2008.09.10 Should it stay or should it go?

Written by David Green.

Should it stay or should it go? That is the question


By RICH FOLEY

I suppose I should be better organized when it comes to the flood of paper I always seem to be facing, but sometimes, it’s just so easy to put things off until later. “Later,” it seems, can often turn out to be “much, much later.”

 For example, a fund raising letter sent to me by Barack Obama in May, 2006, just resurfaced from under a pile of slightly newer “keepsakes.” It came to the Observer address so I wondered at the time if I had written a column that made someone think I was a prospect for a donation to the “Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.”

Whatever the reasoning that got me that letter, I never received another and so far, Obama hasn’t hit me up for a donation for 2008. Maybe he’s too busy, or just afraid I’d write about him. Either way, should I dispose of such a historic document?

That line of thinking helps to explain the box I was digging into last week. Since the newest thing in it dates from 2004, I’m guessing I threw a bunch of stuff into a box rather than sort through it when I was packing to move to Fayette. I’m just glad I didn’t need anything from the box any sooner. Which reminds me of the key story...

Shortly before I moved, I signed a rental agreement with Gene Beaverson and he gave me a pair of keys to my new apartment. I put one on my keychain and the other in what I thought was a safe place during the move. When I had need of the extra key some time later, it was not where I thought I had left it, nor anywhere else I looked. About a year and a half later, it turned up unexpectedly in another box of various “stuff.”

So imagine my excitement at this box of souvenirs of my time as a Michiganiac. Near the top was a 2004 Oldsmobile brochure, a little reminder of the brand’s last year. Then things started to get interesting.

There was my Kindergarten Certificate, entitling me to enter first grade the next school year. It was signed by principal DeRand Jones. I’ve never met anyone else in my life named DeRand.

Then there was a photo of my kindergarten class. I’d bet most schools don’t have over 30 kids in one class these days. I still can’t identify nearly half of them.

A stack of old postcards was pretty interesting, too. There were quite a few old airline postcards, which I collected when I was much younger. I doubt any airlines are handing them out free these days. One, from American Airlines, pictured their 365 mph DC7 airliner. That must be the oldest in my collection. I also had postcards from Allegheny and Mohawk Airlines, two long-gone carriers. I’ll be hanging on to these.

I also have postcards from the Irish Hills Twin Towers, the shoreline of Foley, Alabama (no relation that I’m aware of), and the U.S. Royal Tire/Ferris wheel from the 1964 New York World’s Fair, which later rolled to Michigan and became the giant tire along the freeway near Detroit. I’m keeping those, too.

Then there’s one of the water filtration plant in Iron Mountain, Michigan. Maybe I don’t have to keep every single postcard after all.

Next, a photograph from 1981 of me with NASCAR driver Jody Ridley. Ridley had recently won his first (and only, as it turned out) Cup race and was posing in the MIS garage for anyone who wanted a picture. That’s Jody in the firesuit, me in the cowboy hat. Like to see it? Over my dead body.

The most fascinating find was the check register from my first checking account. I opened it in 1974 and it took until 1982 to use the first hundred checks. I started writing a lot more checks after I got my first apartment.

What memories some of the entries brought back. For example, back in 1979 I bought a brand new Ford Mustang and my payments were a whopping $122.93 per month. I wonder what kind of vehicle I could get for that kind of money today?

And the prices I paid after I got my apartment in 1983 were a lot lower than I’m used to now. Rent was $255 per month, including utilities. Cable television service was $9. And my phone bill ran between $11 and $12 per month at first. By April, 1987, it still was only $14.21. I must not have known anyone out of town to call in those days. 

No wonder I have so many boxes. How could I part with such history? Except for that photo of me and Jody Ridley. It’s as good as gone.

  • Front.bridge Cross
    STEP BY STEP—Wyatt Stevens of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge Sunday during the Michigan DNR’s Great Outdoors Jamboree at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The Tecumseh Boy Scout Troop constructed the bridge again this year after taking a break in 2016. The Jamboree offered a variety of activities for a wide range of age groups. Morenci’s Stair District Library set up activities again this year and had visits with dozens of kids. See the back page for additional photos.
  • Front.bridge.17
    LEADING THE WAY—The Morenci Area High School marching band led the way across the pedestrian bridge on Morenci’s south side for the annual Labor Day Bridge Walk. The Band Boosters shared profits from the sale of T-shirts with the walk’s sponsor, the Morenci Area Chamber of Commerce. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.eclipse
    LOOKING UP—More than 200 people showed up at Stair District Library Monday afternoon to view the big celestial event with free glasses provided by a grant from the Space Science Institute. The library offered craft activities from noon to 1 p.m., refreshments including Cosmic Cake from Zingerman’s Bakehouse and a live viewing of the eclipse from NASA on a large screen. As the sky darkened slightly, more and more people moved outside to the sidewalk to take a look at the shrinking sun. If you missed it, hang on for the next total eclipse in 2024 as the path comes even closer to this area.
  • Cecil
    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
  • Front.rest
    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
  • Front.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Front.batter

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