Cameron “Blake” Warne, known professionally as Cameron Blake, is working harder than ever and has a new album to show for it. The 2001 Rockford High School alumni is remembered for many things, including being a classical violin whiz kid, pioneering a campaign for a strings program in Rockford’s school system, winning concerto competitions held by the Grand Rapids Youth Symphony and the GVSU Symphony Orchestra, and going on to receive his master’s degree in performance at the Peabody Institute of Music in Baltimore, Md. Now 27 years old, Warne hasn’t left Baltimore, but he has released his second album of ornate, chamber folk/pop songs in exactly one year. Warne’s new release, En Route, is a confident, mature album that displays a songwriter willing to take risks by stretching genre lines and delivering lyrics that could be found in a future edition of the Norton Anthology of Verse (example: “…your painted lips turned ivory, your fingernails like diamonds as they claw to be fed,” from “The Love Song Never Died”). The album’s single, “On My Way to Jordan,” has already created a buzz, receiving first place in folk on www.ourstage.com for June 2009. “I’ve heard it said that ‘the album’ is the new symphony and I believe it! I have a few more gray hairs on my head to show for it!” said Warne in a recent phone interview. Coordinating the schedules of 13 musicians from the Peabody Institute and the Baltimore Symphony—including French horn, oboe, mandolin, violin, cello and pedal steel guitar, in addition to a standard five-piece rock band setup—and recording in five separate locations would be enough to make most people’s heads spin, but Warne came out of the process ready to hit the stage. “I was getting antsy! It’s like writing a thesis in science and then never having your results tested in the real world. The importance of these songs is how they hold up with audiences night after night,” commented Warne. Warne normally sits behind a piano or guitar and sings these days, leaving his violin at home, but his ability to rearrange his songs for different instruments keeps audiences coming back for more. “I had to carve out my niche in the Baltimore music scene or […]
Bowser Brett Bowser, age 42, of Rockford passed away on Tuesday, November 3, 2009, following a courageous battle with lung cancer. Brett was the middle of the Bowser triplets and grew up in Rockford on his parents’ farm. He and his brothers worked together on the farm, which later became a tree farm. In 1986 he graduated from Rockford High School. While in high school, Brett worked for Carter Lumber, and he continued to work there for 10 years, where he was the yard foreman. Brett went on to work for Vltra Shapes and finally at Vector Distribution. He loved the outdoors, fishing, snowboarding, golfing, or just relaxing in the sun, but most importantly spending time with family. Brett dated Mistie Marie Watson in the early ‘90s, but after a year of being together they went their separate ways, only to meet again 13 years later. They rekindled their love, married, and became the best soul mates, sharing the responsibilities of marriage and a blended family. Mistie was the love of Brett’s life, as he was hers. He taught their children the importance of school, proper manners, and encouraged them to be the best they could be. In leisure time, Brett loved a good game of golf, playing with his children, spending time with family, being outside, watching auto racing, and a good football, golf or hockey game. He was preceded in death by his mother, Susan, on October 28, 2004, and his grandfathers, Edwin Bowser and James Walton. Brett is survived by his loving wife, Mistie (Watson); children, Elizabeth, Emily, Cameron and Myla; father, Edwin Bowser III (Jeanne); brother, Aron (Becky) Bowser of Belmont; brother, Cory Bowser of Grand Rapids; sister, Heidi (David) Bird of Holt; grandmothers, Mrs. Mildred Bowser and Mrs. Doris Walton; Mistie’s family: parents, Gary and Patty Peterson; sister, Joey (Matt) Hooker; nieces and nephews, Kendall, Kalynn, and Kyla Bird, and Jacob and Madison Hooker. The service for Brett was Saturday at 1:00 p.m. at Courtland-Oakfield Methodist Church with Pastor Jeff Williams officiating. Interment was in Courtland Township Cemetery. Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider the Elizabeth Bowser Education Fund at Fifth Third Bank. Arrangements were made by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford.
Matthew Bruce Bailey—a.k.a. Beetle Bailey—of Rockford and currently residing in Gavensvoort, N.Y., was recently promoted to Chief Petty Officer (CPO) in a pinning ceremony at Ballston Spa, N.Y. on September 16, 2009. Bailey graduated from Rockford High School in 1999 and left shortly after for eight weeks of basic training in Great Lakes, Ill. After basic training, he was sent to Charleston, S.C. for A School/Power School, and in December 2000, he was sent to Ballston Spa for prototype instruction. In July 2001, Bailey completed his education and was sent to Kings Bay, Ga., where he served on the USS Rhode Island SSNB740(B). He served as an electrician’s mate (nuclear) for five years. In August 2007, he was sent back to Ballston Spa as a prototype instructor. While stationed in New York, Bailey was promoted to CPO after taking a 200-question exam and six weeks of intense training. Advancement to CPO not only carries requirements of time and service, superior evaluation scores and specialty examinations, but also carries an added requirement of peer review by a selection board of serving senior and master CPOs. CPOs serve a dual role as both technical experts and as leaders. Bailey’s mother, Erma, attended his pinning ceremony and had the honor of pinning him. His father is Gerald Bailey of Greenville. His brother, Nathaniel, currently resides in London, U.K., and his sister, Jenny, resides in Rockford.
Breathe in, breathe out Economic recessions come and go. I lived through the Great Depression with only 5¢ a week in allowance. My dad was making $20 a week. It’s hard to compare that one with this one. Recessions seem to be something like breathing. They arrive and depart, inhale, exhale, keep on going. Government is doing what it can to prevent or modify recessions, but those efforts have never worked perfectly. The reason is that the government is a minor player compared with 305 million individuals. We are the ones who will end the recession by virtue of hard work and using our determination and ingenuity. Our unemployment rate is 10%. That means we still have 90% employed, so we have a good basis for recovery. Little by little, Americans will find jobs and get back to work. Using tax money, the government will help. We the people will tell you when this recession is really over. Smart Mildred, the church gossip and self-appointed monitor of morals, kept sticking her nose into other people’s business. Several members of the church did not approve of her extracurricular activities, but feared her enough to maintain their silence. She made a mistake, however, when she accused Frank, a new member, of being an alcoholic after she saw his old pickup parked in front of the town’s only bar one afternoon. She emphatically told Frank (and several others) that everyone seeing it there WOULD KNOW WHAT HE WAS DOING. Frank, a man of few words, stared at her silently for a moment and then just turned and walked away. He didn’t explain, defend, or deny. Later that evening, Frank quietly parked his pickup in front of Mildred’s house, walked home, and left the truck there all night. You gotta love Frank! If If you can start the day without caffeine, If you can always be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains, If you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles, If you can eat the same food every day and be grateful for it, If you can understand when your loved ones are too busy to give you any time, If you can take criticism and blame without resentment, If you can conquer tension without medical help, If […]
14th Bryce Hull, Joe Magnan, Catherine Anne Phillips, Lorraine Russell, Marie Spendow 16th Anna Bearinger, Aunt Norine Elkins 17th Kyle Orr 18th Kenneth Scott Alkema, Arlene Bowman, Steve Fisher, Rob Gulliver, Ellen Hansen Marlene Larson, Marxine Ward 19th Aaron Gulliver, Teresa L. Poddig, Myka Spoelma, Michael Thome 20th Emily Halliday