Monday, September 1, 2008

Pictures of the School Supply Give Away and Free Haircuts

School Supply Night At The Garden

As an additional effort to help the kids in his neighborhood, Cub held the first School Supplies from the Georgia Street Garden event yesterday. It was a smashing success, with over two dozen kids showing up to get their school supplies and backpacks! Over a dozen children got haircuts courtesy of Cub's friend Purcell, who had 'em lined up and waiting for his handiwork!

Not only were there school supplies available, but all of the books that have been donated were available for the kids to take too, and they went very quickly. I am amazed at the children's desire to learn and this event was a fine example of that as each and every child waited patiently in line to get both their supplies, book bags and books. There were a wide range of ages as well, from pre-school to mid-teen, so the event reached a variety of kids.

Not only has the Garden solidified the neighborhood adults, it has given children hope that someone cares enough about them to help them prepare for school. To have witnessed the look of delight on the children's faces was a treat that I have been lucky enough to have witnessed, and I am proud to say that I have been a part of this effort.

My most sincere hope is that by seeing other adults take such an interest in these kids that the people that are actually responsible for them will step up and spend some time with their own children. We must lead by example in order to be effective and turn the tide of abandonment that has been the norm for far too long in this city. Children need to have the adults that are present in their lives spend QUALITY time with them in order to grow and prosper.
Posted by: PlymouthRes from

Education is the key to enlightenment, and the program started at nowhere that I have seen in the city provides that message more clearly than the Garden.

One of the other things that I noticed was the police presence in the area. Not only did we see some of Detroit's finest on Saturday night cruising the neighborhood, but they drove by during the event on Sunday, too. They are beginning to pay attention to the areas that want them there, and Cub and his neighbors that have called the Community Action lines are beginning to get the response that the neighborhoods of Detroit desperately need if the residents are going to feel safe and secure in their own town.

I was impressed to say the least.

Many thanks to Blueidone and MrBlueidone, who spearheaded the effort to collect supplies and the many others who have supported Cub, the Garden and this very worthy effort. They and people like them are the reason that these kids will start their school year with excitement and enthusiasm, and they should be applauded for their effort.

Lastly, if you all want to see people who truly care about other people interacting, them I urge you to come out to the Garden next Saturday night or, for that matter, any Saturday night in the future. It will,perhaps, encourage you and drive you to donate some of your time to this very worthy and fruitful effort.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Lifetime As Sweet As Honey

Detroit Free Press:  
Article by Tony Lascari
Photo by Kevin Benedict

The sign hanging in John Bacon's front yard is simple but effective. The black and yellow "Honey" sign advertises his sweet homemade product.

Bacon, 85, has worked with bees for 75 years. He helped his dad with bees in 1933, and his family got their own hive in 1934. He's continued since, with a break during World War II.

Bacon still collects bees when swarms form in the community. He uses his bees to pollinate two local orchards and sells the honey they produce.

"This year has been a pretty good year," he said, with the bees producing good amounts of honey and several people in the community contacting him to collect swarms.

"I've had eight swarms this year," he said. "It's more than I've ever had."

This year he had an unusual experience when he was asked to remove a swarm from a runway at MBS International Airport. He had to leave the runway for two landings and a takeoff before he could finish his work. He estimated he collected 10,000 bees at MBS.

Bacon sells his honey for about $1.15 per pound. His bee journal from 1970 shows the price at 13 cents.

His most popular size is a quart jar, which he said is about three pounds and goes for $4.50. Comb honey has picked up in popularity with people interested in healthier foods, he said.

He used to distribute it through Jack's Fruit & Meat Market in Bay City, Essexville and Midland, but now he does business from his home in Auburn.

Bacon was born and raised on a farm and was drafted into the military in 1943. After going to gunnery school, he flew 25 combat missions over Europe. He got shot down on Aug. 9, 1944, and became a prisoner of war. He was liberated around May 9, 1945, in Germany.

He returned to Michigan and worked at Dow Chemical Co., then went into carpentry before becoming a mail carrier. But Bacon has always been interested in bees.

His bees are kept in his backyard and a portion of Bacon's garage is dedicated to honey production and storage.

He said the work is fun and productive and he's never had any trouble with the neighbors.

"I told them if there's a problem I'd move them out," he said, and it hasn't been an issue.

Bacon is a member of the Saginaw Valley Beekeepers Association, and he's seen increased interest in recent years.

"The last couple of years there's a lot of hobbyists getting into it," he said, with people wanting to care for the bees and sell honey to friends.

The bees are fairly easy to maintain and produce the honey on their own.

"You keep them alive and make sure they have room, and that's about it," he said.