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.

Randy Scott: Military memorabilia collector

Written by David Green.

By LISA KLOK

Randy Scott needed something new to collect.

He had collected and restored gas pumps for a number of years, but eventually quit because they were too hard to find.

randyscott He then restored a Honda racing motorcycle, which led to an entirely new collection. A man who considered purchasing the bike referred Randy to dealers from the Netherlands who bought mostly Japanese motorcycles and sold them on the European market. Randy then began collecting motorcycles and selling them to the Dutch dealers.

“There used to be really good money in it,” said Randy.

But when the Netherlands’ economy took a hit, Randy decided it was time to get out of the business.

“I wanted to sell my collection, but I wanted to collect something,” Randy said.

That “something” became an extensive military collection five years in the making.

Flags, photographs, swords, canteens, boots, bullet shells and helmets are just a few of the many items occupying a bedroom at Scott’s home in Fayette, but the room doesn’t hold the entire collection.

“I’ve got stuff scattered all over the place,” Randy admitted. “If I die, I don’t know what my family will do. They’ll probably find stuff for years.”

Randy’s collection comes from a number of sources, such as military shows, garage sales and flea markets. Even his job  provides him with the opportunity to scavenge for collectibles.

He works for a company that receives large shipments of miscellaneous brass items they recycle by melting the pieces in furnaces. Randy has uncovered a number of military shell casings in these shipments, including one about a foot tall from the Spanish American War.

Randy also places ads in several local newspapers advertising his interest in military items.

“People will call and say they’re throwing something or other away,” Randy said, adding that it’s amazing what people throw out.

He has also recovered rare finds put out for the trash, like the Civil War era boots he found at a shoe shop that intended to throw the boots out with the garbage.

When a particular collectible is extremely rare or expensive, Randy finds or makes replicas for his collection, such as an impressive bearjaw-handled knife he copied from an original, and a 1940s flight jacket a man from Toledo made for him.

And Randy Scott doesn’t just keep his collection on shelves and hooks. He owns a Willys Jeep that he drives to military shows while dressed in uniform.

“When I drive my jeep I want to look the part, so I always wear the stuff to go with it,” Randy said.

   - Jan. 21, 2004

Randy likes the unusual 

Money can’t buy love and it can’t necessarily buy interesting collectibles, either. In addition to his more traditional pieces, Randy Scott has an appreciation for unique military collectibles that aren’t necessarily valuable.

“I like unusual things you don’t see every day,” Randy said.

Perhaps most fascinating is Randy’s collection of trench art—an art form that began during World War I in periods of inactivity. Soldiers would create art from found objects such as shells and bullets.

Randy explained that although the objects are called trench art, the pieces weren’t necessarily created in the trenches.

“It could’ve been a mechanic or somebody else who was bored,” he said.

According to Randy, vases and ashtrays were very typical pieces of trench art, and he has examples of both, along with other items, including a matchbox and belt buckle. Most impressive in Randy’s collection is an ashtray that features a P-38 airplane made from 30 and 45 caliber bullets suspended over the tray.

Randy also has matchbooks that add a humorous element to the unusual items in his collection. The matches are from World War II and were given to soldiers when they received their liberty card to leave the base. Their purpose was to remind soldiers of the danger of venereal disease.

One of the matchbooks reads, “Even Snafu knows...V.D. can be prevented.”

Randy mentioned he originally had several matchbooks, but took them to a military show where they sold rapidly.

Randy also has silverware from World War II, but they’re not your average utensils. At the base of the fork and knife is a swastika with the initials “A.H.” for Adolf Hitler. Randy told how American troops found the Nazi silverware at Hitler’s residence and divvied up the utensils amongst themselves. 

“I like when there’s a history behind an item,” he said.

And sometimes the history of Randy’s unique pieces hits very close to home.

For example, Randy has the reunion ribbons from a Civil War veteran from Wauseon and a Civil War era bible originally from Fayette.

Regardless of whether the items are of local interest or not, Randy keeps records of the origins and histories of his pieces.

“If you don’t have the history,” he said, “it’s just another piece.”

 

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