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Monday, April 28, 2014

Notes from Leslie, Michigan

It’s been a wicked winter in many parts of the country, but life has gone on apace in Holling’s hometown of Leslie. Joan Hoffman has been wonderful about keeping me up-to-date on events there. She wrote a few weeks ago, “The little country church that the Holling's ancestors helped build at Holling Corners in 1900 probably will close soon. Their average attendance has been only eight members and they are running out of resources…. I have a picture of one of the stained glass windows in memory of the Holling family.

Two of Holling's nieces came to Leslie not long ago. The niece from California, Patricia, was there to visit her 99-yr.-old aunt. The Michigan niece, Linda, brought along some things for the museum as she was downsizing her home, Joan reports. Among the items was the plaque presented to Linda in 2000 as the Leslie High School honored her uncle posthumously at a class reunion. “Linda accepted it on behalf of the family. The Leslie mascot for their athletic teams is the Blackhawk, which is what the figure represents,” Joan explains.

The California niece goes by the last name of Clancy now, according to Joan. “Her given name was Patricia (Pat). Holling actually suggested naming her Patricia, an Irish name to go with her maiden name Clancy. The family seemed to have a habit of changing names.”

A final news note has to do with composer, musician and scholar Andre Myers. Mr. Myers, a native of Ann Arbor, composed a piece for narrator and orchestra entitled “Paddle-to-the-Sea.” It’s on an album called “Magical Tunes and Marvelous Tales” A link to this album, performed by the Plymouth Canton Symphony, can be found at His work has been called “intense and lyrical…combining narrative drama, poetry, and color.” His performances have also been an educational event for school children. Joan recalls attending a concert in which Mr. Myers narrated the piece before an audience of hundreds of fourth grade children. She recalls that this was made more memorable by having lunch and a conversation with the composer.