Go win, Titans, in this 2019 year
With Gilmer County High School's gala "Homecoming 2019" taking place this -Sat., Oct. 5, we editors wish to extend a most hearty commendation to the principal, sponsors, teachers, and students, all of whom have come together with great “school spirit” to make this gala parade and weekend extra special ones. Also, we editors welcome to all of the visitors to Glenville and, perhaps, to their old school's Homecoming game Friday evening at 7:30 p.m. at Morris Stadium. Come early and enjoy the pregame festivities!
Additionally for you alumni, we know that it always feels good getting back into town in order to see your families, friends, and, at the game, classmates of your golden school days- those many individuals who mean so much to you. So, we wish that your overall experience will be a joyful one.
Don't miss spending some time shopping and eating downtown and at the Hays City commercial district, either.
Finally, much progress is being made at Gilmer County High School, with Principal Steve Shuff, the former basketball and football coach, making several upgrades to the learning environment. At the game, don't forget to say, "Hello" to Steve and your other former teachers/coaches! Most of all, have fun at the game and keep yourself safe! David H. Corcoran, Sr., Publisher
Action needed -
Breast Cancer Awareness is
crucial all during October
Month of October is many different things to people. It's the beauty of the autumn's coming out in our forests' leaves; the crisp air to start off the bow hunting season; the haunting tales of Halloween nights; the sacred preliminary days before religion's Lenten days; and, most important to America's and our local ladies, the caution of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
In fact, in Gilmer County the latter awareness month is being kicked off in a big way by a visit from Bonnie's Bus, a 45-foot, state of the art mobile mammography vehicle offering three-dimensional digital mammograms and breast cancer education to women. As you know from previous issues of this newspaper that it was scheduled to be here at the Gilmer County Health Dept. on this Tues.-Wed., Oct. 2-3 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
What a great opportunity for local women to get mammograms!
This Senior Editor wishes that such diagnostic tests for breast cancer had been available in my grandmother's day, for in the 1940s, if one contracted breast cancer, the victim was given only six years to live. And, she lived for only those six years, but put fear in the hearts of her three daughters, one my mother, for the rest of their lives. Such anxiety, however, need not exist anymore because with modern diagnostic discoveries of the 21st century, early detection can save most lives through early treatments.
We suspect that this above noted personal case might be the same reason for the generosity in donating the bus- in a partnership with the WVU Hospitals- by West Virginia natives Ben and Jo Statler, who named the vehicle after Mrs. Statler's late mother, Bonnie Wells Wilson.
More information about Bonnie's Bus can be found at www.wvucancer.org/bonnie.
Most importantly, commendations to our local ladies who took the time to utilize this vital diagnostic service close to home. By patronizing such opportunities, the sponsoring organizations are more likely to schedule more screenings on a regular basis.
In addition to the Bonnie's Bus visit, commendations to our Gilmer County Family Resource Network (FRN) for bringing the public's attention to the importance of early detection of breast cancer! They, generally, do so in a very festive way, placing balloons around the downtown and sponsoring the popular annual “Bras Across the Park” Cancer Awareness fund-raiser in Glenville's City Square Park. The dramatic event is intended, not only to raise money for the WV Breast and Cervical Cancer Diagnostic and Treatment Fund, but also to bring healthcare information our area's citizens.
Hence, our editorial accolades go out to the sponsors of this and other October Awareness events, especially to Executive Director Jessica Greenlief and her FRN Board of Directors.
Sadly too, breast cancer can be a malady for men, also! A decade or so ago when speaking at a cancer awareness event at Glenville State College, the late English Professor Karl Kerr noted with chagrin that he had survived breast cancer by early detection. Explaining, he discovered a knot in his breast during a shower- it was cancer, and had it removed, thereby saving his life. Most notably, he lived to be well into his 90s, and was a regular Letter to the Editor writer to this newspaper. So, self breast exams by both men and women are crucial in early detection and treatment of this killer illness.
Another benefit: The income guidelines are made available for anyone in need of assistance (those who are uninsured or underinsured). To find out if you qualify, call log on to: www.wvdhhr.org/bccsp. The volunteers there spend the day answering questions and providing invaluable guidance to all of who seek out this information.
Finally, all of these awareness/prevention programs emphasize that we need to be constantly vigilant relative to detecting this awful disease.
No. 70: Why Impeachment???
For all of you “Trump Watchers,” it comes as no surprise that Congress has begun its impeachment process this past week. They are seeking to get the full story of Mr. Trump's alleged misuse and abuse of executive power to gather information from Ukrainian officials to throw political dirt upon one of his political opponents, former Vice-President Joe Biden.
One of the beautiful, timeless provisions that our nation's Founding Fathers wrote into the United States' Constitution is the “Separation of Powers.” What that means is that each branch of the federal government has its own powers designated, to that one branch exclusive of the others, except where more than one branch is needed to enact or uphold the laws. As a result, the Executive Branch, or the president, has the duty to carry out the laws; the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, the duty to debate and pass the laws; and the U.S. Supreme Court, the duty to interpret the laws, if a conflict exists. (American Government 101)
In this current impeachment procedure, when the President tried to withhold aid from Ukraine, except if the foreigners helped Mr. Trump in his 2020 re-election campaign, that personal initiative of his amounted to “conspiracy to blackmail” a foreign government, which is in a life-death conflict with neighboring Russia, and “an abuse of executive powers” under the Constitution.
Congress' question: Shall we accept a flagrant abrogation of the law by this President, thereby leaving the door open for future presidents to ask foreigners to “meddle in our national, state, and, even, local elections” on their behaves? The answer should be an emphatic, “No!” DHC, Sr.
With Gilmer County High School's Homecoming this weekend, and the College's to follow soon thereafter, education and sports will be the hot topics of conversations, no doubt!
As usual, the Mountain State's schools are under fire for being among the worst in the nation- “Thank goodness for Mississippi,” as the old saying goes here.
To correct our low standings in test scores, graduation rates, dropouts, teen pregnancies, addictions, etc., the State Legislature, so State Senate President Mitch Carmichael (R-Lincoln) relates, passed a “Charter Schools” Bill to operate in tandem with our public schools. His advocacy is most compelling, but the question is that in a small state with typically tiny cities, can Charter Schools even exist? He believes that they can, especially in three unnamed larger cities at first. It's a type of experiment, I suspect. Hope it doesn't backfire and end up costing taxpayers millions of $$$- all for nothing!
Most West Virginians don't even know what Charter Schools are, and, also, do the people with children back in the hollows even care? Well, why should they because it's difficult for them, along with many other families suffering from addictions and mental problems, to get up each day to put their kids on the school buses, much more to encourage them to succeed in their studies.
Nevertheless, Charter Schools - in the three large cities- would only affect the more well-to-do urban and suburban dwellers, not the hardworking families in rural West Virginia. In fact, they perhaps would be only for “gifted students” too, those who place highest in the test scores or their families have the money to secure them a student desk in the school. Once again, with our state's minimum family incomes in or about the poverty level of $28,000 per year, the Charter Schools would benefit the top two-percent of families, but what about the great majority of children?
Yes, I know that our public school teachers are against Charter Schools because these alternative schools will have to siphon taxpayer monies away from their schools, which will continue to educate the Lion's share of state youngsters. These teachers are the ones in Gilmer and the other counties who are trying their best to teach their students as best they can, in spite of the existing family income and social skills liabilities they face daily. So, kudos to these teachers!
In the main, the central question is, and will always be: “What can we do to break up through our state's low-standing educational threshold?”
A Teacher's Academy
There is a plan, a better one than the Charter Schools, that could ramp up the educational content and success rates of all Mountain State schools. The initiative, too, was created right here in Gilmer County by the former Glenville State College President William K. Simmons, and is called the “Teacher's Academy.”
Innovative, realistic, and doable, its components are the seamless process of identifying the best Teacher Education prospects in the state, enrolling them in a college/university's Bachelor's Degree Education program, seeing them through to obtain that degree, and, finally, giving them a guaranteed acceptance into the West Virginia University's Master's of Teacher Education program. In the main, this academy would be geared to preparing the next generation of teachers to deal with all of the academic, social, cultural, and study problems that many kids, either homeless or with addicted parents, would have.
Now, added to the difficulties of these students, many classroom teachers also have special challenges. According to the Economic Policy Institute of the U.S. Dept. of Education, 68.5 percent of teachers have the academic backgrounds and certifications in the subjects they are teaching- that's all good! To the contrary though, 31.5 percent lack the necessary schooling and experience to instruct their students. Among those teachers are ones in mathematics, the natural sciences, early childhood, and special education, among others. So, if your child has a certified teacher with these appropriate skills, you are fortunate, indeed!
Also to the positive, many of the state's legislative and educational officials are open-minded to new and innovative plans, including Dr. Simmons' concept of a “Teacher's Academy.” And, by the way, we editors are not blind to the fact that some people don't like him, but what ex-college president is “liked?” Ask immediate Past GSC President Tracy Pellett about that!
To the good today, Dr. Simmons has been out of office for about two decades here in Glenville, but during the intervening period he hasn't forgotten his first love: teaching. He's taught various English classes at Marshall Univ., Summersville's New River College, and elsewhere. Besides, he's getting no pay for his work on the proposed Teacher's Academy, as he's a lifelong resident of Gilmer County and wants education, mainly at GSC, to succeed.
Sociable and kindhearted, he has always gotten along with me, but, as you all know, sometimes old feuds like the Hatfields & McCoys, live on for years without any good outcomes. Nevertheless, sometimes with the southern WV clan warfare, everyone has to “bury the hatchet” and move on forward for the good of society. And, for the benefit of GSC, which is in need of renewed purpose and funding, this project is a “Gold Mine” for all!
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!
Oh, come on Gilmer County folks, because you need to now speak up for one of the last remaining Poor Farms in West Virginia and America!
Just think of it in this way: Envision your own “Family Tree,” and you'll probably realize that when your ancestors travelled here to America and W. Va., they were perhaps poor. They emigrated here to find a better life and possibly even “prosperity.” Or, as we Irish-Americans said, “That pot of gold” that was at the end of the rainbow, which was “America.” Moreover, if your forebears worked hard, you are now enjoying their wealth, at least in part.
On the other hand, if life turned sour on them, they and possibly some of your ancestors ended up on Poor Farms in West Virginia or another state.
Younger people don't know what Poor Farms were, but they should, even though the U.S. History textbooks have omitted them. That was perhaps a part of “political correctness” in wanting our disagreeable past forgotten. In fact, from the 1850s to 1950s, they were the protective havens for those aged and crippled citizens, who had no family members to care for them. Before 1935 you see, there was no social security system to provide the retirement funds that employers of earlier generations failed to provide. So, the Poor Farms are an integral part of our Social History, mainly forgotten unlike the tenement houses, crowded urban areas, racial conflicts, and other more popular social problems of the early 20th century and before.
Our dramatic omission here in Gilmer County, along with many other Mountain State counties, is that we've conveniently forgotten our history and placed little stock in its usefulness and value. Conversely, if we embraced our past more, saved it, and publicized it, that story would stimulate tourism into this county, thereby generating more dollars for the dwindling number of businesses now located here.
In last week's editorial, this Sr. Editor pointed out all of the historical attractions, many of national import, that are in the southernmost W.Va. county of McDowell. Sadly, none of those public officials there, like here, seem to be aware of them. Ironically enough, those officials are now searching for activities that tourists can do when overnighting there. To gain any economic benefit from tourism, it is estimated that a visiting family or group must spend four days at their planned destination. In McDowell, the local officials could only think of a couple of state facilities to visit, and they were all over an hour's drive from the county seat of Welch.
To the good for county seat Glenville, we have the interesting and colorful “Poor Farm Infirmary” right here at the Recreation Center. Are the County Commissioners Brian Kennedy, John Bennett, and Lance Woodford blind to this fact? And, what about our Economic Development Association's chief Jeff Campbell and Glenville's City Administrators and Council, headed by a very kindly Dennis Fitzpatrick? But, is Mr. Fitzpatrick and the Council alert enough to see the Poor Farm's value as a tourist attraction? I suspect that the Little Kanawha River Trail Association senses its worth because they are trying to attract Kayakers, canoers, boat rowers, water sports people (including fishermen and women), and nature lovers, among others, to use the river for recreation, as well as to bring business to Glenville and the rest of the county.
But again, what is there to do when tourists get to Glenville? Really there's more than you think! They could visit the Gilmer County Historical Society on Wednesday afternoon to tour the Historic Holt House Museum, then take a Walking Tour to see the Historic Kanawha Union Bank (in ill repair), and the Folk Festival's Country Store Museum (interesting). On Thursday after overnighting at the fine Glenville Inn, they could visit the Poor Farm's Infirmary (tours by students) and, later, Glenville State College, especially the Grave and Tragic Story of Ghost “Sis” Linn, and then the academic, social and cultural offerings at the college. That night, they could get a taste of Bluegrass Music at the Pioneer Stage. On Friday, a driving tour around Gilmer County to see Cedar Creek State Park, its One-Room School, Job's Temple, the Historic Pisgah Churches, and exit at Rosedale, where the residents will welcome them to one of their many social activities. It's also a college game day on Saturday if they return to Glenville!
In the main, it's just a great shame that the kindhearted and civic-minded Mr. Jim Bailey, President of the Gilmer County Historic Landmarks Commission, along with many other local preservation activists, have worked their hearts out on this unique project and, indeed, were promised by the County's Parks & Recreation Commission Board of Directors that they could press forward with surveying the Poor Farm Building and to move ahead on getting a grant to repair any structural deficiencies that might exist- all of this in the winter of 2018. But shortly thereafter, the preservation team were refused entry into the building, even though President Jim Bailey's motion had been duly passed to do so. It all resulted in his necessity to hire a lawyer to file a legal writ to prohibit tearing down the building. As he and other local activists admonish, once it's gone, it's gone ... and to be forever forgotten. A chance to grasp creating a tourist attraction that would certainly pull people off the Interstate highways to see a Gilmer County attraction!
The Rec Center's Board are what you'd call “Indian givers,” that is giving something to someone, and shortly thereafter, taking it back. The County Commission, along with the others here, are just cold, hard marble statues that are incapable of envisioning an improved future for the county and moving toward it!
Hopefully, you in the public will get all of these purported “public officials” to wake up and keep what our county has that is unique, even though it is historic!
David H. Corcoran, Sr., Publisher-Sr. Editor