2011.06.22 No end to the Siberian elm

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

The Siberian elm is certainly my least favorite tree. We had quite a sizable one growing in our side yard until the infamous Middle School Awards Night Straight-Line Thunderstorm of 2000.

The wind only brought some of the tree’s heavy branches down—including one that made a hole in our roof—but we had it cut after that. We had already spent more than enough ice storm nights listening to crashes onto the roof from its branches dropping.

What I don’t like about the tree isn’t so much its state as a handsome mature visitor from eastern Siberia. It’s the dozens of little sprouts that come up everywhere. I’ll be trimming Siberian elm for as long as I live here.

That’s what I was doing Saturday afternoon instead of doing what I should have been doing—creating stories for a newspaper.

I was trimming elm, cutting through dozens of ivy tendrils that are trying to take over our house, and pulling out grapevine and thistle when I realized how odd my job is.

For example, I went to Fayette Friday night to cover the Civil War program at the Opera House. I enjoyed it very much and I had some good conversations with people afterward.

But everyone who attended the event is done with it. The program is over. But I have to “enjoy” it all over again while writing a story about it. 

This is all very obvious and I should have realized it before in the past 30 years, but that’s my life over and over again. I go to a ball game and when it ends, that’s pretty much the end for everyone there, except me. I have to go through it all again and put it into words.

I go to a council meeting, go home and live through it all again. What a weird existence. Everything in double.

–0–

A couple of weeks ago I received an amusing report from Morenci native Herb Camburn who lives in California. I think his tale sets a record for bad newspaper delivery. The non-deliveries don’t count; only those papers that eventually reach the subscriber are eligible for consideration.

“I just brought in the Observer that the mailman just delivered. I didn’t glance at the date but thought that the photo on the front of a kid and pumpkins was a little strange for the month of May.

“When I checked the date at the top it was: Wednesday, September 29, 2010. Boy, the U.S. Postal Service has really outdone themselves this time!

“I think this is really amazing. I have absolutely no idea where this paper has been lurking for eight months! In any case, most of the papers have been arriving in pretty good time now.”

I don’t know if “amusing” is really the word to use here. A little sad, actually. We continue to receive complaints from subscribers about poor delivery, along with occasional reports of very good delivery. A subscriber in one Florida city, for example, will get the paper on Saturday or Monday while someone in another part of Florida might get two at a time or an older one before a new one, or none at all.

I remind people of the option to download the electronic version (the photographs look so much better), but a lot of people just want newsprint in their hands.

–0–

One more newspaper update. A few weeks ago I wrote about “my other wife” and mentioned this incident:

I was rubbing [my wife’s back] and mentioned something about the scar on her leg from the motorcycle. I must have been half asleep. Colleen has never been on a motorcycle, but I know I’m not making this up. Someone, one of my other wives, was once burned by a motorcycle exhaust pipe. If you’re reading this, let me know. I’d like to clear this one up.

An out-of-town subscriber read that account—someone a year behind me in school—and she knew exactly who it was that suffered the leg burn. That may be so, but it was no one I ever dated, so I’m still wondering about this one.

–0–

It’s now a day later and I’ve finished the Civil War story. I have to admit, I enjoyed the show all over again. It wasn’t an unpleasant chore at all to recreate the program for others to read. 

I don’t even want to think about how few people will actually take the time to read it. If I start doing that, doubts about my career will spread like Siberian elm.

  • Play Practice
    DRAMA—Fayette schools, in conjunction with the Opera House Theater program, will present two plays Friday night at the Fayette Opera House. From the left is Autumn Black, Wyatt Mitchell, Elizabeth Myers, Jonah Perdue, Sam Myers (in the back) and Lauren Dale. Other cast members are Brynn Balmer, Mason Maginn, Ashtyn Dominique, Stephanie Munguia and Sierra Munguia. Jason Stuckey serves as the technician and Trinity Leady is the backstage manager. The plays will be performed during the day Friday for students and for the public at 7 p.m. Friday.
  • 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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