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01-23-2020 Tri-City Area History Page

The Paw Paw River Journal

The view from my window

Artists have always wanted to have north light for their studios. My windows in front of the desk look northward out over a huge meadow grassland. So I appreciate my northern exposure here. I don’t have to change the blinds as the sun moves across the sky. This is where I write as I am sitting here now doing. And I’ve been thinking about life. Especially life in a place such as this. When this new facility is full, we will have around 70 residents here. We live in apartments: studio, one-bedroom, and several two-bedroom residences. When Marion and I moved in we had one of the few large places. After losing my Chief Accountant, I moved into a smaller one-bedroom… that’s how I achieved the north light! It also saves me a little money. I’m still enjoying life here, and especially mealtimes. We gather in a huge dining room and talk while we’re eating. At my table we often discuss old movies… once in a while, books. I need help getting from my apartment to the dining room, because it is just too far otherwise. So we often sit in the dining room talking until we’re the last table there. Then I have to scramble to find someone to help me get back home again. I refer to that as “calling for a taxi!” And we have a great bunch (mostly girls) working here. I have tried to establish a friendship and a good working relationship with all of them. And most times it works! Now there is something new to think about. The Ganton family, who own and operate this facility, are going to have a citizens advisory board… some residents to help make decisions about the place. I decided, Oh, what the heck, I might as well give it a shot. So I applied… and was accepted! There are three of us residents who are going to be on the board. Below I have included a copy of the letter I wrote as my application… Vineyard Resident Board Member Application:

“In this world and at our age we have little control over our lives. So, when an opportunity comes along to have some input on our future, we’d be fools not to take it! And I feel so fortunate to be in a place where they want that input! I also feel that now I have lived so long I can see more of the wholeness of the situation than I could when I was younger. With the loss of the impulsiveness of youth comes, hopefully, an evenhandedness because of that longer view. Admittedly I have less energy, and my hands no longer possess the motor skills they once had. So I ration activities and try to rest every afternoon. I still write a weekly newspaper column and must keep juggling that. I do not desire committee work. In my past life I have been on various boards… curriculum study and development, Ann Arbor Public Library board, Hartford Community Endowment Group, and others. So I would enjoy serving on this resident board in so far as my energy will permit. It is a most worthwhile endeavor, and I am thankful for the concern the owners of the Vineyard have for our welfare.”

So now we will see what happens. I honestly believe all the points I’ve mentioned in the above. I’ll give you one little example of the concern that I have at this age. My ninety-five-year-old stomach is a little delicate. In fact, I’ve had surgery to repair two duodenal ulcers. And I just can’t take the spice in my food that I once could. Isn’t that silly? Being bothered by too much pepper in some of the food. Well, that’s the way it is! So, I’ve checked with others and they feel the same way. Now I’m not complaining about the food, because I still find it very satisfying! For instance… yesterday for breakfast I had pancakes, bacon, fresh fruit, juice, and coffee. For lunch, sloppy Joes, coleslaw and chips. For dinner, salad, beef stew and biscuits. I’d say, pretty good eating in the neighborhood. The sun rises, the sun sets, and the earth still abides! Here at this assisted living place I’m still enjoying life and trying (if sometimes a little lonely) to weave some golden threads into The Great Tapestry of Life in these storybook towns along the Paw Paw River.

Watervliet District Library News

Online Games-A-Thon Fundraiser Friday, Jan. 24, 4 – 9 p.m. Gamers will find sponsors per time played and livestream as they are playing, via Twitch. Do what you love and support the library! Pinteresting Jan. 27, 6:30 – 8 p.m. Arts and crafts for grown-ups held the last Monday of the month. This month – Danish Heart Teen Table Projects Can’t decide what to wear let alone what to read? The Watervliet Library Fortune Teller can help teens with at least one of those decisions! STEM Kit Programs Snap Circuits – LEGO Robotics – Little Bits Electronic Inventions STEM kit programs designed for small groups to work together to make an endless number of inventions. New groups are set up with participant’s schedule in mind. Anyone 8 years and up that is interested can sign up at the desk. Story Hour Story Hour for ages 3 – 5 is on Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. and Thursdays at 1:30 p.m. (choose one) for the months of October to April. Picture books, crafts & fun designed to inspire the love of reading! Yoga Mondays 9 – 10 a.m.; Wednesdays 7 – 8 p.m.; Fridays 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.; Chair Yoga – Wednesdays 6 – 6:30 p.m.

Coloma Public Library News

President’s Day Story Time Coloma Public Library will have a special guest, “Abraham Lincoln”, for a President’s Day Story Time on Monday, Feb. 17 at 1:00 p.m. There will also be a fun craft as well as photo opportunities. Pre-K Story Times Miss Alicia will host Story Times Tuesday mornings at 10:30 a.m. These interactive story times also include a craft activity. Registration is not required to participate. Special Book Sale The library is having a special book sale in the Community Room on Saturday Feb. 1 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. There will be a special emphasis on art and theology books as well as clearance overflow from the bookstore. Book Club The Coloma Public Library Book Club is meeting on Thursday, Feb. 6 at 5:30 p.m. The title to read before the discussion is Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane. Depending on demand there may be titles available for check out at the front desk. New members are always welcome.

Adult reading program includes food

“Reading Delights”, the Watervliet District Library’s adult reading program, begins on Monday, Jan. 20. This year’s program offers plenty of hearty winter reads, two grand prizes of $100 gift cards to Harding’s Market, and free snacks one day each week of the six-week program. Participants each receive a reading log; every two books read entitle the reader to a grand prize entry slip. Prizes will be drawn February 29, at the end of the program. Weekly snacks will be provided by local eateries, beginning with Watervliet’s popular La Chula Restaurant, Monday, Jan. 20. Check back each week for another local favorite on the following dates: Tuesday, Jan. 28, Wednesday, Feb. 5, Thursday, Feb. 13, Friday, Feb. 21, and Saturday, the last day of the program, Feb. 29. Since no reading & eating program would be complete without a cookbook, the library community will create its own, in scrap-book style. Those interested in sharing a favorite recipe are encouraged to pick up a scrapbook sheet, add a recipe and accompanying information, stories, decorations, and return the finished sheet to the library. The final product will be added to the library’s permanent in-house collection. Anyone who’d like to make their own cookbook is welcome to do so during a cookbook crafting event Monday, Feb. 3, 6:30 – 8 p.m. Sign up is requested in advance. Those seeking further information are urged to contact the library at 269-463-6382 or


100 years ago – 1920 Much enthusiasm was shown when a special interurban car carried fifty rooters and the basketball team to Berrien Springs. The local boys played well, dodging obstructions on the recently waxed floor. One pair Stoughton heavy 1-horse bobs – $35.00. These bobs will carry two tons. One dandy spring Cutter, $60.00. Coloma Hardware Co. The Mystic Workers held a Pedro party at the home of Mrs. Fred Seabury. There were twenty present in spite of the storm. 60 years ago – 1960 Julia Mastri is 1960 Betty Crocker Homemaker of Tomorrow. She receives an award pin, manufactured by Jostens. She will now compete at the state level. M.E. McAllister is opening a real estate office. Lyle Mason Realty begins operation on the second floor of the State Bank of Coloma. School Superintendent W.L. Alwood and principals, Victor Weir and Forrest Merritt attend a meeting of the Berrien County School Administrators. Heavy rains caused the foundation of the home of Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Carlson, Coloma Heights, to collapse. Mrs. Carlson was in the basement using her automatic washer. She said this was a “terrifying experience.” 30 years ago – 1990 Winterfest tournaments this weekend! Punkin Softball, sponsored by The Pour House, will be played at Washington School. Horseshoes, sponsored by Paw Paw Lake Village Inn and Bean Bags, sponsored by Club Rocadero, will be at each of those sites. We Asked You… “Should high school athletes be allowed to practice while on academic suspension?” A “No” was given by Jody Bennett, Leigh Ann Turner, Kathi Blatchford, Larry Harbin and Cathey Newton. Commissioners Anita Hirsch, George Postelli and August Pupedis were approved by Mayor Marvin Taylor to form a committee for planning and zoning for the city of Coloma. Treasurer Fred Munchow reminded all of the Dog Clinic scheduled. Submitted by volunteer Sandi Musick Munchow at Coloma Public Library from the Coloma Courier newspapers donated by the Tri-City Record. Hours: Mon & Fri, 10:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Tue, Wed & Thu, 10:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.; Sat, 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Phone: 269-468-3431


100 years ago – 1920 The drifting snow of Saturday and Sunday has all but blockaded the rural roads for the first time this winter. Yesterday morning a light rain fell for a few minutes which formed a crust of ice and added to the difficulty of traffic. Drivers of new motor cars in transit reached Hartford Monday night and reported that they had spent the entire day battling with the drifts between this village and Kalamazoo. The plate glass windows are being installed this week in C.E. Kinney’s new garage on West Main Street, and the building will soon be ready for occupancy. Charles Tyler had a narrow escape at the local Pere Marquette Depot Sunday evening. He stood close to the track and failed to hear an approaching locomotive. As it passed, the locomotive barely grazed his body but the glancing blow fractured three of his ribs. He was not seriously injured and was able to walk to his home after the incident. 75 years ago – 1945 A village-wide waste paper pick-up, sponsored by the Parent-Teachers association, will be conducted Saturday, Feb. 3. Chairman Ed Bonning has requested the full cooperation of the public in salvaging every scrap of paper from attics, basements and storage rooms of Hartford homes. Oscar Dowd, district conservation representative, spoke at the Townline Farm Bureau meeting at the Donald Disbrow home last Wednesday night. There were 23 present at the meeting. A collection was taken for the “March of Dimes” fund. The Daughters of the Union Veterans are collecting comic books and funny papers to send to soldiers in convalescent hospitals in England. All persons who have books or papers to contribute have been asked to leave them at Abrams store or contact Mrs. Vaughn Barney, president of the organization. 50 years ago – 1970 Officials of the Van Buren Youth Fair plan to hold the 1970 event at a new location. The Board of County Commissioners has approved a 50-year lease to the fair of nearly 80 acres of the former county poor farm between Hartford and Lawrence. If physical facilities can be ready in time, the 1970 fair will be held at that location instead of the Hartford fair ground. The lease for $1 a year does not include the former county farm building and the former county hospital now occupied by the Social Welfare department. Bulldozing of the site will start next week. Plans call for the construction of a 60 by 150 foot building for use by this year’s fair.

Submitted by Librarian Stephanie Daniels at Hartford Public Library from microfilm copies of the Hartford Day Spring. Hours: Mon, Tue & Wed, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Thu & Fri, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Phone: 269-621-3408


90 years ago – 1930 Little Joyce Ann Thomas, of this city, has been made a member of the Sinbac Radio Club, it is announced by “Uncle Bob” Wilson, famous radio entertainer of Station KYW and president of the Club. She received an attractive club pin which the youngster is now wearing as evidence that she “belongs’. Interested in Boy Scout work since April 1916, Rev. G.R. Parker, pastor of the Congregational Church, Watervliet, is now eligible for award of a “Scoutmaster’s Key”. This symbol, which is awarded only to those who have completed a five years’ course in scoutmasters school and also five years’ actual experience as a scoutmaster, gives the holder recognition anywhere in the United States as an expert scoutmaster. Watervliet can well be proud of its debating team. Word has been received that its team is one of the 69 (out of 266) schools with the most number of points won in the four preliminary debates. 60 years ago – 1960 Milton L. Krugman, aviation electronics technician third class, USN, Watervliet, is serving with the Pacific Fleet Airborne Electronics Training Unit at the North Island Naval Air Station, San Diego, CA. Honoring Harold Selters, Watervliet’s oldest employee in the Watervliet Paper Company, in years of credited service, a “coffee” was held in the mill’s conference room on the afternoon of Jan. 14, 1960. Harold states that his first job at the mill was that of “broke boy” around the cutters, charged with the responsibility of keeping the paper picked up in this area. His rate of pay was 10 cents per hour for a 10 hour day. 30 years ago – 1990 Jan Willmeng, a freshman at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, has been selected to receive the Jenny Philips Scholarship. She was selected on the basis of her academic performance in English at WHS, standardized test scores and letters of recommendation. As part of the Watervliet High School Quest Program – Skills for Living, the high school students spent the day at South Elementary assisting teachers in the classrooms. They especially enjoyed listening to the children read and helping them with their writing.

Submitted by Sally Q. Gonzalez from files at Watervliet District Library of the Watervliet Record newspapers donated by the Tri-City Record. Hours: Mon & Wed, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Tue, Thu & Fri, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Phone: 269-463-6382


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