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.

  • 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.snake
    Lannis Smith of the Leslie Science and Nature Center in Ann Arbor shows off a python last week at Stair District Library's Summer Reading Program.
  • 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.
  • Pipeline Spread
    LINED UP—Lengths of pipe were put in place last week along the route of the Rover natural gas pipeline that will stretch from Defiance, Ohio, to Ontario, Canada. Topsoil was removed before the pipes were laid out. The 42-inch diameter pipeline is scheduled for completion in November.
  • Front.rock Study
    ROCKHOUNDS—From the left, Joseph McCullough, Sean Pagett and Jonathan McCullough peer through hand lenses to study rocks. The project is part of Morenci Elementary School’s summer camp that continues into August.

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