The Paw Paw River Journal
Sun, sand and… …and the chambered nautilus. Kermit the Frog said, “It’s not easy being green!” Well, consider the chambered nautilus. This is a snail with a spiral shell. Most of us have our skeletons inside our body. Snails live in their skeleton which is the shell they build around them. They start out small, and when they get too big for the shell, they build another room onto it. And they carry this shell around with them wherever they go. I was thinking about shells. Then that made me think about Florida. And whenever I think of Florida I remember all the good times we had out on Sanibel and Captiva islands. These are hot tourist spots just off the coast at Fort Myers and Marion’s favorite place to go for fun in the sun. We spent many vacations down there, and she became an expert on finding shells. This is the place to go if you like shells. Back in the day (I love using that timeworn expression) we would go out to the islands after the grand traffic rush in the morning, taking sandwiches and coffee. I would find a shady spot just off the beach and get into my journal writing. Perhaps working on a story like this one. I was where I could see Marion as she stooped and picked up gifts from the sea. Sometimes I would see her looking off toward the horizon and Mexico. Contemplating infinity? who knows. But she was having fun and so was I. Once in a while I would look at her beautiful treasures… they made me think of larger issues. In a sense we are like the chambered nautilus. We build a life, then another life, then another life. I can remember when we first started out on this grand adventure someone told us… always have a doctor, attorney, financial planner, dentist younger than you are. That way they will always be there for you. Good grief! In our lifetime we have worn out four or five of all of them. Right now, here at Maple Lake Assisted Living we have a physical therapist. He is a nice young man, skilled at his trade and his exercises are making us stronger… at least that’s the theory. We enjoy talking to him, because he is right at the point in life where we were all those years ago, newly married, with one child. Something we find especially great is that he will listen! One of the greatest concerns we have for our society and our way of life is the dissolution of the family. So many young couples are getting the cart before the horse. They are having children whether they will eventually marry or not. Probably most of them do eventually, but what does it say about the family unit when the couple has so little concern for the customs that we have always lived with? But I’m getting away from my main story. When I was a kid we had, living in our neighborhood, a retired Congregational minister. He was a neat guy, and he liked kids. He had a great little Chevy coupe. I always thought I would love to have that if he ever wanted to sell it. He was much in demand for funeral services because he did a great sermon. Very often he used to illustrate the point of how our lives change by quoting from a poem by Oliver Wendell Holmes. The poem is “The Chambered Nautilus.” I’ve never forgotten that poem. The ending goes like this: Build thee more stately mansions, O my soul, As the swift seasons roll! Leave thy low-vaulted past! Let each new temple, nobler than the last, Shut thee from heaven with a dome more vast, Till thou at length art free, Leaving thine outgrown shell by life’s unresting sea! Our Hindu and Buddhist brothers and sisters believe that we go through multiple existences. If we don’t get it right this time, in our next existence we will have to try harder. Through many lives some day we will get it right, and then we will be one with God. That is called Nirvana. I can see how building one little house after another… each one to accommodate a growing awareness of the system… would appeal to them. I’m not sure I can wrap my mind around that philosophy. Wouldn’t it be great to think we could have another chance to get it right? I have found nothing so far to convince me that it is possible. One of our daughters says she believes this, right now, is the hardest part. If we can get through this, there is a better world ahead. But let’s apply the Chambered Nautilus theory to our past lives. When I think of where we’ve been, all the things we’ve done, and things we’ve gone through… I can see how it can be compartmentalized. Yes, we did that then. And then there was the next stage. Now I’m picking at the golden threads we have woven into the grand tapestry of our lives. Would I do it all again? In a heartbeat! That will never happen. But we have the tapestry… and it shows the history of all we’ve been, all we’ve done, as we live our lives in these storybook towns along the Paw Paw River.
Watervliet District Library News North Berrien Historical Museum display Big bands, big venues. Teen Table Projects: July Do-it-yourself, all supplies provided – Guitar Pick Jewelry. Hopie Jo Live @ the Library Thursday, July 26 – 7 p.m. Hope Thomas, singer, songwriter, guitarist, and ukulelist, brings her unique brand of alternative folk to the Watervliet Library. Vocals as smooth as silk and sweet acoustics make Hopie Jo’s performance a musical treat! Pinteresting Monday, July 30 from 6:30-8:00 p.m., arts & crafts for grown-ups – Distressed Wood Flag. 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. Yoga Monday 9 – 10 a.m.; Wednesday 7 – 8 p.m.; Chair Yoga – Wednesday 6:00 – 6:30 p.m. Call 463-6382 with questions for any Watervliet library activity.
Coloma Library News Spoon Man Performance Come and get “SPOONED” at the Coloma Public Library on Friday, July 27 at 10:30 a.m. The “Spoon Man” is a published author who offers a hilarious interactive comedy program for all ages. He gives a real stirring performance. Everyone will really eat him up. No bibs required. The “Spoon Man” has a totally clean act. He never uses dirty silverware. The “Spoon Man” will leave a lasting impression after playing on you (literally). It’s a spoonful of family fun. Library Book Sale The library’s annual Glad-Peach Book Sale will be Saturday, August 4 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. The library will be CLOSED during the sale. Don’t miss out on this HUGE sale of gently used books, DVDs, videos and more! 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, August 9 at 5:30 p.m. The title to read before the discussion is “The Lightkeeper’s Daughter” by Jean E. Pendziwol. The book club regularly meets every other Thursday and is always looking for new members. Call 468-3431 with questions on any Coloma library activity.
NEWS FROM THE COLOMA COURIER
100 years ago – 1918 The sufferings of Mrs. George Hewitt for over three months were ended by death on Sunday. She was one of Coloma’s most estimable ladies. She emigrated from Ireland and settled in Coloma after marrying George Hewitt. The fruit growers of the Michigan fruit belt are receiving the biggest returns this year. Strawberries, apples, cherries, along with black and red raspberries have gone to market. Enjoy a grand patriotic fireworks display. Eden Springs House of David 60 years ago – 1958 Ready to serve Coloma’s home appliance needs is James W. Fikes. He opened a RCA-Whirlpool business and is assisted by Ed Carter. The annual meeting of the Athletic Corporation will be held. Final payment of corporation bonds will be authorized. The purpose of raising funds is to light the athletic fields. The summer session junior band will present a concert on the football field, announced Director George Smart. A twirling routine will be performed by Maureen King. The summer session senior band will also present a concert. Army Pvt. Cecil E. Brooks recently completed basic combat training at Fort Chaffee, Arkansas. 30 years ago – 1988 Voters go to the polls on important issues: A .3 mill request for the Berrien County Senior Citizen Centers. Incumbent Rodney Krieger is being challenged by Jack H. Page. City Commission has appointed a committee to complete the ice skating rink project. They will also restore the park to a more usable condition. Feed Mamma Llama (and friends) at Deer Forest. Feed the deer. Ride the train. Picnic in a shady grove. Ride amusements. Sing along at puppet shows. Deer Forest Students in the AWARE classes at Coloma Middle School have been working on a time capsule. Objects from 1988 have been detailed. Burial has taken place on school grounds. Opening is expected in 2018. 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
NEWS FROM THE HARTFORD DAY SPRING
100 years ago – 1918 At Ely Park the first of a series of flag rallies will be held designed to do honor to the principles which the American flag represents and to keep local folk in unity of thought with the army and navy as well as with each other. Edward Mills John, residing west of the village, is the originator of the plan. G.W. Merriman will act as chairman of the initial rally Sunday. M.H. Scott, the watchmaker, is to open a store next to Jessup’s harness shop. 75 years ago – 1943 An American flag was presented to the Hartford chapter of the national organization, Mothers of World War II, at their meeting Wednesday night, July 21, by Mrs. Catherine Knopp, Hartford, in memory of Mrs. Knopp’s son, a veteran of WWI. It is to be placed beside the honor roll which the village plans to erect in the park. Although women have undoubtedly been taking their rightful place in a man’s world in all of our larger cities, it has taken a war, and the scarcity of labor rising out of that war, to give women in villages the size of Hartford an incentive for entering the business world. Among these modern Clara Bartons are three who assist their husbands at village service stations, Mrs. Leo Shindeldecker, Mrs. Kenneth Ament and Mrs. Floyd Hinkle. Mrs. Jim Walker, who works in Jim’s Hardware as well as Mrs. Arthur Smith, who helps distribute paints and wall paper. Others at work in Hartford include Mrs. Ward Plants whose husband operates the Co-Op Elevator. 50 years ago – 1968 The annual Van Buren Youth Fair got under way here Monday, with opening ceremonies and lightweight horse pulling taking place Monday night. Judging started yesterday and a children’s pet parade highlighted the afternoon program. The first four nights of harness racing under the lights began last night and will continue thru Friday. Tonight’s grandstand show will feature Hank Snow, star of the Grand Ole Opry.
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
NEWS FROM THE WATERVLIET RECORD
90 years ago – 1928 August 3, 1928, Will W. Fisher celebrated his 73rd birthday anniversary, working, as usual, with his flowers. Mr. Fisher has “farmed it” since his 12th birthday, when he went to work for Mosses Osgood. In these 61 years many changes have taken place in farming methods. Throughout his various stages of farming Mr. Fisher has held for his motto, “The best is none too good”. August Morlock of Watervliet, who owns one of the fine registered Guernsey here in this county, reports the following records on two of his star producers: Marjorie Lou, a purebred Guernsey cow five years old, produced 1,544 pounds of milk in July and better than 75 pounds of butter-fat with two milkings a day. Lady Jane, three years old, produces 1,491 pounds of milk with 66.35 pounds butter-fat, also with only two milkings a day. 60 years ago – 1958 President Paul V. Sangren presented diplomas and certificates to 401 persons on July 31, 1958, at the annual summer session commencement service. Graduates in this group are from all over the U.S., France and Greece, and ranges in age from 20 to 71 years. From Watervliet, Miss Phyllis A. Schauss received her BA degree. The William Mishler family reunion was held on July 27, 1958 at Hays Park. All of the Mishler’s eleven children, and their families, including 24 grandchildren were in attendance. 30 years ago – 1988 On Aug. 2, 1988, Roger Lottridge of Watervliet joined approximately 350 outstanding recent high school graduates from across the country at the National Young Leaders Conference in Washington, D.C. Roger has been selected as a Congressional Scholar based on demonstrated academic achievement, leadership, and citizenship. On Aug. 1, 1988, Dr. Adelbert Stagg celebrated forty years of service at Community Hospital. The Community Hospital Medical Staff, Board of Trustees, the Auxiliary, employees and Dr. Stagg’s family gathered for a surprise reception and ‘roast’. 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