Watershed Voice columnist Amy Davidhizar writes about the recent tragedy that befell the Three Rivers community, and where we go from here.
Editor’s Note: This column makes reference to suicide and other issues related to mental health. If you’re thinking about suicide, are worried about a friend or loved one, or would like emotional support, the Lifeline network is available 24/7 across the United States. Text or call 988 to chat with someone now.
Amy Davidhizar of Cass County responds to what she calls a “smear campaign directed at this Saturday’s Three Rivers Pride Festival” led by St. Joseph County Road Commissioner Jack Coleman and others.
Amy Davidhizar of Volinia Township, a subscriber since 2020 and a contributor since 2021, explains why she supports Watershed Voice.
WSV’s Amy East details a week spent in northern Georgia, where she helped a friend and fellow archaeologist dig along the Etowah River at an 1,800-year-old site called Rice Farm.
Zora Neale Hurston is most famous as a fiction writer associated with the Harlem Renaissance. Her most famous book became the 2005 movie of the same name: Their Eyes Were Watching God. Yet this remarkable, and controversial woman was also a notable cultural anthropologist — and a student of the “father of American anthropology” Franz Boas — whose contributions have only recently begun to be appreciated.
WSV’s Amy East writes, “And, at that point, that’s when I realize I’ve come to a crossroads. I realize I’ve been walking around cut off from myself, numbing myself to the pain, yes, but also numbing myself to the beauty too. As I stand at the crossroads, I know that down one road lies the same — protected and predictable, yet numb — and down the other lies uncertainty — and the ability to feel alive again.”
WSV’s Amy East writes about, well, writing in this week’s Critters, Culture, and Compost. So if you need help transforming “hum-drum passive verbs to some heckin’ action,” Amy’s got you covered.
Come celebrate fall with the Cass County Historical Society and Cass County Historical Commission at the historic Newton House’s Fall Festival this Sunday, Oct. 3, from 1-4:30 pm.
Watershed’s Amy East writes, “My brain, bless its little heart, is probably (and maybe optimistically) described as organized chaos at any given moment. Where my husband thrives in an environment that’s as close to sterile as possible, my office (house?) currently has piles of somewhat related materials scattered throughout. And I know where everything is so that, when I need it, I can find it. It drives my husband nuts. I wouldn’t say I run on pure chaos, because pure chaos has me in this particular place and time, but I also fight structure. I’m complicated, what can I say?”
WSV’s Amy East writes, “Having a garden, doesn’t matter how big or small, means living in tune with the seasons. For me, it means focusing less on man-made constructs of time and more on the natural cycle of the earth. Growing food not only feeds your body, but (in my oh so humble opinion) feeds your soul by connecting you to nature. And so, while it can be overwhelming and no short amount of work, I love the bounty of food that each late summer brings with it. I love putting up as much as I can before the frost returns, and feeding my family with homegrown produce through the cold months.”
WSV Columnist Amy East writes, “In researching my own genealogy, I’ve found a number of ancestors who fought for the idea that all men were created equal in the American Revolution, and some that owned slaves. The movement of my ancestors to Cass County was very near to the time the Potawatomi were forcibly removed. Were they involved? I don’t know. Did they benefit? Without a doubt. But just because this knowledge might make me uncomfortable, or challenge how I’d like to see myself, it doesn’t mean it’s wrong. When you ask ‘what did you learn that you didn’t know before?’ you don’t get to choose if that knowledge aligns with your worldview. That’s the cost of curiosity, my friend.”
WSV’s Amy East writes, “With the first dumped feeders and somewhat pillaged barn, I got the traps back out this spring. And despite the first two catches going smoothly, I walked to the barn several days ago to be met with a scattering of chicken feathers outside the barn door. Not good. I’ll spare you the details, dear reader, but suffice it to say that it was carnage. As of this writing, I’ve lost eight chickens and we’ve dispatched additional two raccoons, and it’s not over yet. We’ve upped security measures and changed tactics, yet the ringleader is still at-large.”
WSV’s Amy East writes, “Two years ago when we bought our place in beautiful Cass County, I dove into the county’s and my own family’s history, discovering that my ties to the area went deeper than I’d known. There is a richness to the county’s intertwined Potawatomi, European, and African American history that I’d never learned in school, or maybe never appreciated.
“Earlier this year, the Cass County Board of Commissioners saw fit to appoint me to the Historical Commission. As part of the publications committee, I’ll be editing and updating books that share our history with anyone who cares to read about it. Will there be an opportunity for more archaeology, maybe here at home? I’d like to think so, I hope so. There are many, many questions to be answered and stories to be told. Give me a couple years and we’ll see what I can do.”
WSV’s Amy East details the life and accomplishments of the late Katherine Johnson, a NASA mathematician who played a critical role in the success of the U.S. space program.
WSV’s Amy East writes about a new addition she plans to make to her garden this year. “This year I’m trying amaranth, and since the ‘approximate seed count’ in the bag is 1,200, I won’t be growing just two or three. To be honest, I’m not entirely sure what I’m getting myself into with this adventure. And it will be an adventure. There will be the anticipation of planting, excitement as new sprouts poke up out of the ground, frustration of trying to determine weeds from plants, swear words flying in anger as my chickens inevitably discover the plants, and, always, the uncertainty of when to harvest and how to best preserve and cook it.”
On this day in 1606, in Westminster Hall, eight men stood trial for their participation in the Gunpowder Plot. These men, and a number of other religious extremists, sought to blow up Parliament, kill King James I, Queen Anne, and Prince Charles, and place 9-year-old Princess Elizabeth on the throne in an attempt to gain support and undo laws that all but outlawed Roman Catholicism in the country.
WSV Columnist Amy East writes, “The reality of higher education in our country is far from ideal and far from available for everyone. […] The cost of education keeps going up while the quality of education suffers.”