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

  • Front.sculpt
    SKEWERS, gumdrops, and marshmallows are all that’s needed to create interesting shapes and designs for Layla McDowell Saturday at Stair District Library’s “Sculptamania!” Open House. The program featuring design games and materials is one part of a larger project funded by a $7,500 Curiosity Creates grant from Disney and the American Library Association. Additional photos are on page 7.
    Morenci marching band members took to the field Friday night dressed for Halloween during the Bulldog’s first playoff game. Morenci fans had a bit of a scare until the fourth quarter when the Bulldogs scored 30 points to leave Lenawee Christian School behind. Whiteford visits Morenci this Friday for the district championship game. From the left is Clayton Borton, Morgan Merillat and James O’Brien.
    DNA PUZZLE—Mitchell Storrs and Wyatt Mohr tackle a puzzle representing the structure of DNA. There’s only one correct way for all the pieces to fit. It’s one of the new materials that can be used in both biology and chemistry classes, said teacher Loretta Cox.
  • Front.tar.wide
    A TRAFFIC control worker stands in the middle of Morenci’s Main Street Tuesday morning, waiting for the next flow of vehicles to be let through from the west. The dusty gravel surface was sealed with a layer of tar, leaving only the application of paint for new striping. The project was completed in conjunction with county road commission work west of Morenci.
  • Front.pull
    JUNIORS Jazmin Smith and Trevor Corkle struggle against a team from the sophomore class Friday during the annual tug of war at the Homecoming Games pep rally. Even the seniors struggled against the sophomores who won the competition. At the main course of the day, the Bulldog football team struggled against Whiteford in a homecoming loss.
    YOUNG soccer players surived a chilly morning Saturday in Morenci’s PTO league. From the left is Emma Cordts, Wayne Corser, Carter and Levi Seitz, Briella York and Drew Joughin. Two more weeks of soccer remain for this season.
  • Front.ropes
    BOWEN BAUMGARTNER of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge constructed by the Tecumseh Boy Scout troop Sunday at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The bridge was one of many challenges, displays and games set up for the annual Youth Jamboree by the Michigan DNR. Additional photos on are the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.homecoming Court
    One of four senior candidates will be crowned the fall homecoming queen during half-time of this week’s Morenci-Whiteford football game. In the back row (left to right) is exchange student Kinga Vidor (her escort will be Caylob Alcock), seniors Alli VanBrandt (escorted by Sam Cool), Larissa Elliott (escorted by Clayton Borton), Samantha Wright (escorted by JJ Elarton) and Justis McCowan (escorted by Austin Gilson), and exchange student Rebecca Rosenberger (escorted by Garrett Smith). Front row freshman court member Allie Kaiser (escorted by Anthony Thomas), sophomore Marlee Blaker (escorted by Nate Elarton) and junior Cheyenne Stone (escorted by Dominick Sell).
  • Front.park.lights
    GETTING READY—Jerad Gleckler pounds nails to secure a string of holiday lights on the side of the Wakefield Park concession stand while other members of the Volunteer Club and others hold them in place. The volunteers showed up Sunday afternoon to string lights at the park. The decorating project will continue this Sunday. Denise Walsh is in charge of the effort this year.

Author Steve Amick visits library

Written by David Green.

steve-amick By DAVID GREEN

Ann Arbor author Steve Amick never wanted to write about his home state of Michigan. Too commonplace, he figured. But his first published novel that’s gaining wide acclaim is nothing but Michigan—page after page of Wolverine State details that residents recognize and savor.

“I used to keep Michigan out of my writing intentionally because I thought it was so pedestrian. Everybody’s doing that,” he told a crowd Thursday night at Morenci’s Stair Public Library Annex.

“But when the manuscript started getting passed around New York City, they said, ‘It’s so exotic.’”

That surprised Amick, but he was delighted.

“I’d been writing every day and not making any money off it. I’ve written a lot of novels that never saw the light of day. I might be working on three of them now.”

The one that finally made it—“The Lake, the River and the Other Lake”—was just written for fun, he said. After all, who would want to read about life in a small resort town on Lake Michigan?

Lots of people, apparently, and not only those who know the joys of summer days Up North. Critics from across the nation have responded very favorably to Amick’s story.

One member of the Morenci audience told Amick that she really enjoyed the development of his characters.

“There were so many of them,” she said, “and they all seem like people we know. Were they based on people you know?”

Absolutely not, Amick answered, although recollections of people he’s known seep into his mind. Only one incident in the book—a property line dispute—bore any semblance to  an actual event of his past, and the people involved.

Amick spoke about the importance of telling his characters’ stories, of how it broadens his perspective of personalities different from his own.

“I really tried to walk around in other people’s shoes,” he said, “to look at others’ points of view. As a novelist, it gives you the opportunity to really listen to other people. Writing about these people forces me to try to empathize.”

Amick was questioned about a segment of the novel that causes many readers to react with disgust. He was asked why the passage was even included.

“I can’t stress enough that I wasn’t driving this train,” he said. “All I did was report what happened in my brain.”

He said he can’t really take credit for  making it happen.

Amick said he knows that writers sometimes get into a state of mind where the words just come pouring out.

“I’ve heard about it happening,” he said, “but I’ve never experienced it like that before. I got up from the table and I was surprised myself. It’s really a right brain thing.”

Amick spoke about the excitement and trepidation of the novel becoming a movie. He really hopes the filming takes place in Michigan.

If not, he at least wants the producers to visit the state. It’s important for them to see what Michigan looks like. A sunset over Oregon, for example, doesn’t look like a sunset over Lake Michigan.

The novel, with the big lake to the west and a smaller inland lake nearby, pretty well fits the territory around Manistee, he said, although his fictional community has none of the physical characteristics of Manistee.

He’s excited about showing the world the beauties of Michigan’s Up North, but that prospect also causes some concern. It’s like the urge to keep silent about a secluded beach.

“Part of me wants to hide it from everyone,” Amick said.

“Are you moving to Hollywood?” an audience member asked.

No chance, he answered.

“I’ve lived in Los Angeles and I hated it.”

• Amick’s novel is one of 20 books chosen as the Library of Michigan’s 2006 Michigan Notable Books. His visit to Morenci and other libraries in the state is sponsored by the Library of Michigan Foundation, the Michigan Humanities Council and several other organizations and businesses.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2015