2007.09.12 Maxine Redlawski

Written by David Green.

I came back to Morenci for a visit. In the past 20 years I have been seeing a steady decline in the city of Morenci. There used to be two grocery stores, a dime store, two hardware stores and other businesses here.

As time has gone by, the businesses have gone and the city has become bare. There were many restaurants and places for the teenagers to go. Now I see many empty stores in need of repair.

There were two bowling alleys and now the one bowling alley here has all it can do to stay open because the citizens of Morenci have chosen to spend their money elsewhere.

I remember growing up here and loving my hometown. Now I look at it and wonder where it has all gone. I can remember this town having two ice cream shops and a drive-in movie theater. Now there is one ice cream shop and an indoor theater that has first-run movies for $3 and yet not many people attended. By the way, where I live, movie tickets for first-run movies are $9 each and the popcorn is $4 for a small bag.

I live in a big city and there are lots of things to do, but you do not get to know many of the people there. In a small city everyone knows everyone and lends a helping hand. The city I live in is called the City of Good Neighbors.

But what makes a good neighbor are people who support one another. There are many small shops in Buffalo, New York, and many big chain stores. The problem with the chain stores is that they kill off little towns and cities of Morenci’s size.

Citizens of Morenci: Support your local stores, restaurants and businesses.

These places support your town and keep it alive and well. I live in the large city because I need to work, not because I wanted to leave Morenci, my hometown.

Take care of your city and help it grow.

– Maxine M. Redlawski
Buffalo, N.Y.
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    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
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    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
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    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.

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