The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • Front.cheers
    MACEE BEERS joins other Fayette Elementary School students for the annual Mini-Cheer performance during the half-time break at the basketball game.
  • Family.3.wide
    CHILDREN at Stair District Library’s Family Story Time toss scarves into the air during an activity. The evening program provided a mix of stories, songs, dancing, crafts and snacks Monday evening. The program is offered at 5:30 p.m. every Monday for five more weeks. The program is designed for three to five year olds and their family.
  • Front.newpaper.2
    THE INTERVIEW—Evelyn Joughin (right) records the interaction with an iPad while Jack Varga, next to her, asks questions of Morenci Elementary School principal Gail Frey. Morenci senior Sam Cool (standing) listens. Cool serves as the editor for the newspaper written by members of Mrs. Barrett’s second grade class.
  • Front.code.2
    WRITING CODE—Brock Christle (left), a Morenci fifth grade student, takes a look at the progress being made by fourth grader Anthony Lewis. Libby Rorick, a sixth grade student, is next in a line of girls trying out the coding tutorials. This year marked Morenci’s second year of participation in the Hour of Code project.
  • Front.skelton.vigil
    MORENCI’S three Skelton brothers were remembered with both tears and laughter last week during a candlelight vigil at Wakefield Park. Several people came out of the crowd to give their recollection of the boys who have now been missing for five years.
  • Front.gym.new
    REMIE RYAN (left) tries to dodge the foam wand held by Hayden Bays during physical education class at Morenci Elementary School. In the background, Lauryn Dominique and Brooklyn Williams stay clear of the tag. Second grade students were working on cardiovascular health on the first day back from vacation. For the record, Safety Tag is a very difficult sport to photograph.
  • 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.

2009.04.08 Looking back on a interesting summer in the factory

Written by David Green.

By RICH FOLEY

Learning last week that Adrian’s Hydro plant is scheduled for closure got me thinking about when I was employed there during the summer of 1977, back when it was still called Bohn Aluminum. It was my last summer job before graduating from college.

Unlike the previous summer which I spent at Simplex, a long-gone Adrian factory, and actually worked a union position in the plant, this job was quite a bit different. My task was to do a fixed-asset inventory of the entire complex.

That entailed making a record of each piece of permanent equipment on the premises and attaching a tag to each to verify it had been inventoried. Office equipment got a permanent numbered metal plate glued on in an inconspicuous place. Most items in the plant itself received a stub from my inventory sheet wired to an out-of-the-way spot.

Sometimes I had a helper, but often I worked alone. I had a supervisor in the front office, but he usually came out to the plant only when I had finished a department, to give his approval before I moved on. Many days I saw him only on my way into the plant and on my way out.

One of my most interesting tasks was how to inventory the dozens of forklifts in the plant. Since they were often in use, it would be hard to interrupt someone using one to verify whether or not it had been checked, plus there wasn’t really a good place to hang the tag, anyway.

My supervisor decided to get me a can of fluorescent pink paint, which I would use to paint a spot on the left front wheel of the forklift after registering it. That way, the forklift was marked for a long period and I could tell at a distance and without stopping it whether a particular forklift had been recorded. Then, all I had to do was look for unmarked forklifts and eventually catch them all.

In fact, a few drivers would actually stop and volunteer their forklifts for marking. One, who had noticed the pattern the spot of paint made when the forklift was in motion, asked if I could paint an “X” across each wheel. He thought that would make his forklift look especially sporty, at least as forklifts go. Since he asked nicely, I went ahead and did it.

A week or so later, my supervisor came out to the plant with me and the custom-painted forklift went by. “What the hell?” he exclaimed, then watched as the forklift stopped, exposing the X-pattern. Turning to me, he said, “You have to start hiding your paint can when you go on break.” I never told him the real story.

I should have hidden everything when I worked in one department. The supervisor there said I couldn’t come in and mark up all of his equipment, but a phone call from the front office explained the facts of life to him and changed his mind. That didn’t make him very happy, especially when I came back and started my inventory.

When I returned from lunch the next day, a stack of my inventory sheets had disappeared and the stubs were attached to various items on my equipment cart, identifying them as “clipboard,” “pen,” “paint can” and so on. The culprit was the department supervisor, several of his underlings were quick to tell me. It seems no one wanted to take the blame for him.

Soon, the supervisor appeared with a big smile on his face. “So, how do you like it?” he asked. I resisted the temptation to tell him it was a good idea I was doing the inventory instead of him because nothing he had marked was considered a fixed asset. Instead, I simply said I hoped he didn’t get in too much trouble when I had to report why I had to void a batch of the numbered inventory stubs.

“Well, I don’t think you’re going to get me fired,” he laughed. Luckily, he went on vacation shortly after that and I was able to work in peace.

A couple of weeks later, two of his subordinates came looking for me in the plant. It so happened that on his first day back to work, he was fired. “I hope it wasn’t because he messed up my paperwork,” I told them. They looked at each other and one of them said, “We had forgotten about that!”

Of course, I’m sure such a small thing didn’t cost him his job. I just wonder if he remembered it when the ax fell. I do remember that everyone in his former department treated me like a king the rest of the summer. And that’s the kind of summer job to have, isn’t it?

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016