by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL For the past two weeks, the Rockford Squire has been visiting San Antonio in south Texas and the “hill-country” surrounding the jewel of a city. No different than avid regular Squire readers, we took copies of our hometown newspaper along on the journey seeking a great photo-op. Granted, Texas is not necessarily one of the most exotic places our well-traveled newspaper has ever visited, but never the less a great picture taking opportunity occurred when we visited the factory and the adjacent outlet store of San Antonio Shoemakers (SAS). The Rockford community, being the world headquarters of Wolverine World Wide, is steeped in the history of shoemaking and we couldn’t believe our good fortunes to be able to take a behind the scenes peek at the SAS shoemaking facility. SAS, established in 1976, is one of a scant few remaining American shoemaking companies who continue to make shoes right here in the USA. Specializing in handcrafted comfort shoes, SAS believes that “life is a journey and why not wear comfortable shoes along the way”. Every day SAS prides itself on working to make sure their name continues to stand for superb craftsmanship and extraordinary comfort. The Company strives to make their shoes so comfortable that you don’t want to take them off! We were 2 of a 47-member Holiday Vacations tour group spending 9 days seeing and experiencing everything that the San Antonio, Texas area has to offer. On the day of our visit to SAS, the shoe company divided us into groups of ten to be led by one of the company’s experienced shoemakers. On the floors of two different shoemaking facilities, our guide led us from one shoemaking station to the next while the factories were in full operation. We were able to follow a style of shoe as it was being made from start to finish. Not exactly the same-old, same-old vacation itinerary, but never the less it was an educational blast! Not taking a merchandising backseat to WWW, the SAS guides concluded our shoemaking tutorial with a visit to the company’s General Store/factory shoe outlet. Our tour group must have been sold on what they witnessed on the factory floors that afternoon, as almost each and […]
Rockford Squire Vacation
Great minds think alike Recently a group of 24 people from the Rockford/Belmont area made a 14-day pilgrimage to Italy to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Foundation of the Consolata Missionary Sisters. The Consolata Missionary Sisters have a mission to participate in the mission of Christ and share the Good news with all people and all creation. While in Italy the group visited Rome and the Vatican, shrines and churches in Assisi, and the Mother and Father House of their Order in Torino. Locally the Consolata Missionary Sisters serve at Assumption B.V.M. School and Parish in Belmont, Michigan. About to pose for a group picture in front of the Mother House of the Consolata Sisters in Turin/Torino, Italy they doubled in laughter when three of the group, each unbeknownst to the other, had brought along a recent copy of The Rockford Squire. Notice that each had brought a different issue of their favorite hometown weekly newspaper. Of note, second from left in the front row of the picture is Belmont Consolata Missionary Sister Zelia M. Cordeiro MC. Holding the Squire newspapers left to right are: Mary Ellen Burnett, Arlene Obetts, and Kathy & Tom Healy.
SUNNY HOLIDAY—As beautiful as downtown Rockford was for the holidays, the Altena and Shipaila families still welcomed a ten-day trip to Mexico, their Christmas gift from the family matriarch, Sharon. Staying in the Mayan Riviera in the hotel Barccelo, they snorkled, seeing sea turtles, sting-rays and reef fish. They also enjoyed the unlimited food and drinks, shows and 80-degree weather. Pictured are Squire Managing Editor Beth Altena, Charles Shipaila, Will Altena, Melissa Shipaila, Hailey Shipaila, Mike Altena, Nathan Shipaila, Sharon Altena, Ethan Altena and Bill Altena.
The Rockford Squire’s sales/production manager, Melanie Ragsdale, took a recent issue of the Squire on vacation to Reelfoot Lake, Tenn., along with her husband Will and father-in-law Jim. The Ragsdales traveled to Tennessee in June for their yearly family reunion, enjoying southern-style cooking, rustic cabins and a visit to Hillbilly Junction for souvenirs. This was Jim’s first time visiting his southern relatives in about 40 years, and says it was well worth the long drive.