Suggestions for Melissa and Timothy: The essential experiences for every new Howell resident

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busfieldsWhen I moved to Howell back in 1983, I tried to experience everything that Howell had to offer back then.

I saw a movie at the Howell Theater. I shopped for clothes at Big Wheel. I played softball at Lucy Road Park. I ate a burger at the Midget. Whatever Howell had back then, I tried it out. I even had a chocolate shake at the Old Howell House.

Based on evidence from social media and elsewhere, it seems that Howell’s newest residents – actors Melissa Gilbert and Timothy Busfield – are doing the same thing. They aren’t shopping for clothes at Big Wheel or eating a burger at the Midget, of course (that might be kind of difficult right now), but they are doing just about everything else. In the month or so since they’ve moved to Howell, it appears they’re trying to experience all the great things that the town has to offer.

Melissa has tweeted about loving the food at Blue Fin Sushi, Mexicali Allie’s and Diamond’s Steakhouse. I’ve seen photos of them at the Community Theatre of Howell’s production of “Pirates of Penzance.” I’m guessing they spent at least part of the weekend at the Melon Festival.

They’re shopping in our stores, eating in our restaurants, taking pleasant walks along our streets. They’re doing everything that any new resident of Howell would do.

In case they haven’t gotten around to doing absolutely EVERYTHING, though, to help them out, I’ve started to compile a list of Things That Every New Resident of Howell Really Needs to Do. Here’s what I have so far:

1. Complain about the teeny-tiny roundabouts. Melissa and Timothy have been around the world, so they have no doubt seen pretty much everything. I’m doubting, though, that they’ve seen anything like the totally useless, totally unexplainable teeny-tiny roundabouts that dot the residential neighborhoods of Howell. If they haven’t already done so, they need to drive up to one of these things and start yelling to no one in particular: “WHAT THE HECK IS THIS!?”

2. Watch the Fantasy of Lights Parade. Melissa and Timothy: This takes place on the Friday after Thanksgiving. It’s about 30 degrees outside, and everybody in Howell lines the streets of Grand River Avenue at night. Trust me, it’s a lot more fun than it sounds.

3. Take a dip in Thompson Lake. You live in town, so don’t bother driving there. Just walk through the cemetery to the beach and hop in the water.

4. Try to figure out how to make a left turn on M-59 from Grand River Avenue in front of Tomato Bros. You have to make about 14 right turns and 73 left turns to properly execute this maneuver. Good luck.

5. Visit the Carnegie District Library. In a community filled with jewels, this is the best one.

6. Watch a football game at Howell High School. Nothing’s better than a Friday night in the fall around here.

I have more, but I don’t want to hog the entire list. So help me out here, Howellites: What else belongs on the list of Things That Every New Resident of Howell Really Needs to Do? Put your suggestions in the comments below.

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About Buddy Moorehouse 231 Articles
Longtime Livingston County journalist Buddy Moorehouse is director of communications at the Michigan Association of Public School Academies.


  1. I just have to say that they could enjoy small town politics. Lots of wonderful people with strong opinions in our lovely community. Those same people are part of a supportive volunteer base helping those in need and nonprofits alike. I am completely in awe.
    Check out the ghost at the Howell Opera House. Also, go to Great Escape and play whirley ball. (I may just be a little opinionated myself about Great Escape and the Howell Opera House).

  2. Buy a Howell Melon from Dinkelville, cut down your own Christmas tree, (next summer, Fowlerville Fair and Balloon Fest), walk to the Farmer’s Market. There’s plenty more but I’ll leave some for others.

  3. Very blueberry wine from Main Street winery. B-line bar breadsticks and bar cheese. Back road at dusk with the radio up and the windows down.

  4. A stroll around Kensington Park & their nature center trails or through Island Lake State Park; kayaking around Kent Lake or many waterways; visit to the cider mills this fall for the fabulous fresh pressed cider and awesome donuts; attend the various high school plays (which are amazing!); and so much more! Enjoy getting to know your new home!

  5. Very blueberry wine from Main Street winery. B-line bar breadsticks and bar cheese. Howell nature center. Back road at dusk with the radio up and the windows down.

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