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

  • 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.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.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.
  • Front.F.office
    NEW OFFICES—Fayette village administrator Steve Blue speaks with tax administrator Genna Biddix at the new front desk of the village office. Village council members voted to use budgeted renovation funds targeted for the old office and instead buy the vacant bank building on the corner of Main and Fayette streets. The old office was sold to Sherwood State Bank. When everything is put into place in the spacious new village office, an open house will be scheduled. Council member David Wheeler donated all of his time needed to make changes in the bank interior to fit the Village’s needs.

2006.06.14 Cultural revolution coming right up?

Written by David Green.

By COLLEEN LEDDY

Every now and then I get a glimpse of how our family’s daily living habits influence my children’s interactions with the world. You know how it is—your family does things a certain way and you grow up thinking that’s the norm. But really, you belong to a bizarre little enclave with a culture all its own and you just aren’t aware—until you hit the real world. OK, maybe it’s just my poor children who belong to such a family.

As we were cruising along I-75 on yet another trip south returning my daughter Rozee to Berea College in Kentucky, the driver in the car ahead of us threw a cigarette butt out of his window.

“I don’t understand why people do that,” I said. “It could start a fire.”

“Well, what else are they going to do with it?” asked Rozee.

“Put it out in their ashtray,” I responded.

She looked at me quizzically.

I gestured toward the ashtray on the dashboard.

“I thought that was a money holder,” she said.

Since neither my husband nor I have ever smoked, we’ve never needed to use the ashtray for its original purpose. We keep our spare change in it, and in her 20 years of life, Rozee hasn’t ever seen it used for anything else.

I was amused enough to make note of the ashtray-money holder exchange and wondered about other of our confusing confounding daily living habits that might be off the beaten path. I began to worry that we might have really warped our children in unknown ways.

My mind immediately fixed on the freezer of our fridge and the several bags of uncompostable foods we stash there until garbage day. I hate the smell of rotting food, so I collect the daily odd bits of orange and banana peels, moldy bread, scraps of uneaten cooked food, and the like, in used bread bags and store it in the freezer so it doesn’t ferment and putrefy in the garbage can.

“You all know it’s not normal to put garbage in the freezer, don’t you?” I directed my question to Maddie, sitting in the back seat, as well.

“Yeah,” said Rozee. “But composting and recycling...I thought everybody did that.”

She was surprised to learn that not everybody participates in those activities.

I recall that same sort of incredulity when I left New York City for college at Michigan State and discovered that not everybody cursed—and that some were even very offended by my “colorful” language. The usual stream of swearwords was business as usual for me and it took awhile to realize that my fellow college students weren’t speaking my language.

A few days after we returned home, Maddie and I were watching Ebert and Roeper as they showed a clip of the new movie, “A Prairie Home Companion.”

“What’s that?” Maddie asked in a “come-again?” tone of voice.

“It’s Prairie Home Companion,” I told her. “They’re making a movie of the radio show.”

She had a perplexed, almost bemused look on her face.

“I didn’t know people actually knew about it,” she said.

And by “people” she means people who would think the show is worthy of making into a movie. People like Robert Altman and Meryl Streep and Lindsay Lohan. And the common people across America who would actually pay money to see the movie of the radio show that’s been background noise most every weekend of her life. I guess she figured if her parents listen to the show there’s no way the rest of the world would know about it.

I doubt that all our weird habits and way of life will ever become mainstream, (most parents aren’t going to fill Easter baskets with prunes stuffed with almonds, for example), but I think the world should be poised for a ripple effect.

I was talking with Rozee last night about the ashtray/money holder incident. She said none of her friends has ever smoked and she’s never been in a car with a smoker who used the ashtray for its intended purpose.

“I asked Taylor [her boyfriend] if he knew what the ashtray was for because he had money in it,” she said.

“He said, ‘It’s in there because you told me to put it in there.’”

Hmm, imagine if I had had that kind of impact on my college friends.

– June 14, 2006

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