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07-11-2019 Tri-City Area History Page

Lois Peterson and Bessie Austin (ID uncertain) at the switch board in Watervliet Telephone Office. For anyone that has information they would like to share, please contact North Berrien Historical Museum at 269-468-3330,, or stop by Tues-Fri 10 a.m.-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

The dwindling days

“… and the days dwindle down to a precious few.” These words are from September Song, in a Broadway musical, Knickerbocker Holiday. It is a haunting melody, especially for someone my age. I have said before when people reach a certain maturity they feel compelled to give everyone advice. It is an almost irrepressible urge, but I try to fight it. Nobody wants to hear old people complain about the passage of time and their aches and pains. Younger people may say (or at least think), “I’ve got my own problems. I don’t need to take on yours.” And I always cringe a little when some older person says to a younger one, “Kwicher bitchin’… you never had it so good!” That’s a lot of nonsense. No matter what age you are, the problems you have are most real and probably the most formidable you’ve faced. And you don’t need someone to belittle them! I’ll admit that young people sometimes over dramatize a little… there is even a German phrase for that and a type of literature. It is called Sturm und Drang (storm and stress). An example of it in that language is a novel called, Young Werther. It is about a young man whose problems are almost insurmountable. Whenever I run into someone like that, I am tempted to say to them, “Why don’t you go home, take a hot shower, put Visine in your eyes, put on your big boy (or big girl) panties, and go out and kick a— !” But I wouldn’t actually say it unless I knew them very well. So anyway, back to old people and advice… I would give of it very sparingly so as not to dilute the effect of what I’m saying. And the best advice I have for young people is something one of my profs said to me at Western Michigan University. Marion and I were about to be married, so I went around to all of my teachers at Western to ask them if I could make up the work for a week’s wedding trip. Most of them were most gracious about it. My math prof, Miss Ford, was a maiden lady with steel rimmed spectacles and hair in a tight gray bun. She looked at me over her glasses and said, “Young man, do you realize the awesome responsibility of what you are about to do?” I answered somewhat uncomfortably, “Yes, Ma’am!” Not so with my speech prof, Dr. Blyton. He invited me to sit in his office and put his feet up on the desk. Then he said, “I just have one piece of advice for you… always put the cap back on the toothpaste!” We talked of other things and then I left. And I had to think about that for a while. What he really meant was that you always put the other person first! You try to make it a little more comfortable for them by not being messy! Yes! I could understand, and Marion and I have tried to put that into practice. For instance, even after all this time we still try to say please and thank you to each other. If you always make it a little easier for your significant other, your relationship will thrive. Somewhere, sometime in the dim past, someone said to me a relationship never stays the same. It will either grow or not. It will thrive or not. And we try to make sure we are on the right track. Nobody’s perfect. And I regret very much the small ways in which I am not. And this brings me to my last point in not giving advice… we are all going (some day) on a long trip. A good friend of ours, Margaret Martens, had on her kitchen wall a picture. I always had to stop and look at it when I went past. It shows a small girl dressed as a gypsy. She is sitting at her doll’s table. Opposite is sitting an old man (her grandpa?) with a bemused smile on his face. She has a very serious look on her face as she contemplates the cards on the table before her. She is telling the old man’s fortune. And she is saying, “You are going on a very long trip…” Of course the old man is smiling because he knows. Sure, he knows! And the little girl doesn’t realize the seriousness of what she is saying! Yup, we’re all going on that trip. What will it be? One of our daughters said something I like… made me feel a little better. She said, “Perhaps this is the hardest part! What we are doing right now shapes us for whatever is to come.” Doesn’t thinking that make you feel kind of good? If we are being shaped for whatever is to come, it’s not too late! We can still improve. Frank Sinatra in a song, It Was a Very Good Year, compared the years of our life to wine making. Will this year turn out to be a vintage year? I like to think in terms of golden threads being woven into the great tapestry of our life. Will this year be golden? If not we can always make it better, burnish it, so the tapestry will have a golden sheen from all the threads of our living in these storybook towns along the Paw Paw River!

Watervliet District Library News

In Stitches Knitting Group Friday, July 12, 2:30 – 4 p.m. Take in a current project or your interest; they’ll help you get started! Limited supplies are available for beginners. Make-It Monday, July 15, 1–2 p.m. Activity for K-6th graders & families; this week – Solar System Third Monday Book Club July 15, 7 – 8 p.m. This month: Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay. Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Saturday, July 20, 1 to 3 p.m. Celebrate the first Moon Landing with the original televised screening. PLUS music of ’69, trivia contests & prizes, moon crafts for kids, and Moon Pies (of course). Library Garden Park Ardie Roth, their favorite garden expert, shares her knowledge of the plants and other living communities within the park in a tour on Monday, July 22 at 6:30 p.m. Rain date is Wednesday, July 24 at 6:30 p.m. SUMMER READING PROGRAM Thurs. July 18, 11 to noon Paleo Joe – Award winning Paleontologist, author and storyteller. Thurs. July 25, 11 to noon Kalamazoo Astronomical Society Free lunches for kids & teens, following each Thursday program! Pinteresting Monday, July 29, 6:30 – 8 p.m. Arts & crafts for grown-ups: This week – Beach Glass Wind Chimes Yoga Monday 9 – 10 a.m., Wednesday 7 – 8 p.m., Friday 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.; Chair Yoga – Wednesdays 6 – 6:30 p.m. Call 463-6382 with questions on any Watervliet Library activity.

Coloma Library News

Houston, We have a Botanist! On Thursday, July 18 at 6 p.m., Associate Professor Timothy Evans will share his experiences as part of NASA’s Human Exploration Research Analog (HERA) simulated space mission. The talk is suitable for all ages. Kids Yoga with Vicki Shoemaker Wednesdays, July 17, 24 & 31, kids ages 7-12 can get free yoga instruction from Vicki Shoemaker. The sessions are from 1-2 p.m. Preregistration is required due to space limitations. Call 269-468-3431 or see staff at the front desk to register. Out of This World STEM On Tuesday, July 16 from 5:30-7 p.m. Coloma High School instructor Tonya Kimmerly and members of the National Honor Society will present free hands-on STEM activities for kids ages 7 and up. Out of this World Storytimes Storytimes for toddlers and preschoolers on Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m.: July 17, 24, and 31. Book Club Thursday, July 25 at 5:30 p.m., the title to read before the discussion is “All You Can Ever Know” by Nicole Chung.


100 years ago – 1919 Crystal Springs campground will again open this season. No doubt that many Methodists will take the opportunity to enjoy themselves at this popular spot this summer. The Courier is always glad to receive news items. We have a telephone for this purpose. Please call No. 65. Local stores, the Central Bakery and the meat markets were well cleaned out of vegetables, green goods, fresh and salt meats. The resort businesses fared very well over the Fourth of July. 60 years ago – 1959 Funeral services for Clifford E. Hanson were held at the Davidson Funeral Home. Mr. Hanson operated Scott’s Pharmacy until it was sold, then was employed at the State Bank of Coloma until his illness. Coloma Band Boosters will sponsor a record hop at the high school gymnasium. A V-M stereo record player will be given as a door prize. Co-chairmen are Victor Friday and John King. Janet Emhoff will attend the 1959 All-State high school National Music Camp in Interlochen. Mr. and Mrs. Henry F.C. Noffke will be honored at an open house marking their golden wedding anniversary. The original bridal party will dine at Rose Inn preceding the open house at their farm home. 30 years ago – 1989 Superintendent Rodney Krieger unveiled the proposed Joint Advisory Commission plan. The plan focuses on Paw Paw Lakes regulation. Randy Gregg was awarded a scholarship from Jones Intercable of Southwestern Michigan. Gregg is employed by F.P. Rosback. Join us for lunch on the patio at Paw Paw Lake Golf Course. We feature charcoal-grilled hamburgers and hot dogs. Patio opens at 11 a.m. Community Hospital Auxiliary members, Joyce and John Kolenko were honored during an annual dinner. 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 Huckleberries are on the market and are retailing at 45 cents per quart box. Local growers who are shipping their product to Chicago are receiving from $8.00 to $9.00 for a 16-quart case. The yield is said to be good in a majority of the marshes around Hartford and the crop will bring a record price. The prevailing hot days of last week greatly hastened the ripening of the wheat crop and many farmers are abandoning their haying to start the harvest. The extreme dry weather gave the fields the appearance of thoroughly ripened grain, but upon starting to cut a majority of the growers found that it was not as ripe as they expected. The voters of Hartford and Keeler townships will meet at the Hartford town hall to discuss the project to build an improved highway through Hartford township to Keeler village. 75 years ago – 1944 The two Germans from the Hartford prisoner of war camp, who escaped while working at the Sodus Fruit Exchange, were apprehended one half mile east of Millburg. The men, just five miles from the scene of their escape, were captured by Herbert Scholom, a Millburg farmer, as they walked across his fields. In answers to questions about their escape, “We wanted to go home. We’re tired of being prisoners.” The Hartford art study class met with Miss Marcia Corbyn at her home on South Maple Street. Mrs. Harry P. Burkholder was elected as a new member. Mrs. Alice Hurry was in charge of the day’s lesson which comprised the subjects of two women sculptures. 50 years ago – 1969 A new feature of the Van Buren County Youth Fair this year will be a parade. An enlarged version of the pet parade held in previous years. The parade will head east from the fair grounds on Prospect Street to Center Street, then south to Main. It will pass through the business district of Hartford and back to the fairgrounds on Marion Avenue. Divisions in the parade include teams, horses, ponies, large floats, small floats, bicycles, dolls, cats and dogs, tricycles, character costumes and miscellaneous division. 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 – 1929 The Watervliet Milling Co. reports heavier receipts of wheat since threshing started ten days ago; from 500 to 600 bushels a day. F.M. Sterner says that while the yield per acre is nothing to brag about, running from 15 to 20 bushels per the acre, the quality is excellent with a test of 59 and better. Advertised on July 26, 1929: Special – Permanent Wave $5 – July only. Long hair $7.50. Flora Belle Selter is the name of a baby girl born to Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Selter on July 12, 1929. 60 years ago – 1959 The demand for workers for local area stores, factories and offices has reached such proportions in recent weeks that the Michigan Employment Security Commission in St. Joseph has found it necessary to establish a branch office for the next 2 to 4 weeks in the high school art room. Mr. and Mrs. Roland Hambleton are the proud parents of their baby girl, Laura Lee, born June 23, 1959 and weighed 8 pounds and 12 ounces. Raymond Rogel and James D. Fellner are being made members of the Lincoln and Mercury Regional Circle in recognition of their outstanding sales proficiency. They are salesmen with Rogel Motor Sales in Watervliet.

30 years ago – 1989 Main Street Clock – in keeping with the “Old Towne” theme of Watervliet’s downtown renovation project, Peoples State Bank installed an old-fashion style clock. The 5-1/2 foot clock was manufactured in England at a cost of $6,400. Marine Staff Sgt. Steven M. Fillmore, Watervliet, has been promoted to his present rank while serving at Marine Cops Recruiting Station, Dallas, Texas. Some 1,443 students were included on the list of those who completed the requirement for certificates and associate, bachelor, master’s and doctoral degrees at Ferris State University during the spring quarter. Among them were: Gaetano Peter DeRosa, who received a Bachelor of Science degree with distinction in Manufacturing Engineering Technology and John Anthony Young received an Associate of Applied Science degree in Refrigeration/Heating/AC, both from Watervliet. 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


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