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

  • Snow.2
    FIRST SNOW—Heavy, wet flakes piled deep on tree branches—and windshields—as the area received its first significant snowfall of the season. “Usually it begins with a dusting or two,” said George Isobar, Morenci’s observer for the National Weather Service, “but this time it came with a vengeance.” By the end of the day Saturday, a little over four inches of snow was on the ground. Now comes the thaw with temperatures in the 40s and 50s for three days.
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    SKEWERS, gumdrops, and marshmallows are all that’s needed to create interesting shapes and designs for Layla McDowell Saturday at Stair District Library’s “Sculptamania!” Open House. The program featuring design games and materials is one part of a larger project funded by a $7,500 Curiosity Creates grant from Disney and the American Library Association. Additional photos are on page 7.
    Morenci marching band members took to the field Friday night dressed for Halloween during the Bulldog’s first playoff game. Morenci fans had a bit of a scare until the fourth quarter when the Bulldogs scored 30 points to leave Lenawee Christian School behind. Whiteford visits Morenci this Friday for the district championship game. From the left is Clayton Borton, Morgan Merillat and James O’Brien.
    DNA PUZZLE—Mitchell Storrs and Wyatt Mohr tackle a puzzle representing the structure of DNA. There’s only one correct way for all the pieces to fit. It’s one of the new materials that can be used in both biology and chemistry classes, said teacher Loretta Cox.
  • Front.tar.wide
    A TRAFFIC control worker stands in the middle of Morenci’s Main Street Tuesday morning, waiting for the next flow of vehicles to be let through from the west. The dusty gravel surface was sealed with a layer of tar, leaving only the application of paint for new striping. The project was completed in conjunction with county road commission work west of Morenci.
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    JUNIORS Jazmin Smith and Trevor Corkle struggle against a team from the sophomore class Friday during the annual tug of war at the Homecoming Games pep rally. Even the seniors struggled against the sophomores who won the competition. At the main course of the day, the Bulldog football team struggled against Whiteford in a homecoming loss.
    YOUNG soccer players surived a chilly morning Saturday in Morenci’s PTO league. From the left is Emma Cordts, Wayne Corser, Carter and Levi Seitz, Briella York and Drew Joughin. Two more weeks of soccer remain for this season.
  • Front.ropes
    BOWEN BAUMGARTNER of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge constructed by the Tecumseh Boy Scout troop Sunday at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The bridge was one of many challenges, displays and games set up for the annual Youth Jamboree by the Michigan DNR. Additional photos on are the back page of this week’s Observer.
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    One of four senior candidates will be crowned the fall homecoming queen during half-time of this week’s Morenci-Whiteford football game. In the back row (left to right) is exchange student Kinga Vidor (her escort will be Caylob Alcock), seniors Alli VanBrandt (escorted by Sam Cool), Larissa Elliott (escorted by Clayton Borton), Samantha Wright (escorted by JJ Elarton) and Justis McCowan (escorted by Austin Gilson), and exchange student Rebecca Rosenberger (escorted by Garrett Smith). Front row freshman court member Allie Kaiser (escorted by Anthony Thomas), sophomore Marlee Blaker (escorted by Nate Elarton) and junior Cheyenne Stone (escorted by Dominick Sell).
  • Front.park.lights
    GETTING READY—Jerad Gleckler pounds nails to secure a string of holiday lights on the side of the Wakefield Park concession stand while other members of the Volunteer Club and others hold them in place. The volunteers showed up Sunday afternoon to string lights at the park. The decorating project will continue this Sunday. Denise Walsh is in charge of the effort this year.
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2008.09.24 Please plan our reunion

Written by David Green.


At a recent wedding—not one of my own kids, for a change—I did a little table hopping to sit next to my classmate Dwight Mansfield for a few minutes.

When Dwight and I have one of our brief encounters, we often talk about events from around 40 years ago when we both were making our way through high school in Morenci, in the old building on Summit Street.

We didn’t hang out together back then. Dwight was an FFA guy and I lived in town. Come to think of it, I don’t even know where he lived. Must have been on a farm somewhere west of town.

Still, we got along fine, we just didn’t have a lot of common paths.

When we talked the previous weekend, the subject turned to the classmates who are no longer with us. I think we’ve been on that topic before. It seems that too many of our class of 64 people died rather young. Dow and Jo Anne. Ruth and Shirley. Brad and Sherry. Maybe another one, according to Dwight.

This reminds me of a column I wrote a few months ago about aging:

The age 63 has a special meaning to the typical American, Kinsley writes, because your associates begin disappearing then.

When you reach age 63, you should expect to lose one member of your group every year, then the pace accelerates.

Dwight and I aren’t at that age yet, and I always remind him that he’s a lot older than I am.

We spent a few minutes with “whatever happened to so-and-so?” Oddly enough, another person at the table—the much younger Kirk Onweller—seemed to have a better track on the Class of ’68 than either Dwight or I.

I’m looking through the yearbook now  and there appears to be only 16 of us who still have Morenci addresses, and perhaps another eight live not too far away.

But there remain a few question marks. Marlyn Dickerson, Mark Evers, Vickie Farquhar, Judy Huff, Lila Jones, Sandy Zimmerman. Are you nearby and I just don’t recognize you?

In the photo caption for the National Honor Society officers, there’s mention of Mrs. Stahl starting an Honor Code system that emphasized character more than scholarship. I think that had something to do with the club’s president, the Green kid, who Mrs. Stahl thought was destroying the organization with his questionable behavior.

Well, sure, there was the alternative school newspaper incident. I wonder if she also knew I was involved in hanging that big “Dream” sign on the front of the high school one Sunday night.

Certainly she heard about Ramon Towne and me making too much noise in honor study hall where our homework consisted of playing Crazy Eights. And I suppose she was aware of how Mr. Thompson in the adjoining chemistry room blew rotten egg fumes through the electrical outlet and forced Ramon and I to flee.

I wouldn’t go as far as using the word “troublemaker,” but I suppose I caused some problems.

The best way to review these stories from the past and to get all the connections to old classmates straight would be at a reunion. I wouldn’t have even thought about that, but Dwight had to bring it up. This is the year for our 40th and it’s rapidly going by.

Dwight didn’t sound as though he was about to do any organizing for a reunion. In the past, we relied on Brad Mansfield and Ruth Walton, now both gone, and Janet Hall, now moved away.

There was an informal club in our class known as The Mafia and maybe they could get something done. Jim McDowell, Gary Camburn and Jim Brink still live here. That sounds like a trustworthy trio to cook up some refreshments, at least.

I thought Dennis Dominique and Terry Ely were part of the group, too, but they aren’t in the Mafia yearbook photo. I keep going back to Dennis’s senior photo. Did he have stitches hanging out of his forehead from a recent mishap or was there just some dust on the printing plate?

If we’re going to re-unite before it becomes 41 years, we’d probably do best to turn to someone else to help us out.

Maybe Renée Allen, Rosine Price and Bill VanValkenburg from the junior class could pull something together for us. They’re all good organizers. And, of course, Kirk Onweller, who knows more about us than we do.

So go to it, guys. Just let us know when and where and we’ll be there.

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