2009.07.01 Popcorn, a tree and fireworks

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

At 10 p.m. on Saturday night of the Morenci Town & County Festival, I’m always at Wakefield Park. For years and years, that’s where I’ve been—until this weekend.

I watched the fireworks show; I just wasn’t at the park.

I made it to the Battle of the Bands on Friday night. It’s an interesting show, and not just for the listening but for the people watching. It seems there are many people—spanning several decades in age—who don’t particularly care if they’re listening to a kid scream against the sound of a raucous guitar. They just like to be there to witness amateur musicians standing up to make music.

I took some softball photos and carnival ride photos in a nice evening sun, went home for a while before returning for the arm wrestling. One of the competitors kept spitting on the ground and I kept nudging my camera bag further out of the way.

I made it to the parade the next morning, missed the Make-Over presentation, got a corn hole photo and another from the Child ID program. Then I made the trek back to the NWD building to witness the spectacle of what’s called wrestling.

Wrestling? There must be other words to describe this show. I’ve never been drunk before, but I assume that in the proper state of inebriation, this could be quite amusing.

I got a few photos and returned home to recover before Cody “HiZe” Long gave his rap performance. And then back home before Charles Elliot performed.

I needed to get back to the park a little early to get a photo of Elliot and fund-raiser supreme Bonnie Kime. She really wanted Charles Elliot at the festival so she raised the money to pay his fee.

If you were there, thank Bonnie for the excellent show. He’s a great entertainer.

Before Charles Elliot came on stage, his band, “The Benders,” played a few tunes including Van Morrison’s “Brown Eyed Girl.” Just when they got to the line “like a dove...” a mourning dove flew over the audience. Excellent timing, I thought, but later I looked at the lyrics and learned that for 40 years I had misheard the words. There is no “like a dove”; it’s only “lah tee dah.”

I got my photos and, of course, returned home because being at the festival means I’m working. It’s a busy weekend.

I was sitting here at my computer when the opening blasts went off signaling the start of the fireworks show.

Joe Farquhar had come into the office a few times recently to give updates on the fireworks fund-raising effort. Five thousand bucks. We joked about how the 19-minute show would cost $263 a minute.

I was surprised how loud the blasts were even at my house. I picked up the bowl of popcorn I had just made and walked to the sidewalk. I could see the light through the trees and walked south for a better view. The funeral home staff recently had the final tree cut down on its property. A blight on the landscape that offered good fireworks viewing.

I leaned against my neighbor’s tree and was astounded at how good the show was from that distance. Especially with a bowl of popcorn.

After the first couple thousand dollars blew up, I was getting a little critical. It seemed that too many of the blasts were repeats. I wanted more diversity for the next thousand.

There was some new stuff every now and then, but not enough.

My favorite wasn’t the fast bursts of color that shot out across the sky. I liked a particular slow moving release. It was like a handful of white comets were thrown upward, but they were almost at their apex and losing speed and they soon reached the point where they cascaded back toward earth.

You can look at the show as $263 a minute, but that’s a little skewed. The grand finale always comes through at about $500 a second.

For the first part of the show, I could only see it. For the finale, I could feel the percussion all the way over on Summit Street. What a blast.

And even from my neighbor’s tree, I could hear the applause and cheers erupt at the park when it ended. Then came one final treat: no traffic jam. I was home in 16 seconds.

  • 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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