By Sue Moore
The parade route in downtown Vicksburg for Christmas in the Village has been lengthened. This is to accommodate the floats and fire engines that are expected to take part in the evening parade which was a first-time success in 2015. People were sometimes standing ten deep at the corner of Prairie and Main Streets. The congestion was deemed a safety issue as the big fire trucks had a hard time navigating the corner to turn south on Main Street. Once the parade is over, the fire trucks will park on S. Main so kids and families can inspect the decorated equipment.
June Morley a Vicksburg Icon
The passing of June Morley in October marked the close of a chapter of this remarkable lady’s almost century of giving back to her community. She was musically gifted and gave generously of her time as a pianist. There are so many musicians whom she has made better. She spent years accompanying students in school contests at the local and state competition levels. Jim Shaw, Vicksburg’s band director for many years, remembers when the planners for competitions had to schedule around her because she was accompanying so many students all on one day.
One of her greatest gifts was playing for the Rotary Club Showboat for 30 years. This meant rehearsals and performances where she might be playing along and the singer would forget the words or go off key in the middle of a song. She would just transition to the key they were in and go right on playing just like nothing ever happened.
She had other interests too, especially in antiques. She knew the value of most everything coming into her store that she opened where Home Again is now located. She got interested in line dancing and was often seen at area hot spots, kicking up her heels. She had a great influence on the lives of young and old alike.
Schoolcraft Antique Business Growing Again
Sue Merrill Cooley has purchased the buildings where Norma and Carl Tackett lived and worked on Schoolcraft’s Grand Street. She plans to live in one side of the building and open her own shop in the area that Norma developed into one of the premier antique stores in all of Michigan. Cooley had previously had her collection of antiques showcased in the Antique Mall and before that at her sister’s Rawlinson’s Appliances store in Vicksburg.
Other Businesses Opening in Schoolcraft
A medical doctor’s office has been approved by the Planning Commission to occupy what was the Crown Pharmacy in Schoolcraft on Grand Street in January.
In addition, Stacy Peck has plans to open a hair salon in the building that previously housed the Cupcake shop on S. Grand. She will offer nail services and cosmetics and have a potential for massages in this 100-year-old building.
Jamie Clark’s company has plans for a Planned Unit Development for the former Arco building on Eliza Street were approved by the planning commission and the village council. There will be an art gallery inside the building, an event center, as well as storage for manufacturers in this 100,000 square foot building. The planning commission was concerned about paving of the dirt parking lots and asked that all of it be done by November 1 of 2017.
In addition, Clark Logic, owned by Jamie Clark with headquarters in Three Rivers, has just purchased the former Eimo building on VW Avenue in Vicksburg’s Leja Industrial Park.
Students Help Rake Leaves
Schoolcraft Middle School students, called “SMS Squads,” fanned out across the street from their school to help neighbors rake leaves in November. People were amazed to find help for a task that some of them couldn’t do for themselves, said Jim Lockwood, a Clay Street resident.
“I’m disabled and unable to get outside. Then here comes a group of youngsters who didn’t ask for anything, just went to work raking the leaves. I am so grateful and want others to know of this kindness,” Lockwood said.
Dave Michaelson, who lives across the street, has a broken bone in his foot; he watched the kids rake up what looked like a ton of leaves. He is the son of the former Schoolcraft band director and found out that the Mr. Mike award was still given out each year, keeping his father’s memory alive; he was doubly grateful. “They just came and did my lawn. Kudos to the Schoolcraft School system for teaching kids home town values,” Michaelson exclaimed.
Middle School Principal Dave Powers said the leaf raking was an effort on behalf of the school to give back to the community, particularly those neighbors who are shut-in or seniors in need of assistance. “So much of the news and contemporary thought focuses on the negative of teenagers, so we wanted to demonstrate that Schoolcraft Middle School students make the choice to live beyond their own world to serve others.”
“Another reason we wanted to do this activity is also centered around the effort we’ve made this year to build 5th through 8th grade families, or SMS Squads as we call them, comprised of approximately 15 students. Our goal is to sponsor some fun and celebratory type activities, like the dodgeball tournament we had on Halloween, and then do some community service projects together like the ‘Rake and Run’.”
“These Squads will stay together for their entire middle school career. We ask the 8th graders to step up and lead, to show us the way and set the tone for the year. At the end of the year we celebrate their graduation to high school, recognize our rising 8th grade group of leaders and make a special welcome to the incoming 5th graders. So far this school year the Squads have been a beautiful thing to behold,” Powers said.