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.
  • Front.pull
    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.
  • Front.homecoming Court
    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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2009.01.28 Our surprise at the party

Written 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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