by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL Last Saturday afternoon, the Squire paid a visit to the Showspan produced Grand Rapids Camper, Travel & RV Show at DeVos Place. Under one roof, we found West Michigan RV dealers displaying more than 100 RV lines in the largest RV Show in the state. Large is an understatement when you consider that the huge exhibition space comprising a whopping 200,000 sq. ft., or in other words – 5 acres. Along with new RV’s there was a remarkable selection of RV accessories, campgrounds, and travel destinations. “We’ve got more dealers, RV’s, equipment and destinations than ever before, “ said Show Producer Mike Wilbraham. “Much as we hated to do it, we actually had to turn some exhibitors away this year because the space was sold out.” Judging from what appeared to be record-breaking attendance, show attendees were not just looking this year; they were shopping with many actually “signing on the dotted line” right then and there. Pent up demand and a local economy that appears to be turning the corner to the plus side had people opening their pocket books. Two of the dozen RV dealers on hand were Rockford’s own Northtown Motorhomes, located on Northland Dr. and Woodland Travel Center, located on Plainfield Ave. just southwest of the East Beltline intersection. Owners Dave Carlson, of Woodland, and Jerry & Nancy O’Neil, of Northtown, appeared to be “tickled pink” with huge crowds attending the first three days of the show. Both dealers invite you to “Think Local” if you’re in the market for a new (or used) recreational vehicle or need service, parts, or supplies, for one you currently own. Go and check them out. Both dealers specialize in different lines. From entry level to top of the line; they each offer something for everyone. A visit to each is a RV Show itself and, best of all, you save the price of admission!
February 9 2012
Michelle and Doug Loper visited Belize in January and took their local paper, the Rockford Squire, along. The couple are pictured at the Xuantunich Mayan Ruins (pronounced CHEW-nahn-too-neech) on January 19. The runs are just eight miles from the Guatemala border. “The largest structure is the pyramid El Castillo, which is 160 feet from the plaza floor and built at the top of a hill,” described Michelle. “From the top of El Castillo you can see the breathtaking view of the rest of the ruins. The restored sections of this city contain a ceremonial center, residences for the wealthiest of the population, a middle-class residential area, and a ball court complex.” Thank you to the Lopers for remembering to take their paper along and sending these dramatic photographs.Email Squire vacation pictures to email@example.com.
Gabe Bosscher, 6, dropped off the impressive “Best Lips” contest submission from his dad. At The Rockford Squire, we love it when manly men aren’t afraid to put on a little lipstick for a good cause—our entertainment and yours. Plus, the best men’s and women’s lip print wins some prizes in addition to bragging rights. It’s not too late to try to join our past winners as we choose who has the best lips in Rockford! See the form on page 6 of this week’s issue.
by TERRY KONKLE President, Rockford Area Historical Society Rockford Educational Leaders – Superintendents Construction on Rockford’s first high school began in 1869 and was completed in 1870. Students, however, did not begin to attend the building until the fall of 1871. At that time my research shows that O.O. Fletcher replaced E.J. McEwan as principal at the building and became the educational leader of our school system. Actually, he was a teacher, but he also did the duties of what the principal and superintendent would do today (2012). For about the next 30 years, Rockford’s superintendent was also the principal and a teacher. At about the start of the last century (1899-1900 school year) when C.E. Smith was listed as superintendent, a different person, Edna Haner, was listed as the principal. Rockford has had both educational positions since that time. Starting with the 1871-72 school year through the 1940-41 school year, Rockford had 22 superintendents. This means that for 70 school years, we had 22 different leaders. Since that time and including the current school year, 71 more years have happened. During those 71 school years, Rockford has had only four more superintendents. All four of them stayed at the job longer than any of their predecessors. Before 1940-41, Edmond Thorne held the position for seven years (1934-35 to 1940-41) and had the distinction of having the job the longest at that time. Many Rockford people will recall E.J. Kleinert. He became superintendent in 1940-41 and did a fine job for 20 years. James Bale followed him in 1961-62 and remained for 18 school campaigns. When Mr. Bale retired, Joe Raymer took over and had the job for nine years, but was ill for some of his tenure. Present superintendent, Dr. Michael Shibler, took over in 1988-89 and is now in his 24th year on the job. He holds the Rockford school record for being our superintendent the longest. Three of our earlier superintendents only stayed one year. Next week, Rockford principals will be covered. Also the names of the correct responders to last week’s Rockford trivia question will be given. There is still time to contact me with your answer: (616) 866-0530. Finally, donations continue to come in to support the museum move. Please […]
Mark Randisi, the star of the upcoming “Sound of Sinatra” fundraiser for the new Rockford Area Museum (RAM), was in town on Tuesday, Jan. 24 to spend the day promoting the show, which will be presented on Saturday, Feb. 18 at Rockford High School (RHS). Randisi’s visit started with dinner on Monday evening with several members of the Rockford Historical Society, including the Society’s president, Terry Konkle. Tuesday was busy, starting with an appearance on Channel 13’s “Take Five and Company,” where he sang a song from the show and was interviewed by Catherine Behrendt. His love and respect for Frank Sinatra’s music was apparent as he talked about the show and the incredible Johnny Trudell Big Band that will be accompanying him at RHS. He also mentioned the scheduled appearance by the Rockford Community Children’s Choir that will join him onstage to perform Rockford’s version of a famous Frank Sinatra scene in which he sang the song “High Hopes” with a group of youngsters. You can see that television appearance by going to www.wzzm13.com and clicking on the Take 5 page. His next stop was at the studios of WJRW AM, where he was interviewed by John Gonzalez, the entertainment editor of the Grand Rapids Press and host of “Going Gonzo,” his WJRW entertainment show. That interview also displayed Randisi’s love for the music he performs, as well as talking about his singing career which started when he was “discovered” about 14 years ago singing Sinatra songs at karaoke bars in the Detroit area. Gonzalez learned that Randisi was working in his family’s commercial painting business when the owner of a chain of Detroit area restaurants and clubs heard him and hired him immediately. That was the end of Randisi’s involvement in the family business and the start of a singing career that has literally taken him throughout the U.S. and to Europe where he has performed with big bands and symphony orchestras. After lunch, Randisi visited RHS, where plans for the show were discussed. To say that he was impressed with the facility and the staff at the school would be an understatement. Randisi said he has performed shows in many facilities that did not compare with what we have right here at […]