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.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • 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.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.

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