By COLLEEN LEDDY
I am not a supportive wife, especially when it comes to the Observer. Oh, I work ungodly hours on a Monday night, proofreading and laying out pages and writing the occasional story or column. And I handle the payroll and tax reporting and pay the bills. But when it comes to the really important stuff, I’ve not kept up my part of the marriage promise. Although...was agreeing to be a “yes man” part of the vows? If not, then I’m off the hook. I don’t really recall “I promise to keep quiet when I disagree” being part of the bargain.
Seems like society expects it, though—the “stand by your man” mentality. You’ve heard it said, I’m sure, “Behind every great man, there’s a great woman.” Poor David. That’s not true in his case. His greatness is all his own. I’m more likely to be described by the quote attributed to Jim Carrey, "Behind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes." I’m the one Jesus had in mind when he said, “O, ye of little faith.”
I think David knew what he was getting himself into right from the start. But on the cusp of our 25th year of marriage, as I take stock of our union and business, I’m feeling a little sheepish.
I recall one of David’s finest moments in journalism, the April 1, 1987 issue of the Observer when he wrote a fake story about Morenci being part of Ohio. He did some of that research during a family visit to the old Stair Public Library building. Ben was four and a half, Rozee was not quite a year old and they were both uncharacteristically running wild in the small quarters. I was ready to leave and I wanted David to get a move on. I remember walking up the steps to the reference section and urging him to hurry up. I thought he was spending too much time on a story that was boring as all get out. I didn’t take Michigan history in fourth grade. I was in New York City—in heaven with a new set of vibrant magic markers Mrs. Conrath’s husband was able to purchase for her students at a discount. I knew diddley about the Toledo War and a strip of land in exchange for the Upper Peninsula.
No one is going to care, I told him. It isn’t even funny.
Boy, was I ever wrong. That story is still the most talked about article ever, nearly 20 years later.
I thought his idea to ditch the broadsheet and embrace the tabloid size paper was a big mistake. That version seemed too much like the sensational blaring headline papers of my youth in New York. I missed By the Way on the front page. It didn’t seem like a “real” paper. But the move to tabloid saved the business. Likewise, I was weak-kneed at the idea of switching to paid subscription from free circulation and from private delivery to the U.S. mail. But those, too, panned out.
I’m hoping I can soon say the same about the “State Line Observer.” I still haven’t accepted that move and I grumble and mumble when it seems Fayette content is more than Morenci’s. Oh, every now and then I concede that Fayette does something or other better than Morenci and we can learn from them (their library has some great programs, for example), but most of the time I am thinking things like, why didn’t he take photos of Morenci’s T-ball kids? Sure, that was an excellent page of photos, capturing the essence of five-year-olds and the sport of baseball, but why Fayette kids?
And for weeks, he was working on developing statelineobserver.com and I never even went to the site. He’d mention something and I didn’t have a clue what he was talking about. Heck, he’s been working on it for months, I see as I click backward in time to read his postings.
Now that I’ve looked it over, I must say, this is the coolest thing. Sure, you can get news on the site. But it’s the blog that makes this site special. The breadth of subjects that pique his interest, the humor, the concern for the environment, it’s a pretty complete look at the complex man I married. It’s like a daily letter from David, and just like the days before we were married, when I looked forward to a letter bearing the Morenci postmark, there’s always something interesting or funny or quirky in his postings. You never know what you’re going to get.
It’s a dose of David Green every day.
Sure to cure what ails you.– June 28, 2006