I’m a little slow when it comes to accepting change. I still go Scidmore Park on Saturdays and wonder why the Farmers’ Market isn’t open. Then I remember that the Farmers’ Market is now open on Tuesdays from 2 until 6 PM. Saturdays just aren’t the same, but I’m sure there’s a good reason for changing the day of the week. Vendor rates have been lowered, so as a result, all ten market spaces are now filled for the season. By the way, the season will continue through October 8 or 15. If you are a dissapointed vendor and could’nt secure a pavilion space, you may be able to set up at either end of the pavilions. For more information, please contact Brandi DeRuiter or Melissa Bliss at 269-273-1075 at extension 105 or 106.
If you’re “IN THE MOOD”, and love the Big Band Sound, you’ll want to make arrangements to see the Glenn Miller Orchestra at the Riviera Theatre on Tuesday, August 6, at 7 PM. Advance tickets are now available at the Riviera Box Office for $23, or you may purchase them at the door, on August 6, for $28. This will be the third visit to the Riviera by the orchestra, and they love the venue. We’ve attended both of their two previous performances, and we won’t miss this opportunity to take a trip back to the “Big Band Era”. Grab a bag of pop corn and a beverage and let your feet do the dancing.
If you can spare a pint or two of blood, you’ll have a choice as to where you may donate on Thursday, August 1. UAW Local 2093 has offered their union hall as a donation site. Located on Hoffman Road, just west of US-131, on the west side of Three Rivers, their doors will open at 11:30 AM and you may visit them until 5:15 PM. The American Red Cross will have another site at TR Health, 701 South Health Parkway, in Three Rivers. Their hours are from 1:30 to 7:15 PM.
Ms. Daisy Wagner is no longer with us. She passed away this past year. However, her spirit and enthusiasm lives on with the St. Joe Valley Old Engine Association. This fine organization is hosting their 53rd Annual Antique Tractor and Engine Show this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, August 2, 3, and 4th. The location hasn’t changed from previous years. Boot Hill Ranch, located one and one-half miles east of Jones, Michigan, on Bair Lake Street. This is one of those family events that I mention every so often. There will be engines, tractors, threshing and straw-baling exhibits, a saw mill, parades, and one of my favorites, plenty of food and beverage. As far as the cost of admission, they are asking for a donation of only $4 per person, and children under 12 are admitted FREE with a paying adult. My advice to everyone is to grab your bib-overalls and stray hat and venture west to Jones. Don’t forget to take the whole family. Oh yeah, you might want to leave Fido at home.
By now, most everyone that knew Tom Quake, know that he was killed in a car accident last Thursday, near Kankakee, Illinois. He was on his way south to see family. Tom was a business associate of mine and a fellow Lion. Whenever he’d come to see me in my office, he’d ask permission to turn off the light, because he suffered from horrific migraine headaches. We’d spend the time talking business or the current happenings with the Lions Club. The news of his death came as a shock, because I had come to know him quite well over the past six or seven years. I don’t deal with death very well, but I do realize that he is now in a better place and suffers no more. I’ll miss his frequent phone calls, which usually started with, “Happy Day, my friend.” My condolences go out to his family, which included church friends, fellow Lions, and of course, firefighters from Three Rivers and Kalamazoo.
Central Manufacturing Services (CMS), on Fourth Street, in Three Rivers, was the place to be for lunch, last Friday noon. Jamie Clark and his staff hosted an open house to help celebrate the official opening of their new maintenance facility. The event included an inflatable for the kids, a live remote broadcast by WLKM-FM, plenty of great food, door prizes, and even an official ribbon-cutting ceremony. Kudos to you, Jamie and your staff. Thank you for supporting and being a huge part of the Three Rivers community.
See you Out and About!
Submitted by Norm Stutesman
When there’s a lag in a conversation, we usually end up talking about the weather. We haven’t had to wait for a lag in any chats lately, because the weather has been the opening comment in most recent exchanges. When you turn on the Six O’Clock News, the first thing they talk about is either the heat index, or high temperatures. This past week we experienced severely high temperatures. When you’d open the door to go outside, it was like opening your oven door, when you had the temperature setting set at 375 degrees. Staying inside was the best idea. Just think, in six months we’ll be complaining about the chill factor. I just don’t care for extremes, so like everyone else, I’ll just try to be patient and deal with whatever Mother Nature sends our way.
Besides seeing the price of gas reach $3.99, hearing about some idiot leaving their pet in a car, while they shop, really makes my blood pressure surge. I’ve never been able to understand why people insist on taking their pets with them to the supermarket, or to a parade, for that matter.
I’ve always enjoyed listening to Gospel music. The late Tennessee Ernie Ford was probably one of the greatest Gospel singers of his time. The late Andy Griffith was no slouch, either. I’m sure there are plenty of fans of this style of music, but they won’t admit it, because it’s not “cool”.
The Riviera Theatre, in historic downtown Three Rivers, has hosted groups whose style of music is different from others. This Saturday, July 27, the Riviera will host Gospel singer David Pitt from Louisville, Kentucky. David will be accompanied by The Heralders, from Hudsonville, Michigan. Now David is not here for lack of anything better to do with his time, but he’ll be here for a benefit concert to help the Shreve family overcome overwhelming medical expenses. Veronica Shreve, of rural Marcellus has undergone numerous surgeries and procedures in the past three years, which her family’s insurance no longer adequately covers. We’ve experienced more than our share of medical scenarios lately, so we know what to do. We help each other whenever we’re called upon. Thanks to the Riviera Theatre for hosting this worthwhile fundraiser. The concert starts at 2 PM. Tickets are $15 and are available at the door, or they may be purchased by visiting the Riviera’s website at www.trriviera.com.
This past weekend was a busy one. Fabius Park Fire Department held their annual open house, TR Health held their Health Fair, and thanks to more comfortable temperatures, we were able to get Out and About more comfortably.
For you Internet fans, here are some hints on how to keep your identity safe, while surfing the Internet:
Watch for people asking for you to wire them money. Wiring money is like sending cash. Con artists often insist that people wire money, especially overseas, because it’s nearly impossible to reverse the transaction.
When ordering something over the Internet, keep order confirmation numbers and receipts for every transaction, so you’re ready to address any problem that may occur with shipping or billing.
Don’t reply to messages asking for personal or financial information. Whether the message comes as an e-mail, phone call, text message, or an ad, the crooks behind these are trying to trick you into revealing sensitive information.
With all of the negative news we receive each day, I’d like to do my part by closing the column this week with some interesting facts you may not know:
Zero is the only number that cannot be represented by Roman numerals.
If you stop getting thirsty, you need to drink more water. When a human body is dehydrated, its thirst mechanism shuts off.
Stay cool and stay hydrated.
See you Out and About!
Submitted by Norm Stutesman
This is the middle of July, so I feel that this is really the middle of summer. Actually, we still have plenty of days of hot weather ahead of us. The water temperature of Lake Michigan is still in the low sixties. I remember when Lake Michigan wasn’t really warm enough to swim in until sometime in August. I’m a bit of a wimp, of course, because a lot of swimmers have already been using Lake Michigan as their place to cool off. We have plenty of great beaches along the lake, and it’s great to see people enjoying one of Michigan’s popular attractions.
Here’s a reminder to all parents. This is July, and school is not in session. Get the kids off the couch and out of the house. Lock up their text machines and encourage them to spend their time outside playing hide-and-seek, baseball, soccer, basketball, or riding their bicycles. If they have the energy, allow them to mow the lawn. This is the time of the year to keep them busy outside and healthy.
There was a time when I enjoyed playing golf. Even if you have all of the equipment necessary to play the game, it can still be a bit pricey. I never was that good at the game. Like many other things, it takes practice, practice, and more practice. No wonder I never improved my game. I only played about three times a season. I still enjoy watching golf on television, and I had the honor, over the past couple of months, to assist at a couple of golf outings. The thing I probably enjoyed the most was the lunch served after the golfers returned to the clubhouse from playing the course.
If you’re a fan of golf, and enjoy getting out with your friends for a game, you might seriously think about participating in the Sixth Annual ARF Golf Outing this Saturday, July 20. The St. Joe Valley Golf Course, located on M-86 between Centreville and Nottawa, will host the outing. The cost is $60 per person, or $240 for a four-person team. Registration begins at 7:45 AM, and all proceeds will benefit the Animal Rescue Fund (ARF). ARF’s main purpose is to provide care for the homeless dogs and cats in St. Joseph County.
We are definitely in the age of computer technologies. Just about everyone has a cell phone, and millions of people use Facebook or Twitter to communicate regularly with friends. I have a cell phone, and I try my best to stay alert as to what I post. More individuals, besides Big Brother, are watching you more closely than you might think. Here are some ways to play it safe on social media:
Use strict privacy settings. Only let people you trust see what you post.
Before you accept a friend request, make sure it’s really from someone you know.
Limit what you post. Telling the world that you’ll be out of town for a month, could be an invitation to a burglary.
Never let others see sensitive information, like your birthdate or home address.
To protect your privacy, use one e-mail for personal networks like Facebook and a different e-mail for professional networks like LinkedIn.
At this time of the year, I usually mention something regarding the proper care of the machines you might have around your home. I’m referring now to your snow blower. You will be unlikely to have a need to use it for a couple of months, so this might be the time to have it checked out, so that it will be ready for next winter. The spark plug might need cleaning or changing. If you don’t mix the gasoline with oil, you might consider changing the oil. I usually run my snow blower out of gas before I put it away. If you keep gasoline in the machine for the summer, adding Stabil might be a good idea. Everyone has their own opinion. Apply lubricant to the moving parts, but wipe them clean first. My father used to say that if you take care of your machine, it will take care of you. He was probably right.
Here’s something to think about as you’re drifting off to sleep: Your tongue is the only muscle in your body that is attached at only one end.
See you Out and About!
Submitted by Norm Stutesman
I mentioned last week how difficult it is, at times, to get together with family. My siblings and I have been working since last February to set a date to celebrate my one sister’s eightieth birthday. Either she was out of town, I had other commitments, or the weather was not suitable for traveling. At first we were going to meet in Ann Arbor for lunch, because my other sister lives in Midland, and Ann Arbor would be about mid-way. Anyway, we finally got together here in Three Rivers on the weekend of June 30. We visited for a while Saturday evening and on Sunday morning we went to Belle Epoque for their fantastic Sunday Brunch. The Birthday Girl, who lives in Three Rivers, had never been there, and neither had my other sister and brother, so I was the Buffet Veteran. It was a perfect place to celebrate a special occasion. Chef Tom Toole has had to go back to being open only on the last Sunday of the month. Sunday, July 28, can’t get here quickly enough.
My sister-in-law, Julie, passed away last Tuesday. I’m not sure how many of you knew her, but she was married to my brother Bill. Together they had a bookkeeping and tax business here in Three Rivers. After my brother’s death, she stayed on here in Three Rivers for several years; then she retired and moved to Sturgis, and finally to Fort Wayne, Indiana, so that she could be closer to some of her children. I mention this because there was not a funeral, and I’m not sure if there will be an obituary in this paper. RIP Julie, your books are balanced.
I can’t remember when I haven’t been a big fan of firefighters. The tragic loss of the firefighters out west bothered me. The one bond that I share with them is that most of us are volunteers, which makes the tragedy even more memorable. We do what we do because we love it. On Saturday, July 20, Fabius Park Fire and Rescue will celebrate their Annual Open House. Located at 151149 West Broadway, just west of Three Rivers, the open house will begin at 10 AM and will run until 2 PM. If you appreciate firefighters and the work they do, this would be a great time to take the family out to the fire station and thank the personnel who help to keep you safe.
Summer is probably the most popular time of the year for traveling and really getting Out and About. School is not in session and the weather is more forgiving. The next big event for Three Rivers is HarmonyFest, and that doesn’t happen until Labor Day Weekend. Should you decide to do some traveling with the family, here are some things you might want to consider doing to insure that your travels are incident-free:
Don’t take everything with you. Leave your checkbook at home, along with any card displaying your Social Security Number.
Don’t forget to tell your bank and credit card companies about your travel plans. They may think all those fun-filled vacation purchases are fraud and disable your credit or ATM card.
Make use of the hotel/motel safe. It’s the most secure place to keep your passport, backup credit cards, financial information, and extra cash.
Be extra alert as to where you leave your bags. Don’t leave them on the floor, or hanging on the back of a chair. Staying alert will help you thwart pickpockets. Be extra watchful on public transportation and in restaurants.
When traveling by car, make sure that your valuables are out of sight when you leave your car unattended.
I’ve mentioned this before, but I feel it’s important enough to mention again. When you check out of your hotel, take your room card with you. The magnetic strip on the card contains all sorts of information that might be of use to a hotel employee. You gave them enough information when you used your credit card to pay for your room.
See you Out and About!
Submitted by Norm Stutesman
Welcome to July. The day after tomorrow is the Fourth of July, which is a holiday. This means that there will not be any mail delivery, garbage pick-up, and the banks will be closed. So, if your garbage is picked up normally on Thursday, it will be Friday, and Friday’s garbage will be picked up on Saturday. Whew! I just made myself dizzy.
Three Rivers doesn’t have a parade celebrating the Fourth, but Constantine and Schoolcraft do. I recommend that you check this paper for the parade schedule and the schedule for fireworks, because Three Rivers doesn’t normally have a firework display. We plan to visit Schoolcraft for their annual Lions Club Pancake Breakfast, and to probably take in the Constantine parade. There’s so much going on in St. Joe County for the Fourth of July, so your best bet would be to check this paper or set your radio dial to WLKM-FM, 95.9.
I haven’t spoken to any farmers lately concerning our rainfall statistics, but I’m pretty sure that we are looking pretty good. I haven’t had to water our plants for over a week. My tomato plant has a few little tomatoes on it, and I can hardly wait to enjoy the produce. Because of the rain, our water bill might be more acceptable. I wonder how many people save the rainwater. My mom used to use rainwater for her steam iron. I’m sure there are plenty of younger citizens who might ask, “What’s an iron?”
Speaking of rain, I’ve noticed that when I’m driving in moderate to heavy rain, there are still drivers out there who don’t think they should have their headlights on. I’m pretty sure these drivers are the same ones who feel that they don’t need to signal when making a turn. I’m Out and About quite a bit, and I’ve learned to drive more defensively lately. Driving a vehicle requires your full attention, so if you need to use your cellphone, pull over and do what you have to do.
If you have stopped by Scidmore Park on a Saturday, and were looking for the Farmers’ Market, you probably wondered what had happened to it. The answer is that the Farmers’ Market is now open on Tuesday afternoons. I’m pretty sure the hours are from 2 PM to 6 PM. I’m not sure how they are doing as far as business is concerned, but I hope that it has been good. In my mind, the best produce comes from local farmers. The Farmers’ Market doesn’t include just food products; there is also an art exhibit on site, along with some arts and crafts. The West Michigan Avenue entrance to the park is the best way to be a part of this weekly event. There’s a little something for everyone, including a great playground for the kids, while parents can peruse the produce, check out the artwork, and visit with friends. Plenty of space is also available for a family picnic.
This past weekend, my three siblings and I gathered to celebrate my sister’s eightieth birthday. It’s about time, because her birthday was back in February. You’d think that, with the four of us being retired, we could have celebrated this momentous occasion on time. If I remember correctly, the weather was not conducive to my other sister driving down from Midland and meeting the rest of us in Ann Arbor. Besides, the “Birthday Girl” was visiting friends in California, and hitch hiking from here to San Francisco does require some extra time. Anyway, a great time was had by all. The conversations centered mainly on the good old times, prior to the invention of the cell phone and ATMs. Things seemed much slower back then.
A final wish for a happy Fourth of July. If you’re planning to be involved with fireworks, please do so safely. Too many have lost fingers, sight, and hearing by forgetting to include SAFETY in their activities. Also, please remember that he who comes forward with a fifth on the Fourth, may not come forth on the fifth. It’s pretty simple. If you drink, don’t drive, and if you drink, do so responsibly.
Happy Fourth of July, and I’ll see you Out and About!
Submitted by Norm Stutesman
I’d like to make one more comment on this year’s Water Festival. Last week I gave sort of a review on the Festival from my perspective, but there seem to be a few who are still upset about the cancelling of the Saturday Main Stage entertainment and fireworks. The Water Festival committee did not cancel anything. The fireworks company cancelled the fireworks because of SAFETY. It rained a good part of the afternoon, which left the ground wet. It takes about four hours to set up the pyrotechnics on dry ground. It would not have been SAFE to set everything up in the time allowed.
The Saturday night entertainment decided to cancel, because of the possibility of not having a large enough crowd in attendance due to the prospect of bad weather.
I have used the word “cancel” so far. I should have used the term “postponed”, because plans are already underway to re-schedule the fireworks and entertainment for later this summer or early fall. The general populace has no idea of the logistics involved in re-scheduling. There are permits and insurance to consider. Oh yes, we must not forget to check with the fireworks company and the professional entertainment. It would be nice to have them on the same date.
To bring this issue to a close, I’d like to remind everyone that both the fireworks company and the professional entertainment cost money. As an audience, you pay nothing. I love fireworks and a nice band, but I also understand logistics, so I’ll pull up my big-boy pants and have a little patience. After all, HarmonyFest happens Sunday, September 1, and that is also FREE.
I have a nephew and niece who are physical therapists. Unfortunately, they live over in Canton so I cannot look to them for treatment. Fortunately, we have physical therapists staffed at HealthTrac right here in Three Rivers. I have made use of their services a couple of times of the past five years.
I have had the bad habit of placing things of bulk in the back pocket of my trousers. This is not a good thing to do, because sitting on a wallet or keys for any length of time plays havoc on your spinal system. The discs in your spine do not like to be pushed around, and they will let you know that, if you mistreat them. I have had a pain in my lower back and right leg for several weeks. I had an MRI, and it showed that these discs had definitely been mistreated. I will be visiting my physical therapist for about three more weeks, and I’m confident that I’ll soon be happy and so will my discs. I’m mentioning this because, if there are some of you with similar pains, and you have a thick wallet in your back pocket, you might want to make a few changes in your lifestyle. Besides, it’s actually safer to carry a wallet in a front pocket. This advice is mainly for the guys out there. I try not to offer any advice to the ladies, for fear of receiving additional pain to my backside.
This last Saturday, June 22, was a special day, for me anyway. My Mom would have been 110 years old, and it was the longest day of the year. Until next December, the days will be getting shorter and shorter every day. Fear not, we still have the whole summer ahead of us. Speaking of special dates, six months from today will be Christmas.
It’s hard to find anyone who doesn’t have a cell phone. Like many of you, I charge my phone every night. It’s so easy to plug your chargeable electronic devices in every night when you go to bed. I just read that if you want to save energy and keep your electric bill under control, you should unplug your cellphone and other electronic gadgets as soon as they’re fully charged.
While on the subject of telephones, I remind you that a landline can come in handy for emergencies, but you shouldn’t pay for a long-distance plan if your cell phone plan lets you dial anywhere in the country.
Here’s something I’ll bet you didn’t know: While in space, astronauts can’t burp. There is no gravity to separate liquid from gas in their stomachs. I sleep better at night knowing that.
See you Out and About!
Submitted by Norm Stutesman