By Jeanette Riffle


We have never seen deer share a pile of corn before, until this year. Years ago when I went up in Butcher's Run with my husband to fill corn feeders, we saw a doe stand on her hind feet and crack another one on top of the head. It was so loud that I thought it should have cracked a skull, but it didn't. She was greedy and didn't want to share.

One winter it was so bad that the deer were starving, so we fed them in our back yard. They would watch us from across the road and when they saw Duane putting out corn, they came running. One was a fighter in that bunch, too. It was late winter and the bucks had already lost their antlers, so we don't know if there were any bucks in the group or not but one deer was mean and selfish. It stood on it's hind feet and came down on the skull of any other deer in the way. I suppose deer have different personalities, too, just like people. So far this year, we haven't seen any fighting over corn.

We saw a little doe today that ate so much she just laid down to rest. Now, it's been another story with the birds since we started feeding them again. One will barrel into another bird in flight, trying to knock it away from the feeders and when two or more are perched on a feeder, there will be one that fights another with its beak. I expect we have some sore birds out there. The worst bullies of the backyard feeders are the jays but we haven't seen many and very few cardinals. Mostly what we are getting are goldfinches, sapsuckers, nuthatches, doves and tree climbing wood peckers. The red headed woodpecker carries seeds to trees and hides them behind the bark. He can hold his own if anybody tries to bully him or steal his food.

Mom liked her birds, too. My youngest brother, Brent, made her a, “Bird Bed and Breakfast.” He attached it to the hand rail of the ramp going from the road to the front porch. Mom could sit in a recliner and see birds out the glass in the front door. She had the strangest animal in her garden, though.

One time when I was over there and getting ready to go back home, I opened the door and we both saw it. She said, “Oh, that thing is back again. Jeanette, what is that?” I didn't know. I shut the door real easy and we looked out the glass at it. I said, “Mom, it has a round face like a calf, but a long, broad body, too big for a calf. It's more like the body of a deer, but too big for a deer.”

Mom said the neighbor lady next door had been seeing it, too. Those humongous, big, round eyes kept staring at the house while it was eating on something in the garden. I was afraid, but I wanted to get to my vehicle before dark, so I braved up and stepped out on the porch and it took off. It is scientifically impossible for a deer to cross breed with a cow. When I got home and told Duane, he said it was a deer that didn't form right.

More wild life stories might follow. Take care and God bless!

Central WV Aging Services announced that Ray Clifford Strader will serve as the Parade Marshal for the annual Veterans Day Parade on Monday, November 11, at 11 a.m. in Gassaway. The reason I mention this is because Clifford was in my high-school class and we graduated in 1951. He had 12 siblings, which I didn't remember! He joined the Army in 1953 and was sent to Fort Hood, Texas, for Basic Training, but after only five days in boot camp, he was sent to the Motor Pool to teach the men how to drive anything from a Jeep up to a 70 mm tank. He had to teach them because there were only three of them that could drive. Then when they hit the firing range, it was chaos. No one knew how to do anything. After they fired the first round, the division Commander asked Clifford where he learned to shoot. He said he learned from shooting squirrels. So teaching marksmanship was his job for the next two years. He is now a member of the American Legion and continues to serve in different capacities. He has been the Commander of the American Legion for twelve years, not assisting the Color Guard with funerals for Veterans. I am so proud of him. We all should be! (I got information about Clifford Strader from November 5th edition of the Braxton Citizens' News.

Veterans' Day “Eve”! I am thinking about my own experience with service-related activities. I remember the excitement and concern in my parents and grandparents voices on December 7, 1941 when I was six years old. We had no TV and got pictures from the newsreels they ran before movies at the theater on the rare occasions when we went to a movie. My most horrible memories are of the radio news broadcasts about the war, (WORLD WAR II, later KOREA and VI ETNAM.) I was so frightened that I had nightmares of enemy soldiers coming down over the hills into Burnsville. (That is laughable now, but not to me then. We were a tiny town with very little industry or anything else, really, and no reason for invasions by enemies, but it was real to me.) Bless their hearts, though, my parents knew that I had to be sent elsewhere when the news was on because I was so scared.

Read more in this week's issue- on stands now!

By Joseph Mazzella,

Almost every morning for the last 25 years I have exercised my body. It is nothing too strenuous. It is just a light workout to maintain my health. I don't do it to look good or to compete in some sport. I just do it because I want to live longer and feel better. I am sure many of you do the same.

Our bodies aren't the only part of us that needs exercise, however. There is a far more important part of ourselves that we should exercise as well, and that is our souls. It is so easy to do, too. Here are just a few of the things you can do to exercise your soul.

Take a moment, several times each day, to think about just how much God loves you. Say a simple prayer. My own favorite is, “Thank You!” Listen to a song that lifts your spirits and sing a long. Spend an afternoon listening to the rain fall on your roof while petting your dog. Share a smile with someone you pass on the street. Give your children a big hug and kiss and tell them you love them. Take a nice long walk outside to reconnect with God's creation. Help out a local charity. Watch the sunrise. Watch the sunset. Watch the moon and stars at night. Send an encouraging note to a friend who could use it. Shut off all your screens and spend some time reading an inspiring book. Hold the hand of someone you love. Do a kind act for another and don't let anyone know about it. Give to your community. Give your time. Give your talents. Give your love. Treat everyone you meet like they won't be here tomorrow. Free yourself from fear and open your heart to love. Love God. Love yourself. Love everyone like yourself. Love like today is your last one here, because it just might be.

Never stop exercising your soul, then. Never stop growing better, stronger, kinder, and closer to God. Keep yourself in great shape for this life and for the greater life to come.

Joseph Mazzella is a free-lance writer from Nicholas County and a GSC Alumnus.

Last week, my column was about human trafficking. As I came into work on Monday, one of my co-workers had printed out a press release from the U. S. Attorney's Office in Martinsburg.

Yes, I know that Martinsburg is a large town and is a bedroom community for Washington D.C. But, the press release was about a man who has a Maryland and Florida address who was luring young girls on the internet to send him pornographic pictures of themselves.

This is one way human trafficking begins.

This 24-year-old man had talked to a 13-year-old West Virginia girl on an app called “Live Me” and groomed her until she sent him inappropriate pictures of herself. No one knows how far this would have gone if police officials had not intervened.

Maybe he only wanted pictures. Maybe he wanted to continue talking until that child ended up sneaking away from home to join her “love.”

These are scary times we are living in.

Live Me, Snapchat and many other phone apps are becoming a way to meet young people, boys and girls alike, and either get them to send inappropriate pictures or get them to meet them. The adults usually provide the bus or plane ticket and then your child is in the hands of a predator. In a town that is not your own. Alone. And scared.

This isn't just happening to children. Teens and adults are being lured into these activities also. Everyone always thinks the grass is greener on the other side. But, sometimes that grass is extremely dangerous.

Many, many parents give their young children cell phones for emergencies. It makes sense for children to have a phone available to be able to contact parents when needed.

Kids are smart. They are especially smart when it comes to technology. If they have their own phone, parents need to be diligent in monitoring the apps they download and how they are being used. Once that Snapchat photo is sent, it's gone and Snapchat has been very uncooperative in helping police recover photos needed in criminal investigations. So far, not one court in the nation has been able to force Snapchat to release photos that were sent, but not screen shot.

Chat rooms are a fun place for teens to visit to meet people from all over the world. The sad thing is, predators know that too. There are sick people everywhere. Literally. Some just want child pornography, some plan to lure your child or teenager to a far away place and sell them into the sex trade.

It's a scary world out there.

The press release I received, just after I wrote the initial column on this subject, said that the man received a ten year sentence. If he behaves while in prison, he will serve 7 and 1/2 years.

You can not talk to your children enough about this subject. Honestly, they may roll their eyes, but the hope is that when confronted in life or on the internet, they will remember what you said and know that you are right. Hopefully, your child will come to you and you can report this person to authorities.

It's real. It's important. Be vigilant.

By Toni Wine

I'm happy to report that the Dallas Cowboys beat The Giants on Nov. 4!

I also want to wish a Happy Thanksgiving to all!

There's a new game show on called America Says. It's hosted by John Higgins. I like it! I also like 25 words or less.

All are welcome to attend the Copen United Methodist Church Deer Hunter's lunch. There will be hot soup and much more, on Mon., Nov. 5 from 10 am to 6 pm.

Be The Best Whatever

Our sympathy goes out to the Jeffries family on the loss of their loved one. Sandy will be missed by her family and friends.

The Cedar Creek State Park Foundation had their November meeting on Monday, Veterans Day. They made plans for improvements to be made in the spring and summer.

Sounds like winter weather is on it's way soon. We shouldn't complain, we have had a very pretty fall.

There were several veteran's programs in various places in the county. There was a good attendance at each one. The Senior Center, nursing home, and schools all had nice meals with good attendances. It was great to see the veterans get some recognition.

Our 4-H club had a very busy day on Saturday with the applebutter making. We stirred off 141 pints of applebutter for sale. We really appreciate the parents for helping in every way.

Next week our CEOS club will be making rolls and pepperoni rolls for sale for a fundraiser.

We are happy to hear that Zell Jones sure is improving at the Morgantown hospital. Keep her on your prayer list.

I think I need to explain some of my Pat's Chat for October 27 (last week). Our Seventh-day Adventist Church goes to Holbrook's Nursing Home the first Sabbath of every month unless they are quarantined or some other emergency occurs. The first person I greeted when we arrived in the Activity/Dining Hall said to me, “I saw your picture in the paper and I thought you had died!” I wouldn't have thought too much about that, but later that day, my neighbors said that they were sorry about not knowing about my heart problem (or something like that). I must have done a poor job of explaining myself. It was all about a young lady, much younger than I had put on Facebook about her experience with a heart problem. (If you read it carefully, you will see that I was quoting her Facebook entry.) She had no idea she HAD a heart problem, just a strange feeling that reminded her of breathing really cold air. She ended up with heart surgery. She was GLAD I wanted to quote what she said, to warn others those strange feelings could be an undiscovered heart disease or blocked artery. Don't take any chances, folks. Go to the ER and get checked out.

A few of the papers that print my Chats last week included some or all of the three pictures I sent to them, one of which was the cutest, tiny owl that graced the barn while our Fall Festival was going on. But Glenville Democrat/Pathfinder published the group picture and the owl picture and remarked about it. Their cute comment about the owl made me smile! Beside the picture they wrote: “ALL EARS- Tiny owl, pictured right, enjoying the fun of SDA Festival.” Everyone I have shown this picture and quote to have gotten a big smile, or have laughed out loud because it is so cute - (the picture AND the comment!) Thank you so much, Glenville paper folks!

My friend, Mike McCoy of Burnsville posted on Facebook this: “As hymnals fade, theology also suffers. The rich repository of religious wisdom contained in hymns will be lost. The old-fashioned language of hymns may strike some as unusual, but their text teaches the Christian faith far better than most of the praise choruses that dominate contemporary services. Old hymns were carefully crafted with theology at the forefront. Traditional hymns present doctrine clearly and beautifully convey the gospel story of saving grace.” He is talking about contemporary music and musicians losing some of the basic foundational gospel content of many hymns and thinks projected onto-the-screen music of praise leaves out some basic quality our hymnals brought us. He seems to support bringing back the hymnals. Well, our little church here in Buckhannon does not have the technical equipment to put our hymnal or praise words on screen, but I tend to agree. However, we do live in a technical age different from anything known in past ages. It may all still come down to what is in our hearts- and that is what really counts to God.

Our church rejoiced with Pastor Jerry Murrell and his wife, Tammy, along with Pam Hedrick, Worship Leader of the Way of Holiness Church, as they brought us several beautiful hymns. I hope that we can get them to come and do a whole concert sometime. Their talent is amazing.

Their music was a fit introduction to our visiting speaker, Diane Gregg, who is the Children's Ministries Director for The Mountain View Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. She spoke about the fact that God has given each of us one talent (or two or many) and a ministry that He calls us to, stressing the importance of finding out just what it is that God wants us to do. The most important thing is to show the love of Jesus to everyone, no matter how unlovely they might be.


By Joseph Mazzella,

My youngest son will turn 27 soon, but still has the mind of a child. He has a severe form of Autism that has left him mentally handicapped. He says only a few words, but still often makes loud vocalizations just to amuse himself. He stares off into space a lot, but also has no sense of personal space and often stands too close or bumps into people. Sometimes he will become upset and cry loudly for no reason I can understand. When we go in public together most strangers will stare at him for a second, but then not wanting to be rude, will look away and ignore us.

When we stopped at a convenience store the other day to get a snack, however, I was in for a surprise. After we had used the restroom and grabbed some chips, tea, and cheese, we walked to the cashier. She smiled warmly at us both and looked at my son with such loving-kindness. She spoke to him just like he was her own child while he bounced up and down and giggled with glee. I watched happily as they shared this moment together. Then, when she said goodbye to us I was amazed when my son smiled and said “Bye!” back.

It is people like this wonderful lady that give me so much hope for the future. During my lifetime I have so often seen love overcome fear, wisdom replace ignorance, kindness and compassion beat back anger and hatred, and tolerance triumph over prejudice. At one time, slavery was an institution in this country, but no more. At one time, Jim Crow laws were in force, but now they're gone. At one time people like my sweet son would be locked away in a horrible institution, but now they can live at home, and are mainstreamed in schools, and are accepted by the communities in which they live.

Yes, we still have a long way to go. Still, I have watched over the last half-century how we have, step by step, grown more and more like God, who created us. That is why I still have hope for our future. In the end, I believe we will all finally live as one family in this world. In the end we will finally love each other just as God loves us.

Joseph Mazzella is a free-lance writer from Nicholas County and a GSC Alumnus.

By Jeanette Riffle

My mother was full of all these little “sayings.” She would say things to help me remember or to teach me something. With the time change, she would say, “Fall back in the fall and spring forward in the spring.” We got to sleep in an hour longer this morning and I liked that.

Hubby wanted to go earlier than usual to church, so he could make some copies of tapes done during revival at Rosedale Baptist. A couple people couldn't be there and they requested a tape, as he runs the sound system. I thought we would be ahead of everyone, but to my surprise there were several people who came about the same time that we did. Some of them were teachers.

So, I went up in the elevator and into the church to the organ, and began playing happy Bluegrass Gospel and it wasn't long until the church was filling up. I switch over to a slow version of Amazing Grace about five minutes before the bell is rung at 10:00. My great nephew, Stewart Fitzwater, preached today and his younger brother, Jered, sang a few songs for our special music before the sermon. He sings along with sound tracks and has a good baritone voice like his grandpa, Brock Stewart.

We are into our winter clothes, gloves and scarves. It seems like just overnight the frigid temperatures came in. It's been down to 27 degrees the past two nights in the valley here at Shock, with a heavy frost. Bow season has been in and the guys are all talking about deer hunting. I heard a story just this week about the big buck that got away.

It has been good to light the oven and warm the house up by baking breads, cakes and pies, again. I haven't made any pumpkin pies, yet, but that will come next. We took a trip to Walmart and got stocked up with enough groceries to do for a while. The Halloween storm brought most of the leaves down with the torrential downpour and the high winds. The little goblins had to wait until Saturday night to get dressed in their costumes and go door to door for treats. We got seven this year. I think most parents take their kids to the, “Trunk or Treat,” things that they have anymore. It is in daytime when warmer and safer. We took lots of pictures to look back on this winter, of the Fayetteville and Summersville areas. Colors were peaking when we were there but they will be gone soon, if not already. Until next time, stay warm and enjoy the rest of the fall. Snow and ice will come all too soon. Take care and God bless!

Here Comes the Flag

Our sympathy goes out to the Weese, Rose, Matheny, and Moss families on the loss of their loved ones. Katelyn, Warren, Rose, and Carol will all be missed by their loved ones.

Sorry, our church could not attend the monthly sing with the residents due to all the illness at the nursing home. I hope everyone gets well soon.

I think Sonya Richardson's fundraiser dinner went quite well last Saturday.

Roland Moss had one of his daughters, from OH, down last weekend for a nice visit.

It was good to see Carolyn Miller and her daughter, Molly, of Rosedale, last Sunday.

It was such a cold beginning on Saturday. We only had nine trick-or-treaters come, and one cute puppy all dressed up.

Our 4-H club is taking orders for Mandy's Cookie Dough and Cheese Balls. The orders are due on 8th. Also, our CEOS club is taking orders for pepperoni rolls that we will make later this month.

Our Church of Christ had our monthly fellowship covered dish dinner at Church on Sunday. There was a nice meal and good fellowship.

Rosa Sponaugle enjoyed a weekend in OH at the Amish Country with her daughter, Izetta Brannon, and family.

Good to hear that Zell Jones came through her surgery and is doing better, but keep her in your prayers.

By Toni Wine

The Little Ceasar's in Braxton will be opening soon!

Congratulations Miss Natalie Wine for getting married on Oct. 19, 2019! Good luck, and best wishes.

Happy Thanksgiving to all! I hope Braxton County students enjoy their week off, Nov. 25-29. They have to return to school on Mon., Dec. 2!

Happy Birthday to Cindy Sniffin, on Nov. 24, from all the workers at Precision Services! Happy Birthday to all others who have birthdays in November!

I enjoyed a great Thanksgiving dinner at the Burnsville Community Building on Nov. 2. It was nice to see friends and family. I also want to wish a Happy Thanksgiving to three special girls in Weston.

I hope all you hunters are being safe out there!

I enjoyed going to the Homecoming at the Copen Independent Church on Oct. 20. Next year, I plan to attend their Vacation Bible School in July.

IÕm also happy to say that Wal-Mart has restocked on my favorite strawberry hard candies!

By Jeanette Riffle

As I write this, there are only four more days left in October. We just got back from a mini tour of the tourist's attractions around the Summersville area. Colors are peaking over there and we got some pictures of brilliant foliage.

Today, October 27th, makes our 57th anniversary and we took a trip this weekend to celebrate. We were there years ago, but not when colors were peaking like that. I especially enjoyed the Visitor's Center at New River Gorge. You can go to the back windows and look right down on the river.

I started to buy that book, Follow the River, but my husband reminded me that I already have it, so I will have to hunt it up and refresh my memory.

Mary Ingles was captured by the Indians, escaped, and got back home by following that same river we were looking down on. I got hold of that book years ago when our pastor at a Baptist church in Michigan, recommended it to me. He grew up in West Virginia, too. It was an interesting, suspenseful read.

I spotted a display of Audubon Society birds, and by pressing the tab on top of a bird, you could hear it sing, so that is what I settled for. The red bird was the prettiest. There's a little pamphlet attached to each bird that tells all about them.

We had lunch at KFC and drove around some more before coming back to Summersville to spend the night.

We had supper at Dairy Queen as it was in the plaza, and where our motel was, just a few yards away. They have a good grilled chicken salad that I like. It was noisy there last night, though. We are used to everything being so quiet out here on a rural route in the country and the city noises bothered us.

All we hear at our place is our dog barking at dusk and sounds of nature outside. Last night it was loud motors and exhaust pipes when guys would take off at the traffic light, in front of the motel. We were on 1st floor and the people up over us on 2nd floor were stompers. They walked heavy and dropped things on the floor until about midnight.

Then they got up real early this morning and that noise started all over again, until they left out. So, we slept in a little and then got ready to go out for breakfast. Had a big blueberry pancake and ham breakfast at Bob Evans and came back to Flatwoods Factory Outlet Mall to check out the Dress Barn. Hubby wanted to buy me a dressy slacks outfit. The lady at the cash register told us that Dress Barn stores everywhere are going out of business.

Soon, they will be having a close out sale. Peebles of Summersville must be going out of business, too. We had driven by there earlier and noticed a sign on the door about a close out sale. I didn't get to go in and inquire about it though as we would have had a two hour wait for the store to open.

Until next time, take care and God bless! Thanksgiving will be here before we know it.

The following is a note I received on Facebook from Lisa Crutchfield Spears, the daughter of one of my former grade-school teachers and principal at Burnsville School. Here is what she wrote:

I wanted to share something in hope that it can help someone else. I consider myself healthy but for the last few weeks I've had a slight discomfort in my chest area. It felt like your lungs can feel when you walk in the cold. That's the only thing I can think to describe it. It was very mild though and not painful. It was Intermittent and seemed to happen most of the time when I exerted myself but not always. I never felt out of breath or even really felt that bad.”

Since I kept putting off calling the Dr., Mark called (we have the same GP) to see if I could take his appointment that was this past Wednesday. Our Dr said he needed to take me to the ER because my symptoms were concerning.

Once at the ER, I was admitted and given test after test over the next several days. My ekgs were normal. My blood work looked good, I even did great on the treadmill stress test. It was the scanner which is part of the nuclear stress test when I was diagnosed with a heart flow problem and a Heart Cath was scheduled.

I am still in shock at the results. I had a 90 % blockage in one of my arteries. I was told I was very lucky I came in when I did. I had a stent put in yesterday and am finally at home with a very grateful heart. Please (and this includes men) if you have the slightest unusual feeling in your chest, arm, leg etc., go and get it checked out. IÕm so thankful to Mark for making me : ).

Then I wrote a message to request to use her note in my Chat and this is her reply: “Lisa Crutchfield Spears Patricia Wiant Ridpath Absolutely, please do share. If anyone has any questions on any of the tests I had, I'll be glad to answer them. I really want people to be aware that symptoms of heart disease can be very Subtle and check ups are key, especially if you are feeling something out of the ordinary. Thanks for all the good work you do. : )” Please be aware of your own body and get a check-up when you have out-of-the-ordinary symptoms! Thank you, Lisa Spears.

Our church experienced a good, old-fashioned Fall Festival yesterday afternoon and evening. Sheri Sapp and friends decorated the barn beautifully, some of the neighborhood newcomers came to join us, and friends from the Senior Center Singing Seniors helped by bringing their instruments and songs. The cattle came in from all around, moo-ing along to the fence, getting as close to the party as possible as if asking to be included, or at least given a snack. A tiny little owl flew in and perched on a “yoke” up on the barn wall to view the happenings for almost the entire evening. (Jerry Heckert said it was a “yoke.” I thought it was a limb attached to the wall.) We were blessed with a clear afternoon following the morning rain. The wind was cool and it was too windy for us to risk a bonfire. The soup, chili and hotdogs, chips and dessert warmed us up. Until sundown, we enjoyed singing, then eating together. Many went on a hayride on bales of hay in a wagon pulled by a tractor driven by Jerry Heckert.


Trick or Treat Memories

Ahh, Halloween! The night the ghouls come out and you are afraid of your own shadow!

That wonderful day that culminates weeks of planning the perfect costume and preparing for a fun night and a sugar high.

I was the easy kid. I always wanted to be Tinkerbell. Always. The costume got bigger as the years went by, but I always wanted to be able to be Tinkerbell and was sorely disappointed when I put the costume on that I couldn't fly!

When my siblings and I were young enough to Trick or Treat, we lived on Beall View Dr. in what is currently Senior Editor Dave Corcoran's house. Mama would get us fed, dress us up and she would always get a college student to come to the house and give out candy or walk us around the neighborhood.

One particular year, I remember Earl Hawkins was the guy! While we were out getting treats and pulling off our masks for Mrs. Withers so she would give us her famous Wam Jams (they were homemade cookies and we loved them. I would LOVE to have that recipe,) Earl dutifully handed out candy to the neighborhood kids.

The telephone rang and Earl, being the great guy he is, answered it. It was my Grandma Chico. She asked who was speaking and he said Earl. She launched into story after story about family members and friends that my Uncle Earl would have known, but Earl Hawkins was at a loss.

Grandma was full blooded Italian. She had the gift of most Italian people...the gift of gab.

Poor Earl had to hand out candy while he listened to stories about people he had never heard of, let alone met!

When we finally returned, he told Mama about his Halloween! While he explained what had happened, the three of us went into the living room and sat in the floor.

This was a ritual.

We would go into the living room and empty our “loot” bags onto the floor. Sitting there with our legs spread and our candy between them became the trading time.

We would examine our candy and trade each other what we didn't particularly like for things we did.

For the first week after Halloween, Mama had to guard the bags to keep us from over indulging. Eventually, all the candy would end up in a bowl on the counter.

Halloween was one of the best days of the year!

My forever Tinkerbell costumes do not live in on. Although I would still like to be able to fly like she does at the beginning of every Disney movie. I want her want that sparks when she flings it.

Alas, I'm way to old to Trick or Treat so I simply Treat.

When we lived in Kentucky, we would literally have hundreds and hundreds of Trick or Treaters. The last Halloween we were there, we set up along the fence so that Pistol and Texas could watch the kids as we gave them candy. “The boys” absolutely loved those two hours and were exhausted when it was over.

Since moving to Glenville, we live outside of the City and last year, I prepared for Halloween, but we didn't have any kids sadly.

I hope each and every child in Gilmer County gets to make memories this Halloween. I have wonderful memories of Trick or Treating and I think it's important for children to enjoy this one evening a year.

Parents, make sure you are with your little ones as they walk from house to house. Also make sure they are able to actually see if they wear a mask. Only go to homes where you know the people and be safe! It certainly can be a great experience which creates many memories for a lifetime.

As a reminder ... if you see someone who looks like an adult carrying a blue pumpkin, that is a sign that the person is autistic and still wants to Trick or Treat.

Enjoy Halloween!!! It only comes once a year!!

By Joseph Mazzella,

I was on my way to the grocery store to buy some bananas recently. An autumn chill had finally arrived in the October mornings here, in the mountains of my home. Still, I wasn't quite ready to trade my shorts and Hawaiian shirts for jeans and a jacket just yet. I turned my car heater up and thought, sadly, that it was only weeks now until winter.

When I arrived at the store I saw a fellow shorts wearer outside. It was a frustrated little boy pushing the change return over and over on the pop machine. He told me his mom had given him fifty cents to buy his favorite drink, a can of YooHoo, but the machine had taken his money and failed to give him his can. No matter how many times he pushed the change return, too, only one quarter came back out. He looked ready to kick the machine in anger. I fished around in my pocket, found a quarter, and put it in the machine for him. This time the can fell down with a satisfying, clunk. The boy looked up at me with a big smile of thanks and I winked at him. He opened the can and started to sip his chocolate drink with delight. And I walked inside the store smiling, with my body feeling warmer, and my heart feeling lighter.

That little moment reminded me, once again, that even the tiniest act of kindness makes this world a better place. The smile I got from that little boy was worth a million quarters. It made me feel closer to love, closer to life, and closer to God. My little act of love made me feel more like who I was truly meant to be.

Mother Teresa once said: “God doesn't ask us to do great things, only small things with great love.” Pay attention to the small things in life, then. Never pass up a chance to do a kindness. Never pass up a chance to share your love. Never miss a moment to make God smile. In the end, it is those little moments that will make up your life. Live them well!

Joseph Mazzella is a free-lance writer from Nicholas County and a GSC Alumnus.

By Joseph Mazzella,

The mountains of my home are in the middle of a drought right now. We haven't had any real rain in over a month. The September heat has cooked us like it was July. The grass has turned a burnt brown and crunches under my feet as I walk on it. The beautiful autumn leaves have started to turn brown and die instead of turning to vibrant reds and yellows. The rivers have turned into trickles, and the deer are frantically foraging for food.

That is why when it turned cloudy and colder recently, I didn't have my hopes up. When I went to walk my dogs one morning, however, I opened the door to find water falling from the sky. It wasn't a sprinkle. It wasn't even a drizzle. It was a downpour. Sheets of rain pounded the dry ground. I could almost see the grass and trees sigh with relief and joy. I picked up my dusty rain hat and walked outside into the deluge dragging my dogs along. Even my furry friends didn't seem to mind getting a cold shower. The air had a delicious sweetness to it as I breathed it in. I didn't mind that my shirt was soaked and my shoulders were chilled. I watched the little streams flowing down the side of the road and smiled. I stomped in the puddles like a seven year old and laughed. I didn't know if it was an end to the drought, but I felt so good just being out in the blessed rain. And I thanked God for every drop of it.

Why do we so often have to be deprived of something to truly appreciate it? I had never been a fan of rainy days until I went weeks and weeks without one. That is why I spent the rest of this particular morning giving thanks for the rain and sunshine, food and water, shelter and warmth, family and friends, grass and trees, love and joy, light and life, and every blessing that our Heavenly Father has given us. May you all do the same. May every blessing God has given you find a home in your heart and flow through you to bless others as well.

Joseph Mazzella is a free-lance writer from Nicholas County and a GSC Alumnus.

Remember those who need your help


The Cedar Creek Foundation meeting on Saturday evening was very successful. There was a good turn out!

Zell Jones from our church is in the Mon General Hospital in Morgantown for tests. Remember her in your prayers!

Edith Huffman, formerly of Gilmer County, Cedarville, who was living in Braxton County passed away this past week. Our sympathy goes out to her family and friends on their loss.

It is good to see Marie Wilfong back from a trip visiting some of her family.

Our sympathy goes out to the Parsons, Cottrill, Vanhorn, and Burns families on the loss of their loved ones. They will be missed by family and friends.


Kitchen Hints

Clean copper pots with toothpaste or worcestershire sauce, or catsup.

An excellent thickness for soups is a little oatmeal. It will add flavor and richness to almost any soup.

Don't add sugar to stewed fruits until they have boiled for 10 minutes. They need less sugar then.

Lettuce won't “rust” in the refrigerator if it is wrapped in a paper towel.

The coldest part of any refrigerator is the top back shelf.

Try loosening rusty screws by putting a drop or two of ammonia on it.

Rusty bolts usually can be loosened by pouring club soda on them.


Raspberry Jam

5 cups green tomatoes, ground.

5 cups sugar

1 large box raspberry gelatin

Bring all but the gelatin to a boil and boil for 15 minutes, or longer, then add gelatin. Put into jars and seal. I have made a lot of this good tasty spread for biscuits or toast. Give it a try!

By Jeanette Riffle


Swarms of dragonflies hit our area this week and we heard of them all around us. Our dog was barking and looking up in the air one night and when hubby went to investigate, it was bats after those flies. My friend, Susie Cook, that lives up Tague in Braxton Co., called me and said that she was outside one day, putting things away for the fall and winter, and saw a big cloud of something coming up her hollow and she thought, “What in the world is that?” She called for her son to come outside and see it. They determined that it was a swarm of dragonflies. She said she had never heard of them swarming like that, before. They went right on up the hollow. I think they eat mosquitoes out of the air and they aren't harmful, but I did read that they will bite. I wondered where they came from and why are there so many. I did a search on them and came up with some interesting things. They not only eat mosquitoes, but several fly species, also. They swarm because of the high abundance of insects found in certain areas. They will disturb the small insects in your grass and cause them to fly around more than they usually would do. The prey draws the dragon flies in and swarms form.

The National Weather Service of Cleveland, OH, posted an image of the radar from OH, PA and IN showing the insect invasion. Fox 8 viewers reported seeing thousands of them in five different counties. In Cleveland, massive amounts of dragonflies were spotted over Ohio on Tuesday of this past week. Some people view them with a spiritual meaning and some have a hobby of dragonfly watching just like bird watching. They come in different sizes and different colors. We have had katydids coming in on our front porch and I saw a butterfly one day this week. For some reason , the butterflies will come to the front porch before they take off on their journey south.

The death angel came for two of our friends this past week. Cousin Richard Vanhorn, of Fairmont, passed and his funeral is September 18 at Fairmont where he and wife, Sandy Brady Vanhorn, have lived for several years, now. He was a retired Church of Christ minister. Also, Carrell Leon Burns, of this area, took his journey home. He was a well known bluegrass singer and played guitar. He did music with many bands. He jammed with us here and did bookings back when I had a bluegrass gospel band. He sure will be missed. Until next time, watch for those dragonflies. Take care and God bless!

It's been wonderful to see Glenville State College students back on campus. I love seeing the students walking around and seeing them from the front porch of Glenville Newspapers as they walk up and down Court Street.

Glenville State College and its students are very important to Glenville and Gilmer County. Period. I think the majority of the business owners understand just how important those students really are.

I felt like this summer droned on and on because there weren't any students on campus. I certainly hope the new administration does not make that error again. Only having classes on-line during the summer hurts the town and county. It also hurts the students.

I've taken what was (low those many years ago) correspondence courses. The internet didn't exist. I needed to take my French courses at a time that I wasn't taking 21 other hours of college work, so I opted to take the correspondence courses through the University of Kentucky. At the time, very few universities offered those types of classes.

I was sent course work and completed my tasks. I learned very little to nothing. Maybe I am old (we all know I am) and maybe on-line classes are more interactive than the old correspondence courses. And, maybe you actually do learn the subject matter you are studying.

But, there is nothing like learning in a classroom with your peers and a teacher who actually cares about the subject he or she is teaching. You learn through discussion, lectures and note taking. I feel that classroom learning is important to everyone involved.

When I was in college, I would return to Glenville in the summers to work as a lifeguard and take summer courses at Glenville State College. That is how I took several classes that weren't in my majors. Those classes that I wasn't really interested in were easier to take in the summer. I got them out of the way quickly and didn't have to worry about classes that were not part of either of my majors when I was at Marshall University.

I am advocating for at least one semester of in school summer school classes next year. I hope the powers that be will agree with me. Students need to be in the classroom in Glenville and Glenville needs students to be in town.

Glenville State College is the heartbeat of Gilmer County. Make no mistake about that. We need the college and the college needs the community support. Students add life, too!


Webster's Dictionary defines a dream as a “series of thoughts or visions during sleep.” Biologists say dreams are our brain's way of organizing, storing and remembering what we have seen the day before. Psychologists say dreams sometimes help us work out our issues and emotional problems. Most people, however, think dreams are unimportant and do their best to ignore or forget them.

Lately, my own dreams have had a lot of visitors. While my brain has been remembering what happened the day before and my heart has been working out my issues and problems, I keep seeing my dad, mom, nana and friend Kai. The funny thing is all of them are deceased. None of them have been a part of my daily life for years now. While I remember them all with love, I have no issues or problems to work out with any of them. Why do they visit my dreams night after night?

When I see my dad, mom, nana and Kai they all seem younger and healthier than they were when they died. They have no pain in their faces and their smiles share only love and joy. They seem to be there only to comfort me, to reassure me, and to give me strength to face life and live it with love. Each time I wake after one of these dreams I feel at peace again and thank God for their visit.

Maybe there is more to dreams than just what the dictionary and scientists say. Maybe our dreams have a way of letting us see out of this world and into the next. Maybe our loved ones come to us in our dreams to let us know that they still love us, they still are watching over us, and they are waiting to see us again when our days on this earth are done. Maybe time, like death, is just an illusion and only love is real. I wish you all sweet dreams.

By Joseph Mazzella


I was 10 years old and I was going on an adventure. It was summer break and my family had traveled south, to TN, to visit my Uncle Richard and Aunt Charlotte. But, while my older brothers had been allowed to go all over the place, I had been stuck in the house for most of the visit. Now, however, my mom had decided to let me go alone to a corner grocery store at the end of the block. She had given me money to pick up a loaf of bread and extra change to get myself a popcicle. I felt so grown up as I made the journey, bought the food, and headed back.

When I was about half way back to the house, though, I found my path blocked. A large black dog was looking at me and growling. I had never had a dog look angry at me before and my heart started to pound faster and faster in my chest. I didn't know what to do. Should I run? Should I scream? Suddenly, I felt a calmness come over me. It felt like it was coming from outside of me and within me at the same time. I knew what to do, too. I stood up as tall and straight as I could, looked over the dog, and said firmly, but kindly, “Go home, boy!” The dog stared back at me for a moment, then turned and trotted off.

I walked on, feeling very brave and very scared at the same time. I saw my mom and Aunt Charlotte sitting together on her front porch. I skipped up the steps and sat down in between them. My mom gave me a sip of her soda while I shared what had happened with her. I relaxed in her arms feeling adventurous, but also safe, secure, and loved.

Looking back on that moment reminds me that life itself is an adventure and only the bravest of us fully live it. It is full of fear and love. It is full of lessons and learning. It is full of pain and joy. Yet, through it all we are watched over and loved. God is everywhere and in everything, including us. Embrace all the adventures life gives you, then, be they big or small. Face them without fear. Use them to become the person you were meant to be. Let your entire life here be an adventure of love. And always let God's love live through you.


Joseph Mazzella is a free-lance writer from Nicholas County and a GSC Alumnus.

Welcome back to Glenville and Glenville State College!!! And, to all you new freshmen, welcome!! I hope a new world of opportunities opens up to you and you have a wonderful college experience while you are attending Glenville State College.

People say that your high school years are the best of your life. I have found that is not true for me. My college years stand out as the best! The most fun, exciting time!

Your years at Glenville State College can be the best years of your life. GSC can not only offer you an education that will last a lifetime, but friendships and memories that will too.

I've stolen some common sense items that I am going to share with you to help make GSC the best experience of your life and help you to succeed in your future.

1. Go to class. Period. Regardless of whether the professor says you have to be there or not. Just go. You will learn so much more by being in the actual classroom listening than you will reading the book. It's a good habit and a good mindset for every class you take.

2. During the first day of class, get two people's phone numbers from each and every class. No, not the hot guy or beautiful girl. Get those phone numbers because, at some point during the semester, you will have a question. If you have the telephone number of classmates, you can compare your memory of what was said during the class. If anything social works out, well that would be great, wouldn't it?

3. Take notes by hand. You can't make up an excuse that I haven't already tried. You won't remember everything to type it later unless you are Sheldon Cooper, and most of us aren't. Write the notes by hand, during class with your phone in your pocket on silent. That's how our brains encode information most effectively.

4. If you really want to get good grades to keep those scholarships or just to be as successful as possible, after class or the next day, rewrite your notes. You can outline the information, highlight important points, note what page of the textbook the material is covered on and make a list of questions.

Rewrite your notes! Rewriting helps dedicate that information into your memory.

5. Being a student is your job! If you don't do any of the suggestions in 1-4, simply do number 5, you will probably make it through college with flying colors...literally.

College is your job. Your full-time job is to be a student. So you need to be a student 40 hours a week.

Look at it this way, if you have a 15 hour class schedule, you have 25 hours each week to study or do any assigned work.

I know that sounds like a lot, but if you spend from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. everyday, Monday through Friday, in class or studying then you have every evening and weekend free to have fun!

If you start your college career doing these things, they will become habit and you will be able to better gauge how much time you actually need to spend studying in the future.

6. Go see each of your professors during their office hours. Introduce yourself and get to know them just a little bit. You will have a much better experience in class if you go talk to the professor and introduce yourself. If your professor knows you are making an effort to connect with them and that you are interested in their class, they will look at you during lectures and the look on your face will tell them whether you understand the concept they are teaching or not. They will notice. If the professor can tell you aren't understanding, they will explain it again, in a different way, so that you can grasp the concept.

7. This is the last one, I promise! Do the reading before class. I understand that you have never done this before and that you can usually get away with not doing it at all, but try it. Professors like it when you can participate in class. And seriously, if you want to be successful in life, you have to do things that you've never done before.

To summarize: You are a student and that is your job. Spend 40 hours a week on your classes and you will have a lot of time for fun! Do the reading, go to class, talk to your professors. Take responsibility for your life and your education. After all, the education you are obtaining only benefits you!

Make the most of college! It really is the best time of your life!

An unusually hot and wet spring this year was followed by an extremely hot and wet summer. Sunny skies were constantly giving way to heavy showers, only to be replaced with more sun and heat. This combination has made for a few changes from our regular summer here, in the mountains of my home. The limbs on the trees are growing twice as fast as usual and their leaves are huge. The Queen Anne's Lace, Daisies, and Black Eye Susan's are growing waist high in the meadows and on the sides of the roads. The bush in my front yard is shooting up as fast as a sunflower. The grass in my yards is thicker and taller than ever. Butterflies and bumble bees are everywhere, as are the yellow jackets and hornets. Mama deer and their babies can be seen coming out of the woods to feast on the abundance of crab apples on the ground. Squirrels with acorns are scurrying up the trees and baby birds are flying out of their nests. Everywhere I look there is an explosion of growth and life. It is incredible to see.

We humans are a little different than the rest of nature, however. Yes, our bodies do grow best in optimal conditions. We grow healthy and strong when we have good food, clean water, fresh air, and plenty of exercise. On the inside, though, it is often during the hardest of times that we grow the most. During the times of death, loss, and suffering is when our souls grow stronger and closer to God. During the bleakest wintertime is when our hearts grow more loving. During the worst times of our lives is when we help each other the most.

Why is it that we grow kinder, stronger, and wiser during the toughest times, as well as the good ones? Why is it that the worst in this world often brings out the best in us? No one knows for sure, but I am happy with the mystery. Live well, then. Love much. Grow strong. Be the person God meant for you to be during the winter nights, as well as the summer days.


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