05-31-2018 Tri-City Area History Page

The Paw Paw River Journal

Faster, faster! A sunny afternoon, and I was watching our two oldest daughters (about 3 and 6) playing in our back yard. Oldest was pulling the younger one around in their Radio Flyer coaster wagon. And the little one was beating her feet on the wagon box and saying, “Faster, faster!” And I thought, we all seem to have this innate desire for speed… tickle the nerve endings! Remember your first bicycle, roller skates? Did we get skinned up? Of course! When I was out of high school, my first wheels, a little blue 1936 Ford coupe. I loved that car, but I couldn’t speed in it. If you got it up around 60, the clutch would start to slip, I didn’t have enough cash to get that fixed, and I wasn’t enough of a mechanic to do it myself. Probably a good thing! Later on in life, I had the good fortune to own some great fast cars: a ‘68 GTO convertible, ’69 GTO hard top with the Judge options, and a ’70 Olds 442 convertible. My all-time favorite was the ’69. It was the fastest set of wheels I ever saw! It had a 400 w/ Hurst shifter, Holly 850 w/ double-pumpers, headers, positraction, and all the goodies, including a hood tachometer. By now I knew enough not to get into trouble with it. One summer day I was working on the GTO out in our front yard. Along came retired railroader Loren Pawling. There I was with my feet up on the seat and my head under the instrument panel. He leaned in the open window and said, “Bud… what earthly use is a car like this?” I crawled out and said, “Loren, if you’ve got a few minutes, climb in and I’ll take you for a ride.” And he did. We went out south of town past the cemetery and The Panel Room. I paused on top of the bridge over I-94. Clear road ahead as far as we could see south towards Keeler. Exhausts rumbling, we sat there. I said, “Seat belt tight?” He nodded, and I punched it! Up through the gears I speed-shifted, and Loren was flattened back against the seat… when I reached 90, I quickly backed off and stopped on the deserted road. We sat there and I looked at him. He just said, “Holy smokes!” I said, “That’s why I have it!” Well, this desire for speed I believe to be universal. And I have a cartoon and story to illustrate. It was sent to me by John Mclellan, retired Lane Automotive employee and now East Hartford baron of antique truck restoring. I have used the story and picture before with permission, and now thought to run it by you again to show how the seeds of desire for speed are planted early in the human psyche. John is one of the kids in the picture, but not the one on the tricycle! Beyond that, I’ll let his story tell the rest next week. Stay tuned!

Coloma Library News Libraries Rock! Summer program The Coloma Public Library presents “Libraries Rock” during their summer library program. The 2018 Summer Reading Program is open to all young people. There will be programs, prize drawings, storytimes, a reading club, and more for the whole family. Registration for “Libraries Rock” begins on June 4. Keep checking the Tri-City Record or the library’s website for information on upcoming programs. For more information, call the library at 468-3431 or visit our website, www.colomapubliclibrary.net All programs are free of charge. Fandom Fest 2018 Fandom Fest will be Saturday, June 9 from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. at the Lake Michigan College Mendel Center Grand Upton Hall. All geeks, nerds, and fans of nerdy, geeky culture are invited to this “comic-con” style event that will host artists, exhibitors, board games you can play-to-win, maker activities, a LARPing demo, cosplay contests, and more. Don’t miss out on this unique, free event. Vendors will be available to purchase food, drinks (bar opens at 3 p.m.) and fandom-inspired merchandise. This event appeals mainly to young adults and adults but there will be fun things for children to do as well! Even a children’s cosplay contest! For more information visit the Event’s Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/swmfandomfest or call the library 468-3431. Story Hour Story Hour meets on Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. Toddlers and preschoolers are invited to hear a story, make a craft and sing a song with Miss Amy. There is no sign-up or fee required. It is asked that all children be supervised by an adult during Story Hour. Book Club The Coloma Library Book Club is meeting on Thursday, June 14 at 5:30 p.m. The title to read before the discussion is “Today Will Be Different” by Maria Semple. 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 with any questions.

Watervliet District Library News LEGO Club: June 5, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. First Tuesday of every month Creative kids of all ages are invited to build their dreams with LEGO, teamwork, problem solving and fun! No registration required Summer Reading Program: June 11 – July 21 Once again, the library is pleased to partner with WPS to provide free lunches for kids & teens following each Thursday program. This year’s programs are as follow: June 14 Wildlife Safari June 21 Kindness Rocks June 28 Around the World Magic Show July 5 Drummunity July 12 Dr. Zeemo’s Science Palooza July19 Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra Instrument Petting Zoo July 26 Ice Cream Party 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. Call 463-6382 with questions on any Watervliet Library activity.


100 years ago – 1918 Members of the GAR, the WRC, the Home Guards, the Boy Scouts, lodges and societies will meet on Paw Paw Street to march for the Coloma cemetery. Graves of all departed comrades will then be decorated. Further Memorial Day exercises will be held at the opera house. A special Memorial Day show, “The Tenderfoot,” will be shown at the Coloma Theatre. Do not miss this big five reel holiday picture. 60 years ago – 1958 Marshall Brunden was awarded a $400 scholarship at Michigan State University’s banquet. Marshall, a veteran, has a genuine interest in the field of lumber merchandising. Coloma Library Hours – Municipal Building – Every Wednesday and Saturday afternoon from 2