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.

Judy Johnston: Calandar Girls

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

What Judy (Oxenger) Johnston saw standing behind the dahlias in Mary June Augsberger’s garden wasn’t just a somewhat naughty photo for some friends. She saw the beginning of the Clear Lake Calendar Girls project.

Judy, a former Morenci resident who married her high school sweetheart Gary Johnston, explained that last winter she and some friends watched the movie “Calendar Girls.” It tells the story of some older women who posed naked—but discretely hidden behind flowers—for a fund-raising calendar.p.calendarjudy

One member of the Clear Lake, Ind., group of friends said that they could do the same thing—to raise money for the island.

Ah, the island.

Kasota Island is a mere 1.64-acre piece of land sitting in Clear Lake, but it’s property that lake residents love dearly. It’s threatened by private development and a large fund-raising project is underway to buy the island and preserve it for public use. More than $1.6 million is needed.

The calendar project was put on hold—it was the dead of winter, after all—but one day this summer it all came back to mind.

“A friend asked that I take a picture of her perfectly formed dahlias,” Judy said, “and she being 74 and less inhibited than us younger folk, dropped her top and stood behind the dahlias while I snapped a few shots.”

As soon as Judy previewed some frames on the back of her camera, she knew the calendar girl project was underway.

It was Judy’s turn next. She was as dedicated as anyone in the effort to save the island, so off came her top and another image made for the calendar. She posed seated in her kayak, behind a strategically place oar.

Since then, almost a thousand photos have been taken of more than 75 women—almost all over the age of 50. The photos easily tell how much fun the women had in the endeavor, Judy said.

Hats, life jackets, wakeboards, an oversize watering can—the models employed a variety of props to hide enough bare skin to keep the calendar teasing but tasteful.

The success of the calendar project has gone well beyond expectations. The proof copy alone netted $2,600 at an auction. Almost $38,000 was raised through the initial set of orders which brings the island-saving effort to $921,000.

Judy, a 1972 Morenci High School graduate, works as a registered nurse. Photography is just something for her spare time. She’s still busy with the project, however, as orders continue to flood in from around the tri-state area.

She detects a variety of interests behind the orders—women over 50, land preservationist and skin buffs—but the motivation doesn’t matter to her.

“We are selling calendars,” she said.

• To place an order, contact Johnston by phone (260/495-4427) or by e-mail ([email protected]).

– September 13, 2006 

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016