2009.01.21 This, that and the other thing

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

I have a couple of things to mention from recent editions of the Observer.

Two weeks ago I wrote about my gris-gris Christmas present—the little sack of herbs and oils that I’m supposed to carry around for good voodoo.

That column closed with directions about how to part with the gris-gris, to throw it into water running away from me. I said that eventually I would toss it into Bean Creek and let it travel into Ohio.

My sister, Diane, wrote that when she read about water flowing away from me, she immediately thought of the toilet. Bean Creek never entered her mind.

– 0 –

Last week, we published a letter to the editor from a Montréal resident. Not likely, some of you must have thought. Why would someone from Montréal read the Observer?

Good question. Why do you read the Observer, Kay Johnson?

This Kay Johnson is a former Iowa farm girl who grew up near Guss where the baby pigs sometimes develop scours.

I met Kay in 1969 when we worked together at an old hotel up north in Bay View. I was the dish washer; Kay was a maid. We’ve been friends ever since.

I’ve sent bundles of old Observers to her now and then over the years, but I slipped out of the habit. Now that she can download the paper off the website, she buys an electronic subscription.

So yes, there really is a Kay Johnson from Montréal who reads the Observer and writes a very occasional letter to the editor.

– 0 –

When my wife decides to recount a dream to me, I try hard to ignore the long, twisting tale in which I’m frequently a villain. But here I am telling about a dream.

The two of us were walking toward the front of a bookstore and as we neared the window, I could see my father holding Maddie, our youngest daughter. I pointed toward her and she pretended to bite my finger through the glass. She was probably three years old.

We went toward the door and there was Ben pressing his face against the glass. He was about nine years old. We walked outside and there was Rosanna running around, about six years old.

What was so unusual is that they were moving around exactly like they did at that age. Seventeen years were instantly erased. I wanted back in so I could see Maddie get down on her feet and move, but of course dreaming doesn’t work that way.

– 0 –

Colleen and I went skiing Sunday for the first time in a long time.

This winter is like one from the 1990s. Lots of cold, lots of snow. We’ve had enough snow for skiing some years, but it either wasn’t good snow–maybe ice on top–or the air was so cold and windy that skiing was out of the question.

Someone was kind enough to circle the cemetery with skis already to make a good trail through the deep snow, so away we went.

We saw a pair of hawks take off from the north side of the cemetery. They must be mating already. I noticed that the basswood and box elder still have their seeds. The witch hazel still has its leaves. The tulip trees have the remainder of their fruit on the tree. It was almost glowing in the sunlight and the snow was looking a little golden, too, in the late afternoon sun.

Getting on cross country skis brings back a lot of memories, like heading off across Lake Hudson with my father and Clyde Brasher and wondering how I would ever get out of my skis and save myself if I fell through the ice.

I remember skiing around Pokagon with baby Ben on my back. Eventually he would fall asleep. But if I happened to fall down a fast hill or ran into a tree, Ben was going to be hurting. Somehow I always managed to stay on my feet, but I’ve wondered ever since...should I really have been doing that?

Steve Begnoche and I used to epitomize the words “cross country.” We would drive out to Lake Hudson and just take off across country. We didn’t look for trails. We just headed out into the woods. It was sometimes more like hiking with skis, when the snow was deep enough.

It’s deep enough now and there’s not much melting in the forecast for a few days.

We decided optimistically to leave the skis on the porch as though this thing just might happen again before spring arrives.

  • 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.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.

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