03-28-2018 Tri-City Area History Page

The Paw Paw River Journal

Making lemonade One thing we can count on in this life is change! Someone said, “If they hand you lemons, make lemonade!” Well that’s what we have been doing. And I don’t mean to make it sound bad, because all of life is an adventure, and we have just embarked on a new one. The Chief Accountant and I have gone into assisted living. And so far it has been most interesting. I am writing this at my desk in the living room of our new apartment… spacious, with a kitchenette at one end, fridg w/ freezer, sink and table. At the other end we have our recliners and a wall mounted TV. Adjoining this is a large bedroom with nice bathroom and shower. Beyond that a walk-in closet with room for more clothes than we will ever have. Both rooms have huge bow windows that bring in the outside world if we wish. First night we were here, we were greeted by problems with the heating plant and a cold apartment! Next day they had that fixed and things have been pretty smooth since then. We have been getting acquainted with staff and residents. First thing a kind man in the next apartment explained the dining room schedules. This is important, because I’ve never been known to miss many meals. Marion agrees with this philosophy. And the food has been very good so far. For instance, last night we had for supper a cheeseburger, sweet potatoes, baby limas, and salad. For dessert, fruit cocktail. You all must know by this time I never met a cheeseburger I didn’t like! Do we miss our old home? Of course! But it is in good hands. Son Rob said when we left, “Just think of your absence here as like when you went to Florida… I use the time to do maintenance that would be difficult if you were here!” It’s nice to know that he and the other kids are keeping our lifestyle intact until we get back. We have a great maintenance man here. He has been most helpful in getting our TV installed, pictures on the wall, etc. In addition, when I asked him about his name, he told me an interesting story. Does the name Pickett ring a bell? His great-grandfather was a drummer boy and fife player in the Civil War, Confederate Army! And that drummer boy had followed his older brother into the battle at Gettysburg. The older brother was General George Pickett. Yup, he was the famous general who led that ill-fated charge through the cornfields and up the hill at Gettysburg! They both survived, and Gen. Pickett was forever after blamed for that tragic mistake. Our friend, the maintenance man, said the real story is that his grandfather’s older brother was not entirely responsible for the decision that led so many men to their death. Wherever the blame lies, that battle is thought to be the real turning point in the War Between the States. Marion moved in here from a rehab facility after a bout with the shingles. I came with youngest daughter Laurie’s husband, Jim-in-law. We drove over from Hartford on the worst day of the winter so far. Snowing, blowing, and we were traveling pretty slowly! But we made it OK, and now have been watching winter from the snug comfort of our apartment. Outside, the wind may howl and snow swirl through the parking lot, but it is safely beyond our bow windows. I know down the hall where the coffee pot is on at all times, and the drawer below it is filled with goodies of all kinds. They are treating us most courteously, and we have a safety factor that I really appreciate. No longer do I have to go out to the freezer and prepare meals. We all wear a little call button on a lanyard, and if we get into trouble we can punch the button and get help! And they will be here for anything we need. (So far I’m taking my own showers!) The first day we came in to look at the place, I got a pleasant surprise… the Director of Resident Care is a nice gal named Monica. She showed us around, and we talked. Turns out she was in the Marines for 16 years! Wow! And I said to her, “It doesn’t show… you’re still a lady!” She smiled and asked me about my service. I said, “Air Force.” “What rank?” “First Lieutenant. What was yours?” “Gunnery Sergeant… do you suppose I’ll have to salute you?” “Nah,” I said, “That was then and this is now!” And we were both laughing. I told her we would have to get together and swap stories. I’ll bet she has some interesting ones too! Well, first impressions are very good at this place. We have met so many nice people. Do we miss our old house? Of course! But we can visit there any time we wish, and living here certainly takes a load off both our minds. It is nice to know if we get in trouble there is that little button to push. And here we are, still weaving golden threads into the tapestry of life in these storybook towns along the Paw Paw River. Anyone care for a glass of lemonade?

What do you want for Christmas young lady?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.com

Watervliet District Library News

Writing History Monday, Apr 9, 6:30–7:30 p.m. Presented by best-selling author, Rosanne Bittner; Bittner has written more than 35 historical romance novels set in the American Old West. Spend the evening with our local celebrity in this informal Q&A session about the life of a writer. Zachary, the read to me dog Saturdays 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. Through 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. Pick up a form at the library. Yoga Monday 9 – 10 a.m.; Wednesday 7 – 8 p.m.; Chair Yoga, Wednesday 6:00 – 6:45 p.m. Call 463-6382 for more information on any of these activities.

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. Story Hour There will be no Story Hour on Wednesday, April 4. Story Hour will meet again on Wednesday, April 11 at 10:30 a.m. 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. 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. Call 468-3431 for more information on any of these activities.


100 years ago – 1918 A drive is being made for the collection of cast-off clothing. It will be sent to the poor and suffering Belgians. Leave items at Clara S. Hewitt’s shoe store. Clothing will be collected by the Red Cross ladies. The business men held a conference at the Enders’ Cash store and reached the following agreement: “We hereby agree to close stores on Sundays during the month of April. We will close every evening at 7 o’clock except Wednesday, when the closing hour will be 9 p.m.” 60 years ago – 1958 More queen contestants… Alice McKie, K. Patricia Vorce, Edna West, Catherine Smith, Sharon Umphrey, Judy Albertson and Jane Scherer. A formal dedication service was held for the new post office building. Current Postmaster Gordon Young presents former Postmaster Miss Neva J. DuVall with an orchid. A crowd of 450 attended the open house by Michigan Shore Lumber & Supply Company to celebrate their 35th anniversary. The popular Jerry McSafety and his ventriloquist master, Wayne Fernelius will arrive to instruct the school children. This wooden but quick-witted brain child comes complete with regulation police uniform. 30 years ago – 1988 Karl’s Kolumn, by Karl Bayer, focuses on the local folks that contribute to The Record. Thank you to Marion Leedy, Vi Viscuso and Mike Leith. Readers, please enjoy this complimentary issue. Mrs. Bonnie Schultz was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation from Michigan Diabetes Association. She rents the message sign at Randy’s Amoco and donates the rental fee to the MDA. Thank you, Mrs. Schultz, for your fund-raising efforts. Lori Romeo and Piwacki Ladies Apparel will sponsor a seminar titled “Dress for Success.”

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 Phil Walker sold the last of his season’s catch of fur last week, and a computation shows that he has found the Paw Paw River a potential place of employment. From nine days of trapping skunk this spring and eleven days in trapping muskrats he realized a total of $300.55. He captured over 250 rats along the river during the season. A school of aviation will be established in Hartford if the plans of Aviator Cyril Hamilton of Paw Paw are carried out. Mr. Hamilton met the directors of the Hartford Fair grounds association, who granted him the use of the fair grounds for a training field. He also entered into negotiations with H.D. Van Camp for the use of the Hartford Manufacturing building in the assembling of airplanes. 75 years ago – 1943 Leonard Ormerod, former newsman and traveler, will be guest speaker at a meeting of the Hartford Woman’s Club. The Hartford Art Study group met with Miss Marcia Corbyn. Mrs. Walter Markillie read selections from “Mission to Moscow” by Davis. Mrs. Hurry gave a reading about modern Russian artists. The Hartford Garden Club enjoyed its annual family night supper. The high school trio, Robert Colman, Robert Dodd and Keith Lightner, and members sang several numbers. They were accompanied at the piano by Miss Ilah Decker. B.W. Robinson showed travel pictures. 50 years ago – 1968 Construction is proceeding rapidly on a new refrigerated storage plant at Hartford for Taylor Products and Storage Co. The new building is being built at the site of the Cherry Growers, Inc. The Hartford and Shelby high schools’ bands will present a combined concert at Hartford High School gymnasium. The Shelby band will arrive at Hartford Friday night and members will stay overnight at the homes of Hartford band members. On Saturday, both bands will rehearse for the combined concert and will be served lunch by the Band Boosters.

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 Joseph Collins, Watervliet, went to Chicago to have a second installment printed of his latest song, “That’s why I’ll always be true.” While in Chicago he will consider a proposition for purchase of the publication rights for the British Isles. C.I. Monroe has ordered for planting on his farm, one thousand white spruce trees and two hundred Colorado spruce. He will grow them for Christmas trees and it requires about eight years for them to become of marketable size. Advertised Mar. 1928: 4 lbs Blue Rose Rice, 25¢; 2 lbs Elbo macaroni, 20¢; 2 lbs Elbo spaghetti, 20¢; 4 lbs raisins, 48¢; 4 lbs buckwheat flour, 35¢ 60 years ago – 1958 Sp3 Jack L. Pitcher, son of Mr. and Mrs. Joe Pitcher, and fellow 4th Infantry Division soldiers are training for Exercise “Indian River,” a giant maneuver to be held in Kakima, Washington. Indian River will be a 16,000 man ‘war’ fought over the 270,000 acres of Cascade foothills at the Yakima Training Center. The upcoming maneuver will employ the 4th Division ‘Saints’ and troops from other posts in one of the first major tests of the Army’s new pentomic battle order. Mr. and Mrs. Peter M. Kint became the parents of a baby boy, Richard John, born Mar. 22, 1958 and weighed 8 pounds 8-1/2 ounces. 30 years ago – 1988 Roger Lottridge and Philip Gearhart, from Watervliet High School will be honored at “Outstanding Student Night’ at Southwestern Michigan College. Howard Litaker, a 15-year-old sophomore at WHS, finds his life full of activity, variety and challenges, both in school and out of school. He is Watervliet’s ‘Student of the Week.’ He enjoys going to stock car races with his father and can’t wait to be able to race. In school, Howard rates Woodshop and Automotive Technology as his favorite classes. Tom VanNiel, Watervliet, took second place in the tough man contest held at Wings Stadium in Kalamazoo on Mar. 4, 1988. The contest consisted of boxing and kick fighting. 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