A special "Thank You" to everyone that sent me a birthday card on the 14th of March—my 90th birthday. I received 159 cards as of yesterday, April 8, 2019. How wonderful that was!
I also want to thank Catherine Miniolli for the very nice article she wrote about me. I didn't realize so many people knew me.
Again, thanks to everyone. It was so nice of you! All my love and thanks again!
April 17, 2019
On a very frequent basis I hear how white people have been the beneficiaries of "white privilege." I am not sure what that really means as those who make the charge have never defined the term. There is just the accusation that successful white citizens are the beneficiary of "white privilege."
I have given some thought about this and have come to the conclusion that I am not such a beneficiary. I have tried to think what has led to my having a successful career in law. I think it started with my mother's parents who scrimped, saved and worked their fingers to the bone on their family farm so that they could send their daughter to the University of Michigan in the early 1930s. Those were depression days and I vividly recall my grandmother telling me that there were times when she and my grandfather didn't have two dimes to rub together. Both of them were uneducated; my grandfather leaving school after the 8th grade to go to work and my grandmother quitting school at age 13 to help raise her siblings as her mother had died and, being the oldest, she had to run the household. Yet they believed in education and saw to it that my mother obtained one.
I grew up in what I'd describe as a lower middle class household. My father ran a business and my mother was the homemaker. The best year of his life my father only earned about $4,000.00. Yet in the 1950s that was enough, if you pinched pennies, to put food on the table, clothes on your back and once in a while bring home a 6 pack of Pepsi for the kids. Mom made clothes for both myself and my sister. When there were holes in the knees of our Levis we didn't get new pants but instead got patches. We went to school that way and did so without shame or embarrassment because that's just the way life was and there were lots of other kids just like us.
When I was old enough to work (my first social security withholding was in 1952 when I was 11 years old) I went to work washing dishes in a restaurant or helping my Dad in his business by shoveling coal and stacking sacks of fertilizer. I also mowed lawns for pocket money. Later I worked for the DPW of Imlay City and recall standing in human waste up to my waist, in a rubber suit, scraping down the walls of a below ground storage room for sewage at the sewage disposal plant for $1.35/hour. I knew then I was at the absolute bottom of the economic ladder and had no place to go except up.
My parents stressed the importance of education which, more than anything I believe, led me to a path of success. My mother brainwashed me so that when I was asked what I was going to do after high school my reply was "go to the University of Michigan." Not go to college but go to the University of Michigan. I did go to U. of M. and with financial help from my parents as well as student loans and part-time work I got through college and law school.
Do I feel privileged? Well, in a sense I do in that I had parents and grandparents who saw the value of education and hard work and instilled those values in me. Do I think I was privileged in the sense that I was given something that I didn't earn? The answer is no. I worked to pay off my college loans. I spent the many long hours in the library or in my room studying so that I could get my degree. I gave up the instant gratification of going to work in an auto factory after high school and earning a good wage allowing me to buy "stuff" and live the good single life.
Did I have opportunities that were not available to some people of color in our country at that time? I have to be honest and say of course. The southern states of our country were hot beds of segregation and racial bigotry. It is self evident that blacks, at that time in the nation's history, had a greater difficulty in taking advantage of the opportunities offered by this nation. I don't accept that the same was necessarily true in the northern states. Imlay City was a bi-racial community when I grew up. U. of M. had students of all races as well as students from around the world in attendance. I would admit it may have been easier for me to open the door of opportunity than it was for some others. However I refuse to feel guilty about whatever success I have achieved. I decline to accept the notion that I was given something that I didn't earn because of the color of my skin. The color of my skin does not define my life and I refuse to allow those who rant about "white privilege" to cause me to disparage what I have achieved through my own efforts.
—John L. Lengemann
April 17, 2019
The Lapeer County Bar Association is proud to offer its fourteenth annual scholarship in the amount of $2,000 to a high-achieving Lapeer County high school senior to assist that student in pursuing a law-related career.
Applications and information on eligibility requirements are available through any Lapeer County High School Counselor's Office, at the Lapeer County Prosecutor's Office, 255 Clay Street, Lapeer, MI 48446 or by contacting Judge Byron Konschuh at 810-245-4817.
Selection criteria will include academic achievement, extracurricular activities, community involvement—including either volunteer work or work experience—and financial need.
Completed applications must be sent and received at the above address or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org prior to Friday, May 10, 2019. All applications will be reviewed by the Lapeer County Bar Association Scholarship Committee, and the finalists will be contacted for interviews to be held on Wednesday, May 15, 2019. The scholarship will be awarded by May 31, 2019.
—Bernard Jocuns, President
April 11, 2019
In a breach of propriety a congressman from Florida yelled out during President Obama's State of the Union address "You lie" referring to the president's comments regarding his healthcare plan reducing costs. That the congressman spoke the truth has been forgotten.
Last year Governor Whitmer, during one of the campaign debates, labeled the claim by her Republican opponent that she would increase the gas tax by 20 cents per gallon, as ridiculous. Her denial, while true, was misleading. She actually wants to raise it 45 cents per gallon not the 20 cents she was accused of. Nothing like honesty from a politician.
That's not her only tax grab. She wants to tax all small businesses with a 6% tax to pay for, in part, her give-away to retired government employees by making their pensions not subject to Michigan Income Tax. All other persons with income from retirement plans will pay income tax on their benefits. Only retired government employees won't. All taxpayers are equal but some are more equal than others.
—John L. Lengemann
April 11, 2019
The 2019 4-H Spring Achievement/Style Revue was held recently at the North Branch American Legion Hall in North Branch.
Evening honors for youth included:
•4-H Ambassador Court: Senior Ambassador Emma Bloss, Sydney Gavan, Isaac Conley, Sydney Kapushinski, Brittany Evans
Junior Ambassadors: Avis Schapman, Xavier Hosler, Addison Schultz
•Capitol Experience: Sydney Gavan
•Jr. Agricultural Society Members: Amber Spudowski
•Key Club: Isaac Conley, Sydney Kapushinski
•National 4-H Congress: Isaac Conley
•Great Lakes Natural Resource Camp: Abigael Fox, Avis Schapman
•County Awards Medal Winners: Agriculture- Emma Bloss; Citizenship- Sydney Kapushinski; Achievement-Isaac Conley, Brittany Evans; Leadership -Isaac Conley, Sydney Gavan, Sydney Kapushinski
•Project Medal Winners: Swine-Amber Bennett, Rowan Conley, Mackenzie Johnston; Horses-Brittany Evans; PEP-Sydney Kapushinski; Sheep-Xavier Hosler, Avis Schapman; Rabbits-Emma Bloss; Cats-Emma Bloss; Camp Counseling-Sydney Gavan; Poultry-Amber Bennett; Food/Nutrition- Brittany Evans; Hobbies & Collections-Alexis Hedgcock; Vet. Science- Emma Bloss; Recycled Crafts-Avis Schapman; Horticulture/Gardening- Alexis Hedgcock
•Cover Design Contest: 1st-Abigael Fox; 2nd- Sabrina Kosa
Lapeer County 4-H State Awards Participant: Arianna Wright-Mark of Excellence
•Teen Council Representatives: Abigael Fox
The Lapeer County 4-H Program also recognized adult volunteers, clubs, and outstanding supporters of 4-H at the Spring Achievement program.
4-H clubs were recognized with a $50 award for outstanding programming. North Branch Finish Line Swine received honors for the Best Club Educational project; Busy Beavers 4-H Club won the Best Fun & Social Award and Rough Riders International won the Project Group Community Service Award.
A special award was given to honor Friends of 4-H. It went to Jennifer Hiltz, Jim Riehl's Friendly Chrysler, Lapeer and Virginia Sheeks.
4-H volunteers are all extraordinary people who do extraordinary things to help kids, but every year the 4-H Program honors volunteers who have gone above and beyond by recognizing them as 4-H Leaders of the Year. This year the honor went to Thresa Schumitsch, volunteer leader of the Young Pioneers 4-H club. Outstanding Lifetime Leader Award was awarded to Virginia Ankley, leader in Moo Crew.
Elizabeth Schumitsch, a project leader in Young Pioneers 4-H club, received the Meritorious Leader Award.
—Kathy George, 4-H Youth Program Coordinator
April 02, 2019
The 26th Celebrity Autographs Auction will be held on Friday, April 5 from 5:30-9 p.m. at the Lapeer Center Building. This 4-H fundraiser will have more than 350 autographed items such as balls, CDs, books, comic art, sticks, cards, posters and photographs up for grabs. For a detailed auction flier, call 810-667-0341 or email email@example.com.
The 4-H Spring Auction follows on Sat., April 6 with thousands of items of merchandise, business services and collectibles. Admission is free for both.
Examples of the autographed items available on Friday include four game-used, signed Red Wing sticks, Priscilla Presley book, Magic Johnson, Bobby Hull, Jim Palmer, Tim Allen jerseys, Hershel Williams photo and Iwo Jima sand.
Autographs from YoYo Ma, Kelly Clarkson, Joan Baez, Pat Boone, Mary Wilson, Leann Rimes, Doly Parton, President George H.W. Bush, President Jimmy Carter, Colin Powel, Theresa May, Tony Blair, Angela Merkel, and more are up for grabs.
We look forward to seeing you at the auctions!
—Dyle Henning, 4-H volunteer
April 02, 2019
It seems that the Almont DDA (that many of us only very recently rose up in defense of) wants to get rid of the majestic spruce that graces our four corners. The article on page 15-A in last week's issue doesn't state what exactly is the problem with it. Is it unwell? Is it a hazard? Has the village's insurance company found it to be, oh no!, an unacceptable risk? It seems only that it is doing what God and nature intended it to do. It grew. It thrived. It became a focal point in the community. And so it must go, to be replaced (in the same spot, mind you) by a much smaller, punier version of itself (which hopefully will not grow, thrive, or become a focal point). Maybe they should replace it with, wait, I've got it! an artificial tree, guaranteed not to grow, or thrive, or do much of anything, certainly not capture our awe or wonder. Maybe we should replace *all* the trees with artificial ones. How many times have those been replaced, DDA? More than once, I know, and still they grow, and make a mess! What is it with nature anyway? Is the DDA just trying to make work for itself? To justify its existence?
May we remind the short-sighted DDA that many of us, not so very long ago, when asked to contribute to the memorial tree's upkeep, did so. If they pursue this folly, I, for one, want a refund.
Editor's note: DDA Director Kim Schall said the tree is a public safety concern as it is starting to lean at the top toward M-53, and pine trees have shallow roots. The electric service for lighting the tree is also "maxed out," therefore the lights flash on and off throughout the season. Schall also indicated that the owner of the Speedway station, where the tree is planted, had to pay thousands of dollars to relocate their sewer system because of the tree, and it was their wish to have the tree come down. For more information about the situation, email Schall at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the DDA office 810-798-8125.
April 02, 2019
The Sacred Heart Altar Society would like to thank the following people and organizations for making our St. Patrick's Day lunch such a wonderful success this past Sunday.
The Imlay City Knight's of Columbus Queen of Peace Council 4556, especially Louis Parsch, for all their wonderful help and the use of their hall, all the volunteers who worked countless hours on this lunch, all those who attended, and the following donors for their generous contributions:
Subway Restaurant, Tractor Supply, Nacho's Mexican Restaurant, Tubby's Submarines, our Imlay City Ford Dealer, our Imlay City Auto, The Print Shop in Imlay City, the Lumberjack Shack, Milnes Chevrolet, Kempf's Imlay City Florist, Shear Hair, Joy's Nails, Jet's Pizza, Jalisco Mexican Foods, Renaissance Gems, Hungry Howie's, Day Farms and Greenhouse, Grondin's, Jacqui King, Woods-N-Water News, Imlay City Family Hair Care, Imlay City Pizza Machine, Ed Spicuzza, James McCarley, Jeanette Chick, Linda Blaszczyk, Parsch's Automotive, Mary Hunter, LJ Nails, Virginia Guzowski, and last but certainly not least…Chef Matt Romine for his excellent preparation of our corned beef and cabbage lunch!
—Sacred Heart Parish of Imlay City
March 27, 2019
The 26th annual Celebrity Autographed Items Auction will be held Friday night, April 5, from 5:30-9 p.m. at The Lapeer Center Building. This event will have over 350 autographed items such as balls, CDs, books, comic art, sticks, cards, posters and photographs. For a detailed auction flyer, call 810-667-0341 weekdays or email email@example.com. Check the website www.auctionzip.com; enter zip code 48446 and go to April calendar.
The Spring Auction for 4-H is Saturday, April 6 with several thousand items of merchandise, business services and collectibles. Admission is free for both. Examples of the 350 people whose autographs included Friday night are:
Special items: Four Game-used signed Red Wing sticks; Priscilla Presley book; Magic Johnson, Bobby Hull, Jim Palmer, and Tim Allen jerseys; Hershel Williams photo and Iwo Jima sand.
Music: Yo Yo Ma, Kelly Clarkson, J. Baez, Pat Boone, Mary Wilson, L. Rimes, Dolly Parton.
Politicians: Pres. George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter, Colin Powell, Theresa May, Tony Blair, Angela Merkel.
Writers/Media: Archer, Garry Trudeau, George Will, Jim Davis, Barbara Walters, D.Macomber
Movies/TV: Mark Harmon, B. Bardot, A. Alda, D. Reynolds, Sophia Loren, Martha Stewart, Glenn Close, T. Chong, L. Bacall.
Others: Giseke Bundchen, Duchess of York, Elie Wiesel, RE Cole (Doolittle Raiders), Charlie Duke, Jane Goodall.
Sports: Izzo, K. Kuzma, J. Harbaugh, Shaq, George Foreman, Lorenzo White, Dantonio, Nicklaus,
Reggie Jackson, Michelson, D. Bing, M. Andretti, Cazzie Russell, G. Howe, T. Tebow, Berra, A. Trammell, Jack Morris, Nolan Ryan, Abdul-Jabbar, T. Lindsay, Mark Martin.
March 27, 2019
For over two years the public has been subjected to the constant drumbeat of how Trump conspired with Russians to steal the 2016 election. Democrats, in general, have gleefully awaited the gold seal Mueller Report in anticipation of Trump, his associates and family members doing the "perp walk" while handcuffed and on their way to jail. The comments from the national media (CNN & MSNBC primarily and NBC, CBS and ABC as well) plus commentators such as Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews and Joe Scarborough as well as the outright lies of congressmen Adam Schiff, Jerald Nadler and Eric Swalwell asserting there was clear evidence, not yet released to public view, that guarantees Trump is a Russian agent who conspired with Russia to steal the 2016 election turned out to be untrue. These kinds of comments were offered repeatedly but always without supporting evidence. The obvious intent was to repeat it enough times that perception becomes the truth. Even the New York Times wrote in 2018 "Simply put, Trump is a traitor and may well be treasonous."
Chris Matthews bemoaned the conclusions of the Mueller Report claiming he couldn't understand how Mueller couldn't see what was so evident to Matthews. Mueller had the benefit of testimony of 500 witnesses, 2,800 subpoenas served and over $25 million spent on an investigation. Matthews had only his inherent biases and they are, of course, far more accurate than any investigation.
Former head of the CIA John Brennan has publically called Trump a traitor. Acknowledged liar James Clapper, former head of the National Security Agency, has claimed Trump was a Russian agent. No evidence was ever provided but the statements were from individuals who held extremely high government positions and upon whom the public should be able to trust. Will there be any apologies from either of these two slugs? Highly unlikely.
Will there be any consequences to any of the persons for their outright lies to the American people for over two years? The answer is almost certainly no. Instead it is time to "move on" and not linger in the past without even acknowledging the past mistakes (lies). The public is required to forget all the things said by these persons, as well as so many others. Forget what was stated as "the old truth" and now accept as accurate the "new truths" without ever evaluating the source of both.
Is this the end of this nightmare? I think not. It is not even the beginning of the end. It is the end of the beginning and now Democrats, liberals and all Trump haters will move on to something else in their quest to undo the 2016 election. Unwilling to accept the results from the ballot box these groups will continue to pursue the President, even if he is re-elected in 2020. And who will reap the results of this vendetta? The American public whose needs and interests are ignored in the Democrats' raw quest for power.
—John L. Lengemann
March 27, 2019