By Sue Moore
Vicksburg’s Merrill Will Be Missed
Margaret “Peg” Merrill epitomized what it is to give back to her community in a positive way. Community involvement has always been a priority for the family. Peg’s father Maurice Rawlinson was president of the village at one time, Peg served on the village council, and now her daughter Julie Merrill has just been elected to the village’s ruling body. The family had an appliance store on Main Street in Vicksburg beginning in the 1940s where you could depend on quality product and the same for repair service. This small town mom-and-pop business has survived and is continuing under Julie’s ownership, even in the face of extreme competition from the big box stores.
Peg started her community service early in her adult life by becoming a Girl Scout leader. Even before women could be members of service clubs, she became a Lioness because her husband Bob was in the Lions Club. She joined Rotary as soon as women were accepted and led the Vicksburg club as president in 2003/04. Under her leadership, the deck overlooking Clark Park was built, affording residents an easy access to this gem of a park, right in the center of the village. She helped with Showboat and, until recently, she and Bob were in attendance at all the rehearsals, making coffee and bringing refreshments to the cast and crew for every rehearsal. She passed away at the age of 83, having served with great honor in her hometown.
Schoolcraft Lost Its Special Lady
Norma Tackett died Sunday, November 2, without any fanfare or service in her honor because she didn’t want anything of the sort. Yet she will be remembered for her 25 years of organizing the Christmas Walk in Schoolcraft, thereby helping to put the village on many people’s travel map to start the holiday season. Her antique store on Grand Street in Schoolcraft along with her husband Carl’s T&W Coin shop, brought visitors from near and far to search out quality antiques and coins. They were a great pair and represented the heart and soul of this small town. She had even planned to go ahead with the Christmas Walk this year, albeit cutting back to just Saturday in her store and letting others keep the candles burning up and down Grand Street on Friday, December 5.
She knew her antiques and was respected as the eminent authority by dealers far and wide. Her staff had been with her for so many years, they could predict what her thoughts would be and pretty much any item in the store. The neat thing was that she and Carl lived in an apartment next to the store where her special collections were kept on display. Her staff is carrying on the legacy and tradition by keeping the store open this month and having the Christmas Open House in her honor on Dec. 6. She will be sorely missed.
Vote Recount for State Senate Seat
Across the state, the only contest that came close to a draw was in Kalamazoo County between Margaret O’Brien and Sean McCann who came down to the wire with 59 votes between them for the state senate seat in the 20th District. McCann has understandably requested a recount which Tim Snow, Kalamazoo County clerk will conduct from December 8 – 11 in the Walnut room at Nazareth. He doesn’t have to deal with ‘hanging shards’ as in the contested presidential election between Bush and Gore, but there will be attorneys and representatives for each candidate in the room watching the process carefully.
A recount means each ballot will be examined to determine whether the mark that goes in the oval is discernable. Some people even put an X inside the oval and that will count, according to Snow. Sometimes the machine will not read the mark correctly if it isn’t legible or goes outside the boundaries. With this hand count, each ballot will be examined for the voter’s intent, he says, particularly if the marks are consistent throughout the ballot. He doesn’t believe the recount will change the outcome by much, because usually the count just goes up a notch for each candidate based upon the given percentage that each candidate has won in the first place. The results will be announced shortly after Snow delivers the counts to the state.