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

  • Front.cheers
    MACEE BEERS joins other Fayette Elementary School students for the annual Mini-Cheer performance during the half-time break at the basketball game.
  • Family.3.wide
    CHILDREN at Stair District Library’s Family Story Time toss scarves into the air during an activity. The evening program provided a mix of stories, songs, dancing, crafts and snacks Monday evening. The program is offered at 5:30 p.m. every Monday for five more weeks. The program is designed for three to five year olds and their family.
  • Front.newpaper.2
    THE INTERVIEW—Evelyn Joughin (right) records the interaction with an iPad while Jack Varga, next to her, asks questions of Morenci Elementary School principal Gail Frey. Morenci senior Sam Cool (standing) listens. Cool serves as the editor for the newspaper written by members of Mrs. Barrett’s second grade class.
  • Front.code.2
    WRITING CODE—Brock Christle (left), a Morenci fifth grade student, takes a look at the progress being made by fourth grader Anthony Lewis. Libby Rorick, a sixth grade student, is next in a line of girls trying out the coding tutorials. This year marked Morenci’s second year of participation in the Hour of Code project.
  • Front.gym.new
    REMIE RYAN (left) tries to dodge the foam wand held by Hayden Bays during physical education class at Morenci Elementary School. In the background, Lauryn Dominique and Brooklyn Williams stay clear of the tag. Second grade students were working on cardiovascular health on the first day back from vacation. For the record, Safety Tag is a very difficult sport to photograph.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.library.books
    MACK DICKSON takes a book off the “blind date” cart at the Fayette library. Patrons can choose a book without knowing what’s inside other than a general category. The books are among those designated for removal so patrons can consider them gifts. In Morenci, new books and staff favorites were chosen from the stacks and must be returned. Patrons get a piece of chocolate, too, to take on their date, but no clue about their “date.” One reader said she really enjoyed her book for a few pages, but then lost interest—so typical for a blind date.

2002.09.18 It's OK to spill a little

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about walking along Bean Creek in the dark. A couple of days after that I heard about a new restaurant in Germany where everyone eats in the dark.

I suppose Brad Whitehouse and I could try a midnight picnic along the Bean the next time, but until then, I’ll have to rely on this restaurant report.

Actually, I could find very little about the new German restaurant, but I did read some reports on its predecessor, Blindekuh, that opened three years ago in Zurich, Switzerland.

When I wrote about our walk in the dark without a flashlight, I used that old line about how your other senses take over when sight is gone. It’s true. You start to hear things that would otherwise have been ignored. You pay much more attention to the ground underfoot. You notice the smells of the plants brushing your face.

I didn’t mention anything about heightened taste—no bugs flew into my mouth that night—but that’s one of the concepts behind Zurich’s restaurant, The Blind Cow.

An abandoned church was converted into a restaurant. It’s pitch black inside and most of the staff members are blind. You might think this is one of those gimmicks that isn’t going to work, but you would be quite wrong. I’m not sure how things are going today, but a while back they had a waiting list of four months.

The facility is owned by the Blindlicht Foundation which aims to provide jobs for blind people. The receptionist and most of the kitchen staff have good vision. Everyone else is blind.

Diners are first led into a dimly lit area to adjust for what’s to come. Some people find it too claustrophobic and head out then for another eatery. Guests are instructed not to wander off from tables. Instead, just shout out to a member of the wait staff. You can identify them by the bells jingling from their feet.

Eventually a waitress arrives and instructs one member of the party to place his or her hands on her shoulders. The others in the group do the same to form a train. The waitress then leads the eaters through black curtains into the void.

It’s not merely dark, a reporter wrote in a British newspaper, it’s entirely devoid of light. That’s an important distinction, he says, because usually there’s some shadowy shapes that can be made out. Here there’s absolutely nothing.

Table talk is strained, also, he said, because there’s no body language or eye contact to help out conversation. It no longer matters what you’re wearing, says the man who started the restaurant, it’s just your voice that makes you “visible.” If you don’t talk, he says, you don’t exist.

The menu is fairly simple—no peas or spaghetti, I presume—and eating is messy. One reviewer said that his borscht went well, but most of his dumplings ended up on the table and some of his vegetable went to the floor. Perfect for the kid who hates broccoli.

So is the concept a success? The originators of the idea claim that eating blind makes a person think more about food. You eat more slowly, you sniff the food, you touch it and really savor it.

The reviewer said he didn’t have that experience. It was just a lot sloppier to eat in the dark.

I’ve heard it said that as the gimmicks increase, the quality of the food decreases.

I don’t know if that’s the case at the Blind Cow, but I know what I would like about this place. It’s licking. I would certainly lick my plate after each course and no one would say a word about it.

    – Sept. 18, 2002 

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