Saturday, January 19, 2008

Living In Colwood, MI

I was born in the old Cass City Hospital in 1954. We lived in Colwood across from the Dillon Farm in an old 2 story house. I have many vivid memories from that house and for some reason I also remember the layout. I have always had photographic memory and many times people have claimed that no one could have such memories at that age but I do. I can remember watching Popeye Cartoons on the old Captain Muddy Waters Show, (he later became an icon as the top weatherman, Charlie Waters, on local NBC channel 5), on an old television with a huge cabinet and a tiny oval screen. And my parents and brother and I sitting on a Victorian style sofa with a grey tabby cat laying across the back behind my dad. My mother hand pumping water at the sink to heat on the stove to do dishes. My wonderful big brother standing me on a chair on my tippy-toes coercing me to stick my tongue between the metal cooling plate and the bottom metal plate of the freezer on our old refrigerator. And me hanging there with my tongue firmly frozen in place while my frantic mother using a butter knife and warm water trying to extricate me. Is it any wonder that I stabbed him through the cheek with a fork? (which I don’t remember)
I remember climbing the stairs with a round object (probably the lid to an old wringer washing machine) as a shield and a piece of wood as a sword and a blanket across my shoulder for a cape, and reaching the top watching my dad at his work bench in front of the upstairs widow working on a part for his car or truck. Then making it safely to landing midway down only to trip on my cape and tumble to the bottom. I also remember the day I lost the sight in my left eye. I was walking around the side of the house and saw my brother swinging a toy truck around his head on a piece of wire. He let it loose and it almost hit me, the end of the wire did hit me in the eye tearing the cornea and pupil. Mom kept putting cold washcloths on it and when dad came home from pheasant hunting, I remember him entering the bedroom with his gun and two pheasants. They took me to see Dr. McGee in Bay City were they got the news that I wouldn’t have much use of that eye anymore. I remember him and his exam room full of strange equipment.

This is a photo of the house and me and Spitz. Spitz was a female German Shepherd that was my Uncle Ray’s daughter Jane’s dog. They had moved someplace where they couldn’t keep it so my parents were taking care of it for them. Spitz was a wonder dog, very intelligent, and very protective of me and my brother. My parents could let John and I wander around the yard under Spitz’s watchful eye and had no worries. If we got too close to the road, she would herd us back and if that didn’t work she would grab hold of our clothes and drag us back into the yard. However, she got too protective and wouldn’t let anyone into the yard when we were outside. My dad had to chain her up to this electric pole when he went to work because the mailman was going to refuse to try to deliver mail as she wouldn’t let him even stick his arm out the window to put mail in our box. And relatives were afraid to come over when dad wasn’t home. Shortly after this photo was taken, Spitz slipped her chain and tried to stop a tractor from going down the road in front of our house. I watched in horror as a car coming from behind, passed the tractor and ran over Spitz, killing her. We took her to the gravel pit nearby and buried her.

This is a photo of what was left of the barn beside and behind the house after a tornado came through and knocked it down. It was the only structure damaged in the area.

My Dad was an independent trucker who hauled gravel for many contractors. He also hauled huge limestone blocks to build the breakwater pier at Caseville.
This photo is of him and his 1954 Chevy Dump Truck. Notice where the spare tire was kept. It had to be taken out before loading and dumping each load, and then be put back.