03-22-2018 History

The Paw Paw River Journal

Where have all the flowers gone? Thus go the words in an old folk song recorded by Peter, Paul and Mary, among others. Good question! Your Paw Paw River correspondent has been thinking about the passage of time. Nothing new about that… ever since the beginning poets, philosophers, song writers, and thinkers have been doing the same… wondering where all the flowers have gone… or as the French writer, Francois Villon, said, “Where are the snows of yesteryear?” Sometimes I think about the Old Testament in the Bible beginning with the story of Genesis, and the Garden of Eden. And the parents of mankind were cast out into the world for eating the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. This Holy Book has great meaning for two of the world’s great religions… Jewish and Christian. So the stories therein have to be of the utmost importance. Just suppose in addition to the stories themselves… there might be a symbolic truth. Could expulsion from the Garden of Eden be related to the march of mankind itself? (Here’s where I probably lose the creation science people, who believe the biblical account of the creation of the world is scientific fact). Just suppose that the story could be a symbol of mankind’s development. We might have evolved until we reached the point that we could think. Aha! The fruit of the Tree of Knowledge! And by learning to think… we HAVE to think. And when we think, we must consider the fact of our own mortality. Memento Mori… Latin meaning “Remember man that you must die! Then that knowledge forever tinged our existence with the color of sadness, as we were expelled from the Eden of our ignorance into the cold world of knowing. Eastern religions think of time as being circular… some feel that we live multiple lives (in succession), and how we do in this existence determines where we go in the next. Like peeling away layers of an onion… and if we work long and hard enough we will reach the center… Nirvana or oneness with God. In the west we may be more apt to think of time as linear. “Time keeps flowing like a river… to the sea, to the sea,” from the Alan Parsons Project, a beautiful song that has haunted me ever since we heard it on a soft night in Florida. We walked out on the pier at Ft. Myers Beach in Florida. Over the water floated music from the night club on shore. Moonlit water, quiet lapping of waves, and the music, “Goodbye, my love, maybe for forever…” I have never forgotten it… Go ahead, Google it! And turn up your speakers. Back in America’s early development some philosophers lived in New England. They called themselves Transcendentalists. Among them Henry David Thoreau, who lived out in the wilderness long enough to write a classic journal, “Walden.” Another in the group was Ralph Waldo Emerson. I guess they were sort of Deists… believing in the “watchmaker theory”… God created the Universe, then walked away, leaving it running… and it has been running like a watch ever since. I don’t know about that, but another of his ideas was that we all come from the Great Sea. Our lives are like waves that wash up on the shore and then go back to the ocean again… which he called “The Oversoul.” And thus, he says, we are all related because we are alive. There is a life force in nature. Our own Native Americans believed in living harmoniously with the physical world. Some western tribes had elaborate ceremonies to help them bring their lives back into harmony with the Universe. And they took from nature’s bounty only what they needed to live. They could not understand, and were horrified by, our slaughter of the great buffalo herds for their fur and sometimes for the tongue (considered a delicacy). How sad we made them feel with our excesses and broken promises. They only wanted their spirits to go to the next world… still living in harmony with nature and all of creation. There, would be perfection forever. How far we have gone from that simplicity! Some years back a writer, T.S. Eliot, said, “…our only monument a thousand lost golf balls.” We have gone way beyond that. More like, our monument will be heaps of soft drink and beer cans, and landfills full of never-decaying plastic diapers… all releasing methane gas. We are watching the polar ice caps shrink… but it is not all our fault. I read an article that stated millions of cooking fires all over Asia are all contributing to our downfall too. Meanwhile we live our lives… consider our existence. The Greek Philosopher, Socrates, said, “The unexamined life is not worth living!” In rebuttal, your Paw Paw River Correspondent has said, “The examined life is not all beer and skittles either!” But we must think… we cannot not think! And one of the things we consider is the passage of time. A friend, Richard McMullen said in a poem “The Walk Home,” This might be something that only happens in small towns, where streets and houses stay pretty much the same. Maybe not. Once, a little after midnight, I looked though the window in the front door and saw a young man walk by under the streetlight. Long strides, fast pace. Walking home from a bar, could be the American Legion. But people don’t walk places any more as they did fifty years ago. Back in bed, I wondered why the young man looked so familiar. If he came by again, I’d look closer. The following midnight, when he approached, I opened the door, stepped out on the porch, and called “Richard?” I didn’t have any idea what I’d say if he answered. He never slowed down, never saw me at all! Will any of us ever find the kid that we were? Who knows. Meanwhile we think about life… and the fact that it is all too short. We’d better do a good job, because tempis is fugiting! (time is flying!)

Let’s shake on that!!! 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.

Coloma Library News Binder Park Zoomobile

The Binder Park Zoomobile will visit the library and bring live animals on Tuesday, April 3 at 11 a.m. This program is sure to be educational and entertaining for the whole family! This is a free program and no sign-up is required. Book Club The Coloma Library Book Club is meeting on Thursday, April 5 at 5:30 p.m. The title to read before the discussion is “This is How It Always Is” by Laurie Frankel. Call 468-3431 with questions on any of these activities. Watervliet District Library News Adult Crafting: “Pinteresting” Monday, Mar 26, 6:30-8:00 p.m. Shabby Chic Easter Eggs: Have fun trying out a Pinterest inspired craft on the library! All supplies provided; sign up required. Zachary, the read to me dog Saturday, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. Meet Zachary – a certified therapy hypoallergenic labradoodle. He has a Good Canine Citizen Certificate and is a member of the American Kennel Club; loves to be read to by kids. Story Hour Wed 10:30 a.m. & Thu 1:30 p.m. Thru April, Show-and-tell, stories and crafts for children ages 3 – 5 and their families. Sign up to share this structured literacy program with your preschooler! Library Garden Park Purchase a Legacy Walk brick and celebrate a memory! Bricks are $75; 13 characters, 2 lines.


100 years ago – 1918 Colomans: Set your clock ahead one hour on Easter Sunday. President Wilson indorsed legislation as a conservation measure made necessary by the demand of war economy. Twelve other countries, likewise, have adopted this measure. Two draft boards were asked to furnish men for the national army. DeForrest Arent and Harold Warriner were called for induction to the Battle Creek cantonment. 60 years ago – 1958 Relatives and friends paid their last respects to Mrs. Carrie M. Tinkham, 67, at the Davidson Funeral Home. She was a prominent Christian Science leader and served as a reader. Coloma High School presents their senior class play, “Onions In The Stew.” Members of the cast include: Barbara Urness, John Faraone, Connie Irvin, Jane Rasmussen, Dino Mastri, Nancy Brower, Rod Krieger, Charles Krenek, Alice McKie, Judy Kalafut, Barbara Hoening, Aubrey Arent, Bob Crawford, Joe Bryant, Linda Cormican, Jean McQueen, Vicky Smith and Edna West. A new “drive-up” mail box was installed on the sidewalk in front of the new post office. 30 years ago – 1988 During a special meeting, residents told commissioners that a tax increase was not acceptable. Residents offered proposed cutbacks during this very vocal meeting. The Coloma Board of Education voted to decline revising criteria for the Honor Roll. Also, they approved the 1988 Senior Prom to be held off-campus at Playland Hall. We Asked You… How do you feel about the president sending troops to Honduras? Junior Beebe, Jimmy Phares, Bob Morse, Carol Pimpkins and John Sternaman all don’t like it. William Kennedy has been granted a patent for a ring attachment to improve agitation in an automatic washer. Kennedy is a retired Whirlpool employee and serves on several Township boards.

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 – 1918 An alarm of fire Friday afternoon called the department to the E.J. Robinson home on South Center Street where chimney sparks had started a threatening blaze in the roof. With the chemical truck the flames were soon brought under control, but not until two large holes were burned in the roof. Landlord Roy Hinckley of the Hartford House is demolishing another old landmark this week. The barn at the rear of the hotel is being torn down to make room for a modern garage to accommodate twenty-four automobiles. The old barn has stood on the hotel property for over forty years. 75 years ago – 1943 A Hartford chapter of Mothers of World War II was formed when twenty mothers took the oath under the direction of Mrs. Walter Jones, a gold star mother whose son was killed at Pearl Harbor. The Hartford Junior Mothers’ club held its last meeting at the home of Mrs. Mae Dyer. During the meeting the members agreed to donate a sum of money to the Red Cross. An exchange of names was held for “Big Sister.” After the meeting a luncheon was served by the hostess. The next meeting will be April 7 and will be guest night at the home of Mrs. Louise Engle. Thirteen cases of measles have been reported during the past week in the village of Hartford. Since this is a very communicable disease especially for young children, parents are urged to call their doctor when a child develops measles. 50 years ago – 1968 Contestants in the Miss Hartford contest will go to Benton Harbor Monday afternoon to visit National Beauty College for help with walking and poise lessons. Mrs. Florence Patterson, treasurer of the Combined Appeal announced this week that the 1967 drive has reached the goal and that allocations have been made to 23 agencies. The Progressive Mothers Club will meet March 27, at the Elm Room of the First Savings Association. Mrs. Roger Duncombe will be hostess. 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 – 1928 Mrs. Mildred O. Shelters, music director in the WHS, announced the date of “Miss Cherryblossom,” the operetta to be presented by the Boys’ and Girls’ Glee Clubs of the school. This is the one big musical offering of the school year and a capacity house is anticipated. About thirty relatives of Mr. & Mrs. Chas. A. Bailey surprised them on Apr 1, 1928, at their home in Watervliet, when they came to help them celebrate their twentieth wedding anniversary. 60 years ago – 1958 Marine Pvt. Irving F. Miller, son of Mr. & Mrs. Irving Miller, Watervliet, completed four weeks of individual combat training at the Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, CA. The course included the latest infantry tactics, first aid, demolitions, field fortifications and advance schooling on weapons. Milton L. Krugman, A.T.A.N spent 15 days with his parents in Watervliet. He was en route to San Francisco for further transfer to Barrier Sevron 2, Barbers Point, Hawaii. He recently graduated from the Aviation Electronics Technician School, Memphis, TN, after which he attended Air Early Warning School in Biloxi, MS, specializing in Repair and Operation of Airborne Radar. Fourteen relatives helped C.L. Newton celebrate his 86th birthday at the home of his daughter, Mrs. George Morlock. 30 years ago – 1988 On Mar 16, 1988, Ohio State University awarded degrees to 1,459 students at the 303rd commencement. Among the graduates was Victor Hambley, who received a BA degree in English. Victor is a graduate of WHS. Dennis Timmons and Julie Gatchell, both 17-year-old juniors at WHS, will appear on Channel 16 throughout the day on ‘For Kids’ Sake’ advertising spots promoting the anti-drug and alcohol campaign during the graduation season this spring. They will appear with representatives from eleven other area schools. Dennis and Julie are members of the Watervliet Youth Outreach organization.

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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