The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • Front.cheers
    MACEE BEERS joins other Fayette Elementary School students for the annual Mini-Cheer performance during the half-time break at the basketball game.
  • Family.3.wide
    CHILDREN at Stair District Library’s Family Story Time toss scarves into the air during an activity. The evening program provided a mix of stories, songs, dancing, crafts and snacks Monday evening. The program is offered at 5:30 p.m. every Monday for five more weeks. The program is designed for three to five year olds and their family.
  • Front.newpaper.2
    THE INTERVIEW—Evelyn Joughin (right) records the interaction with an iPad while Jack Varga, next to her, asks questions of Morenci Elementary School principal Gail Frey. Morenci senior Sam Cool (standing) listens. Cool serves as the editor for the newspaper written by members of Mrs. Barrett’s second grade class.
  • Front.code.2
    WRITING CODE—Brock Christle (left), a Morenci fifth grade student, takes a look at the progress being made by fourth grader Anthony Lewis. Libby Rorick, a sixth grade student, is next in a line of girls trying out the coding tutorials. This year marked Morenci’s second year of participation in the Hour of Code project.
  • Front.gym.new
    REMIE RYAN (left) tries to dodge the foam wand held by Hayden Bays during physical education class at Morenci Elementary School. In the background, Lauryn Dominique and Brooklyn Williams stay clear of the tag. Second grade students were working on cardiovascular health on the first day back from vacation. For the record, Safety Tag is a very difficult sport to photograph.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.library.books
    MACK DICKSON takes a book off the “blind date” cart at the Fayette library. Patrons can choose a book without knowing what’s inside other than a general category. The books are among those designated for removal so patrons can consider them gifts. In Morenci, new books and staff favorites were chosen from the stacks and must be returned. Patrons get a piece of chocolate, too, to take on their date, but no clue about their “date.” One reader said she really enjoyed her book for a few pages, but then lost interest—so typical for a blind date.

2008.08.20 Sunday morning trip to the past

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

It was like I joined Mr. Peabody and his boy, Sherman, for a ride in the “wayback” time machine. I know that sentence won’t mean a thing to many readers, but those who watched the Rocky and Bullwinkle show back in the 1960s will know what I mean.

And the 1960s is where I was transported Sunday morning. I was suddenly back in a structure that I frequented on Sunday mornings in the 1960s, and stranger still, back among many of the faces that I knew back then.

The occasion was the special 150th  anniversary service of Morenci’s First Congregational Church.

I walked along the back of the pews and encountered Mary Jane Borton looking a lot like the Mary Jane Borton I knew 40 years ago. I walked down the aisle and spotted Sylvia Sims looking pretty much like Sylvia Sims.

I sat down with my parents and sister, Diane, and saw Mary Jane’s little sister, Lisa. I don’t remember the 1960s Lisa, but we’ve run across one another frequently at Fayette cross country and track meets.

I didn’t go to the 150th as a reporter. It was one of those rare moments when I was allowed to attend just as a local resident. It wasn’t until later that I wished I had taken some notes.

Sylvia sang a solo, just like she used to do. Choyce Strayer Quigley’s talented voice stood out during a hymn, just like it used to do. I saw Jim Whitehouse in the audience. Little Stevie Kutzley was there. Where had those 30 years gone?

Of course there was a different pastor at the pulpit, but I liked this one. Jack Cahill has an informal style that I appreciated and I enjoyed a story that he told. It went something like this, although I wasn’t taking notes.

A man bought an old run-down farm that hadn’t been cared for in years. It took him three years to get it back in shape. Mowing, plowing, painting, fixing up—it was an enormous task, but finally he had the place looking good.

About that time a pious neighbor stopped over to take a look and said, “The Lord has really worked wonders with this old place.”

The farmer thought about that a moment and replied, “You’re right, but you should have seen it when the Lord had it all to himself.”

I don’t recall how Jack worked this into his message, but it took me back to high school and seemed to provide a clear analogy to the differences between us Congregational kids and some of our more fundamentalist classmates.

I remember their assertion that most everyone on Earth was headed to Hell except for them and others like them. Rather than win me over, it made me start to question the tenets of their belief.

But today I was among the Congregational kids. Carol Sutton. Valerie Clark. John Bancroft. Lee Ann Ranger. Susan Webster. What a crowd. Where were Molly Fish and her brothers? Jim Clark, Tom Pobanz Janet Stutzman and Janice Fink were missing, too.

John Bancroft told the crowd about the time the youth group went to a Detroit church to hear Martin Luther King, Jr., speak. It’s an experience that’s never left him.

He also talked about the time he threw an ice ball and hit Donnie Borton in the face. John took off running and sought sanctuary in the sanctuary of the church. Donnie still found him and gave him a good punch in the face. Rev. Thomas Toy heard the commotion and saved John from further punishment.

Sylvia took me to look at a photo display that included the two of us in a Sunday School photo. She figured I would remember the night that John Bryner and I played “Good Vibrations” over and over and over before a youth group meeting got underway. She was wrong, I didn’t.

I remember when the pastor of the day, R. Paul Koons, arranged for our trip to the World’s Fair in New York City, plus many other unique opportunities. Several of us agreed that we were extremely fortunate to have Rev. Koons as our leader.

When Sylvia spoke to the luncheon crowd, she said that in looking around the room, she was reminded not just of the familiar faces she knew as a child, but also of all the people who were part of the church in decades past but are no longer among the living.

I guess that’s the magic of a “wayback machine.”

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