Thursday, September 29, 2016

Take A County Bus up to Montague, @PureMichigan, and Allow the Town to Charm You With Small Businesses with Arts and Cultural Themes.

Sep 27, 2016 9:22 PM

Today, I took a county bus up to Whitehall. Most of the riders departed in North Muskegon. One stayed on until the south border of Dalton Township, and unloaded his Mongoose Ten Speed and headed west. He carried his necessaries in a backpack and he had recently had his hair cut back high and tight. Amazingly, the bus drove east to Lakewood Club and then went north to one mile south of the entrance to Blue Lake Fine Arts camp. You could take an early evening bus out to a week night concert and bike home after the show on the Fred Meijer Trail. The sand lot by the concert halls probably has plenty of chances to thumb a ride home with a family that loves music as much as you do. Plenty of Manistee National Forest surrounds Blue Lake Fines Art Camp, so bring a hammock or a pup tent and sleep until the morning runs begin. The music and theater at the fine arts camp will keep you comfortable through the night. But make sure you are squatting on federal land.

Then the bus zigzags through all of White Lake's shopping and industrial parks. Then it drops off once and only once downtown between Montague Foods and the Book Nook. The last ride back to the county seat picks up at 5:00 and 5 :15 PM. Miss it and choices are walking and thumbing. In nine years of living in Muskegon County, I've counted plenty of.panhandlers and almost zero hitchhikers. Volunteer as a designated driver at Jimmy's Bar and be insistent. They really need designated drivers at Jimmy's.

The last weekday bus south from Whitehall is right when the Book Nook closes. That's a fine time for a book lover and writer to call it a day. Today at the Nook I saw Robert Swan, violinist from the Chicago Symphony. I also said hello to the executive director of the town's chamber music festival and the man who bakes my bread in a wood fired oven, the Laughing Tree baker opening the rows of books to a young daughter. I didn't see a popular Naturalist sipping wine at the all too high wine bar with her friends. It was too early for wine drinking; the Naturalist doesn't feed the rumor mill a single scrap.

I wrote. I drank coffee. I stood out front with my hands in my pocket searching for material. Sean France has a new ballet he's debuting, his dance school student fulfilling the Star Wars roles. I noticed that Mitch Copeland, Yogi and playwright, has a plan to take his tribe to Costa Rica for yoga in paradise. I wondered if he meant to write a reality TV pilot on the trip?

In Studio 2, the light inside invited me to open door and go inside. I found an instructor and her students painting sunflowers in the area softly lit by cloudy day sunshine sneaking in big bay windows. I declared the sunflowers to be greater paintings than any by Vincent Van Gogh. The class started trading ideas about Vincent's style and life. Rather than interjecting, I slipped out fairly much unnoticed. I saw a new business in the PROFESSIONAL BUILDING, identified by block letters impressed in cement. Groove, a record store, had moved next door to the Senior Center, housed in the 1951 offices of Montague State Bank. As I stepped in, I discovered several albums of Fred Bear discussing his hunting technique. Those albums were close to the box of the Motor City Madman's albums, Ted Nugent. I found a box of all of John Denver's albums and a box of all Harry Chapin's albums, and Chapin recorded more albums than Denver. Each man died tragically young in an accident, Chapin driving a car and Denver flying a plane. I did not stay to meet the owner. I figured I had walked into a time warp and left before I couldn't leave. The owner does a mail order business and I noticed her walking packages of albums to mail at the nearby post office.

I decided to write two more scenes that afternoon, one for Chapin and one for Denver. Then, bus time has arrived.
— at The Book Nook & Java Shop.

By Vincent van Gogh - Public Domain

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