For 28 years the city of Zeeland, within western Michigan, has held its annual Pumpkinfest. According to the official brochure, “this family-friendly event has featured a plethora of fall activities, parades, music and more.” One such musical event was held at Vitale’s of Zeeland.
A traditional restaurant, as stated by their web site, “carries on the great dining that has become synonymous with the Vitale name.” Jabber Log was on-hand to witness the busy crowd both inside and out for the event. For more information on Pumpkinfest and Vitale’s of Zeeland, follow the links below.
Music Performers –
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By Ricardo — 8 years ago
Today I confirmed that I have developed the highly useful “Look of Discipline” (LOD). You know that look right? It’s the look that your parents gave you when you were acting up and once you saw it you knew you were toast. I gave this look to my seven year old today at church and he knew I was not messing around. When I turned back I had to hold back from laughing because it made me think of all the times I saw that look from my parents. It was mostly my father who gave the look but when it came from my mom I knew I was dead. For anyone who knows my mom you know how sweet and nice she is but if you cross her she will let you know where to put it. I had to have been about 13 or 14 when I first witnessed the wrath of my mother and her version of the LOD. She had been giving me face for something I had done and I wasn’t having it. I didn’t want to hear what she had to say and when she turned around I flipped her off. Now I know this sounds really bad and it is but I made a huge mistake. For those who have never seen the inside of my old house in Fennville, it had a large window in the living room and when this occurred it was at night and the lights were on. Can you guess what happened next? I can see myself in slow motion flipping my mom the bird and hearing a loud screech of,
“What did you just do!?”
It was the perfect example for a parents having eyes behind their head. She was still facing the window and I focused in on my reflection with my finger still up and a version of LOD that brought my heart up into my throat and a pucker that only a laxative could cure. I put my hand down and tried to cover it up.
“I..I…didn’t do anything mom!” I was so frightened and I could smell the early stages of death.
“Don’t you lie to me! I saw your reflection in the window.”
My mom walked up to me and slapped me back to birth! I kept apologizing to her but there was nothing that could take away the LOD from hell.
“Just wait until your dad gets home!”
Now what she said was, “Just wait until your dad gets home” but what I heard was “Chopper sick balls”. Yeah that’s not what I heard but I couldn’t help saying it and I don’t think she ever told him because he never said anything to me but man did I screw up.
The times that it happened with my dad was more or less when we were in public and if we didn’t listen to him we heard something that still sends chills up my spine. This phrase was uttered many times and it goes something like this, “Do you want a happy birthday?” Now when we heard this my siblings and I knew that we were screwed. One time in particular that I remember was hearing this at a restaurant which is obviously in public. This phrase was to disguise the fact that I or my siblings were going to get our asses handed to us.
“Hi, may I take your order”, asked the waitress.
I had been provoking my siblings as usual and with the waitress standing in front of my family my father let out the dreaded happy birthday phrase. It was just enough to hear him say that but with his LOD it made it worse and we immediately stopped what we were doing. The unsuspecting and naive waitress could only respond with,
“Oh! Is it your birthday?”
I turned and nodded my head but it really wasn’t my birthday and all I could think was, “No lady! I’m about to have my ass handed to me!” I didn’t feel the wrath of my father but it set me straight for the day. It’s funny how parents mask discipline with a funny phrase but others lay it all out and it works. I can remember a time when my wife and I were passing by the toy section in Wal-Mart and we heard a lady struggling with her child and to get her son to realize she was no longer playing she yelled out,
“Son if you don’t get over here I will smack the black off you!”
It was hilarious and it was just what the doctor ordered. That little boy jumped right up and went with his mom. We heard a variation of this in a similar place but the mom in this one yelled out,
“If you don’t get up off that floor I will smack you in front of God and everybody in this store.”
It was simply an empty threat but it got the kids attention. These are only a few that I can recall right now but if I can remember some more I will definitely post it. If you can recall any times you witnessed the LOD from your parents please comment and share your story. Also, if you are walking in the mall, eating in a restaurant or just out in public and you hear, “Do you want a happy birthday?” then you know some sweet, bratty child is about to get their ass handed to them.Post Views: 209
By Ricardo — 7 years ago
According to Dictionary.com Karma is defined as an “action, seen as bringing upon oneself inevitable results, good or bad, either in this life or in reincarnation.” So with that said I have a story for you. I believe it falls under Karma but the more I think about it I think some of the parts within the story might have been God’s way of joking with me. I mean…isn’t that what Karma is in a way? If you think about it, you have a situation that requires a decision. If the decision brings forth something bad it is immediately thought of as bad Karma. But what if the bad Karma is a look at God’s sense of humor? Now, this only works if you believe in God, which I do but if you don’t then it’s Karma or simply bad luck. All in all it’s something unseen that we feel has some sort of impact on our decisions in life whether the result is good or bad.
So here’s the story and it’s not one that everyone knows but it’s about time I wrote about it. Years ago I purchased a car with my ex. When things went sour she kept the car. Now, I’m not going to go into deep detail but let’s just say that an opportunity came up for me to take over payments. A sum of money was paid to the bank by myself, yet there was still a small dispute over the car. I had called the police to state my case and they told me that they could not help me but that I would have to take her to court or simply go and retrieve it myself. We were both on the title so if I went to go get it I wasn’t doing anything wrong. It would not be illegal for me to go and get my own car. I now know this years later because of where I work but back then I was clueless. So in a way the police department I spoke to was helping me out. If I had gone with an officer to retrieve my car he would have only stood by while I asked my ex for it. If she had refused there would be nothing the officer could do because it was a civil matter. He would only be there to keep the peace since nothing criminal was going on.
So my dilema was working at a factory and having no transportation. I desperately needed this car from my ex and I remembered the officer saying that I wouldn’t get into trouble if I went to get the car myself since it was half mine. After a while of going back and forth, I had made my decision. I would head over to where she was living and get my car back but…I had no key. So what was I to do? Well, after a few conversations with the bank they revealed that I could head out to any locksmith, present my title, and get a new key made. It was that easy and I would have never thought to do that or that a locksmith would even cut me a key without having one on me in the first place as proof that I was the owner. It’s kind of scary if you think about it. Anyone with a copy or stolen title could walk into a locksmith, get a key for a vehicle and possibly steal it. Not a good thought at all but this is what I did and per the police department I spoke to, this was not stealing. So everything was set. I now had a key to the car, I had a ride to get it but something was missing. Oh yeah, it was the nerve to actually go and do it.
It’s funny that as I type this and reflect on the whole situation, I feel as nervous as I did when I went to get the car. I believe it was on a Saturday night when I went to get it and whole way there my friend Adam and my brother Nando were heckling me that I wouldn’t do it and that this was just a waste of time. I kept telling them that I really needed the car for work and that we would be leaving in separate cars. All they could do was laugh at me. I remember rounding the corner to my ex’s home and I began to sweat. My stomach was in knots and I swear to all that is holy that if anyone would have nudged me in the stomach I probably would have messed myself. On top of that I had been joking the whole way there that with my luck there would be no gas in the car. We all had a good laugh about that but it would never happen. I mean, what are the actual odds of something like that happening anyway? As we pulled up I could see the vehicle in the carport. We pulled up to the side of the complex and I took a deep breath.
“Well…here goes nothing.”
“Dude you’re not going to do it”, Adam responded.
“I need that car for work bro!”
I grabbed the key, got out of the car, and walked towards my vehicle. My nerves were shot and my walk was crooked. I was so nervous that my body was shaking and anyone looking at me would have thought I was intoxicated because I was walking in such a crooked manner. I might have gone through a seizure as well but I don’t remember for sure. I just know that I was out of it, my anxiety and asthma were haywire and I was about to take my car back. I walked up to the car and I noticed the doors were unlocked. I thought this was odd since the area was somewhat bad but what was worse was that there was a set of keys sitting out in the open. Someone could have easily taken the car before I got there though, I figured it was meant to be that I made it there at 3am before anyone else. So, I opened the door and got in like nothing, started it, pulled out and once I passed the complex I hauled butt. As I headed to the exit I saw lights flip on and for a moment my heart stopped. I thought it was a cop and I about wet myself but it was my friend and my brother. I headed to the exit of the sub division and when I got to the stop sign I looked down and noticed something. I had gone from complete triumph mode to scared and upset mode. Remember my jokes about having no gas? What are the freaking odds of that happening!? My ex lived pretty close to the highway and I had planned to travel a few miles to it and book it home but I had no gas. Instead I had to go the opposite direction to get gas from Meijer.
I took off to get gas and the whole way I was praying to God that I wouldn’t get caught. I don’t even know why I was so scared. The police told me that what I was doing wasn’t illegal so why was I freaking out? I could see my friend in back of me and we were both speeding to the gas station. I pulled in and for whatever reason the world decided it would be a great time to get some gas. This was a big deal because I was in a hurry and I don’t know if you have ever put gas in after midnight at Meijer but during that time the station is closed off and you have to pay outside at the window. So here I am at the end of a long line and I’m jumping around doing the pee-pee dance. It felt like I head been there for hours before I finally made it up to the window.
“You need gas?”
“No I need to pee really bad, of course I need gas!”
“Here’s a ten sir.”
I ran back to my car and began to pump. My friend and brother were laughing at me because I jinxed myself by joking about not having gas and as I flipped them off the pump stopped. I looked at the price and it had stopped at $7. It turned out that the car was not on empty. Whatever it is that controls the line that marks how much gas there is was broken. I was manic by then and all I could do was laugh. I hopped in my car and took off once again. I left without my change but I suppose the cashier deserved a little something since I was somewhat rude. Once I got out of Holland I hit the backroads. The rest of the way home was a blur because I hit hyper speed. I mean…well…I guess it wasn’t that fast but I swear I could see the lines pass me like in Star Wars when they’re hauling ass through space. When I finally got home I almost needed someone to pry my hands from the steering wheel because I had been white-knuckling it the whole way home. When my friend and brother finally caught up to me they told me that they couldn’t believe I actually did it.
The next morning I got a phone call from Holland PD. I was told that I was a person of interest in the disappearance of a car. I explained the situation and the officer told me to go no further. She understood it was a civil matter and even shared a laugh with me. In the end the situation turned in my favor but in the middle of the whole thing Karma was messing with me. Well, it was either Karma or God’s sense of humor. Whatever it was, it created a grand adventure and story to be told. What made it even more funny was when I applied at my first dispatching job in Florida. The Chief and Lieutenant asked if I had any skeletons in my closet. I chuckled at first and responded with,
“I stole a car once.”
Their reaction was priceless. So what do you think? Karma or God’s sense of humor?Post Views: 492
By Ricardo — 7 years ago
Christmas is only a few days away. I’m currently watching a cartoon with my family and watching my son get into it takes me back to when I was a kid. Christmas was such a big deal back then. I mean, it’s still a big deal now but it’s more or less how Lucy described it in “A Charlie Brown Christmas”,
“Look, Charlie, let’s face it. We all know that Christmas is a big commercial racket. It’s run by a big eastern syndicate, you know.”
As a kid I didn’t get that comment but as an adult it makes me laugh because it is a big commercial racket. I used to get excited for Christmas because of the presents but it was much more than that. My family would get together and we would have a massive gift exchange. On top of that was the cookies, candy, snow, and the cartoons. I remember my siblings and I would go outside and have snowball fights for hours. We would then go out back and make walls with massive rolled up snowballs, cut out holes so we could see and make an arsenal of snowballs for war. One winter my mom decided to take part in our war. She was on my sisters team and my brother and I were hell bent on destroying them. I told my brother to make a run across the field so that they would start throwing snowballs at him and then I would stand up and take them out. He made a good run and as he fell I saw my mom stand up to attack him. I stood up and whipped a snowball and nailed her forehead. I remember the loud thud and seeing her fall back in slow motion. All I could hear were the moans and groans as I ran over to her. When I got to the other side she was laying on her back trying to gain her senses.
“Are you ok mom?”
“Richie!!!! You hit me real hard!”
“I told you I would get you.”
“Yeah but not in the face!”
It was hilarious and my brother and I fell over laughing. My sisters yelled at us to stop laughing but we couldn’t. We quickly ran back though. In our moment of triumph my mom had gotten up and began attacking us with snowballs. Those were great times. After playing outside we would come inside and have some hot chocolate. The best time for this was on the day that CBS aired Christmas cartoons. My siblings and I would sit in front of the TV with sweets and hot chocolate. I remember how giddy we would get when the “Special Presentation” promo would pop up and lead into A Charlie Brown Christmas. I can’t remember if all the cartoons aired at once or if it was one a week but I remember seeing Charlie Brown, Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer, A Garfield Christmas Special, Frosty The Snowman, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, The Snowman and others. Those were the days for Christmas cartoons.
On Christmas Eve we would open our presents from our parents but the next morning was for Santa and presents from my Grandmother. We would all head over to my Uncle Steve’s home and have a huge bash. All the kids would play while the adults finished making dinner. After eating we would gather around the tree and my Grandmother. Presents were handed out and the festivities lasted until the wee hours. I think out of everything I have mentioned it’s the large family functions I miss the most. Now that I’ve shared some of what makes Christmas special to me, what makes it special to you? I’m sure there are many memories out there so share away folks!Post Views: 290