The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.office
    NEW OFFICES—Fayette village administrator Steve Blue speaks with tax administrator Genna Biddix at the new front desk of the village office. Village council members voted to use budgeted renovation funds targeted for the old office and instead buy the vacant bank building on the corner of Main and Fayette streets. The old office was sold to Sherwood State Bank. When everything is put into place in the spacious new village office, an open house will be scheduled. Council member David Wheeler donated all of his time needed to make changes in the bank interior to fit the Village’s needs.

2010.04.07 The rite of flaming tissue

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

The weather gets nice and springy; I get good and sick. I remember this happening many times in the past, but  that was probably when I was a typical kid who saw the sunny day and figured it must be warm out—even though it was almost back to winter and I needed a coat and hat.

That wasn’t the case this time. I don’t know what it was. A sort throat arrived that soon slid into aching sinuses and then chills and fever and finally it just emptied out into a cold.

I gargled hot salt water a few minutes ago—probably the third time in two days—and went through the routine of gargling a song. I wish I’d have kept track of my choices over the years.

I don’t even remember what I chose a few minutes except for the final tune. I was gargling “My Baby Does the Hanky-Panky” by Tommy James and the Shondells. I got to the part where it takes big jump up the scale and I swallowed a little salt water and gagged but didn’t lose dinner.

It was at that point when I knew for sure I would be heading to the archives to look for an old column to run this week.


The Rite of Flaming Tissue

April 4, 1990


The trees around my house were papered Saturday night, but you wouldn’t have known it the next morning except for the telltale ashes blowing across the yard.

I’m sure you’re familiar with this American pastime that began back around the turn of the century. In her book, “The History of Things in Trees,” Charmin Twoply describes children wadding up pages from a Sears & Roebuck catalog and throwing them into the branches of a hated school teacher.

In its contemporary practice, rolls of toilet paper are thrown repeatedly through trees to create the effect of giant white jellyfish quivering in the night breeze. When done properly, especially under moonlight, it truly is beautiful.

I’ve never papered anyone before. Never. It’s not that I had this mess coming to me for past sins. I’ve witnessed the results many times since I live across the street from a pair of high school teachers. I knew my time would arrive some day, but I figured it would be several years down the road when Ben was in high school.

We returned home early Saturday night from a restaurant meal, part of the continuing celebration of Rosanna’s fourth birthday. In trade for cheerfully going out to dinner, I was allowed to run off to the office for a while to dig out of a deepening hole of work.

Before my time was up, Colleen called to tell me that papering was occurring even as she spoke on the phone, and that now the paperers were knocking on the door.

“I suppose you would like me to come home,” I said.

There was a pause, then she answered, “Wait, they’re singing happy birthday to Rosie. I better hang up.”

I finished the project I was working on and walked out into the darkness to face the litter. There it was—front yard, side yard, back yard. There was even an array of plastic forks stuck into the flower bed in front. That must be some regional variant to papering of which I wasn’t aware.

The front door was locked and a huge refrigerator box blocked the view into the hallway. I let myself in and was bombarded by paper airplanes. I’m sure it was the two four-year-olds in the crowd that did the most damage outside, surely not their parents nor the the other adults present.

Someone asked how the tissue was to be cleaned up and another jokingly suggested burning it down. The delinquents arose and moved outside with matches.

Only some startled neighbors and a few passersby witnessed this remarkable spectacle of flaming toilet paper slowly burning upward to the trees. I tried to remain calm and thought about the details of my home insurance. If only Charmin Twoply was alive today to add this chapter to her book.

Kids, please listen to me—do not attempt this at home. Do it at someone else’s house, and first check for a nearby fire hydrant. Don’t wrap tissue around any tree from the pine family and never perform the Rite of Flaming Tissue during the dry season.

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