Monday, January 17, 2011

If You Can Walk, Join The Crowd

September 1966
  Mrs. Viola Coltson of Avon Road would like to start a new club. But she hardly expects a stampede of folks to sign up.
She would like to find other people who like to walk. You know— that ancient form of transportation where you stand up, lean forward and place one foot in front of the other.
  Mrs. Coltson likes to walk. She once belonged to a hiking club in Detroit. They would hoof it around Belle Isle or take to the trails of Bloomer State Park near Rochester. The hike would often end up with a visit to a bowling alley, a movie or a restaurant.
  Out on Avon Road where there is no shoulder on the roadway, Mrs. Coltson finds it unsafe to take a walk. So she takes her daily stroll along some of the side roads. Walking is more fun when you have someone to walk with, Mrs. Coltson says. She envisions small walking groups could be divided according to age, sex and likes and dislikes as to where to go and what to do.
  In this age, Mrs. Coltson finds, anyone seen walking along a road is looked upon as being a little strange. If she decides to walk into town, friends and neighbors stop and insist that she ride with them. Anyone seen talking a walk along a road at night is immediately under suspicion.
  For anyone interested in returning to the lost art of walking can call Mrs. Coltsen at 651-8364. Or you can walk out and see her.

* * *
  LOCAL FOLKS WHO have ventured around Northville way may recall that it has been noted for decades for its Old Spring. People driving 50 miles have been seen to line up at the Old Spring on weekends with jugs and bottles to take home some of the “old fashioned” water free of charge. Having lived in nearby Plymouth for nine years, I occasionally drove over for a “fill up” too.
  My former newspapering colleague, Bill Sliger in Plymouth, now owner of the Northville Record, carries a drawing of the old springhouse on the masthead of his newspaper.
  Unfortunately, the spring went dry a few years back. For a while no water was available. Vehicles would keep driving up with occupants hopping out with intentions of filling their empty jugs. Finally, the City Fathers decided to at least do something to dispel the disappointments of a dry well. They hooked up the spring pipe to the Northville municipal water system and fixed up the well area.
  Despite publicity locally that the Old Spring no longer produces spring water, hundreds of strangers still show up every week.
  But to now compound the matter, Northville is this week converting to the Detroit water system. As a result, most visitors will be lugging home jugs of the same Detroit River water that comes from their taps at home!