The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • 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.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.office
    NEW OFFICES—Fayette village administrator Steve Blue speaks with tax administrator Genna Biddix at the new front desk of the village office. Village council members voted to use budgeted renovation funds targeted for the old office and instead buy the vacant bank building on the corner of Main and Fayette streets. The old office was sold to Sherwood State Bank. When everything is put into place in the spacious new village office, an open house will be scheduled. Council member David Wheeler donated all of his time needed to make changes in the bank interior to fit the Village’s needs.

Glenn Stout to speak Thursday 2012.03.21

Written by David Green.

stout.fenwayBy DAVID GREEN

 Don’t let the phrase “sports writer” catch you off base, because there’s much more to author Glenn Stout than that.

True, he’s nationally know for his books and articles about sporting events, but his work—and his interests—go beyond the baseball diamond and the football field.

When Stout visits Morenci’s Stair Public Library at 7 p.m. Thursday, he expects his talk to interest a wide range of readers.

“I think the talk will be of interest to anyone interested in writing, as not all my work is sports related,” he said. “I suppose anyone who is interested in writing, particularly sports writing, and how a person becomes a writer.”

“My journey was sort of accidental,” he added, as a teaser to his talk.

 Stout said he will discuss some of the stories behind the stories told in the books he’s written, along with some information about how some of his books came to be written.

For example, he will recount the oral history he recorded at the site of the World Trade Center cleanup (Nine Months at Ground Zero”), and he will talk about the process by which an idea becomes a book.

The Ohio native began a free-lance writing career in 1986 and made the decision to go full time as a writer in 1993. That wasn’t the easiest choice to make. 

“Looking back now, I can't believe I did it,” he said. “It was definitely the kind of decision you make as a younger person, because I don't think I admitted to myself the possibility that I would fail.”

His decision also came as somewhat of a relief.

“At the time, I was exhausted from essentially both working full time and writing full time and I figured, ‘Well, I'll give this a try and if it doesn’t work after six months or a year, I’ll get another job.’”

He never had to look for that new job.

He’s written, ghostwritten or edited more than 80 books, representing sales of almost three million copies.

Stout continues to edit the annual “Best American Sports Writing” series—a project he got off the ground in 1991—and is the author of the “Good Sports” series for juvenile readers.

After publishing the Boston Globe bestseller “Fenway 1912,” Stout was awarded the 2012 Seymour Medal by the Society for American Baseball Research.

Stout branched off from baseball stories in a big way a few years ago when he wrote about an American teenager who became the first woman to swim the English Channel.

 “I stumbled across the story of Trudy Ederle while researching another book and was surprised that I had never ever heard of her,” he said.

He filed the story away for a few years before deciding there was a book waiting to be written.

“Without her, it would have been another generation before women would have been allowed to compete in sports,” Stout said. “She’s the Jackie Robinson of women’s sports.  It all starts with her.”

Stout says that he isn’t a very good swimmer, but he did spend some time in and on Lake Champlain where he lives. 

“I did try to get inside her head by spending some time in the water when it was colder than comfortable, and a lot of time out by myself kayaking along in poor weather conditions, just to get and understanding of what it feels like to be out on the water, cold and wet, for six or eight hours, completely dependent on you own physical efforts. I can't imagine swimming the Channel myself, but I know my book has inspired others to do so.”

After his visit to the library Thursday, Stout will spend Friday with Morenci high school and middle school students.

He’ll start the day with Heather Walker’s AP English class, then move to the middle school to speak with fifth and sixth grade students. Seventh and eighth graders will get their chance in the afternoon.

Even during lunch Stout will be on the job. He’s going to have a meal with members of Sally Kruger’s writers group.

“I’ll be talking about my career and tying to motivate them about reading and writing by explaining that writing isn’t done by other people but by people just like themselves, and I’ll try to use examples from my own life and career to underscore that point.”

He would be delighted if students gained a greater appreciation for the written word.

“I think reading is transformative, something that can and does change your life,” he said, “no matter what you want to do in the future.”

Stout aims to write a few more books in his future—more material for readers to devour.

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