Tri-City Area History Page

Paw Paw River Journal

Random thoughts as we age

 Actually, the following are not my thoughts. They come to us from a friend out in the mountains of Pennsylvania.  Ruth Whitenight is an RN who worked at Bonham’s Assisted Living, where our Aunt Hope was a resident for years. She found the following thoughts and sent them on to us:   The biggest lie I tell myself is …”I don’t need to write that down, I’ll remember it.”  Wouldn’t it be great if we could put ourselves in the dryer for ten minutes and come out wrinkle-free and three sizes smaller!  Last year I joined a support group for procrastinators. We haven’t met yet! I don’t trip over things, I do random gravity checks!  I don’t need anger management. I need people to stop making me mad! Old age is coming at a really bad time!  Lord, grant me the strength to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can & the friends to post my bail when I finally snap! I don’t have gray hair. I have “wisdom highlights.” I’m just very wise. My people skills are just fine. It’s my tolerance to idiots that needs work.  Teach your daughter how to shoot, because a restraining order is just a piece of paper.  If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would’ve put them on my knees. The kids text me “plz” which is shorter than please. I text back “no” which is shorter than “yes”.  I’m going to retire and live off of my savings. Not sure what I’ll do that second week.  Even duct tape can’t fix stupid … but it can muffle the sound!  Why do I have to press one for English when you’re just gonna transfer me to someone I can’t understand anyway? Of course I talk to myself, sometimes I need expert advice.  Oops! Did I roll my eyes out loud? At my age “Getting lucky” means walking into a room and remembering what I came there for.  Chocolate comes from cocoa which is a tree … that makes it a plant which means … chocolate is salad!!!

Another message I received some time ago I had stored in my computer.  I’ve had it so long I cannot remember who sent it to me………it’s a story about a gathering of older men, told by one of them.  And it makes a point!  One day I had lunch with some friends. Jim, a short, balding golfer type about 80 years old, came along with them—all in all, a pleasant bunch.  When the menus were presented, we ordered salads, sandwiches, and soups, except for Jim who said, “Ice Cream, please. Two scoops, chocolate.” I wasn’t sure my ears heard right, and the others were aghast. “Along with heated apple pie,” Jim added, completely unabashed.  We tried to act quite nonchalant, as if people did this all the time. But when our orders were brought out, I didn’t enjoy mine. I couldn’t take my eyes off Jim as his pie a-la-mode went down. The other guys couldn’t believe it. They ate their lunches silently and grinned.  The next time I went out to eat, I called and invited Jim. I lunched on white meat tuna. He ordered a parfait. I smiled. He asked if he amused me. I answered, “Yes, you do, but also you confuse me.  How come you order rich desserts, while I feel I must be sensible?”  He laughed and said “I’m tasting all that is Possible.  I try to eat the food I need, and do the things I should. But life’s so short, my friend, I hate missing out on something good. This year I realized how old I was. (He grinned) I haven’t been this old before. So, before I die, I’ve got to try those things that for years I had ignored. I haven’t smelled all the flowers yet. There are too many trout streams I haven’t fished. There’s more fudge sundaes to wolf down and kites to be flown overhead.  “There are too many golf courses I haven’t played. I’ve not laughed at all the jokes. I’ve missed a lot of sporting events and potato chips and cokes. I want to wade again in water and feel ocean spray on my face. I want to sit in a country church once more and thank God for His grace.   “I want peanut butter every day spread on my morning toast. I want un-timed long distance calls to the folks I love the most. I haven’t cried at all the movies yet, or walked in the morning rain. I need to feel wind on my face. I want to be in love again.  So, if I choose to have dessert, instead of having dinner, then should I die before night fall, I’d say I died a winner, because I missed out on nothing. I filled my heart’s desire. I had that final chocolate mousse before my life expired. With that, I called the waitress over. “I’ve changed my mind,” I said. “I want what he is having, only add some more whipped cream!”    Columnist’s note: This morning for breakfast I had peanut butter on my toast! Well, it’s a start!

Coloma Library News

Wildlife Safari visits the library

 The Coloma Library is excited to be hosting Nelson’s Wildlife Safari on Friday, July 22 at 1:00 p.m. in the Library’s Community Room. This program is sure to be loads of fun for the entire family! See live animals and learn about Animals from Around the World. There is no sign-up to attend this free program. It is asked that all children be accompanied and supervised by an adult.

Book Club

 The Coloma Library Book Club is meeting for a book discussion on Thursday, July 21 @ 5:30 p.m. The title to read before the discussion is “The Lake House” by Kate Morton. Generally, depending on demand there are titles available for check-out at the front desk.  The book club regularly meets every other Thursday and is always looking for new members. If you are interested in more information please stop in the library or call 468-3431.

Story Hour

 Story Hour meets on Wednesdays, at 10:30 a.m. Join Ms. Amy for a craft, story and song time! Story Hour is for children ages 3 and up. It is asked that all children be accompanied and supervised by an adult. There is no sign-up or fee required.

Watervliet Library News

Technology Class – Tuesday, Jul 26, 2016 from 6 – 8pm It’s free! Learn how to use your smart phones, tablets or lap tops. Ryan Hafer, a computer expert, will be able to answer questions and explain things you don’t understand. We have a new website – check it out.

2016 Reading Challenge

12 reading challenges, one for each month throughout the year. If you finish you will be entered to win a prize. Slips will be due back on Dec 30, 2016. Come in for more info. Yoga every Wednesday evening at 7:00 pm Summer Reading Program – On Your Mark, Get Set…Read! The reading portion of the program runs from Jun 20th – July 30th. Don’t miss out on our free, fun, exciting and educational summer reading program events.

Jul 12 – 10:30 – Steven’s Puppets

Jul 19 – 10:30 – Extreme Duct Tape

Jul 26 – 11:00 – Come to the Races

Adult Coloring Night – The last Monday of every month! 6-8 pm


100 YEARS AGO – 1916

 The annual school meeting resulted in a very lively session. A storm of protest arose at the suggestion of a tented medicine show. Charles O. Ball has tendered his resignation as state bank examiner. He has accepted a position with the Dime Savings bank of Detroit. The Friday Bros. canning factory is the busiest place in town. Ten tons of cherries are pitted and canned each day. It has become a fixed habit to look through the newspaper advertisements before purchasing. This is such a time saver to the shopper.

60 YEARS AGO – 1956

 Firefighters were dispatched to the Frank Keifer farm of southeast Coloma. A barn, recently filled with hay, was destroyed.  Herbert M. Stebbins left for Norfolk, Va. He will be abroad, training on the USS Wisconsin.  A son was born to Mr. and Mrs. Paul Zielke. A daughter was born to Mr. and Mrs. Everett Kelley.  “Do not worry,” is the advice given by 80 year old Otto Richter as he was interviewed by Mrs. Walter Leedy.  Stanley Hansen’s speedboat “Shush” won the class A inboard race at Paw Paw lake. “Ray-Neil,” owned by Raymond Neibling came in second.

30 YEARS AGO – 1986

 1986 Officers of the Coloma Community School Board of Education are: Jean Chandler, President; Bill Smith, Vice President; Charles Nelson, Secretary; Kay Erickson, Treasurer  Police Chief Kenneth Unruh receives a safety award during the Commission meeting. The city hasn’t had a pedestrian nor traffic fatality in over five years.  The 1976 graduating class of Coloma High School will hold its 10 year reunion at Paw Paw Village Inn. Please contact Velda Lenz, Laurie DuVernay or Kathy Owen. We remember those that have passed on: James Riley, Phillip Willis and Katherine Riccio.


1916 – 100 years ago

The paving of Main street between Center and Maple streets has been completed, after a series of delays, and the street was opened to traffic last Saturday. Work has also begun on the extension pf the paving west from Maple street to the Pere Marquette railroad. Fire of unknown origin but which is supposed to have originated in a pile of litter at the side of the building, destroyed the barn at the C.S. Brubaker farm just north of the village limits Thursday afternoon. Much of the contents burned with the barn including a considerable quantity of new hay and small farm tools. Villagers rushed to the scene with buckets from the local fire department, but could do little in fighting the flames except to save the adjoining building.

1941 – 75 years ago

The national lottery at Washington, calling the 21-year-old men who registered July 1 for the draft, takes place tomorrow, July 17. Mrs. Nina Hinckley of the Hartford House has purchased the residence property at Franklin and Shepard streets, known as the Downey property. The sale was made by Edward Finley. Mrs. Hinckley plans to remodel the house into two apartments and to convert the barn, a substantial frame structure, into a cottage. The house was built about 50 years ago by the late Nathan D. Downey, prominent Hartford lumberman and business man. At that time it was considered the finest residence property in the village, but for the past several years it has fallen into disrepair. It has been rented to various tenants, including its use by the welfare commission as a surplus commodity depot, and of late has sheltered four families. Despite the purposes it has served, the base of its luxuriousness when the Downeys were living and it was considered one of the socially elite homes of Hartford. Its rare woodwork, fireplace and mirrors are in good condition, its walls square and plumb, and Mrs. Hinckley believes it can readily be reclaimed and converted into a two-apartment dwelling.

1966 – 50 years ago

The Modern Mothers club will sponsor the children’s pet parade at the Van Buren Youth Fair at 3pm, Tuesday, July 26. Mrs. William Vann and Mrs. James Empson, Jr. are co-chairmen. Cash prizes will be awarded in the following divisions: Dogs, cats, misc. pets, individual and group costumes, and small floats. A portable phonograph will be awarded to the grand prize winner.Band director Dale Kooi submitted his resignation. He said he will take a position in the junior high guidance system at Delton, Mich. Under Kooi’s direction, both the senior and junior bands won first division ratings in state concert competition for the first time.


1926 – 90 Years Ago

Mrs. Anna Deuel, an employee in the sorting room at the Watervliet Paper Company, was pretty well compensated for her day’s work when an old magazine that passed through her hands in the sorting work yielded five perfectly good twenty dollar bills. This was the largest sum found at one time in the sorting room. Mr. and Mrs. Charles Vigansky of Watervliet are the proud parents of their baby boy, Milton Nye, born July 23, 1926. A.N. Woodruff celebrated his 76th birthday anniversary on Jul 13, 1926. He is convalescing from the injuries sustained in a fall that he had.

1956 – 60 Years Ago

Pvt. Richard A. Long, son of Mr. and Mrs. Leon Long, completed four weeks of individual combat training June 22, 1956, at the Marine Corps Base. Camp Pendleton, CA. The course included infantry tactics, first aid, demolitions, field fortifications and advanced schooling on weapons. Mrs. Grace M. Rouse, Watervliet, has received word that her son, Donald, has been promoted to the grade of Airman Second Class. Gilbert F. Nookes, Colonel, USAF writes, “He has applied himself splendidly to all assignments, maintaining an exceptionally high standard of work and readily meets all problems with a high degree of intelligence and ingenuity.” Donald is station at Brookley Air Base in Alabama. Mr. and Mrs. J. McNees of Watervliet, are the proud parents of a baby boy born on July 13, 1956, weighing 6 pounds 61/2 ounces.

1986 – 30 Years Ago

Gregory L. Rinks, son of Johnnie W and Joanne L. Rings, has been promoted in the U.S. Air Force to the rank of staff sergeant. He is a civil engineer control system specialist at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam with the 43rd Civil Engineering Squadron. Air Force Airman 1st Class Joseph S. Nash, son of Franklin D and Agnes V. Nash, has arrived for duty with the 91st Field Missile Maintenance Squadron, Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota. Navy Seaman apprentice Christine L. James, daughter of Lowenda James, has completed recruit training at Recruit training at Recruit Training Command, Orlando, Florida.


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