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.
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    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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Lenore Smith celebrates 100th 2009.02.25

Written by David Green.


Still living alone at age 100 in good health, enjoying her apartment, visiting with good friends. What more could you ask for?

Lenore Smith isn’t asking for anything more. She’s just enjoying the century mark that she’s celebrating today at York Hills.lenore.smith.jpg

“I really have had a good life,” she said.

Someone stops in twice a week to help her with a few things and twice a month she has some assistance with cleaning the apartment.

“Other than that, I do everything for myself,” she said.

Lenore suffers from hearing loss and she claims that her memory isn’t so sharp, although you would never guess that from listening to her stories.

And when the doctor makes his visit to the York Hills senior complex, he never has much work to do in Lenore’s apartment.

“He can’t find a darn thing wrong with me,” she said. “He never can.”

Lenore’s long life started on Feb. 25, 1909 on a farm near Swanton, Ohio. She was the eighth of nine children.

When she was a senior in high school, she began working in a bakery in Swanton.

“I’d go to the bakery as soon as school was out and work until about 5:30,” she said. “I’d go home for supper, then go back to work until it closed at 8.”

The job paid $5 a week, which meant a lot to a girl from a poor family in the 1920s.

A surprise awaited Lenore when she graduated from high school. That’s when her father put her on a train bound for Dunkirk, N.Y.

An older brother got a job with Woolworth Company following World War I and worked himself up to a managerial position. When she arrived, she learned that her brother had signed her up for business school.

“I had nothing to do with it,” she said, “but it was a godsend.”

The three-month course taught her typing, composition, shorthand—everything she needed to know to work in an office.

When she came back home, a friend suggested that she apply for a job with DeVilbiss and she got the job.

A girlfriend asked her to join in on a double date, but an unexpected turn of events came about. They stopped at a little barbecue sandwich hut and her girlfriend’s date asked Lenore out for the next weekend.

“I never had another fellow,” she said about Merrill Smith. “He was prefect.”

They were married just as the Great Depression arrived and had to move in with Merrill’s parents.

Eventually her husband found a job in Toledo and they began renting a home for $12 a month. They eventually bought the house and lived there for many years.

Lenore sold the house after her husband’s death. She lived in Albuquerque near one of her daughters and later moved to Florida to join other family members.

When a granddaughter suggested that Lenore move to Morenci, she accepted the invitation and has been here for about 10 years.

She enjoys her apartment at York Hills—“I don’t think you could find a better place”—and her only regret is not being able to drive anymore.

“If I just had my car and could go,” she said. “I used to drive all over.”

Lenore said she never expected to live a hundred years, but then again, she had a hint of what might lie ahead from her mother, who died just a couple months short of a century.

“You know,” she said, “that’s a lot of years.”

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