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, info@northberrienhistory.org or facebook.com/NorthBerrienHistory/. 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 fo