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.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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