Mike Van Ark- Ox-Bow Business Manager 1958-1962


March 1, 2010 in the Old School House

Mike Van Ark, age 83 on this date, dropped by the SDHS Tech Center to bring us a large box of slides taken of both his collection of vintage postcards covering the Saugatuck Douglas area and of early Ox Bow scenes.  While with us he was willing to sit down with Mary Voss, Jack Sheridan and Ken Kutzel, who were on hand with questions, to talk about his 1958-62 stint as the business manager of Ox Bow.  Mike, a Holland school teacher, worked for five years for $1800/ summer doing "everything that did not pertain to art" at the center.  Those were hard financial times and he was always busy finding food, art supplies and building materials to keep the operation going.   His recollection of other staff, select students and his continual fear of running out of money makes a great story.  The resulting video turned out to be a good oral history of life, personalities and lifestyle at summer Ox Bow for 5 seasons.  The video is available.