Saturday, October 31, 2009

Squint Shot 103109

A few fields north of town had some "rogue" corn sprouting up amongst the wheat. So next year, when crops are rotated, will there be some rogue wheat battling for space in the rows of corn?

Snack-urday 138

Here's a ghoulish drink to enjoy while handing out candy to the neighborhood children!
Bloody Ghoul
Serves one – so double up to be sociable on Halloween.
6 ounces Clamato juice
2 teaspoons lime juice
1 dash hot sauce
1 ounce vodka
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Lawry's seasoning salt (there is NO substitute for Lawry's - unless you want it really hot - then use Old Bay Seasoning)
1 stalk of celery
Rim a glass with lime juice and seasoning salt. Fill glass with ice, add all ingredients and stir.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Squint Shot 103009

Still more to harvest. This picture was taken a couple weeks ago and now I'm wondering if the remaining field has been harvested. I'll have to head north of town again to check it out.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Squint Shot 102909

All around Fowlerville, silos can be spotted. This one, lovingly referred to as "silo city," can be found a few miles north of Fowlerville.
Have you ever wondered where the word "silo" came from? It can be traced back to the Greek word "siros" meaning "a pit to keep corn in." It is also found in the Roman Iberian language by the word "zilo" meaning "dugout, cave or shelter for keeping grain."

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Squint Shot 102809

Many of this past year's squint shots have focused in on barns -- some in great shape, some not so much. But until this particular picture, my camera had not captured what I refer to as "half a barn." It is as if storage was needed, but not a full-size, 2 to 3-story tall building. This barn was particularly interesting due to the roof shingles being held in place by vines growing over the entire building.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Squint Shot 102709

For your viewing pleasure, "Gladiator Pride," courtesy of the Athletics Office in the high school. Walk into that office and you are inundated with pictures of students and all of the great sport activities that happen on a daily basis. The west wall has the current year's activities. The north wall has some of the stand-out activities from the last few years. And then the east wall is full of individual sport-style portraits. The whole area is a feast for the eyes.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Squint Shot 102609

Yesterday's squint shot showed a field cleaned off of its crop -- today's shows a healthy crop of corn waiting, gently moving in the breeze.
All I could imagine was how these would decorate my porch for Halloween!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Squint Shot 102509

The next few days of squints shots will focus on more of the outskirts of Fowlerville. After all, this is a community based in agriculture. So today's squint shot begins with a freshly-shorn field with the colors autumn framing it.


I'm getting ready for another full week of work. How about you?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Squint Shot 102409

The Fowlerville Depot was a bustling place 60 or more years ago, but now it serves as an "office" of sorts for the railroad company. If ever rail service becomes an accessible mode of transportation, will Fowlerville see this bustling once again?

Snack-urday 137

Remember how much fun it was to make caramel apples? Well, here is that very easy recipe.

6 small apples
1 package caramels (14 oz.)
1/2 cup chopped nuts
6 popsicle sticks


1) Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper. Empty nuts onto the paper and divide into six equal heaps. Leave as much space as possible between each heap.

2) Wash and dry the apples. Twist off the stems and push popsicle sticks half way onto the apples where the stems used to be.

3) Melt the caramels in the microwave or a saucepan over low heat.

4) Dip apples in the melted caramel to coat. Use a knife to help cover the whole apple. Place each apple, stick side up, onto a heap of nuts and roll over to cover.

5) Refrigerate until the caramel is firm, about 1/2 hour.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Just Hanging Around

Excitement comes in all shapes and sizes, and the other day at the library, it was about 3-4" long and hanging from the ceiling.

Somehow a bat had found its way into the Fowlerville Library . . . no doubt looking for a spooky, hair-raising Halloween story. But what he found was a lot of chatter and anxiousness.

And all at his expense, as it turned out.

While he quietly hung from the ceiling figuring out what book to check out, a couple fireman, a policeman, and 2 village employees gathered around him. Everybody else seemed to be standing quite a ways back waiting to see what happened.

But lucky for all, the bat included, he wiggled his way into a brown paper bag held up so nicely by one of the fireman and he went for a trip out the door, down the sidewalk, out to the road, and was allowed to go on his merry way. All of this to the grateful applause of the patrons.

And, once again, peace and quiet reigned both inside and outside. But for just a little while, Halloween fun had visited the Library . . . even if it was a week too early.

Squint Shot 102309

Weather-worn wood has a beauty all its own. Even though this looks in need of great repair or restoration, there will always be something fascinating about it to me. As in, what did it look like brand-spanking new? Who used it? When was it actually built? This window can be spotted from the parking lot on Mill and South Second Streets.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Squint Shot 102209

Today I am offering up 3 squint shots -- 3 shots I would like to call the "circles of harmon" -- bricks placed in circular-type patterns in the huge 3-story building at the corner of North Grand and Grand River Avenue. Enjoy the artistry of long ago.As mentioned before, look up once in awhile -- you never know what you might notice.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Squint Shot 102109

All summer long, this wagon is parked at the corner of Van Buren and South Fowlerville Roads. And how lucky are we. This year there was the kind of corn on the cob you just can't get enough of. And the most wonderful thing about this little operation? It is all on the honor system. You bag your own corn then slip the appropriate amount of money in the can. I'm already looking forward to next summer's offerings.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Squint Shot 102009

Three squint shots for the price of 1 . . . oh, wait . . . these are free to begin with.


The next 3 shots show the north side of the building that houses Olden Days at street level and storage for The Decorating Center on the second floor, formerly a part of a stage area for opera and shows. My question . . . do you see a shadow of wording on the side of the building? What do you suppose that once showed? I have made out what looks like "co-op" but not even sure about that. And then there looks to be some cursive-style writing.
Any ideas?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Snowball Effect

Janet Martindale used to spend at least 45 minutes to one hour packing and repacking one "care" package to send to her son, Chris, who is stationed in Afghanistan as a Lead Corpsman. That doesn't count the time she spent collecting the items and then getting the box to the post office. But none of that mattered . . . she was doing this out of love for her son and wanting him to experience a bit of "home" while he served his tour of duty.

Well . . .

Those care packages from home became a huge hit with him. Not only for him, though, but also those around him. He wouldn't open that box up and keep everything to himself. He shared.

But one day he mentioned to his mom there were others under his lead that never received anything from home. He had already told her how conditions in Afghanistan are different than anything he has ever experienced. Socks desintegrate and rot off their feet from slogging through wet countryside, showering or bathing opportunities are few and far between, warm bottled water is the only drink of choice, and meals are the same day after day after day. It was his way of asking for plain white socks, wipes, powder to flavor the water, and treats.
So, Janet began sending a few more boxes whenever possible. But at a cost of $11.40 postage/box and the amount of money it took to purchase items to go in the box, her resources limited her desire.

Until she made an offhanded comment to our good friend, Bruce BeVier. That is where the snowball was packed and started rolling downhill.

With a flurry of e-mails, phone calls, and a network of friendships and students wanting to help, in a few short weeks, money was collected, items purchased, and yesterday, in the basement of the United Methodist Church on South Second Street, 50 boxes were assembled, taped up, labeled, stacked, and made ready for delivery to the post office at 5:30 this morning. The numbers will never be accurate of all that showed up because workers came and went, but you can be assured there were at least 50 people helping out. One person for every box going to servicemen in Afghanistan. And, oh the goodies they are receiving. It may not seem like much to us but to them, these wipes will afford them a chance to wipe off some of the dirt and grime at the end of the day.And these snacks of candy bars, gum, salty snacks, licorice, powder to add to their water, hot chocolate mix, soup mix will enhance their meals. And packed deep inside each box, they will each find 4 pairs of white socks.
And a card of thanks.
Janet Martindale, along with her husband and Chris' dad, Mike, and their two other sons, Chad and Dan (Mike and Dan shown in above picture) now know the power of a single comment, or one little snowball.
But it doesn't end with Sunday's packing party. Chad, the son not in attendance, is away at school and mentioned to his fraternity what was happening in Fowlerville. They are now packing and sending 30-40 boxes to Afghanistan. And with more items donated than could be packaged into all the individual boxes, a large container will be packed with Ziploc bags filled with goodies to share with the Aghan children.
The snowball just keeps getting bigger. But it all comes back to Chris, serving 4 years in the military, with hopes of heading to Michigan State University next fall to work toward becoming an orthodontic surgeon because in his words, he "would like to be a quality surgeon instead of a quantity surgeon." And it comes back to Janet. A mother just wanting her son to feel a little bit of "home" wherever he is in the world.

Squint Shot 101909

The last couple of days this site has questioned a few "doorways to nowhere" and, of course, I couldn't stop at 2. Here's one more. Any thoughts where it might be located?

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Squint Shot 101809

Check out yesterday's squint shot for my mysteries of "doorways to nowhere." Anyone have a guess where this one might be located? It would appear Fowlerville buildings have a long and varied history of different entrances for each and every building. Any thoughts?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Snack-urday 136

Healthy snacks . . . that is the subject for today's Snack-urday. Kids and adults alike will benefit from this snack due to the high content of potassium found in bananas.


3 bananas
6 Popsicle sticks
1/4 cup natural peanut butter, softened
1/4 cup chopped peanuts or walnuts, granola, crispy rice cereal, or sunflower seeds

How: Peel the bananas. Cut them in half, widthwise, and push a Popsicle stick through the cut end of each half. Spread peanut butter on the bananas, and then roll them in the nuts, cereal, or seeds. Wrap them in waxed paper and freeze for three hours.

Why: A single pop contains 16 percent of the recommended daily dietary-fiber intake for an adult. The potassium content of the bananas can help reduce bloating in mom, while the peanut butter and nuts or seeds provide fiber and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.

Squint Shot 101709

Over the last 9 months, since starting this website cateloguing all the wonderful things to be found in Fowlerville, I have found doorways to nowhere. Now I could make this very easy for you by giving you links to at least 2 previous doorways to nowhere, but I would love to have you look through all of my squint shots. Maybe this one would entice you to do so. Today and for two more squint shots, I will be showing doors you would not want to take that first step out of. Anyone have an idea where this one is?

Friday, October 16, 2009

Squint Shot 101609

The sun shone brightly and glinted off the large windows at the center atrium of the junior high school. I was almost tempted to head indoors to see how much that area was warming.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Squint Shot 101509

The buses can be spotted, those big yellow boxes, every morning and every afternoon toting students to and from school. I just hope the bus drivers get a pat on the back every now and again for their commitment to the kids and the safe driving record they provide to the community.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Squint Shot 101409

This is hardly a squint shot since it encompasses nearly an entire building. But this building, which formerly housed the school's administration offices, is very important. It is the future home of the Family Impact Center. There is a lot to do, though, before this building can be put to use. And with that, comes a fundraiser. The 6th Annual Benefit Dinner/Auction will be held Saturday, November 7th at the St. Agnes Parish Life Center, 855 East Grand River, from 6-9 pm. If you are interested in attending, tickets can be purchased by calling 517.223.4428. And if you are interested in donating for the auction, dial that same number! The Family Impact Center has made a difference in this community, especially during these rough economic times. The work these volunteers perform is invaluable. Open your purse strings and your heart, and be a part of what makes this community home.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Squint Shot 101309

Autumn has arrived in mid-Michigan, as evidenced by the changing leaf colors. Earlier this year, these trees (maybe even some are the same) were one of The Ville's squint shots, which you can find by clicking here to see how they looked in March. From barren to colorful in the spanse of just a few months.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Squint Shot 101209

Travels took me north on Thrun Road from the Howell/Mason Road. Wildlife was everywhere . . . in the fields taking a break . . . . . . and in the road, making me slow down temporarily. This guy was the last in a line of 6 pheasants lingering in the road until they heard my truck. Then they were off and running.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Say Your Prayers

Such concentration . . .

Squint Shot 101109

Christmas may be a couple months away but the old DPW building already (or still) has decorations ready to be lit up.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Snack-urday 136

I happened to google for a pumpkin soup recipe and this is what I found at DC Fud site. It looks like one to add to my repertoire . . . how about you?

One fresh butternut squash or pumpkin
One medium-sized onion
One or two tart apples (Granny Smith, Braeburn, etc.)
Stock of your choice
Thai Curry Paste

These are your five main ingredients, but you’ll also need some salt, pepper, a little cinnamon, and some cream (or half & half) to finish with.

First off, cut the butternut squash (or pumpkin) in half lengthwise, and remove the seeds & “strings.” Put the squash (or pumpkin) halves cut side down on a sheet pan, and put in the oven for about forty-five minutes at three hundred seventy-five degrees. While the squash is roasting, peel and dice the onion and the apples in a small dice. To keep the apples from browning, you can put them in a bowl of water with a little bit of lemon juice until they’re needed.

Once the squash (or pumpkin) is finished roasting, remove it from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes. Scoop the squash out of the skin, and put it in a bowl temporarily. Heat some butter or oil in a heavy saucepan and sauté the onion until translucent but not brown. Once the onions are sautéed, add some curry paste, squash, and the apple, and mix thoroughly. Add the stock of your choice, and bring the whole mixture to a boil. Once the mixture has come to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer it until the apples, squash, and onion are tender (about fifteen to twenty minutes).

Using a blender (immersion or regular), blend (or purée) the soup until it is a uniform consistency. Add some salt, pepper, a little cinnamon (little is the operative word here, as you don’t want this to be a sweet soup) and some cream (or half & half). The cream will add some body, and also lighten the soup’s colour. Taste and adjust seasonings, curry paste, etc.

Serve with some crunchy bread and you've got a wonderful lunch.

Squint Shot 101009

Hotel Lockwood today . . . . . . . and yesteryear. It isn't really called the Lockwood Hotel anymore, especially now that it has been divided into apartments in the second floor and storefronts on the first floor. A jewelry store, hair salon, and coffee shop serve the community. At present the south side of the building is empty with the video store closing up earlier this year. For a bit more information, this was the original Lockwood Exchange Hotel (a photo from Fowlerville . . . The Early Days compiled by Steve Horton), which burned down in 1900. According to this booklet, the brick building was built the following year.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Squint Shot 100909

South of Fowlerville there is an interesting house, tucked away from the roads well-traveled. As I came upon the house, I would have loved to stop and take numerous pictures but this bicycle caught me eye first. Leaning up against a tree, weeds slowly taking it over, but still viable, unless of course it has two flat tires!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Squint Shot 100809

Many of the squint shots on The Ville seem to focus on old barns, some nice and some not so much. But I guess I find some sort of odd beauty in what these buildings used to be. This particular building may have been a chicken coop at one time? So then I wonder . . . for how long was it used, what did it look like in its heyday, what kind of family lived on this farm when this building was being used? In my quest to photograph the Fowlerville area, there will be more old barns and buildings, but maybe there will also be newer ones along the way.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Kiss and Go

What a great sign. And what a great way to see your kids off to Smith Elementary . . . kiss and go. This sign was mentioned to me so, of course, I worked it into my travels one day recently to get a shot for The Ville. But then something else caught my attention. Pinwheels for peace.
On the front lawn of the school is a huge collection of pinwheels attached to pencils, stuck in the ground, spinning in the breeze. This picture hardly does justice to the number of pinwheels, the colors, and even the sense of well-being such a simple gesture gave me.
I'm not sure how long the pinwheels will last, especially with our fall weather heading this way, but hopefully this project by the students will stick with them for a long time to come.

Squint Shot 100709

Yesterday's squint shot showed a row of baled hay, ready for the winter months ahead. As I traveled a little further off the beaten path (for me), I came upon this barn. The barn, although in need of repair, still serves a purpose. Stacked bales of hay just waiting and staying a bit drier than the ones in the fields.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

History Lesson

In August, the squint shot, which you can find by clicking here, posed the question what was the plaque on the northeast corner of Grand River and Second Street is for and who was John Gilluly. Unexpectedly I stumbled upon the answer while browsing through Fowlerville Goes to War 1861-1865 compiled by Richard G. Hutchins. This book has turned out to be invaluable in learning a bit more of the place we call home. From this book comes . . .

Born in Boston, Massachussetts, John Gilluly attended law school at the University of Michigan and established his law office in Brighton. Active in politics, he served in the Michigan Legislature from 1859-60. Following the election of Abraham Lincoln to the presidency and the bombardment of Fort Sumter by South Carolinians, Civil War erupted in the United.

John Gilluly, age 37, joined the Fifth Michigan Volunteer Infantry and was selected Captain of Company I. This company was comprised of Livingston County men, primarily from Fowlerville, Howell, and Brighton.

The article goes on to report Lieutenant Colonel Gilluly was killed during a charge, leading his 330 soldiers into a successful counter-attack against the Confederate Army. This happened December 13, 1862. Gilluly's close friend and Quartermaster of the regiment, Captain H.B. Blackman, took it upon himself to bring Gilluly back to Michigan.

At the end of the Civil War, the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) was organized by Dr. B.F. Stephenson of Springfield, Illinois, with a motto of "Fraternity, Charity, and Loyalty" as their guide. Fowlerville Post 114, also known as the John Gilluly Post, was formed in 1883. The GAR helped to erect monuments for soldiers and sailors, homes were provided for children orphaned by the war, and families were given assistance.

The Fowlerville Post 114 ceased to exist when its last remaining member, Alfred Smith, passed away August 6, 1935.