2008.05.07 They're just like us in 43533

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

I finished up with addressing and labeling the papers last Tuesday night and walked home. It wasn’t too long before a friend called and asked, “Aren’t you worried about getting some angry phone calls from Lyons people?”

I told her I wasn’t concerned. Surely they would see the silliness of the Claritas category system.

Surely I was wrong.

Thursday morning I received a call from a furious Lyons resident who chewed me out for several minutes. At one point he said something like, “What kind of idiot would write this?”

“You’re talking to him,” I had to say.

He said it was slanderous from start to finish and he was thinking of rounding up signatures on a petition to demand a public apology.

I suggested writing a letter to the editor to explain his problems with the column, but he didn’t think it was his responsibility to tell what was wrong with it; he just wanted an apology.

Since I write only a couple of serious columns a year out of 52, I really didn’t think any readers would take it seriously, but all this talk about a petition took me back about 15 years to the day I was hung in effigy downtown. I really am sorry that I angered this caller, and any others who read the column in the same way.

Well, let’s review this one as I try to worm my way out of it, as I search for a little redemption from those in the 43533 Zip Code.

That’s how the column started off—with those five numbers that represent Lyons. The information came from Claritas, a marketing firm that provides information about the people living in a community. Go to the company website, type in a Zip Code and learn all about yourself.

Claritas told me there are people living in Lyons who drive a GMC Sierra, and then I said there are people there who drive a Ford Crown Vic, and then I mentioned there are people in Lyons who drive a Dodge Ram. Later I mentioned there are people in the village who drive a Chevy Suburban.

To me, this makes it quite clear that Lyons is just like every other little town around here. There are people in Morenci and Fayette and Waldron who drive those vehicles, too.

I also said there are people in Lyons who go skiing and others who watch Jeopardy on television. There are people who go to their kids’ sporting events and those who like auto racing and those who are divorced and those who like to travel and buy antiques.

Once again, this makes Lyons sound pretty much like Anytown, USA. People with these interests live throughout the area. I’m sure there are people in Morenci, too, who subscribe to Bassmaster magazine and like to eat in a steakhouse.

So why was I so rude to single out those people who live in 43533? Because Claritas makes them out as different. Of the 15 characteristics presented, five were unique to Lyons. Or so says Claritas. That’s why the Claritas data seems a little silly, as if people from Morenci don’t resemble those from 10 miles east of here.

Here’s how Claritas has Morenci pegged: Dodge Ram, hunting, camping, auto racing, own an outboard motor, have at least one mortgage, eat at Bob Evans and Ponderosa, satellite TV subscribers, and in category after category, country music fans.

There are some people in Morenci who listen to alternative music and pay their bills on-line. There’s another group that watches TV at least 10 hours a day and belongs to veteran’s clubs. Another group rents videos by mail and watches Soul Train. Soul Train? That’s still on TV?

Those last two paragraphs about Morenci must be fairly descriptive of Lyons, too, as well as Fayette and Waldron. I was hoping that’s what readers would conclude about what seems to be a rather imprecise analysis by Claritas, but not everyone did.

My caller wants an apology to all of the people in Lyons who I offended. I am truly sorry if I’ve angered residents of the Lyons area. That wasn’t my intent and I never enjoy receiving phone calls confirming my status as an idiot.

And one more thing, I really don’t like country music.

 

  • Homecoming Court
    HOMECOMING—One senior candidate will be chosen Morenci’s fall homecoming queen during half-time ceremonies Friday at the football field. In the back row are seniors Mikayla Price, who will be escorted by Mason Vaughn; Madison Bachman, escorted by Kiegan Merillat, and Mikayla Reinke, escorted by Griffin Grieder. Senior Ariana Roseman is absent from the photo. Her escort is Garrett Smith. In the front is sophomore Abbie White, who will be escorted by Ryder Price; junior Madysen Schmitz, escorted by Harley McCaskey and freshman Madison Keller, escorted by Jarett Cook.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.crossing
    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.
  • 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.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

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016