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Mason County Memories


"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus" ~ Mark Twain


History Columns are arranged by year of publication in the Ludington Daily News



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November 1945 History Column Dave Petersen On the front page of the November 16th there is a story about the United War Fund and they identify that at that time there had been 1,920 total enlistments and inductions into the armed forces during WWII. Of that number on November 16th 1945 there were still 1,615 still in the service. Let that sink in a minute. Little old Mason County had almost 2,000 of its residents serving during WWII. That's reall quite an impressive number when you consider our County population. Hey its deer season and guess who got their buck? Vince Van Conis scored a 160 pound six pointer, and claimed the first deer of the season. Richard and Rodney Grams both got their bucks 200 and 180 pounds respectively. I gave Rod a call and asked him about it. "I had just gotten home after being released from the Navy, I was a pilot and so was my brother. I was sitting out north of Walhalla near the old onion farm. I was hunting with a 303 Savage and he came around the corner and I dropped him."Lester Keson, Clay Blue, Robert Weir and William Johnson also were successful as well as many others. The Ludington Homecoming was set to kick off that evening, the game was against Alpena. Miss Irene Lund was honored at a shower and Bertha Bentz tied the know with Elmer Pardon of Spokane Washington. Robert and Ronald Stocking were surprised with a birthday party that took place at Lakeview School. (they were 11) . Kuras Furniture was where you could go to get a new record, does it surprise you that "I'll be home for Christmas" by Bing Crosby was a top seller? For the youngsters out there a record was one of those round flat things you played on a (ready for it?) a record player, and the old 78's only had one song on each side. Playing at the Lyric was Pearl S Bucks story titled "China Sky" Love and destiny out of the blazing fire of war's ruthless passions! Some of the businesses listed in the classifieds include Haight's Fix it shop, Virg's Radio Hospital, Holmes Trucking, Cooley News Stand, Nelson's Drug Store, Lunds Grocery and the Ethyl Shoppe. Remember last week I asked about Al's Bear Service? Don Johnson wrote to say that "Al's two sons Don and Carlton Chinnery were in High School with me back in the '40s. That was Chinnery's Hudson/ Packard dealership. "He had one of the few if only automobile front end alignment machines in Ludington (a Bear machine) I rolled over my dad's 37 Ford coup in my reckless High School years. Carlton and I towed it down to their garage (next to the then Marine Tavern) and cut the body off the frame, stuck the chassis on the Bear machine and straightened it out. I then went down to Bambenicks salvage yard in Hart, MI and bought a Tudor body for $35. Well we installed the Tudor body on the chasis while it was on the Bear machine, and we put many miles on that old 85 horse V8 after that." Thanks Don for clearing that up! Did your family own a store in Mason County? I'm always looking for a good story to tell about local families. If you have any stories or photographs and you would like to share with our readers please feel free to contact me at 757-3240, davep@blackcreekpress.com or in Care of the Ludington Daily News PO Box 340 Ludington Michigan 49431 Pic 1 Mark Clothing Company was located at 323 S James St. Pic 2 Bertram and Weiler was located at 403 S Washington Street and sold Scott Atwater Outboard Motors. Did you buy one? Tell us about it and the store. Pic 3 Groteman's Wife Saving Station, the name still make me chuckle, 417 S James St was where you could get a new washer and by doing so probably saved your own life in the process. Pic 4 Gray's Book and Gift Shop at 319 S James St. A Rust Card craft card, still have one in your scrapbook?

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