By BETH ALTENA Fans of Rockford sculptor Steve Anderson may not know him by face or in person, but people visiting Rockford can hardly not see the results of his work. Perhaps most visible are the fish at the Rockford dam. Large, abstract, gleaming and clean of line, they undoubtably add to the charm of our riverfront setting. Likewise, the Rockford ram at North Rockford Middle School is striking and a symbol of school pride and east of town on Ten Mile Road a large rose at the entrance of the Villas of Rosewood. Now, visitors the new Tanger Mall opening at 84th Street at the U.S.131 exit will see his most recent efforts, works that are the result of 40 years of working metals of all kinds. Anderson was commissioned to create a trio of sails representing an abstract sailboat, as well as a grouping of seagulls for the mall. The sails are now installed on cement pads at the new shopping venue and will grace the facility for the forseeable future. Stainless steel, the sculptures are nearly impervious to wear, making the medium Anderson’s favorite in which to work. Like the fish at the dam and the ram at NRMS, the sculptures will never rust and are nearly indestructible, unlike other metals, like copper and brass, which can rust or change colors. Anderson’s efforts give the surface of the sails a unique finish, an optical illusion which makes the metal appear to have depth. Eerily, the finish gives the hard metal a look of fluidity, a finish Anderson achieved by buffing the metal multiple times in different directions. The trio represent a sailboat’s mainsail, jibsail and spinnaker sail. Anderson knows sails well, having sailed 30 years ago and again now after purchasing a catamaran a few months ago. “I already know how wind blows in the sails,” he said of his efforts to duplicate the effect on stainless steel. “I love working in stainless steel. It’s a lot more work but when its one it’s impervious to anything. It’s the lowest maintenance.” Anderson said he doesn’t always work in stainless steel, but enjoys the effects you can achieve with it. The level of steel he uses is the most expensive, 304 is standard […]
A display of antique tractors will be new to this year’s 29th annual Montcalm Heritage Festival, July 30 through Aug. 1 in Heritage Village on Montcalm Community College’s Sidney campus. Members of the Old Iron Antique Tractor Club will have a variety of antique tractors on display from local owners during the three-day event. A glider demonstration by Brent Wickerham, of Greenville, will return to the festival for its second year. Wickerham is an experienced hang-glider who is able to launch from flat ground. If the weather is conducive, he will launch Aug. 1 at 10 a.m. in the east field. If the weather and/or wind speed is not suitable for launch, he will wear his outfit and talk about hang-gliding. The American Mountain Men also are returning to this year’s festival. They will have a camp all three days from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the south field. They will demonstrate fire starting with flint and steel as well as how to fire off a muzzle-loading flintlock musket. They will also provide other demonstrations by request with other various items utilized between 1820 and 1840. Several events run all three days including historical displays in Heritage Village buildings, live music, tractor/wagon rides, children’s games, a tool and machinery show in the Blacksmith Shop, display of a 1937 Chevrolet-General Pumper fire truck, Civil War encampment, craft demonstrations, music, ice cream parlor and dairy equipment display, antique small engine displays, a cake walk and more. The Montcalm County Commission on Aging Senior Fest will be July 30 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Heritage Village. Special events include goodie bag giveaways, blood pressure checks, gift basket drawings, free lunch and desserts, refreshments and a 50-50 raffle. Transportation will be provided from the parking area. On Aug. 1, the MCC Foundation will host its pancake breakfast from 7 to 10 a.m. in MCC’s Activities Building. Proceeds from the breakfast support MCC scholarships. The cost is $5 per person in advance or $6 at the door. The breakfast is sponsored by Leppink’s Food Centers. Advance tickets are available by calling (989) 328-1284 or (989) 328-1210, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Vintage Base Ball returns to Montcalm Heritage Festival on Aug. 1 on MCC’s south lawn. All cranks, or […]
The 17th Annual Mitchell’s Run thru Rockford 5K Run/Walk & Kids for Kids K is taking place on Saturday August 15th in downtown Rockford. Each year thousands of spectators, participants, friends and families fill the streets of Rockford all with the hope of finding a cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. They come together to support Parent Project MD, a non-profit organization dedicated to research for viable treatments to cure Duchenne MD, one of the most common yet devastating of the muscular dystrophies. The race is named after Mitchell Peterson now age 19 who was diagnosed just before his 3rd birthday in 1999; fast forward 17 years the race is no longer just about Mitchell but rather several other local area boys just like him who are also living with Duchenne. ACHIEVING THEIR GOALS Through the years one of the goals of Steve and Sandy Peterson hoped to achieve was bringing awareness of this disease which strikes males and a small percentage of females who can be carriers but do not show signs of the disease. They continue to bring awareness as evidenced by a show of other boys lined up at the start of the race during the National Anthem. Because of the Peterson’s continued efforts they have raised over $850,000 dollars in donations going to Parent Project MD. 100% of proceeds from the race and silent auction are donated in Mitchell’s name to PPMD who last year awarded the Peterson family and their event as being their longest running “grass-roots” fundraiser and supporter. NEW! VIRTUAL PACKETS! MRTR is going green this year by introducing a “virtual packet”. Friday, August 14th at the Footwear Depot they’ll have late registration and packet pick up from 4p-7p where you can sign up for the race and pick up your t-shirt and race bib. If you have participated in previous Mitchell’s Run races you will be notified by email with all the details for the race and also, special deals and coupons offered by various sponsors. If you choose to wait until Friday or the morning of the race to sign up, by providing your email address you will receive a message within the following week to take advantage of specials and coupons being offered. (Mitchell’s […]
Do you ever wonder where our phrases and sayings come from? In the industry where words are important, newspaper people probably wonder even more than most people. In any case, in a ride around Lake Bella Vista we saw this photo op that sums up one phrase. If anyone knows the origin of the phrase “ducks in a row” came from we’d love to know. Email email@example.com and be sure to send us your photos too. Along the same lines, your editor was recently in the Netherlands (story to come later) and after returning home realized I missed a great photo op. While there I should have taken a picture of Dutch people kissing!
By Cindy M. Cranmer Despite some heat, weather delays, and storms, it is estimated about 12,000 people came to watch their favorite competitor from the area, Michigan, out-of-state, or the American Ninja Warriors themselves attempt an extreme obstacle course during Rockford’s two-day Ninja Warrior event. About 200 individuals attempted to make it through the course with a few attempting it a second time although the number of retries was limited with the heat and a storm delay on Saturday. The participation in the youth course doubled with about 2,000 individuals trying one of three different junior courses. The popularity of the event continued to grow as the NBC hit television show, “American Ninja Warrior,” also continues to grow. Besides the entertainment of watching competitors take on the course on Friday, July 17 and Saturday, July 18, there also were family activities such as inflatables, a bounce house, and concessions. The tents made a good protection from the rain, which delayed the event twice Saturday including the final performances of the American Ninja Warriors, for those who did not make it to their cars. Over a hundred people waited out the first delay of more than two hours so they could continue to watch the event as soon as it restarted. Proceeds from the registrations, food concessions, merchandise sales, and donations are being used towards building a community youth center at the site of Bridgeway Community Church with 10 percent of the profits benefiting the Developing Healthy Kids and DARE programs at Rockford Public Schools. “American Ninja Warrior” is a heart-racing obstacle course competition where competitors try to complete a series of obstacles of increasingly difficult stages. The televised show has been a fan favorite since 2009. Rockford’s professional level course featured six obstacles such as a quintuple step, metal links, Cannonball Alley, and a 14-foot warped wall. Dan Banura, who was competing Monday, July 20 on the current season of American Ninja Warrior, placed first with a time of 56.159 seconds while Kevin Hogan, also competing in the Kansas City Finals of American Ninja Warrior on Monday, placed second with a time of one minute and 19.742 seconds. Trevor West, of Rockford, placed third with a time of one minute and 54.686 seconds. “On last […]