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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  • Cheer
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  • Front.ropes
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Jeannine Price: Selling Avon was a colorful career

Written by David Green.


Before women could vote, they could sell Avon.

In 1886, David McConavon-travel nell was selling books door to door. To make more sales, McConnell decided to give women a complimentary vial of perfume with their purchase. McConnell blended the fragrance himself with the help of a local pharmacist.

That’s when he noticed that his customers were more interested in the little fragrance gifts he gave them than in the books themselves. So McConnell, being a business man, decided to market his fragrances instead.

He named his new venture the California Perfume Company and began selling his first product, the Little Dot Perfume Set, which included five fragrances: violet, white rose, heliotrope, lily-of-the-valley and hyacinth.

He also enlisted Mrs. P.F.E. Albee, the first “Avon lady” to help him sell the perfume set door-to-door.

By 1897, McConnell had 12 women selling his line of 18 fragrances. By the turn of the century, the company began expanding its products to include flavorings, extracts, facial powders and creams.

Then, in 1929, the company began running two separate lines. One line was called “Perfection” and included household products, such as cake baking kits and furniture polish. The other line, the cosmetic line, was called “Avon,” which became the new name of the entire company in 1939.

But even with a new name, the company still maintained its approach of selling products door-to-door. The method seemed to work exceptionally well, especially in more rural areas where women had limited access to stores.

And the door-to-door method is still the Avon way. In fact, it’s the method used in close to 150 different countries by Avon today.

Morenci’s Jeannine Price is no stranger to the Avon method. She started selling the cosmetic line door-to-door in the early 1970s and stopped in 1989 when her husband, Bob, retired.

So just what did it mean to be an Avon lady?

For Jeannine, it meant getting a driver’s license. At that time, Morenci was divided into four territories, and each one had its own Avon lady. Jeannine was asked to take over the territory of a woman who was quitting, and to do so, she’d have to be able to drive.

So with her driver’s license under her belt, Jeannine set off to sell her products.

Although most of the job was routine, Jeannine was not without her more interesting moments, especially when it came to pets.

“For some reason I am not a dog lover, but they’d always go to me,” Jeannine said.

She remembers being at a particular house where the owners had a huge dog. The dog had put his bone in her cosmetic suitcase and then proceeded to try to dig his bone out, making a mess in the meantime.

Jeannine also remembers arriving at a house in the summer. Being extremely thirsty, she asked for a drink, which the customer’s husband brought to her. Jeannine drank the beverage rather quickly.

When the husband came back through the room, he asked Jeannine if the drink was strong enough. Unknown to Jeannine, he had given her an alcoholic beverage.

Jeannine also had to keep close track of the schedules of over 100 customers in order to plan her visits rather precisely.

For example, she had a customer who was a huge Happy Days fan. Jeannine was supposed to visit the woman in the evening, but knew she had to get there either before the show started or after it ended, or else the woman wouldn’t pay attention.

Jeannine also knew to plan extra time for some of her customers, like senior citizens who would want to visit.

“For them it was company, somebody to talk to,” she said.

And for Jeannine, she enjoyed the person-to-person interaction as well. She said that some women in other districts would have workers under them and just focused on winning incentive prizes offered by the company.

Although Jeannine never won a trip to the Bahamas or a new car, she has her fair share of Avon winnings scattered throughout her house. She won a leaf blower, vases, jewelry, casserole dishes, canisters, frying pans and several dolls during her days as an Avon representative.

And besides, as Jeannine found out, you don’t have to be the top saleswoman to get a lot of attention at an Avon kick-off party in Paris.

In 1979, Jeannine and Bob were on their biannual trip to Europe when they passed by a new Avon distribution center just outside of Paris. They decided to stop in just to check the place out, when they realized the center was having its grand opening bash.

“We had no idea what was going on,” Jeannine said.

Not realizing the Price’s intent to just have a look around, they were treated to drinks, hors d’oeuvres and a huge dinner by the organizers of the event. The Prices also received perfumes and other little Avon gifts.

The Prices were showered with attention from the French, who kept asking them all kinds of questions. Jeannine said they just went along with it.

“We didn’t know what to tell them,” she said. “We just weren’t expecting that.”

Although Jeannine had her quirkier moments while employed with Avon, she said that most of the time the job was fairly routine, a routine that currently sells a tube of lipstick every three seconds, a routine now shared by almost four million women worldwide, including women in Saudi Arabia, Croatia, Ireland and, yes, even Morenci.

 - March 3, 2004

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