Written by a member of the Class of '57
The dogs are barking, the bird is screeching; somebody has arrived. Oh, my goodness, it is Christopher, my husband's shirttail relative, a 43rd cousin or something like that! Christopher is more than just a little cuckoo, but he drives the absolute greatest automobile.

   "Where's John?" he asks.

   "He went to the Post Office in Tyner."

   "Okay, hop in."

"Oh, I don't know, Christopher."   I had heard really wild stories about him, his driving, trips to strange places, and besides that he has a wild look in his eyes.   But housework can become monotonous and a little excitement sounded good, so I open the shiny black door of the low-slung automobile and sink down into the comfy leather seat.

We fairly fly to Tyner where we enter the Post Office, only to find John is out back talking with Jim.  I stare at the mural Marge painted and say to anyone caring to listen,    "Oh, how I wish I could have seen Tyner back then."

Going back to the car, I can see John heading across the street to talk with Ray Halsey. I assume that is where Chris is going and surely we can travel a half block safely.   "Okay, let's go."  I close my eyes as I shut the car door.  No glasspack for that muffler, it sounds much more super-sonic.  We seem suspended in air, then there's a bump, a long squeal and we came to an abrupt stop.  Everything is suddenly very, very still.  I think I must be dreaming as I step onto the snow packed street lined with buildings and feel strangely at home in what looks to be Tyner, only there are more buildings and trees.  It's starting to get dark and a light snow is falling, sparkling as it catches the light from store windows.  There are people, walking, laughing, talking, and a feeling of expectation, excitement, and the sound of lively music coming from somewhere that adds to the festive atmosphere.  Christopher joins me and together we walk slowly toward a nearby building where people are standing.  They are all wearing hats, the men have ties and the girls have short waved hairstyles and swingy, pretty dresses; a sharp contrast to my sweatshirt and jeans.  I look at Chris questioningly and he shrugs and says, "They won't notice us, they're in a different era, the 1920's.

   I begin to recognize some of the buildings.  There's the bank, I see what used to be the hotel, a blacksmith/auto repair shop, hardware store, the Post Office/Fraternity Hall with a confectionary that has ice cream and candies, with special candy at Christmas time, a dry goods store, three groceries, and the H. J. Heinz Pickle Factory.  In one building's window there is notice of an Onion Growers Meeting and a signup sheet for spring weeding.  And there is the Tyner School!!!   Oh, it looks so nice and it's new, only smaller without the additions.  They may be getting ready to build something onto the school, possibly the first gym.  It looks like earth has been scooped out and there are horses that are being led away.  In the distance there are some other buildings that look like factories, maybe even a saloon, but they look closed and deserted.  And there are wonderful old cars!

   Obviously, something is going on tonight, something that's bringing in a lot of people!   They are gathering in front of John Tellcamp's Hardware Store where the music seems to originate.   There is talk of a new dance floor!

   Chris mentions that recent years have been tough, but now with the war over, the flu epidemic that affected so many having passed, prohibition in force, and the depression still years away, it is a time to look forward and to not dwell on the past.  Tyner has a history of being up and coming and the townspeople have fought to keep Tyner a place where life can be full of good, fond memories.   Two of the new, modern spring-loaded dance floors have just now been constructed in Tyner!  There are very few of these dance floors in the country.  The best known spring-loaded dance floor is at the Savoy Ballroom in New York and just recently opened.  Up until now, the Tyner area residents went to square dances which were very popular and held in Walkerton.

   I hear whispers, as we approach the store about train gangs from Plymouth and LaPorte, something about a rumor of possible plans to meet in Tyner for a showdown as they had years ago.   One man assures a small gathering that with the Tyner men coming into town in the evenings and meeting at the hardware, there won't be any trouble.

   Some people are using the outside stairs to reach the second floor of the hardware store, but we work our way to the front and enter through the double doors.  Inside, we see glass cases holding small tools and the friendly look of wood everywhere.   The floor, which creaks a little, the walls, shelves, barrels holding flour, crackers and pickles, and the counter at the far end of the building are all made of wood.   There are hanging lamps with large shades and a gleaming potbellied stove giving off inviting warmth. Surrounding the stove are a variety of chairs and boxes with a conveniently located spittoon.  This must be where people gather that we had overheard the people talking about, here by the stove, and I can't help but think that joy, sorrow, concerns and support all come together here.  Fastened to the wall on the right are open wooden boxes filled with nails, nuts and bolts, and other hardware items.  A stairway goes up the side of the wall to the second floor.  You can climb the stairs and pick out items from the boxes.  A small landing is at the top of the stairway and you can see the entire store beneath you.  It is a grand look into the past and you realize this is the heart of early Tyner.

   The landing opens into a large room.   Chris tells me that once a medicine show was here, but more often town meetings are held and high school plays presented in this room.   Tonight there is a dance and it is not a regular dance either.  This is the first dance in Tyner on a spring-loaded dance floor!
The floor is actually constructed with springs and will sway and bounce with the movement of the dancers.  If a floor like this is too stiff it won't have much of an effect, but this floor has been carefully planned to be limber.    Christopher says also that there are two new kinds of music becoming popular, jazz and the blues. Older folks think this music is wicked, but the younger generation calls it the "cat's meow."  it will be interesting to see what kind of music is played for the dance.  So that's what all the excitement is about!   There are decorations and musicians, one even has a saxophone.    I step gingerly onto the floor and it moves quite a bit, now that's pretty creepy!  Tapping our toes to the music and smiling with the contagious cheer of the evening, Christopher and I have to force ourselves to leave.  On our way down the stairway to the first floor, the band strikes up music for the Charleston and laughter and squeals of delight fill the building.  The sound of the floor compacting keeps time with the music proving that it is a tremendous success.

Once back to the car and reality, I think to myself how the dances must have been the perfect meeting place for couples and cannot help but wonder, is it possible that even some of our parents or people we know might have met because of those floors?  And who might be products of that meeting?   How long will the novelty of a bouncing floor last and with changing times, will the floors increase or decrease in popularity?   But tonight, all is well and everyone is having the time of their lives.

   I tell Chris I need to get back home to start supper, but he is defiant, "First, there is something else you must see."  We speed off into the darkness only to come to a halt in almost blinding light.  Lights are everywhere; there is traffic, noise, sirens, buildings.   We screech to a halt as a traffic light turns red and Christopher announces, "This is Tyner in 2058."   I stare in disbelief and finally manage to say, "Oh no, this can't be - uh-huh, no way, no how, not ever!   What in the world happened?"

   "You did.   In 2008 you discovered the websites www.youtube.com and www.motherjones.com on the internet that showed people dancing on an updated version of the spring-loaded dance floor called the Energy Generating Dance floor.   This floor is made of spring and a series of power generating blocks made from crystals that produce small electrical current when squashed, a process known as piezoelectricity.  As dancers move up and down, the blocks are squeezed and current is fed to many different lighting patterns.   The more vigorous the dance, the more lighting that is activated.  The floor was first constructed in the Netherlands, one had just opened in London, and there was talk of one in New York.  I hope everyone checks those websites, then maybe they will understand why you were so fascinated and vowed that if you ever won the lottery, you would build one of the new dance floors in Tyner.   Well, as fate would have it, you won the lottery soon after and were good to your word.   You replaced Karn's store with a large Vegas style dance hall and it did draw crowds.   That led to a traffic light, which led to a McDonald's, a Dollar General and on and on and on..   Then Larry Taylor discovered and developed the Double Wonder Tree that produced fruit in various flavors, even chocolate, and also the sap could be fermented and added to gasoline.  Gigantic groves of trees soon surrounded Tyner just as the huckleberry marsh near Knootz Lake did in the past.   And as in the past, it provided a perfect cover for - well, let's just say the problems of the huckleberry marsh were very minor in comparison.  Let me show you Tyner City now."

   We drive slowly through wide streets, amid honking, complaining traffic.   Noral's home has become a five-star hotel and bar.  Where the elevator once stood, there is a highrise office complex.  At the top is a revolving restaurant that also serves as an observance area for rumbles in the DW groves.  The Tyner School area is home to the 'largest and foremost' inland casino, but look, maybe all is not lost.  In the shadow of the large casino a small trade school has been built -- except the sign says the school is noted for producing leading blackjack dealers!   We circle by Bill's home which can only be described as a beautiful mansion and once again it is so pleasant to hear the happy sounds of ragtime piano drifting into the night.  But what is this?   Many scantily clothed ladies lean on the veranda railing and beckon as we pass.  I am so pleased to see the church remains the same, although a sign proclaims Wedding Chapel - Weekdays.   The Tyner Grocery now boasts to be a Drugs Store.  Where the Fraternity Hall used to be, there is now a multi-story correctional facility which explains the beacons that continually search the surrounding area.

   "Christopher," I implore, "take me back to 2008.  Tyner is just right just the way it is!   When I win the lottery, we'll put the money in the Tyner Class of 1957 treasury."

   I do not know the dreams or expectations of Thomas Tyner, but I am sure he would be proud of the special kind of people that Tyner people came to be.  Perhaps difficulties experienced in the marsh long ago and the dedication of early Tyner townspeople to keep Tyner free of the similar problems made them stronger.  I do think Mr. Tyner would have been pleased to know that 128 years after his death, a class cared enough to provide a plaque for his monument, which also substantiates my thinking about people from the Tyner area.  It is said the Midwest is the heartland of the United States.   This is never more true than in Polk Township where there are outstanding, down-to-earth, caring individuals, the one-of-a-kind type that can never be replaced, who proudly proclaim themselves as Tyner people.