HOWELL AND VICINITY
Leaving New London, we headed for Howell, Michigan, stopping in Ann Arbor to call on Mrs. Blum, 88, and at Brighton to see the Newman, mother and daughter. At 8 p.m. we arrived at Lake Chemung, which is Winfield’s cottage home while at Howell, next door to the Yoon family, where we made night headquarters during the remaining 3 days of my outing. Grace, Winfield’s wife, was at the time, at their Northport home, and therefore, upon the few occasions that were offered, when we were available, Mrs. Yoon contrived some wonderful dinners for us to sit down to, with the family. These were highly appreciated by Winfield and myself.
Starting Tuesday morning we put in 3 intensive days of calling, sometimes together and I sometimes alone, in more or less brief interviews, while Winfield attended to his own business about town. Some of these I will mention in rapid fire order; met Mrs. Roy Sears; saw Howard Warner and Guy Knoop, both of whom were my draymen when in business; met Gerald Hubbell at the Tavern; talked with Mrs. Beatty, basement manager in the big Howell D. and C. store; Mr. Johnson, the manager; met William III and called at the McPherson State Bank; dropped in at the insurance office to talk with R. B. McPherson, lately deceased, and his associate, Paul Uber; saw Bob White, Standard Oil Station operator for many years; Russell Smith, the Ford man; Wilbur Johnson, veteran druggist; Mrs. Douglas Marr; and the Buick agency manager. Called on Mrs. Bert Pate, Frank and Blanche Andersen, Mrs. Ross Hildebrant, and Robert McPherson. Visited Don Van Winkle, my one-time attorney; his son and associate Chas. K. Van Winkle; and the efficient office secretary, Miss Esther Yerkes. Met Winfield for lunch at the old original Family Restaurant, with its familiar faces.
Roy Caverly, co-owner, showed me around the Livingston County Press, than which there is no more modern plant in Michigan and which employs 45 people. Winfield drove me around to view the four new schools at the corner areas of the city, and John S. Page, the genial superintendent for the past 35 years, showed us the central building’s refurbished auditorium, seating 730, and said the district had over a million dollars in school investment. We visited the motor and appliance factory, out East Grand River, in which Archie Fournier has an interest but since he was away his brother Don, and the shop foreman showed us around. Our boys were pals of Archie as youngsters, in many great and wholesome adventures. We saw the big hospital, now building; and the new Baptist Church, which is a beauty, then drove around the old Fair Grounds, now the site of a new factory. Nearby is the 11,000 square foot new A. and P. food store. With Winfield, under the guidance of Bill Ladner, on a conducted tour, we did the new Citizens Auto Ins. Co., employing 300 and costing $1,300,000, Berthold Woodhams president. While here we saw Joe Brady, an officer of the company, Winifred Hight, Margaret Peavy, Marion Earl, and other old friends.
We drove to Milford to inspect the new self-serve D. and C. store, managed by Lowell Newcomb; then through the Kensington Huron River Park development for miles, maintained by the state; thence into Ann Arbor over the new bridge spanning the Huron River and to Doo Sun Yoon’s Music Store, featuring the latest in piano models; thence to Howell via the river and lake road, stopping to call on the Harry Williams’ and continuing on to Oak Grove to see the Ikens’ and Wriggelsworths; next day inspected the country hardware of Sherm Haller at Lake Chemung, and saw Fred and Nellie Boutin at their apartment house at the lake. We made a trip to Brighton around the new home and factory developments; called at the D. and C. and met the manager, Mr. Chapel; saw Paul Uber, druggist; drove around lovely Island Lake, where we at one time maintained a boathouse, and the boys learned to swim; next, to “Northland” in Detroit, the biggest neighborhood shopping center in the world, sponsored by the J.L. Hudson Co; then to Walled Lake, another D. and C. location; and finally to Highland, to partake of a 6 o’clock dinner with Eph and Rose Hubbell, cooked and served as only a farmer’s wife can.
The last full day in the Howell area we ran over to Fowlerville to renew old ties with Ernie Lang, the good-natured manager of the D. and C.; then on to Lansing with its capital city attractions; to Grand Ledge and the big double store of the D. and C. where we contacted Banker Towne; next on to Eaton Rapids, to the double-front general store of Lynwood Webb; then to the Miller Dairy Farms, a wide-spread institution, presided over by George Miller and Gladys Miller; then to Stockbridge, headquarters of the D. and C., where I had a good personal talk of an hour with their president, Herb Dancer, who showed us their newly built all-metal warehouse, 100 by 140 feet in size. Enroute home we drove around the State Sanatorium, with its new construction.
After supper I went down with Winfield, who had to attend the monthly bank directors meeting at the First National and I was courteously invited to sit in with them, as a former shareholder and chairman of the Board. But I had to excuse myself shortly to meet another appointment and repaired to the home of Roy and Clara Caverly, where later we were joined by Winfield about the festive table with cake, ice cream and coffee. Also we said “Hello” to the Caverly Jr. family- William, Carol and “Chucky.”
Friday the 14th Winfield took me to the airport, after a momentous and busy 7 days, with a total of 1300 miles registered in auto travel, in which all the oldsters I me from other days urged me to repeat the trek in 1961, as has become my habit, every 5 years. Winfield vows that at that time he will convoy me across the Macinac Bridge, now building the longest suspension bridge in the world, so nicely described in the October Readers Digest. I only regret that I must make these travel exploits alone, leaving the wife to ‘keep the home fires burning’, as she is allergic to long trips.