Chi Chi Rogers

Happy Trails to you, Fred

December 8, 2011 // 0 Comments

by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL Last Tuesday afternoon found us at Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park to attend a visitation and pay our respects to a man we had personally come to know as one without equal – Fred Meijer. We were not there as reporters to cover Fred’s passing but rather as two of thousands, that afternoon and evening, who felt compelled to gather and reminisce with one another and Meijer family members about the life and times of Fred and the role he played in all of our lives. The “six degrees of separation” theory refers to the idea that everyone is on average approximately six steps away, by way of introduction, from any other person on Earth. That theory did not apply to Fred Meijer. In Fred’s case, it was more like one degree of separation. Is there a person in West Michigan that does not have a Fred story to tell? Certainly everyone present last Tuesday could attest to that. So much for computer-age social networks, Fred accomplished much the same with countless thousands of peoples in good old-fashioned face-to-face conversation. Fred was a man of the people who had an insatiable thirst for knowledge. If you crossed paths with him, he was always graciously approachable. In conversation, you became his new friend. He learned your name, what you did for a living, and how you felt about things in general. Both parties were enriched by the encounter and parted ways having learned something new and possibly, at the same time, enjoying a good laugh, oftentimes at Fred’s expense. Is there another billionaire anywhere who has freely made himself available to his fellow man more than Fred Meijer? We think not. Your reporters, the Hills, had the good fortune to meet Fred numerous times in covering events where he was present. Sometimes, also, it was just happenstance. It could have been at Meijer Gardens itself, where we are members, or it could have been at one of the local Meijer stores while we were shopping. Two occasions that stand out in our minds occurred while we were covering local events for the Squire where Fred was the focal point. On one in 2008, Fred was the guest of honor at a […]

Reading Festival promises fun Saturday

August 27, 2009 // 0 Comments

Rockford is a town of many talents and a town of many exciting summmer events. This Saturday, August 29, Rockford Rotary combines the two in the newest annual event: Reading Rocks in Rockford. Reading will be anything but a sedate, solitary pursuit this weekend with active and hands-on activities with a reading theme. Rockford Rotary has long partnered with Rockford Schools and schools in other countries to promote literacy, international goodwill and even fill hungry bellies. Each Tuesday children in a Dominican Republic School eat breakfast because Rockford Rotary pays for it. Now, right at home, experience literacy in a variety of venues. Have breakfast with authors in Krause Memorial Library Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m. for just $4. At 9:45 a.m. dress up as your favorite storybook character and enjoy a side walk parade which starts at Rockford City Hall. Events take place throughout the day all over downtown. More than a dozen authors will visit town and will read and sign books. Signs around town will direct festival attendees to the different events. An outdoor lunch adventure will take place from 11:30 a.m. at Garden Club Park. Bring a lunch or purchase lunch downtown and enjoy Jeff Schatzer and his new book Professor Tuesday’s Awesome Adventure. All ages will enjoy this chance to celebrate the joy of reading, to meet Rockford athletes, school officials, authors and Rotarians as they read out loud. Activities begin with breakfast at 8:30 a.m. and continue to 3 p.m. Don’t miss this first-time new festival with a literary theme. 1. Jeff Schatzer – main stage 2. Carl Behrend – main stage 3. Sow Hope-One Hen – main stage 4. Nancy Edwards 5. Jean Alicia Elster ( wants to come to Author breakfast) 6. Renee Hand 7. Alan St. Jean 8. Karen Bell-Brege – possibly present as well 9. Kim Cory – 10. Roland Hansen 11. Kenn Vidro 12. Shirley Neitzel 13. Judith Wade 14. Janet Heller 15. Wendy Gager/and an author friend 16. MaryAnn Lesert Robin Schmidt to display books at Frenz Restaurant Information about authors: Judith Wade, Author Eagle, MI email: Judith’s website: Books: Mermaid Dreams (Riley Press, 2005) The Mermaid’s Gift (Riley Press, 2004) The Secret of Mermaid Island (Riley Press, 2003) Kim Delmar Cory, Author Holt, MI email: […]