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.
  • Front.sculpt
    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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2009.08.12 Misadventure at the mall

Written by David Green.


My avoidance of malls is quite famously known in our family, so it came as quite a surprise to Maddie and Colleen when I readily agreed to enter Briarwood Mall in Ann Arbor.

My wife and I went up to visit daughter Maddie Saturday afternoon. It was my first visit to the house where Maddie is staying this summer while working in Ann Arbor.

It must have been a really nice house in its day. A wonderful wooden stairway in the front. An interesting steep little stairway in the back. Three floors. A wonderful basement wall of local rocks.

And now? It’s part of the student ghetto. Really nice old homes that have fallen to the ravages of decades of renters. Student renters.

I have to admit my surprise. I don’t think I ever lived in such a dump. That doesn’t include the burned out house in New Brunswick, but that was just a one-night stay.

Early this morning I was revisiting in my head all the places I lived in over the years. My college places were OK. The first house in Saginaw was strange, but that was the people. Smokey, the taxi driver, would come home drunk and literally talk to the walls, quite loudly. “Hey, walls. How ya doin, walls?“ But the house was all right.

There was a rooming house in Portland, Ore., that was so bad I moved out after a week. I remember that it was very cold and I remember the neighbors in the nearby houses below threatening murder, but the house itself was bearable.

But this place Maddie is in.…she’s pleased to have inexpensive housing, but she’s abandoned so many standards of order and cleanliness. Colleen is going to buy a broom the next time she’s in town.

We had a great meal at a restaurant that will remain unnamed because I want to mention the scars on one of the staff people. Colleen suspected self-inflicted injury; I said it was body art. Maddie just wanted us to shut up and eat.

They weren’t typical scars. It sort of looked as though pasta noodles with ridges were lodged under the skin. I didn’t really find it appealing, but I knew it was art not injury.

And it’s just part of why it’s always good to go to Ann Arbor. That reminds me. Remember those National Geographic photos of African women with large discs imbedded into their lower lip? It kind of makes you squirm just thinking about it.

Yesterday on two occasions I saw young men with quarter-size discs imbedded into their ear lobes. I’m squirming.

But on to the mall.

I avoid those places when possible, but I’m also known to be a quick shopper who can get the job done and be back out in the car within 10 or 15 minutes.

I agreed to go to Briarwood because I could use another pair of pants or two. I wanted something without creases. I don’t like to look too nice, but my regular clothier, Doug Shaw in Wauseon, deals in creases.

I asked Maddie for direction and she said Eddie Bauer was my place. We entered through Macy’s and I checked out their offerings.

I could find nothing but Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, etc. Thirty percent off $80 pants was still too much, especially for the way I treat them.

I found Eddie’s and was assisted by a clerk who wore a backpack the entire time, as though she were headed back to school in a few minutes. Eddie’s pants cost 50 bucks, except for the camo cargo pants that I thought might look odd at city council meetings.

I tried the American Eagle store on my dejected way back to Macy’s. My clerk’s bright blue underwear were showing when he found me going through a stack of black jeans. They were on sale and I liked them, but the clerk spoiled it all by asking how I like my jeans to fit.

I was immediately unmasked as the small-town boy who doesn’t get out much. I didn’t know how to answer. I just like them to fit.

He explained these were slim cut and would be good with boots. I had to confess that I don’t have any boots and I quickly changed the topic.

“Do you have any khaki slacks?” I asked, but it came out like cockies. I forgot how to say khaki.

At that point I was really ready to leave, but I followed him all the way to the back of the store to view the $50 slacks. He soon left me alone and I was able to hurry out of there.

I controlled myself. I didn’t run through the mall to escape. I just walked rapidly, even when I hurried through the cosmetics department and heard a woman gush to another, “I really like your highlights! You’ll have to tell me about them later.”

I went back out the doors of Macy’s and recalled how I started hesitating when we approached from the other side of those doors a few minutes earlier. I remembered asking myself, “Are you sure you want to do this?”

Unfortunately, I didn’t know until later that I really didn’t. I should have known better.

I suppose I’ll be seeing you soon, Mr. Shaw. I still have that spring jacket you sold me on discount, the one that looks as though a bird pooped on the left shoulder. Maybe you have something similar in the crease department.

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