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08-08-2019 Tri-City History Page

The Paw Paw River Journal

The Luckiest Guy

That’s me! I am so fortunate to have spent almost 72 years with the Wonder Woman I called my Chief Accountant. Marion was 94 when she left this life on Sunday, July 21, 2019. I’m finding out what it’s like to be alone in this world (in a manner of speaking). I know the kids are all there for me. And the prayers! They help so much. All the kids did such a magnificent job of preparing for Marion’s Celebration of Life. It all went off just as they planned. Marion looked beautiful! At least twenty years younger, and my heart ached to take her back home. In the vestibule of the church, she lay in state before the services. And I have to say it was my worst time when they closed the lid on her casket, and I realized that was the last time I will see her on this earth! The hushed silence of the church, and a traditional ceremony. Father German-Diaz conducted the services and Deacon Art Morsaw did a beautiful homily on the life and times of my Chief Accountant. It all had a quiet dignity about it that in itself was comforting. The little kids were on excellent behavior. Two of our great-grandchildren, Max and Nina, sat right behind me with their Mom, very grown-up! I also noticed grandkids Kelly and Brad stayed with me most of the service. I’m sure it was in case I needed help. And I was glad to celebrate Marion’s life with brother Bob beside me. We are old friends and the only original members left of our blended families. After the conclusion of the services we all followed the hearse out to Maple Hill Cemetery. Our family plot is shaded by a huge tree… a grandfather tree, Art Morsaw would call it. Sunshine coming through its leaves dappled the canopy as Father German gave a final blessing for all of us. Then we left Marion there, lying for all time next to my dad and mom. Just beyond them my baby brother; and across the lot, sister Wilma and brother-in-law Ron. We have our family monument in place, with space to carve the date of Marion’s departure. And that makes me think of a little story… I told it before, but perhaps it bears one more retelling. I was out at Bob Anderson’s building supply one day, and we were talking. He told me that wife Mona always packed his lunch. He would then try to find some quiet peaceful place to eat it. So he was sitting up in Maple Hill Cemetery on a quiet summer day eating his sandwiches. When he left, he drove past our family plot. There was our monument waiting for us. Bob said to me, “Bud, I saw the dates on there… I never realized you are that old!” I really got a kick out of that! I know that eventually we are all gone forever, leaving only our earthly remains behind. Just the same I’m so glad Marion is lying there next to my folks with space left for me. Somehow it is comforting to think of her as being with the rest of the family now. Everyone worked together to make the whole day happen, and I’d like to thank you all one more time from the bottom of my heart! After the funeral and going to the cemetery, we all gathered at the church activities room to eat a delicious meal. I was sitting at one of the tables with son Rob and three of the girls from my residence here. They had come for the services before their shift. A lady came up to me and introduced herself, Mrs. Tony Meloche. He had come to see me about two years ago. And he had a Life magazine from World War II. It was full of pictures of flying the Hump in Asia. We talked for quite a while and he had this abiding interest in my war. I gave him a copy of the book about my experiences which I plan never to publish. He seemed very pleased. He died just a few months ago. I talked to his widow and she had a present for me from him. He loved to restore clocks, and she had for me a small mantle clock. That history makes it very personal! Well, Dear Readers, I wanted to share the above thoughts with all of you. And to convey a final thank you for all the help, sympathy, prayers, and good wishes that have blanketed us during these trying times. The past is history, the future is a mystery… all we really have is today. Wherever Marion is now, I’m sure it is a better place for her presence. She will help bind up the wounded, and give comfort to those who are suffering. How could I resent that? But now I have this left-over life to live, and I will just have to learn how to do it. Many of you have had this happen. Life without her is indeed bleak. But the sun rises, the sun sets, and the earth abides. All those years we were together we talked, talked, talked… except for these last few weeks. She was sleeping more and more, until she finally slipped into the next life. So there were periods of quiet time. I wonder if she was trying to prepare me for this last silence that I now have, never to hear her voice again. But indeed, life goes on, and I consider myself to be most fortunate. I shared almost three-fourths of a century with a wonderful woman… would I do it all again? With all the adventures, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and friends? Yes, in a heartbeat! What better way could I have spent the time than weaving more golden threads into The Great Tapestry of Life in these storybook towns along the Paw Paw River.

Watervliet District Library News Sensory Bin Blast

Tuesday, Aug. 13, 10:30-11:30 a.m. The perfect time for a perfect mess, for 0-5 year olds and their families; held the 2nd Tuesday of every month. 3rd Monday Book Club August 19, 7-8 p.m. Great books, fabulous conversations; ask for a copy at the desk. This month’s book: Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen. In Stitches Knitting Group Friday, Aug. 9, 2:30-4 p.m. Take a current project or just your enthusiasm; they’ll help you get started! Limited supplies are available for beginners, too. Watervliet Walks Around the Moon Throughout August Feel like taking a stroll? The moon’s diameter is 6,783 miles. At 2,000 footsteps per mile, how far around it can we go? Pick up a tracking log at the library and get started! Call the library for more details, at 463-6382.

Mail delivery before mechanization…Watervliet Post Office circa 1910. Anyone’s grandparents here? Or, anyone having information or stories please contact North Berrien Historical Museum at 269-468-3330,, or stop by Tues.-Friday 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

Coloma Public Library News End of Summer Reading Party!

The 2019 Coloma Public Library Summer Reading Program will officially wrap up on Friday, Aug. 16 with a special party for participants from noon to 1:30 p.m. There will be fun activities and prize drawings. Please call 269-468-3431 or visit the front desk for details. Backpacks for Good Watervliet and Coloma Public Libraries have teamed up to participate in the Backpacks for Good event on Saturday, Aug. 10 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Midway Baptist Church. Visit their booth! There will be a free craft for kids. Michigan Activity Pass There’s still time left for summer fun! Get free or discounted admission to hundreds of Michigan’s beautiful cultural and natural destinations including state parks, campgrounds, museums, trails, and more using your Coloma Public Library card. Visit the link on the Library’s website and follow the prompts to print a pass.


100 years ago – 1919 Marian Chase Schaeffer of Chicago furnished the opening number of the Chautauqua, held at the cottagers’ Country Club. She shared her experiences as an entertainer with the soldiers across the water. The Ferdinand Thar farm, known as the “Pier Farm,” has become a popular gathering spot. On the grounds is a beautiful park known as “Camp Gray.” Boy and girl scouts have enjoyed many gatherings. 60 years ago – 1959 “Rackets and Solicitations” was the topic of the local chamber meeting. A million dollars was lost to these racketeers just in north Berrien County alone. A training program could be presented to the Home Economics classes so the students will learn to recognize crooked deals. Members of the 1934 graduating class held a reunion at Ed’s Café. Miss Allene Stark, Mrs. Evelyn Kittel Appel and Mrs. Emmogene Kibler Cantrell helped to organize the affair. The township board approved three subdivisions. The Curtis Islands, Linda Vista and Garden Home subdivisions all have been given board approval. The Wooley family reunion was held at Lions Park. Mr. and Mrs. Howard Wooley were hosts. 30 years ago – 1989 Marshall Badt receives his official festival pin from Parade Chairman Harriet Turner. Pepsi-Cola is the official sponsor of the parade. Look for the Percheons, horses larger than Clydesdales; they will be on display in Badt’s Square after the parade. We Asked You… “What is your favorite Glad-Peach Festival Event?” Bill Umphrey, Ray Burmeister, Ruth Wagnon, Stacey Bearty and Carol Zaagman all say, “the fireworks!” The North Berrien Adult & Community Education will hold computer classes at Coloma High School. Classes will cover MS-DOS, Super Calc Spreadsheets, dBaseIII, First Publisher and Pascal or Basic programming. Double Coupons – all day Wednesday – Harding’s – At Your Service 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 Hartford’s sailors, soldiers and marines of the world war are to meet at the town hall to organize a local chapter of the American Legion – the new organization which bids fair to embrace in its membership a greater percentage of world war soldiers than did the Grand Army of the Republic among the boys who wore the blue at the close of the Civil War. Hartford has 144 soldiers, sailors and marines on its honor roll during the war. The harvesting of an excellent crop of Duchess apples has begun in Hartford orchards this week. The greater part of the crop will be handled through the Hartford Fruit Growers’ & Farmers Exchange and will run into many thousands of bushels. 75 years ago – 1944 An airport for Hartford Township was one step nearer realization this week as members of the township board voted approval of a petition from Hartford residents requesting a special election to raise the necessary fund for purchase of a site-land. The land, comprising 192 acres, is under option. Airport engineers have inspected the property and report it excellent for the proposed site of the Hartford field. The ballot presented to voters August 24 gives them an opportunity to express their wish in regard to the purchase of airport property by the township board. The Hartford Garden Club will meet at the home of Mrs. William Floate Friday afternoon, August 18. Subjects for the day are useful weeds and mushrooms. The roll call will be to bring an unusual plant or mushroom. 50 years ago – 1969 The annual MARC Times invitational will be held at the Hartford Motor Speedway. Races were held last Friday after rainouts the two previous weeks. Bob Senneker took the feature and set a record in the Australian pursuit. Senneker slipped by Rich Senneker, Bob Carnes and Dick Dunshee in the feature. Bud Smith was also a double winner as he took the semi-feature and the third heat. He was followed by Chuck Archer and Denny Harris in the semi and George Neff and Archer in the heat. A fiesta for migrant children and their parents will be held Aug.7 at the south elementary school. 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 Sidewalk explodes on Main Street, not caused by heat… A section of cement sidewalk in front of the American Cafe exploded Tuesday afternoon, bringing shopkeepers and shoppers to the scene in considerable numbers. There were no casualties and no damages, other than to the sidewalk, which was in need of replacement anyway. Merchants who cater especially to the resort and tourist trade indignantly scouted a theory advanced that the heat caused the sidewalk to blow up. They declare it has not been hot in Watervliet at all and some of them advanced the theory that the upheaval might have been caused by gas that had seeped underneath the city from the two wildcat wells drilling in North Watervliet. 60 years ago – 1959 Marsha Stennecke, 15-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Tom Stennecke, won prizes Saturday in a baton twirling contest at the International Friendship Gardens, Michigan City, Indiana. She won second place in her age group in a preliminary contest and is now eligible to compete August 22 at Chicagoland Music Festival. She also won a third place in an open contest. She received a trophy and a medal. Dr. and Mrs. H.W. Tatter, Mr. and Mrs. Jordan B. Tatter, staff and campers, invite the interested public to attend their annual horse show for their twenty-fifth season, at Camp Watervliet for Girls, Sunday, August 9, beginning at two o’clock, at the Watervliet Riding Academy. 30 years ago – 1989 This city will be well represented at the Berrien County Youth Fair at Berrien Springs next week. The Boy Scout Drum and Bugle Corps of Troop 61 will participate in the flag raising ceremony the opening day of the Fair and on Thursday evening will lead the parade at the Fairgrounds. Sunday noon they will also be on hand to open the 14th Annual Horse Show, which gets underway at 1:00 p.m. The Watervliet High School Band will take part in the Parade of all Champions Friday night at 6:30. 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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