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Tag Archive | "Red Flannels"

MacGregor takes polar plunge in red flannels


State Representative Peter MacGregor, R-Rockford, wore his red flannel long johns last Thursday, February 23, when he participated in the first legislative polar plunge at the state Capitol in Lansing to benefit Special Olympics.

The event raised awareness and funds for Special Olympics of Michigan, raising more than $20,000 in its inaugural year.

Event organizers felt the 37-degree air temperature wasn’t cold enough and added ice to the water just before legislators took the plunge. We hope his red flannels helped keep him warm!

 

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American Legion Officers visit Glen Hill Post


On January 7th, in keeping with a longstanding tradition, the Cedar Springs American Legion, Glen Hill Post 287, presented State Department Commander Dick Chatman, Auxiliary Department President Carrie Bowerman and S.A.L. Detachment Commander Dwaine Verville with their very own pair of red flannels from the Red Flannel Capital of the World.
Every year at our annual Early Bird Dinner, we have a fine meal for those members who have paid their dues early.  Invited to the dinner are the State level officers of our organization, as well as past dignitaries.  After the dinner, the present and past Department officers graciously wear their Red Flannel attire and perform the Chicken Dance.
Back Row:  Past Detachment Commander David Mennel, Past Detach. Commander Pat Pustay, Past Detach. Commander Greg Price, Detachment Commander Dwaine Verville, Past Dept. Commander John Skinner, Past Department Commander John Mella, Past Department Commander Jerry Dennis, Past Detach. Commander Skipper Townes.
Front Row: Past Department President Mary Goller-Kilts, Past Dept. President Brenda Dees, Honorary Junior President Chelsea Kovacs, Department President Carrie Bowerman, Past Dept. President Donna Fueling, Past Dept. President Jackie Skinner and Past Dept. President Ivy Lee Reinhardt.

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Calls pour in on LIFE photos


By Judy Reed

Last week we ran a partial photo sent to us by Steve Hegedus, which showed two girls hitchhiking in Red Flannels, with one of the girls partially cut off. We asked readers to identify the girls, and they were happy to oblige!

The photo was one of several photos taken by LIFE Magazine in 1949, for a special spread on Red Flannel Day. It was published in December of that year.

Sue Harrison sent us a complete copy of the photo we ran last week, along with two other photos taken that day.

According to Dorothy Bishop (as told to Sue Harrison), they just gathered a group of high school girls together to take photos around town that day. The photo with the girls hitchhiking in Red Flannels was taken on Northland Drive, which was then US131. It’s unknown to us whether it was the north or south end of town.

Sue and several others identified the girl sitting with her thumb out as Marlene Heiss, (later Sipple). She was Red Flannel Queen the following year, 1950.

Shari Wesche (and a few others) positively identified the second girl (standing by the sign) as Shari’s mother, Janet (Call) Olmsted, who is now 79 years old. Shari talked with her mom about that day.  “She said that when they (LIFE) came to town, they wanted the 16 and 17-year-olds to drop the flaps on the Red Flannels, and they were just in tears,” related Shari. “So the Clipper girls stepped in and said ‘No way!’”

The same two girls can be seen in the photos with the car. They appear to have been taken from the parking lot of what is now Cedar Chest, facing the east. You can see the building that is now Car Quest and the building on the corner of Main and Maple in the background.

In the car photos, Janet is on the left and Marlene is on the right. The man driving has not yet been positively identified. Sue noted that the girl standing at the left behind Janet is Suzanne (Wheeler) Anderson, and the girl standing at the right behind Marlene is Joyce (Bremmer) Empie.

Thanks to all of you that called on this photo, and to all of you that have been bringing in old photos and postcards. It sure is fun looking at old photos of what Cedar Springs used to look like and the people that lived here!

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Water tower to finally get Red Flannels


Post photo by B. Fitzgerald.

By Judy Reed

The water tower in Cedar Springs is going to get a makeover.

The city recently approved the repainting of the water tower this spring when it is taken offline for repairs and maintenance. According to the contract that the city has with Utility Services for maintenance, it includes one free logo at no additional charge. At their meeting on February 10, the city council approved putting a red flannel logo on the tower—something an earlier city council nixed.

According to the Cedar Springs Story, by Sue Harrison and Donna DeJonge, when the new water tower was built in 1971, that city council voted not to use red flannels, which upset a few people in town. A letter appeared in the April 15, 1971 Clipper saying: “It’s a shame that Red Flannels, the symbol of Cedar Springs, which is known far and wide, will not grace the new 300,000 gallon water tower. We think the Council should have voted to use the red flannel design. We believe that everything possible should be done to preserve and enhance Cedar Springs’ special place in the long list of small Michigan cities. The use of the red flannel paint design on the water tower would have cost very little, if any more than the tear drop motif that the Council adopted. We urge the council to reconsider their decision…”

Thirty years later, city council did just that.

City manager Christine Burns said that it would probably be sometime in May before it’s repainted. The company will perform routine maintenance and repairs, painting inside and out, check for bullet holes, corrosion, etc. “It will be inspected yearly and repairs done on an ongoing basis,” explained Burns.

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