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.

2006.04.12 Letting the clowns out

Written by David Green.

By COLLEEN LEDDY

When my daughter Maddie and I returned from last week’s trip to New York, my husband asked if I did anything new. We had talked every day, but our conversations were always rushed or cut off when the train went underground, so he hadn’t heard all the details of our travels.

I paused before answering, thinking about the places we’d gone.

“The United Nations?” he suggested.

“Yeah, but that wasn’t really new,” I said. “I went there in fifth grade with my class.”

It was a horrible experience. I was Mr. Grossman’s star pupil in fifth grade. In a class of all the rejects—kids who weren’t good enough for band, orchestra or chorus—I stood out. Generally, at P.S. 102 in the Bronx, kids who weren’t musically adept weren’t hitting so high on the academic scale either. But, even though I couldn’t carry a tune and had no rhythm, I was pretty smart—at least in comparison to my peers.

So when our class went to the United Nations on a field trip and the tour guide asked questions as we stood in front of the swinging pendulum, Mr. Grossman was counting on me. And I didn’t remember a thing he’d taught us about that pendulum. I could tell Mr. Grossman was disappointed in me. It was one of those major moments in life, one that had such a profound impact I had no desire to enter the UN building ever again.

I still don’t know anything about that pendulum, but I did learn some new family information and experience a few new things on this trip to New York.

We stayed with my friend Adrienne who lives north of the city along the Hudson River in Tarrytown, in a little enclave called Sleepy Hollow Gardens. It’s comprised of dozens of apartments in three story buildings sprinkled around the grassy compound. There’s lots of parking in front of the buildings—if you can find it. Spaces aren’t assigned—it’s just a first come, first parked arrangement. During the day, there are several empty spots. But at night when people come home from work, everything fills up fast. When we arrived Monday night around 10 p.m. Adrienne guided us by phone to her apartment building and as we got closer, she told us to snap up the first spot we saw.

When I saw an open spot and then said, “Oh, there’s a dumpster there,” she told us to grab it. It’s OK to park in front of a dumpster except for the days garbage is picked up. We unloaded some of our stuff in the rain and later I went back by myself for more. As I approached the car, I noticed a man standing by his car directly across the street from mine. I was a little wary because he seemed to be watching me intently. As I put the key in the lock, he said, “You going out?”

I was momentarily confused. Going out with whom? Going out where? Why would he care? Then I remembered a book I read a few years ago, “Tepper Isn’t Going Out” by Calvin Trillin, about a man who cruises around New York, finds a parking spot and just sits there, reading the paper until the meter runs out. I realized the guy, parked illegally, only wanted to know if I would be vacating my parking spot. New experience: I felt like a character in a book.

And then there was all the new information I learned, most of it while eating dinner with Aunt Mary and Uncle Ronnie.

• Aunt Mary didn’t graduate from high school. She never went back for her diploma and never got a GED. She’s smart and perceptive and could easily be a psychologist or psychiatrist—she can figure people out so well and always has good advice.

• Uncle Ronnie’s mother was Jewish. Uncle Ronnie’s last name is Muscarella and he looks, talks and acts 100 percent Italian. He’s the guy famous for his malapropisms, the best of which he recounted when he was talking about his Jewish mother. He was in the doctor’s office and the doctor, checking his family history of diseases, asked how his mother died.

“She died of a cerebral hemorrhoid,” Ronnie answered.

• My grandfather jumped ship to stay in the United States. I had mentioned to Aunt Mary that we hoped to go to Ellis Island while in New York.

“Well, I don’t think you’ll find your granddaddy there,” she said.

Apparently, my grandfather left England by working on a ship. When they docked in New York, he never got back on the ship. A regular illegal alien.

• My niece Vicky, who will be 21 in August, is afraid of clowns.

“People say I have to face my fears so I go to the circus once a year,” she said.

It doesn’t help. She still gets pale and feels faint when the clowns come out.

I can empathize—that’s about how I felt when I saw that pendulum again.

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