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Mountain Messenger
Lewisburg, West Virginia
August 2, 1990     Mountain Messenger
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August 2, 1990

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Vol. VI No.21 / August 2, 1990 From the Greenbrier Valley of West Virginia Russia, With Love --- To Camp Allegheny home is Hotkovo, a city of 20,000 inhabitants, 60 kilometers northeast of Moscow, but for the next couple of they are the guests of Camp Allegheny near Caldwell. All the teenagers' parents are engineers, except one (he Painter and restorer of church art). The girls, ages 14 to 16, were winners of a competion in Hotkovo sponsored by an international non-profit group. The prize -- a trip to America! Shown here are (left to right) Anya Nadya Soumenkova, Kira Moskalionova, Vika Efanova, Vera Vialova, Irina Lssinenko, Tatiana Svetlana Sidorova, and Natalia Vasillieva. Ms Vasillieva, who works at the Science Research institute in accompanies the girls and acts as their interpreter. NT, ALIVE E " ~ Kathy and ElisJT'~lmon uirming Serpents Weighs 200 Lbs; Another 3eady eyes peer through the glass wall as wide-eye gaze with open mouths. massive snakes are the largest many of Kathy and Elisha ilmon's visitors have ever seen. ."People are really interested in rnmg more about snakes," Mrs said. We visit mostly small ms where there's not too much on---our exhibit gives people to talk about." Indeed, both the names and the ~asurements of the snakes attract Sheba is over 20 feet long and 170 pounds. Crusher is 17 long and weighs in at a hefty pounds Gonzales and Simba, ;o measu ng 17 feet, are the just over150 pounds. set up their exhibit last ~ek at the flea market grounds at ~armco: this Week they are at Food Center in Fairlea. The monstrous snakes consume of 20 store-bought chickens ten days to two weeks. eats the most: eight or nine each feeding. "Feeding time is the most dan- rous time of all," Mrs Gotmon "It's recommended you don't mess with them within 24 to 36 ~urs of when they eat They are with "Gonzales" very restless then. We always spray Lysol on our hands and arms when we enter the cage to be sure they can't detect any animal smells on us--and we make sure there are two people in the cage at any one time in case there's trouble." "Another precaution we take." she added, "is to take a big dentm sack nto the cage with us. It's wrapped aroLind the arm and hand in case the snakes are ~n a b~ting mood. When you go m to feed them. you have to be ready to move fast and get out of the way." The snakes are not venomous, she said, but their danger lies in their ability to wrap around their victims, crushing their rib cages and suffocating them. The Golmons, residents of Amite, Louisiana, tell why they enjoy their work. "We like to give people the opportunity to see something they don't normally see," Mr Golmon said. 'Tve been in a lot of different vocations--from truck driving, off- shore drilling, corrections, to con- struction--and I get far more pleas- ure out of this than anything else. People are impressed with our snakes--probably 85 per cent of the country's zoos don't have snakes as long as ours. I like to consider ours as more of an educational exhibit." Mrs Gotmon added, "We meet a Into Fairlea: Is 20 Ft. lot of people who have a real fasci- nation with snakes. Some of them have some at home and ask us ad- vice about feeding and taking care of them. We're glad to offer them what we know." The couple travel throughout the central and eastern states, setting up their trailer-based exhibit mostly ~n shopping center parking lots. A 36-foot-long trailer is used n other locations, but a 12-foot-long trailer was brought to West Virginia. mainly due to the mountain terrain, Mrs Golmon said. This ~s the couple's first visit to the state. "We love West Virginia," Mr Golmon said. "It's beautiful, and the people are good. down-home, friendly folks. That's the kind of people we are." The Golmons also provide lec- tures and "hands-on observations" at numerous schools. "Even the cops get excited in the towns where we go," Mrs Golmon sa~d. One po- lice department in Tennessee told us if we couldn't get engagements for a return visit to their town, they would see to it we got one. The couple travel nine months each year. The remaining three months, during the winter, are occu- pied with repairs and maintenance of the trailers and equipment. Coming Next Week From Mountain Messenger The Area's Most Comprehensive Guide To State Fair of West Virginia 24 colorful pages, packed with information you can use. It August Inside Today About Herbs ...................... 6A Agriculture ........................ 7A Briefly ................................ 2A Carnegie Column .............. 6B Classified .......................... 7B For the Record .................. 3A Garden Patch .................. 10A Home Accent .................... 8A Horoscopes ....................... 5B Joy of Farming .................. 7A Obituaries .......................... 9A Opinion .............................. 4A Roberta .............................. 5B Saints ................................. 4B Sports ................................ 1 B Ill English Lad Gets Wish: By Jonathan Wright The trans-Atlantic phone connec- tions crackled as the far-away voice of the "directory" operator came on the line, heavy with an English ac- cent. "Directory--may I help you?" "In Carshalton, rd like the num- ber for the parents of Craig Sher- gold." "Is this in reference to the get- well cards?" "Yes, it is." "The family has asked we no longer give out their number and to inform all callers that their son has received enough cards to qualify him for the Guiness Book of World Records." "OK. Thank you very much. Bye." "Bye." This conversation resulted from an inquiry by the Mountain Mes- senger into the receipt of a chain- type letter by several area mer- chants. The letter reads in part, "It has come to our attention that a seven-year-old boy in England is terminally ill with a brain tumor. His ambition is to be included in the Guiness Book of World Records. His desire is to receive the most get-well cards by a single individual." The letter gives the boy's ad- dress and ends with these instruc- tions: "After sending your card, please send the attached pages to ten companies of your choice so they might help Craig reach his goal." The pages attached to a letter received by Wyatt Photo of Lewis- burg list the ten letter-recipient choices of seven West Virginia busi- nesses. According to a spokesman at city offices near Carshalton, England, the boy received 16,250,069 cards. The previous record was around one million cards, received by an- other boy from England one year ago. "Craig received cards from Presi- dent Bush and Vice-President Quayle," the spokesman said. "He recently received several gifts from a children's hospital in Atlanta Georgia. He is in good spirits, al- though he has good and bad days." Rowan Home Changes Hands Springfield Associates, a three- member board of health care man- agers, has been chosen to operate the Andrew S. Rowan Memorial Home at Sweet Springs. The news was recently announced by the Monroe County Commission, new owners of the 22.8-acre Rowan Home. The group has applied for a per- sonal care license in order to begin management of the home by its tar- get date of September 1, according to Kyle Baker, Mr Baker is the ad- ministrator of Springfield Compre- hensive Care Center, a facility the group owns at Lindside, and is a member of Springfield Associates. The other two members are Don Richardson and Ray Hope, both of Charleston. The Rowan Home presently houses approximately 97 residents. Most will likely remain at the Sweet Spnngs facility when it is turned over to the management of Springfield Associates in September, according to Mr Baker. Long-range plans, specified in the icense application, call for expansion to approximately 190 beds, Mr Baker said. Staff members, numbering 75, have attended meetings with Mr Baker as he has discussed ex- pected salaries, benefits, and re- sponsibilities under the new man- agement. "About 50 employees have expressed an interest m re- maining at Rowan," Mr Baker said. "Some of the others are retiring, and some have chosen not to accept a job if offered." Mr Baker said the staff will ini- tially be reduced to about 45. In some situations it may be necessary for staff members to accept in-house transfers he added. Deed transfers for the property have not been finalized yet, accord- mg to Mr Baker; neither has the per- sonal care license been granted. "We don't foresee any problems, though." he added. "The state knows of our September 1 target date, and I feet confident we'll make it by then." Mr Baker said he expects the Rowan Home initially to have ap- proximately 90 residents. Future ex- pansion to 190 wilt be made pos- sible by opening the home to out-of- state residents, he said. Other plans for the facility call for the opening of a substance-abuse unit, to be housed in the main build- ing, and a "spa," using the former resort's swimming pool. Your Newspaper Mountain Messenger Covers Southeastern West Virginia Mary Redden A Seamstress Mary Redden sews more stitches in a week than many people do in a lifetime. "rye never seen a sewing job I couldn't handle," she says proudly, but not boastfully. "1 guess rye al- ways been gifted in that respect. This is something I enjoy. It's relax- ing, and I like seeing all the people who come in and out of the shop." Ms Redden works at Mary's Doll Shop, a small store owned by her daughter and located on U.S. High- way 60 in McRoss, one mile east of Rainelle. A colorful assortment of dolls she makes fills the windows and attracts numerous customers, "A lot of out-of-state people come through." she says. "Many of them just see the sign or the dolls and stop ~n to see what we have." Ms Redden specializes in making both bridal and country dolls, char- acterized by wide-skirted dresses and lace trimming. The idea came from one she received as a gift. "My daughter gave me one of those dolls one time. I liked it, so I sat down and made one. One thing led to an- other--people would see them, like them, and ask me to make one for them. Soon I was making a lot of them. She also makes and repairs quilts, curtains, pillows, and many types of clothing. The knack for sewing came from her mother, she says. She and I used to do a lot of sewing together. She's 72 now and lives in Meadow Bridge--and still does a lot of sewing, especially quilting." It is not unusual for Ms Redden to make an item without a pattern. "If a person comes ~n with just a pic- ture of what he wants me to make, such as from a catalog or magazine, I can do it. That's usually not a prob- lem for me." Ms Redden grew up in Claypool, near Meadow Bridge, She has four children and nine grandchildren. National TV At Bank Meet Pat Buchanan Former White House Director of Communications and television commentator Pat Buchanan was the keynote speaker at the 97th annual conference of the West Virginia Bankers' Association July 28 at The Greenbrier Hotel, White Sulphur Springs. " Host of Cable News Network's "Crossfire" program, which regularly pits conservatives and liberals against each other, Mr Buchanan spoke mainly about President George Bush's presidency and speculated about its future. "1 be- lieve Mr Bush's popularity cannot last," he said. Mr Buchanan traced the ele- ments of the President's campaign and said his poll ratings increased only when he took a more aggres- sive, offense-based approach against Democratic contender Mi- chael Dukakis. "Bush re-defined Dukakis before Dukakis could re-de- fine himself," he said. "The turmoil surrounding the nomination of Dan Quayle as Vice-president was the turn-around point which helped Mr Bush. He stood by his man and de- fended him. People responded to that--after all, a soap opera is more popular than a position paper. This helped him so much that he was fi- nally leading by seven percentage points on Labor Day " The President's efforts at con- ducting a "kinder, gentler presi- dency' have worked, Mr Buchanan contended. Additionally, he said, he has benefited by "the greatest peacetime economic recovery in his- tory," begun by Ronald Reagan; the ousting of Manuel Noriega from Panama; the democratic reform of Eastern Bloc governments: and an easing of the Cold War with the So- viet Union, Mr Buchanan then delineated a number of reasons he believes Mr Bush's popularity will soon decline: continuing federal budget deficits, Mr Bush's reneging on his promise of "no new taxes," his avoidance of "political combat" by nominating a non-descript judge to the Supreme Court. and continuing controversy over defense spending. After leaving the White House staff during the Reagan presidency, Mr Buchanan wrote a personal memoir entitled Right from the Be- ginning. He writes a syndicated col- umn and makes frequent appear- ances on public-affairs programs, including The McLaughlin Group and The Capital Gang. He was a semor staff assistant of President Richard Nixon. He earned a master's degree from the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University.