2002.12.11 It's a dog's world here

Written by David Green.


DID YOU notice that it wasn’t me filling this space last week? I know many people did because they mentioned enjoying the dog tails, I mean tales, from my brother, Dan.

For years, Dan has provided commentary on Morenci’s police reports. If there’s mention of “Dog complaint,” he’ll ask what the dogs in Morenci are complaining about.

My chief goal for Dan’s Thanksgiving visit was to get him into the police notes. We could have inserted him on our own—we write the news, after all—but we were after the real thing. Dan was considering fleeing a police officer for his crime.

He wagged his tale and ran through the neighborhood on all fours. He parked on the wrong side of the street. He jaywalked repeatedly. He once spit on the sidewalk. He operated a steam-driven device after 10 p.m. All the usual things that will get a person onto the bottom of page three, but to no avail.

He left town with a clean record.

WE LIVE in a community of loose dogs and inoperable automobiles. Dan lives in a community of bizarre crimes involving guns and people with their pants down.

I’ve been on police report deprivation since the Alaska papers stopped arriving. The Observer was exchanged with a few papers from the far northwest for several years, but it finally ended.

Dan and his wife, Maggie, have helped fill my emptiness with a subscription to the Ballard News-Tribune. Ballard is a city in Washington that doesn’t really exist, and maybe that’s what makes it such a gold mine of interesting police news.

The News-Tribune has a correspondent who visits the police station every week to glean the finest items from the list. They probably have loose dogs in Ballard, too, but why write about that when there’s a man removing his clothes and walking around with his pants around his ankles?  Why mess with the theft of a bicycle when there’s a man dancing in the street in front of a fire engine? He was reported to have “glossy eyes.”

The headline on that brief report was a simple “Dancing man.” The pants-at-ankles story was called “Screaming man.” Here’s “Busy man”:

 A man living on Northwest 54th Street reported the theft of a .22-caliber pistol from his residence. He said he had placed it under his mattress approximately three years ago and that it is now missing. He wasn’t sure about suspects because, as he told officers, he’s had “numerous guests” during that time.

The outer Seattle neighborhoods are not without dog news. On SW Graham Street, a female thief knocked on a woman’s door and said she was searching for her lost Chihuahua. The home owner let the stranger in, as though the dog might be in her bedroom, I suppose, and then her purse was robbed.

A woman on 101st Street was awakened by her dog’s gentle growls. She went downstairs to find a stranger sleeping on her couch. A man on 101st Street NW was forcing a small pekingese-type dog to run alongside a pickup truck.

AS ALWAYS, I suppose we should be grateful that our police news is relatively bland. Loose dogs instead of tortured dogs. Perhaps a general lack of Chihuahuas, lost or otherwise.

But loose dogs are common, as Dan noted. In one of our final visits together before he left, I was eating lunch at home when what should catch our eye out the window? Of course, it was a loose dog, the same character I saw in the yard a day earlier.

He wrote his dog column before he learned that sister-in-law Ginny was walking along M-156 by the cemetery when she was joined by a loose dog. It wasn’t long before the dog was hit by a car and ran off injured across the field.

The driver stopped and gave her a look that said, “What do expect, lady, when you let your dog run loose on a busy road?”

Ginny agrees fully. What can you expect?

    – Dec. 11, 2002 
  • 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.crossing
    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • 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.

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