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.

2006.08.23 Say "Uncle"

Written by David Green.

By JEFF PICKELL

In eight short months, I am to be an uncle.

My brother John and sister-in-law Stephanie cheerfully reported the news on a Tuesday night three weeks ago, just after I finished helping David empty the big blue van of the newest batch of Observers.

“I’m going to corrupt your child,” I cheerfully reported back to them.

I wasn’t kidding. I have long dreamed of being a weird uncle. You know, the shady character at reunions begging the rich family members for cash to start his latest pea-brained money-making scheme? Who has let enough people down that nobody even takes him seriously anymore? Who smells like airplane glue?

“I’m going to make him call me Uncle Sam,” I said. “I want him to associate the values I teach with the values of these United States of America. He will know more about the Galactic Rebellion and the Kree-Skrull War than the American Revolution and the Civil War.”

“What are you talking about?” said Stephanie.

“Are you going to name him John?” I asked.

“If it’s a boy, yes,” Stephanie answered.

“All right! Johnny Five is alive!” I exclaimed. My brother is John Middleton Pickell IV.

“Please don’t call him Johnny Five,” Stephanie said.

“Too late! Too late!” I yelled. “Input! Need input!”

“What if it’s a girl?” she countered.

I screamed “No!” and slammed the phone down. Then I ran to the office to tell David the good news.

“Guess who gets to be a weird uncle?” I asked.

“You’re going to be a monkey’s uncle?” he said.

“I have no idea what you’re saying!” I replied for the fifth time that day, then sprinted out onto the street.

I was preparing to go for a walk when John called me, so I parlayed the sprint into my standard plod. But I was still giddy with excitement. I’m sure I outdid myself in terms of sheer bizareness of appearance.

Let’s start with my normal exercise garb—a fluorescent orange Microsoft t-shirt that proclaims “Think” in bright white letters, a nine-year-old pair of diamond-patterned stark blue tennis shorts, black argyle socks, and huge orthopedic running shoes.

Add that I’m usually either humming or talking to myself as I walk, usually nonsense phrases like “Bus the Capitol” and “Call the mayor.”

And remember my freakish lack of elbow flex and strange semi-upright, shoulders-slumped posture.

Now factor in a huge, airplane glue-induced euphoric grin. Just kidding about the airplane glue.

I’m glad a crew of volunteers was mowing the grass around the track at the high school. If anyone heard what I was mumbling—the snippets of knowledge I plan to impart on my nephew—I’d have ended up in the looney bin.

Some samples:

“Han shot first. Han shot first. Han shot first. ‘Star Wars’ episodes one through three don’t exist.”

“William Shatner won two Emmys and a Golden Globe. For acting. This is scientific proof that nothing is impossible.”

“The American people elected Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura and Arnold Schwarzeneggar to the governorships of two U.S. states. It is not a coincidence that both were in ‘Predator.’”

“We refer to the man who played both Maverick and Jim Rockford as ‘Sir’ James Garner.”

“The closest any man will come to feeling the pain of childbirth is the fourth level of ‘Sonic the Hedgehog.’”

“Originally, literary scholars outlined four basic human conflicts: man vs. man, man vs. nature, man vs. self, and man vs. man’s work. Recently, a fifth conflict has been added—man vs. snakes on a plane.”

“I have always wanted to drink chocolate milk directly from a gas pump.”

I had my entire curriculum thought out by the time I returned from exercising, at which point David informed me of the nine gazillion unanswered calls to my phone line (the secret line in the office doubles as my personal line after hours).

I knew just who it was.

“I get to be the weird uncle!” yelled my brother Jamie.

“Too late! Too late! I already called it!” I chided.

“Shucks!” He said. “What does that leave me?”

“You can always be the cool uncle,” I said.

“Aw, who wants to be the cool uncle?”

Who indeed. Who indeed.

– Aug. 23, 2006

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