2006.11.22 Overdue book heads home

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

I borrowed a book from David Carlson a few years ago and I really should get it back to him.

Remember David or Divad Dean, as his mother, Anna Dean called him? His father, Don, owned the telephone company in Morenci.

David is the only person I know to have broken his leg while skateboarding in Morenci. It happened on Congress Street, traveling west downhill from the high point in town (Summit Street) toward the flood plains of Bean Creek.

I write it that way to make it sound as though Divad was racing down a steep incline in a daredevil move. In reality, of course, there’s a drop in altitude of about 10 feet along the entire block.

I think when he fell his leg hit the curb just right to snap a bone.

When he was a student at Oakland University and home for the summer, I stopped in and borrowed “Four Plays” by Eugène Ionesco. That was probably about 1972 and I still haven’t gotten around to reading it.

I’ve made the decision to return it, and I’m going to do it in person this week. Yes,  I’m packing my wife and remaining child and we’re heading for Miami to give Divad his book.

That’s a rather remarkable undertaking for someone in my predicament—making a newspaper every week—but we’re going to see what happens. We’re even going to publish one day late next week to help it work out.

And while we’re there delivering Ionesco, we’ll stop in to visit eldest child Ben. OK, so the book thing is a ruse. We’re going to make sure Ben has a good dinner on his first Thanksgiving out of state.

I’ve never had much of a desire to visit Florida. It must be the influence of my crazy parents who often headed north to ski in the winter while so many others turned to the south for warm weather.

My only Florida visit came during college on one of those spring break trips that students are supposed to make. This wasn’t a typical Daytona Beach  visit. This was a drive with my friend, John.

John and I seldom paid for lodging on our travels. When we bicycled the Canadian Maritimes, we occasionally forked over a dollar for a night in a hostel and sometimes we paid for a campsite, but usually we just pulled off the road somewhere and set up the tent.

When we arrived in Florida, it was quite late at night so we pulled off on some back road and then into some tight spot. And went to sleep.

Until a deputy sheriff arrived. “I’m gonna give yew boys 30 minutes to get out of this county before I throw yew in jail.”

We made it out and headed for the coast. I think we ended up at Jupiter Beach where there was a long string of vehicles parked alongside the ocean. We became part of the string and once again went to sleep.

Until a police officer shone his flashlight in the window. But then he moved on, perhaps satisfied that we were just two college boys asleep and not his daughter out with her boyfriend. It was puzzling, but it was a relief.

I don’t have many recollections from that trip. I guess we avoided the police for the remainder of the journey.

And now it’s Miami, more than 1,100 miles away, as the pelican flies. This could take some getting used to. At least an hour or so.

My wife brought home from the library “Oddball Florida,” a guidebook to “some really strange places.” I’ve looked through the Miami section and concluded that this city is all about death.

This is where clothing designer Gianni Versace was murdered.

This is where Versace’s murderer Andrew Cunanan died.

This is where Al Capone died.

Here is Jackie Gleason’s grave. Over there is the future grave of Sylvester Stallone.

Franklin Roosevelt was almost assassinated here. Bob Marley died here and the BeeGee’s Maurice Gibb died over there.

Years ago, a National Airlines passenger jet disappeared from radar for 10 minutes on approach to Miami International. When it landed, all of the passengers wristwatches were 10 minutes slow.

Throw in a little Ionesco—“I am not quite sure whether I am dreaming or remembering, whether I have lived my life or dreamed it”—and a good time will be had by all.

    - Nov. 22, 2006 
  • Front.tug
    MORENCI pep rallies generally end with a tug of war. The senior class entry, shown above, did not advance to the finals. Griffin Grieder, Alaina Webster, Kyle Long and Jazmin Smith are shown at the front of the rope, giving it their best effort.
  • 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).
  • Athletic Fields
    SPORTS COMPLEX—Fayette’s outdoor athletic facilities will include three ball fields for summer recreation leagues at the southwest corner of the school. The baseball and softball fields, along with the running track, will be constructed on the east side of the school. Outdoor athletic fields were not part of the new school project from 2007, but voters approved a $1.4 million levy for a school addition and the sports fields last August. Both projects are scheduled to be complete by July 20.
  • 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.F.band
    TROMBONISTS Jake Myers (left) and Max Baker perform Friday at the annual Senior Citizens Luncheon at Fayette High School. The National Honor Society and the FFA chapter teamed up to serve a meal to area seniors and to provide musical entertainment. Both the school band and choir performed. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • 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.

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