09-20-2018 Tri-City Area History Page

The Paw Paw River Journal

Bending the rule In our life together the Chief Accountant and I have made a rule never to talk (argue) politics or religion when we are visiting with friends or family. That pact has served us well over the years. A few times it has raised my pressure within to the point I was afraid people would see steam coming out of my ears. So today if I bend one of those rules, please forgive me. I’d like to tell a little story and then discuss something with you. In the early days of World War II a troopship sailed from the U.S. for Europe with 900 GIs aboard and four chaplains. They were torpedoed in the North Atlantic by a German submarine and started to sink. The four chaplains helped troops into the lifeboats and handed out life preservers. When they ran out of preservers, the chaplains gave their own to GIs who had none. The last anyone saw of them they had linked arms and were going down with the ship as they prayed. Now that’s what I call faith and a dedication to serving humanity. Where are they now? I’m sure they are wherever the righteous go at the end of their life. And I’d like to use that little story in the foundation of what I want to talk about. We all have to believe in something beyond ourselves. Just recently I have been discussing Plato’s idea about there being an ideal, somewhere there is perfection. We know it. And we can be better… striving to approach it. So a worthwhile goal as we live our lives and rear our children is to help them be more than they would be otherwise. Whatever your religious beliefs, you should help your children have a foundation in that. They may not want to continue as you have… but at least they have something to build on. There are all different ways from very conservative to ultraliberal. Friend of mine in Grand Rapids spent his childhood in a most conservative church setting. I asked him how conservative it was he replied, “My family was so conservative they were against sex because they were afraid it would lead to dancing!” Some young friends of ours, realizing the need for their two small children to have a foundation, but being of a very liberal outlook, finally found a Unitarian church that seem to fit their needs. Eldest daughter Deb, when I told her about it said, “I could go them one better… over near Detroit we have a church that is so liberal they don’t have 10 Commandments, they have 10 suggestions!” In our own family we knew that our children would go their own way eventually. But we wanted them to have that foundation. So we took them to church… just as our parents had taken us to church until we were older and could make our own decisions. Whatever we instill in children has to be by example. Now goodness knows I am not touting our beliefs and practices for the whole world to follow. But I believe there are a few simple rules that will help. The Chief Accountant and I have always tried to sit down and eat together. And at the beginning we thank God for the food we have on our table. We have a mealtime, and we talk together… not airing grievances, or complaints. We are visiting and everyone gets a chance to talk. About what? Our adventures of the day, where we’ve been, what we’ve seen. I can remember when our kids were in school, daughter Becky brought home a friend to have dinner with us. She commented that it was so different to give thanks before we ate. She said in their house they had gotten rid of the dining room table, converting it for playing table tennis. They had a breakfast bar with stools. Whenever they ate, they got a plate full of food and just sat wherever. Over the years we have made investments, some good some bad. One time when I was having a suit fitted, the tailor remarked as he measured to take in the pants, “You don’t have very much behind there.” “No,” I said, “I lost it all in the market.” But there is one thing… the best investment we have ever made has been in our children. Admittedly we did a lot for them when they were small. We never felt they were a burden. Now that is all coming back to us when we really need it. And a special bonus is all the memories we have of our good times… vacations, parties… the fun! So, guess I bent the rule a little. I have been talking about Faith… the necessity for a belief in something beyond us. If we think there is no such thing, the rules go out the window and eventually chaos. Well, does that sound like any place we know? Is it hard to follow the rules? You bet! And people now seem to have less tolerance for waiting. We want it all! We want it right now! And our whole culture promotes that idea! I believe we need more of what those four chaplains had that I mentioned at the beginning. We know what’s right. We know what will weave more golden threads into the tapestry of our lives as we live them in these storybook towns along the Paw Paw River. We just have to do it!

Coloma Library news When Mark Twain Came to Michigan The Coloma Public Library is pleased to be hosting the award winning father/son team Al and Dave Eicher, on Tuesday, Oct. 9 at 6:30 p.m. The Eichers have produced 25 television documentaries on Michigan town histories and events. They will be presenting the program “When Mark Twain Came to Michigan” which focuses on the colorful period in Samuel Clemons life when he took the name, Mark Twain and visited Michigan during his World Tour. Book Club The Coloma Library Book Club is meeting on Thursday, October 4 at 5:30 p.m. The title to read before the discussion is “American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land” by Monica Hesse. 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.

Hartford Library News On Wednesday, Sept. 26 the Hartford Public Library is having “Star Wars Reads Day” from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Drop in anytime during this event for Star Wars Wii games, crafts and prizes. No registration required and the program is free. In celebration of Hispanic Heritage month, the library is having taco day from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Children participating will receive a free Spanish/English book. Check-out their Spanish/English children’s book section in the library. The library wishes to thank the Van Buren Great Start program for their donation of Spanish/English children’s books.

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! 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! Pinteresting: Sep. 24, 6:30-8:00 p.m. Arts & crafts for grown-ups held the last Monday of the month. Sign-up required: Burlap & twine pumpkins. Yoga Monday 9 – 10 a.m., Wednesday 7 – 8 p.m., Chair Yoga Wednesday 6 – 6:30 p.m.


100 years ago – 1918 Our men are no “slackers” when it comes to Registration Day. Most men had already gone to the army or navy. Coloma registered 194 men and Hagar Township registered 64 men. The Great War has found new uses for many articles. Fruit pits and nut shells are used in manufacturing carbon for gas masks. Canning factories and private homes save those pits and shells. They will save our boys’ lives. 60 years ago – 1958 Raleigh W. Anderson, Arnold H. Arndt and William S. Otte have enrolled in industrial technology at the Whirlpool Foundation Technical Institute in Benton Harbor. Arthur Kretlow, nationally known dancing instructor has opened a dancing school at the Coloma township hall. He will continue using the “hoop number” that he developed, now known as the “hula hoop.” PFC Edward R. Schreider, 18, is a member of the U.S. Army garrison in Nurnberg, Germany. He is a field radio repairman. The Coloma senior class is fortunate to have an exchange student from Bangor, Ireland. Isabell Millar, known as “Obie,” has a delightful personality and is a friend to all. 30 years ago – 1988 Mary Spessard has been hired full time by Coloma Schools. Her title is Supervisor of State and Federal Programs. Previously she was employed jointly by the Coloma and Watervliet schools. Students from Coloma Middle School’s AWARE program threw out banners from their classroom windows. The banners thank the community for voting “Yes” at the special election. The 1988 National Merit Scholarship competition announces semifinalists. Charles D. Kibler and James R. Walke are winners and high school seniors. Both young men submitted a self-description and information about their personal interests, activities and educational goals. Hospital Admissions: Walter Kapp, Shoale Jones, Octave Schinck, Cletis Moss and Katelinda Detwiler

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 – 1918 The study of French proved decidedly popular at the opening of the Hartford public school Monday morning, when 100 out of 120 students in the high school selected French as one of their subjects. The Hartford Woman’s Club will hold their first meeting of the year Sept. 24 instead of Oct. 1, the change being made because of the opening of the county fair on that date. The flag rally at Ely Park will be cancelled due to difficulty in securing a speaker. Owing to the Sunday gasoline restrictions the men who have been invited to speak hesitate to drive across the country for the purpose. Hartford was without electric service nearly all day Monday while repairs were being made at the Anderson Bros. plant north of town. 75 years ago – 1943 The Hartford Mother’s Club held the first meeting of the year at the home of Mrs. Gertrude Plants on Sept. 20. Plans were made for the annual children’s’ party. After the business meeting Mrs. Katherine Vint took charge of the program. The Hartford Garden Club met at the home of Mrs. Amanda Bowman, president of the club, Friday afternoon, September 17. Mrs. Emaline Rush gave an interesting talk on “Chrysanthemum Culture”. The Meri Lou restaurant in Hartford, which was closed Tuesday, September 7 by the Michigan State Police acting on a warrant issued at the request of the state department of revenue in Lansing, will reopen in the near future by its owner, Luzelle Summers, who has satisfied conditions of the warrant. 50 years ago – 1968 The percussion section of the Hartford High School marching band got new drums this year in time for the band’s first appearance of the football season Friday night. The meeting of the Hartford Garden Club has been changed to the home of Mrs. Marie King. Mrs. Cathryn Meachum will be co hostess. The program will be a “Garden-Flower Show” with arrangements for fall by all members. Mrs. Dorothea Day will answer questions on arrangements. 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 – 1928 M.H. Lyons of East Watervliet took first, second and third premiums on his White Leghorn cockerels exhibited at the Hartford Fair. He was also awarded first on his pen of young chickens and first on pullets. The Watervliet School Band took first prize at the school band contest at the Hartford Fair and was awarded the $75 Premium. Miss Marjorie Emery, pianist and instructor, has started her classes for the year’s work in Watervliet. Miss Emery is a graduate of the Cosmopolitan School of Music in Chicago. She also presented two winners in the state piano contest held in Detroit in June 1927. 60 years ago – 1958 Playing a part in Air Force history was M/Sgt. Lawrence A. Friesen of Watervliet, among the first to be promoted to the new rank of senior master sergeants. A machine accounting supervisor, he is currently serving with the statistical services division, directorate of comptroller, 15th Air Force. The best qualified system was used to determine the final selections at Headquarters SAC by a board of officers from recommendations made by subordinate units. Friesen is a 1936 graduate of WHS. During nearly 17 years of service, he has been a flight engineer at Wheeler Field, Hawaii; secretary of the Noncommissioned Officers Club at West Drayton, England; and photographic supervisor at this base for two years. 30 years ago – 1988 Junior Ed Tokarz has been selected as a state finalist in the Michigan Egg Cooking Contest. The contest will take place at Michigan State University. Ed will receive $50 and a T-shirt for making it this far. But he has the opportunity to win up to $300. If Ed captures the state title, his next step is the national competition where he could attain up to $4,000. Ed’s winning recipe, Eggs Divine. Watervliet’s 1988 Homecoming was a night to remember for Dawan Jones and Jan Willmeng, as they were crowned Homecoming King and Queen: both are 17 and residents of 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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