Columns Commercial-News, Penny Saver, & Sturgis Sentinel

Out and About: Water Festival, concerts, and prices

The Annual Three Rivers Water Festival seems to get better every year. We didn’t get as involved as we normally do with the many activities this year, so next year we want to try and make more time for this annual event.
I did help this year with the Soap Box Derby on Friday afternoon. The volunteers did a great job of making sure any child who wanted to race, did have that opportunity. Many kids made the trip down the Spring Street hill at least three or four times. The races were quite exciting. There were even a couple of wipe outs, but not a single injury.
Saturday morning, we attended the pancake breakfast hosted by the Three Rivers Fire Department. Not a single soul left hungry. The pancakes and sausage links were delicious and there was plenty of coffee, juice and milk available. Kudos to all the firefighters who arrived early to set up the tables and chairs, then flipped the pancakes and turned the sausage links.
Saturday afternoon, we joined friends from Gobles for a Concert in the Park. The Kalamazoo Concert Band made their annual trip to Three Rivers and entertained a good-sized crowd with music from Les Miserables, Star Wars, Star Trek and Pirates of the Caribbean. As is custom, they wrapped up the concert with “Stars and Stripes Forever”. The crowd rose to their feet and kept time with the music and remained for a well-deserved standing ovation.
If you missed this concert, you have one more opportunity to see them on July 15, when the orchestra performs in Kindleberger Park, in Parchment. For more information, please visit their website at
Prices have risen over the past fifty years, but so has household incomes. Since 1970, prices are up 659%, and median household income is up 710%. Here are several examples of differences in prices from 1970 to present day:

  • Dozen eggs – 1970: $0.61; 2024: $3.12
  • Box seat at Yankee Stadium – 1970: $4.00; 2024: $265.00
  • Ford Mustang (two-door sedan) – 1970: $2822.00; 2024:$27,470.00
    I try to buy gasoline when the prices are at their lowest. This can be difficult, because it takes a while for the price to go back down after they have just risen. They jump twenty cents a gallon overnight, and it takes at least a week before they are back down to where they were. I seriously doubt we’ll ever see the price of gas below $3 per gallon again. I just filled my tank with the price of $3.58/gallon. Once the pump shut off, I continued to squeeze the pump and added about an additional dollar’s worth. I just read that topping off your tank can be a dangerous habit and could end up costing a lot of money. Topping off may damage a critical piece of the gas tank called the “onboard refueling vapor recover (ORVR) system. If this system gets damaged, it can’t do its job, which is collecting harmful fuel vapors and emit them into the outside air. OPVR repairs can cost hundreds of dollars on a part that otherwise could last the entire life of the car. So, it’s best to stop pumping when the fuel pump clicks off.
    The Fourth of July is next week. A perfect time to celebrate, but remember, “He who comes forth with a fifth on the fourth, may not come forth on the fifth.”
    S H A L O M!!
    Norm Stutesman lives in Three Rivers. He receives mail at P.O. Box 103 in Three Rivers.

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