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09-19-2019 Tri-City History Page

Do you know what road or surface these men and equipment are paving? If so, 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

Moonlight Serenade

If I had to pick one song that most reminds me of Crystal Palace it would be Glenn Miller’s “Moonlight Serenade.” Every time I hear it, it hits me right in the pit of my stomach! I’m not exaggerating… good music has always done that to me. Has this ever happened to you… you wake up in the morning, and there is a tune running through your head? That happens to me all the time! And all the greatest moments in my life are marked by the sound of some song. I hear that again, and I’m right back whenever it was. Admittedly, most of those moments have something to do with the girl who shared so many years of my life. If I had to pick one place, that iconic place where so many moments of importance happened… it would be Crystal Palace. Located on the west shore of Paw Paw Lake, that whole area was jumping back in the day. Now I’m talking about the times around the beginning and during World War II. I see it in my mind’s eye… summertime, soft balmy breezes. Saturday night and the area was so crowded we could hardly drive a car through there. So many memory making places: I already mentioned Crystal. Then there was the Ellinee with its bowling alley and playhouse… much entertainment there. Around the corner, Steve’s Roller Rink. Before we were old enough to go to Crystal, we were having Friday night skating parties sponsored by our high school classes. Back then, we could get a driver’s license when we were 14. My dad would let me take a carful of kids for Friday night skating if I took my sister along for good judgment! We worked together that way. Steve Bearty and his wife ran the roller rink. She was tall, statuesque, and very attractive as she skated around, keeping her eyes on the nerdy kids. Years later, much to my surprise, she was a waitress at Board of Trade restaurant. A bunch of us were eating there, and I asked her if she remembered me. She was still beautiful, and she said she did. Steve was also a bouncer at Crystal, and I wouldn’t want to have run afoul of him! But Crystal Palace was the main attraction. We were in the heart of the Big Band era and all the best of them played that venue. One reason was Frank Dlouhy knew the union people in Chicago who did the booking. He got all the best bands: Glenn Miller, Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Lawrence Welk, Guy Lombardo. And such specialty bands as Spike Jones, and Frankie Yankovic (his specialty was the polka). Believe it or not, back in the day Lawrence Welk played music for young people! You could tell the popularity of the band by how much the admission charge was. Just think about it… when you have anywhere from 15 to 20 musicians plus a couple singers. Actually, I think that Miller had a boy and girl singer plus a group. All of them had to be paid, and they were paid well. Many of them had careers on their own besides the work they did with the band. Some of the iconic (to me) tunes are forever in my mind, tied to a special time… perhaps the first time I heard it. For instance, I can remember vividly the first time I heard Glenn Miller’s “I’ve Got a Gal in Kalamazoo.” I was riding in Russell Kime’s Chevy coupe. That song came on the car radio and we were mesmerized! Kalamazoo was on the map, and put there by the best Big Band in the business! The first time I heard Glenn Miller’s “A String of Pearls” was a cold winter night in my dad’s greenhouses. A friend of mine, Bob Erskine, called me on the phone. He said, “Bick Beckwith and I were shopping at a record store in Benton Harbor, and we got this great new song by Glenn Miller… just hold on a second and I’ll play it over the phone!” Snow sifting down outside on a quiet night, while I sat in my dad’s office and listened to that beautiful music. I was worried the whole time that he would come in and think, what a waste of time! Maybe I misjudged him. One place I haven’t mentioned… The Air Castle. It was a small nightclub just off the runway of the Benton Harbor Airport. Off the beaten path for us, we discovered it one night. I can remember going there… sister Wilma, soon-to-be brother-in-law Ron, Marion, and me. Cold winter night, not much of a crowd, we sat and ordered one beer. We nursed that while we listened to great Big Band music. Our waiter hovered nearby, periodically asking if we didn’t want to order something more. To tell the truth, we were nearly broke. The huge Wurlitzer jukebox glowed in the corner, spilling out the greatest music in the world as we fed it our change. Those record machines were in every restaurant and bar, always ready to entertain us with the greatest music we had ever heard. I know I’m being very curmudgeonly when I say that. But I don’t think any period since has enjoyed music that good. We knew we were weaving golden threads into The Great Tapestry of Life in these storybook towns along the Paw Paw River!

Watervliet District Library News National Library Card Sign Up Month

What can you do with a library card? Let the library know how you use yours all month long, by adding to their post-it note window display. Not yet a card holder? Anyone signing up for their first Watervliet District Library Card this month will be entered into a raffle for a library newcomer packet of prizes! Teen Table Projects: September Classics 101: You know them, you love them, but can you recognize them from their pictures? Give this contest a try & earn yourself a mini Snickers! Family Movie Night Friday, Sept. 20 – 6 p.m. Start your weekends off with a treat! The third Friday evening of each month this fall means: Movies! Popcorn! Crafts! This week – The Original Toy Story; Sporks! Climate Prep Week Speakers Monday, Sept. 23 – 6:30 p.m. Hear about the global perspective on climate change, presented by Jan Strait of the Citizen Climate Lobby. Local impacts described by Sarett Naturalist Nate Fuller. Toy Swap Sat., Sept. 28, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Bring your gently-used toys to the library and sign up for this swap-n-shop meet to take home a new-to-you batch. Woody approved! Ages 3 – 12. Registration required. Pinteresting Monday, Sept. 30, 6:30 – 8 p.m. Arts & crafts for grown-ups: This week – Witches Brooms. Yoga Mondays 9 -10 a.m.; Wednesdays 7 – 8 p.m.; Fridays 10:30 -11:30 a.m.; Chair Yoga – Wednesdays 6-6:30 p.m. Call the library at 463-6382 for inquiries.


100 years ago – 1919 Verl Hawks has resigned his position at Friday Bros. Canning Factory and is back in school. He thinks his school work is worth more than $1.50 per day. The Pere Marquette had a serious mishap when the conductor stopped the train to avoid an accident with an E.M.F. runabout. The sudden stop threw one empty boxcar clear of the track. The driver of a car jumped clear right before the car was demolished. 60 years ago – 1959 The city and the school will share the expense of a school policeman. He will perform the task of guiding children across the busy US-12 and West Street. He will get $90. Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Earnshaw were injured at Curtis Island. Their inboard speedboat ran aground in a fog bank. We remember those that have passed: Stanley Suwarski, 73, of route 1, Mrs. Lena Kittell of Riverside and Mrs. Anna Zaleski, 76. Miss Nancy Strejc is congratulated by Gov. G. Mennen Williams after being selected runner-up in the Michigan State Fair contest. Mr. and Mrs. Norman Erickson celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. Their sons, Kay and William, will host the affair. 30 years ago – 1989 Alice Vacanti, chairman of the Coloma Vietnam Memorial Fund, receives a $500 donation. This came from their booth at the Glad-Peach Festival. The committee is erecting this memorial to honor classmates. Also, a time capsule will be installed at the base of the Memorial, which will be in Baker Park. The class of 1939 gathered to celebrate their 50th class reunion. Some attendees are: Richard Becht, Robert Umphrey, Joseph and Steve Greco, Jean and Eleanor Friday, John DeFields and Dr. Richard Lyon. Navy Petty Officer 2nd-Class Keith E. Crews returns from a six-month deployment to the Mediterranean Sea. He participated in several exercises with NATO Allies. 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 & Thur, 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 Members of the American Legion Stoddard Post will be guests of the Hartford Woman’s Club next Friday evening. The social committee of the club has charge of the evening and the veterans are assured a royal time. Objection to the spreading of a tax of $2,000 upon the township at-large will probably preclude the erection of Hartford’s memorial to its soldiers and sailors of the world war – a memorial designed to perpetuate the memory of the boys who gave their life blood to their country and to honor those who answered the call of duty. 75 years ago – 1944 The Mothers of World War II collected $30 from the bake sale sponsored by them at Conaway’s studio. This amount will help defray the expenses of the servicemen’s center. At an impromptu meeting of the Hartford Township residents interested in the proposed airport project, 35 persons voted in favor of conducting another election on the proposition and pledged their active support. After a general discussion conducted by David Friday, those present voted unanimously to circulate petitions advocating that another special election be called. Donald D. Munro, Pfc. U.S. Marine Corps reserve, has been cited for distinguishing himself by heroic conduct while serving with the First Marine Division. Munro, hearing cries for help and seeing a Marine being swept out to sea by a strong undercurrent dived into the high surf and despite the rough stretch of sea, brought the drowning man safely back to shore. 50 years ago – 1969 Cpl. Raymond L. Yates, son of Clarence Yates, received the Army Commendation medal for serving with the 82nd airborne division in Vietnam. He earned the award for meritorious service as an ammunition specialist in the division’s third brigade. On Aug 30, Sp-4 Herschel Miller and his wife, Betty, became the parents of a son born in Berlin, Germany, where Miller is stationed. The child has been named William Herschel. Miller expects to be discharged from the army in December. 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.; Thur & Fri, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Phone: 269-621-3408


90 years ago – 1929 Corn in this section is practically all in the shock and most of the silos are filled. Many dairymen were short of enough corn to fill their silos this year. John Copeland is the name of a son born to Mr. and Mrs. L.W. Copeland, Sept. 28, 1929. The mother was formerly Adelia Case of this city. Harvey Reinhardt and family have moved to Watervliet from Hartford and are occupying Miss Hazel McClinchy’s house on West St. Joseph Street. Mr. Reinhardt is employed in the paper mill. 60 years ago – 1959 An auxiliary power unit has been purchased from Coffman Electrical Equipment Co. in Grand Rapids. The small block building located in back of the hospital and housing the emergency unit, was built by the Allen Construction Co. of Watervliet. Mr. and Mrs. Alden White will be guests of honor at an open house on Sept. 27, 1959. The occasion marks their silver wedding anniversary. Printed on Sept. 24, 1959: We learned “candlelight talk” stops after five years of marriage. After listening to that nonsense for some time, we had to point out to Mrs. B. that she didn’t seem to appreciate that she was probably one of the very few who spend their 5th anniversary with all the lights out and in candlelight. She didn’t consider this power failure romantic though; just inexcusable as we were playing cards. 30 years ago – 1989 This year’s Emmy award for Best TV Movie, the controversial “Roe Versus Wade” was written and co-produced by Alison Cross, granddaughter of the late Guy Cross and niece of Mrs. Harry Schultz, both residents of Watervliet. Rev. Emerson Minor and wife Eleanor will be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary with an Open House hosted by their children on Oct. 7, 1989. They have five children, 10 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. WHS is proud to announce a young student author as “Student of the Week,” sophomore Kim Baldwin. This authoress will have her poem “Love’s Senses” published this year in the book “Great Poems of the Western World.” Kim aspires to be a freelance writer and is certainly off to a great beginning. 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, Thur & Fri, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Phone: 269-463-6382


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