June 2003 - Edition No. 6

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This Month's Feature History

This months Home Page graphic is about local theater. Shown in the at the top is the Bay City Players that continue to thrill audiences with live performances. The historic State Theater marquee fronts a picture of the original building when it opened as the Bijou Theatre. More theater history is available in the Heritage Library/Theater section.

Commentary by Bay-Journal

June 30, 2003 (closing comments)

During the summer months, things slow down a little on the internet as the focus of most people is on getting outside while the weather is still good. But, not for us -- we used the month of June to do some house cleaning on Bay-Journal and hopefully, get better the website more tidy. These changes are noted in the "Website Changes & Up Dates" section below.

In addition, you may notice the last change we made this month, the Bay-Journal Monthly newsletter itself. We think the new page set up will serve the needs of everyone. What was once the current page is now our Entry or Main Page to the newsletter giving details about the newsletter. What was once called the "Archives Menu" is now the "Issues Menu" sort from latest (current) to oldes edition of the newsletter. The newsletter has been reformatted for printing, gone are is the colored background replaced by pure white that will help save that high priced color ink. The content is no longer centered in the page but move to the left for printing. We went back and added the Home page graphic that was featured for that month as we plan to tie the graphic and the "Feature Local History" content together in future issues of the newsletter.

Finally, we will no longer mail the entire newsletter which is getting lengthy. Instead, we will send out emails at the end of the month as usual and it will contain titles to what is featured in the newsletter. This will help to keep the email to a reason size.

Another reason for the change is that Search Engines were linking to the "Current Edition" newsletter and viewers arriving a month later would not find the information they were looking for as the current edition was given a new file name after it was closed to make room for the new edition.


Things Just Keep Getting Better! (June 28)

Have you heard of the Bijou Orchestra? Not yet, but you will! This is the name of a new professional orchestra being put together by Leo Najar and David Skinner. Its named after the Bijou Theatre which is what the historical State Theater building was call when it opened in 1908. The new orchestra will be an ensemble of about thirteen professional musicians. The Bijou Orchestra is expected to provide musical scores from theater, vaudeville, big band and ragtime. Their opening performance will take place in Wenonah Park on August 15. Be sure to mark it on the calendar. I'm looking forward to what promises to be a very special day for our community.

Bay City Players (June 28)

Yesterday I recieved a copy of the "Proscendium", newsletter published by the Bay City Players, announcing their list of shows for "Season 86". Live theater productions of "Hello Dolly!", "Proof", "Bus Stop", "Death of a Salesman" and "Dearly Departed" will entertain audiences with each show running several days at different times.

The Bay City Players has the distinction of being Michigan's Oldest Community Theater. A fact that was made possible by the continuous efforts of a relatively few people over the life of the group to the benefit of live theater lovers and our community at large. Seasons come and go, and this new season brings the need for "new" individuals to take their turn in sustaining the life of live theater in our community. A headline from the newsletter reads, "We're hurting, or we're going to be hurting, and soon."

We need the Bay City Players and now, they are in need of your help to play a role in their present and future. Many of the volunteers that have kept it alive for our enjoyment are now gone or have reached the point in life where they no longer have youthful vitality to carry load that has increased with each loss. This is "your opportunity!" You can turn that dream of being a part of the theater into a reality! You are needed -- give them a call today before someone fills the role you always wanted to play.

Opportunities exist for:

- Experiencing what its like to put a show together.
- Turning thoughts of "I can do that!" into a reality.
- Designing and building using your electrical, carpentry, sewing, painting and other skills.
- Fullfilling that desire to be a performer and participant in the theater.

Visit the Heritage/Theater/Bay City Players history page. Then, head on over to their website to begin your journey as a participant in the history of ourlocal live theater.
- www.baycityplayers.com

Changing Looks! (Wednesday, June 26)

Maintaining a website with over 340 pages isn't easy for a novice like myself. Especially when it comes changes how it looks. When I published my first website, Ancestry - The Polish Connection" I learned the hard way that "Sytle Sheets" can be a blessing. This is a single page containing the primary elements of all the other pages. Things such as the background color and image, the font size and sytle, link colors and a few other items.

But, when it comes to the layout of pages, I have to do each individually and this is tedious and time consuming. However, it seems to be my nature to "try" something new. One of the areas that I've been working on is the graphics, to try and get more harmony in the colors so they don't dominate the visual quality of the pages. When I do this, some of you may not be viewing the new images if you return to Bay-Journal often because your internet browser has cached (stored) the images on your system to enable web pages to load up much faster. A way around this on Internet Explorer is the hold down the [Control] key while pressing the link and it will download images from the website replacing what is cached.

Bay-Journal is a graphic intensive website with over 300 photos and couple of hundred various graphics. This can be a problem for visitors with an older computer and/or a telephone dial up connection. I've tried to minimize the size of graphics based on this awareness and in doing so, a reduction in their quality is sacrificed to help speed their loading. If you have experienced any problems that you find specific to your viewing experience on Bay-Journal, please send us an email so I can see wheather or not it can be improved. I want your visual experience on Bay-Journal to be a pleasing one.

Running Behind! (Thursday, June 5)

In the May journal, I mentioned buying a new computer just before publishing that newsletter. Well, I'm still learning the new system which I really like. It has a great deal more power than my old AMD K-6 333 mhz processer. But, I'm missing one piece of critical software, a spell checker! And, I know from experience -- it's a must for me (and anyone who takes time to read my ramblings) that I have one and use it. Normally, the current month's page goes online the same day that I do the mailing. Rather than hold it up any longer while I search for the proper spell checker, I'm putting it online today. So, please be patience with me on the spelling errors -- I'll correct them when I have the new spell checker installed.

Highlighted Local News

Bits of information about what's happening in Bay County. If you are interested in reading local news stories, we recommended visiting MLive (Bay City Times articles) or My Bay City (special subject articles).

River Roars (Saturday, June 21)

The Summer festival season got started last night with the River Roar event taking place along the banks of the Saginaw River in downtown Bay City. More than 8,000 people attended a concert featuring ol' rock'n roll sounds by the 38 Special music group. The weather forecast looks great for this weekend assuring a capacity crowd for the racing boat activities that begin at 9:00 a.m. today and continue through tomorrow. River Roar is underwritten by Dobson's Heavy Haul, Inc. You can learn more about the festival's activities at their website.
- www.riverroar.com

New Historical Figures Discovered (Monday, June 16)

Dave Rogers, writer for the online magazine, MyBayCity.com... has witten an article on some not so well known but significant history regarding Bay City. In this article are:

    - Gerrit Smith, a financial supporter of the abolitionists movement and brother-in-law of fellow abolitionist James G. Birney. Both married into the Fitzhugh family of New York.

    - Lyman G. Willcox who served as a Major during the Civil War. He came to Bay City in 1885 and worked as editor of the Bay City Tribune owned by Judge James Birney, son of James G. Birney. He also head positions as prosecuting attorney and Postmaster before moving on to Saginaw in 1910. He passed on in 1918 and is buried in Bay City's Elm Lawn Cemetery.

These histories provide additional enlightment to the siginificant political influence that existed here during the early years of Bay City's existence. You can read Dave Roger's excellent article entitle, "More Bay City Connections to Important Historical Figures Discovered" which appears in the June 16, 2003 issue of MyBayCity.com:
- http://www.mybaycity.com/

$250,000 Gift to Beautify Bay City (Friday, June 13)

The Rotary Club of Bay City is doing more than talking when it comes to commitment to Bay City. Over the next five years they will donate $250,000 aimed at improving the city's appearance. $100,000 will go towards building two signs etched in glass that will portray a portion of our rich history. $150,000 will go towards landscaping that will improve the area surrounding the Pere Marquette Train Depot. Each will contribute to the overall attractiveness of the downtown area. So, the next time you are asked to contribute to the Rotary Club remember that your money is going towards a good cause.

Featured Local Websites

Bangor Township Schools (Bangor Township)

Enjoy a stroll through their informative website to learn more about what's happening with the Bangor school system. The "District News and Information" page offers a considerable amount of information on the district; Members of the Board of Education members and a picture of them; Annual Report; Employment Opportunities; and Technology Plan. Other links on the home page menu are: District Calendars, Parent/Student/Community and links to the districts school websites as well as Community links. A feature that I thought to be quite innovative is a page for submitting computer repair questions online -- I was in the process of filling it out when I finally noticed it was for Bangor Staff "members" only! Maybe somewhere down the road they'll extend it to "guests"? [smile]

If your a Bangor resident and haven't seen this website yet, you really should -- it's full of information on what's happening with in your school system.
- www.bangorschools.org/

Bay City Antique Center (Bay City)

The Bay City Antique Center is located on Third and Water streets in Bay City in a historical building that was once home of the "old Rosenbury's Furniture Store". It seems like a fitting place for Michigan's largest antique retail business.

The Bay City Antique Center, being so larger, has led to smaller antique stores locating near them. This makes for a destination stop for those looking buy that unique item from another time. One can easily spend hours shopping through these stores and a whole day if you take in the nearby gift shops, candy store and eateries. Visit their website for more information that includes directions to the store for out of towners.

Featured Local History

St. Stanislaus Kostka Church (Bay City)

Ludwig Danielewski who came to Bay City in 1870,is considered the first Polish immigrant to settle here. Longing for relationships with fellow Poles, he began a letter campaign to encouraged other Poles to also move to his new home community where there were opportunities for them to enjoy a good life.

Four years later (1874), these Poles under the leadership of Ludwig, established the St. Stanislaus Kostka Church, a Catholic community that continues in service today. The current church building was built in 1890 and is one of the finest cathederals still standing from that time period.

The history of this church community history extends beyond service to its membership, it has played a historical and important role in the birth of other local Catholic communities in Bay County.

You can learn more about their history and view some excellent vintage photos on their Heritage page:
- Heritage / Religion / St. Stanislaus Church

Changes and Up Dates to Website

We Broke Up Our Home!

After adding the new icons to the Home Page, I decided the page really needed some cleaning up. It got kind of crowded overtime as with new links to popolar pages. Kind of looked like a messy teenager's room! So, I created a new page to house these quick links which I'm called the Featured Subjects Menu page. This cleaned up the Home Page considerably which a more organized look. I've decide that monthly history graphic will now relate to the History Focus that appears in this monthly news letter and a link was added so viewer can easily jump over to the history. While the new pages worked fine on my computer, there is a bug in the data I up loaded that has baffled me for over a day. The new display graphic for some reason is not working! I'm hoping this annoyance will be resolved soon as the an error message inside the display window on a Home Page isn't a reassuring welcome to new visitors.

Home Page Icons (Tuesday, June 24)

June has been a slow month on the website with most people spending less time online to enjoy the warm weather. We took this opportunity to do a little tweaking of the looks on the Home page. The text links of the Quick Menu have been changed to icons which should make it a little easier to quickly what each is.

Hollywood Postor Art (Wednesday, June 18)

Postor art is an art form that most everyone enjoys viewing. They help to describe a story, in our case, a movie story of another day. In our gallary you'll find some pretty fantastic stories, such as, "Gone With The Wind", "My Fair Lady", "The Wizard of Oz" and more!
- Heritage / Theater / Hollywood Postor Art

Township History Pages (Thursday, June 12)

Up until now there were only township pages where we had history available for them. As of today there are pages for each township. We're hoping this will stimulate you into helping us fill them up with your townships history.
- Bay County / Community Histories

It's Movie Time! (Tuesday, June 10)

We've added a new section to the Pictorials Library -- videos! Now you can enjoy looking at some vintage photos created with Windows Movie Maker 2. The only catch is you "must" use Windows Media Player 9 to view the file. Most of you will have it, if you don't we've include a link to Microsoft.com where it can be downloaded for "free". There is also a link to Windows Movie Maker 2 which is also free, but is limited to Windows XP systems.

Our first production is called, "Bonds Today", name after the background tune we're using for the video. It's a jingle used during WWII to promote the sale of governement bonds as a way to support the war effort. The video is less than 5 minutes long, but the file size is 963 kbs and may be slow loading if you are using telephone modem connection. But, if you are patient -- we think you'll find the film enjoyable. At least we did!
- Pictorials Library (bottom of page)

Family Center addition (Friday, June 6)

A "Music and Sound Room" has been added where you can see and play the music and sounds used on Bay-Journal. We've included some nifty links to other music resources with a history slant that you may find interesting.
- Information / Family Center / Music & Sounds Room

Bay-Journal Monthly (Thursday, June 5)

I've made a couple of changes to this page. I've change the Archives menu so you can now see highlights covered in previous editions and on the archives pages themselves, I've added forward/backward links so you can more easily browse through them. In the right hand column, I've added a Monthly Quiz to test your knowledge on local history. It includes a link to the page where you can find the answer.

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