Oscar Mayer Wienermobile | MPL Photo
Oscar Mayer Wienermobile | MPL Photo
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Here’s a roundup of recent news and photos around the Old Mission Peninsula…

Wienermobile visits the Lighthouse. The Oscar Mayer Wienermobile was in Traverse City last week and made a stop at Mission Point Lighthouse. Lighthouse Manager Ginger Schultz says a good crowd came out to see it, and more than 100 folks did the Lighthouse tour that day. And if you’d like to be a “Hotdogger” and drive the Wienermobile around the country for a year, apply at Oscar Mayer’s website here.

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Oscar Mayer Wienermobile | MPL Photo
Oscar Mayer Wienermobile | MPL Photo

Old Mission Tavern closed until April. As in previous years, Old Mission Tavern closed for the winter on Jan. 15, and will re-open again in April. My brother-in-law Steve and I were there for our usual Friday night dinner, and I kept thinking that I saw owner Joe Bartnick over by the fireplace surveying the crowd of diners. Turns out it was a cardboard cut-out, which I find adorable. See you in April, Joe!

Will the real Joe Bartnick please stand up? | Jane Boursaw Photo
Will the real Joe Bartnick please stand up? | Jane Boursaw Photo
Old Mission Tavern closed til April | Jane Boursaw Photo
Old Mission Tavern closed til April | Jane Boursaw Photo

The Eagles have landed. No, not the bird type we see flying around the OMP. These particular eagles are four dedicated boys from Troop 34 on the Old Mission Peninsula, who officially became Eagle Scouts at a special ceremony in December. Big congrats to Case Brooks (first row), Trey Harding and Cole Harding (2nd row), and Alex MacPherson (3rd row). Way to go, guys!

New Eagle Scouts: Case Brooks (first row), Trey Harding and Cole Harding (2nd row) and Alex MacPherson (3rd row) | Walter Lee Photo
New Eagle Scouts: Case Brooks (first row), Trey Harding and Cole Harding (2nd row) and Alex MacPherson (3rd row) | Walter Lee Photo
Congrats to new Eagle Scouts: Case Brooks, Trey Harding and Cole Harding, and Alex MacPherson | Walter Lee Photo
Congrats to new Eagle Scouts: Case Brooks, Trey Harding, Cole Harding and Alex MacPherson | Walter Lee Photo

JailBreak by Big Mike. Big Mike isn’t a human (although he apparently thinks he is). He’s a horse that resides at Harper’s Ridge Farm on Center Road (the old Herkner house with the red barn behind it on Carpenter Hill). Owner Jeff Kane thanks his neighbors and Township Deputy Sean Mugerian for helping to corral the big guy back on the farm after he decided to take a walkabout.

Big Mike is back home after a jail break | Jeff Kane Photo
Big Mike is back home after a jail break | Jeff Kane Photo

And speaking of horses… You all know I love the goings-on at Becky Tester’s horse farm on Tompkins Road on the north end, whether it’s their gorgeous horses or beautiful dogs. Well, I had no idea that brilliant artists of the four-legged variety lived there.

From their Facebook page, I learned that Airabella (chocolate/silver horse in the photos below) is their original artist and has been working on covering more of the canvas. Roxy (black horse) is their newest artist and is working on finding her style.

“We use painting sessions, along with other positive reinforcement based sessions to provide mental stimulation, foster confidence, curiosity, and to bond with our horses,” they note. “This, along with the wonderful temperament that the Rocky Mountain Horse breed is known for, is what gives our horses such wonderful personalities!”

Their trainer, Monica Jones, selects the colors for them and then hands them the loaded brushes to paint with. Later on in their training they are presented with a couple different color options and select which one they’d like by gently mouthing the paint bottle of their choice.

“We’d love to know what our horses see in their own paintings,” they note. “Horses have dichromatic color vision, meaning that they have only two types of cones (color receiving cells) in their eyes as compared to our three (typically). So Airabella’s rainbow explosion could look completely different to her than it does to most of us!”

By the way, the farm is still for sale if you’re interested in owning a working horse farm. Check it out here.

Renowned Old Mission Peninsula artist Airabella, who resides at Becky Tester's horse farm | Tester Photo
Renowned Old Mission Peninsula artist Airabella, who resides at Becky Tester’s horse farm | Tester Photo
Renowned Old Mission Peninsula artist Roxy, who resides at Becky Tester's horse farm | Tester Photo
Renowned Old Mission Peninsula artist Roxy, who resides at Becky Tester’s horse farm | Tester Photo

Also Read…

A NOTE FROM JANE: I started Old Mission Gazette in 2015 because I felt a calling to provide the Old Mission Peninsula community with local news. After decades of writing for newspapers and magazines like the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Family Circle and Ladies' Home Journal, I really just wanted to write about my own community where I grew up on a cherry farm and raised my own family. So I started my own newspaper.

Because Old Mission Gazette is a "Reader Supported Newspaper" -- meaning it exists because of your financial support -- I hope you'll consider tossing a few bucks our way if I mention your event, your business, your organization or your news item, or if you simply love reading about what's happening on the OMP. In a time when local news is becoming a thing of the past, supporting an independent community newspaper is more important now than ever.

To keep the Gazette going, click here to make a donation. Thank you so much for your support. -jb

Bay View Insurance of Traverse City Michigan

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