|1. Any man can make a mistake, but only a fool persists in his error. Cicero|
2. Of more than 400,000 children in the state just under 7 percent had no access to health coverage, either from state supported programs or private insurers in 2001
3. Supermarket sales accounted for 132 million pounds of olive oil, up by nearly one third over the past six years.
4. The growth of small business in West Virginia was among the slowest in the nation in 2002.
5. The average West Virginian drove about 15,000 miles in 2002.
6. More than 50 Sponge Bob kidnappings have been reported from Florida to Utah since the pop icon started appearing on fast-food restaurant rooftops in a promotional tie-in with his movie November 11.
7. In 2003 nearly 35 percent of all births were to unmarried women, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.
8. Census Bureau figures for 2003 show one-third of men and nearly one-quarter of women between 30 and 34 have never been married.
9. Daily newspaper circulation has declined from 62.8 million to 55.2 million last year.
10. The number of Japanese committing suicide last year exceeded 32,000 to mark the record high.
11. Statistics from the Pew Internet and American Life Project show that about 68 percent of American adults go online each day.
12. In the past decade the Gates Foundation has poured $745 million in grant money promoting small schools.
13. One in three American adults loose more than 20 hours of sleep each month due to pain.
14. For the second year in a row the Cadillac Escalade EXT is the vehicle most targeted by thieves.
15. Today an estimated 9 million people practice pilates compared with about 2.5 million in 2001.
16. Between July 1 and Sept. 30, Workers Comp spent 6 percent less on medical payments than it paid during the same three months in 2003.
17. More than 47 million Americans will get a 2.7 percent increase in their Social Security checks starting in January.
18. About 400 West Virginians die each year from traumatic brain injury, while another 550 become disabled.
19. The cookie industry grosses nearly $5 billion in sales annually.
20. A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour. LMM
Christian Service Center
Well, another Thanksgiving has come and gone. Hope yours was a happy one and you got your fill of turkey and stuffing (since it was opening of deer season, it may have been deer steak)!
Freda and Tom Auxier’ children were in for the week, and Tom’ mother, Pauline, was in from Canton, OH. She and Tom spent Thanksgiving Day with Pauline’ sister Ginny and her husband Jim Kincaid of Meadow Bridge. Ginny has been ill and can’ travel these days, but they had a wonderful visit. God bless and keep you, Ginny, hope you get well soon. Daughter Lisa Morrison and her family came from Kannapolis, NC and son Tom and family came, so the Auxiers had a happy Thanksgiving this year.
The weather has turned colder, so it looks like winter, and Christmas, is upon us. Just four more weeks of shopping left – we’ better get busy!
Freda’ Restaurant is doing quite well and we are planning an angel tree. Come in and adopt a child for Christmas and brighten a child’ Christmas this year. We did this last year and you’l never know until you’e done it the joy you’l have shopping for some child who, without you, wouldn’ have a Christmas.
Speaking of goodness in people’ hearts, we’ like to shine a spotlight on a few people. Todd and Tammy Dorsey for their generous donation to the Christian Service Center. Thank you from the depth of our hearts. They also gave a donation to the “e Care Club.” The check given to sponsor Lindy Carper was an answer to her prayers. Lindy Carper is another person in our spotlight. This very special lady works tirelessly for the “e Care”program. Not everyone is aware of all the work she does, and we’e taking the opportunity to let you know about her. She is the reason so many children are able to have a Christmas each year. If you have a few extra coins in your pocket send them her way for the “e Care Club”program. She’ a very special friend to the CSC, and always there when we need her. God bless you, Lindy.
Scott Holcomb, son of Keith and Patsy Holcomb of Lizemores, has been stationed in Iraq, but was to spend a few weeks home with his family before Thanksgiving. God bless you, Scott, our prayers are with you, now and when you come home for good. Thank you for what you and our other soldiers over there are doing.
Both Christian Service Center locations are doing well and we have our customers to thank for that. May God bless all of you for your support, we couldn’ do it without you all.
Volunteer Sarah Rogers at the Lizemores store has lots of bagged toys for all you boys and girls, so come in and check it out! Also, Freda’ Restaurant is planning a Christmas party for the kids on December 18. And, we intend to start a youth group center after hours once a month on Saturday evenings in the near future.
Prayers go out to Kathy Runion, Ella Davis, Audrey Roger who just had surgery (speedy recovery!), and Emogene Stone – get well soon. And Mary Lee Fugate, we need you!
Before we close, last week in church friend Darlene Ramsey passed along a clipping from a newspaper we’ like to share: A little fellow waited outside church with a quarter in his hand. When the minister came out the young fellow put the coin in the clergyman’ hand. “hy didn’ you put it in the collection basket?”the minister asked. “ell,”said the boy, “ wanted to be sure you got it because you really need it.” “hy so?”the minister asked. “ecause my dad said you’e the poorest preacher God ever put on earth.”
Till next time be sure and find some kind deed to do for someone else for “t’ more blessed to give than receive.” Our love and prayers from the Christian Service Center.
A couple weeks back we received the following email from a man trying to find his roots in Clay County. Here’ the email in its entirety
My name is Marcel Pierson,live in Venezuela, South America. My father was born in Bomont, West Virginia in 1915, son of David Daniel Pierson and Mary Grace Goad. He moved to Venezuela after the WWII and married with my mother (Venezuelan), we are four brothers. We are trying to legalize our situation with the USA Embasy in Caracas, Venezuela, but we need your help. We need that if possible you contact by your radio signal some parents of us that live in WV, because we need some documents that just can be pick up there. My father had some broters and systers, gerorge, madeline, pauline, and others. The question is: Will you be able to ask if any of the people that ear your programs are my family, and that they give you some address or e-mail direction and you pass it to me? If you need other information, please, let me know. We really need your help.
Well we did a little checking , passed along some info and then received this follow up email from Mr Pierson.
Maybe you got this information from some genealogy website, but there ismistake. Yes, all they are my uncles, but my father was a man called ROMIE FORD PIERSON GOAD. Who born in 1915 in Bomont.
We have some letters of the 80`s wrote by Madelyn White from:
2328 Elgin St. Oroville California.
AndPauline Stark from:
5786 Wilson Av. South gate.
California. 90280 USA.
There were the last information we have about or family. But we are trying to legalize the information of ROMIE FORD PIERSON GOAD, who went to the ARMY in 1938 ant later to the IIWW. Atbirth certificate,reall name of our grandmother was MARY GRACE GOAD, not NANCY, well, maybe the certificate is wrong.
We need some family in Bomont or others sites from West Virginia, because we need some documents that probe Romie Ford Lived in this state before went to the ARMY, maybe school records, license driver records, or work records. When Romie arrived Venezuela in 1948, he did not took with him any kind of documents, just the gived by the NAVY (Yes, first the ARMY abd LAter the NAVY), because he worked in the Canel Zone in Panama after the War.
Please, we need that you try to get some peoples family of Goldie, Pauline, Madelyn, Romie, George or others, and give our information and e-mail to contact us, WE NEVER HAVE NOWN OUR FAMILY, please, do us this favor. We just want to know our family and the place where my father lived, we are all professionals, engineers andmanagers, we just need to know. Very truly your, Marcel Pierson. Valencia, Venezuela. (58) 241-8586546
OK readers. It’ time to put on your thinking caps and ask around the county. The guys email address is as follows: firstname.lastname@example.org
We got a couple of entries this week. First Bobby G Hall. Sunday evening 911 scanner listeners were treated to an earful of police catch ‘m if you can action. As posted on our web site, here’ what the web junkies read: Dec 6 amWe had some excitement in Clayberry last night as a poacher got caught: 9:07pm - I'm in pursuit of a big car.... He turned and is going back to Route 36.. he almost hit me!!! Calls went out for green Shirt 407.9:10pm- He's going to be signal 9. Around 9:12pm Town badge Buckshot Butcher said he was going to head them off at the pass (Salisbury Road). Over the scanner came wrecker truck driver Dusty - He's done wrecked the car!! 669 is in the woods now!... i'm not sure where we're at. From 407 - Does he have a weapon? Dusty - I don't know. 9:20 and with "out of breath" voices - 'got him in custody ...there's blood on the back of the car. Sometime close to 10:58pm came - We can't get into the Courthouse, no keys!
Magistrate Court paperwork 04-F-110 indicates Wallback resident Bobby Gene Hall was charged with felony fleeing in vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and driving while revoked, DUIA, 2nd offense. From arresting officer RE Stephenson’ report: On Sunday Dec 5th at approximately 2111 hours, the undersigned officer was conducting an investigation of an assault on summer Fork in reference to Bobby Hall assaulting XXXX. After leaving the residence, the undersigned officer observed a 1986 Chevy car traveling at a high rate of speed and almost striking the undersigned officer. At this time the officer turned and pursued the vehicle up Summer Fork Road. The accused turned the vehicle and started toward the officer almost striking the officer again. At this time, the officer turned and pursued the accused back out Summer’ Fork Road onto Rt 36. The accused then jumped out of the vehicle and fled on foot from the officers through the woods. After pursuing the accused, the officer apprehended the accused and at this time, an altercation occurred for the reasoning of the accused resisting arrest. The officer placed handcuffs on the accused and was placed under arrest.
After arresting the accused,, the officer could smell the odor of alcohol coming from the accused breath. The accused advised the officer, he had been drinking and that was why he ran from the officer.
The accused has a prior driving revoked fro DUI on 8/17/00 throuh Putnam County.
But it’ not over there. A record check revealed other outstanding charges against MR Hall which included: Obstructing an Officer; driving while license revoked; Inspection sticker expired; insurance; improper registration; and, unattended motor vehicle. And from that Feb 8 2004 criminal complaint, yelp, Hall took off running.
Hall was lodged in Central Regional Jail on $20,900.00 bond. The bond was posted Dec 9th by Raymond Hersman. Magistrate King will hear the pre trial motions Dec 16th at 9am.
And then there’ Mr Cummings. After weeks of delay and after prodding by Tommy Young Sr, arrest warrants were issued and the Cummings pre trial hearing was held before Magistrate Jeff Boggs last week. Represented by Bill Lester, the defense team called in witness after witness in support of Cummings. All witnesses reported that on that early October afternoon, Cummings never left his Little Italy residence. One lady said that Richard’ van was broke down and he had no means of getting over to the Mountain side war zone.
With only Young Sr saying that Cummings shot him in the leg with a 12 gauge shotgun and all of Cummings witnesses saying no way, Magistrate Biggs found probable cause and the case will be turned over to the next Grand Jury.
CLAIM FILED A week ago on Friday night Town Cop Buckshot Butcher fell on the steps of the old Courthouse. A couple days later he went to the hospital. Volunteer Cop Butcher has now filed a claim with the County’ insurance provider.
24/7 During his campaign for office Sheriff Elect Randy Holcomb promised to be a hard working, 24/7, go get em, kind of Sheriff if elected. By several hundred votes, Holcomb overcame Republican rival Dave Mullins Nov 2nd and is slated to take office Jan 1 2005. He’ also slated to take another job.
In the School Board coverage this edition, you’e read the note on Randy Holcomb being hired as a substitute bus driver effective Jan 3, 2005. the School System’ policy states that subs must come out for work 33% of the times they are called out or be tossed from the roster.
Already, Deputies Robert Belt and Miles Slack work part time as bus drivers. There may come a time when all the black shirts are too busy to work crime in the county and instead be out hauling kids home from school.
As for a Sheriff working a second job, the WV State Code has thoughts on that. From 7-14-15A and 6-3-1 , “o sheriff may have a direct or indirect pecuniary interest in any outside employment”
When word reached the street of Holcomb’ extra income and work load, some suggested that we would be getting a 24/7 kind of elected official if you count both jobs.
Nepotism Abounds Assessor Suzie Legg left her elected posted four weeks before her term expired and headed to Charleston for a State Tax Dept., Nov 30th. So as to have someone to collect dog taxes in Dec., our County Commission held a Special meeting Dec 3rd to hire Assessor Elect Teresa Lane to fill the temporary opening. Well before the meeting time, bond papers were already filled out and ready to go. Commissioner Sams made the motion to hire Lane and with Commission President Triplett’ approval, Lane was sworn into office as well as the Deputy Assessors.
Only one problem. The County has a nepotism policy that forbids the hiring of close relatives by the CCC. Ms Lane is Commissioner Sams sister. When asked about the illegal hire, Sams responded, “The people hired her in May.”
Some things never change in Clayberry and for some, following the rules is a hard thing to do when money is involved.
IN DENIAL After 10 years, the Federal “mpowerment zone”and “nterprise community”designations come to an end Dec 31 2004. Our Central Appalachia Empowerment Zone (CAEZ) is a designated enterprise community. During the opening of the Dec 7 Board of Directors meeting, Chair Michael Martin mentioned the meeting would be the last for the CAEZ as an enterprise community. Should have seen the hackles raise! The name CAEZ WILL continue but without ANY of the federally set aside pools of money designated for such groups and without much other benefit!
As for the performance of the CAEZ, Clay County, the only county completely in the “one”as they call it, we’e still looking for the first non government job to be created.
With the demise of CAEZ coming, sometime back, the group decided to enroll in another Federal program umbrella called “hampion Communities” On several occasions CAEZ Director Jerry Sizemore said that CAEZ was already a Champion Community participant. A quick look at the Champion Community web site shows NO such designation for CAEZ. The site was last updated 8/9/04. to see for yourself, click: http://www.ezec.gov/Communit/champions.html#West%20Virginia
TOOT TOOT While our BDA continues to look for manufacturing jobs to come to our mountains of little infrastructure and even less flat land, CAEZ has shifted gears and turned to finding economic development in tourism. During the Dec 7th meeting, Board members heard of the efforts to restore a small portion of the old Buffalo Creek and Gauley Railroad tracks to support tourist trips from Dundon to Swandale. Since the last steam train came thru in 1967, Clayonians have known , such a tourist venture would be great for the county. Before the CAEZ switched away from finding smoke stack industries, no strong efforts were made to secure such for the county.
In addition to the RR idea, CAEZ is working toward securing a new boat ramp at Spread Park and developing the Elk River as a destination spot for East Coast vacationers.
Hanging 10 Commissioner Jimmy Sams and other right wing fundamentalists appear to be gaining support in their quest to allow just one religion at the Courthouse and in the county. Little white signs are starting to pop up here and there in yards and such. The signs read: I support the 10 Commandments. Even President W entered into the politically correct frenzy with comments that the “0”SHOULD be mandated in every courthouse and school in the nation.
The objection of Puritans is not that they try to make us think as they do, but that they try to make us do as they think – HL Mencken
We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another – Jonathan Swift
While just government protects all in their religious rites, true religion affords government its surest support - George Washington
WE'VE MET THE ENEMY AND IT IS US
DON GREENE WV RADICAL
That famous line was uttered in "Pogo," the little possum from the swamp years ago and I feel it still applies today, especially in West Virginia and even more especially in Mason and Clay Counties. Having just finished reading the excellent "A History of Appalachia" by Richard B. Drake my mind is really blown this time by how many of my observations are and have been shared with others, sometimes for decades. If you want a Christmas present that offers many detailed perceptions on the history, culture and people of our beautiful mountains please consider this book. I only occasionally took any umbrage with his observations, but mostly agreed right down the line. He didn't quite get to the point of saying we are our own worst enemies but came pretty close.
Recently I've been pretty wound up about the theft of some very dangerous explosives from a locked facility down here. These weren't anything run-of-the-mill. They were the sort of stuff that can be formed to look like innocent objects like candles or little plastic Jesus' and easily carried right by any airport screening. I am completely baffled as to why Mason County isn't crawling with Federal agents. At the very least this subject should be running daily on TV and in the papers. Geez Louise! That stuff could be part of a terrorist plot or in the hands of some drug-ring right now! I ought to mention that the place it was stolen from sells armor-piercing, shoot-plumb-through-you bullets on a regular basis, just because they can make a quick buck on it and legally, too.
You all know that I am all for a greatly expanded tourism economy, throughout WV and a bucket-full in Clay and Mason Counties. The scenarios in our counties are a little different, but we both share the same near desperation level of poverty, the same beautiful countryside, most of the same history and the same willing, good-hearted people. The sad thing is that for tourism to become an important part
of either of our economies, we will have to do it ourselves. I honestly don't believe we can count on the county, district, regional or state development forces to be of much help.
The main reasons they all are of such little use are: they are really not set up to actually develop anything; they are mostly good for lots of talk, over-paying out-of-state consultants and generally hee-hawing around; and, they are clueless! They consist mostly of a bunch of bureaucratic hacks and, even worse, devoted political appointees. The next time this gaggle of government sucks actually develops anything will be the first.
So we face the future on our own. In my opinion the first step towards any development, even tourism, is to improve the infrastructure, meaning our roads, public water and public sewer. That's where we meet the enemy. Take a look at your roads and picture them with the proper drainage, which somehow eludes our Department of Highways. Look around at the countryside and imagine it all with public water and sewer. It will stretch your minds, realizing that our PSDs are unable to get waterlines in the ground in less than a decade and only then by literally raising the rates through the roof. Gloomy picture isn't it? Well it doesn't have to be. Political appointees are appointed and can very well be disappointed. If they've served a whole term and haven't got anything done, get them out of there! With real planning, a work ethic that makes people go home proud of the work they did that day and some honest perseverance the roads can be made better, water can be run into every nook and cranny, and sewer can begin crawling out into the country. See you next time with some details on our hoped for tourism economy.
$15,000 Found for Filcon Site — BDA MEETS
In the County Commission room, Dec. 2, 5 pm, the Clay County Business Development Authority met in regular session. Around the room sat the same faces that have tirelessly met month after month in search of economic development for the county. Up front Leonard Williams chaired the gathering.
Chief topic for this assembly was the same one that’ been central to the BDA for 4 years, the old Filcon Fields Industrial Site on Rt. 36 near Ovapa. So stormy has been the Filcon site, the group voted to change the location’ name to Route 36 Industrial site last summer. During this meeting, the Chair informed the appointed ones Fabian Brown had been cutting brush at the site and spraying tree stumps. Motion made and passed to pay $500 for the efforts.
The big issue: What do you do with a ¼ completed but dilapidated concrete and steel Filcon building located in a flood prone area without good access. Chair Williams explained: three contractors/engineers had been contacted; only one company showed up; and, the company recommended the structure be torn down. The BDA is waiting on building designs and estimates for a new building to be located uphill from the 100 year flood plan and out from under an overhead electric service line.
As for tearing down the structure, Boardster Arthur Jarrett knew of a guy willing to tear it down for free if he could have the materials including the steel uprights. Williams mentioned some other person that may demolish the structure and pay the BDA a little $. Another suggested using the concrete slab walls in the Laurel trout stream tributary to prevent erosion.
As for the future of the BDA owned property, the group appears in favor of constructing a metal building with large doors on two ends, two restrooms, and dividing partition in the middle.
After $1000’ in county and state funds expended at the site, more $ have been found. According to Chair Williams, more grants have been found “o play with” It took questioning by taxpayer attendee Tommy Fitzwater to find out the amount of the new finds amounted to $15,000.00. Landscaping the site will take first priority and be paid for from the $15k.
$5000 from an earlier $50,000 Legislative Digest Grant is being used to raise part of the site above the flood plane. From the peanut gallery, Fred Sampson informed the gathered of upcoming WV Supreme Court decisions that may curtail future statehouse handouts.
County Commissioner Jimmy Sams has been a non-attending boardster since he lost a battle to remove Barbara Schamberger as the BDA attorney last year. Peter Triplett will be asked to replace Sams. Dave Pierson and Clark Samples are automatically removed from the development group due to missing more than three meetings in a row. As for refreshing the BDA up to the 15 state code maximum allowed, Paige Willis, “The more people you get, the more controversy you stir up…”
As for the old State Road garage building at Two Run, teens knocked out some windows in the fall and the BDA wants the damage covered by the offenders. Town Cop Buckshot Butcher has been in charge of the investigation. Arthur Jarrett witnessed the vandalism but parents are saying their little cherubs didn’ do it. Willis, “They need charged…. We aught to proceed…” Williams, “ight do kids some good to take them to court..”Discussion on whether to turn the investigation over to other badges. This reporter didn’ hear a decision on moving the case to other badges.
There’ not been much talk about a firewood distribution co-op in the last two months. Community activist Fred Sampson asked about Grimes Lumber coming into Clay to operate the venture. According to the Chair, Grimes was contacted earlier in the week and they need to find a market for the product before progress can be made.
42 minutes after opening, our Clay County Business Development Authority adjourned.
So what has the Clay County Business Development Authority accomplished in 2004? Two items stand out. After a long running court battle, the BDA secured unclouded title to the 6 or so acres of usable land on Route 36 and took possession (via a lease) of the old State Road garage.
BOB CLARKE Curmudgeon’ Corner
Given the recent news from our beloved administration that the grand ayatollah John Ashcroft has resigned from the office of United States Attorney General, anyone with even a vague interest in civil liberties might be tempted to organize mass street dancing or at least execute the raised-fist maneuver and howl an emphatic “ES!” Ashcroft’ shredding of the Constitution is the stuff of legend, and will occupy the scholarly musings of historians for decades to come. Alas, whatever cause for celebration some of us may have had was immediately blighted by the announcement that the new A.G. is one Alberto Gonzales.
Gonzales has a fairly lengthy resume as a Bush loyalist. He was W’ personal counsel in Texas. He came along to the White House as advisor to the President in 2000. One of the more important aspects of Gonzales meteoric rise is that he is Hispanic, a fact of doubtless significance to minority voters. But the new attorney general is no mere token for the administration: he is an expert at twisting the law to suit the hardliners. It may not be too fine a point to assert that he is, at least indirectly, the architect of the atrocities at Abu Ghraib. It was Gonzales who asserted that the Geneva Conventions did not apply to prisoners in the Afghanistan-Iraq conflicts. In fact, he called them “uaint,”and probably obsolete. Observation of recognized concepts of international law applied to captives have been twisted into the odious coinage, “nemy combatants.” There is little cause for optimism that our new “op cop”will be much of an improvement over a predecessor who was once defeated in the Missouri senate race by a dead man.
The 2004 election results may have been a heralding of the death of irony. Numerous commentaries to the effect that the Republicans won because of their superior morality may prompt a certain amount of skepticism. This is an administration that has done little but lie to the people from the beginning. The list is epic in scope: WMDs, the Iraqi-bin Laden connection, tax cuts which Bush claims were designed to help the middle class, suppression of the abuses of corporate corruption in our foreign policy, the arrogant avoidance of accountability, Saddam’ threat to our shores, the assertion that Iraqi oil revenue will pay for the war, Bush calling himself a “ar president”one week, and a “eace president”the next, the intolerance and sometimes persecution of dissent, the assertion that our troops would be greeted in Baghdad by flowers and joy. If this partial record speaks of “orality,”our vocabulary is impoverished. But, as politicians often say: “he people have spoken.” Perhaps is it sour grapes to suggest that the people were assisted by the Diebold Corporation and the political thugs who hovered around the polling places in Florida and Ohio. At least we will have a temporary escape from the constant parroting of “lip-flop.” The Kerry people may have considered countering with “lim-flam.”
The resignation of Colin Powell came as little surprise to those of us who follow the fortunes of this many-splendored administration. On the heels of his impressive Army career, Powell’ star continued to rise as he headed the Joint Chiefs at the Pentagon. At the time Bush chose the former general as Secretary of State it was largely accepted that Powell was the most popular man in America. At an earlier time he could have headed the ticket of either party, a fact of which the Bush strategists were only too aware. It is a consuming irony that, even with his glittering credentials and impressive resume, Powell’ tenure at State may not receive the plaudits of history. A man of honor, courage and conviction, Powell’ resolve wavered before the onslaughts of the super egotists, Cheney and Rumsfeld. He has received a good deal of journalistic ink as the resident “oderate”in a nest of hardliners, but when he was faced with perhaps the most important test that will be the measure of his legacy, he failed. The good General’ shockingly fraudulent performance before the United Nations, the bogus “vidence”of Saddam’ WMDs will, or at least should haunt him all his days. It may never be revealed whether Powell was aware that he was acting as a partner in the administration’ complicity. A generous press has given him a pass, characterizing him as the “ood soldier,”a man whose military background resulted in an ingrained habit of obedience to superiors. He has made a few mild noises of protest to bolster his credentials as the administration’ moderating influence with little effect. Such devotion to authority almost suggests the infamous Nuremberg Defense. [Spoken with a thick accent] “ vas only following orders.” If memory serves, this was the ploy attempted by the lower-class military types at Abu Ghraib Prison. Powell’ descent is almost the stuff of Greek tragedy, a hero who rises to dizzying heights only to fall because of some character flaw, a man of great stature who betrays his own principles. But we must sing no sad songs for Colin Powell. He will spend his twilight years writing best selling memoirs, serving on important corporate boards, and collecting five figure speaking fees.
At this stirring dramatic moment of the second Bush term, reenter Condoleeza Rice. She can play the piano, ice skate, speak several languages, and she has read War and Peace in the original Russian. She holds a Ph.D. and has a reputation as an expert on the former Soviet Union. Her stylish wardrobe and sophisticated demeanor have drawn gushing accolades from a fawning media. Her ascent to the corridors of power has been breathtaking in its rapidity: from provost at storied Stanford to head of the NSA, to appointment as the first African-American Secretary of State. As the old song has it: “ho could ask for anything more?”
Among the group of timeservers, courtiers and enablers with whom George W. surrounds himself, Dr. Rice stands out. She has become a virtual member of the Bush family, accompanying them to Camp David and Crawford. As a backboard of Dubya’ opinions she serves as little more than an echo chamber. Another old song may be apt here, at least in political terms. “’ just a girl who can’ say ‘o.’ In Bushworld, loyalty trumps expertise at every turn. Condi’ appearance before the 9/11 Committee was a tour de force in bureaucratic gobbledegook. Direct questions drew responses of near-interminable monologues designed, no doubt, to protect the boss and an executive branch that has never made a mistake.
“t is altogether fitting and proper,”as a tall chap from Illinois once said that new Secretary Rice retain the name “ushroom Cloud.” That, she famously said, is what the smoking gun may become if we do not obliterate Iraq. She has been one of the more active architects in the disgusting process of destroying Iraq in order to save it. However, a far too compliant media has not always been complimentary to one of the President’ most loyal subjects. Besides the impression that her apparent concept that “ational security”consists of being a cheerleader for G.W. Bush, there are those who speak heresy about her performance at NSA.
…Ms Rice’ domain was the filter through which an awful lot of mangled and misshapen intelligence made its way to the President and the American people. She either believed the nonsense she was spouting about mushroom clouds, or she deliberately misled her president and the nation on matters that would eventually lead to the deaths of thousands. All the evidence shows she wasn’ very good at the job. – Bob Herbert -
Ah, well: most of Bush’ history illustrates that mindless loyalty should never be replaced by mere expertise.
They Said It
Where is the man that has incontestable evidence of the truth of all he holds or of the falsehood of all that he condemns? - John Locke -
| He dreams of peace, and dreams he will wade to it through a sea of blood. – Gandhi on Stalin - |
There is no education in the second kick of a mule. – Sam Rayburn -
What God do these people worship? Do they really think a country stained with the blood of 100,000 dead is a moral improvement over one stained blue dress? - Archbishop Mark S. Shirilan -
Two Moments of High Comedy
The objective of securing the safety of Americans from crime and terror has been achieved. – John Ashcroft -
The President has always surrounded himself with a wide diversity of views. – Scott McClellan, White House Press Secretary -
We have nothing to fear but the fear of fear itself.
School Board Meeting
The regular Clay County Board of Education meeting was held at their central office building in Clay on Monday, December 6. The downstairs meeting room was full as many principals and teachers from the county schools attended along with central office administrators and the five board members – Beth Cercone, David Pierson, Kimberly Sams, Gene King and R.B. Legg Jr., board president.
A Mr. Butcher from the State Department of Education was on hand to award most Clay County schools with plaques from the WV Achieves recognition program. Clay County High School (CCHS) and Clay, Ivydale, Lizemore, Valley Fork, and H.E. White Elementary schools were all recognized for meeting adequate yearly progress. H.E. White and Valley Fork were both also recognized for achieving the designation “est Among Peers,”and Valley Fork achieved “bove Mastery and Beyond”in reading. Of the 720 West Virginia schools tested this year, 516 met adequate yearly progress. Butcher said he felt West Virginia was on the right track. After the brief presentation and pictures the board moved on to the business of the meeting.
Business Manager Loretta Gray provided the monthly financial update for November. She reported that they’ received a $32,000 RESA grant to purchase a reading program for special education, their E-rate reimbursement for the internet and telephone service, payments from federal grants as well as from special education, 21st Century and education technology grants, and where reimbursed for two months of the food program. Expenditures included the $32,000 payment for the special education reading program, computer equipment, and a larger than usual amount to reimburse travel expenses. She explained that some employees held their traveling expenses all year to turn in for reimbursement before Christmas considering it Christmas money. The Board had no questions for Gray.
The Board approved the following agenda items:
|1) Purchase of a 1992 International dump truck from the State Road auction. Superintendent Jerry Linkinoggor said they had bid $8,500 on it and had 20 days to claim it. The truck will replace the 1962 model truck they are now using, and he said the International’ parts are interchangeable with those of the buses. |
2) Employed Denise Holcomb as the night watchperson/ custodian at CCHS, Rachel Thorne’ former position, effective January 3, successful bid.
3) Employed Margie Wyant as special education supervisory aide at Clay Elementary, Wanda Workman’ former position, effective February 1, successful bid.
4) Employed John Paul Rogers as school bus driver for the Falling Rock-Bomont-Camp Creek route, Norman Ramsey’ former position, effective January 3, successful bid.
5) Employed Paul Edwards as activity school bus driver, Mike Taylor’ former position, effective March 1, successful bid.
6) Employed Kimberly Workman as assistant girls softball coach at CCHS, Charles Paxton’ former position, only bid.
7) Employed Randy Holcomb as a substitute bus driver effective January 3.
8) Approved members for a textbook adoption committee for math. The list of members was provided the board but not announced.
Motions on these items were passed unanimously. Also listed on the agenda for board approval was the employment of Sam Taylor as a maintenance worker, to fill Geoff Hamrick’ former job. When no one made a motion to hire after Legg read off this item, Mr. Linkinoggor broke the silence by explaining that 16 people had showed up for the test, and only two had passed all three sections of it – Sam Taylor and Doug Thomas. He said John Brown, head of maintenance, had interviewed them and recommended Taylor. Linkinoggor, “o I’ recommending Sam to you.”
Beth Cercone asked if they had used normal hiring procedures for maintenance. Linkinoggor replied that the state had designed the test, and the last time they’ given it only one person had passed. He went on to say that they had a pretty good maintenance crew now and named several maintenance workers and the other certifications they possessed. Cercone asked if there were any differences between the two, and Linkinoggor said one of the questions Brown asked during the interview was if they had any certifications. Sam, he said, is certified in water.
Gene King asked, “oug can be certified, can’ he?” He said the new school to be built in Big Otter would have city water (no water treatment plant) and had thought the need in maintenance was more for someone with carpentry experience. John Brown, who was attending the meeting, said, “ know I need someone I can depend on,”and cited his knowledge of Taylor’ work performance for the Clay County PSD. As for the carpentry he said, “e really don’ do a lot of that.”
After another brief silence during this discussion Kim Sams offered, “ think Mr. Brown knows what he needs.” King responded with, “ometimes these decisions aren’ pleasant…but that’ our job. You can’ always agree with the administration. I can’ make the motion (to hire) tonight.” Sams countered, “emember, Mr. King, you said at an earlier meeting that the supervisor over the bus drivers should have input on decisions.” R.B. Legg added, “ think…should let administrators administrate…” After another interval of silence, Legg said they’ have to move on if there wasn’ a motion. Sams said, “’ like to have a vote.” Sams, after yet another interval of silence, finally made a motion to hire Taylor, which was followed by more silence. With no second there was no vote on this item and Taylor was not hired.
Mr. Linkinoggor announced that Charleston Catholic High School was again sponsoring their Christmas give-away. Their students adopt a Clay County student. He said they also wanted to come and stay for a week, juniors and seniors with teachers, June 12 – 18. They would choose 10 needy families and do home repairs, etc. He said the Board would have input in choosing the families. The board generally agreed for Linkinoggor to start making the plans, and they placed this as an item for their next meeting agenda.
The Board was given a request from the town of Clay for an easement for right-of-way for a water line along the vocational building. The request will be considered as an action item on their next agenda with one change recommended by David Pierson.
Superintendent Linkinoggor announced that the accreditation status for the entire county school system was full approval.
Gene King reported that he’ been called by a parent with complaints about bus service for her children. Transportation director Larry Legg said he’ received the request for bus service for the family that had recently moved to the Ugly Run area. He said the area was served by a contractor already fully loaded, and attempting a double run would cause 53 students a wait of 15 more minutes on the big bus. He said they would change things if the opportunity arose, but he’ offered the parent payment in lieu of transportation to bring the children out to meet the big bus. Linkinoggor said the parent had appealed Legg’ decision to him, and after exploring all possibilities had to agree with Legg. The bus driver, attending the meeting, agreed that right now they couldn’ figure out a way to pick up the students without causing long delays for all of the other students. Linkinoggor said the parent was entitled to $4.50 a day to transport her children to the big bus, but he’ offered her $10 to appease her. Everyone agreed the road was very bad, the contractor having to run with four chains on when it snowed. Linkinoggor said if the parent couldn’ get the students out due to road conditions they would not be counted absent. King said, “f the bus driver said it can’ be done, I know him, it can’ be done.”
Meeting adjourned after about 50 minutes. Next regular meeting of the board will be Monday, December 20, at Valley Fork Elementary starting at 6:00 p.m. TK
11/23/04: Wriston – Richard Cummings, warrants issued for wanton endangerment and unlawful/malicious wounding, arrested 11/24, probable cause found 12/07, bound to the Grand Jury in the Circuit Court of Clay County.
11/29/04: Elswick – James H. Barmann Jr., fugitive from justice, arrested, sent to Circuit Court.
12/01/04: Bailey – George F. Adkins, cultivation of marijuana and operating a clandestine drug lab (10/06/04), preliminary hearing continued, defendant in hospital; Belt – James Steven Myers Jr., possession with intent to deliver a narcotic drug (11/08/04), preliminary hearing: probable cause found, bound to Grand Jury in the Circuit Court of Clay County; Stephenson – Alvin Ray Hardway, burglary (11/16/04), preliminary hearing continued by State to 12/20.
12/02/04: Belt – Brandy Wayne Nichols, possession with intent to deliver (08/24/04), preliminary hearing continued, defense attorney failed to appear for court.
12/03/04: Belt – Jarrod Willis Lanham, breaking and entering (10/27/04), case dismissed as per plea agreement with case #04M-752 (misdemeanor petit larceny).
12/06/04: Stephenson – Bobby Gene Hall, fleeing DUIA, arrested.
11/24/04: Sizemore – Lane A. Sizemore, warrant issued for violation of domestic violence protective order, arrested 11/30, ROB; Wiles – Mitchell Paul Adkins, warrants issued for domestic assault and domestic battery, arrested 11/30, ROB 12/06.
11/27/04: Stephenson – James Ray Lee, speeding and DUI, arrested, ROB, defendant pled no contest to DUI 11/29, assessed fine, cost and 24 hours jail, speeding case dismissed 12/01 with prejudice upon motion of prosecuting attorney.
11/29/04: Bank of Gassaway – Greg’ Tree Service, Inc., warrants issued for worthless check complaints X 2; Bailey – David Lee Ramsey, driving while revoked for DUIA and registration violation, appeared, ROB.
11/30/04: Clay Supermarket – Melanie Moore, warrant issued for worthless check complaint; Lila Dulaney – Carolyn S. Nichols, warrant issued for worthless check complaint.
12/01/04: Sizemore – Samuel Todd Murphy, concealed dangerous weapon, appeared, ROB.
12/02/04: Belt – Jarrod Lanham, petit larceny, arrested, defendant plead guilty, paid costs, jail term one year suspended, one year probation, ordered to pay restitution.
12/03/04: Belt – Mitzi Gail Eagle, speeding and driving suspended/revoked non-DUI – 3rd offense, arrested, ROB.
12/04/04: Wriston – Billy J. Adkins, DUI and defective equipment, arrested, ROB; Wiles – Chadwick Aaron West, DUI, failure to keep right, no POI and defective equipment, arrested, ROB; Sizemore – Eddie L. McGlothlin, DUI, arrested, ROB.
12/06/04: Stephenson – Bobby Gene Hall, driving revoked DUIA-2nd offense, arrested.
12/02/04: Wallace McDerment – Dale Thaxton, money due.
Worthless Checks Notices issued
11/24/04: Clay Furniture & Appliance – Marilyn A. Taylor.
11/29/04: Main Street IGA – April Dennis (paid 12/06).
12/02/04: Clay Supermarket – James A. Harold (paid 12/03); Sutton Lane Car Wash.
11/02/04: State Police – Billy Joe Keen Jr., MVI.
11/06/04: State Police – Mark C. Carson, underage drinking.
11/11/04: State Police – Ryan Keith Feather, speeding.
11/12/04: State Police – Randall K. Woods, registration violation.
11/13/04: State Police – Kevin W. Tanner, operator’.
11/14/04: State Police – Joshua E. Brown, operator’.
11/15/04: State Police – Nathan T. Bush, no POI.
11/16/04: State Police – Michael J. Hanshaw, failure to maintain control.
11/17/04: State Police - Ronald Anthony Wells, MVI.
11/19/04: State Police – James K. Paxton, no POI; Robert Earl Stutler, driving suspended/revoked non-DUI and defective equipment.
11/22/04: State Police – Crystal Lynn Burns, no POI; Gera Handschmacher, speeding and seat belt violation; William J. Stiverson, speeding; Scotty Lee Stone Sr., driving suspended/revoked non-DUI and defective equipment; Diana Taylor, seat belt violation; Robert C. Vanmeter, speeding; Ronald Workman, speeding; DNR – Lyndon B. Metheney, hunting without permission and failure to field tag deer; Timothy M. Ramsey, fire arm violation; Sheriff’ Dept. – Shane Conrad Payne, seat belt violation.
11/23/04: DNR – John Henry Johnson, loaded gun in vehicle; Thomas D. Trantham, firearm violation X 2; Timothy Allen Whitt, possession less 15 GRMS marijuana; Sheriff’ Dept. – Adrian S. Sebastian, speeding.
11/26/04: State Police – Pamela Sue Hyre, speeding and no POI; Zhu Tang, speeding.
11/27/04: Sheriff’ Dept. – April K. Fitzwater, registration violation and no POI; State Police – David Lee Ramsey, MVI, no POI, DWR/DUIA and registration violation.
11/28/04: State Police – Gary M. Ashworth, speeding; James H. Barmann Jr., speeding and driving suspended/revoked non-DUI; Thomas R. Legg, speeding; Alex M. Ng, speeding.
11/29/04: State Police – Donald C. Cottrill, speeding; Tammi J. Moore, operator’; Sheriff’ Dept. – Tracy Lane Dorsey, seat belt violation; Maria D. Schoonover, driving suspended/revoked non-DUI, registration violation, no POI and MVI.
12/02/04: State Police – Patrick Blankenship, operator’; Sara Nicole Elliot, no POI; Raymond M. Goff Jr., no POI; Sheriff’ Dept. - Christopher Burkhamer, seat belt violation; Michael W. Claypool, no POI; Bobby Ray Hanshaw, no POI; Karen Runion, seat belt violation and no POI; Jeremy M. Shafer, no POI.
12/03/04: Sheriff’ Dept. – Mitzi Gail Eagle, speeding and driving suspended/revoked non-DUI 3rd offense; State Police – Delmer R. Shamblin, no POI; Patricia L. Wright, registration violation.
12/04/04: State Police – Billy J. Adkins, DUI and defective equipment; Chadwick Aaron West, DUI, left of center, no POI and defective equipment; Sheriff’ Dept. – Eddie L. McGlothlin, DUI.
12/05/04: State Police – Bobby Gene Hall, fleeing DUI and driving revoked DUI 2nd offense.
Ed Note: The chatter is in response to web site mention of the special Clay Roane PSD meeting where only three board members attended and votes were made without mention on the meeting agenda.
Mr. Saulsgiver was notified at the last regular meeting of the meeting with Virginia McDonald.He stated that it didn't have anything to do with him so he wasn't coming.That can be verified by the rest of the board (all were present) as well as the secretary.At the same time, Susan Beard stated she was not taking off work to attend.He doesn't know what happened at the meeting because he wasn't there and that was his own choice, he was notified.As for the rate increase it was not specific on the agenda, so it will be on the next one, but with three board members already voting yes, I am assuming that it will be a mute point.It was supposed to be on the special meeting agenda, however, Crystal forgot to put it on there, so in compliance with the law it will be redone at the next meeting.
I had already asked Crystal to relist it the day after the meeting.Oh and the motion to change accountants will be redone as well.
I went to Charleston Regional Jail and asked them why they let Tonya out of jail so early. This is what they told me:
One year sentence started 20 September 2004; 20 Sept. 2004 - 19 Sept. 2005 = 1 year; Minus 200 days created time served = 03 March 2005; Minus 60 days good time = 02 Jan. 2005; Minus 36 days for work as a trusty = 27 Nov. 2004; Minus 16 days for GED time = 11 Nov. 2004; Released 11 November 2004.
This is what you get for murder in Clay County. So if you want to kill somebody go ahead - you will be out in eight months.
MERRY CHRISTMAS 2004!
Well, I guess it is time to let everyone know about our year. It has been a year of ups and downs for us. If we could change years and start all over again,would be a good year to do that. I was not going to do a letter this year, but then thought I would go ahead so that you all would know that you are thought of every day with much love and affection and good thoughts.
Our year began with our youngest, Jason, experiencing a mental meltdown- during which he attacked me and tried to hurt me. He did. The doctors advised us to send Jason to a treatment center- which we did. He has been there since March. The prognosis is not good as he continues to exhibit severely aggressive behavior toward staff and his schoolmates. It was very difficult to lose him, he's my baby and we worked so hard to help him.
We were getting adjusted to our one less at the dinner table, when Easter arrived. We received the worst news any parent can get. Our second eldest son, Kevin, was killed in a car accident by a drunk driver. The car crash caused Kevin's car to explode and he and the boy with him were burnt beyond recognition. Our eldest son, Michael, drove here to West Virginia and together, he and Bridgett and Bill and I drove to California. We stayed with my brother, but I must admit, everything was a terrible blur. I still wait to wake up and have Bill tell me it was all a dream. But alas, that has not happened.
Life must go on and so it has. I finished my second Master's degree in June. I am currently finishing up 88 hours toward my PhD, although I must admit it has been hard going. Catherine made the Dean's list this semester and the twins have been doing very well as Juniors. Austin is trying to adjust without his brother, a.k.a. co-hort in crime.
Aid For Families In Need has had a busy year. We just finished handing out 143 baskets (about 40,000 pounds of food and 1,800 pounds of turkey). Bill was his usual whirlwind and we worked several days to get them finished up.AFFIN would cease to exist without him.We are getting set to distribute 152 baskets for Christmas and about 60,000 pounds of food!Whew!
Aboutweeks ago, I woke up with a real scare. My left arm was numb and my doctor sent me scooting to the ER. The doctor there did an EKG and a CT scan. The tests showed a recent heart attack and the numbness was from a mini-stroke. You all know how thorough I tend to be! Funny smiles aside, I think fate reached out a hand and shook me pretty hard. I got the message and am learning to delegate.
This was Tuesday and about 5:30 am the next morning, I awoke to another mild heart attack. Okay. Okay. Fate was working a little overtime. But, I got the message. My sugar shot up way over 400 and has blurred my vision. So now I get to look at the world through blurry rose-colored glasses. I was in the hospital for 5 days. Long days with nurses stabbing sharp metal objects into me every time they entered my room! Bill has been my rock as always and he and the kids and Mothere really been taking good care of me.
I am still on limited activity and Bill and our volunteers made sure I didn't overdue for our Thanksgiving give away. I had to drop my class this quarter, eyes too blurry to see the computer very well. So my glucometer has become a new found friend. I am on insulin therapy and now I get to stab sharp metal objects into my body every day! Fun, fun, fun!
Everyone is okay, Mother is doing very well. She has been right there for me and for us this whole year. She still enjoys reading, TV (when there is something on that is good), and we get to go shopping occasionally. She's a pretty slick chick! Our hope to all of you is that your year has been a good one. Our hopes and thoughts are with you as 2004 winds down. Be kind to each other and remember that you are loved.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Help the poor and homeless in your community! I do apologize for not sending more traditional cards, we hope you will forgive us! , Bill, Kate, Jane, Catherine, Bridgett, Rachael, Austin and Jason
Mrs. Kate WhittekerExecutive DirectorAid For Families In Need, Inc.
| TOWN COUNCIL MEETS|
Legg Gets Fired Up
It was going nice and smooth for Mayor Arthur Jarrett during the November council meeting until…
Clay Town Council met November 7th at the water plant. Mayor Arthur Jarrett convened the group at 4pm. Around the table were: Recorder Dwana Murphy and councilpersons Betty Murphy, Frank Childers, Phil Morris, and Sally Legg. Absent from duty (again) Billie Zegeer.
Minutes and finances were uneventful: everything normal, nothing unexpected. Attorney Jeff Davis gets $1250 for services during a PSC hearing and rights of way work. Blah, blah….
Town water meters are being damaged. When a customer’ water meter is turned off, a lock is put on the underground measuring device. Recently some one time customers have broken locks and turned the water service back on themselves. Others have ripped out the old locked meters and installed their own meters. Both are no no’ and Council motioned and passed to take the water thieves to Magistrate Court.
With Dwana Murphy sitting next to King Arthur, the agenda item was payroll. Murphy had listed the agenda item and it appeared that King didn’ want it out in the open. The two bantered in broken sentences just enough to reveal some hostile feelings. Murph: I just thought you wanted the Council to know…. King: I found out what I wanted to know. Dwana: This concerns me. King: It’ none of your business! Dwana, much more intense: It is my business!!!
They didn’ say what the talking in circles was about but in previous instances, Mayor King Arthur Jarrett would hear a tale, spout off in public, Dwana would hear about it, get ticked off, and then the two of them would verbally duke it out. The guess is, Jarrett heard a story about additional pay received by an employee, mouthed off in a negative light toward Dwana, and on Nov. 7th, we only heard a part of the nasty. Back to the meeting…
Sally Legg asked the paychecks for the town to be issued early. All agreed.
Here’ the juicy part readers. With Sally Legg three bodies away, King to Ms Legg, “re you still in Town?”
Before the sound made it to the far end of the table, Legg’ face changed. There were little lines around her mouth. Eyebrows popped up. She moved to the front of chair. Legg, “ES! I worked today [at her hair salon]. I paid my rent yesterday!”Jarrett came back with something about one of her salon workers wanting to rent space from him. Legg, “ am a resident! I pay rent!”Not giving the Mayor any time to respond, Legg continued, “HEN I MOVE, WHEN I QUIT, YOU WILL BE THE FIRST TO KNOW!!!”
Here’ the scoop readers. Ms Legg took a job in Charleston a month ago. With the listing of her tanning bed and a request for someone to help her move her personal belongings from Clay to Charleston posted in classifieds, King Arthur knew she was moving out of Clay. To be on Town Council, the elected or appointed must be a resident of the municipality.
With her lather all worked up, and pointing long painted fingernails, Legg was mad, “ WORK in Charleston… I AM a resident here!!…. You could have called me! You’e not handled this very well…there’ TWO issues you’e brought up! YOU BETTER NOT ACCUSE ME…. WHAT ABOUT BILLIE?”
Legg was referring to councilperson Billie Zegeer who was absent and was absent last month as well.
Knowing he had stepped into a hornets nest, the sound of the bugle was heard and Jarrett retreated post haste. He called for adjournment. Didn’ work. From the back came questions on the Town providing Christmas bonuses. With council nodding in agreement, the Mayor said there would be NO holiday bonuses provided employees.
Jarrett called for adjournment. Didn’ work. Questions came up on age old practices of putting water meters in commercial building basements and back rooms. With his fingers drumming the desk top, questions came on recent smoke testing of the sewer system and what progress had been made to comply with federal regulations prohibitions. From the man up front: The Town gave notice to the citizenry in that little paper over in Clay; no letters have been sent to the offenders; and no court action has been started to force people to comply with a recently passed town ordinance forbidding the release of rain water into the sewer system. Council person Morris added , “A lot of people are complying.”
Still wanting to bolt for the door, mention was made that Allen Stephenson had been promoted to chief sewer plant operator under the supervision of a Class II operator (a Dwayne somebody) from Nicholas County. Additional comments from someone mentioned that the DEP was OK with the arrangement.
The meeting adjourned just 15 minutes after opening but what a great 15 minutes it was!
Since the meeting chief water plant operator Bobby West has agreed to be a back up sewer plant operator in case Stephenson is absent from work and expect councilperson Sally Legg to submit her resignation from elected office during the Jan 2005 meeting. AW
Four Mile Stories : Pancake Mornings
By Dave Derby
The glistening morning sun still creeps over the eastern slopes of the hillside leading to the old home place on Four Mile Run. The clear, cook sparkling water still crackles and bubbles its way down Four Mile Creek. The old farm house is now a distance reminder that a family once occupied that dwelling but for some reason no one lives there anymore.
It just seems like yesterday that the house screamed with the sounds of a family living, loving, and existing. The sounds of joys, sorrows, and normal everyday existence could be heard.
The story in which I would like to related to you happened during certain mornings when the family of ten lived in the old farm house. The chief figure in this story was not a “ey figure”in the social strata or by societies standards not very important. His physical characteristics would not be of any oddity. He had gray hair on the side of his head. The top was covered with traces of hair. He had stooped shoulders, a small belly that was creeping over his belt, he had a long torso with short legs.
But you cannot always tell a person or book by the coverings. This individual was always thinking of others and was a very special person to all who knew him.
It just seems like yesterday that this individual would start his early morning activities by preparing pancakes for the family. No alarm clock was necessary when this activity was commenced because the pancake grille was always on the bottom of a stack of pots and pans under the kitchen sink. So as searching for the grille this individual would always pull all the top pans to the kitchen floor. The clinging and clanging sounds from the kitchen would relay to you time to get out of bed. If this wasn’ enough shortly after the sound you would hear the sound of the “ther boss of the house”in the household reminding that you had better get up and ready for breakfast. You knew to respond to this request because of past experiences and the respect you had for her authority. The “ule of the House”was telling once was enough. You had to listen the first time something was told to you or suffer the consequences of that act. So you had better get ready for breakfast and school quickly. Then be down the stairs in a short period of time.
The aroma of pancakes would fly all over the house. Just like butterflies floating in the soft summer wind. The pancakes were always enormous and would spread out over your entire plate for a depth of one inch or more. You would be lucky if they were cooked all the way though but you ate them because that was all you had. You would spread homemade butter in big chunks and pour rivers of homemade syrup. One pancake was all that you required so you didn’ have to ask for helpings.
Breakfast time was seldom rushed but you knew you had only time to eat and do your chores before that yellow bus came. You had to make sure you put your plate in the sink. The dinning table was not the place to leave your dishes. The pancake mornings were also time when the other boss had to work extra hard to clean up the mess that was normal when another person has invaded the women’ territory ( The kitchen).
You always knew you were an important part of the family because of the smiles, jokes, teasing ,the good times, and the stories shared at the table during these ‘pecial days’and every morning.
The “ey Figure “would always make you feel that you were important and part of the large family by the little smiles or the tinkle in his eyes as he looked at you or winked at you. Sometime he would pat you on the head as he past you eating on his way out side to face the cold world.
Every mornings were similar especially the “ancake Mornings”for many years as he made the exit from the house to the little one or two room schools. He was determined to help his family survive and to teach his other “amily members”the basics so that they too could survive in the world of the future in which we are living.
Time passes and the water still flows down Four Mile Creek but the memories of the “ancake Mornings “will be remembered by all the family who were touched by him.
Dad was a dear!
By doing what all his dears!
Would ask of him!
· This story was written about my early years on Four Mile Creek in Wetzel County during the 1950’ & 60’.
Letter to Brother Bill By Evelyne McLaughlin
Dear Brother Bill:
Were you excited to see the snow Thanksgiving Day? Probably as much as I was. I remember when I was teaching in South Carolina, early one morning before school started the assistant principal called for me. "Mrs. Mac, come here, come here!" I wondered what in the world and I said "What is the matter?" He said "It's snowing, it's snowing!" Yeah! To me what is the big deal? But they seldom had snow in that school district. I did not fix a dinner for Thanksgiving, Melissa had a wonderful dinner and I retrieved enough to feed Don and myself. It was very good. Lots of folks visiting for the holidays. Virginia Boggs, of Twistabout Ridge, had her granddaughter Carmen and her family from Princeton. Kyle Rhodes, of Charlottesville, Virginia, and his friend were visiting their relatives. I saw Carmel Morris, of Jacksonville, Florida, and he gave me two very nice key chains. His company was celebrating their 40th anniversary. I suppose Carmel came home to hunt. I hear that Dan Boggs, Larry "Pouch" Boggs and Adam Nickel, all from Pennsylvania, also got their deer. Lyle Shreves, of Terra Alta, called to tell me he had undergone surgery recently. He survived quadruple by-pass and is getting along fine. Lyle and his wife, Sylvia, are special friends of ours. They ate Thanksgiving Dinner with our family five years in a row. We enjoyed their company. His brother George and his mother also came one year. Our cousin Gary Grose, of Ohio, also underwent heart surgery last week. According to his daughter, he is getting along fine
Linda Deems, of Pumpkin Ridge, is in the hospital. Rheeneta Bennett, of Valley View is having some health problems. Please remember these folks in your prayers. Last week I saw Mrs. Vineyard, of Maysel, in the Family Dollar Store. I asked how she was and her children. To my surprise, her son, Ballard Vineyard, of Florida, was with her. He told me he had joined the service when he was 17. I had not seen him for many moons. It was really good to see him.
I will write a few more lines from Mom's letter concerning her young years growing up along the waters of Laurel Creek: They had a teacher that they liked quite well. She would come down and stay all night with the family and all would play blind man's bluff after dark. We saw a total eclipse that spring. The teacher and we went up on the graveyard hill top. It was just at the break of dawn and Grover was up there with his piece of smoke glass. I remember he climbed up in a tree to see the sun come up over the goat hill. I recall Grover saying the sun would come up for the last time some day.
One of my teachers, Fred Harner hit me in the back with an eraser once. That was when I was whispering to some one behind me. That was the summer the mad dog came down in September. It growled at Gene and snapped our calf through the nose. It bled a lot. They killed the dog over around Maysel after it had bit other animals. Dad didn't kill the calf and just let it be around. Well, in February it went mad and cut terrible shines. I remember it bawled day and night and foamed at the mouth. Ma thought it was choked and she run her hand down its throat but it wasn't choked. It was mad. I hadn't forgotten about the dog bite and I was scared to be near it. Dad was working away from home and Ma had Dick to kill it. (Note: as you recall, Mom was always afraid of mad dogs.)
That was the year Ma got sick and died. (August 29, 1926). It was a very unpleasant memory. 1926, Waitman Boggs was our teacher. Ma died Sunday 29, 1926, the day before school started. I remember it so clearly, Ma was sick six weeks. Dad had Dr. Stump from Clendenin and Russell Hamrick of Clay, but she grew worse all the time. She helped with a neighbor who had dysentery and there was lots of flies. There was a drought that summer and our well went dry for the first time. We didn't have screens and so Ma got dysentery. There were several cases that fall. Big Floyd Samples also died. Then late that fall Bird Burdette passed away. The white mules that belonged to Ed Wyant hauled the crude black coffin to it's final resting place at the Parks Cemetery. I don't remember who conducted the funeral. Pa usually did, if he wasn't there Hen Keller or Uncle Dave Samples would. I recall Granny Burdette's funeral. Her coffin didn't have any handles or plate that usually had "at rest" on it. They didn't have enough black cloth to go over it and the end of it was brown wood. Hen Keller talked over her and sang "In The Sweet By and By." Granny died in the spring before Ma died. We were very lonesome. (Mom was 16 the year her mother died.)
Our step-sister, Donna Dawson Smyth, and her daughter Shirley, of Charleston, came by Sunday for a visit. It is always good to see them. I also talked with David Dawson and his wife, and Lakin Dawson, of Ohio this week. I was trying to get Leonard's new address so I could let him know about the 1955 Class Reunion. Also, I understand that the Joe Dawson Reunion may be held in Clay County next summer. Marge Smith Thomas of Lakeview, Arkansas, attended a concert in Branson, Mo., this week. Dixie and Richard Jarvis have been helping with the new baby. Ryan, their son, lives in St. Albans. Dixie has pictures of the new baby and he is a cutie. Virginia Boggs, of Twistabout Ridge, was visiting with her sister, Lenora Hardman, of Charleston, last week.
You know our dog, Champ, does not like for me to be away. Usually when I am away he tears up something. Well, last week I forgot to close the bedroom door and when I got back there was tissue all over the floor and an empty box ripped to shreds. Not to mention a box of Whitman's chocolates strewn everywhere. I simply picked up the candy and didn't tell anyone - and I know Champ isn't going to tell. Sometimes he chews dictionaries or any other books he can get hold of.
A big hello to all of you folks who read the Communicator, especially Hod Fields, Marge, Maxine Shaffer and Francie, also Bob, Bub, JR, Jon, and Blendine. Now, a few words from the wise ole bird: The older you get the tougher it is to lose weight, because by then your body and your fat are really good friends. The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing in the right place, but also to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.
Until next time, HELP US ALL TO BE BRAVE. LOVE, SIS