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.

Roger Hart: Publishes Grand Prix book of photos

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Grand Prix, Formula 1, Cheever, Andretti, Senna, Rosberg, Newman—words that just don’t belong with another word: Detroit.

But all of that fit together for seven wonderful years—wonderful for area race fans, not so much for those who worked in downtown Detroit—when the Motor City was a stop on the Grand Prix racing circuit.

hart.talkingMorenci native Roger Hart witnessed the event each year from 1982 to 1988, working as an Associated Press (AP) photographer. Three years ago he started sorting through about 4,000 frames of film to create a book titled “Postcards from Detroit: Remembering Formula I in the Motor City.”

Detroit became a Formula 1 stop in the 1980s through an effort to revitalize the motor capital during an era similar to conditions now. With a downturn in the domestic automotive industry, rising gasoline prices, increasing competition from Japanese car makers and an economic recession, Detroit needed a boost to show it was a world-class city capable of staging a world-class event.

It was a good idea, Hart says in the introduction to his book, but logistical problems soon became obvious in running the 2.5 mile course through downtown Detroit’s busy, bumpy streets.

In the end, the premiere race was a success and six more followed before Formula 1 left the city for good.

Racing photographer

Hart recounts how his entry into race car photography began a year earlier than the first Detroit event when he was fresh out of Central Michigan University and working for the Tuscola County Advertiser in Caro.

He was invited to join an AP crew for the Michigan 500 CART race at Michigan International Speedway and as a rookie, was given one of the less glamorous jobs. Luck was on his side. The event was rained out, and when it ran a week later, several other free-lance photographers couldn’t attend, so he was moved to a prime location.

He got a shot of a safety worker dousing driver Herm Johnson with water when a pit fire broke out and the photo was published widely in daily newspapers across the country.

With that photo he became known as a “racing photographer” and he landed a good job at the first Detroit Renaissance Grand Prix the next summer.

Creating a book

In his current job as managing editor of AutoWeek magazine, Hart sees a lot of motorsports books and many of them focus on events from the past. The work of David Bull Publishing of Phoenix, Ariz., has impressed him over and over.

The possibility of a book about Detroit’s races was in the back of his mind when he bought a film scanner and began looking through negatives he hadn’t seen in 20 years.

“Most of them were stored in the original film envelopes that I had turned in to the AP for processing,” Hart said, and they included notes made at the time of shooting.

hart.hand He made prints of a few favorites and showed them to some photographer friends. They told him he had a book in the making and Hart was finally convinced.

He contacted the publisher, they talked about how it might come together and a contract was signed.

“The first three years I shot everything in black and white,” Hart said. “The last four years were in color, but I convinced David to print the book all in black and white. I love black and white photography.”

Hart’s book includes several photos of race action, but the bulk of the photos he selected are of the drivers, their crew members and a variety of other personalities.

“To me, it’s always been the people who are interesting at races,” Hart said.

Besides, that’s the sort of shot AP was after and Hart’s goal was to have photos published.

He found it easy to go beyond the racing action. He learned in college that when you cover something, treat it like an event and look at every aspect.

“It’s not just a race,” he said, “it’s everything that goes on at a race.”

Focusing on “everything” came with a qualification, however. The AP wanted tightly cropped, clean photos without a lot of background distractions. Hart likes the tight crops, himself, but now he sees what’s missing from many of his photos.

“Now I wish I would have widened it out a little and gotten more into the frame,” he said.

Banners, buildings, clothing, glasses, photographer’s equipment—there are a lot of details that weren’t preserved.

Detroit’s Grand Prix era is but 20 years in the past, but already it’s become history.

   - Oct. 25, 2006 

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