Sebewa Recollector
Items of Genealogical Interest

Volume 12 Number 5
Transcribed by LaVonne I. Bennett

     LaVonne has received permission from Grayden Slowins to edit and submit Sebewa Recollector items of genealogical interest, from the beginning year of 1965 through current editions.

April 1977, Volume 12, Number 5; submitted with written permission of current Editor, Grayden D. Slowins:

SPRING AGAIN – Once again the warm sunshine, the activity of the birds and melting snows promise the rebirth of growing things in the countryside.  Even the chilling winds, which warn fruit buds to wait for a safer season, are welcome.  Last year, I recall, unduly early warm weather exposed much of the fruit crop to a later killing frost.  Even some spruce trees sent out early buds that froze and left their scars on branches that had to wait another year to fill out.  There was that late and freezing cover of snow on bent and brittle tulip stalks and blossoms.  Whatever comes, something in nature will make the most of it.

SOME ACTIVITIES COMING UP  -  This year Ionia’s HISTORICAL HOMES TOUR, ANTIQUE SHOW AND SALE AND ARTS AND CRAFTS SHOW AND SALE will be held in Ionia Saturday and Sunday, May 21 and 22.  It is sponsored by the Ionia County Historical Society.  Earnings will go toward the purchase and upkeep of the BLANCHARD HOUSE as a museum.  The society has a grant of $15,000 from the Interior Department.  It must raise an equal matching amount to qualify for the funds.

STAMP SHOW  -  The WEST SUBURBAN STAMP CLUB of Plymouth will hose MICHIGAN’S LARGEST STAMP SHOW at Plymouth, Michigan April 23 from 10 AM to 9 PM and April 24, noon to six.  Take I - 96 to I –275, right to Plymouth Road, west on Main Street to Plymouth Central School at Church St.  Happy lickin’!

A NEW FOREST IN THE TOWNSHIP  -  If 25 or 30 145-foot towers in a line across Sebewa Township can be called a forest, that is something we can look forward to in the next five to eight years.  Already Consumers Power Co. representatives are taking options for purchase, a strip of land 280 feet wide following the north side of the half-mile line through sections 18, 17, 16 and 15.  At midpoint in section 15 the line veers northeast to the quarter-mile line and continues east.

The proposed line will be the heaviest transmission line in Michigan, carrying eventually 765 KV (thousand volts) to deliver power from generating plants in west Michigan to a giant substation at Eagle where the power will be distributed to the energy consumers of central Michigan.  It also joins west Michigan generators to the network in eastern Michigan so that high energy peak demands can be met by the entire power grid.

While the Power Company will purchase the strip of land for the transmission line, it is anticipated that it will license the use of the land back to the original owners for farming purposes.  The towers will occupy a 40-foot square area and, with a span of 1,000 feet or more, there should be no more than two towers in a quarter-mile distance.  The lowest point of suspension should have a clearance of 45 feet.  The fist-sized bundle of wire in each of the three lines on the towers should be highly visible and, near the line, the surge of power will be somewhat audible.

WALTER REED JR. became a cancer victim in late March.

ONE MORE LOOK DOWN UNDER – In January of 1975 three more test oil wells were drilled in our area on the farms of John Wilson and Harold Scheuerer in Orange Township.  These are about four miles east of the drilling that was done on the Possehn farm in 1969.  If we allow for different terminology or similar formations as used by different geologists and stretch our imaginations across the area between the two wells, we see the history of the area for hundreds, thousands and even millions of years before man disturbed the first animal on our turf.

All of the rock formations shown on the logs, except for the glacial drift, are of sedimentary origin.  Even down to the 3,000 foot depth and on below for another half mile or so, all of the rock formations were gradually built up as sediments in water.  These sediments, over long periods of time and with great pressures from later sediments above, gradually solidified into rock, which we now find, from the investigation by the driller’s bits, to be sandstone, limestone, shale and gypsum.

The type of rock formed depended on the type of sediment that was prevalent at a particular time in the waters that covered Lower Michigan for long periods in geologic history.  With higher grounds and even mountains around us, the sediments that poured into our basin varied over long periods of time.  As the sediments increased, they tended to depress the earth’s crust in this area so that the rock formations in Lower Michigan seem to be stacked like saucers in a cupboard.

Our information of what lies below and what happened here so long before our time comes from the study of drillers’ logs as well after well has been punched through the rock formations across the state.  Drillers must submit a log of each well to the Geology Division of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

The drift, which means the deposit left by the glaciers that once covered Michigan varies from a few feet to well over 1,000 feet.  In this area it runs from 200-300 feet.  Anyone who wants a “rock” well has to drill through the drift to reach the first rock formation.  Generally the best rock wells for water are found in sandstone.  These formation have been tapped for most of our interior cities such as Lansing and Kalamazoo.  Irrigation wells are using the same source.  Like every other natural resource, this water may be used faster than it can be replenished.  Apparently, no matter how much we exhaust our resources, we shall never run out of problems.

The names of Saginaw, Bayport, and Traverse Limestone formations as well as the Marshall Sandstone come from the “saucer” edge of these formations being discovered as the first rock layers below the drift at Saginaw, Bayport, Traverse and Marshall.  The saucer edge for these formations form a circle of sorts around a point in central Michigan and it is at the cities after which they were named that some geologist first located them below the drift and gave them the names of those cities.

According to geologists’ calculations, all of the rock layers listed on these logs were deposited from 200 to 300 million years ago.  Limestone formed largely by marine organisms filtering calcium carbonate from sea water and depositing it as shells and skeletons on the sea floor.  Sandstone was built up from the gritty deposit of fast moving streams from rocky areas.  Gypsum was laid down from the evaporation of sea water at favorable times.  With that mass of history below us we see that trees and crops are relatively new things for our area.

THE COMPARISON OF DRILLING LOGS:  THE POSSEHN WELL drilled July 1, 1969; 860 feet above sea level at surface.  Surface to 214’, 214 to 406’, Saginaw shale & limestone, 406’ to 480’ Bayport Limestone; 480’ to 672’, Mich. Formation, shale & dolomite;  672’ to 938’  Marshall Sandstone;  938’ to 1942’  Coldwater Shale; 1942’ to 2348’ Mississippian Shale; 2348’ to 2682’ Traverse Limestone; 2682’to 2690’ Bell Shale; 2690’ to 3330’ Dundee Limestone.

THE HAROLD SCHEURER WELL drilled Jan. 6, 1975.  Plugged Jan. 13, 1975 781 feet above sea level at surface.  Surface to 308’ Drift; 308’ to 370’, Shale, gray; 370’ to 480’ Sand & lime, white; 480’ to 580’ Shale, gray; 580’ to 600’ Anhydrite (gypsum), 630’ to 645’, Lime, brown; 645’ to 900’ Sand(stone) gray; 900’ to 1950’ Shale, gray; 1950’ to 1970’ Shale, red; 1970’ to 1980’ Shale, black; 1980’ to 2295’ Shale, dark gray; 2363’ to 2381’ Limestone, gray; 2381’ to 2385’ Limestone, brown; 2581’ to 2621’ Limestone; 2581’ to 2621’ Shale; 2626’ to 2700’ Limestone; 2700’ t0 2714’ Shale, gray; 2714’ to 2829’ Dolomite; 2829’ to 2855’ Anhydrite (gypsum).

PASSED FROM THE SCENE BY DEATH:  Deaths for the past period have been those of Mrs. Eva (Heintzelman) Follet, Mrs. Mary Bidelman, Ernest Petrie, Mrs. Lida (Carey) Jarstfter and Mrs. Reva (Crosss) Clark.

DIAL IT DOWN AND NOW UP:  All winter we have been hearing “dial down” the thermostat.  Now that the season is changing, we should begin to hear “dial up” the thermostat on the air conditioner in the interest of energy conservation.

THE BOARD OF REVIEW REVIEWED:  For longer than I can remember, state law has called for an annual meeting of the Township Board of Review.  The function of the board is to hear complaints and make adjustments in property tax assessments.  This year Sebewa’s elected board met for two days as prescribed by law.  Besides whatever problems of state that may have been settled, one clerical error was found and corrected.  That action lowered the valuation on one trailer home.  All of this seems to speak well for the work of our tax assessor, Charles McNeil.

PROBATIONERS - From the records of the Methodist Church from 1896 to 1905 under the pastorates of Rev. N. E. Gibbs, Rev. A. K. Steward, Rev. Ira T. Weldon, Rev. E. W. Laing and Rev. Chas. Hayward, we have the list of probationers for membership to the Sebewa Corners, Sunfield and Sebewa Center Churches. Many of these were taken in to full membership. Some are listed as “gone away” and several others were “dropped” and, at times at their own request. The list is given in chronological order.

Emory W. Gunn, Orville B. Brown, Frank C. Keefer, Elizabeth Tran, Lewis E. Staples, James Barry, Minnie M. Gunn, Leonard D. Cross, Della Cross, Guy A. Green, Ralph Friend, Rufus E. Morgan, Farley D. Deatsman, Grace F. Erdman, Geo. A. Earthman, Archie L. Brown, Arthur L. Halladay, May Darrow, Dora M. Frantz, Sarah I. Grantz, Maude Darrow, Chas. E. Darrow, John E. Trowbridge, Etta M. Young, Alvah B. Deatsman, Maude E. Wolcott, Nancy Linhart, Maggie E. Eldred, Hannah York, Maud E. Knapp, Millie D. Davis, Goldie B. Williams, Elaine Strang, O. F. Skinner, Mrs. O. F. Skinner, David F. Erkid, Isaac Trann, Minnie L. Trann, Hattie M. Trann, Wm. L. Priestman, Sarah E. Priestman, Norah B. Priestman, Ida Franks, Franklin E. Cross, Ellen A. Cross, Emeline Greiner, Florence L. Ralston, Eliza C. Reeder, Edith R. Beard, Jennie Benedict, Clarence H. Sayer, Beulah A. Gunn, Edna Luscher, John Luscher, Rossie Estep, Archie Meyers, T. J. Spencer, Susie M. Kenyon, Nettie M. Alberts, Ryde M. Kelley, Chas. P. Kelley, Guy Green, Howard C. Lawrence, Grace G. Gang, Selleck Reeder, Edna Griswold, Willis E. McClelland, Ernest B. McClelland, Geo. W. Chase, Guy DeCamp, Rosa Frantz, Edna R. Showerman, H. Ruth Showerman, A. J. Weippert, Archie Friend, Robert Merrifield, Gertie Bickle, Thomas Leman, Laura Baughman, Emmett March, Sarah Marcy, Elsie Gregg, Ida Van Buren, Perry Arnold, Ella Arnold, Maud Arnold, Frank Puffer, Ada Puffer, Emerson M. Ray, H. A. Meyers, Myrtle Briggs, Minnie Briggs, Homer Reams, Rena Springett, Alice Rogers, Lizzie Friedly, Bessie Ramsey, Adda Weaver, Edith Preston, Frank Davis, Eva Davis, Ira Hopkins, Warren West, J. T. Mansell, Ward Estep, Frank Skinner, Mary Stemler, Phil Wolcott, Roe Hulett, Truman Iampam, Leana Fogle, Amy Knapp, Ernest Knapp, Jennie Keefer, Ellen Parks, Olive Turner, William Arnold, S. E. Burus, Mrs. R. M. Burus, Ella Lowe, Elmer J. Showerman, Lucy Friend, Otho Lowe, Walter Halladay, Floyd Haight, Ralph Felton, Benj. Smith, Ernest O. Showerman, Sydney Hubbard, John Hill, Jane Smith, Mrs. Archie Brown, Clara Halladay, Mrs. Guy Green, Mrs. Jose Binns, Elsie Brown, Edna Allen, Ruth Halladay, Mary Baker, Vernon Allen, Jessie Briggs, Blanche Briggs, Mrs. Walch, Cora Witherell, Nettie Witherell, Maud Linhart, Mable Rawlson, Rhoda Deatsman, Gladys Peabody, Josephine Witherell, Mable Gorham, Alice Townsend, David Gunn, Ernest Shilton, Iril Shilton, Dannie Shilton, Alton Gunn, Ross Tran, Verney Cassel, Elvira Miller, Louise Reeder, Ruby Ralston, Florence Ralston, Florence Tran, Floyd Greiner, Chas. Kenyon, Elem Tran, Raymond Kenyon.

The membership list in the same book goes back to 1888 and includes 1905.

Rozella Allen, Ora Allen, Carrie Allen, Merritt Allen, I. A. Brown, Delia Brown, Stacy Brown, Irving Brown, Heman Brown, Armenia Brown, Mary J. Brown, Millie Brown, Evelyn Brown, Ira S. Brown, Herbert Brown, Louise Brown, Wm. C. Brooks, Amanda Brooks, Anna M. Brooks, Pearl M. Brownfield, Robt. Berrell, Nettie M. Berrell, Dora Bera, Maggie Brown, Emmett Benedict, Lucy Benedict, Irvin Beard, Rosetta Barclay, Ida Bare, John Benedict, S. C. Burns, Mrs. R. M. Burns, Elsie Brown, Mrs. Edith Brown, Omar Baker, Mary Baker, C. P. Becker, Wesley Becker, Roxie Brown, Elisabeth Becker, Elias Becker, Jonah Carpenter, Franklin Cornell, Jessie Cornell, Lizzie J. Cornell, Nancy Chase, Emma J. Cross, Nellie M. Creighton, Geo. A. Creaser, Bernice Creaser, Simeon DeCamp, Elizabeth Deatsman, Anna DeCamp, Mary I. DeCamp, Elizabeth Davenstratt, Nellie Derby, Sanford F. Deatsman, Minnie Deatsman, John Day, Millie Day, Wm. F. Davis, Sarah A. Davis, J. Alfred Davis, E. H. Deatsman, Rilla Deatsman, Emma Duffey, Farley Deatsman, Sarah Emery, Lotta Erdman, Agnes M. Erdman, Sylvanus Franks, Rebecca Franks, Jas. G. Flower, Hannah Green, Mary E. Green, Theodore Gunn, Agnes Gunn, Ella H. Gunn, Geo. Gunn, Viola Gunn, Isaac Gunn, Nettie Gunn, Joshua Gunn, Norman Gibbs, Mary E. Gibbs, Emma Gibbs, Eunice Gibbs, Lena A. Gibbs, Louise Gunn, Edna Griswold, Cora Green, David Gunn, Josephine High, Jacob High, Mary High, Geo. D. Halladay, Mary Halladay, Emma Hartwell, Mildred E. Halladay, Lucy E. Halladay, Ernest Halladay, Anson Hitchcock, Jane Halladay, Cora B. Henry, Alice Hogle, Alice Hulett, Anna Hulett, L. J. Hulett, Edith Henry, Daniel Hill, Eva Hill, J. C. Haskins, M. A. Halladay, Geo. Halladay, Clara Halladay, Eliza Hayward, Effie Hayward, May Jackson, Ada Johnson, Ella M. Kenyon, Dora F. Kenyon, Nora G. Kenyon, Grace E. Kenyon, Mrs. E. A. Kelley, Cyrus Lawrence, Benjamin Lowe, Jacob Luscher, Emma Luscher, Sarah Lawrence, Eva Leigh, Willard Lumbard, Mrs. Willard Lumbard, Etta Lowe, J. H. McClelland, Louisa McClelland, Chase McClelland, Adelia McClelland, Rose Merrifield, Sarah Merrifield, Edith Merrifield, Minnie R. Merrifield, Albert W. Meyers, Lydia Meyers, M. M. W. McClelland, Jessie Morehouse, Wilton E. McClelland, Mrs. Valentine Meyers, Mina Mighan, Mary McClelland, Lewis A. Olry, Louisa Olry, Lora Olry, Elvira Olmstead, Simeon Oatley, Henry Pettingill, Mary Pettingill, Almira Parkhurst, Josiah Perkins, Emma Perkins, L. J. Peck, Mary E. Peck, L. M. Peck, Phebe Peck, Sarah Raymond, Maud W. Richard, William Roseveare, Lucy Roseveare, Joseph Roseveare, Harley Rogers, Wesley Reeder, Hannah Reeder, Olivia Roseveare, Mrs. G. W. Rogers, Kitty Showerman, O. V. Showerman, Myrtle D. Showerman, Andrew J. Sayer, Sarah A. Sayer, Jacob Sayer, Mary I. Sayer, Clarence H. Sayer, Ethyleen Sears, Hannah J. Smith, Julia Staples, Mary Staples, Daniel Shilton, Isaac Shotwell, Elizabeth Sindlinger, Lydia Sindlinger, Minnie Sindlinger, Angerena Shipman, Clement Strang, Nevada Strang, Claud E. Sisson, Rath L. Stewart, Elam Strang, Sarah E. Spencer, T. J. Spencer, Ernest Showerman, Dulsie Showerman, H. A. Smith, Jessie Showerman, Hannah Sayer, Oliver Smith, Emanuel Tran, Elizabeth Tran, Elem Tran, Sarah Tran, Ida Turner, Alpha Turner, Maggie Vedder, Sophia Wyman, Griffin Weippert, Emma Weippert, Leon Williamson, Henry Whorley, Maggie Whorley, Goldie Williams, Wm. Whitwright, Drusilla R. Williams, Adda Weaver, Reva Weippert, Mary Weippert, Hattie Wilson, Orlo Wheeler, Robert J. York, Mary T. York, Ruth A. York.

I’M TIRED.  With easy access to photo copying machines of late years there gets to be quite a body of photo copy literature.  Here is an item fit to print.  It came to us from Florida.    ARE YOU TIRED?  We have run across some irrefutable statistics that may show why you are tired; and brother, it’s no wonder you are tired.  There aren’t as many people actually working as you may have thought; at least not according to the survey recently completed.  The population of this country is 200 million.  84 million are over 60 years of age.  That leaves 116 million to do the work.  People under 20 years of age total 75 million.  That leaves 41 million to do the work.  People under 20 years of age total 75 million.  That leaves 41 million to do the work.  There are 188,000 in hospitals, insane asylums, etc.  So that leaves 12,000 to do the work.  With 11,998 in jail that leaves you and me to carry the load and I’m tired of doing everything.

HOW I GOT SHAPED UP IN 1890 – From a tape………………………….By Robert E. Gierman.  When I attended school in Edmore, Michigan about 1890 we had as superintendent an old professor, cross-eyed, red haired and a Frenchman.  We had to line up outdoors at recess or at noon when the bell rang, to go up in the schoolhouse.  Those who went in the grammar room were in one line and those in the primary room and those in high school went in another line.  As we went into the hall we would get divided off.  Those in the primary would go to their room and the high school pupils would go upstairs, the intermediates would go in their room and the grammar pupils would go upstairs.

There was a boy about a year older than I was who had on a new pair of shoes.  When we lined up he stood behind me.  I was barefooted and accidentally I stepped on his toe and he gave me a kick.  I was in the intermediate room and he was in the primary room.  When he got to his door I just stepped to one side and when he got ahead of me I gave him a kick.

He had marbles in his pocket and, by golly, they went all over the back of the school room.  That darned old professor stood there staring and he was cross eyed and I could not see that he was looking at me and I didn’t think that he was; but he saw it all and down he came.  And did he trounce me?  He broke up a hickory pointer on me and then he got the maple ruler and finished that.

Well, I was black and blue.  By George, I didn’t go to school next day—I was black and blue all over.  That happened in the forenoon and I didn’t go back to school after dinner.  We didn’t have very far to go, probably half a mile.  We lived in a neighbor’s house at that time and in the other house there was a Frenchman—had twelve children and lived in our house—a little two-bedroom house and a shanty on behind used as a kitchen.  I guess they must have slept all over.  He had a boy two or three years older than I was and he was in school.  When he went back to school the professor was a little bit worried.  I guess he knew he gave it to me pretty hard.  He asked this boy where I was.  He said I was sick and couldn’t come.  He told him my father was going to have him arrested.

Well, my father was a railroad man up there.  He used to go out to repair cars.  There were two railroads that went through Edmore.  One went to Saginaw and the other went to Big Rapids.  Four trains came in there every morning—passenger trains.  They came back in the evening at separate times.  My father was gone that morning up toward Big Rapids to repair a car.  He came back on the two o’clock train.  My father had a little money.  They saved their money.  He got fifty dollars a month and those were big wages for those times.  He had a little money to lend and he lent it to the Danes around there.  There was a Danish settlement in the northeast corner of the township there.  He lent money to different ones.  He happened to have a little business up town with one of the Danes and he went into a lawyer’s office.

The old professor was downtown and he happened to see my father coming out of the lawyer’s office.  He was a little bit worried.  “Well”, he said, “Mr. Gierman, I had to punish your boy today.  My father said, “Well, that’s all right, when he needs it, give it to him”.  It was a little bit different when he got home.  My mother next morning took me over to the doctor.  I think he was on the school board.  She showed him how I looked.  I was black and blue from my legs clear down.  But there was nothing done.  I always held a grudge against that man.  If I had met him when I was twenty-one years old I’d have trounced his old jacket for him I’ll tell you!

ACROSS THE EQUATOR TO PERU.  While I have some qualms about making the Sebewa Recollector too much a travelogue type of magazine, there is a reason or two for including the account of my trip to Peru in January of this year.  A few have asked for it and others have expected it and extrapolating that sentiment logarithmically as the poll takers do, the results are overwhelming because nobody has said “Don’t do it”.  Again, should I wait until the trip has seasoned as a bit of history, I might not be around or be able to recount it and surely time will blur my memory of it.

Since my trip to India last year, the travel ads take on a little more glamor, my resistance to leaving home decreases and I must admit to a mild infection from the bite of the “travel bug”….a phenomenon I noticed distinctly in the people who made up the group with me on the India tour.  By early fall I noticed an ad in two different rock club magazines advertising a 3-week trip to Peru sponsored by the Gendian International Geological Club.  The tour was to visit the many interesting places in Peru and it was hinted we would gain insight into archaeological, botanical, geological and ornithological aspects of that country just south of the equator.  At least it sounded worth sending the coupon off to Montreal.

The first response was that the November trip was filled.  Actually it was called off because there had not been enough takers.  But “fortunately for me, a second trip was being made up for January 14 and I might be included if I made a prompt down payment with the balance to follow in due time.”  Without a doubt a person putting together such a trip has his worries getting together a group of sufficient numbers and getting the financial guarantees to purchase the fares and accommodations offered by travel organizations in other countries.  Also it might worry him as to whether the group he had made up might be compatible and agreeable or just the opposite.  Certainly pre-trip interviews to assure a compatible group would be out of the question.

I took the step of sending the down payment, agreeing to the trip and waited—and waited—until I finally looked up the telephone number in the Better Business Bureau with the thought of inquiring if I had been caught in a Canadian con game.  At last, with a little prodding from me, I was directed to send the balance of the payment for the trip.  The departure date was getting near and I still did not have full assurance that the trip was genuine.  To avoid this sort of thing one would have to know something of the person or organization he was dealing with.  Then my worry was pretty well ended when, four days before departure date, the air fare tickets arrived in the mail.  The next day, snow drifts filled the roads and that was the beginning of the long siege of winter that you know about and I had only the vague reports of it that reached Lima by short wave radio and the South American edition of Time magazine and that a few days late.

I bought a Northwest Orient ticket from Detroit to New York that left at 6 AM on Friday---the only flight from these parts that would get to Kennedy airport in time for a 2:30 PM departure on the Lefthansa flight to Lima.

The flight to New York was so uncrowded on the big 747 jet liner that I had to look around somewhat to find anybody on the plane.  Maybe there were fifty people on a plane that could carry three hundred and fifty easily.  As we neared New York there was enough daylight to see the outline of the city, the river system, the busy freeways with an endless line of auto headlights and the seeming ticky-tacky housing patterns.  For blocks and blocks all the houses had the same appearance from the air.

As usual, all the landings and take-offs were smooth and would not disturb a sleeping child.  I would have to fly into that airport several times to be able to describe the route from the landing runway to the parking spot where we walked out to the enclosed loading ramp to the Northwest Orient building.  At Detroit my bag had been checked for Lima so that I did not have to chase it around to see that it got there.  But I did have to carry my small flight bag with camera and other essentials to the International building where the German Luftansa line has its New York headquarters.  Like a rat in a maze, I finally found my way out of the building to the spot where I was told to wait for the yellow bus that runs the whole circuit for all the airlines at Kennedy.  For 50 cents I did not have to walk or wonder how to find the International building.

The Lufthansa New York headquarters was staffed with German personnel.  Some had done two-year stints at other international ports around the world and looked forward to transfers to different parts of the globe.  All seemed to have a soft overtone of a German accent on their English.  My first inquiry at the desk revealed that nobody had been looking for me nor had they heard of the Canadian International Geological Club.  Later someone paged Mr. Schmitz, the man from Montreal in charge of our group, and shortly all SIX of our group were assembled, introductions exchanged and arrangements made for our boarding passes.  A snowstorm in Germany had delayed the flight by two hours.

Mr. Schmitz was a German who came to Montreal twenty-two years ago at the age of twenty-two.   With him as his friend, a Jugoslavian refugee from World War II.  He had gotten out of Jugoslavia by paddling across the Adriatic Sea to reach an Italian refugee camp where he stayed a year before emigrating to Canada.  He was 48.  Every time we registered at a hotel we had to go through the ritual of filling in the blanks for citizenship, age, occupation, etc.  Two ladies had come for a trip from Illinois a little west of Chicago.  They were rock club members and had been attracted to the trip by the same advertising that had lured me.  With me, we formed the Social Security trio.  We found that our ages were about the same.  Then for some more variety we had a 19-year-old college student from Nebraska attending Yankton College in southeastern South Dakota.  He was interested in the Inca civilization and had joined our group because another Peruvian tour had failed to get organized.  Mr. Schmitz was the stand-in for our tour organizer, who was not able to come when he had to have emergency surgery.

Lufthansa’s flight to South America was on the American-made D C 10, sometimes called a wide bodied jet.  The D C is shorter than the 747 and does not have the upper deck of the 747.  The seating arrangement was similar to the 747 in that there were two aisles with five seats between aisles and two seats on the outer window sides of the aisles, making nine seats to each row.  Like the 747 the galley and the toilets tended to divide the length of the plane into compartments with a movie screen and ceiling suspended projector for each compartment.  The rule for all international flights applied for rental of earphones for movie sounds or several channels of music at the rate of $2.50 or an equivalent price in Deutchemarks.

From Lufthansa’s information book for passengers some facts about the flight were given.  To fly nonstop to Lima it takes seven hours and thirty-five minutes.  The distance traveled is 3,642 miles.  The fuel consumed is 20,000 gallons.  A full passenger load is 212.  Using these figures, one passenger’s share of the fuel was 94 gallons or 38 miles to the passenger gallon.  The passenger fare amounted to 7.3 cents per mile or $268.50.  For that fare I could have bought 6 ½ bushels of tomatoes at the price I paid for a package when I returned home.  For the same money you would get just over a bushel of coffee beans.

Our cruising speed was rated at 578 miles per hour.  Our course was mapped as being close to Philadelphia, Washington D. C., over the Bahamas, nearing Miami, on across the equator and nobody seemed mindful of it.  Darkness came early on the flight and the most that I could see out the window was a miles-long strip of lighting that I took to be the Miami coast.  As the plane landed the warm balmy air filtered in at the ceiling and condensed as wisps of fog.  We had left winter behind.

As we were two hours behind schedule in landing, nobody was there to meet us.  It took another hour or more to collect our luggage and get through customs and get our visitor identification passes we were to carry with our passports.  Immediately we found we knew scarcely any Spanish and only a few people in Peru had any knowledge of English.  It is something like walking in the dark.  You stumble around until you find some sort of a positive reaction and then follow the lead.  Finally we found a taxi, an old Chevrolet with a long stick to prop up the trunk lid, and everybody and the luggage inside, we headed for the Continental Hotel, a few miles distant.

Peru has been under a military dictatorship since 1969 with one regime replacing the other in 1975.  The government has imposed an after-midnight curfew on Lima and one should be able to present valid reasons for being intercepted on the streets after that hour.  On our ride into the city we were stopped for checking five times.  Each time the lead man of a group of soldiers took our passports and passes and looked them over for discrepancies or made a pretence of doing so.  One made a firm request for cigarettes when he saw one being smoked.  All well past midnight we arrived at the Continental, made our registration and were assigned to our rooms on the tenth floor.  Twin beds, adequate furniture and a bathroom were our accommodations for our stay in Lima.  Apparently all the hotel employees were male.  More to come in June.


THE SEBEWA RECOLLECTOR, Robert W. Gierman, Editor, R 1, 11543 Shilton Rd., Portland, MI  48875, 517-566-8839 the ‘phone.




Last update February 28, 2015