Wow! Spring is back. What a welcome change from yesterday.
The flowers are starting to pop in Heritage Hill and slowly the neighborhood is greening up.
We decided to walk down to the Cottage Bar, a must stop for residents of Heritage Hill at the corner of LaGrave and Fulton, for a Cottage Burger and fries. As usual the place was packed and the food was great.
The Cottage Bar has been a gathering place since 1927 and has a warm spot in my heart. When I first came to Grand Rapids in 1968 as a radio news reporter, I was introduced to the Cottage Bar by George Zarry (Zarafonetis) a veteran newspaper reporter, West Michigan bureau chief for United Press International, and contributor to Esquire magazine.
George Zarry felt it was important that I get a history lesson and so we met over beers and burgers with former Mayor George Welsh (1938 to 1949) who had also been Michigan's youngest Lt. Governor (1924). It was an unforgettable meeting. Welsh was credited with helping pull the city out of the depression with a variety of municipal works projects. (Welsh Auditorium being the most notable) In '49 a city charter revision campaign successfully put in place a city manager form of government and Mayor Welsh' days in power were over. On the day we met almost 30 years after the fact, he was obviously still bitter but provided a marvelous historical perspective on politics in Grand Rapids. It was an unforgettable meeting.
In all these years, the Cottage Bar has not changed! It is an absolute classic.
In the next few days, we're going to add a neighborhood forum to www.WestmanRealty.com so that we can all add our spontaneous and/or planned events and comments on life in Heritage Hill. Please drop by.