2011.08.24 K'ping short; sav'n ink

Written by David Green.


My brother, Dannyboy, has struck again. He loves to look through the Observer and pick on me for any oddities he encounters.

For years he’s joked about “dog complaint” reports in the police news, wondering what the dog was complaining about. I even changed it to “complaint about a dog” for a few months, but that didn’t hold. Dogs were soon calling the police department again to lodge complaints about...who knows? You’d have to go in and read the police log.

This time Dan had something to say about the odd headline in last week’s paper: “Fayette k’garten enrollment takes a leap upward.”

I played around with that a long time, but working the words “kindergarten” and “enrollment” into a one-column headline is a challenge. I finally just gave an internal “oh well” and went with “k’garten.” Deadline loomed.

“Deadline loomed” is a pretty good reason for a lot of what you see in the Observer from week to week. There’s only so much that can be accomplished before it’s 3 p.m. Tuesday once again.

Why did we use that big Observer filler ad instead of writing about your event? Maybe deadline loomed.

Anyway, Dan asked who gave me permission to write “k’garten” for “kindergarten.” Who said that was an appropriate shortening of the word? Certainly not the Associated Press Stylebook, he said.

I doubt if the AP Stylebook addresses the possibility of abbreviating that word. I don’t consult the AP book all that often, which is probably obvious. We use the unwritten SLO Stylebook that changes from time to time based on what I think looks good and maybe on what I had for breakfast.

For example, I suppose we’ll use “e-mail” instead of “email” for a few more years. We’ll continue to use a lower case “i” in internet. The same with “website” instead of “Website” or “Web site.” I don’t know what AP says about this.

You’ll never see “backyard” in the Observer just like you’ll never see “frontyard” or “sideyard.” I shouldn’t say never; something might slip past my gaze. When you send in news about your “fundraiser,” you might as well save me the two seconds needed to change it to fund raiser.

Dan accused me of hating German words such as “kindergarten,” of being a hater in general, of serving as a word butcher, of causing my k’garten teacher Miss Gillen to do the proverbial turning over in her grave.

“Moaning. Pushing up the dirt. Heading for your house late at night with a word cleaver in her skeletal fingers. ‘D’green boy...’ she whispers. ‘Lil k’garten boy now a n’paper man.’”

And so forth. Dan does carry on with his Observer fun.

DO I dare mention the Observer wall? It’s the newest ugliest thing in Morenci. Someone suggested that it gives a ghetto look to the neighborhood. I’m now working in the ghetto.

For those of you who are distant readers, I’m referring to what’s remaining of the former car dealership after it was demolished. There’s a photo on the Observer website (an Aug. 10 entry).

The absence of a north wall in the old building was a demolition surprise. The builders just used the Observer wall and attached plaster to it. Now portions of the plaster remain.

I suppose it would eventually disappear as it’s exposed to the weather if you didn’t mind looking at it for a few years. The demolition company pounded away at it with a hammer (and damaged my brick). The workers had already tried to knock it off with their heavy equipment (and damaged my brick). Their specialty is demolition.

I’m not sure what’s going to happen. It’s part of the building that the city bought. In other words, it’s not my plaster and I would like it to be removed without damage to the Observer. I like the old bricks.

Any ideas from readers? Don’t tell me to cover it over with metal. Stucco? The plaster probably has to come off first. A lot of people are talking about a mural, but a city official cautioned me about investing in something that might later be blocked by construction of a new building.

I don’t know what lies ah’d for the w’ll, but I’m going to c’tinue to save cash by lim’tin’ ink usage at every op’tunity. That’s why I did it, D’boy.

  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
  • Front.chat
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

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