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Mason County Memories

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History Column 275 Dave Petersen I don't think much about what history is, I thought I knew but I didn't take into consideration that it all depends on your frame of reference. What is history to me may not be the same for you. It depends on how we view the world around us, and the emotional tags we assign to it I think. This was all brought to mind because of a recent facebook group that was started up by Marty Hill and Tim Moore on February 19th 2010 called "Vanished Ludington" The premise of the group which now has close to a thousand fans was to draw attention to, discuss and remember those things, business's and people who have vanished from Ludington physically. It's a place to reminisce, and share those things that we all remember and think are too important to be forgotten. The idea for Vanished Ludington came from Marty Hill, and based on a website for Kalamazoo. Marty comments "but there is no dialogue or exchange of ideas, comments, like there is on Facebook. Because of this I think Facebook is a better forum. Hopefully, it grows not only in the number of members, but also in the number of photos posted. Since our memories are limited, I'm hoping photos are posted, or topics are created, that ignite memories of places and events, long forgotten" Hill wrote. Tim Moore's family moved here from Muskegon in 1974 when he was in the 5th grade. His wife JoAnn was born here and their children are the 5th generation of her family to live on their current block. "I miss the vibrant downtown we once had, the diversity and quality of businesses. My hope was that we might get some interesting pictures posted, maybe some reminisces that we could all relate to and laugh a little. Maybe see the name of someone that I haven't thought of in a while. "I figured we would get a few comments but it seems that we hit a nerve with people on the "vanished" idea. The response has far exceeded my expectations. From Friday at 8:30p to Monday morning went from 2 to 600 members. I was astounded really "It is interesting to me to see what people have held onto, what they remember first. I love it when someone says "Wow, I haven't thought about that in forever." I have already seen some re-connections, and new connections made" said Moore. By participating in this forum you don't have to be in Ludington but you can be anywhere in the world. One of the benefits of the World Wide Web are the social networking sites such as Facebook. But Wait! One person writes that they miss the Mole Hole? I think to myself was that really all that long ago? How could that be assigned to the history of Ludington? Yes it has vanished but to wax poetic about a gift shop? I remember The Mole Hole but I have not given it a moments thought since the day it closed until the day before yesterday. It got me thinking about what history is and what makes it important to us. Those things that impact us and leave a lasting impression and memory. How does that happen? I really don't have an answer but I can speculate. I remember reading a book by Morris Massey some 30 years ago where he talked about his theory "You are what you were when" How the events of our youth affected the development of our values, how we view the world and its impact on our life. What happened and shaped my values when I was 10 years old in 1966 is going to be different than the person who was 10 in 1986. They'll be different, but they are equally important. What brings the past to life? Especially for those who have been born before or after us and do not share our viewpoint, or our frame of reference. There are some things in each of our memories that are larger than life, sights, smells, people that when we think about it brings us to this nostalgic place where we yearn for those by gone days, increasing our desires to drink again from that fountain of our youth. As a kid I remember fishing down at Lincoln Lake every chance I got, the fishing was okay but what I really remember is the pop machine outside the Cartier Park office. I would pick up pop bottles on the side of the road and turn them in so I could have a real silver dime for an ice and I mean ICE cold bottle of Nesbitts Orange pop on a hot summers day. It was one of those machines that cooled the pop in an ice water bath and you had to move the bottle you wanted through a wire maze in order to get it out. (A couple of my classmates got around the need for a dime by bringing a can opener and a straw.) That is forever etched in my memory, I've even got a Nesbitts pop cooler, the kind with the cold water bath, when I saw it I could not resist. What are your memories? If you want to read or to share your history and memories got to facebook and find "Vanished Ludington" or another group called "I grew up in Ludington" (next weeks column) and tell us about it. Thanks to Marty & Tim for this. While you are there look up "Mason County Memories; Old Places Familiar Places" that's the group I started to present historical images of Mason County and to link to my past history columns. Its all fun, besides what else are you going to do on a cold winters day?

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