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An unexpected connection

September 2, 2008 - Diane Speer
I’ve covered the Besser Museum for about 18 years now, and in that time I’d always heard the name of Cliff Roberts, who had served as the first director of the museum’s planetarium. So it was serendipitous for me when a long-time Onaway resident contacted me last week about doing a story on his just published book. I pencilled the time for our interview on my calendar, and even though I wrote down the name of the author I was going to interview next to my time notation, it didn’t ring a bell with me since I’m not a Northeast Michigan native.

In the course of our delightful interview, which included his wife, Florence, Cliff told me that he was in fact the same Cliff who once worked at the museum. He told me that he even used to write a column for our newspaper called “Sky Notes.” I also learned that day that his daughter is Ann Glawe, who I’ve known for quite sometime through my attendance at Word of Life Baptist Church. I always love the inter-connections that come into play in an area the size of ours, and I always love meeting new people like Cliff and Florence.

As for the initial reason for the interview, Cliff is now nearing age 90 and he wanted to put together a book of the columns he’d written for 20 years for The Onaway Outlook. He hoped to have something of substance to leave his offspring, and on that front he certainly succeeded. You can read all about his book, “Stories From the Riverbank and Other Tales From Onaway” in a feature that appears on Wednesday’s Lifestyles page in The Alpena News. The story also should be available later that same day online at this Web site.

Interviewing Cliff and learning about his interesting past was an unexpected and enjoyable experience. So too were the warm hugs that he and Florence gave me afterward. Our conversation was all in a day’s work, but what a good day’s work it turned out to be.


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