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Arts & More: Poet t. kilgore splake and the Klassic Arcade hosts "Game Stock."

By: Lorraine Caron and Gordon Evans
Kalamazoo, MI
September 29, 2011

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Poet t. kilgore splake

The online literary magazine “The Smoking Poet” marked its fifth year of publication earlier this year. Kalamazoo resident Zinta Aistars is founder and editor-in-chief . While she receives and publishes manuscripts from authors around the world, in the upcoming issue she’ll feature art from the northernmost tip of Michigan: the Keweenaw Peninsula. For WMUK, via Skype, she talked with poet and writer t. kilgore splake of Calumet. His ties to southwest Michigan include a long teaching career at Kellogg Community College back when he was still known by his birth name of Tom Smith. He read his poem titled “90-Proof  Angels,” talked about his move to the Upper Peninsula, where he first settled in Munising, and explained how he decided on his pen name.

t. kilgore splake’s work will be featured in the December issue of the online literary magazine The Smoking Poet.

Game Stock at Klassic Arcade

The Klassic Arcade in Gobles features over 60 games, video and pinball. Some of them date back to the 1960’s, and most of them were made in the 80s. This weekend many of those machines will be used to determine who wins cash prizes, up to 500-dollars for first place. 

(Grice: I’m Aunetra Grice, I’m the manager at the Klassic Arcade. I’m Kevin Ketchum, I’m the owner of the Klassic Arcade.)

Ketchum opened the Klassic Arcade eight years ago, and hasn’t hosted a tournament before:

(Ketchum: actually a customer came up with it.

Grice: Yep, one of our loyal customers, John Klinkel who is actually a world record holder himself in Galaga. He’s from Battle Creek. He always brings his family in. Since he’s kind of in that circuit, in that club of guys they travel all around and play professionally and play in tournaments. He wanted to help us get a tournament off the ground and kind of get our name out there too.)

The tournament at the Klassic Arcade will begin at four o’clock September 30 and will continue until five o’clock on October 2. The cash prizes will be based on scores in 15 different video games:

(Grice: With the 15 games, you can play them all. You just need your top seven finishes So if I got first place on Donkey Kong, and first place on Zaxxon and first place on Frogger as long as I have the top finishes on that game, then I would be the winner. So we can’t go by scores, because they all have different scoring systems. So it’s how you finish on that machine. So first, second and third would then get points for each of their rankings and at the end we would add all of those up. And so whoever has the most firsts would win.)

There’s a 45-dollar entry fee for the tournament although people who aren’t competing can still pay the usual five dollars to play unlimited games and watch some very good players:

(Grice: We have Donald Hayes is the big name who is coming out. He’s coming from New Hampshire. And his claim to fame is that he has the most current world records for classic games. So I think he holds six current, and that’s Guinness World Records. So that’s pretty impressive. He came out here and visited us last summer. He also plays table tennis professionally. He was in Grand Rapids for a table tennis tournament, and heard about the arcade and came out and stayed for a couple of days, and of course beat some scores on some of our games. A very nice guy, so he was very excited to come out and hang us with again.

Ketchum: Fun to watcher, very fun to watch. A machine on those things.)

Ketchum and Grice say they aren’t sure how many people will participate in the tournament, but are expecting many of their regular customers. It will be a long weekend, but Aunetra Grice says she’s not complaining:

(Grice: I mean there’s worse places that you could be overnight. I mean you’ve got a hundred different kinds of glass bottled pop. Soda out of the draft, play all the games you want to play. I mean there’s worse jobs to have you know)

For W-M-U-K, I’m Gordon Evans.

Other Events

The Kalamazoo-based band Sweet Maya is rejoining for two 40th reunion concerts. The shows are September 30 and October 1, starting at 7:30 p.m., in the Dalton Center Recital Hall at Western Michigan University.

Game Day is being sponsored by the Kalamazoo Area Boardgamers from noon to midnight October 1. The event, which offers participants the chance to play a variety of classic and new board games, is at the Parkview Kazoo Books store.

The 39th Annual Four Flags Apple Festival is September 29 through October 2 at Lake and 17th Street in Niles. It includes entertainment, carnival rides, and arts and crafts.

“The Spew” is a comedy/parody of the television program “The View” and it’s being staged at the Acorn Theater in Three Oaks at 8 p.m. on October 1. The cast includes Cynthia Austin, Liz Cloud, Mary Hughes, and Jenni Lamb from the Chicago improve scene.

On October 1 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek hosts “Howl-A-Palooza,” in celebration of National Wolf Awareness Week.

Volunteers are being sought for the “Fall into the Arts” Art Walk on October 14 in downtown Battle Creek. The evening event needs volunteers to direct patrons to art receptions and live music, and hand out and collect surveys.

The WMU School of Music presents its second annual “WMUsic Showcase Spectacular” October 2 at 3 p.m. in Western’s Miller Auditorium in Kalamazoo. The Western Wind Quintet, the University Jazz Orchestra, the Bronco Marching Band, and Gold Company, and other ensembles will perform.