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Mountain Messenger
Lewisburg, West Virginia
September 13, 1990     Mountain Messenger
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September 13, 1990

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Vol. VI No.27 September 13, 1990 From the Greenbrier / Valley of West Virginia 1990 Census: Were You Counted? Still Time H. Judson Robinson (left) and Arthur Harris Robinson, At 92, Grow In His Garden Paradise A. Goddard Robinson grew up aton, Massachusetts. Was a lad, Taunton's a Mrs Ames, sent around to Young The gardener, "the ~t in New England," Seeds, expertise, and That early en- has stayed with H. to this day -- 80 years later! Robinson of Crow- Lewisburg, spends hours every day in "It is all I can do, so I can by Godfrey!" !Son exclaims with a it in his eyes. You step into Mr Vegetable patch -- 35 you have to tip toe melon vines, sidle opulent tomato through the An utterly amazing things flourish garden -- not Every plant tenderness Mr on them. raspberries e. "I've had these ~ore than 50 years. Uce two crops a year, production in the canes sublimely juicy to pass snitching a few watering mouth. "When I was nine years old I went to see an elderly lady's gar- den. It was lovely. She gave me starts and seeds and said 'Prom- ise me this much. You must promise to share your garden with everybody.' I promised, and that I have done over the years," Mr Robinson remembers. His early interest in gardening took the young Robinson to the Bristol Agricultural School. He graduated in the school's first class in 1917 and retired as head assistant there in 1953. Mr Robinson moved to Lewis- burg two years ago to live with his daughter Corrinn and her husband Winston Wood. Their home is perched atop one of the highest elevations in town. "This is a great place for Indian relics. No doubt it was a lookout point for the Indians, because I am forever finding arrow heads and stone tools while I am garden- ing," Mr Robinson explains. "You'll have to excuse me if I ramble from one thing to an- other," Mr Robinson says know- ingly. "You see (tapping his brow) there is so much up here already that there's hardly room for anything more." Even though Mr Robinson says he has trouble remembering things, he spends a great deal of time working out the intricacies of developing a hardy strain of hi- biscus (his plants have blooms that measure more than I0 See "Mr Robinson", Page 3-A nald's Restaurant Open At Hart's Run blcDonald.s under con- near White Sulphur expected to be com- open for business by according to of Fayettev- and her husband ground on the Au 20. at the ofU. S. Interstate 64, and part- for 70 persons Mrs Kiliany of the Oak Hill restaurant will area to serve as of our new store Our corporation aeries,'- Mrs Kill- Was created at and first store any- it. It includes a look, quite "'*"" .................. 6A ................ .... 2A&4A ..7B .8A 6B ..6A ..... 5A ~" .......................... 4A ............................. 3A ............................ 3B ...1B 5B The big question on Jim Simpson's lips these days is "Were you counted by the U.S. Census workers?" Mr Simpson is the Executive Director of the Greenbrier County Planning Commission. *We have their preliminary count and we don't think they are accurate," Mr Simpson said. The U. S. Census Bureau's preliminary retums show some major declines compared with the official 1980 Census. These declines in population are not only for the county as a whole, but for several communities as well. Mr Simpson points to the Census Bureau's contention there are 3001 vacant housing units in Greenbrier County. "If that is true, it would mean al- most one out of every five houses in the county is unoccupied. Looking at the number of build- ing permits we have issued in the past few years, we just can't believe that number is correct," Mr Simpson said. "On the basis of our building permit activity we feel th,i~ county is growing -- particularly in the eastern section," Mr Simpson stated. According to Planning Com- mission records 48 single family unit construction permits were issued in 1989; 46 in 1988; 37 in 1987. Mobile home permits numbered 35 in 1989; 57 in 1988; 18 in 1987. County commercial building permits issued by Mr Simpson's office included nine in 1989 for a dollar total of $7,622,500; two in 1988 for a total of $402,000; six in 1987 for $I,087,500. Incorpo- rated municipalities issue their own building permits and do not come under the jurisdiction of the county. Mr Simpson said he has con- tacted the Census Bureau and that the federal agency has asked his office to help in verify- ing the official census count. "We are helping wlth the "Were You Counted?' program. We have forms available in our office [located in the basement ol the County Court House] which can be filled in and returned to us. We will get them to the Cen- sus Bureau," Mr Simpson said. "Don't worry about being counted twice," Mr Simpson said, "because the Census Bu- reau can easily check to see if you actually were counted." [Mountain Messenger will pub- lish a copy of the 'Were You Counted?" form next week. Space limitations preclude print- ing it this week.]. Mr Simpson hopes persons who feel they may not have been counted in the current census will fill in the form as soon as possible. A number of issues hinge upon the 1990 Census -- re-apportionment of Congres- sional Districts and the amount of federal dollars available lo- cally, to mention only two as- pects which are worrying local politicians and bureaucrats. "One of the main things people must know," Mr Simpson said, "is that they won't get into any trouble by answering these questions." Census records are closed to public scrutiny for 72 years after the census is com- pleted. Alderson Mayor Tom E. Housby informed the Bureau of Census by letter on September 5 that there were 30 housing units in Alderson which were not in- cluded In the official tallies. Mr Housby conducted a survey of his community through the Di- rector of Community Develop- ment (E. S. Hanger, Jr.} and by a check of local utility records. Census figures show 299 hous- ing units in Alderson; Mr Hanger contends there are actually 329. In addition to the Alderson to- tals, census figures for 1990 show 786 housing units in Ron- ceverte (95 vacant); 1393 units in White Sulphur Springs (183 vacant); Rainelle, 807 (90 va- cant); Lewlsburg, 1771 (156 va- cant}; Rupert, 472 (36 vacant). Preliminary numbers show a drop of 3130 in total county population over the past ten years - 34,535 in 1990; 37,665 in 1980. similar to what you see at The Greenbrier." The dining area will have full- length windows to provide the appearance of an atrium and will be decorated with the works of local artists. The exterior will be white, with awnings and green roofing. "We feel this interchange is going to see tremendous growth, and we're glad to be coming here," Mrs Kiliany said. "Green- brier County is such a beautiful place; our construction foreman has mentioned how friendly and helpful the people here are." Alderson Art Show Sept. The Believers Second Annual Gospel Sing At Ronceverte Amphitheater The new Island Park Amphi- will include hotdogs, soft drinks theater in Ronceverte will be the and desserts so visitors can have site Sunday, September 16, oflunch then settle back for four the Believers' Second Annual :hours of good gospel singing. Gospel Sing. Groups scheduled to sing this This year the sing will be a year are the Believers, Sweet benefit sing to raise money to- Charity, James Chapel Trio, ward installing a permanent roof Kingdomheirs, Heaven's Echos, over the stage of the amphithea- the Elmore Family, the Rodgers The 14th Annual Arts and ter. There will not be any entry Family, Joy In The Morning and Crafts Fall Festival, sponsored charge, but donations will be ac- Tommy and Martha Mounts. by the Alderson Junior Woman's cepted for the roof fund. Food Be sure to take a lawn chair Club will be held Saturday, Sep- tember 15, from 10 a.~n. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, September 16, from noon until 5 p.m. at the Alderson Junior High School old gymnasium. If you would like to enter individual items or set up an entire booth, contact Karen Lobban at 445-7730. Set-up time for the show will be from 1 p.m. until 8 p.m. Friday, Sep- tember 14, and between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. Saturday, September 15. Judging begins at 9 a.m. Saturday. The show will feature exhibits as well as demonstrations by the craftsmen. The friends of the Alderson Library will hold a Used Booksale at the Festival, and a Country Kitchen will be open selling fresh baked goods, spaghetti dinners, brown beans and cornbread, hotdogs and drinks. will also be sold. The food sales or blanket. Talbott Family Will Purchase Lewisburg Ford Dealership Negotiations are underway for the planned purchase of Lewisburg's Griffith-Bryant Ford by David and Steve Talbott of Greenbrier Motors in Fairlea. According to the men's father, Bill Talbott, owner ofDreenbrier Motors, the Lewisburg dealer will be known as Colonial Ford-Lin- coln-Mercury. The new owners will retain all present employees, he said, and will take over the branch lot on U. S. Highway 219 one mile north of Interstate 64. The lot is currently a branch of Greenbrier Motors. Mr Talbott has been manager of Greenbrier Motors since 1965 and said he and his sons, David and Steve, are forming a new corporation for the operation of the Lewisburg dealership. Steve will serve as president, while Mr Talbott will continue as presi- dent and manager of the Fairlea operation. David will serve as vice-presldent of both dealer- ships. Although Fo~d headquarters in Detroit have not yet given fi- nal approval for the change in ownership, Mr Talbott said he expects it to come soon and hopes to begin the formal take- over of Griffith-Bryant by late October or early November. @ Ronceverte: Gasoline Leaks Into Soil: Natural Resources Takes Action By Jonathan Wright Officials from the state office of the Department of Natural Re- sources (DNR) were in Roncev- erte September 7 to oversee cor- rective measures being taking following the discovery of under- ground gasoline tank seepage. The seepage was discovered on West Edgar Avenue near the concrete U. S. 219 bridge. The tank, one of four owned by the nearby C-Mart convenience store, was discovered to be leak- ing when a routine inspection for tanks at least 20 years old was conducted In late August. According to Ken Ellison, as- sistant chief of the DNR's under- ground storage tank program, C- Mart officials contacted his office the last week of August to report the failed test, When DNR per- sonnel met at the site September 5, the leak was discovered. Officials immediately took measures to stop further leakage of the gasoline and to recover any fuel left from the 4,000-gal- lon tank. Crews built a recovery trench beside the West Edgar Avenue site, at the bottom of the hill leading from the store, to catch any remaining gasoline. The trench will be monitored, and recovered gasoline will be "properly disposed of," Mr Elli- son said. There were no esti- 26th Annual: Shrine Parade Football Game September 15 The 26th annual Greenbrier Shriners' Club parade and foot- ball game will be held Saturday, September 15, starting at 5:30 p.m. Eugene Spence and Maynard Hinkle, co-chairmen of the event, said proceeds from the football game "...will be divided between the [Masonic] Crippled Children's Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky, and the organization,s Cincinnati burns hospital. We have raised more than $10,000 each year to be used for these worthy causes," Mr Spence said. The parade will form at Lewis- burg Junior High School at 5 p.m. and proceed along Lee Street, on to Route 60, and ter- minate at the Presbyterian Church. The actual starting time for the parade has been set for 5:30 p.m,, Mr Spence said. All day Saturday members of the local Shrine Club will be on the streets of Lewisburg selling frisbees and footballs. Money made from the sale of these items is added to the gate re- ceipts from the football game, Mr Spence said. Greenbrler East plays Martinsburg for the Shrine Game. Advance tickets are on sale at Coleman's Pharmacy in Lewisburg or at the Greenbrler County Clerk's office. They are priced at $3 for adults; $2 for students. All tickets at the gate are priced at $3.50 mates of how much gasoline had escaped into the soil. "So far, we're very satisfied with what C-Mart is attempting to do to correct the situation," Mr Ellison said. Mr Ellison was in Ronceverte September 7 with DNR corrective action co6rdina- tor Les Mullins. Half Million $ Expansion At Frederick Schill One of Ronceverte's largest employers will increase its Edgar Avenue plant by I0,000 square feet when work on an expansion project is finished in December, according to owner Claire La- Rocco. Frederick Schill and Com- pany, an architectural woodwork firm employing 53 persons, be- gan work September 4 on a west addition to its present 23,880- square-foot building. The new facilities will house offices and work areas. Becldey Building Services of Raleigh County is the contractor for the $531,000 proj- ect. Mrs LaRocco said the work will necessitate the closing of Boone Street, which connects East Main Street and Edgar Ave- nue. The company owns the street, she said. In addition to the extra floor space, which will include a two- story office wing and one-story work space addition, the project will involve the installation of an improved filtration and air make-up system for the finish- ing department. Other equip- ment to be installed will mini- mize noise and dust created by the plant outside, Mrs LaRocco said. As a result of the expansion five new employees have been added and five more will be hired within the next five years. The plant has a projected payroll of $1,123,000 for 1990 Mrs LaRocco said. Mrs LaRocco and her hus- band Sam LaRocco administer the plant from their corporate of- rices In Manasquan, New Jersey, and visit the R0nceverte site two to three times per month. "We took over this company in 1986," she said. "One of the first things we did was to install a $70,000 state-of-the-art dust- control system. We anticipated a lot of growth, and one thing we thought was very important was to control the amount of dust transmitted outside." "As we get underway with our expansion project," she went on, *we realize we have neighbors in the immediate area who may be inconvenienced by the construc- tion. We don't want them to be fearful we're going to do some- thing offensive. Our new facility will be fully landscaped and to- tally in keeping with Ronceverte's efforts to beautify the community. We want to con- tribute as much as possible to those efforts." The company does contract woodworking for institutions and businesses throughout the In a news article concerning eastern United States. Products the Mountain Messenger's Public include wood interiors, cabinets, Opinion Poll -- the towns of millwork, and paneling. Among Clintonville, Rupert, Rainelle, recent clients are the University Smoot, Keiffer. Hines, and of Virginia Hospital at Char- Crawley were inadvertently listed lottesvllle, the condominiums at as being in the eastern sector of The Greenbrier Hotel, Meck- Greenbrier County. They are in lenburg County (North Carolina) the western section. See "Schlll", Page 2-A @