10 Years Ago
Week of July 25, 2013
Com Tower Erected
A huge crane was brought in last Thursday by Digging & Rigging, a crane rental and heavy hauling firm out of Clarksburg, MD, and, in short order, a 180-feet-high communications tower was erected at the 9-1-1 center/State Police barracks on Rt. 33 between Oak Flat and Franklin.
It is the fifth and last of the new communication towers to be erected in the county on grant funding from the West Virginia Public Service Commission.
The other towers are on North Mountain, Cave Mountain, Long Mountain and the Hunting Ground.
20 Years Ago
Week of July 24, 2003
Fireflies Light Up
The July evenings reflect a mood of simpler times, when summer days roll by without a worry. The night sounds rise from the surrounding forests, with the air being soft and still. Around dusk, the lightning bugs appear flashing like stars flung to earth. Then groups of fireflies blink on and off in unison with the effect being charming. These lightning bugs are beetles that live as glowworms in the ground for a year or two.
When they emerge as adults from the soil, they possess the ability to produce a living light reaction in their abdominal lanterns. That flashing action is their courtship. Males fly and flash with the females responding — a very simple communication system. Females flash when males are not flashing. Usually the series of six or so flashes are in unison which are then followed by an eight- to 10-second pause of darkness.
This pattern begins around 9:30 p.m. and continues noticeably until near midnight. This ensures that local members of the species can locate proper species, then mate, lay egs and die within a few days. The fantastic light show brings magic nights. Isn’t it fun to watch and marvel at the fireflies?
Make Sun Safety
Grant Memorial Hospital, Petersburg, staff reminds everyone to “Make Sun Safety Your Style.”
Avoid the direct sun from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Apply a generous amount of sunblock with an SPF of 15 or higher on exposed skin before heading out. But never rely on sunblock alone. Wearing a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses with UV protection, as well as long-sleeved, tightly-woven clothing, will also help one stay safe in the sun. Enjoy the summer more by being sensible about the sun.
30 Years Ago
Week of July 29, 1993
The public auction of the personal property of the late Jessie B. Black of Seneca Rocks attracted many with 241 signing the register. Miss Jessie, 91, never married and died March 13, 1993, at Grant County Nursing Home where she had lived since June 1989. She was the daughter of E. E. Black and Minnie Goldizen Black and was preceded in death by six brothers, Ira, Hendron, Ollie, Dewitt, Claude and Haven.
The late John Dahmer and the writer visited the Black home on the North Fork around 55 years ago. A memory is hay shocks in their yard. Ira Black stated that they had the best yard in that section because they made hay on it three or four times a year.
40 Years Ago
Week of July 21, 1983
From Summer Care
Summer care of brambles — raspberries and blackberries — involves a few simple cultural practices. Because of variation in growth habits, each bramble crop cannot be handled in the same way.
Summer topping of black raspberries, purple raspberries and erect blackberries consists of pinching off the top three to four inches of new shoots when the shoots are three to four feet high. By the time harvesting begins in mid-July, the topping operation should be completed. The summer topping encourages growth of strong fruitful side shoots, and produces stronger plants.
Summer topping is not recommended for red or yellow raspberries, because it does not improve their fruitfulness or cane growth.
The canes of brambles characteristically die shortly after they have produced a crop. So when picking is completed, cut out the old fruiting canes and destroy them. They should be cut off close to the ground.
Cane removal after harvest improves growth of new shoots that will bear next year’s crop. This improves air circulation and eliminates sources of disease infection.
Week of July 28, 1983
A Cumberland, Md., man who services computers and calculators in Franklin recently was presented a $100,000 award by the Burroughs Corporation for a suggestion he submitted for modifying machines so they would require less time to be serviced.
Recipient of the award was Milton J. Pfarr, Jr., 48, who services computers at Pendleton County Bank and the Board of of Education office and a calculator at the Pill Box.
The award was the largest the company has paid since it inaugurated its present employee suggestion program.
Pfarr developed a system for changing print wheels in terminal teller machines that cuts the repair time from four to six hours to one hour or less.
He has five counties in West Virginia–Mineral, Hampshire, Hardy, Grant and Pendleton, and selected accounts in Allegany and Garrett counties.
Asked what he would do with the money, Pfarr said, “Well, I’m too young to retire, so the only thing to do with that kind of money is to invest it.”
60 Years Ago
Week of August 1, 1963
100 YEARS AGO
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.
Southerners In Gloom After July Defeats
July, 1863, had been a great month for the Union but a catastrophic one for the Confederacy, and as the month came to an end 100 years ago this week, a pall of gloom spread throughout the South.
The losses of the month had been momentous. General Robert E. Lee’s invasion of Pennsylvania had been hurled back with terrible slaughter at Gettysburg. Vicksburg, and 30,000 Confederate troops, had surrendered to Gen. Ulysess S. Grant, cutting the Confederacy in two. General John Hunt Morgan, the guerilla fighter, had marched north from Tennessee and invaded Indiana and Ohio, only to be captured and to lose all but 250 of his 3,000 men. And in Tennessee, Gen. Braxton Bragg had been forced to abandon the central part of the state to the Federals and fall back to Chattanooga, next to the Georgia line.
“The momentary gloom, hanging like the pall of death over our affairs, cannot be dispelled without a decisive victory somewhere,” wrote John B. Jones, the Confederate war clerk in Richmond, in his diary of August 2.
Jones’ diary entries as July ended and August began told a vivid story.
“Lee is falling back on this side of the Rappahannock (in central Virginia),” he wrote on August 4. “His army has been diminished by dessertions.” And on August 3, he wrote: “More than a thousand deserters from Lee’s army have crossed (the James River near Richmond) within the last fortnight. This is awful…”
On July 31, Jones noted a letter from a Confederate congressman in Mobile, Ala.: “Mississippi is nearly subdued, and Alabama is almost exhausted… Our recent disasters, and Lee’s failure in Pennsylvania, have nearly ruined us.”
And on July 29, Jones noted a report “that Western and Middle Tennessee are in the hands of the enemy, and that about half the people in East Tennessee are sympathetic with the North!”
There were still other woes. Federals were hammering away with big guns on historic Fort Sumter at Charleston, S. C. In North Carolina, 33-year-old Governor Zebulon Vance was arguing heatedly against Confederate policies and was showing sings of Union sympathy. There also was growing Union sympathy in Arkansas. On July 27, Jones had written: “Nothing but disasters to chronicle now. Natchez and Yazoo City, all gone the way of Vicksburg…”
Two deaths that week heightened the sadness. The famous Sam Houston, former president and governor of Texas, died July 26. (This was no blow to the Confederacy however; Houston had opposed secession consistently). In Alabama, William L. Yancey, Confederate senator and former Confederate diplomat, died the following day.
In the western war theater, Gen. Joseph E. Johnston had become a thorn in the side of President Davis and finally had asked to be relieved of command of the Department of Tennessee and given command only of the forces in Mississippi. The request was granted.
And in Virginia came an even more momentous request: Lee asked Davis to be relieved of command of the Army of Northern Virginia so that “a younger and abler man than myself” could take over. Davis found that request impossible to grant.
Next week: War shifts to Tennessee.
Lawrence Frye Is New Pastor of EUB Charge
The Rev. Lawrence Frye has accepted the pastorate of the Franklin EUB Charge which includes the three churches at Franklin, East Dry Run and Harper Chapel.
Rev. J. Wilson Rowe
Will Be Local
The Rev. J. Wilson Rowe, Jr., of Union has accepted a call to become pastor of the Franklin, Ruddle and Upper Tract Presbyterian churches and will assume his new duties Sunday.
70 Years Ago
Week of July 23, 1953
ONE EYED JACKS – – –
In the last few years, kings, queens and jokers have been flying about the presidential mansion in Washington. Now don’t misunderstand us — we’re speaking of playing cards, not of people
President Truman was considered quite a card “shark” at poker, but few details of these games got into the newspapers since the president’s favorite card companions were members of the White House press club. The reporters, being good “Joes,” didn’t snitch.
President Eisenhower is reputed to be an expert bridge player and bridge has replaced poker as the White House card game. Bridge and poker, unquestionably, require a certain amount of skill, but they are partially games of chance.
High officials in Russia and most of the officers in the Russian army play the ancient game of chess. As a matter of fact, the Russians are the world’s experts at this game of military strategy that was played by Napoleon and even Ghengas Khan.
Could it be possible that the hours spent in recreation by officials of both countries indirectly influence the diplomatic and military moves made in their governments? Some of the moves made by Russia in the past few years very much resemble basic principles of good chess strategy; and many of the cards played by the American government cannot help but remind one of moves made by persons accustomed to a game of chance — a bridge game, perhaps, in which America is playing “dummy.” The phrase “calculated risk” in Washington communiques has come to be part of our diplomatic vocabulary.
If there is a corellation between these games and diplomatic moves, let’s hope that our poker-playing and bridge-playing officials have an ace in the hole.
Week of July 30, 1953
Two County Boys, POWs, May Be Released By Reds
Two county families of “known” prisoners of war in Korea were jubilant Sunday over the signing of a truce but pangs of heartsickness, worry and fear continued to hover over relatives of servicemen reported missing in action since the outbreak of hostilities 37 months ago.
The communists have promised to return 3,313 American prisoners to the UN Command. Within three days to a week the POWS will begin to flow homeward.
In December, 1951, the Reds released a list containing the names of more than 3,000 prisoners, but the Department of Defense said there was no way of verifying the report and that it was not official.
Included in the list were two county men, Pfc. Paul T. Sites, son of Mr. and Mrs. James M. Sites of Kline, and Pvt. Theodore W. Willis, son of William Willis of Franklin.
The UN Command said Monday that the Reds promised on July 22 to free the 3,313 GIs at Punmonjon.