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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2010.02.03 She who laughs, cries

Written by David Green.


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 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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