The Great Michigan Read

The Great Michigan Read is a new program for the Michigan Humanities Council.

It is a community reading program for the entire state, focusing on a single literary masterpiece. The 2007 pick is The Nick Adams Stories by Ernest Hemingway.

The selection committee cited The Nick Adams Stories as "a literary masterpiece literally made in Michigan. The author, Ernest Hemingway, spent the majority of his first 22 summers in Northern Michigan. These experiences played an essential role in his development as one of the world’s most significant writer”.

In a series of linked coming-of-age stories, a young man grapples with the complexities of adulthood, including war, death, marriage, and family.

Find out how to participate among the 100 community partners in the state, and in Ann Arbor. There is even a self-directed tour of Hemingway's old haunts.

Tracks, Trails and Tales in Michigan

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The beauty of the woods, the pull of the camp, the challenge of the hunt have been part of Michigan history since man first set foot here thousands of years ago. A-Hunting We Will Go: Deer Hunting in Michigan opens Aug. 4 at the Michigan Historical Museum in Lansing. The exhibit will tell the story of deer hunting in Michigan, with a glimpse at its beginnings and a focus on its development into the widespread pastime it is today. Hunters will have the opportunity to add their own buck-bagging stories to Michigan's whitetail lore, as the Michigan Oral History Association will invite hunters to share their personal accounts of hunting at the exhibit.

Pickin' Rocks

My family and I just got back from vacation. My son has an assignment for the up coming school year, collect 30 different rocks. What better way to accomplish this than picking rocks on the shores of Lake Michigan. Fortunately, authors Bruce Mueller and Kevin Gauthier with a great book on the subject, the Lake Michigan Rock Picker's Guide. With the book, my son was able to identify many of the rocks himself. Our next trip north, we'll visit Mr. Mueller's rock shop again, C & M Rock Shop in Honor, Michigan. Mr. Mueller will even autograph the book if you have your own copy.

Unlock the Mysteries of Your Family History

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Join fellow family historians at the CSI Meets Roots seminar, July 20-21, at the Library of Michigan and learn new tips, new resources and the new methods of forensic genealogy. Check out the complete schedule of programs and register soon ~ this will be a popular event.

Pasty Update

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Despite our last pasty blog, we do not as yet have an official Michigan Pasty Day. Not to worry! The grand city of Calumet has come through with PastyFest 2007. Join fellow pasty lovers June 29 - July 1 for the pasty pull, the pasty bakeoff, the rutabaga shot put, pasty parade and the ever-popular pasty fitness walk. Toivo, the walking, talking pasty will be there so book your rooms early and say Ya to the U.P.

President Ford Honored

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The United States Post Office has unveiled a new postage stamp honoring President Gerald Ford. The stamp will be issued nationwide on August 31st. and a special stamp dedication ceremony will take place on that date at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids.

Rarely Seen are Now Readily Accessible

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This is not a zigzag bladderwort, it's a Blanchard's cricket frog, one of the more than 600 rare plants and animals featured in the new Michigan Rare Species Explorer. The curious of all ages can search by habitat, location, name, best time to view or browse the beautifully illustrated entries for all the species. Kudos to the team at the Michigan Natural Features Inventory for this wonderful new resource.

It's Not Official

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After much research we are sad to report there is not an official Michigan Pasty Day. Although Governor Romney proclaimed May 24, 1968 as Pasty Day and Governor Milliken declared May 25, 1972 as Pasty Day, these single-year proclamations do not do justice to the importance of the pasty in Michigan’s history and cuisine. Perhaps Governor Granholm can rectify this situation. Best place to get pasties? Jean-Kays Pasties in Marquette, across from the NMU Superior Dome

Clearing the Way on Memorial Day

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You’ll see fewer orange barrels on Michigan roadways this weekend when MDOT suspends work on 153 of 172 road projects. That'll make it easier to get out and enjoy Michigan State Parks and travel destinations.

Gone hiking. Please leave a message...

Did you know there is a great hiking trail just west of Ann Arbor? It's the Waterloo-Pinkney Trail. My son and I hike the trail at least once a year. It's one of the trails featured in 50 Hikes in Michigan by Jim Dufresne. Get the book, plan your trip, and then head out for the trails before the bugs get too bad.

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