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

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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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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2010.06.23 There might be better food out back

Written by David Green.


I called my sister Linda around dinner time the other day and before long, she had to hang up. She was going out to dinner with friends and was getting ready to leave.

“Oh, where are you going?” I asked.

I am jealous of my sister. She lives in Brooklyn, works in Manhattan—mid-Manhattan surrounded by a huge variety of restaurants and street vendors. She lives within walking distance of lots of great restaurants, bakeries, delis, fruit and vegetable stands, and a grocery store  chockful of ethnic foods.

I was in the middle of making sloppy lentils, a lowly meal I invented during my college days, the summer I worked on Mackinac Island and lived alone in a tiny little bare-bones cabin in Mackinaw City.

I was poor and didn’t own a car and the nearest grocery store was a wasteland in the food department—expensive fruits and vegetables that looked anemic and shriveled, no kind of bread but white, no kind of rice but white, packaged processed food of every kind imaginable. I used to want to cry when I went in there and couldn’t afford what I could find and couldn’t find what I wanted.

I must have brought the lentils with me, because I can’t imagine I would have found them in that pitiful grocery store.  Out of a yen for something tasty and substantial I created the sloppy lentils.

Sloppy lentils is pretty much a condiment meal—lots of vinegar and ketchup added to fried chopped onions (and chopped green peppers and mushrooms on good days) and cooked lentils mashed together.  Served on a toasted onion roll, it’s actually pretty divine.

But when I was talking to Linda, I was going to be serving it on old and about-to-go-moldy cheese bread. I pictured her headed for the Italian restaurant in her old neighborhood, the one that serves the best chicken Parmigiana—well, the best everything. I wanted to live vicariously and was eager to hear her destination.

“We’re going to Outback,” she said.

“Outback?!” I was shocked.

“How the heck can you go to Outback? I’m outraged!” I said feigning indignation—but I really was incredulous.

“Well, that’s where they all want to go,“ she said, laughing. “If I had my choice, I’d stay home and grill steaks in the back yard.”

“But, Outback?! You have so many ethnic restaurants to choose from, so many local restaurants. We have Outback out here. Outback is nothing special. You must have some kind of local steakhouse,” I said.

“Why would they want to go to Outback? I asked, continuing my harangue. Why not that Italian place we went to when we were last there?”

“Oh, La Casa Bella? We’ll probably go there tomorrow,” she said.

I think she just wanted to shut me up and get me off the phone.

“You’ll never believe this,” I told David when he got home. “I asked Linda where she was going for dinner and she said Outback.”

“That sounds like a good idea,” he said.

“But she has all those restaurants to choose from and she’s going to Outback,” I retorted. “What do you know about Outback, anyway?” I asked. “You’ve never been there, have you?”

He stopped on his way down the stairs to the basement.

“I thought you meant she wanted to go out back to her backyard and have a barbecue,” he said.

“That’s exactly what she wanted to do, but everybody else wanted to go to the Outback restaurant,” I said.

“Oh, it’s a restaurant?”

This is why I need to live vicariously. If David had his druthers, he’d never eat out. He always maintains that anything we make at home will taste better than anything we have to pay for in a restaurant. It’s almost as if food doesn’t taste good if it costs more than a $3 felafel sandwich. It’s painful for him to pay $8.95 for Aloo Gobi when he’d rather we save every penny so he can buy what he calls a more contemporary camera for the Observer.

I suppose he could take lots of photos of food...I could try to live vicariously off of that...especially if we had to go to lots of restaurants and sample the food before he took the photos.

Hmm, a new camera is sounding like a good idea....

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