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.

2010.02.03 She who laughs, cries

Written by David Green.

By COLLEEN LEDDY

My co-worker Sheri gave lovely little log-shaped fruitcakes as part of her Christmas gifts to us. She attached cute labels explaining that the contents of the package was some of her grandmother’s No-Bake Fruitcake.

In a dyslexic moment, I read the label as No-Fruit Bakecake, which made me laugh and immediately put me in mind of my Aunt Betty, one of my mother’s six sisters. A jolly woman, Aunt Betty always has a ready laugh and is easily entertained. I think I inherited from her the gene that makes me laugh uncontrollably at things not everybody else finds funny.

Once, when I was in junior high school, Aunt Betty was visiting and she really got me laughing over something I no longer remember.

But I’ll never forget the fuel she added to the fire when she said, “Oh, Colleen! You’re as nutty as a fruitcake!”

That set me off in new gales of laughter when, as a fruitcake novice, I assumed that fruitcakes didn’t have nuts. The idea of being compared to something that didn’t actually have nuts seemed profoundly hilarious to me. Aunt Betty had hit my funnybone and it was a long time before I stopped laughing.

In this era when so many people I know seem to be dying or suffering from illness, I’ve been thinking of laughter a lot. In depressing times I need shots of mirth to keep me going. I’m beginning to wish I had kept a laugh journal throughout my life—a document I could consult to remember all the past funny times during these more trying times.

Instead, I am left to rely on my own memory—which is kind of a laugh in itself because it isn’t very intact.

I can remember moments of great hilarity, times when I couldn’t stop laughing, but I am abysmal at  remembering what led to them and even more abysmal at remembering jokes. There are a few that remain etched in my head, so much so that I even repeat the punch line in casual conversation, unrelated to the joke itself.

“No soap, radio,” is one.

I was beginning to think my siblings and I were the only ones who knew the joke, but wikipedia says it’s been around since before I was born and is widely known—even part of popular culture, with references to it on The Simpsons and The Sopranos. But I can’t remember anybody ever getting the reference when I’ve said it. Here’s the joke:

Two elephants are in the bathtub and one elephant says, “Pass the soap.” And the other elephant says, “No soap, radio.”

Everybody but one person is in on the joke and they laugh uproariously when the punchline is told.

Wikipedia says this is an example of anti-humor. The joke has no meaning—it’s just a prank on the person who isn’t in on it. Deconstructed on wikipedia like that, it makes me think I must have been an awful kid. Still, I can say that line to my brothers and vice versa and we automatically start laughing.

More Bronx humor...which must have followed the 1969 release of the movie, “Krakatoa: East of Java.”

“What’s east of Java?” you ask an unsuspecting person.

“Krakatoa!” they say.

“OK,” you say, and you stomp on the person’s foot...trying to crack a toe.

Woo, that’s even worse than “No soap, radio.”

I think I must have gotten nicer by high school when I recall laughing all the time, but not at anybody else’s expense.

Sometimes just thinking about laughing can make me laugh...like the time I was on the Q-44 bus which I rode every day from my home in the Bronx to my high school in Flushing, Queens.

I can never remember what was so funny; I just remember going home from school one evening and thinking about something so funny that I started laughing right there on the bus with other passengers looking like me as if I were nuts (nutty as a fruitcake?). More likely they thought I was on drugs.

I tried to stifle the laughter, but the more I tried, the more it bubbled forth until I was crying with suppressed laughter. It was probably something my friends Sondra or Adrienne had said or done that day...they are two of the funniest people I know. I don’t remember what it was, but it made the 45-minute ride home one of the longest ever.

No joke, radio.

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