After apple picking This morning the world outside my window in front of the computer is cold and wintry. And I’ve been thinking about the season we are leaving behind. Autumn was beautiful but all too brief, and the days grow short. Robert Frost lived on a farm in New England and he knew about the seasons. He wrote in a poem called “After Apple Picking” the following words:
My long two-pointed ladder’s sticking through a tree Toward heaven still, And there’s a barrel that I didn’t fill Beside it, and there may be two or three Apples I didn’t pick upon some bough. But I am done with apple-picking now.
I married a girl who spent her younger years on a farm. Marion’s folks had several hundred acres, mostly fruit. Every fall one of the last major crops to get in was apples. When the kids were small she would bring them out when they were not in school, and they all picked apples. They loved it and could make some money. Nothing wrong with teaching children the relationship between productive labor and the money it produces! Sunny afternoons and storytelling as they picked the fruit and put it in big boxes. Thus they all had a hunger to earn more, and as I look back I can see the beginning of their work worlds. All three of the girls got jobs later as waitresses or in sales. Son Rob bought a lawn mower and started his own business. There’s something great about working outside except in bad weather. I was always impressed by the expensive machinery it took to run a farm. Just the other day brother Bob and I were sitting in the dining room and he noticed our Vineyard bus sitting forlornly out in the parking lot as it started to snow. He said, “I hope they put that bus in the garage for this bad weather. It’s too expensive to leave sitting out!” He was so right, and in another day they had it put away in the garage. Bob reminded me of his dad… Louis H. Kling was a good farmer and took care of his equipment. I can remember riding with them through the winter countryside, and he said, “Look at that combine… sitting out in the field. It’s too expensive to leave out there to rust!” Farm work is not easy, but as I said there’s something about working in the open and producing a valuable product. I worked on their farm summers when Marion and I were first married and I was still going to school. We hoed long rows of strawberry plants… that’s not easy on the back! I cultivated crops with a tractor as they were growing. We got in the hay and straw bales, and stored them in the barn (in spite of my allergies!). One summer Dad Kling had a back injury and was restricted to light work for a while. He told me on a day to take the tractor and hay baler and do the alfalfa field that was cut, dried, and raked into rows. We needed to get it in before any rain came. With some misgivings I got my equipment ready. The baler had seen some years of use and had a tendency to get out of adjustment. Through an intricate system of hooks and eyes, binder twine was fed into the machine and wrapped around the bales holding them together. I said to Dad Kling, “What if the system gets fouled up and breaks the twine?” He answered, “I guess you’ll just have to crawl underneath and figure it out to rethread it!” So off I went and started baling the hay field. All went well for a few rounds and just as I was getting confident, Bingo! The twine snapped, and the machine started spewing hay all over! I stopped and just looked at the machine! I could feel Dad Kling’s eyes on me through the window across the road. I crawled underneath, traced the path of the twine through all the eyelets and finally got it threaded again. Then I went on my way popping bales out of the rear of that baler… up and down the rows. And I finished it! When I went back to the house there he was waiting for me! “Did the twine break?” he asked. “Yes it did!” “What did you do?” “I crawled under and rethreaded it,” I said. He turned around and back into the house with a smile on his face. I felt some satisfaction as though I had just passed a test. And I guess I had! Dad Kling was quite a philosopher in his own way. I heard him say more than once, “Well begun is half done. Be it large or be it small, do it well or not at all!” Pretty good philosophy for all of us as we weave golden threads into the Great Tapestry of Life in these storybook towns along the Paw Paw River!
Coloma Public Library News Christmas Holiday Hours The Coloma Public Library will be open normal hours in December with the following exceptions: closed Tuesday Dec. 24, Wednesday Dec. 25, and Tuesday Dec. 31. December Story Times Miss Alicia will host Story Times on Tuesday, December 10 and 17 at 10:30 a.m. There will be no Story Times on December 24 or 31. Registration is not required to participate. Book Club The Coloma Public Library Book Club is meeting on Thursday, Dec. 19 at 5:30 p.m. The title to read before the discussion is “The Story of Arthur Truluv” by Elizabeth Berg. Depending on demand there may be titles available for check-out at the front desk. New members are always welcome. Christmas Tree Display The Coloma Public Library is sponsoring a Christmas Tree at the North Berrien Historical Museum. The Library’s entry will be available for viewing at the Museum’s Holiday Open House on December 6-8, 2019.
Watervliet District Library News Story Hour Story Hour for ages 3 – 5 is on Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. and Thursdays at 1:30 p.m. (choose one) for the months of October to April. Picture books, crafts & fun designed to inspire the love of reading! STEM Kit Programs Snap Circuits – LEGO Robotics – Little Bits Electronic Inventions STEM kit programs for 8 years and up are designed for small groups to work together to make an endless number of inventions. New groups are set up with participants’ schedule in mind. Interested? Sign up at the desk! Free earbuds for an hour of Code, Dec 2 – 7 For pre-teens and teens ages 10 – 18 who codes for an hour at the library will receive a free set of earbuds, all during the week. Try it for an hour; walk away, if you can! Coding website suggestions will be provided. “Ugly Sweaters are Murder” A library murder mystery Thursday, Dec. 12, 6 p.m. 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.
Lakeland Rehabilitation to host winter Sensory Camp Children age three to 12 who have a diagnosis of autism, sensory processing disorder, or cerebral palsy are invited to experience a fun and active group environment during the Spectrum Health Lakeland Sensory Camp. Led by licensed physical, speech, and occupational therapists, activities are presented in a consistent routine and include sensory motor exercises, balance and coordination, obstacle courses, socialization opportunities, and gross motor tasks, among others. “After seven years of overwhelming success with this program, and at the request of many parents/ caregivers of children with special needs, we are pleased to be adding an additional winter sensory camp in 2020,” said physical therapist, Keri Pawielski, PT, Lakeland Rehabilitation. “We look forward to continuing to serve this fantastic group of children.” Sensory Camp will be held from 9 to 10:15 a.m. on Mondays, January 12 to March 2 at Power in Motion Gymnastics, located at 3889 South M-139 in St. Joseph. Cost of the camp is $120 per camper, due by the first day of camp. Sibling discounts are available. Space for the camp is limited. For more information or to register, call 269-428-2799.
GREY SCHOOL IN 1914… Where exactly in “West Coloma” was it located? Anyone with stories of Grey School or any other rural school please contact North Berrien Historical Museum at 269-468-3330, firstname.lastname@example.org, or stop by Tues-Friday 10am-4pm they would love to hear your stories. From the photo collection at the North Berrien Historical Museum 300 Coloma Avenue, Coloma
NEWS FROM THE COLOMA COURIER
100 years ago – 1919 The special assessment for paving taxes is due. Payment must be made at the office of the village treasurer at Guy & Hocker’s feed mill. Mrs. John Umphrey and Mrs. Mary Bee have both passed to the great beyond following an illness from paralysis. Both women are estimable residents and will be deeply missed. Warning is hereby given hunters not to trespass upon any land owned by the undersigned. L.H. Montgomery 60 years ago – 1959 New expressway to open Monday – the overpass carrying Friday Road over the interstate is complete. Coach Lenhardt poses with his returning lettermen. They are: Jim Bale, Dennis Zechiel, Brian Kraemer, Tom Sawyer, David Sweet and Roger Smith. Vera Walther teaches the art of ceramics and pottery making. Her shop, Ra-Ann Ceramics, is in the Loma Theater building. The Michigan Historical Commission has designated the property at 199 N. Paw Paw Street a “centennial farm.” This farm is owned and operated by Mrs. C.A. Shoup. Funeral services were held for Jacob Schaus. Mr. Schaus was a carpenter by trade. He is survived by his wife. Santa Claus is coming to town. He will halt his sleigh at Homer Umphrey’s Cities Service on Paw Paw Street. 30 years ago – 1989 Jessica Stroder told Santa all of her Christmas wishes. Santa’s visit came during the Lions Club Pancake Breakfast. Coloma schools will host two guest teachers from Japan. This is the same program that sent Mr. James Keech to Japan in 1987. While in Coloma, the teachers will share conversational Japanese, origami and calligraphy. We Asked You… “What is your favorite holiday tradition?” Chauncey Bishop and Debbie Kelley enjoy having the family together. Grace Dill and Angie Williams enjoy decorating the Christmas tree. Sharyn Belfy enjoys Christmas Eve with friends. 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
NEWS FROM THE HARTFORD DAY SPRING
100 years ago – 1919 That Hartford was almost in the direct path of the meteoric visitor that caused an intense atmospheric disturbance over southern Michigan at 7:45 last Wednesday evening is the belief of scientists who have been investigating the phenomena. Scores of Hartford people saw the flashes of varied colored light, distinctly heard the rumble as of distant thunder and the two explosions which followed, and plainly felt the tremor of the earth. L.P. Walker, who is cutting forty acres of hardwood timber on the Traver farm three miles south of town, is offering a chance to escape the rigors of fuel famine. He is selling the tree tops and small timber at $15 an acre to persons who will work them into fuel. 75 years ago – 1944 Mothers of World War II, the American Legion and Auxiliary, Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Red Cross are sponsoring campaigns to obtain packages for men who have been wounded and are in the army and navy hospitals, unable to return to their homes for Christmas. Bathrobes for servicemen in hospitals have been made by Hartford Woman’s Club, WSCS, Methodist Women’s guild, Mrs. Paul Buchanan and Miss Lucille Chamberlin. The robes which were made from blanket cloth were cut by Mrs. Ray Bock. The Mrs. Elinora Chamberlin was hostess to members of the Hartford Woman’s Club at her home on south Maple Street. Plans were made for a Christmas party in the home of Mrs. Clare Clover, president of the organization. Mrs. Alice G. Rowe will play and lead in the singing of Christmas carols. 50 years ago – 1969 Now that he has a kidney machine in his home, Lynn Rowe, 28, is looking forward to six more years of life, and he is confident that in that time, science will have found a remedy for his kidney ailment. A crane is used to lift into place big wooden roof beams for the new Immaculate Conception Church now under construction at the south edge of Hartford. The laminate beams are 55 feet long and 30 inches thick, and came from Oregon. The underside of the beams will be exposed in the ceiling of the church. A skylight at the peak will shed light on the altar. 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
NEWS FROM THE WATERVLIET RECORD
90 years ago – 1929 Harris & Alfing, Watervliet local grocery and meat firm, have been giving their patrons an opportunity to try out some buffalo meat. They purchased a half of one of these animals that constitute the annual slaughter from one of the government’s wild game preserves. Printed on Dec. 20, 1929 – Mill history – The lumber on leaving the mill was piled on both sides of the tramway in high piles, until it could be put into rafts or cribs when it would be run down the river to St. Joseph. Once there, the lumber was taken from the water and piled on the bank, where the vessels would load it and take it to Chicago. 60 years ago – 1959 A six-week course of mission study on Africa, sponsored by the Woman’s Society of Christian Service of the First Methodist Church, was completed Dec. 8, 1959. Mrs. Ruby Kiefer was in charge of the study and it proved to be a real success. Fourteen women were enrolled in the course. According to a recent announcement by Athletic Director Dan Rose, 40 major football letters will be awarded to Central Michigan University athletes. Receiving a varsity football numeral will be Alfred E. Freudenberg from Watervliet. Lloyd Smoot, Watervliet, reenlisted in the regular army unassigned. His training will be determined by the army based on his aptitude test. 30 years ago – 1989 Andy Saetre has been chosen as the December “Employee of the Month”. Any graduate of WHS with knowledge of the keyboard has passed through his door. Andy has taught typing, accounting and general business, plus numerous other assigned classes, in the last twenty years. These skills have served him well in his current position as Athletic Director for the Panther teams. He has helped rewrite the athletic code and raised the academic standards for our competing athletes. Senior Kurt Muenchow is the outstanding “Student of the Week” from WHS. Kurt is a dependable, fast learner and is always willing to try new technologies. WHS was one of the first sites on this side of the state to have the two-way interactive television system. He volunteers to help demonstrate the new interactive television system to area administrators and visitors. He is on the WASENA yearbook as Editor of Staff/Administration, was member of the prom committee, and served as the National Honor Society School Board Representative for 1988-89. Kurt received the Berrien County Vocation-Technical Education award for Excellence in Health Occupations with an accompanying scholarship to Lake Michigan College. 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