It takes a village

Published 2:57 pm Friday, December 10, 2010

They say it takes a village to raise a child. That was never more evident than in the last few months in Edwardsburg. The football team had the fortune to have a winning season and as such was able to be a part to the playoffs for the state championship. The village came out to support their team.

Not just the moms and dads of the players but the village. The crowds traveling with the team were estimated in be not in the hundreds but in the thousands. Many people who drive through Edwardsburg would argue with you that there are not that many people in Edwardsburg. The town itself keeps those numbers well hidden. There is more to Edwardsburg than what you see on U.S. Highway 12 and M-62. But back to the village.

The football team or any sport for that matter does not need a winning season to get support from the Eddie fans. Just go to the stadium on any Friday night in the fall and try to find a parking space. Win or lose, the village is there to give support to its children.

But that is not just true for the footballs team or the wrestlers or cross country or basketball, youth soccer or Rocket football. The support is there for the raising of our children.

This is the mentality that lives throughout our village. Just as the support is there for the athletic teams, it is there for other events as well. A fish fry, spaghetti supper or a benefit will find an overflow crowd. Which brings me to my point for today.

This past week I had the opportunity to attend the celebrations of the lives of two residents of our community. Two people who may not have even known each other but were well known to the ‘village.’ The first was Bill Case and the second was Joyce Pyles.

Bill Case was known all over this area for his knowledge and workmanship as a finish carpenter. His hands touched more buildings than you would ever imagine. It was said that if you wanted someone to do it right, Bill was the man.

Now Joyce Pyles was a known for a lot of different reasons. Joyce was one of the original hoarders and junk collectors. She could literally make beauty out of nothing. They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder and Joyce had the eye.

Joyce was a supporter of the Edwardsburg Museum. No, she didn’t give it money or time but she gave it her blessing by stopping periodically to see if she could contribute something to make the displays more authentic.

Her last visit to the Museum which was about two months ago was to bring in some items she had collected after the Legends Restaurant fire  She had gone through the rubble and was sure there was something left from that fire that would have some value. She found it.

She picked up some twisted and melted plastic motorcycle models, a wet menu, some broken picture frames and a piece of burned wood. All covered with soot and smoke but she could picture these items in a diarama that she thought should be in the museum. She apologized for not getting them in a frame but she wanted the museum to be sure to have the items as momentos and part of the history of the restaurant.

They are on display in the museum after being thoroughly cleaned.

Joyce would stop at the Museum each time a new display was developed and she would look to see what she could contribute. Her contributions were always appreciated because they were things that others would have overlooked. About two or three months ago she invited me to her garage to pick up some items and I had the fortune to peek into her garage store house of “good stuff.”

You may think it takes a village to raise a child but it also takes a community to build a Museum. The Museum is so thankful for the community of good people like Bill Case and Joyce Pyles and will miss them.