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!