CAUGHTCHA BEING GOOD!
Chief Williamson, Firefighter Tony Jones, Officer Mackenzie Pahl
Maybe it was practicing its own form of social distancing, but the cat soon realized that it was stuck up a tree way too high. It couldn’t get down, but Angie Szabo, of the Traverse City Housing Commission, at Noble Pines, heard the feline’s forlorn crying and called the ER Fire Department. Arriving on the scene Chief Williamson and ERPD Officer Mackenzie Pahl made the assessment that a ladder was most certainly needed for the lofty height and up went firefighter Tony Jones to bring the scaredy cat down. Szabo, who videotaped Operation Rescue Tabby, said “The poor cat was probably up in the tree for several days. I heard it crying and knew there was no way I could get it down.” One very happy cat is now back on terra firma thanks to Chief Williamson, Firefighter Tony Jones and Officer Pahl!
Stanley Burkett Holzhauer was omitted from this year’s Memorial Day Roll of Honor. Holzhauer was a Navy veteran of WWII. – Editor
Elk Rapids Farmer’s Market opening June 5
The Elk Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce will once again be sponsoring the Farmer’s Market at the same location in front of the Chamber office at 305 US 31 North, beginning Friday, June 5. Hours of operation will be 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon.
“We are excited that the state has given Farmer’s Markets the go-ahead to operate this year, even in the midst of the pandemic,” said Tom Kern, ERACC Executive Director. “Of course, we’ll be following state guidelines and requirements which will make for a different market experience. But we feel strongly it’s more important than ever to support area growers, farmers, and producers and give our community members access to fresh foods and local products.”
All market goers will be required to wear a mask. Social distancing requirements will be in place as well. Fifty customers will be allowed in the market at a time, in adherence to The Michigan Farmer’s Market Association (MIFMA) guidelines. The Chamber recommends that one shopper per family come to the market, and that children not accompany them.
Hand washing stations will be provided at each end of the market. Vendors are being asked to have their own hand washing and sanitizing stations in their booth and will assist shoppers with selection of their food items.
This year the Chamber will also provide a pre-order pick-up tent, for customers who want to buy directly from a grower. Undertoe Farm will be providing this service to start; other vendors may follow. Customers simply place their order with the farm and pre-pay for it. On Friday mornings, the order will be available for drive through pick-up in the Chamber parking lot.
Many familiar vendors are returning to the Elk Rapids Farmer’s Market this year. “We hope shoppers who have enjoyed the Elk Rapids Farmer’s Market in the past will come back, too,” said Kern. “We are focused on a providing a fun and safe environment for all market goers this summer.”
Here comes the bride — maybe
By Barb Mosher, Contributing Writer
As a floral and event décor designer for more than 35 years, Amy Hendrickson has reassured her share of tearful, frazzled brides-to-be, but the 2020 northern Michigan wedding season is stretching her — and them — like never before.
“There have been a lot of Zoom calls, a lot of tissues, a lot of sending chocolate in the mail,” said the Elk Rapids resident and owner of Amy Kate Designs. “It hurts my heart on so many levels.”
Efforts to mitigate the spread of the Coronavirus through social distancing and restrictions on large groups gatherings have led to the cancellation, rescheduling, or significant downsizing of weddings and bridal showers worldwide. Hendrickson’s own business calendar has been reduced from 36 events between June and October to eight.
I’ve been inundated with paperwork, understanding the restrictions, following the rules in our industry,” she said. “I have to pass all that on to my (brides). Then they have to have heart-to-heart conversations with family and come to realize that it’s not just about them. And that’s hard when it really is about them. Everyone grieves differently. It’s a process.”
Planning a wedding can be trying even in the best of circumstances. Myriad decisions must be made and coordinated: date and time, venue, guest list, food, flowers, photography, honeymoon. When those plans come to a screeching halt due to a pandemic, it’s back to square one with a whole new set of problems. Bride-to-be Wendy Veeder found herself navigating that challenging scenario this spring.
“As soon as I figured out I had to cancel my March bridal shower, that’s when I started getting nervous about the (May 16) wedding,” said the 2006 Elk Rapids High School graduate who had already mailed wedding invitations to 185 friends and family mid-February.
Within a few weeks, the sobering reality of the Coronavirus brought Veeder and her fiancé, John Purdy, to the disappointing but inescapable decision to postpone their ceremony and reception.
“More and more things were being canceled,” Veeder said. “We have a lot of family from downstate, and things were worse down there. We didn’t want people to feel obligated to come. For everyone’s safety, we wanted to do it the right way and celebrate the right way.”
After scrambling to contact and coordinate with their venue and vendors, the couple was able to reconstruct their event for July 11 and send “Change the Date” cards to the guest list. As the pandemic continues to play out, Veeder said she’s warily eyeing the calendar, hoping and praying for the best.
“Right now, we’re forging ahead, realizing we may have to adapt the numbers,” she said. “But we’re going to get married that day regardless, even if it’s just us and the pastor!”
Every business associated with helping couples tie the knot is experiencing the tremendous fallout from the novel virus. Bob Garvey rescued a centennial barn ten years ago, relocating it to his Williamsburg property and renovating it to host up to 12 weddings every year. Tucked into 40 acres of rolling meadows and strung with twinkling lights, the Garvey Family Barn was set to welcome a full slate of celebrations this summer and fall. Then Covid-19 arrived.
“We canceled our entire season,” Garvey said. “We had to error on the side of caution. There was no guidance given on wedding venues. We’re different from a restaurant. We host intimate gatherings of family and friends. We have very little control if someone doesn’t want to wear a mask or decides to move tables closer together.”
Garvey said guest lists would need to be halved at least, buffet-style meals would not be allowed, and dancing would break social distancing rules. “It got to the point where it just didn’t make any sense,” he explained. “I became convinced that bringing people into that sort of setting would not be fair to them. We couldn’t offer a safe environment, and someone had to make a decision.”
Garvey offered full refunds or credit toward a date in 2021. He said couples have been very understanding with about half taking refunds and half rebooking for next year. “They know it’s been difficult for everyone, and they’re making the best of it,” he said. “It’s worked out. I would not feel good about going forward with this season.”
VILLAGE OF ELK RAPIDS