2009.03.18 In the name of science

Written by David Green.

Here’s an old one from March 1, 1989, back when I was capable so staying up until 2 or 3 in the morning. I can’t make it past 1 a.m. anymore, which is why I’m turning to the archives to fill this space.

It’s 2:16 in the morning and I’m trying to make sense of a few By The Way notes I’ve been carrying around in my pocket. I was away for a few days and I’m still catching up.

I won’t say that I went on a short mid-winter vacation. There’s always too much razzing when you go on vacation. “What? You took a vacation again? Don’t you ever work?” You know the lines. So here’s what really happened.

I was part of a bizarre psychosocial experiment during the latter half of last week. Brother Dan was in from Seattle and brother Tom and family were in from St. Paul. Joining my family, we all traveled to the cold north country near Boyne City. We were frequently forced to put on skis and travel through the woods.

Nine people descended upon a formally quiet household to investigate the dynamics of overcrowding. Researchers will be sifting through their notes for months evaluating what happened at this bizarre encounter.

We didn’t take many notes, ourselves. It was just a fairly normal time together without too many strange things happening.

A highlight of the visit occurred at Boyne City’s massive Avalanche Hill. People ride sleds and tubes down a hill as tall as a water tower, approaching breath-taking speeds that cause frostbite to form rapidly.

Our hostess, Paula, showed us how it’s done by demonstrating the famous Chiropractor Flop onto a skating rink. She climbed a ways up the hill, jumped on her tube and took off. She reached the bottom rather quickly and then traveled up and over the snow retaining wall surrounding the rink. She was airborne a good six feet off the ground before slamming onto the ice. She refused requests for a repeat performance.

The strangest incident happened while most of us were asleep. Tom went on a bathroom visit and discovered a bath towel in the toilet. A bowl and fork were nearby. He left and went outside. Dan later discovered the grisly scene and removed the towel from the bowl, purportedly dripping water all the way to the bathtub.

Discussion the next morning placed the blame firmly on our hosts’ cats—none of us was about to admit having any part in it. It was also the cats that caused Colleen to lose sleep. Her cat-o-phobia made her lie awake, expecting a cat to jump on her face while she was sleeping.

The greatest mistake of the trip was reading the sign on I-75 that informs the reader that he is halfway between the equator and the North Pole. Rosanna went into a tizzy about visiting Santa Claus.

There were Ben’s incessant knock-knock jokes, Dan’s search for Michigan maple syrup in the syrup capital of Shepherd, and bickering kids in a six-hour car ride. But overall it was a great trip. The snow was deep enough for Ben to dig a tunnel in the front yard, plenty deep for skiing—and that’s why I went north.

  • 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
  • Front.sculpta
    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • 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.
  • Shadow.salon
    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • 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.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.

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