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

  • Front.cheers
    MACEE BEERS joins other Fayette Elementary School students for the annual Mini-Cheer performance during the half-time break at the basketball game.
  • Family.3.wide
    CHILDREN at Stair District Library’s Family Story Time toss scarves into the air during an activity. The evening program provided a mix of stories, songs, dancing, crafts and snacks Monday evening. The program is offered at 5:30 p.m. every Monday for five more weeks. The program is designed for three to five year olds and their family.
  • Front.newpaper.2
    THE INTERVIEW—Evelyn Joughin (right) records the interaction with an iPad while Jack Varga, next to her, asks questions of Morenci Elementary School principal Gail Frey. Morenci senior Sam Cool (standing) listens. Cool serves as the editor for the newspaper written by members of Mrs. Barrett’s second grade class.
  • Front.code.2
    WRITING CODE—Brock Christle (left), a Morenci fifth grade student, takes a look at the progress being made by fourth grader Anthony Lewis. Libby Rorick, a sixth grade student, is next in a line of girls trying out the coding tutorials. This year marked Morenci’s second year of participation in the Hour of Code project.
  • Front.gym.new
    REMIE RYAN (left) tries to dodge the foam wand held by Hayden Bays during physical education class at Morenci Elementary School. In the background, Lauryn Dominique and Brooklyn Williams stay clear of the tag. Second grade students were working on cardiovascular health on the first day back from vacation. For the record, Safety Tag is a very difficult sport to photograph.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.library.books
    MACK DICKSON takes a book off the “blind date” cart at the Fayette library. Patrons can choose a book without knowing what’s inside other than a general category. The books are among those designated for removal so patrons can consider them gifts. In Morenci, new books and staff favorites were chosen from the stacks and must be returned. Patrons get a piece of chocolate, too, to take on their date, but no clue about their “date.” One reader said she really enjoyed her book for a few pages, but then lost interest—so typical for a blind date.

Huckleberry hunters

Written by David Green.

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 

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