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

  • 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.

2012.01.18 Flying with strangers is good for a laugh

Written by David Green.


Level 3, Brown, Zone E4

I texted that to three people when we parked at the Big Blue garage at Detroit Metro before flying to Savannah a couple weeks ago. And David wrote it on a piece of paper. And I repeated it over and over to myself until I had a chance to also write it down.

But do you think we could find our car when we arrived back in Detroit? We walked all over hell and half of Georgia, suitcases in tow, listening for the honking as David pressed the alarm button on the remote car door opener, before realizing that we needed to lug our suitcases up a flight of stairs. 

Echolocation is not the easiest thing in the Big Blue, but we’d probably still be there searching for our car if not for that alarm button. We’re in the market for a new-to-us car and, after this episode, “remote car door opener” rose to the top of the list of required features in any vehicle we buy. 

Locating our vehicle was the only blip in a very lovely long weekend in Savannah—except for GMO Guy.

We changed planes in Charlotte on our way to Savannah and sat across from a long-winded guy who seemed a bit full of himself—and full of talk about GMOs. His poor seatmate—she patiently listened as he went on and on about his company and what they were doing with the latest generation of seeds and how they were modifying them.

They were both around 60, I’d say, she with a long, long faded blonde braid all the  way down her back, dressed in cotton and wools and looking very earthy. GMO Guy finally took a breather and seemed to assess his captive.

“Do you understand genetics at all?” he asked.

“Well, I went to Oberlin...” she said, her voice trailing off, as if that explained why she might not understand what this guy was telling her.

Oberlin is a liberal arts college and conservatory of music in Ohio known for its academic and musical excellence and its commitment to social justice, sustainability, and diversity. If genetics was among the course offerings, Blonde Braid didn’t sign up.

But she was a real trouper of a seatmate, nodding her head and interjecting with an occasional “Huh,” and an “Oh,” and an “Ah.” She was reading “The Universe is a Green Dragon: A Cosmic Creation Story.” I never heard of it, but I’m guessing someone reading that probably isn’t tremendously interested in plant genetics.

He was reading “The Art of Racing in the Rain,” a book that says, I’m a literary kind of guy, a nice guy, a you-don’t-have-to-worry-about-me kind of guy. A book that wouldn’t let you know he was going to talk non-stop about genetic engineering. 

Planes are such weird places. You’re stuck. You’re sitting next to people you don’t know, cramped together for hours. It’s a rare plane ride these days when you can move to another seat; most flights I’ve been on this past year have been totally full.

But plane rides (especially on Southwest), are often a good source for an unexpected laugh. Flight attendants with a good sense of humor make flying so worthwhile.

As we took our seats on the return flight home, I noticed two high school boys a couple rows ahead of us rapidly scarfing down hamburgers as the rest of the passengers boarded.

Before the plane left the gate, one of the flight attendants was making her way down the aisle, helping passengers and closing the overhead bins.

She reached her hand out toward the boys as if to collect their McDonald’s bags. They each gobbled one more big bite and were putting the rest of the sandwich in the bag before handing it to her.

“Did you all see them giving me their food?!” she exclaimed to all of us within earshot.

The flight attendant looked bemused. 

“You boys need to know your rights!” she said. 

“I didn’t want your garbage, I just wanted a bite of your sandwich,” she joked.

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