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.
  • Front.pull
    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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2007.07.18 Shutting out the summer

Written by David Green.


Now that the 90° days have passed—at least for a little while—perhaps it’s safe to bring up the topic of living with the heat.

I read an essay recently suggesting that air conditioning, in effect, shuts out the summer. It’s July just outside the door. It’s a steamy Midwestern summer on the other side of the closed window. But inside the air conditioned house, it’s a whole new climate, one that isn’t exactly summer.

The essay, written by Oliver Broudy at, didn’t say that AC is bad. He didn’t say that we shouldn’t have air conditioners. He just wrote about life without one.

You’d think he just declared allegiance to al-Qaida, judging by the intensity of the letters in response. The reactionary types seemed itching to say that AC is a God-given right of Americans, blah, blah, blah. Others simply thought that Broudy was nuts when he wrote words such as these:

This is summer. In summer we pack up the blankets and sleep beneath sheets. In summer we listen to the leaves. Sometimes we can smell the stone-clear river water on the breeze.

That notion was too much.

• “I don’t believe you have seriously experienced what it is to be hot. Hot all the time. Heatstroke, malaise, and lethargy were the virtues of a summer without air conditioning.”

• “I’m from Memphis and I think you’re insane. People die here from heat. You speak as if there's virtue in losing sleep and being unproductive.”

• “It always amuses me how this tough-it-out attitude attaches to heat. Anyone writing about living through the winter without heating would be regarded as clearly insane. But the fact is heat kills more people every year than all other natural disasters combined—cold, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods. It's nonsense to ignore that. Yet we persist in the idiot notion that the only people who complain about the heat are pampered pantywaists.”

I don’t recall that I’ve ever lived in an air conditioned house. We didn’t have one in the big old house on Cawley Road. We suffered in the summer, or as Broudy might put it, we lived through the summer heat. That’s what was to be expected in July and August.

We had a good window fan that sucked in the cool air at night and made the house comfortable before morning—just in time to heat up again the next day.

When Colleen and I married, we lived above the Observer in the Reporter’s Quarters, possibly the hottest place I’ve lived. We weathered the heat the best we could via the time-honored principle of the dancing molecule.

Evaporation, through the motion of molecules, is a cooling process. When a liquid evaporates, it absorbs energy from the surface and the loss of energy cools the surface.

We sprayed each other with a fine mist of water from a squirt bottle. It was shocking when it first hit, and then as you moved or sat in front of a fan, the water evaporated and the cooling began. It really works, for a few minutes.

Our first couple of cars had no air conditioner, so we used the bottle when we went on trips.

“You need a squirt?”

“Yeah, hit me.”

Whoa! What a shock!

The faster a liquid evaporates, the more pronounced the cooling. With the car windows open, it was a delicious feeling—for a few minutes—and then came another squirt.

We heard a lot of complaints over the years from our kids about the lack of air conditioning in our home. Now there’s only one voice remaining to tell us how odd we are. But we aren’t alone.

Broudy’s “shutting out the summer” words also received several supportive letters.

• “It’s somewhat refreshing for the soul to have it nearly the same temperature outside as inside. You can leave all the doors and windows open and welcome into your home the breeze and noises of outside. And soon enough, your body adapts to living at a hotter, sweatier temperature.”

• “I’m OK with sweating (it’s very good for the skin). It’s easy, it’s pleasant, and I like the seasonal rhythm it creates in my life.”

What wackos.

I’ll admit I’m an oddball on this subject, but like some of Boudy’s crazy supporters, I think that putting up with the heat is just part of life here in this region of the country. I’m not opposed to other people having AC. We have a unit at the office where the night breeze doesn’t get sucked through, but most days we never bother to turn it on.

Here at home, when the heat moves in day after day, I move a little slower, I drink more water, I eat a little less food and I take a shower before bed and don’t dry off.

And, of course, I suffer a little with the heat. But I know it’s summer—I can almost touch it on those humid nights—and that’s really not such a bad feeling.


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