2009.09.23 Back in the archives again

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Am I getting old? Silly question, I know. Of course I’m getting old. Am I slowing down? Maybe that’s a dumb question, also.

I’m wondering because it’s Tuesday morning and deadline is looming and, once again, I have no column for this space. That’s two weeks in a row in which I just didn’t get to it.

Maybe if I drop one of my titles I would have a little more time. From here on out, I’m on leave of absence as publisher. I never really understood what the position entailed, anyway.

I’d probably do better dropping something like sports writer or city hall reporter. The janitor has already been on leave for a few weeks.

The reason I questioned my aging and slowing is that I’m sure I came up with a column during the last three years when I covered the Neal Singles Memorial 5K. So why did I fall short this year?

Saturday fell by the wayside with a cross country meet and a trip to East Lansing to visit my ailing sister and a trip through Ann Arbor on the way home to pick up a daughter.

So I looked through the archives and noticed I was having some difficulty 20 years ago, too.

(April 5, 1989)

Sometimes its hard to get started on this column, particularly when you have nothing to say, but there are other factors that detract from the writing process.

Madelyn, the baby, was very demanding yesterday. She had to be held. She had to be walked. She had to try out her new “raspberry” noise which I believe is also known as the Bronx cheer.

I was about ready to tackle the column project when the Bronx mother plopped the baby down on my lap, then mentioned something about a diaper change as she walked away.

I was ready to go again later, but then I clobbered Rosanna on the head with the telephone. It was an accident, of course; I didn’t know she was walking one step behind me. Incidents like that one make Ben talk about his mean parents. I can just imagine the embarrassment of those kindergarten show-and-tell episodes when he tells how his Dad pounds his sister’s skull with a telephone.

I read a Dr. Seuss book to myself while Rosanna cried herself to sleep, then I carried her to bed and fell asleep myself. But not for long. Ben was soon begging me to help build something with his blocks. I created some remarkable structures which he destroyed with a space gun, then it was time to go to bed with By The Way not even started.

It was Stanley Bachelder who saved the day.

He walked in Monday afternoon with a foam coffee cup that had the lid taped on. I looked inside and said, “Whatever it is, it sure is a big one.”

Now I can answer that age-old question: Are there cockroaches in Morenci? Yes, there is one and it’s huge.

Stan found it in a hotel in Washington, D.C. As soon as he saw it, he said he thought of me. How touching.

Now it’s on display in the front office. Ben wants it at home, but I’m thinking of donating it to science via the high school biology class.

(April 19, 1989)

Dead potatoes, dead kippers—maybe things really are deranged at my house. We were about to turn in for the night Sunday when Ben said, “Wait a minute, we didn’t kill a potato yet.”

I looked at him for a while, trying to figure this one out. He ran and got the science experiment book I bought him last year and opened to the page titled, “How to ‘kill’ a potato.”

I read it over and decided it didn’t sound too exciting. Nothing like the night we sucked water into a jar containing a birthday candle. Now that was pure science. But this potato deal—you kill it simply by boiling it. Then you prove it’s dead. A fresh potato conducts water up to the top (osmosis) while the boiled one doesn’t do a darn thing but rot.

There’s no science at all to the kippers. Herrings, mackerel, sardines, etc. all make me quite sick just to smell them. My loyal wife refused to allow Ben to open the kipper can until I left for work Monday night. He knew I was leaving at 7:30 and he gave me a running countdown.

You’ve got 15 minutes, Dad.

I’m going to open them in six minutes.

You better leave in one minute.

I made it to work on time.

  • 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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