B-flat with Bruce: Arriving in Scottville part 2

February 15, 2012


Bruce Miller


mcp.com columnist


While living south of Custer, we were associated with the Sugar Ridge Church of the Brethren.  This is the kind of place where a lot of people are eager to run from. Not me ! I learned so many things from the locals that I would never have heard otherwise. There was a neighbor across the street who showed me how to read the wooly worm.  Yes indeed.  There are black and brown stripes on the worm and it is “easy” to see by how wide or narrow the stripes are whether it will be a long winter or an early spring or whatever the worm is forecasting for that year. An elderly woman gave me another weather tip which I never knew. “Thunder in the fall, no winter at all” she said with some authority.  I will call the reader’s attention to the fact that we heard thunder last fall. ‘Nuff said ! 


These people from the congregation were mostly from a German heritage. The wives of the farm people learned how to bake an apple pie from their mothers, who had learned from their mothers and so on. I have some wonderful memories of many of these people who took up the challenge to put some weight on me.  God bless them, they did not succeed but not because of a lack of trying. I still anticipate a great piece of apple pie in the fall while driving by a blossom laden apple orchard in the spring.  And yes, some ice cream would be nice on it too.


We in 2012 do not have such a sense of community and neighborly appreciation of what is around us as people of former generations. A recent arrival to Scottville asked me one year during winter, why they would plow the streets of Scottville when U.S.10 – 31 wasn’t plowed yet. Scottville used to be an individual community I told them.  Do you know there used to be eight new car dealers in Scottville?


Urka was in town.  CW Smith also had a dealership in town which is now out on the highway under a different name. Where Wesco is now and just north where the furniture dealer is, both were new car dealerships.  It would never have occurred to people to drive to some other city to buy a car.


When Schoenberger’s grocery store was in business, there was no place else to go for grocery needs.  People actually drove to Scottville to buy at Schoenberger’s. Folks would drive into the dealership, have the car serviced and walk into town to have lunch or buy something or whatever.  This whole idea is gone, remembered by some and never known by others.  It was much the same in Ludington. There was an Oldsmobile dealer on the north side of the avenue and a Mercury dealer almost across the street.


There are some other business people who I would like to highlight.  We mentioned Schoenberger’s market earlier, but not the man. I asked him once if they had any escargot “helper.” He looked puzzled for a moment, then noticed who had asked and chuckled a little.  More next time.


Area Churches