2009.04.22 Just get out of the house

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Staring at an empty computer monitor sometimes makes me think that I don’t get out enough. When there were children in the house, there was always something happening and we were off here and there.

Now I just stay at home and try to write, challenged by the constant distraction of the internet. When I do go out, it’s with a camera. My wife accused me of becoming a recluse, but I think that was because I wasn’t interested in traveling with her to Lansing Saturday night for a library event.

I went out Thursday, but only to the track meet at Sand Creek. I spoke with fellow Morenci alumnus Jack Palms and learned that he’s closed his photo studio. I suppose he’s not getting out as much anymore since he’s now working from home.

I briefly spoke to Bob Bach and talked longer with Teddy-boy Hutchison. Ted is collecting the young stinging nettle plant for a spring tonic. He said he’s feeling wonderful.

I went out Friday afternoon to the baseball diamond. I spoke to the Madison catcher’s mother who was taking photos in the same narrow opening that I was using. I knelt and gave her the standing position.

I stopped at the softball diamond and heard some excellent reports about the Flying Bullfrogs story. Really heartening reports. Someone liked it so much they said it was only a step below the border change incident of the 1980s.

A little side story here. I was recently looking through old Observers for some information. I turned a page and read a big headline about Morenci getting its first charter school. “What?” I said aloud.

It was the one about the Harold Hall Academy for football studies, with Jim Gilmore serving as headmaster. April 1, 1998. I’d forgotten about that one completely. It had me fooled for a second.

But back at the game...I heard about a discussion between a couple—one from Michigan, one from Ohio—over which state had the most gullible readers. The Michigan wife was winning. She heard far more stories from her Ohio husband. But then a colleague of hers provided the head-slapping moment when he expressed his utter disgust with the idea of combining sports programs.

Here’s what I’ve learned from this: Apparently the two best April 1 stories involved that invisible border between two states and the great resentment that exists. If I’m still unfortunate enough to be doing this job in 2015, I’ll have to keep that border thing in mind.

From what I’ve heard, there were a lot more Fayette people upset about the Bullfrogs and they have my sympathy. This is the first April 1 on a Wednesday since we expanded our Fayette coverage a few years back. Except for those already familiar with the Observer, how would they know that a newspaper publisher would be so stupid as to make a fake story the number one report on the front page?

I started walking back to my car to drive home from the game and paused to talk with Dick Kelly. Before long, Cathy Williams stopped to tell me how much she enjoyed this year’s April 1 story.

I got out for a few minutes Saturday afternoon when I drove to the Fayette area to see someone, only to find that his business closed at noon. Nice day for a drive.

What saved the wasted trip was a bumper sticker. When I was back in Morenci, I noticed the sticker on the car ahead of me. It read “My boyfriend is in the U.S. Navy” and the car was driven by a man. I’d like to get a couple of those: one for my wife and one for myself. Good conversation piece for the few times when I get out.

Later in the day my camera bag and I got out to the woods near the cemetery to look for wildflowers. This was a return trip. It was too windy earlier. Five deer ran across Sutton’s field and crossed through the cemetery. It made me laugh to think about reading Observers from the 1950s when a white-tail deer sighting made the front page. Fifty years later it’s slipped to page three.

It was late afternoon and the bloodroot flowers that I spied earlier had all closed up tight. I brushed a tick off my hand and headed home to write.

  • Front.bridge Cross
    STEP BY STEP—Wyatt Stevens of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge Sunday during the Michigan DNR’s Great Outdoors Jamboree at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The Tecumseh Boy Scout Troop constructed the bridge again this year after taking a break in 2016. The Jamboree offered a variety of activities for a wide range of age groups. Morenci’s Stair District Library set up activities again this year and had visits with dozens of kids. See the back page for additional photos.
  • Front.bridge.17
    LEADING THE WAY—The Morenci Area High School marching band led the way across the pedestrian bridge on Morenci’s south side for the annual Labor Day Bridge Walk. The Band Boosters shared profits from the sale of T-shirts with the walk’s sponsor, the Morenci Area Chamber of Commerce. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.eclipse
    LOOKING UP—More than 200 people showed up at Stair District Library Monday afternoon to view the big celestial event with free glasses provided by a grant from the Space Science Institute. The library offered craft activities from noon to 1 p.m., refreshments including Cosmic Cake from Zingerman’s Bakehouse and a live viewing of the eclipse from NASA on a large screen. As the sky darkened slightly, more and more people moved outside to the sidewalk to take a look at the shrinking sun. If you missed it, hang on for the next total eclipse in 2024 as the path comes even closer to this area.
  • Cecil
    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
  • Front.rest
    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
  • Front.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Front.batter

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