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.skelton.vigil
    MORENCI’S three Skelton brothers were remembered with both tears and laughter last week during a candlelight vigil at Wakefield Park. Several people came out of the crowd to give their recollection of the boys who have now been missing for five years.
  • 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.

Loretta Gorlitz creates Christmas village

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

For most of the year, the Gorlitz house in Seneca is known as Loretta’s Woodenworks. But when the holiday season arrives, it’s a different story. More than half of her living room is converted into a Christmas village—a very large Christmas village.

The project began in a simple enough fashion back in 1993, Loretta says.

“It stated off with just a couple of houses under the Christmas tree,” she said. loretta_front

It grew enough in the next couple of years that she decided to place the model buildings on top of a table. It grew a little more, so she decided to place the growing village on a half sheet of plywood.

“From there, it just grew,” Loretta explained.

Next came a full sheet. And now two sheets.

This year, 11 new buildings were added as the village grew to encompass a four foot by 16 foot area of the front room.

To grow any bigger in length, she’d have to give up the use of the bathroom and bedroom. To go any wider, she would have to remove all the furniture from the room. She already stores several pieces in the garage from about Thanksgiving to the middle of January.

Most of the miniature houses, stores and miscellaneous buildings—even an outhouse—are gifts she receives from friends and family members. She said her children get as excited as she does when they bring over a new purchase.

“I’m so glad I didn’t stick with just one brand,” she said. “It makes it look more like a real city.”

Among the companies creating the collector pieces are Dickens, LaMonde, Toy Town and Victorian. Many of the buildings are lighted through electrical cords hidden under the cotton “snow” of her fantasy countryside. A few are battery operated and have to be switched on when it’s time to show off the village.

Her layout includes an ice skating pond and a toy train and track. One of the new acquisitions is a home with fiber optic lighting that really bursts through in the windows and miniature Christmas decorations.

There’s nothing static about the display because she changes the arrangement every year to create a new design.

Among the dozens of structures, there must be some favorites.

“I don’t think so,” Loretta says. “I love each and every piece.”

So with half the room gone, is this the end of the housing boom in Loretta’s living room?

“Oh, it will keep growing,” she said. “I’ll just have to build up instead of out.”

Loretta will find a way. Look for some new housing in the mountains next Christmas.

    - Dec. 18, 2002

 

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