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.

2002.12.18 Home for the holidays

Written by David Green.

By COLLEEN LEDDY

I’m in the kitchen Monday afternoon, eating a late lunch and contemplating what to make with all the vegetables I’ve dragged out of the fridge.

“You want to help me make dinner?” I yell to Ben.

“I dunno,” he mumbles from the living room.

Sounds like an enthusiastic “no” to me, but I don’t push it. I don’t remind him where his bread is buttered, I don’t admonish him that he needs to earn his keep, I don’t point out that I’m not his personal slave, and if he wants to eat, he’d dang well better start helping out.

Next week, I might say those sort of things. This week, I’m cutting him all the slack I can. I’m just happy he’s home. Twenty-three years after graduating from the same university he attends, I still remember the feeling of being done with classes for a semester. Only it wasn’t a semester back then, It was a shorter term, but it was hell just the same. I know that giant exhale and that overwhelming feeling of relief—Ahh, done...no more responsibility. No more demands on my time. Until it all starts up again.

I walk through the living room to turn up the thermostat and the TV show he’s watching catches my eye—or, more precisely, my ear. It’s the hokey voices that stop me. A mailman is talking to a woman in that slow and repetitive sort of way people use when they’re talking to little kids—like they’re subhuman and can’t understand English yet.

“Mister Rogers?” I ask.

Ben nods sheepishly.

“I think scraping carrots could be a lot more interesting than Mister Rogers,” I tell him.

He smiles, his eyes still on the screen.

“Is this what college does to your brain?”

Maybe I missed the first warning sign last week when David brought home from the Fayette village council meeting a little squishy, blue garbage truck. It was a present from Archbold Refuse Service, the village’s waste hauler. I gave David a hard time for bringing more junk into the house, but Ben seemed to be having a fine time with the vehicle, flipping it in the air as he watched TV.

Maybe it’s not college, though. Maybe it’s the effect of having grown up without a TV in the house—all those years of deprivation, when he only watched TV when he was at Grandma and Grandpa’s house or at the homes of friends. Seventeen years of no TV on a regular basis. Attention, parents: consider what’s happened to this child before deciding to ban the set from your house.

“I’ve seen this show two times already,” he tells me.

It’s a curse on our family. Back before we got the TV a couple of years ago, and only watched occasionally at the homes of friends and relatives, we always ran into the same problem whenever we stayed at a hotel. Invariably, the very few shows we had already seen would be showing in reruns.

But here Ben was, having already seen this particular episode of Mister Rogers twice before on previous zoning out sessions and he wasn’t even budging.

I shook my head and left the room. A few minutes later, he calls out, “It’s in Spanish.” He’s trying to tell me it’s educational. He took four years of Spanish in high school and last year studied Spanish in college. He knows I think he should keep it up.

I sit and watch the segment for a bit, a man dressed as a fortune cookie speaks Spanish as he visits people, while Mister Rogers translates. The whole thing looks pretty inane, especially if you took French in high school and college as I did. But pretty soon, Mister Rogers takes us out into the neighborhood to meet his friend, Eric Carle, the incredible illustrator and author of children’s books, who will show us how he creates his colorful paper collages. It’s riveting, and I watch the entire segment.

You’d think I’d just finished a semester of college.

    – Dec. 18, 2002 

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