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

  • Snow.2
    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.
  • Front.pull
    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.
  • Front.homecoming Court
    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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2009.09.30 Who are you and what have you done with my daughter?

Written by David Green.


I called Maddie’s phone Monday night after I read an e-mail that appeared to be from her. I was pretty sure someone had kidnapped her or was inhabiting her body, since she was saying things in her letter like, “I ate a veggie burger and liked it” and “I'm in the Meditation Club.”

These could not be considered normal Maddie Green behaviors, so I began to suspect something must be awry. She’d been doing weird things lately—eating banana butts and shopping for the makings of ants-on-a-log of her own volition—very suspect activities from the world’s pickiest eater.

Banana butts are how David and Maddie refer to the bottom end of a banana. Maddie usually eats down to within an inch of the end of a banana, and then passes it on to someone else, usually David, to finish it off. So, imagine my surprise when she sent this e-mail last week:

“I just ate the butt of the banana.”

“I wish I had been there to celebrate with you,” I wrote back. “Was it intentional?”

Surprisingly, it was. One of her housemates had convinced her that the bottom of a banana is no different than the top.

We were at the food co-op in Ann Arbor a couple weeks ago when I noticed Maddie putting celery in the cart.

“Whoa, that’s strange,” I thought. Then she put in a package of organic raisins. “Huh?” I thought. When I saw her scooping peanut butter from the bulk bin, I thought, “Oh, she’s going to make puppy chow.”

Puppy chow is that very sweet concoction made with Crispix cereal, butter, chocolate chips, peanut butter and way too much powdered sugar.

“Puppy chow?” I asked, as I pushed the cart alongside her.

“No, I’m going to make ants-on-a-log,” she said.

Ants-on-a-log (celery spread with peanut butter dotted with raisins) was always one of those “treats” Maddie tolerated. She never seemed to like it, but she ate it anyway.

“Wow!” I thought.

There were early warning signs of this un-Maddie-like behavior. Back on August 26, she had e-mailed:

“I got a falafel sandwich at Jerusalem Garden...I ate almost all of it.”

“Falafel?“ I wrote back, “Will we know who you are the next time we see you?”

But when I read “veggie burgers” and “meditation” on Monday night, I figured things were getting a little too weird. I called to find out what the heck was going on.

“Who are you and what have you done with my daughter? I asked.

“What?!” answered someone who sounded amazingly like Maddie.

The fake Maddie said she was at the library. She couldn’t really talk and I couldn’t really hear her since she was speaking so softly.

Of course, I know this is my child, and I should be ashamed of myself for ever being impatient with her picky eating habits. Although not to as great a degree as Maddie, I was a picky eater as a child.

My mother, in direct contrast to my father, embraced the philosophy “Never force a child to eat anything.”

“Leave her alone! She’ll grow out of it!” I can remember hearing those words as a child, and I’m guessing my mother was talking to my father. She had faith that I would one day grow to like mushrooms, green peppers, onions and become a more adventurous eater. You might guess I was pretty happy when my parents separated when I was seven.

My mother had uncanny wisdom developed from experience, not from reading books. She didn’t believe in spanking and she bucked the rules when she felt strongly about something. Because my older sisters didn’t fare well in school when they started at an early age, she waited until I was seven before starting me, and then she started me in first grade. 

So, you’d think with modeling like that, I would have trusted Maddie would one day eat falafel and veggie burgers. But, pumped with an over-abundance of book knowledge about nutrition, I was too worried that she’d die from malnutrition if left to her choices of food—especially since her idea of a good meal was Doritos and a Nutty Bar.

Sure, I fixed peanut butter and honey sandwiches for lunch every single day during her elementary school years, but at home, she had several “no choice” foods (tofu, brown rice, broccoli and romaine lettuce among them) she had to eat whether she liked them or not.

And there was that horrible occasion when we were coming home from Toledo and I reduced her to tears by insisting she eat some Muenster cheese because she hadn’t eaten anything decent all day.

No wonder it’s taken this long for her to expand her palate.

Time for me to eat crow.

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