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.

Randy Scott: Military memorabilia collector

Written by David Green.


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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