Cardinal Charlie/trash hauler Alfred FalkPublished 9:25pm Thursday, June 20, 2013
I receive all kinds of letters from people who read my weekly column, and I seem to run into folks I don’t know, but know me.
Recently I met one at Lee Memorial who drew my blood for a test. Come to find out I asked should I know her, and told her I knew her father and her mother was just ahead of me in high school.
Here is a letter I received some time ago from Leona Falk.
She asked me if I remember in the 1960s Alfred J. Falk, who had the trash collection route in Dowagiac.
He had two big, blue dump trucks he used in this business.
Later, when he retired from trash collection, he ran the Dowagiac dump on Nubour Street.
Everyone called him “old man Falk.” He would tell you which lane to go on to dump whatever you had to get rid of. He also collected the money.
The dump on Nubour has a lot of valuable Heddon and old stuff from the telephone company (I’m sure about this as I was told by the ones who hauled it there).
Mr. Falk and his wife, Betty, lived on a farm near Decatur and had seven children.
For a few years they raised sheep, sheared them and spun the wool to make yarn.
She said Betty made a video for an educational channel showing the process from the beginning to the knitting of sweaters.
Leona Falk was married for 10 years to Alfred Falk’s youngest son, A. Paul Falk, and they had two girls.
Mr. Falk used to pick up our garbage pail. If I remember right, they would come to the back of the house, take it to the big, blue dump truck, dump it and bring the empty can back to the back of our house.
We may have had twice-a-week pick-up, but I’m not sure.
I’ve kept in contact with the two sons and daughter of my good friend, Norbert Swierz. His son called to tell me that the three Purple Heart medals pending, Washington informed them they are now officially five Purple Hearts.
His son also told me they are now trying to get his father’s remains buried in Arlington Cemetery (Norbert sure deserves burial there, in my opinion).
He was a good friend, though I never got to shake his hand.
When I once wrote about Dick Strang, who was picked up in California hitch-hiking to Dowagiac on his leave from the service, I may have said it was movie star Betty Grable, but I’ve been informed it was another actress, Betty Hutton (I was half right).
She picked Dick up in California and dropped him at his house on Front Street, next to Watson Grocery Store. Betty was going to Detroit, her hometown.
Tags: Cardinal Charlie Gill