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A long time ago, I was a child. (I started out as Cathy First from Colon, Mi.) For the past several years I’ve been an adult. A lot of things went on between those two stages of life; probably no more or no less than anyone elses. My husband and I moved to “da U .P” from southern Lower Michigan several years ago (yes we were trolls at one time). We owned and operated and operate Clementz’s Northcountry Campground and Cabins just north of Newberry, Michigan until May 2015. We have grown kids and grandkids (who all live downstate). My passion is life and all that Nature has to offer us and trying to photograph it in unique ways. Our intention in life is to see all that Nature has to offer us. We hope that you will be a part of our adventures as we cruise through our lives together. Come back often!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Something very upsetting has happened within the past week. I was not going to write about it, but there are tongues wagging and I am receiving emails and hearing inaccurate speculations of what “really happened”.

As many of you know, Dan and I announced several weeks ago that we would not be involved with TASA next winter. I was not going to run for Secretary/trail reporter/membership and Dan would not be grooming. This was due to our decision to head south next fall and winter.
A couple of weeks ago, Prez /trail boss Bob Brown and his wife, Judy Brown Treasurer/Grant Writer announced that they too would not be running for office this election.

It was a difficult for all of us to come to this decision and make this announcement. We have all been involved with TASA for many years. But burn out and health issues made the decision for us.

Newberry News interviewed Bob, Judy and me (Dan was grooming so he could not be part of the interview). They put a very nice, informative article in the Newberry News with a photo of the 3 of us. Some people were very upset over the title of the article which read “OFFICER BURN OUT THREATENS FUTURE OF TASA”. The article was written in hopes of getting other people involved with TASA; new warm bodies to accept positions. After all, these are volunteer positions (groomer operators do get paid minimum wage) and we all know how difficult it is to get people to volunteer. People don’t seem to mind sitting back and criticizing those who DO volunteer. In fact sometimes the ONLY time you hear from some people IS when they have a complaint. Ya know how that goes.

This is exactly what happened at the last meeting. Bob and Judy could not attend the meeting that night due to circumstances that required their immediate attention elsewhere.

Without going into the “he said, she said” info (because those 10 or 12 other people who were at the meeting DO know what really happened), let me just say, things were said by one individual that should NOT have been said without Bob or Judy being there to refute the issues.

It all got back to Bob and Judy that very night. About an hour after they got home, one of the TASA members present at the meeting called them and told them what had been said. Dan and I hoped in our hearts it was NOT going to get back to them but knew in our minds there was not anyway that it would NOT get back to them. (And yes, I tried to dissuade the complainant at a couple of points over things he was saying about Judy and how she kept the books. The things that were said against Prez Bob are too lengthy to go into and as I said, those people who were present KNOW what was said and should also know that Bob DID put the “item” out there for approval or disapproval at the PREVIOUS meeting)

Judy called me two days later, early morning, to verify info that they were given; to see if these things really had been said by this individual. They were both extremely hurt over the whole incident. By the time we were ready to hang up, we were both in tears.

A couple of hours later, I received a phone call from our 1st VP letting me know that Bob and Judy had brought him a letter of resignation. I was not totally surprised by this.

Currently, our 1st VP has moved up to temporary President. Our 2nd VP has moved up to temporary 1st VP, I am still serving in my same capacity. There is no treasurer/grant writer. The election has been changed from March 31, 2009 to April 14, 2009.

As for myself, I am just putting in my time and finishing out my term. My heart is no longer in it and I am just going through the motions. If there was someone who would fill in and finish my term out, I would step down now. Dan handed in his key last Friday and is no longer grooming.

We know the rumor mill has already started churning and there are those who are speculating without knowing the facts.

What started out to be just a simple stepping down as officers and groomer operator has turned into something ugly. None of us wanted it this way.


  1. Anonymous12:31 PM

    People can be just plaijn jerks. I hope this whle thing doesn't mess up all the good work that all of you did over all the years! This could bite newberry in the but!

    Faithful snowmobilers from Ohio
    Ted, Mary, Mark and Faye

  2. Anonymous, thank you for your support. However I do hope that you and others will continue to support TASA and the Newberry area. We need to give the new board a chance regardless of our feelings.

  3. Cathy, I am so sorry to hear about the hard times with the TASA. Tom and I have been involved with groups where that kind of thing has happened, even within our church. I have come to the conclusion that when we work in a public service capacity, you have to be ready for those kinds of events, but it doesn't make it easier. What it has done for me is make me try not to be critical when someone is working as part of a group. Even if they aren't doing the job like I would, at least they are doing the job.

  4. Anonymous3:01 PM

    It's too bad that you and the Brown's are allowing one individual to turn all the good you've all done, end in such a miserable way. Hold your heads high and know that what you do is for the greater good. There will always be negative people, but you can't allow the actions of one or two to have an impact on all the others.

  5. SBW, I think it is the same in any volunteer organization. I guess we don't mind being criticized for something quite as much when we actually get a pay check! There will be others who will come on board and we hope they can pick up where we left off...and who knows, maybe they will do better.

  6. Anonymous, it was not an easy decision for Bob and Judy to step down now but there has been a lot go on that others do not know about and I'm not going in to all of that. They can be proud of all the work they have done in the community and for the sledders...they had nothing to gain by donating all these years of work. Nothing except personal satisfaction...that is the kind of people Bob and Judy are...and they raised their kids to be the same way.


  7. Anonymous3:28 PM

    Cathy and Dan

    Just read your blog. Do not know what transpired at the meeting but we are all judged by what we say and do. Do not let the thoughts of a very few undermine all the good the the group as a collective and the individuals have accomplished. There are reasons that TASA received groomer of the year. There are reasons that we have some of the best riding in the mid west. There will always be nay-sayers and envious individuals that only think of them selves. Stick to the high road. The organization and you are appreciated by more people that you can imagine. On behalf of my family and all of our friends I am personally saying Thank You to the club, Bob and Judy and to you and Dan for helping to make our many winter weekends more enjoyable.


    Larry Johnson
    Holt & Newberry Michigan

  8. Larry, thanks for your kind words. It is appreciated. And we're glad you feel so warmly about the TASA trails and Newberry! There will be others who follow us and we have to believe they will continue on where we "left off".


  9. Cathy...it all sounds unfortunate...keep your head high and think of these five words..."Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge".

    PS...the pix are looking good!

  10. ES, I wondered where you have been?? Busy teaching photo classes at college??

    Those 5 words have become my mantra, especially when I can't be outside due to the hives!

    A good reason to keep my head high; it gets rid of the extra

    I can't wait to be able to actually get OUTSIDE again and use my camera!



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