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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2006.08.09 Will slow and steady win the race?

Written by David Green.


The Neal V. Singles Memorial Run.

That explains my new-found interest in jogging. I almost said running, but what my legs and body are doing when I propel my body forward in slow cacophony cannot accurately be described as running. Every spring and (in times past) every fall, ever since Ben joined the cross country team in seventh grade, when I cheer my children on at track and cross country meets, I vow that I will start running again. And every spring and every fall, I make an attempt.

But in the fall, life is busy. Before I know what happened to my pledge to get in shape, winter is in full swing and I’ve totally lost my zing. In the spring, I pledge again, but I’m always so out of shape it takes so long to work my way up to jogging, and then the heat kicks in and my reluctance kicks up and I plunge into inactivity...or merely walking.

I enjoy walking, but it takes so long to work up a sweat I mostly feel like I’m wasting my time. I want to run, but after seasons of relative inactivity, I’m physically incapable. It’s so inspiring to watch cross country runners and track races, but inspiration only goes so far. So, mostly, I walk the track with my husband. Occasionally we run for a burst of a hundred meters or so, on the straight-aways, but not much more than that.

“I’m ready to quit,” I say at 90 meters. “You ready to quit?”

David doesn’t answer until we go another 10 meters. He usually quits, out of kindness to me, I think, so I have my out. Now his knee is acting up so he’s not running at all.

When the Neal Singles run was announced in the paper I started thinking it might be something I could shoot for. I can’t imagine ever having the stamina or ability to run three miles—even in my younger, athletically fit days I never ran that distance—but I think maybe it will spur me on. David and I try to walk at least a few nights a week and after I jog one lap without stopping, I see a ray of hope, and set my sights.

By Aug. 1 when I make this decision, there are 54 days before the Neal Singles run. I divide that by the three miles of the run and determine I have 18 days to reach each mile—one mile by Aug. 18, two miles by Sept. 5 and three miles by Sept. 23. I’m counting on Neal to get me through the last tenth of a mile of the 3.1 mile or 5K run.

For a few nights, I con my daughter Maddie into accompanying me to the track. Under her tutelage, I make it up to two laps—half a mile—without stopping.

The first night, she lets me do my one lap around without comment. I run one lap two times—walking before, in between and after. On the second night, she starts getting tough.

“C'mon, Mom, you’ve made it to one and a half, you might as well go to one and three-quarters,” she says.

“No, I feel like I’m going to die,” I say. “I have to stop.”

I stop.

“Pshhh,” she says, like I’m wasting her time.

The next night I know I have to show her I can do it, so I slug through one lap ready to croak half way through. But Maddie is beside me, barely breathing, it seems, as I huff and puff and my stomach flab flops up and down and my butt and thighs jiggle with every step.

“What’s that noise?” she asks. “It sounds like you’re dragging your feet.”

If I weren’t dying I might have laughed. Can she hear my excess flesh flapping?

“It’,” I pant. “They...squeak...when...I...step.”

Maddie’s not convinced so I make a concerted effort to lift my feet off the ground. It’s a struggle.

Saturday night, I jog two laps while David walks. I’m fairly proud of myself, but I know if Maddie had been there urging me on I would have tried to go a quarter lap more.

The first night Maddie accompanied me to the track I asked her opinion: I always wonder if it’s better to start out jogging at a fast pace and go as far as you can and then just keep increasing the distance or just jog real slowly and steadily and go farther and eventually gain speed? Which way will get you to your goal faster?

“I think the first way,” she says.

But once I start jogging, I find there’s only one answer to that question. A combination of my lungs, my legs and my legions of fat determine the rate I will travel—the pace of a tortoise.

But I’m hardly discouraged. If I don’t reach my goal, there’s always the Neal V. Singles Memorial 1-Mile Fun Run/Walk.

    - Aug. 9, 2006

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