Mother’s Day is arriving this Sunday, May 7th, and for those who are fortunate enough to still have a mom in their midst, making her day special is at the top of the weekend list. 

The origin of Mother’s Day is somewhat disputed. Wikipedia, the go-to source for the “woke generation”, claims that it was Anna Jarvis who organized the first Mother’s Day observation.  

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It was on May 10th, 1908, three years after the death of her mother, that Jarvis held a memorial service to honor her mother and all mothers at Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church in Grafton, West Virginia. But Albion, Michigan, disputes that claim. Their celebration was decades earlier with a much more interesting birth. 

A Michigan Registered Historic Site plaque, planted proudly at the intersection of East Erie Street & South Ionia Street proclaims,  

On May 13, 1877, the second Sunday of the month, Juliet Calhoun Blakeley stepped into the pulpit of the Methodist-Episcopal Church and completed the sermon for the Reverend Myron Daugherty. According to local legend, Daugherty was distraught because an antitemperance group had forced his son to spend the night in a saloon. Proud of the mother's achievement, Charles and Moses Blakeley encouraged others to pay tribute to their mothers. In the 1880s the Albion Methodist church began celebrating Mother's Day in Blakeley's honor. 

So, perhaps the “official” observance of Mother’s Day began May 10th, 1908, in Grafton, West Virginia, it was the drunken exploits of an Albion Reverend's son, on that fateful Saturday night of May 12th, 1877, that really set the ball rolling. 

Taking your mother out for dinner to celebrate her special day is always a safe bet, if you don’t mind dealing with the long line at the restaurant. But that isn’t always an option for some families.  

When selecting that special gift for mom, the Better Business Bureau has issued a few tips to avoid getting ripped-off on a Mother’s Day gift. 

Five Tips To Avoid Getting Ripped-Off For Mother’s Day

Online shopping

Shopping Online: Avoid suspicious websites and pop-up ads. Make sure the website is secure with the https:// and the ‘lock’ icon in the URL. Don’t click on hyperlinks in unsolicited emails. Understand return and refund policies. Read the fine print. BBB has more tips for online shopping.  

Flowers for Mother's Day
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  Ordering Flowers: Look for trusted local shops near you at If you are sending flowers to your mother in another city, check online for a florist in her area. Call and confirm the shop exists. Many scam sites claim they are local but do not exist in the area, or at all. Make sure you have enough time for delivery, ask about fees, and make sure the date is specified clearly when you order. Read more about buying flowers.

Purchasing a television
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Buying Electronics: Make sure you leave it in the original packaging. Many retailers require the original packaging in order to process returns or exchanges. Buy from reputable dealers. If a deal seems too good to be true, it usually is. 


Pendants and necklaces
Alex Chambers/Unsplash

Buying Jewelry: Do your research and consider visiting a jewelry store near you versus buying online. Keep your receipts and read the fine print; ask questions about their return policy. Read more tips on buying and selling jewelry. 

Gift Cards Expected To Be Big Holiday Seller, Amid Consumer Skepticism
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Buying Gift Cards and Certificates: Check the terms and conditions of any gift card or certificate before buying so that it won’t be a problem. Before you buy a gift card, consider these additional tips.  

After following these tips, suggested by the trusty Better Business Bureau, be sure to give mom a big hug, because that is all she really wants...and don’t forget dad. Even though he may not act like it, he probably enjoys a good hug also. 

18 Stores That Were On The Original Downtown Kalamazoo Mall

The Burdick Street Mall, in downtown Kalamazoo, was the first pedestrian mall constructed in the United States. It was designed by Victor Gruen and Associates of Detroit and local merchants paid the $60,000 bill for construction costs. The Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra provided live music for the opening day celebration. The historic mall was removed and reopened to limited automobile traffic in 2000.
Below are photographs of stores that once bustled with shoppers, only a couple of the businesses still remain in their original locations. A few quotes, from the Facebook group, Vanished Kalamazoo, are mixed among the memories.

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