10-20-2016 Tri-City Area History Page

Paw Paw River Journal

Paw Paw River Journal


Another Anniversary

 The most important relationship in my life started when I was 16… In those days I wandered the halls of Hartford High School trying to be cool along with the rest of my friends.  There was a dark eyed girl who went around the study hall every day, gathering up the tardy and absent slips.  I pretended to be reading a book until she came past.  Then I looked up and gave her my best smile.  And she smiled back. She was too young to go on car dates, so we met at after-game dances, Clark’s Drug Store, and whenever we could get together.  I remember vividly the first time I kissed her. Blast off to the moon… or perhaps Mars!  And we dated until after I was graduated.  Her folks did not want her to go steady, and we parted ways as I went on to school.  She was graduated a year later and went into Nurses’ Training. Then magically the tumblers of the universe clicked into place.  I came home on leave after finishing pilot training in the Air Force.  For some reason I had been dreaming vividly.  Once it was of crashing into another plane while in flight… a wonder my heart didn’t stop on that one!  Another time I dreamed of her.  She was older, but still beautiful. And this was a harbinger of things to come. We both happened to be home on leave at the same time, and we got together at a picnic and beach party… and were right back where we were before.  My leave ended with great reluctance, but we had gotten back together… never to be apart from that time on. Some years later when we were married and living in Hartford, we were gathered at the dinner table.  We always found it important to eat thus… a regular time, and all gathered together.  There we were, my Chief Accountant at one end, me at the other, and between us two on each side… our four young children.  Marion said she wanted to have four children by the time she was thirty.  And she just made it. Anyway, we were sitting there eating, and I noticed one of our girls (about 5) looking around at each person… as if she were assessing something.  Then she said, “Dad, how old was you when Mom got you?”  They all stopped to hear what I would say. I replied, “Oh, guess I was about your age.” The questioner, looking satisfied, said, “I thought so,” as if something in her mind had been confirmed, then they all went back to eating.  You see, the mother is central.  The whole house revolves around her, and she is the one who makes it work.  She is like that Chinese guy who used to be on the old Ed Sullivan show.  He kept a bunch of plates spinning as they were balanced on top of sticks. Now add another ingredient to the mix.  Marion is a registered nurse.  And she has enjoyed her profession.  In addition to that, we could always use extra money.  Our family doctor, Carl Boothby, had his office right the next block over.  She was one of his office nurses and worked evenings when I could be home with the kids and see that they got to bed on time. In addition, she did some private duty at local hospitals.  I can speak to that, because she went into surgery with me twice.  Watervliet Hospital, the old one downtown, was small; and they were chronically short of help.  So, Marion scrubbed and went into surgery with me when I had a hot appendix.  Second time, I had a double hernia repaired.  She wheeled me in, assisted with the surgery, and then took me to recovery. When we went back to my room, she tucked me in, helped me get up and go to the bathroom, and saw that I had a supper tray… what little I could eat. Then about 9 p.m. she tucked me in, smoothed my sheets, kissed me goodnight, and said. “See you in the morning!”  As she went out, a guy in the next bed reared up and looked at me.  He said, “Where do you get those girls?  I want one of them!” After she took care of my Mom in her final illness, Marion said, “I’m getting burned out on this nursing.  I’d like to try something else!”  So she and a friend, another RN, went to the University of Michigan and took classes to get their real estate sales license.  We were living in Ann Arbor at the time, so we had at hand the best university (ahem!) in the Midwest! Then we discovered something!  People want to look at houses evenings and on weekends.  We had a family conference and decided our time together was more important.  She put her license in escrow, along with her nursing license… and thereafter concentrated on being our Chief accountant… a position she has ably filled ever since.  We’ve had friends whose marriages did not turn out well… They must have heard that old song by Billie Holiday, “Good morning, heartache, walk right in!”  I thank God every day for the years we have had together.  I could not wish for more than that.  Kenny Rogers says it well in a song…  “Through the years, you’ve never let me down.  You turned my life around, the sweetest days I’ve found… I’ve found with you”… Through the years! So this is a tribute to my Chief Accountant, as I look at the golden threads we are still weaving into the tapestry of life in our story book towns along the Paw Paw River.

rolling-back-the-years

COLOMA

100 years ago – 1916

 A very quiet wedding took place when Mrs. Marie Garvey of Chicago became the wife of the well known farmer E.J. Walther Sr. They will be at home to their many friends at 4121 Union Avenue, Chicago.  Dr. and Mrs. J.H. Randall celebrated their golden anniversary with their family. They were presented with fifty gold dollars and several presents in gold suitable for this occasion.  Subscribe to The Courier and the Chicago D