20 Years Ago
Week of April 25, 2002
Heavy Weekend Rain
According to Dave Ellis, 4.43 inches of rain fell in the Smith Creek area last week while the rain gauge at the Department of Transportation (DOT) headquarters in Franklin measured 4.8 inches of rain having fallen between Friday and Monday morning.
Pendleton American Legion Post #30 celebrated its 83rd birthday Saturday evening with a dinner at the Pendleton Community Building in Franklin.
Manchin Encourages Telling of Life Stories
by Secretary of State
Joe Manchin III
Our lives and those of our loved ones are precious gifts that should never be taken lightly. Unfortunately, due to the demands and challenges of our daily responsibilities, many of us would concede that we spend most of our time and energy focusing on where we are going and what we have left to do, while rarely stopping to consider the larger picture of our lives.
Every life tells a story and is full of choices and experiences, both large and small, that form the blueprint for who we are as individuals. If one is a national celebrity, a well-known sports figure or an international head of state, odds are one’s story will be told some day by the “Biography” channel. However, if you do not fall into one of these easily recognizable categories, you may fail to realize the importance of what your unique narrative has to offer.
If you are a veteran or senior citizen, I hope that you will consider taking time to tell your story, in your own words, to the youth of your local community. The “West Virginia SHARES” program is committed to educating all of West Virginia’s elementary, middle and high school students about the sacrifices made by their predecessors in order to protect the rights and freedoms that all Americans cherish. We are working with teachers across West Virginia to provide students with “living history lessons”—real-life lessons learned by those who have experienced many of our nation’s most historical moments, including the Great Depression, World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam, and the Civil Rights and Women’s Rights movements. While many veterans and seniors have already come forward to recount their journeys, I would encourage you to think about the impact that your personal story may have on students as well. It is our sincere hope that by hearing these first-hand accounts at a young age, children will be inspired to take their democratic responsibility seriously when it comes their time to step up to the ballot box and vote.
However, if you are not comfortable telling your personal history to groups of children, I urge you to strongly consider sharing what you have learned with at least those children who are closest to you. I know that there are times in all of our lives when we wish we could go back to ask our grandparents or parents a question. Therefore, I would encourage each of you to tell your children and grandchildren about all of the events that you have witnessed and the choicethat you have made which have, in hindsight, proven to be significant. If we share our “forks in the road” with today’s younger generation of Americans, then they will be better prepared to make decisions when faced with similar choices in their own lives.
It has often been claimed that those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it. If this is true, then it is our collective responsibility as citizens of a democracy to see that no meaningful story is left untold. Please join us in making “West Virginia SHARES” not only a school-wide effort, but a family-wide effort as well.
The Old Truck…
This incident happened a few years ago. It was after the Gulf War. I was traveling down the road in the old truck listening to the only station the radio could pick up. It was a news conference and Schwarzkopf was being interviewed. He was asked his opinion about Saddam Hussein as a Military Strategist. “He is neither a strategist, nor is he schooled in the operational arts, nor is he a tactician, nor is he a soldier. Other than that,” Schwarzkopf said with scorn, “he is a great military man. I want you to know that.” With that statement the room burst forth with laughter.
Let us now move from then and there to now and church. The room is full of angels. The cameras are aimed at Jesus. The question is asked of Jesus, “What do you think of your soldiers on earth today?” Jesus answers. “Other than the fact they do not go out and seek lost souls, nor are they committed, nor do they come on Sunday prepared to worship, nor do they leave to serve. Other than that they are great soldiers.” This time there is no laughter, only silence and Jesus leaves with a tear running down His cheek.
Difficult to face the truth isn’t it! Yet most of us are not in any way, shape or form the warrior Christ has asked us to become, and we are guaranteed victory when we enlist. How pitiful some of us have become as we sit in our beautiful churches wearing the name “Christian Warrior.” James 1:22-24 is very clear…Prove yourselves to be doers of the Word and not only hearers.
Well that’s all till next time…Remember what Willy the warrior always said… “Uniformity is nice, but it takes more than a uniform to make a warrior.”
Rescue Squad History
The South Fork Rescue Squad was organized at a November 21, 1978, meeting. Twenty-three persons were present to hear Charles Waggy, president of the Pendleton County Emergency Rescue, Inc., explain the organization’s constitution, mission by-laws and operation. Officers elected were as follows: Robert Marron, captain; Jean Hancock, secretary/treasurer; and Tom Mitchell and Wilmer Bodkin, board of directors. The first EMT class in the area began February 21, 1979. Instructors were Elsie Schulz and Ruth Todd. Upon completion of this class, 24-hour emergency medical service began in the community. An emergency service building was constructed in the early 1980s. This building was damaged by the 1985 flood. Repairs have since been made and a nice expansion almost completed. The South Fork Rescue Squad houses the fire trucks and emergency vehicles which are readily on call to assist anyone in need of their services. The volunteer group is dedicated to moving forward, better equipped to handle any emergency. The community is fortunate to have such an organization.
30 Years Ago
Week of April 30, 1992
Mice in the Clock Works Led to the Nursery Rhyme
Clocks of the 1700s were often made from wood. Although they were exceptionally accurate, in time the gears would dry out and shrink. To prevent this, the inner workings were lubricated with animal fat, which attracted mice to the clocks. These mice would gnaw on the wooden gears and ruin the clock. To discourage these unwelcome visitors, clangourous chimes that struck on every half hour were used. Thus, the “Mouse and the Clock” nursery rhyme was heard and recited: Hickory, dickory, dock! The mouse ran up the clock. The clock struck one. And down he run! Hickory, dickory, dock.
Lower Thorn Man
Gathers 645 Mushrooms To Date
Kevin Harper, who lives with his dad, Lester Harper, on Lower Thorn, a lucky mushroom hunter, has already found 645 mushrooms (morels) of the blackish and grey mushrooms. His mother, Jean Harper (now deceased) was also an avid mushroom hunter.
50 Years Ago
Week of April 27, 1972
Farm Sales Rise
985 farms in pendleton
Pendleton County showed a total of 985 farms in the 1969 Census of Agriculture, according to figures released by the U.S. Department of Commerce.
In the last previous Census of Agriculture (1964), the number of farms reported in the county was 932.
Of the county’s total farms in 1969, 358 are reported as selling $2,500 or more of agricultural products in the year, as compared with 373 in 1964.
The report also shows average farm size in the county was 281.5 acres, and average value of these farms (land and buildings) was $29,951.
60 Years Ago
Week of April 26, 1962
100 YEARS AGO
Captures New Orleans
By LON K. SAVAGE
Editor’s Note—The following is one of a series of articles on the Civil War. Each weekly installment covers events which occurred exactly 100 years ago.
It was a clear, quiet night on the Mississippi River some 75 miles south of New Orleans, but in the darkness, Union sailors hustled about their ships. At 2 o’clock that morning of April 24, 100 years ago this week, they saw two red lights rise silently up the mast of the “Hartford,” flagship of their fleet. Anchors were raised, and the ships began to move upriver and around the bend.
Suddenly, the night erupted into a roar of fireworks. Cannons—there were 109 of them—belched forth flames and smoke from two Confederate forts, one on each side of the river. Still more cannons—there were 192 of them on the 23 federal ships—fired back from the water.
Back behind the river bend, stubby, wide-mouthed mortars blasted from 15 federal mortar boats, and the lighted shells arched high in the sky, then plunged downward into the Confederate positions. Five other mortar boats came forward and hurled grape, canister and shrapnel directly at the forts. Confederate ships upstream headed toward the noise, their guns at ready. Flaming rafts, ignited and turned loose by the Confederates, began floating downstream into the federal fleet.
And the whole affair was going just about as planned by Captain David Glasgow Farragut, commanding the federal fleet.
Months of Planning
For the past three months, Faragut had been planning for this moment. For the past month, he had been working his huge fleet through the tricky Mississippi passes. For the past six days, his mortar boats had lobbed nearly 17,000 shells into Fort Jackson, the larger of the Confederate forts. And now Farragut was trying to run the gauntlet between Fort Jackson on the west bank and Fort St. Philip on the east and charge upstream to his prize—New Orleans.
It was not easy. One federal ship, the “Varuna,” outran the others and found herself surrounded by Confederate ships which sank her. Another, the “Iroquois,” was cut up by guns of Fort St. Philip. A third, the “Brooklyn,” was struck 17 times in the hull.
And Farragut’s own ship, the “Hartford,” caught fire when a flaming raft was pushed against it. His men extinguished the flames as Farragut shouted, “Don’t flinch from that fire, boys. There’s a hotter fire than that for those who don’t do their duty.”
But the Confederate ships fared worse. Nine were sunk or captured. By daylight, Farragut’s fleet was steaming unmolested upriver toward New Orleans.
The mortar boats, under David D. Porter, remained behind, and Porter demanded surrender of the forts. The Confederates refused, and Porter opened on them again. The troops inside Fort Jackson—most of them Northerners or foreigners—mutinied; Porter landed troops and brought up gunboats, and within three days the forts had surrendered.
Meanwhile, Farragut arrived at New Orleans in a rainstorm on the 25th and was greeted by an angry, spitting, howling mob. Two federal officers walked through the mob to demand the town’s surrender, and although the city officials refused, the American flag flew over the New Orleans mint next day. It was pulled down and ripped to shreds by a man named William Mumford, who later was hanged for the offense, but it soon was replaced for good, and the South’s most important seaport was in federal hands.
On May 1, Gen. Benjamin Butler took possession of the city and began the iron-handled rule that was to earn him the nickname “Beast.”
Next week: Corinth Besieged; Yorktown Evacuated.