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Mountain Messenger
Lewisburg, West Virginia
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September 27, 1990     Mountain Messenger
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September 27, 1990
 

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4A The Mountain Messenger, Thursday, September 27,1990 It was Wednesday afternoon, September 19, 2:38 p.m. A medium build, middle-aged man, dressed in a non-descript gray suit, entered the Greenbrier County Circuit Court Room. He had a large cardboard box under one arm. "De you swear, or affirm, to tell the whole truth...?" "Ido. "State your name, please" "John R. Warner." Doctor John R. Warner is the Chairman of the Depart- ment of Sociology at West Virginia Wesleyan College, Buck- hannon. As he modestly told of his educational and profes- sional background, the courtroom palpably quietened. At- tention was riveted on this unassuming professorial man who was soon to say a lot about the proposed consolidation of Greenbrier County junior high schools --- and none of what he said could be construed as comforting to the ma- jority of parents who's children might attend a consolidated mega-school. Doctor John R. Warner stated unequivocally that most of the students destined for a large consolidated school would be "...academically and socially injured." In his testimony, Doctor Warner said only a very small ercentage of the highest socio-economic class might ave a "slight advantage" in a large school. He trotted out case study after case study to support his contention. He cited authority upon authority in order to emphas e his The Mountain Messenger STAFF Chus, A. Goddard, Editor Dolty Brdckcru-lch, Office Manager Troy Forrcn, Advertising Tcrri lioonc. Advertising Helen Scarlc. Advertising Betty Morgan. Ad Design Matt Lenders. Ad Design Jonathan Wright. S'taffWntcr Lou Burroughs, Type.setting Brenda Gherman, Production If you would like to subm/t material for publication= Arlicle$ submitleO to The Moumain Mer~enger shoul(J be typewtJllen or clearly wrtllen in order to be considered for publication. Please include your name and a phone number where you may be roache0 durin0 business hoots. The Mountain Massenget reserves the r,glal to edit any maleriai and regrets at- ticl~ cannot ia~ returned. Letters Io the editor must include a lull signature and address. II you would like a photograp~ raufned, please ptovi0e a sell.ed0tegsed, statTg)ed env~ope. 122 N. Court Street Lewisburg, WV 24901 304/647-5724 Published every Thursday Material must be received in our office by: News Items: Fridays, Noon Display Advertising: Mondays, 2 p.m. Classified Advertising: Fridays, 10 a.m. SUBSCRIPTION RATES: In State, $14.84 In State Senior Citizens $13.78 In StaLe Students 11.13 ( 9 mos.) Out-of-State, $15.00 ~;1 discount to Senior Citizens A few months ago I spoke by telephone to an official of the West Virginia Department of Highways (DOH). I was inquiring I perfectly understand the principle behind his response• However, it bothers me to realize that a state that claims to be Editor's Note: Mary Ash Casto Lawhom ol White Sulphur bers what it was like to grow up in the 1930s. She shares-h~r vignette, wilh us. Mrs Lawhorn's "A Child o! the 1930s'* will installments in the Mountain Messenger. A Child of the 1930's... • • • remembers a snowy day -- when Christmas was -- and there wasn't any school that day -- a pot vegetable soup bubbled on the woodburnlng bread pudding was baked in the oven -- • . . remembers a rainy Saturday- the cold rain shed -- the cumbersome whetstone cradled in a stand by a handle -- as water was poured on the stone -- blades (sickle, scythe, kitchen knives, the straight were sharpened -- remembers the sound -- as the stone -- • . . watched from the kitchen window -- when a circle cleared -- and grain was put out to feed the birds -- many different birds flocked in -- blue jays -- nals -- woodpeckers -- snowbirds -- after the • . . Remembers when the hanovers (called rutabagas) from the mound -- when different ones came in eat with us --- • . . was cheered on -- by the sight of sparks flying from -- as we made our way home up the lane -- in the after a church service at the nearby Episcopal Church there -- and a warm front room was waiting for his • . . remembers when snow cream was made -- on a after a fresh snowfall -- made with the snow -- some statements• about the signs the DOH has in- doing as much as It can for tour- sugar and vanilla -- and was eaten before it melted -- Now, I am aware you can cite authority to lend credibilitystalled on Interstate 64 directing ism can be as inflexible as this .... went down to see Mr Willy -- with my brother and to Just about anything you want to push forward. What was motorists to the Midland Trail Directing travelers onto U.S.a winter night -- when snow was on the ground so impressive about Doctor Warner's testimony was the (U. S. 60). Since the highway60 could only benefit local opened the heat stove door-- to pop homegrown pop complete sincerity, honesty, and integrity he seemed to is now commonly known as a economies• What's wrong with a handled basket -- over red-hot coals in the stove bring with him (one of his degrees, I think, is in theology.) "scenic highway," I'm glad the state that takes such a hard . . . remembers a Sunday evening (in 1933) -- large He has studied both in this country and abroad. He was a signs were installed. It's vital stance as this? Look at otherhad fallen and covered the ground -- Mamma visiting lecturer at Darwin College, Cambridge University,that travelers be made aware of states--you'll see plenty of hard- across the hallway to the front room -- Daddy had where he spoke about social ethics. He has published his roadways exhibiting extraordi- sell tourism in their highwayon his lap -- "Get your lessons (at a table by the studies in scores of major professional journals -- and the man is dead set against consolidation. He says he knows the damages which can be inflicted upon those students who come from less affluent homes in such a situation. Doctor Warner offered this telling bit of information -- his wife teaches in the public schools in, I believe, Uphsur County. Anyway, she is employed in a newly consolidated school• Doctor Warner said he began his studies of the effects of consolidation when his wife told him she was unable to teach, she had to spend all of her time disciplin- ing the students. This had not been the case in her previ- ous employment at a smaller school in the sam county. This quiet man's testimony made me stop and think. We nary beauty not as readily seen from the heavily traveled "super- slabs." Something is badly lacking on those signs, however a simple two-word designation which would likely provide a simple answer to countless puzzled mo- torists who see those signs at White Sulphur Springs, Sam Black Church, and Charleston: scenic highway• When I asked the official slgn policies• South Carolina, for instance, places impossible-to- miss signs (official interstate signs) along Interstate 81 with the words "Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway." There. for all the world to see, are those words which tell beyond doubt what this road is all about--scenic beauty. Those who see "Midland Trail," particularly those from out-of-state, doubtless wonder, dark," we had been told -- little sister. Lindy, came in and down the hall to the front room -- she had been burd" (for tracking a bird) -- as she could not yet speal all enjoyed a good laugh -- and this story was pany came in -- they would say. "And what did before we had the blg laugh all over again -- some the 1930's} -- "Yes, sir, that's my baby -- No, sir, don't -- Yes, sir, that's my baby now" -- Epilog -- . . . remembers the spring of 1939 -- moved to town -- "Mexlcall Rose" goodbye -- to so my childhood. By Mary Ash (Casto) Lawhorn must stop equating "education" with "economics"! If we areabout it, his explanation was"Is it an historic site? A hiking talking about the best education for our children --- let's that the state has to be verytrail? An outdoor play?" Those talk education• If we are talking, about how cheap or how careful about the federal funds it two strategic words could make expensive that education is- lets talk economics. Let's not receives for highway signs, all the difference• ~~~ confuse the two issues. Regulations prohibit any subjec- It's frustrating trying to Somewhere, someone in West Virginia has started using tivelabelingofwhataslgnad- understand our state's unneces-~ ~,~ ~~ the words "efficiency" and "consolidation synonymously. I vertises. The words "scenic high- sarlly hard-line approach to doubt ff you could now trace this phenomena back to its way," he said, would make a highway signs. If we're going to dT~') source --- the bureaucratic maze is too tangled. The School Judgement about Route 60"s ap- continue singing the praises of Building Authority, a powerful agency which lords it over all peal, and that is not the state's tourism and its potential gold school building activity in the state, was created last year. responsibility--and indeed, the mine of profits for West Virginia, In their first bond issue for new school construction they state must not play favorites in we'd better start putting our sold those high-interest-bearing certificates in five minutes! such issues. It is up to promo- money where our mouths are-- Education in the Mountain State has become big business tional groups such as the Mid- particularly adopting a more folks, and yet we're told that nearly 50 per cent of the land Trail Scenic Highway Asso- flexible policy on signs that population of West Virginia is functionally flllterate! ciatlon, he said. to promote their promote tourism in the first -- Chas. A. Goddard own projects, place• Dear Bdltor: I was amused to read Senator Jay Rockefeller's letter concern- ing the burning and desecration of our flag[ He indicates he will work to- ward passage of an amendment to prevent this. I believe the U. S. Supreme Court has already established or ~ruled, as the case may be. that ~such an amend- ment is unconsUtutionaH It vio- lages the first amendment, con- cerning freedom ¥ speech etc. I believe any ]~uch act. such as burning the flag, would be well taken care of by the local populace. I would go so far as to say that person or persons would and have in the past re- quired police protection; not to mention that he, she, or they would very quickly become "Per- sonna Non Grata'l Don't take me wrong[ I am not for an instant saying that I in any way approve of flag burning. I served this country and what that flag stands for for 24 years. I remem- ber, too well. the hippie types during the 60s and early 70s burning and demonstrating against the war. No matter how hard It is to take, an amendment preventing this type of non-patriotic behav- ior ls the first step toward a po- lice state. I personally feel revul- sion at the sight of the Ku Klux Klan marching but I advocate nothing that would prevent them from doing so. Senator Rockefeller. nor Senator Byrd, were concerned about Second Amendment rights back in May of this year when they co-sponsored The Blden Crime Bill, S1970. which denies a part of our rights under the Second Amendment =to keep and bear arms"t This bill empowers 'q'he Secretary of Treasury to ban any semi-automallc firearm with "Like or ~ Actions" such as those the S. 1970. I can't over emphasize the hnportanc¢: to all ~ml cr, thu,.';t asis, hunters, target shoolers ~r collectors• Join forces wilh some pro-gun organizationl The anti- gun forces are organized and gaining strength daffy. There are many influential people in high places, who are sympathetic to- ward their cau.,~.. The anti-gun factions take any incident involving a firearm and twist it around to suit their purposes. The John Hinckley Case resonates the propaganda peddled by Sarah Brady and Handgun Control, Inc., but facts In the case show that on October 13. 1980. Hincldey bought two .22 cal. revolvers from a Dallas, Texas pawn shop. One of these guns was used more than five months later (March I0, 1981) in Hinkley's attack on President Regan. At the time of purchase Hinckley was not a convicted felon, nor was he an adjudicated mental incompetent! These pur- chases were absolutely legal. He used a valid Texas drivers li- cense to properly identify him- self, and was listed In the Lub- bock phone directory. Any police background check would have uncovered nothing and a 10 day waiting period, as in California, would have deterred nothing, This is but one of the many cases the antl-gun people distort too frequently to satisfy their goals. There is a long list of crimi- nals who perpetrated such tragic acts which is so incessantly cited by "Waiting Period Propo- nents" All have one thing In common. A waiting period of 7- 10 days would have prevented nothing. Even the Miami Herald, after repeatedly calling for voters to approve a three-day waitini{ period, concluded "Gun control will never be a substitute for a judicial and penal system that takes violence seriously elimi- nates brutal people in our soci- ety." The people in this country is really not the number or type of guns people own. Actually l would say that a fair estimate in this state alone would be at least [ ;'~ ~ltll,% |11 ~ Olll of [t~tlt house- holds. When vou consider the numbers, our violent crimes In- volving firearms Is minimal. The number of firearms does not anywhere near approach the number of automobiles on the highways of this state or any other. How many people though are killed annually by drunk or reckless drivers? Yet have you ever heard of an organization whose purpose is to ban cars? The very mention would cause tempers to flair and a general indignity far and wide. The first remarks probably would be "it ain't constitutional!" Can you imagine it. or hear the argu- ments? I picked up a program on TV not too long ago. The attorney general of the United States, based on figures given him by the FBI, stated that only about one out of five firearms used in crimes was purchased from a gun or sporting arms store. The others were stolen or purchased on the black market• I believe this! Have you ever wandered through some of our local flea markets? There is most generally a variety of guns for sale. There is a better than fifty-fifty chance that some or all are stolen. There is no better way to move stolen gthOOds, i.e.: guns, cameras, any- ing. An FFL dealer has to account, or is held accountable, for every gun he sells, not only to whom, but as to where he bought it. That Included an invoice or bill of sale. he is subject to an audit by the Bureau of Alcohol, To- bacco and Firearms at any time. Each person purchasing a gun is required to fill out a form (ATF 4473). The dealer is then required to retain this form, and record the sale in his "Firearms Acquisition and Disposition Rec- ord Book." This becomes a per- manent record which may be- come evidence at a later date; should a firearm he sold be used In a crime. Believe me when I tell you this. I have had prospective buyers look over this form, and back out of a purchase. At the lime I dtd not ask why, but as- sumed they were unable to sign because in doing so they would be committing a felony. I laugh at some of the questions each time I read them. The one that I oft time ponder on is question C. of eight: (Are you a fugitive from justice?) If"yes" you're not per- mitted to purchase/or possess a firearm. In closing I'd like to remind all serious gun owners that the cut- off date for voters registration in this state is October 6, if you plan to vote in November. Let your judgement be your guide, but if you're a gun enthusiast, check out your candidate about his feelings on gun control, and vote accordingly. One of the most powerful weapons we have against gun control is our vote. Your support or lack of it, hires or fires a politician! Robert C. Rosser Ronceverte Dear Editor: The little lady in room 214 sat silently as her daughter made her ready to be taken down to the waiting car for the trip home. Her physical needs had been taken care of. But the heart- break of a hurt mind (of one who is out of touch with realty) is an indescribable sadness for this gentle, caring daughter to cope with. Her heart cries out for her mother in her private world. The daughter patiently and painstakingly managed to get her mother into the car and seated-in her silence. The mother was apparently unaware of this pathetic little drama of which she was tile leading lady. I went over to bid her goodbye. She held out a limp little hand. I held it for a brief moment. She very softly squeezed my hand and held it as if reluctant to let go. She looked at me with a thin trace of a little smile. These things I'll always remember as a mute *thank you" from a dear little lady who seemed almost to emerge from her deep depression ior a very brief lll¢.)lIICIlt tO ex- press her thanks to someone who showed her human kind- ness. It is the simple, though unfor- gettable, bonuses that cause vol- unteers to express their work as "the best job we ever had, and the pay is the very best.~ I'll always remember the gentle little lady in Room 214 at Humana-Greenbrier Hospital -- she made my day. Sincerely, Henry Dunn Lewisburg Dear Editor: Upon not receiving a copy of your paper in the mail today. I was informed by our Post Master that It would no longer be deliv- ered to the Gap Mills area with- out subscription. Thus, I am enclosing my check in the amount of $13.78 (Senior Citizen's rate) for a year's subscription beginning with the next issue September 27,1990. I have read the Mountain Messenger every week from its beginning and am most anxtous to continue reading it. Thank You, Ruth L McMann Gap Mills Dear Editor: I have recently become inter- ested In rock and mineral col- lecting, l am looking for others in the area who either already have experience with this hobby or for those who might enjoy learning about it along with me. Anyone interested can call me at home after 6 p.m. (645-2303) or at work (647-5577). Sincerely, DeWitt Shank Lewisburg Dear Editor: There Is an adage that states a problem is no longer a problem once it has been acknowledged as a problem. That is probably true ff done In a timely fashion. What was the federal govern- mcnt doing in the early 1980s when the current S&L (Savings and Loan) and faced? If it would knowledged as a it could have been a problem then, been controlled for billion. Instead ers) are facing a plus clean-up watch Republics Democrats and blame RepublicanS. tent Danny Wall in regulating th turned his back Washington as nessmen went A story that rail cial section of Times, March 26, follows: "Although community Is a rigid revision laws, there is one bankers were still pose -- any plat hag bank de guarantee bank bankers say, disastrously. ments of the bank deposit that it discredits conservatisms, and not avert the public must Another item that banks and pay a higher insurance. This strain on the Ind nalize the for the reckless of the "bad" oneS. ones should mium although hard to quantify. Do you think surance Indus,try. lty to measure their clients. such a disaster? More To The