September 29 2011

Boutique breaks the mold on traditional antiques

September 29, 2011 // 0 Comments

City Antiques opens on Bridge Street  by BETH ALTENA “The baby boomer generation everyone has talked about is here and it’s changed everything.” In a field that is about change, City Antiques, now open at 67 Bridge Street, still manages to put a new spin on an age-old but ever evolving profession. The shop is packed to the rafters with items ranging in size, texture, material, price and age, from the old wooden furniture pieces—made in a time when things were built to last—to the glitzy bling of vintage, costume and retro jewelry. Co-owners Al Maxim and Sherri Taylor consider their new Rockford store and their first shop, City Antiques Grand Rapids, at 954 E. Fulton, both eclectic concentrations of whatever treasures they come upon in their estate service business. It means no two visits are ever the same from day to day. City Antiques Rockford opened for business Friday, Sept. 23. Maxim and Taylor consider their industry, their inventory and their two shops “in a constant state of motion.” Maxim said the aging of the baby boomers who are now nearing retirement, changes the tenor of antique shopping. “The baby boomers collected for collectivity. The younger shoppers collect for display-ability,” he said. It makes for a more diverse clientele in antiquing, and both he and Taylor embrace the opportunities the evolving market offers. They are all about change and have put a new, hands-on approach to antique shopping. “We are kid friendly, animal friendly, we don’t believe in putting things behind glass. I don’t like to shop like that and I don’t think other people like to either.” Taylor said. She said it is exciting to follow how tastes and trends change. Often when a mainstream store such as Pottery Barn features a faux antique item, people come in looking for the real thing. “We keep learning every day what types of things will be in demand.” “Every job is like a treasure hunt and we enjoy seeing our customers enjoy their own treasure hunt in the store,” Maxim described. The couple purchases estates—the good, bad and the ugly—and sell the good merchandise through the stores. “No two days are the same,” Taylor said of her profession. Taylor describes evaluating estates of hoarders, properties […]

Local Tour de France competitor helps teammate grab yellow jacket

September 29, 2011 // 0 Comments

by MATT MARN Only a decade ago, Brent Bookwalter was a local cycling enthusiast when he began competing in local amateur events. Years later, he met Cadel Evans, a professional cyclist, and asked for his autograph. In 2011, Bookwalter helped his professional cycling team bring home the win at the most prestigious cycling race in the world. Bookwalter is one of the competitors on the BMC racing team who recently traveled to France to compete in the 98th Tour de France, a cycling race spanning 21 stages in over 23 days, measuring over 3,400 kilometers in length, also stretching part of the route into Italy. The competition ended on July 24, 2011 with Evans crossing the finish line and taking home the win for BMC. And he couldn’t have done it without the help of a long list of support teammates, including Bookwalter. Bookwalter grew up ripping around Rockford on his bike, where he often saw signs for local mountain bike competitions over at Cannonsburg and Pando ski areas. When he was 12 or 13, a friend took him to a competition, and he has never looked back. Connie Zinger, Bookwalter’s mother, remembered that since then he rose through the local mountain biking ranks by entering those same competitions he went to watch, and moving on to state and even national championships. “He started out like any kid, riding a bike and loving it,” Zinger said. “I don’t come from an especially athletic family,” Bookwalter said. “When I was younger I played a lot of sports, but began doing more and more cycling. I was always ‘ok’ at every sport, not the best… here I am out there alone, and control my own success.” Bookwalter also pointed out, however, at that time he had no idea cycling was such a team sport. “It wasn’t even in my scope at all,” he said. “It’s a sole pursuit, but it’s also very social… You have control, but it’s a team sport. It’s the best of both worlds.” He stuck through his education through college, where he got a degree in biology from Lee McCrae, where he also made more of a name for himself behind the handlebars, winning numerous championships at the collegiate level. After riding for […]

Police chief nabs ‘slower kid’

September 29, 2011 // 0 Comments

‘I don’t go after the fast kid’  by BETH ALTENA When you’re looking to do a little automobile B&E, it’s best not to do it a couple yards from the chief of police. Rockford’s Police Chief Dave Jones said the town’s security cameras came in handy when officers observed a pair of teens peeking into cars in the South Squires Street parking lot. When the teens found an unlocked car with a wallet in it, they may have thought they were in luck, but luck was definitely not on their side. “Someone saw them open the car door and stuff something into their shirt,” one merchant described of the incident. The police were already on their way. As the two fled the crime scene up onto the White Pine Trail, Chief Jones and a uniformed officer gave chase. “I’m just a crusty old cop,” Jones said of the incident. “I don’t go after the fast kid, I go after the slow one and make him give up his buddy.” Jones said the slower runner was captured on Bridge Street. “He was all deny, deny, deny,” Jones described. “He wasn’t with the other kid. He didn’t know the other kid. I told him, ‘I was watching you on TV two blocks away.’” When the youngster saw himself and his friend captured by camera scoping out cars, he had no choice but to admit his involvement and the wallet was recovered. Criminal charges are pending. The Rockford Police Department deserves a pat on the back for another good job in fighting crime in downtown Rockford.


September 29, 2011 // 0 Comments

Stelma  Mr. Harold Gene Stelma, age 91, fell peacefully asleep on Earth September 21, 2011, and awoke joyously in Heaven to begin a new life with his Lord and Savior. He was reunited with his wife of 64 years and best friend, Marion; his eldest son, Gordon; his parents, Anna and Gerard Stelma; his brother and sister-in-law, Lester and Betty Stelma; and his daughter-in-law, Sue Stelma, all who preceded him on his journey to Heaven. Harold accepted Christ as his Savior in 1940 and lived his remaining 70 years in faith and preparation for that moment. Throughout those years, his faithful Lord enabled Harold to be a loyal friend, a successful businessman, a faithful husband and a loving father to his children, Mary Jo (Dale) Rust, Lawrence (Iris) Stelma, Patti (Ted) Venti, Doug (Sue, deceased) Stelma; and a GREAT grandpa to 14 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren. Harold viewed each day as a gift from God and devoted himself to serving his Lord and his family. He returned to his home in Grandville after serving in the Army during WWII where he and his wife Marion began to raise a family. He soon found himself in the retail grocery business and bought a neighborhood grocery store in Rockford. After 30 years in the grocery business, he went into the insurance business for another 30-year career. During two 30-year careers, he also found time to be one of the original volunteer emergency paramedics when Rockford Ambulance was established, to be one of the founding partners in the Old Mill, and for the last 30 years, he and his family have raised and sold Christmas trees, encouraging family togetherness both in the operation of the farm and for the many families coming to the farm to purchase trees. He was an active member of Calvary Church for 60 years and served in numerous capacities. His passion for people, especially children, is an example for all. Family and family activities were his joy here on Earth. He especially loved boating and teaching his children and grandchildren to enjoy the water and to water ski. Whether he was attending a school program, a ball game, hunting, fishing or camping, he was happiest when his family surrounded him, and he could […]

MAIN STREET by Roger Allen, publisher

September 29, 2011 // 0 Comments

A little optimism The news media seem to report only the bad stuff. Let’s find the bright spots: Ninety percent of workers have jobs. We’re living longer in better health. Food is plentiful, otherwise obesity wouldn’t be a national problem. In spite of foreclosures, we have a high percentage of home ownership. The government stimulus saved the banking system from collapse. We rescued GM, Chrysler and Ford in a global economy where some foreign workers get 65 cents an hour. Although politicians have cut thousands of jobs from public service, private business has hired thousands of new workers. My next-door neighbor Mona’s 90th birthday party was a big success; my other next-door neighbors, Nancy and Ken, have a healthy new granddaughter, Nora Harmony. Things are a bit tough these days, but let’s look on the bright side once in a while. Let’s have a little optimism! Misguided headlines (not ours) • Include your children when baking cookies • Something went wrong in jet crash, expert says • Police begin campaign to run down jaywalkers • Safety experts say school bus passengers should be belted • Panda mating fails, veterinarian takes over • Drunk gets nine months in violin case • Iraqi head seeks arms Problem solved A biker stopped by the local Harley shop to have his bike repaired. They couldn’t do the work while he waited so, since he didn’t live far from the shop, he decided to walk home. On the way, he stopped at the hardware store and bought a bucket and an anvil. He stopped at the feed store/livestock dealer and picked up a couple of chickens and a goose. Now he had a problem—how to carry his purchases home. The feed store owner said, “Why don’t you put the anvil in the bucket, carry the bucket in one hand, put a chicken under each arm, and carry the goose in your other hand?” “Hey, thanks!” said the biker. On his way through the parking lot, he was approached by a little old lady who said she was lost and asked if he could tell her the way to 1603 Mockingbird Lane. “As a matter of fact,” said the biker, “I live at 1616 Mockingbird Lane. We can take a short […]

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