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.bridge Cross
    STEP BY STEP—Wyatt Stevens of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge Sunday during the Michigan DNR’s Great Outdoors Jamboree at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The Tecumseh Boy Scout Troop constructed the bridge again this year after taking a break in 2016. The Jamboree offered a variety of activities for a wide range of age groups. Morenci’s Stair District Library set up activities again this year and had visits with dozens of kids. See the back page for additional photos.
  • Front.bridge.17
    LEADING THE WAY—The Morenci Area High School marching band led the way across the pedestrian bridge on Morenci’s south side for the annual Labor Day Bridge Walk. The Band Boosters shared profits from the sale of T-shirts with the walk’s sponsor, the Morenci Area Chamber of Commerce. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.eclipse
    LOOKING UP—More than 200 people showed up at Stair District Library Monday afternoon to view the big celestial event with free glasses provided by a grant from the Space Science Institute. The library offered craft activities from noon to 1 p.m., refreshments including Cosmic Cake from Zingerman’s Bakehouse and a live viewing of the eclipse from NASA on a large screen. As the sky darkened slightly, more and more people moved outside to the sidewalk to take a look at the shrinking sun. If you missed it, hang on for the next total eclipse in 2024 as the path comes even closer to this area.
  • Cecil
    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
  • Front.rest
    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
  • Front.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Front.batter

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