top of page

09-26-2019 Tri-City Area History Page

The Paw Paw River Journal

Vignettes from the Vineyard

My Webster’s says a vignette is a short literary description of something. That’s what I want to do… give all of you, Dear Readers, some quick sketches of life in the putty knife factory (in a manner of speaking). I’m one of the old-timers around here, and in an almost first year I’ve seen a lot of things come and go. The Vineyard, my place of residence, is located in a suburb just west of Kalamazoo, named Texas Corners. It is an up-and-coming community just off the Oshtemo exit on I-94. Go south around the campus of Kalamazoo Valley Community College. Keep going south and a little ways past the campus you will come to a traffic light. That is the center of the little town of Texas Corners. Looks as though the city fathers are planning that community’s growth quite carefully. There are already several excellent restaurants… we have tried quite a few of them! The Vineyard is just southeast of that traffic light. Go left there and just a ways turn right past Biggby Coffee, and up the long drive. They are putting up new doctors’ offices just to the right before you get to our place. Communal living is new to me. Marion and I moved into the assisted living place at Paw Paw, and then over here when daughter Becky found this new residence almost at their front door. We were the second people to move in, and have watched as the place is filling up. When completed, it will be home to about seventy people. We are one of the larger apartments and very comfortable. I still miss Marion very much, and it is nice to eat my meals in a spacious dining room with other people around. I can have as much interaction with others as I wish. When I do what I’m doing right here… sitting at my computer composing a story, I have all the solitude I need. I try to keep pretty regular hours, saving most of the afternoon for a siesta. I also find doing that helps me maintain my strength (working toward 96 years!). The people here are endlessly interesting. You know me! I like to meet and study people. Note: as in most places like this, women outnumber men. I’m sure this bears out the statistics that women generally live longer. I can remember a retirement high-rise in Ann Arbor where we visited people quite often. It is called Lurie Terrace. One time we were visiting a friend there. She had invited us for dinner, and as we entered the dining room, I noticed it was a room full of women. At one table sat a man all by himself. Telling Marion and our friend that I just had to talk to him, I went over and asked him if I could sit down for a moment. He seemed very glad to see another guy! “Tell me,” I said, “aren’t you kind of lonely being the only man in the room?” He laughed and replied, “Goodness, no! I can have a different date every night!!!” So, there you are! I have made quite a few friends but I don’t need any dates! When the weather is nice we have been sitting out on the patio to watch the sunset. One of my favorite fellow watchers is a guy who is a retired executive from one of the biggest companies around. When we get together we have a meeting of minds. And I really appreciate the company of Brother Bob. We always eat together and sometimes cause mild disturbances among the girls who work here. They seem to appreciate old people who have a sense of humor. So we put on our tap shoes and provide a little entertainment. I have mentioned before the girl who interviewed us when we went to our first assisted living residence. Monica had spent sixteen years in the Marines, and we hit it off immediately. She has the sense of humor I really appreciate in young ladies. Much to our surprise, after we had moved in here, she transferred in as Director of the Nursing Staff. So now I get to see her on a regular basis. In a business like this staffing is always a problem. These are not entry-level jobs exactly, and caring for old people has gotten to be big business. I have thought about it quite a bit. And I tell everyone who will listen what I believe… if I were hiring for such a business, my first concern with an applicant would be… do you like people? That is far and away the most important! My next concern would be… do you like old people? You know, old people are not always easy to like. Some don’t feel well. Some are railing at fate because they are old. I suspect that some find old age terrifying. And then there are those who are losing touch with reality, not always in pleasant ways. I can remember one elderly relative of ours, years ago. She was the mildest mannered person you could hope to meet. In the clutches of dementia she began to swear like a trooper! I’ll admit, it takes all kinds to make a world. But the people who work in elder care have to be among those special ones who can like people and keep on smiling. Because we are all just trying to weave some final threads into the Golden Tapestry of Life in these storybook towns along the Paw Paw River.

Coloma Public Library News Storytime

Weekly storytime for toddlers and preschool-aged children is on Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m. No registration is required to participate in this weekly interactive experience that includes theme books, music, and hands on activity with Miss Alicia. Book Club The Coloma Public Library Book Club is meeting on Thursday, Oct. 3 at 5:30 p.m. The title to read before the discussion is “The Alice Network” by Kate Quinn. Homework Help The Michigan eLibrary (MeL) is a statewide collection of electronic resources for library patrons of all ages. Students can get free access to digital content including the History Reference Center and Points of View databases. College Preparation testing, World Book Kids, and much more are available. See the friendly Coloma staff to learn how to access with a valid Coloma Public Library card. Michigan Activity Pass Get free or discounted admission to local attractions including North Berrien Historical Museum using a Coloma Public Library card. Visit the link on the Library’s website and follow the prompts to print a pass.

Watervliet District Library News

STEM Kit Programs

Snap Circuits – LEGO Robotics – Little Bits Electronic Inventions STEM kit programs are designed for small groups to work together to make an endless number of inventions. New groups are set up with your schedule in mind. Interested? Sign up at the desk! For 8 years and up. Toy Swap Sat., Sept. 28, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Bring your gently used toys to the library and sign up for their swap-n-shop meet to take home a new-to-you batch. For Ages 3 – 12; registration required. Pinteresting Monday, Sept. 30, 6:30 – 8 p.m. Arts & crafts for grown-ups: This week – Witches Brooms. Books ‘N Bites Monday, Oct. 7 – 6:30 p.m. A program with taste! This quarter’s feature: The Joy Luck Club. Savor samples of Chinese cuisine, learn about the history of the Chinese in America and chat about the book. Give Mahjong & calligraphy a try, too. Sign-up is required. Sensory Bin Blast Tuesday, Oct. 8, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. The perfect time for a perfect mess! For 0 – 5 year olds & their families.

The back of this photo is marked: Train Wreck—Spring 1927 in Coloma. Do you have any information about this event? 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


100 years ago – 1919 The Michigan anti-tuberculosis association urges every child to become enrolled in the Modern Health Crusade. Children are taught the fundamental principles in the prevention of tuberculosis. There is one thing that each one of us can do, and that is to be a good citizen. Be a booster for Coloma. Unity of effort is what Coloma needs. We congratulate Rev. C.E. Pollock, pastor of the Coloma and Watervliet Methodist churches for his strong ministrations. 60 years ago – 1959 Mrs. Alguire and Mrs. Kilmark have sold the Loma Theatre. They have operated the movie house for half a century. New owner Tom DeRosa will not be operating it as a theatre. Plans are to remodel for a retail furniture store. Mr. and Mrs. Ted Soulard will be honored at an open house marking their 25th wedding anniversary. Their children, Jeannine, Edward and Dennis will act as hosts for the event. Church school parents and teachers night will be held at the Congregational Church. A brief program will be presented by the pupils, followed by refreshments. 30 years ago – 1989 Carl Oehling, Barb Wolfram and Dennis Palgen admire the new “Welcome to Coloma” sign at the I-94 ramp. All are officers of the Coloma Area Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber currently has 38 members and always welcomes those interested in the improvement of Coloma. Now Open – Simply Wood Furniture – Owners Pam and Dave Brazda offer “Ready to Finish” furniture. Come by and register for the roll-top desk give away. Gail Schmull and Nancy Rock attended the commission meeting to request that QVC be available on cable. City Administrator John Hodges accepted bids for computer hardware and software. Also, the cemetery will hold its annual fall cleanup. All flowers and decorations are to be removed. 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 C.E. Rittase, a farmer residing southeast of the village, had a narrow escape from death Friday morning when the team he was driving ran away, throwing him to the road where his wagon heavily loaded with apples passed over his body. Inability of the contractors to get shipments of gravel and cement is said to be the cause of the delay in completing the new concrete road across Hartford Township. 75 years ago – 1944 The Hartford Womens Club begins its 49th year as a community organization. It was formed in 1895 with the late Mrs. Ida Crosby the first president. Charter members were: Elinora Chamberlin, Mae Deane, Mrs. Volney Olds, Mrs. Fred Allen and Myrtle Warren. There are 29 active members. Tuesday the club activities will start off with an opening brunch at the home of Mrs. Powers. After the informal meal, the program will be given, including advice to the president. The president will give a message, “Why We Are Here”. 50 years ago – 1969 A memorial fund has been started at Hartford High school to honor SP4 Ronald Vliek, who was killed in Vietnam while serving with the 1st Cavalry Division (airmobile). Vliek, who graduated from Hartford High School in 1967, was a sports star in high school. The fund is being administered by Victor Beck and Roger Hallgren, both teachers at Hartford. A committee will be formed to determine what use to make of the fund. Bonita Markillie was installed as president of the Modern Mothers Club when the group met recently at the home of Marty Wright. The group will meet tonight at the home of Ann Eady with Pat Chappel as co-hostess for informal initiation of new members. An adult class in oil painting will again be offered by the Hartford Public Schools, enrollment for the 10-week course will be held at the high school art room. A $10 fee will be charged. Mrs. Don Disbrow will instruct. 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 Owen H. Blackman, one of Watervliet’s pioneer citizens, celebrated his eightieth birthday at his home on Oct. 5, 1929. Mr. Blackman has been a resident of Watervliet continuously for nearly fifty years, coming here in March 1880. He and his parents walked all the way from Ohio while driving a yoke of oxen. His first job in Watervliet was in the Swain & Olney sawmill, which was located on the present site of the Watervliet Paper Company. A son was born to Mr. and Mrs. Emil Piasco on Oct. 4, 1929. The afternoon fast train from Chicago, known as No. 5 due at 2:50, will stop Fridays and Saturdays to leave off passengers from Chicago. No. 6, the evening fast train for Chicago, due at 6:20 is scheduled to stop Sunday nights to pick up passengers. 60 years ago – 1959 In observance of the Golden Wedding Anniversary for Mr. and Mrs. Percy Abbott, Watervliet, an Open House will be held at their home for their relatives, friends and neighbors. Mr. and Mrs. Abbott were married Sept. 29, 1909. Watervliet has lost another of its old landmarks in the wrecking of the former McNees apartment house on North Main Street. The property, owned by Mrs. Thomas Bayliss, has been sold to S.G. Bridges. In the days when a person wanted nothing more than a place to eat and sleep, the building was popular as an apartment and rooming house. It was built by George Stilwell, but the year is not certain. William B. Rogers has been appointed Chairman of the Watervliet City and Township 1959 campaign for general operating funds of the American Red Cross. 30 years ago – 1989 Scott Gatchell is WHS 9th grade “Student of the Week”. WHS is especially proud of his athletic accomplishments, as well as his math abilities. He has artistic drawing talents. Navy Airman Daniel E. Thurston, Watervliet, recently returned from a 6-month deployment to the Western Pacific Ocean aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ranger. While deployed, crew members rescued 39 Vietnamese men women, and children who were spotted 80 miles southwest of Cubi Point, Republic of the Philippines. 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


Related Posts

See All


bottom of page