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.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
  • Front.chat
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

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