January 22, 2018

Tri-City Area History Page

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Paw Paw River Journal

Paw Paw River Journal

Is it Then  or Now?

 Have you ever thought about the defining moments of our lives?  Those times when we look back and find that a certain event has remained crystal clear in our memory. It does not have to be earth shattering. I’m not talking about the assassination of President Kennedy or the horrible collapse of the World Trade Center Buildings.  No……I have in mind everyday occurrences that for some reason become a defining moment. Crystal clear memories, trapped forever like a fly in amber.  These are, admittedly, lesser moments when compared to world events. But they stand out, define, and mark the boundaries of long ordinary stretches of our earthly existence. And for me they are often marked by music…..a certain song.     Those past times come back again often when I hear the music! As for instance the winter of 1945-46.  Many of us were returning from WWII, and there was a song……”Kiss me once, and kiss me twice, and kiss me once again, it’s been a long, long time.”  Harry James recorded it with Willie Smith on alto saxophone and Kitty Callan handling the lyrics.  That’s exactly the way we felt when WWII ended and we came home to pick up the threads of our lives tangled by years of war. It happened a million years ago…..and just yesterday; defined for all time by that Big Band music!  Recently I went on line and found that song on a web site. When I turned up the speakers…. from another room my Chief Accountant said, “Oh, that reminds me of Crystal Palace, and you had just come home!”  Another one…..”I’ve Got a Gal in Kalamazoo.” Tex Beneke, belting out that Glen Miller song, takes me back to high school. Russell Kime and I were riding around in his ’40 Chevy coupe, with that song coming out of the single speaker on his instrument panel. More beautiful to us than the most modern stereo can make it now!  “White Christmas,” sung by Bing Crosby. Sitting in the Heart Theater on a Sunday afternoon next to the most beautiful girl in the world.  From her, I could catch a faint whiff of Evening in Paris.  How do I know which perfume? I gave it to her! We were watching the film, ‘Holiday Inn,” and the year was 1942.  We were young, in love, and our country was at war.  “It Was a Very Good Year,” by Frank Sinatra.  Our Connecticut house on Long Island Sound reminded me of the Admiral Benbow Inn of “Treasure Island.” A fire in the Franklin stove and waves crashing on the seawall with music filling the cozy room. The year was 1963, and we were about to lose our President very tragically. And I had that album on the turntable.  “Take Five,” by Dave Brubeck.  Marion and I sat in Woolsley Hall on the Yale campus. All of our kids were quiet as mice as the huge auditorium darkened, and the famed quartette came out on stage with blind drummer, Joe Morello, being led out by the bass player. Then they launched into that great song. As the concert ended, a lady behind us said, “When I saw that our seats were behind a family with four children, I was dismayed. But those kids have been as good as gold!” Of course! They love music too.  “Night Moves,” by Bob Seger. I was teaching in the huge lecture hall at Pioneer High in Ann Arbor. Bob Seger was a student there just a few years before that. I recognize many of the places he mentions in his songs. I could feel his spirit still there……and have loved his music ever since.  “Christmas in Dixie,” by Alabama.  Traveling through the South on a trip to Florida at Christmas time. I’m also reminded of the Doobie Brothers. Right off I-65 in Alabama is a place named “China Grove.” And “Tuxedo Junction by Manhattan Transfer….I mean the old original version not their later one which they have fancied up way too much. I put on that song as we threaded our way through the traffic of Birmingham, AL, “Way down south in Alabam’….I said, south….in Birmingham.”  “Time,” by The Alan Parsons Project.  “Time keeps flowing like a river, to the sea…..to the sea.” On Ft. Myers Beach, FL, there is a sort of square, shops all around….called “Times Square.” And jutting out into the Gulf a long pier with handrails. Quiet waves lapping the pilings.  We walked out in the quiet night.  Silence, except from a night club on the shore the sounds of a juke box……playing that song. Asian philosophers think of time and eternity as circular, a wheel. And they call it “The Wheel of Life.” We are more inclined to think of time as linear….flowing like a river. That’s what I thought of.   We should all have a treasure chest of memories. When in a quiet mood, we can go back and sort through them.  Bring them out and relive those moments.  If you have the music to o along with it….just makes it more real! All that music and more. I have three collections that take me back. Written journals, picture journals, and a music collection.  When I am immersed in one of them, I sometimes come back with a start!  And I have to think a moment. Is it then? Or is it now? It’s been a long, long time……and just yesterday!

Watervliet Library News

Free Class – Jul 12, 2016 – 6 – 8 p.m.

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 p.m.

Summer Reading Program – On Your Mark, Get Set…Read! The reading portion of the program runs from June 20 – July 30. Don’t miss out on our free, fun, exciting and educational summer reading program events.

Jul 5 – 11:00 – Wildlife Safari

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 – every last Monday of the month.

rolling back the years


100 YEARS AGO – 1916

 Our pure ice cream and real fruit flavors make our fountain refreshments really nourishing food. We are as clean as the best housewife and her kitchen. Baker Drug Co. The annual picnic of the old settlers was held in Berrien Springs. C. N. Vinton was elected as vice president of the picnic association. “Central” park is now more attractive. Under the direction of Street Commissioner Frank Leonard, it has been cleaned up, graded and seeded. War News: Berlin reports fifteen aeroplanes shot down on western front.

60 YEARS AGO – 1956

 Coloma’s annual “Water Wonderland” baton twirling contest will take place in the fall. Band Booster president, Mrs. Homer Umphrey appointed Mr. and Mrs. Carl Johnson and Mr. and Mrs. John King as co-operating chairmen for the event. Coloma’s new well will pump 500 additional gallons of water soon. The new mains are being placed in back of the Carl Jones property to the corner of West and Morrison Street.  Mrs. Maurice Hanson is attending a home economics workshop at Western Michigan College. More than 60 attended the anniversary dinner for Mr. and Mrs. Joe E. Wells at their Paw Paw street house. The table was decorated with carnations, roses, queen anne lace, honeysuckle and fern.

30 YEARS AGO – 1986

 Fireman Larry Williamson, on behalf of the Coloma firemen stated “give us a station where we can best serve the community…we do not want two stations.” Salem Lutheran Church will host the International Music Team “New Vision.” This faith-encouraging program emphasizes our oneness in Christ. Coloma Pines and Needles Garden Club met at Alice Richards’ home. A program on day lilies followed light refreshments. Charlotte Groff, a reading specialist at Coloma Elementary School, received a Ph.D in educational psychology at Andrews University.


100 YEARS AGO – 1916

 The Indians of the Rush Lake district are planning another picnic at the old Indian Catholic church on the bank of Rush Lake to be held the second week in August. A year ago the Indians launched a plan to tear down the ancient Catholic Church, the first house of worship erected in this section of the country and one of the landmarks of Hartford Township and erect in its place a modern church building. The fund was started with the proceeds of the Indian picnic a year ago, when nearly $300 dollars was realized. To this the Indians have added a neat sum in individual contributions and they are hoping that the proceeds of the coming picnic will be sufficient to warrant the commencement of work on the new church. The Indian picnics held at Rush Lake are always well attended by a crowd. In discussing the project yesterday Chief Andrew Rapp, of the Pokagon band, declared the Indians are making elaborate preparations for the coming event. Hartford’s first fireworks accident occurred in a premature celebration of the fourth on Monday, when several children playing with firecrackers on Haver Street. A cracker exploded in the hand of Argo Doyle, son of Stephen Doyle, and the flying particles struck Cathlene Brown, daughter of R.F. Brown in the eyes. Some badly burned fingers and eyes resulted and although the children were not seriously injured their enjoyment of the Fourth was somewhat diminished. Alfred Engle came near losing the forefinger of his right hand while at work at the M.A. Engle drug store Saturday night. He was moving a freezer of ice cream when it slipped from his grasp, catching the finger between the bottom of the freezer and the floor. The bone was crushed and his finger nearly severed from the hand, but it is believed the member can be saved.

75 YEARS AGO – 1941

 The Hartford Baking Company, operated by John Ruiter and Peter Boon, suspended operations last Thursday night, leaving Hartford without a commercial bakery for the first time in more than 40 years. The proprietors announced the suspension with the simple statement that the bakery had closed. No details were given, but it is understood that increasing competition afforded by six to eight bakery trucks from nearby cities that visit this village daily caused the local bakery to suspend operations.The people of Hartford are being asked to contribute worn out aluminum for national defense on July 24 and 25, according to the word received here this week from the Michigan Council for Defense in Lansing. The collection will be made simultaneously in every community of the nation to help overcome the temporary shortage of aluminum which is interfering with American defense production.

50 YEARS AGO – 1966

 The Rush Lake Friendship club will meet at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, July 14 at the home of Mrs. Otto Schriner. Members are to bring a dish to pass and table service.


90 YEARS AGO – 1926

 The fourth annual reunion of the Newton and Mary Finch family was held at the Wm. Olmsted home in East Watervliet, July 18, 1926. Thirty three people representing seven families were present. Little Genevea Pitcher arrived at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Joe Pitcher on Saturday, July 17, 1926 and weighed 9 ½ pounds. A real cafeteria is the most recent addition to Watervliet’s splendid eating establishments. Landlord O. R. Smith of the Star Hotel, has installed the self-serve method of catering to his patron. Greyhounds from both Chicago and the north stop here during the lunch hour. The whole presents a decidedly metropolitan appearance which is but further evidence that we are developing into a real city.

60 YEARS AGO – 1956

 Alfred G. Shrosbree, son of Mr. and Mrs. Allen Shrosbree Sr. has completed his work on his Doctor of Philosophy Degree, and has received his degree from Harvard University. He is a graduate of the WHS 1946 class. Pvt. Brian L. Hentschel of the Enlisted Reserves left Midway Airport in Chicago by plane on Jul 7, 1956 for his new base at Fort Bliss, Texas. His parents, Mr. and Mrs. Leon Hentschel, drove to Fort Leonard Wood, MO, to witness graduation exercises from basic training.Mr. and Mrs. Donald McIntosh, are the proud parents of their baby girl, Katheryn Ellen, born Jul 5, 1956 and weighed 8 pounds.

30 YEARS AGO – 1986

 A surprise ceremony was held on June 21, 1986, at the Watervliet Free Methodist Church in Watervliet, in honor of Dwight and Virginia Brink’s 25th wedding anniversary. Many friends and relatives were in attendance. Tech. Sgt. Jack L. Lindsey, son of Jack R. Lindsey of Watervliet, has been decorated with the Air Force Achievement Medal at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Tomas W. Burress, son of Margaret Brule and Charles Burress Sr., is currently participating in a six-month deployment to the Mediterranean. Burress is stationed aboard the amphibious transport dock, USS Trenton, homeported in Norfolk, VA.


Senior Services

Hartford Senior Activity

Hartford United Methodist Church, 425 E. Main St., Hartford.

Buy lunch Monday OR Tuesday

for $3.00, eat for

FREE on Friday

On Monday, July 11, lunch will be at 12:30 p.m., euchre at 1 p.m., bingo with Timbers Rehab at 1:30 p.m.

On Tuesday, July 12, lunch will be at 12:30 p.m., computers, crocheting, senior exercise and knitting at 1:30 p.m.

On Friday, July 15, lunch will be at 12:30 p.m., euchre and cards at 1 p.m., quilting and crocheting at 1:30 p.m.

All seniors, age 60 and older, residing in Van Buren County are eligible to participate in these programs and activities.

Rides are available through Van Buren Public Transit with no less than 24-hour advance notice at 269-427-7921.


Birth Announcement

A baby girl was born at 9:14 p.m., on Saturday, July 2, 2016, to Juana and Fernando Garcia of Coloma. She weighed 6lbs. 12oz. A baby girl was born at 8:41 a.m., on Monday, July 4, 2016, to Christina Herrell of Hartford. She weighed 6lbs. 3oz.