2007.11.07 Been there, done that

Written by David Green.

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.

 

  • 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.

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