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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  • Cheer
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  • Front.ropes
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2002.11.20 It's a dog's life

Written by David Green.


Conversations always wander at my house. We might start out talking about hip hugger pants and pretty soon we’re talking about gross stuff like cutting unnamed items out of Sam’s fur.

Who is Sam, you ask? OK, so maybe you’re not asking, but I’ll tell you anyway. Sam was my husband’s ill-treated dog. David says he actually belonged to his sister, Diane, but he and his brothers played with (some might say tortured) Sam quite a bit. One day, Sam had enough and took off for Spain. That’s the legend anyway.

I was trying to cut the stems off a bunch of cilantro and was meeting with great resistance from the scissors I grabbed out of the pencil jar.

“I need a good pair of kitchen scissors,” I complained.

“What would they look like?” my husband asked.

I had to tread carefully here. I didn’t want David to think I was dropping hints for Christmas presents.

“I don’t know,” I said. “I’d know them if I saw them.”

“When I was a kid, we’d use regular scissors whenever something needed to be cut,” he said.

“Like what?”


I found this hard to believe. “Like what most people would use a pizza cutter for?”

“Most people didn’t have a pizza cutter in the 1960s. Pizza was a new thing.”

And that got him thinking about another new thing: tying up pizza boxes.

“People were probably tying pizza boxes with string in the Bronx for decades, but it was a new thing in Morenci.”

And then he’s back to the scissors—and making me cringe. Those same scissors he used for cutting pizza, he used on Sam.

“Sometimes we had to cut stuff out of Sam’s fur. He was a dog of the world; he used to come back from his excursions with stuff in his fur.”

This pleasant Saturday night conversation was a far cry from our exchange the next day, although it did feature another trip into the past for David.

We started off OK, but pretty soon I was beginning to feel a lot like Sam.

David was trimming branches from the crabapple tree in front of the house and I was holding the ladder. When I looked up to assess the situation, sawdust dropped in my right eye. I birthed three babies without a drop of anesthesia, have banged and bruised and burned myself undertaking various household chores—without major complaints, endured torn ligaments and sprained ankles, but I am a real wimp when it comes to eye pain. I just can’t tolerate it. I can’t even stand a finger coming close to my eye. 

And this little bit of sawdust sends me into a tizzy. Every blink of my eye causes pain and great irritation.

David offers a variety of suggestions, but I just want to rip my eye out. A pair of good kitchen scissors might do the job.

“What you need is to rest your head in Gertie’s lap and put warm water and boric acid in it.”

Boric acid? It sounds barbaric, like cutting pizza with Sam’s scissors, but luckily we don’t have any boric acid. I settle for the warm water and join “Gertie” on the couch. Gertie, apparently is a babysitter from his childhood.

“Gertie will help you. C’mon, open up, let Gertie help you,” he coos.

As his hand approaches holding a cotton ball soaked in water, my legs start flapping and churning as if I’m pedaling backwards on a bicycle. I can’t bear to lie there. I let out sounds of distress. It must be an infantile reflex, a throwback to my baby days. Have you ever noticed how babies kick their legs when they’re crying or distressed or excited? That all-body reaction: that’s where I’m at.

He decides he needs a whole bowl of what he says is warm water, but it’s really quite cool. He proceeds to drip it into my eye but it runs down into my ear.

“Ughhhhh!” I yell, “Is that what Gertie did? Soak your ear with cold water so you don’t notice the pain in you eye?”

He has another idea.

“You need to do what the Boy Scouts do,” he says, and then demonstrates the technique by pulling his top eyelid out over his bottom one. My legs start flapping again. It’s not even my eye but I simply can’t tolerate it.

I can’t get a grip on my eyelid, can’t make myself do it.

“You just don’t want to get better,” he accuses me. “You’re just a coward. Gertie doesn’t help cowards,” and off he goes to bed.

I spend several more hours in agony, but am instantly cured the next day by the man of my dreams, Dr. Shultz, who dropped yellow anesthetic in my eye, flipped my eyelid inside out and nabbed the tiny bit of wood.

“Did they use a needle to numb your eye?” my son Ben asked on email after I wrote him about my escapade.

And David wrote back, “They used a rock to numb her skull.”

Maybe I ought to go join Sam in Spain.

    – Nov. 20, 2002 

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