Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Ready For Big Birthday Bash?

June 1966
  Many of you weren’t likely around here 31 years ago— June 13 to 16, 1935 to be exact— when Avon Township celebrated its Centennial birthday. There were parades and much merry-making connected to the event, according to reports in that week’s Rochester Clarion.
  But did you know the Village of Rochester will be having its 100th birthday in only three years?
  The community was physically here long before 1869, of course. But that was the year of incorporation for the village. While 1969 may seem like a long time away, it is not too early for some group to start thinking about a celebration. If they have the traditional beard-growing contest for us guys, it may take me and a few others that long to grow one.
* * *
  ROCHESTER HIGH School teachers and other employees of the district honored their departing principal, Harlan Johnson, at lunch last week. Being on the guest list for the day after the last-day-of-school affair, I expected we would be cleaning up the cafeteria’s hot dogs, hamburger, macaroni and cheese and other goodies that wouldn’t keep over the summer. Instead, it turned out to be a full-fledged potluck that no one informed me about. I feel guilty that I didn’t even contribute one of my own favorite dishes— a bag of crispy potato chips.
  Harlan, who survived 16 years of principalship here, could undoubtedly write volumes about unpleasant experiences, among which was a sit-in in front of his office by 100 students only two weeks ago.
  Instead, he recounted only pleasant memories and regrets he will lose his day-to-day contact with teachers and students when he moves into his new administrative job.
* * *
  WHEN THAT DELUGE of rain hit town last Thursday and water ran down Main Street from curb-to-curb, folks started figuring that department store owner Bill Mitzelfeld was being psychic. Just before the rain hit, a truck carrying a display model of a Gold Cup hydrofoil racing boat parked in front of his store.
  While the boat was here to advertise the Spirit of Detroit Association’s Gold Cup races and to also recruit Sea Scouts, onlookers figured that Bill had received a “sign from on high” to prepare for another Noah’s ark episode should the water get any deeper.
* * *
  EVERY MONDAY morning as we scan the long list of casualties on Michigan’s highways, we are convinced that horsepower was much safer when only horses had it.
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  NOTHING NEW DEPARTMENT: From the December 18, 1873 issue of The Rochester Era comes this editor’s comment: “Where is ye famous dog law? Collar-less curs roam our streets unmolested nowadays.”
  By 1966, the situation hasn’t changed a bit… except there are now more of those collar-less curs.