(The 11th Edition)


Victor Edward Swanson,



    The reports and stories contained on this Web page have been put together with information taken from "The Victor Swanson Fabulous Files of Places to See in Michigan and Wisconsin" and with information obtained from operators and staffers of tourist attractions and from press releases, Web sites, and other sources.  The reports and stories are provided as a public service by Victor Swanson and The Hologlobe Press.  Almost all persons and entities, such as staffers of radio stations, may freely use the materials; neither AAA Michigan nor any employee of AAA Michigan may use, distribute, download, transmit, copy, or duplicate any of the material presented on this page in any way or through any means.

- - - Travel Thoughts for Everyone - - -

    Settle in for another edition of Michigan Travel Tips.  As you read it, imagine you are sitting in your favorite chair in your favorite room, which might have a fireplace, a real fireplace and not a fake fireplace with a gas burner.  Then again, as you read it, imagine yourself in an ice shanty out on Little Bay De Noc near Gladstone, which is a place in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and imagine you know that big one is circling down below, not far from that bait.

    In July 2003, there was a rummage sale or yard sale or garage sale or whatever you wish to call it at the Dearborn Fire Station along Outer Drive Road near Michigan Avenue, Dearborn.  There, I came across an Asian gal, who seemed to be a newcomer to the Dearborn area.  Maybe, she was a student who was attending the University of Michigan (the Dearborn campus) or Henry Ford Community College (Dearborn).  She was not a big gal, common for Asian gals.  She stood about five feet and seven inches tall and weighed about one-hundred-twenty pounds.  (I guess I need not note she had a ring on one toe.)  I noticed she was looking at several old and worn snow shovels that were for sale.  Since she seemed to be a novice about what makes a good snow shovel, I said to her that you do not want any of these.  I showed her, for instance, how one shovel had a steel scoop and was really heavy.  I said that, when you shovel snow, you do not want to shovel the shovel.  Ultimately, I described the type of shovel she should get.

    The best type of snow shovel to have is a type that I have used for several decades.  A good shovel has a wooden handle.  It should not have an aluminum handle, a steel handle, or a plastic handle.  It should have a scoop that is curved, or the scoop should look like half of a cylinder.  (Imagine a cylinder.  Cut the cylinder in half the long way.  Do not cut the cylinder in half so that you end up with two smaller cylinders.)  Such a shovel will probably have a metal strip along the bottom of the front edge.  This type of aluminum-scoop shovel will be lightweight, and when you use it, you will not have to shovel the shovel.

    Early in the morning on Saturday, January 22, 2005, about twelve inches of snow fell in Dearborn where I live.  At about nine-thirty in the morning, I started to shovel--using one of my aluminum-scoop-type shovels.  I had snow drifts around cars that were at least two feet high that I had to get rid of.  Since it was a cold morning, not all the snow that I shoveled stayed put.  Snow was blowing around and around.  But I did finish shoveling, around twelve-thirty in the afternoon.

    Next, on that same day, I began a walk--a trek in the snow--to the postal box for The Hologlobe Press, which is at the U.S.P.S. post office along Ford Road near Telegraph Road.  When I got to the intersection of Ford Road and Telegraph Road, two snow plows headed east along Ford Road.  They pushed out a continuous wave of compact snow as they headed east, eventually passing the post office.  I walked on a hundred feet and passed by Telegraph Road, and, two blocks away from the post office, at an alley, a car got stuck in snow that had just been thrown up by the snow plows.  Officially, the car was trying to get out of the alley and get on to Ford Road.  Well, I arrived in time to help get the car unstuck.

    Two persons were in the vehicle.  One person got out.  The person was a gal, who was the passenger.  The driver was a guy.  The gal said that there was a shovel in the trunk.  She took it out.

    The shovel was a new shovel.  But it was a crummy shovel!  The shovel was similar with my aluminum-scoop shovel, but the shovel had a heavy steel scoop. The shovel was clumsy to use, and the gal would have had a hard time using it, if she would have used it.   While I used it, I remembered what I had told the Asian gal about shovels.

    After a bit of work, we got the car unstuck.

    Now I have this advice, and it is important advice for not only a guy but also for a gal, especially a guy or a gal who is new to Michigan.  If you travel in Michigan in winter, it is good to have a shovel in your vehicle.  Have a shovel like my aluminum-scoop shovel, which has a scoop that is about eighteen-inches wide.  Do not have a shovel with a plastic scoop, since plastic scoops are weaker than aluminum scoops are (you want to be able to chop at snow sometimes).  Do not have a shovel with a flat scoop, since snow can fall off such a scoop easily.  Do not have a shovel with a half-cylinder-type scoop that is made of steel, especially if the width of the scoop is more than about eighteen inches.  (A shovel with a wide scoop is harder to control than a shovel with a not-so-wide scoop, especially when it is filled with heavy snow.)  Do not have a shovel with an aluminum-pipe-type handle, since an aluminum-pipe-type handle is not as strong as a solid-wood handle is.  Of course, do not have a shovel with a plastic handle.  Do not have a shovel with a fanciful-looking-shaped handle.  Have a shovel with a straight handle.

    Remember: To lift something, such as a bunch of snow in a snow shovel, you bend your knees to get low and then rise up, and that is done so you do not put strain on your back.

    I will not report places where you can get the type of shovel that I have.  Look in hardware stores, home centers, et cetera.  If you do not see such a shovel on the shelves of a store, ask the manager at the store if such a shovel can be ordered.  (By the way, not all stores carry everything that is available from suppliers, but, for instance, better hardware stores will probably have a catalog of things that can be ordered.)  You might have to make a search of several stores.

    Remember, gals, you should have a pair of leather work gloves (with padding inside) in your vehicle, too, since knitted gloves and knitted mittens may look pretty, but they are not good to use when there is work to be done.

    Hum, I wonder how the Asian gal dealt with the snow storm.

    For many years, I talked about places to see in Michigan through radio reports, and, during the years, I made sure to cover places in both peninsulas of Michigan, and I made sure to not focus on a lot of places in the Detroit area, especially Dearborn, where I was based.  Through editions of Michigan Travel Tips, I continue to focus on places to see all over the state of Michigan, but, in this edition of Michigan Travel Tips, I have decided to talk about several places or things of Dearborn.  Although much about this edition of Michigan Travel Tips focuses on Dearborn, I do not want you to get the impression I have changed the purpose of Michigan Travel Tips and taken up the practice of promoting Dearborn more than other places in the state.

    Since I have sort of purposely avoided talking about places in Dearborn over the years, I have not really watched for and collected information about little-known places in Dearborn.  Recently, in early January 2005, the Dearborn Chamber of Commerce sent a brochure to me, and it focused on promoting restaurants that exist in Dearborn by listing the restaurants and statistics about the restaurants.  I did not pay much attention to the information about the restaurants.  On a portion of one side of the brochure, which had to be unfolded to see everything, there was a map, and the map, which was a low-quality map, showed the location of some things in the city.  On the far right side of the map was something I knew nothing about, the "Arab Folk Museum."

    On January 18, 2005, I went on a search mission to find out what the "Arab Folk Museum" is, and I found it, and I now know what it is.  The Arab Folk Museum is not a true museum, like the many museums that are scattered around Michigan and occupy buildings and usually are identified with signs to passers-by, examples of which are the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum and Lighthouse at Whitefish Point (in Chippewa County of the Upper Peninsula) and the Water Water Works Building at Manistee (in Manistee County of the Lower Peninsula).  The Arab Folk Museum is a collection of materials that are exhibited in sixteen glass cases in the "Arab Community Center," which is in southeastern Dearborn.  The museum is set up in the main hallways of the main level of the Arab Community Center.  General speaking, the exhibits cover Arab-themed materials--from pieces of jewelry to examples of script and from musical instruments to clothing.  Some of the specific items on display are a brass coffee grinder, a "saj," which is an aluminum disc that is used to bake unleavened bread on an open fire, an "astrolabe," and a "qanun," which is an instrument that is an ancestor to the "psaltery."  One display case depicts Arab home life in two model-type scenes, one of which depicts a family living in a tent of sorts and the other of which depicts a family living in a stone building.  A few of the materials on display are replicas--in reduced size--of real items that date back about two-thousand years, and a few items are truly old items, such as what is listed as "23 carnelian beads dating to the 2nd century BCE and found in southern Lebanon."

    It does not take long to look at all the items in the Arab Folk Museum; for example, you might only need about a half hour to see all the items.  The Arab Folk Museum is open to everyone at all times that the Arab Community Center is open, and the Arab Community Center is open every weekday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  To see the museum, look for the Arab Community Center, which is at 2651 Saulino Court, which is a very short street that meets Dix.  (Use Dix to get to Saulino Court.)  The building in which the Arab Folk Museum exists only shows "Arab Community Center" on a sign for passers-by.  The telephone number for the museum is 1-313-842-7010.

    Remember: The Arab Folk Museum should not be confused with the Arab American National Museum and Cultural Center, which is scheduled to be opened up in Dearborn on May 5, 2005, and which, for instance, will be like a true museum, such as by having exhibit halls.

    And now I finally have the Arab Folk Museum listed in my files of places to see in Michigan.

    I have added other things to my files of things to see in Michigan since January 10, 2005, when the previous edition of Michigan Travel Tips was posted.  Robin Iori was credited for writing a story for the Dearborn Press & Guide entitled "Theater is a family affair for Dearborn thespians."  [Iori, Robin.  "Theater is a family affair for Dearborn thespians."  Dearborn Press & Guide, 12 January 2005, p. 1-B.]  The article noted that Dearborn has theater groups known as the Dearborn Youth Theatre and the Dearborn Family Theatre, the latter of which is a newer entity than the former is.  The two theatre groups put on live plays.  Before seeing the article, I knew a little about the Dearborn Youth Theatre.  The Dearborn Family Theatre was news to me, though.  Amazing!  The article did not mention when the two entities were created and did not give much information about the two theatre companies, but it did hint that the Dearborn Family Theatre is associated with the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center, which was opened to the public in 2001.

    A few days later I learned that the Dearborn Family Theatre is indeed based at the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center, and I learned that the Dearborn Family Theatre puts together only one production--a musical--each year, and the performances for the one production for this theatre season have already been given.  I also discovered the Dearborn Youth Theatre is a theatre-classes program that is open to resident children (of Dearborn) and nonresident children, and the program involves fees, and some performances by the Dearborn Youth Theatre have yet to be given over the next few months at the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center, and that is all that I will say about the Dearborn Youth Theatre.

    Now I can prove I have heard about the Dearborn Youth Theatre and the Dearborn Family Theatre.

    And here is a special announcement.  In mid-January (2005), I saw a news report that hinted that the city of Detroit is going to close down the Belle Isle Aquarium sometime in the near future.  I have done research about the Belle Isle Aquarium for this edition of "Michigan Travel Tips."  The city of Detroit has yet to announce when the aquarium will finally be closed, and, in fact, a press release issued by the city of Detroit only says that "Details regarding the closing date will be announced soon."  It seems there is still time to take your family to the Belle Isle Aquarium, which was opened in 1904.  If you wish to see the Belle Isle Aquarium before it is shut down, do not dawdle!  Remember: The entrance to Belle Isle is at the intersection of East Jefferson and East Grand Boulevard (Detroit).

    Your travel tips are:

    The Arab American National Museum and Cultural Center, Dearborn, Wayne County, the Lower Peninsula.

    The Arab Folk Museum, at the Arab Community Center, Dearborn, Wayne County, the Lower Peninsula.

    Your sort-of travel tips are:

    The Dearborn Family Theatre, Dearborn, Wayne County, the Lower Peninsula.

    The Dearborn Youth Theatre, Dearborn, Wayne County, the Lower Peninsula.

    The Ford Community & Performing Arts Center, Dearborn, Wayne County, the Lower Pennsula.

    Your special news announcement covers:

    The Belle Isle Aquarium, Belle Isle (in the Detroit River), Detroit, Wayne County, the Lower Peninsula.

- - - Public Service Copy for Broadcasters (four pieces) - - -

Number One:

    February and March are cold months in Michigan, and if the

weather is cold enough, ice can be thick enough on some lakes in

the northwestern quarter of the Lower Peninsula that guys and

gals can take part in "ice racing."  The "ice racing" that I am talking

about is ice racing done in cars.  In 1982, the Michigan Ice Racing

Association was formed, and, since 1982, it has set up ice-racing

races at such lakes as Chippewa Lake, Hess Lake, and Big Star

Lake in winters.  Over the years, some scheduled races have had

to be canceled because there was no safe ice.  A couple races have

already been canceled this winter.  But the winter is not over, so it

is possible you could yet see some ice racing this winter or even

take part in some ice racing.  If you are looking for something

different to see or do, see the Web site for the Michigan Ice Racing

Association.  And when you drive, watch for ice spots on the roads

to enjoy your safe traveling.


Number Two:

    The Hologlobe Press has a Web site that provides information

about places to see in the state of Michigan, and, today, I have a

news report from that Web site.  In 1904, the city of Detroit opened

the Belle Isle Aquarium, which is on Belle Isle--in the Detroit River.

In mid-January of this year, it was publicly announced that the city

of Detroit is working to close the Belle Isle Aquarium.  The aquarium

is not being closed immediately.  In fact, no closing date has been

announced, and a press release issued by the city of Detroit says

that "Details regarding the closing date will be announced soon."

Should you be in the Detroit area--especially with children--over

the next few weeks at least, you can yet see the Belle Isle Aquarium.

Usually, the aquarium is open from ten to four from Wednesday

through Sunday.  The entrance to Belle Isle is at East Jefferson

and East Grand Boulevard.  Now, enjoy your safe traveling in



Number Three:

    Dearborn is going to be the site of a new museum in a few weeks,

which should not be confused with a currently existing museum of

Dearborn.  Inside the Arab Community Center, which is along

Saulino Court near Dix, is a small museum called the Arab Folk

Museum.  The Arab Folk Museum is a little-known museum.  It is

a collection of artifacts stored in 16 display cases.  The museum

has, for instance, jewelry, clothing, and musical instruments.  The

Arab Folk Museum can be seen when the Arab Community Center

is open, which is usually on weekdays from nine to five.  Today, the

Arab American National Museum and Cultural Center is not open.

That is the new museum that will soon be open in Dearborn.  The

opening of the museum is scheduled for May 5th.  When it is

opened, it will be easy to find, since it will be along Michigan

Avenue near the Dearborn City Hall.  And that's news from The

Hologlobe Press!


Number Four:

    And, now, it's time for an old-fashioned "station break!"  And

through the magic of radio, I can take you somewhere.  Welcome,

to "Summit Peak Lookout."  It's the highest point in Porcupine

Mountains State Park.  The lookout is sort of in the Wakefield

area.  Since you can have X-ray vision on radio, you can see

Wakefield in that direction.  Look over there!  That's the famous

Lake of the Clouds.  Over that way is the "Nonesuch Mine," one

of the abandoned mines of the park.  Since you have X-ray vision,

you can see all the fish in Lake Gogebic, especially the good

ones--the big ones.  That's Eddy Park Campground over there at

Wakefield.  You can camp at that place in the summer.  Keep it in

mind.  Hear the birds?  Breathe in!  Feel the cool wind from Lake

Superior.  That rippling sound is from the cascades of the Union

River, along the Gorge Scenic Trail.  Oops!  Wake up!  Time's up!

And that's your old-fashioned station break in Michigan.


- - - Contact Information - - -

The Hologlobe Press
Postal Box 5455
Dearborn, Michigan  48128-0455
The United States of America

copyright c. 2005
File date: 10 February 2005

To see the next edition of Michigan Travel Tips,
    click on: Travel #12
To see the previous edition of Michgan Travel Tips,
    click on: Travel #10
To see the catalog page for Michigan Travel Tips,
    click on: Travel
To go to the main page of The Hologlobe Press,
    click on: www.hologlobepress.com