2008.04.30 They're just not the same in 43533

Written by David Green.

[Warning: This column was found to be very offensive to at least one Lyons reader who misunderstood the lack of seriousness] 


By DAVID GREEN

What is it about those people in the 43533 Zip Code? You know who I’m talking about. It’s the people to the east from Lyons. They’re so different from us.

They’re driving GMC Sierra gas hogs to go whitewater rafting and skiing. They make more money than most of us and they’re ready to spend it.

And then there’s all those retired ones who drive to their VFW meetings in their Ford Crown Vic—if they can break away from watching Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune.

Sound familiar? There’s more on those Lyons residents.

There are plenty of the median income types who have a Dodge Ram pickup and attend their kids’ many sporting events. Most of them own a camper, they like auto racing and they just can’t stop buying sporting equipment.

But those people are a dime a dozen. They’re not just in Lyons. Morenci, Fayette and Waldron have plenty, too, and we were talking about what makes Lyons so unique.

Lyons has this group of people that loves shopping via the internet, especially for gardening supplies. So many of them are remarried—probably used that power boat to attract a new mate—and they’re doing the home equity loan/second mortgage thing to make some big purchases.

Lyons also has those people who love traveling and collecting. There are probably more antique collectors over there than anywhere else in the area. Of course they can’t travel when they’re so busy with their home renovation projects.

The rural residents don’t spend a lot of time on-line because they can’t get high-speed internet service. So they watch Country Music TV and Outdoor Life Network via satellite and splurge on pay-per-view movies. They also look at newspaper ads, bless them.

I don’t know if any of this really hits home for Lyons. It’s only what I’m learning from the Claritas company.

“Claritas is all about giving you a clear picture of the customers you have yet to meet.” That’s the way the company describes its services.

Here’s another way: Pay them money and they’ll explain why an Applebee’s restaurant will never come to your area.

It’s all about demographics and the money residing within those demographics.

You can shell out money for a membership, but anybody can type in a Zip Code and get some basic information. You have to pay to learn what percentage of Lyons people drive Dodge Rams, but there’s a general indication of the community that you might find accurate.

When I compared Lyons, Morenci, Fayette and Waldron, I noticed there are several shared characteristics, but what really caught my attention was how unique Lyons is. Out of 15 characteristics for each community, Lyons had five that none of the others shared.

The bottom line for Claritas is that there’s more money in Lyons than in those poorer communities to the west. I could have consulted the federal census data and come up with the same numbers, I suppose, or maybe not. I keep getting different results with the Lyons Zip Code. Things must be changing rapidly over there.

The first time through there were Travel and Antiques people over there. They’ve now been replaced by Khakis and Credit (they travel by motor home and have a loan for the vehicle). There weren’t any Mayberry-ville groups over there the first time, either. They were only in Morenci. You know them: They drive Chevy Suburbans, hunt with a gun, subscribe to Bassmaster magazine, listen to country music and eat at a steak house.

Fayette is the only community with Finance Chargers (raising kids and ordering from priceline.com) and with Bedrock America (Silverado, baby magazines, professional wrestling and mobile homes).

Only Waldron has the Young and Rustic (Dodge Neon, auto racing, King of the Hill) and Morenci was unique with Active Empty Nesters (camping, country music and second mortgages).

I don’t know how accurately Claritas knows us, but when a friend showed me the website I typed in Morenci’s Zip Code, I saw the Shotguns & Pickups category and read the words “Dodge Ram.” I looked across the street and there it was. The radio was probably set to country.

  • 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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