Monday, August 2, 2010

Bob Neal

If you've ever heard or have ever been to Ludington, inevitably there will be at least one of two things you know about it: The Car Ferry named the Badger that sails passengers across Lake Michigan to Manitouwak, Wisconsion, and House of Flavor's Ice Cream.

House of Flavors is owned by Bob Neal. This restaurant and ice cream parlor is so popular that it's even mentioned in a "Pure Michigan" ad for Ludington. There are most definitely over 31 flavors (beat that Baskin Robbins) and they are all made here in Ludington. Actually, my first job (and my brother's also) was being a "cone-y" or kid who scoops ice cream at House of Flavors. The business has had a significant impact on the area, to say the least.

But Bob Neal has done much more for the area than simply House of Flavors. An overriding theme that I'm discovering with all of my portrait subjects is that Ludington is a special and beautiful place- a place where you can leave your car unlocked and not worry about someone stealing anything. So Mr. Neal has decided to give back in other ways too. He's set up some condos by the city's marina with underground parking- much like they have back in Colorado where Mr. Neal spends some of his year. The condos are a beautiful addition, and have been very successful. Mr. Neal also owns some of the surrounding blocks around House of Flavors, and he has done an excellent job of attracting local businesses that have helped stimulate the cities economy, and as always, the blocks look beautiful.

So, it is my pleasure to once again to paint someone who has been so influential in helping Ludington to be a beautiful, prosperous city. Bob isn't quite done yet, but he's very close. The photo I've included is the progress on the painting thus far. Next up, my last portrait! Bill and Jane Carpenter.

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