Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Darryl Morris, a portrait

Darryl Morris, a portrait 06.28.10

Photograph and article by Jake May (Jackson Citizen Patriot)

Darryl Morris might not have had the best of luck in the job market, but he's no quitter.

The Jackson resident worked for almost 14 years at Synchronous Manufacturing, an auto parts manufacturer. As the Detroit Three automakers struggled in 2008, smaller suppliers soon felt the effect.

In this case, it was Morris' job.

"I was hoping to retire from that place. When I got word, it was just devastating," he said. "It was a low blow. All the big companies were losing so many people. It was like a chain reaction. You'd think the little guys would be safe, but no."

After deliberating whether to find a new job or create his own, he decided to start a lawn-care business. He dubbed it Love and Blessings Landscaping, a name he created to show what he does, but more of who he is and what he believes.

Morris, 54, supplies customers with basic lawn-care needs, such as mowing lawns in the spring, summer and fall, and snow removal in the winter. He even takes on bigger jobs such as tree removal.

"My attitude on life is that you just can't give up on yourself because things happen in the world. That's out of our control," he said. "There's more to live for. You have to have a lot of faith, and that's what I carry with me every day."

At a glance ...

Name: Darryl Morris
Age: 54
Family: Sisters Debra Hartman, 55; Darlene Morris, 53; Delvia Williams, 40; Tressa Marshall, 32; two sons, Darryl Robert, 33 and Shanty, 31.
Fun fact: Morris enjoys riding horses, and does so about three times each year.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tax to tan


Jackson resident Ashily Lasky, 24, lays in a tanning bed on Saturday. A provision in the health-care reform bill approved by President Barack Obama in March will apply a new 10 percent tax on indoor tanning for customers. “I might cut back, but I’m still going to tan,” she said.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Baseball: Lugnuts, Dragons, Ryan LaMarre

Lansing Lugnuts 06.25.10

Dayton Dragons second baseman Henry Rodriguez barrels over Lansing Lugnuts outfielder Kenny Wilson as he gets the out after Wilson attempted to steal second base, ending the first inning of Friday's game at Cooley Law School Stadium in Lansing, Mich. The Lansing Lugnuts knocked off the Dayton Dragons 7-6 in 11 innings.

Lansing Lugnuts 06.25.10

Ryan Lamarre 06.25.10

Centerfielder Ryan LaMarre takes a few practice swings with his teammates Friday before the Dayton Dragons take on the Lansing Lugnuts for a three-game series.

Ryan Lamarre 06.25.10

A fan holds a baseball signed by Dayton Dragons centerfielder Ryan LaMarre.

Ryan Lamarre 06.25.10

Centerfielder Ryan LaMarre fist bumps the air as he connects with a fan during warm-up at Cooley Law School Stadium.

Ryan Lamarre 06.25.10

Centerfielder Ryan LaMarre looks up at the scoreboard as he is on deck to bat second in the lineup for the Dayton Dragons in the top of the first inning Friday night against the Lansing Lugnets at Cooley Law School Stadium.

Friday, June 25, 2010

First Lt. Joel Gentz Funeral

Gentz Funeral 01

Judy Gentz bows her head as she holds the flag of her son First Lt. Joel Gentz while standing with his wife Kathryn during the funeral Thursday afternoon outside of St. United Church of Christ. Gentz was killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan on June 9.

Gentz Funeral 06

Pallbearers carry the casket of First Lt. Joel Gentz from St. Paul United Church of Christ after Gentz's funeral service on Thursday afternoon.

Gentz Funeral 07

Chelsea resident Mike Dewaele, 56, waits with flag in hand outside of Thursday morning at St. Paul United Church of Christ. "Soldiers don't start wars, they just do the jobs politicians send them to do," he said. "It's tragic and an unfortunate necessity. My thoughts are with the family and I thank Joel Gentz for his commitment to this fine country."

Gentz Funeral 05

Darrell Sherwood buries his head into his hand as he listens to the funeral service for First Lt. Joel Gentz on Thursday afternoon at St. Paul United Church of Christ after Gentz's funeral service on Thursday afternoon. "He gave his life for all of us to live in freedom," he said. "It's a crying shame more people don't take the time to honor him and others who serve this country."

Gentz Funeral 02

A pair of riflemen shoot off rounds in honor of First Lt. Joel Gentz on Thursday afternoon outside of St. Paul United Church of Christ in Chelsea.

Gentz Funeral 08

Westland resident Dan Newton of the American Legion Riders prays as he solemnly salutes fallen pararescueman Joel Gentz outside of St. Paul United Church of Christ after Gentz's funeral service on Thursday afternoon. "It's very important we don't forget what he has done for this community," he said. "It's his service that gives us our opportunity to have a life. It's truly on honor to be here to show my respects."

Gentz Funeral 04

Jenny Bollinger of Chelsea and her one-year-old son Brendon watch the funeral procession and hearse pass by on E. Middle Street on Thursday morning as they pay their respects to fallen pararescueman First Lt. Joel Gentz. "We have a lot of family in the military, and thankfully my husband served and came back alive and well," she said. "We just want to show our respects and thank him."

Gentz Funeral 09

Nicole Borner, First Lt. Joel Gentz's cousin, embraces Bev Brecker outside of St. Paul United Church of Christ after Gentz's funeral service on Thursday afternoon.

Gentz Funeral 10

Manchester resident Harry Pendergrass of the Chelsea VFW stands somberly as he holds flags Thursday morning on East Middle Street in Chelsea for the funeral procession of First Lt. Joel Gentz. "It's an honor. Our motto is to honor the dead by serving the living," he said. "The family gets our full support."

I was given the opportunity to cover the funeral of a fallen soldier with fellow Citizen Patriot photojournalist Nick Dentamaro. It was quite the morning. My heart is with the family and friends who knew First Lt. Joel Gentz.

We combined efforts, along with Cit Pat reporter Aaron Aupperlee on audio, to make a multimedia piece as well. Click here to view the multimedia piece.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Sleeping cyclist


Indiana resident Atlee Miller, 74, takes a nap Wednesday evening outside of the Grass Lake High School gymnasium after completing a 45-mile bicycle ride alongside about 800 other participants in the Pedal Across Lower Michigan bicycle tour. The tour started in South Bend, Indiana on Monday, and Miller has already ridden about 143 miles on his third tour. "Rest is important to keep up my energy during the rides," he said. "This bicycle tour keeps me in shape, gives me a sense of accomplishment and heck, it's kind of like being a kid again."

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Hair curling

06.23.10_Elks Campgrounds

Fanny Buckley stands between her bedroom and living room with just enough space at the sink to do her hair in her motor home on Wednesday morning at the Elks Campground. Buckley was getting ready to visit her mother, who lives at Jackson County Medical Care. "She seems to be doing well," she said. "Sometimes, I'll go in there and she won't know who I am, but she recognized me today."

Monday, June 21, 2010

Couple recieves ramp, a portrait


John and Betty Blackburn of Munith hold hands while relaxing in each other's company on their porch while members of the Stockbridge American Legion build the couple a new wheelchair access ramp Saturday at their home. John and Betty, both in their 70s, were diagnosed with cancer within the last two months, and mobility has become a problem. "It's just amazing what they are doing for us," she said. "We don't even know these people. It's overwhelming to me, the amount of labor they must put in. It makes me so happy, I can't help but smile."

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Juneteenth kiss

06.19.10_Juneteenth B&W

06.19.10_Juneteenth Color

Jackson resident Shanna Porter kisses her nine-year-old son Christian's head while praying for the health and well being of her and her family during the Juneteenth Music Festival on Saturday at Riverwalk Amphitheater on the CMS Energy campus in downtown Jackson. "Me and my son have been getting our praise on since 10 a.m. at church this morning," she said. "Before today, I never knew anything about Juneteenth, but I will tell you I love it. I'd rather be no other place then where I am sitting right now."

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Carp Carnival

Carp Carnival_01 06.18.10

Emily Hawkins of Jackson, left, screams as a ride begins to sweep through the air from side to side as her friends Kaelyn O'Neill, Mercedes McGonegal and Marley Hines laugh at her overreaction to the ride on Friday afternoon at the Carp Carnival in Michigan Center. "It was awesome. OK. I am a little bit scared of heights, and I couldn't breathe, but it was fun," she said laughing after riding twice.

Carp Carnival_02 06.18.10 2

A carnival-goer attempts a handstand inside of the fun house exit Friday afternoon at the Carp Carnival in Michigan Center.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Dribble days

Perfecting dribbling

Nine-year-old Tashari Hale of Jackson dribbles a basketball between her legs trying to perfect her skills on Thursday afternoon in her driveway.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Fallen tree onto car accident

06.17.10_Tree Down

Police and firemen look on as service man Scott Whaley secures downed power lines at about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday at the scene of a one car accident after a dead tree limb fell onto the vehicle's hood, disabling the car. The driver was not injured, but the vehicle was unable to drive and had to be towed.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Teacher retirement


Retiring teacher Maggie Couling throws her fists into the air as Principal Dan Brooks stands back after explaining Couling was the most likely retiree to win the lottery. Couling, who has taught for 35 years, is retiring alongside 11 other instructors and staff from R.W. Kidder Middle School.


Retiring teacher Barb DeCan, second from left, looks back smiling with Diane Hudson, far left, Marge Idziak and Linda Whitney as they line up in front of the R.W. Kidder Middle School faculty and staff during their retirement luncheon. Twelve instructors and staff members are retiring from the school this year. "It's tough. They're like my family," said Prinicpal Dan Brooks.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Police standoff


A Jackson policeman watches 738 Griswold Street from behind a stone pillar on Wednesday night as a man barricaded himself in the second story of an apartment. He made threats that he was going to kill himself and others with a gun, but when police searched the apartment, no guns were found. The standoff started at about 9:45 p.m. and last approximately three hours. Nobody was injured and the man was taken into custody. The man's name is yet to be released by the Jackson Police Department.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Grass Lake Rollover

Rollover 06.06.10

Grass Lake Police Chief Greg Jones walks on the scene of a one car accident as one of two passengers involved is carried off by a U-M survival flight helicopter at the intersection of Bohne and Kalmbach roads on Sunday afternoon in Grass Lake. Cody and Dylan Radabaugh were injured when their red Chevrolet Cavalier lost control and rolled into a stand of trees at the intersection.

Sand trap

06.06.10 Golf

Kris Bradshaw chips the ball out of the bunker on Sunday morning at Arbor Hills Golf Club during the Jackson Masters golf tournament.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Baseball brawl eliminates both Homer, Concord from district title game


Coaches, players and an umpire attempt to break up a fight between Homer's Mitch Pease and Concord's Mike Kaplinski, center, as more players run from the bench to join their teammates. The fight resulted in both teams forfeiting the Division 4 district championship game.


An umpire attempts to separate Homer's Mitch Pease, left, whose arms are wrapped around the head of Concord's Mike Kaplinski at the beginning of a fight at third base. Both benches nearly cleared out to join their teammates, resulting in both teams forfeiting the Division 4 district championship game.


Homer third baseman James Salow barrels over Concord catcher David Rett who successfully caught the ball at home plate to tag Salow out on the play. Concord led 1-0 in the top of the third inning before the game was postponed because of a fight. Both teams were disqualified from competition, each forfeiting the championship title game.


After a successful out at second, Homer's Brooks Bowser throws the ball to first base to attempt a double play.


Concord Coach John Ropp leans against the dugout gate to inform his players that the team would forfeit the Division 4 district title game alongside their opponents for their actions during a fight in the top of the third inning on Saturday afternoon at Concord High School.


Concord Coach John Ropp stands somberly at the first baseline after informing his players that his team would forfeit the Division 4 district title game alongside their opponents for their actions during a fight in the top of the third inning on Saturday afternoon at Concord High School.

Soccer: The agony of defeat


Teammates watch from the bench as Springport forward Devin Underhill screams in agony after being knocked down hard with eight minutes left in the game. Underhill was taken out of the game, but brought back in within the last four minutes. Springport lost the Division 4 soccer district championship game to Dansville 1-0 on Friday evening at Jackson Christian High School."It's dissapointing. I wanted to win," she said. "It was a good game, a heartfelt game. We haven't been able to beat Dansville for four years, but know that we never gave up in this game."


Springport forward Devin Underhill burries her head into her jersey as she cries after Springport lost the Division 4 soccer district championship game to Dansville 1-0 on Friday evening at Jackson Christian High School.


Springport senior Reba Patterson, right, cries in the arms of teammate and sister Julie Patterson after Springport lost the Division 4 soccer district championship game to Dansville 1-0 on Friday at Jackson Christian High School. "Losing. It's a heartbreak," Reba Patterson said. "We've been working so hard, and it's going to be so hard to move on after this game. ... Some of us don't get to go on and play anymore."


Springport senior Reba Patterson laughs in the arms of teammate and sister Julie Patterson who attempts to pick her up and carry her on the field to cheer her up after Springport lost the Division 4 soccer district championship game to Dansville 1-0 on Friday at Jackson Christian High School.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Fires, fires and more fires

Two separate fires, only two days apart.

Lightning Fire 05.31.10

A firefighter laughs while standing on the roof of a home at 7254 Concerto Court in Spring Arbor as water splashes up at him while they shovel dirt and pry of siding from the house. Fire officials said a lightning strike through the roof into the attic started the fire.

Garage Fire 05.29.10

Neighbors Ed Grzesek, left, and Alice and Richard Jarosz peer over the fence next door as two firefighters tear apart the siding on the back of the 744 Ellery Avenue home after a garage and vehicle caught fire Saturday evening in the backyard.

Memorial Day


Sgt. First Class Todd Vaive stands outside of the Spring Arbor Township office building as he lays his hands on his nine-year-old son Caleb's shoulders peering into the sky in hopes that it will clear for the Memorial Day parade on Monday afternoon in Spring Arbor. Vaive, who returned home from Afghanistan 13 weeks ago after an 18-month tour of duty, was named grand marshal of the parade, which was canceled because of rain. "We celebrate this day because of every person who fights for us, dies for us and some that come back," said Caleb Vaive.


Rev. Charles Waters of Jackson frowns while saluting other veterans who pass by on the parade route while commemorating the lives of lost soldiers on Memorial Day in front of Mount Evergreen Cemetery in Jackson. "It is important to remember those who died for our freedom," he said, wearing a Civil War uniform to honor a relative who fought for the Union.


Tiger Scout Dwayne Lewis, Jr. of Jackson, 6, amuses himself by sticking his tongue to his nose while waiting to march down S. Jackson Street on Monday downtown for the Memorial Day parade. "We do it because the veterans saved our country," he said.