03-21-2019 Tri-City Area History Page

1936 Watervliet Football Team. Do you know any of these players? 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

Nature’s children Oh so many times I have written about our favorite places. One of the most important: the mountains of East Central Pennsylvania. We spent more wonderful vacations there than almost any other place. Aunt Hope had a summer home there for years. An old house, it was in pretty bad shape when we later sold it to friends who live nearby. It has since been rehabbed to the point you would hardly recognize it. Beautiful! We also made many friends out there. Those of Aunt Hope’s generation have all passed on. Some younger friends have passed on too. One who was a contemporary of our own gang is buried in the Benton Cemetery. A beautiful spot on the side hill. His name was Chris, and he was a veteran of Vietnam. Someone in the group would have the radio on, and one frequent sound was Jim Morrison and the Doors. Chris told his girlfriend he wanted a line from one of the Doors’ hits, “break on through to the other side…,” on his monument. She got it wrong, and now forever that headstone where he is buried says, “Come on over to the other side…” Which is something altogether different! One of our girls looked at it and said, “I hope Chris doesn’t mind!” One of the most attractive features of that area is the wildlife. We would go out at night with a spotlight just to see the night creatures out and about their business. One evening we came over the top of the hill just out of the little community of Grassmere. There in an open field two male deer were fighting. Bang! Those bucks would come together, butting heads! They paid us no mind. We have a friend out there in one of those small communities. Connie Hatch, of Forksville, loves books and recipes… especially recipe books. She publishes an online newsletter full of pioneer food ideas. I have contributed to that newsletter, and I have also quoted her in my column. Just recently she wrote a little essay that I will share with all of my readers. With her permission I have quoted below:

A Peek of Winter in the Shadows The doe carefully stepped across the asphalt, head down, nose to the pavement. Her gaze wasn’t on me specifically, but on the vehicle I was driving. She wasn’t alarmed: her tail hadn’t shot up, the white normally an alarm for companions – but she was alone and her tail remained down. Twilight had settled, not yet dusk when all light for the evening was quickly vanishing. Darkness spread by the second across the narrow valley cut in half by a small creek for some six miles. Fiery autumn colors were gone – not there was much to show this autumn. Only the evergreens retained their green. Any and all colors were lost in the seasonal transition from fall to winter: trees devoid of leaves were dark vertical strips across the snow. Seemed like a pale moon shone but it hadn’t yet appeared above the east line of mountains. Artificial yellow lights reflected across the snow: long stretching rectangles with blurry edges reached out into the darkness. Hunters were finished for the day and warming up in cabins that occasionally dotted the woods along both sides of the road. As soon as hunters exited the woods and fields, as soon as twilight took hold, deer by the hundreds moved down the mountains to fields and streams from which to eat and drink. Their heads snapped around in unison when they heard motorized vehicles. I’m not sure where this small doe had hidden for the day, perhaps she had holed up behind a tree or log or in bushes, but here she was… a survivor of the day’s hunt, stepping carefully across the road, her eyes riveted on the lights of my car. She wasn’t giving me the deer-