2008.06.11 Mary Gautz

Written by David Green.

I just wanted to publicly thank Liz Stella as she retires from Stair Public Library for her many years of service, leadership, creativity and vision. One of the best and finest things about living in Morenci is the library. We just love it and her. And we owe her our deepest, most sincere thanks for her personal role in developing it into the cultural, educational, creative, literary and social heart of Morenci.

When we moved here 12 years ago Stair Public Library was much different. A very small, dark, damp building with a fraction of the books, computers, staff, operating hours and services that we enjoy today. But one thing that was the same was Mrs. Stella. She was the light with her friendly welcomes, gentle kindness to all, and creative ideas and leadership.

After years of hard work, tremendous vision, common sense, dedication, grant writing, automating and updating, good luck and opportunity, our library is one of the best in the county. It has grown and it has blossomed. It is truly one of our community treasures.

She created this, but she gives it back to us, in large and small ways every day. She has made us feel that it truly belongs to all of us. We have all been invited and welcomed. Young or old, students and retirees, families or singles. We have seen and experienced Red Hats, barns and more barns, book discussions, authors, VolunTeens, artists, musicians, entertainers, educators, towers made of fruit, candy houses. We have laughed. We have read. The kids have made messes. We were fed.

Liz Stella has left us an amazing gift, legacy, and example of leadership and commitment. I could go on and on, but I don’t need to. Her game, her library, speaks for itself. Thank you so very much. You did a good thing here. We will miss you tremendously.

– Mary Gautz

Oak Street, Morenci

  • 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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