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.

2002.08.14 Malapropriating makes for good conversations

Written by David Green.

By COLLEEN LEDDY

Whenever we visit our friend Kate I always return home rejuvenated. It’s not just the delicious and nutritious food Kate serves us fresh from her garden or the clean country air blowing off Lake Michigan. Usually I return with a new way of looking at the world—or an innovative use of beets.

This time Kate asked if I’d heard of the book Sink Reflections. I thought she was saying “Sync” and figured it might be an esoteric philosophical treatise about meshing lofty ideals with the brutal reality of life: getting “in sync.” But no, this book is about scrubbing the kitchen sink—the first plan of attack in getting your house clean and uncluttered. (There’s lots more, go to www.flylady.net.)

Anyway, I spent my vacation reading this book and anticipating my return home so I could attack my house. The endeavor only lasted one day, but during one decluttering session, I did come across a slip of paper on which a couple of years ago I had recorded stories my cousin Cathy told me about my uncle Ronnie, who apparently has a tendency to mangle words. I’ve never witnessed any of these malapropisms, but I can certainly empathize with Uncle Ronnie if what Cathy says is true.

My dictionary says malapropism comes from the character Mrs. Malaprop who was noted for her misuse of words in R. B. Sheridan’s comedy, The Rivals, in 1775. It’s “a humorous misapplication of a word: specifically, use of a word sounding somewhat like the one intended but ludicrously wrong in the context.” The dictionary gives this example: “an allegory on the banks of the Nile” which I didn’t find funny even after I finally got it (I think) after several minutes of deep thought. My guess is “allegory” is meant to be “alligator.”

I wrote down five examples of Uncle Ronnie’s malapropisms but I can probably only repeat three of them here and they aren’t the funniest ones. Once he was explaining the cause of his mother’s death. “My mother died of a cerebral hemorrhoid,” he said.

Another time he was playing tennis with his 10-year-old niece who is usually an excellent, high-spirited player. Ronnie was commenting on the lack of energy in her game. “She seems very logistic today,” he said, meaning lethargic.

When talking about the sick father of a friend, he was commiserating with the sorry state of affairs regarding the future of the man and his troublesome lungs. “Would you want to live on a vibrator for the rest of your life?”

At work one day, he encountered a man and woman fighting. The argument was getting rather heated so Uncle Ronnie called the police. “We have an alteration here,” he told the perplexed officer.

He was with friends eating breakfast another time. The discussion turned to insects and how they seemed to have no purpose. “But there is a purpose,” argued Uncle Ronnie. “They eat orgasms.” He meant to say, of course, “organisms” but as my cousin Cathy said, “Maureen nearly choked on her breakfast when he said that.”

Ah, out of the mouths of uncles...I just love it.

And my Uncle Ronnie. He is by far my favorite uncle even though he arrived on the scene when I was already grown up. He’s married to my god-mother, Aunt Mary, and like she, he exudes niceness and genuiness and welcomes people with open arms, plus, he has a big Italian heart. He’s intelligent and well read and knows exactly what he meant to say and the meaning of the words.

But sometimes these things slip out and you don’t even know it. Sometimes there’s that flicker of awareness when you hear yourself say the wrong thing and catch yourself in time to make the correction. But just as often you have to be willing to admit that when someone looks at you kind of quizzically when you’re certain you said the right thing that perhaps you didn’t.

We were listening to Car Talk on National Public Radio Sunday and Tom and Ray slipped in a segment called “God knows what kids are thinking” compiled by Neal Jackson. They rattled off a list of things kids have said on religious matters.

Jesus enunciated the Golden Rule, which says to do one to others before they do one to you.

The epistles were the wives of the apostles.

St. Paul cavorted to Christianity. He preached holy acrimony, which is another name for marriage.

Most religions teach us to have only one spouse. This is called monotony.

And that’s what life would be if we didn’t have people like Uncle Ronnie spicing it up for us.

        – Aug. 14, 2002

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