My Side of the River by William (Bill) Fichtner

Stories of Evansdale and Beyond

From the Late 1920s and On

Morgantown West Virginia


by Mike Breiding

The publication of these memoirs of William Fichtner's life in Morgantown West Virginia is  №4 in a series of what I call simply "The Works of Others" which I have webulized. By "webulized" I mean works in other formats being made compatible with a web browser.

I never met Bill Fichtner, but after reading his book of memoirs and taking on this project of "webulizing" his book I feel I know him pretty well.

The book is entitled "My Side of the River: Stories of Evansdale and Beyond - From the Late 1920s and On".
Bill first "published" it in 2007 as a collection of 49 essays composed on a computer, printed out page by page and then photo copied. The copied pages were then comb bound. The table of contents was hand written by Bill.
You can view a sampling of pages from the 2007 edition at the bottom of this page.

In 2008 Bill had this collection professionally published by Populore Publications in Morgantown WV. The new edition has 55 essays.

Although I was never fortunate enough to meet Bill, I did have the good luck of meeting his son John. Unbeknownst to me, John and my dad, George H Breiding, were good friends. I first met John at a Brooks Bird Club Foray at Camp Thornwood in Pocahontas County WV. John introduced himself and told me about his friendship with my dad. They were very close, so much so that John named a nature trail for my dad. John and his students built the trail on the campus of Roane-Jackson Technical Center where John taught Vocational Agriculture (Forestry, Ag Mechanics, Grounds Maintenance and more) for 43 years.

In 2020 John retired and moved to his newly purchased farm and then set about the business of being a farmer, something he already had 20 years experience doing. I guess you could say farming ran in the Fichtner family since both John's dad and his brother were farmers.

Late March of 2023 I stopped to visit with John on my way back to Morgantown from Tucson. It was during that visit John showed me his dad's book and when I expressed interest in reading it he sent it home with me.

John Fichtner - Down on the Farm

John Fichtner, Son of William - Down on the Farm

Bill's book covered a lot of the same territory I was familiar with as a child. Bill's family lived in a house on "Star City Road" (now University Ave) as it was called then. The house sat very close to the top of 8th Street. This is the area Bill refers to as "Walnut Hill".

Walnut Hill at the top of 8th Street in Morgantown WV

A look at where both the Fichtner and Breiding families lived - the Fichtners from the 1920s to the 1940s and the Breidings in the 1960s.

When the Breiding family moved from Wheeling to Morgantown in 1963 we resided at 616 8th Street - just a few minutes walk from Bill's "Walnut Hill" which got its name from a very large Black Walnut tree in a yard at the top of 8th Street. There were other walnut trees on the property including the one along 8th street. As kids my brothers and I would walk up the hill and throw the walnuts at each other and also fling them as hard as possible to see how far we could get them to roll down 8th Street. I can't help but wonder if a young Bill Fichtner might have done the same.

Bill also talks about Miller's Grocery store. As kids the Breiding boys would collect returnable Coke bottles. Each bottle had a 2¢ deposit on it.. When we got enough collected we would walk up the hill and redeem them at Miller's Grocery for an ice cold 16 oz bottle of Coke. Heaven!

2751 University Ave Fichtner House

This is where the Fichtner Family lived. It is now 2751 University Avenue. In Bill's book he lists the occupants as:
"my grandfather John Selby, my mother Clara and father Charles Fichtner, children Ruth, Helen, John, Bill, Jessie Lynn and my mother's sister and her children, Edgar and Charles."
Quite the houseful!
The house was just a minute's walk down to Miller's Grocery store which Bill mentions in his book.

Millers Grocery

Here is what Miller's Grocery looks like today. Both the Fichtner house and Miller's are basically the same structures as in the 1920s but the facades have changed a good bit over time. Both became windowless and ugly.

As companions to this web page I also produced an eBook and a PDF of only the contents of the original publication.
The web page version has added material in the form of photos and scans which are not included in the eBook or PDF version.

You can download the eBook (ePub) and PDF version here.

NOTE: Permission was granted by the Fichtner Family to re-publish Bill Fichtner's book.

And with that introduction what say we take a trip down memory lane and visit Walnut Hill and all the other places Bill Fichtner knew and loved.



My Side of the River by Bill Fichtner
Stories of Evansdale and Beyond
From the Late 1920s and On
Morgantown West Virginia


Semi-retired Methodist minister William "Bill" Fichtner in his eighty years has held twenty-five jobs and participated in more avocations than you could count on your fingers. In his time he has been a sailor (US Navy), artist, farmer, insurance man, business manager, gandy dancer (a track man on the railroad) and the best of neighbors. All of that background provides the raw material out of which to fashion a new avocation: writer.

Some of the essays in this book first appeared in the newsletter of the Appalachian Lifelong Learners, an outreach program from West Virginia University. Those and new tales published here for the first time explore his wide variety of friends and experiences. You can read about them in a minute, but meantime know they provide the essence of the man and his place. His writing style makes us feel it is "our" place, too.

Bill and I became close in geographical and personal terms when our lives crossed as residents on the Tyrone Road-Snake Hill section of Monongalia County. I was a young fellow home-steading on the crest of a mountain, and much in need of resources and knowhow. Bill was, and is, the neighbor who came by not just to say hello, but to help, inform and enlighten. He taught me everything from how to raise chickens and put up fence to how to raise fruit, get in touch with the land and become a better neighbor myself. Those lessons fostered an enduring friendship.

It is a hallmark of Bill's life that he has legions of friends—good people who have learned the meaning of friendship and improved their lives thereby. On Snake Hill, the long-established residents still get the former circuit riding minister to marry them, and bury them. He helps them learn how to raise gardens, deliver calves that may have become crossed in the birth channel, and take care of their own by raising their own. His knowledge of people and the physical world mimics one of his ancient ancestors, the early explorer of the Allegheny Mountains, Meshach Browning.

Want to know how to build a house or a barn? Ask Bill. Looking to improve your garden and the care of your animals? Want to know how to pastor a church or improve the condition of your soul? Ask "Preacher Bill," as some affectionately call him. He won't fail you.

Want a specific example? In deep February one year, someone I know tore the retina in an eye in a shop accident. The patient was required to travel the ten miles from Snake Hill to The Eye Institute at West Virginia University every day. Because of doctor's orders to remain immobile, he could not drive himself. As bad luck would have it, the torn retina happened during the worse stretch of weather that winter. The temperatures plummeted and the roads thickened with ice and snow.

Bill, as he has in many similar circumstances, did the duty. He climbed the mountain in his four-wheel-drive truck, retrieved the patient and took him to the doctor that day and for several days thereafter. Bill wouldn't even accept gas money.

That story isn't in his book, but I mention it here and will probably have to defend my reasons for wanting it in. In fact, I expect some resistance from Bill to telling this. He would be the last to call attention to his good deeds. Know that I have fought to preserve the record as it is. A foreword to a book should legitimately present the writer's good points.

Bill's slice-of-life vignettes that constitute the main offerings of this book are "other" centered. Some tell what it was like to work for Baker's Hardware, a fixture on High Street for decades. He tells you of the inner workings of the University Dairy Farm on the Mileground. You can learn about the Morgantown Glassware Guild. Wonder how life was like in early Evansdale before the university spawned a campus there? Bill grew up there and tells you.

In narrating the lives of departed acquaintances, he sounds a tone in prose much as Thomas Gray did in poetry with his "Elegy Written in a Country Graveyard." As we know, the lives of ordinary people more often than not are extraordinary. Like Bill, they just don't receive or even want the publicity.

In this memoir, you will find the names of some of the famous people of our county, and some whose merit should have made them famous but out of choice didn't. At other times, Bill's writing puts me in the mind of Sherwood Anderson when he profiled distinctive characters in Winesburg, Ohio. This book introduces you to many names that are special to their families, to Bill and now, by way of the printed page, perhaps to you.

In one of my English courses at West Virginia University, one of the professors posited that the greatest literature is moral literature. In many of Bill's tales, you will find a lesson, a way, a guide that can make you a better person. That is in essence how morality plays out.

Because Bill has had a large input and influence on my life since I got to know him in 1970, I from time to time mentioned him by name in a column I write for The Dominion Post. Out of modesty, Bill eventually asked me not to use his name. But I am sure pleased to let some of my admiration for him as a person and writer "hang out" in this foreword. Enjoy and be enlightened.

- Norman Julian
Author of the books Snake Hill and Cheat


In 2003 I surrendered to a yearning to write about some things in my life.

I knew I wanted to write about the men and women who have enriched it by just being there at specific times. They were all role models and I wanted to give them credit for helping at a time of need. At best, my tributes are only thumbnail sketches. Much more could be said.

I also hoped to shed some light on the people and environment of my life for our children (John, Mark, and Jane) and our close friends. I thought others might be interested, too. A few even said so! At first I thought six pieces could fill the bill—one each on James Koontz, "Ma" and "Tater" Miller, James Gorman, Janie Caldwell, the Bonner family and the Stansbury family. As time went on other memories kept tweaking me with the realization that there were many more. Just telling the six would not provide a very clear picture. Now with dozens, the picture is clearer.

Early on, I had thought I might call the book something like Profiles of Plain People until I learned that some don't consider "plain" a compliment. (I do, for to me it means down-to-earth, genuine, and neighborly.) Another title I had considered was Evansdale Chronicles, but as I wrote, the territory my stories covered expanded to adjoining areas.

The lineup of stories has no rhyme or reason. The stories were placed in their spaces as they came to me and not in any planned sequence. Everything was written longhand.

With the help of others, my handwritten papers became this book. The search for someone to type was a little hard at first. Luckily, about 2004, Elizabeth Baker, Pastor of Tyrone United Methodist Church, introduced me to the Stevens, Ann and Ted. When Ann heard of my plight she agreed to type all of my stories and put them in her computer for easy access. A great service and gift indeed. Ted was involved also, giving good advice along the way.

After typing, came photocopying. Elizabeth Baker did this work for me until she was reappointed and moved. Then Jim Petitto of Petitto Mining Company graciously stepped in by assigning Peggy Leggett, his secretary, to the chore. I appreciate this service, which gave me draft copies I and others could review.

I am also grateful to Rae Jean Sielen at Populore Publishing for assistance in producing this book.

Lastly, many thanks to Norman Julian, my friend and neighbor, for encouragement and for writing the Foreword. (However, he did lay it on a little thick.)

- Bill Fichtner

James Koontz

To his peers, he was Jim. To us who were youngsters, he was "Mister." At first glance there was nothing unusual about him, and not too many people took a second look but those of us who knew him better were given a rare gift.

James Koontz was the janitor of Evansdale Grade School. Then he moved to Suncrest Junior High (SJH) when it opened at midterm January 1940. He lived in a little bungalow, the location that is under the pavement near the intersection of Patteson Drive and University Avenue. A service station, grocery market and an old mill are also under that pavement.

Mr. Koontz was never a person to interfere in another's life, but he was always on the sidelines ready to help anyone (little kids included) who needed something he could provide. He was always a pleasant man, as his countenance clearly signaled by his easy smile and crow's-foot wrinkles at his eyes.

The Depression of '29 turned him from a man of means to almost a pauper, except for some very near worthless real estate, which was located along Van Voorhis Road near Virginia Manor and Burroughs Street. Koontz Avenue ended at his original home that was left to him and his brother Charles, whom I knew very little about, but was also an honorable man.

The furnace room at SJH was his "office" and I delighted in visiting him there at noontime to listen to his stories of times past when he was younger. He had been to Florida several times; this awed me more than the moon landing, for I had hardly been out of Monongalia County, and Florida seemed like another world.

There was never any bitterness in him about being poor. I'm sure he was as happy poor as he was rich because of his faith in God, which he spoke sparingly about. The way he lived his life spoke much clearer about what faith in God can do to make life a joy.

Mr. Koontz took an interest in me, I think, because he knew a lot about my family and he knew that my father had died and I needed a male role model.

Mr. Koontz liked to hunt rabbits and squirrels for sport and definitely for meat. I liked it for the same reasons. So when he was going to hunt after school he would invite me to go along sometimes. On those times I would take my shotgun to school and leave it in the furnace room. No one seemed to notice me with the gun. (How different times were then.)

He would tell me of "exciting" games that his generation was involved in. Evenings, either at church or school, the communities would gather to face off on a spelling bee or have a debate, some times getting very lively. (Seems rather dull now with all that goes on in our society these days.) Also, elections were rather lively then; people were serious about their politics to the point of sometimes fighting.

Mr. Koontz was saving his money to buy a new car. One night he went to his church to find the congregation involved in trying to raise money to send a man and wife team of missionaries to Africa. They had raised all but $1,100. He said to himself, if he lived he could save more money for a car, but may never have a chance to have a hand in such a worthy cause again. So he gave his total savings, which was $1,100. He said it was the best money he ever spent. Those missionaries kept in touch with him for years with letters and pictures of their work.

This story describes better than I can the kind of man he was. His influence, along with several others like him, had a great influence on me and was partly the reason that I had a "part time" pastorate with the United Methodist Church for just over 20 years. Times changed; his real estate became very valuable and in the twilight of life, Mr. Koontz was wealthy again. Reminds me of the story of Job.

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Eleanor "Ma" And Walker "Tater" Miller

Before there was television's Archie and Edith, there was Ma and Tater. Tater was built just like Archie, and he came on like a bull in a china shop. He was rude and insulting to his friends about their politics, religion and private lives. Eleanor was a peacemaker for his tirades. She went about picking up the pieces and getting everything back to order, and after all was settled, Walnut Hill went back to being a normal, loving community of people who cared for each other, including Tater.

During the Depression, Ma and Tater started a small neighborhood store in an upstairs room that was on the level of Star City Road, later University Avenue.

Their little store became the center for all of the social activity on the hill. People waited for the bus there. Caddies from the golf course ate their dinners there. They would buy a loaf of bread and enough bologna to use it up and share the cost. Dessert was an individual transaction. All of the news on the hill came through the store. If you wanted to know anything about anyone you could find the answer at Miller's Market.

The little store ran credit for the family, and I'm sure they got beat out of quite a lot of money. Some would charge there, and when they had cash, went to the A&P. Our mother would never do that, even when some told her how much she would save.

There was a time when we had no income and for a long time never paid anything on our bill. But Ma never turned us down for staple foodstuffs. When we began to get on our feet, Mom told Ma to put the big bill ($285.00) aside. Then she would pay $2.00 a week on it and keep current on the other bill weekly.

There were two children to Ma and Tater: Maurice, who was two years younger than me, and Eleanor Jo, who was 10 years younger. Maurice and I have been good friends all of our lives.

Tater's bellicose personality was really his defense for, like Archie, underneath he was really a pussy cat and generous to a fault that if he didn't "holler," people would have taken advantage of him. His own young life was hard and poor. When he was 15 he was hurt in the coal mines. He was caught between the coal cars and a brake; somehow it wrapped him up and crushed his shoulder. That injury came back on him in his thirties and nearly took his life, and from then on he had to be treated daily (by Ma) to clean the wound of puss and rebandage it. His left arm wasn't much use to him after that.

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James Gallagher Gorman

When you draw up a set of criteria for a role model it generally goes along these lines-moral, fluent, personable, good looking, good sense of humor, able to easily articulate ideas and a host of other good things.

James Gorman had none of these qualities when I knew him. I'm sure he had these qualities in previous years, but when I was born he was 68 years old, and before I really knew him he was nine years older so my memory of him was formed in only four years because he died when I was 13 years old.

James Gorman was my great-uncle, my mother's favorite uncle, for reasons that I came to know through her, and not only her, but by people who knew him "when."

The job that suited him the most was "school teacher" in his younger years. All of the ex-students I ever met liked to tell me about what an impact he had on their lives. He later became a bricklayer and followed that trade until an accident that nearly killed him in 1902. He fell from a scaffold and hit his head—he never completely recovered. It changed his personality-he was more austere after that. His brother, Alfred, was hurt learning to shoe horses and was paralyzed. James, being the only single man left in their family, the care of Alfred fell on him. This responsibility caused him to remain single all of his life, though he did have prospects for marriage. Later he had a stroke that impaired his speech so that it was difficult to understand him. Thus, not many people came to visit him, and my friends that occasionally went to his place with me were afraid of him because he sounded angry when he spoke, and they couldn't understand him.

When I first began helping him, I had trouble understanding him, but I got so I overlooked his voice and manner and truly enjoyed being with him. He taught me "farm things." I always loved farming. He and I together hardly made a man, but he did something to contribute to his cupboard every day. He taught me how to milk, how to set a hen, how to shuck corn, to put up hay (the old method), to aid a birthing heifer, to butcher hogs and how to use a scythe. He always wanted to teach anyone anything he knew. He taught reverence for nature and explained many of the mysteries of nature to me.

His estate consisted of 30 acres and a brick house on Chestnut Ridge Road. He had no money to speak of, but when he died, he left my mother one-half interest of his property.

I wanted her to keep it but we were flat broke and in debt (in those days you had to pay your bills), so my mother sold her interest to Sam Ivill for $2,500; however, that was a godsend at that time.

The farm was located where Mylan Pharmaceuticals is at the present time.

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Jane Caldwell

Jane "Janie" Lancaster Caldwell (Ole Jane) was a black woman when black wasn't cool. In the '40s she was a product of the time and the social structure in which she was born. Every road to success was blocked to her. Separate but equal wasn't a reality. The only reality was the separate part.

Janie never went to school; she was illiterate. Janie worked for a pittance of what white people worked for, but she never let her circumstances keep her from enjoying life, probably more than those who were successful. I met Janie by accident when I was about twelve years old. I was following a Mr. Wright, who was mowing hay with a team of mules in the area of Janie's house, which was located where the WVU "Ag. Sciences" building is now located. From her house you couldn't see another house. This area is the Evansdale Campus of WVU now. She lived in a field, in a "three-rooms-in-a-row" shanty. The thing that lured me to her was the fact that while walking by her house I saw chickens, rabbits, geese, ducks, two goats and a pack of dogs. It looked like a utopia to me.

Janie was good to all of our gang of four ragtag ornery boys: Maurice "Sookie" Miller, "Jolly" Clarence Jolliffee, "Corny" Sands and myself. We usually took food to her; she would cook it for us, and we would have a picnic together. Sometimes the food was game -r abbits, opossums and raccoons. The man that lived with her, "Pete" Floyd Wilson, worked in a slaughterhouse, and he provided certain cuts of meat that "white folk" didn't eat. However, after she cooked it we all agreed there wasn't any better fare anywhere.

All of our associations with people have a way of affecting our development as humans. Janie was no exception. She taught me some great lessons about life. If she was ever gloomy and sullen, I must say, I never saw it. She was always happy and when she came on the scene everyone got happy also. I recall hearing her several times when she was tired and worn out say, "Lord, I is so glad I is black." I wondered about that statement because I thought being black was really what held her down. (How many people do you know who are always happy?)

Janie was truly a success because happiness is the true badge of success.

She was also very funny. She was about five feet, six inches tall and weighed 225 pounds when she was at her desired weight. She did not want to lose even five pounds. When sometimes she would drop down to 210 she would say it interfered with her hoeing the garden. She said when she struck the hoe down hard that she felt herself bounce up from behind. She said, "When I hit that hoe down I want it to go in the ground."

Janie was strong as any man. In hot weather she took her cast iron, coal cookstove out in the yard. Believe me, that stove was very heavy. She left it there until cooler weather prevailed.

Describing Janie's looks was easy then, because all you needed was a box of Aunt Jemima pancake flour. She looked just like that picture. When she got older she got diabetes. Eventually, while living in the county home, she had both legs taken off above the knees. It saddened me to see her that way.

I visited her there before she lost her legs; she was the life of the ward of about 20 women. When I left her one evening I heard her shout to the others, "There goes my baby." I felt a little pride in her statement even though I am white.

We named our daughter after her. This, of course, is just a thumbnail sketch of her life.

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The Bonner Family

S. R. Bonner (grandfather), Robert and Elizabeth (son and daughter-in-law), Robert Nelson Bonner (Robert and Elizabeth's son)—these were the first people I knew outside of our family.

When I first knew them, they lived at the corner of Riverview Drive and Star City Road in a large brick house. In back of the house, the building that served as a large garage was built as an ice cream dairy.

Bonners would allow us kids to play around, occasionally doing a few errands; then they would take a lid off of a 10-gallon milk can, fill it with ice cream and let us stand around it with little flat wooden spoons and eat our fill. Sometimes Mr. Bonner would give me a pint to take home to the family.

S. R. Bonner would make a large "brick" of ice cream, then put flat sticks in it. At intervals he would take a large butcher knife and cut between the sticks. This done, he then dipped them by hand into chocolate that stayed liquid at room temperature, put them in the walk-in freezer and wrapped them later.

The Depression ended the ice cream business, and Bonners relocated to a nice bungalow at what was then the end of what is now Eastern Avenue. There were only four houses on Eastern Avenue from Burroughs Street to the end—Hoards, Summers, Everlys and Bonners.

They started a poultry enterprise, bought a cow, got two pigs and raised about two acres of beans for market. To me, this was like what heaven would be like.

My brother, John, and I spent a lot of time in the summer there doing whatever was to be done. Picking beans mostly, but there was fun too. Sometimes Mr. Bonner would take us to Cheat Lake to fish. At Christmas they would butcher as many as 300 chickens and turkeys. We would help them, and Mr. Bonner would give us a turkey (he raised a few for special friends each year).

It would take a book to write all of the things we three got into. Bobby and John were together most of the time while I stayed mostly with the adults—I was three years younger. Mrs. Bonner defended me against all of the teasing that Bob laid on me. I was extremely bashful and she would always be there to assure me he was only kidding.

Mr. and Mrs. Bonner treated John and me just like family. Their rules for conduct were the same for us as for their own son. Our mother never worried about us when we were with them.

In my early life Bonners (all of them) influenced me more than anyone else outside of my family.

World War II separated us, never to resume that close relationship again; however, our feelings for each other and their families have not diminished.

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Norton's Paper Route

In 1937 Arnold Norton had an evening paper route (Morgantown Post) of about 110 customers. In those days the paperboys owned their routes, and when they wanted to quit, they would sell or lease them.

John Fichtner, my older brother, bargained with Arnold to rent his route because he couldn't afford the purchase price. The route paid 15¢ a week per customer, of which the carrier received 5¢. John agreed to carry the route for half, or $2.75 per week.

The route was a combination of two routes. The paper company (same company as today) would leave 85 papers in the recessed doorway of Pierce's Drug Store, two doors up from old Mountaineer Field, on University Avenue. Deliveries were made on Stewart Street to Jones Avenue, then up Jones, taking in little side alleys, to the junction of North Street. Then he would deliver Virginia Avenue, back to Jones Avenue, go up an alley and hit Warrick Street, follow it to University Avenue, go out Dillie Street, come back to University on Gilmore Street and stop at our house next to Eighth Street.

The paper company then left 25 papers on Norton's porch, first house after crossing Riverview Drive on University Avenue. I helped him often by delivering the remaining 25 papers in Evansdale, taking Riverview Drive to the end, then Fairfax, Hawthorne, Vassar, Dudley and Rawley back to University as far as what is now called Evansdale Drive. In the area just mentioned there were only 52 houses. We had only two customers on the east side of University Avenue.

My brother did all of the collecting for the entire route. I talked with him by phone to Atlanta, Georgia, the other day; we reminisced about those times and how scarce money was, and he said he still remembered one customer that owed 45¢.

Another situation was brought to my attention while talking with Whitey DeMoss (a morning paper carrier for the Dominion News). His route was in the business district. A doctor in town deducted 3¢ from the 15¢ because of a holiday in the week. Whitey had to stand the loss.

The daily price was 3¢ or 15¢ for six days. The company always left an extra paper for us in each route, and if we were lucky we could sell it. (I only remember selling one to a man in a car one time.) However, I used my extra paper several times at one particular house on Riverview Drive because they had a dog that waited just inside their hedge for me every day. So I threw the paper from as far as I could; sometimes it landed on their porch roof and sometimes in the bushes, so I'd throw my extra paper. The dog never came out of their yard to threaten me, but he definitely challenged me if he found me inside his yard. My arrival made his day. I was 10 years old at the time.

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Frank Balint

In 1934, Frank Balint and his half-brother John Gazi moved from Star City to Evansdale to live with their grandmother, Mrs. Enyondi, because their mother had contracted TB and had to go to a sanitarium for long-term care.

When their mother was allowed to move back home, John returned to Star City, but Frank stayed on because he had acquired a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette paper route and he said he didn't want to lose that income.

The route started at Campus Drive downtown and ended at Somerset Avenue near Star City, a distance of over two miles. It consisted of 27 customers and paid 1/2¢ per copy per day or 13 1/2¢ a day for a total of 81¢ per week.

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Horses Of The Flatts

The clippity-clop of a horse walking on the pavement would alert me to stop whatever I was doing and run up to the road to see who it was and to see the horses, for I knew almost every horse at our end of the county.

Mr. Billy Wolfe had a team of horses that were not very well matched. One horse was lanky, tall, long and not too heavy. The other was a short bay; however, Mr. Wolfe could get them to work together pretty well.

During a storm, power lines came down on his barn and burned it to the ground. Both horses and everything in the barn were lost. The power company replaced his horses with a very nice team: a gray named Queen and a bay, Bird. They were kept in the barn on Willowdale Road where the parking lot for the hospital and football stadium is now. Wolfe lived on Chestnut Ridge Road across from where the Elks Lodge is now.

Mr. Frankhouser lived just down the road from the Wolfes. He had a team of mules—I didn't care about mules the way I did horses. Mr. Pierpont lived at the Chestnut Ridge Road and Pineview junction—and always had one or two horses. Vandervorts also had a small white horse, Barney. Adam Thompson lived where North Elementary is now. He had a very nice Percheron named Dan that he bought from J. W. Summers. My great-uncle James Gorman rented Dan and Barney at different times. Mr. Gary lived where the BB&T outside windows are and had a nice team of black horses. Mr. Edward Hunter kept riding-horses at Burroughs and Van Voorhis Road, topping the hill on Van Voorhis Road where Morgan Manor is located. Mr. J. W. Summers had a team of black horses down on West Run below the garden center. Zonnie Christopher had a team of horses on down. Burley Fordice had a little, black carriage horse named Babe, and up on Bakers Ridge, Mr. Baker had a bay carriage horse. Both he and Burley had routes that they sold garden produce, eggs and chickens. Since there was no refrigeration then, they brought live chickens. That way, if no one bought them they would take them back home and try again the next week. (How many women do you know that would butcher chickens on their back porch? Many did back then.)

The teamsters made their livings working their horses. Mr. Summers said he got $5.00 a day for him and the team when they built the old Morgantown Country Club.

Later, Billy Wolfe got $7.50 a day scooping out basements and dredging streams, as well as plowing gardens and other farm work.

The teamsters never mistreated me, but I know that they weren't thrilled to have me around their stable; sometimes, though, they would let me ride the horses to water after they were done working them. I would get in their wagon when it passed our house, ride it to their home and pet their horses while they removed their harnesses. I would maybe get to ride them to water, then walk all the way home happily smelling like a horse and dreaming of a day when I would have a horse.

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Joe And Betsy

Driving to our farm on Bee Run I saw two people standing with their backs to the road looking down at the grass. I passed by but stopped and went back to make my acquaintance of new neighbors and see what they were looking at (I am kinda nosy).

Joe and Betsy Viola were their names and their bodies were shielding a whole garden from sight. They were admiring their horticulture prowess—peppers and six tomato plants or some thing similar.

That garden was the first step on a journey that has gone quite far, but is in no way near the end.

I was blessed to be in on their maiden voyage into the realm of the "Agricult," and it provided me with a vast opportunity to observe how two people dropped in the wilderness, without a clue, would succeed. Like the television show Survivor, it has been interesting to say the least. While I thought I would be able to show them something to help them, they turned the tables on me and showed me things I have never seen before—such as:

1) Moving a flock of sheep = Bend over the sheep, put your arms around its girth, give a quick jerk lifting it off of its feet and carry it where you want it. I hope you aren't going far.

2) Loading pigs in a pickup = Lure the pig up a steep ramp with food, go backwards in front of the pig, back into the crate and hope it has a gate on both ends. If not, Joe would have to ride with the pig.

3) Bagging ewes to check pregnancy = Walk behind the ewes while they are eating, reach in under them and feel their bag to see if it is swelling in preparation for birthing. By the way, be sure to remove the ram before you start.

Opportunities abounded for someone to play practical jokes on them, but since I'm not that kind of guy, I let them pass. However, I must say they proved themselves equal to every situation that confronted them. The learned well about gardening, poultry for eggs and meat, rabbits for meat, sheep for market, wool for spinning and knitting and made split oak baskets, better than mine. Cats for company (and for reasons to visit the widow across the road). Then one day they were gone far away. I miss them but I know they are prepared for whatever comes up. After all, what better baptismal font than the water that flows through sheep pens, for farmers?

I have overlooked some stuff, I'm sure, but as all biographers know, "some stuff" needs to be overlooked.

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A Billimerick

We once knew a gardener named Bill.
Through the tall grass he watched as we tilled.
Then one day he stopped by
and in amazement he cried,
"Why, it's no bigger than an ant hill!"

We once knew a farmer named Bill
who is bewildered to this day still.
He could not understand
why we carried the lambs
to greener pastures just over the hill.

We once knew a prankster named Bill
whose wit was as sharp as a quill.
When the light bulb came on
he would creep to our home
and hang vampires to give us a thrill.

We once had a good friend named Bill
who would visit and we'd laugh to our fill
of the beauty and lure
of the lady next door.
Tell me, Bill, do you visit her still?

- Joe Viola
(He wrote this to get back at me, "Billa.")

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Lady's Rock ...

Lady's Rock, Bigger's Rock and The Island are three names of places that have very little meaning today (2002), but until the mid '40s everyone in Seneca, Walnut Hill, Evansdale, Brewer's Hill and Star City was more familiar with these names than with the names Coopers Rock and Cheat Lake.

These names represent three places along the Monongahela River parallel with the boulevard from Eighth Street to the WVU Coliseum. Lady's Rock, being the most popular, was closest to Seneca and the safest place to swim. The river bottom sloped gently from the shore for perhaps 20 to 25 feet to a depth of about 48 inches where the rock prevented the swimmer from going farther out into the river without climbing over it. Most of the time the rock was about six inches below the surface. Nonswimmers and little children could play in the "relatively safe" place between the rock and the shore. I learned to swim at this place.

Bigger's Rock was about 100 yards downstream. It stuck out of the water about four feet at its highest point and sloped to the water so a swimmer could get up on it and rest or sunbathe. Bigger's was 40 to 50 feet offshore; the bottom sloped only about 15 feet to a sharp dropoff into deep water with unstable current from there to the rock, not a good place to swim unless you were a good swimmer.

The Island was really a peninsula that was about 30 feet off shore and was quite long. It was an interesting place to explore and to fish, also a good place to catch turtles; in winter people who trapped said it was also a great place to catch muskrats. The Island was just below the WVU Arboretum.

I want to clear up the statement, "safest place to swim," mentioned earlier. While lots of people played at these places, it was not safe by any present day standard. It was very risky because the Mon River was an open sewer; raw sewage from Morgantown, Fairmont and every home and industry in the whole watershed went untreated into it. The surprising thing is that more people didn't contract diseases than did. Also, drownings were a frequent occurrence along the river.

Fishing consisted of "mud cats" only. They were the only fish that could live in such polluted water.

In the late '40s or early '50s the Corps of Engineers built new locks which raised the river pool over four feet, thus covering the aforementioned places.

The economy improved at that time; people got cars and recreation moved to Cheat Lake and Coopers Rock. I remember one 4th of July when Sunset Beach had over 1,400 swimmers and picnickers and over 1,000 hikers and picnickers were at Coopers Rock.

Through conservation efforts things have improved at the Monongahela River. All kinds of fish live there, and sewage and industrial waste have been removed. Now it is a recreational location and enjoyed by lots of people again. Let's hope it continues in this direction.

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Camping today means tents, gas-fired stoves, fly repellant, electric generators to produce power (for light, TV, radio, refrigeration, even shaving), bunks or air mattresses and potable water. It also means some form of protection—cell phones and guns and adult participation and regulation. The campsites are located somewhere with toilet accommodations and even showers and, of course, plenty of food.

Camping at Booth Creek and on property owned by Bill Price at Uffington in 1940 for four boys from Walnut Hill was somewhat different. We—Maurice Miller, 10 years old; Clarence Jolliffee, also 10 years old; myself, 12 years old; and Bill Sands, 13 years old—had $14.00 among us to buy groceries for two weeks, $12.00 of which we spent right at the beginning and then $2.00 we held back to buy bread at Price's store as we needed it. What we really wanted the cash for was not so much for bread, but for tobacco (Bugler—5¢ a pack); we were not allowed to smoke.

Our camping gear consisted of a blanket each and a large tarpaulin, which we hung over a ridgepole between two trees and staked to the ground as wide as it would go, a hatchet, a skillet and a carbide lamp. The only clothes we had were what we had on, and several boxes of matches rounded out our possessions, except for some very rudimentary fishing tackle, string and hooks.

We generally slept outside of our tarp around a campfire, as the air there was much more agreeable because our $12.00 grub stake consisted almost entirely of pork and beans—need I say more about the air? The skillet was for frying fish, if we caught any. We had some peanut butter and a couple jars of mustard also.

There was a spring in the woods, not walled up, where we could fill our jugs. A little pool below where the water came out of the ground made it possible to hold our jugs down below the surface to allow the water to flow into them.

There were two swimming holes in the area appropriately named First Hole and Second Hole. First Hole had a high rock that you could jump from also. It had a large flat rock that the current flowed under, making it a dangerous place for poor swimmers. I recall Bill Sands, our best swimmer, tried to climb out on the rock and the flow took his feet and legs under the rock; we had to help him gain safety by pulling him out. We didn't swim there anymore. However, we did fish there.

Second Hole had a large rock also, but it was upstream and the current flowed away from it. The water was very cold even in July because it was shaded by trees and a very steep hill, which the sun fell behind early in the day.

We fished mostly at night with "throw lines." We tied our string to a stick in the ground about a foot high, and then we would tear a little slip of paper, make a slit in it and straddle it on the line with the light made by the carbide lamp. We could see if the paper jiggled, telling us we had a bite. Without the light we would just hold the line in our hand.

The only adult participation after one week was Roy Forman and Tater Miller, who came out to check on us. Lovers also came on Saturday nights and yelled and squealed among the bushes. On Sundays people came to wash their cars; they could drive into the shallow rapids between the two swimming holes and wash and rinse their cars.

Bill Sands had a little dog along, and one day it got bit by a copperhead right beside our lean-to tarp. The little dog started licking her leg and continued until all of the hair came off, but she recovered.

We set our beans close to the fire, and when they got warm, we would eat them right out of the can. We had no dishes when we fried fish—we ate out of the skillet.

With not catching many fish and spending most of our cash on tobacco, we were out of food two days before our transportation was to arrive, so someone "found" a potato patch and we got some and fried them in mustard.

We slept on the ground wrapped in a blanket with rocks and roots for a mattress. Our sleep did not translate into rest. Our toilet was in the woods. Our hatchet was our firewood maker.

Bill Price had a store and service station on Route 73 where we bought the bread. Some man bought our Bugler for us. A personality who lived nearby, "Cat Fish Molly Jarvis," fished there at the backwaters. She was well known in the neighborhood and even among the fishermen in town. I heard her name mentioned many times. When two weeks were over, we had enough of camping for the year. The following year we went for one week. Ernest Ogden went with us. He had a very leaky tent but at least it had ends in it. He was 16 years old.

With the present society we probably wouldn't have lasted one night alive, but what we did was not unusual for then. Some things are much better now, but not everything.

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Baldwin Addition

Beginning at Furman's store going north toward Star City, the large house at the corner of Star City Road and Van Voorhis Road was inhabited by a family named Beckett, Mr. and Mrs. and two girls. The next house on the left was Geo and Mrs. Grow; next the Fleming family, Mr. and Mrs. and son, Jack (the radio announcer for WVU sports and the Pittsburgh Steelers); next Miller family; then Mr. Gump and Mrs., no children—they were the owners of the bus line in the 30s and 40s. Next were Tom and Mrs. Murphy and children, Tommy and Barbara. The next house was a brick bungalow; I don't have a name for them. Next was Victors. Now going down Baldwin Avenue was Dr. Davis, wife and daughter; Mr. and Mrs. Ridgeway; Leon and Mrs. Jacquete and children, Dick, Colleen and "Dee." Last house on Baldwin was Leon Jacquete's parents. Backing up a little to Ridgeway's was P.H. Keck and wife, two boys, one being Bill and the other I can't recall; behind them K. B. Wolfe, wife and three boys, K. B. Jr., Leonard and Franklin.

Returning to Star City Road at the intersection of Collins Ferry Road, going north on Collins Ferry, the first house was a log house occupied by two spinster sisters, Lessie and Laura Jacobs. Across the road was their brother, Jim, wife and children, Susan, Herbert, Andrew, David and Daniel. The next house was Fred and Mrs. Bierer and children, Fred Jr., Tom, Sam, Mike, Edward, Dave, Dianne and Jocelyn. Next was Stiles family and son, Albin. Now turning right on to Burroughs Street, the first house was Johnny Deets family; then Minnie family—I don't know about children in these two homes. Next Harry and Mrs. Schiffbauer and two daughters, Bonnie and Louella. Next was Lizzy and Will Nabors; next Walter and Mrs. Schiffbauer and children, Jeannie and Lawrence; then Mr. and Mrs. Ross Bolyard and I believe two girls—I have no names for them. Across the road was a path in the field to a house, Mr. and Mrs. Joe Summers and son, Adrian. Burroughs Street ends. On Van Voorhis turn right—Edward and Mrs. Hunter, who had a grocery store; next Federers, one son, Hubert. Next Charles and Mrs. Hartley, sons Charles and Robert. Behind them was Paul Wilson family, six children of whom I can only name four, Eleanor, James, Robert and Paulene. Russell St. Clair family also in back of Hartleys. Continuing on Van Voorhis, T. R. Clark family; Lucas family; Newlon family with two sons, Bob and brother; Lynch family; Drummond Chapel Church. House behind church was Bolyards and daughter, Audrey.

Across from Geo Grow house, Koontz Avenue turned right, first house Bumgardner; next Mr. and Mrs. Maurice and sons, Elton and Tommy. Next Mr. and Mrs. Cather and children, Dotson and Susan; next Koontz home place, Charles and Mrs.; brick house on left Quencen family and daughter, Nancy; Mr. and Mrs.

Woodford and children, Russell and Robert. Several others farther on. Mr. and Mrs. Sam Glass and daughters, Mary and Jeanine.

Drummond Street feeds off of Koontz Avenue. Right at the beginning the only family on it was Longwell, Mr. and Mrs. and the children, Loraine and Harwood.

This completes the loop.

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Evansdale And Walnut Hill

Star City Road hereafter called University Avenue (approximately 1935).

1) Beginning on University Avenue at North Street going north there was nothing on the east side except the Morgantown Country Club until half way down Evansdale hill, so I'll go back to North Street and relay information on the west side beginning with Flannigan's Store to John and Mrs. Pitman's several chil dren, but most were grown at this time—Russell, Ora and Hans were still at home along with two grandchildren, Jack and Ronald Savage. Turn left on Evans Street, first house on right—Lawrence and Mrs. Clulo; next Chester and Mrs. Bean and several children; on left Mrs. Grant and two grandsons, one whose name was Scott. Next Mr. and Mrs. Joe and Violet Petso and children, Joseph and Anna. Next was S. R. and Mrs. Hodge and several children. Then Oscar and Kate Clingen. Arrive at Dillie Street westMrs. Nabors and children, Virginia, Ester, Jim, Bill, Paul and Perry; Jack Jolliffee; Mr. and Mrs. Shear family, Wallace being one of the children; Mr. and Mrs. Everly and son, Everett; Frank and Alice Jenkins and children, Harold, John and Thelma. Mrs. Watson; George and Nettie Joiliffe and children, Kate, Jane, Frank, Tom, Paul, Maude, Pauline and Emiline, and granddaughter Delores. Back to University and going north Grant and Mrs. Jacobs; Elijah and Mrs. Dillie. Turn out onto Gilmore Street, first house on left—Jim and Evelyn Miller, children Betty, Barbara, Bill, Danny; Gay Buseman and son, Bill. Later in same houseJohn and Lula Griffith and daughter, Sue Ann; next Earl and Josie Bucklew and children, Rose, Ruth, Noah .and Beatrice; Russell and Maime Corbin and son, Junior. Cross the street going backBill and Ida Sands, children Bill and David; Tom Froman later in same house; Rupert and Mary Chittum, children Ruth and David; Tom and Gertie Jolliffee, children Dick, Ruby, Clarence, Eloise and Margie; Bobby and Mrs. Hoke; Edgar and Stella Hoke, children Ada, Billy and Tom in back garage apartment; Mary and Frank O'Malley and son, Robert. Back on University AvenueWalker and Eleanor Miller (Alice and Steve Melligan, Eleanor's family) and Maurice and Eleanor Jo Miller's children; Roy and Ann Richardson later in same house; Mr. and Mrs. Skaggs, children Louise, Mary and Patty Sue; Perry and Bessie Corbin and Elizabeth (Perry's daughter by his first wife). Next our house—my grandfather John Selby, my mother Clara and father Charles Fichtner, children Ruth, Helen, John, Bill, Jessie Lynn and my mother's sister and her children, Edgar and Charles.

2) Riverview Drive left side—Bonners, S. R., grandfather, and his son Robert and daughter-in-law, Elizabeth, with their son, Robert N.; Ray and sister Jenny Dillie; Mr. and Mrs. Hawley; Mr. "Cap" and Mrs. Wilkins, children Ray and Frank; Mr. and Mrs. Daughtery; T. D. and Mrs. Gray, children Margaret and Tom. Crossing street and going back—Mr. and Mrs. Short; Mr. and Mrs. Casto and daughter, Dorothy; Mr. and Mrs. Jennings and son; K. C. and Mrs. Westover and son, Bill; Mr. and Mrs. Baldwin, children Edward, Bob and a daughter; Mr. and Mrs. Northrup; Mr. and Mrs. Puhlman and daughter. Fairfax Drive connects to Riverview at this point, following left, first house—Mr. and Mrs. Tom Zinn and son; Mr. and Mrs. Livisey, children Maxine and Alice. Later in same house—Mr. and Mrs. A. J. Dickey and two sons; Mr. and Mrs. Bradley and daughters, Iona and the other I don't recall. Crossing street—Mrs. Strawser and children, Charlotte, Maxine and Violet; Mr. and Mrs. Brown and daughter, Jean Rae. Next Fairfax joins Oakland, only two dwellings on Oakland Mr. and Mrs. Holland and daughter, Dottie. Across Oakland at junction of Dudley—Mrs. Wright and sons, Robert, Kenneth and Willis at Rawley junction.

Turning right onto Oakland from Fairfax, the next right turn is Hawthorne—Mr. and Mrs. Johnson and daughter, Jeanette; Mr. and Mrs. Harris and daughter, Susan. Hawthorne ends on Vassar. Left on Vassar comes to Dudley, west side first house Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence and two sons; Mr. and Mrs. Townsend; Mr. Ogden, children Helen and Ernest; Mrs. Osborne. East side Mr. and Mrs. Rex Ford and daughter. Dr. and Mrs. Pursglove lived on Vassar across from Dudley; Mr. and Mrs. Madera lived on same side 1 1/2 blocks east. That was all of Vassar.

Going back to junction Oakland and Rawley, going south on the left—Mr. and Mrs. Samuels, two sons Harry and another I don't recall; a fellow who was a state policeman; Mr. and Mrs. Shank and son, Carl; Mr. and Mrs. Hyre and daughter, Jackie. On the west side from Oakland—Mr. and Mrs. Brand, two sons Harold and Wayne; Miss Adelaide Kuhn; Mr. and Mrs. Nick Cantis; Mr. and Mrs. Charles Hayshen and daughter, Mable; Frank and Mrs. Smell and son, Joseph; Mr. and Mrs. Albert Kuhn, two sons Dickey and Bobby.

Riverview Drive back at University Avenue north—Mr. and Mrs. Norton, children Ralph, Arnold and Alice; Mr. and Mrs. O'Dell, two sons Donald and Melvin; garage apartment in back, Mr. and Mrs. Maddox and son, Brice; Mr. and Mrs. Wade and son, James; Mr. and Mrs. Stevens and daughter behind Wades; brick house that I don't know who lived in; brick garage apartment next; Mr. and Mrs. Grubb and several children; Creed and Mrs. Boyard and daughter, Eleanor; Mr. Hofer, sons Herb and Ralph; Charles and Mrs. Summers and son, Wendell, daughter Jeanie. Mr. and Mrs. Boyles and children, Jack and Patty; Richard and Mrs. Wilson and son, David; Mr. and Mrs. Rich and sons,Elmer and Woody; Newton and Mrs. Smith and children, Virginia, Opal, Gertrude, Willis, Bob, Loretta, Jim and Lena; David and Caroline Davis and children, Don, Howard, Elaine and Lillian; Mr. and Mrs. McCartney, children Kenny, Helen and Wanda; George and Lena Black and children, Frank, Eileen and Thelma; Mr. Jim Koontz; in back of Jim Koontz, Mr. and Mrs. Maust and children, five boys and one girl. Donald Maust was one of the boys. Cross the creek in Furman's Store and service station—Mr. and Mrs. Furman and son, Leslie lived up overhead.

Now going back to halfway down Evansdale hill east side to a large brick building, two upstairs apartments—Balog family, children Alec, Louis, Joe and Edith; also Nagy family. Hawks Nest Tavern was on the main floor (whiskey still in basement). Next double house Vargo, children Mike, John, two more boys and two girls. Reels and kids, son Dewey and a few others. Large house—Victoria Shumur and family. Turn right on Ingle wood Boulevard, first house left—Mr. and Mrs. Popp, two sons Adolph, Steve and daughter Mary; another Mr. and Mrs. Nagy and children, Nick, Julia, Margaret, Olga, Andy and Albert. On the right Mr. and Mrs. Kalo and children, Joe, Jasper, James and Rose. Up hill in back—Mr. and Mrs. Pava, children Mike, Joe, Goldie, Kalmine and Elmer; another Popp family with daughter, Nadia. Back on University Avenue, next—Mr. and Mrs. Carroll and daughter, Marie.

Oakland Avenue, cross University, turn right. All the houses on this side were built without much planning because this area was a fairground before and most of these houses were built around the racetrack. First house was a name Salish; I don't know anything about them but later Jay and Ann Sellaro lived there. Next Mr. and Mrs. Lucas and children, Ernest, John and Ella; Helen and Steve Dadich and children, Steve Jr., Jim, John, Helen, Elizabeth and Margie. Next, Mary and Joe Dadich, children Erma, Viola and Joe. Next, two Hungarian churches, First Baptist and Reformed; Mrs. Sass and children, Julius, Carl, Marie, Ester and

Elizabeth; George family and children, Art, Joe and Goldie; Mrs. Enyedi, daughter Susie and grandson John Balint; Kewikoska family, children Freda and Charles; Joe Robleska, who lived in an apartment above the Kewikoska family; and somewhere, Louie Chaff; Bubenko family, children Teresa, Helen, Joe, Susie, John and Jim; Stupar family, children Frank, Joe, Mike, James, Ann, Mary, George and Steve. Back on University—Zulcoska family, children Mike, Bruno and Rose, and Rose's son, Joe Curtis. Next, Libert family and son, Art, and we are now at the end of Evansdale.

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Edgar Lynn

Edgar Lynn was born on February 24, 1916. He was the issue of Jesse Lynn (father) and Jesse Selby Lynn (mother). His father drowned when he was 2 1/2 years old in an effort to save another man. They both drowned. Edgar was my first cousin.

All of my recollection of him was in the early part of my life, probably before I was six years old. He was my role model because he was reckless and carefree. At a time when all the rest of my family were seriously struggling to keep body and soul together, every day was a grind.

Edgar had time for me occasionally, and those times have proven to be jewels of my memory.

He took me to pick violets in the woods below our house, and a couple of times he took me to the "Seneca Woods," where there were many more kinds of flowers: violets—white, yellow and blue—blood root, phlox, trillium, wild geraniums and others. He had to carry me most of the way back because of the steep hill (Eighth Street).

Seneca Woods began at the bottom of Eighth Street and the end of Beechurst Avenue. There was a brickyard there, Morgantown Brick Company.

Brick kilns at the bottom of Eight Street in Morgantown WV

Brick kilns at the bottom of Eight Street in Morgantown WV
Source: WV History On

It was abandoned; only igloo-type kilns were there, and in the ones that had not fallen down some hobos lived (men on the move looking for work, not dangerous people, just people suffering through the Depression).

Beyond the brickyard was a path through the woods gradually sloping up with a wide place on each side where the flowers grew. Today, the place is Jerry West Boulevard. He said the flowers were for his girlfriend. I never saw her nor did anyone else. I could not imagine him with a girlfriend at that time as he was rather reckless, but he was also a sensitive person.

Edgar was a naturalist; he loved the outdoors and most of the time in the summer he would have a snake in his pocket. He caddied at Morgantown Golf Course and was nicknamed "Snake." He spent many nights on the greens rolled up in a quilt. He had other pets. I recall three small "possums" in the washhouse and also a pet chipmunk. He had some rabbits, and I recall two pet rats—one brown and white, and one black and white. He called them jelly beans.

One night he killed a skunk and was so proud of it he brought it in the house to show my grandfather, as he was an invalid and could not walk. The skunk was dripping musk. The skunk went through the whole house and almost asphyxiated everyone. One time he put a snake in bed with his brother, Charles, to get him up. It did! He brought a white horse home one day, said he found it and he put it in our little chicken house. He put me on it and led it out to the cottonwood tree several times. I wanted him to keep it, but the horse's owner had another idea.

Edgar was known on Walnut Hill as the songbird from hell, singer of country and folk songs. Not because he was good, but because at night, when most people wanted to sleep, Edgar wanted to sing (on our back porch). While his voice had no recognizable classification, it was loud, thus he was heard over the entire neighborhood. Some of the songs I remember parts of are "Cowboy Jack", "Birmingham Jail," "Can I Sleep in Your Barn Tonight Mister" (to the tune of "Red River Valley"), "Oh! Susannah," "Little Brown Jug," "They are Burning Down the House I was Brung Up In", "I Wish I Was Single Again" and "The Old Apple Tree in the Orchard."

Edgar joined CCC (the Civilian Conservation Corps) when he was old enough. That act probably saved him from a life of crime. I was awed by his uniform when he came home, also his muscles. I thought he was the strongest man alive. Of course, being 11 1/2 years younger, I was easily impressed.

Later he got a job in the silk mills in Bloomsberg, Pennsylvania (his Grandma Lynn's home) and left Morgantown forever. Then he joined the army during WWII and we never saw him again. He wrote to my mother a few times, married a girl in Germany, had three girls and the last we heard he was in Baltimore, Maryland. He sent pictures of him dancing with a little girl, his own perhaps.

Because he had time for me, he gained a special place in my heart; however, older people in the community were glad to see him go because of unpredictability. My sisters were two of those people.

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Norman Colebank

The best coach I ever watched was not a Big 10, SEC, PAC-10 or Big East team coach, but a coach here in Mon County. I have said this many times in sports conversations. His name is Norman Colebank. He coached the Cheat Lake Junior High team when our middle son played there. I did not attend any practices, but I'm sure there were times when he had to raise his voice to get attention. However, when the game started he fielded his team and took his place calmly standing on the sidelines in the middle of his reserves. He became a member of the team, watching for a weakness in the opponent that they could exploit. He substituted so all could play. He encouraged his little boys because beside him they were all little boys.

I do not know what his won-loss record was. I doubt if he knew, but figures are not all that is important. We, the parents of those boys, knew that every day they were with him they were winners for the things they didn't learn—bad language, bad attitude or bad habits. They knew they had backup on the side lines and ran right to him when he pulled them out for more instructions and a pat on the back.

Norman trained his Warriors at his home lot, then brought them to the game so they could show us what they had learned. It is easy to see that "his" parents trained their children in their homes, then released them to play in the game of life, and they have brought dignity to our community. I do not know if he was paid for coaching, but I do know that he did then, and does now, receive gratitude and respect from all the boys that he tutored along the pathway of life. Way to go, Coach!

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Mr. and Mrs. Everly had a dairy in the days when milking was done by hand. The milk was put through a strainer fitted on top of a 10-gallon milk can. When the can was almost full, Mr. Everly would carry it to the milk house and pour it into a long trough with holes all along the bottom for the milk to leak through and flow down over cooling tubes, then it funneled into another can.

Mrs. Everly would stay in the milk house after that and begin filling quart bottles, capping them with a round cardboard cap. Evening milk was put in a cooler until morning. After morning milking was done, Mr. Everly would deliver the milk to his customers. The customers would set empty bottles on their porches and he would put as many full ones in their place. If the customers wanted more or less, they would put a note in an empty bottle. All extra milk was put through the separator; the cream was taken off the milk and sold to make butter. The skim milk was fed to the pigs and chickens.

Everly's dairy consisted of about 20 cows, mostly crossbreed cows. No two looked alike. They were mixed, Jersey, Guernsey and Holstein breeds. They were spotted brown and white, black and white, gray, brindle and fawn. They had names like Myrtle, Margaret, Flossy, Jewel and Kate—names that made you feel safe. However, there was one cow, Roxy, perhaps "Rocky" would have suited her better. She was average size for her kind, and athletic, alert, aggressive and easily upset when she didn't get her way. "Bossy" would have been another good name for her. When she walked the pasture and back with her friends they gave her lots of space. She kicked out at anyone who crowded her. She also had two very long, sharp, well-shaped horns. Dogs that normally teased cows stayed at a safe distance. Roxy had no markings, which is unusual for dairy cows. She was black as coal.

In those days, calves were separated from their moms when they were three days old. If a farmer didn't want to raise them as replacement cows for the herd, they were sold. The cows got over the separation soon and things returned to normal, except for Roxy. Nothing seemed normal where she was concerned. Roxy never got over being separated. She would rush to the calf barn every time she came from the pasture. Mr. Everly had to drive her back to the milking barn every day. After doing this for a couple of years, he thought he would have to sell her. One day Mrs. Everly said, "We have 20 calves each year; let's let Roxy nurse them as they come along. Then when they are weaned, we will sell them and Roxy will pay her way like that." Mr. Everly agreed. Roxy liked her new role as the nanny for 20 calves a year. Her disposition mellowed and she was more gentle and likable.

Roxy lived to a ripe old cow age and was a friend rather than a foe. As a matter of fact, Shep, the farm dog, slept in the calf barn and Roxy seemed to enjoy having him there.

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Morgantown Golf And Country Club

Mr. Albert Spencer hired me to be the lifeguard at the Morgantown Golf and Country Club. The job consisted of taking tickets and looking after the safety of the little children. Also, once a week the water had to be treated with chlorine. Two cans of chlorinated lime were wrapped in a towel and then dragged around the pool until it was dissolved.

The job also carried the title of "all day jobber" at the caddy house, meaning that I could caddy without waiting a turn if it did not interfere with the pool job. Also, I could mow greens in the morning or after 6:00 p.m. when needed.

The pool was 30 feet by 60 feet—one foot deep to nine feet deep. The greens had priority over the pool for the use of water at night, so only a couple of nights a week the water in the pool was raised to overflow so the sun tan oil from the swimmers could be skimmed off.

At the middle of the swimming season around July 15, the pool was drained, scrubbed and refilled to finish the remaining six weeks. The water was so dirty by then you couldn't see a golf ball at four feet deep. Sometimes as many as 100 people would use the pool on a hot day.

During the summer I was called upon three times to pull a child to safety—two boys and one girl. One boy was Rufus Lazzelle, who was pushed into the deep end by a playmate, John Kite. The other was Charles Hayden (later federal judge), who hand-over-hand walked the overflow through the deep end while trying to keep out of the grasp of his mother walking above him telling him to come out and go home. Finally, she made a quick grab for him and he let go and sank to the bottom. He was addled by his action, and when I got to him, he was just standing on the bottom facing the wall with his hands up. The little girl was a guest of the Sam Chico family. She dived off the side of the pool and hit a "belly smacker." It knocked the wind out of her and when she came up for air, she didn't clear the water with her mouth and instead of air she got water in her lungs. It scared her, but after a little coughing and crying she was all right.

I was paid $50.00 a month for five hours, seven days a week. On July 3 that year, the weather was so cold only three people went swimming. On the fourth, no one came, so I cut hedges that circled the clubhouse.

The Morgantown Golf and Country Club was located where the WVU Law School and athletic facilities are now.

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Old Man Mallow

In 1942 I was working at the University Dairy Farm on the Mileground after school, weekends and also full time in the summer. It was then I met Abraham Mallow, already nine years past the retirement age of 65. He was still working, as his Social Security was not very big, maybe nonexistent in his case, and because he needed more money.

He was a good man for a boy to be around. He was a man with lots of life experiences. He was also very funny, rather ornery, too, but not vulgar, so I enjoyed the time that I spent working with him.

After I left the farm, he also left—probably forced to retire. He came to our house selling Stark fruit trees. He was still working and then probably 75 or 76 years old. He didn't know where I lived but came to our house purely by chance. I was glad to see him and we bought two apple trees from him. During our visit he asked if some of the neighbors would be good prospects. I could only recommend one, Mrs. Sam Chico Sr. She lived next door, and I knew even if she didn't buy, she would treat him kindly.

Mrs. Chico bought several trees and also bought several grapevines. Abe was very pleased and stopped to tell me about it. The best part was that she hired him to set them in the ground and tend to them by trimming the trees and training the vines.

There is no way to know, but my guess is that Mrs. Chico had never even thought about an orchard in her yard and that she bought from the old man strictly to help him without making him feel like a charity case, for he wouldn't have liked that.

My mother mentioned several times how friendly Mrs. Chico was to her when she would see her walking by.

Being a friendly, caring and good neighbor was not something Mrs. Chico tried to be. She was all of those things because they were the bricks and mortar of which she was made.

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Clarence "Grease" Everly

A man formally of Cascade and Masontown named Clarence "Grease" Everly relayed this story to me about 1970. He has long since gone to his reward. It is a story of a happy day in his life when he was a boy.

One day Mr. H. C. Greer came to Cascade and instructed the boss there to round up several boys and have them each lead a pony from Cascade to a mine on Bull Run.

Grease was one of those boys picked for the job. Mr. Greer asked the boss to get the names of all of the boys to him, and he arranged for a time to pick them up and take them to the "Mansion." They got all cleaned up, the best they could. Grease said they washed their hands and faces and combed their hair.

These boys had never been to anything close to the finery of the Mansion. When they were ushered into the big dining room and seated at a big table with platters of fried chicken, they were petrified, afraid to speak or move. After a while Mr. Greer came in and sat down at the head of the table. They all sat in silence. Then Mr. Greer said, "I don't know how you boys like to eat chicken, but I like to eat mine with my hands." Then he reached in and grabbed a piece of chicken and Grease said they all attacked the chicken like it was an enemy. Soon it was gone; the boys were well fed, and a memory was etched in their minds to last a lifetime.

Mr. Greer could have paid the boys 50¢ and they would have thought themselves well paid, but the money would be gone soon with no memory of it to brighten their lives to the end.

Another memory still floated around when I went to work at Greer Limestone in 1967. It was that in the winter, Mr. Greer would occasionally give the M&K train crew a pair of gloves from the company store. There were other memories, but these two give a thumbnail sketch of the kind of man Mr. Greer was. He was in touch with the people who worked for him.

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Claude Furman

Communities of times gone by stayed pretty much the same—for years, several generations lived out their lives in the same place. Easton community was such a place. When the name Easton was mentioned to many people, the name Claude Furman came to mind. The reverse was also true. When Claude Furman's name was mentioned, Easton came to mind.

Mr. Furman was not the only man who lived there, but he was one man who was present all day, every day. He was the blacksmith.

There was no chestnut tree spreading over his shop, but Henry Wadsworth Longfellow really knew his subject as he went on to describe the village blacksmith, and as far as I know Claude Furman fit the bill to a T:

The smith a mighty man is he
With large and sinewy hands;
And the muscles in his brawny arms
Are strong as iron bands.
His brow is wet with honest sweat,
He earns what'er he can,
He looks the whole world in the face,
For he owes not any man.

from two stanzas of "The Village Blacksmith"

Certainly Claude Furman did not think of himself as the leader of the band, or the teacher of the school. He lived his life, and all who were acquainted with him could see what integrity, honesty and truth looked like. He was respected because he was respectable.

To illustrate his individuality, I relate a story told to me by Tom Kitzmiller, one of Claude's very dear friends.

Tom sold a horse to a young man to work his mine with. When it needed shod, he brought it to the shop. Tom was there with Mr. Lanham and Fred Reppert. They spent idle time there telling stories of time gone by (a great pastime in those days before TV). The young man walked in leading his horse, threw the lead strap down and said "Put some shoes on him, Pop." Then he joined the others to pass the time. Harry, Claude's son, who fitted the shoes, was tidying up after he shod the horse ahead of his. Claude had not even acknowledged the young man's presence, but just kept working at the forge. After quite a long time, the man said to Tom, "Is he going to shoe my horse or not? Do I have to buy a horse every time it needs shoes?" Tom said he knew the lad was in trouble from the start, and he told him it was his way of talking down to someone, so he said, "I'll talk to 'Mr. Furman' and see if I can fix this mess." So he did and Claude nodded to Harry to go ahead and shoe his horse. Tom told the young man to apologize and from then on to ask Mr. Furman for his services.

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Calving And Breeding

All of my life I have wanted to be a farmer. As a little boy I had a different idea about what a farmer was. Mostly it was all of the fun things: searching the farm yard and barn for eggs, getting apples and feeding them to the pigs, riding the horse to bring in hay shocks or plowing corn, picking berries, catching frogs and crawfish, jumping in the hay and many other things. These things were fun because they didn't last long—one day, maybe one hour—but, as time went on I grew and became useful to do some work. My uncle, James Gorman, used me and my brother John for various jobs. John was three years older and more useful. When I was 11 years old I went to my uncle's farm by myself.

While I was there, without explaining what we were about to do, he untied his Holstein cow, left the rope around her neck. brought her out, handed me the end of the rope and we started down the driveway. When we got to Chestnut Ridge Road the cow took flight running as fast as she could, then she would stop dead still, practically tossing me over her head. She would eat a little grass along the road, then off again like a shot, then stop, and then start. I was beginning to become leery of her; always before she was very docile and tame, now she was wild and scary. We reached the Van Voorhis Road and she turned left toward town. By then Uncle Jim, who was crippled and old, was far behind. It was just the cow and me, and I was beginning to be afraid. Out the road toward town we flew, me thinking we would go into town and wondering what I should do. I did not realize that the cow knew exactly what she was doing. It was her time; she was making a social call on her "gentleman cow," the bull at the county farm.

The cow turned left at Drummond Chapel Church and ran up the hospital drive to the gate that led to the bull pen of the county farm. She stopped, heaving and blowing like a racehorse after a race and me still with her, trembling and sweating, relieved that she had stopped. A man came and took the rope from me, and we waited for Uncle Jim, for he was still far back. When he came, he and the county man went in the gate. He told me to go and sit away back and wait for him. I went back but after they were gone from sight, I sneaked up to a large shrub where I could see what was going on.

The man went into the barn, led a bull out with a long stick hooked in his nose ring. The bull mounted the cow, bred her and the man took him back. I scrambled back to my place and thus I witnessed for the first time a cow being bred. Now we had to get home. The cow was a little more settled as we proceeded out the road; however, they let the bull loose and he ran the fence until he saw us going. He bellowed, the cow jerked away from me and went back. I knew I would not be able to lead her away from him, and I was afraid he might come over the fence. Luckily, the dogcatcher came by. He jumped out, grabbed the cow's rope, tied it to his truck and led her a ways down the road. When he thought it was far enough, he stopped, gave me the rope and watched me for a while to be sure I would get along, which I did. When I turned up the driveway and led the cow back to the barn I was greatly relieved. Uncle Jim came along afterward and gave me a dime. I was beginning to see in earnest what farming was all about.

In 1939, the same year that the cow and I made the mad scramble to the county farm, while I was working for Uncle Jim, I noticed a heifer in the pasture with something protruding out the back end of her. It was pink and quite large. Thinking some kind of emergency had arisen, I alerted Uncle Jim and he gave a heavy sigh. He knew what was up and wondered if we could handle the situation. The heifer was having her first calf and was in trouble. We went to her and I saw a sight I had never seen before. The calf was out partway—head, front feet, and shoulders—but its hips were too wide and it was stuck. First my uncle opened his pocketknife, handed it to me and said for me to cut the bottom of the bag (placenta) that the calf was in because there was a lot of fluid in it. I did what he said and immediately the calf opened its eyes. Then he told me to take hold of one of its front feet; he took the other, and we pulled to no avail. We tried again, this time each putting a foot against her hind leg, and pulled with all our might. The calf came out and hit the ground, for the heifer was standing through all of this, and right away the mother pooped on it. Then she turned around and began licking it. Uncle Jim sent me to the barn to get the wheelbarrow. We put the calf in it and took her to the barn. In the barnyard another episode took place. Her afterbirth fell out—it looked like her intestines came out. The cow started to eat it; I grabbed a pitchfork and jerked it away from her. Uncle Jim instructed me to take it out and throw it where she could not get to it. It was then that Uncle Jim explained that a cow couldn't give milk until after she has a calf. For a few days I wondered just how badly I wanted to be a farmer if it entailed all that I had seen that summer, but soon I got over it and renewed my desire to farm.

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Settlement House Wedding

Standing in front of a couple in the chapel of the Scotts Run Settlement House, reading from the Book of Worship, "Dearly beloved... " seemed normal enough except this ceremony had a nuance that made it somewhat unique. Oh, we had the usual group: bride, groom, maid of honor, best man and piano music; the unique part was that the best man was a Mon County Deputy Sheriff (guns and all) hand cuffed to the groom.

Missing from this wedding was a reception—there wasn't enough time for it and a honeymoon—so it was settled on the honeymoon, which was 30 minutes in the kitchen which had no outside door and the windows were secured to keep robbers out, but worked as well to keep people in.

When time was up it was back to jail; things were back to "normal" at the Settlement House. As a matter of fact, events like that were the ingredients of what passed for normal at the Settlement House.

Violet Petso was director, chief cook and bottle washer, piano player for church and fearless enforcer of house rules. Some local roughneck boys, who only used the gym, awakened to a new enlightenment when they dared to take her lightly.

Joseph Petso, Violet's husband, was a priceless bonus to the United Methodist Church—the Settlement House was one of their "mission projects" as a maintenance man for all of the facilities, day care included. He installed fans in the gym, built bookshelves and drove the bus all for free. Besides that, he held a full-time job with UMW office on Collins Ferry Road.

Another wedding came to mind while writing the above.

An elderly couple, who had been married before and each had grown children, asked if they could be married after church one Sunday. It was agreed upon and after church their grown children with wives brought flowers and an abundance of food for the reception; quite a few people also came.

The bride and well-wishers were gathered in the church conversing and enjoying the festive mood. After a while some one said, "Where is Bill (the groom)?" He was quite late so one of the boys went to look for him. Soon the boy came back; his brother said, "Where is he?" The other boy replied, "I'm not bringing him here in that shape." I knew what that meant—he was drunk.

I began thinking and praying for a way out of this job and still keep the peace, for I would not perform a wedding with a drunk groom. I was standing on the porch with others thinking to myself of the mess I was in when we heard a siren sounding and a police car went past going down to Osage. It wasn't gone long and when it returned one of the sons saw the passenger in the car and exclaimed, "There goes Bill." I silently raised a prayer of thanks; it was out of my hands. Bill fell and cut his head.

Prayers are answered in strange ways.

The bride asked me if I would go to the emergency room and marry them there. I said no.

I thought the spirit would be dampened with the crowd but "Settlement House normal" kicked in and they said, "We have food and drink and music. Let's have a party."

When I left for home, the party was in full swing.

We had a respectful wedding two weeks later and all was well in Osage.

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The Hayden Family

The deal was done; the hands were shook, but because it was close to winter it was prudent to let the "deal" rest until the weather improved, and so George told his buyer that he would make delivery in the spring.

The George mentioned above plus Emma, his wife, plus Jeff, his brother, made up the Hayden family that lived in a hollow off of "Snake Hill" Road near a stream that was a tributary to Tibbs Run.

The Haydens were mountaineers; if there ever was a family that described "Mountaineer," this was a good example. Their entire living came from the mountain combined with muscle and mind; they never asked for anything beyond what they earned, and were honest to a fault. (I think that is a good description of a Mountaineer.)

Amos Dunn was a nephew to Emma and George and they raised him as their own. He related this story of the "deal" to me.

A man from Marklesburg, Pennsylvania, bought a colt from George and paid him in order to secure his purchase. When spring came, Amos and George took some white oak baskets, put a halter on the colt and headed to Marklesburg on foot (30+ miles). The roads were all gravel or dirt. There were no eateries along the way, so they would stop at likely farmhouses and trade baskets for food. The trip took one long day over and one day back.

The Haydens mainly supported themselves by making and selling white oak baskets and by weaving bottoms and backs in chairs.

The Haydens came to our house when I was very little, but the day lives in my memory like yesterday. They put bottoms and backs in three large rockers that we kept on our back porch. They made very hard work seem easy. Their gentle teasing of each other and my brother and me made the day seem more like a social visit than business. It was a fun time.

I saw this trio a few times after that day when they came to town but never got to talk with them again. For that I'm sorry.

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Tom Kitzmiller

My subject in this essay is a man that I did not know very well. I wish that I did, and if I did I would still want to know him better yet, for there would still be a lot left out. I think, except for his children and wife, no one really knew him thoroughly and perhaps they would be aware of some gaps.

Tom Kitzmiller was his name and "Horse Trader" was his game (among other things). There was not an occasion or subject that did not lend itself to one of his stories.

I used to look for reasons to go to his place just to listen to him talk. I'm sorry I did not find more excuses, but I'm really glad for the times that I did. Our children and my wife also liked to be with him, especially the two boys.

The label, "Horse Trader," conjures up visions of a used car salesman, a man with fast talk, a quick deal and you live with the consequences of your trade. Tom Kitzmiller did not fit this description.

I bought or traded several deals with him and always found his word to be true as far as he could be expected to be responsible for the truth. At the close of every deal his final word was, "if it doesn't suit you bring it back." I know he took back some horses that the customer spoiled, and he knew it also, but he took them back. I never heard him disparage anyone about anything. He had the good will of all who knew him.

Tom was a person to not be disturbed with little things. One time I went to his house when he was getting ready to go some place and he needed a clean shirt (his first wife had died and things did not get done like before). He invited me into the kitchen where he sat by the stove. While we were talking he opened the oven, took his shirt out, fluffed it up and put it back in. This procedure went on for a short time and his shirt was dry and not scorched.

I am not a profiler but I have a way of categorizing people by personalities. There are people who fit the weatherman's description of weather: cloudy with very little sun. Their presence, no matter how dreary things are, they can make it worse by sour countenance and complaining. Warm and sunny is one that Tom Kitzmiller fits perfectly. The weather always improved by him being present.

Just a few days before he died I saw him at an intersection in Sabraton. I said to myself, "I've got to go visit him soon for my sake," but before I did that he died an unexpected death. That is a regret that I bear to this day.

This treatise is so meager in the presence of such a personality I hesitate to reveal it to anyone, but as much as it misses the mark, it is still better than not taking a shot at all.

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Alfred Jones

In my life I have been privileged to meet many people, among them there have been some very outstanding ones. I could never pick out one individual and say, "this is the greatest of them all"; however, there are some I would rate as good as the best. In this group I will place "brother" Alfred Jones.

I knew Alfred as a Christian brother in the years that our lives were intertwined, 1963-1969, as worshipers at Star City United Methodist Church. It was interesting and pleasurable to be an observer of the way he conducted his life. Being the only black family in the congregation, he made everyone who knew him feel completely at ease. He taught the adult class in Sunday School and took part in all discussions of the church.

Many times I have recalled to those I talked with about how clearly the personality of Christ came shining through, how his children mirrored his influence in their lives and how well they all turned out.

I used certain stories of our friendship in my sermons all the rest of my preaching career, and still in my conversations, I relate appropriate instances with people where his personality has a chance to light a spark in their lives.

I count it one of my great privileges to have been involved in so many lives and while I said I could not pick one person above all of the rest, I can most surely say I have never met a better man than Alfred Jones.

He is 94 years old at this writing and I'm sure, looking back, he can see some very tight examples of bigotry, being a black man in a mostly white society. I witnessed some myself, and how he handled them with understanding and love of Jesus is a bright spot in my own life.

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A Day In The Life Of A Country Boy
Summer 1958

(When you ask God for something, don't tell Him how to do it.)

Heading north on Route 51, I was embarking on an adventure that in my mind paralleled what the crewmen on the Santa Maria were feeling just before "Land Ho" was heard.

I was driving to Pittsburgh, a place I had never driven and had only been to two times before as a passenger. This time I had four stops to make, one in Coraopolis, two in downtown Pittsburgh and one almost to Wilkinsburg.

To say I was a wreck is a mild description of my fears. How I ever let myself get into this fix I cannot explain except that I was the breadwinner of our small family, and we had a habit of eating which I did not want to give up.

All the way I was praying to make a success of the trip on behalf of the company H. L. Shelhammer, Inc. a G.E. appliance dealer and kitchen cabinet business for Custom Cabinets. It was near E & F Manufacturing Co. at Coraopolis, Pennsylvania; then I had two stops in downtown Pittsburgh and on to G.E. Warehouse at Penn Avenue East.

At a traffic light just beyond the Liberty Tubes I saw a man hitchhiking, going from car to car asking for a ride. I hoped no one would give him one and no one did. The man came to my door; I didn't let him ask me where I was going. I asked him if he was going to Coraopolis; he said he was and I let him in and underneath I said, "Thank you, Lord." God had heard my plea.

The light changed to green and off we went. I was much relieved. The first thing I knew my passenger reached over and blew my horn and said, "There's Mary, Hi Mary!" That didn't bother me. A bit farther on he reached over and blew my horn again, "There's the boys"; three men were working on a roof. He waved to them; they returned the wave. That kind of neighborhood I was used to, so I felt good.

We didn't go much farther when he began talking. I didn't hear him clearly so I asked him what he said. "I'm talking to myself," he said, and he seemed a little put off from my asking so I shut up.

I gave him E & F's address and when we were getting close he asked a man where it was. He told him down at the Bottoms. I began to be confused but said nothing. My man said he knew a short cut, "Saw Mill Run." I said nothing. We went on. I was beginning to wonder what I was into.

To my relief, in just a few minutes we pulled up in front of the cabinet shop. We went in and my passenger walked through the shop whistling, "You take a wheel and go around round round," slapping everyone on the back and saying things to them, just like old friends. I could tell by their reactions they didn't have a clue as to who he was, but I didn't care because we made a success of the trip so far.

As we headed back to downtown Pittsburgh we were talking to each other better now, and he asked me to pull off the route and take him on a side road to a place his father worked, so I did. He went in for a short visit, came back out a little upset and said, "Get back on the road," and we did. We made two stops in town; he directed me flawlessly then to the G.E. warehouse. He knew exactly how to get there.

I was relieved but still had to get out of town and go on 51 South. I followed his directions and soon we were exiting the Liberty Tubes onto Route 51.

I was beginning to breathe normally again. As we came to South Park he said to me would I take him out a road at the traffic light on the east side of 51 for a mile or so, for that is where he lived. After a mile or so he said, "This is the place," so I stopped. He then said, "Do you have any money that I could get some thing to eat?" I was so uptight all day that food never entered my mind. I had a dollar and 75¢ of my own and I gladly gave it to him, and he gladly received it. I thought he tried to get some money from his dad but failed. I really felt sorry for him then.

He left me. I went back to 51 South and soon I was at Sweeney's Restaurant. I had expense money from H. L. S. and by then I was at a point where I could think of something other than where and what I was doing in Pittsburgh and I was happy.

God answered my prayers for I thought later: Was there an other man in Pittsburgh who knew the town like the back of his hand, who had nothing to do for the whole day, who would be pleased with $1.75 for a day's pay?

I realized early on that he was challenged mentally, but I thanked God for him. I was the dummy on this trip. I always felt indebted to him and think of him often as a friend. I hope life has been kind to him since.

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"Peck" Swearger

The life of W. R. "Peck" Swearger is a lesson of community responsibility that I expect would be near impossible to find today anywhere in the USA.

His whole life was spent between Masontown, West Virginia, and Greer, West Virginia, a distance of four miles. His working life was spent entirely working for Greer Limestone Co. Peck was illiterate, but he learned to do several jobs at the stone quarry. He earned his keep by honest toil and sweat.

The sad part of this story is that merchants in Masontown and salesmen took advantage of him by selling him things he did not need nor could use, and also by giving him short change. If he gave a $10.00 bill, they would give change for a five or a one.

Now the mystery! By some means Mrs. H. C. Greer found out about this practice of robbery and sent word to the company that someone would have to take care of his affairs. The job was given to Bob Sutor, who was his direct boss, and he did a good job of managing his money.

First, he went to Street's Store in Masontown and arranged for Peck to charge there. He could buy clothes, hardware and food all at one place; then to Mr. Shiff, who had a drugstore, for Peck's wife needed medicine; then to Dr. Johnson for medical needs.

On payday Bob would go to those places and pay them with Peck's money, and then if there was some left he would give Peck several one dollar bills, never more than $10.00. If there was more, he put it in savings at Farmers Merchants Bank.

Over the years Bob bought Peck a house on Depot Street in Masontown, not much of a house but it was his and continued to save some money for him.

When I came to work at Greer Limestone, Bob's health caused him to quit, so I took his place including continued care of Peck's finances.

Andy Goldstrum worked for Street's Store and he looked after Peck and would not let him waste his money there. If he suspected that Peck's request was unusual he would call me and we would discuss it. One time Andy called and said Peck wanted to buy a 40 feet ladder. I said, "Let me talk to him first," and so I went to his house, and he said his neighbor wanted to go into the roofing business and needed it. I told him to let his neighbor get his own ladder. Peck was generous to a fault. He would give anyone the shirt off of his back. Other times he wanted to buy a rifle for someone or tools, but Andy could see through those deals and consequently Peck amassed a tidy sum of $1500.00.

When he retired I was concerned for him, but he said his son, who lived in California, was going to take him there so I relaxed.

Peck and Herbie, his son, came to tell me good-bye and I was pleased, but later I saw him uptown and asked him why he didn't go to California. He told me his son's wife got sick and he had to go to her quickly, but that he would come back and get him later. I feared then that we had seen the last of him. I had gotten three $500.00 bank checks when he was leaving and gave them to Peck so he would have money when he got there. I asked him about the checks and he said his boy took them. That was the last he ever saw of him.

Peck stayed around Masontown and I was told that he died in Street's lumber shed, for he loafed around the store. Street's was really the only family he had. His parents are buried along Route Seven in the middle of the stone quarry. There is a white picket fence there. Most people who pass by are unaware of the graveyard. I don't know if Peck is there or not as I was not working there when he died.

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Watching The Circus Arrive

Our plan was made—we would sleep in the barn so we could get up early without disturbing the Bonner family. The barn was previously used for chickens in the hayloft but was not in use at that time.

This was going to be a great adventure for my brother, John, 12 years old; Bob Bonner, 11 years old and me, nine years old.

We were going to Granville to watch the circus come in and set up.

The adventure began prematurely because our sleep was interrupted by an army of chicken mites, tiny insects so small they are hard to see in good light, let alone in darkness. They crawled on us, and our night of rest turned into mayhem. Sleep was out of the question, so we rose earlier than planned just to get away from the torturous pests. We departed before 3:00 a.m. We each had to pay a nickel for fare to cross the river at Star City on the ferry. (There was no bridge there then.) Then we walked up river to the fairground, which is a trailer court now.

We arrived before the circus, but not much. They got off the train on the Westover side of the river at the depot under the bridge and walked down river to the circus ground.

It was interesting to see how the circus crew did their work of setting up the tents and picket lines. The job was rehearsed and as precise as any of the acts one would see if they saw the show. The big-top tent was laid out flat with the support poles under the canvas at the proper places and fastened by a rod protruding from the end of the pole through a reinforced hole in the tent. When all was ready, they had an elephant pull a harness, which raised the whole tent, poles and all, just like a pop up Valentine. At each pole there was a large steel tent peg. It was driven in place by four men with sledgehammers. The first would strike, then the next and the next and the next. Then the first man was ready to strike again. The sound of the sledges was like an automatic machine was driving the steel until the peg was properly anchored and the rope tied securely. Then to the next peg. The next day all of this work had to be undone and back on the train to the next show.

We didn't get to see the show inside, but we saw some of the sideshow people because they also had jobs to do, and we saw the menagerie. It was like a day at the zoo. There were horses, mules, ponies, donkeys, elephants, camels, llamas, lions and ostriches. The music from the calliope was a treat.

We left about noon—tired, hungry, and still had a long walk to Morgantown and up University Avenue to our house for something to eat and rest. Bob Bonner still had two miles to go after he rested.

A line in a song sums it up "Memories are made of this."

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St. Francis Football Team

Turnverein Concordia, Morgantown, W. Va.

Turnverein Concordia on McLane Avenue: A turnverein is a German word for an athletic club, particularly dedicated to gymnastics.

Source: WV History On

It began at the German Turnverein on McLane Avenue in Seneca.
The boys would gather there after school to prepare for practice. They donned their uniforms and when they emerged, they were the St. Francis High School football team. From there they would "hustle" (Jack Simons, their coach, would see to that) to the north end of the street that ended at the woods and turned into a path that went up a steep hill to a location where the water tank is now, behind the WVU President's house. Then it proceeded through an open field parallel to Oakland Avenue until it came in contact with Oakland Avenue at the junction of Dudley Avenue.

This was known by the neighborhood as the "St. Francis path." It was where the practice took place. Jack Simons was an alumnus of the 1922 WVU undefeated football season and learned about football under the guidance of Errett "Rat" Rodgers. Jack was a hard man and wanted his players to be in good shape and tough as any team.

They practiced fundamental football blocking, tackling, running and catching passes with emphasis on tackling. They had a tackling dummy made by stuffing a pair of uniform pants with rags and hung on a rope suspended from a scaffold made of heavy timbers with a pulley in the center. A long rope ran through the pulley with a "T" handle on the end so two boys could hold it at the same time. The other players would line up and take turns running and tackling the dummy and driving it hard with their legs. They took turns on the handle. All of this took place in a pit filled with wood shavings.

My generation was much younger, but we watched and also played football in the adjacent field. We tried to emulate what they were doing, thinking we would become players ourselves. The field, "Evansdale" playground, was actually located at the back end of our grade school.

We thought of these boys as men and figured they could beat just about anyone they played. We looked to them as role models, especially Jack Simons, who incidentally founded Simons Insurance Agency. He was big, loud, strict and above all fair with no four-letter words from him or his charges. "Decent" is the word that describes him. The community of Morgantown benefited by his presence, his family and his company.

Jack quit coaching in 1938 because his own sons were coming of age to be players and his son said he didn't want to coach his own children. (I bet they were glad.)

I did not personally know many of these boys but I knew their names. A partial list of names follows; many will be left out and for that I'm sorry, for they all deserve to be honored.

The first name any one of us would call out was "Jumbo" Ponceroff, then Mitch Travatta, Don Hines, Charles Braney, Eli Jabour, Joe Chico, Vick Mascioli, John Rockis, Adam Pompili, Bud Maholic, Steve Kudla, Don DeCarlo, Joe Trumpack, Ted Straub, John Laurie, Albert Leberature, Frank Smerdell, Pete Fanok, Joe Rafus, Joe Salucci, Lovie Shine; last names—only Hollis, Ambrose, Gamble, Robertson, Barone, Cotter, Cessa, Dellaciere, Fisher, Laban and more.

Many of these names appear prominently in the recent history of Mon County and Morgantown. I'm sorry for the names I did not find or know.

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Landing Field

We did not call it an airport. We called it the "landing field." The runway was dirt and it is under the pavement of Jerry West Boulevard in front of the Coliseum.

There was no automobile access to the field. The road stopped at the place where Krepps Park parking lot is today, then it was walk a path up to the airstrip.

There were three planes that used it regularly. Regular meant Saturday and Sunday when the weather was good. The planes' owners were Scotty Hamilton from Fairmont and Wayman Coe and "Jelly Belly" Boone, both locals. These pilots took people for rides around the area. It was a festive time for us kids. We would run behind the planes until they left the ground so we could get the wind from the propellers.

Two planes were open cockpit biplanes. Jelly Belly had a Taylor Cub enclosed passenger compartment. He did other things besides take rides. He bootlegged whiskey with his plane.

John, my brother, and Bob Bonner found a five-gallon can of whiskey in a hole nearby. They took it to Tater Miller and sold it for $1.00. The next week they were looking for more whiskey when Jelly Belly came to them and told them to return the first can. They got Tater to give the unused portion back.

One day a special plane came in. It was a "big" plane, seven passengers. I believe it was called a three-motor Fokker. The pilot gave us all a picture of him and his plane. It had a motor in the middle and one on each side.

John and Bob gave me their pictures to keep for them. I put them in my back pocket and we started home. A boy ran into me from behind and bumped pretty hard. John and Bob asked for their pictures and I discovered they were gone. Then I remembered that bump and the boy who did it. I looked around and saw him running toward Brewer Hill. I ran after him, but he had too much of a start. I knew who he was and from then on every time he saw me he ran away. A couple of years later I caught him where he couldn't run. I had gotten over the incident of his theft but could not tell him because he kept too much distance between us. However, this day I went to Lady's Rock to swim. There he was standing on Fisherman's Rock "naked as a jay bird."

I saw he was afraid but I just said, "Hi Elwood," and proceeded to get naked and go swimming. From then on every time I saw him he came to me and talked and seemed to enjoy himself, but he never mentioned the pictures. Elwood Hilling was his name and we were friends until he died.

The municipal airport on the Mileground was built soon after by the government and labor of the WPA. William "Bill" Hart was instrumental in promoting the project. He was editor of Dominion News.

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Solomon Mckinney

Clever is what I call it; someone else may call it something much different. It depends on where your vantage point of observance is. Mine is 70 years after the fact and Solomon McKinney's was immediately present. He called it robbery, which in fact it was.

Solomon had a mine pony, which was a valuable asset back when many miners dug their coal by hand and hauled it outside by pony power.

There was a snow of about six or eight inches on the ground when two men wanted to steal the pony, but they feared their tracks would give them away. However, they devised a scheme to take the pony and confuse the owner and many others as well.

They went into the barn at night carrying two pair of miner's boots; they also wore mining boots. When they got in the stable

they put the four extra boots on the pony backwards, then walked backwards leading the pony until they cleared the property to where they loaded the pony in a truck. The evidence showed that eight people went into the barn and nobody came out.

Solomon recovered his pony because he knew who had expressed an interest in it and checked it out.

In the same neighborhood Mr. Davis had a cornfield on a little knoll on his farm. The corn was planted around the top and down on the sides a little ways. When the corn was "laid by," meaning hoed and cultivated the last time, he had no reason to go to the field until harvest time.

Harvest time was a shocker, for when Mr. Davis cut the corn he found the center part of the field empty. Some of his neighbors were harvesting at night when they could not be seen. He knew who they were but never prosecuted them.

Sometime in the '30s a new family moved into our neighbor hood. Their name was Marshall. Our gang of boys watched as their furniture was taken off the truck. Their lawn furniture was wicker and we thought it would look good in our clubhouse (the basement of Stansbury's garage) so we proceeded to relocate it that night.

The next day, while we were gloating over our ill-gotten gain, a knock came on the door. We hurried to put our cigarettes out, fan the smoke away (we thought) and clean up our language.

Then we opened the door. There was a very big man there. He asked if he could come in. We guessed it would be all right, so he did. He sat down in one of our newly acquired chairs and talked with us as a friend. Soon we knew we could trust him, so we started lighting up our cigarettes again and using bad words. We really were showing off. It was nice to have an adult friend "like us."

We never asked who he was. We didn't care until he said, "Well, are you boys going to help me carry this furniture home?" Then we knew.

It resembled a parade going single file like ants carrying chairs, tables and a planter down Riverview Drive and Raleigh Avenue to the "Big Tree," a designation familiar to everyone in Evansdale.

Mr. Marshall was so nice to us. We even protected his home on Halloween from boys from other neighborhoods. He knew how to handle renegades like us to a T. We all learned a good lesson from our thievery, and from Mr. Marshall.

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State Dairy Farm

In the spring of 1942 Mr. 0. D. White, our "Vo. Ag." teacher at Morgantown High, took several of us boys to the State Dairy Farm on the Mileground to work. There were many cows that had been neglected because manpower was scarce due to WWII. The present workforce could hardly do the very necessary jobs—milking, feeding, cleaning the barns, mixing feed and tending to calves and bulls. Jobs like washing the barn walls down, curring cows, washing their tail switches and putting more bedding under the cows had been let slide.

We worked two days, Saturday and Sunday, and made a big difference. We all enjoyed this caper.

Sunday eve when we prepared to leave, Mr. Ray Griffin took me aside and asked me if I could milk. I said I could; he then asked me if I would like to milk part time, the evening milk shift and all day Saturday and Sunday. I was glad to have this opportunity. Four hours each evening and 12 hours per day on weekends came to 44 hours at 40¢ per hour, which equaled $17.60, the most money I had ever earned. When school was out I worked full time seven days a week, 12 and 13 hours a day straight time.

I knew my job wouldn't last long, so I didn't mind that when school started the farm had enough full-time workers to manage without part-time help. There was so much variety in my work that I was always eager to start each day.

I will give a recap of the way things were done. I stayed at the boarding house because the day began at 3:30 a.m. and I had no car. Occasionally I would go home to be with my mother. I had to leave at about 2:00 a.m. to get to the farm. I walked from Walnut Hill to the downtown campus, then up College Avenue to Willey Street and out Route 119 to the farm.

A note to illustrate how different the world was then: While walking the aforementioned route I saw girls sleeping on porches that were even with the sidewalk. I do not recall any incident where they were ever assaulted or their houses robbed. There was no air conditioning in houses then, so they were just making the best of a bad situation. There was no air conditioning in the schools either. It was for a future time.

Our workforce consisted of the following: Ed Smith (herdsman) from Cass, West Virginia; Lonnie Williams (calf manager) from Morgantown; Joe Sheridan and a boy named Castle from Marlinton; and Mrs. Sheridan (boarding housekeeper and cook), Joe's mother. She was a very good lady and cooked excellent meals. Steve Atkins from Williamson, a Texan who had seizures and didn't stay long; a boy "Red" Deems from Clarksburg. His dad was a lawyer and sent him there to acquaint him with work and farm life. We all liked him. He just did odd jobs. He was so green that we had fun at his expense, but he was a good sport and never seemed to mind. Earl Grimes from West Run managed the bulls and myself from Morgantown.

This crew took care of milking, barn cleaning, mixing feed by hand—1200 pounds of different ingredients: wheat bran, alfalfa meal, fish meal, minerals, oats, corn meal, charcoal and calcium carbonate. These components were all laid out in layers to form a pile, and then we would shovel it over three times and shove it in the bins. The bins were level with the floor in the upstairs of the barn. They went down to the feed room. We could load the feed cart from a chute in the bottom of the bin.

Each cow received grain according to her milk production.There was a chart on the feed cart and a scale. Each cow had a number. The chart was updated each week by the "Ag. School" downtown.

The farm had three herds of cows—Ayershires, Holsteins and Jerseys. I was assigned to bring the Holsteins in from pasture, which was across from the horticulture farm where 705 is now.

Joe, Steve and Castle brought all the rest. Each cow knew where it was to go in the barn.

Milking started at 4:10 a.m. and p.m. We would not start one minute before or after. This was an experimental farm, so everything had to be done by the book.

When we started, the clamor of clanging milkers and other goings—on would relax the cows and they would begin to let down their milk as we got to them.

Each milker worked with two machines. We would take one off, weigh the milk, make a note of cow number and then strain it and put it over the cooler. By then the next cow was ready.

When milking was done, cows were taken out to pasture, and we would go to breakfast at 8:00 a.m. We had clean rooms and ate like kings—board was $1.00 a day.

After breakfast, we would begin again to clean the barns, bed the stalls with wood shavings and then go with the outside crew to make hay or silage.

Clark Taylor was the man in charge of all outside work and the buildings. He had a crew—Abe and Ray Mallow and George Smith (teamster). Clark didn't have enough help, so we of the milk shift would help. We got all of the overtime we wanted and more.

We made hay on the main farm and also on the agronomy farm (where the airport is now). It expanded and took the farm.

There were no pickup balers. "Modern" then was a machine that hooked on the back of a truck or horse-drawn wagon. The driver would straddle the windrow and the loader would pick up the hay and throw it on the truck. Two or three men on the truck would rearrange it into a firm stack for transport to the barn.

Each barn had a track in the top of the loft that went the length of the building. A hayfork rode on the track. It came down on the hay; a man on the truck would place the fork to get a large amount of hay, then signal another man who was leading a horse to pull the hay up. It would hit another carrier and go into the barn where someone in there would call out, and the man on the ground that had a trip rope with the horse would drop the hay in place.

This was ultramodern at that time. When baled hay was wanted, a stationary baler would be located at the barn or stock and it would be fed by hand.

Stationary balers made large bales (100+ pounds) and tied them with wire. Hay hooks were used as handles for these bales.

Earl Grimes was in charge of the bulls, six of them—four Ayershire, one Holstein and one Jersey. Nothing was dehorned then. Ayershire horns grew very long and were dangerous. All dairy bulls are very dangerous.

Earl showed me how to handle the bulls for times when he was absent. There were three lots outside the barn and assorted gates. To be able to direct one bull to a pen, the doors had to be operated by ropes inside the barn.

There was another barn that housed the top 12 cows on the farm. They were milked by hand because milkers were rather new and no one knew what the long-term use would do to the cow.

These cows had 12 feet by 12 feet box stalls with deep bedding in half of it. When we milked anywhere we carried a bucket of warm water, a rag and a strip cup. The strip cup had a recessed lid with a fine screen in it. Each quarter of the udder was milked on to it. If it didn't pass through, that quarter was milked separately, weighed and thrown out. Mastitis was what was being checked; then the tested cow would receive treatment.

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Sophomore Disaster

Going to school was a pleasant experience for me up through the ninth grade.

I went to Evansdale Elementary School for 6 1/2 years. The school was overcrowded, and for the first half of seventh grade my classroom was the hallway on the top floor. At midterm, January of' 40, we were moved to the brand new Suncrest Junior High, where we joined kids from Star City, Flatts and Suncrest. Ada Belle Hoke and I walked from Walnut Hill through Evansdale, and we had a path through the woods from there to the new school. Sometimes we had to walk along Star City Road because Pompano Run would rise and flood the bottom, where Patteson Drive is now. The bottom was filled to raise the road 8 or 10 feet. Other times the snow filled our path and there was no way to clear it.

The few hardships were nothing to compare with the disappointment of my experience at Morgantown High School.

I was assigned to Miss Dorothy Stone White's homeroom, and I got off to a very bad start. During the first week, I motioned to Mary Sellaro to hand me a book from her desk. She did, and when the teacher saw the transaction, thinking I wasn't paying attention, she sentenced me to a week in detention hall. Mary tried to defend me and said, "All I did was hand him a book"; she got a week also, so I spoke up in my own defense and she added another week to my detention.

I was completely disappointed with MHS; consequently, I skipped the rest of the week.

A note to explain how I could skip and my mother not know:

I was a "latch-key kid" without a key. We never locked our house. My father was dead; my brother was in the navy during WWII; my two sisters were married and away from home and just my mother and I were there. She had to work to support us and earned $48.00 a month and her dinner at the nurses home at Mon General. Therefore, she was gone from home before I had to go to school, and she didn't return until two hours after school let out. I was on my own.

That first year at MHS was a nightmare for me, and in April it was a nightmare for my mother also. What I am about to say is in no way something I am proud of. I am ashamed by the memories that it brings. The Lord blessed me with a good memory and, of course, not all is squeaky clean and pleasant.

Some days I didn't even dress for school. I put on old clothes and went to the woods or to Janie Caldwell's place. (She is mentioned in the fourth essay. She also worked and was away.) I could get in her house, and sometimes I would take her shotgun and dogs and go rabbit hunting or just stay around her place and visit with her rabbits, goats, chickens, ducks, geese and dogs.

There were three other boys who were disenchanted with MHS: Bill and Bob Vorbach and Paul Reed. Bill had a Model A Ford; gas was rationed, but we picked up ration stamps where we could (meaning we stole them), then pooled our lunch money to buy gas—25¢ a gallon. Then we would go to Coopers Rock and explore the trails and caves (Devil's Kitchen and others) and Haystack Rock. We knew the park very well.

On the outside I faked having fun, but inside I was in total turmoil because I knew there was a reckoning day coming.

I used ink remover to change my grades, then changed them back after Mom signed them. My real grades were three Es and two incompletes. Once the school used blue cards; the ink remover bleached the card, so I destroyed it and said I lost it.

My mother was a good woman and did not deserve the angst that I put upon her. (Incidentally, I'm writing this essay on Mother's Day, 2006.)

In late April a letter came with no return address. Before, when mail came from the school, I would destroy it. This time though they outfoxed me and I laid the letter in the usual place with the other mail.

I remember clearly; I was going upstairs to change clothes when my mother said "Why, Bill, haven't you been going to school?" I had missed 105 days. I felt like jumping out the window three stories up.

They made my mother go to school with me or risk going to jail. I felt then, and feel even today, the utter remorse of stabbing my mother in the heart. I didn't care for me but I cared for her. I betrayed her trust. This is still a rueful memory.

After our encounter at school, I was instructed to attend every day that remained, Bob Vorbach also. Bill was old enough to quit and he did. I think Paul Reed did too.

My mother made an appointment with Judge Baker to talk to me. She was determined to send me to reform school, because she said I was headed there anyway. She was not a person to make idle threats. I knew she meant to ship me out.

Finally it was over; my nightmare was gone. I lost my sophomore year and had to repeat. I never liked school after that, but I endured until my senior year. Then I went to the navy, needing only three credits to finish. All three were English—sophomore, junior and senior. The thing I could not do was give an oral book report, which Miss Painter insisted that I do. I had extreme stage fright. In those days there were no exceptions. Everyone had to fit the same mold.

This is a very sad chapter of my life, mostly because I inflicted a saber thrust to my mother's heart, no less, and rue the memory to this day.

The navy let me off duty to go to night school in Miami and I finally graduated. They didn't make me give oral book reports.

The Lord called me in 1963 to the ministry, where I had to make oral presentations at three services every Sunday. I never lost my fear of speaking but God gave me courage to face it and win, for just over 20 years.

My life has been good to me with very few regrets. This story is about the worst time I had.

P.S. By flunking sophomore year, I was to meet my wife in Miss Painter's class the next year, so all was not lost. We have been married 57 years at this writing.

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Beaver Hole

Beaver Hole is a little known spot on the Cheat River; however, at the turn of the 20th century it was a well-known location, a place of activity and commerce.

Calvin Rohr had a business there consisting of a store and a ferry operation that crossed the river to connect to the settlement of Pisgah. Mr. Rohr also floated log rafts to Point Marion, Pennsylvania, when the water was high enough. Timber cutters amassed their logs there for shipment.

There were four girls and one boy in his family of which the youngest was a daughter named Margaret.

I became aware of her life in 1987 while she was living with her daughter Edna Cale. I visited her just prior to her death. We did not discuss her life at that time. We read scripture and prayed; she died a short time later.

Stories about her life floated around at the time of her "wake" and funeral, and I became intrigued with the life she lived.

It was not an astounding life for the time; it was a normal and very good life. Her son Dallas Shaffer provided some of the historical information.

Margaret went to school at a place called Friendship School, located at the top of the mountain about two and a half to three miles from Beaver Hole. In the morning her dad would light her lantern so she could see to walk because she had to leave before daylight on short winter days. Also, the teacher would light the lantern for her return trip home because it would be dark before she reached home.

(My own observation: I doubt we would need these large schools if the students had to attend under these conditions.)

Margaret lived and worked there; sometimes she would ferry people in a rowboat. Her dad operated the larger ferry, a flatboat powered by pulling a rope that was strung across the river. It was big enough for horses and wagons.

She got married in January of 1912, when she was 17 years old. She and her husband, G. Remie Shaffer, went to work at a sawmill. She raised five boys and three girls.

The dam on Cheat River ended the "log float" business in 1925. The bridge at Bull Run ended the ferry business in 1912, and Beaver Hole became just a place of reference.

There was nothing out of the ordinary in the lives of Calvin Rohr and Margaret. They were just two people living with the circumstances that were present at that time.

My reason for writing this essay is to make a comparison of the differences between then and now.

It is impossible for young people to fathom a life with no electric system, no water system, no natural gas distribution system, and no sewage system or garbage collection.

Today, an interesting project for young people would be to list everything that we have now that was not available then, and see who could think of the most items.

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Postal Stories

I'm sure that there are thousands of interesting stories that could be told of the Postal Department; however, the following are only five short stories that I am privy to.

Harold Watkins worked at Manheim (Greenbriar Aggregates) when I did (1978-82). He lived near Parsons, West Virginia, and related this story.

When he was a small boy he became ill. They had no transportation and no phone; neighbors were few and far between. Prospects of getting him to the doctor in town were slim, but mothers have a way. She took him to the mailbox and gave him to the postman to deliver him to Parsons and a doctor.

Harold had to ride the remainder of the mail route in a buck board buggy. Then the mailman took him to town and to the doctor, who kept him overnight and delivered him home the next day.

There was no mention of pay. This passed as a neighborly deed, which was the way many things used to be. Neighbors helped each other any way they could. They dug graves, built caskets, repaired houses, helped to harvest, fed the hungry and butchered livestock and there was no money involved in these transactions. However, this is the only time I ever heard of mailing a boy to the doctor.

Herbert Roach was a well-known mail carrier in the business district of Morgantown. He walked up and down in the buildings that had no elevators, and rode to the top of those that did, delivering mail on the way down.

After work he would walk home as he had walked to work from home in the morning. Mr. Roach lived on Hunter Lane. At that time it had no name. It was just next to Ed Hunter's cow pasture, probably two miles from the post office.

After he retired to a trailer on Bakers Ridge next to his daughter, Mrs. Ira Baker, you might think he would take a vacation from walking. That was not the case. He continued to walk. I suppose his legs just couldn't quit. He walked to Point Marion, Pennsylvania, to get a meal in a restaurant many times.

The United Way sponsored a walk of 25 miles to raise money. It began at the Coliseum, crossed the Star City Bridge to Osage, took a left toward Chaplin, then to Laurel Point and wandered around until it reached 25 miles when it came back to the starting point.

Mr. Roach joined the walk each time it was presented. The last walk was when he was 79 years old. He walked from his home on Bakers Ridge to the starting point. Then, after he finished the walk, he walked home adding at least another five miles.

Now I understand what a "postman's holiday" is.

I met Joe Arnet in 1995 at his home in Rivesville along Route 19.

He was mowing his lawn on a riding mower. I soon found out that he couldn't walk without someone helping him. He was 95 years old. The riding lawn mower was his way of getting around his place to the barn, to his repair shop and also at times someone would put him on his Ford tractor and he would mow his pasture, which was very steep.

While I was there I mentioned that Bunners Ridge Riding Club was having 25 mile rides for fun and prizes. He said that in the 1920s he was a mail carrier and his route was 25 miles that he delivered on horseback every working day.

He rode from Rivesville to Arnettsville to Crown and looped around till he would be home—12 1/2 miles—for lunch. Then in the afternoon he would deliver to Barrackville and surrounding communities for another 121/2 miles. He said his horse knew the route; all he had to do was mount up, and the horse did the rest.

Mr. Eminger was a mail carrier in the area of Mellon Chapel Church in Dellslow. He used a Model A Ford for the job.

One day he saw a cardboard box in the road and rather than remove it he straddled it. When he got past the box he looked in the rearview mirror and to his surprise he saw it rise up and a little boy got out of it.

The boy lived nearby. He was the issue of George M. and Icie Pearl Leach. They had 20 children—10 boys and 10 girls. I don't know which one he was.

Austin Bagshaw was an airplane pilot in the WWI. When the war ended he took a job flying the U.S. mail in a biplane, more like a Pony Express update.

The postal service hung the mailbag on a rope between two poles. To save time, the pilot would drop a hook and take the mail into the plane without landing. (I remember when they still did this at Hart Field.)

Austin said there were three different times he had engine trouble and had to make emergency landings in farm fields. He was never injured so he just got out, took the mailbag and started walking to find help.

Small communities hung mail on a large ring to be picked up by railroad Post Office cars while they were en route without stopping.

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Ode To A Green Apple

"The best-laid schemes o' Mice an' Men
Gang aft a-gley" -Robert Burns

Wartime 1943, our country was involved in many endeavors of "home security." There were community task forces to police "black outs"; there were sirens to alert the people of pending drills; also, volunteers gave time to teach survival techniques, first aid, victory gardening, canning food, rolling bandages, and other necessary skills.

One such group was training for first aid at Suncrest Junior High at night. Mrs. P. H. Keck was the instructor. The lights from the classroom shone on the playground and boys gathered there to play games—mostly rough and tumble, to wrestle and just hang out. It was a nightly occurrence.

One night I arrived there with a large apple that was hard as a rock. After trying to eat it and giving up, the thought to throw it away came to mind; however, another thought also came to mind: have some fun with it. I told everyone to watch as the apple would fly right through the lower right windowpane.

The plan(!) was to wind up like a baseball pitcher, throw the apple against the wall just below the window and mash it to pieces. The windup was made, the throw was sent, and "horror of horrors" the plan went awry, and the apple went through the announced designated place.

It was like a magician had waved his wand and said, "Abracadabra"—everyone disappeared. They went running through the woods in the pitch dark, through briars higher than a horse, into a swamp along Pompano Run, across the creek to a path that led to Evansdale or Krepps Park, on to Evansdale and home.

A sleepless night was in store, fretting and waiting for a knock on the door and the police, but it did not happen.

What to do? To say there was no plan to break the window would be futile, for the brag had just been said, "Watch me do it," one moment before.

After we all deserted the school ground along came Andrew Nagy to join the play, not knowing what had transpired moments before. Someone spotted him and they grabbed him and accused him of the deed. He was completely innocent, but they would not believe him and told him they were going to prosecute him.

On the school bus the next day someone said that Andy was in trouble because he broke a window at the school and they caught him.

What to do? Now it was very clear; confess to the crime and take the medicine, because to let Andy take the fall was out of the question.

That evening, with a quarter in hand (enough to buy an 8 by 10 pane of glass then), Mr. Koontz, the school custodian, heard the story of the "plan" and how it went awry.

He believed it and would not take the quarter. He said he had several panes in his shop for replacement. He also said he would take care of explaining the mess to the school personnel. Another word about this incident was never heard.

It is easy to see why Mr. Koontz was a very special person as stated in the very first essay. His life exemplified what a Christian was. There was no fear in confessing this episode to him.

How nice it would be to have a majority of our society be nonjudgmental today. (Let us strive to be one of those!)

P.S. There was also some"good" luck in this shenanigan—the apple just missed a man sitting by the window and Mrs. Keck standing across the room.

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Gay Buseman

In 1920, at the age of 14, Gay Shoenherr had finished her formal education at Bakers Ridge one-room school. Nothing about this statement is earth shaking; it was the norm of all rural children at that time, and most of our country was very rural then.

She lived on West Run Road at the junction of St. Clair Road in a cottage that put you in mind of a fairy tale.

She was a small girl with lots of energy and ambition, but what could she do? And where would she do it?

Her first job was at Seneca Glass Co. on Beechurst Avenue, about two miles from home. She and her father walked. At the factory she carried ware from the layer to the packers. Being small, she was not strong enough to keep up with the production, but older workers there helped her do her job by carrying some for her. (How different the workplace was then.)

She married Harry Buseman when she was 17. At 18 her son, William, was born to that union. She and her husband, with Bob Kennel, started a paint and wallpaper business in downtown Morgantown with a store and paint contracting business.

The business grew and moved to several different locations, finally ending up on the Mileground.

Somewhere along the way she and Harry divorced, leaving her a single, but very able, mother, who developed skills that she enjoyed and employed.

She became a landlord for students in the area between Willey Street and Woodburn neighborhood. When a carpenter was needed, it was her. Whatever maintenance confronted her, she generally took care of it herself, regardless of what it was.

While renting to students she made it her purpose to encourage them by discounting their rent when they made the dean's list.

She learned many different crafts associated with paint—tole painting, graining, antiquing, marbling, spatter painting and others—and passed them on to her customers (I was one).

No one knows where the arrow fell, but it did not fall with out significance. Nor did the song disappear without a hearer. Vibrations never die. They are like the Energizer Bunny® they just "keep going and going." Youngsters may dream of making a difference with their lives and think of becoming a general, governor, doctor, or a person of the cloth, but more don't make it than do. However, everyone does make a difference. Each life puts in motion a force for good or evil that never ends. Perhaps that explains how a small boy sits down at a piano for the first time and plays a tune. He has been endowed with the vibrations of a distant past, a tune played by a maestro whose song still lives on.

Mrs. Buseman's life ended here on earth but the "vibes" started by her spirit live on. Perhaps in the year 2025, when a child picks up a book to learn, the teacher up front may be the result of her landlord discounting her rent while a student at WVU or just the association with the good, moral role model Mrs. Buseman was.

"The Arrow and the Song," by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, says it best:

I shot an arrow into the air
It fell to earth I know not where;
For, so swiftly it flew, the sight
I could not follow it in its flight.
I breathed a song into the air,
It fell to earth, I know not where;
For who has sight so keen and strong,
That it can follow the flight of song.
Long long afterward, in an oak,
I found the arrow, still unbroke;
And the song, from beginning to end,
I found again in the heart of a friend.

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What If?

"What if?" is a factor in everyone's life. The following is one of the "what ifs" in my life that causes me to dread the thought if it had ended in tragedy.

This tale is part of our camping trip referred to in my earlier story called "Camping."

While Jolly, Corny, and I were swimming in Second Hole we heard what sounded like thunder in the distance. The sun was bright and warm where we were. After climbing out onto the big, flat rock to get away from the creek's noise so we could hear better, the thunder was getting louder. Shortly the water began to rise a little. Then it became apparent that a flash flood was traveling downstream, making the thunder noises and carrying all sorts of trash along: logs, tree limbs, and other debris.

The wall of water was about 18 inches to 2 feet higher than the present level of the stream. To avoid being swamped by the onslaught, the hill behind the rock became a refuge.

After the water began to recede and the debris had cleared, it would be a thrill we thought to ride in the swift water from where we were to the shallow ripples and then get out.

From here on this tale becomes hard to relate, for it conjures up a cloud of dread and dismay. Seriously, telling this episode has always been hard, so the times have been few, but it has been on my mind many times.

The surprise of our "thrilling plan" that went astray was that there were no ripples or shallow water where it used to be.

The water was up to our knees and so swift it was impossible to get up because it kept washing suitable footing away. This left three boys "standing" on their hands and feet, like monkeys, trying to move but when a foot left its place to reach out for a step, the force was too strong for a three-point-stand and down we would go, tumbling and thrashing until we could get to our feet again.

Finally, through much effort, the three of us got together. The plan then was for two to hold and the third would advance a step. This maneuver, performed over and over, brought victory and safety on dry land, leaving us to wonder how we managed to succeed against such a force.

Now the dread. By this time we had advanced precariously close to First Hole and the flat rock mentioned before that the water swirled under. What if we had been carried under it? Certain death would have been the result.

The thought of the grief our families would have gone through because of this foolish thrill ride was almost too much for us after we had a chance to reflect on the consequences of this action. So this is where "what if?" comes in. The outcome would have been so different if we hadn't prevailed.

There was a dam upstream at the location where Camp Muffly is at present. We later surmised that it broke loose or was destroyed on purpose, thus providing the flash flood on a sunny afternoon.

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Coopers Rock Visitor

It was a hot summer day, too hot for hard labor, but a good day to go to Pennsylvania to get sheep and horse feed. Following 857 north across the old Cheat bridge, where the road passed under the 1-68 bridge, a person was taking respite from the heat, a very small, dark-skinned person who looked like an Asian.

After proceeding some distance, the thought came to mind that perhaps the person under the bridge may need some assistance, so I returned to the scene and was surprised to find that what I thought to be an Asian man was in fact a very small American woman.

More surprises followed. She only had one leg, and a very small four-wheel cart similar to a shopping cart that she was using for a walker. In the cart were some food items such as bread, cans of pop, canned sausages, peanut butter, some utensils, and also a small plastic tarp.

The next surprise: she was on her way to Coopers Rock campground. The bus had let her off on the Morgantown side of the bridge at its turning place and she had walked this far. She had no knowledge of where Coopers Rock was located. Someone had told her about the rock—that was all the information she had.

After explaining how far it was, mostly uphill in this heat, she was not the least bit discouraged. I told her I would take her to the on-ramp of I-68 and give her instructions on how to get on from there. We loaded her belongings in the truck and started off, with me thinking she could have a stroke or worse. She was not young, probably in her fifties or late forties.

Leaving her at the on-ramp of 1-68 in that hot sun was out of the question, so I decided to take her to the campground. On the way we talked—she said she was from Wyoming and was traveling to see the country. She had heard that the Catholic Friary on Tyrone Road had charismatic meetings on Tuesday nights, which she was hoping to attend, but that was four days away; so in conversation with someone, Coopers Rock became another destination in her travels.

Arriving at the camp, she said she would establish a residence and then go out to the rock. She refused an offer to go on to the rock then and said that later in the evening she would make the journey herself.

At no time did she seem overwhelmed by her situation of being a stranger with no transportation and being handicapped with only one leg. She seemed perfectly at ease.

After getting my order of feed in Pennsylvania, I stopped at the Friary on my way home and related this story to Father Jude, hoping that on Tuesday he could find someone to provide transportation for her.

End of story where I was concerned, but I often think of her and her courage.

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In 1935, we on Walnut Hill got new neighbors at the residence which previously housed the Bonner family, at the corner of University Avenue and Riverview Drive.

Stansbury was their name and lots of rumors came with them. They were rich, to begin with; Mr. Harry A. Stansbury was Athletic Director at WVU and made a big impact on that school. (The stadium, Mountaineer Field, on the downtown campus and the field house, later named Stansbury Hall, on Beechurst were two of his accomplishments.) Mr. Stansbury's salary was $5,000.00 per year at a time when $1,200.00 was average for working men for a year's salary, and for many, there was no reliable income at all.

Photo of Stansbury Hall—probably finished in late 1928

Photo of the WVU Field house—probably finished in late 1928. Later renamed to Stansbury Hall.
Source: WV History On

Stansburys had two cars: one a Lincoln with fold-down seats in the middle and a Model A Ford coupe with a rumble seat. They had use for the extra seating if they traveled together.

There were eight children from five years to perhaps 19 years old. Their names were—from the oldest down—Harry, Bud, Mary, Edward, Patricia, Bill, James and Samuel.

They were a friendly and generous family, very well liked in the community. Ornery was a rumor that preceded the little ones (like there were no ornery kids in our neighborhood before). They bought several cases (24 bottles each) of Coca Cola at a time; and in the evening when they treated themselves, they also treated any kids present. Mr. Stansbury furnished the kids with a used football from WVU every year, and a basketball in that season as well. They kept the ball in their house, but even when they weren't using it, they let anyone who wanted to play have it.

We had the use of the basement of their large garage for a club house. We used it off and on when the need arose. The upstairs was three cars wide, and when the cars were out we used that part as an inside basketball court and for any other games that we could play. When the weather was good, we played outside. The wide place at the bottom of Riverview Drive was where we played basketball. Their side yard, the vacant lot along the road and the "Big Tree" were places we played football (tackle!).

All sizes of kids played. The big boys chose sides, and they placed boys of similar size against each other in the line. The only safety requirement was if you had shoes with steel heelplates and toeplates, you couldn't play. That was the only restriction. I only remember one boy getting hurt. Bill Sands got his collarbone broken in a field by Evansdale School.


Evansdale Elementary School—circa 1980s

A few times Mr. Stansbury took all the kids present for a car ride. That was a real treat. Once he took us to Coopers Rock and said "50¢ for the first one to see a deer." His son Sam and I spotted a deer at the same time so it was 25¢ each.

The steps from the curb up to the front of their house was a good place for us to sit and mull over our aims for the near future. One particular day we were experimenting with chewing tobacco and spitting profusely when, without notice, Mr. Stansbury drifted to a stop right at the steps. He got out and stood in the middle of our group. From the evidence, he saw what we were up to, so he just stood there and smiled at us but did not speak. Finally, the juice was building up in our mouths, and when he thought we were at our limit, he said, "OK, boys, swallow it." We did, and that act finished our experiment with chewing tobacco.

One thing that amuses me yet is when I asked Sammy what kind of tobacco it was, he said, "Monkey Skin or something like that." It was really Tiger Stripe.

Stansburys were generous to let us play in their house— marbles in the master bedroom, plays in other rooms, hide-and-seek in a large house. One time Bill tried to go down the clothes chute but got stuck. We finally got him out, but it wasn't easy.

All of my memories are pleasant of them except those of Bill, who was older than Jim, Sam and me; he would bully us at times. Pat and Mary were very pretty girls, and they took time to notice us, which gave us great joy.

I could write much more but I would still not be able to cover everything, so I'll let this small sketch suffice for a sample.

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Thoney Pietro

Every time we meet someone new our life changes, for better or worse.

In 1951 we moved to the house we still live in; our nearest neighbor was just across the street. His name was Thoney Pietro, an Italian immigrant who came to this country as a young man of 19 with only 50¢.

Thoney Pietro1878-1972

Thoney Pietro 1878-1972
Source: WV History On

Thoney's real name was Ferdinando Pitassi. A boss on one of his earliest jobs called all Italians "Tony," so Thoney gave it an unusual spelling and he kept it.

When I first met him he was 73 years old, retired and ready to play, for he had no playtime in his life before this. His play was to see how many ways he could use stone on a parcel of land connected to his lawn. It was like a park with stone tables and chairs, a love seat carved into a large rock and many little statues with mirrors as glass gear-shift-knobs were embedded in them. There was a nativity scene on a rock ledge that he covered with a slab from a large boulder as a roof and many more things.

Thoney came to the United States with a group of his countrymen to work on a railroad. He didn't realize that he was working on a job that was on strike. He said he noticed men on both sides of the job carrying clubs. It worried him, so after work he inquired of their reason and found that he was being used as a strikebreaker.

He quit right away to avoid trouble and got a job working on paving roads for automobiles.

Not being able to understand English was very troublesome. His boss told him to go to the toolbox and bring a coil of rope that lay there. When he got to the toolbox, he said there was both a coil of rope and a large timber similar to a railroad tie by the box. He made a guess of which one he was after. The tie won. After struggling trying to carry it, then drag it, finally he got up to the job with it. The boss saw him having much difficulty but said nothing until he got it all the way there. Then, he told him to take it back and get the rope. Someone who spoke his language explained it to him.

That incident made him determined to learn English, so when his work was done, he watched others still on the job, listened to what a man said and then watched what the action was. For instance, if a boss said, "Get a wheelbarrow," he would repeat over and over, "Get a wheelbarrow," and look to see what took place. This was how he learned English.

I'm sure I could not learn Italian by this method, or I don't think I could.

Thoney began to fit in but wasn't satisfied to be at the bottom of the pay scale, so at lunch he would eat his food in five minutes, then go to the pavement and practice laying bricks for 25 minutes like the journeymen did. Soon he was able to keep up, and the boss gave him a bricklaying job.

In those days, crews took pride in how much they could accomplish in a shift. After work they would check how other crews compared to them. With this kind of competition, he became more and more proficient and then he challenged a large man in Washington, Pennsylvania, who was considered the champion of a contest.

The common system was to have tenders to bring bricks and stack them ahead of the layers in stacks of four bricks high. That way he could stay on his knees until he reached the far curb. Then, of course, he had to walk back and start a new set.

Thoney told his 18 tenders to bring him five bricks instead of four. His competition was far up the street and couldn't see what was happening. All day they both worked across and walked back. After a while, Thoney let his opponent gain a trip on him. Later, he gave him another trip, so when they quit eight hours and 15 minutes later, the other man was sure he won.

Thoney won the contest, but the other man wanted to fight because he knew he made more trips than Thoney. He didn't know Thoney was laying five bricks to his four.

Thoney laid 136 bricks a minute for the full eight hours and 15 minutes and passed the world record for 10 full hours.

Many things happened to him; the following story is one of them. He was arrested as a spy during World War II because somebody reported that he raised the Italian flag on one side of his house, then raised the American flag on the other side of the house. They said he had a shortwave radio to communicate with Mussolini. Knowing Thoney, I'm sure he couldn't even turn it on, let alone speak to anyone in Italy.

His defense for the flag incident was, "If you don't love your real mother, how could you love your adopted mother." Also, he said the Italian flag was raised first so it would be ready to salute the American flag when it went up. He was full of this kind of quick thinking, which made him very interesting to listen to.

If there was a place in his life for love, he certainly had a commodity to fill the space. Thoney loved stone! He did not just like it; he actually loved it, and to see what he created with stone proves it.

He taught me to appreciate stone and some of the ways to work it. One thing he said about working stone was to take your time and you will get done in a little while. If you get in a hurry, you will never get done. I think that works with life in general.

Certainly he affected my life for good, and I'm thankful that I had the privilege to know him.

One more story about the bricks!

A girl from WVU told him she didn't believe his brick laying record, so he said for her to come back the next day and bring a stopwatch. Thoney searched the neighborhood over and could find only 12 bricks, which he stacked as mentioned before. When she came, he laid the bricks in less than a minute. He was 76 at that time.

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The Morgantown Glassware Guild

Shown here is the Seneca Addition neighborhood, the glass factories along the Monongehela River
and the beehive brick kilns at the bottom of 8th steet.
Source: WV History On

Walnut Hill and adjoining communities were suffering in the Great Depression of the 1930s. Quite a lot of the workforce in that area were journeymen glassworkers. However, the glass factories, mostly in Seneca, were closed.

A man named Samuel Hayden came to the rescue with an offer that today would be turned down flat in our present work atmosphere.

Mr. Hayden approached the idle Morgantown Glass Company workers with the following offer: "If they would reopen the factory and produce ware without receiving any pay until the production found sales, he would furnish the capital to buy material and pay fixed costs, then they would receive shares of ownership comparable to the time they spent before the company became solvent."

Since these men and women were not working and had no income, they accepted. (A lot of faith was needed by all parties, that each would live up to their agreement until success was achieved.) Thus "The Morgantown Glassware Guild" was born, and it flourished for many years.

They worked three months without pay, but their shares produced bonuses each year in excess of their actual wages.

Glass companies were users of a large part of the Morgantown workforce. Other companies were Beaumont Glass, Seneca Glass, Mississippi Glass, Davis Lynch, Star City Glass and Van Voorhis Glass. There was a large company, Houze Glass, in Point Marion, Pennsylvania; also, there was Owens Illinois Glass in Fairmont.

Gentile Glass was a specialty company in Star City. They produced paperweights, glass animals, specialty goblets, etc. Other specialties were made in Morgantown factories after regular work was done for the day; some artisans would stay later and make special glass pieces.

The glassworkers also stayed overtime (no pay) to teach one evening a week if someone wanted to learn more skill. They taught workers to gather, block, blow and finish. It was amazing to watch a finisher pull stems out of a goblet. The bit gatherer would hold a little blob of glass for him to cut off and make a foot. Such generosity does not exist today.

Since Morgantown Glass Company was owned by the workers, they made their own rules. They took a morning break and mid-afternoon break. During each break the person who "carried in" would take a bucket from each shop to "Mutts" Beer Garden and they would pass it around until it was gone. They drank from the bucket.

There was a series of "shops" around the large furnace. Each had an opening and a glass pot. Each shop had a blower, gatherer, blocker, bit gatherer, finisher and a carry—in person (usually a beginner). He would carry the ware from the shop to the layer, an oven with a moving bottom that tempered the glass as it journeyed to the back end of the factory. The women would take the ware off, inspect it and package it for delivery.

A lot of people worked there. Mr. O'Dell was the pattern maker, and made wood patterns for the foundry to make molds.

A. W. Thompson was the blacksmith, and kept everything in repair and made new tools for the trade—pipes, shears, etc. People would mix the sand batches for each pot according to what color they would need.

Glass cutters cut beautiful designs in the ware with grinding wheels. Etchers did the same thing with acid.

So you can see, not including salespeople and transportation, the glass industry made a large contribution to the economy of Morgantown.

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Edmund H. Flowers

Radio Press was the name of a company located in Morgantown that had customers around the world.

With a customer list so extensive, it would be easy to think that it was a large company, but that impression would go away upon locating the printing shop. It was located at 224 Wall Street (the building is gone now); the dimensions, while not exact, were in the range of 10 feet wide by 20 feet long.

While this factory would be small for a worldwide business, this space also included a radio repair shop with all of the necessary equipment to fix radios. This part of the business took approximately one—third of the space.

The remaining two thirds housed a case of loose type, a "slate" to assemble type on, an offset printing press, a large paper cutter and a place to package production for delivery. Also, above the printing press a floor was made with a removable stepladder to get onto it, and that was the office for the companies.

Edmund H. Flowers was the owner of both businesses; in addition he had a poultry hatching business, and if he needed something to fill his "spare" time, he was building a new print shop and covering his house on the Grafton Road at the top of Ridgedale Hill with stone.

The Press produced tags for radio shops with a string to tie them to the customer's radio and a tear off strip with matching numbers for the owner.

I learned to set type by hand and how to run the offset printer—that is what I was hired to do. But if we caught up with orders, he would take me out to his farm to work on the new stone shop or on the covering of his house with stone, and this is how we did the work:

First, we would take his tractor and wagon, go south on 119 almost to McBee Service Station, gouge large chunks of sandstone out of the road bank there, load the wagon, return to the farm, crush the stone chunks with a sledge hammer, and then sift the sand through a screen. This was how we made sand for cement. Mr. Flowers furnished the roosters for his hatching business, but the layers were contracted by farmers. So we had to go to each farm to blood test the hens for pullorum disease, which meant I had to catch them and bring them to him so he could vaccinate for chicken pox and take the blood sample.

Mr. Flowers had a very fertile mind. He grasped education on many subjects and put the knowledge to work. He was a pioneer in the television business in Morgantown.

He told me the reason that he came to Morgantown from Iowa was because West Virginia was dry (no whiskey or beer) and the tuition at WVU was only $40.00 a semester.

To say that he was a man of many talents would be putting it mildly. He was one of the best-educated men I ever knew.

Mr. Flowers was very outspoken on subjects near to his heart, especially on politics. He was a diehard Republican whose main radio announcer was Fulton Lewis Jr., a totally biased newsman. The crowded little space with four employees tumbling over each other had a lot of sharp comers. Mr. Flowers had no hair and when he bumped his head, generally he cut his scalp, so he fastened little, thick pieces of rubber on all of the sharp places.

When he then bumped his head, he laughed and told us how well his little project worked.

I found Mr. Flowers to be fair and decent in all his dealings; however, his personality was one of "red-hot to ice-cold" all in just five minutes.

His daughter, Ellen, put the strings in the tags and packaged and prepared all of the production for mailing; also, she could set type and run the press as well. She had a crochet hook on a block of wood; she would put a stack of tags over the hook, and holding a short, doubled string in her left hand, she would pull a tag up and off of the hook and it would be tied, a maneuver I have tried to recreate since but to no avail.

I liked him, respected him and think of his wife and daughter and him in very favorable ways. However, we clashed quite often because of his "hot-cold" ways, and I could not consider long-time employment in that environment. Mr. Flowers also had four boys whom I did not know personally—Ralph, George, Robert and Russell.

There were no two days alike. We did several jobs every day. (At least it was an interesting job.)

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"The Professors"

In the 1930s there was a baseball team in almost every community; Evansdale was no exception.

The location of the ball diamond was the playground of Evansdale Elementary School. Home plate was where one of the student towers is now. The outfield extended to Oakland Street and beyond.

Teams were cheap entertainment and strengthened the fiber of the neighborhood. The team in Evansdale was called "The Professors"; the name was indicative of the makeup of Evansdale. Many professors settled there because it was close to WVU and out of Morgantown city limits, meaning no city taxes.

Not all of the players were professors. The skill players were brought in from as far away as Star City or across University Avenue in the old fairground.

The professors that played were: Rex Ford, Harold Hyre, Dr. Pohlman, Dr. Livasey, and Casey Westover. The pitcher, Johnny Hall, was from Star City. The catcher, Julius Sass, was from the old fairground; third base was Bob Bonner; Bob Smith played in the outfield.

Other teachers who lived in Evansdale and supported their comrades were Legs Hawley, Assistant Athletic Director; T. D. Gray, College of Agriculture; Professor Beckett; Professor Harris and Professor Stevens.

Albert Kuhn of Rawley Avenue bought the "fixins" for making root beer and taught his boys how to make it. Bobbie and Dickie were their names. They brought their root beer to the games in their wagon bottled in Ketchup bottles (they had a capper for them). The drinks were not cold.

On game day people lined up from third base to home plate along the out-of-bounds line to cheer and watch the game. Bob Grub was kneeling in that crowd when a foul ball hit him in the head; to me, he appeared dead and everyone was worried, but soon he began to move and after a little while he seemed OK and all was well in Evansdale.

Another memory of that time frame:

I left before the game was over and was walking alone up the middle of Rawley Avenue. As I passed by Adelaide Kuhn's house, she was standing in her yard holding her dog Bill, a "Lassie" collie-type. I was never afraid of Bill. I heard a scratching in the gravel. When I looked around I saw her dog coming with his head low to the ground, not barking but growling. I had a cigar box in my hands and I instinctively held it up. The dog took it away from me, and as he fell back down, he began ripping my clothes and my legs. Miss Kuhn was quick to get him stopped, but I had no pants and my legs were bleeding.

The trousers the dog destroyed were my first pair of denim pants that had no bib, and I was happy to get them. Miss Kuhn stopped at our house the next day and gave my mother a new pair, but to my dismay they were bib overalls.

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Sam Stansbury

I learned recently that a childhood chum died on June 30, 2007, in New Mexico. His name was Sam Stansbury, one of eight children of Harry and Ada Stansbury. I was closest to him and his brother Jim. Sam was two years younger than Jim and me. He was born November 24, 1929.

The following are a few snapshots of memory that I have enjoyed reliving from time to time:

Sam was the smallest of all of our gang. He feared that he would not get tall enough to play basketball, but he put those fears to rest when the years passed.

Sam was easy to know and easy to like because he was generous and clever and he fit into our gang. His smallness was not a measure of his athletic ability. When the "big" boys would choose up sides for football, Sam was chosen before some of the bigger boys because of his talent and desire to win. Being small gave him an edge for getting into the other team's backfield. I never saw anyone who could tackle as well as he did. He slipped into their backfield and hit the runner very low, tying his feet together as well as a cowboy would lasso the hind feet of a steer. There was not extra yardage because the ball carrier fell like a stunned beef.

In basketball Sam could steal the ball from anyone, but it was hard to get the ball away from him. Sam was a competitor in everything he entered into; also, he enjoyed a little excitement.

Once Sam's dad gave him a ticket to the football game on the side of the press box. The ticket cost $1.60. No one in our gang had a ticket or any money. When Sam found out that we were going to sneak in, he went to the line of people buying tickets and sold his for $1.00 and went with us to sneak in.

We had a hole under the bowl end of the stadium where 11/2 blocks were left out of a support wall down close to the ground. We were small enough to crawl through. Once in, we brushed the dust off and mingled with the crowd until game time. During the halftime Sam took his money from the ticket and bought us each a coke.

Sam was a gracious winner but a terrible loser. He would cuss and sometimes cry even to lose at anything—marbles, Monopoly, mumbly peg, dice (craps), whatever.

Another thing, when we all came out of a movie with no money, hungry but too proud to beg, Sam had no qualms about it. He went up the street begging. Finally, he got a dime, went to the Cosmopolitan Lunch, bought two hot dogs and divided them equally among four of us.

I remember that his brother Bill died in 1940 on his sister's birthday. It was his first up close encounter of the inevitable and he grieved exceedingly hard, uncontrollably for a while, but time settled him down.

One thing we could count on was if there was adventure or competition, Sam would be there. Halloween was adventure because we did bad things to people who scolded us through­ out the year. We kept a mental file on them, and we started pay­ back about October 1 (enough said on this subject).

Sam was a factor in my life for a short time, and then he moved away. I never saw him again, but the light of his life still shines into mine. I find that everyone I have known has shed light into my life—some a twinkling, others blinding. Between these two extremes, most fall. Sam was higher than half way in the time frame that our lives were present together.

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"I've Been Working On The Railroad"

In the fall of the year 1943 the war was exhausting the civilian workforce to a point of desperation.

The B&O Railroad needed laborers to cut the right-of-way (40 feet on each side of the track); also, they needed track men (gandy dancers).

A notice was posted at Morgantown High School about the need and said that there was work there for those who wanted it on weekends and holidays.

I answered the ad and was hired by the man I would learn so much from about what a boss should be. His name was Ralph Laughead. He had spent his working years on the railroad, in the office and on the track. He was a stern man who expected 60 minutes of work from every hour. If he got it he was amiable, but if not you were fired.

In those days there was no protection from a union. The boss was the first and last word so far as your tenure on the track was concerned.

The pay was 65¢ per hour straight time, no time-and-a-half for overtime. It was the most money I had ever made up until then.

Archie Howell and I were teamed together to work the two­ man crosscut saw. We were allowed to work together every time we came because the crosscut saw needs teamwork, and the more two men worked together the better they could saw. Everyone else worked with brush hooks, axes and shovels.

That winter was cold. We dressed in layers—several flannel shirts—and as the body heated up from exercise, I would take one off.

Everything we cut was piled and set on fire; that was great for lunchtime. We would have a warm place to sit and eat.

After the right-of-way was cut, all of the boys still working were laid off; however, there was a place or two on the regular gang, and I got to work with them for an extra week.

The Morgantown section was six miles long from near where the Arboretum comes to the track to about 3/ 4 mile above Uffington.

There were three cars loaded with ashes to be put on the track for ballast, but we couldn't use it because it was frozen solid. As luck would have it, the day after Christmas a carload of Christmas trees had come into the freight yard.

John Black was the assistant track boss and was elected to stay over and burn those trees under the cars of ashes; he asked me to stay and work with him. I was glad to do it.

It was the first Sunday of January and had been raining steadily all day; we were already very wet, but at least it wasn't as cold as it had been.

The trees were in bundles of three, and we started two fires under each car by the drop doors. We didn't untie the bundles. We just put a whole bundle in every time the fire burned down enough to get it in.

The rain continued to fall, so we would fire up, then crawl under the end of the cars where they sloped to the bottom for a little shelter; however, the smoke almost made us stay in the rain.

John Black was a "rounder." At about 2:00 a.m. Monday he wanted a drink of whiskey, so he took me with him up town to a brothel (he knew them all). A "lady" was cleaning up the kitchen. She had us sit down, and she served John his drink. While they talked I began to see and hear of a world that had only been heard of before.

Back at the freight yard (where Waterfront Plaza is now) we continued to burn trees until the regular crew came to work at 7:00 a.m. Monday.

The "work train" (one engine, a coal car and a caboose) pulled in and hooked to the three cars. We all got in the caboose and headed up the track almost to Uffington.

We pushed a large "drag tie" under the back of each car as it was unloaded. The tie was used to smooth the ballast even with the rails.

About 1:00 p.m., as we were unloading the third car, I backed away from the tie; I was getting awfully tired. Mr. Loughead said since I was on the payroll, I had to help push the tie under the car; thus he lived up to his reputation of expecting 60 minutes work for 60 minutes pay.

He was not cross about it; as a matter of fact, he gave me a sandwich from his own lunch. That proved to be the only thing to eat since the day before.

Quitting time was a welcome relief. Tired, dirty and wet, I wanted to get on the bus for home; I didn't think walking was an option since the road home was all up hill.

While waiting for the bus someone offered me a ride. After explaining how his car would probably suffer, he still said "get in." So kneeling on the floor in the backseat made the trip the least dirty to his car.

Many people with cars in those days put people first. For years I tried to do that also. Today that is a dangerous business.

I really enjoyed the little time that I spent on the railroad and would have liked to stay longer. It was a wish I had, but alas, it was not to be. However, the people whom I met—their personalities, manners, etc—were a great learning experience because it was totally different than any other endeavor in which I was involved up until that time.

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H. C. Baker Hardware
"If it's hardware, we have it."

After B&O Railroad discontinued part-time work, H. C. Baker Hardware, Inc. hired me to work evenings after school and Saturdays to learn to wait on customers and to clean bins and sweep the store at quitting time.

There is no doubt that a complete hardware store ( such as H. C. Baker) was an opportunity to gain an education by the "hands on" method, one that I much prefer to "book learning." The staff of the store consisted of Miss Minnie, bookkeeper; John Jacobs, owner; Grant Jacobs, John's older brother, who checked all merchandise in and marked it if it wasn't too heavy to put on the shelves and "Pete" Harold Easterday, a nephew to the Jacob brothers, was the glue that kept everything together and running smoothly. Harold Jacobs, John's son, was in the service but planned to resume some leadership role upon his discharge. Delmar Smith ("Smitty") was the man at the warehouse on Clay Street.

Working with this crew was a joy, for there was not one moment of acrimony.

In the summer my part-time schedule was turned to full­ time.

Some of the older generation of customers became teachers in my hardware education. They would ask for strange things to stump me like gimlets, lamp mantles, every kind of screw and nail, water glass, spoke shaves and oakum.

The inventory included hunting supplies, guns, ammunition, cleaning rods, special oils, fishing supplies, casting rods, fly rods, line, flies, jigs, spinners, plugs, tools, electrical supplies, paint and related items and crockery. Crocks were sold by the gallon. Stone jars were sold at 25¢ per gallon, 10-gallon jars at $2.50, nails at 15¢ a pound or $12.00 per cwt. (hundredweight). Just before I joined the company, they sold explosives which they kept in a magazine in Evansdale. They also sold canning goods, jars, pressure cookers, kitchen supplies, window glass, horse­ drawn plows, hay mowers, replacement parts for all of the things they sold, mower knives, Pitman rods, shoe guards, plow shares, mold boards, paints, beams, chains, hooks, carbide and carbide lights, coal picks and coal augers. This gives you an idea; there isn't enough paper to list everything.

Toys were a very big item before everyone got into it. The basement was practically all taken with toys, and Delmar Smith came up from the warehouse to play Santa Claus. He was fat with a big voice.

Sam Mason replaced Smitty at the warehouse at Christmas time. After Christmas and inventory came seeds, all loose in bags—100 pounds of beans, corn and peas; 50 pounds of smaller seeds; 25 pounds of smaller seeds yet: lettuce, beets, cabbage, etc.

All of the seeds were sold and weighed as each customer ordered. It was tedious work—1/4 ounce, 1/2 ounce, 1/4 pound, 1/2 pound. The job had to have relief workers. Mrs. Gabbert from River Road and Mrs. Grant Jacobs gave their services. The lines of customers were as long as the store all day. We rotated behind the counter.

Harold Crow came to work in 1944 also. Aside from working as a boy on a dairy and some summer work on the B&O, he spent his working life (42 years) at the hardware, leaving in 1986 when the store was closed.

John Jacobs would treat everyone to a picnic occasionally at the backwater of Cheat Lake. John related this story about visiting people named Hostetter at Cheat View Firetower. While there, he went down to the cliff and carved a picture of a deer on a rock. While he was carving, he heard a large explosion. He didn't know what it was but later discovered it was the powder mill at Fairchance, Pennsylvania. Of the 34 employees, 27 people died. The date was September 5, 1909, which he carved in the rock that day. He had a large spike and a hammer to work with. About 1955, with Harold Crow driving, we all piled in the back of the company truck. John sat in the seat next to Harold. All the rest, plus some extra people, rode in the truck bed. There was no pavement; the road was very rough.

When we had gone as far as the truck could go, we had to walk 1/ 4 to 1/2 mile. John was near 90 years old, but he fared very well. We went to the rock and he brushed some leaves and dirt off of it and there was his deer.

John Jacobs rock art

The above photos were with the 2007 edition housed in the Aull Center in Morgantown. ~mb

CURRENT Photo of Deer Rock

Here is a more recent photo of the rock which was carved by John Jacobs.
It was taken 16 year after the one above in July of 2023. ~mb

John had a lot of stories to tell and told them very well—too bad no one wrote them down.

Lum and Abner was the name of a comic show on the radio. On the show they had a store called "The Jottem Down Store." Many people who were acquainted with Baker's Hardware and Lum and Abner made the connection of the two places. It was a "Jottem Down Store." I have always held all of the people at the store, plus many regular customers, with the highest esteem and love.

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The Homestead

There was no welfare program in those days, but relatives and neighbors generally saw that no one went hungry or naked.

When my wife, Etta, and I moved to Tyrone Road in 1951, there were only a few family names in the community. Shaffer, Dunn, Wolfe, Sanders, Mayfield and Phillips were the predominate names.

It was difficult to find anyone who had no kin in the area. We were really the only people who were unrelated to anyone. Over the years things slowly changed. A few new families came. Then, like the rest of the country, things picked up. Better roads, bus service and more automobiles made it possible to live in the country and work in the city. Now there is hardly a place left to build a garage.

The house we bought was built in 1892 by Sam Shaffer. It is my understanding that Tyrone was his middle name. Sam had a general store and was the postmaster in the room that we use for a living room. To give the place an address, he used his middle name, so the name of the area became Tyrone.

The natives mentioned before were some of the best people I have ever known, and there is an interesting story in every family.

Recently, however, I was talking with Beth France who bought the Marsh Mayfield farm 3 1/2 miles up Snake Hill from Tyrone Road. That prompted me to write this essay.

Marshall and Della were natives of the area at a time when neighborhoods took care of their own. Their lives demonstrated what Sam Walter Fass was writing about in his poem "House by the Side of the Road" that ends with these words, "and be a friend to man." Their house was close to the road, and if anyone passing by had a need for food or lodging, they could find both at their place.

They had no children but raised two boys—Glen Mayfield, a nephew; and Paul Allen Michaels, perhaps a relative too. Marsh and Della gave both of them some land.

Marsh worked at Cascade Coke Ovens and farmed also. He did custom farm work with his equipment—cutting, raking and baling hay for people like me who had no equipment.

I had him cut and bale a field for me; Glen drove his tractor. The field was owned by Masciola Estate at the beginning of the Snake Hill Road near Jeff Hayden Road.

Everything was satisfactory but I wasn't on hand when they finished, so I had to look him up to pay them. When I heard he and Glen were working for Harv Chisler, I went to his place to pay him, but he and Harv were drinking whiskey. They were on the basement floor and couldn't get up, so I deferred to pay because I was afraid he wouldn't remember it. Later, I ran into him on the road and paid up.

A story! A friend of his whose name was Gibson got drunk at Marsh's house and got out of control, so Marsh put a chain around his neck, locked it and locked the other end around a nearby telephone pole and left him there all night. That experience ended their friendship.

The word was that sometimes when he was drinking, he would break into the church and leave money in the collection plate (probably true).

Marsh was a very tough man, and drinking caused him to suffer from the elements.

Ralph Cale said that one very cold morning he went to his garage to get his truck. When he raised the door, there he stood face-to-face with Marsh who had been there all night. Ralph took him home.

Percy Cale said that one day Marsh drove by on a cold winter day with deep snow. He hit the bank, the door flew open and Marsh fell out. Percy got him back together and started him again; Marsh fell out again, so they took him home.

Ralph and Percy were his nephews. Marsh had many relatives in the area. He was one of 10 children of George McGruder Mayfield. The boys were 0. M., Mims, Allyson and Bryson. The girls were Viney, Lucy, Hallie, Gerty (Ralph and Percy's mother) and Dessie.

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Sam Mason
(Plant Man Extraordinaire)

Sam was a huckster, an endeavor that doesn't exist anymore. Hucksters called on houses and sold produce from their gardens, generally using horse and buggy or open pickup trucks as their market on wheels.

During the Depression, Sam was put in charge of the area's Works Progress Administration (WPA) Victory Garden program to aid the country through the shortages caused by WWII. He helped people develop garden plots and gave instructions to those who were beginners.

The trouble that he encountered was that there was no good place to get bedding plants. Sam had two acres on 119 South close to where Ramada Inn is now. It was entirely inside the right-of­way for 1-68, so it is gone now.

Sam began to make hot beds, cold frames and a vineyard. He furnished plants for the "V" Gardens. After the war and after the WPA dissolved, he continued to grow and sell plants as his sole means of income.

Sam worked closely with WVU for information and instructions on creating sterilized growing medium. First, he built a large pan to put dirt, compost and manure in and cooked it to kill any germs or blight organisms. Then he used a blowtorch to clean the insides of his beds. Most of his winter was spent doing these chores, but he raised very nice plants and always gave good measure (baker's dozen—13) to his customers; also, he would throw in a handful of beet plants as a bonus. His plants sold for 15¢ a dozen. He also had sweet potato plants for sale at a little higher price, plus grapes for jelly and wine in late summer.

There was a bus that went to Grafton every morning that he rode to work. A return trip was not at a convenient time, so he would walk or get a ride with someone along the road.

Sam liked to invent or improve tools to work his trade. For example, he had a pair of shears that he cut strawberry runners with while in a standing position. He also invented some very odd gate latches just for fun. It pleased him when no one could figure out his gate latches; they were like combination locks. The moves that opened them had to be in a certain sequence. Boys from the Ag. School at WVU visited him one day and couldn't get through the gate. He got a lot of good out of that.

Sam always tried to get something going with me. One day he came into the hardware store and talked about a lot of rabbit tracks in the snow at his farm. Then he said to me, "I bet 50¢ I can catch a rabbit tomorrow." Finally, after much bragging about how sure he was, I gave in and made the bet. John Jacobs held the stakes.

The next day, when Sam went to his place, he could see that he had been successful in his trapping endeavor even before he got through the gate.

Normally he worked until mid-afternoon in the winter, but that day he could hardly work at all. He kept thinking about bringing that rabbit in and shaking it under my nose, so he left early. He got a ride, and while they were driving to town, he told the man who gave him a ride all about the wager.

When he came in he practically ran to me, waving the rabbit. Then, after crowing for a while, he went to John to get the money, which John wouldn't give him. He said Sam had already caught the rabbit before he bet. Sam never quit complaining about being rooked out of 50¢, which he had more fun crying about than if it had been paid.

When Sam told a story it was·filled with descriptive language that was funny, and everyone enjoyed listening to him talk. I don't remember all the phrases now but wish I did. One phrase he used to describe "a long time" was "'til who tied the dog loose." Another occurred when he was selling produce to a customer; a neighbor woman came, he said, with a "tongue as long as your leg," meaning she talked constantly. There were many more.

Sam retired and, like us all, faded away, but his memory still picks me up when he comes to mind.

It would be nice if we all could leave that kind of memory.

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He said that as a small boy in Virginia he lived in a brothel over a lunch counter. There were eight people living in one room. This lifestyle is hard to understand in our present situation of plenty and affluence.

I'm sure he didn't have much formal education; however, he showed the world that you can learn a lot by being observant and by not causing any trouble—just by noticing what is taking place around you and remembering lessons taught by seeing them acted out on the stage of life.

Most of everyone's education comes not from the structured education system but by observing life, even those who graduate "cum laude." I knew Fred was a deacon at St. Stephen's Baptist Church in Shriver on Scotts Run, so I called him "Deacon." 1963 was the year that the Methodist Church accepted my application to preach as a lay pastor until I could finish their correspondence course for a license to preach (the first three books).

During the first years, when guidance was critical, Deacon was there with advice and encouragement. The best advice was "remember short is always good."

Deacon Walker was custodian of the offices and the sales­ room at General Woodworking Company (GWC). There were times when we could visit together because everyone else was out of the office or salesroom.

Stories about his life seemed comical sometimes but while living through them, it wasn't funny. Looking back, hard times always become good times.

One time an argument between his wife (Alice) and him produced this scene. She had a cup hooked on her finger, the table was between them and she kept stalking him and waving the cup when one of his daughters got a lump of coal and gave it to her mother and took the cup. She said, "Don't throw that cup. It is the only one with a handle that we have left." There were two people in our office who were so insecure in their own lives that they thought they had to put him down (that's a sign of insecurity), but their barbs fell off him like they were never there at all. This infuriated them more.

One day when he and I were alone in the office I heard him say, "That Tom is going to cause me to go to heaven!" I asked, "How?" He said, "Because he keeps me praying and forgiving." I learned a lesson there. I looked at people who are always stir­ ring up the water in a different way altogether. That was a great lesson to me. Look at situations from another angle, and blood pressure is easier to control.

I am not trying to make a saint out of him for he had human faults like everyone else. He just saw things in a way to gain spiritually.

One of the saddest days of his life occurred when going home he saw his house on fire. The first thing he thought of was that mementos from his boy who had died were lost. He would have given the house but not the memories in his dresser drawer, but it was too hot to retrieve them.

One time he had to leave work because he had the "back door trots." He went to the company doctor. The nurse said, "What's the matter, Fred, have you got diarrhea?" He said, "No, ma'am." She said, "How are your bowels?" He said, "Just like water." She gave him some medicine and sent him home.

When he got home he asked his wife why the nurse asked about his teeth, then related the conversation he had with her. She said he misunderstood. Diarrhea registered as pyorrheaan inflammation of the sockets of the teeth—in his mind. He said he was too embarrassed to see the nurse again.

Deacon Walker appreciated every little thing that someone did for him. I took him home from our company's Christmas party and you would think I had given him the world with a fence around it.

I never heard Deacon brag on anything that he ever did or on anything in his situation—except his wife, Alice. He thought she was the prettiest woman in the world.

One evening when he went home Alice met him at the door.

He said he knew something was wrong and asked her what it was. She pointed to their bedroom. Inside he saw a man he knew, sitting on his bed with a sack between his feet. The sack had several chickens in it that the man had stolen, and then he said he got as scared as his wife. This sounds very minor in our world today with all of the crime, but then it was grave danger for a black man to steal something and get caught.

I never heard him brag about how hard he worked or the inconveniences of his life he endured. He accepted everything as it was and tried to fit in.

The last I saw him was long after I left GWW. His head was down and he didn't look up. I said, "Is that you, Deacon?" He said, "Yes, is that you, Bill?" I was glad he remembered me.

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Us Navy And Other Jobs

There were five boys from Monongalia County who enlisted in the US Navy, sworn in July 12, 1945. The European war was just over, but Japan was still going.

We were the last group of boys allowed to enlist in the navy for the duration of the war plus six months; anyone after that had to specify how many years they were willing to serve—three or four.

It appeared that the US was going to have to invade Japan's homeland, which would have been a disastrous campaign. Many Americans and Japanese would be killed; surely it would have been the biggest battle of the Pacific war.

Harry Truman was the president of the USA and really an unknown quantity. He did not inspire the masses because no one knew anything about him. He was a senator from Missouri; that's all we knew. I have told many people that he may have saved my life and the lives of countless thousands of American and Japanese people.

He discovered that the USA was finishing the construction of two atomic bombs, which gave him the edge he needed to win the war.

President Truman ordered one bomb to be dropped on Hiroshima; after seeing the devastation, everyone thought Japan would surrender, but we were all wrong. With one bomb left, he dropped it on Nagasaki; then their will to fight was over. Good thing, too, because we had no more atom bombs. (Note: The heavy water for the bombs was made in Morgantown at the Dupont Plant in complete secrecy.) All that was left of the war was tying up the details of surrender.

The five boys were Mason England, Granville; James Mad­ den, First Ward; Charles Lapoe, Pentress; Willis Lambert, Cassville and me, Evansdale.

Now I will run through several jobs that I had following my discharge, just touching the high spots.

I went back to H. C. Baker Hardware, and in early 1947, a job was offered to me that I could not refuse. Baker's was a good place to work except for the pay scale—40¢ per hour. Heyden Chemical Company offered me a job at the old Dupont Plant for $1.04 per hour, so I joined with them.

When I worked at the chemical plant, I started in the tool room checking out tools to the machinists, pipe fitters, mechanics, etc.

The first day there a man (Mr. Love) was shifting cars on the plant railroad when he fell under a car and lost both of his legs just below his crotch. This took all of the joy out of everyone. Next, the company wanted operators to work in the high pressure compressor bay. The air was strong with ammonia. At first it seemed to be too much to work in it but after a few days it became easier to breathe. However, the work was very easy but boring. Then, there was a posting for a job at the catalyst plant, much harder work but every weekend off; shift work at the hyper bay was one weekend per month, and the air was much better since there was no ammonia in it.

It was in the catalyst plant on August 8, 1948, while adjusting the density of the product, that my glove caught in the machine. It pulled my hand into it, cutting off the ends of the first two fingers on my left hand. It was Friday and I was wishing for quitting time; since then I have quit wishing my life away.

Feeling sorry for myself in the hospital the next morning, I was shamed into silence by seeing the other people in the ward. One man had been shot in the side of his face and neck with a shotgun; a boy my age had three fingers completely pulled off in a mine accident. I shut up and thanked God my situation was no worse.

On June 4,1949, Etta and I were married at Drummond Chapel by the Rev. Joseph DiBardi. We rented a private apartment over a garage at 244 1/2 Park Street, South Park. It had a small kitchen, fair bathroom and a nice bedroom and was owned by Mr. Bartimocia. We paid $20.00 per month.

Heyden Chemical moved out in 1951, so unemployment ruled again. April of that year we bought the house we still live in and seven acres on Tyrone Road.

H. L. Galusha Company ran an ad for a delivery driver, stock boy and general maintenance. Harold hired me with the understanding that I would work for six months at a rather low wage. Then, when the job was understood better, a raise would be forthcoming. Bob Walker was in charge of the operation while Harold was on the road selling every day.

The routes were north central West Virginia—Davis, Thomas, Eglon, Beverly, Elkins, Buckhannon, Philippi, Grafton, Clarksburg, Fairmont, Parkersburg and New Martinsville.

Bob Walker was replaced with Helen Myres (Harold's sister). Bob would have kept his word. However, Helen did not feel bound by the early agreement and Harold agreed with her, so I left.

Bob Sutor was a customer of H. L. Galusha and had asked me several times to come and work for him. He had an Amoco station with a parking lot on Spruce Street, so this was to be my new job with quite a nice raise.

One and a half years seemed to be the magic number, so after that much time passed I was gone again. Bob was a good man to work for and interesting. He was a funeral director and embalmer when he took on the station. It was a good move for he made more money and could set his hours, which he could not as a funeral director. We remained friends.

My next place of employment was also a gasoline station, Pure Oil, at the end of the Pleasant Street Bridge in South Park.

John Wilson was a man who needed someone who could do all of the physical work, for he had been incapacitated due to an accident on the railroad where he worked. He loved cars and anything connected to cars; hence, the service station.

The railroad accident! John was a brakeman. One night he was run over by the train that he worked on. He never divulged the details as part of the railroad settlement, but the outcome was his left leg was cut off very high, just a stub was left. His right arm was cut off almost to his shoulder. His right foot was cut across the toes. He said he had 50 stitches in his scalp and many bruises and cuts. He never lost consciousness and directed his buddies to take the ring off of his hand that was on the other side of the track before they disposed of his arm. He said they just tossed him in the ambulance, thinking that he wouldn't make it to the hospital. He said he had to use his good arm to keep from sliding, shoving his head against the wall of the ambulance when they were going down Westover hill to the bridge.

I tried to get him to let a friend of mine, Norman Julian, who writes for a living, tell his story but he wouldn't go for it. How­ ever, he healed as well as a person in that shape could and made a life for himself and his family. He drove his car, cut his grass, and had a boat. He learned to walk on his artificial leg; he learned to write with his left hand. He enrolled at WVU, and most of his fellow students didn't know how much was missing from his body. He had an artificial arm that locked at the elbow. He could swing his body and make it come up, and then he would drape his coat over it.

If he dropped something he picked it up. The only time I ever helped him was when he was gathered at the top of a little hill with businessmen, and the only way down was a path that sloped to the bottom. He told me to wait with him. After everyone left he put his hand on my shoulder for a brace because his leg would not lock in going down a slope. Steps were OK; a slope was not.

Kenny Trickett was an insurance agent for Equitable of D.C. who became a customer and a friend. Knowing I wasn't making much money, he asked me if I would consider a job with his company.

Bill Bowman came to our rescue. He had worked with John on the railroad, but was laid off because of the slow economy. Bill saved both of us; he took my place, and he and John were friends.

I was with Equitable for three years, a job I was not cut out for because I had a little farm to look after. In the morning I would milk, then change clothes and go to the office. In the evening the same thing, change and milk. Etta took care of the eggs of about 200 layers, for she had quit her job at the power company. She took care of the milk also.

H. L. Shelhamer needed someone to oversee the installation of kitchens and sell appliances. Jim Hess hired me there and worked with me until he could let me have it altogether. This time, however, the company got into trouble with General Electric for whom they were a dealer, so they quit business. I went to work for Loving Furniture doing wholesale kitchens for contractors only—no retail. The economy was in the tank and this endeavor also went bye-bye.

The unemployment office circulated a letter to prospective companies; my name was on it. Ralph Thorn got the letter and called to have an interview after which he hired me.

First I had to learn the business from the beginning—unloading cars of lumber, stocking bins of cement, steel roofing, etc. Then he put me in the office with Naomi Law and Tom McGee, two people who had picked who they wanted to work with them. It wasn't me. I never knew them. They were not happy with Ralph's choice but could do nothing about it, so they used several tactics to ruin this job, but it didn't work.

It didn't last too long. Henry Heck was retiring and he had his own office. When he retired, Tom McGee counted on get­ ting his place. Instead, Ralph gave it to me. This job consisted of typing purchase orders, figuring the inventory and working the salesroom for lunch relief. Now I had a private office away from Tom and Naomi.

It was a good job; I liked Ralph and he liked me. I knew this because he let me in on a lot of things that had happened to him that no one else in the office knew, except perhaps Dale John who looked after contractors' needs.

After six years, in 1967, Bob Sutor accepted a good job at Greer Limestone. He called to offer me a job as his assistant. I liked the offer and took the job of lining up trucks and getting them loaded, loading the railcars and maintaining the track. However, the first day of work Bob, who had been doctoring a bad back, had a severe attack, so the first thing to do was take him home, then return to the limestone company to do a job without any training.

Dick Mulligan was the state inspector in the scale house and had been there several years, so he knew by association a lot about stockpiles and legal weights, etc. Dick rode with me to show me where the stone piles were and what sizes there were. Vaughn Pirlo was a truck driver in the mill. He moved the railroad cars into place to be loaded. Each morning I showed him what had to be done and he did everything. At the same time he taught me the ropes and ran interference for me with the yard crew, for they knew how inept I was. Some weren't as charitable as Vaughn. Vaughn, who was called "Choppy," kept me out of trouble until I could walk on my own feet.

Bob came back for a short time but finally had to leave for good, leaving his job to me.

In 1963, the Methodist Church appointed me to the Star City­Granville Charge. I had been studying for three years to qualify as a supply pastor to churches who couldn't afford a full-time preacher. I also studied another 10 years, six books a year. That appointment lasted six years; then they gave me the Morgantown circuit—Union, Booth, Harmony Grove and Scotts Run Settlement House. That lasted nine years. Next came Burns Chapel, Sturgisson and Sturgiss Chapel for almost five years and I retired from the ministry.

I kept the job at Greer for 10 years. Then in 1977 Blaine Beeghly, through the advice of Bob Morrison, gave me a job at Manheim Stone Quarry near Rowlesburg. The quarry had a lot of damage done by the workers who were unhappy with the operation of the company. There were two crews: one on top of the mountain where the mine is located and the other crew at the bottom where the crushing and screening were done. They were always pointing fingers at each other for breakdowns, etc. I made an agreement that when they got 2500 tons of stone in a day I would buy their dinner and let them have two hours to eat it. That much production was awhile coming, but when it did I kept the promise. The two crews ate together and visited for two hours. Things improved in the company, and soon I was buying one and two meals a week. The men tried to keep things running instead of quarreling.

Mr. Beeghly sold the quarry to Harman Construction Company with the stipulation that I would stay until they got their sea legs. I told them about the deal I had with the men and they said they would honor it.

Four years later, in 1981, Mr. Beeghly still owned two block plants in Morgantown and wanted me to come back to him. His son-in-law was running them but wanted to go to law school, so I came back; it was much closer to home.

I ran Derntile Block and Crawford Mascioli Block for five years. Mr. Beeghly sold the block plants in 1986, and I retired without any income until I was 62 (four years later).

Life has been very good to us. We raised three children—John, born 1956; Mark, 1959 and Jane, 1962. All were healthy and have good minds.

John is a teacher in Ripley and also a chain saw sculptor; Mark is a machinist at Progressive Manufacturing Company and a farmer; Jane was a teacher and house builder and now works for the government in D.C.

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Summer School

The summer of 1951 I met a man (T. R. Farr) who had a farm in Stewartstown that he wanted to sell. His son had relocated to California, and he and his wife hoped to sell their holdings in the East and join him there.

The farm consisted of 354 acres, of which about 300 were cleared and poorly fenced. 50 acres were wooded and part of that was stripped for coal. There was no house; the original house for the farm was in Stewartstown proper. The land connected to it but the owners separated it from the acreage. It was called the Dillie Farm. There was only one medium—sized hay barn and a hog house (sty).

We had $3,000.00 cash, but the farm was priced at $12,000.00. Mr. Farr said he would carry the mortgage because the bank would not loan money on a farm with no livable house. He said I should work on the farm that summer to get an idea of how to operate it, so I worked most of the summer but realized by then we could not swing the deal, for I would have to buy equipment and livestock besides build a lot of fence.

I enjoyed the summer and learned a lot. Mr. Farr was "old school." He didn't have any up-to-date equipment, only horse drawn machinery—one team (two horses), a mowing machine, a dump rake, buck rake, plows, cultivators and a spike-tooth harrow.

He had just bought 56 cows that had recently been fresh (calved), but the calves were sold for veal. The cows ran around the fence bawling for their calves. Their udders were tight and leaking milk. I was afraid one would burst, but after a few days things settled down. Several cows were roaming the neighbor­ hood; some were down at a summer camp on Cheat Lake—then the name was Camp Buddy, later Camp Lynnwood and later yet Emma Kaufmann Camp.

Besides cows he had 12 brood sows that he farrowed six at a time; at that time he had 50 little pigs.

Mr. Farr had been a "Vo. Ag." teacher and later a county agent, but his hearing failed him and he had to quit. He knew farming business and made a pretty good income from it.

My day went like this: First I would bring the horses in from pasture, feed them, harness them, then take them to where the mowing machine was, hitch them and then my day began. At noon I unhitched the horses, took them to water, then to shade for them to eat their grain and I could eat my lunch. Generally Mr. Farr ate with me to discuss the job I was doing. Then I was back to the machine and ready to work all in one hour. My dinner was eaten in about 20 minutes. In the evening the same ritual as the morning except in reverse. While the horses were eating, I treated any sores they had with alum. Mowing is very hard on a horse's neck, so they had collar sores. Finally, I sharpened the knife of the mower, turned the horses out and went home; I was credited with eight hours.

I didn't care because I was hoping to buy the place. When I could not see any way I could manage the deal, I quit.

During that summer I mowed about 200 acres of hilly pasture and 20 acres of hay; I raked it and brought it to the barn on the buck rake. I also cared for the sows, castrated about 20 pigs and chased loose cows (which was the most taxing).

I learned a lot that summer about farming, and I also learned it was not feasible to consider making that deal. I went away feeling like a winner.

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Bonnie The Cow

J. W. Summers was an old timer on the Flatts. He had farmed 70 acres where Morgantown Internal Medicine is located now among other buildings.

He sold that farm to Ira Baker who kept it a dairy of purebred Jersey cows and produced raw Grade A milk that he delivered house to house.

J. W., being a lifelong farmer, could not let go all at once so he kept a cow for his own use. He had five acres where Morgan­ town Transmission is on Van Voorhis Road, halfway up the hill from the BB&T Bank. Finally, after a while he decided to sell the cow and rid himself of the responsibility that looking after her entailed.

My car was always in the shop (Summers Service Station) that his boys made their living in. J. W. spent time there talking to the customers, so he and I spent a lot of time together. He asked me to buy the cow. I wanted to but had no money.

We had seven acres, no fenced pasture, only an old chicken house. I made an offer: I would pay $20.00 per month on the cow if he would sell her under those terms. He agreed; I was paying almost that much a month for milk. I wrote a note for $20.00 per month and gave it to him. He said, "Don't bother if your word is no good, your paper wouldn't be any good either." (That is how it used to be.) I borrowed a pickup truck from Otto Wright; it was old, and the deck in the bed was a solid, smooth piece of sheet metal. We backed the truck to the road bank and I led her on. The racks gave me concern, for they were old and weak looking. Since I was not used to the truck, when I pulled out it jerked and the cow fell down. She didn't seem uncomfortable so we went on. Upon arriving at Tyrone she roused herself, walked off the truck to a chain and stake and acted like she had been there all of her life.

However, that doesn't mean she had no faults. I had no barn so I had to milk her under an overhang on the chicken house. It seems that a pattern was holding true: never ready for the next move, always the cart before the horse, but the struggle made success so much sweeter.

We sold enough milk to our neighbors, mainly Mike Billie and Mary, for they had two growing boys, Michael and Peter, who used a lot of milk. We sold enough milk that we had ours free. We made butter also.

Bonnie was a tough cow. She would straddle a little 8 to 10 feet high tree, walk it down and eat all of the leaves off the top. We bred her artificially and soon had a heifer calf. Our herd was on the way later after several calves. Jim Austin bought her. He said she was better than a herd of goats to clean out brush and trees.

We had another enterprise: 200 pullet chicks were delivered and we had no brooder house, only an old laying house, but we had two empty bedrooms upstairs. So we covered the floor in one of them with lightweight roofing paper and put them in there.

Bill Sands (an old friend whom I had not seen in a long time) came with his wife to visit. While we talked, a car would go by and the chicks would all rush to the other side of the room. As our visit progressed his wife asked, "Do you live here alone?" The answer was yes. Then I noticed her looking up at the ceiling when the noise was present and I knew why she asked. I tried to answer the question she never asked: What is that noise? I said, "Oh, that noise is chickens upstairs." Come to think of it, we haven't seen the Sands since! Etta didn't want anyone to know we had chickens in the house, so she put up curtains. Then the chicks would fly up in the window and sit there so people going by could see them.

I got that idea about vacant space from the Billy Wolfe family.

They brooded chicks in their house also.

One day I staked Bonnie close to a tree for shade; she could not wrap around the tree. A neighbor asked me if I would deliver a message to Millie Chisler about her nephew's wedding. Etta and I both went and while we were gone, a spring storm came up. When we returned home I noticed the tree close to Bonnie looked strange. Upon investigating, the tree looked like it had a grass skirt on it.

What happened was that lightning struck the tree, shattered the bark and plowed two furrows where roots were underground, but the cow was all right.

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The Calling

In 1957, by the grace of God, I was delivered from the clutches of the cigarette habit. Having smoked almost my entire life (from a little boy), quitting was out of the question, for it was tried over and over again. The saying among smokers was "quitting is easy, done it 1,000 times." This time it was much different. I didn't go to church one night but requested that Pastor Bill Camp come and visit after services. He did, and before he left, Bill, Etta and I stood and prayed. The cigarette habit was never mentioned out loud but silently I pled my case.

This time it was different. The next morning there was no craving for a cigarette; this was very unusual but I said nothing for fear that it was a dream or that it was a very temporary phenomenon. So, rather than brag and have this rare gift disappear, silence remained in charge. Day two the craving was still gone; days three, four, five co-workers noticed and asked about it. "No comment," was the reply. They began blowing smoke in my face and offered cigarettes (misery loves company). It was unbelievable that there was no craving but still no comment for fear that if the whole truth were told, there was that chance for failure, which would have been a blot on God's power as revealed by that testimony.

Now, 50 years later, I can say truthfully that deliverance from smoking has come.

For some time I felt a spiritual urging to the ministry, but it would have been such a departure from my personality that I tried to ignore it. However, it kept coming at certain times. To defend against the calling there were several things that were not becoming to a pastor that became a shield: a quick temper, holding a grudge, cursing, covetousness, gossip and most of all smoking. God removed everything that stood between us but smoking. That does not mean that those evils left completely, for they have been trying (and with some success at times) to gain a toehold ever since.

Smoking, however, seemed to be a safe wedge between the call and acceptance. Now there was no one particular evil I could point to, nor could I accept deliverance from these fiery darts and keep quiet. So surrender came with ordering the first three License to Preach books. After being tested and approved, there began a correspondence course of one book a month for 10 months and an appointment to the Star City Riverside circuit. At Star City the Pastoral Relations Committee called a meeting before my first sermon. As I approached the group, I heard one man standing in front of the church say, "Well, I quit right now." This scene seemed to be a replay of the dilemma at General Woodworking, for some of the Star City group had lobbied for a certain preacher and felt that they had been successful. When things turned out the way they did, they felt betrayed. However, most of the congregation was very charitable to me and after a few weeks things smoothed out. He didn't quit either. That appointment lasted six years.

The Morgantown circuit was next. It consisted of Union at National, Booth at Booth, Harmony Grove and Scotts Run Settlement House. I held services at three churches every Sunday alternating Booth and Harmony Grove. This appointment was for nine years.

The next appointment was Burns Chapel, Sturgisson and Sturgiss Chapel. This was five years and each church had a service each Sunday.

I was very shy, but to accept all of the blessings God gave to me and reject His call would be the ultimate insult. So I said to God, "I'll go if you go with me. Your call was clear and understandable; now, however, there is a call which I shall listen closely for, the call to quit, to call me out." After 20 years, that call came as clearly as the first one. Each day finds me thanking God for so much because of the way things turned out. Looking back there are no regrets.

Preaching was not my desire but I wanted to share the "Good News." God taught me, "Don't worry or be afraid." This cannot be accomplished without God no matter what a person's station in life is.

My mission was not to preach but to tell the news of God's presence in our lives. If we let Him in, He promises "Lo I am with you always." He is in the valley of despair and on the mountaintop of exultation. Trusting God's promise is the key. "Behold I stand at the door and knock." Let Him in.

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Etta and Bill Fichtner

William Fichtner 1927—2013

William Fichtner 1927—2013

William "Bill" S. Fichtner, 85, of Morgantown, passed away Saturday, June 15, 2013 at Monongalia General Hospital. He was born August 19, 1927 in Morgantown, a son of the late Charles Abbot and Clara May Selby Fichtner.

Bill attended Morgantown High School and had previously served in the United States Navy. He was previously a pastor at several churches in the Morgantown area and was attending Tyrone United Methodist Church. He enjoyed farming, gardening and a various types of art work. He also recently wrote a book entitled, My Side of the River.

Bill is survived by his son, John Fichtner of Jackson County, WV; daughter, Jane Raap and her husband Loren of Alexandria, VA; grandchildren, Chelsey Fichtner, Andrea Fichtner, Ashley Sypolt, Tony Runner, Rachel Samples and her husband Mike, and John W. Fichtner; great grandchildren, Gavin, Annabelle, and Lillie Samples.

In addition to parents, he is preceded in death by his wife, Etta Mae Wright Fichtner; son, Mark Fichtner; brother, John Fichtner; and two sisters, Ruth Campbell and Helen Franks.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Hastings Funeral Home, 153 Spruce Street, Morgantown. At Bill's request, cremation services have been performed and there will be no public services.

Memorial contributions may be made in Bill's honor to the West Virginia Botanical Gardens, PMB #121, 714 Venture Drive,Morgantown, WV 26508-7306 or to the Friends of Decker's Creek, P.O. Box 877, Dellslow, WV 26531

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2007 Edition: Sample Pages

Cover of the 2007 Edition

Table of Contents—2007 Edition

Sample Page 2007 Edition

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Fichtner Family Photos

William Fichtner with daughter Jane and sons Mark and John at Coopers Rock State Forest overlook.

William Fichtner with daughter Jane and sons Mark and John at Coopers Rock State Forest overlook.

William Fichtner with daughter Jane and sons Mark and John at Coopers Rock State Forest overlook.

William Fichtner and daughtner Jane watch Claude Furman shoeing Drifter in driveway of Fichtner home on Tyrone Road.

Bill and Etta M. Fichtner at Mark Fichtner's Wedding September 1983

Bill and Etta M. Fichtner at Mark Fichtner's Wedding - September 1983

John, Helen, Ruth (siblings) and William Fichtner  - October 1990

John, Helen, Ruth (siblings) and William Fichtner - October 1990

John Fichtner and George H Breiding with John's chainsaw sculptures - September 2000

John Fichtner and George H Breiding with John's chainsaw sculptures - September 2000

John Fichtner and George H Breiding with John's chainsaw sculptures - September 2000

John Fichtner and George H Breiding with John's chainsaw sculptures - September 2000

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