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Posted: 08/28/13

2013 GRAND MARSHAL. Above, Sue Kane, Romeo resident and president of the Romeo Historical Society, has been named the grand marshal for the 2013 Michigan Peach Festival's Floral Parade. Kane previously owned Town Hall Antiques and created the Victorian Festival. She said she considers it an honor to be a part of the Peach Festival.

(Observer photo by Chris Gray)

Sue Kane proud to be
parade grand marshal

Observer Staff Writer
      Sue Kane has watched the Peach Festival parades surrounded by antiques in her store.
       Now, however, she will enjoy a new view of the parade with a different kind of relic: A 1959 Cadillac Eldorado convertible.
       Kane, a Romeo resident and president of the Romeo Historical Society, will serve as the grand marshal for the 2013 Peach Festival's floral parade on Sept. 2.
       Kane said she was "flabbergasted" when she was asked to be the grand marshal, saying she expects people like governors or mayors to hold the esteemed position.
       "I just couldn't believe it," she said. "I think Peach Festival is a very big event, and I'm real proud to be in it."
       She said she likes the Peach Festival because it is a good showing of what Romeo is all about. In particular, she said she enjoys events like the bed races, car parade and Mummer's parade and children's parade.
       "It's so Romeo," she said. "It ranks right up there in my favorite things."
       She has had prime viewing of the parades at her store, Kane's Town Hall Antiques, on N. Main Street and W. St. Clair, which she bought and took over on Dec. 1, 2001.
       She first discovered the store after joining the Great Lakes Depression Glass Club. When she lost her job as a purchasing agent at Romeo RIM in 2001, she found out the store was for sale and decided to buy it. She said she took courses in antiques but never had experience in retail, but her love of antiques and people drove her to take a chance.
       "It kind of dropped into my lap," she said. "All the things that have happened were meant to be. I didn't go looking for them, they found me."
       Kane moved to the Romeo area from Shelby Township around the same time to be closer to the business, buying a home she found when attending an auction at the house.
       As of May 1 she transferred the store to Dave and Beth Benac of Antique Bank Café, with both businesses joining to create the "Town Hall Antique Mall Café." Kane said she is still involved in the store and has a booth set up, but said it was time for some young blood to take over.
       "I had a good run and I enjoyed it," she said. "We got to participate in a whole lot of events, meet a whole lot of people."
       Some of those people included members of the Romeo Historical Society. She said customers would ask questions about the area's local history, so she decided to turn to the society for answers. The self-described "history buff" decided to join, and has served as the president for the past seven years.
       "The Historical Society has just grown by leaps and bounds, and we've got all three of the museums up and going strong, and we've got great programs," she said.
       Thanks to the store and Historical Society, Kane has worked with nearly every local group, including the Greater Romeo-Washington Chamber of Commerce, the Romeo Merchants, Restaurants and Professionals Association, the Downtown Development Authority, WBRW and Parks and Recreation. She also serves as secretary of the Blue Water Antique Dealers Association.
       "I just found everybody in town to be very friendly and very open to suggestions, and I've had fun," she said.
       Aside from helping others plan local activities, Kane used her love of the Victorian Era and created the Victorian Festival. The event highlighted Romeo's Victorian heritage with period outfits, music, children's games and more for seven years before Kane discontinued it.
       "I didn't do any of this for glory," she said. "It's just what I do, I enjoy getting people together and doing things I'm blessed to be able to do."
       With the store in good hands, Kane said her next goal is to do some traveling, but still plans to take part with the MI Trolley business, play the role of Mrs. Santa Claus and spend time with her family.
       "Now I'm ready for another challenge," she said.

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