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06-11-2020 Tri-City Record History Page

Washington School Class of 1954 None of the graduates in this 1954 graduation photo are identified. If you would like to share a graduation experience or recognize any of the persons in this photo, please contact North Berrien Historical Museum at 269-468-3330, or The museum is closed until further notice. From the photo collection at the North Berrien Historical Museum 300 Coloma Avenue, Coloma

The Paw Paw River Journal

My Hooters gals! The following story I wrote for my column several years ago. Today I was going through some of my files and found it… and I must admit, I got a kick out of reading it again. So I decided to run it for you, Dear Readers, and I hope you enjoy it too! We have all over this country a marvelous string of oases, lounges, night clubs, or whatever you want to call them. They provide solace for weary travelers and entertainment, good food, and libations of various kinds for local citizens. These places are called “Hooters”. And they have a logo printed on T-shirts and other types of merchandise. It shows a wise old owl with huge eyes, staring right at the viewer. Probably most of you know that name also refers facetiously to one feature of feminine beauty that many young men find fascinating! You can well imagine, Dear Readers, that the aforementioned young men would prize getting one of those T-shirts. Adolescent males set great store by symbols that show a successful transition through the rites of passage to adulthood. And our 2nd daughter, Rebecca Steele, had such a class of young adolescent males. She taught English in a high school not too far from here. And she had this one class of miscreants. All boys, they were not the most studious group in the school. Becky worked very hard to get them whipped into shape… and finally succeeded. She won them over and had them all working furiously. One day one of them asked her, “Are you going to visit your folks in Florida over Christmas vacation?” She answered that she and Jim were planning such a trip. The same boy said, “Mrs. Steele, would you please get us all Hooters T-shirts if we give you the money?” Now she thought about this, and it was an Aha! moment. So she said, “Well, if you will all work very hard and do every assignment… and all get passing grades… and everyone is present every day, I will try to bring back each of you a T-shirt!” Thereafter they all really dug in. She was most gratified, and many of the parents even more so… every boy was passing, and they all had their assignments in! Came Christmas vacation and we were already in Florida. When Becky and Jim came to visit, she told us the story. We checked and found that Ft. Myers (where we were vacationing) had a Hooters restaurant right near the mall. And we paid them a visit. I sat in the bar and got acquainted with a young man wearing a baseball cap. We were having an enjoyable conversation. He looked at my receding hairline and said, “I’ll bet you that you have more hair than I do!” I took the bet, he whipped off his cap, and he had shaved his head. Well, we had a good laugh about that. Meanwhile, Becky and Jim were talking with the manager about buying 30-plus T-shirts. The young man got his waitresses rustling around, and they found enough shirts. He was adding up the bill (which was going to be pretty large) when my Chief Accountant stepped up and said to him, “It says on the sign outside that Senior Citizens get a discount today!” The manager allowed as to how that was the case. Then she said, “Well, I’m buying the T-shirts, and I want the discount!” The manager swallowed hard, but he then agreed. And we went out of the place with stacks of beautiful shirts. Now fast forward to after vacation. Becky’s Bad Boys were all antsy about getting their Hooters shirts. Came the day for distribution. She had one kid who could wiggle his ears magnificently. He had been designated by her as a classroom sentry. She had her back to the door sometimes while teaching, and this kid she asked to let her know if anyone was coming in by wiggling his ears! On the day she was passing out shirts, taking in money from the kids who had not previously paid, when she noticed her sentry furiously wiggling his ears! She said, “What?” And turning, she saw the principal standing in her doorway. He took one look at all the shirts being passed around and said to her, “Is this a bad day for me to visit?” She replied, “Well… sort of. How about if I come down to the office right after school?” He agreed and left the room. Well, she got the shirts all handed out, and when my Chief Accountant asked her if there were any boys who could not afford a shirt, Becky answered, “Yes, a couple, but they got shirts anyway, because our discount took care of the cost!” And no one knew which kids they were, because some had paid and some had not. So Becky ended up coming out even. Of course, we wanted to know what happened when she went down to the principal’s office. She said, “I’ll admit my feet were dragging a little. I went in there and decided to throw myself on the mercy of the court. Much to my surprise, the principal said to me, ‘You’ve done a marvelous job with that class of misfits. The secretaries tell me that they are all in good standing and will all pass the course!’” Then he went on to say, “I’m not even going to ask you about what was going on in there today. Someone has filled me in on it, and I’ll say no more about it. But I do have one question… They told me that your mom even got a senior citizen’s discount on all those shirts. Is it true?” Becky said, “Yes, she did!” And that’s how the incident ended in one of our local schools, as we weave golden threads into the tapestry of our lives in these storybook towns along the Paw Paw River!

Coloma Public Library reopens June 16 with curbside service

The Coloma Public Library will begin curbside services starting Tuesday, June 16 from noon-6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Saturdays. Requests for materials can be made by calling 269-468-3431, ordering materials through the online catalog, or sending an email to The library building will remain closed while staff works to implement a phased reopening plan as well as comply with government mandates for the safety of staff and patrons. Little Free Cart Weather permitting, the library will place a cart outside the front doors with free reading materials. Patrons can keep the items until the library has reopened for services. Materials will come from donations and be an eclectic assortment. If there is a special request for a specific title, please contact the library through Facebook messaging and they will check their donations. Newspaper Archives Coloma Library has an extensive archive of local newspaper editions including the Coloma Courier, Watervliet Record, and Tri-City Record. The link is found on the right-hand side of the library’s home page. A library card is not needed to access this wealth of historical knowledge. Digital Library Card Sign up for a digital card from the Coloma Public Library. A free card is available for residents or business owners in their legal service area including Coloma Township, the City of Coloma, Bainbridge Township, and Hagar Township. Gain access to e-books and other electronic resources 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Visit their website at Click on “Catalog” in the banner and look for the “Sign Up” button near the top right corner.


100 years ago – 1920 The marriage of Miss Edith VanDerveer, a very popular young lady of Coloma and Clarence Dewey was solemnized June 5. They make their new home in Niles where the groom is proprietor of a restaurant. The bridal party was given a “treat” where they were kidnapped and given a ride through the city. A grove meeting was held at Camp Warren, Pottawatomie Park, near Riverside. Chester Arent performed a cornet solo. 60 years ago – 1960 Jerry Jollay will participate in the Michigan Youth for Understanding. He travels as an exchange student to Europe this summer. Miss Fame Betz is the recipient of the Green and Gold Award. Principal Victor Wier made the announcement at the commencement exercises. Remembering those that have passed: Martin C. Kilmark, Mrs. Mary Mott, Horace B. Davidson, and Lyle and Margaret Pletcher. The American Legion Post 362 will hold an auction. Contact Tom Hembree Jr. HO 8-3581 with any donations you may have. Lions Club President Mr. Harvey Kibler has received the cleared title to Lions Park. The club expresses their gratitude for the co-operation received during this process. 30 years ago – 1990 Coloma Lioness Club has spearheaded a fundraiser to help Tonya Smith. They are purchasing a computer from Heath Zenith Company and hope to secure a printer that prints Braille and English. Voters approved the district’s 22.8-mil operating levy. Jean Chandler was re-elected to a four-year term. She has been on the Board of Education since 1981. Superintendent Clifford Tallman is pleased, as the fine educational program may continue. Mrs. Phyliss Glines, Middle School teacher is retiring after 20 years of teaching. She hopes to pursue her hobbies and do world traveling. An Open House is planned for Jerry and Robin Jollay. Please help celebrate their 25 years of marriage. Submitted by volunteer Sandi Musick Munchow at Coloma Public Library from the Coloma Courier newspapers donated by the Tri-City Record. Hours: Re-opening Tuesday, June 16 with curbside services. Phone: 269-468-3431


100 years ago – 1920 The details of Hartford’s new foundry enterprise were completed when the officers and committee of the Commercial Club met with the representatives of Landlan Foundry of South Haven and reached an agreement looking to the immediate construction of the foundry. A site for the new enterprise has been secured from E.R. Smith, three acres having been purchased across the tracks from the Pere Marquette depot, next to the Fruit Belt “Y”. The company is to bring its foundry from South Haven to Hartford. 75 years ago – 1945 Serious damage and possibly an explosion at Arthur Minshall’s service station on E. Main Street were narrowly averted in a freak accident. A trailer loaded with sheet steel broke loose from the truck that was hauling it and careened through the service station driveway into a field beyond. The truck was driven by Donald Randall. The first that Randall knew that anything was amiss was when he looked out the window of his eastbound truck and saw the second trailer in his unit passing him. The trailer broke off a piece of cement curbing at the station driveway and rolled between a light pole and three gasoline pumps. The tongue of the trailer dragged along the concrete driveway, causing sparks. As the free-rolling vehicle crossed the driveway, it smashed through 10 feet of picket fence into a field, pitching its load into the sod. Some of the packages of sheet steel were hurled 1-1/2 feet into the ground. 50 years ago – 1970 The Indians won’t leave the Red Arrow athletic conference to join a new league after all, and the Red Arrow league will continue even if it has one less member. Six weeks ago, Hartford school officials announced that Hartford would leave the Red Arrow and join a new not yet named conference. However, Edward Gustafson, Hartford High School athletic director announced last week that Hartford has had some second thoughts and decided to remain with Red Arrow. When the new league was formed, it was announced that Hartford and Decatur would leave the Red Arrow league and Lawrence would leave the Al-Van to join Gobles, Bloomingdale, Lawton, Marcellus and Schoolcraft in the new league. Hartford’s reconsideration leaves the Red Arrow missing only Decatur and a replacement is being sought. Among other things, the Hartford reconsideration will mean a continuation of the long-standing rivalry with Watervliet. Submitted by Librarian Stephanie Daniels at Hartford Public Library from microfilm copies of the Hartford Day Spring. Revised hours: Mon – Fri 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Phone: 269-621-3408


90 years ago – 1930 The re-numerator for Watervliet City and Township reported only one person on the unemployment schedule for each when the census was taken in April 1930. A citizen from a neighboring town suggested that an effort be made to ascertain who these people are and get them a job. The Watervliet Metropolitans scored their tenth successive baseball victory of the 1930 season, when they defeated the Three Oaks Team, 6-0. Mr. Fredrick Brown, Watervliet, was one of a group of junior students of the violin presented by their instructor, Norma Granzo Maxham, at the Premier Hotel in Benton Harbor. 60 years ago – 1960 Mr. And Mrs. Orlando Robbins, Paint and Wallpaper Store, inspect their new O’Brien Symphonic Color Machine in their store on Main Street. This machine tinting process enables them to offer over 1,000 color combinations. An open house celebrating the 25th wedding anniversary of Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Harper will be held at their home on Harper Avenue, Watervliet. PFC William G. Moser arrived home to attend the graduation exercises, in which his sister, Elizabeth, was taking part at Western Michigan University on June 11, 1960. Moser, a 1958 graduate of Michigan State University, is currently assigned at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. 30 years ago – 1990 Ninety-three Southwestern Michigan College students have been named to the college’s Dean’s List for the 1990 winter semester. Students are awarded this honor for maintaining a grade point average of at least 3.50 on a 4.0 scale while carrying a full load of studies (at least 12 credits). Jacqueline Wells was the one from Watervliet. Students from Watervliet South School participated in the St. Jude Math-A-Thon fund-raiser. Over $2,600 was raised and donated to the St. Jude Children’s Hospital. Every student that participated was honored at an awards ceremony at South School. Miss Shana LaRue Sinnett, age 15, Watervliet, has been selected as a finalist to compete in the 19th Annual Miss Michigan National Teenager Pageant to be held at the Clarion Hotel in Lansing. This is not a beauty contest but is a scholarship pageant in which over $40,000 in scholarships and prizes will be awarded. Contestants are students who make good grades in school, are involved in volunteer community service and have potential as leaders in school and civic organizations. Submitted by Sally Q. Gonzalez from files at Watervliet District Library of the Watervliet Record newspapers donated by the Tri-City Record. Curbside service hours: Mon, Tue, Thu & Fri, 10-2; Wed 4-8; Sat 12-2 Phone: 269-463-6382


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