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

  • Snow.2
    FIRST SNOW—Heavy, wet flakes piled deep on tree branches—and windshields—as the area received its first significant snowfall of the season. “Usually it begins with a dusting or two,” said George Isobar, Morenci’s observer for the National Weather Service, “but this time it came with a vengeance.” By the end of the day Saturday, a little over four inches of snow was on the ground. Now comes the thaw with temperatures in the 40s and 50s for three days.
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    SKEWERS, gumdrops, and marshmallows are all that’s needed to create interesting shapes and designs for Layla McDowell Saturday at Stair District Library’s “Sculptamania!” Open House. The program featuring design games and materials is one part of a larger project funded by a $7,500 Curiosity Creates grant from Disney and the American Library Association. Additional photos are on page 7.
    Morenci marching band members took to the field Friday night dressed for Halloween during the Bulldog’s first playoff game. Morenci fans had a bit of a scare until the fourth quarter when the Bulldogs scored 30 points to leave Lenawee Christian School behind. Whiteford visits Morenci this Friday for the district championship game. From the left is Clayton Borton, Morgan Merillat and James O’Brien.
    DNA PUZZLE—Mitchell Storrs and Wyatt Mohr tackle a puzzle representing the structure of DNA. There’s only one correct way for all the pieces to fit. It’s one of the new materials that can be used in both biology and chemistry classes, said teacher Loretta Cox.
  • Front.tar.wide
    A TRAFFIC control worker stands in the middle of Morenci’s Main Street Tuesday morning, waiting for the next flow of vehicles to be let through from the west. The dusty gravel surface was sealed with a layer of tar, leaving only the application of paint for new striping. The project was completed in conjunction with county road commission work west of Morenci.
  • Front.pull
    JUNIORS Jazmin Smith and Trevor Corkle struggle against a team from the sophomore class Friday during the annual tug of war at the Homecoming Games pep rally. Even the seniors struggled against the sophomores who won the competition. At the main course of the day, the Bulldog football team struggled against Whiteford in a homecoming loss.
    YOUNG soccer players surived a chilly morning Saturday in Morenci’s PTO league. From the left is Emma Cordts, Wayne Corser, Carter and Levi Seitz, Briella York and Drew Joughin. Two more weeks of soccer remain for this season.
  • Front.ropes
    BOWEN BAUMGARTNER of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge constructed by the Tecumseh Boy Scout troop Sunday at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The bridge was one of many challenges, displays and games set up for the annual Youth Jamboree by the Michigan DNR. Additional photos on are the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.homecoming Court
    One of four senior candidates will be crowned the fall homecoming queen during half-time of this week’s Morenci-Whiteford football game. In the back row (left to right) is exchange student Kinga Vidor (her escort will be Caylob Alcock), seniors Alli VanBrandt (escorted by Sam Cool), Larissa Elliott (escorted by Clayton Borton), Samantha Wright (escorted by JJ Elarton) and Justis McCowan (escorted by Austin Gilson), and exchange student Rebecca Rosenberger (escorted by Garrett Smith). Front row freshman court member Allie Kaiser (escorted by Anthony Thomas), sophomore Marlee Blaker (escorted by Nate Elarton) and junior Cheyenne Stone (escorted by Dominick Sell).
  • Front.park.lights
    GETTING READY—Jerad Gleckler pounds nails to secure a string of holiday lights on the side of the Wakefield Park concession stand while other members of the Volunteer Club and others hold them in place. The volunteers showed up Sunday afternoon to string lights at the park. The decorating project will continue this Sunday. Denise Walsh is in charge of the effort this year.
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2012.11.09 A bag full of history

Written by David Green.


Colleen was in the attic recently looking for baby clothes or toys or something before the grandchild visit. 

It’s not the attic below the roof of the house where the bats and squirrels play games. This one is reached through a little door inside a closet. Actually, it’s a typical unfinished attic above the kitchen, so I guess it’s our second attic.

No animals have ever been spotted there to my recollection, but the possibility of bats always looms large and Colleen insisted that I stay close by as she entered. Did I stand at the doorway and throw some object across the dark room?

It was her first visit in many years, apparently, and she was surprised by some of the treasures that she spotted. At one point she brought out a plastic bag from Shaw’s Clothing in Wauseon and inside it was a collection of items from my past.

Sticking out through the top was the cleaning rod to my Aulos treble fipple flute. I gained quite an appreciation for the fipple flute when I had a music class at MSU. I had returned to college to earn a K-8 teaching certificate and everyone needed to learn an instrument.

I chose a cheap instrument—a simple fipple flute—and I learned how to play it. Actually it was a process of re-learning because I first learned to play “Mary Had a Little Lamb” in fifth grade when the fipple flute was known as a Tonette. More precisely, it was a recorder which is a kind of fipple flute. The fipple is a block in the airway that splits the rush of your breath.

I dug deeper into the bag and found the case for my treble recorder, but of course the flute itself was nowhere to be found. It’s been in hiding for several years now.

I started pulling slips of paper out of the bag and found one reading: “Attention, if you experience the loss of movement to an arm or leg following treatment, please contact my attorney, and good luck to you.”

Another scrap of paper had this message: “If you experience involuntary drooling following treatment, please be advised the condition is only temporary. In the meantime, we recommend wearing a bib.”

I knew exactly what these were. They were from a series of small posters I made for a doctor in Sylvania to hang on his wall. He had a good sense of humor, I think.

I have my bag of treasurers beside me now and it’s like I’ve hit a gold mine. It’s a history bag. There are so many interesting and sometimes inexplicable items. 

There’s a cloth band with dead elastic that reads Chessie System. Jerry from Saginaw gave me that in 1974 to wear around my pants cuff while bicycling. Jerry worked for the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad.

Here’s a Post-It note reading: “My beak is gone – anybody seen it? Last place was tan van.” Doesn’t everyone carry a beak around in their car? My wife does.

Hey, there are my old high school eyeglasses and also the big frames from the early 1980s.

Here are some notes written on a sheet of Morenci Engineered Rubber Products note paper. My father used to print those at the office.

“One woman almost had to have herself hospitalized. Another person knew of someone who cried. A family knew they would have to move because the man needed Michigan residency in order to keep his job.”

What was that tragedy all about? Hmm, must have been notes taken after a particular April Fools Day newspaper story.

“Do you remember where you were in August 1975?”

That’s the only thing written on a piece of paper. I suspected it referred to President Richard Nixon’s resignation; I was on my way to Toronto for a weekend trip. Wrong, that was a year earlier. I think I was bicycling through the Canadian Maritimes, heading for Maine. Why do you ask?

Wow! The writing on that envelope sort of looks like Aunt Louella’s. Inside I found two twenties and a ten.

Colleen just walked by and noticed a jump rope still in its packaging, a massage ball and a package of Tit-Bit poona masala candy.

“Oh, all the things I’ve given you that you never opened up,” she said.

That may be a start, but I’m sure there’s more. Oh yes, there’s a package of tea tree flavored Australian chewing sticks and bar of bay rum exfoliating soap.

I have my membership card from Ron Riley’s Batman Club. He was a DJ on WLS radio in Chicago.

Here’s a letter of recommendation, I guess, written in support of our former superintendent of schools Dana Compton who was seeking a job in Boyne City. I gave several honest reasons why they should hire him. 

There’s quite a collection of former pocket notes, including notes from a wrestling tournament and notes from a baseball game and notes for an editorial that may never have been written.

“Driving north, I fell in love with brown. The color is incredibly beautiful.” I remember writing that note. It was a family vacation in the winter and all the vegetation was brown and beautiful.

I have some excellent fossils, some very interesting old earrings from Aunt Louella, old subway maps and a mystery key. I’ve barely begun this search through history, but I’ll stop now and leave you with these words of wisdom:

“Sudden blindness associated with treatment should not be a cause of distress. This message also available in Braille.”

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