In Gilmer County, like throughout West Virginia, the reunions each summer — of the old schools, churches, and families — can't get much better than they are. Indeed, they offer ideal and comforting places for old classmates, friends of years ago, and relatives to reunite, socialize, and rekindle their institutions’ or families’ bright but often-forgotten good memories. Most importantly, at these various assemblies, upbeat spirits ignite good feelings and good cheer among all the participants.
Among the most active reunions in Gilmer County is the Old Glenville High School's Alumni Association, which is holding its annual feat on this Friday and Saturday evenings. They are a most congenial group, always welcoming newcomers to the entertaining, exciting, and nostalgic "reunion experience." Their secondary school succumbed to consolidation in 1969, with the birth of the new Gilmer County High School. (Be informed: Congratulations to the GCHS Lady Titans Basketball Team and their Coach Amy Chapman for winning this year’s Class A State Championship Trophy! Some future Belles will be among this winning team.)
After many months of planning, hard work and execution muscle among the many committee members and other community volunteers, the 2016 West Virginia State Folk Festival did take place for a 67th year. Notably in certain instances, it excelled.
Yes, it’s hard not to have a successful event, with so many colorful Folk Festival Belles participating from all over our great Mountain State and with talented folk musicians coming from the North, South, East and West. Although most people didn’t realize it, this 67th Folk Festival actually came out well in spite of the ferocious statewide competition of Charleston’s much larger “FestivALL,” which copy cats our original state Appalachian folk culture event here. But, that bigger fest still doesn’t honor the lovely, intelligent and resourceful ladies who have contributed so much to their families, communities and the state, like our Folk Festival’s County Belles do. This year, there were 23 representing their counties who highlighted the Sat. Lions Club’s Parade. One Belle affirmed, “The people, who we’ve never met, are so nice to us here.” Quite a Festival goers’ compliment! And, in addition to longtime operational coordinator for the Belles, Susie Kirkpatrick, two new overall planners — Kyre-Anna Minney and Michelle Hill Brannon — shined in making their stay both comfortable and meaningful.
A hearty greeting to all of you new and returning attendees from the past to the 2016 West Virginia State Folk Festival! Now in its 67th year, Glenville’s Fest is reputed to be the oldest folk culture event in the United States, although there may be older ones in Europe. Nevertheless, it is the oldest one that preserves the strictly Appalachian heritage, both in music and culture.
As a result, you, once again, can enjoy the musical jamming, square dancing, Historical Society programs and other cultural events going on, mainly in our community’s downtown and in the evenings, at Glenville State College’s Fine Arts Building’s Auditorium.
In the main, we local volunteers will do everything possible to make your stay comfortable, entertaining, instructive and fun. The Festival Committee’s headquarters, which is in its Country Store Museum on North Court Street (diagonal from Town Square park's entrance and a few steps up the hill), works hard on this project throughout the year, just to make it a more enjoyable, varied and an engaging experience for YOU. Our devoted workers try to do a good job, and, most impressively, they are all civic and folk culture-minded people, strongly dedicated to preserving the best of the Mountain State’s rich historic, musical, dancing and colorful handicrafts’ past.
In replying to a magazine’s “Winners and Losers” for last week, this Editor offered the following: ”Wouldn’t (infamous) Brock Turner, the Stanford student and fraternity man who raped an unconscious, defenseless woman behind a dumpster, be “a winner?” After all, he was sentenced to only 6 months in jail and probation afterwards. V-P Joe Biden rightfully criticized the judge for the “slap on the hand” sentence, over 1 million signatures have been received for the jurist’s impeachment in CA, and Emily Doe, the victim, must live with her shame for being drunk one night and passing out for the rest of her life. Her statement to Turner in court was compelling, touching and saddening ... with what she has to live with for the rest of her life, while Turner, an outstanding college swimmer, continues to swim through life undaunted ... and probably winning ribbons, as well.” Dear Lord, please help Emily to get over her shame! DHC, Sr.