Governor stops at diner

Published 7:50 pm Thursday, October 27, 2005

By By JOHN EBY / Cassopolis Vigilant
MARCELLUS - In political parlance, Gov. Jennifer Granholm's low-key visit last week on Wednesday was an invitation-only “meet-and-greet.”
Yet her 45-minute appearance filled Pork Chop's Diner as completely as it might be on a Sunday morning after church.
She spent the noon hour mingling with, hugging and posing for pictures with an overflow crowd, which included Cass County Democracy Club President Myron Miller, County Commissioner Johnie Rodebush, Road Commission Chairman Robert Powers, who presented her a Road Commission cap, longtime Lewis Cass Intermediate School District board member Robert Bainbridge, former Board of Commissioners chairman Wilber Breseman, Sheriff Joe Underwood, Cassopolis Village Clerk Paula Beauchamp, Dowagiac City Attorney Mark Westrate and Dan Wyant, former state agriculture director.
Longtime county Democratic Party Chairman Burke Webb, a Marcellus attorney, believes it was the third “house call” by a governor to the village in northeastern Cass County, including John Engler and G. Mennen Williams.
Arnold Schten, former Dowagiac Union High School principal, remembers singing at the visit by Williams in the 1950s.
Pork Chop's Diner owners Don and Mary Pastorick were as surprised as anyone when the governor's office contacted them Thursday to arrange the jaunt into Cass County while driving back to Lansing from Kalamazoo appearances, including a ribbon-cutting at Democratic headquarters.
Mary said they were “very honored” that the governor chose their restaurant and Marcellus to visit.
Granholm made no formal remarks. She will be up for re-election in 2006.
Waitress Jessica Etter asked Granholm, “who's like an idol to little girls,” what it's like being a powerful woman.
The governor lit up at the question and said parents bring their daughters up to shake her hand at parades and encourage them with that could be them someday.