2006.09.13 Round and round with Johnny

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

A lot of people are looking forward to the Neal Singles 5K run. I’m anticipating the day after the run.

When it’s all over, our exercise routine will become much less routine. A little more haphazard. Much more hit and miss.

For now, it’s almost daily training at the track and daily requests to accompany the runner-in-training.

Let’s get one thing straight. I’m not running Sept. 24. I’m taking a photograph. Maybe I’m walking, but I’m not running the 3.1 miles. That’s my wife who’s doing the hard work.

A friend talked with me Saturday about running with me. He was looking forward to it. I told him I wasn’t running, but he insisted that I am. He said he read about it in the paper.

That’s a little unsettling to think that people mix up Colleen and me. But come to think about it, someone came in the office a few weeks back to talk about my ripped pants. That was a column that colleague Jeff wrote. Maybe it’s time to place our photos with the columns to  let everyone knows who’s who.

My wife and I just recently returned from a session at the high school track. She runs and I mostly walk. I have a knee that’s been bothering me.

Once we arrived at the track, she had sweatpants to remove, Maddie’s iPod to adjust, a nose to blow, probably some vegetables to chop, so I took off. I was half way around the track before she was ready to begin. I knew it would be that way.

Sometimes during those informal dinner nights when everyone is late and we’re all on our own, I’ll eat dinner—my entire dinner—while Colleen is still busy chopping.

Chop, chop, chop, chop. Usually it’s cilantro, an item I can happily do without. I’d never miss it. She chops, I eat. I walk, she putters. Then she runs.

After a couple of laps, she caught up and passed me in my brisk walk. After the first mile or so, I started running a little to close the gap. Two laps later, she was within reach so I ran down the track and caught up.

I ran back and forth in the lane, I jigged, I did a little of the Soupy Sales Shuffle, I skipped, I turned around and ran backwards. When I peered over my shoulder, she was gone. Enough of my foolishness. She left me behind and took off down the track with Johnny Cash. I was impressed.

Why Johnny Cash, you might wonder. I don’t know that she was ever a Johnny Cash fan. I think it’s because it’s there on Maddie’s iPod, because she gets a kick out of Johnny Cash’s entertaining lyrics, and probably because we recently watched the movie “Walk the Line” about Cash’s life.

There’s a lot of other stuff on the iPod that she couldn’t handle, but Johnny Cash is all right. He’s her constant companion on the track. And he doesn’t make fun of her.

She had Johnny; I was alone with the ground squirrel holes. They’re all around the track. Most of them are at the fence line, but a few squirrels have burrowed under the concrete pads that support the bleachers.

I can show you my favorite one. I like the angle that it takes and the bold positioning. With 11 laps around the track, you need something to keep you occupied other than the music in your head.

One night I huddled along the fence and she never saw me. A few laps later I lay down on the football field and the same thing happened. She and Johnny, so intent.

At one point I stopped to talk to Tim Kruse for a short time and I fell well behind. We still had three laps to go, but I decided to catch her, a little at a time. When I got really close she saw me and shot me a threatening look.

I held back, keeping my distance until the very end when I had to announce the time and hear her disappointment. She wants to do the Neal run in under 30 minutes and she’s off pace by six minutes with less than a fortnight remaining.

It’s great fun to jolly her about her running. (Jolly her? That’s something less than teasing.) But believe me, I’m impressed with her ability to, so far, run 10 laps around the track without stopping. That’s quite an accomplishment for a middle-aged Johnny Cash fan.

– Sept. 13, 2006 

  • Front.pokemon
    LATEST CRAZE—David Cortes (left) and Ty Kruse, along with Jerred Heselschwerdt (standing), consult their smartphones while engaging in the game of Pokémon Go. The virtual scavenger hunt comes to life when players are in the vicinity of gyms, such as Stair District Library, and PokéStops such as the fire station across the street. The boys had spent time Monday morning searching for Pokémon at Wakefield Park.
  • Front.drum
    on your mark, get set, drum!—Drew Joughin (black shirt), Maddox Joughin and Kaleea Braun took the front row last week when Angela Rettle and assistants led the Stair District Library Summer Reading Program kids in a session of cardio drumming. The sports and healthy living theme continued yesterday with a Mini Jamboree at Lake Hudson State Park arranged by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Next week’s program features the Flying Aces Frisbee show.
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    NADIYA YORK and Aniston Valentine take a spin on the Casino, one of the rides offered at Wakefield Park during Morenci’s Town and Country Festival. This year’s festival remained dry but with plenty of heat during the three-day run. Additional photographs are inside this week’s Observer.
  • Front.softball
    Angela Davis (2) and teammate Allison VanBrandt break into a jig after Morenci's softball team won its third consecutive regional title.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • KayseInField
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  • Front.soccer.balls
    BEVY OF BALLS—Stair District Library Summer Reading Program VolunTeens, including Libby Rorick, back left and Ty Kruse, back right, threw a dozen inflatable soccer balls into the crowd during a reading of “Sergio Saves the Game.” The sports-themed program continues on Wednesdays through July 27.
  • Front.art.park
  • Front.drum
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