Monday, February 26, 2007

Manresa Weekend

There I was standing by the street, duffel bag at the ready, and my ride no where in sight. I thought I had heard correctly, that I would be picked up at 4:30 PM on Friday, but my ride was no where to be seen. I must have got it wrong, and was to have met them someplace else. I had been waiting for this week end for almost a year, and now I was going to miss it. How could I have been so stupid? Just as I was trying to decide which tree to bang my head against, a car came around the corner, and my ride had arrived. One of the guys had a flat tire a block from the driver’s house, and that is why they were late. Because of this, I knew, I would value the weekend all the more.

This is the fourth year I have spent the first weekend of Lent on retreat at Manresa House, a retreat house run by the Jesuits. Each has been a rewarding and enriching time for me. We arrived at the house at Woodward and big Beaver Road in Bloomfield Hills in good time. The house is set on almost 40 archers, a piece of the country in the middle of urban space. The traffic speeds by on Woodward right past the grounds, and one would never know it.

We were told this retreat is a gift from God, and God called each of us to the retreat for a reason. This is a rest stop from the world, a time to renew to ourselves and grow as persons. As is the tradition common to all Jesuit retreat house, this was a silence retreat. Silence is not a punishment or a disciplinary measure, but a way of listening for what God has to say. You will not hear God, if you are talking someone, and that person can not hear God as well, or the people around those speaking.

During the retreat we listened to presentations or sat in the library to read, wondered the grounds, whatever we chose to do. There was the Rosary, the Stations of the Cross, and mass.

Saturday, February 24, was the 27th anniversary of the death of my mother. I spent so quit time thinking of her. My mother had a horrible childhood, yet so tried her best to be a good mother. She did well, considering all she had to deal with in her past. My sister and I were lucky to have had her as a mother.

On Saturday evening a Healing Service was held, a time to deal with the pain of life, whether it physical, or personal. The cause may have been something done to us, an injury inflicted years before. This was a time to heal. Christ came to us as a healer, and spent most of his time healing the sink in body or is spirit. Chose what you want to heal, pray, take part in the service and allow yourself to recover. I feel better for having taken part in the service.

I was sorry the weekend came to an end, and on Sunday the time came for us to leave. Still, I have the next retreat to look forward to.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

John Van Cleve is found dead

The following story was published by The Ypsilanti Record on Thursday, February 15, 1017.

Apparently dead for many hours, the lifeless body of John Van Cleve, member of one of Ypsilanti's once most prominent families, was found in his room a the home of Mrs. Molly J. rice, 220 South Huron street, Monday, evening. Heart disease had evidently taken him away. It is presumed death came some time Sunday, as he had not been seen since Saturday evening.

Mr Van Cleve was about 75 years of age, son of John W. Van Cleve, Sr., once wealthy and prominent Ypsilantian. He is survived by one brother, Frank of Escanaba, and one son, Nathaniel, of Westchester, Pa. His wife died 20 years ago. The senior Mr. Van Cleve was a pioneer merchant of Ypsilanti and once owner of the Peninsular paper mill.

For several months the deceased had roomed at the Rice home. He was not in good health, but was able to be about. He was seen Saturday to leave his room. On Monday evening a neighbor lady, recalling that he had not been seen about either Sunday or Monday, went to call. Finding his room quit, a man roomer in the house was called, a light was turned on and Mr. Van Cleve was found dead in his bed.

A message was at once sent to the brother in Escanabe, telling of the death, and efforts were immediately made to locate the son in Virginia. Difficulty was met in locating him.

As soon as the death was discovered, the remains were cared for at a local undertaking establishment. Coroner Burchfield, of Ann Arbor, was called in on the case, and Tuesday morning he came and investigated. Mrs. Rice, proprietor of the rooming house where Van Cleve lived, is ill in a sanitarium at Mt. Clemens, where she went about three weeks ago for treatment.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Flames drive father out

This story was published by The Ypsilanti Daily Press on Wednesday, February 13, 1907.

William Densmore and his wife (Minerva), who reside at 426 North Huron street, parent of G. W. Densmore, manager of the Washtenaw Telephone Co., were painfully burned early this morning in attempting to extinguish a small blaze which originated in a couch in the parlor. Mr. Densmore leaped from his sick bed to fight the flames which threatened the destruction of his home. Clad only in his night dress, he suffered severely from exposure to the cold weather, and may suffer a setback which may be serious on account of his advanced age.

Mrs. Densmore has been sleeping on the couch in the parlor. When she arose this morning it is thought that in sticking match the head flew off and ignited the fringe of the couch. The fire communicated to the interior of the couch from the underside, making it a difflcult matter to get at it. Mr. and Mrs. Densmore and their daughter, Miss Lucia M. Densmore, principal of the Woodruff school, tried to smother the fire with rugs and blankets.

Failing in this they attempted to carry the couch out of the house. Mr. Densmore went ahead, but the couch could not be moved through the storm door. It stuck fast, and Mr. Densmore in his nightie was a temporary outcast in the almost zero weather. The fire department soon arrived and put out the blaze.

It was found that Mrs. Densmore's dress had caught fire, but little damage was done her. She sustained some painful burns on her hands. Three of Mr. Densmore's fingers were badly blistered. Carpets and curtains were damaged, too.

(Mr. Densmore died at the age of 77, on May 28, 1909.)

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Old Roberts Taver

This story was published by The Ypsilanti Record of Thursday, February 8, 1917.

The recording of the deed of the Roberts farm on Michigan avenue, west of Ypsilanti, an old Pittsfielder recalls when there stood on it the old Roberts tavern. "Them was the good old days, boy!" Whisky was as common and cheap as mineral water is now--25 cents a gallon.

Shaking dice for the drinks was as common then as it is now, but the relator tells of a stunt which is novel as well as peculiar. There was a large fireplace in Roberts tavern, around which many have swapped yarns; into it they have gazed, empited their pipes and sizzled the coals with tobacco juice; broiled steaks thereon and toasted their shins by it. But to think that ths large old fireplace was used as a gambling device is truly interesting.

It was this way: When time lagged and excitement was wanted, someone suggested that they all lie down in front of the fireplace for the drinks. A circle was drawn from corner of the hearth to the other out and away from the fire about an arm's length. All stretched out on the floor with heir heads to the mark and extended an arm toward the fire. He who could leave his hand against the heat the longest time would be the winner. The one with the shortest arm usually won. The first to give up was the first to treat, and so on in turn. The lst one only would be the real winner.

Motorman, Thrown from top of car by electric shock

This story was published by The Ypsilanti Record of Thursday, February 8, 1917.

Knocked from the top of a car which stood in the car shed at the interurban station on Washington street this morning, Frank Wilkinson, motorman, struck his head and shoulders on the steel rail below and sustained a fractured skull, concussion of the brain and several broken ribs. His condition is serious.

Wilkinson is a freight motorman. He went to the roof of his car which stood at the freight dock about mid-forernoon for the purpose of repairing a trolley. He carried a switch bar, and this he used to make a circuit by which he hoped to run his car out. A short-circuit resulted and he got the force of a heavy voltage of electricity.

Force of the current knocked him from the top of the car to the ground. Stricking on his head and shoulders, he suffered concussion of the brain, his collar-bone was broken, three ribs were broken, and from the hemorrage from his ears and nose which resulted, it is believed fracture of the skull took place.

Medical aid ws summoned and Wilkinson was removed to his home out East Michigan avenue, beyond the bridge. He has regained consciousness, but is in a serious condition. He is about 35 years of age and hs a wife.

Suicides by taking acid

This story was published by The Ypsilanti Record of Thursday, February 8, 1917.

Death by sucide came to Mrs. Florence Schroeger, residing in the rooms in the second story over the Daily Press office, corner Michigan avenue and Adams street, thuesday about 2 o'clock. An ounce of carbolic acid swallowed with intent to take her own life was the cause.

Doctors Hull and Clifford were summoned shortly after the dose was taken, but it was impossible to give her relief and death soon followed.

Mrs. Schroeger resided with ther mothe, Mrs. E. M. Curtis, and the mother is now left in charge of three small childern of the deceased. One of them has been ill with scarletina and the home has been under quarantine because of this fact.

In her youth Mrs. Schroeger was a leader in the younger set and was popular. She was adopted in infancy by Mr. and Mrs. E. M. Curtis and took their name. The was twice married, first to Roy Coleman. Three childern wer born to them. Separation finally resulted and last summer Mrs. Coleman was married to A. J. Schroeger, who was at one time propietor of a garage on South Adams street. Later she accompanied him west, but returned recently with her childern to live with Mrs. Curtis.

Owing to the quarantine the funeral of Mrs. Schroege will be private. It will occur this afternoon.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Loses hand in grinder

This story appeared in The Ypsilanti Record of Thursday, February 1, 1917.

The past week was productive of three bad accidents, all occurring while the victims were engaged in their daily work.
George Meyer, of Michigan avenue east, was the most seriously injured. His injury occurred Monday afternoon at 3 o’clock, when his left hand was ground off in a power meat chopper.
While at work his fingers were caught in the spiral gear and drawn into the machine, which could not be stopped until the fingers were entirely torn off. In dressing it surgeons had to take the hand off half-way of the palm, and only the thumb is left. The injury was more painful from the fact the cords in the arm were drawn out of place, one being pulled from the elbow down
Simon Nissly, of South Adams Street, superintendent and designer of the plant of the Scharf Tag and Label Company, on Tuesday afternoon got his right foot crushed. The arch was broken down, but recovery is possible without amputation.
In assisting in moving a heavy die cutting machine, the machine slipped from a roller and onto his foot, crushing it to the floor.
Fred Foerster, 52 East Cross street, an employee of the Thompson Brothers factory, on Saturday lost the little finger of his left hand when he got his hand into a sticker.
Dr. Howard Post, who was taken to an Ann Arbor hospital a week ago for treatment, is suffering from an abscess due to an injury of several weeks ago. He at that time was inspecting a new barn in the country before the floor was laid. A board tipped and he fell breaking three ribs. An abscess eventually formed. Since going to the hospital he has improved nicely.