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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2013.04.24 World's Neediest Driver makes a return visit

Written by David Green.

When I arrived at the Observer office very late Monday night after attending a very long Finance and Legal Committee meeting on the 2013-2014 budget, David immediately said to me, “You’re running an old column this week.” 

He knew that I didn’t even have an inkling of an idea what I’d be writing about this week and that getting started near midnight meant I’d be contributing to missing our printing deadline. 

So, here’s another repeated column...from early March, four years ago. I hope your memory is as bad as mine, and, except for the part about Maddie being a sophomore in college (she’s now 24), this seems as fresh as ever.


I am the World’s Neediest Driver. 

And after Googling that expression, it appears that I may be able to lay claim to this designation: the World’s Only Needy Driver.

It’s the reason Maddie didn’t want me to drive to Ann Arbor on Sunday, I think. Except she didn’t remember how needy I am until we got started.

Before returning her to Ann Arbor, she and I went back and forth on who should drive. We settled on me—so she could text and do some homework on the trip back to school and I could get in driving mode since I would be driving back home alone.

But as soon as she pressed the button to heat her seat and I recalled that it’s the passenger seat, not the driver’s that is heated, I regretted my offer.

And, as soon as I asked her to reach in the back seat for the gloves in my coat pockets (“You put one in each pocket?” she asked, slightly incredulous.) and when I next asked for my lip balm, located in my front right pocket, she wished she were driving.

“I’m not going to get anything done,” she said. “I should have driven.” 

“Here,” I said, ignoring her comment and handing her my sunglasses. “Put these under your armpit to warm them up.” 

And she started to until I laughed and said, “I didn’t really mean armpit...just inside your coat will do.” 

I store my sunglasses in the car, but I hate wearing cold sunglasses. They fog up and I have to keep taking them off.

And then it was a request to move the tissue box which, on Saturday, had slid on top of the accelerator pedal at a stop sign, inhibiting David from being able to press it. That was a scary little episode that made me glad I was sitting in the heated seat.

I probably asked for lip balm again before Maddie strategically laid the pocket of my coat within hand’s reach.

Twice I had her take notes for me—creating a “to do” list I am only now remembering to act on.

Is there a trophy for the world’s neediest driver? I could collect that hands down. But, I’m a pretty strong candidate for the world’s neediest shotgun rider, too.

On family trips, no matter who else is driving, I’m the designated front seat passenger. It used to be that I would feel sick when I rode in the back seat. I think I’m getting over that now—as long as I look straight ahead and don’t try to read, I’m OK. 

Too bad for my kids that my stomach is only now coming around—they were constantly fetching stuff for me, usually food from the cooler in the wayback, Maddie said. Paper towels, tissues, water—I was always in need of something—which seems kind of crazy since I always had (and have) so much stuff around me.

But when I’m driving alone, I get all my ducks in a row before setting out. I make sure everything I need is within reach. I hate fiddling, trying to find stuff when I’m driving. 

So, on the way home, I lined up my little bag of chocolate covered ginger and my chocolate pecan cookie and put my slice of bete noir cake nearby. I didn’t expect to eat the cake since I had forgotten a fork.

But I wanted to be prepared. I’ve been fighting off some kind of intestinal bug all weekend and I made the loveliest discovery—as long as I keep eating, I don’t feel barfy.

I was still on the outskirts of Ann Arbor when I realized my water bottle was tucked deep in my tote bag. I figured I’d retrieve it at the next stop light. 

But, because my world always works this way, it wasn’t until Clinton that I encountered a red light that lasted long enough for me to dig down for my bottle. The timing of red lights—it’s one of the great mysteries of the universe.

And here’s another: Why does “world’s neediest driver” get zero hits on Google, but World’s Worst Driver gets nearly four million?

I’d say I’m in pretty good company, anyway.

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