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

  • Front.sculpt
    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.

2012.12.12 Stick your hand in that hole

Written by David Green.


Geocaching takes you to such interesting places.

I know I've used that line before, but it's happened once again. I went out searching for hidden trinkets and ended up having dinner with the mayor of Miami. Yes, I'm stretching things a little.

We often get together with two or three of our children for Thanksgiving or Christmas, but this year was a little different with the new grandson, Ryland, who was born a few pounds early. He's now either two months or five months old, depending on how you view the situation. He's approaching 11 pounds, which is an astounding turn-around from the initial 2.2 pounds.

Preemies are supposed to avoid possible infection from a crowded, enclosed area such as an airplane, so we made arrangements to meet in Miami where Ben lives with his wife, Sarah. Airline tickets are always more expensive over the big holidays, so we looked over schedules and chose the first week of December. That's why you're reading a little 12-page newspaper. At least I hope you're reading it. I have a long way to go at this point.

We arrived in Miami late Wednesday and by Friday afternoon I realized that I hadn't yet gone in search of the elusive geocaches around Coconut Grove. I had put in a lot of time chasing Caroline, the inquisitive 21-month-old, so while she napped, I headed out.

My GPS receiver took me to an enormous ficus tree—one of those Florida trees with multiple little trunks twisting around one another. What a likely hiding spot for a cache. 

I started digging around in those recesses and removing leaves, and wondering what southern spiders might be lurking in the leaves and if those big fast-moving ants were fire ants. I should have brought Caroline. I could have said, "Grandma's purse is in there" and she would have explored every possibility in about two minutes flat.

I suppose Caroline’s mother wouldn't have approved. The girl was already getting fairly beat up while under the care of her grandfather. I recall three incidents of scraped knees, two head bumps, an injured finger and one case of getting stuck in a chair. There was also the time she fell on sharp rocks, got away from me at the edge of the swimming pool, took a spill while exploring her cousin's crib, got banged up while rolling off the sofa cushions, laid down underneath a street tree where dogs must have…well, it’s Miami. There are dogs everywhere. I better stop here. This might all be news to her parents.

They weren't fire ants, Ben told me later, nor was the cache there. I read the hint—magnetic—and walked over to the guard rail and found it. On to the big anchor for the next one.

It was supposed to be an easy one right there in view by an enormous concrete anchor. I finally gave up and moved on to another located in the twisted roots of an ocean grape tree facing Pier 5 at Dinner Key. More Caroline territory. It was getting dark, I felt hesitant to stick my hand into the dark crevices, so I walked on around a nearby building to head home. That's when I encountered a marching band and what looked like an African dance troupe.

Something was happening here and I started walking back to tell the others. I soon met them heading my way and we walked toward the event. There was smoke from outdoor cooking. There was a line of food booths. We wondered if we stumbled into someone's party. It didn't appear that anyone was paying for food. 

I spotted someone who had the look of a down-and-out guy walking away from a booth with a full plate. Were they just being nice to him? He didn't seem to belong among the well-dressed guests.

We walked closer to a booth and a woman asked if we wanted some food. But of course. We received plates of rice and black beans and bread. Other booths offered barbecued chicken and ribs, tamales, pork, gourmet cupcakes, ice cream and more. We would no longer be going out for dinner. We had already arrived.

All of this was happening in front of the Miami City Hall, which, for some reason, is located down the coast a ways in Coconut Grove where Ben lives. The high school marching band did its fancy footwork and then a man from the Zoo arrived with an enormous snake wrapped around his neck. Soon the snake was around the neck of the mayor.

City commissioners were introduced, then the fire chief, the police chief and other dignitaries. Eventually there was only one dignitary remaining: St. Nick. I don't recall if he was wrapped in the snake.

Geocaching inadvertently took us to the City of Miami's annual Christmas lighting ceremony—and at least half of the lights lit up when they “threw the switch.”

Maybe we should mark the calendar now for next year. What’s a few hundred dollars in airfare when a free meal awaits?

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2015