RA. This is Tuesday, April 3, 2007 and we are in the home of Fred and Laura Hicks. John Colling and Richard Allen are here, and I’ll ask each person to say something so the transcriber can identify who is speaking.
This is John Colling, I’m Fred Hicks, Laura Hicks.
RA.We have been going through some of the pictures I brought over trying to identify them. Fred says that Yerkes Lake is over in Highland Lakes. It’s a natural lake that is called Silver Springs.
The Roll of Honor that was shown in the book was on the southwest corner of Main and Center and was facing Main Street.
Right now we’re struggling with the interurban bridge. Fred was telling us how the tracks went along the road and that’s where we’re going to pick it up from there.
FRED. As I remember the interurban at Phoenix, it went across on a trestle below the dam as the road did too. So I don’t agree with this really. I wondered if it might have been where Northville road goes through now. That would be the only other possibility.
RA. There’s a railroad overpass on Northville Road.
FRED. Yeah. That resembles that to a certain extent. The old Northville road didn’t go there because of the hill. That came later. I don’t know if they used that for the overpass for the road then or not. It wouldn’t be wide enough, I wouldn’t think. There are buildings in the background and they don’t look like Phoenix either.
JC. Does it look at all like it might be Northville on the other side?
FRED. No, I don’t think so.
LAURA. There was a pond there.
FRED. This is what gets me. The railroad is still there. This is a big high hill to the right, and that’s still there. There was a house on it. Five Mile didn’t come down like it does now. It came down to where the road went, but the road went up over the hill and over the railroad tracks. I thought maybe this was later, but it doesn’t look like the right train, but yet it says Phoenix. Now, it’s possible it was before the pond was there, but the land doesn’t look just right. There is lack of high ground over here, which throws me. We know they didn’t move the railroad track. Is there any history as to when the dam was put in? That goes way back.
RA. We’ve had pictures of the granary mill at Phoenix and then there was a rather decrepit looking bridge that was made for horse and buggies—not for cars. The mill burned back in the early 1900s and the bridge was obviously replaced. We have pictures of it showing the lake there.
LAURA. Have you looked at any of the books in Plymouth? Plymouth has an old book of pictures, and it shows, I think, construction of Northville-Plymouth Road, some of them. I remember the one I looked at in the dentist office.
RA. Okay. We discovered that Northville Road in that part of history was called Plymouth Road.
LAURA. We always called it Northville-Plymouth Road.
FRED. The DUR had a gravel pit just east of the Griswold Road bridge. The track came down and went into it, but it didn’t go across the river with it. It was before it got to the railroad. My uncle used to be a motorman on the work car, and whenever we saw him in the pit, my dad would drive down and talk to him. His name was John Phelps.
LAURA. Is there any possibility, Junior, of that being that?
FRED. No, there was no bridge there. It went down into the pit before, down quite a steep grade and curve, all east of the railroad track.
LAURA. But didn’t it go then uptown?
FRED. Yeah, but it went out Griswold.
LAURA. Oh did it? I can’t remember that. I remember the corner down there.
RA. The train actually ended up at Main and Center, the end of the line.
LAURA. At the Crows Nest.
FRED. The other line went south to Plymouth.
LAURA. Out over the trestle.
FRED. There was a trestle down at the corner where the car wash is now. The road made a 45-degree bend there, and this was all pond there where the road goes now. But the streetcar went on a trestle out there and then went on south.
RA. The streetcar track went down Northville-Plymouth Road. Did it actually go into Plymouth at that point?
LAURA. Right on through Plymouth. I rode it when I was little from Northville to Plymouth with my mother, and it went out through Main Street south. In fact it went clear to Wayne and on to Detroit.
FRED. Then it went to Michigan Avenue. From there it went west to Jackson, north to Mount Clemons, and it went up Van Dyke as far as Imlay City if I’m not mistaken.
RA. The overpass looks like the one on Doheny. The track doesn’t fit.
FRED. Yes it does. That kind of bothers me.
RA. Course that bridge today, if it were down there at Phoenix would have been demolished anyway, because it wouldn’t be wide enough to get anything through but a train. When we go to Plymouth we can find out when the railroad bridge was built.
FRED. There were no farm buildings on the other side of the railroad tracks either. There was a swamp over there. Where the city lot is, that was a big bog all filled in with trash from Northville. I shot many rats down there, I can tell you that. I carried home my share of junk too. This was down at Griswold.
RA. We used to go dumping and find all kinds of treasures.
LAURA. it was a big joke in our family. My sister-in-law and brother would get rid of junk, but he always brought stuff home.
RA. Part of when we talked to you before, we talked about a ski jump. I printed up some aerial pictures. There’s the racetrack, Hines and Seven Mile. So, it’s my understanding, the ski jump is in this area?
FRED. This is the old stream. This is the city sewage disposal or not?
RA. This is a fairly modern photograph. That’s St. Lawrence. That would be at the highest hill point.
FRED. Okay. It would be at about this point. It went down under the flat by the creek. But they rerouted the creek down here at the north section and went that way. But I think originally, it came right around.
RA. If we can find some old maps, it might show it.
FRED. In fact they probably had a hard time stopping. I can show you. If you go down there you can find the old opening where they hit the ground on that end of that jump. It went down almost straight to the east off that hill. The thing of it is, it’s all grown up now with trees. We were talking about the picture we had of the flats from that old postcard. You go down here and you can’t even see there anymore. But it would have had to been taken from this angle, now that I think about it.
LAURA. Was Altman’s house there?
FRED. Altman’s was beyond this. I think the log cabin is still there.
LAURA. They didn’t live in the log cabin though, did they? Chuck lived in the log cabin but his folks lived in a big old house that faced Main St. Main St. now, Northville-Plymouth Road. I’m sure they did.
RA. For the record Fred is pointing out the spot for the ski jump. It is not at the intersection of Hines and Seven Mile, it is actually further south on Hines Drive, further 400-500 feet further south. He said the jump where you came down was dead east. It looks like it comes out where those baseball fields are now today.
FRED. Probably in this area right here.
RA. I’ll put a little mark here.
FRED. I can go with you and point it out to you. In fact I’ve been on that hill not too long ago looking for morels—south of there.
RA. Last time we talked you also mentioned there were two slaughter houses in the area.
FRED. That’s right.
RA. I brought some more maps.
FRED. And one of them went right in here. I don’t know what it looked like. I only know the old bridge was still there when I used to swim in the creek. The slaughterhouse as far as I was concerned was hearsay.
RA. Basically in the St. Lawrence area. What about the one that was over on Gerald? Here’s the map. Here’s the railroad, Seven Mile. Here’s Gerald. This is the city DPW yard. This was taken when McDonald Ford was still alive and that was a car shop.
FRED. Is this a little machine shop?
RA. This is Mason Pro on the corner and across there is Wooly Bully.
FRED. What is this little building right here?
RA. It’s now a landscaping company, a decrepit one.
FRED. There was a machine shop in there. Just east of that was where the slaughterhouse was.
RA. It was actually on Seven Mile then?
FRED. Yeah, further east on Seven Mile. I don’t know who ran that. I couldn’t tell you. When I went there with my dad to dig worms, it had long been ceased to be. We dug in the old offal pile for angle worms.
RA. I bet it was a good worm spot if you could stand the smell.
FRED. Two forks full and we had all we wanted.
RA. You said you were born in the house that was Emily’s Restaurant (505 N. Center, n. of Hiller’s Market)?
RA. There’s nothing like satellite maps these days. You can get all kinds of stuff. I brought you one of your house.
FRED. Yes, they are wonderful. That’d be the house right there then.
RA. There’s rumors the house will be torn down. It looks like Hiller’s is going to expand.
FRED. Yes, I’ve heard that. Wait a minute here. It doesn’t show the wall here. I didn’t realize they had that much parking.
RA. I didn’t either because I never went into the restaurant. It didn’t serve the kind of food I wanted.
FRED. I didn’t either. It didn’t fit my wallet. And I moved from there to the house that Westfalls (602 Grace St.) lived in. That house is still there. It hasn’t been upgraded yet to a giant house. Herman Kreeger, who used to grade the streets with a horse-drawn grader, lived in one of these houses on Carpenter. Alec Blake lived in one, Conroys, Torks. Miller from Yerkes lived further to the north.
RA. We got this map from Asher’s. It shows at one time there were 13 gas stations in Northville. We met his son and got a copy of the map, and he was able to identify a lot of them. There were a few mystery ones in there. (See Figure 5)
LAURA. Sunoco was the one that Richmond ran.
RA. That’s one we want to know—the one on Seven Mile by the Fish Hatchery.
FRED. Dick Richmond you’re talking about?
FRED. What about Blacks?
LAURA. Yes, I was thinking of a different one. Blacks had that one.
RA. There’s also another one he said it was four doors north on Rogers where the Citgo station is today. The building is still there.
LAURA. Is that Warners?
FRED. Yeah, could’ve been, Earl Warner. He built the original one out there.
RA. This one you think is Black?
LAURA. Jim Black.
FRED. Was that the boy or the father? Or were they both Jims?
LAURA. I think the father was Jim.
FRED. Yeah, Black.
RA. Was he related to the Blacks that ran the hardware store?
FRED. No different family. An older family. Blacks, before that house was built, or did they live in that house?
LAURA. They lived in that stone house, a big old house, across from Nelsons—John and Irene Nelson.
FRED. Okay. I was trying to think. They had the pond where the watercress was?
LAURA. That was Lawrence. I don’t know that they may have been related to Lawrence, but I’m not sure.
RA. According to Bill Asher, these thirteen gas stations made a pact that they wouldn’t open on Sunday. He was the one who broke the pact because it was in his contract with the oil company that he had to be open on Sunday.
FRED. Don Hamilton’s Standard Oil was up by Hutton Street and was over where the coffee place is (Starbucks). Shell was run by one brother, Moshimer on Northville Road at Johnson.
RA. The building today is called “Vine to Vine”. It’s the place that makes wine. It’s the current name of the building across from Clark, which is now Marathon at Northville Road at Johnson.
FRED. That was run by a man by the name of Moshimer, years and years ago. He was an old friend of my father’s. My father worked for his father doing carpentry work.
RA. This Mobil station is where Northrop’s (Northrop-Sassaman Funeral Home) is today (19091 Northville Road). Now one of these is tied to Rathburn Chevrolet and a guy by the name of Michael Green built a gas station on the corner of Seven Mile and Northville Road, and it had various names before it sold out. We have a picture of his station and you can see Rathburn Chevrolet in the background. He is the brother of Jean Bemish, on Seven Mile.
FRED. Rathburn Chevrolet was on the left side?
RA. Yeah, left side of Seven Mile.
FRED. What happened to the original name?
FRED. Where the building that McDonald had for trucks?
RA. It was Rathburn Chevrolet and that became part of the printing plant for the Northville Record. What it was before Rathburn, I don’t know. It was before my time.
LAURA. Is that where Richmond was?
FRED. No, it was Rathburn. He built the building I think.
LAURA. Yes that building he built.
FRED. Rathburn was originally uptown. Let me think.
RA. There was a Dodge dealer where LaSalle Bank is today (Main and Hutton).
RA. Then Cal’s Gulf (formerly Atchinson) also sold cars and that’s where Gardenviews is (202 W. Main).
LAURA. George Miller ran that Dodge service.
FRED. There was a Sunoco station that George Gardner and Gary Deal had that had one pump. It had a garage and that’s where Rathburn originally sold cars.
RA. Fleetwing was the Pizza Cutter (340 N. Center and Rayson).
FRED. But that was originally Standard at one time. There was a gas station that we just mentioned that is just south of the Roll of Honor Sign (Main and Center). It was a Sinclair. Do we have a Sinclair station?
RA. Yes, He sold Sinclair once. I thought Sinclair was out of business, but we discovered it out west when we were on vacation and they are big in Wyoming.
FRED. We had a Sinclair station too and a fellow by the name of Hartman from Novi owned it. He delivered bulk too.
LAURA. It bothers me that I can’t think of someone’s first name. He was a nice man.
RA. You’ll think of it after we leave. Okay, another subject: Black’s White House that sat on the corner of Dunlap and Center, the old Methodist parsonage. Is that the Black that had the gas station or the Black that had the hardware store?
FRED. This Black’s son had the hardware store.
LAURA. They were not his sons. They were her sons. They went by the name of Black though. They took his name. They had five boys.
RA. I’ve already asked Laura this, but what happened to that house?
FRED. Oh, they burned it down after we got married in it. (Laughter) No.
RA. Boy, would that make a history for the church.
FRED. We were married in it—65 years ago! Seems to me they put a porch on it.
LAURA. There was a side porch on Center Street.
RA. The general consensus is that it was demolished.
LAURA. This is the part that faced Center Street and this is a vacant lot.
RA. It started out as a parsonage and ended up as a restaurant.
FRED. Dr. Scuyler next… (stucco house south of the parsonage).
LAURA. The old parsonage on the corner of Dunlap and Wing was the one that was moved.
RA. Yeah, that’s the one that was moved to Franklin road, next to Waterford Cemetery
(Peltier’s). Let’s back up some of the history. Fred, you were born in Northville. Laura, where were you born?
LAURA. Salem. On the corner of Brookville and Gotfredson Road in the old house next to the cemetery.
JC. Wasn’t that area called Brookville years ago?
LAURA. I don’t know.
JC. I’ve always been trying to locate exactly where the village was.
FRED. Actually, that was Salem’s designation at one time before roads. The Salem Post Office was on Brookville and Gotfredson Road originally. I saw an old atlas; I think Gerry McCrumb has it.
LAURA. Gerry wants to come over. Too bad we didn’t have Gerry. She was going to bring some old pictures.
FRED. When the railroad came through it moved the town up there, because that corner wasn’t on the railroad. You might say the center of town shifted, whatever there was there. I don’t know what was there in the way of buildings. I know there was a post office. Years ago people ran post offices out of their homes.
LAURA. I think there was a school across the road, but I’m not sure.
JC. I’ve read references to a town called Brookville, which was what Brookville Road was named after, but I can’t locate it.
FRED. Let’s see, Brookville goes over to Pontiac Trail and ends, doesn’t it?
RA. Go to the Salem Historical Society and find out what they have.
LAURA. It ends out there somewhere.
JC. If the post office was right there, it probably would have been part of the community. I know when the railroad went through, that area was no longer viable if they moved it north. Since you born right there I thought you might know; it was before your time. That would have been in 1800s.
FRED. There was a center there long enough to establish a cemetery.
LAURA. There were quite a few houses out there. We used to go there when I was a little kid.
RA. There’s quite a few houses today. Probably quite a few were torn down and rebuilt to more modern houses.
JC. That house on Salem road, right on the corner, which was a Centennial Farm, I guess they sold it. That’s been there a long time. Just east of that, they built some new ones.
FRED. Talking about the southeast corner of Five Mile and Salem?
JC. Salem and Brookville. There’s an old farmhouse still sitting there. It had a designation of Centennial Farm, which means it is in the same family for one hundred years. I noticed they took that down, so I assume they must have sold it.
RA. There’s an old barn there that has a sign that some guy is trying to restore this barn by himself.
JC. Back to Northville. You said you were from Salem so I thought I might clear something up. I’m interested in that area.
RA. You came to Northville, when?
LAURA. Probably when I was 2 ½. My mother and dad lived in a farmhouse that my grandfather owned which was on the corner of Valencia and Seven Mile—the old house there. We lived there for about six months. Then they moved to the house on 240 S. Wing Street, the one that was just remodeled on the west side.
FRED. The second house from the post office.
JC. Seven Mile I understand was one of the earlier paved roads. Was it paved when you grew up there?
FRED. Yes it was.
LAURA. As far as Napier.
JC. Six mile wasn’t paved for quite a while after Seven Mile?
LAURA. Of course, I was only three when we left there.
RA. You lived on Wing Street for how long?
LAURA. We owned the house until after my father died. I grew up there. Lived there off and on all during the war. We moved here about 1950.
FRED. Are you familiar with Lyon Township at all?
FRED. I want to ask you a question. A long time ago on the corner of Eight Mile and Pontiac Trail on the south and west, there was a wood lot. I don’t know what caused me to investigate the wood lot; there were no buildings around there then.
JC. There’s a cemetery in there.
FRED. Has it ever been kept up?
JC. It’s privately owned like a lot of cemeteries around here were and still are. They don’t encourage people to go back there and see. If you want to go back there, check the nearest house. If they find you back there, they’re not too thrilled about it. It’s there. I have not been there. I understand that it’s kept up pretty well.
FRED. There’s an organization that investigates all these old cemeteries. A couple of women, I think, head it. I read an article by one, but they never mentioned that place. They mentioned a lot of places, but they never mentioned it.
JC. It’s not well known. After I retired the first time, I went back to work as a reporter for the South Lyon Herald. One of the younger reporters did a story on that cemetery. I wasn’t directly involved, but I knew she was working on it. She ran a story in the paper on it.
FRED. To me, it looked ancient. A lot of graves were marked with just fieldstones on the corners. Most of them were sunken, wood boxes, probably, had collapsed. No headstone.
JC. If you go through a lot of the old cemeteries around here and there are a lot of them, you will find a practice, early on, was to use part of your property for a burial ground for your family. So there are family cemeteries and you can find them in a lot of places that are fairly overgrown, and in some cases people will clear out the main underbrush.
RA. Fred you were born in a house that was last known as Emily’s (505 N. Center). Where did you move from that point?
FRED. I moved a block away to 602 Grace Street when I was three years old. We were there until I was about six when my father bought a plot of ground on Horton, second lot where the big house is now. He was a carpenter and he wanted a workshop. He was a finish carpenter. He built boats and different things, old wooden rowboats, of course. The Depression came along, and it was turned into living quarters. He lived there until his demise. My mother lived there until she came to live with us. I went to school from there and high school. I went into the service. This is as far away as I’ve gotten from that place so far.
RA. What did you do for a living after you got out of service?
FRED. Before I went into service, I was three years at Neal’s Northville Hardware, on the corner where the Record is now (104 W. Main & Center). We had all three floors and an old hand-operated elevator. I learned quite a bit about business. Neal was a good businessman. Then I was drafted in 1941 and discharged in September 1945. Then I went to work at the Wallway Company which was owned by William B. Walker and a man by the name of Hemingway. They used the Wall and the Way and called it Wallway. It was a stamping plant down on Eight Mile Road. The building is still there on the other side of Evergreen. There wasn’t anything else around. It was wild country. That was in February 1946. I worked there eighteen years. They had done well during the war as every profit was guaranteed from the government, but after that, they didn’t do so well. They started to decline. We took cuts in wages. It wasn’t a union shop. Finally they phased out our pension benefits. I decided to look for something different.
So I came and noised it around that I was looking for a job. I thought I might get in a school system. I was a good mechanic and maintenance man, that’s what I did down there. I noised it around and I thought I’d go to Schoolcraft. Finally one day Elmer Balko came up and asked if I would be interested in a route carrier’s job at the post office. I had to think about it because there was about a $2,000 difference between what I was making and what they paid. Finally, I thought I would go and take the Civil Service exam and know how stupid I am. I went downtown and took the exam. I had a veteran’s preference of course, and there was another fellow who had a double preference—he was a disabled veteran. There were about eight of us who took the exam. When it came back, I was second on the list, so I forgot about the job. About two weeks before the job was to start, Elmer came up. He was the Assistant Postmaster and asked if I still wanted that job at the post office. I thought about it a long time. It was a big step, but the right step to take. I said, “Yes. I’ll have to tell him this morning since it was two-weeks’ notice.” It started on the 15th of March if I remember correctly. I went in and told them I was done in two weeks and that was it. I started working at the post office, and I carried mail for nineteen years. One day going out Six Mile Road, rolling along the old gravel road, a guy ran the stop sign at Ridge Road with a pick-up truck and hit me broadside. My car was old and not repairable anyway, so I decided to hang it up. So I retired when I was 62. I didn’t go to the post office until I was 46.
RA. What was your delivery route?
FRED. 62 miles as I used to put it; it went half way to Farmington and half way to Ann Arbor. That’s what it did. I went out Novi Road to Nine Mile Road and I went Nine Mile Road all the way down to Newburg. There was a big subdivision there off Newburg. I did that and the customers along the way too. Then I came back Eight Mile to Haggerty across to Six Mile to Napier to Five Mile and from there all the way to Pontiac Trail–Brownie’s Sign Shop used to be at the corner of Five Mile and Pontiac Trail. Then I went a mile north and came in Six Mile and I got some of the side streets, Angling Road and Curtis Road, Chubb Road too. Back on Six Mile all the way to Sheldon I picked up all the subdivisions. 62 miles and I must have had around 500 stops.
RA. When the weather was bad, it made for a long day.
FRED. Oh, there were some days I didn’t make it. One time I got as far as the old Gibson Farm on the corner of Six Mile. We had a southwest wind and the wind chill was about seventy below I think. Oh, it was terrible. I got in front of that house and I couldn’t get to the box. I got stuck. It was so cold. I got out and started shoveling. I always carried a shovel so I could back out. Pretty soon I started huffing and breathing hard. I began to feel it in my lungs. So I went to the house and knocked on the door, and the girls let me in. After I recovered a little bit, I went back outside and shoveled a little more. I got out and I went back to the post office and told Elmer, “If you have any walking carriers out, you better check on them because that wind chill was fierce.” Sure enough, he brought some in and their legs were quite numb in the front, walking into that wind.
RA. You have quite a reputation for being an outdoorsman, hunter and gatherer.
FRED. Yep, there it is—the start of it (animal head mounts on walls). There’s probably 6” of fish scales around here some place.
JC. You mentioned the veteran’s preference. You were in the service? Which branch?
FRED. Yes. Air Force ground personnel. When I was inducted, I was inducted into Aberdeen, Maryland, which is the arsenal. It’s all ammunition and stuff like that, ordinance material. I went to school there as a clerk, which was misdirected. My passion was firearms. I went to Boise, Idaho from there to an airfield just outside called Gowan Field. It’s south of there, Mountain Home now. It wasn’t big enough when the planes got bigger. It’s still called Gowan Field. Anyway we had a few medium bombers, 130-caliber machine gun and we didn’t have any bombs, course it was peace time—up till December seven. Then everybody went crazy. In the meantime we did get some planes in which was interesting because they flew much faster than the old B18’s. They were B26’s and they landed at about 110 MPH, and those pilots were great at taking them off, but they weren’t very good at landing. Crazy. After Pearl Harbor we got a bunch of bombs in, live bombs, but we had no arsenal. So they put them out on the desert, which was U.S. government range. They put them in gulleys. They figured that was hiding them. Well, that fall and winter we got a lot of big rains, and that buried the bombs. We had to dig them out. I’ve got some pictures of me standing guard out there in a raincoat and a riot gun. When we came to get them in the truck, we got stuck. When that mud gets wet, it’s just like soft soap. It had great big chunks of lava rock in it, and they’d roll right up on the underside of the truck and you couldn’t get them out except with a cat. I don’t know how long it was before we got all the bombs out of the mud. Of course, everybody was crazy about the Japs being just around the corner. It was guard duty, guard duty, guard duty all winter, and it was cold. Then, that Spring I got on a detail down in Alexandria, Louisiana, near Camp Livingston. It was an airfield; it was Essler Field. They had those new planes called cobras. They were P39’s with a 37 mm cannon in the front. Well, they tried to make a clerk out of me down there, and I balked at that. So I didn’t do much of anything down there except run around in the swamp, gather lighter wood for the fire, and watch the snakes and tarantulas. I was there from February to May and came back one week during the time I was there, and we got married, March 25, 1942. Anyway, I came home for a week and I got here on Sunday and on Monday I asked her to marry me. She said “yes” and on Wednesday we were married. It was a fast and furious Tuesday and Wednesday, I’ll tell you.
I went back to Alexandria and in May we came back up to Boise, ID. She came out for two weeks in June. In July I got my walking papers again and went to Alamogordo, NM, an airbase with A20’s. About all they did down there was work the rifle range and try to stay cool. It was a 110 the day I got there, but it cooled off after that. It never got above 104 after that. In the first two weeks you can’t get enough water. You pour it down but it doesn’t do any good, and all of a sudden, you’re all right. We were there until September and I was shipped to the east coast. We boarded an old British liner. I don’t know how many were aboard, but, boy, it was crowded. I picked the hammock because I knew I didn’t get seasick and I didn’t know how many other people did. I wanted to be above it all. We had poor food and we were thirteen days in a convoy going across the north Atlantic. We got to Glasgow, Scotland on about the twelfth of October. I spent the rest of the time on two airbases. First one was with B17s. I was there fourteen months and then I was put on a cadre and went about three miles out of Norwich to a B24 group.
I finished out my service there after VE Day. In July I was on my way home and I had enough points to get out. But I had to go down and do about a month in N. Carolina. They wanted me back in. Every morning I had to watch the movies and get a lecture about how good it was to be in the service. They couldn’t convince me. They wanted me in the Reserve or to reenlist. I said “no way.” I wore them down. The best part was that I got to shoot skeet twice a day, every day. I came back home on the 27th of September, and I didn’t go to work until February. I just took it easy. I went deer hunting that year and just had fun. I hunted rabbits, caught fish—all the things I’d missed. I wouldn’t say I missed them. I used to poach the king’s rabbits, pheasants…
RA. Do you deer hunt around here in the area or go out further?
FRED. My first deer hunting started up in Baraga County in the UP. From that time on, there’s no deer hunting down here. If you’re not in the big woods and can’t hear the ravens, you’re not deer hunting.
RA. I get it, you’re spoiled.
FRED. The venison tastes better down here.
RA. You have to get the buckshot out of it down here.
JC. I’m not a deer hunter but I’ve been told by my friends who are, that the deer in the lower peninsula live off corn and stuff like that and they taste better than those in the UP.
RA. The ones in Northville live off of flowers.
FRED. Shrubbery. We have them go through the yard occasionally.
RA. I know someone who chased a deer down Baseline and Carpenter. He was going to the Water Wheel to exercise and the deer went down the middle of the road.
FRED. We had a friend who hit one—didn’t kill it. She had deer hair on the trim of her car.
JC. I hit one in front of the high school. You wouldn’t dream of it. There’s a subdivision on one side and the school and subdivision on the other. A whole herd came out of the retention basin, and I didn’t even see them until all of a sudden—boom! They come in our back yard all the time.
JC. Are we all set?
RA. Thank you very much.
Approved by Fred and Laura Hicks on August 21, 2007.
Transcribed by Patricia Allen