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

  • Snow.2
    FIRST SNOW—Heavy, wet flakes piled deep on tree branches—and windshields—as the area received its first significant snowfall of the season. “Usually it begins with a dusting or two,” said George Isobar, Morenci’s observer for the National Weather Service, “but this time it came with a vengeance.” By the end of the day Saturday, a little over four inches of snow was on the ground. Now comes the thaw with temperatures in the 40s and 50s for three days.
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    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.
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    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.
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2006.05.03 Camping with Jeff and Dolley

Written by David Green.


My best friend, Dolley, won’t shut up about all the play productions he’s involved in.

“Dolley!” I shout over the phone. “I’m lonely! I’m morose! Come visit me! Bring girls!”

“I can’t do it,” he says. “I just can’t do it.”

When he says he “can’t do it,” what he means is he can’t wake up at 9:30 a.m. and drive back to Kalamazoo to make it to play rehearsal at noon. Let us all come together and chide Dolley for being a girly man. Let us also chide him for being involved in plays, which, with the exception of dancing, is the girliest thing in all of history and the imagination.

That is, until two Saturdays ago, when Pat Grover called and asked me to take a role in “Camping with Henry and Tom,” which is coming to the Fayette Opera House this weekend. I sighed.

“I really don’t think I can do it,” I told Pat. I was cleaning my rifles at the time. “You see, I’m very busy. I lift weights three or four times a day. I spend a lot of time souping up old Mustangs. I’m scheduled to kill a moose with my bare hands this coming Tuesday.”

“Please!” she pleaded. “Please!”

“Well,” I said. “Let me check my agenda for today. From noon to dusk I’m occupied. I have to chop down an entire forest. Normally, this would only take me an hour or so, but with gas prices so high, I want to stay economical. So I’m going to use a butter knife.

“I promised a horse farmer I’d help him take some spit and vinegar out of his stallions, so I’m probably going to spend six or seven hours tonight body slamming yearlings. But I’m free between seven and nine. Will that be enough time for me to learn my part?”

“It depends,” she said. “How smart are you?”

“Well, let’s just say this,” I replied. “My biceps are so big that I just split the sleeves on my t-shirt. For the third time today.”

“Ooooh. That is smart,” she said. “So, will you take the part?”

“I guess,” I said. Then I hung up the phone. After about four seconds my internal smoke alarms started going off and I realized what I had just done. I dialed Dolley. “Dolley” I said. “You have to help me. I’m in a play!”

“Stop calling me a girl,” he said.

“I’m not! I’m in a play! You have to help me!”

“For the last time, Jeff, I’m not a girl!” he said.

“Dolley! Listen to me! I. Am. In. A. Play.”

“Are you serious? You’re in a play?” I replied that I was. “You are such a girl!” he said.

After trading salvoes of “No, you’re the girls” for the next 15 minutes, he finally agreed to help me learn how to act. After all, he was the last person I actually appeared on stage with. I remember it like it was five years ago. He was Captain America. I was Captain Pajamas. We went from room to room in my high school. I would burst in the door, screaming, “Forsooth! Is this the end of Captain Pajamas?” Then Dolley would kick me in the back. “Take that, Captain Pajamas!” he’d cry. We’d trade blows for 10 or 15 seconds, then tumble out the door again. On to the next room. Senior pranks are the greatest.

But what’s not the greatest is being in an actual production and not being able to act. Thankfully, it’s my character’s job to suck. More specifically, Henry Ford orders my character to suck fuel from a crashed car.

Ford then offers me carrot mush, president Warren G. Harding berates me, Thomas Edison calls me a nincompoop, and I shoot a deer in the head.

“Getting yelled at and called a nincompoop? I should be able to pull this off well enough,” I thought aloud after reading the script. “Right?”

Wrong. We did our first run through last Thursday for the 10th graders at Delta High School, and I must say it was a sad day for acting. My screw-ups ran the gamut—I forgot parts of my costume, I forgot my lines, I flubbed my lines, I came in before my cue, I ran into props, I broke character, I even messed up shooting the deer. Let’s just say we’re lucky no students were injured during the course of my buffoonery.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “If I wanted to see Jeff mess up, I’d just pick up a copy of the Observer.”

However, I assure you that I won’t mess up come Saturday, which is why you should attend the show. That, and the other actors are all good enough to offset the badness that tends to follow me wherever I go.

Yep. That’s right. They’re that good.

– May 3, 2006

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