The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • Snow.2
    FIRST SNOW—Heavy, wet flakes piled deep on tree branches—and windshields—as the area received its first significant snowfall of the season. “Usually it begins with a dusting or two,” said George Isobar, Morenci’s observer for the National Weather Service, “but this time it came with a vengeance.” By the end of the day Saturday, a little over four inches of snow was on the ground. Now comes the thaw with temperatures in the 40s and 50s for three days.
  • Front.sculpt
    SKEWERS, gumdrops, and marshmallows are all that’s needed to create interesting shapes and designs for Layla McDowell Saturday at Stair District Library’s “Sculptamania!” Open House. The program featuring design games and materials is one part of a larger project funded by a $7,500 Curiosity Creates grant from Disney and the American Library Association. Additional photos are on page 7.
    Morenci marching band members took to the field Friday night dressed for Halloween during the Bulldog’s first playoff game. Morenci fans had a bit of a scare until the fourth quarter when the Bulldogs scored 30 points to leave Lenawee Christian School behind. Whiteford visits Morenci this Friday for the district championship game. From the left is Clayton Borton, Morgan Merillat and James O’Brien.
    DNA PUZZLE—Mitchell Storrs and Wyatt Mohr tackle a puzzle representing the structure of DNA. There’s only one correct way for all the pieces to fit. It’s one of the new materials that can be used in both biology and chemistry classes, said teacher Loretta Cox.
  • Front.tar.wide
    A TRAFFIC control worker stands in the middle of Morenci’s Main Street Tuesday morning, waiting for the next flow of vehicles to be let through from the west. The dusty gravel surface was sealed with a layer of tar, leaving only the application of paint for new striping. The project was completed in conjunction with county road commission work west of Morenci.
  • Front.pull
    JUNIORS Jazmin Smith and Trevor Corkle struggle against a team from the sophomore class Friday during the annual tug of war at the Homecoming Games pep rally. Even the seniors struggled against the sophomores who won the competition. At the main course of the day, the Bulldog football team struggled against Whiteford in a homecoming loss.
    YOUNG soccer players surived a chilly morning Saturday in Morenci’s PTO league. From the left is Emma Cordts, Wayne Corser, Carter and Levi Seitz, Briella York and Drew Joughin. Two more weeks of soccer remain for this season.
  • Front.ropes
    BOWEN BAUMGARTNER of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge constructed by the Tecumseh Boy Scout troop Sunday at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The bridge was one of many challenges, displays and games set up for the annual Youth Jamboree by the Michigan DNR. Additional photos on are the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.homecoming Court
    One of four senior candidates will be crowned the fall homecoming queen during half-time of this week’s Morenci-Whiteford football game. In the back row (left to right) is exchange student Kinga Vidor (her escort will be Caylob Alcock), seniors Alli VanBrandt (escorted by Sam Cool), Larissa Elliott (escorted by Clayton Borton), Samantha Wright (escorted by JJ Elarton) and Justis McCowan (escorted by Austin Gilson), and exchange student Rebecca Rosenberger (escorted by Garrett Smith). Front row freshman court member Allie Kaiser (escorted by Anthony Thomas), sophomore Marlee Blaker (escorted by Nate Elarton) and junior Cheyenne Stone (escorted by Dominick Sell).
  • Front.park.lights
    GETTING READY—Jerad Gleckler pounds nails to secure a string of holiday lights on the side of the Wakefield Park concession stand while other members of the Volunteer Club and others hold them in place. The volunteers showed up Sunday afternoon to string lights at the park. The decorating project will continue this Sunday. Denise Walsh is in charge of the effort this year.
  • Front.homecoming Court
  • Cheer
  • Front.park.lights
  • Front.pull
  • Front.ropes
  • Front.sculpt
  • Front.tar.wide
  • Front.toss
  • Front.walk Across

Huckleberry hunters

Written by David Green.


Huckleberry Finn.

Huckleberry Hound.

Huckleberry Friends.

And then there’s the regular old huckleberry—the fruit.

Former Morenci resident Herb Camburn  of Long Beach, Calif., brought up the subject recently in a round-about way.huckleberry_hunters

When he read the obituary of Phyllis Ries last month, he thought back to the fun his family and hers once had.

“Phyllis’s mother, Florence, was my mother’s very best friend,” Herb said.

Herb and Phyllis went to school together in the old Green School #7 on Yankee Highway.

When the time was right, the families would pack a picnic lunch and head for Shipshewana to pick huckleberries.  Back then, a drive to Shipshewana was considered a long trip.

“We went picking them on about one acre ‘pick your own’ huckleberry/blueberry patches that many of the Amish farms had developed in and around Shipshewana.

”The berry patches were usually at the back of the farm on the edge of their woods. It was an all-day venture complete with a mega-picnic lunch.”

Now back up a bit, Herb. What do you mean by huckleberry/blueberry?

Sure, I’ve heard of huckleberries, but I don’t recall ever seeing one.

Herb had a little difficulty with that statement. He was surprised I didn’t know huckleberries.

He says huckleberry is generally used to describe a type of wild blueberry. They’re known as bilberries in Europe.

Since Herb mentioned Art and Margaret Brewer in his letter, I went to the bookcase and fetched Cecil Billington’s “Shrubs of Michigan”—a treasured book that Art gave me after he moved to Colorado.

Huckleberry (Gaylussacia baccata): Much branched shrub, twigs more or pubescent, fruit a black drupe, edible; seeds about 10. Flowers in May and June, fruit ripe in July.

This must be the wild version—found in rocky woodlands, swamps and bogs. The tame version, as Herb knew it, grew in Amish gardens.

Herb included a clip of the lyrics to Mancini and Mercer’s Moon River that was included in the movie “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”:

“Two drifters off to see the world.

There’s such a lot of world to see.

We’re after the same rainbow’s end

waiting ’round the bend, my huckleberry friend,

Moon River and me.”

“Great memories, great friends,” writes Herb. “Thanks for bringing back the memories.”

No, Herb, the pleasure is ours. Send us some more.

    – June 20, 2007 

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2015