Oh yes, this is a different Independence Day Holiday in 2020! One we editors will enjoy, but in future years ... FORGET!
The coronavirus is keeping our families off the highways and away from their Gilmer County and WV hometowns. At the same time, all area family households can prepare for a festive 4th of July Holiday picnic and small reunion at home, along with the traditional backyard fireworks in most communities, but not Glenville, where fireworks are banned. (That unenforceable city ordinance ought to be rescinded.) At the same time, we can celebrate our pride with being Americans in other ways, such as demonstrating our patriotism by proudly flying your American Flag at home, grilling outside by it, and thinking about the meaning of the special holiday.
Truly, we editors- feeling that flurry of patriotic fervor- urge you to fly our American Flag at your businesses on this one and each national or state holiday, as well.
To get in the Spirit of '76, the 4th of July is the date in 1776 when the Declaration of Independence was signed, thus- boldly and heroically- declaring our American colonies' separation from our Mother Country, Great Britain. (You might read a couple of those inspirational paragraphs to the family for their continuing education!) This action by our nation's patriots precipitated the American Revolution- a five-year bloody struggle between our ill-prepared Continental Army against the well-trained and extensively experienced British Army regulars. Our desire for freedoms of speech, the press and assembly, along with relief from unjust taxation won out in the end, with Britain's surrender at Yorktown, VA in 1781. (There, and Colonial Williamsburg, are ideal places to take your youngsters to appreciate our nation's founding!)
Thomas Jefferson, a masterful author, patriot and future president, led the committee that drafted the Declaration, and let his statues remain intact throughout America. Furthermore, one year this publisher and son, Patrick, spent that day of celebration at Popular Forest, Mr. Jefferson's historic getaway estate near Lynchburg, VA. My son, Patrick, then a Glenville State History major, was doing a summer archeological dig at the historic property by way of a Univ. of Va. Fellowship. It was a true pleasure being with him on this most memorable occasion. It was Mr. Jefferson's seasonal getaway home, mainly after his presidency. The French Ambassador to the United States was the principal speaker, among other colorful speakers.
But, once again, our American Flag should hold a special place in our hearts, so first and foremost, be respectful to it, because this colorful banner represents the blood, sweat, tears, sacrifices and lives of our Colonial Army, Navy and other patriots to create our "Land of the Free"- a democracy now trying to be emulated around the world.
Locally, kudos to our local Veterans, both men and women, who carry the late Damon West's giant Flag during the Folk Festival and other area parades. It's truly awesome when that Grand Old Flag is carried past the crowds who take off their hats, place their right hands over their hearts, and clap for our enthusiastic Gilmer County veterans. These aging Veterans, oftentimes, struggle to carry the giant Flag. We editors trust that basic Flag etiquette for respect and display is still being taught in our local and state's schools!
Remember what we editors wrote for the recent Flay Day, notably that the red in our American Flag stands for hardiness and courage; the white, purity and innocence; and the blue, vigilance, perseverance and justice. All are virtues that our Flag reminds us Americans to embrace and to demonstrate in our daily lives, but especially on national holidays, like on this Sat., July 4th!
Especially at this time of national illness and racial tension, pray that "God will continue to bless America" for the majority's big hearts and souls are pure and good! David H. Corcoran, Sr., Publisher-Sr. Ed.
Destroying the USA's Art is not social & racial justice
For the past few days, our editorial attention has been focused on all of the destruction of age-old urban monuments by the demonstrators for “Black Lives Matter.” Although being strong Civil Rights activists at this newspaper for the past 25 years, and a believer in Black Lives and All Lives Matter, this Sr. Editor fails to see the validity of mobs tearing down aged and beautiful statues in the name of “racial justice?” In reality, our nation will not magically cleanse itself of “racism,” just by blotting out these objects, for it is a raw mindset that some have possessed for years.
In last Saturday's Charleston newspaper, however, two columnists decried all Confederate statues and the names of schools and other public buildings which bear their names, not wanting them at all. These were traitors who rebelled against our nation, so tear them down, they argue. Truly, the Civil War has been over for 150 years, and this is the first time these thoughts have come to their minds? My General Manager son, Dave, Jr., also announced to me that he feels the same way, and perhaps that's due to our age difference. But, he , like the others, are being “politically correct” for these turbulent years, compounded by the tension emanating from the White House's machinations and the COVID-19. health crisis.
My editorial is not just about our nation and locality's ongoing unconcern about our past, but also preserving the works of art, of which they were onetime praised in their small towns. The Confederate statuary was erected generations ago to be instructive to that area's citizens and their children about local history. Yes, the South lost and the North won, and that is what all of these Confederate statues in the South and the Union Generals in the North say. It's an easy lesson to understand, without destroying or removing this public property from people's every day lives.
Years ago, artists were paid to create these objects of art, and they were proud of them. Such art work may not go into museums for fear of continuing vandalism at a later date. Then, in the past few days, Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation and Teddy Roosevelt's Spanish-American War statues have been criticized for showing Blacks and Hispanics as being subservient. Of course, are they going to carry this hatred (a trait the demonstrators abhor in others) on back to George Washington, our Founding Father. If so, teachers, get ready to rewrite the history books! When studying under a Fulbright in Mexico, I went to a public library to check out what those authors said about the U.S.A. I quickly discovered in all of the Mexican national histories that I could lay my hands on, that the references to the United States were all cut out. The librarians, I could see, were embarrassed. I guess that being clueless about Americans for some of our southern neighbors is considered patriotic, but not very practical and effective in promoting FDR's Good Neighbor idea.
When such movements as these anti-historical demonstrations go on, our past becomes blotted out; our present, blurred; and our future. totally mysterious and problematic. Save the Statues, America! DHC, Sr.
Jeanie Swanson, formerly our feature story writer and advertising salesperson, recently visited her native Gilmer County, mainly the Conings-Troy area. Afterwards visiting me also, she picked up some of my old and worn-out family photos from Indiana and Kentucky.
Upon looking them over, she asserted, “Once they are restored, people will really like seeing them!”
Although some of them may be intriguing to you West Virginia and other readers, I really doubt that you'd be interested, due to their “foreign states” of origin! On the other hand, if they would be Gilmer County scenes, you'd jump for joy (if you could) to find them fascinating, even worth talking about over the family's dinner table.
My family's dining room table I remember vividly from early childhood. It was made of beautiful mahogany wood, with eight chairs to match. In the main, it was a nice place to consume one of mother's delicious meals, and where the whole family gathered for Sunday's signature fried chicken dinner- my mom excelled in this meal. My oldest brother, wife, and five children, as well as the three of us took seats around it. The table had extra leaves to accommodate larger numbers of people, too, if needed. I don't remember any of those family conversations, but I'm certain that most were warm, friendly, and loving. Our two families at that time both lived in New Albany, Ind., with my middle brother, T.A., Jr., his wife Carolyn, and kids living elsewhere because he was a mining engineer and always advancing in his career.
The Korean War
Our dining room table took on a new meaning during the Korean War, of which started on June 7, 1950 with the North's surprise invasion of the South. With President Harry Truman calling up the troops into action to save the democratic Republic of Korea, our service personnel traveled to the Far East to stop this unjust war. Many Gilmer Countians, like Jim Fields, now of Kentucky, answered that call to patriotic duty, as well as many others. (Unfortunately, like the WW II veterans, we Gilmer Countians have sadly lost a lot of them in recent years. Hence, just another reason to honor these and all military service personnel at our newspaper's Veterans Parade & Program in November annually! God bless them all, especially those who are now facing health challenges, being compounded by the coronavirus tension to be feared in their daily lives!)
Now our home at 1915 Ekin Avenue, New Albany, was two doors from the National Cemetery, being one of the three older than Arlington and established by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. That sacred plot, being in the first state north of the Ohio River, was ideal for burying our Civil War fatalities coming off southern battlefields.
At eight years of age, I asked mother during one day why so many ladies gathered around that dining room table? She replied, “We are making dressings for the Red Cross to be used on the wounded troops in Korea.” That was an eye-opener about the price of war to a pre-teen.
Then, playing outside with neighborhood children, we'd hear gun shots coming from the cemetery. Mother and my Aunt “A,” for Evelyn, said it was in honor of the fallen soldiers in the Korean War. Aunt A then commented that she cried every time she heard those shots because she knew a freedom fighter's life, the son or daughter of American parents, had been lost.
Notably on Veterans Day, a long parade of veterans and school bands would come marching briskly up Ekin Avenue with great spirit to the cemetery. There, a U.S. Congressman or Army General would speak to the people crowed around a Speakers Platform in the enclosed block's center. That oration would always urge the attendees never to forget these men and women who served because they did so to preserve the freedoms that we all cherish today- freedom of the press, speech, and peaceful assembly. The messages were all followed by the playing of a patriotic song by a school band and the singing of the National Anthem by a talented serviceman or woman.
Then, after the war, our dining room table was also used by Dad for his Poker Club's monthly get-togethers. In addition, Mother's friends found great joy on it for their Bridge and Canasta Clubs in the later 1950s and 1960s. Both parents had so much fun at that table entertaining their lifelong friends in those days before young people had to move away to find jobs. To the contrary and in the early 1900s, the youths didn't have to move away from their hometowns to secure good employment, or even to need a college education. In fact, Mom and Dad's card groups had been meeting ever since their high school years, and some were neighbors, business people, church friends, etc. Mom and Dad's card groups held together for about 60 years each. Of course, at the end of the men's card playing nights, Mom always had a sumptuous night-time meal awaiting them, and a dessert and tea or coffee for her Girl Friends, who were always called, “The Girls,” even into their 70s. In those latter years, our Catholic Church's monsignor, an avid poker player, commented, “I don't see how we old men can eat so much so late at night that your mom cooks up?” It was her great culinary talents, learned from her German-American mother, my beloved Grandma Lorena Merkel Moser!
After inheriting our dining table and taking it to Welch (McDowell County), it, once again, a center of warmth and joyfulness that it used to be, hosting our family's supper, board games, or studying. In addition, we entertained the neighbors and friends on certain special occasions, such as when WVU Football was on TV. Dave, Jr. used it for writing his scripts for Dungeons & Dragons, and other family kids and others for their term papers.
But, sorrowfully there was one missed opportunity to use it to promote Southern West Virginia's Korean War Heroism. While publisher-editor of the then Welch Daily News, Mr. Floyd Cox, a U.S. Steel coal miner from Pineville, asked me to take on the task of establishing a Korean War Memorial in adjoining Wyoming County. He was a close reader of my columns, knew of my teaching of economics and history at Sou. WV C & T College, and was convinced of what I could achieve. Most noteworthy, the first causality of that war was a Wyoming County native, Pfc. Kenneth Shadrick. At 18, he was killed in action on July 5, 1950. Also, a veteran of that war, Floyd Cox felt that the state needed a Korean War Memorial in 1989.
I agreed, too, but I had too much “on my table” at that time, being Chair of Welch's Downtown Revival, Chair of the Industrial Committee of the McDowell EDA, teacher one evening a week at Southern, and managing the daily newspaper during the 1980s Coal Mining Recession. Plus, I also enjoyed being with my kids for their basketball games right after supper. Yes, I needed family time, too! So, my plate was also full. As a result, I had to decline Mr. Cox's kind offer to me for another worthy job. However, I did agree to write frequent news stories about the enthusiastic Memorial Committee's progress and successes.
Had I only possessed enough strength at that time we could have set up a statewide Kenny Shadrick Korean War Memorial, much better than the sign on SR 19 at Oak Hill, signifying “38th Parallel, In Honor of our Korean War Veterans!”
Had only Mr. Jim Fields, a Sand Fork native but now of Catlettsburg, Ky., visited me down there, it would have been a different story! In catching me in Glenville and enjoying his visit and reminiscences of the Korean War, we would have had that superior War Memorial. Most dramatically, Jim brought into the office a large box, a little bigger than the banana crates at Waco Foodland, and opening it , he showed me a whole new world of wartime stories. It was only one of four similar boxes, all containing newspaper clippings of the war, updates on Jim's safety, and other Korean War memorabilia that he inherited from his kind and concerned mother. It, indeed, was an impressive cache of information that could have been used to establish a Korean War Memorial in the Mountain State. Back in the 1980s, though, I unfortunately didn't know Jim, he didn't know me, and I probably had never heard of Gilmer County, but knew of Glenville State College.
It's now the 70th Anniversary of the North's invasion of the southern half of the Korean peninsula. So, our newspaper's thanks and well-wishes go out to each one of our State's Korean War Veterans.
(Hopefully, but it now seems unlikely with the spiking COVID-19 cases rising, once again, that's we editors will be able to sponsor the 6th Annual Veterans Parade & Program in its usual time- the Saturday before Veterans Day. So many Veterans have told me they enjoy it because it's not a long parade- only two blocks for them to walk- and a short speakers and veterans' recognition program at the Gilmer County Historical Society. Also, last year the kindhearted Gilmer Fire Chief Martin Hess and his Dept.'s Support Group sponsored a very delicious pulled pork dinner for the Veterans afterwards. Hence, thanks to the Fire Dept. for upgrading this hour-long parade and program.)
In the main, I've been able to plan this event using my old dining room table, as it continues to bring joy to my heart ... with its feeling of family sitting around. Also, kudos to my entire staff for doing much of the detail work that is difficult for me to keep up with.
Oddly, the table is now about 100 years old, so in only three years, it will be classified as an “antique.” Guess how much my father paid for it in 1923 after my parents' marriage?
Dad bought it at one of the leading furniture stores in Louisville, the city where he worked at the Courier Journal & Times, for $____!
(You guess, and if you hit it close or right on the nose, you'll win a free year's subscription to our newspaper. Call Sara, our Subscription Manager, at 304-462-7309 to give your answer. Once again, it is a mahogany table for eight, with two leaves for enlargement. You'll have to put on your thinking caps, think about what similar dining room sets go for these days, and guess, or calculate, their Past Value for 1923. Everyone can enter this contest and the winners will be announced later. Moreover, if I've told this story to my children, both they and their friends, as well as my employees, they are all excluded from the contest. Is that fair enough? And, be sure to say, “Hello and good luck to us, too! Contest ends Fri., July 17, 2020.)
Now, back to tables: I doubt any of you are yearning to see or eat at my dining room table, but you certainly used to respond to the late Mrs. Geraldine Marks' “Around the Kitchen Table!” Her memories of local families, many related to her and those of the Rosedale-Perkins areas' places of old certainly sparked a positive interchange of ideas, just like those of Shock's Jeannette Riffle today. Mrs. Marks” Granddaughter Rachel Adams also did a good job by extending her “Kitchen Table's” stories for several weeks after her sad passing. She needs to give it another try now that it's summertime and she has youthful memories of life in Gilmer County.
Conversely, probably a more exciting set of remembrances could emerge if we scraped the tables, and had a column about people sitting “In the Old Recliner!” Haha!
The Glenville Democrat Pathfinder, David H. Corcoran, and David Corcoran, Jr. are all on FB. Why not befriend us??? We try to stay up-to-date on all of the bantering, to and fro, on that social media, most of which we editors couldn't print here.
The Fireflies are out now at night, delighting us with their beautiful fireworks, even before this Sat.'s, 4th of July Holiday.
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 have a Happy and Safe 4th of July this Saturday!
For many regular returnees to Glenville for the 2021 version of the West Virginia State Folk Festival after our beloved 2020 event was cancelled, it may feel like "coming home," once again, to the place you "love to visit." Moreover, we editors assure you that you're always welcome! But, unlike the big cities, let it not be said that you'd "never like to live here."
To the contrary, Gilmer County and all of West Virginia are really nice places to retire, to live, and work in. Looking into our crystal ball, we can see Glenville itself being transformed into an Utopian City, much like Economy, PA and New Harmony, Ind. In those model communities, there are a variety of public parks, labyrinths, walking trails, and collegian activities. Mayor Dennis Fitzpatrick is setting the base for this grand step into Glenville's future by emphasizing the demolition of dilapidated rental homes and buildings. Furthermore, the Little Kanawha River Trail Association is opening up the waterway for recreational uses. GSC has established a Music City Center downtown owing to its Pioneer Stage. So, progress is being made to upgrade Glenville!
During the gubernatorial administration Joe Manchin, now one of the Mountain State's two U.S. Senators, he mounted a campaign to attract former West Virginia natives to "Come Home." We Glenville editors would like to continue offering that warm invitation to all of you regular Folk Festival attendees, who may have lived in far away places for years. You're certainly welcome to resettle here and to start your lives out anew, in a place where the sound of music continues throughout the year, both at Glenville State College and in many of the county's restaurants and homes on the weekends.
With our Mountain State's financial and administrative operations moving ahead fairly smoothly, the state is looking at "a small million budgetary surplus" in spite of the coronavirus, thereby not needing a tax increase for some time. State residents, natives living elsewhere and you, regular Folk Festival attendees, can enjoy our tax under control environment, if you choose to either remain or to move here. Other pretty persuasive arguments for moving to West Virginia are as follows:
First of all, Inc., Forbes, Kiplinger's Personal Finance, and Where to Retire magazines are in unanimous agreement that West Virginia's cities are among the best in the country for business and living.
Secondly, for you big business executives and smaller entrepreneurs, the Mountain State is centrally located, in that we're within overnight trucking distance of more than half of the United States' population and one third of Canadians. Hence, for most people, you wouldn't have to move too far from your adult kids, and you seniors, in particular, could link up with many of new friends at our modern Senior Center, as it should be reopened by 2021, hopefully before.
Thirdly, if you're a business owner, be alert to the fact that our state's business costs are 13 percent lower than the national average. In particular, for you Gilmer County retirees living elsewhere, there's now wide open opportunities to set up your retirement businesses in order to generate that extra income that you may now be needing to make ends meet. (On trips to St. Augustine, FL by this Publisher-Sr. Editor, I've noticed that most of the small businesses and boutiques are owned by seniors, seeking good retirement incomes, keeping physically active, and having fun.)
Fourthly, the Mountain State is slowly growing, in that we have attracted $6.6 billion in new investment and almost 23,000 new jobs since 2005. Now, that's impressive!
Fifthly, our economy is international. In fact, the state's businesses have secured investments from 23 countries that employ 22,000 West Virginians. Meanwhile, we exported $3.97 billion to foreign counties in 2007, mainly coal.
Sixthly, living in West Virginia is "affordable,"- a fact that is close to every family provider's heart. According to state statistics, the cost of living is 4.5 percent below the national average. Indeed, those of us enjoying our lives in Gilmer County appreciate life and work in a "low-cost state."
Seventhly, perhaps the most talked about benefit of living in West Virginia in general and Gilmer County in particular is the low crime rate. Hence, West Virginians live in a "safe" state, because we sport one of the lowest crime rates in the nation. (So, want to escape the terror of big city violence, move to small city USA- Glenville- where you and your children can feel safe.)
Eighthly, you'll find the property taxes to be low, thereby helping West Virginia to lead the nation in home ownership. In fact, Gilmer County has several nice, new housing developments, such as the Little Kanawha Estates, GSC's and the Development Partners' River View project, and Mr. Greg Smith's various properties, all places just waiting for home-buyers to purchase. Call Brian Groves at the Central WV Realty for details!
Ninthly, our Mountain State is a popular place for visitors. In fact, annually approximately 11 million overnight leisure travelers visited the state's various assets, such as Snowshoe and the other ski resorts, the race tracks, our getaway spas, our Cedar Creek State Park, etc.
Finally, the state has maintained its natural beauty, thereby offering visitors and residents 50 state parks and forests, more than 800 miles of hiking trails, 5,000 acres of fishing waters and many hunting areas.
Now, if you're still not convinced to move to West Virginia, check out what else we state advocates have to say: Mayor Fitzpatrick, 304-462-8040 or this editor, 304-462-7309. Remember that here, you can buy two or three times the home in a beautiful and safe neighborhood, as well as establishing you business at a reasonable cost.
West Virginia is calling YOU to "Come Home," so why not give us your ear? In the meantime, we editors welcome you to visit Glenville, Gilmer County and West Virginia and have a great time at next year's Folk Festival!
David H. Corcoran, Sr., Publisher-Sr. Editor
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!