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Spotlight on Fraser
Decker & Deckerville
By Alan Naldrett ThumbPrint News Guest Writer
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Native Americans were the first inhabitants of the Fraser area after the Ice Ages that were five to ten thousand years ago. Mulvey Road, the oldest street in Fraser, was originally a Native American trail. In 1818 the first public land sales took place in Detroit. Settlers took advantage of the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825 to move to the Great Lakes areas. Townships began to be mapped as more settlers came, including Hickory and Orange Townships in 1837, the year Michigan became a state. (In 1843 these two townships combined to become Erin Township.) In Erin Township, Alexander D. Fraser established the village of Fraser in 1838. The location was near the Chicago, Detroit and Canada Grand Trunk Junction Railroad Company station, at the
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By Gerald W. Nyquist ThumbPrint News Guest Writer
Fond memories abound of carefree summer days along Lake Huron’s shore while I was a kid. Big brother Dennis (my only sibling, sixteen months my senior) and I roamed the open land with an ever-increasing radius from the cottage as we grew and earned progressively more leash from our parents. But let me
intersection of Detroit and Utica Plank Roads, in south central Macomb County. (The Utica plank road was established in 1851 when the Detroit Erin Blank Road Company built it off from the Gratiot turnpike to go to the city of Utica.) The railroad station was built on Depot Road, still called that in 2013. To take advantage of the commercial prospects of the train going through the area, prominent Detroit lawyer Alexander D. Frazer bought land near the depot in 1838 and plotted a village. He also reputedly built and operated a hotel in the area. He sold parts See FRASER, Page 12
digress and tell my story from its beginning. It all began about 1945 when I was four years of age. We resided on the east side of Detroit. My parents purchased three acres of lakefront property about one-half mile north of Port Sanilac in Michigan’s Thumb. Our country had been embroiled in World War II, causing my father to work long hours under security conditions on a government contract. The overtime pay bankrolled the lakeshore property purchase. (Later, dad learned he had been making parts for the atomic bomb. We still have his certificate issued by the War Department “For helping to bring WWII to a successful conclusion.”) Sanilac County was chosen because a few years earlier my maternal grandparents Adolph and Frances Reiter moved there (from Detroit), to an old farmstead. Grandpa grew up on a farm, and after years working in Detroit’s auto industry he decided to return to the farming life at a time when it was more fashionable to abandon farms for the big city. We visited the farm often and See boyhood days, Page 16
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8061 Marsh Road Clay Township, MI 48001 Phone Number: (810) 794-2300 E-mail Address: ThumbPrintNews@comcast.net Web site: www.ThumbPrintNews.com Publisher: Al Kodet Editor: Diane Kodet ThumbPrintNews@comcast.net Advertising Manager: Scott Zimmer (810) 794-2300 Graphic Design: Paul Bujak Peter Richard Newspaper Staff: Louise Allen Keith Kodet Laura Irwin Ralph McKinch ThumbPrint News is a monthly publication provided free to our readers and is distributed to prime locations throughout the Subscribe Now! Thumb area. We encourage our readers to support the advertisers who made this issue possible. Tell them you saw their ad in ThumbPrint News! ThumbPrint News is not responsible or liable for opinions and/or ideas expressed by columnists or guest writers, or articles not written by our staff. If you’re not receiving ThumbPrint News at your home, send us $2.00 (per issue) for shipping and handling and we’ll mail a copy to you, or check our Web Drop Locations site for drop locations in your area.
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR With this issue of ThumbPrint News we have an exciting announcement to make! ThumbPrint News is now available online! If you have a computer or tablet, you will never have to worry again about missing an issue! Go to www.thumbprintnews.com and check out our website now! You will notice on the homepage a place where you can sign up to receive an email just as soon as the newest issue is available online. Doing so will also let you receive notice of an extra added surprise – our new monthly bonus addition. Now that we have the newspaper online we will be also offering a bonus edition during the middle of each month. This bonus edition will have additional stories, tidbits, photos and advertisements and will only be available online. So, if you sign up on our website
to be notified when new issues are out, we will also notify you when our bonus edition is online each month. (Paper copies will still continue to be available at your favorite drop locations at no charge or by delivery to your home by paid subscription.) For our advertisers, going online gives you added exposure at no additional cost to you. You will also have the opportunity to purchase space in our bonus online only edition at a greatly reduced cost if you are advertising in our regular monthly edition. Check out www.thumbprintnews. com today. Let us know what you think. Your suggestions and comments from the past were one of the reasons we took the steps to get our online version ready for you. Watch for the September bonus edition to come out mid-month as well.
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Decker and Deckerville T W O
T H U M B
A R E A
By William Easton ThumbPrint News Guest Writer
I have only lived in the Thumb area (Port Huron) for about two decades. So I had no reason to learn anything about the two Sanilac County communities with similar names, Decker and Deckerville, until April, 1995. One of them received much unwanted publicity when it was reported that the Oklahoma City terrorists had been practicing bomb making at the Nichols farm. Where was that den of iniquity, I wondered? My natural curiosity and legal training prompted my own sleuthing. In order to begin, first I had to find out whether it was Decker or the other one ending in “ville”, Deckerville. (I didn’t Google yet.) So getting out my Michigan road map, I headed north along M-25 on the Lake Huron shoreline – always a pretty drive in good weather. After passing through Lexington and Port Sanilac, I came upon a sign announcing “Decker Road”. So I must be on the right track and turned west away from the shore line into rural Sanilac County. After a few miles I arrived at Deckerville, the road sign announced. The small community (still less than 1000 population according to the latest census) looked well cared for. There were several churches, a twelve grade school, a couple of restaurants and service stations. But probably contributing most significantly to its apparent prosperity were the several small factories. As I later learned, these like so many in the Thumb made accessories for the auto industry.
C O M M U N I T I E S
Unfortunately, some of those small plants appeared shuttered when I returned this past summer. The museum, only open on weekends, is situated on the restored and relocated former rail station on Ruth Road. Deckerville was a stop in the original Port Huron and Northwest Railroad that went all the way to Port Austin on the tip of the Thumb. Later it became a part of the merger into the Pere Marquette Railway before service was discontinued in the 1960s. But I found nothing to suggest that this village bearing the name “Decker” had anything to do with the deaths of 168 innocent people on April 8, 1995. Referring again to my map, I discovered that the second “Decker” was only about 20 miles further west. It too was on Decker Road, although I left it for a few miles on Ubly and Snover Roads before regaining it. This second “Decker” wasn’t even large enough to merit the suffix “ville” or a sign announcing its presence. Googling it now, I learn that it is an unincorporated hamlet within Lamotte Township. The entire township population is less than 1000 according to the last census. Certainly this Decker lacks all the former’s prosperity signs, such as a school, commerce or even a post office of its own. There is a United Methodist Church and fire hall. The local meeting spot may be a small cafe near where Snover Road reaches a main highway, which is M-53 or Van Dyke Highway, where the post office is located. This major thoroughfare takes
many from the metropolitan area “Up North” to cottages in the Thumb’s northern tip around Port Austin. The Nichols farm I believe is on this highway, probably as close to Hemans as to the unsigned Decker. The public first heard about this Thumb community when it was reported that Timothy McVeigh had used the Nichols farm as an address. Of course, Terry Nichols also had lived on the family farm sporadically after the pair left military service. His older brother, James, still plants corn and beans there. The FBI had detained James as well as the convicted bombers, presumably based on their alleged bomb making practice at the farm. James insisted that ingredients found there, including blasting caps, dynamite fuses and fertilizer, had been purchased for innocent field blasting purposes. Later, when he felt wrongfully depicted by Michael Moore’s film “Bowling for Columbine”, he sued for libel. The suit was dismissed by two federal courts. When Tom Brokaw brought his ABC Nightline crew to the Methodist church a week after the federal courthouse bombing the hamlet’s notoriety went international. Since 1995 McVeigh has been executed and Terry Nichols is serving a life sentence after two juries failed to agree on his death sentence. A third conspirator, Michael Fortier, also a former army buddy, testified for the prosecution, received a sentence of twelve years and was released early, with a new name under the Witness Protection Program. I wasn’t inquisitive enough to question any of the locals about the Nichols brothers, who may have been briefly members of the anti-government organization, Michigan Militia. I probably
Decker United Methodist Church
wouldn’t have learned much anyway. Those who have been interviewed have remained protective of James Nichols’ privacy. Both of the two communities were named for Charles Decker, who prospered from the nineteenth century lumbering, before the fires of 1871 and 1881 cleared the land for farming. Charles built a saw mill and gristmill and his son Martin became the community’s first postmaster. Early in my research, I was led astray by the name Jesse Decker. This individual came from New York State to help found Orion Township in northern Oakland County. He was a prominent politician, having been both postmaster and state representative. He has been recognized by an historical marker near Lake Orion about 70 miles from Decker, which fortunately has no marker of its brush with fame.
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Deckerville train depot
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Guest area were the Native ago, in the New Baltimore The first settlers ten thousand years or rivers. probably, five to lakes Americans who by crossing one of the many what is area surrounding arrived in the area states that the greatermuch, except as a burial An early source was not visited area was now New Baltimorethey gave to the Macomb County of the place ground. The name which means “great burial jibwa Native The Chippewa/O their burial pagigendamowinaki, and Chippewa language. tribe in the area major road In Indians” in the the predominant that there is a Americans were in so many places mounds were found called Mound road.first came to the New County Macomb by president led by pierre yax French explorers a land grant signed traced a in 1796. They had This document Baltimore area still on July 3, 1826. Michigan was John Quincy Adams to him in 1812 from when at the mouth back yax’s land was “land patent” Territory. pierre part of the Northwest
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made the first government Fabian robertjean of Crapeau Creek. the area in 1820. in American purchase of land created three Native one in neighboring Ira and The Treaty of detroit in nearby Chesterfield reservations, two traded and hunted animals, the Township. settlers trapped they for Americans, and yax and other French with the Native inter-marrying furs and other items quite well, with some settlers most part got along nearby Salt the salt from the with them. was items off “strip trade One of the main to farm the area, they marked began , page 22 river. As they NEw BAlTIMOrE
once located Adolph and Frances at the power stationabout the interurban curiosity Grandpa was employed line road. My what surely must Street and County led to a Google search for an hour, I hit and its power station After searching for about Journal and an Street Railway be obscure information. Electric 20, 1902, of The report “High-Speed pay dirt. Volume 1904 SmithsonianH. Gibson provided considerable excerpt from a by George in New Baltimore, Interurban railways” its power station interurban and detail about the Google is amazing! line railway, commonly including photos. port Huron Shore 13 The detroit & rAIlwAy, page
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ay Interurban n the Rapid Railw ical Power Statio an article Remembering News contained , Baltimore Electr January’s issue of ThumbPrint brought my grandparents interurban railroad and its New Michigan, where recalling how the reiter, to New Baltimore, at Green
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Fort Gratiot Resident is Part of Inaugural Class of CMU College of Medicine Submitted by Jim Knight Zahra Hussain of Fort Gratiot was one of 64 students welcomed at Mount Pleasant, Michigan, on August 8, 2013 as a member of the inaugural class of the Central Michigan University College of Medicine. The first class gathered at the CMU Events Center for the convocation, which included a white-coat ceremony honoring the commitment students make on their way to becoming primary-care physicians in one of seven general specialties, such as family medicine or pediatrics. CMU President George E. Ross, Founding Dean Ernie Yoder and others addressed the class. “I am extraordinarily proud of you,” Ross said in welcoming the students to campus. “I have the highest of expectations for the care you someday will deliver with great wisdom and great compassion to your patients and their families.” “We have a state-of-the art facility on the CMU campus, partnerships across the state, and a team of well-rounded, accomplished faculty and physicians eager to engage students,” Yoder said. “This class of 64 students is motivated to become car-
ing physicians, and we’re ready to go.” The CMU College of Medicine, the nation’s 137th medical school, has a unique mission to train physicians to care for the residents of Michigan’s medically underserved cities and towns. Michigan is expected to have a shortage of 4,000 to 6,000 physicians by 2020. In 2009, CMU formed its plan for the College of Medicine, which received 2,765 applications for its inaugural class. Fifty-seven members of the first class are from Michigan, including four from the Upper Peninsula. Eleven are CMU alumni. The CMU College of Medicine has affiliations with hospitals throughout the state to provide training for students and, potentially, residency opportunities after graduation. Zahra Hussain of Fort Gratiot said, “Following graduation from CMED, I aspire to have my own practice or work in a hospital in a region where there is a demand for physicians. My training from CMED and my residency will have prepared me to treat patients with all ailments. I aspire to have an established practice with my patients trusting my medical knowledge.”
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ach decade has its own distinct foods, including desserts. Yet some of these decadent treats — such as southern Lemon Chess Pie from the 1820s, Strawberry Shortcake from the 1850s, or New York’s Black and White Cookies, first baked up in the Roaring 1920s — have stood the test of time. To celebrate these nostalgic sweets, CanolaInfo’s “Decades of Decadence” recipe collection serves up a delicious trip down memory lane with modern influence by Ellie Krieger, M.S., R.D., host of the Cooking Channel’s “Healthy Appetite.” “History shaped these desserts and they have stuck around because they are inherently delicious,” she says. “They were driven by the availability of ingredients in their day, advertising by food companies in
women’s magazines and advancements in food technology or appliances.” To boost nutrition and keep saturated fat in check, the recipes are updated with hearthealthy ingredients, such as low-fat yogurt, whole-grain flour and canola oil, which has the least saturated fat and most omega-3 fat of all common culinary oils. Try this fresh, healthy update on 1930s Pineapple Upside Down Cake, originally invented to take advantage of canned pineapple, which is kept moist and gooey with canola oil. Or dig into Frozen Grass hopper Pie, a ’50s favorite once home freezers became common, which offers less saturated fat by using canola oil in the crust and reduced-fat ice cream or frozen yogurt in the filling. For the complete “Decades of Decadence” collection and more recipes from Krieger, visit www.CanolaInfo.org.
3/4 cup granulated sugar 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 cup low-fat buttermilk 1/2 cup canola oil 2 large eggs 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pineapple Upside Down Cake Yield: 8 servings Serving size: 1 slice Canola oil cooking spray
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar 4 to 5 pineapple rings (about 1/4 of whole pineapple) about 1/2 inch thick 2 tablespoon chopped crystallized ginger 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously spray bottom of 9-inch, nonstick layer cake pan with canola oil cooking spray. Sprinkle evenly with brown sugar, then arrange pineapple rings on top in one layer. Sprinkle chopped ginger pieces in spaces around pineapple rings and in their centers. In medium bowl, whisk together allpurpose flour, whole-wheat flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda. In another medium bowl, whisk together buttermilk, canola oil, eggs and vanilla. Mix wet and dry ingredients until combined. Pour batter over pineapplebrown sugar mixture and bake until to is lightly browned and wooden skewer inserted into center of cake comes out clean,40 to 50 minutes. Let cool for 5 min utes, then run knife around cake edges and, using oven mitts, invert cake onto large serving plate. Note: Whole-wheat, all-purpose flour can be substituted for whole-wheat pastry flour. Nutritional Analysis (per Serving): Calories 390; Fat 16 g; Saturated Fat 1.5 g; Cholesterol, 55 mg; Sodium 270 mg, Carbohydrates 57 g; Fiber 2 g; Protein, 6 g
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Frozen Grasshopper Pie Yield: 8 servings Serving size: 1 slice
Canola oil cooking spray 1 1/4 cups finely crushed chocolate wafer cookies or chocolate graham cracker crumbs 3 tablespoons canola oil 4 cups mint chip reduced-fat ice cream or frozen yogurt, softened 1/3 cup chocolate shavings Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 9-inch pie dish with canola oil cooking spray. In medium bowl, mix cookie crumbs and canola oil until combined, then press mixture into prepared pie dish. Bake until fragrant, 6 to 8 minutes. Allow to cool completely. In large bowl, place softened ice
cream and mix well until uniform tex ture forms, similar to soft-serve ice cream. Fill cooled pie crust with ice cream, smoothing out top. Garnish with chocolate shavings, cover with plastic wrap and put back in freezer until solidly frozen, at least 4 hours. When ready to serve, heat knife under hot water and use it to cut pie into slices. Note: An ice cream or frozen yogurt without green food coloring is recom mended. To make chocolate shavings, use a vegetable peeler to peel strips from a thick block of chocolate. If the chocolate crumbles as you make the shavings, put it in the microwave at 10-second intervals to soften it slightly. Nutritional Analysis (per Serving): Calories 290; Fat 14 g; Saturated Fat 5 g; Cholesterol 15 mg; Sodium 190 mg; Carbohydrates 36 g; Fiber 1 g; Protein 5 g
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FREE FIBER OPTIC VIDEO EAR EXAM
By David Gillis ThumbPrint News Columnist
My wife and I recently downsized our lifestyle one more time and moved to a smaller home in an older neighborhood of town. The new location has afforded me the opportunity to take the resident princess, as I commonly refer to my wife’s pet dog, for a daily walk. The older homes and tree-lined streets allow me to re-enter a time capsule, bringing back memories of another time in my life. One back yard item I have noticed behind a few homes is a clothesline, not ancestral relics, but currently being used. Now, for the younger readers, a clothesline is not an identified brand or certain style of clothing. It is, simply, an older alternative method of drying laundry after it has been washed. It’s what most of your grandmothers used. I recall my father erecting two T-shaped poles about 25-feet apart in an area behind our house and stringing three lines between them. As the family grew, Dad added an additional line to accommodate the diapers my younger siblings used. My mother would use the clotheslines on “wash day,” which was always Monday, to hang the week’s washed laundry and permit the sun and nature’s breezes to dry them. They were fastened to the line with wooden clothespins that were normally kept in a basket. When not used for holding clothes on the line they served as inexpensive building toys. In the middle of each clothesline was a movable long wooden pole with a groove on one end for placement of the clothesline. These “clothes-poles” were used to lift the lines to make sure that the clothes would not touch the ground since they became heavy with all of the wet items hung upon them. Today, clothes washed and dried in modern machinery often carry the fragranceof the detergent or softener being used. But, with clothes dried outside there was always a lingering natural freshness that can only be produced by sunshine and a gentle breeze.
As some readers will remember, however, there are Mondays in winter as well as the other seasons of the year. Even if the temperature was 30 degrees or even lower, there were still laundry days when the family’s clothes were washed and placed on the clothesline. I can still remember how red my mother’s hands would often become after hanging out the wet clothing on really cold days and how quickly the cloth began to freeze. She would have to work faster just to get the clothespin in place before the clothes began to harden. Of course, there was often a thawing process necessary after removing them from the line. Other challenges presented by the use of a clothesline, as I recall, were also related to nature’s processes. A strong wind would cause some of the clothespins to pop and the items they were holding could be found in various locations of our yard or that of a neighbor. A sudden rain, too, would create a scramble to quickly remove the clothing from the lines. I might mention here that occasional bird droppings would result in a re-washing of the soiled item. But, isn’t life filled with minor challenges? For a child, another tremendous advantage of the clothesline was to provide the supporting structure to make a tent. With just a couple of blankets or old bedsheets and a few rocks to serve as anchors, we had a hiding place to play for hours. My mother’s clothesline gave way to an electric dryer and her Speed Queen wringer-washer was replaced with an automatic washer. Mother Nature’s crisp, fresh smell on bed linens has been reduced to a fabricated perfumed attempt to duplicate a natural scent. How much nicer it could be with just a simple clothesline in the back yard? Time has passed too quickly, however, and my nostalgic sense of a simpler life is not often shared by everyone. Neither my wife nor my mother wants to even explore the use of a clothesline. I guess they have just lost any appreciation for the good-olddays. I guess I’ll just take the dog for a walk.
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LETTERSFROM TO THE LETTER THEEDITOR EDITOR
Sniff, Swirl, Sip. By David White ThumbPrint News Guest Writer
Whether you are at home or at a restaurant, analyzing wine is a fairly straightforward process. And when you stick your nose in a glass of wine, you’ll typically encounter pleasant aromas like fruits, flowers and spices. Sometimes, though, a wine will seem off. One unfortunate truth about wine is that a decent percentage is flawed, somehow spoiled along the way to your table. Flawed wines should be poured down the drain or returned to your server. Wine should be delicious and life is too short to drink bad wine. Recognizing common wine flaws is at least as important as memorizing grape names and tasting descriptors. So here’s a quick primer on some common faults. Cork Taint. Wines bottled under natural cork are vulnerable to damage from a fungus that feeds on the cork. This fungus produces a compound called “2,4,6-trichloroanisole,” or TCA. If the wine is affected by TCA, it’s “corked,” and the fruit will be masked by aromas reminiscent of wet cardboard or a damp basement. While TCA won’t make you sick, it’s not a pleasant odor. Fortunately, corked wines are becoming less common. As recently as 2005, according to a study by Wine Spectator, about one in 15 bottles was affected by TCA. But technological advances in the cork industry, combined with the increasing popularity of screw caps and artificial corks, have dramatically reduced incidence levels. Heat Damage. Wine is perishable. And if it’s exposed to high temperatures, an all-too-common occurrence in the summertime, it may be “cooked.” When you open a bottle of wine, check the cork to see if it’s streaked or drenched with wine. If it is, the wine might be heatdamaged, as heat causes wine to expand and push against the cork. But you’ll need to smell the wine to make sure, as it could also mean that the bottle was simply overfilled. If the wine has been exposed to high
temperatures, it will seem flat, with muted aromas and minimal flavor. Unfortunately, it’s extremely difficult to determine if a bottle has mild to moderate heat damage. But a completely cooked bottle is hard to miss. Oxidation. When you open a bottle of wine, also check to see if the cork is crumbly. If the wine is relatively young, this could be a sign of improper storage or a faulty cork and the wine could be oxidized. Wine exposed to a significant amount of oxygen loses its freshness, and will give off aromas of caramel, candied almonds, and dried fruits. It may be reminiscent of Sherry and Madeira, as the production of those wines relies on oxygen. The color can also be a giveaway. White wine will appear more golden than you expect; red wine may take on a brown tinge. Barnyard Funk. Ever encountered aromas of manure, sweat, wet dog or Band-Aids in your wine? Those smells typically signal the presence of brettanomyces, a spoilage yeast typically called “brett.” At low levels, the flavors imparted by brett can be enjoyable. In fact, they’re often desirable in wines from the Rhine Valley and Burgundy. But brett yeasts can’t be controlled. As wine blogger Joe Roberts once explained, “Whether or not the wine has pleasant smoked meat characteristics or instead smells like one of my daughter’s diaper blow-outs is almost entirely dictated by chance.” If you think your wine might be flawed and you’re at a restaurant, give your glass to the server and solicit her opinion. If she’s familiar with the wine, she’ll be able to let you know if something is off. And if she’s not familiar with it, she’ll probably trust your judgment or have someone with more expertise come to the table. If you’re at home, just trust your nose. Editor’s note: David White, a wine writer, is the founder and editor of Terroirist.com. His columns are housed at Palate Press: The Online Wine Magazine (PalatePress. com).
Your readers and you might find it interesting to note that the person who made The Lone Ranger world famous, Brace Beemer, lived in Oxford, Michigan. Brace and his family lived on a 300 acre+ farm on West Drahner Road in Oxford, as did his horse, Silver. I’m the chairperson of the Lone Ranger Committee in Oxford. In conjunction with the Disney movie, The Lone Ranger, we’ve been having a series of theme events this summer.
Dear Editor: The story on the front of your June issue called “Hi-Yo Silver” brought back more memories than you can imagine. I was raised during WWII in western Nebraska. I lived every bit of the life Robert Christensen described, including riding the draft horse (it belonged to an uncle). My pride and joy was a double barreled cap pistol with two hammers that I used playing cowboys and Indians. Of course, we didn’t actually have caps very often, but when we did, we hoarded the supply for dear life. I had a homemade wooden rifle that shot rubber bands, and one of my funniest memories was my mother chasing a mouse around the living room, hitting at it with my wooden rifle until she broke it. Thanks again for the good stories you print. Bill Howell Algonac Dear Editor: I called earlier today after seeing the article “Hi-Yo Silver” in the June edition of Thumbprint News (I got it at the Oxford Hardware store).
Thanks! Rod Charles Oxford (Editor’s note: The yellow fish in the contest for our August edition generated a wide range of responses, including the letter following.) This fish is named Charlie. He is located on the South Channel off of Harsens Island. He lives on my parents’ dock. Charlie was a part of an art display of fish in Harbor Springs. Family friends bought him in an auction to benefit the American Red Cross. Charlie was originally a “Tune-a-fish”. He was decorated by school children with musical notes. When my parents received Charlie as a gift, my dad and my husband repainted him a bright yellow and installed him on the pilings next to their dock. Charlie has been there for two years now. We were very excited to see Charlie in the paper! He’s a landmark now! Kristy Ownby Macomb Township
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C leanse of the Soul By Jeremy Yarbrough ThumbPrint News Guest Writer
The outdoors calls to all of us. Some more than others, but it’s part of our DNA. However, with the advancement in technology, it seems our society has lost its connection with Mother Nature. Video games, texting, smart phones what happened to our outdoor heritage of the past? I am listening to my inner voice as my truck heads west on a bumpy gravel road. My destination: Metamora, Michigan. This area is home to rolling oak ridges, cattail choked swamp bottoms and miles of horse pastures enclosed in rustic wooden fencing. Moreover, bow hunting gives me the opportunity to pursue two things: whitetail deer and to observe the simple complexity of the outdoors. As I pull off the road into my tree lined parking spot, I begin to wonder, “Does the outdoors cleanse our soul?” As I walk through the dew soaked grass, my nose is flooded with the smell of fall. The annual harvest of crops, ripening of apples, and fresh mowed grass all make me thankful for this opportunity. I slowly climb the massive poplar tree to my perch some thirty feet above the barren forest floor. Slowly, the hidden sun rises in the east, for today is cloudy with a mix of rain. As if on cue, the forest breathes life with the rising sun. I too breathe a sigh, but of relief as I anticipate the possibilities of this wondrous day and my vacation from everyday life. A gray squirrel claws his way up the rough barked hickory next to me. Once he reaches my height, he starts barking in alarm. I softly tell him everything is okay, but he insists on letting every living thing know about my intrusion into his natural world. As we both stare at each other, I realize that only this little pesky squirrel fills my mind. I cheerfully smile with that thought. The sounds of whistling wings startle me as two mallard ducks weave in and out of the trees on their approach to the hidden marsh directly behind me. Once landed, they chase each other around on their oasis and periodically call out as other ducks glide through the misty air above. Watching them reminds me of my youth. Growing up, my cousins would come stay with us during the summer; we loved to run around playing hide and seek. Those were the days: no stress, work, or other
responsibilities to make our minds ponder with worry. Finally, the ducks drift into the wispy cattails, taking with them my youthful memories. With my full attention upon the forest floor, I notice an object running directly at me. As it draws nearer, I realize that it’s a yearling doe and her mother. The yearling frolics about as her mother apprehensively surveys her surroundings. Several feet away from my tree stands an old apple tree. Both deer indulge in the annual treat that this apple tree bears. With every bite, the smell of fresh apple permeates through the air. I am surprised that mother deer doesn’t hear my tummy growl. The spots that are barely visible on the yearling deer remind me of my daughters at home, young, innocent and pure. In this joyful moment, I think of the striking similarities between my daughters and the yearling deer. My eyes fill with tears as I laugh internally at this comparison. Slowly the deer move on, but the thoughts they provoke will last for days. With the departure of the deer, the forest goes eerie silent. Even the steady wind has retreated. With silence comes time for reflection. I stare outward at nothing, as my mind enjoys this marvelous unwinding time. After several minutes, a blue jay’s screech pulls me from this trance-like state. Several small birds hop along the forest floor looking for unsuspecting bugs, I guess. They continue doing this until the blue jay swoops in and scares them off. I watch intently at this cycle and find myself totally immersed in the pure enjoyment of Mother Nature’s society at work. With an ear piercing screech from above, all the birds including the menacing blue jay dart off. I look high into the cloudy sky and strain my eyes to find the culprit causing all this scare. At last, I see the mighty red tail hawk soar into my view. He hangs in the wind without moving his wings; instead, he uses the thermals to carry him about. The colossal poplar that supports my weight is also this hawk’s favorite place to watch for his next meal. As his talon lined feet open up to grasp a branch not more than ten feet away, I watch in amazement at this ultimate killing machine. He does not notice my presence for several minutes, but finally he sees my eyes blink. With a powerful stroke of his wings, he propels himself into the weightless air. As he soars to happier hunting, I reflect on how quickly life
changes for all of earth’s creatures. With the dying sun slipping toward the western ridge, I start to gather my things, when I notice a raccoon lumbering out of his den. I watch as my masked friend yawns, showing off a mouth full of saber like teeth. Lazily he crawls down the tree to the awaiting darkness that is fast approaching. As he waddles off into the thickening darkness, I softly whisper to my new friend, “’Till next time.” A feeling of contentment settles over me as my outdoor experience ceases. As my truck rolls down the undulating gravel road, I reflect back on my day observing Mother Nature at work. At
times, our lives can seemed hurried and out of control. With the constant pressure of our responsibilities, it may seem impossible to get away from the world. Next time you feel the winds of pressure blow, head outdoors for a “cleanse of the soul.” Editor’s note: Jeremy Yarbrough is a State Farm Insurance agent and can be contacted at 4080 Huron St., Ste A, P.O. Box 708, North Branch, Michigan, 48461 or by phone at (810) 688-7000 or (810) 688-7100.
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Do it the Smart Way! By Gabriel Jones ThumbPrint News Columnist
specialist to do the job. (SMART!) Using the Vacuum Cleaner: Can you carry the vacuum cleaner up and down the stairs and around the house to clean the floors, etc. It gets heavy! (DUMB!) Then hire a house cleaner that is competent and trustworthy - again by recommendation from neighbors or the Senior Center in your neighborhood. (SMART!) Moving Furniture: You can purchase small sliders to put under furniture to be moved. But again, are you capable of moving furniture? (DUMB!) What to do? (Don’t tell me-you know!) (SMART!) All general repairs and upkeep of your present home should be discussed with your wife (Bodyguard) to see if you are capable of doing such work. (For some of us seniors, this is the hardest part - discussing with your wife that you can do the work!) BUT GIVE IT A TRY….TALK IT OVER WITH YOUR WIFE. Gabriel talked it over with his wife. “GABRIEL, PUT THAT LAWNMOWER AWAY, WE’RE GOING TO HIRE THE KID DOWN THE STREET. HE’S YOUNG AND CAN DO THE JOB! Another lesson learned by The Restless Retiree.
Hmmmmm..... What are we talking about…No, not that… I’m talking about repairs and the upkeep of our present homes. Yes, we know that you used to do everything yourself when anything needed cleaning, fixing, painting, replacing, or…… Ohhh, that….(You say) Yes, but to do it the SMART way and not the DUMB way is what I am referring to! Mowing the lawn: First, look at yourself. Can you walk across your lawn many times without getting tired? If so, then you can cut the lawn with a selfpropelled lawn mower, one that propels itself very easily using the proper hand position and doesn’t tire you out walking behind it. If you do get tired of walking, then get a riding lawnmower where you can sit down while mowing. But if you say, that’s not for me, then hire a lawn specialist that is recommended by your neighbor or by the senior center in your neighborhood. (SMART!) Using a ladder: Some repairs involve climbing a ladder. As long as you are capable of climbing a ladder and keeping your balance at the same time, then Over 100lbs. Possible you can clean the gutters, clean the windows, paint, etc. • Late August - Early November If you can’t • 31’ Tiara Open • St. Clair River keep your • All Equipment Provided balance, then Captain Tom Loy again, hire a
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Continued from Page 1
Fraser Depot (Courtesy of Lynn Lyon)
of the land throughout 1860 to 1870, and by that time was apparently no longer residing in the village. He drowned in Detroit in 1871 after a distinguished legal career and the new village was named for him. Many of the first settlers were of German descent, with the first business being built by Fred Eberlein, a blacksmith shop, that he established in 1856. In 1865 he built a stave mill. German immigrants established St. John Lutheran Church and in 1864, a branch was established in Erin Township. St. John is now located on 14 Mile in Fraser.
Early Fraser Post Office
In 1860, the growing area opened a post office with Leonard Scott as the first postmaster. Later on in 1860, James McPherson became the postmaster and the area was referred to as McPhersonville. In 1863, the name was changed back to Fraser. In 1867, August Fruehauf was born in Fraser on Utica Street and learned many techniques he would later use in building trailers while working in Fred Eberlein’s blacksmith shop. He went on to establish the giant Fruehauf Corporation, with branches all over the United States. The lumber business helped to build Fraser. Charles Steffens came to Fraser in 1875 and became partners with Charles Knorr in the Knorr and Steffens Mill. They employed many people in their stave and heading mill and also sold lumber. By 1888, the mill had about 50 employees. Mr. Knorr became upset with Mr. Steffens because he spent about $100 on belts for the mill. Mr. Knorr felt that he was a “squanderer” of company funds and sold out to Mr. Steffens. Now that Steffens was independent of Knorr, the name became Steffens’ Coal and Lumber Company, later the Steffens Lumber Company. Mr. Steffens took a big interest in local
politics and the betterment of the Fraser community, serving as president of the village with meetings being held in the Steffens Commercial Building. He was also on the school board, justice of the peace, and a postmaster. His son George took over the business and was also village president. In 1929, George’s son Walter also served as village president and is credited with erecting the first street light in Fraser in front of the family business. Another prominent Fraser family was the Reindels. Frederick Reindel moved from Halfway (now Eastpointe) and bought a farm at the corner of Utica and Masonic Road and set up a cider mill. Hardware store proprietor Charles Reindel, Sr. was born in the farmhouse of this farm. He established the Reindel Hardware Store, which had many locations until it finally settled on Utica Road. Charles’ son Irwin took over this family business first established in 1898. A brother of Charles Reindel was William George Reindel, an artist whose works are in many art museums, including the Detroit Institute of Art, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the White House, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. William’s niece, daughter of his brother Herman Reindel, was also a famous artist known for book illustrations and her paintings of Martha’s Vineyard.
Original Fraser Hotel
In 1894, when Fraser was incorporated as a village by the Michigan state legislature, the spelling used a “z” so that it was the Village of Frazer. Throughout the early histories of Fraser, it is spelled both Fraser and Frazer. The two spellings, even for Alexander Fraser, appear to be interchangeable throughout the years until finally in 1928, a vote was enacted to establish the spelling as Fraser, with an s. The new village had a population of 230, comprised one and one quarter miles, and its businesses included the post office, a town hall, a blacksmith shop, the stave mill, a cigar manufacturer, the depot, a hotel, school, St. John Lutheran Church, and several other stores. The oldest building was the Measel Hotel, where Tom Edison would stay when in town. This building is now Ballew’s, even though the second story was lost to a fire. In 1905, a fire which started at 14 Mile and Utica Road destroyed many of the
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September 2013 Page 13 town buildings, including a slaughter house, an agricultural machinery building, a bowling alley, a meat market, cigar shop, tavern, a public hall, and a storage building. A bucket brigade saved many of the residences from burning.
The State Bank of Fraser was established in 1910 and in 1930 a majestic building was built at the 14 Mile and Utica intersection. In the 1920s, as Fraser continued to grow, many people of Belgian descent moved into the area. In 1928, it was proposed by Walter C. Steffens, Village President and member of the County Plat board, that a highway be constructed. This was later named Groesbeck Highway, after Alexander Groesbeck, the first and only Macomb County governor of Michigan as of 2012. The construction of Groesbeck Highway contributed greatly to the growth of Fraser. Another major road of the area,
Former St. John schoolhouse and present city library
Utica Road, was at one time called Utica Gravel Road and was paved in 1924. In 1924 the first brick public school was built in Fraser. No “one-room schoolhouse,” it had four rooms and was attended by all the children of the Village of Fraser. With new additions, the building still exists and is now the children’s section of the Fraser Library. Although Fraser had slow growth at first (its population was still only 747 in 1940), by 1956 the population had ballooned to 3,363, large enough to be chartered as a city. In anticipation of this, Fraser annexed a square mile of Erin Township. The village had previously annexed an area near 14 Mile and Garfield and established the Municipal Park in 1940. This raised the total land amount of Fraser to four square miles. In December of 1956, a city charter was approved, and in January 1957, the City of Fraser was officially established as the ninth city in Macomb County. During the 1960s, Fraser grew by 68% to become a thriving community. Today, Fraser has many amenities, including a prosperous infrastructure and a community ready to embrace the future while remembering its past. The Fraser Historical Society has done much to preserve the history of the area. They have restored the Baumgarten House, a state historical landmark, to look as it did back when the Baumgarten family were the residents. On October 7, 2013, the Images of America: Fraser book will be out and available through Amazon, AbeBooks, Barnes & Noble, the Fraser Historical Society, and many other bookstores, online and at brick and mortar locations.
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If you’re a cottage, cabin or seasonal home owner fortunate enough to vacation in Michigan’s beautiful Thumb area, by now chances are you and your family have already enjoyed countless weekends at the beaches, laughing around the bonfire, fishing Lake Huron, visiting the local gift shops, restaurants and farmer’s markets. Along with owning a seasonal or second home comes extra work of its own; there are things to remember when leaving your little peaceful haven, whether it’s packing up for home on Sunday evening, only to return the following Friday, or making plans to return within the next two weeks. Being fortunate enough to be the owner of a little piece of heaven in the Thumb area, over the past year I have had to refer to my lifesaving “refrigerator checklist” before locking the door. Refrigerators are not only useful for keeping things cold and displaying fun photos and magnets of family and friends, but they can give you peace of mind if you use them to display your much needed “checklist”. Most temporary close-up duties can come like a second nature, but some do require a quick glance at the fridge before heading south to your home in the city: • Keep in mind, to double check your de-humidifier before leaving, empty the water bin and unplug it! This goes for coffee pots, TVs, box fans and window air conditioning units. If you use any type of damp-rid buckets or non-humidity hangers, check those frequently to determine the expiration times. • If you shut your water off, it might be a good idea to let some of the air pressure
out and some of the remaining water left Checklist in the faucets before Unplug Electronics leaving. Another idea I have found helpful is Turn off Water to turn your hot water tank breaker switch off Empty Fridge to avoid any burnout of the unit. • The winds of Lake Huron can get wreak havoc on inflatable rafts, BBQ grills, flying flags and lawn furniture left to the elements! Be mindful of any outdoor items that could possibly be taken for a wind ride should the weather kick up while you are not up north. Add that to your refrigerator checklist! • If your family is like mine, we usually have a bonfire for most of the time spent at our place. Douse that fire pit with water, even if it looks like it is no longer burning! • Instead of tossing those extra leftover fruit and vegetables, I leave a small amount of food for the resident deer and whatever critters may come out of the woods for a visit! • If you use live crawlers for fishing and store them in the fridge, it’s best to give the Huron fish a “freebie” before you leave if you don’t plan on heading back up for a few weeks. It may sound silly, but the refrigerator checklist can save a lot of wondering and hassle for you, so you can enjoy your vacation spot all the more. Not only can the kids help with the “checklist”, but if you rent or allow other friends and family members to use your place, they too can refer to your time-saving “refrigerator checklist”! Enjoy the rest of the beautiful late summer and happy cottage owning!
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boyhood days Continued from Page 1
soon our lakefront property was purchased. Shoreline property between Port Sanilac and our little spread was for the most part undeveloped land. Our only nearby neighbor, directly to the south, ran a tight ship. They added barbed wire to the top of their perimeter fence when they realized their new neighbor had two little boys (but there was room for us to squeeze under the fence). Friday evenings we headed north to the cottage from Detroit in a car loaded with groceries, clothes and sometimes building materials and tools. There was no I-94 back then; Gratiot Avenue was the main artery from Detroit to Port Huron and points north. Much of Gratiot was a three-lane highway with the middle lane appropriately coined the “suicide lane” because it was a passing lane used by both northbound and southbound motorists. There were many such highways back in those days. Teenage drivers’ game of “chicken” was inadvertently played in this passing lane long before they ever heard of it! Also, the speed limit on Michigan’s rural highways during the ’40s was “reasonable and proper” - one could drive as fast as he or she wished, conditions permitting. Weekend traffic on Gratiot was heavy and there were terrible accidents, but fortunately we were never involved. Lakeshore Road (M-25) from Port Huron to Port Sanilac was much the same as it is today. We first traveled this route in a gray 1941 Pontiac - a car that lasted through WWII until automobile production resumed. The Pontiac doubled as a truck; for example, sod was sometimes hauled in its trunk to the cottage area of our lot, which initially bore a striking resemblance to the Sahara Desert. Also, it hauled ice on
’48 Packard at the cottage
Friday evenings when we stopped in Port Sanilac for a glistening block to cool our icebox for the weekend. The front bumper of the Pontiac was sufficiently forward of the fenders and grille that a block of ice could rest on the bumper during a quick trip to the cottage. Our next car was a black ’47 Plymouth four-door sedan. My dad never liked it; he said it was a “rattle trap.” I guess he was right, because I remember that one could hear something inside the right front door rolling back and forth as one accelerated or braked. It seemed like an all right car to me, and, surprisingly, even though a mature six years of age at the time, I wasn’t consulted about the decision to trade it. Cars have come a long way! A maroon ’48 Packard came next; it was one of my dad’s all time favorite cars. Also, at about this time a “previously owned” Crosley station wagon was purchased for my mother’s use. Crosleys had two-cylinder, air-cooled engines. They were really small cars. When they got too hot, they quit! This little vehicle sometimes made the cottage run too. Imagine tooling along Gratiot’s suicide lane in that little tin can! We once took a vacation trip from the cottage in the Crosley, I think circumnavigating Lake Huron. Canadians had never seen such a car. Kids pointed and laughed. How humiliating! The Crosley was traded on a real car - a brand spanking new baby blue ’51 Ford. Initially there were no buildings at our weekend getaway. I remember the four of us taking shelter from the rain in a child-size tent, also squeezing in a bucket of fresh mortar being used to construct a stone fireplace. The bucket doubled as a bathroom facility, as I recall. Soon an outhouse stood proudly on our site, and next a one-room cottage. We subsisted with kerosene lamps and stove, hand pump
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for water and an icebox. Eventually the cottage sported some additional rooms and a screened porch, as well as electrical service and modern plumbing. My father built the cottage almost single-handedly. Den and I played while our parents worked like homesteaders developing virgin land. While hardly recognizable today, the building survives as an integral part of a larger home. Lumber was scarce because of the war, and what wasn’t hauled from Detroit came from Howard O’Connor’s lumberyard in nearby Carsonville. Mr. O’Connor and my dad became friends due to the frequency of our visits and eventually because they both proudly owned 1948 Packard automobiles. We’re talking ancient history here - the now modern M-46 highway from Port Sanilac to Carsonville was still a gravel road back in these days. Often on Sunday evenings our return to Detroit included a trip to Grandma and Grandpa Reiter’s farm to pick up fresh eggs for delivery to relatives in Detroit. Grandma Nyquist was a regular customer - a proud Swedish lady and wonderful cook. Dad barely tolerated these “egg runs,” in part because he frowned upon driving his sometimes freshly washed car down the dusty or muddy road to the farm. He coined the expression “dollar and a half road,” because that was the cost
of a commercial car wash in those days. Following heavy rains, portions of the road could reasonably be called “muddy lanes,” and getting mired down in the mud was a very real threat - a woeful fate for a shiny ’48 Packard! Returns to Detroit often included a brief stop at Jay’s Drugstore in Lexington, south of Port Sanilac, for ice cream cones; I can almost taste them yet today, well over half a century later. Brother Dennis and I were inseparable buddies who roamed the area together, Daisy Red Rider BB guns in hand. Long walks along the beach and swimming with our makeshift rafts and inner tubes were common pastimes. Depending on the nature of recent storms, we either had a sandy or a rocky bottom near shore, but there was almost always nice sand further out. Our parents moaned and groaned, doing a strange dance as they negotiated their path across the stony area, after which they endured the shock of Lake Huron’s cold water. We kids ran over the rocks with bare feet, no problem. I have a picture in my mind of Mom and Grandma Reiter standing at the top of the sand bank that sloped down to the beach. It was a cold day with strong wind out of the East. The breakers were rolling in. They were wearing warm coats, their arms wrapped around their torsos, watching Den and I swim. We were having a ball. Cold? What
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September 2013 Page 17 cold? This is great! loved fishing. I recall them sitting in the A nearby gravel pit was a particular Queen wearing wide-brimmed straw hats, draw for two little boys. At first, being which seemed totally un-cool to me, but very young, we timidly snuck up to and of course I now realize that such hats are hid behind poplar trees bordering the great for warding off the sun’s rays. Fish pit, watching in fascination as the heavy innards fertilized our trees and bushes, equipment dug gravel and pushed which were eking out an existence planted sand. We were inept. The owner in our own little Sahara. Grandma liked would see us and holler to keep collecting rocks, and I remember our distance; he even had words picking up choice specimens for with our parents. We thought her scrutiny. Speaking he was a nasty old man. of fertilizing trees, In reality, he was a Mom used to dump her perfectly nice guy, coffee grounds at the probably in his base of one of our two 30s, concerned Chinese elms. Call it that we’d drown coincidence if you in his pit. As wish, but as time time passed passed, that we became tree grew to older and twice the size bolder. of its sibling. After Den and I casing the commenced Author (right) with mother and brother premises bicycling and astride used concluding we had them to ourselves, girl’s bikes from our next-door neighbor we’d climb on the equipment and swim in Detroit. When we graduated to shiny in the pit. The lake was usually very cold, new Schwinn Black Phantoms, the old so enjoying the warm surface waters of bikes became our mode of transportation the pit was a treat; however, diving down, at the cottage, greatly expanding our radius the water in the pit was icy cold too. For of travel. This was good, but the down a time, the pit had a channel to the lake side was that ferocious farm dogs just and served as a makeshift marina. A small loved chasing boys on bicycles. We were commercial fishing boat eventually became fledgling carpenters back in these times, land-locked in the pit and conveniently always scavenging boards and driftwood served as our diving platform. Years later I to build shanties. Nails were hard to come was told that the boat was scuttled there in by, so we borrowed them from our dad’s the pit, so it may be there still, buried under supply. I think some of his tools took the sand. (No, Den and I didn’t scuttle her.) a beating too. I used to haul lumber by Speaking of boats, we owned the dragging it behind my bike. A thin, 25-foot “Queen Mary.” This was the name dad cable tied to the seat post and wrapped affectionately bestowed upon our steelaround a board did the trick. One day my hulled rowboat, powered by a fivebeloved brother noticed my unoccupied horsepower Wards Sea King outboard bike with attached cable. He tied the free motor. It was a seaworthy craft, but a end of the cable to a tree. Later, I took off, real gut buster to drag across the beach. wide-open throttle. It was a pleasant ride Eventually the Queen was dragged out of for 25 feet, but then the bike stopped like the water by a military surplus winch, but a dog running out of chain, and over the launching her was still always a struggle. handlebars I went, sliding along our gravel From the beloved Queen, perch were driveway. Bleeding, I ran to the cottage, pulled from the lake often two at a time, and might have killed Den if Mom hadn’t sometimes over a hundred fish in a couple interceded. of hours. Grandma and Grandpa Nyquist Another mode of transportation was the visited a time or two each summer. They small, snub-nosed, flat-bottom rowboat we
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had nagged Dad to build. We rowed that possibly bears some emotional scars from thing for miles, even to Port Sanilac where that one. in 1951 we watched construction of the A multiservice The localthatdrive-in theater west of company you can trust! small boat harbor. Carsonville was a choice evening Trips to town were always fun. We destination for the whole family. It was often accompanied dad on his frequent there as far back as I can remember, and trips to Raymond Hardware store during it’s there yet today. Good movies and the days of cottage construction - always hotdogs from the concession stand during a fascinating adventure for mechanicallyintermission made for perfect evenings. inclined boys. (We became engineers.) Does life get any better? We frequented Platt’s Drugstore too, When I was a sophisticated young sometimes consuming ice cream at the man of about age fourteen, Den and I counter, sometimes with cone in hand on became involved in bicycle racing. We our way out the door. The store was also a now had road racing bikes, appropriate source for wonderful warm, salty, greasy for long rides. One fine Friday morning mixed nuts, available from a revolving tray we ventured forth by bicycle from Detroit, of scrumptious delicacies. I’m a nut freak lunches packed, for Port Sanilac. We yet today! Trips to town weren’t always by arrived mid-afternoon. This was a real car. Occasionally Den and I stayed at the grind - almost one-hundred miles! Our cottage with Mom, Sunday through Friday, only mishap was Den’s rather uneventful while Dad worked back home. Having fall on the shoulder of Lakeshore no car, we walked to town, hand-carrying Road from the draft of a road-hogging groceries on the return trip. Greyhound bus that zoomed by. Later that The Port Sanilac dump was another afternoon at the cottage, victorious and attraction. Back in those days every town proud, we perched in a large ash tree near had a dump. This one was near the village the highway, watching for our parents’ cemetery. Everything imaginable was piled arrival by car. That ride would finish off there - in the dump, I mean - wonderful this old body today! stuff to be picked through and carted home. The cottage was sold in the mid-1950s, I recall that we had a wicker planter from in part because Den and I became involved the dump that proudly displayed flowers at in bicycle racing on weekends. As my the cottage for several summers. As Den ramblings attest, Lake Huron’s shore in and I grew older we rode our bikes to the days gone by was a great place for two dump, thus having no time constraints or young boys to grow up. parental guidance hindering our browsing. Thinking back, our first bikes at the cottage Dr. Nyquist is a retired biomechanical engineer residing in Macomb County and were probably candidates for a one-way is a past president of the Sanilac County trip to the dump. Besides, they were girl’s Historical Society. bikes! Get-togethers at the cottage often included cousins Judy and Donald Nyquist, whose parents had a cottage south of Port Sanilac. We were particularly close cousins because our mothers were sisters and our fathers were brothers. Fourth of July weekends always featured our own little fire works spectacular following a weenie-roast dinner. One year a slug of ~ Jennifer Granholm powder failed to explode while airborne. Den proceeded with, to a kid’s mind, the logical course of action. He retrieved the faulty projectile and threw it into the bonfire. It exploded. Burning wood flew in all directions. The tablecloth caught fire. We all survived unscathed; however, Den
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Top 10 Human Medications Poisonous to Pets
According to the Pet Poison Helpline, nearly half of the calls they receive every year involve ingestion of over-thecounter and prescription medications. Below are the top 10 medications most frequently ingested by pets: 1. NSAIDs or non-steroidal antiinflammatories are commonly used pain medications such as ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) and naproxen (Aleve). Just one or two of these could cause serious stomach ulcers or kidney failure in our pets. 2. Acetaminophen or Tylenol is the second most common pain reliever used. This is especially toxic to cats’ red blood cells, limiting their ability to carry oxygen to the body and potentially causing death. 3. Anti-depressants (e.g. Prozac, Effexor) are occasionally used in pets to help with behavioral disorders. However, overdoses can lead to either heavy sedation with tremors and seizures or
can have a profound stimulant effect with increased heart rate and blood pressure. 4. ADD/ADHD medications, such as Adderall or Ritalin, contain stimulants like amphetamines. Only a small amount of these medications has to be ingested to cause an increased heart rate and body temperature that can lead to life threating seizures. 5. Sleep aids and anti-anxiety medications (e.g. Ambien, Lunesta, Valium and Xanax) in about 50% of the pets that ingest them will cause over stimulation as opposed to sedation. Valium in cats at high doses can cause liver failure. Xanax or Alprazolam at the proper dose is very effective at controlling anxiety in pets related to noise phobias to fireworks and thunderstorms. This means it is more widely prescribed for pets, which increases the risk of an accidental overdose. 6. Birth control pills in small quantities are not harmful, but in larger amounts the estrogen can cause bone marrow suppression, especially in non-spayed females. Puppies tend to find the packaging irresistible to play with.
7. High blood pressure medications come in two different categories. One is called an ACE inhibitor (Zestril, Lisinopril). These drugs have a wide safety margin and ingesting a small amount usually does not require any treatment. The second category is Beta-blockers (Tenormin, Toprol). These medications differ in that ingesting just a small amount can severely decrease blood pressure and heart rate. Any pet ingesting one of these will need to be hospitalized and closely monitored. 8. Thyroid hormone supplements for low thyroid conditions are safer in dogs because they too commonly have underactive thyroid glands and the dose of the supplement is much higher for dogs than people. Cats on the other hand can have muscle tremors, agitation, panting and aggression from acute overdoses. 9. Cholesterol lowering statin drugs (e.g. Lipitor, Zocor) generally cause mild vomiting or diarrhea. Serious side effects seem to only occur with chronic ingestion. 10. Advair is an inhaler used to treat asthma that is a combination of two
medications. These round disks look just like a toy to dogs. When chewed on several doses of the medications can be discharged at one time. This can cause increased heart rate, heart arrhythmias, vomiting and acute collapse. This does require immediate emergency treatment. Although this is a list of the medications of which the Pet Poison Helpline receives the largest numbers of complaints, remember that any human medication or supplement could pose a risk to your pets – not just these 10. Editor’s note: Dr. DiBenedetto is a veterinarian at Maple Veterinary Hospital located at 2981 Iowa in Troy, Michigan. The hospital website is: www. MapleVeterinaryHospital.com. Dr. DiBenedetto can be reached at (248) 585-2622 for other pet related questions. ed
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By Rennae Hardy ThumbPrint News Guest Writer
Rev. Rennae Hardy Spiritual Intuitive Reiki M. Tch
Saturday, Sept. 7th ... 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. FREE Raffle ... Admission: $5 Location: Recreation Authority Center 18185 Sycamore ~ Roseville, MI 48066
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Philosophy suggests intuition is the power of obtaining knowledge that is not or cannot be acquired by inference or observation. Art by definition is the quality, production, expression or realm according to aesthetic principles of what is beautiful, appealing or of more than ordinary significance. Combining the two provides a channel for self expression and bestows the experience of connecting to something greater than oneself. Intuitive art is a creative process that embraces the unknown, honors intuition, and opens the artist to a world of soulful inspiration where anything is possible. Art offers an outlet for us to express ourselves, a medium beyond words that communicates the multidimensionality of what we’re feeling. Visionaries exhibit spiritual insights and idealistic concepts within their symbolic artwork. Intuitive artists are seen as “outside” of customary culture and often create via spontaneous expression. Certain Intuitives use their artistry to provide intuitive consultations. Intuitive painting is one favored approach. The
Intuitive shifts his/ her awareness to a meditative state and allows their inner guidance to direct the brush strokes moving across the canvas in random fashion. The artwork continues with the Intuitive changing paint color and brush direction as spirits navigates their emerging masterpiece. When the inner promptings cease, the intuitive painting is finished. The Intuitive interprets the intuitive art using his/her extrasensory perceptions. The discovery and explanation of concealed images may be discussed and/or the Intuitive may share intuited information received during their altered state of consciousness. The consultation reaches its conclusion and the recipient leaves with a unique piece of artwork. Art is self-expression. Every dance, melody, play, sculpture, painting and doodle makes its own statement. Intuitive art reveals the wondrous hidden mysteries framing the statement.
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If you are a Thumb Bird and you spend part of the year in Florida, why not join our Thumb Bird email list? The purpose of this list will be to communicate with each other about things to do and see, events to attend, recommendations for restaurants, hotels, etc. and just to share interesting highlights of our Florida experiences. The only requirements to be on this list will be that you live or have lived in the areas served by ThumbPrint News and that you now either spend part or all of the year in Florida. Please send your first and last name, your mailing address and phone number in both Michigan and Florida and your email to email@example.com and put “Thumb Birds” in the subject line. Alternately, you can mail that information to me at Diane Kodet, ThumbPrint News,
8061 Marsh Rd., Algonac, Michigan, 48001. I assure you that none of your information will be shared with anyone else without your permission. Hopefully, the Thumb Bird group can include enough people who may wish to get together sometime in the future – and, if you are in the Sarasota area when I am, let me know. I will send you an invitation to join us for a few drinks and hors d’oeuvres under our backyard tiki hut while we talk about Florida and Michigan stuff!
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ThumbPrint News Travels to Barbados! A Little Bit about Barbados
Here is what Paul had to say about his trip: “My new bride, Kristin, and I took a week long cruise in the Caribbean during our honeymoon. We had a blast. Can’t wait to go back next year!”
Barbados is the easternmost Car ibbean island. When the island was first settled by the British in 1627 it was uninhabited and the British brought in African slaves to work on the sugar plantations that they established there until slavery was abolished in 1834. Throughout mos of the 20th century the economy t was dependent on sugar, rum and molasses production. In 1966 Barbados gained its independen ce from Britain and during the 1990s, tourism and manufacturing became the most important sources of income. The island of Barbados covers 166 square miles. Barbados’s capital city is Bridgeto wn.
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veled to: ews has tra Georgia, Hawaii, N t in r P b rida, Thum a, , Nevad rnia, Flo
Califo issouri nd Arizona, higan, M , Utah a tts, Mic Alaska, Carolina se u th ch u a istan, So ss n a , a M h ia n fg a s, A lv oi F Illin Pennsy TRIES O arolina, onaire, E COUN North C Belize, B D TO TH , N A in Iraq, ra on h Washingt ica, Fiji, alia, Ba
Nigeria, a, Austr a, Domin Argentin osta Rica, Cub exico, Morocco, C M , , a d ti a a irib Can maica, K les. Italy, Ja Spain and Wa , ia St. Luc
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Activites & Events Calendar
September 2013 If you have an event in October that you would like listed in the October issue of ThumbPrint News, email it to ThumbPrintNews@comcast.net by September 12, 2013. There is no charge for the listing. Limited space is available for publishing events in this section. If it becomes necessary to eliminate some of the events that were submitted to us, we apologize. Events that were submitted earliest and non-profit events will be given the first priority. Editor’s note: Before traveling beyond your home town to attend any of these events, please call ahead for any changes in dates or times or for any cancellations.
Flint - September 14 & 15 Bikes on the Bricks, downtown area.
Nearly all of the events are free! Go to bikesonthebricks.com for all event information.
Pigeon - September 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21, 27 & 28 Farmer’s Market, downtown area, 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. on Fridays and 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. on Saturdays. Sponsored by the Pigeon Chamber of Commerce. Info (948) 453-7400.
Lapeer - September 9 Lapeer Cruise, Nepessing St., 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. Last of the season! Tons of free parking. $50/$50 drawing (proceeds to The Refuge). Music by B & C Sound. Info (810) 280-2951.
Almont - September 14 Euchre Night, Almont Lions Hall, 222
Water St., doors open at 6 p.m., play starts at 7 p.m. Two sets of five games each with a break in between for refreshments and lunch. Prizes for top 3 points holders. $15 donation or bring a first time player and both play for $10 each. Info (810) 7989609.
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Brown City - September 21 FreelinMX 4 X 4 Extreme MidMichigan Mud Run, 8395 Cargill Rd.,
1 p.m. $15 bounty on the pit. No glass bottles please – cans ok. Real bathrooms, live announcer and music, sideline bleachers (or bring chairs), playground area and lots of parking. Info (989) 7611301.
New Baltimore - September 1, 8, 15, 22 & 29 Farmers Market, 50976 Washington,
8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Fresh local produce, artisans, food and more. SNAP/ Bridge Card, DUFB, Senior Market FRESH and Project FRESH accepted. Info at www. newbaltimorefarmersmarket.com.
Mount Clemens - September 14, 11 & 18 Farmers Market, Roskopp Parking
Lot, adjacent to the Anton Art Center at Macomb Place and Southbound Gratiot, 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. Credit, debit and bridge cards accepted. Info (586) 493-7600.
Richmond - September 6, 7, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21 & 22 Monty Python’s Spamalot, Richmond
Community Theatre, 69619 Parker St., 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. on Sundays. Adults $15, Senior/Student $10, Ages 7 and under $5. Reservations (586) 727-9518.
New Baltimore - September 14 American Indian Festival, 51065
Washington St., 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Sponsored by the New Baltmore Historical Society. Opening ceremony 10:30 a.m. to welcome and honor veterans. Drum and dance at noon. Crafters, vendors, live music and activities during the day. Info (810) 7483601.
Chesterfield - September 21 & 22 Heritage Day, Chesterfield Historical
Society, 47275 Sugarbush, 10:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Pony rides, donkey petting, games and crafts for the children, horse shoeing, music, craft demonstrations, candle making, antique engine drag sawing and corn grinding, classic and antique cars. $1 donation per adult, $2 per family. Food and drink available for purchase. Info www.hsmichigan.org/chesterfieldhs.
Rochester - September 21 Rochester-Avon Historical Society Walking Tour, begin at Western Knitting
Mill/Rochester Mills Beer Co. on Water St., 1 p.m. $5 for adults, $3 for seniors (age 55+) and students, children under 12 and Historical Society members are free. Rain or shine. Lasts about 2 hours. Info firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Marine City - September 2, 12, 19 & 26 Farmers Market, Parker and High Streets, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Info email@example.com.
Marine City - September 3 Teen Craft Night, Marine City Library,
300 S. Parker, 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. Ages 11 – 17 join us to create a wallet or cell phone holder from duct tape. Info (810) 7655233.
Lakeport - September 7 Nature’s Symphony Book Signing,
Burtchville Twp. Library, 7097 Second St., 2 p.m. Meet local author Laura Nuske, hear her read her book, then do a fun craft! Laura will have her books available for sale and will sign them. Ages 12 and under. Registration requested by calling (810) 385-8550.
Algonac - September 9 & 23 PAWS to read, Algonac-Clay Library,
2011 St. Clair River Dr., 4 p.m. Kids – Read to a dog! Reading to these adorable, four-footed, therapy-certified canines improves reading skills and increases selfesteem while making reading more fun. Ages 6 – 12. Registration recommended by calling (810) 794-4471.
Port Huron - September 9 Copper Miners: Trials and Tribulations in 1913 Michigan’s Copper Country, Port Huron Library, 210
McMorran Blvd., 6:30 p.m. Local author Donna Searight Simons will discuss the historical details behind her new book Copper Empire: A Novel About the Copper Country Labor Strike in 1913. Copies of her book will be available for sale and signing after her talk. Info (810) 987-7323 ext. 132 or 130.
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September 2013 Page 23 St. Clair - September 9, 16, 23 & 30 Teen Movie Night, St. Clair Library, 310
S. Second St., 4:30 p.m. Every week we will be showing a recently released movie. Registration required by calling (810) 3293951.
Capac - September 12 Personalized Coaster Craft, Capac
Library, 111 N. Main, 6 p.m. Make your own ceramic coaster with decorative paper and Mod Podge. Adults. Info (810) 3957000.
Emmett - September 12 - 14 Junque and Treasures Sale, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, 10828 Brandon Rd., 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. on Sept. 12 and 13, 9 a.m. – noon on Sunday ($2 per bag). Donation drop off Sept. 7 – 10. Also lunches, bake sale and farmers market. Info firstname.lastname@example.org.
Memphis - September 12 Quilting Series, Memphis Library, 34830 Potter St., 6 p.m. Sew a quilt one square at a time. Each month we will hand sew a quilt block. Info (810) 392-2980.
Marine City - September 13 Social Country Dance, Washington
Life Center, 403 N. Mary, 5 p.m. Pansy and Paula, the Boot Scootin’ Divas, will provide music for both couples and singles to line dance and waltz. $5 at the door. Light refreshments provided. Info (810) 765-3523.
Marysville - September 14 Fancy Nancy Tea Party, Marysville
Library, 1175 Delaware, 10:00 a.m. Wear your boas, gloves and fancy attire. Join us for tea, punch, cookies and crafts. Ages 3 – 8. Register by calling (810) 364-9493.
Fair Haven - September 16 BeyondAncestry.com, Ira Township
Library, 7013 Meldrum Rd., 6:30 p.m. Are you ready to move your research beyond Ancestry.com? Come out and we will introduce you to some very useful websites to enhance your family tree. Info (586) 725-9081.
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Port Huron - September 16 WidowedCare, Colonial Woods
Missionary Church, 3240 Pine Grove Ave., 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. This is the first of 10 Monday night support group sessions for those who have lost a spouse through death. To register or for more info (810) 984-5575.
Kimball - September 17 Small Wonders, Kimball Township
Library, 1955 N. Allen Rd., 11:30 a.m. Come and join us for stories, songs and crafts. Ages 3 – 5. Registration required by calling (810) 982-9171.
Fair Haven - September 20 Euchre Party, St. Peter Lutheran Church, 6745 Palms Rd., registration at 6:30 p.m., games start at 7 p.m. $5 donation. Free goodies, coffee and tea. Hot dogs and pop available for $1 each. Cash prizes. Info (810) 765-8161.
Columbus - September 21 & 22 4th Annual Studio in the Pines Art/ Craft Show, 1244 Bauman, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. More than 50 vendors and food available. Rain or shine. Info csputts@ earthlink.net
Kimball - September 21 Art N’ Craft Show, Knights of Columbus
Hall, 4521 Ravenswood Rd., 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Free admission. Over 50 tables, bake sale and used book sale. Outside space available on day of show, weather permitting. Info email@example.com
Marine City - September 21 & 22 Lions Club Oktoberfest, 545 Ward St.,
2 p.m. – 11 p.m. on Sat., noon – 7 p.m. on Sun. Bands, bake sale, craft show, food, drink and raffles. Info (810) 765-9121.
Port Huron - September 25 St. Clair County History Group, Port
Huron Museum, 1115 Sixth St., 7:30 p.m. Program will be about the purpose and membership requirements to join the Ottawa Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Guests welcome. Info (810) 989-0399.
Algonac - September 27 & 28 24th Annual Off Our Rockers Variety Show, Algonquin Middle School, 9185 Marsh Rd., 7 p.m. $8 for adults, $4 for children 10 and under. Sponsored by the Washington Life Center and includes comedy, dancing, singing, music – and a few new surprises. Info (810) 765-3523.
To Advertise Your Business With Us, Please Call Lisa at 888-530-3426 Yale - September 28 Autumn Adult Tea Party, Yale
Library, 2 Jones St., 1:30 p.m. Adults, enjoy a variety of teas, cakes and other delicacies while fine china, sterling silver and bouquets of flowers complete your experience. Registration requested by calling (810) 387-2940.
Sandusky - September 14 & 28 Thumb Dance Club, Maple Valley
School, 138 Maple Valley St., 7 p.m. – 11 p.m. Everyone welcome – bring finger foods (for 9 p.m.) and friends. Admission $5 for members, $6 for guests. Sept. 14 entertainment by The Natural Tones.
Raffle, wear blue jeans, Club provides hot dogs. Sept. 28 entertainment by Lighthouse Three. Info (810) 657-9349.
Mayville - September 14 14th Annual Car Show, Mayville
Museum, 2124 Ohmer Rd. Registration from 8 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. $10 early registration, $15 on day of show. Door prizes, gifts, dash plaques and raffle prizes. All you can eat pancake breakfast from 8 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. $6 for adults, $3 for children 3-12, under 3 free. Lunch beginning at 11 a.m. Awards around 2 p.m. to top 30 entries, with raffle after the awards. Info (989)843-5809.
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HOME HEALTH CARE Remember At Any Age For Any Reason, At Any Time Bay Nursing, Inc. Is There To Help Care For You Or A Family Member
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Reichle Auto Parts has new fenders, doors, hoods, patch panels, motors, transmissions, and other sheet metal parts available. Wanted: Late model junk cars. Call John at (810) 329-3697 or (810) 434-1802. Estate Sales ESTATE SALE September 7, 2013 from
9am until 6pm. Drexel, Bedroom, & Wicker Furniture, Silver Settings, Art, Bedroom Furniture, Wicker Furniture, Collectables and More! 1734 Edison Shores Place, Port Huron MI. 48060. This is a one day sale and everything must go. For more information contact JL Johnson Liquidators 810-834-8148.
Brian V. Favero, M.D. 1033 River St. • Port Huron, MI 48060 810.985.9600 • firstname.lastname@example.org
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additions/garages - kitchens/baths - doors/windows finished basements - flooring - decks/pavers & more!
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Employers and employees, the sign up for Obamacare is only 30 days away. This law will affect every man,woman and child under the age of 65. Don’t wait to see if the act is stopped before learning how it will affect you. There are many moving parts to ACA. Find out now if you will receive a subsidy to help pay for part of your premiums and more. Call or email for a FREE, no obligation evaluation from an ACA CERTIFIED agent. Get the facts now before you scramble later on... Cell 586-883-4663 • Fax 586-591-5946 firstname.lastname@example.org
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Belle River Apartments in Marine City on the Belle River, one and two bedroom apartments. $345 to $485. Call (810) 765-8146.
MYRTLE BEACH, SOUTH CAROLINA CONDO, sleeps six,
low fall rates starting at $603 weekly. Wireless internet, outdoor enclosed heated pool. www.gilliganscondo.com or call (586) 648-6168.
General EXPERIENCE ELEGANCE IN ALGONAC, The Algonac Banquet Center
has been newly renovated and is available for rental for all occasions. Make us your destination for weddings, grad parties, showers and more. Located at 1905 Mill Street in Algonac. For questions or to book, call Sue (810) 278-4395.
FIELD CUTTING & BRUSH-HOGGING CALL JOE AT (586) 822-5937
Home & Commercial Services
September 2013 Page 25 Help Wanted THUMBPRINT NEWS has grown
tremendously in the last year and we are seeking a motivated, competitive, and hard-working individual who is extremely career-oriented and driven by success! We have an open sales position to be filled immediately in the Thumb area. Must have experience (some training provided).
JOIN OUR TEAM! (810) 794-2300 or (810) 614-8034 local plumber needed for st. clair county area Inquiries please call
Each month, ThumbPrint News prints a photo of an object or a place for our readers to identify. If you think you know the answer, email us at thumbprintnews@ comcast.net and put “Contest” in the subject line. Be sure to include your name, phone number and full address. Of all persons submitting correct answers by the 15th of the month, one person will be randomly selected to be entered into a drawing for a gift basket valued at over $100 at the end of this year! On December 31, 2013, one winner will be drawn and the lucky person will be notified. In the August 2013 edition, we asked our readers to identify where this picture was taken:
HUNTER’S DREAM! This 3 bedroom, 2 bath 1,700 sq. ft. home is situated on almost 6 partially wooded acres. A sportsman will love being able to hunt deer, wild turkeys, rabbits and squirrels right out his back door. Priced to sell at $143,900. Call (586) 524-2562.
Wanted to Buy
e! Dead or aliv CASH WAITING! CALL NOW (586) 727-3697
Randomly selected from those submitting correct answers was Laurie Tischbein of Harsens Island, Michigan, who correctly identified that the carved yellow fish can be seen in front of a home on the South Channel on Harsens Island, Michigan. Laurie will be entered into our year end drawing for a gift basket valued at over $100.
For our September contest we are asking the question, “What is it?” Identify what the object is that is pictured above and for what it is used. Email your answer to email@example.com. Again, be sure to include your name, address and phone number in case you are correct and are entered in the random drawing at the end of the year for a gift basket valued at over $100. Good luck!
Advertising Sales Manager
at (810) 794-2300
Interested in inserts? You choose the coverage and the areas!
Pick up a copy today at a drop location in your area
Visit ThumbPrintNews.com and click on the Drop Locations tab
Reasonable Advertising Rates!
50,000 copies every month distributed to these eight counties!
An imprint of places and people at work and play in the Thumb of Michigan
ThumbPrint News Contact Scott Zimmer ThumbPrint News
Labor Day Word Search
Home for Sale
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According to the United States Department of Labor website, here is their definition of Labor Day: “Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.” So, for September, all of words that you will need to find represent just a few of the many employment opportunities that abound in this great nation of ours! Have a happy and safe Labor Day holiday wherever your travel plans may take you!
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f q i i r n h z a a i t u c e h i z l p
r a l a e e a j u n m g h t n c s o b t
g u c f d v n r e t s i n i m s t o o u
h t e c h n i c i a n u z e a s a l f z
v h o n a i c i t i l o p l c m i o g n
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s r m r w r y t v l t s i g o l o i b p
c z y u i e p v r q p t r l u v r s w p
x d g f s s r e c e p t i o n i s t e a
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r e c n a d c s o t e c e u a c t o r z
r u g s l e o i p m n b e e n e o d u i
i e f o q n q d a s r e k a t r e d n u
r c s i r t a n i n i a t p a c y t j i
Words to Find accountant actor agent artist author biologist captain chef
chemist dancer doctor engineer entrepreneur fireman instructor inventor
janitor machinist mayor mechanic minister musician nurse pilot
policeman politician president receptionist salesperson singer soldier tailor
teacher technician undertaker volunteer zoologist
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What Happened on This Day in History? By Diane L. Kodet ThumbPrint News Editor
Tips to Protect Yourself When a Stranger Comes Knocking BBB Urges Consumers to Avoid Doing Business at the Front Door The summer is when many people think about home improvement projects, which is why it also often brings unwanted and often fraudulent solicitations for a variety of products and services right to your door. Many times they are run by con artists who move from town to town and state to state, performing poor work, or simply collecting deposits and leaving behind a trail of unhappy consumers. Below are a variety of different fraudulent solicitors that might appear on your doorstep. • Asphalt pavers - They offer cutrate paving services, claiming they have material left over from another job in the neighborhood.Their work and materials are often substandard and the quality of work is poor. • Home improvement contractors Many door to door contractors are unlicensed, uninsured and unqualified to do the work they offer. • Heating, roofing and chimney contractors – They may make false claims that major repairs are necessary or that heating equipment needs replacement. • Landscapers and cleanup crews – Scammers knock on doors and send out flyers at this time of year, offering yard maintenance and cleanup services. They may show up once or twice, or simply take a deposit and never return to do the work. • Magazine sellers – Students are often unaware they are being duped into selling magazine subscriptions for disreputable operators. In many cases wrong magazines arrive or consumers are overcharged. In other situations, the magazine vendors’ boss is simply collecting credit card information for the purpose of committing fraud. • Alarm systems – BBBs across the country receive complaints about people selling alarm systems and failing to divulge terms of the contract for alarm system monitoring. Not all contractors are out to scam consumers, however. In fact, most contractors are legitimate. Unfortunately, their reputation can be tarnished by
unscrupulous operators who cheat consumers. Because of this, consumers more than ever need to research companies because of concerns about scams, reliability and quality of work. Below are six tips from the Better Business Bureau to protect against fraudulent operators. 1. Don’t make decisions at your front door. If your property requires maintenance or remodeling, the BBB recommends researching prospective contractors and sellers at www.bbb.org, to see what other consumers’ experiences have been like. Also, do not invite unsolicited salespeople into your home. 2. Ask for identification and information. If someone is selling door to door, request they provide you with proper identification and leave you with material to read about their products and services. Legitimate sellers and contractors will give you the time you need to research their reputation and reliability. 3. Watch out for high pressure sales tactics. Avoid sellers who encourage you to sign a contract or put down a deposit right away, claiming that they will offer a special rate, but only if you act immediately. 4. Check all contractors’ credentials. Make sure they provide proof of insurance and required coverage, licensing and proof of registration with the State of Michigan. 5. Get it all in writing. A contract should contain a description of the project, labor and materials to be used, a start and completion date and payment schedule. Make sure contracts contain any verbal promises in writing. 6. Remember your rights. You may be able to cancel a contract under the “cooling off period” which in some instances gives you three days to cancel purchases made at your home. More information can be found on this at the Michigan Attorney General’s website athttp://1.usa.gov/10zigS2. The Better Business Bureau also urges consumers to be wary of telephone solicitations for products and services. You will find additional consumer tips at www. easternmichiganbbb.org. Editor’s Note: Melanie Duquesnel is the president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau Serving Eastern Michigan & the Upper Peninsula, which is a non-profit organization that fights fraud and promotes ethical business practices in the local marketplace through its business accreditation, consumer education and dispute resolution programs. Contact your local BBB by calling (248) 223-9400 or by visiting www.bbb.org.
O n this day in 1689, Russia began taxing men’s beards.
O n this day in 1919, the Communist Party of America organized in Chicago.
O n this day in 1928, Baseball Hall of Famer Ty Cobb got his 4,191th and final career hit.
O n this day in 1950, the first helicopter rescue of an American pilot behind enemy lines took place.
O n this day in 1882, 10,000 workers marched in the first Labor Day parade in New York City.
O n this day in 1716, the first U.S. lighthouse was built (Boston).
O n this day in 1954, integration began in Washington D.C. and Baltimore, Maryland public schools.
O n this day in 1921, the first Miss America was crowned (Margaret Gorman of Washington D.C.)
O n this day in 1841, the Great Lakes steamer Erie sank off Silver Creek, New York, killing 300.
O n this day in 1846, Japan invented the rickshaw.
O n this day in 1773, Benjamin Franklin wrote, “There never was a good war or bad peace”.
15 16 17
On this day in 1949, Lone Ranger premiered on ABC-TV. On this day in 1968, Richard Nixon appeared on Laugh-in.
On this day in 1953, the first successful separation of Siamese twins took place.
On this day in 1947, the National Security Act passed.
On this day in 1901, 11 baseball games were canceled due to the funeral of President William McKinley.
On this day in 1863, the Civil War Battle of Chickamauga, near Chattanooga, Tennessee ended.
On this day in 1814, “Star Spangled Banner” was published as a poem.
On this day in 1950, the Nobel peace prize was awarded to Ralph J. Bunche (1st black winner).
On this day in 1862, Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation was published in northern newspapers.
On this day in 1853, the first round-the-world trip by yacht took place (Cornelius Vanderbilt).
On this day in 1933, the first state poorhouse opened in Smyrna, Georgia.
On this day in 1957, West Side Story opened at Winter Garden Theater in New York City for 734 performances.
O n this day in 1935, millionaire Howard Hughes flew his own designed plane at 352.46 mph.
O n this day in 1961, Car 54 Where Are You? premiered
O n this day in 1992, the first subway car was completed to be exported from the U.S. (to Taiwan).
27 28 29
On this day in 1987, NFL players went on strike. On this day in 1701, divorce was legalized in Maryland.
On this day in 1927, telephone service began between the U.S. and Mexico.
On this day in 1985, Howard Stern was fired from WNBC AM (New York).
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September 2013 Page 27
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