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 
  • 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.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016