06-20-19 Tri-City Area History Page

Delivery of milk may be coming back in vogue. In 1908, Andrew Grahn and his daughter Ruth are out on deliveries from the North Shore Dairy. Have any information or memories of receiving deliveries, contact North Berrien Historical Museum at 269-468-3330, office@northberrienhistory.org, or stop Tuesday thru Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., they would love to hear your stories. From the photo collection at the North Berrien Historical Museum 300 Coloma Avenue, Coloma

The Paw Paw River Journal

Last one in’s a rotten egg

Something about summer and swimming held an endless fascination for us as kids. We couldn’t wait! And we were just lucky that our folks liked to go picnicking down at Lake Michigan. Hagar Park was the place we always went, and the first time for the season we would run to get in the water, yelling, “Last one in’s a rotten egg!” It’s been my experience that the Big Lake is seldom up to swimming temperature before July 4th. So this time of year if we went down there we were pushing the edge a little. We wore our swimming trunks under our clothes, so as we ran for the water we were stripping off our outerwear. And the water was cold! I can still hear my mom calling down, “You sure it’s warm enough?” “Oh yes,” we called back with blue lips and chattering teeth… we were swimming! And that was the official start of summer! I’m so glad our folks enjoyed doing that. Well actually for two reasons. They liked to get out and who doesn’t enjoy eating in the fresh air? It also got them away from their greenhouse business for a little while. My Dad enjoyed being the grill master. He always did the cooking outside. We had a grill in our backyard and would sometimes eat there. I can remember one time when I was but a wee nipper we had a back yard supper. He had gotten a string of hot dogs from Ollie Salnave’s meat market. They came that way fastened together in a long string. Fire going in the grill and the hot dogs lay beside it, ready to be put on. The family dog sat there on his haunches, salivating, and looking at that string of heavenly pieces of meat. It got the best of him! He made a grab for the hot dogs and took off running, my dad waving his spatula and following. He actually reached the dog, brought him down, and grabbed the hot dogs back. He took them over to the outside faucet and then put them on the grill. Of course we kids were stifling our laughter. The dog, now properly chastened, sat at the edge of the yard probably wondering how defeat could so easily be snatched from the jaws of victory! Back then Hagar Park was a popular family picnic place. We would see other people from Hartford whenever we were there. Shady trees, picnic tables here and there, and a long stairs down to the beach. We would start picnics when warm weather came and continue on through until autumn winds made it necessary to stretch a tarp between two trees to keep off the chill wind. For our favorite meal my dad would grill burgers and also have a kettle of potatoes boiled with the skins on. They tasted different that way! All the adults would bring things to eat and we often picnicked with the Kime family. We had become friends when they lived for a time in the rental house across the street. They had a son and daughter about our age, Russell and Laure. They were friendly people and sometimes stayed with us and tended the greenhouses when my folks wanted to go somewhere. We called them Pop and Lollipop, and the name stuck. If we had a stubbed toe or cut finger we could always go to Lollipop and have it fixed! I know my mom appreciated having someone to watch over us with the same careful concern she had! When the Kimes moved into the house across the street, it was the beginning of my friendship with Russell which was to last for years. Many of our adventures came through picnicking at Lake Michigan. I’ve already written about how we camped there. Russ and I would run through the surrounding woods, and we found something neat. Many of the trees were festooned with wild grapevines. These grew up from the ground and intertwined with the tree branches. I think eventually they would choke the trees. We would take with us a hatchet, up and down gullies until we found the right grapevine. It had to be intertwined with a tree growing on the hillside. Hacking off the grapevine at the ground we t