Mocked for their lack of speed and efficiency, relics like the letter, the telegram and the fax have been effectively phased out, but for acclaimed non-profit organization The Moth, there is one antiquated form of communication that deserves preservation: the ancient art of storytelling.
Some people going through mid-life crisis buy a Corvette or join a gym. Loreen Niewenhuis hiked the perimeter of Lake Michigan. In 2009, the author and native Michigander planned a 1,019-mile, 64-day excursion to forge a more intimate connection with a place she loved.
Had it not been for the sage advice of a Cape Cod innkeeper, Wade Rouse may never have set foot in Michigan. After learning that Rouse and his partner had driven all the way from St. Louis for a vacation, the woman wondered why they hadn't just gone to Michigan instead.
Ted Fox is a wiseass, but if it weren't for life's little ironies, he never would have thought to make a living as one. After graduating with a degree in economics from Notre Dame, he was lucky enough to land his dream job at ESPN, only to find it nothing short of nightmarish.
"It was a classic case of, 'If you like sausage, don't visit the sausage factory,'" Fox said.
In an age of technology and digital communication, people accustomed to the printed word must adapt quickly in order to survive. This September, Schuler Books celebrates 30 years of business – a true testament of the flexibility of the bookstore to change along with the times.
At a time when bookstores are going out of business (the most notable being the bookstore chain, Borders, closing their last stores almost one year ago), Schuler is using this month to celebrate the store’s success with its Grand Rapids and Lansing-area communities.
For 57-year-old Harley-Davidson authority Edward Winterhalder, the biker lifestyle isn’t just a hobby; he’s been immersed in the culture since he was 19. In the last seven years, he has authored or contributed to nine books on the subject and helmed or appeared in a dozen TV projects devoted to Harleys.
“When I came home from the Army in November of ‘74, I got my first Harley,” Winterhalder said. “Since then, I have only been without one for no more than six months. I’ve been riding Harleys for almost 40 years now. It gets in your blood.”
Poetry has not exactly always been at the heart of American consciousness. It’s often thought of as an art form for lonely, depressed individuals or pretentious hipsters in East Village coffee shops. However, Azizi Jasper (or simply, “Z” to most who know him), is a Grand Rapids-based poet, activist and man about town.
If you ever listened to Duran Duran’s latest hit on your boom box, inquired about the whereabouts of “the beef” or watched anything on Betamax, chances are you’ll dig this event. Stella’s Lounge is hosting an all-day Grand Rapids bar crawl in which teams race to complete 10 challenges, record the evidence on their smartphones and compete to become Grand Mega Champions (complete with a totally tubular trophy).
Ultra-marathoner Scott Jurek wasn't always the mile-conquering fitness expert he is now. In fact, the winner of ultraRunning's top honors and advocate for veganism used to be a hunting, fishing Minnesotan carnivore, who hated running.
"[Running] was kind of like punishment; we would have to run laps in gym class and at soccer and basketball practice," Jurek said. "While I was involved with Nordic skiing in high school, I ran because I wanted to get in shape for ski season, but it wasn't something I enjoyed."
With his newest collection of poetry, When All the World Is Old, Detroit-born poet John Rybicki comes close enough that poet Marie Howe compares him to a modern-day Orpheus "singing [his] way into the underworld and coming out alive."
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