My City August 2022

Animated publication

Back to the Bricks 2022 TUNE UP PARTY WEEK A Week of Cruises


Aug 13 Downtown Mt. Morris 3-8pm Car Show 8-10pm Dancing in the Streets

Aug 8 Davison 4-8pm

Aug 12 Clio 4-8pm Auto City Speedway

Aug 9 Flushing 4-8pm 200 Cherry St.

Aug 11 Fenton 4-8pm LeRoy St.

Aug 10 Linden 4-8pm Downtown

Sugarbush Golf Club


Wednesday & Thursday August 17-18 ROLLING CRUISE STARTS AT 4PM FACTORY ONE Kicking o in Downtown Flint, excited crowds will line Saginaw St. all the way to Grand Blanc to watch the classic cars roll by. “Non-cruise” trac is asked to use the center lanes so that spectators can easily view the cars. SWAP MEET 8AM-5PM KIRKRIDGE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH G-8070 S. SAGINAW ST., GRAND BLANC 48439 is event is a convenient venue for car enthusiasts to share stories, locate and purchase accessories and parts they need to restore or modify a vehicle from individual vendors and major suppliers. For additional information, contact Ken Kelly 810.287.2548. Friday, August 19 FREE CRUISE N’ CONCERT 6:15PM FLAT LOT (OFF SAGINAW ST., DOWNTOWN FLINT) is big day includes a car show and a live concert sponsored by Big John Steak & Onion, Ashley Furniture and a special partnership with Tonic Events. Opening act Bad’nger takes the stage before headliner, Atlanta Rhythm Section.e Flat Lot opens at 2pm for spectators and vendors.


Main Event Week begins with a Car Show from 4-8pm with awards for the Top 5 Vehicles voted by the people, and one Overall Best in Show Winner selected by Back to the Bricks. Tuesday August 16 BRICKS FLICKS – US23 DRIVE IN GATES OPEN 5PM MOVIE STARTS AT DUSK! ELGA Credit Union is once again

proud to sponsor the 13th anniversary of Bricks Flicks! e family-oriented party at the nostalgic US23 Drive In on Fenton Road will feature a showing of the 1973 sports drama “e Last American Hero” (also known as “Hard Driver”) starring Je

Bridges as NASCAR driver, Junior Johnson. Car enthusiasts gather early to see and be seen and enjoy plenty of fun, food concessions, music and entertainment prior to the FREE movie. Back to the Bricks® Root Beer, T-shirts, hats, posters and other memorabilia will be available for purchase. Due to limited parking and the large number of participants, pop-up canopies must be placed either in front of or behind vehicles and must be taken down when the movie starts. Alcohol and grills are prohibited.

Saturday August 20 OPENING CEREMONY 10AM DOWNTOWN FLINT e Opening Ceremony will begin with a rousing salute to our veterans and active-duty personnel. A Marine Color Guard accompanied by some of America’s nest will march south on Saginaw St. At the same time, a procession of ags and military personnel will march north to the center of Downtown Flint where the two groups will converge. is special ceremony will honor the men and women of the armed forces for their service and sacrice for our country. BttB honors those who protect and defend the freedoms we hold dear, past and present, who made the ultimate sacrice and those who continue to answer the call. Special military aircraft “yovers” will thrill the crowd from high above Saginaw St. e main display area has something for everyone! ousands of the nest classic and custom vehicles, hotrods and dream cars line the streets. Beginning with the Opening Ceremony, you will want to be there to experience the excitement, see the Feature Cars, Drag City, check out the automotive vendors and taste the delicious food that is synonymous with the BttB – one of the nation’s best Classic Car Events. Special this year, the Ally Challenge Presented by McLaren presents hard rock band Count’s 77 on stage at the Flat Lot from 2-3:30pm.

BUICKS ON THE BRICKS For more than seven years, Flint’s Buicktown Chapter of the Buick Club of America has organized Buicks on the Bricks to complement the Big Show. Buicks will be on the bricks of Water St. just two blocks west of Saginaw St. in Flint’s historic Carriage Town District. It is our privilege to highlight the birthplace of General Motors where Billy Durant and J. Dallas Dort began manufacturing carriages in the early 1900s and honor Flint’s decades of Buick production. All Buicks are welcome including show cars, barn nds, modied and works in progress (sometimes the most fun!) Water Street and the Durant-Dort Carriage Company Headquarters parking lot will be lled with Buicks. CORVETTE REUNION Flint, the birthplace of “America’s Sports Car” proudly hosts a National Reunion for Corvette acionados. Hundreds of Vettes will be on display including survivors, customs and restored beauties from every production year. Visit the National Corvette Museum booth near the Durant Hotel. BACK TO THE BRICKS 2022 …





A R T & D E S I G N GRAPHIC DESIGNER Hai ley Worrel l

DEAR READERS, I hope you’ve been enjoying the heat – we’ll be missing these “dog days” soon enough! It has been a beautiful summer and My City was out and about capturing the fun in Greater Flint with great photos.is month, thousands will celebrate Vehicle City at Back to the Bricks® events all over Genesee County and beyond (see details on p.2-3). Amber Taylor, the busy gal in charge, is featured on p.8. She did a great job answering our “7 Questions.” is month’s cover image may not be glamorous, but it represents something unique to Flint and a very special part of the community. Our writer Cheryl Dennison had a great day at Crossroads Village spending time with the Huckleberry Railroad train crew.is attraction – a City’s Choice Award winner – has been a beloved part of the community for …well, it seems like forever! Read the “behind the scenes” story starting on p.10. Even in the face of many challenges, Greater Flint residents have a true sense of community; they reach out and help each other and care about the futures of their cities and neighborhoods. Have you heard of the Genesee Conservation District? It was created to protect Genesee County’s environment and natural resources. Perhaps you could volunteer for their next project – read more on p.14. Reaching out to North Flint youth and families is Active Boys in Christ, a group that oŸers a mentoring program focused on teaching skilled trades, culinary and life skills.ey are changing lives and setting kids up for success. Check it out on p. 18. Success is all about ¡nding your path and being dedicated to the journey. A great example of this is highlighted in our “My Sport” pro¡le of Ellen Tomek – a Flint Powers Cathholic standout and one of only two U of M athletes to compete in three Olympics. What sport? Read more on p.38. Pursuit of a dream can be all-consuming, or it can often get put on hold. Since I was young, I’ve dreamed of learning to ¥y a plane; I even started taking classes decades ago (at Skybolt Aviation), which then took a backseat to my entrepreneurial and community service pursuits. National Aviation Day is August 19 and we have two stories about local pilots and aviation education – pretty inspiring, I must say! at starts on p.52. ere’s a lot more great summer reading in this issue with music, arts, eats, history and our variety of contributed content. Stay cool and enjoy! anks for reading,



STAFF WR ITER Cheryl Denni son





CONTR IBUTING WR ITERS Er in Caudel l Dr. Christopher Douglas Vera Hogan Joel P. Lagore Alexandr ia Nolan Les l ie Toldo Shannon Whi te




5152 COMMERCE RD. FLINT, MI 48507 810.230.1783 © MYCITYMAG.COM ISSN#1559-3436 is published monthly by My City Magazine, Inc., 5152 Commerce Rd., Flint, MI 48507. Canadian Mail Agreement #41971515. For back issues, inquire for availability. Editorial Cor respondence: Address product information and inquiries to: Editorial Department, My City Magazine, 5152 Commerce Rd., Flint, MI 48507, phone 810.230.1783. To authors, photographers, and people featured in this publication: All materials, articles, reports and photographs in this publication are the property of My City Magazine and cannot be used without written permission. Že opinions and conclu sions recited herein are those of the respective authors and not of My City Magazine. My City Magazine is not responsible for returning unsolicited manuscripts, photographs or other materials. Every e‘ort will be made however, to return rejected manuscripts, etc., if they are accompanied by su“cient ”rst-class postage, but the publisher will not be responsible for any loss of such material. Copyright © 2022. All rights reserved. | Printed in U.S.A.







My Community 8 7 Questions with ... Amber Taylor, CTA

My Dining 28 Local Eats & Drinks My Arts 30 Native House Ceramic Co. Evoking the Natural World My Style 36 Summer Trends

Executive Director Back to the Bricks

10 All Aboard!

Behind the Scenes at Huckleberry Railroad

14 Genesee Conservation District Passionate About Natural Resources My Outreach 18 Active Boys in Christ Empowering Our Youth My Eats 22 Beale St. Smokehouse BBQ New Place, Same Great Food My Dish 26 Breakfast for Dinner By Erin Caudell

from Yesteryear By Shannon White My Sports For Love of the Sport My Music

38 Ellen Tomek

46 Vicariant

Tonight, We Live My Story 52 GCI Aviation Academy Giving Students Wings



August 2022



My Hobby 56 Clear Blue Skies Ahead

My Musings 78 Where the Bears Aren’t By Leslie Toldo My Finances 80 To Recession or Not to Recession By Joel P. LaGore My Thoughts 82 The Sound of a Train By Cheryl Dennison My Travels 84 Welcoming the Heat By Alexandria Nolan 86 My Can’t Miss List My Afterthought 88 Woodstock A Time for Peace& Love

Greater Flint Pilot’s Association My History Part 8: A Company Town My Haps


62 The Mayors of Flint

68 7th Annual Flint Water Festival 70 Alley Fest 2022 72 Sloan Museum Grand Opening My Reality 74 Hey, Boomers!

Hold That Thought By Vera Hogan My Econ

76 Gas Tax Holiday

By Dr. Christopher Douglas



A Certi ed Tourism Ambassador for around six years, Amber has been the Back to the Bricks® Executive Direc tor since January 2020. Once chosen for the position, she shifted straight into high gear, coming up with new ideas for growing the event and attracting a younger crowd to appreciate Flint’s rich automotive history. She will be on hand for the Tune Up Week Parties happening around Genesee County during the week of August 8-13 2022. While Amber has been super-busy promoting Back to the Bricks, she took some time to answer a few questions and let us get up-close and personal … read on! 1. WHAT WAS YOUR VERY FIRST JOB? 2.WHAT’SSOMETHINGPEOPLEWOULDN’TGUESSABOUT YOU? I am a daredevil! I love walking on the side of EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, BACK TO THE BRICKS COMPILED BY SHERRON BARDEN Amber Taylor, CTA 7 Ques ons w h … Photo by Mike Naddeo

Instead of taking a college scholarship o’ered to me for track and eld (high jump), I decided to place that on hold; I had some things I needed to work through and college had to wait. So, just one week after graduating from Red Blu’ High School (CA), I went full-blast into a summer job as a basic laborer at Sierra Paci c Industries in Red Blu’ and in four months, worked hard to become the company’s young est female forklift driver. I LOVED it!

danger. Skydiving was on my “Bucket List” so for my 40th birthday, I did it! I jumped from 14,000 feet in Grand Haven over the waters of Lake Michigan. I also love roller coasters and have a need for speed. I had a Yamaha R1 motorcycle and pushed it too many times over 120mph; so I now ride an older, Limited Edition Wide Glide Harley-Davidson. It still has the thrill, but I keep it slow and steady.



3. WHO HAS INSPIRED YOUR CAREER PATH MOST? Honestly, my current career path was set by my parents who both worked full-time jobs while raising a family. My dad was a truck driver, but in his spare time he planned amazing barbecues, grilling our favorite Santa Maria-Style tri-tip, and he enjoyed working on and rebuilding old Chevy trucks. He taught me to drive in a 1981 Ford F250 4-speed, which is the truck

gets me nervous is a yoga class or a resting room. A few years ago, Back to the Bricks had a Flint & Genesee Chamber event at a yoga studio and I had to leave. I started sweating. It was too quiet! I get the creeps being that relaxed and quiet. No thanks, not me. 6. WHAT WOULD WE HEAR YOU SING AT KARAOKE NIGHT? I love singing! I sing with my church in a contem porary rock band called nXt and I BEG my

I currently have and drive with my daugh ter to all Back to the Bricks events. My mom worked in my Grandpa Harvey’s automotive garage that special ized in classic cars and trucks. He worked on a 1966 Plymouth Fury 3 that my mom ended up buying and became the vehicle I drove back and forth to high school. So, cool cars and trucks have been in my life since I was born. 4. HOW WOULD YOUR FRIENDS DESCRIBE YOU? ‰ey always tell me I give too much and oŠer help even when I

friends to go to karaoke. Fun Fact: I auditioned for “American Idol’’ Season 4 and was told by the judges that I need “more conŽdence.” ‰ey probably should not have told me that because when I’m on stage now, it makes me over-the-top! I love in teracting with the crowd and singing songs like “Goodbye Earl” (‰e Chicks), anything by 4 Non-Blondes or Alanis

Morissette, and give me some “It’s Raining Men” or “Why Haven’t I Heard from You” and I am ON FIRE! 7. WHAT IS THE BIGGEST WORK-RELATED THING YOU HOPE TO ACHIEVE IN THE NEXT YEAR? I am working on a project to help highlight the amaz ing statues built and already on display in Genesee County celebrating Flint’s automobile history and industry. I think we need more awareness – more people and more of our youth to hear their stories.‰e amount of history we have right here in our backyard is phenomenal! ®


need it myself; kind, loving, forgiving – someone who will always answer their phone and be there for you whenever or for whatever you need. Compassionate, understanding and always showing empathy for others ... I’m a lover, not a Žghter! 5. IF YOU HAD A WARNING LABEL, WHAT WOULD IT SAY? “WARNING: Doesn’t do well in quiet and tight spaces.” I am loud and not afraid of large crowds. What






All Aboard! Behind the Scenes at Huckleberry Railroad BY CHERYL DENNISON ® PHOTOGRAPHY BY KATY KILDEE There’s no better way to step back into a simpler time than by visiting Crossroads Village and taking a ride on the Huckleberry Railroad. I spent a beautiful, sunny day at the Village to get a behind-the-scenes look at how the railroad works.

During the summer, the train runs three times a day Thursday through Sunday – noon, 2pm and 4pm. The 40-minute ride travels nine miles of track and currently, the train can carry 350 passengers. The Conductors Incredibly cheerful, friendly and knowledgeable, the Huckleberry Railroad Conductors love what they do. Head Conductor Bill Cesaro is often seen playing his ukulele around the Village to entertain visitors. He has been employed there for 23 years, and says he has worked in every building at Crossroads. He previously worked in the model train department at Rider’s Hobby Shop in Flint. “I came out here to do the real thing,” he says with a smile. “My strength is all of these guys (his fel low conductors). Without them, this would be nothing – like a balloon without air.” 

About Huckleberry Railroad It has been said that the Huck leberry Railroad got its name be cause the train ran so slowly that passengers could easily jump off, pick some huckleberries and jump back on again. Part of the Flint Pere Marquette Railroad, it began operating in 1857. The train operates with coal-powered, steam engine loco motives. It currently pulls eight coaches, each numbered and each with its own story. The caboose serves several functions and is where the conductor sits during the train runs. There are several railroad events scheduled throughout the year: Halloween at Crossroads, Christmas at Crossroads, Rail fans Weekend and A Day Out With Thomas™.




“It is a lot of work and there is a lot to it.” JOHN HEWLETT


Lewie Young, second in command, has been a conductor for the last 18 years and says his duties are very important. “ e conductor is in charge of the train,” he explains. “He has control of the train and tells the engi neer where to go and

when to stop.” Ken Lewis, who is third in command, has been a conductor since 1970, after working as a conductor for various other railroads. “Handsome Harry,” now retired, was a conductor for 15

years and the most popular, most requested conductor, according to Cesaro. Now that Harry has retired, Cesaro says Lewie is the most popular. “Everyone

‘Hollywood’ because he always looks good and likes to be on camera. “We are also an entertainment company,” Cesaro points out. “We are actors and just don’t know it. We are the

supporting cast and the train is

of people and teach them histo ry without them even knowing it!” tors serve dou ble-duty, working as janitors, making sure the coaches are swept and cleaned after each run. Note: Conduc

the star of the show.”

What ’s the best thing about being a Huck leberry Railroad conductor? “It ’s the people,” Ce saro says. “We get to meet all kinds

loves Lewie and he’s everybody’s friend. We call Larry Coleman



obstructions such as fallen tree branches and use a variety of controls to operate the train, including throt tles and air brakes. e reman throws coal in the re and pumps in water to cre ate the steam. Among other maintenance items, the brakeman performs an air brake test before the train runs every morning. The Rail Shop Maintenance is a huge priority at Huck leberry Railroad and so is safety. And, it takes

many people to main tain the train. e train engine crew includes 11 workers under the direction of Right of Way Supervisor Mick Kimball. According to Railroad Consultant John Hewlett, all of the mechanical work takes place at the Rail Shop where the steam locomotives are repaired, main tained and restored. The tool room holds an engine lathe, vertical turret lathe machine and a very large air compressor

Getting the Train Ready Getting the train ready for the day involves the engineer, brakeman and reman. On the day of my visit, Daniel Worthy was the engineer on duty, Zach Hebel, Fireman; Logan Jordan, Fire man-in-Training and Larry Poleman was the brakeman. e engineer monitors the train’s speed and ensures that the locomotive runs smoothly. ey observe the track for

“We get to meet all kinds of people and teach themhistory without them even knowing it!” BILL CESARO

Continued on pg. 81 



Grant Awarded to Plant Trees In December 2021, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation granted $140,000 to the Genesee Conservation District to plant 250 trees throughout Flint’s nine wards over the next two years. Tree plantings began in the spring, with a goal of planting 200 in the first year. Planting sites will be based on multiple factors, such as residents’ interest, the pres ence of overhead wires and streetlights, availability of trees from nurseries and the salt tolerance of those trees. GCD Administrator Angela Warren invites residents to request a tree to be planted in the grass strip between the sidewalk and curb in front of their house. She’d also like to hear from neighborhood groups who would work with GCD to plant multiple trees in their neighborhoods. Residents may contact GCD via email at “The benefits of a vibrant urban forest are numerous,” Warren said. “In order to maintain a healthy urban canopy, new plantings are an essential part of the equation. A healthy canopy reduces the amount of heat and humidity in a community, makes city streets more bike and pedestrian friendly, and even lowers the average driving speed.” Source



Genesee Conservation District passionate about natural resources BY CHERYL DENNISON ® PHOTOS PROVIDED BY GCD

E stablished in 1946, the Genesee Conservation District (GCD) was created to protect the environment and natural resources in Genesee County. “We are a grassroots organization,” explains Administrator Angela Warren. “e GCD was formed as a result of the e‚ects of the Dust Bowl in the 1930s. Our aim is to work with landowners and land managers of public and private land to imple ment conservation best management practices.” Like other Michigan Conservation Districts, GCD is governed by a local, publicly-elected, ‹ve-member board serv ing four-year terms.

e GCD is grant-funded and overseen by the Mich igan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. “We have a historical relationship with the USDA and the Natural Resources Conserva tion Service (NRCS), and partner with other local agencies,” Warren states. e GCD works in collaboration with the City of Flint and provides forest manage ment for all city-owned trees throughout Flint. “We o‚er technical assistance,” she adds. “ough we are not a tree service, we do provide property owners with recommendations and in sight about tree care.” 



Another resource the GCD oers the community is educa tion regarding natural resources and available technical services, as well as education about implementing conserva tion best management practices (BMPs).‚e sta includes experts agriculture, soil health, forestry and water qual ity – from large tracts of land to vacant lots, Warren reports.‚ey also educate the public about invasive plant species and wildlife habitat. As an example, someone will call with a question about how to attract more wildlife in their backyard. “We give them advice they can implement on a volun tary basis,” she says. As GCD adminis trator, Warren works with the board of directors, oversees all programs, activities, ‰nances and grant management. ‚e main oŠce on Elms Road is open to the public. “People can come in or we can schedule an who help with tra ditional and urban

appointment to visit with them on-site,” she states. “We are here to serve the natural resource needs of the entire community.” One GCD project takes place annually on Arbor Day, which is the last Friday in April, when they plant trees in city parks. ‚is year, GCD planted 225 seedling evergreens in Pierce Park – red pine, white pine, Norway spruce – with help from 18 community vol unteers. ‚e trees will eventually help block traŠc noise from Dort Highway. In the past, GCD has planted trees in Longway, Cronin and Broome Parks. “Longway Park is now a budding coniferous for est!” Warren exclaims. “Additionally, this past April, we planted 200 trees in Bicentennial Park in Grand Blanc with 60 middle school students from the Perry Innovation Center.” GCD has also done projects on some of the vacant lots in the City of Flint, includ ing tree plantings and

Last spring, the City of Flint was named “Tree City USA,” the Arbor Day Foundation’s national recognition of efforts to keep the community tree-filled and green. This is Flint’s 22nd year receiving the designation. Pictured are (L-R) Betty Wideman (City of Flint), Angela Warren (GCD), Kevin Sayers (Michigan Depart ment of Natural Resources), Jeffrey Johnson (GCD)

installing a pollinator garden. A vacant lot rehabilitation was done at Fifth and Garland Streets, which included benches and a walking path. Volunteers from General Motors worked with GCD on a vacant lot on Second Avenue between Mason Street and Grand Traverse. Currently, GCD is working to com plete the Gilkey Creek

Subwatershed Project. “A walking survey is in process and will point out soil erosion, log jams and how it aects the water žow,”Warren explains. Another aspect of the project includes surveying for pavement that is no longer utilized, making way for a future depaving and green infrastructure installation project. “‚is all leads to better water quality,” she adds.

Continued on pg. 83 



In April 2015, GCD worked with student volunteers from Flint Southwestern Academy to plant hundreds of trees in Longway Park. The photo on pg. 14-15 is of the same growing trees taken in July 2022.

“We are here to serve the natural resource needs

of the entire community.”

Angela Warren, GCD




F ounded in 2017 by Pastor Derrick Watkins of Jachin Bap tist Church in Flint, Active Boys In Christ (ABC) is a mentoring program that works di rectly with children and families. e mission of the charitable organiza tion is to “empower the Flint community youth and families through skilled trades, culinary and life-skills that will promote and celebrate lifelong learning for the success of youth and families.” Pastor Watkins originated the structure

of the program and works closely with his wife Christine Watkins, who is the director. “We introduce youth to skilled trades, life application and charac ter skills,” the Founder reports. “We teach them about honesty, respect and self con dence to help them better interact with society and improve behavior patterns.” ABC oers a sum mer program for Flint area youth ages 7-17 and in particular, those on the city’s north side. e maximum number of participants is 70 and

Above: The ABC program builds camaraderie between participants. Below: A young participant learns to cook.



Our Youth classes are held from 5:45-8pm, ve days a week. is year’s skilled trade focus includes:

include building a wish ing well, a trellis and a †ower box. On Wednes days, the participants cook their own food under the direction of an executive chef. Youth ages 13-17 are working on remodeling two hous es. e project involves installing windows, sid ing, dry wall, electrical, plumbing and cabinetry. From October-April, ABC also oŒers weekly tutoring sessions for youth ages 7-17 in the homework room at Jachin Baptist Church. “We focus on whatev er subject the student is struggling with,” says Watkins. College students, teachers and professionals volunteer to help the students. Something very ex citing is in the works for the ABC organization. ey purchased property on Branch Road, which was an old mobile home community. 

electrical, plumbing, car pentry and culinary arts; character skills such as honesty, forgiveness, respect and compas sion. Classes are taught by volunteers who are licensed in their trades including electricians, carpenters, plumbers and those skilled in the culinary arts. According to Wat kins, an important part of the program is a manda tory parent meeting. “We let parents know what our expectations are for their youth,” he explains, “and we let them know what they can expect from us.” e partici pating youths must also sign a document agree ing to the expectations.

Above: Young program participants are taught carpentry skills. Below: This year, youth ages 7-12 were tasked with building a wishing well.

“We have had great success with this.”

is year, the projects

for youth ages 7-12



Left: This year, youth ages 13-17 are working on remodeling two houses learning window installation, siding, dry wall and more.

“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” Frederick Douglass

“Our hope is to build a youth development training facility there,” Watkins reports. ey are currently working to clean up the property and remove all of the trash and debris. “Our goal is to construct a skilled trades curricu lum-based center to help youth get involved in skilled trades.” e Summer Youth Program has the support of local foundations and donors including the Charles Stewart Mott and Ruth Mott Foundations, Goyette Mechanical, e Parks Founda tion, D&W Windows, McNaughton McKay, Local 948, Kalakay Construction, Inc., William E. Walters, UAW Local 659, Real Estate for a Cause and Jachin Baptist Church.

And, the program is life-changing for the participants. “Over the last six years, the ABC program has impacted over 300 youth!”Wat kins exclaims. Learning a skilled trade gives them the opportunity to earn income with zero school debt, he adds, noting that there is a need for skilled trade workers with so many journeymen now of re tirement age. “If you like to work with your hands you can learn a skill, take it anywhere you want and earn an income.” Watkins says the words of Frederick Douglas ring very true: “It’s easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” He adds, “Our goal is to help build and change our community, one child at a time.” ®

Active Boys in Christ Founder Pastor Derrick Watkins and wife Christine Watkins run the organization.

To volunteer or donate, visit Active Boys In Christ 2715 North Averill Ave., Flint Email: 810.391.2296



MY????? EATS



XX 22


T here’s a place in Fenton where all the meats are cooked “low and slow” and the results are absolutely delicious. Beale St. Smokehouse BBQ recently moved to a new location, the former John’s Pizzeria & Restaurant. Co-owned by Phil Can up and his daughter Lisa Reading, the eatery has been serving real Memphis-style slow-smoked pork, brisket, ribs and chicken since 2006. Until May of this year, Beale St. was located o‡ U.S. 23 Exit 80 behind Smitty’s gas station in Fenton. “It was Lisa’s idea to buy the old Johnny’s,” Canup shares. John’s Pizzeria was a family-owned restaurant that had many loyal and longtime customers for 58 years. “It ’s all about local, family businesses and we want to continue that tradition.”  Same Great Food BY CHERYL DENNISON New Place,



Three large smokers (left) run 24 hours a day. Memphis-style ribs and brisket are customer favorites.



”It was a good move! We want to thank all of the people who supported us through this transition.”

And this business is all about family. Canup’s grand daughter, Emma Reading, is the bartender and grand son, Matthew Reading is the manager. “We consider our sta as family, too,” he admits. “I created the look and feel of the restaurant and Lisa has an extensive background in the restaurant business.” According to Canup, moving to the new location took a lot of hard work and a lot more time than they planned. “We wanted to open in December or January but it was delayed; the City of Fenton required us to do more work on the kitchen,” he explains. “We had to get bids from contractors and approval from the city and redo the kitchen. But when we ‡nally opened for busi ness, it was a lot more eˆcient.‰e kitchen is larger, we have a larger sta and three times as many customers!” ‰e new Beale St. Smokehouse BBQ has a large dining room and a banquet room for rental. “We have already hosted several banquets here,” Canup says. “It’s been really busy. We’ve had a full restaurant and a ban quet going on at the same time.”‰e restaurant also of fers full-service, on-site catering for all kinds of occasions such as wedding receptions, birthdays, corporate events, graduation parties and reunions.‰e full bar has 16 beer taps, 16 seats and a small dining area; it is known for a large variety of Michigan craft beers, bourbon cocktails and specialty drinks served in Mason jars.

For co-owners Phil Canup and his daughter Lisa Reading, Beale St. is all about family.

Continued on pg. 85 



Timmary /



Breakfast for Dinner BY ERIN CAUDELL W hen I was growing up, “breakfast for dinner” was a staple meal. Sometimes when we can’t gure out anything to have for dinner at my house, apple pancakes are a real crowd pleaser. With this recipe, I may have made them a little healthier than what I remember eating as a kid. My grandmother made the original version sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar and the pancakes had chunks of apple in them (which you can still do!) is healthier version cooks up a little quicker and can be made gluten-free by simply using gluten free oats. For breakfast, you could also add a tablespoon of protein powder to the batter for an extra morning “punch” to get you through until the next meal. Apple Pancakes

To Make 1. Put all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. If the batter seems too thick, add a few more tablespoons of oat milk. 2. Heat the griddle and coat with canola oil or vegan butter. 3. Pour batter in 1/3 cup portions, cook 2-4 minutes on each side. 4. Top with maple syrup and/or chopped apples and cinnamon.

Ingredients • ¾ cup unsweetened applesauce • 2 eggs (or flax egg) • ¼ cup unsweetened oat milk • 1 tsp vanilla

• 1 Tbsp maple syrup • 1 1/2 cup rolled oats • 2 tsp baking powder • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

• ¼ tsp allspice • ¼ tsp nutmeg • ¼ tsp salt

Tip This recipe makes 6-8 pancakes, so double up and have extra for the next morning!

Erin Caudell is co-owner of The Local Grocer, a horticulturalist, herbalist and farmer.


Local Eats & Drinks

Cork on Saginaw 635 Saginaw St., Flint


Crust - A Baking Company 104 W. Caroline St., Fenton Fenton Hotel Tavern & Grill 302 N. Leroy St., Fenton Fenton Winery & Brewery 1370 N. Long Lake Rd., Fenton 810.373.4194 Frank’s Hoppy Bistro 3235 W. ompson Rd., Fenton 810.208.7297 Gillie’s Coney Island G-6524 N. Dort Hwy., Mt Morris 810.686.1200 Jersey Mike’s Subs 3409 Owen Rd., Fenton 810.208.7281 5011 Miller Rd., Flint 810.820.6286 1048 E. Hill Rd., Grand Blanc 810.407.6018 810.629.8882 810.750.9463

Andiamo Fenton 102 W. Silver Lake Rd., Fenton 810.354.8446 Beale St. Smokehouse BBQ NEW LOCATION 1492 N. Leroy St., Fenton 810.750.0507

Big Apple Bagels 9434 Lapeer Rd., Davison 8185 Holly Rd., Grand Blanc

810.653.9966 810.695.6063

Brick Street of Grand Blanc 1223 E. Grand Blanc Rd. Ciao Italian Bistro & Wine Bar 110 S. Leroy St., Fenton 810.354.8555 810.603.2114



Mega Classic Diner 4462 Corunna Rd., Flint Twp


Open 24 hours

Redwood Steakhouse Brewery & Grill 5304 Gateway Center, Flint



The Laundry 125 W. Shiawassee Ave., Fenton 810.629.8852 Timothy’s Pub 2890 Robert T. Longway, Flint 810.239.0972 We’reDough 4215 Miller Rd., Flint 810.410.8122




“Made fr m he Ear h, Sm hed wi h Wa er, Kis ed by he Air, and Transf rmed by Fire.”



Above: Meg Bundy in her natural habitat.

At Native House Ceramic Co.,Meg Bundy harness es the beauty, power, durability and forgiveness of the earth and its elements to create timeless inspirations and facsimiles of our planet and our shared ancestral stories. “e Earth is our shared native house,” she states. “We all have an innate ability to live closer to nature.” e Flushing native and Clio High School graduate entered the art world as a painter. “I enjoyed ceramics, but felt I was better at painting than working with clay,”Bundy remembers. As a young student, she took classes at the Flint Institute of Arts and then at Mott Community College, eventually transferring to and graduating from the Univer sity of Michigan-Flint with a Bachelor of Science degree in Art Education. “I taught at Goodrich High School for 12 years and that’s where I re-kindled a love for ceramics. I thought that if I was going to teach it to my students,  Native House Ceramic Co. Ev king he Na ural W rld BY PETER HINTERMAN

Photos Provided by Sugar Le f Photo Co. nd Me Bundy



I should learn more about it,” she says. “I dug out an old kiln that my mom found at a garage sale and a wheel she pur chased for me. e rst pots I made were pretty wonky and uneven,” she laughs. She continued to practice her pottery and paint. “I set up an Etsy shop that I used as a website to display my work,” she says. “I listed my ceramics and they started to sell frequently.”Her individual pieces and ideas were a hit and she began dedicating more and more time to clay. “It became a part-time job and I even started selling my pieces wholesale to an interior design company,” she adds. “I quit my teaching job and took some time to run a community studio in Flushing for about four years. en, the pandemic hit.” It was then that her ceramic business took o and Bundy dedicated herself to her art full-time. Her work has been exhibited at Buckham Gallery and featured in an issue of Country Living magazine . Her creations and collections are unique. Each item, design, picture exists by itself as a one-of-a-kind piece of art,

yet together as part of humanity’s collective unconscious, part of our natural world. (According to psychoanalyst and philosopher Carl Jung, the “collective unconscious” is the deep-rooted, unconscious knowledge and imagery that every person is born with and shared by all human beings due to ancestral experience.) is is by design. Each theme is inspired by nature and our relationship with it. “I’m end lessly fascinated with folklore and creation stories and how ancient humans interacted with the environment,”Bundy explains. “ at ancient interaction is something common to all of us. Our ancestor’s reciprocity with the plants and animals of our world is what connects us.My designs are meant to nd and re-establish that connection.”Her recent collections include “Medusa,”“Strawberry Moon,”“Mush rooms” and “Crow Magic.” Every piece Bundy creates is hand-made, taking sometimes 5-6 hours from start to nish and each piece is singular, never to be repeated. “ ey are intentionally 



Bundy’s designs are inspired by humanity’s shared folklore and connection to nature. Collections represented here are “Strawberry Moon” (above), “Medusa” (right top), “Mermaids” (right) and “An Ode to Bees” (far right).



made to be one-of-a-kind,” she states. “I may redo collec tions now and again, but I will never use the same design. My intention is for them to be heirloom pieces passed down through generations.” Inspired by the Great Lakes, the “Mermaid” collection” is her most recent and features mugs, candlestick holders, sea urchin bowls, nautilus shell match-strikers and goblets with a water-blue glaze of her own creation. In addition to ceramic pieces, the collection includes driftwood wall hangings. “I try to make some thing dierent and unique for each new collection,” she adds. Bundy usually releases a new collection monthly or bi-monthly on social media, and pieces go fast. “Mugs usually sell out within minutes of release,” she says. In the future, Bundy plans to work on and release the “Buttery” and “Tree Magic” collections. “ ere may even be a ‘Big foot’ collection,” she laughs. Meg Bundy never thought she would be able to ded icate her life to art, especially ceramics. “ e gratitude I feel is immense,” she says. “It’s unreal to get to do what I love and I am blown away by the response I have gotten from customers all over the world. I hope my designs inspire people to once again reconnect with our natural world, ancestors and each other.” Visit for one-of-a-kind mugs, vases, palettes, planters and more. For news, updates and collection release information, visit Native House Ceramic Co. on Facebook and Instagram. ® each item, deign, piCture exists by itself As a

Bundy creates a variety of items for everyday use and decoration and there’s always some thing new with each release.

one-of-a-kind piecE of art.




THML Smocked Confetti Flutter-top

Julie Bown Clairemont Halter Dress

Duffield Lane Jordan Top

Allison Natalie Dress

Summer Trends from BY SHANNON WHITE

And maybe (just like us), you’re shaking your head and saying “nope” when you see them! A better, updated oral look can be found at SHIFT in Downtown Flint. Check out the Julie Bown Clairemont halter dress for the perfect summer wedding look. Or the bright colors of the Allison Natalie dress, which are a perfect choice for dinner out or strolling through an art fair. ”e Sugarlips Kailua dress combines a few ‘80s trends that have returned: pu ed sleeves, a oral print and ru—ed skirt.”e large ower pattern keeps your look updated minus the “Laura Ingalls Wilder” vibe. esteryear

R emakes are everywhere right now – from TV shows to movies to music – even history tends to repeat itself. And fashion is no di erent. Styles have a tendency to show up again every few decades. As teens of the ‘90s, some of us wish we had held on to our clothing from that decade. Let ’s take a look at what ’s as trendy now as it was years ago. As they were in the ‘80s and early ‘90s, orals are popular again. Maybe you’ve seen oral dresses in some of the stores lately designed with long sleeves and high necklines reminiscent of “Little House on the Prairie.”



Sugarlips Nani Ruffle Skirt

THML Embroidered Bal loon-Sleeve Top

Sugarlips Kailua Ruffle Dress

Gretchen Scott Ruffle-Neck Sundial Dress

Ah, the ru es! As a young girl in the ‘80s, one of us had a much-loved ru ed skirt; the matching top had “My Little Pony” on the front. Fortunately, we can still embrace ru es today and leave the “kiddie” look behind. Ru es. Are. Everywhere! ƒey are adorning necklines, on sleeves, hemlines, down the front of a top – there’s no limit to where you’ ll †nd them. At SHIFT, we think the ru e trend is so much fun because it is youthful, but you can control how youth ful an out†t is by the placement and number of ru es. ƒe simple ru ed neckline of the Gretchen Scott Sundial dress adds a touch of fun and interest to the elegant silhouette. ƒe neckline and cascading ru es on the THML Smocked Confetti Flutter top are perfect for adding a special touch to your favorite jeans. If you’re really a ru e (and ’oral!) fan, check out the Sugarlips Nani ru ed skirt. It ’s the best way to elevate your favorite tee.

One more trend from yesteryear that we can’t ignore is the pu–ed sleeve. It’s a fun way to add interest to an otherwise basic style, like the striped Du˜eld Lane Jordan top – a great addition to your white jeans for summer. Want to get more creative with your sleeves? You can’t beat the THML Embroidered Balloon Sleeve top.ƒe vibrant colors pair perfectly with any neutral bottom. So, after your next shopping trip, pull on your new fa vorite ru ed, ’oral pu–ed-sleeve top, turn on an episode of your favorite ‘80s or ‘90s sitcom (remember those?) and let the nostalgic memories of a simpler time wash over you. ® Shannon White is an architect, designer and fashionista – a small but mighty cheerleader of all things Flint! Holding both Bachelor of Science and Master of Architecture degrees from the University of Michigan, she is the founder of the FUNchitecture design firm and co-founder of she-powered Downtown Flint retail business, SHIFT.







In the beginning, Ellen Tomek’s rowing goals were rather modest. Not long after starting classes at the University of Michigan in the fall of 2002, the former Flint Powers Catholic basketball and softball standout found herself seeking a new competitive outlet. e answer came in the form of a ier announcing tryouts for the University’s Novice Women’s Rowing Team. “My biggest goal at the time was ƒnding a way to stay ƒt and not experience the weight gain that sometimes hap pens to college freshmen,”Tomek recalls. “I saw the ier for rowing tryouts and felt I would love to be in a sport where you get to drive to a lake to practice, because I spent so much time on the water growing up. So, it was a great way to stay in shape, meet new people and avoid putting on the ‘Freshman 15’ pounds.” Tomek, who treasures time spent at her grandfather’s cabin on Avalon Lake in Hillman, made the squad and accomplished that goal. She didn’t gain an ounce and was soon dreaming bigger dreams. From that point, Tomek began a crazy ascension in the sport, pursuing and realizing ever loftier goals. In a mere six years, she transformed from novice to Olympian. By the next season,Tomek was promoted to the Second Varsity Eight boat. As a senior, she moved up to the First Varsity Eight, made Second-team All-Big Ten, Sec ond-team All-American and was named Michigan’s Rower of the Year. Later that same year (2006),Tomek made the ƒrst of 11 appearances in a Team USA uniform, placing fourth in the pairs competition at the U23 World Champi onships with former Michigan teammate, Stesha Carle. e next year, Tomek competed in her ƒrst World Championships, ƒnishing sixth in quadruple sculls. At the 2008 Olympics, she placed ƒfth in double sculls with partner, Megan Kalmoe. By the time Tomek ƒnally retired last year, she had placed in the top ten at three Olympic Games and in the top six at ƒve World Championships, including two medals. She also won ƒve Rowing World Cup medals and was named 2017 Female Rowing Athlete of the Year by US Rowing. 


At the recent Tokyo Olympics, Tomek (front) with Meghan O’Leary, Alie Rusher and Cicely Madden finished 10th in quadruple sculls.



celebrate a win for too long or spend too much time dwell ing on a loss, you are going to get caught o guard by the competition during the next race. It’s crucial to stay focused on preparing for each individual race.” Mark Rothstein, who recently completed his 31st season as U of M’s head rowing coach, vividly recalls the freshman from Flushing who took to the sport like, well, like a sh takes to water. “We never recruited Ellen and had no idea who she was until she made the team at that open tryout, but she was a really good athlete and began developing as a rower,” he says. “Sometimes, a talented basketball or volleyball player wants to try rowing, but does not always respond to the very demanding training. Ellen really took to the training, kept getting better and I knew she would continue getting better after she left Michigan.”At U of M,Tomek helped the Wolverines win a Big Ten championship and third-place nish at the NCAA Championships her sophomore year, and take eighth at the NCAA Championships as a junior. As a senior, she was in the third seat on the First Varsi ty Eight boat which was second at the Big Ten Champion ship and sixth at the NCAA Regional. “I became really motivated to work my way to the First Varsity Eight,” Tomek says. “I really looked into the numbers and concentrated on how I beat my previous performance the next time. Over time, a lot of learning from coaches and teammates and extra work like studying video paid o .” All that work resulted in Tomek dropping her best time in a six-kilometer time trial by over a minute during practice in her senior year which prompted a question from Rothstein. “Have you ever thought about making the national team?” “I was like ‘Honestly, no. Not until right now’ because I had not been close to fast enough,”Tomek recalls. “After that, I began thinking how I could make that happen.” Tomek and Carle were among those invited to US Rowing’s U23 Selection Camp which began about three weeks after Tomek’s college career ended. Not only were both picked for the World U23 Championships in July of 2006, but they were paired with each other. 


Tomek and hurdler Ti any O li-Porter are the only female University of Michigan athletes who have competed in three Olympics. e 38-year-old, who now lives in Hollister, CA has continued receiving accolades in retirement. In April, e Michigan Daily , Michigan’s campus newspaper, includ ed Tomek in an article entitled “5 Impactful Wolverine Women,” along with the likes of Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President Susan Collins and 20-term U.S. House of Representatives member, Marcy Kaptur. In June, Tomek learned she is a member of U of M’s 2022 Hall of Honor class. “For me, the Hall of Honor is an incredible honor because it’s a re’ection of my entire career and not just a moment in time like a race medal is,” she says. “It’s really a special appreciation and recognition for what I’ve accomplished as a whole. Being part of the article about Michigan’s most impactful women also meant a great deal because it’s a reminder of the in’uence you can have by being successful over a long period of time.” And the secret to that success? “Overall, for me, it was just dedication and a love of the sport,”Tomek says. “Also important is the ability to regulate your emotions and handle all the highs and lows. If you At U of M, Tomek was named second-team All-Big Ten, second-team All-American and Michigan’s Rower of the Year in her final season.



Made with FlippingBook - Online Brochure Maker