2008.09.04 Hurricane season: Stock up on chocolate

Written by David Green.

By COLLEEN LEDDY

Lately, my family members have not quite chastised me, but they sure have been getting impatient. Only Ben hasn’t had any negative words and that’s only because he was out of the country on his honeymoon and we couldn’t get through to him.

It was a bit tumultuous last week as we followed the hurricane news from Rozee and waited to hear from Ben on his honeymoon in the Dominican Republic, right next to Haiti. He didn’t return calls. I guess he couldn’t return calls since his phone wasn’t set up for international use.

• Several times I told Maddie to give him a call—the kids can all call each other for free since they’re on a family plan, but David and I are still dinosaurs with a land line and a pay-as-you-go cell phone that doesn’t have service in Morenci.

“He’s on his honeymoon!” she said in disbelief. “I’m not calling him on his honeymoon!”

“They could be dead!” I said “Don’t you want to know?” But she would not be moved.

• Rozee and I spoke on the phone during the day Friday and emailed back and forth about when she and Taylor would leave New Orleans. She spoke of her fellow research assistant’s roommates who had decided to stay just to see what a hurricane was like, and then she emailed about the quandary facing officials.

“They are considering a mandatory evacuation tomorrow which means we'll want to leave before that or else we'll be in traffic for hours. It's really sticky because if they do the evacuation and then it doesn't hit then people won't evacuate in the future because it's so expensive. But if they don't and it does and the same thing happens...”

I emailed back in response to that and her friend’s roommates.

“What's wrong with people?!!! You don't take chances after a Katrina! And if it’s not a Katrina, you consider it a little vacation and ‘oh well’ about all the money it cost! They have to bear the cost of an evacuation after Katrina...it’s senseless not to be cautious.”

She emailed back a long explanation, the sociological point of view.

“Well it’s just like Katrina—end of the month and people don’t have money....and then there are all the things you have to pay for to leave. Taylor’s oil change was $50 and mine was $40 plus $10 for a repair on a tire that’s getting low and 2 tanks of gas plus the extra gas can we’re bringing and gas to get to northern Mississippi. And then you're supposed to empty your fridge in case power goes out so if you don’t have a big enough cooler to take everything with you then you have to throw stuff away and buy it when you get back. And mostly time is the most expensive thing. Yesterday the wait for an oil change was 5 hours. I got to Walmart at 6:45 this morning and the line was already to the street (they opened at 7) and I didn't get up to where they take your keys and you can leave your car until 8:15....And now I’m spending today doing laundry and cleaning and getting things off the floor. A lot of people can’t afford to miss a day of work. If you’re middle class then it makes sense to just go and take the hit financially, but a lot of people who live here can’t do that.”

I felt a little sheepish after reading that.

• We were at the office last Monday  and David was talking about Tyler Rupp from Fayette. Something about some college kid who went to Japan.

I was half-listening. That’s pretty good for me. Often when he’s talking about something I am distracted by something else. Maybe I’m reading a newspaper, maybe I’m just lost in thought, worrying about when Ben and Sarah will go to Abu Dhabi or if a hurricane is going to strike New Orleans before Rozee and Taylor get out.

It takes me a minute or two to get out of my reverie and by then he’s on to something else. But he was talking about something that was going in the paper and I didn’t think a page had been reserved for it yet.

“What was that? What did you say about a kid going to Japan? I thought you said there was a story about someone going to Guatemala,” I said.

“I know I told you about it already. You just weren’t listening,” he said, annoyed.

“I don’t remember hearing anything about somebody going to Japan. Must be you told your other wife,” I said.

“No, I know I didn’t tell her anything,” he said, as if he really did have another wife.

There was a message on the answering machine Friday night from Rozee. She sounded a little worn out while telling of their plans to leave New Orleans before Hurricane Gustav hit.

“Just letting you know we are leaving the city. We’re going to Clarksdale, Mississippi, tonight. I think it’s a five hour drive. It’s a little after 7:30 p.m. here so I guess we’ll get in late.”

And then her voice brightened. “But we have dark chocolate! Talk to you later, bye.”

Redemption for me! I raised a child smart enough to know that if you’re going to evacuate, make sure you have dark chocolate.

  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
  • 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.
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    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.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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