By DAVID GREEN
Saturday morning I toured the familiar sites of the Michigan International Speedway, such as Mile 1 and Mile 2 and the finish line.
I was there for the state cross country finals to photograph Zach Phillips on his way to a 21st place finish.
The state athletic association provides vans to carry photographers around to a few stopping points. The first stop is about 300 yards up from the starting line—a mass of 150 runners.
Next is the one-mile stop with the sun mostly behind the runners. Not a great location. Then comes the money shot at two miles. Good lighting, runners are somewhat spread out, plenty of space for everyone to work.
After that, the van enters the speedway track and makes a quick dash to the finish line.
While traveling from mile one to two, another old-timer brought up the meet about five years ago when a couple of young bucks were at the wheel of the two vans and they actually raced each other to the next stop. It was one of the sporting highlights of my career.
When I’m heading north on Onsted Highway toward M-50, I always think about chestnuts. You go down a big hill, take a road off to the left and end up where I went once to write a story about a man who grew chestnut trees.
As I headed home from MIS Saturday, other recollections from the past came to mind. In my head, I was seeing one of those Google maps with the little flags showing locations and describing what happened.
A couple miles farther down the road, I passed the turnoff I took to write a story about Morenci graduate Melissa Gallatin who was studying turtles.
Next came Onsted High School where I took pictures of Morenci Middle School science students. I’ve been there for basketball and softball, too.
There’s a break of a few miles before the next place arrives—the turnoff to Ramsdell Park. I’ve written about that great place sometime in the past.
Next comes one of Blaine Baker’s fields and the site of a farm story. Next comes the Baker house where I went to write about his wife, Barbara, and her kaleidoscope making. Farther down the road was more of Blaine’s fields and the site of another year of the annual farmer gathering. This one is where a guy made smoke come out of drainage tile.
Then there’s Craig and Lorraine Pillow’s house—a family good for two feature stories, so far. Then there’s Craig’s church, one of many featured in a special section we once printed.
I’ve been to Clayton many times for the annual festival and once for a story about the village Sam Schibler created. All of his miniature buildings are now gone.
Next comes the intersection at M-34, where I once skidded on ice and the incident made its way into a story about “close calls with death.”
• Tomer Road, leading to the north side of Lake Hudson for a few photographs that made it into print.
• The main entrance into Lake Hudson and many more photographs plus some stories along the way.
• Down the hill from Haley Road—A photo of drainage tile work and a story about an electrical substation.
• Medina Road to the east—A photo of a tree fallen in a storm, a photo of a spider web in the early morning and a sunset over the lake.
• Medina Road to the west—a variety of stories based in Medina over the years.
• Ted Hutchison’s house—The corn burner story.
• Canandaigua Cemetery—Looking for items for the epitaph story.
• The Canandaigua village limit sign—once used in an Observer promotional advertisement.
• Canandaigua—fire, bridge out, bridge in, 4-H photo, new pastor, big vegetable, old store, river study.
• Packard Road—a no-till story, a Dick Munk story, a manure pit.
• The stone house at the curve—Cub Scout photos.
• Lime Creek Road—a fire to the west, photos at the golf course, Dick Taylor’s old house, Bob Dister’s new house, grass waterway story.
• Back to M-156 and a garbage pickup photo, then train stories, storm damage, fire.
• McVay’s osage orange tree.
And on it goes, all the way into town.
I’m often amazed at how much news we get out of this rural area year after year. Fortunately, there’s a lot more to do.