03-14-2019 Tri-City History Page

Glimpses From The Past Five Watervliet Fire Department men sitting behind firefighting equipment; shown as Red Leverton, Chief Elliot Spreen, Chas. McKees, Wm. Smith, & Doug Warman. North Berrien Historical Museum is always interested in photos, stories or information sharing. The museum can be contacted at 269-468-3330 or by email to info@northberrienhistory.org. From the photo collection at the North Berrien Historical Museum 300 Coloma Avenue, Coloma

The Paw Paw River Journal

Different strokes When I retired from teaching, it was for us back to the small town of our beginning. And the chance to work on our family home which we had kept all the years we were moving around. Marion and I had been refinishing antique furniture, and that’s how we wanted to furnish it. We also wanted to do some traveling… one of our favorite places being out to Pennsylvania to visit Aunt Hope. She had to go into assisted living, but we went out to visit her anyway. I was taking care of her business with a Power of Attorney (I had the title, but Marion did most of the work!). We also visited all of the friends she had made, who had now become ours also. One was a lady named Dolly. She lived in a neighboring town and worked as manager of the local motel. While visiting her we stayed at the motel, which was nicely furnished. So we sat in the reception area and talked when she was not busy checking people in. It was afternoon and a very stylish lady came roaring in and parked. Nice car, well-dressed, and seemed to know the routine for checking in. After she left with the key card and parked her car in front of one of the units, Dolly said, “Everybody who works here calls her ‘The afternoon delight!’ Pretty soon she’ll be joined by a truck driver.” A big rig soon turned into Mickey D’s across the street and parked out in back. The driver, a youngish man, strolled across the street right by the office and disappeared into the unit rented by The Afternoon Delight. Again, all was quiet and serene. Dolly looked up from her bookkeeping and said, “They do that about once a month. They’ll stay three hours and then she will check out. I’ll go in and change the sheets and pillow cases, and then I can rent the room again!” Later that afternoon I talked with a long-distance trucker who checked in because he finally just had to have a good night’s sleep. I enjoyed him immensely. I’ve always had an affinity for truck drivers ever since back in the day when we were all using CB radios. Over the years they have given us so much valuable information. On the interstate they will know where the traffic backups are. I had to learn to talk their ‘lingo.’ Usually they don’t like to converse with four wheelers. That’s what they call the rest of us car drivers. If we’re driving a really small car, they may refer to it as a ‘roller skate.’ They have nothing but contempt for the stupidity so many drivers exhibit out on the ‘Big Road.’ So, I found if you learn their lingo, and don’t act like a nerd, they will be friendly… and they have a wealth of information. I can remember one night we were driving from Ann Arbor to Hartford on I-94. The weather was horrible… a snowstorm much like we’ve been having. Driving that night was chancy at best. It was late and I was following a big rig. We talked on the CB, and I asked him if he was making it OK. He said so far, so far. I said, “Don’t pay this weather no mind! I just got the autopilot on, my feet up on the instrument panel, and I’m not even looking out through the windshield… Too scary!” He laughed and said he was too. Thus we passed the time until we left him at the Hartford exit. We were both being extra careful, and we knew it! So that afternoon in the motel the long-distance trucker and I sat and talked. I asked him what was his story. He said, “I’ve got to see a doctor. My life is going nowhere. My health is bad, and I got a lot of broken bones. I was working on an oil rig just off the coast of South America. We had an accident and I fell 50 feet into the water!” And so we talked… I tried to give him what advice I could. “With all the bones you’ve had broken, you shouldn’t be in a business where you get shaken up all the time!” “Yeah, I know.” And thus it went on. What do you do when the only business you know, perhaps the only one you like is bad for your health? I’ll bet many people are in that situation. I commiserated with him. At least he had someone to listen. And I wonder in a larger sense… how many people in this life are trapped in jobs they hate, or dislike, or are bad for their health? I guess in this old world, as it spins around, if you are doing something that you don’t mind getting up and going to work… that’s money in the bank. Lesson there for us? You bet! For many it’s not too late to change! I know the Buddhists and Hindus say we will go through many existences before we achieve Nirvana, or Oneness with God. But I have trouble with that theory. As I look back on my own checkered past, I try to think, was I happy in what I was doing? Usually, yes! Oh, I’ll admit to longing sometimes for Friday to come. But I think that sort of pain I remember more from the early days when I really didn’t know what I was doing. After I amassed a body of knowledge and experience, I mostly enjoyed weaving educational threads into the Golden Tapestry of Life. That’s worthwhile in these storybook towns along the Paw Paw River.

Coloma Library News Book Sale The library will have a book sale from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 16. Don’t miss this HUGE sale of gently used books, audiobooks, DVDs, puzzles, magazines and more! The library will remain open during the sale. Read with Spirit Spirit, a certified therapy dog will be at the library on Tuesday evenings from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. Children may sign up for a 15-minute slot by stopping in at the front desk or calling the library at 468-3431. Reading to Therapy dogs is a fun way for children to build reading confidence and fluency. Story Hour Story Hour meets on Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. Join Miss Amy for a story, craft and songtime. Story Hour is a free weekly program for toddlers and preschool-aged children, it does not require sign-up. Book Club The Coloma Library Book Club is meeting on Thursday, March 21 at 5:30 p.m. The title to read before the discussion is “Great Alone” by Kristin Hannah. Generally, depending on demand there are titles available for check-out at the front desk. The book club regularly meets every other Thursday and is always looking for new members.

Watervliet District Library News Teen Table Projects: March Do-it-yourself project for teens whenever they’re at the library; all supplies provided. This month – If I knew I couldn’t fail. Be inspired – be yourself! Add your brave thoughts to their call-out. Third Monday Book Club Mar. 18, 7 – 8 p.m. Great books, fabulous conversations! Ask for your copy at the desk; this month – The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers. Pinteresting Mar. 25, 6:30 – 8 p.m. Arts & crafts for grown-ups held on the last Monday of the month. All supplies provided; sign-up required. Fairy Garden Houses is this month’s project. Story Hours – Wed. 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. & Thur. 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. Picture books, crafts and fun designed to inspire the love of reading! For ages 3 – 5. NO YOGA until March 27, 2019 Purchase a Legacy Walk brick for the Library Garden Park and celebrate a memory! Bricks are $75; 13 characters, 2 lines. Pick up a form at the library. Please call 463-6382 for more information on any Watervliet Library activity.


100 years ago – 1919 Village election day passed most quietly. Only 128 ballots cast, 28 of these were women’s ballots. Mrs. Annibel Blake and Miss Ida Stonecliffe had the honor of being the first women to cast their ballots. “Head of a family” for tax purposes is defined as the person actually supporting in one household. If you qualify, then the exemption of $2,000 applies. The republican caucus will be held at the Coloma Theatre this Saturday. 60 years ago – 1959 Coloma was paired with Marysville for the Sixth Annual Michigan Week Exchange of Mayors. A 60th Wedding Anniversary Open House will be held for Mr. and Mrs. Frank Jackson. The Boyer School PTC will hold its annual Home Talent Show. Ed Scheffler is in charge. Family Night will be held at the Congregational Church. Following the pot-luck supper, a talk on juvenile delinquency will be given by the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department. The Coloma queen contestants attend a dinner in their honor at the Rose Inn. Vernette and Virg Lewis, of the Paw Paw Lake Playhouse, will direct the contestants during the contest, which will be held at the Liberty Theatre in Benton Harbor. 30 years ago – 1989 Dr. James Galles will be the official Grand Marshal for the 9th annual St. Patrick’s Day parade; 70 units have registered for the parade. Miss Coloma Queen Contest co-chairmen Jim Polashak and Joyce Tutton proudly display the first-place trophy from the Blossomtime Committee. The community of Coloma won for the “Most Outstanding Blossomtime Contest.” Agitated residents have made good on their promise to “start a recall.” Attorney Andrew J. Burch is drawing up recall petitions targeted at the mayor and three commissioners. 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 – 1919 Warren Clark began putting up a good quality of ice from 6 to 7 inches thick from Shafer Lake, but only a small quantity had been stored when the heavy snow ruined the crop. W.H. Dunbar received the first shipment of an ice order from Traverse City. Another dancing party will be given at the town hall March 21, with music by Myner’s orchestra of South Haven. It is not exactly the season for pleasurable plunges in the inland lakes, but Dr. A. Elgas has taken two of them this week. He was directing the ice harvest for the county infirmary at Shafer Lake. 75 years ago – 1944 A navy rally at the Burnette Casting Company in Keeler featured addresses by navy and marine fighters returned from the South Pacific. The program began with the national anthem, followed by an introductory speech by Ralph Mack, president of the company. The company’s efforts were commended for turning out much needed parts for war equipment. Production in the Keeler plant has jumped from 100 pounds of metal per day, to two million pounds. 50 years ago – 1969 A fashion show featuring contestants in the Miss Hartford contest will be held at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 18 at the high school cafeteria. The 25 girls who will compete March 29 for the Miss Hartford title will model fashions from Mi-Ladies Dress Shop and Mary’s. Army 1st Lt. Peter R. Sinclair has been awarded the army commendation medal for meritorious service and is one of two officers at Fort Gordon, GA, named to the 1969 edition of “Outstanding Young Men of America”. For the last three years, Lt. Sinclair has been on military leave as editor of the Day Spring. He will be returning to that position. Lt. Sinclair is project officer for the department of doctrine, development, literature and plan at military police school at Ft. Gordon. Lt. Sinclair prepared outstanding training literature and visual aids for the military police corps. Lt. Sinclair’s creative thinking, managerial and leadership ability, devotion to duty, together with his ability to get the job done earned him the respect and admiration of his supervisors. 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 – 1929 Hugh Parker and Arthur Gilchrist have been picked as outstanding instrumentalists in Michigan school orchestras and will play in the All State School Orchestra before the Schoolmaster Club at Ann Arbor. Parker is a clarinetist and Gilchrist a violinist. Both boys play in the local school orchestra under the direction of Mr. Shelters. Printed on Mar. 29, 1929: Instruction in arithmetic in Watervliet aims at insight into relations and processes of number. Its purpose is to lead the child to think quantitatively with respect to his environment both inside and outside of school. It regards speed and accuracy in abstract computations only as essential tools and considers the real purpose of the study of arithmetic to be a development of ability to see relations and to apply these tools to the solution of the concrete problems of life. 60 years ago – 1959 Mr. and Mrs. Edward Dill are the proud parents of a 7-pound 12-1/2 ounce baby girl, born Sept. 20, 1958. Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Reynolds are the proud parents of their baby boy, Rodney Lee born Oct. 12, 1958 and weighed 7 pounds, 13 ounces. 30 years ago – 1989 Nearly a half million dollars will be spent renovating Watervliet’s downtown area, thanks to the efforts of the Watervliet Downtown Development Authority. MDOT will supply $158,000 for repaving a substantial portion of Main Street. A $250,000 Community Development Block Grant and $40,000 of DDA “seed money” will be supplied to renovate and beautify the span of from Red Arrow Highway to the Watervliet paper mill. Barbara McQuiston has been chosen as Watervliet Public Schools’ ‘Employee of the Month’ for March 1989. Barb has been with the Watervliet Schools for four years and is employed as a school bus driver. Airman Robert C. Radesky Jr. has graduated from Air Force Basic training at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. During the six months of training the airman studied the Air Force mission, organization and customs and received special training in human relations. Robert is a 1987 graduate of WHS. 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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