The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • Snow.2
    FIRST SNOW—Heavy, wet flakes piled deep on tree branches—and windshields—as the area received its first significant snowfall of the season. “Usually it begins with a dusting or two,” said George Isobar, Morenci’s observer for the National Weather Service, “but this time it came with a vengeance.” By the end of the day Saturday, a little over four inches of snow was on the ground. Now comes the thaw with temperatures in the 40s and 50s for three days.
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    SKEWERS, gumdrops, and marshmallows are all that’s needed to create interesting shapes and designs for Layla McDowell Saturday at Stair District Library’s “Sculptamania!” Open House. The program featuring design games and materials is one part of a larger project funded by a $7,500 Curiosity Creates grant from Disney and the American Library Association. Additional photos are on page 7.
    Morenci marching band members took to the field Friday night dressed for Halloween during the Bulldog’s first playoff game. Morenci fans had a bit of a scare until the fourth quarter when the Bulldogs scored 30 points to leave Lenawee Christian School behind. Whiteford visits Morenci this Friday for the district championship game. From the left is Clayton Borton, Morgan Merillat and James O’Brien.
    DNA PUZZLE—Mitchell Storrs and Wyatt Mohr tackle a puzzle representing the structure of DNA. There’s only one correct way for all the pieces to fit. It’s one of the new materials that can be used in both biology and chemistry classes, said teacher Loretta Cox.
  • Front.tar.wide
    A TRAFFIC control worker stands in the middle of Morenci’s Main Street Tuesday morning, waiting for the next flow of vehicles to be let through from the west. The dusty gravel surface was sealed with a layer of tar, leaving only the application of paint for new striping. The project was completed in conjunction with county road commission work west of Morenci.
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    JUNIORS Jazmin Smith and Trevor Corkle struggle against a team from the sophomore class Friday during the annual tug of war at the Homecoming Games pep rally. Even the seniors struggled against the sophomores who won the competition. At the main course of the day, the Bulldog football team struggled against Whiteford in a homecoming loss.
    YOUNG soccer players surived a chilly morning Saturday in Morenci’s PTO league. From the left is Emma Cordts, Wayne Corser, Carter and Levi Seitz, Briella York and Drew Joughin. Two more weeks of soccer remain for this season.
  • Front.ropes
    BOWEN BAUMGARTNER of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge constructed by the Tecumseh Boy Scout troop Sunday at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The bridge was one of many challenges, displays and games set up for the annual Youth Jamboree by the Michigan DNR. Additional photos on are the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.homecoming Court
    One of four senior candidates will be crowned the fall homecoming queen during half-time of this week’s Morenci-Whiteford football game. In the back row (left to right) is exchange student Kinga Vidor (her escort will be Caylob Alcock), seniors Alli VanBrandt (escorted by Sam Cool), Larissa Elliott (escorted by Clayton Borton), Samantha Wright (escorted by JJ Elarton) and Justis McCowan (escorted by Austin Gilson), and exchange student Rebecca Rosenberger (escorted by Garrett Smith). Front row freshman court member Allie Kaiser (escorted by Anthony Thomas), sophomore Marlee Blaker (escorted by Nate Elarton) and junior Cheyenne Stone (escorted by Dominick Sell).
  • Front.park.lights
    GETTING READY—Jerad Gleckler pounds nails to secure a string of holiday lights on the side of the Wakefield Park concession stand while other members of the Volunteer Club and others hold them in place. The volunteers showed up Sunday afternoon to string lights at the park. The decorating project will continue this Sunday. Denise Walsh is in charge of the effort this year.
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2007.06.27 The Eight Big Things to have

Written by David Green.


I read some articles recently about children in China. One article said they were addicted to the internet. Another said the addiction was to cell phones.

I suppose if I dug a little deeper, I’d find something else: cigarettes, Gobstoppers, who knows.

The topic of what Chinese children want reminded me an old By the Way column that I read recently when looking at old Observers for the “Through the Decades” review.

Here’s what happened in my house 20 years ago:

Conversation turned to the Orient the other night.

“Do you even know what the Chinese look like?” Colleen asked Ben.

“They’re all covered with beads,” he said.

That’s the problem with living in a small town, claimed his mother. If we lived in the Bronx where she grew up, Ben would know the Chinese are not covered with beads.

Or maybe if he saw some Oriental people on television it would help, but we’re just like 90 percent of the Mainland Chinese people—no TV. It’s number one on the list of “The Eight Big Things” that young people in China want to own.

The Eight Big are: color TV, refrigerator, stereo, camera, motorcycle, couch, washing machine and electric fan. We don’t have a motorcycle at our house, either.

“You know what I’m going to buy the China people?” asked Ben. “An air conditioner.”

Maybe you’ve heard about China’s slow return to capitalism. According to Orville Schell, writing in the Whole Earth Review, the billboards that formerly proclaimed quotes from Chairman Mao are now covered with advertising.

“Prestigious Virtue” shoes are a big item as well as cosmetic surgery. “Get an eye job done quickly. We do it while you wait.” The Chinese can now attempt to look more like Westerners without missing a day of work.

There have been more than just a few changes in 20 years, both here and in China.

Ben is on his own with his first job and he’s rapidly recovering from his deprived childhood. Of course he has a television—a big-screen model to make up for all those years of nothing.

He has most of the Big Eight covered, but still no motorcycle. There’s a car and a kayak instead. But the Big Eight is really outdated. As I mentioned earlier, it’s cellphone and internet addiction for China’s kids. Credit cards are on their current list of wants.

Extreme sports, a pair of Nikes, hair coloring, trendy clothes, tattoos—it’s described as a cultural earthquake. And you think parenting is a challenge here.

I read that after the Revolution in 1949, names such as Jianguo (Construct the Nation) and Jianjun (Construct the Army) became popular. During the Korean War, there were a lot of people named Fangmei (Resist America) or Bangchao (Help Korea).

Now youngsters are looking west. It’s very easy to change a name in China, so you run across Magic Johnson Ye (the former Ye Chongguang). He generally goes by Johnson.

There’s Medusa Fang, Bison Zhang, Jekyll Ji, Redfox Cui, Cherry Ge, Echo Zhang, Feeling Chen and Three Sun.

These names bring to mind the remainder of that By the Way column from 20 years ago. Daughter Rosanna was a one-year-old crawling through the house.

Remember Rosanna’s first word—Gorbachev? She spit out a new one Saturday night. I was washing dishes and she was down below clinging and crying.

Suddenly she said what I think was “même chose.” I recognized it as French and asked my wife if she remembered what it means. Colleen thought it meant “the same thing.”

Sure enough, she just wanted to get up on a chair and help me wash. She was soon happily eating detergent bubbles.

Speaking of eating, we successfully completed our first picnic of the season Sunday, the earliest on record.

We met some Detroit friends at a park in Saline—traditional picnic stomping grounds for this family spanning at least two generations.

In this case, soil and asphalt shingles were the main items on the menu for the younger set.

The most startling event of the day was Ben’s discovery of a secret burial ground.

He was standing next to a picnic shelter house when he yelled, “Someone is buried here!”

There in front of him was a crude concrete marker with the inscription “Saline Jaycees, 1974.”

    – June 27, 2007 

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