Craig and his wife, Jean, have lived in the neighborhood since 2012.  They moved back to Grand Rapids after living in the Manistee-Ludington area for twelve years.  They found that that more rural lifestyle could feel isolating at times and that they missed aspects of city life. When they looked for housing back in the Grand Rapids area, they looked specifically for community, a place where you could walk the dog and talk with neighbors as you went. 

As an Avant Garde vocal artist (poetry, music and stage production), Craig enjoys the larger Grand Rapids community beyond the neighborhood as well.  He and Jean have loved the Art Prize festivals in downtown Grand Rapids, and Craig has found some small groups with whom he can discuss and perform his particular forms of artistic expression.  If you happened to attend the second bonfire at Bates Place this past fall (2020), you were able to enjoy Craig’s reading of a poem he had written.  We hope to hear more of his poetry and/or music, and/or folk music duets from Craig and Jean at future gatherings. 

Craig describes himself as a Methodist/Buddhist.  He has learned the value of faith and of meditation and of small group community building.  He would like to see Bates Place offer opportunities for a variety of types of small group meditation and creative expression, once Covid restrictions can be safely lifted.  The woman he and Jean bought their home from was a Quaker immersed in the peacemaking movement of that faith expression.  Craig has tried to maintain that peacefulness and that peace seeking in his home and with his neighbors.  This is clear in the signs and pennants which decorate his yard, and in his respectful and encouraging demeanor when you enter into conversation with him. 

Craig works for Grand Valley State University in their custodial department, maintaining the rec center in Allendale.  He loves his work.  He also loves gardening, and enjoyed having one of the Bates Place garden boxes in his yard last summer.  When he lived in the Ludington area, he worked as a massage therapist, opening two businesses of his own and working on the Lake Michigan ferry, the Badger, during the summer months..  With his current full time custodial work, there’s just not time for massage therapy right now, and he was not sad to let go of the business administration aspects of running two businesses.  The memories of summers on the Badger, however, clearly still give him joy

He hopes that the neighborhood will maintain the diverse population he has come to enjoy.  He wishes that he could deepen the sense of community on his block, and he would love to see a small grocery store, and more diverse small businesses develop within walking distance.  

If you happen to see Craig out walking his dog, and are ready to be uplifted, stop and chat.  You won’t be disappointed.