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.

  • Play Practice
    DRAMA—Fayette schools, in conjunction with the Opera House Theater program, will present two plays Friday night at the Fayette Opera House. From the left is Autumn Black, Wyatt Mitchell, Elizabeth Myers, Jonah Perdue, Sam Myers (in the back) and Lauren Dale. Other cast members are Brynn Balmer, Mason Maginn, Ashtyn Dominique, Stephanie Munguia and Sierra Munguia. Jason Stuckey serves as the technician and Trinity Leady is the backstage manager. The plays will be performed during the day Friday for students and for the public at 7 p.m. Friday.
  • Front.F.school
    PROGRESS continues on the agriculture classroom addition at Fayette High School. The project will add 2,900 square feet of space and include an overhead door that would allow equipment to be driven inside. The building should be ready for the start of school in August. Work on ball fields and a running track is also underway.
  • Front.rover
    CLEARING THE WAY—Road crossings in the area on the construction route of the Rover natural gas pipeline are marked with poles and flags as preliminary work nears. Ditches and field entry points are covered with thick planks in many areas to support equipment for tree clearing operations. Actual pipeline construction is progressing across Ohio toward a collecting station near Defiance. That segment of the project is expected to wrap up in July. The 42-inch line through Michigan and into Ontario is scheduled for completion in November. The line is projected to transport 3.25 billion cubic feet of natural gas every day.
  • Front.geese
    ON THE MOVE—Six goslings head out on manuevers with their parents in an area lake. Baby waterfowl are showing up in lakes and ponds throughout the area.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Face Paint
    FUN NIGHT FUN—Savanna Miles sits patiently while Abbie White works on a face paint design Friday during the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Gracie Snead watches the progress after having spent time in the chair. Abbie was one of several volunteer painters, each creating their own unique look. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.

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