2003.12.03 Get me out of storage

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

I felt as though I was part of a movie Friday morning, but it was the sort of movie you would want to watch from the comfort of your living room.

We were in Brooklyn, N.Y., last weekend for a brief visit to the big city. My wife really wanted to spend Thanksgiving with one of her sisters, so we headed east Wednesday.

We reached the George Washington Bridge in 10 hours, then skirted along the edge of Manhattan, dove under the East River through the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, and made our way on to Linda’s apartment near Coney Island.

Thanksgiving Day was good. We shopped in a Chinese supermarket that included several tanks of live fish. We stopped in a Russian grocery and walked out with “raisin sausage” and kefir. 86th Street was busy with shoppers. Thanksgiving probably wasn’t a traditional holiday for most of them.

The next morning, while the others showered and dressed, I agreed to drive Linda to her storage unit so she could bring her Christmas tree home.

Linda directed me across town a few blocks to a large building with a sign that read “Stop and Stor.” OK, but where are the storage units?

We turned in the drive and faced a pair of iron gates and a crossing arm like at a railroad intersection. Linda gave me the code to punch into a keypad and the gates began to part. The arm rose and we proceeded past an enormous multi-story building on the right and a smaller two-story structure to the left. This was just the beginning.

We drove on and on alongside rows of two-story buildings with roads turning off to the side every so often toward other buildings. Finally I was told to turn left down a road that led between rows of buildings. Occasionally a drive would appear that led back into the guts of the place for 30 or 40 feet.

We turned right, then left, then right, to where I backed up into a drive that led to Linda’s building. There were roll-down doors everywhere—some were vehicle size, others were just big enough for a person could walk through, if the roll-down metal door were open. Hmmm, the door to Linda’s unit was already open. There were no other cars around, but her building was ready for visitors.

We walked in and climbed the stairs to the second floor. Here we entered a labyrinth of cold, metal clad hallways. Floors, walls, doors—everything was shiny metal and we echoed as we walked. We made a left, then another and another and finally a right to Linda’s door.

I looked around while she got out her key and worked the lock. It was simple enough. Iron beams were exposed along the ceiling. Dozens of small rooms had been constructed inside. It looked plenty secure, but it also looked a little ominous.

I've probably watched too many movies. The door was already opened. There was somebody already in this building, somewhere down one of these cold, lonely hallways. What were they waiting for—some sucker from the Midwest whose decomposing body would be found days later in one of these dozens and dozens of little metal rooms?

So there wasn’t really anybody else up there, at least no one we ever saw. Linda wasn’t bothered by the open door. In fact, she saw it as a gift—one less lock to mess with.

We removed the plastic bin containing the body of her...containing her artificial Christmas tree. We carried it down the stairs to the car and drove back out through the alleyways and through another pair of iron gates.

Brooklyn, with its 2.3 million people, is just a part of New York City. If it were a city on its own, it would rank as the country’s fourth largest. It’s said that one out of seven American citizens can trace their family history through the streets of Brooklyn, and it’s likely my ancestors walked around here when they first reached the United States.

Now, a century and a half later, all of Morenci could store its belongings in the Stop and Stor on Shore Parkway, the one overlooking Gravesend Bay. Once Morenci moved in, there would still be room for Fayette and Lyons and Seneca....and even that missing shipment of the letter "e."

    – Dec. 3, 2003 
  • Front.sculpta
    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • 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.
  • Shadow.salon
    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • 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.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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