09-24-2020 Tri-City Area History Page

What a ride! A group of young women on an outing… Halloween hay ride? Church group? If you have any information about this photo, contact North Berrien Historical Museum at 269.468.3330, info@northberrienhistory.org. North Berrien Historical Museum is open for private tours, Tuesday through Friday 10-4. Visit them for a tour. From the photo collection at the North Berrien Historical Museum 300 Coloma Avenue, Coloma

The Paw Paw River Journal

January 30, 1985

Truckin’ in the fast lane We have done quite a bit of traveling. It can be a way of life and a great adventure. Many times Marion; my sister, Wilma; brother-in-law, Ron; and I would hit the road. Now that we have lost Ron, the three of us still travel, a little more lonely, but we do travel. I call those girls the Gold Dust Twins, and they both have the spirit of adventure that makes it fun. There is a whole different world out there. I’m not talking about going to Kalamazoo for an afternoon’s shopping. I mean driving for days on the great interstate highways of this country. It is the world of professional truckers, and I try to approach it carefully and with respect. For about 10 years I have had a C.B. radio. To use one of them, you need a “handle” other than your real name — not too long, easy to say and hear, and having a nice sound. At first our kids wanted me to call myself Doctor D, or Doc D, which is what my students sometimes called me. But that sounded too formidable, so I became Double D. That has been my handle ever since.

In the first years, C.B. radio was a marvelous toy, and everyone wanted to use it. Many people thought it was cool to get on the C.B. and chatter away. We are sort of getting away from that now, and it is a good thing. Truckers always did resent us civilians intruding ourselves rudely into their world. We were doing it just for fun, but to them it was often deadly serious, because they are professionals. The radio is a tool they use to check road conditions, weigh stations (chicken coops or just coops), smokeys with a camera, and most of all to stay awake during the long hours. Much of the time they don’t act serious — in fact, they talk in a pretty offhand manner, the same way pilots used to talk about dangerous missions during the war — keep it cool, don’t be hysterical, etc. They remind me some of the guys I used to fly with in the Air Force. Perhaps that is one of the reasons I get such a kick out of talking to them.

First of all, you have to learn their lingo. Radio chatter changes so quickly that last month’s catch phrase will now betray a 4-wheeler’s ignorance. I try to talk to them in their terms. Sometimes Marion will say to me, “You know, you sound just like those truckers, and I can’t understand half of what they are saying!” But I can, and they can, and even though you are driving a 4-wheeler, if you respect their world, and don’t act like a nerd, they will usually talk to you – especially at night, when they have a long haul and the highway is pretty quiet. I can remember talking to an 18-wheeler one night on 1-94. We were in a horrible snow storm. The trucker said, “Looks like someone has been picking chickens out here!” “Yeah,” I replied, “But I don’t pay it no mind. I’ve got my cap pulled down over my eyes and my feet up on the instrument panel. Just don’t look out the window and it won’t bother you.” He laughed, and we went on talking. The road was bad, we both knew it, and we were both being careful. Watervliet District Library News Watervliet District Library has added additional evening hours on Mondays from 4 to 7 p.m. This continues the library’s staged reopening procedures; details are posted on the library’s webpage (www.watervlietlibrary.net). Appointments are recommended; walk-ins are allowed while occupancy numbers are within the accepted range. Visits are limited to 30 minutes, at this time. Current hours: Mon–Sat 10-2, and Monday and Wednesday evenings, 4-7. Curbside pick-up is available for all of the above hours plus 4-8 on Wednesdays. Requests can be made through Facebook, email (info@wdlib.org) or phone, 269-463-6382. September events Library Card Sign-Up Month celebrations are in full swing during September. Anyone requesting or holding a library card will receive a mini-yard sign with the slogan, “Library Card Holders Live Here,” upon request. The yard signs can be picked up at the library or delivered to your home, as preferred. The September Pinteresting program (craft packets for adults) features all of the fixings for mini-pumpkin makeover. Each participant will receive two pumpkins, paint, instructions and plenty of “bling”. Sign-up is required, and registration is limited to thirty. Contact the library to sign up and receive your packet. Packets are available for pickup the last week of the month. Banned Books Week, honoring the freedom to read, will be observed Sept. 27 – Oct. 3. The library is holding a virtual read-out throughout the week, inviting readers to share a few of their favorite lines from any banned book through Facebook. There will also be questions and trivia posted online each day, and a guessing jar contest. Lastly, Banned Book Bundles will be available to check out. The bundles will include information sheets about the title and its history. Check the library’s Facebook page or website for more details.