2007.10.31 Has anybody seen Larry around?

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

I came home from work Friday and answered a ringing telephone. Someone was asking for Larry See.

That name might not mean anything to you, but I recognized it immediately. Larry was once a kid from the Carleton Airport area of Michigan. He graduated from a smaller college—maybe Saginaw Valley—and was later hired by me to serve as a reporter here.

That might have been in the late 1980s. I’d have to do some research on that.

Larry didn’t stay at the Observer for a long time. I thought he might have been heading back to work at the nuclear facility near Monroe to obtain a good, steady job that paid a decent wage, but then a few months later I saw that he was working for a weekly in northern Michigan.

He obviously hadn’t learned his lesson about working in réportage.

I suspected this might be a prank call. I give out enough of them that I’m bound to receive a few back now and then. I took a chance and said, “I don’t See Larry anywhere.”

So the caller then asked if Wendy Walker was there. To repeat myself, that name might not mean anything to you, but I recognized it immediately.

Wendy is a granddaughter of Roger and Margaret Porter who worked as a reporter for the Observer back, let me guess, 2001? Again, I would have to investigate a little to come up with dates. There have been a few reporters here over the years, as many of you do know.

Now, did Wendy return home to Illinois or was that her twin sister? Maybe Wendy’s still in town and I just haven’t run across her lately. The twins could have fooled me any day of the week. Maybe they did. Maybe half the time it wasn’t Wendy that I sent off to school board meetings.

By now I knew who was on the other end of the line. It was yet another former reporter, Brad Whitehouse. I was impressed that he came up with the name Larry See. That was long before the Brad error, I mean the Brad era.

Brad, another local grandchild, was hired sight unseen when he was finishing up his studies at Wheaton College. He had a minor in geology and I considered that a rock-solid background. We spoke briefly on the phone once before he was hired.

He explored Morenci to its fullest, including spending a night in a vacant drainage pipe section near the sewage lagoons. I don’t recall that any other reporter had that experience, but maybe Jim Stevens or John Whetstone headed out that way.

I expect to receive many more odd calls from Brad because of what I’ve done to him while he worked in the public relations department at Adrian College. There was nothing better than receiving a press release from Brad via e-mail, then sending it back to him after altering the text slightly and asking, for example, “Are you sure you wanted to refer to that man as the Demon of Students?”

That didn’t happen too often. Usually it was sufficient to reply with a curt “Don’t send me any more of this garbage” or “Please remove me from your contact list.”

Brad has recently moved on to the University of Michigan’s alumni magazine and a whole new world of tricks awaits. I’ve already provided him with one lead: A Morenci person who earned a degree at U of M and now works as a “lady of the night.” He hasn’t yet asked for details.

Several former colleagues have moved on to other newspaper jobs. Maybe Larry, but definitely Steve Begnoche, Dan Basso, Eric Baerren and Jeff Johnston.

I was at Jeff’s house just today in honor of his 40th birthday. He started his career at the Observer office, a young whipper-snapper fresh out of college. He chose the Observer because of my job posting message. It included something like, “The successful candidate will be allowed to push the broom around the office every other Saturday morning, if qualified.” I don’t know that he ever did any sweeping, but he was a darn good writer.

He’s been at the Flint Journal for years and he figures he’ll stay a while longer, despite the recent buyout offer. The workforce is being reduced by an amazing 20 percent. Such is the state of newspapers in America.

The state of my newspaper is this: I left town for nine and a half hours and I’m frightfully behind.

I gotta go.

  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
  • Front.sculpta
    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • Shadow.salon
    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016