Timbers beats Thanksgiving rushPublished 10:11pm Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Janet Veach’s grandson liked to kid her about her days as a “hooker.”
Her daughter, Jackie, of Berrien Center, calls the lifelong Dowagiac resident Hedda Hopper after the renowned gossip columnist “because she knew everyone in town.”
They enjoyed an early Thanksgiving dinner Tuesday evening at The Timbers of Cass County with Janet’s brother, Jim Hilliard, and Joanne Gast.
“I was born and raised on Telegraph Street, kitty corner from McLauchlin-Clark Funeral Home,” Jackie said.
Veach worked in the hook department of James Heddon’s Sons, the fishing bait and tackle manufacturer. She retired when it closed in Dowagiac in 1984. Before that, she worked downtown at a dime store.
“They definitely try to get everyone involved,” Jackie said of The Timbers, which is hosting another buffet meal at 6 p.m. Thursday for the other half of the residents and two guests.
Genny Leitner, dietary manager, planned the first-time event, which was quite a feat for the staff as dining facilities are mostly maxed out with just residents.
They set up the two dining rooms and the activities room to accommodate guests, with the serving line in the corridor. Judd Lumber Co.’s rental department furnished extra chairs and tables, which residents decorated.
Shirley J. Jackson and her husband, Duane, dined with their daughter, Dianne, a Cedar Sands manager.
“We’re all originally from Cassopolis,” Jackson said, adding her parents operated Shirley’s Cake and Candy in Niles in the 1980s.
“Dad was a dairy farmer growing up, then he managed a big apple farm on M-60. He baked for Shirley’s, which was at Eastgate and then on Gilbert. They had that for 20-some years. People who work here come up to her now and say, ‘You made my wedding cake.’ It’s a small world. This is a lovely place. A lot of the help is from Cass County, so you feel like family. I’m glad they could open it back up. You start talking to people and find out what they did, and it’s so interesting. There’s so much history in our elders.”