04-04-2019 Tri-City Area History Page

For cat people Admittedly I’m a dog person. Always have been, always will be. But many people in this world love cats, keep cats, and are happy with that. My complaint has always been that Mr. Cat is for Mr. Cat and no one else. He suffers the presence of humans just to serve his needs. If you can get beyond that, cats are beautiful creatures and most interesting. I have made a study of the feline persuasion, and have decided that most cats use a passive/ aggressive psychology on us humans. They get us to do what they want indirectly. If you grant all their wishes, they will purr and rub up against you… “Oh, you are such a nice person!” If you thwart them in some way, they may withhold the purring and rubbing. If the situation is bad enough, out come the claws. But I’ll admit in my lifetime I’ve known some interesting cats. My mom was a cat person… she always had at least one or two around. And I admit some of them developed quite well beyond the idiotic stage. Two of them were kittens that she literally mothered. We were going on a camping trip for a week over at Lake Michigan. We had this mother cat with two very small kittens. My mom thought they would be all right in the box with a blanket, so we took them along. The mother cat adapted well to camping. Matter of fact she loved hunting for mice and little ground squirrels. She spent more and more time away from her family, and when we packed up to come home she was nowhere to be found. My mom called and called for her, but she never answered… faithless creature that she was. Meanwhile we had a box with two baby kittens wailing piteously. My Mom solved the problem. She bought two little doll baby bottles with rubber nipples, poked a hole in the nipples, and filled them with warm milk. Then she taught the wee nippers to hold the bottle and drink! What a sight to see those kittens lying on their backs and holding the bottle with their paws while they drank their supper! I’ve forgotten one of the cats’ names, but the other one always seemed so happy and was smiling. My mom called him Smiley Glad. Sounds like a nice arrangement, but there was a downside. Back in the day if you were going to have cats you would have fleas. No sophisticated treatment for them either. Sand fleas like some people, and others they leave alone. They happen to like me, so I had flea bites all over my little legs and was always scratching. I cordially hated those cats for that. Didn’t seem to bother my mom. I date my dislike for felines from that time. And I have had a hard time getting over it. Most of our kids have both, or have had both cats and dogs. No trouble with the dogs, and I have written about them from time to time. But cats are a different story. I’d like to write about a few that I have remembered with a certain amount of fondness. Youngest daughter Laurie had a German short-haired retriever that was almost my dog. She lived a lonely life while the kids were at work. So Laurie had an inspiration… she got the dog her own cat! Yup, her own cat named Travis. Thereafter the dog was no longer lonely and didn’t mind staying in the house with her pet cat! Nobody asked the cat what it felt like to be owned by a dog! But the arrangement worked. Son Rob tried adopting a wandering cat that showed up at his door. Seemed to be a nice arrangement until one day the cat went berserk and started ripping things up. So Rob showed him the door again. And that was the end of the cat experiment! Daughter Becky loves pets. I’ve written about her Irish setter in previous columns. Now there was a dog! She thought she was human. Then there were the cats… an elderly spinster tiger kitty, very set in her ways! If things didn’t go as she thought they should, she would swear a blue streak. I could tell just by looking at her. There was also a mama kitty (black) and her two kids (also black). Quite a menagerie! One of the kids was mentally challenged, and the other one fancied herself a dancer. She liked to cavort on rooftops and scary high places. Oldest daughter Deb had several cats in succession, not all at the same time. Some of them were mitten cats… you know, the kind with extra toes. One of them was named Bobby Coco. Don’t ask me why, and I don’t think he distinguished himself in any way with intellectual pursuits. But he was a handsome creature! Now, mind you, all of these cats lived their lives with our kids and their dogs. I didn’t think about it at the time, but I wish I could go back and interview those doggie family members. What did they think about it? The only one for whom I can speak is youngest daughter’s short-haired retriever. She loved having her own cat. So I guess that justified it. And I have woven enough feline threads into The Great Tapestry of Life to last me for a while in these storybook towns along the Paw Paw River.

Coloma Library News Story Hour Story Hour is held on Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. Join Miss Amy for a story, craft, and songtime. Story Hour is a weekly program for toddlers and preschool-aged children. Sign-up is not required and the program is free. Book Club The Coloma Library Book Club is meeting on Thurs., April 18 at 5:30 p.m. The title to read before the discussion is “I’ll be Gone in the Dark” by Michelle McNamara. The book club regularly meets every other Thursday and is always looking for new members. Join for a lively discussion! Read with Spirit Spirit, a certified therapy dog will be at the library on Tuesday evenings from 6:30 to 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 269-468-3431.

Watervliet District Library News Teen Table Projects: April Do-it-yourself project for teens whenever they’re at the library; all supplies provided. This month – Seashell Poems to make-n-take for gifting or keeping. Guest author Monday, Apr. 8 In celebration of National Library Week, April 8 at 6:30 p.m., in partnership with Watervliet Public Schools, Holocaust survivor and author Irene Miller will share her story at the library. Make-it Monday Apr. 8, 4–5 p.m. Crafts and games for K-6th graders and families second Monday of every month. This month – DIY robot hand; sign-up required. Sensory Bin Blast Apr. 9, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. The perfect time for a perfect mess! Activity for 0 – 5 year olds and their families. In Stitches Knitting Group Apr. 12, 2:30 – 4 p.m. Second Friday of every month, bring a project or interest; they’ll help you get started. Third Monday Book Club Apr. 15, 7-8 p.m. Great books, fabulous conversations! Ask for a copy at the desk; this month –The Mermaid’s Chair by Sue Monk Kidd. 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. Yoga Mon. 9 a.m.; Wed. 7 p.m.; Fri. 10:30 a.m.; Chair Yoga Wed. 6 p.m. Please call 463-6382 for more information on any Watervliet Library activity.

Glimpses From The Past

This boy is believed to be Johnny Mills. Do you have a memory of summer days? Stop by the NBHS Museum if you have a memory you would like to share. 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


100 years ago – 1919 Pack your lunch basket and come to the party. Attorney John J. Sterling will speak at the community party at the Congregational church. It is proposed to erect a community memorial building that will be a credit to the entire community. It will serve as a meeting place for farmers, village council and the township board as well as conducting elections. A much needed gymnasium will be furnished for the young people. 60 years ago – 1959 A Mark 12 RCA Whirlpool vacuum cleaner will be given to the winner of the Coloma queen contest. Fike’s Appliance is sponsoring the event over radio station WHFB and is providing the gift. The Coloma Community Men’s Club is having a basketball banquet. The dinner will honor the boys’ varsity and junior varsity basketball teams. Howard Walther announced he will be a sticker candidate for the office of township clerk. He was defeated in his bid for the GOP nomination during the primary election.

30 years ago – 1989 The City Commission went into a closed session to “consider the opinion of our attorney.” This is in response to a challenge from the recall committee. See the terrific selection of rattan furniture now at Nancy’s! Layaway & financing are available. The Menasha Corporation has been granted a 50 percent, 12-year tax abatement by the City Commission. Menasha proposes to implement an improvement program and increase its work force. James Hale, general manager, said they plan to spend $9 million on the Coloma facility. Craig Hansen, 4th grader at Washington Elementary School, will participate at the state level of the National Geography Bee according to Principal Joyce Tutton. 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 A relapse of winter caused ice to form and sent Hartfordites into their fur overcoats again. Only a few flakes of snow were noticed here on Sunday, but south bound freight trains Monday morning carried several inches of snow on top of the cars, while between Battle Creek and Detroit a heavy snow fall was reported. The boys and girls of north Hartford and south Bangor met at the Van Auken school house Monday night and launched a pig club which will devote its energies to rivaling the other pig clubs of the county, and to making an exhibit at the county fair next fall. 75 years ago – 1944 Nearly 100 farmers attended the meeting Tuesday night called by Eugene Heuser of the Hill Top Orchards to discuss the plans under consideration to bring prisoners of war to the Hartford area as farm laborers this summer. Estimates of the number of man hours required by farmers contracting for workers have been requested in order to determine the needs of growers in this area. Blanks for reporting these estimates were distributed by Mr. Heuser to those in attendance and may be obtained at the Van Buren State Bank, Hartford, and the Home State Bank, Lawrence. 50 years ago – 1969 Miss Regina Moore, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Reginald Moore was chosen as Miss Hartford of 1969 from a field of 25 contestants. Runners-up are Miss Carole Reinhart, daughter of Rev. and Mrs. Morris Reinhart and Miss Linda Falkner, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Falkner Jr. The theme of the Hartford contest this year was Flower Drum Song. Classes in judo will be offered in Hartford. The classes will be held by the Seinan Judo Club of St. Joseph at the American Legion Hall. Boys and girls classes will be followed by men and women’s classes. The instruction will be presented by Gerald Wesaw Sr. who has four years judo experience and is holder of a third brown belt.

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 Mr. and Mrs. Woolcott observed their 56th wedding anniversary at their home on Apr. 16, 1929. Many relatives and friends called to extend congratulations and well wishes. Franklin Bruley, Watervliet, who recently returned from Florida, where he played with an orchestra, is now a cornetist with the Seattle Harmony Kings, playing on a year’s contract at the Trianon Ball Room, Chicago. Advertised on Apr. 19, 1929: Neck Bones, fresh/lb 8¢; Fresh Pig hearts/lb 16¢; Spare Ribs, fresh/lb 16¢; Short Ribs/beef, fresh/lb 12¢; Bacon squares/lb 18¢; Butter/lb 46¢ 60 years ago – 1958 Watervliet will exchange with Sebewaing for Mayor Exchange Day on May 18, 1959. Sebewaing Mayor Arthur Reinhold and his wife will arrive in Watervliet and be met by the high school band, local fire trucks, city and county police and city commissioners. A bronze key to the city will be presented to the exchange mayor in a ceremony on the city hall steps. Indiana & Michigan Electric Co. announced today that the Lewis Rexall Drug Store, 356 North Main Street, will become a collection office for the utility. Watervliet’s new $109,199 city operating budget for 1959 was adopted on Apr. 7, 1959. 30 years ago – 1988 Watervliet Public Schools ‘Employee of the Month’ for Apr. 1989 is Marge Paddock, physical education teacher at North and South Elementary schools. Marge is being honored for her success in teaching and encouraging young people to learn how to use their physical capabilities to become healthier and more self-confident individuals. Steven Torres received congratulations on Sunday, Apr. 9, 1989 from Rev. Laura C. Truby. He was presented with the ‘God and Country’ award. Steve is a member of Boy Scout Troop 696 of Watervliet. He is the son of Kelly and Charlene Torres. Rita Moser is the Watervliet Junior High ‘Student of the Week’ for Apr. 12, 1989. Rita is very active in volleyball, basketball and band. She enjoys literature and history classes and receives A’s and B’s in school. Her plans are to become a physical therapist.

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