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

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    FIRST SNOW—Heavy, wet flakes piled deep on tree branches—and windshields—as the area received its first significant snowfall of the season. “Usually it begins with a dusting or two,” said George Isobar, Morenci’s observer for the National Weather Service, “but this time it came with a vengeance.” By the end of the day Saturday, a little over four inches of snow was on the ground. Now comes the thaw with temperatures in the 40s and 50s for three days.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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2002.06.26 The language of the bass pro

Written by David Green.


From my personal experience, I’d have to say that the large mouth bass has a rather limited vocabulary. It’s impressive for a bass, I suppose, but there’s not much to talk about.

Once you’ve heard “Take Me to the River” and “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” more than once or twice, you wish bass had never learned to sing.

But bass fishermen…that’s a different story. They speak a different language. It’s the language of love—love for the hand-painted Strike King jerkbait, love for the chartreuse buzzbait, love for the two-day total exceeding 15 pounds.

There is often despair in their words (“The rain muddied it up real bad and my heart sank. I thought I was done.”). Sometimes they speak words of wisdom (“Sticking with one lure while fishing here has been my Achilles heel.”)

Sometimes they speak tiring words that reporters seeking quotes use anyway, because they think even a bad quote is better than no quote.

• “This is unbelievable.” – Greg Lineberry, Galax, Va.

• “This is just unbelievable.” – Andre Moore, Scottsdale, Ariz.

• “I feel pretty good.” – Dick Shaffer, Celina, Ohio.

• “I feel pretty good.” – Chad Grigsby, Colon, Mich.

• “It’s a great feeling.” – Jeremy Ives, Burgaw, N.C.

You can just hear the reporter asking, “How does it make you feel?”

It takes a real pro to speak like a real bass pro. Take Larry Nixon of Bee Branch, Ark., for example. This is his 24th year of competitive fishing and he’s earned $453,200.

Now don’t say that averages less than $19,000 a year, because big money fishing didn’t exist in his younger days. He made about $120,000 last year and $217,000 the year before.

After he took the lead at Lake Wheeler using a black and blue Strike King jig with a pork trailer, he explained his good fortune this way: “I started to fish the Elk River, but then I turned around. I didn’t want to go up there and die.”

Spoken like a true pro. Here’s what he said about his recent career:

“I got into a lull about four or five years ago. I just got complacent and didn’t really care, but now I want to win. Right now I’m loving it.”

David Dudley (one of six pros with that last name) is an up-and-coming bass pro who won $700,000 one day in March. You can tell by the way he talks that he’s on the way to stardom.

He traveled 85 miles from the boat launch area to visit what he later called “the promised land,” an isolated oxbow in a Texas delta.

“I felt my water was fished out. I just didn’t have any more confidence in the area. The moon really affected the tide Friday night. When I saw the water as high as it was at takeoff, I was bubbling with joy.”

His black, blue and purple jig had a blue sapphire chunk trailer. What bass could resist that?

In bass Internet chatrooms, there’s some debate about how to become a well-known bass fisherman. One chatter says it’s simple: win.

Another disagrees. You don’t have to be a winner, he says. You need the right attitude and you need to sell yourself to sponsors.

“Sponsors are using you as a sales tool,” says Chris. “They want a personality that can help them sell.”

Oh sure, answers Mark, if you’re content to stand in a sponsor’s booth all day at local tournaments in exchange for a few free products. If that’s your idea of a successful bass pro, then you’re all set. But if that doesn’t fit your image, then winning is everything.

“You aren’t going to be a full-time bass fisherman for long if you don’t win,” he says.

But you also have to talk the talk.

“I lost a big fish early and it haunted me all day,” J.T. Kenney said on the shores of the fabled Lake Okeechobee. “Kept thinking I was going to lose it by just a little bit. A very little bit.”

He came through and pocketed $110,000, but don’t ask “How does it feel?” This pro choked up like he had a green pumpkin bacon rind jig stuck in his throat.

He simply said there were no words to describe how he felt.

    – June 26, 2002 

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