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.
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    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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2009.08.19 Traveling heavy

Written by David Green.


When son Ben was home recently for a brief visit, he measured his boat and trailer that have long been located in the back yard here, tucked away between the house and garage.

He decided it was finally time to part with those items. He might have wanted them again if he got back to Michigan to live in the future, but they weren’t doing him any good while he’s living in an apartment in Miami.

He got the details of the items and posted them on-line. It wasn’t long before he told me there was an interested buyer from somewhere around Grand Rapids.

It didn’t sound too likely to me that someone would drive two and a half hours to buy a leaky rowboat, but Ben pointed out the trailer made it a real steal: $100 each or $150 for both.

Sure enough, Kurt Grigsby called Tuesday night and he was coming the next day to make the purchase.

I was home at the appointed time Wednesday morning when a Jeep pulled up in front of the house. There was a decal on the passenger door, but I couldn’t read it from the porch.

I went out and said hello to the man behind Grigsby Home Repair or whatever the sign on his door said. I took him to the back yard and we pulled the boat and trailer out away from the garage.

“I see he’s done a little tarring on the bottom,” Kurt said.

Actually I think that was done before Ben bought it, although he did do some work to keep the water out. Kurt knew about the leaks—Ben gave an honest appraisal—and they didn’t seem to bother him at all. He needed a small rowboat and he liked this one.

He checked out the tires on the trailer and they weren’t bad considering they’ve sat untouched for a few years. He knew he’d have to add a little air, but he brought along an air compressor.

This is what was so impressive about Mr. Grigsby. He seemed to be prepared for anything.

He counted out the $150 and handed me the bills. I gave him a hastily written receipt for his purchase.

We pulled the trailer to the road and he placed the end over the ball of his hitch. Not a good fit.

“He lied to me,” he said about Ben.

I suggested that Ben was probably just mistaken. Kurt knew that. He wasn’t bothered by it. He flipped a quick-release lever and  quickly replaced with it the correct size.

He plugged in the wiring for the trailer lights and we checked them out. Ben had already warned him that they might not both function correctly. They were both dead. Kurt fooled around with them awhile but to no avail.

No problem. If he was stopped by a police officer, he would use the line that they worked when he bought the thing. Besides, it was a low profile boat and his Jeep lights were easily visible.

He brought out his compressor and I wanted one, too. I’m not the kind of guy who drools over the latest tools, but this was really nice. Not too heavy, but powerful and its battery held a long charge.

He had trouble getting air to go in—something with the needle in the trailer valve, probably—but once again, Kurt had what he needed in the back of the Jeep. Some people travel lightly; he travels heavily, prepared for anything.

I noticed the odd passenger window. Fraying duct tape was holding in a sheet of Plexiglass, but it was black tape to match the vehicle. I asked Kurt if he called Grigsby Repair for that job

He explained that someone who needs to really slam the door shut in her vehicle really slammed the door shut in his and the window shattered. He wasn’t about to pay 300 bucks for a new window in his old Jeep.

He headed off on his journey and I went inside to see if he really counted out $150. Of course he did. He would have had a spare 10 in the back anyway.

There’s such a gaping hole next to the garage now. Over the years we’ve occasionally asked Ben what he’s going to do with the thing, but now we sort of miss it.

Colleen thought it would be perfect for  when the big flood comes. I enjoyed using it to climb onto the little roof and then onto the garage roof without a ladder.

What I think bothered us the most was knowing another piece of one of our kids was gone. There’s no help from Grigsby on that one.

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