Celebrating twenty years of MM, by Becky Korpi

When MM celebrated its fifteenth anniversary in October 2002, it symbolized an important milestone for the staff members and writers who believed in it and dedicated themselves to putting it on magazine stands throughout the community every month.
Five years later, that same sense of dedication continues and has seen MM through to its twentieth anniversary this month. In the 240 issues that have circulated throughout the area since its maiden voyage in October 1987, the world has changed. Our country has seen three presidents, “emo” and hip-hop music have overtaken the Billboard charts and much of the population now has a cellular phone that can take pictures and hook up to the Internet.
MM has gone through its own changes, evolving from a twenty-page publication to one that averages sixty-four pages. Here is a look at where MM has been throughout two decades.

1987
The premiere issue of Marquette Monthly hits the stands in October, produced from the home of editor and publisher Mary Kinnunen. The issue displayed seventeen ads, and work from Leonard G. Heldreth, Sylvia Kinnunen and a photo spread by Tom Buchkoe. The issue also included “Features,” “Out & About,” “Locals,” “Books,” “Games” and a food critic section. Kinnunen wrote of the Upper Peninsula: “I think it’s this ‘character’ that brings and keeps us here, or if you’re a native as I am, draws us back after time spent in regions far-flung.”
• October—Mary Kinnunen writes the first “Locals” article about Karen Kunkel, head of the Olympic Training Center at NMU.
• November—NMU movie listings in the “Out & About” section feature Platoon, Mannequin and Spaceballs.
• December—A “City Notes” article detailed the workings of the fourth art gallery to open in Marquette. The Oasis gallery was envisioned to be a “place of refuge for contemporary artists and those who would like to enjoy such work, as well as a place of education for the uninitiated.”

1988
• January—A “Locals” piece by Mary Kinnunen marks the debut of Brad Veley’s cartoons in MM.
• March—“Big Plans for an Old Hotel” explores the plight of developer Ed Havlik to restore Hotel Northland, despite protests from local motel and hotel owners and the probability that he would, at best, break even on the venture. In the article by Mary Kinnunen, he said, “This may be the greatest public service project I ever do—and it may be the only public service project I ever do. It will certainly be the least cost-effective project I ever do.”
• May—Three Dog Night performs at Muggszy’s bar on Washington Street in Marquette.
• August—A City Note tells of local Boy Scout troops who got together to rebuild the memorial to WWI hero Bart King of Marquette’s Boy Scout Troop 1 at Sugarloaf. They brought nearly two thirds of the original materials and nearly 350 rocks from the shore of Lake Superior to the summit of Sugarloaf Mountain.
• September—MM publishes its first issue from its new Washington Street office.

1989
• March—“Trips” and “Back Then” sections debut in MM.
• July—Don Curto writes his first “Food & Other Important Things” column. The column featured “Attitudes,” the Village’s new gourmet shop, noting their fresh popcorn. “I won’t elaborate, but the stuff looks OK, and those who ate it in my presence appeared to be unaffected adversely.”
• August—Richard Marx performs at the opening ceremonies of the U.P. Summer Sports Festival at NMU.
• September—Westwood Mall plans a grand opening for October. Formerly the Westwood Plaza, the new wing and K-Mart mall entrance were in the works, as well as the addition of J.C. Penney and Pocket Change, a video arcade for all ages. By the time of the grand opening, it was expected that about six new stores would have opened their doors.
• October—Christine Saari’s “Local” is about Phil Niemisto, who beautifies downtown Marquette. “It makes me happy to contribute something to the town,” he said. “I get lots of praise and it’s rewarding. I’m all wrapped up in downtown. The people on the street are my family.”

1990
• March—New downtown business Michigan Fair advertises its grand opening in April.
• June—Don Curto becomes editor; Mary Kinnunen remains the publisher.
• August—Jeff Eaton’s “The New and Improved Marquette County Fair” tells of Marquette County’s $17,000 purchase of sixty acres on CR-553 to be used for the fairgrounds.
• November—MM’s first annual short story contest is advertised, with the winning author’s story to be published in the March 1991 issue for a cash prize of $250.
• December—A “Locals” article by Don Wilkie features Geraldine DeFant, “Fighter for Social Justice.” DeFant said, “Politics has always been a vital interest of mine. I’m a product of the Depression; I was a teenager in the 1930s, and I was a political person almost as soon as I became old enough to realize what politics was all about.”
• December—Marquette Monthly changes its cover logo to the current MM, as created by Don Curto’s 1969 pagoda green typewriter.

1991
• January—“The Price of a Good Newspaper” by Dave Roberts, Marquette County Clerk, tells of the Roosevelt vs. Newett Libel Trial of 1913.
• March—“The Peter White Legacy: A library energized by age,” notes that Peter White Public Library turns 100 years old on March 27.
• March—“Pieces” by Sandra Inskeep-Fox is printed as MM’s first short story contest winner. “Lower Than a Dog Walks” by Linda Sue Hudson is printed as the second-place selection.
• April—John Voelker, “A man who lived his own life,” dies at the age of eighty-eight.
• June—Plans for “T Rex’s Marvels & Mysteries Museum” are in the works, “to establish a ‘hands-on’ museum, including interactive facilities and programming, with a family focus, where kids of all ages can learn from the exhibits by touching, climbing, hearing, assembling and participating.” The museum board has purchased a building on Baraga Avenue.
• June—MM begins printing sunrise and sunset times in Out & About.
• August—MM switches to printing on recycled paper.
1992
• January/February—Don Curto looks back at the food reviews from 1991, categorizing reactions from owners or managers of the establishments into: “1. Kill the Messenger who dares to bring a message in any way critical; 2. Make some of the suggested changes; 3. Ignore either praise or criticism and proceed with business.”
• April—A “Local” article by Andy Skewis tells of Guido Bonetti, Congress Pizza owner. “My customers have always been good to me,” he said. “I try to make sure everyone enjoys themselves.”
• June—A Laurium woman is bitten by a beaver on M-26 on the way to Copper Harbor. “When the motorist stepped out of her car to investigate, the beaver emerged from under the vehicle, bit her on the ankle, jumped up on her (beavers can weigh as much as seventy-five pounds), knocking her down, whereupon it bit her two more times near her buttocks.”
• July—Habitat for Humanity starts an affiliate in Marquette.
• September—Pat Ryan O’Day becomes MM editor and publisher.
• October—George Jones and Conway Twitty perform in Lakeview Arena.

1993
• March—Paperless tax returns were expected to be available by the year 2000.
• April—“Citizens Rise to Support K.I. Sawyer AFB” said that base supporters are pushing for expansion of the base and emphasizing to federal decision-makers that the closure would mean economic devastation for the Upper Peninsula.
• June—The Marquette County Historical Society celebrates its seventy-fifth anniversary.
• September—Kaufman Auditorium renovations are near completion, adding new seating, barrier-free entrances, a new sound system and a resurfaced floor.
• November—Alison Krauss and Union Station perform in the Quaystone Concert Series at the Peterson Auditorium in Ishpeming.
• December—Jeff Eaton’s “Local” about Bob Buchkoe, an accomplished pianist, composer and music teacher. “Aside from music, I like to get autographs of people I admire a lot,’ he said, flipping open a binder that contains inscriptions from Helen Keller, Eleanor Roosevelt and Mother Teresa, among others.”

1994
• February—Don Curto opens the New York Deli.
• June—K.I. Sawyer AFB has its last open house before closing.
• July—“A YMCA for Marquette?” tells of the committee headed by the Rotary Club of Marquette, which is working to bring a YMCA facility to the area. A booth is set up at the International Food Fest to gather public opinion.
• September—“The Tables Turn: Curto Gets Reviewed,” is written by Connie Joffee about the New York Deli.
• October—Gene P. Desonia writes a “Locals” article, “The one and only Oakie Brumm.” He is quoted, “I remember Gordie Howe telling me how great the ice conditions were at the prison rink. He said it was the best ice he had ever skated on. They were the greatest team I ever saw. Howe, Alex Delvecchio, Ted Lindsay, Terry Sawchuk, Bob Goldham, Len ‘Red’ Kelly…the best the NHL had to offer.”
• October—Leonard Heldreth reviews What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? “The film has some genuinely funny scenes, but the tone is more humorous than uproarious, and the humor is often touched with pathos.”

1995
MM averages about thirty-six pages with about 100 ads.
• January—Rep. Dominic Jacobetti (D-Mich.), who died in November of 1994, was remembered by a flower arrangement left on his vacant desk on the house floor. “Dominic Jacobetti exemplified the spirit and pride of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. He was as tenacious as a U.P. winter and as colorful as a Teal Lake sunset…”
• January—“Staying in Touch On-line” by Ray Hoffman explained the Internet.
• April—Haywire, an award-winning play written by NMU’s Shelley Russell, is performed in the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., by the original NMU cast.
• May—Liberty Children’s Art Project has its grand opening.
• June—Gerald Waite’s “Locals” article featuring Ellwood Mattson said, “As a civic leader, too, a truly active member of literally dozens of organizations over the years, he is quick to give credit to others, especially at the toughest times.”
• July—The Studio Gallery opens to the public.

1996
• February—Clark’s Landing becomes the Steer & Stein.
• April—“Build a Dream” by Sue Ward details the playground plans for the Lower Harbor Park. Construction on the project was scheduled to begin June 13.
• July—Plans for the Peter White Public Library expansion and renovation are in the works. Voters will be asked to approve a millage increase on August 6 to fund half of the $9 million project.
• August—MM publishes a Finn Fest issue, with a cover, “Back Then,” “Arts in These Parts,” “Locals” and “Food & Other Important Things” all pertaining to a Finnish theme, including a story about the world’s largest sauna.
• September—Meredith Ammons writes “Soccer: Everyone gets a Little Kick Out of It” about the absence of soccer in the U.P., and why there shouldn’t be.
• September—NASCAR’s Rusty Wallace makes a public appearance at the U.P. State Fairgrounds.
The Marquette Monthly office moves from 118 to 1010 West Washington Street.

1997
• February—Marquette is set to host the World Winter Cities Forum ‘97. This is the first time the forum is hosted by a United States city in the lower forty-eight states.
• March—Cleveland-Cliff’s Iron Company celebrates 150 years. “Today, Cleveland-Cliffs is the world’s largest producer of iron ore pellets…”
• June—Christine and Bruce Pesola open the Landmark Inn.
• July—Michigamme celebrates its Quasquicentennial. In Bob Mercier’s article, he writes “At one time, this little boom town had seventeen saloons. They were scattered throughout what we now know as the town of Michigamme. They did a very prosperous business since they catered to the lumberjacks and miners, who comprised most of the population.”
• July—Don Curto makes note of the new Mexican food restaurant opening in town, the Border Grill. “Food is fresh, cooked to order, with large and flavorful servings. This is not at all like quick-order Mexican places we’re used to seeing.”
• September—Marcelaine Wininger’s “Locals” piece about Bob Larson, the founder of Northwoods Airlifelines. The business flies sick people in immediate need to their destinations with volunteer pilots.
• October—MM celebrates its tenth anniversary.

1998
• May—Petunia Pandemonium, the Marquette Beautification Committee’s project along the southern gateway to Marquette, was awarded $1,000 by Midwest Living magazine.
• June—The Marquette Monthly is first put on the World Wide Web at www.mmnow.com
• June—Groundbreakings are held for Marquette General Hospital’s addition and Northern Michigan University’s Events Center.
• September—Jane Nordberg’s “Locals” article about Richard Taylor, “Model Citizen of the Keweenaw,” tells of his railroad hobby. Taylor turned the hobby into a business, designing model railroads all over the country.
• October—The Women’s Center celebrates its twenty-fifth anniversary. In “25 Years, 25 Tears, 25 Cheers,” Rebecca Tavernini writes “Today’s generation of women face their own struggles, but they have laws to support their choices and protect them from abusive partners. As these women forge their way, they may not realize how much has changed in the last twenty-five years, because they are confronted by all that still needs to be changed in their world.”
• November—Leslie Bek writes the first “Health Matters” article, “Rethinking the Brain: A Healthy Start…Starts with You.”

1999
Marquette celebrates 150 years; NMU celebrates 100 years; Anatomy of a Murder celebrates forty years.
• June—MM moves to the Marquette Monthly Cottage on Third Street.
• June—St. Rocco’s Day ItalianFest celebrates its 100th anniversary.
• July—The first ever U.P. Gospel Music Fest in the Marquette area is scheduled at Mattson Lower Harbor Park.
• July—Madonna Marsden’s “Back Then” piece “On Iron Bay” tells the story of the progress of Marquette through the ages. “The political relationship of Marquette to the rest of the nation is commemorated by remembrances of visits made by two U.S. Presidents to the Upper Peninsula…Teddy Roosevelt…and William Howard Taft.”
• September—Sawyer International Airport opens to the public with an open house and dedication; the theme was “The Sky is the Limit.”
• December—Sylvia Kinnunen writes “Memories of the Twentieth Century,” featuring comments from locals on years gone by.
The Calumet Theatre turns 100, the Humane Society celebrates twenty-five years and RSVP celebrates ten years.

2000
• April—Negaunee High School’s boys basketball team wins the state championship.
• April—The Family Friendly Community Guide debuts in MM. “The Family Friendly Community Guide is the result of the combined efforts of various community agencies…volunteers plan the monthly contents, collect the information and write the articles.”
• May—Hank Williams III plays at Upfront & Company.
• September—Diane Miller’s “Building Beauty” tells the story of local violin maker Keith Davis.
• October—Claudia Drosen writes “The Movers and Shakers of the ‘New’ Peter White Public Library,” tracing the history of the facility and the changes that were made in renovations.
• December—Leonard Heldreth reviews Escanaba in da Moonlight.
• December—April Spray’s “Locals” article features Gary Walker, Marquette County’s Prosecutor.

2001
• February—April Spray’s “Locals” piece features Sal Sarvello, former Marquette Chief of Police. “I enjoyed every minute of being a policeman,” he said.
• August—The first issue of Sawyer News is printed in the Marquette Monthly.
• September—Greg Peterson’s “TV from the Ground Up” features WBUP (Beautiful Upper Peninsula) TV-10, which begins broadcasting from the Marquette Mall.
• November—A “September 11 Collection” of reactions from community members about the terrorist attacks runs. “We, as a people, must come to define ourselves as more than just living in the only remaining super power country,” Tim Havican writes. Don Curto said, “I now know the facts of what took place. As time passes, however, I understand less and less the why of what happened.” Sylvia Kinnunen writes, “Right now we’re being told to carry on as usual. That, I can do, and I can pray; we all can pray.”

2002
• January—Greg Peterson’s “Lookout Point” piece details the closing of the Empire Mine, “A Night to Remember.”
• January—The cover design and a “City Notes” article commemorate the 115th Continental Cup Paul Bietila Memorial Tournament at Ishpeming’s Suicide Bowl. The tournament will be the last at the ski hill.
• March—8-18 Media begins publishing in MM.
• July—In Don Curto’s “On being an American citizen,” he writes, “So be skeptical of the righteous public servant, question political piety, watch for travelers with bulky jackets, thick-heeled shoes, shifty eyes and sullen attitudes on sunny days.”

2003
• January—Leslie Bek discusses Seasonal Affective Disorder and its affect on U.P. residents in her “Health Matters” article. “For some individuals, the declining light in the fall can usher in a form of a mood disorder that goes beyond simple winter blahs,” she wrote.
• February—Kristi Evans’ “McNulty Challenges Community” feature announces Marquette’s addition to the short list of candidates for America’s most livable communities. “A regional planning expert has a bit of advice for those who prefer to keep Marquette County’s numerous assets a best-kept secret: enjoy the relative anonymity while you can.”
• April—Larry Chabot writes of an impromptu Elvis concert in Ontonagon in 1956 that turned out to be a hoax in “Suspicious Minds.” “According to a L’Anse girl who attended, ‘We liked his style, but we didn’t go crazy like they do in big cities.’ In Ontonagon, older folks who attended were reported as ‘disgusted.’”
2004
• February and March—A two-part series by Christian Hansen addresses gambling in the U.P. and tells the stories of three residents and their tribulations with gambling addictions.
• September—Don Curto’s book, Stirring it Up!, is first announced on MM’s Web site. This is the first book produced by MM’s parent company, Thumbs Up Publishing.
• November—Ishpeming’s Barnes-Hecker mine disaster is remembered in a “Back Then” piece by Erin Elliott. “…Fifteen minutes later, water had filled the shaft to 185 feet below the surface and fifty miners and the newly reelected county mine inspector had lost their lives. After a harrowing climb of 800 feet up the narrow emergency ladder inside the shaft, Wills collapsed, the only survivor of Michigan’s worst mining disaster.”

2005
• February—Former NMU professor and world-renowned children’s literature author James Cloyd Bowman is profiled by Larry Chabot. Bowman first achieved literary success when he penned “The Adventures of Paul Bunyan.” He said in a 1958 Mining Journal article that, “while filling in for an absent instructor of children’s literature in 1926, he realized that most children’s folk stories had European or Asian origins. American frontier folk characters were considered too wild and uncouth for children. So why not take the stories, make them palatable with a connective narrative and turn the characters into heroes?”
• March—Groundbreaking surgical advances from Pioneer Surgical Technology are announced in a feature by Erin Elliott. The story discusses spinal and orthopedic conditions that previously required risky procedures and how new surgical instruments and implants will make life more functional for U.P. residents.
• August—Kristy Basolo and local press releases document the preparation for Finn Grand Fest 2005. “With help from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, as many as 224 Finnish travelers will be allowed to arrive and depart at Marquette, with Customs staff from Sault Ste. Marie handling customs processing of the flight via FinnAir. The festival is expected to draw more than 5,000 visitors to the area.”

2006
• February—The “Meals on Wheels” program for senior citizens is featured in a story by Marcy Griffen. “For at least thirty years, more than six billion meals have been served nationwide to feed older Americans and to help them remain in their homes.”
• June—Mining companies Bitterroot Resources and Cameco look to the Keweenaw Peninsula for its potential uranium deposits in a story by Valerie West. Babette Welch, cofounder of grassroots organization Save the Wild U.P., reacted this way: “Uranium mining leaves radioactive waste, which can lead to cancer. It needs to be looked after for a lifetime. People don’t understand how damaging this will be to their quality of life.”
• July—Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore turns forty years old. Greg L. Bruff and Kristy Basolo collaborate on a story about its history and the efforts it took to make it the U.P. landmark it has become. “We had been told of the variety in the color and form of these rocks, but were wholly unprepared to encounter the surprising groups of overhanging precipices, towering walls, caverns, waterfalls… mingled in the most wonderful disorder,” commented Indian agent and wilderness scholar Henry Rowe Schoolcraft in 1820.

2007
• January—MM begins posting pictures in addition to the stories on its Web site.
• February—Public hearings about the proposed Kennecott sulfide mine are scheduled after the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality grants preliminary approval to a series of drilling permits.
• June and August—The First Presbyterian Church and the Marquette Catholic Diocese celebrate their sesquicentennials with a variety of events. The Amos Harlow family first brought Presbyterianism to the area, and Father Jacques Marquette and Bishop Frederick Baraga are remembered for Catholicism’s roots in the U.P.
• September—The fourth annual Marquette Area Blues Fest wowed visitors with nine artists over Labor Day weekend, including the local favorite Flat Broke Blues Review. Guitar and harmonica workshops also were held for the public.
Marquette Monthly now averages 64 pages.
MM

Editor’s Note: This article, originally put together by Erin Elliott and Kristy Basolo for the October 2002 issue, was updated by Becky Korpi.

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