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.
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No butts about it, quitting is tough 2008.01.03

Written by David Green.


After the first six months have passed, it gets easier. That’s what a Morenci resident named Doug was told about breaking the addiction to nicotine.

Don’t believe it, he now says, because it isn’t true.

“It was better than day one,” Doug said, “but it wasn’t easy.”

Doug had the satisfaction last August of making it to his fifth smoke-free anniversary. He thinks he has nicotine licked, but this wasn’t the first time he quit.

“I quit once for six months,” he said. “I guess I wasn’t ready.”

Doug used a nicotine patch the first time he tried to give it up. That was back in the mid-1990s, and after the six months passed, he went another seven or eight years—laying out a lot of cash to keep the habit going.

The cost of smoking was an annoyance, but not so much to force him to quit. Doug went through the price increase routine that many smokers follow.

“When it gets to $2 a pack, I’ll quit,” he remembers saying.

But he never did, at least not until Aug. 1, 2002, when an increase in the Michigan tobacco tax would push the price of a pack to $5.

That wasn’t the only factor. His wife said she wanted him to be around for a long time and she wished he would consider quitting.

“I think I had three cigarettes that day,” Doug said, and he hasn’t had one since.

No patch, no support class, nothing but will power and a true desire to quit. He knows that’s what was missing before.

“This time I made up my mind that I was all done,” Doug said. “I went one day at a time and it’s stretched into five and a half years. I’ll bet it was three years before my hand stopped going to my shirt pocket after lunch for the cigarette that was no longer there.”

Two-fisted approach

Drew, another local resident, remembers sitting in a doctor’s office a few years ago and being asked how many packs a day he smokes. The last time he was in for an annual check-up, the nurse asked, “How far do you run each day?”

Running is what helped him push aside a 20-year addiction to nicotine—that and a medication called Chantix.

When Drew started running, it didn’t take long for him to realize the effect that smoking had on his lungs. But everyone knows that. He needed more. He credits his girlfriend with making the difference.

“She did not insist I quit, but she began mentioning it and we began talking about it,” Drew said. “I realized—or realized more—that smoking was negatively affecting my health, wasting my money, excluding me socially, and making me smell nasty.”

Drew says it wasn’t enough to simply know he was foolish for smoking. He needed to get a clear understanding of what it was doing to him.

“There is realizing one is a moron, but then there is understanding why one is a moron. This understanding is what really helped me turn the corner.”

He asked his doctor for advice and received a prescription for Chantix, a non-nicotine medication.

“He warned me it was expensive, but it was really half of what my smoking habit cost me a day,” Drew said.

Chantix made the fight easier, but he still battled with the urge, especially in the evening after work. He kept one thing in his mind—the run when he got home.

“When everything else is falling to pieces, I can look to my run for inner peace, plus mental and physical exertion,” Drew said. “That probably sounds weird, but that is what running has developed into for me.”

He thinks quitting would be tough without a physical activity to help take its place and to provide feedback on physical changes, but Doug went without one. Maybe that was a mistake since he gained 20 pounds instead.

“To stop that craving, I guess you focus on food,” Doug said, but that’s all right with him.

He still remembers a nurse practitioner telling him that it’s healthier to gain 20 pounds than to continue smoking.

“The sense of smell that’s returned is unbelievable,” he said, and ditto for the taste of food.

“If I’d known I stunk that bad, I would have quit years ago,” Doug said.

Drew agrees: “I now wonder how non-smokers could even stand to be around me.”

Both men agree that a true desire is needed for success.

“You can have your folks hounding on you to quit, your kids hounding on you—which I did—but until you’re really ready yourself,” Doug said, “it’s going to be a struggle.”

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