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.

2010.09.01 Please pass the mustard

Written by David Green.

(an old one from April 24, 1996)

By Colleen Leddy

On our way to Wisconsin to visit friends near Milwaukee, David made it clear: “You get the museum. I get the rest of the trip.” He was talking “column material,” of course. And although it was an unfair breakdown, I accepted the terms of the trip. We would be going two hours out of our way so I could finally realize my dream: to visit the Mount Horeb Mustard Museum.

I wanted to visit the museum ever since I first read about it in the Detroit Free Press several years ago. Since then I’ve read about it in other publications and I was always amused by the “curator” Barry Levenson.

Barry, if I remember correctly, was a Boston lawyer who quit his job to become founder and curator of the museum that, along with his zany antics, put Mount Horeb, Wisconsin, on the map. Newspapers from around the country, as well as national magazines, have featured the museum and the story of a man who stood before a grocery store shelf of mustards nearly 10 years ago and heard a voice: “If you collect us, they will come.” And, as it says in a Mustard Museum brochure, “He did and they have.”

Given the personality of the curator, I was certain the Mustard Museum had to be an interesting place. Which is why I forced my family to press on even though we were delayed twice by a dead battery before we even left Milwaukee. Even though we took the wrong exit twice. Even though we meandered lost through construction zones. Even though snow reduced visibility for stretches of highway.

I wanted to see where the World’s Longest Mustard Pass first took place—where last year 1,204 people “passed the mustard” on National Mustard Day. (It’s August 3, this year.)

Why would I be so possessed? I don’t know. I like mustard. And it’s true, I’m a bit of a mustard snob—but only toward French’s mustard. I’ve always hated that stuff. Gulden’s used to be my favorite, but that no longer cuts it. Too tame. I’m even moving beyond Grey Poupon which is a cut above Gulden’s in the mustard hierarchy.

My current favorite is Edmond Fallot’s Honey and Balsamic Dijon Mustard which I discovered at Zingerman’s Deli in Ann Arbor. But I’m not nutso about mustard. David might disagree. He’d point to that Fallot mustard—it’s just too much for him. He’ll admit though, that in 14 years of marriage, I’ve taken him up a notch—he now prefers Gulden’s to French’s.

All of those mustards can be found among the 2,300 jars on display in the Mount Horeb Mustard Museum. It’s a small place, the museum. It takes up just one storefront on Main Street. The adjoining storefront takes up the other half of Barry’s mustard enterprises—the Fancy Food Emporium. Here you can buy an incredible variety of mustards from around the world, mustard museum memorabilia, and the trademark “Poupon U” collection of t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, pennants, mugs, and even a Poupon U diploma.

Yes, the museum is small, but it’s full of fun. A marquis above a large television proclaims: “MustardPiece Theatre.” Here mustard lovers can watch an informative mustard video and travel to the mustard fields of Canada, the sausage carts of Germany, and the elegant restaurants of Dijon, France.

Displays are a parody of an art museum. On one wall hangs a display of domestic mustards with this identification card:

Still Life with Mustard (1994)

Barry Levenson, USA (1948-    )

Mustard Products and Painted Wood

I felt reverent when I entered the museum. This was the moment I’d been waiting for. The rest of my family took one minute to look the place over, then made a fast exit. They spent the next hour down the block drinking milkshakes and looking for a bathroom. And waiting for me to come to my senses.

But I was transfixed by the joint: jars of mustard everywhere. A mustard catalog of the many products they sell. A mustard newsletter—“The Proper Mustard.” A sample jar of the famous Slimm and Nunne Mustard (“Your chances of finding a better mustard are Slimm & Nunne” the label proclaims) made by the curator himself in small batches. (I bought the last available jar.) Books about mustard. Framed cartoons about mustard including those depicting the continuing adventures of the superhero, Mustard Man. Aprons featuring a Plochman’s squeeze bottle and the words “Squeeze Me.”

A dream come true, it was. And an hour certainly wasn’t enough time to savor the experience. I hope my family lets me linger longer when I realize my other dream—to visit the garlic fields in the South of France.

If you’re looking for a laugh I recommend a visit to the Mustard Museum. There’s no hurry though, as a birthday card available at the museum says, “You’re never too old to cut the mustard.”

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