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Fountain memories

Marie Havenga • Jul 21, 2015 at 12:32 PM

Rick Homan has heard the Musical Fountain more than most.

In the early 1970s, after he graduated from college, Homan moved into an apartment in downtown Grand Haven.

“I lived next to where the Kirby Grill was and I could hear (the fountain) from my apartment,” he said. “I could see glimpses of it whenever I was home. It's sort of like Lake Michigan — you always knew it was there.”

Homan, who grew up in Muskegon, recalls feeling “awe inspired” by the lights and dancing water.

“It was just so marvelous,” he said. “Grand Haven was such a young kids' hopping town. That was the neat place to go at night. It was an easy walk and very inexpensive entertainment.”

Homan said he still visits the summer shows, and memories flow each time. Even though the show's original voice of Ron Hartsema is no longer part of the program, Homan said it is in his mind.

“You know that voice,” Homan said. “You're imprinted with this entire memory and that voice is a part of it. I'm not saying the new voice is bad — but as an old-timer, that (original) voice is so distinctive.”

The Spring Lake Township man said he's proud of the fountain's ability to endure through the ages.

“One of the most pleasant lasting memories I've had throughout the years of Grand Haven is that Musical Fountain," he said. "It brings such peace. I don't know if it's the lights, the water, the music or the voice we all have come to love over the years. Everything is just so comforting with that fountain.”

Homan said he's glad the fountain committee is refurbishing the attraction this year.

“I'm really thrilled to hear they're putting some dollars toward updating the plumbing and lighting,” he said. “It speaks for the future. It's going to be here for my grandchildren to enjoy.”

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