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Mountain Messenger
Lewisburg, West Virginia
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May 31, 1990     Mountain Messenger
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May 31, 1990
 

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- 4A The Mountain Messenger, Thursday, May 31,1990 She was an old-time mountain lady of great dignity and nobility. Had she been born in another place -- another time sher could very well have been a reigning monarch. She could have been Queen Victoria of England. As it was, her castle was a run-down house on .. Blue Sulphur Springs Road with just one tap lor cold water. During the winter, she retreated to two rooms in order to stay warm. Nellie Moody Hanson spent a great deal of her later years sitting E regally on her front porch even when others might have been inside. Her white hair was neatly coiled at the back of her head. In '~ place of robes of reval purple, she wore gingham. Rattler than bro- , . --~. coded slippers, she wore old tennis shoes which were cut away to provide relief to bunioned feet, She sat erect. Her throne was an old handmade split-bottom chair. Her regalia most always included a paring knife and enamel pan. Her work- worn hands moved deftly to string beans, cap strawberries, pit cher- ries. pare apples -- as she scanned the nearby hillsides which had always been her home. Nellie didn't need to look at the work in her lap -- she had been providing tbr herself too long to need to scruti- nize her handiwork. There was a time when Nellie would take her young ones up on yonder hill, leave them on a blanket to play. while she plowed the fields beldnd an old jack mule. As age bore down. Nellie would fondly recall those long days of endless toil. It was important for her to tell you there was a once-upon-a-time when she could out-work • -. just about anybody, Only seldom in the past two or three years did Nellie leave her Blue Sulphur Springs Road home. I remember once seeing her standing, tall and proud by the roadside waiting for her ride. She wore a two-piece black suit. white ruffled blouse, and a strand of ~_ pearls around her neck. In her youth she must have been a "hand- some" woman as now she carried herself with dignity and pride. A natural wariness made her appear much taller than she really was. .~. Nellie was an old-time mountain wanton who was cautious about ..-Fsigning anything -- until last week. when she signed her name to • ~ the papers which released her from the hospital and allowed her to ',- go home to die. = Nellie Moody Hanson died with the same dignity and the same nobility with which she lived her long life. She signed the required "- release papers with a flourish. She determined the way she was to ..~ die just as she herself had determined the way she lived. = The doctors told her she might not survive the short journey from the hospital in Fairlea to Blue Sulphur Springs Road. After all. she had a Iracheotomy and machines were required to keep her breath- ing. Fluid. which was rapidly filling her lungs, had to be suctloned. ~Itle trip wouldn't be easy. Nellie understood what they said and maintained her determination. Even though she had no voice, she ~" made her wishes clearly known. She survived the trip because there Z was an important task at hand she wanted to die in her own = surroundings and on her own terms. On the afternoon of May 24 Nellie went home. Her beloved family =" surrounded her and a few neighbors called in for their last visits. She smiled and mouthed unheard words of gratitude that she was home at last, Through her pain and suffering she was at ease. She would abruptly hang up in the middle of a sentence. It was alrlght, ,.." because she would call again In a. few days and pick up where she left off. Perhaps, had Nellie had a voice last Thursday, she would have said that loathed word ---- "goodbye'. As It was, she let her actions speak louder than the words which were unavailable to her. Nellie Moody Hanson died with dignity, with nobility, with seren- ity --- just as she lived. I am proud she was a friend. --Chas. A. Goddard The Mountain Messenger STAFF Chaa. A. Goddard. Editor Dotty Brackenrtch. Office Manager "Fray Fatten• Advertising Tcrri Boone. Advertising I_3ebhic McClung, Ad Design Betty MorgmL Ad Desl~l Jonathan Wright, Stall "Writer 122 N. Court Street Lewisburg, WV 24901 304/647-5724 Published every Thursday Lou BurrouRhs, TypcsettmI.{ Brenda Oherman, Production Circulation: 22,818 If you would like to ==ubmit material fat, publication: Articles subm~ne{I to The ~ountam Me~s(Ir~ot SP, OL~IO De ty~wffllen Or Clearly written ~n Older IO De cot~sldered I0r pLi~lt~llOrt. Ptease include your name amfl a phone number where you may be taac~o0 Oarlr~Q DV$ff~S~ ~O~JtS "(he Mountain M~$@ngot reserves the right Io eOtI any rr'~terla~ ano regrets ar- I~C~ ct~nno~ be tetume~ L~le~S 10 tt~e edaot rnest include a tuft s~nalu~a ano aO0eess It yO~ wou,o ,,~8 a p~otegral~ re~orneo. Olaase prov*oe & salt-addressee, stamoeo envetooe Material must be received in our office by: News Items: Fridays, Noon Display Advertising: Mondays, 2 p.m. Classified Advertising: Fridays, I0 a.m. SUBSCRIPTION R&TES" In State. $14.84 In State Senior Citizens $13.78 In State Students 11.13 ( 9 rnos.i Out-of-State, $15,00 ~;1 disc9unt to Senior Cit, zens To the point By Jonathan Wright "Good luck!" You hear that famil- iar phrase perhaps more at this time of the year than at any other As high school and college graduates get ready to embark upon the out- side world, with its accompanying demands on their time and money, welt-meaning friends and relatives are heard uttering those two words almost as naturally as the tired daily greeting, "How are you?' I have a problem with that. A took in the dictionary shows luck to be '1he force that seems to operate for good or ill in a person's life, as =n shaping circumstances, events, op- portunities, etc." Another definition lists it as "good fortune; advantage or success, considered as the result of chance." That might be a natural way of thinking for the ancient Greeks. who believed the happenings of their lives were dependent upon the whims of the gods. Such folks rarely had reason to take the bull by the horns and assert control over the circumstances Of their lives, for those circumstances were ordained by the tickle likes and dislikes of the unpredictable gods--so what was the use? In today's society we see a great leaning toward.taking control of .o,ne's_tife a . ~ai~s dreams come true. We lieve if a young person studies hard, gets a good education, and works hard he is vir- tually assured of success. We rarely leave things to chance-~ur strong work ethic has seen to it that our youth know their dreams can be re- alized only with strong initiative. So why do phrases like "Good luck!" remain so pervasive in our language? We say it to players be- fore games, musicians before con- certs and recitals, politicians before elections, students before tests, and couples before weddings. It's as if to say, "Forget all the preparation and hard work you've put into all this. In the end you'll be successful only if the powers-that-be shine on you and the forces that bring good and bad to all of us are favorable to you. I certainly hope they bring you suc- cess." When a person works diligently toward a goat and then awaits the desired result, it is akir~ to a slap m the face for a friend or family mem- ber to attribute any future success to chance--and that's exactly what the phrase "good luck" connotes. Chance--nothing more, nothing less. I take this work ethic even higher, though, with the realization that the blessing of God must be added to bring that final, lasting success. Hard work, faith, and a positive atti- tude are vital, but only when they are accompanied with an ac- knowledgement and faith in one's Creator do they have ultimate mean- ing. After all, He makes it all pos- sible to begin with. I'm not out to totally erase the word "luck" from our language, Let's just think a bit more carefully about when we use it--and with whom we use it. High school and college graduates who have put in long, hard years of study certainly de- serve more than a trite "Good luck!" from us. Their futures hinge on a lot more than that--a lot more. Dear Editor: Artillerymen had it the worst I have a few comments which I when hauling field guns with horses. would like to express about the They always rode the biggest wheel Battle of Lewisburg. Overall it was a was on the near side. the tim- back and It was living history. I forth. Many drivers received broken was somewhat shocked when so legs, At some point in time the driver many adults asked what stood wore a very heavy leather guard for. around his right shin bone. This helped some but didn't cure the watch and pawned it. My relative, a young man and a civilian objected and was told that. if he could find someone to be responsible for her, the sentence wouldn't be carried out. He ended up marrying her. S he was pregnant by the Union Captain. When the baby was born, it was blind due to gonorrhea. The camp follower was originally from White Sulphur, She still has distant role- h; over the last who may profit from them in the future. To the ladies first: never, and I say never, mount a horse when you are wearing wedding bands, en- gagement rings or eamngs. Today, this lesson could even apply to men as well. One riding instructor here in this county got his reins tangled up in his left hand and lost his ring fin- ger. One young ady in South Caro- lina lost her ringfinger because of the same reason. She sued the in- surance company for a fabulous sum and won. Another girt in Ten- nessee -- same thing. She sued and won. One girl lost a part of her ear lobe because her earring got caught in a small branch as she was riding under a tree. She won her case. Years ago a young boy was trying to unharness a horse which had a very heavy set of chain log- ging harness on. He lost a finger but there was no one to sue. The most dangerous piece of horse-drawn equipment that most civilians came into contact with was the buggy. A real buggy had no brakes. The buggy demanded har- ness in good repair. Most horses will not run off if they are hit in the rump. But it is impossible for a driver to control a horse if any piece of equip- ment hits the horse below the hock. The horse is terrified. Before the first World War every county newspaper had a report (about one a month) of someone being killed in a buggy ac- problem. ! don't know why but Ger- tives there. The women in my family man drivers worked their biggest never forgave the young man for s Oe. horse on the right I saw one wagon that was hooked to the horse in a very dan- gerous fashion. The end of the shaft was hooked to the ring on the hame where the breast chains are to be hooked. Breast chains pull down and to the sides. When a sudden stop is called for, the way the horse was hooked, the haines could be popped from the collar. The method I saw could be used in town on level streets which are not too bumpy. Not on mountain roads. Also for this re-enactment I be- lieve it would have been more inter- esting if all horse drawn equipment could have been parked side by side for the public to see. One young cavalryman mounted his horse and rolled off the other side. I was amused. I saw one fall of his horse. I wasn't amused. I ran into some objections to chil- dren being around the encampment. After about the second year of the war there were all kinds of camp fol- lowers. Some cooked, mended clothes and did the washing• Some females did what they had done since the beginning of time. Their children played around the camp. A little local color if you please. One distant relative of mine was more idealistic than he was prag- matic. When the Union army reached Charleston on its way east, one female camp follower was going to be publicly whipped. She was the ctdent --more especial[y in hilly r country, marrying her, but it didn't keep them from recording the story in the family records. The battle was for fun and edu- cation and not for the real thing. Again my compliments to all who put on such a wonderful show. Paul R. Lilly Lewisburg Dear Editor: In response to "Right-to-Life" pro- ponents, I for one am sick unto death of always hearing about girls getting pregnant or women murder- ing their babies. Girls and women do not get pregnant by themselves. If boys or men would share the bur- den and responsibility of their own actions, there would be far less abortion, and fewer teenage moth- ers on welfare, with their parents or struggling alone to care for their ba- bies. God gave most mothers of all species the instinct to fiercely pro- tect and care for their offspring. Too bad He didn't give the same to fathers. Lou Burroughs Lewisburg Dear Editor: I am a senior citizen. Enclosed is a check for $13.78 to renew my sub- scription to The Mountain Messen- ger for I year, I enjoy the newspaper very much --- you are divine - GREAT Job! Best Wishes Mrs Margaret Lee Smith Montgomery Dear Editor: MEMORIAL DAY BLOWOUT! This is the manner in which a crude and insensitive seller of something or other advertised his GIGANTIC Memorial Day sale. Another one shrieked at us on TV or radio -- "We sell more cars on Memorial Day than at any other time•" Other loud- mouthed hawkers use this hallowed day of special remembrance to inflict their intolerable and offensive sales irreverence upon us to invoke our remembering one thing: To come and buy their product at this time of their terrific, gigantic, sale with the low, low prices•.. That's right! I wonder if some of them really know what Memorial Day means -- other than making money. It gets worse every year, doesn't it? It's too bad the 58,000 heroes whose names are on the Viet Nam Memo- rial, and the others who gave all they had of their souls and booies -- for us --- cannot buy their wares. We cannot do very much for those who still live, the veterans who lie in hospitals and those who have difficult times "binding up their wounds" and.., remembering. In deference of them we could at least show more respect to this Day, give a gentler touch to the raucous, cal- lous and disgusting commercials at this solemn time of humility and rev- erence. Sincerely, Henry Dunn Lewisburg Dear Scarlet O'Hara: We are in receipt of your commu- nication dated May 21. Unless a writer's life is at stake, or their safety compromised, we will not publish unsigned letters. If you will provide the Messenger with your real name we will be glad to publish your letter. Please use the same typewriter you wrote your initial letter on so that we might verify your identity. Rhett Butler Lewisburg By Tommy L. Holbrook As I read the letters to the Editor concerning abortion and hsten to the Pro-Choice activists (male and fe- male), two central themes keep coming through; the taking away of some individual's rights or all the in- surmountable problems the world will be faced with if "all these un- wanted children are allowed to be born•° Those individuals who claim to be Christian do indeed have an indi- vidual freedom of choice which is God given and we should protect t. But we must remember that any- thing which does come from God is given for the doing of good on this earth, not for the furtherance of owl or wrongdoing. Yes. God does allow Christians to choose to s=n but that =s not His perfect will for our lives. He also al- lows all individuals to choose to be- lieve in His son Jesus Christ and re- ceive salvation, or choose not to be- lieve in Him and suffer the conse- quences. However we Know that His wish is, '1hat no man should per- iSh." Too many of us try to take the freedom we have as Christians and abuse it or twist it to our own self indulgence. We know that =s wrong. And when someone points out things we are doing against God's will we are quick to cry out 'my rela- tionsh p to God is a personal and private one and you have no right to interfere•" Unfortunately, this is not a true statement. Our salvation ~s our own individual responsibility and we can- not look to any other person to get us right with God except ourselves. But nowhere does God tell us to keep our relationship pnvate. On the contrary, we are to take those things which are revealed to us of God and "shout them from the housetops." Matt 10:27. We are also admon- ished to witness to everyone those things which we have ex0erienced with God.- I feel for those individuals who say that abortion is not a moral problem, but a legal or medical one. Abortion tears at the very moral fab- ric, out of which our country was woven. 2 Chronicles 7:14 tells us exactly what God feels we should at this time. It says, "If my people, which are called by my name shall humble themselves, and pray. and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sm and will heal their land.". We have been a na- tioi, greatly blessed of God and He cannot be pleased with what He sees. And when I hear someone say that God has no right to be involved in an issue which is killing millions of His children . . . I am greatly con- cerned for that individual, Yes, God does provide us with healing through the skilled hands of surgeons and physicians. That is why more and more babies born prematurely are able to survive, be- cause God saw fit to enlighten man on ways to protect the sanctity of life, no matter how young. In fact, I firmly believe that for every disease known to man and even those which will befall us in the future, that God has already chosen someone who will discover the cure for all of them. Whether it is the cure of a dread disease or the solution to the "Greenhouse Effect," my contention is that God, in His love for us, has already sent the individuals~ solved these problems for As we all know, thout does not always see fit to messengers born in Proved by Good Housekee is he limited to having his born to happily married women. In fact, if we the Bible and the history will find that God usuall someone from humble used for great deeds. Unfortunately, those lower soclo-economic more susceptible as Pro-Choice rhetoric which "let's help these unfortunat of their unwanted babies." So God has been love to send the people swers to our world's we, in our infinite wisdom, the philosophy and Planned Parenthood a Choice groups and convit mothers of these future health and happiness to babies aborted. Think about it! It's h that we, m our well have been systematically lhose individuals whose was to rid us of all which threaten our I understand that in cept this premise, there isting in the mind of the modicum of belief in God, this God is one whose provides man with a helper who can be times of distress. It also belief in a God who is an who loves and chastises dren but does not visit ness or affliction upon ishment for their To those of you who to believe in the God of Isaac and Jacob, most of wilt fall on deaf ears missed as religious another fanatic trying person's right to live from the control of moral guidelines. It will greater than I have to get I ognize that the attitude your thing, do what you • is selfish, and ous to society• And, you are the one who will greatest if a change-do place in your life. Just God loves you in spite To those of you who do belief m God and His Christ I ask only this of cerely search the New for yourself to attitude is concermng the human life, born or speak to you through then make the decision you should stand. stand that your silence the murders taking place We should all be Pro-Choice and hood proponents were 2000 years ago when an~ young gift of 14 or 15 whose name was Mar that she was pregnant. Tommy L. surance Chartered writer and Charter sultant. He also is rector for the --- The Men of ( The only question with wealth is what you do with it. --John D. Rockefeller, Jr. 1987-1960