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

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    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.
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    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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2006.11.22 Overdue book heads home

Written 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 

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