.K. Kellogg Experimental Forest in Augusta, midway between Kalamazoo & Battle Creek:

Established on abandoned agricultural land, the 716-acre Kellogg Experimental Forest is known worldwide for research on tree breeding and genetics, planting techniques, and plantation establishment and management. Much of the research that developed the Spartan spruce, a hybrid that combines the color and drought resistance of a blue spruce and the softer needles and rapid growth rate of the white spruce, was done at the Kellogg Forest. The forest is open to the public for biking, hiking, horseback riding and cross-country skiing, and has several interpretive trails.

Click for visitor information and there’s also some videos of what researchers are up to that show some of this beautiful spot.

Doug says this was an enchanted afternoon in the woods, with sun, shadow, snow and reflected sky. View his photo background bigilicious and click for more of his great Michigan photos.

More winter wallpaper and lots more parks & trails on Michigan in Pictures!

Bikes pumping up Michigan’s economy

Kalamazoo River Valley Trail

Kalamazoo River Valley Trail, photo by Bill Dolak

This pic reminded me of an article I read a couple weeks ago in the Detroit News on the economic impact of bicycles in Michigan:

Bicycling pumps an estimated $668 million per year into Michigan’s economy, according to a recent report from the Michigan Department of Transportation. That figure factors in the nearly 800 people employed in bicycle-related jobs, along with retail revenue, tourism expenses, lower health care costs and a boost in productivity.

The study, “Community and Economic Benefits of Bicycling in Michigan,” put the spotlight on five communities to gauge how the sport affects their bottom line.

Michigan’s second-largest city, Grand Rapids, benefited most from cycling. It earned $39.1 million, nearly double the $20.7 million Detroit brings in. Ann Arbor easily grabbed second place with a $25.4 million boost.

…Grand Rapids began adding bike lanes on city streets in 2010 and now has 55 miles of bike lanes with more planned. It has a cycle track, hundreds of bike racks and an extensive trail network in the suburbs, said Suzanne Schulz, Grand Rapids’ managing director of design, development and community engagement.

“We are really trying to take a more holistic view of transportation infrastructure for the entire community because a lot of people don’t have cars,” Schulz said.

Read on for more or dig into the full study from MDOT.

Bill took this shot on the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail. View it background bigtacular and see more in his Michigan: Kalamazoo County slideshow.

More bikes and bicycles and more fall wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures!