Three Women…

…Three Random Questions

Do you have a favorite park or trail that you like to visit to get away from it all, or did you just miss the entire weekend catching up with the gang from Schitt’s Creek on Netflix? And if partying with Mick Jagger is on YOUR bucket list, we have just the friend for you. We’re catching up with a few women, and asked them three random questions…

HSJulie Jackson Chenery / Co-owner of Autobody USA – Type A personality and social butterfly: My passion and purpose is to help others get what they want but don’t waste my time if you aren’t ready to help yourself first. 

Sandy Shaw / Teacher & Musician – 2018 Michigan Orchestra Teacher of the Year

Dawn Worthington / Owner of Worthington Photography & Video – Favorite Quote:  I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. ~ Maya Angelou


 Jackson Chenery:  Walking  in nature with my dog is my happy spot, but it has to be warm and comfortable—68 to 82 degrees with a light breeze.

Shaw:  I’ve enjoyed the winter colors at  Chipman Preserve in Comstock. Besides discovering unique barks like the spiked Honey Locust Tree, other displays of multi-colored berries and textured fungi are delightful to spot. Dead logs give way to deep green moss, while some feisty ferns pop out through the snow.  It’s nature at its best. 

Worthington:  The beach is my refuge and ultimate happy place. I love the Florida Golf Coast—St. Pete and Fort Myers Beach. Closer to home, my most creative ideas are developed in the shower.


Jackson Chenery:  I love to learn, but hate school. Ted Talks and YouTube videos have replaced television. I have a short attention span, but I am very curious.

Shaw:  This is Us, on NBC, has caught my fancy. Each episode manages to tug at my heartstrings as a young couple raises their two surviving triplets along with an adopted baby who happened to be dropped off at the fire station on the same day as the other births. If you want to question your own parenting, watch as these parents always seem to be able to choose the best way to react to their Big Three issues! 

Worthington:  Heart of Dixie / Netflix


Jackson Chenery:  Lynyrd Skynyrd with the Grass Roots at Soaring Eagle Casino last year with my lifetime girlfriend Julie. We reconnected, shared a hotel room, and stayed up giggling all night. In the morning when we were checking out, we got to meet the band! 

Shaw:  I enjoyed sitting near the front row of Miller Auditorium to watch and hear jazz tenor saxophonist,  Branford Marcellus, years back. His brother played the drums while his father, Ellis, played the piano. 

Worthington:  Billy Joel at Madison Square Gardens. Best part being there with my husband who LOVES Billy Joel.


Jackson Chenery:  I would love to spend a day with Mick Jagger or Richard Branson.

Shaw:  I’d like to try skiing someday. I’ve always been mildly athletic, but grew up in the flat plains of Saginaw valley. I stayed in Kalamazoo mainly because of the hills that add so much character to this region. 

Worthington:  Cross country trip in an RV! My retirement plan.

Three awesome women answering three random questions. Here’s a thought… How about combining all three questions? You know, once you’ve devoured Season 2 of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, practice your own standup routine while walking the Kal Haven Trail or one of the other many marvelous parks in the area!

Heidi McCrary is a contributing
writer for Women's LifeStyle.

Living in Kalamazoo… Looking Back at 2016 – the Good & Bad

child-with-balloon-1If you live in the Kalamazoo area, you were probably knocked off your feet more than once this year by the horrific events involving the mass shooting in February, and the tragedy involving the bicyclists this past June. Both incidents drew national news coverage, and painted a dark picture of what people are capable of doing, along with the incredibly sad consequences of their actions.

No one would argue with any of us if we quietly closed out the year, saying “Next year will be better.” But that’s not how we operate here in Kalamazoo. Instead, after getting knocked down, we stood back up as a community, and stood side by side.

While the violence behind the two tragedies does not reflect who we are, how the people of Kalamazoo reacted to the events does define us. We are part of an incredible community – defined by three factors.

The People…

Beyond those who make the headlines regularly, Kalamazoo is built on a foundation of good people who make a difference on a daily basis but without the fanfare. Like the two women highlighted below, who champion a segment of the community without a voice, and are Superheroes to the world of dogs and cats.

Katie Timber works endlessly as the Executive Director of SPCA of SWMI – a non-profit organization dedicated to rescuing homeless dogs and cats, and adopting them into responsible homes. You have probably seen Katie with a spunky dog or two on the local news on Channel 3, or at one of the many SPCA events held in the area.

And over at Animal Rescue Project, Amy Geil Susan is also championing cats and dogs by dedicating her time to helping with the rescue, rehabilitation and adoption of at-risk pets in pound facilities. You may have encountered Amy with a cat or dog at one of the many fund-raising events she facilitates.


When it comes to unique shops and eateries, the area is exploding with a distinct local flavor that rivals cities twice its size. And to keep us on our toes, the city’s shopping and dining landscape is ever-changing. From crack Fries at the new-to-Kazoo HopCat, Bronco shirts and Plainwell Ice Cream at the newly-located The Spirit of Kalamazoo, to a cappuccino at the new Coffee Bar at Sawall Health Foods, it’s all good! Want to relax? Kalamazoo has you covered, with a multitude of parks, trials and nature preserves.

And Things

While Kalamazoo may sound more like a Dr. Seuss name, the heart of what makes it tick is very real. Like the generous people who providing a large monetary gift to the city which will help in bringing down the city’s debt, and lessening the burden to those living in the city, and the organizations and people who are stepping up in the rebuilding and revitalizing of Bronson Park. This is why I am proud to call Kalamazoo home.

Here’s a thought… As we look back on 2016, let’s remember what makes us Kalamazoo Strong.

Heidi McCrary

Advertising Goddess / Writer


Four Things about Frank Lloyd Wright

Tucked away in a small wooded area in the Winchell neighborhood, and alongside Asylum Lake in Kalamazoo, sits Parkwyn Village – a community that features a beautiful variety of homes designed by local architects, Norman Carver Jr. and George Sprau. Parkwyn is also the home of several houses designed by none other than Frank Lloyd Wright.

Hosted by Gazelle Sports, a tour guide lead over 200 people through the Parkwyn neighborhood, and as we visited each of the four homes, our tour guide shared with us, a few interesting tidbits about this famous architect and this quirky little neighborhood. Following are four random things I learned along the way…

  1. The name, Parkwyn comes from Parkview and Winchellthe two main streets that run adjacent to the neighborhood. Someone must have thought that changing the i to a y would give the new name sophistication.IMG_1767
  2. Frank was an a** hole. Yep, more than one homeowner shared a story of Frank’s diva-like antics. Apparently greatness doesn’t like to be questioned – like if a purchased door is not the one he selected.IMG_1789
  3. Frank had no use for kitchens. Not only did he delegate very little floor space to the kitchen, he fired one set of Parkwyn homeowners when they insisted on adding a window to his kitchen plan.IMG_1770
  4. All Frank Lloyd Wright Homes at Parkwyn are designed with the emphasis in the back. Frank’s belief was that the home should embrace nature, so many of his homes are designed with the bedrooms all having a view of the backyard. The beauty of a Frank Lloyd Home is the view looking out.IMG_1783

Heidi McCrary, Author