GSC's Music Dept., Mr. & Mrs. I.L. “Ike” Morris for a wonderful first-ever Labor Day Concert here
All was joyful, comforting, and COVID-19 safe at last Sat. evening, Sept. 5th's “Glenville Summer Swing” Concert at the newly opened inaugural public event at the Sue Morris Sports Complex's amphitheater.
The evening performance was put on by the Glenville State College Big Band and Jazz Band to the delight of about 300 attendees. People brought their own chairs to relax in, as they tapped their feet, clapped their hands, moved from side-to-side and smiling, while enjoying the easy going music.
It was certainly a delightful break and holiday weekend evening of entertainment that helped the general population get back that normal feeling in these tense, trying and stay-at-home (or protest) pandemic times.
Hence, the Sue Morris Sports Complex is becoming much more than a baseball and softball sports center for the Eastern U.S.A., but also an entertainment venue that can feature our talented Glenville State College individual musicians, bands, and other groups in the future.
In addition, the amphitheater area in front of the stage offers an ideal place for dancing, which would be a real asset to our high school and college students, who do not presently have enough of that good, wholesome socializing activity, or a Teen or College Nite Center, with student Disc Jockeys. Also, in the wide, open outside, it is a safer and more healthful place to exercise than in an enclosed, hot smaller room, where germs thrive.
How much did our community need such a place to seek one's local entertainment on a planned basis, so how can we thank Mr. and Mrs. I.L. “Ike” Morris for their foresight, generosity, and ability to get things done for our community and economic advancement of Gilmer County?
Therefore, we have to give a big “Thank You” to Ike and Sue Morris for sparking our Labor Day's patriotic fervor with opening their facility to the public and GSC's Music Dept. Chair/Jazz Band Director Dr. Jason Barr and Big Band Director Dr. Lloyd Bone to play great music that night!
This evening of entertainment was just one example of how the City of Glenville and County of Gilmer keeps on moving ahead and excelling to the delight of all! And, yes, we editors think that the city is moving ever little bit closer to making us an Utopian community, whereby there is beginning to be something for everyone to excel in or enjoy here!
David H. Corcoran, Sr., Publisher-Sr. Editor
Keep 'um flying high:
Patriot Day this Fri.!
One of our National Holidays is not a close down American business day occurrence, but just a day of prayerful remembrance and commemoration for those who died in the evil Al-Kaida act to destroy our nation's premier institutions on 9-11-2001 and to kill defenseless runners in the Boston Marathon. A day, also, to keep your Labor Day Week Flags flying proudly!
As all know, approximately 3,000 people lost their lives in the aircraft attack on the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York. What needs added to that are the dozens of First Responders and area residents who, upon inhaling the debris's fumes, have lost their lives since then, due to cancer. This whole episode is very sad and one at the time a Glenville resident/GSC administrator, had a step mother to die in that raging, flaming inferno- very terrible and sorrowful it was for the daughter living here.
Also, several government employees lost their lives in the same day attack on the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., along with about 90 in a jet crash in southwestern Pennsylvania, after the passengers made a heroic last ditch, “Let's role” thrust to overcome the terroristic air pirates. These brave passengers, along with hundreds of First Responders, were among the true heroes on that day and should be remembered in prayer on Patriot Day!
Although the United States Congress has never declared it a National Holiday, like Presidents Day or Labor Day, Patriot Day is certainly just as important, especially in remembering those victims of the 9/11 Tragedy, the Boston Marathon Bombing, among other sobering terroristic events in the United States in recent years. It also opens another avenue for teaching “patriotism” to the youngsters in our schools and the importance of being always prepared to defend our country in military service or as a common, everyday, but alert to a potential danger citizen of these United States. A good citizen!
About all of our American ways of life changed with 9/11, because now we find it more difficult to travel in the air, to shop in some stores with more security, and to go to school ... easily and safely. So, although we have to be more protected today, we can still strive to stand high with our Shield of Honor, that being integrity, goodness, fair-mindedness, industriousness, and love for our country as good citizens! DHC, Sr.
It's Nat'l Grandparents Day
Yes truly, Happy National Grandparents Day to all of US Grandparents- the first time this Sr. Editor has been able to say that. It's a very nice feeling to have a grandchild or more! And, mine, Solomon Oran Corcoran, came just in the nick of time- in August- for me to celebrate Grandparents Day.
Arriving in the Mountain State some 50 years ago and with only one child of my own, being a Grandparent was the furthest thing in my thoughts. That changed as I kept reading in the West Virginia Hillbilly's Editor Jim Comstock's news and editorials about the growing statewide campaign to have a “National Grandparents Day” proclaimed by the U.S. Congress.
Editor Comstock told of the continuing valiant efforts of Oak Hill's Marian Lucille Herndon McQuade and her husband, Joseph L. McQuade, to have a day of honor set aside the Sunday after Labor Day just to tell grandparents that they are appreciated. It's not a day meant to commercialize in any way, but merely for parents and their children to say, “Thank you,” for all of the tender care, helpfulness, and love extended to their grandchildren by these designated family elders. Too often, grandparents haven't been recognized or thanked for the sacrifices that they make for their kids and grandkids, so this national day of observance fills that void!
The Forget-me-not flowers, as beautiful as they be, are also the main theme for Grandparents Day. Those flowers should remind adult parents of the wisdom their children can learn from grandparents.
Historically, the U.S. Congress bought into the McQuade's long needed idea and the National Grandparents Day Act was passed and signed into law by President Jimmy Carter.
From the heart, Happy Grandparents Day Sunday! DHC, Sr.
Who are the “laboring people” of the Mountain State?
The answer is: us!
Yes, each one of us, or thereabouts, has had to work for a living, and in all cases, to work hard to provide for ourselves and our families.
It can be either difficult or pleasant, but we have to do it, if we want ourselves and our families to progress. This Sr. Editor suspects that every generation of parents wants it to be better and easier for their descendents. At least, so it is for me ... and my father born before me ... and my grandfather, before him! As a result of this family history and encouragement, I feel good- as a parent- that I was able to provide a good college education for each one of my three children, with two earning Master's Degrees on their own- I suspect to make it easier on old Dad's wallet. At the same time, I am always pleased to help out my young people, as you are of yours. Indeed, whatever we put into their educations comes back in dividends to them and their families and to society.
All of the above aspects of achieving the “American Dream” for my family is due to my being a laboring man!
Now the question is: “Do you like your work or not?”
I've been told by my high school classmates that only four-or-five in our class actually liked to work, while the rest hung onto jobs to get their retirement plans to benefit them.
I would have hated to go to work without the thought of enjoying it. Also, I enjoy writing to you fine readers and doing my part to help the college and community to advance. My suggestions- generally based on my knowledge of what worked in our historic past- is almost always snubbed by the county's officialdom, but that's life. As the old adage goes, “you can lead the horse to water, but you can't make him drink!” Be assured, though, that my thoughts, actions, and dreams are in the best interests of most Gilmer Countians! I'm just trying to do what most editors should do ... to be a local leader for the good!
Moving onto the working arena
For everyone who doesn't see the positive aspects of their jobs, or hates to work, just think back in West Virginia's history when if you didn't work, you'd die!
All of the earliest Mountain State residents found that to be true!
As I referred to a few weeks ago, Moundsville holds many interesting facts, even besides “Old Sparky” (the Electric Chair) in the State Prison ... and all of its ghosts. Perhaps some of those modern day spirits behind bars are visitors from over in the Grave Creek Indian Mound. That wouldn't surprise me because the Native Americans back in their day lived by a lot of superstitions and signs in nature.
The tribe that lived all around and at the mound, the largest one in West Virginia, were of the Adena Civilization, that flourished, if you can call it that, from approximately 400 B.C. to 100 A.D. These native Americans constructed the mound from earth, wooden scrapes, and any other useless materials that they could find. And like the Adena's South Charleston Mound, it is flat at the top, in order to get closer to the Sun and Moon Gods or any other celestial spirits who their well-being they invoked during religious ceremonies. Unlike the pyramids in Egypt which were used for the pharaohs' burials, the Adena Mounds were mostly for religious purposes, although the bones of very huge men have been found in both of these mounds. The ceremonial clothes they were buried in, suggests that they were great chiefs and leaders of their civilizations.
But back to the common folks who constructed the mounds for many years, often taking two or three generations of laborers to do so. Now such construction of the 80-to-100 ft. high earthen mounds was a backbreaking job, but did these Native Americans enjoy it?
To answer that, take a look at their daily lives without all of the modern conveniences of electricity, running water, sanitary services, law enforcement, fire protection, and the rest, like “googling” for answers to their questions about construction, good healthy diets, beneficial exercise and habits, etc.
Their daily life was rather routine because they went to work every day- they had to or the alternative, to die!
The men went out to hunt deer, elk, raccoons, rabbits, squirrels, etc. in the forests or to spear fish in the Ohio River or its nearby tributary streams. Most importantly, they had to work at this until they got their daily food or the family would starve! How would you like that kind of pressure?
The women stayed at home to care for the children or to hunt for berries in the forests. Also, they prepared the meal tables, which was generally the flat ground in their huts. Their homes were circular, constructed of trees the men had to fell and erect upright. The roofs were conical and made of evergreen branches or any other covering that would keep the rain and snow out.
Now when the men got their belts filled with game or fish, they returned home to drop the goods off, eat, and off to build the mound for their evening's entertainment- no GSC Big Band or Jazz Band to ease their aching bodies. These routines continued until they succumbed to any one of dozens of life-threatening ailments at about 45 years of age, if not before by accidents, criminal actions, or warfare.
Hey, compared with the Adenas are you feeling any better about your modern day jobs?
In taking one more step- but forward, the first white settler in what was to later become the State of West Virginia was Morgan Morgan, of whom Morgantown is named after. He was a hardy frontiersman of the 1730s or so, and settled in the northern part of the state. A couple of decades later is when George Washington as a young surveyor came to the region to survey it for the Virginia Company, a British firm, that been given land by King George.
In chopping their ways through the forests, fording rivers, and defending themselves against the often angry Native Americans, both Morgan Morgan and George Washington had tough jobs, thereby exhausting them at day's end- sunset, not 5 p.m. In other words, they worked more than an eight-hour day, and had to do it to survive.
Of course, they, too, had to hunt and fish along the way to feed themselves, although they did have some of the modern food stuffs, like salt, among others. I know that Washington was so impressed with West Virginia's multiple opportunities that he later gifted some of his allotted land from surveying to his brothers. They are buried in Charlestown, in the cemetery right across the street from the current Jefferson County Courthouse. (It's a historic place that you should place on your weekend Mini-Vacation listing for your family. Also, the Mine Wars of 1920s UMWA officials were prosecuted there in the Courthouse, and John Brown was hanged on those grounds, as well, “but his truth goes marching on.” Very historic!)
The Labor Movement really began in the opposite end of the state in Matewan (Mingo County) in 1920. At that time, the UMWA was organizing the coal miners to get them an 8-hour day, better working conditions, and respect. The mine owners answered this union organizing by enlisting the services of the Baldwin-Felts Detectives, of Virginia, armed and ready to break the union.
They started by throwing out the women and children from company housing and casting all their belongings outside. It was a sad scene which led to a faceoff between the miners, Matewan Police Chief Sid Hatfield (a miners' sympathizer), and several townspeople against the Baldwin-Felts Detectives. The shoot-out ended the lives of about 10 detectives and a few union men. Police Chief Hatfield and his Asst. Chief Ed Chambers were charged with murder and sent to McDowell County for their trial in 1921, but were shot going up the Courthouse steps by Baldwin-Felts Detectives in retribution.
The Matewan Massacre led to the “Mine Wars” whereby all of the miners and sympathizers from southern West Virginia up to Cabin Creek in Kanawha County organized and started to marching back to Logan to clash with authorities at Blair Mountain. The miners were engaged by 5,000 sheriffs' deputies and mine strike breakers. Pres. Warren G. Harding (GOP) ordered in the U.S. Army and Air Corps to quell the largest American insurrection since the Civil War. The miners surrendered leaving their guns, rifles and pistols, and knives all over their final stand at Blair Mountain.
How would you like to fight for your job, a living wage, company housing for your families in out of the way places, and jobs for your kids?
With that in mind, maybe your work conditions aren't as bad as you think?
One reason I mention the Mine Wars is that a museum dedicated to that topic opened on Labor Day. It is in the small Mingo County town of Matewan, which is now fairly easy for us- in Central West Virginia- to get to. Just hop onto I-79 South to Charleston, then Corridor G/Southridge to Williamson, being 4-lane all the way to the latter Tug River city. Then, follow the signs to Matewan, only about 10 miles.
The downtown, with a railroad track in the middle of Main Street, is as it was in 1920 when the shoot-out took place. There, they preserve their historic sites that will draw tourists to it, unlike Glenville. (IÕm still angry over the Poor Farm Infirmary being razed, you can tell!)
The Mine War Museum features relics like guns used in the miners efforts to gain justice from the companies. Moreover, there is a lot of emphasis on how the miners and families lived back then. Good stuff for the youngsters to see! (Indeed, it hasn't always been so easy for youth to have fun, to go to school, or to excel.)
The museum is open on Fridays and Saturdays, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., with face masks and social distancing mandatory.
Once again, it's a good weekend mini-vacation, of which you will be amazed.
So, in the main, working isn't as hard today as it was years ago without computers, machinery, and modern conveniences to help out.
Hope your Labor Day was joyful, as you rested!
Congratulations to Emily Koella for winning our Corcoran Dining Room Table Contest! She guessed $76.00, but my Dad paid only $46.00 for it. Her guess was the closest, so enjoy your subscription to the newspaper. Just come to the office and we'll take your picture as the winner and all will be good and cheerful.
And, thanks for all of you kindest of readers who played this “Guessing Game” with us editors. May God bless you all!
With GSC's students now being back in town, say “Hello” to them and thank them for coming to Glenville. Also, let us take care in driving around the college and our Gilmer County schools, because they are now open.
Keep cheerful and think and act safe, thereby defeating the coronavirus' bad effects!
During these trying COVID-19 pandemic times, our citizens can't count on about anything. Indeed, at the last minute and if the viral positive numbers have spiraled, restaurants, businesses, and sports events may be shut down. Such dramatic measures are taken in order to keep the overall population safe.
To the contrary, the one thing that will not shut down is the determination to serve our nation by the working people of America. The fact is that in many of the nation's closed restaurants, the staffs returned to make “Take-out Meals” for hungry citizens. Moreover, many other working men and women, along with teachers and school personnel, have manned the Soup Kitchens and Food Pantries nationwide, notably even here in Gilmer County, WV.
It is through workers unselfish and generous actions that decades ago, the National Labor Day celebration was instituted into law.
Fact is that from the time America was first inhabited at Jamestown in the Virginia Colony in 1607 until the present, the one strong force that has excelled in making the United States the greatest nation on earth- in good as well as in bad times Ñ has been the men and women who have worked as laborers to make it all happen- the dreams of entrepreneurs come true.
For examples, during the WW II Era, have we not heard enough of the sacrifices made by Rosies The Riveters, including Glenville's own Mrs. Ruby Coberly. Through their labors we won that war! Check out the tribute at City Park!
Then going back 200 years, did we not learn in our American history about the role the recent immigrants from Ireland and Germany played in building the Erie Canal in the 1820s and the transcontinental railroad in the 1860s- both which opened up the enterprising east coast's entrepreneurs to the vast agricultural/mineral wealth of the Mid-West, Great Plains and West Coast. Closer to home, constructing of the National Road from Baltimore westward through Wheeling in what was to later become the first capital of West Virginia. Truly, the laborers enabled the great westward expansion to happen.
By providing our nation's industrialists with the coal, oil and gas, agricultural produce, timber and iron ore, an Industrial Revolution was sparked in the United States after the Civil War. And, the fact that the different phases of this revolution have changed to meet the needs of the growing nation from that time forward is a testament to not only the industrial barons themselves, but mostly to the laboring men and women who- by the sweat of their brows- built the large cities, big businesses and the little towns across this nation.
This country and the Mountain State's workers, both men and women, therefore, deserve being honored on each Labor Day, a holiday on the first Monday in September, ever since 1894. Although not this year, it is typically a day marked by parades, picnics and ceremonies throughout America. In West Virginia, the United Mine Workers of America always play up this day rightfully by sponsoring a large picnic with free entertainment and food, along with a battalion of speakers extolling the worth of laborers. That takes place annually in the southern part of the state, but may not happen this year. Indeed, the men and women who've worked in our state's oil and gas fields, coal mines, glass factories and other heavy and light industries- many times working through hard and dangerous situations- richly deserve the whole nation's credit for their part in creating today's high standard of living.
Remember, even the individual laborer, who thinks his or her task is too small to be significant, when added to the efforts of all other working people makes for American progress for this nation as a whole and a path to achieve the “American Dream” for the workers themselves.
One of our Founding Fathers, Alexander Hamilton, who was considered brilliant by the people of his time, had to admit, “Men give me some credit for genius. All the genius I have lies just in this: When I have a subject in hand, I study it profoundly. Day and night it is before me. I explore it in all its bearings. My mind becomes pervaded with it. Then the effort which I make, the people are pleased to call the fruit of genius. It is the fruit of labor and thought.”
So, to all of you laborers out there, whether or not at blue or white collar jobs, take great heart that your genius comes from the “fruit of (your) labor and thought.” Enjoy your day, while remaining pandemic safe with masks, social distancing, and hand washing! David H. Corcoran, Sr., Pub.-Sr. Editor
Kudos to ...
Our County's Health Dept.!
Generally, the Gilmer County Health Department's employees go about their daily tasks without much fanfare or praise. Added to the former is a lack of public recognition and commendation. Their jobs are done “low key!”
They are typically commended for their tetanus shots given the public free of charge after one of our many floods, thankfully that have avoided Gilmer County during the past half-decade or so.
All that has changed during this COVID-19 pandemic, when their guidance, efforts, and active preventive tests are on everyone's mind. Nurse Brenda Smith and the Health Dept.'s staff have sent out guidelines to all of our officials, have otherwise educated us to the pandemic, and have given free COVID-19 tests to the public.
We editors, consequently, want to commend the Health Dept. for their important work and to encourage all of our Gilmer County and regional neighbors to adopt the guidelines, especially wearing the masks, social distancing, and hand washing. DHC, Sr.
No. 82: The GOP Convention?
This past week's Grand Old Party Convention's talking points were only about how great a president Mr. Donald Trump is?
Did the speakers and candidates, holding closely to Mr. Trump for his money no doubt, forget about other notable Republican presidents who actually did something to improve the federal government and the American people's plights. Did they forget Abraham Lincoln who freed the slaves and brought the country together after the Civil War? Or, Chester A. Arthur, who established a National Civil Service law to insure that the most qualified candidates get government jobs? Or, Theodore Roosevelt, who got the Pure Food & Drug Act and the Child Labor Laws passed? Or. Dwight D. Eisenhower, who envisioned the National Interstate Highway System? Etc. and up to Mr. Trump, who, in contrast to these predecessors, has sought to divide the country along racial, ethnic, gender, and religious lines, along with putting children in cages, cutting funding for about all social improvements in the past half century, and making our international friends angry, while cozening up to our communist enemies in Russia, China, and North Korea.
Adding it all up and if the Republicans want it to now be the “Trump Party,” they will solidly place themselves in jeopardy of killing the traditional Party of Lincoln! DHC, Sr.
Before we get to August, let's jump forward to this Sat. evening, Sept. 5 at 6 p.m. for the Inaugural Concert at the Sue Morris Complex's Outdoor Stage! Dr. Jason Barr and the Glenville State College's Jazz Band will perform a Labor Day weekend's musical program: “Glenville Summer Swing.”
An excellent idea this is and at the right time, with a superb group of performers and a program of easy music for the general public to enjoy.
Any of the public who has heard the GSC Jazz Band perform in the past know that they do a first-rate job in mixing up their numbers to appeal to the youth, middle aged adults, and seniors. There will, therefore, be something cheerful for everyone to hear and to be comforted during this C-19 viral period.
So, strike up the band, Dr. Barr!
Other good news from the college is the public and students' Fitness Program is back. Check the front page article with information provided by Kathy Gilbert, Director of Aquatics & Recreation.
Congratulations to Gilmer County's Tyler Moore, who was just accepted into the medical school Class of 2025 at the WV School of Osteopathic Medicine in Lewisburg! We editors suspect that his interest in the medical profession has emerged from his own health care's challenges. He's been a survivor since his childhood, so he'll have the patience and empathy to deal with other people's possibly crippling problems. He will make a great rural family physician. Best wishes to him in his studies!
GSC Criminal Justice Professor Dr. Ken Lang went through extensive surgery this week, but will now-with hope and prayers- be “on the mend.” We wish him and his family well.
Now, back to looking back!
The monumental month of August is now history, but with eyes peering back at it, the month was rather unsettling with all of the political and social upheavals and chaos that engulfed the United States and the world. It wasn't the easiest of months to forget! Yet, we editors will try to make it more comforting to you readers!
To start with, we Americans celebrate little known regular special designations for accolades in each month, like in August for being noted as Black Business Month, Children's Eye Health & Safety Month, Family Fun Month, Get Ready For Kindergarten Month, Happiness Happens Month, and International Peace Month.
* Looking at the month from the top, it was not a good 31 days for Black Businesses, their owners, employees, or customers because many of their establishments were either wholly or partly destroyed during the numerous protests and riots occurring from coast to coast. I can only sympathize with our Black American citizens for the fears that they suffer in traveling through our cities and neighborhoods. Yes, fearing that they may become the victims of White Nationalist-type violence or uncalled for deadly police actions. In the main, the matter of Race Relations was settled by Republican President Abraham Lincoln with the Emancipation Proclamation and the Congressionally enacted Civil Rights Laws passed ever since then. Indeed, we white folks have just got to be kinder to our African-American fellow citizens. It's just a shame that our nation's Black leaders, each year in August, have to keep remembering and reenacting Dr. Martin Luther King's memorable 1963 “I have a dream” speech on the steps of Washington's Lincoln Memorial. As I say all the time, we can't stop learning, because if we close our ears, eyes, and minds to new ideas, our nation, not to forget ourselves, cannot progress. So, let's give the Blacks and their vocations in America a break, and support them when we find them! That's one small step toward racial understanding and good will among humans.
On the issue of Children's Eye Health & Safety Month, good sight in one's kids should be a primary concern of parents, but it is often overlooked. In fact, my own parents were neglectful of going in for regular eye exams. It wasn't until the 3rd Grade that my kind teacher noticed that I couldn't tell the difference between “e's” and “o's”, so she informed my mother who took me to the eye doctor immediately to get the exam and glasses. As I look back to the 1st and 2nd Grades, I wonder what I missed with the poor vision. (I know that my skeptical readers believe that I missed a lot, as to my world view on everything rather than the “good ol' boy” simplified recognitions of the facts.)
Nevertheless, parents have no excuse for not taking their children in for regular yearly eye exams. We do have some good eye doctors in this area, Dr. Lucky one day a week at the Medical Center, and Dr. Daniel Farnsworth, who has deep Gilmer County roots, in downtown Weston. The first Daniel Farnsworth was from the Troy area and served as the Mountain State's governor for a short period to fill in for an elected official who couldn't serve. Dr. DeMarino is still practicing here. He's in on Thursdays. He also has an office in Clarksburg.
Since it is now “Going Back to School” season, this time is ideal for getting your children's eyes checked, if you haven't done so already. That leads us into: “Get Ready for Kindergarten Month,” also being in August annually. I suspect that many of you can remember going to kindergarten, because I can. In fact, it was all fun for me in contrast to going into 1st Grade where there wasn't all the drawing of pictures, playing games, and resting. It seemed like 1st Grade was all work to me, and I must confess to you readers that my love for becoming educated grew in me very slowly. I don't think I really enjoyed learning until I got to college and the great teachers there. Therefore, if you think that your child is a “slow learner,” beware that he or she might excel later on in their schooling and stay in college longer than what you anticipated ... or could pay for??? Haha!
So, what are your memories of kindergarten? You can think about that as you go to sleep- a good way to ease into a good dreamland!
Family Fun Month is also designated for August. (I wish that I had known that years ago, so that my family could have celebrated more in August!) On the other hand, you kind and alert readers now know it, so if you missed a funfilled August, you can make up for it this month of September, starting with the public concert at the Sue Morris Sports Complex this weekend.
As you all know, my recommendation for having Family Fun Celebrations is to explore and discover the majestic assets and historic places in West Virginia. These short weekends are great for picking out a curious or beautiful destination by you parents, and, then, putting the kids in the car and going to explore it. I always found that my children enjoyed these outings perhaps more than my ex- and I did. As a family, we occasionally went to Pipestem State Park (south of Princeton), which has numerous activities- boating, miniature golf, regular golf, trails to long forgotten homes (no longer there), and a tram to convey you down to the Blackcreek Lodge for a meal. In fact, we would occasionally invite friends to visit with us there, and those made for joyous times for all. Additionally, a trip to Lewisburg always had a little bit of everything for the family- a lot of history in accommodations, many good restaurants, dozens of shops to look over, and historic markers to read.
In this central region, a weekend at North Bend State Park's Lodge can be much fun, too. Explore downtown Harrisville before you get to North Bend; there's a 5-and-10 Cent Store to rummage through. Also, an old-fashioned family restaurant nearby.
Then again, there are the old family favorites by just finding an isolated creek, letting the kids slosh around in it, and they'll have fun looking for crawfish and minnows, while you parents enjoy the scenery as you monitor them. I sadly suspect that many fast paced parents of today don't take the time to have this kind of fun.
Also, there is always the option of visiting close relatives, of course if they are COVID-19 negative. The older folks can give the kids some insights and tell often odd stories that they will always remember. Occasionally, the children will learn some social skills from the older relatives, as well.
I remember my Mom and Aunt Evelyn (Aunt “A” to us) would take me, as a lad of 8-to-12 or so to their Aunt Tillie and Uncle John's home. He always was sitting on the front porch in a swing, and saying no greeting. Just the opposite and at first my Great Aunt Tillie would take me into her kitchen and give me a glass of milk and several sugar cookies. This was a thrill for me to be so royally treated by an aged relative. They were then in their mid-80s. After finishing eating, Mom would sit me out on the swing by Great Uncle John.
Now, Uncle was a big, portly, taciturn, and even grumpy gentleman. (In pictures of him in his younger years, he was as handsome as a Hollywood movie star.) But, when I tried to converse with him, I got nowhere. Also, when my late cousin Paul Buche visited there with me, Paul had the “gift of gab” and was very humorous by nature, but even he couldn't get Uncle to converse with us. I finally was reluctant to try to talk to him. I told Aunt A the problem with Uncle John. She immediately said, “Ask him about his trips to the Old Country-Germany!” We did and he opened up with outlining all of his trips to Germany and how the people are so frugal and productive there on the Moser families' farms. On one of our visit thereafter, Uncle even took us back to his garage where he had about a 1935 Roadster, being kept in the 1950s in as good condition as new. Oh, how badly I wanted that car when I turned 15! Haha! Later one of my Moser cousins said that was his dream car, as well. Later after his passing, it must have been sold to a friend of the family because I never saw it again.
Visiting old aunts, uncles, and grandparents, therefore, can be quite interesting and instructive to the youngsters. At the same time in these days, I've noticed how some parents do their best to keep their youngsters away from the old folks. One past neighbor of mine, whose children would run from me, said that she wanted to get them used to neighbors. I suspect that they had been changing from one town to another for jobs, so the parents didn't want to let them have friends in the neighborhoods. I'm referring to 8-to-12 year olds. As a youngster, I always visited adult neighbors, especially the one who gave neighborhood kids postage stamps and coins for our collections.
On the other hand, I realize in this day and age that parents must be careful of adults they don't know. That is understandable since their are sexual predators out there. To the contrary, in my old Indiana neighborhood, the neighbors had been there for decades. Hence, parents let us kids run through the neighborhood at will, play ball at the local school yard, and visit each other's homes. Maybe I'm just talking “old-fashioned,” but that is the way it was when I was growing up and that comfortable neighborhood environment I couldn't ask for any better.
Moreover, from the stories of youths growing up in the Brooklyn Neighborhood in Glenville, those adults now are very appreciative of their upbringing there. Fact is doctors and lawyers grew up there in fine fashion and safety.
Many of you readers have come from big and small cities, so what were your neighborhoods like when you were in school? Think about that, and I know that some of the metro areas have gone downhill, but perhaps they were fun to be in when you were growing up? Let me know!
Oh, August was also “Happiness Happens Month!” I have no idea where that idea came from, but we editors won't discard it as fictitious, but gladly embrace it! I believe that the Republicans and Democrats would agree that it was Happiness Abundant for each party for having their National Conventions and, now, moving on into the General Election season, ending with the voting on or before Tues., Nov. 3.
At each convention, you heard so many speakers that it was hard, at times, to delineate the balderdash from the fact. At the same time, you could see in the eyes of the faithful supporters a great happiness to be a part of the American political party tradition of conventioneering!
(Note: We, at the Glenville Newspapers, have one of the best political campaign vehicles in all of Central West Virginia, so candidates for either state, regional, or local offices would be benefited by visiting us to explain our program. Or, by calling us at 304-462-7309.)
* The last, but not the least reason for celebrating each August is that it is “International Peace Month!” You may not think that this is important to us in Gilmer County and in the Mountain State, but it surely is.
Remember that our local Oil & Gas Industries have foreign markets. The local oil and gas owners are just waiting for the prices to go up before going back in full scale production. All of the compressor stations are in place, and our wealth rests safely below the ground. Also, our state's ailing Coal Industry is dependent upon foreign markets. Consequently, the American people and government's support of International Peace is certainly well needed, especially in this world where wars are taking place around the globe.
And, after our long travels from chaos to peace, it's time for me to end this column.
Don't forget to register to vote now if you haven't done so in recent years!
Also, be mindful while driving of the students walking around town, the Sue Morris Sports Complex, and particularly at night when they wear all black apparel. In all black, they are really hard to see!
Have a great Labor Day Holiday, and make it a safe one too!
In these days of longstanding woe and viral sickness, people look forward to any bit of relief and happiness that they can conjure up and capture. The only option these days is a virtual relief, remembering those past times of great gaiety and joyfulness on our home computers over the worldwide web.
Now, turn off your televisions and radios which repeat the same currently sad and bad news, being repackaged four or five times a day by the networks. Boring! Think happiness, comfort, good times, fun with friends, and read on!
This Sr. Editor has been confronted with dozens of photographs of Folk Festivals of the Past of late, which, to a degree, revive those fond memories of days gone by during a normal third week and weekend in June.
I refer to Glenville's West Virginia State Folk Festival, cancelled in 2020, but far from forgotten. The Folk Fest is reschedule for 2021 when, hopefully, the coronavirus season will be over and done with ... forever.
Actually, the postponement was a prudent decision to make not only for the wellness of our visitors and our volunteers, but also because with all of the COVID-19 Restrictions now set in place, the fest would have been more difficult for the volunteers to pull off anyway! All of the extra sanitizing, hand washing, social distancing, etc. Hence, it wouldn't feel like the Folk Festivals traditionally do. Can you imagine the old-timers and youngsters sanitizing their fiddles and banjos on a regular basis? At the Ghost Stories Open Mic at the Gilmer County Historical Society, I routinely pass old pictures in frames, along with other memorabilia, around the crowd to see, but now that would be a problem. I'm worn out just thinking of all of the extra precautions that would need to be in place before a “safe and healthy” Folk Fest would be approved by State Health Dept. officials.
Nevertheless, almost every meeting, including our local governmental ones, distant ones like my U. of Ky. History Alumni Advisory Committee, and my younger son and daughter-in-law's Baby Shower last weekend are “Virtual,” and not in person. On that latter circumstance, Patrick's wife, Morgan, is a nurse, so she doesn't want to take any chances with getting infected by others, even family members. That's understandable when you are six months pregnant.
This week, consequently, let us keep our “social distancing” and just enjoy those fond memories of Folk Festivals Past because almost every county seat town in West Virginia has a special day or weekend of gala festivities- almost all, CANCELLED. Remember when during the 3rd week of June annually in past years, all of you visitors could “normally” count on Glenville coming alive! The reason was hosting its supreme, gala statewide event, as we pulled volunteers together from all over the city, county and region to make it happen ... seemingly without effort in typical years.
Although in the past, the crowds had been smaller than usual, perhaps due to the rainy days which typically plague us here. Those who did attend the 2019 Folk Festival, however, found a larger attendance, resulting from the various new offerings and initiatives that were implemented. The new events were instructive, interesting, entertaining, and fun. So, kudos to Folk Fest President Dr. Megan Darby and her energetic committee for upticking the events, many going back to ideas and activities of early day festivals! We editors particularly liked the additional arts and crafts vendors and all of the historical farming skills demonstrations in the lot next to the Historical Society. In addition, the local small business sellers could set up shop in the Sue Morris Sports Complex, too- another new feature. Well done, good and devoted volunteers!
Truly, the events' planners last year had something for about everyone to enjoy- traditional and other music, square dances, history and genealogy lessons, ghost tales and folk tales, and GSC's Pioneer Stage's four full days of programming, notably an all-day Children's Music Camp. In addition, the Country Store Museum's Welcome Center was alive with visitors, along with the Gilmer Public Library's related programs, Little Kanawha River Trail children's activities (many cancelled, due to the high water), Quilting Crafts Competition (always beautiful), and assorted foods to eat, notably the Lions Club's Famous Hot Dogs.
The Saturday Parade of Traditional Belles and the new Jr. Belles, 3rd grade girls from many counties added zest to the lineup, plus the Antique Cars and Farm Vehicles made for one of the finest such spectacles in recent years. Indeed, it was a revived parade, just like the rest of the festival, of which you can look forward to enjoying next June!
Relative to music in the air everywhere, there were Bluegrass jammers, fiddle and banjo contestants strumming away, parade entrants with much applause (notably the Damon West Veterans Flag Unit), and lastly back to this past year's lovely Folk Festival Belles. As to these ladies in our newspaper's tradition, we later featured every one of them on the front page, making sure that you readers realized the great personal and civic contributions that each one made to her own county. Yes, there were some impressive ladies, indeed, and we only wrote a miscue on one, of whom we apologize. (Contact us again, kind lady, and we'll make it up to you!) Moreover, thank you all for taking out a year's subscription to this newspaper in order to keep up with the Festival Committee's plans and their events. As always, you ladies and husbands/companions are always welcome to return to Glenville for a visit, for an upcoming Pioneer Stage event or Glenville State College Music Dept. Concert, or for a Pioneer ball game. Or, just to visit us at this newspaper, for you're always welcome here!
In reminiscing about past festivals, the weather could pose a rainy mess, but it never dampens the spirits of the people, especially visitors, attending these various options for enjoyment.
Also, recall the funfilled Square Dances nightly- by far the most lively event activity, as always! The many expert bands and callers make it easy to dance for everyone to join in creating the Squares. There's always an available partner, as Mack Samples, among others, like Taylor Runner of Morgantown, are master dance callers and matchmakers for the squares. Mack was the parade's Grand Marshal in 2018. So, cheers to Mack and his wife, Thelma, who enliven the dance floor between the City Park and United Bank!
Back to the Belles, we invite all 55 counties to honor their special ladies as Folk Festival Belles. However, it's difficult to get either the county CEOS's or County Commissions to make these appointments. Last year, there were 29 of the 55 counties represented. I might inject that 20 years ago there were over 40 represented, all bringing their enthusiastic families to see them receive our accolades. Nevertheless, in each recent year what they lacked in numbers, they exuded in quality, beauty, and charm, along with being very accomplished in the home economics' arts and community-minded volunteerism. As a result, they admirably represented their small and large, but all fine counties. Moreover, several of their companions brought much zest to the activities, as well. For example, the Hon. Jerry Mezzetesta, a former Hampshire County State Delegate and a friend of mine, visited with Belle Patty, and we three had a beaucoup of fun, talking about the Southern WV Coalfields and problems in other parts of the state. That was a highpoint for me!
Also, real brighteners for the Belles are their local organizers, Susie Kirkpatrick and Genia Richards, who use much finesse in taking them from event to event. Kudos to all of these local coordinators and the Gilmer County CEOS, Baptist Church, Presbyterian Church, Senior Center, and GSC's Goodwin Residence Hall for their special roles performed during the Belles' visit here.
Also, here in Glenville you can choose your own show, for the numerous Folk Festival Tents are all full of storytellers, musicians, and vendors.
In addition, the Gilmer County Historical Society does a marvelous job in providing varied historical and instructive programs, if not colorful programs on West Virginia connected women, like First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, as well as Dr. Jason Barr's entertaining programs, the latest being the Mountain State's rich Jazz origins. Also, this newspaper publisher-sr. editor coordinates the Ghost Stories Open Mic on Thurs.-Fri. nights. All are welcome to share their own Ghost Encounters! Plus, the local Society provides Historic Holt House tours, along with oldtime crafts and fortune telling (Eke, Bev Tanner, the Burnsville Fortune Teller says I'll be okay-Hurrah, and about two years ago, she predicted I'd have a grandbaby, which has proven to be true). The Ghost Stories and House Tours are great for children, particularly.
So, kudos to the whole Folk Festival Planning Committee for pulling off yet another successful fest in 2019! Also, commendations to Glenville State College for holding more events in the Pioneer Stage on Main Street and hosting the Fri.-Sat. evening programs and Fiddle and Banjo Contests in the Fine Arts Center, which always adds much new life to each year's festival!
So to our Festival Committee, we editors commend all of your efforts and you are much appreciated!
Glenville is a laid back place, as the Hillbillies say, so just relax and think of all of the good times ahead for you who will choose to return to Glenville for the 2021 WV State Folk Festival!
We editors, of course, appreciate fan mail and emails, so thanks to 2016 Mason County Folk Festival Belle April Pyles for her kind remarks about my “Who is, Whose, and Whom” column of last week. Unbeknownst to her, she had uncovered a little known, yet fundamental quagmire in human history, of which I was able to put to the test of a historian. She thought it was funny, so I now know that one of my readers may be way out in front of the rest of you. As for myself, I enjoyed writing that column more than any other in recent memory.
Thanks, April, and keep dry over in Mason County!
Another subscriber, Jeanie Swanson, a former excellent news feature writer for us, now lives in South Carolina, but was home here for a brief visit last week. She and her sister, Margaret, like to freshen up their mother and father's graves around Memorial Day each year. Jeanie is surviving the South's summer heat and hurricane waves very well, but is planning on upping her temperature and tension by returning to school, a Methodist Seminary, to earn her Master's Degree in Divinity. A very positive goal for a U.S. Army retiree, so best wishes for your continuing success in new ventures, Jeanie!
Oh, I also have to mention her fine husband's name, Dan Swanson, better known locally here as “Dan The Music Man!” He's been awfully kind to share his musical talents over his FB site- a good cheer up for “Coronavirusville!” Hence, thanks to Dan, too!
Another reason why 2020 is not a good time for Folk Festivals or large public gatherings revolves around the huge DOH construction area for the New Glenville Roundabout at the College's North Entrance and Mineral Road. It will allow motorists to drive in circles for hours, if they have forgotten where they were going in the first place. It will greatly help this Sr. Editor who often wonders why he went into the room where he has stopped. Haha! My brother, T.A. Corcoran, Jr., tells me that this bit of mystery is typical in the lives of folks our age. Hey, he's my older brother, and I'm the youngster, not a senior!
To end this column, have a great week, be kind to others, especially to your neighbors, family, and friends who might need help during this pandemic, and, lastly, hope that all of you Dads had a Happy Fathers Day last Sunday!
Moreover, thanks to my kids- Dave, Jr. and Mary Kay, Catherine, and Patrick and Morgan for wishing your Sr. Editor a “Happy Fathers Day!” I, indeed, like being a Father!
As you read this Thanksgiving Day Edition of our Glenville newspaper, we editors hope that you have already enjoyed a sumptuous and delicious meal with big turkeys or hams, have had many cheerful conversations, and have reconnected with your families or friends. Each family has its own traditions relative to this traditional celebration and holiday. And, since it always falls on a Thursday, even us editors and our staff have the day off. For other holidays, we may not have days off, due to our printing deadline schedules.
(Note: On that latter deadline issue, we'll alert you to these updates during this Holiday Season.)
As for our staff, we had a great Thanksgiving luncheon early- that being on last Fri., Nov. 22, when we all could gather without work schedule agitation. The ladies made up some pretty powerful and delicious desserts, of which this Sr. Editor has delighted in. We had wanted to stay away from turkey or ham, in that there are so many of those dinners, for which we could attend around the county. For example, kudos to the Cedarville Community Association for, once again, offering a splendid combined Thanksgiving/Hunters/Homecoming Dinner on last Sun. evening, Nov. 24. A great way to greet Homecoming family and out-of-county hunters at the splendid Cedar Creek State Park's Activities Building.
Then, on Thanksgiving Day itself, a Community Dinner is being sponsored by the kindly members of the New Found Freedom Baptist Church. This annual feast will take place from 2-to-4 p.m. on this Thurs., Nov. 28 at the Glenville Presbyterian Church, which has the kitchen facilities that Pastor Lloyd Stewart, his family and friends need to pull off this holiday gathering. These community-style dinners are especially appreciated by residents who don't have family to celebrate with, visitors to the county who'd like a traditional meal on that holiday (as most of the local restaurants are closed), and families who can't get all the meats and trimmings together fast enough to enjoy the holiday itself.
Also, countless Gilmer County and West Virginia residents invite their neighbors, singles, or seniors living alone to their special holiday dinner. Kudos to them!
Yes, we editors admire all of the families who open up their hearts and homes to those who may be needing that festive boost or to celebrate with those they love.
We truly hope that all West Virginians have found such a place of contentment on this Thanksgiving Day. Our heartfelt wishes for you to enjoy yours! David H. Corcoran, Sr., Publisher-Sr. Editor
Preparing for ...
The Christmas Season!
Planning for a splendid Christmas Season and Happy New Year for 2020 are already underway in Gilmer County ... and to the benefit of our residents and visitors. But, to make special events take place in any community, it does take planning, effort, and volunteering! Only then will holiday events happen without glitches, disasters, or tears.
So, kudos to the Gilmer County Volunteer Fire Dept. for, once again, sponsoring its gala Christmas Parade, which is to take place at 5 p.m. on next Sat., Dec. 7 in downtown Glenville. This event is always highlighted by Santa Claus' appearance, riding atop a fire truck and waving to the kids and families on the sidewalks. He's then available at City Square Park's Gazebo for photographs and seasonal greetings to the children who are brave enough to go sit on his knee. He's truly the “jolly ole fellow” you see in the movies. Indeed, we're most fortunate to have him and the Volunteer Fire Dept. here in West Virginia. To volunteer in some small way, to sign on to the colorful parade, or to donate to the cause, just call Fire Chief Martin Hess at 304-804-2008 or 304-904-8786.
Additionally to this event, the Angel Tree Project is going on to provide gifts to needy children. The local churches are involved in this, sponsoring gifts to those kids. Talk with your pastor or youth minister to find out more because many children this winter are in need, so we understand.
Also, if the above isn't an option for you, perhaps donating food is. In fact, Glenville McDonalds is collecting nonperishable food for Gilmer families this holiday season. Please drop off food donations during store hours.
Hence, kudos to all those making this season joyful for others! DHC,
In looking ahead at Christmas, I'm wondering how “jolly” it will be for me?
Not getting off to a good start, your trusty Sr. Editor has already been “deposed” as the Gilmer County Historical Society's vice-president. The Society's most recent newsletter informed me of the recent membership's decision, at which I looked with disbelief- not anger- they might have been in the right.
Oh well, it's not the first time I've been fired, but the for time for, I suspect- laziness? (You get that way when you grow older, haha. Yes, “nap time” is now one of my pleasures in life, aside with an editor's frolicking.)
I don't blame the Society's high-ups for their action because, in fact, I'd been open to the idea of stepping aside to let some new, younger leader step forward. And, I think Society President Steve Ostaff- as a kindly gentleman- is open to the same idea.
My time there was sort of numbered anyway, because the current leadership wants to let up on historical programs at our monthly meetings. Just ironically, I was in charge of those programs, of which we had some really interesting ones in past years. Not at our recent meetings, though. We did have a few somewhat exciting ones at the 2019 WV State Folk Festival, though, including a Genealogy Workshop by member Becky Oppe, of Parkersburg, and two Ghost Tales Open Mic Nights by myself and other attendees. The highlight, however, was a “Hank Williams, Sr.” review and memorial by Glenville State College's Dr. Jason Barr, now the Music Dept.'s Chair. Much interesting stuff in his talk for us Hank Williams, Sr. fans! In fact, Dr. Barr has always presented interesting musical programs to the society over the past several years, many on his favorite jazz genre. I didn't know that there were numerous Jazz Bands in WV in the early 20th century until I heard him speak of their popularity.
Also, the society was one of the hosts, along with the City of Glenville's Mayor Dennis Fitzpatrick, for the Veterans Parade & Program the Saturday before Veterans Day itself earlier this month.
Now, in my “Swan Song,” I can take credit for getting the Historical Society the new “Gilmer Rifles” Historic Marker from the State's Division of Culture & History, which now graces the outside of the Historic Holt House Museum. When State Historian Dr. Joe Geiger called me about the marker, he asked where it should go? It could have gone at our historic Courthouse, or near the other Civil War markers at Glenville State College, or- if I was selfish- at this newspaper office, where the oldest home in Glenville, a log cabin, once stood. But, I said, “The Historical Society to give it another reason for tourism visits.”
In addition, I couldn't have found a better speaker to dedicate it than in former U.S. Army Ranger and retired State Police Commander Jeff Miller, a resident on SR 5 West. He gave a very well-researched, informational, and eloquent speech about the “Gilmer Rifles” who fought bravely and brought back honor to our county.
No doubt many of them spent the rest of their lives farming, running businesses, raising their families here, and doing the county proud. This is something to think about as you read this new Historic Marker to your children. Veterans, as Jeff Miller at the dedication and Dr. Gary Morris at the inside program, are among the staunch advocates for our Gilmer County's progress. And, the county's Volunteer Fire Dept. and American Legion Post #33 of Weston added much zest to this year's Centennial of the Veterans Day holiday. It was a great day which all of our local Veterans could enjoy being honored at. I hope we'll all be back for the 125th Anniversary of Veterans Day, giving us something to shoot for!
In the main, I believe that the Historical Society will be able to advance without me, so I leave it with good will, but with a heavy heart, especially remembering the super efforts of Hunter Armentrout, Marion Reed, Gary Coberly, and others to make it click.
* Thanks to Mayor Dennis Fitzpatrick and City Council for making parking free for downtown Glenville in December.
* Some of the commercial opportunities here and elsewhere are noted in this issue of our newspaper, notably on the “Winter Wonderland of Savings” page.
* Log Cabin Crafts in Letter Gap has many handmade Christmas craft items that the Furr family works on all year long on for this gala time of the year: Yuletide. Visit them to see the colorful selection on this Sat., Nov. 30.
* Talking about handicrafts, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on next Sat., Dec. 7, the “Christmas Crafts Show in the Glen” will occur at the Rec Center. And, from 30-to-40 crafters are there to show off their, at times novel creations. Last year, I bought a handpainted "Guardian Angel" from Joyce Greenlief there, plus other items for my family and friends. Good stuff, there too!
* The Historical Society will also be a crafters delight, mainly on Wednesdays during December. Check out these items, too!
Yes, the holidays in Gilmer County are festive. Moreover, it's easier shopping close to home than traveling to the distant big cities. Truly, look for the festive happenings right here at home and on our newspaper's “Winter Wonderland” page!.
A final note for all of you readers and advertisers to have a splendid holiday season from us editors!
With the annual Deer Season, once again, here, we editors and Gilmer Countians take this opportunity to say, "Welcome, hunters, to our county!"
We wish you all well in your hunts, a time of vacation for most of you, and a respite from your daily working/career/retirement routines. For others, it is a good reason to return to your home county of Gilmer in order to partake of your family's delicious Thanksgiving seasonal dinners. Then again, some of you may be here just for the good hunting and the comradeship with fellow hunters and friends. Nevertheless, whatever the reason you're here in Gilmer County, we warmly welcome you, and invite you to eat in our local restaurants, to shop in our area's stores, to transact any business that's been pending for you here at the Courthouse or elsewhere locally, and to enjoy the beautiful scenery which draws many people back here, year after year.
But, most of all, be careful and mindful of the safety rules and protocols that apply to hunting! (Already this season, a young man fell from his tree stand, sustaining fairly serious injuries.) We don't want any of you to become the victim of any such accidents or an unintentional shooting. The past several seasons have been safe ones, so we'd like to keep it that way. Also, be considerate by being sure to get the permission of the property owners before hunting in their forests and fields.
Finally, don't litter here; pack your garbage out and dispose of it properly! We Gilmer folks truly value our county and state's beauty! In fact, Glenville Mayor Dennis Fitzpatrick has made it a priority in his administration to keep the city clean of litter and unsightly front yards, so we, here, hope that you'll appreciate our care to keep our house clean for your pleasure, safety, and good health. Hence, we hope that you'll do the same for those who follow you through our “hills 'an' hollers!”
In conclusion, good luck, good hunting, and Happy Thanksgiving Week! David H. Corcoran, Sr., Publisher-Sr. Editor
Gilmer County's Volunteer Fire Dept. is sponsoring 2019's Christmas parade
At 5 p.m. on Sat., Dec. 7- rapidly approaching, the Gilmer County Volunteer Fire Department and its active Auxiliary Group will sponsor their Annual Christmas Parade in Downtown Glenville, featuring a visit from “Santa Claus.”
Yes, our Gilmer County firefighters, their families, and volunteer friends have impressed Santa Claus so much over the past 13-14 years that he takes the day off to visit Glenville for the celebration and to give much joyfulness to the area's children and their families.
And, yes, if you want to volunteer to help out in this countywide children's event- either you personally or your organization- the Fire Dept. welcomes you. They need dedicated volunteers for this time-consuming and working event on Christmas Parade Day. Generally, newcomers, youth and church groups, and others come out to help bring all of the community together, thereby making it, once again, a splendid Christmas Parade as it has been for the past decade-plus!
My, time does pass fast, because it seems like just yesterday that the Fire Dept. and its then Ladies Auxiliary picked up the Christmas Parade, after it lay dormant for a year or two. At that time, now Fire Chief Martin Hess affirmed, “We need this Christmas Parade for the sake of the area's kids; they look forward to it, especially seeing Santa Claus.” How right Mr. Hess was.
Most impressively, every year the Fire Dept. has sponsored it, the Yuletide lineup has grown longer and larger. It started off small, but as Mr. Hess predicted, “Wait and see, for it will grow every year to be more impressive!” And, his foresight was, indeed, accurate.
He is just thankful for not only all of the firefighters and their support group's commitment and helpfulness, but also that of this entire Gilmer County community. “We all work together for our community and children's benefit,” he was quoted as saying some years ago.
Had the firefighting group not been so community-minded, there would be no Christmas Parade! Sadly, 20 years ago and before, the downtown merchants originally sponsored the event, but they ultimately retired or went out-of-business. Then, the Junior Women of Glenville tried it out for a couple of years, but they were hampered with terrible snowy or rainy weather, both of which held down the crowds and disheartened these fine ladies. Their membership later had to give up on it, but they now come out to provide hot drinks for the attendees. Good show, local ladies! When the Fire Dept. started it up again, all of these former sponsors applauded them for their leadership and community-mindedness.
It's worth the trouble because the Christmas Parade each year brings joy to the eyes of the children and warmth to the hearts of their parents, grandparents or guardians, who are photographing their little ones, right and left. For this reason alone, the firefighters, their ladies and other volunteers deserve our most sincere THANKS! Keep up the good work, kind people of the Gilmer County fire stations!
As stated last week, an intrigue facet of American democracy is to let our citizens know ahead of the elections what the views of political hopefuls are. It's more difficult on the local level to learn the candidates' beliefs because many think that they've won their party's nomination, so they don't have to present, propound, and publicize their platforms, if they even have them. Maybe their friends will “carry the day” for them, but unless they advertise their candidacies, they can't reach the wide spectrum of voters in this or any other county in the USA.
In national presidential elections, the above is even more demanding, for in order to win, they must advertise! The United States of America is a gigantic country from sea to shining sea, with many different cultures therein. To reach these many different constituencies, a presidential candidate must reach out to enlist their support. They talk to small town groups wherever they are, attend dinners and flip steaks in Iowa preliminaries to their party caucuses, brave cold snowy weather in New Hampshire's Primary, and, then, head into South Carolina for a second primary. After these and a few other primaries to follow, there will be an outstanding Democratic presidential candidate to carry the party's banner into their convention next summer.
Last week touching on the strengths of the three frontrunners of former V-P Joe Biden, and U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Bernie Sanders (Independent-VT), we editors now turn to the other candidates on the Houston stage of three weeks past. Most of these hopefuls poll from 1-to-10 percent in the contest, so far. We editors prefer former Congressman Beto O'Rourke (D-TX), because he's a proven vote-getter in a solidly Red State-Texas. In last year's U.S. Senate race, he contested the powerful Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who had run for president in 2016 against the winning Donald Trump in those primaries. Cruz is a formidable foe, especially among evangelicals. Nevertheless, with Mr. O'Rourke's sincere demeanor and boots on the ground campaign style, driving and speaking in all of Texas 100+ counties, he won over the people's hearts, many of whom would have ordinarily voted Republican in that race. Moreover, Beto can do the same in a nationwide presidential race, maybe even re-creating FDR and Harry Truman's popular Whistle Stop Railroad Campaigns of times past.
Next up, there is Pete Buttigieg (D-Ind.), mayor of South Bend, Indiana, a Mid-Western Rust Belt city which is making a comeback. He recently got the endorsement of 60 of the nation's mayors and seems to have the enthusiasm of the country's gays- a growing group- for good or bad. Of course, Americans are not “politically correct” if they discriminate against any minority, and we editors will buy that, too. Nevertheless, he appears glib and stiff on the debate stage, although with his extensive education, he could easily “trump” Mr. Trump in a debate!
Next up is U.S. Sen. Corey Booker (D-NJ), who has won the hearts of many via his positions on eliminating inner city crime and poverty. As the former mayor of Newark, N.J., he is well-spoken and persuasive on urban issues. He stands out for his stout defence of city dwellers who are attempting to create formulas for more peaceful neighborhoods, among other issues.
In talking about urban affairs, though, the Honorable Julio Castro (D-TX), as the former Secretary of Urban Affairs in Mr. Obama's Administration, also takes a main seat. His candidacy, however, appeared to sputter when attacking V-P Joseph Biden on the age issue. Mr. Castro apparently thought that the V-P had forgotten what he'd previously said which he hadn't. A Castro gaff!
In these Democratic debates, it's dangerous to play the “Age Card,” because all three frontrunners- Biden, Warren, and Sanders- are all over 70, as is Republican Trump. Hence, that's not a good strategy for differentiating candidates. In the 1980s, the G.O.P.'s Ronald Reagan was well over 70 when he won the second term as president, and, moreover, he got confused many times when talking to reporters, as well.
Quiet but likeable, Andrew Yang (D-CA), another Democratic candidate, takes his campaign back to the 1930s promises of U.S. Sen. Huey Long (D-LA) of “Every man a King.” Then, Long ran against President Franklin Roosevelt with the platform that every family would get $5,000 per year from Uncle Sam. Updating that economic theory, Mr. Yang, a savvy High Tech entrepreneur/businessman, has upped that amount to $1,000 per month per person (18 year olds and over). Sounds good, as young people could finance their college or technical educations, pay off their student loans, get started in a business with less risk, buy a home, etc. Of course, older Americans could then afford to have “the good life,” without financial worries. The one problem that I foresee is that like Mr. Trump, another businessman, he knows very little about the administration and operations of the vast federal government. (Owing to Mr. Trump's record so far, and that of West Virginia Governor Jim Justices', both lining their pockets with taxpayer dollars spent at their luxury hotels and resorts, I remain leery of untested business persons in public office!)
Lastly are the very persuasive Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) who were both prosecuting attorneys in their respective states. They advocate good, salient points, but their abilities as newcomer U.S. Senators have yet to be tested. Sen. Harris would certainly be the better debater against Mr. Trump, but the question is: “Could she withstand his acid attacks without buckling?” The same question, but moreso to the meeker Sen. Klobuchar! On the other hand, often times the events make the candidate stand out, like former Congressman Beto O'Rouke after the mass shootings in his hometown of El Paso and in the neighboring areas of Odessa and Midland. These tragedies have elevated his presidential campaign by “leaps and bounds.”
The next Democratic Debate will be in mid-October, so all good and fair-minded Americans, not just Democrats, should make it a priority to watch them because they will be arguing both Democratic and Republican politics. We all will face these same issues when stepping into the polling booths within the next several months. An informed voter is a good and patriotic American!
David H. Corcoran, Sr., Publisher-Editor
No. 69: What's what now???
For the past two months, this Sr. Editor has let down you “Trump Watchers!” We've only published about two, but our reason has been like with you perhaps- we're very confused with what he's been doing.
On one day he attacks the Federal Reserve Bank (the Fed) for upping the federal funds/interest rates, then the Fed's chairman, next threatening to expand the wars in the Middle East, retreating to just sending troops to protect Saudi Arabia (where the majority of 9/1/2001 culprits came from), also to fallaciously stating he helped 9/11 victims, then too calling an international meeting with the Afghanistan terrorist leaders at the revered Camp David (that no one seemed to know about), and, the latest, drawing Ukraine into our internal politics by asking them for “smut” on Joe Biden's son, Hunter, who does business there. Frighteningly, all of the above is being announced by Presidential “Tweet,” not by well-reasoned White Papers that other presidents have used for explanations since the Republic's beginning. Oh, my!!! DHC, Sr.
For the past couple of weeks, I've noticed a lot of students just milling around at Goodwin Hall and the Mollohan Campus Community Center, but without much activity going on in town.
Of course, Glenville isn't Pittsburgh, Charleston, Cincinnati, or St. Louis where students have a beaucoup of museums, parks, zoos, theatrical and musical performances, and other similar activities to occupy their interests and studies on the weekends.
A musical town
In the main, though and to the contrary, I've been impressed with Glenville in recent weeks on the number of activities that are going on toward the week's endings. For instance, on last Thurs. evening, Sept. 19, the gala 1st Anniversary of Glenville State College's Pioneer Stage put much life into this community. Ringing out were Bluegrass music by community/college musicians, old-fashioned Hoedown Square Dancing, and much perhaps Appalachian food to growl in one's stomach- all of this was happening and keeping life alive for both the GSC students and area residents.
In fact, on each Thursday evening 6-to-9 p.m., the community's musicians are invited to come down to the Pioneer Stage and jam. This facility is the GSC Bluegrass Dept.'s headquarters now.
So, kudos to Glenville State College in its initiatives to bring the institution closer to the community!
Also, on last Fri. evening, Sept. 20, the talented Nikki Renay English gave her spirited Senior Concert on the flute. She was well pleased by the large turnout of students and locals. And, such a nice young lady deserved that, as she's working her way through college as a part-time server at Tudors Biscuit World. Hence, good luck in your student teaching, Nikki!
The Theater is NOW!
Then, starting at 7 p.m. on this Thurs.-Sat., Sept. 26-28, the GSC Theater students will perform a fantasy play entitled: “She Kills Monsters,” which revolves around Dungeons & Dragons gaming players. It's an addictive game, of which some parents may want to see before letting their preteens and teens jump into it. This play came too late for this Sr. Editor, as his kids jumped into it, for good or ill, in years past. I know that good Son No. 1, Dave Jr., would stay up all night writing the D & D magazine articles, sending them into their contests, but receiving no responses. I suspect that his ideas were later used in the Wisconsin publishing company's magazines for everyone to use. One never knows about this type of contest???
Back to the GSC play: The Drama Dept.'s performances, under the seasoned and devoted Professor Dennis Wemm, are always excellent and the low admission's cost makes them even more attractive.
Another unusual event, always in Glenville, is one of the annual Conferences of the W.Va. Trappers & Wild Root Association. There, at the Recreation Center, any history major can get a firsthand experience of what happened at a 17th century French Fur Trading Post. All of the pelts and roots, like ginseng, are brought in from this and several other surrounding states.
Additionally, they offer trapping classes, among other related subjects that trappers need to know relative to the laws and capture techniques. They also have a good time with a dance on Saturday evening. Nevertheless, any student of American history can see, firsthand, the pelts of various animals being brought in, how they are graded, then placed on racks, and, finally, sold to the highest bidders. The buyers come from everywhere, but primarily Russia, where thick winter garb is needed to combat the harsh snows and low temperatures.
If you have an allergy to animal smells, though, don't go to this type of Fur Rendezvous, as the trappers call them! The odor will overtake you.
New GSC President
On a side note, GSC's new Interim President Kathy Nelson and her husband, Mike, have spent quite a few years in the upper Great Lakes area when she was President of the Lake Superior College. In one of my brief conversations with her, I noted that I had camped out in the area north of Duluth, MN and had gone up to see Grand Marais and Grand Portage on the way to Thunder Bay, Canada. She said that the only way to Canada from their home was by boat. That must have been an interesting trip!
I had wanted to give her my one-hour History Lesson on the French Fur Trade (haha), but she was on her way to a meeting in Clarksburg (she was safe then from an old professor). On the other hand, I suspect that she's more interested in the Glenville State College's history, and I know who can give her that lesson!
Then again last Saturday, I spoke of this rugged lakeside region of Minnesota to the kindly attendees at that evening's Cedar Creek State Park public meeting. Superintendent Benny McCune is trying to do his best to advance the public offerings there. Moreover, with the enthusiastic crowd that met him there, a group of avid park advocates who are making progress in setting up a tax-exempt foundation to help finance some of those projects.
The Park's Mr. Retiree, Wayne Woodyard, got a standing ovation for his 40+ years of service there. That round of applause was well-deserved, too!
And, working all together on the on the State Park's upgrades, it will all come about! So, commendations to all of those who came out in support of the forthcoming Park Foundation and their love of a special place!
Moreover, for students at GSC and in Gilmer County, what better spot to study nature, to recreate, and to enjoy the outdoors. There are plenty of well-mapped walking trails full of adventure, great tennis courts for more exercise, great fishing and boating ponds for those desiring sports and romance, plus much more to see.
* Last weekend, I believe, there was a Flatwoods Monster Festival in Flatwoods, at Exit 69 on I-79. Even if a fest isn't happening, visitors can just ask anyone about the Flatwoods Monster and you'll probably get an earful.
According to a brochure picked up on the interstate, there's plenty to do in Braxton County. Kayaking on either the Little Kanawha or Elk rivers, boating or swimming at Sutton or Burnsville Dam areas, many back roads adventures, and fine dining at Cafe Cimino in Sutton and the Red Rooster in Gassaway- those in addition to many fast foods at the Flatwoods exit and strip mall.
The flier states, Discover everything: BraxtonWV.org! Yes, much is going on in our neighboring county.
* Another booklet picked up last weekend features the 66th Annual Hardy County Heritage Days, which has quite an extensive list of events from this Fri.-Sun., Sept. 27-29.
On Sat., they have two historical re-enactors portraying Underground RR go-between Harriett Tubman and an hour later, Stonewall Jackson. Plus, a nighttime movie, “Mary Poppins” in the Historic McCoy Theater.
Hardy County not only preserves it historic homes, but also shows them off during the Annual Heritage Days, all of them being open for the people to see. One of the cabins was built by one son of Henry “Lighthorse Harry” Lee, of Revolutionary War fame, who had another son named: General Robert E. Lee. Plus, all of the historic churches and barns are open, generally on Saturday. Additionally, community Yard Sales are going on throughout the county.
Hence, there's much variety in Hardy County, especially in historic sites that local leaders are taking advantage of. Wish this would be the case in Gilmer County, especially in making the Poor Farm a place of attraction and education!
Nevertheless, to see Hardy County's rich heritage, log onto the website under: www.heritageweekend.com
Other odds 'n' ends
* Note from a satisfied subscriber- “Love reading my Glenville News! Keep those great stories coming!” Our editorial appreciation for her kind words goes to Suzi Call Hauman, of Pittsburgh, and a former GSC cheerleader. Moreover, she's still leading the cheers for good ole Glenville State!
* The idled Country Life Health Store on North Lewis Street remains closed. David and Alice Myer, the owners, may want to sell it. Any buyers out there? Kudos to Debbie Greenlief Yeager and Lori Ross who have kept it open for regular customers for some time.
* No word yet from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) on their updates on Glenville State College's status. Two weeks ago the HLC team met with administrators, Board of Governors, faculty, students, and community members in order to check up on certain accrediting issues faced in 2016. Again, good luck to GSC, but the faculty, students and public will have to be informed of these gathered facts, so they can be confident in their current prospects.
* “Appalachian Alchemy” - Still not any updates or more information from No. 2 Son Patrick about his new business, “Appalachian Alchemy,” in Beckley. The ancients used alchemy a lot, so we'll have to find out what its 21st century application is. He also does Massage Therapy as a sideline in the Old United Bank Building across from the downtown Courthouse.
Best wishes for much success to Patrick and all of my creative and hardworking kids, too!
* Saw June Evans on Monday evening, former owner of the State Liquor Store, who asked about my daughter, Catherine Corcoran. She's doing well but needs to plan a longer visit to Glenville in order to see all of her friends who have asked about her. She just came in for a day for No. 1 Son, Dave, Jr. and Mary Kay Miller's wedding three weeks ago. By the way, Son Dave informed me that in my description of their wedding that I had gotten three things wrong. Well, now all of you newsmakers and readers know that I don't discriminate in my reporting and writing gaffs. Haha! To the good, he's taken the issues in his own hands and done a rewrite in this edition (to be seen right below here).
A final note: Have a great week and weekend! Also, thanks to all who have contacted us over the past week, for we value the input of you subscribers and advertisers!
Also, commendations to one of our State Senators, The Honorable Charles Clements, for sponsoring this week's GSC-PAC ad on the sports page. Have a great Interim Session, Charles!