2013.02.13 Common criminal admits his guilt

Written by David Green.

On Saturday I went to East Lansing to visit my sister. On Sunday I drove my wife to the airport. On Monday I looked for an old column to use. This one, from 20 years ago, highlight my years as a criminal.

By David Green

What a devastating day I spent with Morenci’s ordinance book recently. I’m guilty. Call the cops. Take me away. And please look out for my family while I’m gone.

The newly revised Code of Ordinances is on display at City Hall if anyone wants to come in and figure out the changes. It’s easier to read and much better organized—and just plain frightening.

I don’t mind that they’re no longer concerned about the Airport Commission charging usage fees. And soil erosion at construction sites never was on my mind. In fact, I’m sure I have no problems with any of the changes, it’s just the old stuff I never knew existed. I’ve been a law-breaker most of my life.

Following is just a partial list of my crimes:

• July, 1954: Climbed onto a picnic table at Stephenson Park.

• August, 1956: Harassed a bird at Wakefield Park.

• June, 1958: Stood on a picnic table to climb into the old Scot pine at Wakefield Park. The big boys always did it. I was never tall enough until someone moved the table.

All of these atrocities are outlined in Title III, Chapter 21, § 3.2. That’s in the old code book; it’s probably in a new location in the 1993 edition.

• March, 1959: Discharged a BB gun within the city limits.

• May, 1960: Transported a slingshot off private property while unaccompanied by person 18 years or older.

• November, 1961: Played ball in the street. I might get off on a technicality with this one. The Bryner boys and I were playing hockey in the street. Hockey is no ball game, but neither was there any ice so we used a whiffle ball. The concrete chewed our sticks something terrible.

We’ve now entered into the heart of my transgressions: Title IX, Chapter 83, Disorderly Conduct. The crimes I’ve committed here! I’m an enemy of the people. Nothing more than societal flotsam stuck on a low discharge pipe jutting into Bean Crick.

• May 1962: Discharged into the open air the exhaust of a steam engine. I well remember the day I took my toy steam engine out onto the front porch. I stoked up the fire and really let it rip. Police chief Mickey Phelps was not patrolling Cawley Road that afternoon.

July, 1963: Sounded the horn of an automobile which wasn’t in motion, not as a danger signal. We weren’t in any danger. We were hot. Our mother parked in front of the Observer, ran in to get some cash, then talked and talked. I just tapped the horn a little, but it’s clearly in violation of Chapter 86, Noise control, §9.71 h.

Going through this book practically brings me to tears. I was a Boy Scout. I was treasurer of a church youth group and president of the National Honor Society. I went to Boys’ State. I ran a decent half mile. I’m scum. Vile scum.

I told Bob Ackland a dirty joke while walking down to Meech’s Pharmacy one day (p.32 i). I insulted and annoyed by mouth some little runt at the park (9.32 n). I prowled about an alley at night without permission (9.32 cc). I spit on the sidewalk on several occasions (9.32 dd). I sat on Jim Brink’s car hood within the business district (9.32 ff). I hooted after 11 p.m. (9.71 j). Go directly to jail, etc.

I don’t engage in many of these illegal acts anymore, yet other laws I’ve only begun to break. Take the infamous noxious weed category, for example.

Chapter 87, §9.81, says I can’t grow members of the Brassica family in excess of 16 inches. We grew some killer Brussels sprouts last year. Definite violation, and some of the broccoli might have topped 16 inches as well. City Hall will tell me to relax, §9.84 says vegetable gardens are exempt. But when the supervisor of noxious weeds comes around to inspect, he’s going to look at our weed growth and fail to even see a garden underneath.

Our compost pile is in trouble, too (putrescible wastes including vegetable offal), and we have a tree whose lowest branches might be less than eight feet off the sidewalk.

The only good news from the code revision, the change that’s going to keep the cops off my back is this: It’s no longer illegal to wander about the streets without being able to give a satisfactory account of yourself.

  • Girls.on.ride
    NADIYA YORK and Aniston Valentine take a spin on the Casino, one of the rides offered at Wakefield Park during Morenci’s Town and Country Festival. This year’s festival remained dry but with plenty of heat during the three-day run. Additional photographs are inside this week’s Observer.
  • Front.softball
    Angela Davis (2) and teammate Allison VanBrandt break into a jig after Morenci's softball team won its third consecutive regional title.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.soccer.balls
    BEVY OF BALLS—Stair District Library Summer Reading Program VolunTeens, including Libby Rorick, back left and Ty Kruse, back right, threw a dozen inflatable soccer balls into the crowd during a reading of “Sergio Saves the Game.” The sports-themed program continues on Wednesdays through July 27.

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