|Reminiscing With Pearl
With Pearl Playford
Columns from The Watervliet Record 1959-1966
Compiled by Richard Russell
Pearl Playford settled in Watervliet, Michigan in 1888 at the age of nine along with her parents, Ira and Nettie Playford Leonard, becoming an eyewitness to the growth of this young and prosperous settlement and the surrounding Paw Paw Lake resort area. In her columns she tells of living in the small village, the pioneering people and the customs of the times.
“I have seen Watervliet grow from a mere hamlet to the city it now is. I can recall the early days when there were no cement sidewalks, no electricity, no city water, no street lights, and but a few houses...”
In the early 1900’s Miss Playford embarked on a newspaper career that would continue for over fifty years. When nearly 80 years of age she was asked to write a weekly column for the local newspaper, The Watervliet Record. Thus began “Reminiscing With Pearl Playford.”
“When I first began work for The Record conditions were far different from now. The office didn’t have a typewriter and all copy was written long hand, and I do not remember that there was a telephone. We went every morning to get a pail of water at the town pump...”
Pearl’s writing reflects her love for Watervliet, where she resided at the same address on Paw Paw Avenue for most of her eighty-nine years.
“To grow old gracefully and gratefully is something we should all strive to do.”
Pearl wrote not only of local history and civic issues, but on a wide variety of topics, including national politics, world history, women’s rights, prohibition, holidays, church affairs and even the weather, quoting old records and other sources extensively, especially newspaper and magazine articles she had clipped and saved in scrapbooks over the decades.
“Back in the ‘good old days’ everything was slow. There were none of the conveniences of the present day, and farmers and housewives worked from daylight to dark, but they had time to be neighborly and were always ready with a helping hand to assist someone in need.”
6 x 9 Paperback 304 pages Published 2006
Includes a comprehensive name and place index
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