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.
  • Front.sculpt
    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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2009.10.27 Plans for the weekend need some revision

Written by David Green.


Late on a Thursday night earlier this month, I emailed all my kids at once. The subject line was “weekend.”

“What's going on, boy and girls?” I asked.

Rozee emailed back early the next morning, also sending her response to Ben and Maddie.

“Tonight some friends are coming over for dinner because we got a bunch of southern stuff in our produce box this week like okra, black eyed peas, and pork chops.

“Tomorrow there is an Oktober Fest parade...then a counselor at Taylor's school is having a BBQ at his house in Luling, then we're going to the Avett Brothers concert in Baton Rouge.

“Sunday we're going to the Saints game.”

The “produce box” Rozee mentioned is similar to the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) box David and I have signed up for these past two summers. We pay a lump sum in advance and receive a box of local organically grown vegetables every week of the growing season. Rozee and her husband Taylor pay by the week and receive a box of a wide variety of fruit and vegetables and even, apparently, pork chops.

Rozee lives in New Orleans where there’s always a lot going on, especially parades, concerts and Saints games. She and Taylor, an avid sports fan, have season tickets and they routinely take advantage of all the culture New Orleans has to offer.

Ben responded later that afternoon. He and his wife Sarah live in Miami and also have action-packed lives, but apparently not much was going on that particular weekend. He started out telling what he and Sarah were planning to do, but not to be outdone by Rozee’s agenda, he “embellished.”

“Going to watch MSU football game with Sarah Hoadley, read the Bible, listen to classical music, walk shelter dogs and cats, run in a Relay for Life, volunteer teaching blind monkeys to paint, attend an idiot savant conference (the smart ones), help kids build sand castles at the beach, practice the ukulele and maybe go to Home Depot if I have time.”

I laughed and laughed.

Maddie, swamped with papers, tests, and all the other demands on a college kid, responded to the emails with one word:


I emailed her back. “Maddie, are you saying ‘boring’ to both Ben and Rozee or are you saying your weekend will be boring?”

“All of those,” she responded.

If this email exchange indicates anything—besides Ben needling Rozee and Maddie being overwhelmed by schoolwork—it’s the utter lack of any mention of the kinds of things I might have said if they had turned the question on me.

Do laundry, wash dishes, get the bathroom ready for wallpapering, clean the kitchen...

I might not have done any of those things, but that’s probably what I would have been talking about.

I need to get in a whole new frame of mind—maybe take a page from the book, “Half Broke Horses,” by Jeannette Walls, author of “The Glass Castle.”

“Half Broke Horses: a true-life novel,” is the story of Jeannette’s extraordinary grandmother, Lily Casey Smith, who taught school, broke horses, flew airplanes, ran a ranch with her husband, and did all manner of things most women weren’t doing in her lifetime.

Lily had a real practical, some might say shocking, philosophy when it came to household tasks.

“As for clothes, I flatly refused to wash them....We wore our shirts till they got dirty, then we put them on backward and wore them until that side got dirty, then we wore them inside out, then inside out backward.”

When they got so dirty that her husband joked they were scaring the cattle, she’d take them into town and have them steam-cleaned.

She approached cooking in the same no-nonsense way: “I made food. Beans were my speciality....My recipe was fairly simple: Boil beans, salt to taste.” Steak? “Fry on both sides, salt to taste.” Potatoes? “Boil unpeeled, salt to taste.”

I’m thinking I need to adopt Lily’s way of life. I’d definitely have a lot more time to do things like teach blind monkeys to paint.

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