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Main Street

North Korea, Syria and Iran represent a few more wars our country could stay out of.

If you’re in favor of war, skip down to the jokes.

My own low approval of war comes from a long life that goes back so far that for most people it’s only “history.” My military service was spent in Korea in 1946-1948, the handful of years between World War II and the full-blown Korean War.

None of America’s wars occurred on our soil in living memory. For that we should be thankful. But maybe it has made us, as a nation, more accepting of our going to war.

On the bright side, although America has many religions and sects, we seem to get along. That is a real blessing. Other countries have internal religious wars in which America should think long and hard before getting involved. Maybe we’re all agreed on that.

What I’m trying to say about war can be summed up in two words: Be skeptical.


Religious viewpoint

A Sunday school teacher was discussing the Ten Commandments with her six- and seven-year- olds.

After explaining the commandment to “honor” their fathers and mothers, she asked, “Is there a commandment that teaches us how to treat our brothers and sisters?”

Without missing a beat, one boy, the eldest child in his family, answered, “Thou shalt not kill.”


Perfect viewpoint

At a local coffee bar, a young woman was expounding to her friends on her idea of the perfect mate: “It’s very important that the man I marry be musical with a decent singing voice. I consider a sense of humor to be essential, as well as knowing how to tell jokes. In other words, the man I marry has to be a shining light among company. But he also must be the kind who will stay home with me at night.”

A male listener at a nearby table overheard and spoke up: “Lady, what you really want is a television set!”

A blonde went to her doctor and showed him that both her ears were red and painful. The doctor asked her what had happened. “I was ironing a shirt and the phone rang,” she told him, “but, instead of picking up the phone, I accidentally grabbed the iron and stuck it up to my ear.”

“Oh, dear!” said the doctor in sympathy. ”But what happened to your other ear?”

“The jerk called back!”


Artistic viewpoint

After his divorce, Joe asked his best friend, Hank, to fix him up with a blind date. Hank obliged. The next day Joe phoned Hank and shouted angrily, “What kind of guy do you think I am? That girl you fixed me up with was cross-eyed. She was almost bald. Her nose was long and crooked. She had hair growing on her face. She was flat-chested and her ankles were as thick as her thighs.”

“Well,” answered Hank, “either you like Picasso, or you don’t like Picasso.”

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Main Street

Go green!

St. Patrick’s Day: It’s not the kind of holiday that gives us the day off work, but Americans seem to love it. Even those with no trace of Irish in their veins like it. Maybe it’s just the green beer.

St. Patrick is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland, stamping out the pagan practices of the natives. St. Patrick may be the one who first imported Christianity to Ireland or it may have been some other early priest, but Patrick is the one who caught on with the locals. This happened in the fifth century, so we’re not talking fleeting popularity.

The green flood

In the 19th century, America received a flood of Irish nationals fleeing poverty and the potato famine. Those immigrants are the forebears of a huge number of present-day Americans who tend to be proud of their ancestry. But during the 19th and early 20th centuries, Irish-Americans were regarded as lowlifes: pretty stupid and probably drunk. This led to a lot of Irish jokes.

Pretty stupid

1) Paddy was shaving when he knocked the mirror off the shelf and it fell to the floor where it cracked across the middle. Paddy gazed down in horror. “Bejabbers, I’ve cut me throat,” he gasped.

2) Paddy and Mick were nailing up the side of a wooden house. Mick noticed that Paddy was examining the nails and throwing away every other one.

“What’s wrong with the nails?” he asked.

“Sure and the heads are at the wrong end,” answered Paddy.

“You idiot,” said Mick. “Can’t you see they’re for the other side of the house?”

Probably drunk

1) Why did God invent whiskey? So the Irish would never rule the world.

2) An Irishman walks into a pub. “Give me three pints of Guinness, please.”

So the bartender brings him three pints and the man proceeds to alternately sip one, then the other, then the third, until they’re gone. He then orders three more.

The bartender says, “Sir, you probably like them cold. You don’t have to order three at a time. I can keep an eye on it, and when you get low I’ll bring you a fresh cold one.”

“You don’t understand,” said the customer. “I have two brothers, one in Australia and one back in the old country. We made a vow to each other that every Saturday night we’d still drink together. So right now, my brothers have three Guinness, too, and we’re drinking together.

The bartender thought that was a wonderful tradition.

Every week the man came in and ordered three beers. Then one week he came in and ordered only two. He drank them and then ordered two more.

The bartender said to him, “I know what your tradition is, and I’d just like to say that I’m sorry that one of your brothers died.”

The man said, “Oh, me brothers are fine, but I just quit drinking.”

Irish names

I’m one, are you? Happy St. Patrick’s Day! You can find a partial list of Irish last names at this website: http://www.st-patricks-day.com/irish-family-names.html


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Main Street

Our species

Although America has a massive war machine, there isn’t enough money for us to solve all the world’s problems. And even unlimited money couldn’t buy enough troops.

After ten-plus years in Afghanistan and Iraq, we have not bought the kind of peace or stability for those countries that we claimed we intended. In some ways they’re worse off (and WE are worse off) because of the destruction and side effects of those wars. In Afghanistan, the recent murderous conflict over the Koran-burning is sickening.

It is disturbing to hear some of the candidates for president talk about starting a war with Iran. One of them, however, Ron Paul, seemed to detect something amiss when he said, “I’m afraid what’s going on right now is similar to the war propaganda that went on against Iraq.” (The Pentagon and the CIA, by the way, do not see Iran as the kind of threat that justifies war.)

What’s wrong with our species that candidates figure going to war is a selling point for election?

Back to the jokes

A woman went to a Florida lemon grove to apply for a job, but the foreman thought she seemed far too qualified for the position. “Do you even have any actual experience picking lemons?” he asked.

“Well, I think I do,” she replied. “I’ve been divorced three times.”

Another joke

When Smith learned that he was being fired, he went to see the head of Human Resources. “Since I’ve been with the firm for so long,” he said, “I think I deserve at least a letter of recommendation.”

The Human Resources director agreed and said he’d have the letter ready the next day. The following morning, Smith found the letter on his desk. It read, “John Smith worked for our company for eleven years. When he left us, we were very satisfied.”

Love joke

A young man bought an expensive piece of jewelry as a present for his girlfriend. “Don’t you want her name engraved on it?” asked the clerk. The young man thought for a moment and then, ever the realist, replied, “No, just engrave it, To My One and Only Love. That way, when she gets mad and throws it at me, I can use it again.”

Marriage thoughts

Some men who speak with authority at work know enough to bow to a higher authority at home.

Marriage brings music to a man’s life. He learns to play second fiddle.

Good advice: Before criticizing your wife’s faults, remember that it may have been these very defects that kept her from getting a better husband than the one she married.

Last thought

Does the person who inventories sheep usually fall asleep on the job?



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Out of the attic

Skinner’s Drug Store


Skinner’s Drug Store about 1900. Bert Skinner is in the suit, with his wife, and pharmacists Charles Maynard and Mr. Doyle.

J.A. (Bert Skinner) owned Skinner’s Drug Store, which was located at 43 S. Main Street, the vacant lot where we now hold the Christmas tree lighting. According to the Cedar Springs Story by Sue Harrison and Donna DeJonge, Skinner started work at the age of 13 in a local drug store, and later set a record as the youngest person to pass the state pharmaceutical board. He was given his pharmaceutical license when he turned 18.

Skinner served as village president for 25 years, and was president of the board of education for 25 years. He was a state senator for two terms, and involved in Republican politics all during his life. Skinner Field, on the west side of Morley Park, is named after him and was dedicated in 1948. More on that next week.

A big thanks to Loretta E. Lewis, 86, for sharing this photo postcard!

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Time travel

Samoa skipped last Friday entirely, and landed on the other side of the International Date Line.  They are only about 10 miles from it.  They wanted to be in sync with Australia and other populated areas closer to them.
On February 29, 1948, I was on a ship heading home from Korea. It was leap year, so we had an extra day. That night we crossed the date line and it was February 29 all over again. So, 30 days hath February. My first and only.

Out of tune

Submitted by a correspondent:
As a bagpiper, I play many gigs. Recently a funeral director asked me to play at the graveside service for a homeless man with no family. It was to be held at a paupers’ cemetery way out in the country. Not familiar with the backwoods, I got lost.
An hour late, I finally arrived and saw that evidently the funeral guy had gone. The hearse was nowhere in sight. Only the diggers and crew were left, and they were eating lunch.
I felt bad and called out an apology to the men for being late. I walked over to the graveside, looked down, and saw the vault lid already in place. I didn’t know what else to do, so I started to play.
The workers put down their lunches. I played heart and soul for that man with no family or friends. As I played “Amazing Grace,” the workers started to weep. In fact, we all wept together. Finally I packed up my bagpipes and headed for my car with a full heart.
As I opened the car door, I heard one of the workers say, “I never seen nothing like that before, and I’ve been putting in septic tanks for twenty years.”

Sweet stop

Another reader contribution:
Returning from a trip to visit my grandmother in California, I was stopped in Kansas by a state trooper for exceeding the speed limit. Grateful to have received a warning instead of a ticket, I gave him a small bag of my grandma’s delicious chocolate chip cookies and proceeded on my way.
Later, I was stopped by another trooper. “What have I done?” I asked.
“Nothing,” the trooper said.  “I heard you were passing out great chocolate chip cookies.”


On the move

A young man was a slow worker and found it hard to hold down a job. On one of his visits to the employment office, he was offered work at the local zoo. When he arrived for his first day, the keeper, aware of his reputation, told him to take care of the tortoise section.
Later in the day the keeper dropped by to see how the young man was doing. He found him standing by an empty enclosure with the gate open.
“Where are the tortoises?” he asked.
“I can’t believe it,” said the new employee. “I just opened the door and whooooosh, they were gone!”

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Happy New Year!
I intend that to mean for the whole year, not just January 1. May 2012 be a year of blessings for all of us.
Our first day of the year is related to the Gregorian calendar, named after Pope Gregory. If you don’t like this one, the Julian calendar places New Year’s Day on Jan. 14. Throughout the world, people observe other dates, mostly related to religion. Pope Gregory picked this date based on Jesus’ birth on Dec. 25 and baptism on Jan. 1. It could get complicated.
I think Adam and Eve celebrated because they saw the days getting longer and the sun coming back.

Antique story
A little boy opened the big family Bible with fascination, looking at the old pages, one after another. As he turned them, something fell out. He picked it up and looked at it closely. It was an old tree leaf that had been pressed between the pages.
“Mom, look what I found!” he called out.
“What do you have there, dear?” his mother asked. With excitement the boy exclaimed, “It’s Adam’s suit!”

Church story
Six-year old Angie and her four-year old brother, Joel, were sitting together in church. Joel giggled, sang, and talked out loud.
Finally his big sister had had enough and gave him the elbow. “You’re not supposed to talk out loud in church!”
“Why? Who’s going to stop me?’ Joel answered.
Angie pointed to the back of the church. “See those two men standing by the door? They’re hushers!”

Sew-sew story
A pretty girl stepped up to the fabric counter and said, “I’d like to buy this material for a new dress. How much does it cost?”
“Only one kiss per yard,” replied the young male clerk.
“Fine,” replied the girl. “I’ll take ten yards.”
Smirking, the clerk measured out the cloth and wrapped it. Then he held it out teasingly.
The girl smiled, took the package, pointed to a little old man standing beside her, and said, “Grandpa, pay the man.”

Deer Tick Warning
I hate it when people forward bogus warnings, but this one is real, and it’s important. So, please send this warning to everyone on your e-mail list:
If someone comes to your front door saying they are conducting a survey on deer ticks and asks you to take your clothes off and dance around with your arms up, Do not do it! It is a scam. They only want to see you naked.
I wish I’d gotten this information yesterday. I feel so stupid now.

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Christmas tree ready to light

There’s a nip in the air, the Christmas decorations line Main Street, and a beautiful Christmas tree sits on the vacant lot at Main and Ash Streets. It can mean only one thing—the annual Christmas tree lighting in Cedar Springs is not far away!
The Grindles kindly donated this year’s tree in memory of Gerald James Grindle (Curly), who lived from 1962 to March 2011. We hope they get enjoyment from the faces of all the residents, old and young, who attend the annual Christmas tree lighting on December 2!
The event is led this year by Cedar Springs Area Parks and Rec Director Amanda Gerhardt, Pastor Craig Owens, pastor at Calvary Assembly of God. There will be a living nativity beginning at 5 p.m. with actors and animals. They will be joined by actors from the upcoming play “A Christmas Carol,” who will sing Christmas carols. The tree lighting will be at 6 p.m. when Santa arrives.
The details are still coming in, so watch next week’s Post for details on what else might be happening that evening!

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Main Street

Roger on Main StreetMad

Even some of those who voted “Snyder” last November now seem to be mad at the Governor. Personally, I think all the gnashing and growling and demonstrating just lets off steam, and I doubt 1.5 million people will petition to recall him. High-level elected officials aren’t often recalled. Some constituents remain supportive no matter what happens, and the masses are indifferent.

More mad

“The Donald” must be a bit mad (British term for crazy) to make such a fuss over the President’s birth certificate. It didn’t reflect well on Trump. Hawaii has now released to the public the long form birth certificate, despite the state’s official policy of not doing that.
Was there ever really any doubt about where President Obama was born? At least two Honolulu newspapers ran birth announcements at the time: “A son to Mr. and Mrs. Barack Obama….” Even the name of the hospital appeared. That’s hard to explain, unless, of course, the President was indeed born in Hawaii on August 4, 1961, just as his birth certificate said all along.
Is Donald Trump serious about running for President? If so, should we insist on a copy of his IQ test?

Fish story

Marine biology researchers have developed a new method to fend off shark attacks: If you’re diving and are approached by a shark, they recommend that you swim towards it aggressively and punch it on the nose as hard as possible. And, “If this doesn’t work, beat the shark in the face with your stump.”

Fish story #2

A couple of boys were fishing at their special pond off the beaten track when the game warden jumped out of the bushes. One of the boys threw down his rod and started running through the woods, the game warden hot on his heels.
After about a half mile, the young man stopped and stooped over with his hands on his thighs to catch his breath. The game warden caught up to him. “Let’s see yer fishin’ license, boy!” he said.
The boy pulled out his wallet and handed the warden a valid fishing license.
“Well, son,” said the warden, “you must be about as dumb as a box of rocks. You don’t have to run from me if you have a license.”
“Yes, sir,” said the boy, “but my friend back there? He never bothered to buy one.”

Blonde joke #1283

A blonde man went to his boss’s costume party unclothed but with a woman on his back.
“What on earth are you supposed to be?” asked the boss.
“I’m a snail,” the man replied.
“What a bunch of nonsense,” said the boss. “How can you be a snail when all you have is that woman on your back?”
“This is no nonsense,” the man replied. “That’s Michelle.”

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Roger on Main StreetReal housewives

I’ve been wanting to write a TV show.  I think “Real Housewives of Newaygo County” might be the right title.  I  hope Hollywood doesn’t get there first.

George Washington

The conflict in Libya reminds me a bit of the American Revolution.  A rag-tag bunch of dissidents is up against the established government and military.  It’s much like the Colonies against Great Britain.  What they really need right now is Washington to lead the troops.  And the French Fleet!

Jig saw

Maybe Libya will end up split into two countries.  A lot of that going around.  We have North and South Korea; North and South Viet Nam; A dozen little countries in Africa.  The Soviet Union scattered.  We had Ireland and Great Britain.   And even the United States and Canada.  I wonder if China will ever split up?

Adult supervision

Sam: Dad, would you do my math homework for me?
Dad: No, son, it wouldn’t be right.
Sam: Well, at least you could try.


A mother carefully explained to her young daughter how children were created. She used the expression “carrying a child” instead of “pregnant,” but the girl seemed satisfied.
Sometime later, a terrible fire broke out in the neighborhood, and the girl stood by watching. Here is how she described the scene to her parents: “There was this big fire, and a fireman ran into the house, and when he came out, he was pregnant.”

Grand Theft Auto

A blonde dials 911 to report that her car has been broken into.  She is hysterical as she explains her situation to the dispatcher. “They’ve stolen the dashboard, the steering wheel, the brake pedal, and even the accelerator!” she cries.
The 911 dispatcher says, “Stay calm. An officer is on the way. He will be there in two minutes.”
Before the police get to the crime scene, however, the 911 dispatcher’s telephone rings a second time, and the same blonde is on the line again.
“Never mind,” giggles the blonde, “I got in the back seat by mistake.”

Last words

Two husbands were discussing their married lives. Although happily married, they admitted that there were arguments sometimes. Then Chad said, “I’ve made one great discovery. I know how to always have the last word.”
“Wow!’ said Sherman, “How did you manage that?”
“It’s easy,” replied Chad. “My last word is always ‘Yes, Dear.’”

Tough day

A businessman dragged himself home and barely made it to his chair before he dropped exhausted.
His sympathetic wife was right there with a tall cool drink and a comforting word. “My, you look tired,” she said. “You must have had a hard day today. What happened to make you so exhausted?”
“It was terrible,” her husband said. “The computer broke down and all of us had to do our own thinking.”

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Main Street

Roger on Main StreetGoverning

I see the Legislature has gotten rid of the law that all products on the shelf must have a price label.  I look at those all the time and now they will be gone.  I suspect prices will go up!
I also see that the law makes it impossible for us to have a Referendum on the issue. If we don’t like the law, too bad.

Letter to God

I noticed that my dog had written some letters to God on my computer.
“Dear God, is it on purpose our names are the same, only reversed?
“Dear God, when we get to Heaven, can we sit on your couch?  Or is it the same old story?
“Dear God, are there mailmen in Heaven?  If there are, will I have to apologize?
“Dear God, Let me give you a list of things I must remember to be a good dog:
I will not eat the cat’s food before they eat it or after they throw it up. The garbage collector is not stealing our stuff.  I will not roll on dead seagulls, fish, crabs, etc., just because I like their smell.  Sticking my nose into some ones crotch is not an acceptable way of saying ‘Hello.’ The cat is not a ‘squeaky’ toy so when I play with it and it makes that noise; it’s usually not a good thing.
P.S. Dear God, when I get to Heaven may I have all of my forgotten buried bones back?”
The dog’s e-mail came back with this message: “God does not accept e-mail, only prayers.”

In charge

A mild-mannered man was tired of being bossed around by his wife so he went to a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist said he needed to build his self-esteem, and so gave him a book on assertiveness, which he read on the way home. He had finished the book by the time he reached his house.
The man stormed into the house and walked up to his wife. Pointing a finger in her face, he said, “From now on, I want you to know that I am the man of this house, and my word is law! I want you to prepare me a gourmet meal tonight, and when I’m finished eating my meal, I expect a sumptuous dessert afterward. Then, after dinner, you’re going to draw me my bath so I can relax. And when I’m finished with my bath, guess who’s going to dress me and comb my hair?”
“The funeral director,” said his wife.

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Intandem Credit Union
Ray Winnie


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