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

  • 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.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • 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.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.office
    NEW OFFICES—Fayette village administrator Steve Blue speaks with tax administrator Genna Biddix at the new front desk of the village office. Village council members voted to use budgeted renovation funds targeted for the old office and instead buy the vacant bank building on the corner of Main and Fayette streets. The old office was sold to Sherwood State Bank. When everything is put into place in the spacious new village office, an open house will be scheduled. Council member David Wheeler donated all of his time needed to make changes in the bank interior to fit the Village’s needs.

2009.01.28 Our surprise at the party

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

I went to a 60th birthday party last night and, fortunately, it wasn’t my own. I’m many, many months behind this woman, however, I was only one grade behind her at Morenci High.

It was Kathye (Phelps) Herrera’s party. I told her I was tricked into coming by being told it was an inauguration party. That was OK by her. Her birthday was on inauguration day and her husband’s was on election day.

For my wife and I, our departure was typical of many similar events. It was almost time to leave and we hadn’t yet done anything about a present. The gift was supposed to be on the jokey side rather than something serious.

This sent Colleen off to search through her legendary Purple Box containing gifts for any occasion. Actually, it’s not just jokey gifts that come out of the Purple Box. Our poor kids know very well when one of their serious birthday presents once resided inside Purple. In fact, the gift Colleen came up with was once given to Ben and was “gifted back” to the box this past Christmas.

It’s the hypochondriac’s Wheel of Wisdom called “Yes, You’re Probably Dying.” Choose a symptom and steel yourself for the bad news.

Choose a stomach ache, for example, and learn what illnesses you might have and the specialist you should consult. There are also suggestions on what to obsess about in the meantime as you wither away.

The final little window on the wheel lets you know that it’s probably just gas.

We didn’t know if Kathye was a hypochondriac, but we knew she would howl with laughter. What would a gathering be like without Kathye’s peals of laughter tearing through the room? For me it’s always a challenge to induce it.

Colleen brought out a second gift that would guarantee screams from the birthday girl: Boudreaux’s Butt Paste.

Actually this was my unopened tube of Butt Paste. We picked up a few—not nearly enough—when we were in New Orleans. It was new to me. I’d never heard of Butt Paste, not Boudreaux’s nor anyone else’s.

From what I’ve read, it’s available in many locations other than Louisiana where it was developed. Pediatrician “Pappy” Talbot started marketing the stuff years ago by using Dr. George Boudreaux’s formula.

In 1994, Dr. Boudreaux sold his pharmacy in Covington, La., bought an RV he called the Butt Mobile, and took off across country to peddle his paste.

If you’re among the uninitiated, Boudreaux’s paste is said to be a very effective diaper rash treatment. The special ingredient is probably the Peruvian balsam oil.

As predicted, Kathye tore the wrapper off her tube of Butt Paste and howled. It was easy for me to give up my tube because I knew it would be such a hit.

But wait a minute, let me back up. We also needed a birthday card. I suggested finding any kind of card—sympathy, graduation—and altering it to fit.

That was easy, too. Colleen had bought a few homemade cards at a craft sale. They’re very nice Christmas cards. Very attractive, very sad to destroy, but it was past time to leave.

She told me who made them and asked, “Do you think she’ll be at the party?”

It wasn’t likely. We hadn’t run across her at other gatherings involving this crowd. She wasn’t mentioned when Colleen was given a rundown of the guests.

OK, I went to work. “Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!” became “Let it go! Let it go! Let it go!”

The cute Christmas rhyme inside was transformed into a rude little ditty in reference to reaching 60 years of age. We worked on it en route to the restaurant and never came up with anything more satisfying.

We arrived at the eatery, walked into the room and front and center at the table was the card designer. Colleen turned to look at me and told me later there was laughter written all over my face.

It was a large room and we made our way to the back where people were placing their coats and that’s when Colleen began her laughing fit. Fortunately, she doesn’t howl quite like Kathye, but she laughed so hard tears flowed and guests probably thought she was having some sort of emotional breakdown.

The card remains on our entryway table. Our apologies to the designer.

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