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.splash
    Water Fun—Carter Seitz and Colson Walter take a fast trip along a plastic sliding strip while water from a sprinkler provides the lubrication. The boys took a break from tie-dyeing last week at Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program to cool off in the water.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.pokemon
    LATEST CRAZE—David Cortes (left) and Ty Kruse, along with Jerred Heselschwerdt (standing), consult their smartphones while engaging in the game of Pokémon Go. The virtual scavenger hunt comes to life when players are in the vicinity of gyms, such as Stair District Library, and PokéStops such as the fire station across the street. The boys had spent time Monday morning searching for Pokémon at Wakefield Park.
  • Front.drum
    on your mark, get set, drum!—Drew Joughin (black shirt), Maddox Joughin and Kaleea Braun took the front row last week when Angela Rettle and assistants led the Stair District Library Summer Reading Program kids in a session of cardio drumming. The sports and healthy living theme continued yesterday with a Mini Jamboree at Lake Hudson State Park arranged by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Next week’s program features the Flying Aces Frisbee show.
  • Girls.on.ride
    NADIYA YORK and Aniston Valentine take a spin on the Casino, one of the rides offered at Wakefield Park during Morenci’s Town and Country Festival. This year’s festival remained dry but with plenty of heat during the three-day run. Additional photographs are inside this week’s Observer.
  • Front.softball
    Angela Davis (2) and teammate Allison VanBrandt break into a jig after Morenci's softball team won its third consecutive regional title.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.

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