Out and About – Week of October 25th

One of my Indiana friends noticed my explanation in last week’s column concerning why residents of Indiana are referred to as “Hoosiers”. He was interested in learning more on this topic. For all my Hoosier friends, here are a couple more explanations:

When a visitor hailed a pioneer cabin in Indiana, or knocked upon its door, the settler would respond, “Who’s yere?” From this frequent response Indiana became the “Who’s yere” or Hoosier State.
There was once a contractor named Hoosier employed on the Louisville and Portland Canal who preferred to hire laborers from Indiana. They were called “Hoosier’s men” and eventually all Indianans were called Hoosiers.
The Stone House Free Store, located on the southeast corner of West and Bennett Streets in Three Rivers, is still taking all clothing, but are in need of sets of bed linen. The Free Store is open every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 AM until noon. During these hours they will take donations and patrons may shop for what they need. If you have items to donate, please do so during these hours only. Items left on the porch after hours, will probably end up in the dumpster.

Growing up, we lived about a block away from the railroad tracks. I’m not sure if I was raised on the right side, or the wrong side of the tracks. It depends who you ask. Anyway, it was always fun to run to the tracks whenever we heard the train whistle blow. Watching the big locomotive pulling all those cars was fascinating. As the caboose passed by there was always someone sitting at the caboose window waving at us kids. The days of the steam locomotive and the red caboose are gone forever.

I’ve often wondered why you don’t see a caboose on a train anymore. At one time, a caboose was used on every freight train in the United States. This came to an end in the 1980s. This is when the safety laws requiring the presence of a caboose, along with a full crew were relaxed. If you look closely at the last car of a train, you’ll see a small flashing red light. These days most freight trains do not require more than just a couple of people to make it run.

If you have the desire to own a caboose, a steel-bodied caboose might cost between two and four thousand dollars. A caboose made of wood would be a bit cheaper. I’m sure arranging to have a caboose placed in your backyard for the enjoyment of the grand-kids could run a few bucks. You’d be better off taking the family to that eatery on North Main Street in Three Rivers. They have a nice red caboose attached to the restaurant.

The 64th Annual Mendon Kiwanis Showboat is coming November 4, 5, and 6 at the Mendon Elementary Gymnatorium. Showtime for “Thanks for the Memories – USO Style” is 7 PM all three nights. Tickets are available at Bill’s Barber Shop, Mendon Shell, Eickhoff Funeral Home, Southern Michigan Bank & Trust (Mendon Branch), or see any Kiwanian. Tickets will also be available at the door for $10. For all you veterans, your admission is FREE.

“Every second without fail, some store rings up another sale.” – BURMA SHAVE

See you Out and About!

Submitted by Norm Stutesman

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