Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Chelsea Michigan

Mrs ERJ and I made a day trip to Chelsea, Michigan.  We are still getting the hang of being retired and this seemed like the kind of thing normal, retired people ought to do.

Chelsea is fifty minutes from Eaton Rapids.  Chelsea is an upscale community that is fifteen miles from a major University city.

The shop that caught our eye was a Toy, Book and Music store called 'Just Imagine'.

Bill Harris is the proprietor and he graciously spent twenty minutes chatting with us when he really wanted to be catching up on his paperwork.
This is a five second video showing a kids book where the picture animates by tilting the book.  It made me think of the animated photos (in newspapers) in the book Harry Potter.

Mr Harris carries a large line of Melissa and Doug toys and educational materials.  Mrs ERJ assures me that Melissa and Doug materials are famous for good quality and reasonable prices.
His materials are skewed toward "manipulative" toys that can activate kinesthetic learning.  Mr Harris is currently stocking toys/games that develop fine motor hand skills.  The local teachers told him that the kids now showing up in Kindergarten knowing how to use iPads but not able to properly hold a pencil or crayon.  Just Imagine to the rescue.
If I understood the packaging, one of these packages has magnetic glitter.  It makes clean-up a breeze.
Music.  More of that kinesthetic learning and getting the brain to knit together.  Plus, being able to play a musical instrument is a great way to woo a lady.
As we chatted with Mr Harris, it became clear that he relied heavily on various members of his family and community to give him guidance regarding the best materials to stock.  For instance, his wife manages the Inspiration Materials shelf.  He relies on one of his daughters to give him "hot tips" on children's books.

He includes old favorites (like books by P.D. Eastman) and books that are likely to become classics.  How does he know which books will become classics?  He picks books that he enjoys reading to children:  Good artwork, engaging story lines, appropriate reading level and sturdy construction.  He is also highly responsive to local teachers who pop in and talk with him.

If you are passing through Chelsea, Michigan and have some grandchildren or nieces/nephews who need spoiling, consider stopping into Just Imagine.  His phone number is (734) 562-2040 and his Facebook page is HERE.  Many more pictures on Facebook and, frankly, they are better photos than the ones I posted here.

Old Stone Building
Chelsea has many examples of outstanding, dressed field stone buildings.

The George P. Glazier building.  Glazier was a big name in wood stoves and went belly-up in 1907.  Vanity buildings are the 1900 versions of sports stadiums.
The United Methodist Church.  Large amounts of pink granite.
The regular masonry buildings were also pretty well executed.
And you may be thinking, "I know I have seen that name, "Chelsea, Michigan" but I just cannot remember where.
Chelsea, Michigan is home to Jiffy Mix.  Each one of those triple silos is twenty feet in diameter and about 120 feet tall.  That is about 800,000 bushels of total capacity.  Figured another way, that is about 20 million packages of Jiffy Mix muffins.
I think we did well for a couple of country mice visiting the big city.  We may have to do that again.

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