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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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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Michael Rosenberg visits Morenci 2009.05.06

Written by David Green.


Where would football be without tradition?

Morenci graduate Zac Johnson was the first person Sunday to talk about tradition at Stair Public Library.

He was asked about his first University of Michigan/Ohio State University contest—the thrill of stepping onto the field as a Wolverine to play in one of America’s greatest football traditions.

Morenci’s new football coach Tom Saylor used the word tradition, also.

Tradition, talent and coaching—those are three key elements for a successful program, Saylor said.

Michigan Notable Book author and guest speaker Michael Rosenberg of the Detroit Free Press was also asked about tradition.

“What would sports be like without the big rivalries?” he asked. “It would just be a game with good players. It’s not just great athletes; tradition plays a major role.”

Rosenberg read a few pages from his book, “War as They Knew It: Woody Hayes, Bo Schembechler, and America in a Time of Unrest,” then spoke about writing it before fielding questions from the audience of more than 100 people.

“If Woody and Bo had met in a different era, this book wouldn’t have been written,” he said. “What appealed to me was how much the country changed during that time.”

Neither of the coaches fit into the changing society of the 1960s and 70s, Rosenberg said. Their qualities just didn’t make sense on the college campus of the times.

“I wanted to see how they handled the situation,” he said. “Bo handled it better than Woody.”

Rosenberg said his goal was to write about football in a way that would interest fans as well as those who didn’t care about football.

“It was like writing a book in English and French at the same time.”

Rosenberg told several anecdotes from his research, including a report that Woody never recruited in Michigan until assistants finally convinced him to cross the border in 1972.

On the way back south, the gas gauge kept getting lower and lower, but he brushed aside urgings to stop for a fill-up.

Finally, he said, “We will push this car over the border if we have to. We will not spend a dime in the state of Michigan.”

Rosenberg often refers to Woody as The Old Man and he was asked about that moniker.

“A shocking number of his players and coaches referred to him that way. Actually he was in his 50s when he started at Ohio State, but he was an anachronism. The world was passing him by and he knew it.”michael.rosenberg.jpg

Rosenberg said he’s heard some complaints from Michigan readers because they ended up feeling some affection for Hayes.

“They were more comfortable hating him for those 40 years.”

Campus unrest was more of a challenge to Bo, Rosenberg said, with Ann Arbor as the center of the midwestern counterculture. The drug culture suddenly merged with football and Bo didn’t know how to deal with it.

The military draft fueled the unrest. Whether or not young men supported the effort in Vietnam, there was a good chance they would have to become a part of it.

Woody was a student of military history and Rosenberg pointed out an irony in his coaching. Wars are won in different ways, but Woody never changed his football strategy.

Wars are fought to acquire territory, he said, but that wasn’t the case in Vietnam. rosenber.picnic.jpg

“Woody probably didn’t understand Vietnam and he didn’t understand the passing game.”

When he talks to fans on either side of the border, he hears the same thing: Woody couldn’t coach today in modern college football; Bo could step right in.

“A lot of people think that Bo and Woody were two peas in a pod,” Rosenberg said. “I discovered they weren’t at all.”

Rosenberg expressed his delight with the Morenci program—the tailgate party, the pre-game show, the spread of food.

“I’ve probably had 25 book signings and talks and I can honestly say that I’ve never had a welcome or a set-up like this.”

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