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July 14, 2020

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Ada’s Past Is Revealing Today

(Dave Devier, Ph.D., attended ONU and lived in and around the community for 45 years. He taught at Northern for 15 years. Currently, he is President of Glen Oaks Community College in Centreville, Mich. While in the Ada area, he and his wife Patty collected Ada/ONU memorabilia. He will write an occasional column for the Ada Icon describing some of their "finds" that pertain to the town and gown.)

By David Devier

I have been collecting pieces of Ada’s history for more than 50 years. I do not have a good reason why I started this hobby other than I have always been interested in history and have a deep connection to my home town and Alma mater, ONU. As I learned of the Ada Icon, I reached out to Monty Siekerman suggesting sharing some of the hundreds of items I have which reveal many facets of Ada’s colorful past.

This is the first of these and I determined to begin with classic examples ofsouvenirs, “Ruby Glass”. The three pictured here show the different sizes and shapes that such mementos would take no matter where they were collected. It is interesting to think about who may have purchased each of these. Were they ONU students, relatives of Ada’ites, or just passing through? One is hard pressed today to find comparable items in town that represent the village in such a clear and simple way.

Now one might ask, who today would even be interested in securing a piece of Ada to keep dear for years to come? Maybe more than we think. Of course one can still find excellent collectables at the ONU bookstore today and in the weeks to come I will present some of the classic ONU mementos from years ago. I will also be presenting interesting items reporting events and celebrations.   I would also invent others that have items to submit them. Over time we will reveal the past with the glimpses through pieces of memories.