Newspaper Archive of
Mountain Messenger
Lewisburg, West Virginia
March 20, 1990     Mountain Messenger
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March 20, 1990

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2A The Mountain Messenger, Tuesday, March 20, 1990 Author... Contunued from pg. 1-A lure author also went to work in the steel mill, where he worked near the open-hearth furnaces. After a year of that, he came to realize that it was not for him to make a living in the mills. But he had always known he wanted to be a writer. Therefore, he enrolled at the University of llli- nois and graduated in 1969 with a bachelor's degree in journalism. After enlisting and serving a stint in the United States Air Force, he began a 20-year career in magazine writing and editing, working on publi- cations in Chicago, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. During that time, an editor of a publishing house read and was impressed by one of Mr Martin's published short stores. The editor suggested that Mr Martin should try his hand at writing novels. His first novel, "Tethered," was published in 1979, followed in 1982 by "The Crying Heart Tattoo" and "Final Harbor" in 1984. "The Begin- ning of Sorrows" was published in 1987. His fifth novel, "Lie To Me," will be published by Random House in June and will be a Book-of-the- Month Club alternate selection later tins year. His next novel, which he is now writing will also be published by Random House in late 1991. A few years ago, it became in- creasingly apparent to David Martin and his wife, Arabel, that working full-time and producing a succession of novels, plus the rush of living in Washington, D.C. was beginning to take its toll. Consequently, they be- gan a series of trips throughout Southern Virginia to search for an affordable farm to buy and live on. Three years ago, while on such a trip, the Martins decided to return to the Nation's Capital, where they still lived, by-the-way-of Southeastern West Virginia. Whey they arrived in the Greenbrier Valley, they were so enchanted by its beauty, they de- cided they wanted to live in this area. For the last two years, they have lived on the farm they pur- chased on Big Branch Road near Alderson. Every summer, Mr Martin's two teenage sons come down to live on the farm. And while he writes, Mr Martin raises and spe- cializes in the training of 'difficult' thoroughbred horses. Students. • • st te-wide effort. If give the chance to questlo~ trl~ guveruuf, they would say, "Where is the lottery money?" Libby Hunter is a senior and lives in Crawley. Her major is elementary education and she has four children ages 3, 7, 17, and 20. Mrs Hunter states, "Every employee should have the right to strike, as well, as not to strike." About the current situ- ation she says "Nobody is one hundred per cent right. It is atrocious that teachers feet they m~ust take sides." Mrs Hunter added she can- not say wbether she would strike if she were currently teaching. "It is difficult to judge what I would do be- cause at any given time there are factors that influence decisions." She adds, "The decision to strike cannot be an easy one for educa- tors. I would picket if I felt that doing so would not be detrimental to my students." Sandra Beale is majoring in early-middle education with a mufti- subject specialization. She is from Ronceverte and has three children ages 10, 8, and 7, who attend Ron- ceverte elementary. Mrs Beale thinks teachers should have the right to strike and she adds, "1 feel the teachers were forced into it. The governor claims that education is the number one importance yet it is placed last on financial priorities." Her question to the governor would be, "Why don't you collect the taxes on some of the coal which goes out of state and use that money to fi- nance the raise?" If she were teach- ing Mrs Beale would picket. Sue Paitsel is a senior majoring in elementary education with a spe- cialization is social studies. She is from Rupert and has two children ages 6 and 3. Mrs Paitsel believes teachers deserve the right to strike in order to receive acceptable pay and benefits. She adds, "It is sad teachers had to strike in order to make people realize teaching is an Underpaid profession." She would support the teachers if asked to do so or if she were currently em- ployed. Mrs Paitsel add's, "No price can be put on a child's education. Teachers do not want to be rich. e Continued from pg. 1-A They just want to be able to support a family. I do not want to leave West Virginia after I graduate, but I will if I have to in order to provide a living for my family." Her question to the governor would be, "Are you in favor of giving teachers a pav rai~p w;*h- out reducing insurance?" Becky Sizemore is a junior at the community college and vice-presi- dent of the Student Education Asso- ciation. She is from Sinks Grove in Monroe County and is majoring in elementary education with at spe- cialization in learning disabilities. She agrees with the teachers' right to strike and thinks "it is a must situ- ation that couldn't have been helped." She too would picket if at- ready employed. Sharon Simpson, a third year stu- dent at the college, is majoring in secondary education with a speciali- zation in language arts. She lives in Sweet Springs, Monroe County and has two children ages 5 and 6. The older child attends school at Gap Mills Elementary. Sharon states, "There are no other avenues open for bringing about a resolution to the current crisis. The State of West Vir- ginia has not acted in good faith--a good faith that has been extended to it far beyond tolerable limits." On whether teachers should be allowed to strike Sharon adds, "A teachers' strike is a dramatic action, and teachers do not come to the deci- sion to strike easily. Each must ex- amine his or her own values--val- ues they may have once considered inviolate--and each is torn by the principles of higher ethics that have guided them in providing for the education and enlightenment of their students." On the governor Mrs -Simpson comments, "He has ably demonstrated his lack of concern not only for the teachers of West Virginia, but, more critically, for a higher standard of education for the children of West Virginia." It should be noted that several students refused to comment or submitted comments without ac- knowledging their identity. The Mountain Messenger did not quote these anonymous persons Home... ceiling. A spiral staircase provides access to t'.he attic. A large screened-in porch was also added to the rear of the building. The original school bell still hangs in the tower and played an important part in the purchase agreement for the building. "The for- mor owner said he would sell us the building but not the bell--he wanted to keep it for himself," Mr Worth said. "We said, 'No, we won't buy the the place without the bell.' We were very firm about it, and he fi- nally agreed to let us have it. We ring it every New Year's." Mr Worth says there were humor- ous incidents to lighten the work in- volved in fixing up the old structure. "Back when we were preparing to do the work, I went underneath the building to check the foundations and fell into the septic tank. That was hardly the way to begin reno- vating a building!" Mr Worth also mentions the time when he had hired a man to drill a well for the schoolhouse. "Well wa- ter is scarce right here in Minnehaha Springs, but I felt sure we could get some. I had a man by the last name of Pritt--he died several years ago--come over to drill me a well. I had traced a fault line from the springs over at the camp, across Douthat Creek, to a point over there in the field. I told him to drill down to about 70 feet. He hit water at 62 feet." "He couldn't believe it," Mr Worth continues. "He couldn't help but think I knew some kind of magic. Probably 'til the day he died he told people all over this valley about that bald-headed man over there in Min- nehaha Springs who said, 'Drill right here' and got water." Mrs Worth expresses her affinity for the community and her home: '1 love it here; we often have twenty ducks at the back door," she says, pointing toward the back porch where birds from the creek often come to rest and feed. The restored schoolhouse often attracts the attention of travelers. "There's not a year that goes by without someone who used to at- tend this school stopping in," Mr Worth says. Continuecl from Pg. 1-A "We're glad to show them the place," Mrs Worth says, "and they are always quite pleased with what we've done with it." "Our home seems to be a natural place for motorists to stop--for a lot of reasons," Mr Worth says. "They stop here to ask where the nearest rest room is, where they can locate a telephone, to ask us if this is a church, to report wrecks, and lots of other reasons. One night a trucker knocked on our door and said he thought he had seen an elk standing in the middle of the road--he thought he had lost his mind. I went out with him, and sure enough, there was an elk in the road." Now that the couple lives in the schoolhouse year-round, they often host friends and family visiting the Pocahontas County ski slopes. "We have a house full," Mrs Worth says. "We pile them in upstairs in the attic. It's like a dorm up there." Many of the couple's visitors are former campers from Camp Minnehaha. Adoption • • • Continued from pg. 1-A of this particular agency." The cost can vary from about $3,500 to well over $13,000, accord- ing to Mrs Merrill. The Merrills scanned a list from the Maine agency, "after we sent them a $100 application fee. We chose Columbia ($3,500) because we felt that was what we could afford and because there was 'only' a six-to-nine-month waiting period," Mrs Merrill said. The Merrills sent $850 to the agency over a seven-month period. "1 was getting a little concerned about the money we had to pay 'out front', and so I called Jim Woodward at the agency in Maine. He told me, 'If you've gotten this far you don't have anything to worry about.' He told me they had never failed to place a child with one of their clients. He also said they neededan additional $250 and told me I'd hear something in six weeks." And so Kathy Merrill, desperately wanting a child, sent the $250 (now the couple had paid $1100 to the agency) and watched every day. "It was almost to the day when I printed card from 'Sorry, the Columbian has too many adoption now. There will be a waiting period.'" The Merrills were broke down and cried, got on the telephone to They said they'd try in the Philippines," Mrs members. Finally word was no possibility of a Merrills from the Phil then told me they get us a child from El that it would cost more." After a great searching, the ahead with trying to get El Salvador even cost more then they ford. "The agency told us Seven weeks went by would return,the many to them. Finally I had Woodward and he said, owe us $80 for pers.' I told him to just money back to me. He ing that I had signed which made any money agency trying to get the my lawyer." Ali's well that though the Merrills ful in obtaining a child Christian Adoption they became the prou, Stephanie Lydon Through a private nie became Chuck Merritt's first child after she was born. to wait 72 hc born to sign all the So many times we close that I was really those three days. 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