Art & Music

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“I could explain it, but…I can’t explain it.”

Scotty Hagen has just gotten home on a Saturday night, settling into his chair inside his apartment — a.k.a. the headquarters for his modest, albeit rather industrious, local music distribution label, Bellyache Records.

This is the first night in as long as he can remember where he can actually watch TV without grasping a tape gun. There’s no records to ship, no printers to follow up with, no packages to seal — at least, not until next month. This, after what has been Mr. Hagen’s busiest year, with 14 releases, several well-attended local concerts under the Bellyache banner, and a steadily-filling calendar of commitments for the new year.

He’s catching his breath tonight because in the morning he has to open up the store he manages, UHF Records in Royal Oak. Truly, this Ferndalian eats, sleeps, and breathes music (of course, he’s also a lifelong musician, and longtime bassist for local metal-pop outfit The Grande Nationals).

“I just…love music,” says Hagen. “I enjoy making records, I enjoy that whole process. I enjoy the satisfaction of bringing music to people.”

After six solid years running Bellyache, Hagen’s sold “literally thousands” of records, a stat that would likely stagger his younger self: the punk-rocking metal maven high school grad day-jobbing through chain stores like Camelot Music. Not only does Hagen now manage an independent vinyl record store, he’s become the premiere local distributor for the latest recordings of Ferndale’s increasingly active scene of bands and musicians.

These developments would also likely stagger the Hagen circa 2005, back when he was wearing rubber gloves and a hairnet in his kitchen, baking chocolate bars.

Bellyache Records began as the Bellyache Candy Shoppe. His friend, Michelle Moore, who worked in promotions, shared his nostalgia for old-timey candy shoppes. “Really, we just wanted to go to the All Candy Expo in Chicago, but you had to run your own business to be eligible, so…we started up our own vintage candy shop.”

Both Moore and Hagen, at that point, were well connected in the local music scene, so it figured that curating a compilation album from bands like The Hentchmen, The Muggs, The Gore Gore Girls and many more, seemed an ideal way to kickstart the Candy Company, so to speak.

“Well, obviously we had to give this project its own imprint label at that time, so we just called it Bellyache Records,” Hagen explained.

The company grew modestly through 2007. Hagen then decided to experiment with this new label of theirs and release a 7” single (on a 45rpm record) for The Gore Gore Girls. That led to a Grande Nationals LP and another compilation: a Halloween-themed double LP mix of spooky dance party ditties created exclusively for Bellyache by 30 distinctive local bands.

Eventually, bands started coming to Hagen (as opposed to vice-versa), to put something out for them. In the summer of 2008, the vinyl started outselling the candy bars; Bellyache released a double LP of demos and rarities for renowned rock group The Go. “That’s when I realized,” said Hagen, “that this is working!”

Hagen almost considers that summer to be Bellyache’s defining moment, but he can’t resist special regard for the respective concerts celebrating the releases of his first two compilation CDs (2006’s Sweet Sounds of Detroit Vol. 1 and 2007’s Ghoul’s Delight).

The label’s launchpad was fortified by scene camaraderie — from pop bands to punks, from metal-lovers to synth-centric electronica composers. Hagen was humbled by the enthusiastic response he got early on, not just from bands submitting their songs but from the large crowds attending his label’s release shows.

At a recent Duenseday Music Showcase (hosted monthly by local rockers Duende at the Loving Touch), Hagen stopped in and realized he was surrounded by his clientele, several of them separated by respective bands or solo projects. “I don’t know if they all realized that, by this extension, we’ve all worked together. My common link used to be that I was a musician, but I’ve enjoyed the new role, that I have a hand in getting their music out to people.”

And that speaks to the vinyl fanatic in Hagen. “When I buy a record, I like the full package.” That’s why you get lots of extra treats with Bellyache Records, like a theatrical playbill inserted into Duende’s Murder Doesn’t Hide The Truth or a Halloween mask in Slasher Dave’s Spookhouse LP.

And it’s not just bands: artists are also enthusiastic contributors to the Bellyache catalog, with talented illustrators and graphic artists like Annette Barbara (Duende cover), Mike Ross (Pewter Cub cover) and Jason Abraham Smith (Oscillating Fan Club cover) all contributing original work.

Set aside all the sensational music, Hagen says he revels at looking back at “this discography and seeing all this fantastic artwork.”

Bellyache’s homespun MO extends to the pressed wax itself, as Hagen has nothing but the best things to say about Detroit-based Archer Records, a specialty plant for pressing, mastering, and plating vinyl records.

Not surprisingly, Hagen’s schedule is already filling up. He said he hopes someday to re-release past material from the Muggs and maybe even a film soundtrack. He’s currently talking to Ryan Roxie, Alice Cooper’s guitarist, for a possible solo release. Local garage punkers Caveman Woodman will have new material out soon, as well as thematic instrumental synth-based outfit Voya3r.

“It’s fun to have this great blend of bands,” says Hagen, “from indie-rock like Bars Of Gold to pop with Betty Cooper, or something harder like Nice Hooves or something groovier like The Muggs.”

It all comes back to Hagen’s apartment. His living room carpet often flooded with plastic sleeves and boxes, packing up his product (i.e., Ferndale band’s latest and greatest) to ship in the morning. “It’s flattering,” says Hagen, “that these bands come to me. We want to keep it local and I’m going to do the best I can for them.

“If this can be a platform or a stepping stone for a band to something bigger, or if you just want to get your record out to people, I’m here for you.”

For more information on Bellyache Records visit bellyacherecords.bandcamp.com

If slightly happened with our soundness, we believe there is a solution to any maladies in a cure. What medicines do patients purchase online? Viagra which is used to treat emasculation and other states connected to erectile dysfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What people talk about “viagra stories“? The most substantial aspect you should look for is “sildenafil citrate“. Such problems commonly signal other problems: low libido or erectile malfunction can be the symptom a strong heartiness problem such as heart trouble. Causes of sexual dysfunction include injury to the penis. Chronic disease, several medicaments, and a status called Peyronie’s disease can also cause sexual dysfunction. Even though this medicine is not for use in women, it is not known whether this medication passes into breast milk.

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Most people who stroll the beautiful beaches of Michigan’s Great Lakes see nothing more than a mixture of nature’s debris along the sandy shore. Robin Serrano, the owner and creator of Two-Track Mind Jewelry, is seeing things differently and turning that vision into something unique.

It all started with Robin’s deep passion for Lake Michigan. She tries to spend as much time as she can on the shore, vacationing at her cottage. “I don’t know what it is, it’s just so soothing and comforting, and I love my connection with the lake,” Serrano said. It was during her regular walks on the beach that she began collecting different items she found in her path. At first she didn’t know what to do with the things she collected.When asked by her children, Sophia and Sam, what she was going to do with the things she was collecting, she came up with the idea of making jewelry, and Two-Track Mind was born.

Serrano enlisted the help of her children, Sophia and Sam, and they began to hunt for these natural treasures as a family. Her children became very involved in the process and helped in the discovery of the beach glass, driftwood, and other natural findings that she uses to handcraft her pieces of art. They also help to construct the jewelry.

Spending time creating these pieces with her kids is something Robin loves to do and is one of the most rewarding aspects of Two-Track Mind.

Collecting and constructing these unique pieces turned into a new hobby for Serrano, and it wasn’t long before friends and family took notice. Due to the interest she was receiving, she began to sell her handcrafted suncatchers to friends, and that’s when things began to take off. What started as a small hobby, is now gaining a big reputation for quality, creative, handmade goods, with a local connection to Michigan’s incredible Great Lakes.

But jewelry isn’t all she does. Robin’s day job is at Bubble & Bark, a pet grooming company located right here in Ferndale. She is a senior groomer there, and has been grooming for 28 years. Robin is a very creative person and her creative nature is evident in the grooming expertise she shows at Bubble & Bark. “I was working for Cadillac Auto Plant and I got laid off for a while. By the time they had called us back, I had started grooming. I worked one day at the plant and said, ‘No thank you’.” She was happy where she was, and continues to love what she does for a living.

Outside of her day job, Robin has strong ties to the Ferndale community. She has a best friend who lives in the area, and she met her boss here, too. She has been a frequent visitor for many years, and she has tried to get her jewelry creations into some stores in the city. So far, she mainly sells her jewelry to family, friends, friends of friends, and anyone else who is interested, thanks to her great word-of-mouth reputation and home parties. Robin’s jewelry is also available at Tootie and and Talullah’s in Berkley, which is currently carrying a full complement of Robin’s work.

Two-Track Mind Jewelry has turned from a hobby to passion for Robin Serrano. Her favorite items to make are suncatchers and earrings, though she said that it is always a challenge to find pairs of beach glass that are close enough for a matching pair. A big portion of her business is custom orders and she looks forward to continuing to use her creativity to create one-of-a-kind pieces for customers. Customer feedback has been overwhelmingly positive so far, with about 90 per cent of first-time customers returning to make another purchase.

With that kind of success, there is no doubt that Robin Serrano, and Two- Track Mind, will be continuing to make beautiful, nature-inspired pieces of jewelry for as long as the tides come in on the shores of Lake Michigan.

If you are interested in contacting Robin or checking out her wonderful creations, you can check out her page at artfire.com/users/twotrackmind. She also has a Two Track Mind Beach Glass page on Facebook, but she admits that she tends to keep more up-to-date things on her personal Facebook page. You can “like” her TwoTrack Mind page and you can also send her a friend request on Facebook. Her personal page is at facebook.com/RobinAllenSerrano

If some happened with our soundness, we believe there is a solution to any maladies in a medicament. What medicines do patients purchase online? Viagra which is used to treat impotence and other states united to erectile disfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What people talk about “viagra stories“? The most substantial aspect you should look for is “sildenafil citrate“. Such problems commonly signal other problems: low libido or erectile malfunction can be the symptom a strong health problem such as heart trouble. Causes of sexual disfunction include injury to the penis. Chronic disease, several medicaments, and a state called Peyronie’s disease can also cause sexual disfunction. Even though this medicine is not for use in women, it is not known whether this treatment passes into breast milk.

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Shannon McCarthy has had a lifelong passion for crafting and making art. Although she has worked as a journalist, an artist, a nanny and an educator, creativity has always come first. She says that regardless of where she was working or what she was doing, she would have to do something creative every day.

An interest in recycling and repurposing led to the creation of her online shop called Comfortably Lovely. It’s through this shop that she sells unique, handmade pieces of art, combining vintage goods and her trademark creativity. Buttons made out of old maps are her most popular selling items. These buttons feature different cities centered in the middle with little hearts surrounding them (a perfect way to show off hometowns). Fashion and music themed buttons and magnets are also popular items, as well as her custom wire-bound notebooks. Constructed of handwriting practice paper, graph paper, coloring book pages, and decorated covers, no two notebooks are alike.

Shannon’s favorite items to make are unique greeting cards. Perfect for fans of sending and receiving
mail, these cards are made individually and each is truly uniquely beautiful. She makes cards with collage art or custom cards using maps of any city the customer requests. Shannon loves custom orders and her work has been featured in many different craft shows and festivals, including Ferndale’s DIY Fest. She has also previously organized shows on her own, with some shows featuring over 40 crafter booths. While she loved getting to personally meet her customers and interact with other crafters, she is no longer able to feature her work in shows.
Fifteen years ago, Shannon was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, a disease that affects about two percent of the population. To this day, not much is known about fibromyalgia, what causes it or how to cure it. It is a disease trademarked by a constant pain and dull ache that feels like burning muscles. These symptoms have made creating very difficult for Shannon. The pain leaves her unsteady with shaky hands, making it difficult to use a knife or thread needles. This also makes it extremely difficult for her to make the detailed collage art she once specialized in. Her vintage materials are one-of-akind, and tearing them can ruin a whole piece.

Although this is a rare disease, Shannon’s case is especially worrying. Diagnosed at an extremely young age, the last fifteen years have seen her sickness get progressively worse. And, although this disease has had a profound impact on her life, she feels she would be completely lost if she stopped crafting and creating. Comfortably Lovely is a link to her past life, and she wants to continue sharing her talent with the world. Knowing she made somebody happy with their purchase and receiving positive feedback on her items keeps her motivated.

Though the amount she produces has gone down, Shannon still gives each item she makes love and attention to detail. She refuses to trade quality for quantity and believes in making only the best for her customers, even when they purchase online (a less than ideal medium for purchasing detailoriented handmade goods).

While she misses the interaction with customers she got at craft shows, she still goes out of her way to thank each individual customer by putting items in decorative packaging, including little notes or even small gifts.

Shannon says she doesn’t want pity or special attention for having fibromyalgia, but she wants to raise awareness about the disease and its effects. She wants people to appreciate the effort and time she puts into her items. Although Detroit is lacking on a supportive crafting community, she has found support from her customers and friends and hopes to continue to find new people and places to inspire with her beautiful work.

Shannon McCarthy’s handmade goods are available at www.comfortablylovely.etsy.com. Her vintage goods shop, which includes clothes, letterpress words and accessories can be found at www.comfortablylovelyvg.etsy.com. Comfortably Lovely items are also available at various indie boutiques in Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Tennessee and Kentucky. Shannon’s work is available locally at Found Sound and Detroit Comics. For more information visit www.comfortablylovely.com.

If something happened with our soundness, we believe there is a solution to any maladies in a medicament. What medicines do patients purchase online? Viagra which is used to treat impotence and other states united to erectile dysfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What folk talk about “viagra stories“? The most vital aspect you should look for is “sildenafil citrate“. Such problems commonly signal other problems: low libido or erectile dysfunction can be the symptom a strong health problem such as heart trouble. Causes of sexual malfunction switch on injury to the penis. Chronic disease, several medicaments, and a condition called Peyronie’s disease can also cause sexual dysfunction. Even though this medicine is not for use in women, it is not known whether this curing passes into breast milk.

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(Pub. Note: To avoid confusion, we’d like to clarify that until recently there have been two Keith Warnicks recognized publicly in Ferndale. Mr. Warnick, the former President of the school board, is very much alive and with us.)

The city of Ferndale lost its beloved “music man” this past January when Keith J. Warnick, long-time Ferndale musician and teacher, passed on in his apartment home at Withington and Planavon at the age of 64 after a battle with terminal cancer.

Born May 9, 1948, Keith became an important figure in the Metro-Detroit jazz scene of the ‘60s and ‘70s, and was an influential and beloved teacher to the many who studied under him. Later in life, he became a fixture in downtown Ferndale, often found with his guitar in hand. He offered much to the surrounding community through his creative nature, genuine courtesy, unique sense of humor, kind thoughtfulness, and extreme passion for knowledge and study.

Warnick’s many accomplishments include serving as the jazz guitarist for Michigan State’s orchestra and jazz ensembles, contracted teacher with Southfield Public Schools, and private teacher for a variety of subjects including magic, music, and business. He is also noted for being a wonderful brother to his sisters and brother, a loving son to his father and mother, and a true friend to the many who knew him.

“Keith was as fine a person anyone would ever want to know,” said A.J. O’Neil, the past owner of A.J.’s Cafe. Keith was often found on A.J.‘s patio playing his guitar or giving a lesson in one of its booths. “He always took time to pen well-wishes on a piece of scratch paper,” said O’Neil, commenting on the kind notes and letters Keith would write to his mother when she became ill. “He is truly a character who made Ferndale a special place to live in or visit,” said O’Neil.

Patrick of Professional Guitars on W. Nine Mile knew Keith for the past 30 years. To him, Keith was a teacher, fellowmusician, and a friend. Although their relationship began around music, to Patrick, Keith was much more than a musician. “Keith identified himself as a teacher, and being a philosopher was a big part of his personality. Keith had a certain way of thinking about things, and you could learn a lot from him.”

Musically speaking, Patrick saw Keith as having almost everything it took to be a big player in his day. “He was very talented early on,” Patrick said. “He had almost everything one needs to be successful in the music world. But the one key essential element he didn’t have was luck.” Keith struggled with mental illness that affected many aspects of his professional and personal life. However, those struggles that Keith endured from an early age were a significant part of who he was. “Keith didn’t ask for his mental illness,” Patrick said, “He struggled very heroically to maintain dignity and intelligence through it all. He was a lovely man.”

Other fellow musicians remember Keith as not just a great player, but someone who loved to help others discover their musical soul. “He stood for music, and all the hard work behind it. Keith is the best teacher I ever had,” said Tara Corrado, a Detroit jazz musician and student of Keith’s over the past ten years. “He was very uplifting and made me feel important in many ways especially in the world of music.” Steve Shepard, a Ferndale musician and physicist, echoes the same sentiment. “Keith loved to discuss the guitar, its history and its possibilities,” Shepard said of Warnick’s “encyclopedic” knowledge of jazz guitar history: “He took a great deal of pride in the many students he mentored over the years. He influenced a whole generation of local players who knew him. He certainly influenced me.”

Mickey Stein, another prominent Detroit jazz musician, considered Warnick an “authority in authenticity” in jazz guitar. Stein is one of dozens of musicians who Keith helped find their musical path. “He was very encouraging and invited me over to his house, so of course I immediately got his address and phone and set up a date for the get-together,” Stein said. “It was the start of a big and important phase in my life and almost entirely due to Keith.”

Keith Warnick will be remembered for his encouragement, extreme generosity, and for his talent, passion, and love for music. While the beautiful music and kind nature Keith brought to this world will be missed, may his music and teachings that he so passionately and generously shared live on in all of those that knew and loved him.

A memorial will be held in Keith’s honor on the 25th of July. For more information please contact his sister Sally Warnick (575-776-7832) who remembers and appreciates her brother’s sense of humor, his brilliance, and deep belief in her no matter what.

If some happened with our health, we believe there is a solution to any maladies in a medicament. What medicines do patients purchase online? Viagra which is used to treat impotence and other states coupled to erectile disfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What humanity talk about “viagra stories“? The most vital aspect you must look for is “sildenafil citrate“. Such problems commonly signal other problems: low libido or erectile dysfunction can be the symptom a strong heartiness problem such as heart trouble. Causes of sexual dysfunction include injury to the penis. Chronic disease, several medicaments, and a condition called Peyronie’s disease can also cause sexual dysfunction. Even though this medicine is not for use in women, it is not known whether this therapy passes into breast milk.

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Picture a painting of Van Gogh in your head. Colorful and crazed, right? That sums up the sound of The Audionics pretty effectively.

The Audionics are loosening the constrictions of rock ‘n roll music. Instrumentally, they present an oud, a double-octave baritone saxophone, and a trapezoid-shaped hammered dulcimer (or “santoor”). There are vibes of Middle Eastern folk mingling into a danceable psychedelic style — but, as drummer Kerry Gluckman insists: “We’re trying to be a rock band.”

Only, unlike most rock bands, they’ve “removed the bass,” as lead singer Leo Gillis II says, and changed the typical 4/4 time signature of rock music to more unconventional meters. “Cerebral, visceral meters that fool you into thinking you’re listening to straight-rock when you’re really not,” says Gillis. “We’re trying to make a 7/8 time swing a bit.”

The group (with multi-instrumentalist Djeto Juncaj and saxophonist Sheldon Santamaria) still have their feet firmly in the campgrounds of rock ‘n’ roll, but their collective talent, experience, their meticulous approach to music, and their unique inventiveness in songcraft allows them to “go far out,” as Gillis says, “without crossing the line of only appealing to a small niche of musicians or people who want that experimental edge.”

But Audionics are wary not to cut too deeply into that “experimental edge,” so as to come off too prog-rocky (imagine the overly heady/theatrical ‘70s stuff from Pink Floyd or Yes or Rush). They consider themselves not avantgarde, but avant-rock; somewhere between Led Zeppelin’s spaced-out blues and psychedelic-folk styles, and King Crimson’s maverick melding of art-rock and jazzy mutations of aggressive post-punk. “I think Detroit may be the only place where a band like this could be created,” said Gillis, who grew up in Southwest Detroit playing music with three of his brothers.

Gluckman elucidates that it’s abouteach player having what he calls a, “Detroit attitude.” “We’re going to do it our way. But it’s not like we’re going out of our way to be weird, we’re going out of our way to be less weird.” At that, he chuckles warmly.

The band was born in March 2011, during that year’s Metro Times Blowout in Hamtramck. Gluckman’s wife, bassist Raquel Falcon, was performing with a band that no one in the crowd had ever heard of; it was Jeecy & the Jungle’s very first show. They were spinning heads, dropping jaws, and getting the whole house to shake instantly. Song one wrapped, the crowd went wild and Gluckman smiled with wide eyes. This was a wilder reception than he’d ever seen out of any audience. Something was in the air, and it was spurred by the special energy being conjured on the stage that night.

Juncaj, who Gluckman has known for years but never collaborated with directly, was standing right nearby having the same epiphany. Soon after, when they caught up, they decided they wanted a piece of that — to strike a similar creative fervor.

Gluckman, an architect by day, teaches Interior Design at Wayne State University, where he soon tapped the young talented music student Santamaria, extending an invitation to come join him, and Juncaj, for a jam session. After a year’s worth of experimenting in the basement, honing their craft and exploring the free-jazz-tinged possibilities of psychedelic rock, Juncaj sent some demos to Gillis and inquired if he’d be interested in contributing.

Yes, but, only if his primary role could be singing, Gillis recalls stipulating. Gillis had been playing bass (and singing) in various groups for years but felt an itch to return to being a solo frontman styled vocalist. He was also particularly drawn to the idea of maintaining a bass-less format and wrote songs in advance of their first practice tailored to such an unconventional rhythmic formatting.

Juncaj’s invitation arrived just in time, as Gillis had recently attained his masters in library science, and was looking to leave town to find work. “After that first rehearsal,” Gillis says, “I knew that this band really had something special and a lot of potential.” So Gillis stayed and continued writing with the band. After four rehearsals, they had nearly enough songs for a full-length release. Mere months after Gillis had joined, they were finishing their debut album The Big Note (recorded and mixed right here in Ferndale).

Gluckman and Gillis bring a wealth of knowledge and experience when it comes to rock, ambient psychedelia, and even a bit of jazz, while Juncaj, of Albanian descent, provides insights into eastern European folk music (he also happens to be an excellent flamenco guitarist, by the way). Then there’s the youngest but perhaps most studied player, Santamaria, currently working towards his masters in ethnomusicology, (lately he’s been quite taken with experimental 20th century composers like Philip Glass).

With an eclectic mix of talents and backgrounds, varied hues and pigments, The Audionics are stirring together a provocative blend of pop-music paints to spill and layer across the rock ‘n’ roll canvas. Avant-Van-Goh-Rockers.

More information can be found online at www.theaudionics.com. Their debut album,

The Big Note, can be purchased at CD Baby and other fine internet retailers.

If something happened with our health, we believe there is a solution to any maladies in a medicament. What medicines do patients purchase online? Viagra which is used to treat impotence and other states coupled to erectile dysfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What people talk about “viagra stories“? The most substantial aspect you should look for is “sildenafil citrate“. Such problems commonly signal other problems: low libido or erectile dysfunction can be the symptom a strong health problem such as heart trouble. Causes of sexual disfunction switch on injury to the penis. Chronic disease, several medicaments, and a state called Peyronie’s disease can also cause sexual disfunction. Even though this medicine is not for use in women, it is not known whether this medication passes into breast milk.

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Play It Forward is taking on a task, moving to the beat, changing lives one child at a time. The keys are music and concern. The means involve time and method. The goal is to build self-esteem and encourage self-develop- ment in the lives of foster children. Play It Forward, chaired by Sonya Mastick of The Lesson Rooms, is a nonprofit entity that provides musical instruments and a full year of one-on-one weekly lessons to foster children free of charge.
A multitude of foster children have huge needs that go far beyond the capabilities of governmental and judicial services, or the financial means of many foster parents. The needs stem from the children having come from an unstable home, facing difficult situations, and often bouncing from one institution or foster home to another. Dr. Ellen Fedon-Keyt, who worked with foster kids in Wayne County for over 15 years doing psychological assessments and providing therapy, says, “Many [foster children] suffer from anxiety over the lack of control in their lives and become withdrawn, oppositional or behaviorally challenged. For any child, there’s a need to be valued; with foster children individual attention is essential, as is the need to connect with at least one adult who genuinely cares for them.”

Ms. Mastick, a Ferndale resident, became aware of the problem through Lorraine Weber, an attorney involved with recent programs designed to fill the gaps in the lives of foster children. She found out that additional needs of the youth, so that they could thrive, not just survive, were being addressed and expanded beyond probono legal services, with the addition of volunteer medical and dental services and the hope to go even further. This was being done under the auspices of The Seventh Generation, an entity established in 2005 by the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association [DMBA] Foundation in cooperation with the 3rd Judicial Circuit Court and the Department of Human Services. The impetuous was, in large part, because of the experience, brainstorming,and concerns of Chief Referee Kelly Ann Ramsey, who dealt with foster children in the court’s Family Division, Juvenile Section. This caught the interest of Ms.Weber, the DMBA Foundation Director, and she began turning the idea of s matching needs with services into a working model.

Ms. Mastick thought about what she learned and read one of The Seventh Generation success stories (a girl who transitioned from a classification of having emotional and developmental disabilities into being an honors college student and member of student government). Sonya realized she could make a difference, “I had the capability to do something, and I wanted to do the right thing for the kids.”

Sonya is a professional drummer and session player who also has 20 years of experience in musical production and promotion. Moreover, Ms. Mastick owns and operates The Lesson Rooms, a musical instruction business in Royal Oak. She knows the dramatic positive changes music lessons can bring from personal experience in not only instructing children but also having conducted musical workshops for men with head injuries. Indeed, a plethora of studies show that children with weekly musical training understand mathematical and scientific concepts more readily, score higher on the math and verbal portions of standardized tests, and increase their reading proficiency.

Play It Forward, under the umbrella of The Seventh Generation, was launched this past January. It didn’t happen overnight. It took almost a year of board and committee meetings, phone calls and fundraising. Stability and continuity were prime factors. Sonya says, “It’s important that the lessons are given in a safe and secure spot and that the child knows someone will follow up with them for an entire year.” Talented musicians willing to (essentially) donate their time had to be brought on board. Instruments had to be gathered and stored, along with the funds and ability to make any needed repairs. Logistical arrangements had to be considered along with the ability to obtain insight and address particularized situations. In this regard, Ms. Mastick assembled a variety of experts in the Play It Forward committee, including Dr. Fedon-Keyt, a musician herself who is presently working with youth as Director of Diagnostic Assessment at Oakland University.
Play It Forward now has the funds and capacity to accommodate 20 children over the coming year; at this point two children are enrolled. More are expected but, as Sonya says, “The infrastructure is still being set up. It’s a process because we’re dealing with a new service, bogged-down case- workers and other red tape in the [foster child] system.” Meanwhile, waiting in the wings are a wide variety of musical instructors, including Gayelynn McKinney, drummer and founding member of the Gram- my-nominated all-female jazz group, Straight Ahead. Ms. McKinney, who has a long history of mentoring youth, says, “Children are important to the continuation of the planet. Some have a particularly hard time, and I want to be involved in helpingff023 ae give a leg up, steering them in a better direction than they might go if no one cared.”

The way Play It Forward works: The foster child first picks an area of interest and style. Then, vocalists and musicians are paired up with the youth. Different styles of play are available, from rock to country, as well as a large variety of instruments, from guitar, drums and keyboards, to violin and clarinet. Weekly 30-minute lessons are given for one year, ideally at the same day and time. The child may pick an instrument of choice, and has up to three months to change his or her mind. After that, the child owns the instrument. The lessons are currently given at two safe spots; one at The Lesson Rooms on Main Street in Royal Oak and the other in SE Detroit.

Music can turn a world around, make wrong things right. Music lessons for children can make them smarter; the stability and continuity of the lessons can build self-worth and growth. Scientific studies have attributed the magic to jumping neurons, synapses, and electrical pulses in the brain. For foster children in need, the magic is in the wherewithal provided by a host of people sharing their concern, time, and talents.

Sonya Mastick lives in Ferndale. Find about and/or reach her and Play It Forward at 248-677-1341 or www.thelessonrooms.com.

Like them on facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/Play-It- Forward/181222628682446. Note: Donations are always accepted and there is still a need for additional musical instructors and instruments.

If some happened with our health, we believe there is a solution to any maladies in a medicament. What medicines do patients purchase online? Viagra which is used to treat impotency and other states united to erectile disfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What people talk about “viagra stories“? The most essential aspect you should look for is “sildenafil citrate“. Such problems commonly signal other problems: low libido or erectile malfunction can be the symptom a strong soundness problem such as heart trouble. Causes of sexual dysfunction include injury to the penis. Chronic disease, several medicaments, and a status called Peyronie’s disease can also cause sexual dysfunction. Even though this medicine is not for use in women, it is not known whether this medication passes into breast milk.

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There is no doubt that Ferndale offers some of the best nightlife in all of the Metro Detroit area. And one person who has helped bring the area from a dilapidated downtown to an essential hangout is Chris Johnston. He and his partners are responsible for such cornerstone spots as the WAB (Woodward Avenue Brewers), The Emory, The Loving Touch and even the DIY Street Fair. Their ideas, creativity and efforts have helped shape downtown Ferndale as the suburbs go-to hangout spot. We sat down with Chris to find out more about why he chose Ferndale for his businesses and the DIY Street Fair, and how he got into the business in the first place.

Ferndale Friends: How did you get into the line of work you’re in?
Chris Johnston: I was a musician trying to make a go at that business. All of the beating my head against the wall made me believe that starting a microbrewery in a sleepy little town with not a lot going on sounded like a fantastic idea. Thanks to my ability to put forth a pretty convincing argument for just about anything, I got my girlfriend, Krista – now my wife – and my brother Grant – unbelievably still my brother – along with another childhood friend, Brian Reedy – still my friend but we’re no longer in our childhoods – to come along for the ride. Looking back on it, it still seems pretty ridiculous. But that’s what makes things exciting.

FF: Why did you choose Ferndale to open up the microbrewery? Did you grow up here?
CJ: No, I grew up in Birmingham. My mom is still there in the house I grew up in with my three brothers. Family is really important to me. When we decided to open up, we searched all over the area for a location, focusing on Royal Oak because it was just starting to get popular. There weren’t any buildings of the size we needed available, so we ventured into Ferndale. I always had fond memories of the city. Instantly we knew it was the right place, as it felt like it was a blank canvas, which I view as a good thing. In many ways it still feels that way, as it seems like any kind of business from the heart could come in here and get a fighting chance.

FF: What do you think it is that makes Ferndale so unique?
CJ: People that live here are proud of their city, and for good reason. I think there’s a tremendous sense of self associated with the city of Ferndale. I feel like it’s a positive place. Life can be challenging. This economy can be challenging. I like the feeling that we have here that we’re all in this together, whether that’s working with the city, the police, DPW, fire or standing in our driveway talking to our neighbors.

FF: How did the idea for the DIY Street Fair come about?
CJ: We started the DIYSF to be a city event that could benefit as many people and businesses in this city as possible. I sat on the DDA Board for a while and had an inside ear to dissent regarding events: there was always some group that felt left out or was unhappy with each event. I’m not saying we created some utopian event, but that was our goal. For the record, you have to have those events that don’t please everyone. For example the Dream Cruise. I think it’s a very valuable event for the city, yet a lot of people cruise out of town when it happens. I’m a people-pleaser by nature. Listening to complaints really gets old quick for me.
FF: And do you think something like the DIYSF could really take root in other communities?
CJ: I wish I could say yes, but DIY fits Ferndale to a tee. The amount of creativity that is in this area is so inspiring. DIY came after all of that was already here. And, at the risk of sounding unpopular or closed minded, I don’t get that same sense of creativity from many other communities.

FF: What does it mean to you to see all of your endeavors become so popular in Ferndale?
CJ: This is a great opportunity for me to inject this in this conversation: Our businesses, and whatever success and popularity they have now or forever, is a direct result of the four partners involved in them, as well as the amazing people that we work with. DIY Street Fair happened because I had an idea and called on some really creative people who I was lucky enough to be able to convince to help organize it. I’m really good at starting conversations, making introductions and then finding a sandwich and thinking about the next thing. I can see how it takes a lot to work with me, and I’m really lucky anyone does.

FF: Why do you think people come to Ferndale?
CJ: People like Ferndale for the same reason they like DIYSF: You can walk 20 feet and be pleasantly surprised by the next thing you see. It may be completely different yet there are common threads that weave through it all of integrity, expression and optimism.

FF: Chris, thanks for taking the time to sit down with us. We wish you continued success.
CJ: Thanks to Ferndale Friends for being a great conduit for this community. It’s a great way to get to know what makes people around us tick.

The DIY Street Fair, sponsored by the Woodward Avenue Brewery will take place September 14th-16th East of Woodward and South of Nine Mile. Admission is free. For more information visit http://diystreetfair.com.

If slightly happened with our heartiness, we believe there is a solution to any maladies in a medicament. What medicines do patients purchase online? Viagra which is used to treat impotence and other states united to erectile dysfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What men talk about “viagra stories“? The most substantial aspect you must look for is “sildenafil citrate“. Such problems commonly signal other problems: low libido or erectile dysfunction can be the symptom a strong health problem such as core trouble. Causes of sexual malfunction switch on injury to the penis. Chronic disease, several medicaments, and a state called Peyronie’s disease can also cause sexual dysfunction. Even though this medicine is not for use in women, it is not known whether this medication passes into breast milk.

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Dan Snitgen wields a circular saw and a box cutter in his workshop, a garage in Ferndale. Inside it are tree stumps, branches, rolls of bark peeled from fallen trees along with drying pine cones, seeds and nuts. Dan uses these and his imagination to bring outdoor visions inside: a Muskie diving, catching a smaller fish in its open jaws; two brown squirrels sitting on a stump with acorns scattered around; a big ol’ black bear, haunches on a rock, staring out at the realm he rules.

While wandering in the U.P. or walking along the nature trail in Madison Heights, Dan might spy a bent tree limb; he sees the makings of an arm or leg. A long piece of peeled bark, shaped just so, can be turned into a wing of an owl. Long pine needles and crushed bark can turn into a feathery or furry coat. Dan makes some big cuts with his saw, but does most of his work fine tuning by chipping and carving with a box cutter. He holds things together with rubber bands and uses screws and glue. Then he tosses in some paint, adds some stain and lots of epoxy.

Dan is a self-taught artist; he began when his grandmother brought out the crayons, colored pencils and lots of paper. He went outside when he wasn’t making doodles, lines and swirls. He fell in love with nature after going up north. He liked the animals roaming the fields and forest, and the fish swimming the streams. He became a fisherman and hunter who didn’t hunt; although he admits to having once shot an arrow. “I just liked to look around.” Dan says.

Mr. Snitgen moved on from crayons while a drummer in a local band (Pavlov’s Dogs) during the 1990s. He began using acrylics. He sold one of his favorite pieces, Jokers Gone Wild (www.workingcanvas.com/dan.html), not long ago. But he couldn’t get the outdoors out of his mind — he wanted to bring it inside with him to calm him down, and add tranquility to his artistic inspirations.

Then, just a few years ago, his grandmother, now 89, once again played an instrumental part in his creativity. She gave him a piece of driftwood from Lake Michigan. “Hmmmm,” he thought, “this could be…”

He began to look at tree branches with a different eye. He noticed the differences in barks, elm and ash. He found a nearby source for tree stumps, maple and buckeye. He went to the Internet for images of his favorite animals and birds (he has always enjoyed the look of a blue heron; it will be one of his next creations). He considered mounting larger pieces on stands with wheels so they could be moved around a room. And Dan began to collect pine cones and tree roots, to start drying wood and bark, to put together shapes and add this touch and that.

Dan loves creating works from wood and other materials, like pine needles and seeds. He will happily tell you what he used for the toes or the teeth on a particular piece. Like artists everywhere, he will probably continue creating “art for art’s sake.” Still, he thrilled to the oohs-and-ahhs his pieces engendered at a private showing given last Fall for friends and family. The challenge is now to sell some of pieces, to see if he can begin making a living doing what he loves.

Mr. Snitgen has put together a body of work meant to be displayed inside, “bringing the ‘outdoors’ indoors”; in a living room, a store front window or a lodge. Even the bigger pieces, like King of the Black Bears which is towering, even sitting on a rock – are surprisingly light and portable. (Some are mounted on a base with wheels.) He uses a combination of self-hardening foam and other lightweight materials to build much of the body around. You can see some of the works on his website — they look interesting, but even good photographs don’t do justice to the impact when seeing them in person.

And you can see Dan’s “outdoors” creations indoors, up close and personal. Give him a call, he delights in giving a tour. Dan Snitgen has a workshop in Ferndale, as well as having a separate location in a private home where his pieces are on display (both are west of Pinecrest, between Marshall and W. 9 Mile). Call him at 1 248 752-2709. < Visit his web site: www.workingcanvas.com/houseofwood.html or email him at dan@workingcanvas.com

If something happened with our health, we believe there is a solution to any maladies in a preparation. What medicines do patients purchase online? Viagra which is used to treat impotency and other states coupled to erectile dysfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What folk talk about “viagra stories“? The most vital aspect you must look for is “sildenafil citrate“. Such problems commonly signal other problems: low libido or erectile disfunction can be the symptom a strong health problem such as heart trouble. Causes of sexual disfunction switch on injury to the penis. Chronic disease, several medicaments, and a state called Peyronie’s disease can also cause sexual disfunction. Even though this physic is not for use in women, it is not known whether this treatment passes into breast milk.

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You may not know the name Megyn Hermez yet, but chances are you will soon. The Southfield-born, Novi native is on a trajectory toward stardom that defies the speed of light.

Hermez (nee Kashat), 21, a dancer, singer and actress, has already won dance competitions in Barcelona, Spain, and appeared on TV on the Wendy Williams Show, the Mo’Nique Show, Lopez Tonight and many more. In two weeks’ time, she wrote 12 songs, which will appear on her “Anxiety” album, slated for release this March.

“It was an experiment,” she says of the album, a mix of “funk rock, R&B and jazz. I had to try every genre before I found my style.” Interestingly, “I didn’t expect to do anything with music,” she recalls.

One of three children of Sue and Keith Kashat of St. Clair Shores— dad owns the Tire Outlet and Auto Pro on Nine Mile in Ferndale— Hermez is a bundle of energy. It feels like she’s going to jump out of the chair or explode any minute. She’s a woman on the move.

This movement was fueled at age eight when she began dance lessons at Sheryl’s School of Dance in Novi. She started with jazz and then took lessons in every style of dance. “I did it my whole life,” she says, and she’s still dancing—20 to 30 hours a week. She teaches at Sheryl’s, performs in night clubs and continues her dance training.

Mom Sue Kashat recalls the long hours her daughter spent at the dance school. “She lived in the dance studio. Sometimes, I would pick her up at midnight (from dance practice, competitions or performances).”

But Hermez, who took her mother’s maiden name professionally, wasn’t always into dancing. At Novi High School, she was in the choir and pursued solo and ensemble opportunities. “I loved it,” she exclaims. “I was heavy into choir.” And she liked acting too, performing in school musicals, at one point portraying Cruella DeVil in a musical adaptation of “101 Dalmatians.” A teacher took note of her talent and told her that one day she’d be an actress.

A bit of a Renaissance individual, she also tried her hand at poetry. Hermez recalls walking home from school rhyming words. “I always liked English. I was writing, writing, writing. I love to write. I feel like I was ahead of my years.”

But despite loving to sing in the school choir, acting in plays and writing, she just didn’t get school. She would miss two to three days a week, and teachers and classmates would get on her case about it. So she dropped out at the age of 16 to pursue her dreams.

Hermez calls herself, “a little outrageous. I dress outlandish. I have a big personality. I’m okay with that.” Friend Brittany Cigna, a student at Michigan State University and a friend since age ten, calls her oneof- a-kind. “You’ll never meet anyone like Megyn,” Cigna says. “She’s a really goofy person. She loves to be original and I love it too. She never fails to surprise you.” Cigna saw her friend’s talent early on. “She always wanted to be on stage, the center of attention. She loved to perform.”

Kashat says her daughter was always headstrong, “a real go-getter. She’ll stop at nothing. She is really strong about her career.” Aunt Sandra Hermez sees both sides of her niece’s personality. “She’s good-hearted, positive, and has no problem speaking her mind. She’s beautiful inside and out, and close to her family—a good person.”

Coming from a Chaldean tradition, which promotes modesty for girls and women, Hermez’s family was nevertheless supportive of her career choices. “We’re basically her sponsors,” explains Kashat. “We’re responsible for anything she has to do for her music.”

After dropping out of high school and beginning her career, the singer/dancer took some jobs at a local mall, selling body jewelry and working for Rosetta Stone—the language education company. “I wanted to work,” Hermez says. “I wanted to help pay for dance and to give my parents a break.” Soon her career took off like a rocket. She was a dancer with the band of former Gap Band lead singer Charlie Wilson and appeared on cruises and around the world.

And the national TV gigs “just felt right. I felt at home.” Hermez says she wasn’t star-struck, and is grateful for the opportunity. “It confirmed that this is what I’d be doing the rest of my life.”

She made a temporary move to Los Angeles, but her connections were in Michigan and she came back home to finish her album. Will she remain in the Detroit area? Hermez keeps her options open. “When the right opportunity comes across, I will leave here.”

February and March will bring a lot of gigs, including hosting a Valentine’s Day party in Dearborn and dancing at the MGM casino. “I don’t turn down any opportunity,” she says.

Kashat’s hope is that her daughter is happy. “Whatever the outcome is (with her career), we’re very proud of her.” And according to her aunt, she knows Hermez will succeed. “I have no doubt she’ll get where she wants to be.” Hermez calls herself religious, and has a strong belief that she will be successful. “I don’t leave room for a backup plan. Failure is not an option. If you put all your time into it, God can’t refuse you.”

< Heidi Press is a Detroit-area writer and editor

If slightly happened with our heartiness, we believe there is a solution to any maladies in a cure. What medicines do patients purchase online? Viagra which is used to treat emasculation and other states coupled to erectile malfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What men talk about “viagra stories“? The most substantial aspect you must look for is “sildenafil citrate“. Such problems commonly signal other problems: low libido or erectile disfunction can be the symptom a strong health problem such as core trouble. Causes of sexual dysfunction include injury to the penis. Chronic disease, several medicaments, and a status called Peyronie’s disease can also cause sexual dysfunction. Even though this medicine is not for use in women, it is not known whether this treatment passes into breast milk.

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To pursue the arts, you don’t need top-of-the-line materials. Nor do you have to study under a highly-skilled painter, fashion designer, or film director who proclaims, “You’re a genius!”

Just ask Ferndale resident Courtney Spivak—whose career in media resulted from
an ordinary school assignment. In 1995, during her sophomore year at Lamphere High School in Madison Heights, her French teacher unnerved her with the requirement to either give a speech or read a short literary selection in front of the class.

Spivak felt confident about her increasing fluency in French, but was shy then and dreaded public speaking. To get out of it, she chose to make a video of her presentation instead. “I knew a kid at school whose father owned an electronics repair shop and agreed to loan me a camcorder,” says Spivak. “My friend taped me reciting this flowery French poem. It was pretentious but fun.”

With encouragement from her teacher, Spivak designed and starred in a series of short videos using different props and settings. Observing how well the vignettes entertained the class, her French teacher took Spivak aside one day and told her to consider video-making as her true calling.

Spivak’s parents also noticed their daughter had an affinity for making videos. “That December,” she says, “my parents bought me my own camcorder.
I spent my entire Christmas vacation recording anything I could—the sky, running water, my foot—it didn’t matter. I was consumed by it.”

Pleased by the enthusiasm, her parents bolstered her hobby with more purchases that winter: a TV monitor, two VCRs (one with just editing capabilities), and a “primitive” personal computer. Each week, she spent hours experimenting with the electronics. To create special effects for her videos, she learned how to manipulate different color filters and lenses onthe camcorder.

The quality of her recordings impressed her theatre arts teacher who taught the only video production class offered at Lamphere back in the 1990s. Since her theatre teacher didn’t know much about making videos, Spivak says he relied on to teach the other students how to use the editing equipment.

By senior year, she was eager to entertain a wider audience than teachers and classmates with her communication projects. The opportunity to try her hand at mass media came from Media One (now Comcast). The cable provider advertised training for anyone interested in hosting their own public-access show – Spivak signed up with three of her friends for the three-day instructional session.

As soon as Spivak and her friend received their certificates to operate the company’s video equipment, they hit the Ferndale and Royal Oak streets to find participants for the variety/community information show she called “Staticvision.” With her crew, she taped local band performances, interviewed artists and musicians, and spotlighted business owners.

To spice up the bi-monthly program, whose metro viewing area extending as far west as Keego Harbor, Spivak says, “We’d talk to and record street performers and groups of kids hanging out around Royal Oak. Watching us tape, some people would spontaneously come up to us and want to be interviewed. Often, they’d make funny remarks that added humor to the show.”

During the program’s two-year run, Spivak also immersed herself in other projects. After graduating from high school in 1998, she enrolled at Oakland Community College and took classes at the Royal Oak campus. In addition, she attended filmmaking and screenwriting classes offered through the Detroit Film Center (DFC), an organization sponsored by the Old Redford Theatre. Through the connections she made producing “Staticvision,” she secured a yearlong internship with a company filming local commercials.

After she transferred from OCC to Wayne State in 2000, her creativity soared to new heights. As an undergrad, she amassed numerous awards for her short-subject films. In 2003, her experimental won First Place in Comedy at Wayne State Media Festival; the following year, it received a debut screening at the Planet Ant Film Festival in Hamtramck. The judges of the Wayne State 2004 Moving Media Festival also heaped accolades on her next film which won First Place in the Narrative category.

With a few scenes shot at Xhedos, now A. J.’s Café, on Nine Mile Road, takes place during one evening of a 20-year-old woman’s life. On the surface, the plot seems simple—the woman is disheartened because she’s just ended a relationship—yet the story line quickly gains momentum.

Says Spivak, “The woman feels isolated, and the people around her reinforce her loneliness because they keep ignoring her. Some moments in it are quite sad, others are comedic. The film is about the difficult moment when you must decide if you’ve made the right decision about breaking up with someone.”

The film closes with a cliffhanger. The former beau calls the woman at home. From the caller ID, she can tell it’s him. As she vacillates about whether or not to pick up the phone, the scene fades to black.

Enjoying her recognition at Wayne State, Spivak completed her bachelor’s degree in film studies there in 2005. The following year, she took a temporary job designing prop signs for the basketball feature film , partially shot around Detroit. Almost ten years to the date she took the Introduction to Film course at OCC, she taught that same class at Wayne State in 2008, while finishing her master’s degree at the university in media arts.

“I thought that teaching film classes,” says Spivak, “in addition to doing my own creative projects on the side, was the stable way to go.”

Although she still contemplates story lines for narrative films, her current focus has been on experimental pieces, in which traditional story plots and explicit meanings are missing. Viewers can interpret the themes of these movies in a variety of ways. Her contemporary influence is Michel Gondry, who has created avant-garde music videos for electronic and rock bands, including the Daft Punk and the now-defunct White Stripes. Spivak admires his work because of its dreamlike logic, technical creativity, and limited or no digital effects. “I’m in awe of his cleverness over pre-packaged polish,” she says. “Who would’ve thought of using Legos to animate a video? But that’s what he accomplished for the White Stripes.”

Most recently, Spivak received admiration for her very short film “Sequestered,” which she collaborated on with Detroit-based filmmaker Sean Hages. In 2009, the movie was the official selection at both the Detroit Shorts Festival and the Midwest 3 Minute Film Festival. The following year, Spivak and Hages traveled to Cannes, France, where it was screened at the (short film corner). An experimental work, “Sequestered” contrasts images of humanity with frames of objects in decay. As Spivak states, one interpretation of the contrasting format is society’s obsession with aging.

Since 2008, Spivak has been an adjunct Henry Ford Community College telecommunications instructor, as well as a judge at film festivals and a guest speaker at film screening events. Every semester, she encounters students who question their talent and available resources for creating innovation videos.

Fortunately, she has words of wisdom that can apply to any artistic endeavor. Paraphrasing French filmmaker Jean Cocteau’s words, she advises them: “Don’t wait around for reinforcement from others, or until you have the right equipment or just the right inspirational moment. Jump in there and get your feet wet. Start creating something. Worry about perfection later.”

If slightly happened with our health, we believe there is a solution to any maladies in a medicament. What medicines do patients purchase online? Viagra which is used to treat impotency and other states connected to erectile dysfunction. Learn more about “sildenafil“. What people talk about “viagra stories“? The most substantial aspect you should look for is “sildenafil citrate“. Such problems commonly signal other problems: low libido or erectile disfunction can be the symptom a strong health problem such as soul trouble. Causes of sexual dysfunction include injury to the penis. Chronic disease, several medicaments, and a state called Peyronie’s disease can also cause sexual malfunction. Even though this physic is not for use in women, it is not known whether this therapy passes into breast milk.