09-13-2018 Tri-city Area History Page

The Paw Paw River Journal


Good for your soul There is an old Persian saying, “The time you spend fishing is not taken off your life span.” I like that. I believe what it really means is when you do whatever relaxes you, refreshes you, renews you, and gives you a chance to “tune up your system,”… it makes you younger and a little more healthy. When I was an early teenager I went out one day with my dad to pick ferns. There was a certain kind that would dry and stay fresh looking for months. He used them in making floral arrangements at his greenhouses. Now I didn’t actually pick the ferns because he only wanted certain kinds. We went out to Duck Lake north of Hartford. Borrowing a boat there from some people we knew, I rowed him across the lake to his favorite fern hunting grounds. He asked me to pick him up at the same spot in about an hour. Meanwhile, I could just go exploring. So I rowed around and found a nice spot where I could just sit in the sunshine. I watched the turtles poke up their heads to look at the intruder. Water lilies were in bloom. I sat and thought… surprised how quickly an hour passed. When I picked him up he had a stack of beautiful ferns. He never asked me how I spent that time. I think he knew. I have had the same quiet joy roaming autumn fields ostensibly hunting the wily pheasant. I never expected to shoot anything. That gun was just a prop. Red and gold trees aglow with color… among them, squirrels irritated by an unwelcome visitor watched bright-eyed around the trunk of a tree and chattered. One time when I was small my dad asked me if I knew how to attract a squirrel. I said, “No I don’t.” He said, “Just make a noise like a nut!” Well, I had to think about that one. There are a couple of other places that gave me the same quiet pleasure. One is in Florida. Off the Gulf Coast at Fort Myers are two islands, Sanibel and Captivia. That second one is so named because it is supposed to be the place that pirates (back in the day) held captive the beautiful women they kidnapped and held for ransom. I don’t know if that’s true, but I do know it has always been a favorite spot with us. There is a small cemetery just off the beach… quiet and shaded. It was started by one of the first pioneers. They had no cemetery, and when a small girl child in that family died, the father bought the land for her final resting place. I can go there just in my mind. It is a quiet afternoon and I sit on one of the benches and contemplate eternity. Over a small rise, quiet waves lap the shore, rolling in the shells of sea creatures long gone now. On the shore side a grave marked by crossed oar blades. A sailor is buried there, his body washed up from the deeps. No identification. Just a lost seaman forever resting now in one of the best places I can think of. Two baby twin girls, Alma and Talma, died shortly after birth. There they are forever. Some unusual monuments… one has an inset window. Beneath the glass a rare shell probably found by the person buried there. Unusual verses, most interesting. The cemetery is all sand and kept raked clean of leaves by some local volunteer. Just so I could sit there and contemplate eternity. I go there many times in my mind. Another place (you probably guessed it) a village out in Pennsylvania. The house owned by our Aunt Hope in the little town of Jamison City. It’s a good map you’re looking at if it has that small community. It lies in a valley between two mountain ranges… one in front and one in back. Across the road just beyond the trees a little stream meanders down toward Benton and Bloomsburg. There are actually trout in that stream, and it is icy cold tumbling right down from the mountains. The first time we visited her in 1953, we sat on her front screened porch and watched the moon rise over the mountains in front. Now over 50 years later the trees have grown so much we could not see the moon until it was up a ways. Aunt Hope said she would like at the end of her life just to lie on the couch out there and watch the moon come up. Actually she died in a retirement home. But who knows… perhaps she was on that porch. We spent so many evenings there, with her, and we treasure every one. Sometimes people don’t understand how marvelous it is just to spend some quiet time in nature. Our physical therapist told us a story about such a misunderstanding. A friend of hers, visiting people who lived on a lake, had that happen. She took one of their boats out for some quiet time on the water. Of course the boat was full of fishing equipment. As the friend sat enjoying the tranquility, a DNR boat came roaring up and stopped beside her. The government guy said, “May I see your fishing license?” The girl said, “I’m not fishing, and I don’t have a license. I’m just sitting here enjoying the view!” The DNR guy said, “You have all the equipment, so I can assume you are fishing; and I’ll have to give you a citation!” She said, “Do that and I will accuse you of attempting to rape me!” “But… but… but I haven’t even touched you!” “No,” she said, “but you have all the equipment!!!!!” And that’s the story on that! Here’s to more time contemplating nature and renewing our spirits, all part of the tapestry of life in these storybook towns along the Paw Paw River.

Watervliet District Library News September is Banned Books Awareness Month and Library Card Sign-Up Month. Teen Table Projects: September Do-it-yourself Distraction Jar; pick out an activity and avoid whatever you like! Barn Quilts: Sep. 13, 6 – 8 p.m. Boards are 2 ft. x 2 ft. All materials are provided; painted boards are weatherized and framed, available for pick-up 2 – 3 weeks later at the library. Cost is $35/person, sign up is required. In Stitches Knitting Group Friday, Sep. 14 from 2:30 to 4:00 p.m.; limited supplies are available for beginners! Third Monday Book Club: Sep. 17, 7 – 8 p.m. Great books, fabulous conversations! Ask for a copy at the desk: The Recipe Box by Viola Shipman. 3-D Printing: Sep. 20, 6:30 p.m. Philip Coulson presents an informal program featuring his printer, creations and expertise with this exciting technology. Bring your questions & curiosity and discover how it’s done! at the library. Yoga Monday 9 – 10 a.m., Wednesday 7 – 8 p.m., Chair Yoga Wednesday 6 – 6:30 p.m. Call 463-6382 for questions on any Watervliet library activity.

Coloma Library News Book Club The Coloma Library Book Club is meeting on Thursday, September 20 at 5:30 p.m. The title to read before the discussion is “Mrs. Poe” by Lynn Cullen. Generally, depending on demand there are titles available for check-out at the front desk. The book club regularly meets every other Thursday and is always looking for new members. Story Hour Story Hour meets on Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. Join Miss Amy for a story, song and craft time. Story Hour is geared towards older toddlers and preschool-aged children. It is asked that all children be supervised by an adult. There is no sign-up for this free program. Call 468-3431 with questions on any Coloma library activity.

NEWS FROM THE COLOMA COURIER

100 years ago – 1918 We are loading car lots of grapes and will pay market price. Also buying apples, pears and other fruit. A.E. Barker – Office on Church Street It is the hopes of The Courier that the “mob rule” will disband. Please leave enforcement of the earlier request by our government to cease pleasure driving on Sunday to the authorities. Go to Scott’s for school books, tablets, ink, pencils, crayons, erasers, pens and everything else. 60 years ago – 1958 Two good friends and 1958 Coloma graduates may become enemies on the football field. Garry McDaniels heads for the University of Michigan while Dino Mastri will be making the Spartans his home. Good luck, boys. You could win in the Courier ‘Give-A-Way’ Quiz. Prizes offered by Reinhardt’s IGA Foodliner. Coloma’s 100,000 gallon water tank is just waiting for a pressure switch. All painting is complete and done by the Chicago Bridge and Iron Works. Postmaster Gordon Young and Jack Ridley reported the condition of “Kremer’s Hill” to the Commissioners. Mayor Chester W. Hocker will turn the matter over to the Yerington road building firm. 30 years ago – 1988 We Asked You… “Would you support pay for paramedics in the ambulance service?” Bonny Watkins says, “Yes, I would pay more… I’d feel secure with a paramedic.” Coloma voters passed a hotly-contested millage proposal. In preparation of its defeat, the Board would have cut bussing, athletics and on campus suspension. Mayor Marvin Taylor recommends appointing Sue Mosher as the representative on the ambulance committee. Mosher is a resident and former ambulance volunteer. The Crazy Quilters Quilt Club has donated, for the second year, a handmade quilt to the National Honor Society. David Kibler, president of the Coloma Student Council accepts the quilt. This will be raffled off, putting the funds towards a scholarship program.

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 Dr. L.L. Conkey had a narrow escape Monday evening when his Ford automobile was struck by a freight train at the Main Street crossing of the Pere Marquette. He was watching a train near the depot and failed to note a freight switching near the Gleaner elevator in the other direction. Hartford has passed its second gasless Sunday with fewer automobiles in evidence than were seen on the previous Sunday when the patriotic request to abandon Sunday motoring was first observed. During the afternoon a group of 24 army ambulances went through Hartford en route to Chicago. An interesting meeting was enjoyed by a few fathers and mothers of Hartford soldier boys. An informal talk about the soldier’s letters, their experiences and the mail was the principle thing. 75 years ago – 1943 Members of the Hartford parent-teacher association attended the first regular business meeting of the school year. Edward Bonning, program chairman, arranged the evening’s entertainment including introductions of the nine new faculty members. The Hartford Garden Club met at the home of Mrs. Amanda Bowman. Topic for the afternoon was, “Chrysanthemum Culture”. Roll call was some specimen from your vegetable garden. Of the best sellers throughout the nation the Hartford library has the first four in their circulation department. “The Robe”, by Lloyd C. Douglas, still heads the list, followed by “The Valley of Decision,” by Marcia Davenport; “Hungry Hill,” by Daphne DuMaurier, and the “Human Comedy”, by William Saroyun. 50 years ago – 1968 The women work right along with the men in building a new Seventh-day Adventist Church at Hartford. Their assignment at the church site on Pinery Road was to put sealer on roof decking. Members are providing most of the labor for construction of the new church. It is estimated it will save about one-third of the cost of the building. About 30 volunteers turned out Sunday to work on the building. 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 Watervliet’s Hilltop fox farm, established by N.C. Spong of Chicago, is to be abandoned and its population of 21 pairs of silver black foxes is being transferred to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where they are to be taken over by the Michigan North Woods Club. It is believed that the foxes will do much better in this northern section than they would here. Corliss Abbott, Ed Jennings and Darrell Osgood will leave on Sep. 16, 1928 for Ann Arbor, where they will enter the University of Michigan. They will take up the literary course of study for their first year. 60 years ago – 1958 Irvin Camp of West St. Joseph Street was happily surprised on Sep. 14, 1958, when thirty of his children and grandchildren gathered to wish him a Happy Birthday. Irvin, 84, received many nice gifts. Peter Scheid left on Sep. 18, 1958 for Notre Dame, where he has enrolled as a freshman. Son of Mr. and Mrs. L.J. Scheid, Peter has been employed at the Watervliet Hardware during his vacations and weekends. Miss Sharon Rogers is spending the week at camp at Pretty Lake. Miss Rogers leaves this weekend for New York, where she returns to the Julliard School of Music for her second year. She is an accomplished violinist. 30 years ago – 1988 Congratulations to 11th grader Melissa Burg. She has been voted “Student of the Week” by her teachers. Melissa is on the high school cheerleading squad. Her best subject is algebra which is a challenge to her. Melissa’s future plans include attending Michigan State University to pursue a career in accounting. Jeanne M. Jarvis of Watervliet, graduated in August 1988 from Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant with a Master of Arts degree in education and academic areas. Watervliet Library’s new sign sports a logo that was created by WHS student Les Hebner of Mrs. Strother’s art class. Hebner was the winner of a logo contest. The sign was made by Grant Harper of Creekside Furniture Company. 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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