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Mountain Messenger
Lewisburg, West Virginia
October 4, 1990     Mountain Messenger
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October 4, 1990

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4A The Mountain Messenger, Thursday, October 4,1990 Everyone referred to her as Mrs Doctor Price. It was not she, but her long-dead husband, who had been the medico. She, her,elf, was a Smythe of Virginia. Years before I knew her, she had written a voluminous genealogy of her family. That book, blue linen bound, was in our library at home. I think we had a copy simply because it represented the fruits of a West Virginian's labors. I don't believe it had ever been read -- after all, another family's necrology is pretty deadly when you get down to it. I mention Mrs Price's book only because, as a 'child, I was pretty impressed she had written a book. Actually, I was impressed by her name gold-stamped on the cover. What was between those covers didn't mean anything to me then. (If you will pardon the mixing of metaphors, that was rather like Judging a person by the color of the cover of his book.) I can tell you though, Mrs Price was a much more interesting character than anyone could have judged from the cover of her book. A Smythe of Virginia she might have been - hut, to me she was a wonderment. Mrs Price was a member of the West Virginia Legislature -- she was one of the first women to be elected, ff not the first. That achievement, too, was of little consequence in my young mind. It was Mrs Price herself who interested me the most. I was about eight'or ten years old when I was first introduced to Mrs Doctor Price, I am sure it was on a Sunday, because one of our (my grandmother's and my) regular Sunday activities was to get in grandmother's 1941 12-cylinder maroon Lincoln Zepher and call on friends. I met many very interesting people that way, and Mrs Doctor Price was one. o~ We drove to Scarbro (near Oak Hill in Fayette County) and parked down on the main road below Mrs Price's. The grey stucco house E was perched on the hill 60 or 70 feet above us on a perpendicular r The Mountain Messen STAFF Chas. A. Goddard, Editor Dot .ty Brackenrich, Office Manager Troy Forren, Advertising Terri Boone, Advertising Betty Morgan, Ad Design Matt Landers, Ad Design Jonathan Wright. Staff Writer Lou Burroughs, Typesetting Brenda Gherrnan, Production 122 N. Court Street Lewisburg, WV 24901 304/647-5724 Published every Thursday If you would like to submit material for publication: Articles submitted to The Mountain Messenger should be typewrit- ten or clearly written in order to be considered for publication. Please include your name and a phone number where you may be reached during business hours. The Mountain Messenger reserves the right to edit any material and regrets articles cannot be returned. Letters to the editor must include a full signature and address. If you would like a photograph returned, please provide a self-addressed, stamped en- velope. 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 State Students $11.13 (9 mos,) Out-of-State, $15.00 $1 discount to Senior Citizens To the point It was a fresh-air-lover's nightmare. I had a job to do, however, so I got it over with as soon as possible. Don't get me wrong. I'm not a health nut. I just enjoy clean air, and being in a room where I'm forced to breathe heavy concen- trations of foreign materials floating around is offensive to me. My job was to take a few pho- tographs for the newspaper at a convention center where an or- ganization was having a week- end meeting. I picked an infor- mal time when they were to- gether playing table games. As soon as I opened the door to the the stairway leading to the room where the crowds were gathered, my sense of smelling was immediately accosted by some of the stalest air I had en- countered in ages. When I reached the large room where some 150 persons were gathered at tables playing games, it was as if all the contaminated air within miles had congregated in this one room. I hurriedly took a few photographs at various loca- "~ hill, Eighty or so steps rose to the front entry. We began the climb, tions, talked briefly to a several persons, and headed for the S We would stop every few steps so my grandmother could admire Mrs adult world, cross my legs, and sip a cocktail with this amazing stairs. Price's flower beds which hung on the hillside llke the fabled Hang- apparition. Good thai my grandmother always had a level head. I was probably in that room ::; Ing Gardens of Babylon. : From somewhere among the flowers came a cheerful, yet. deep After Mrs Price mixed her cocktail and provided my grandmother no more than fifteen minutes, :: and throaty, "hello." Out from under a lilac emerged Mrs Doctor and me our ginger ales, she sat down in a low-slung Mission oak but already my lungs were feel- : Price. She was dressed in a white organdy dress which must have chair. She picked up a long carved ivory holder and very ceremoni- lng the effects of the thick blue 2 been new about 50 years earlier. The dress, remarkable as it was in ously inserted a cigarette into one end. She lighted her cigarette and smoke that permeated every : itself, was minimized by the long, red, man's union suit which she leaned back dreamily in her chair. The smoke wreathed her face, ice square foot of the place. It was wore as an undergarment and by the opulence of a real sable ankle-- tinkled in her highball glass -- the total effect on a young boy's mind length fur coat. A beaded iridescent band encircled her head --- a was wonderous. lone ostrich feather drooped lazily over one ear. Her aging hands sparkled with dozens of diamond rings. "So nice to see you, my dears, I was just finishing up a bit of work In the garden." she in- toned. "Shall we go up to the house for a drink?" We continued to climb. I was enchanted. I was enthralled. Never In my tender years had I seen anyone quite like her. (Actually, I haven't seen anyone quite like Mrs Doctor Price since then either.) Across the wide veranda we trotted, Mrs Price In the lead. We were conducted Into the pleasantly musty and darkened |lying room. "Now, Eva. I'm going to fLX myself a cocktail. I know you don't drink. But, perhaps the young man (motioning to me with a glittering hand} would like something?" I waited In sophisticated anticipation. not knowing exactly what a cocktail was. I only knew It was an adult drink that maybe, just maybe, this wonderful lady was going to in- troduce me to. My grandmother quickly said "I think a ginger ale will do for him." (A ten-year-old could be very innocent In those days.} For a few brief moments I really did think I was going to enter the Dear Editor: In yesteryear, when this writer grew up In the 20's and 30's, there was a great need for home growing and preservation of food. Families were larger, be- fore birth control methods were common knowledge. a.m. on a clear day to cook it. Use 18 to 20 gallon copper kettle. 30 gallons peeled, cored apple snits, washed.- I-1/2 gal- lons water. Boil whter in dean copper kettle, add a few snits. Cook, stirring continuously. Add snlts, repeat until all cooked in. Prior to available electricity to Do not stop stirring. At 4 p.m. farms,-the ice-man delivered ice add: 24 pounds sugar, gradu: in cities. Rural folks had ally. Aftersugar Is put in, keep it springs, cisterns, wells but no boiling, but slowly. This Is ready ice water. Rural families butch- ered their own beef, pork, mut- ton. chickens and a few game animals In season. They knew how to preserve the meats by brlntng, sugar curing, or can- ning for use In hot weather when to can at 5 p.m. We cleaned the handle of a peavy to use as a bar under the bail to tote the boiling kettle to the porch (~nclosed porch) and the spider clung to the kettle thus making it easily set down. Now stlr in 3 tea- meat would spoil if not pre- spoons O11 of Cassia (available at served. Some fol~s harvested Ice drug store, It Is a cinnamon fla- from pohds and stored it In saw- vorlng}. Mother and I canned 36 dust in Ice cellars or went toquarts of this and had a couple Bear Town. Children walke~ to school and carried their lunch and books in all kinds of weather. Many lunch boxes were (3-pint-size) lard buckets. Many lunches were bis- cuits or bread slices spread with jellies, jams, fruit butters and real cow butter, freshly churned the day prior. Spread one half biscuit with butter, other side with applebutter -- I wish I had one now. Alasl CholesterolH No lard in biscuits, no butter. Today's lunch is available at school or is a peanut butter, lunch meat or cheese sandwich. With smaller families, refrig- erators, and our cattle sold on hoof and bought by the new York Strip or T-bone. our ances- tral ways of life and work are only remembered among some of us old senior citizens. I helped make soap for the rub-a-dub on the washboard and ironed with sad irons. 1 helped plant, hoe. raise the cane, strip off leaves, fed the rollers as the green sap pressed. and was boiled Into many gal- lons of sorghum "lasses." Lasses made Into ginger cookies for school lunch all winter, Mrs Galford {Joy of Farming) gave directions on how to make applebutter yesteryear and to- day, using the copper kettle In yard or the crock-pot on the kitchen counter. In October 1975. I decided to write amounts of Ingredients as I helped our mother make apple- bowls from "sopping" the kettle with a spatula Nhen it cooled somewhatl Turn the empty copper kettle upside down on grass. Scrub the stirrer, rinse and. hang in shelter (wood shed} to dry. By next morning the copper kettle can be easily washed, as dew has soaked It until soft. Cheerfully submitted, Anna B. Shue Atkins Chesterfield, Virginia Dear Editor: On behalf of the staff, chil- dren, and Board of Directors, t would like to thank Jonathan Wright and the Mountain Mes- senger for the recently published article on Monroe Day Care Cen- ter. Much needed support was generated which brought us a new stove, donated by Charles Sams and Bill Guy and a very good used refrigerator donated J~ Agnes Roles. Arthur Braden of White Sulphur Springs also called, willing to donate a' sign to erect In the front of the Center. Numerous other calls were re- "I'm sure we are boring this young man," Mrs Price said to my grandmother. She turned to me and said "Do look around. You'll find a nickelodeon in the sun parlor, it has a magnificent leaded glass panel of a sailboat that light's up. I bought it when the saloon In Glen Jean closed. The switch is just under the keyboard. And there's a Victrola in the hall upstairs. The records are in a cabinet beside It. Go along now. Your grandmother and I will have a little visit." Little did Mrs Doctor Price realize what an impression she was making. An impression just as vivid 40 years later as it was then. When Mrs Price died her family erected, in the Oak Hill cemetery, a huge marble monument in her memory. I understand it is remark- able In that It chronicles Mrs Doctor Price's lineage naming names and giving dates for hundreds, perhaps thousands, of years, 1 haven't been to see" the monument. I didn't feel I had to because I knew the lady. No marble memorial could do her justice. -- Chas. A. Goddard D~ar Editor: For the past two years 1 have had the honor of serving with Delegate Bill Wallace from Greenbrier County in the House of Delegates. He was not a typi- cally quiet "freshman delegate." Bill Wallace quickly won the re- spect of his fellow delegates as he spoke out in his committees in behalf of his district and never was reluctant to address all\the delegates whenever we were' in the House Chamber. He did his homework on the issues and was prepared to argue his per- spective if necessary. If your newspaper endorses candidates for the Legislation and is willing to consider the over-due rejuvenation of the two- party political~ system. I would hope that you too will look at Bllrs progressive voting record and support his candidacy. Delegate Wallace is creative in his proI~sals, thoughtful in his voting and fiercely independent -- all of which I find positive at- tributes. I would hope that the voters In Greenbrler County continue to recognize that a two party system is vital to the future of West Virginia. Bill Wallace is part of that program to offer al- ternatives and less government intrusion. Speaking as one who has served ten years in the House of Delegates, I strongly point out that West Virginia needs more people like Bill Wal- lace in the Legislature. Sincerely David B. McKinley State Chairman Republican National Committee Wheeling Dear Editor: The state of Oklahoma made headlines which are resounding from the hills and edifices of the other 49 states. Tuesday. Sep- tember 18. by a 2-1 margin they approved a constitutional amendment to put a lifetime cap of 12 years on legislative service. The chief backer in Okla- homa, a business-man from Tulsa stated, "The limit is needed to keep legislators from celved concerning our need for becoming entrenched in office appliances. Thanks to everyone and beholden to special interests butter. Though I'd grown up helping do this mad knew how, I carefully measured to have a recipe for posterity. Begin at 8 for the generosity and concern in Instead of the people." this matter. Colorado and California will Sincerely, vote November 6 to place limits Sharon Campbell. Director. on terms of orate, and similar Monroe Day Care Center legislation has been introduced Union in Florida and New York. it'ILC KIN'R , A X.n" "rt-E How encouraging to know that people in all the states are 'up to here' with legislative dicta- torship. How heartening to know that the trend now begun will become a raging river as citizens in all states move to take back their government. Who Is going to champion this cause in West Virginla? It only takes one~ Frank Gottschalk Nitro Dear Editor: I just finished reading your paper and saw once again a let- ter from Henry Dunn. I am a nurse at Humana Hos- pital and though Mr Dunn does not know me by name, I talk to him quite often. He Is always pa- tient, pleasant, friendly and will- ing to help in any way (the staff or the patients). A man of such sincere quali- ties, to give of his time and his heart, is indeed very fortunate for ah ~f us at Humana Hospital. Of ~dl the ever-changing hap- penings in a hospital., what a good feeling to see such genuine human kindness and caring. And to be given freely. Thank you Mr Dunn. Shirley Boggs LPN Second floor Humana Hospital Dear Editor: When I cast a vote for elected office. 1 believe the most impor- tant qualification that the candi- date must have is integrity. That's why I intend to vote to reelect Congressman Harley Staggers Jr. Congressman Stag- gers has an eight-year record of accomplishment for us in Con- gress, and before that he worked for us in the state senate and the attorney general's office. He started out working in a small business with his brother. And before that, his father gave us 32 years of the most honest repre- senmtlon anyone could ask for. They say an acorn never falls too far from the tree, and that is exactly the case with Harley Jr. He is one of us. he cares about us. and he works very hard so that people like your and I can have a better life and. more Im- portantly, leave a better place for our children Over the eight years Harley has been in Con- gress, we have gotten to know his wife Leslie, and we have watched them brings Eliz~abeth and Orrln Into the world. These people are family, and they care about your family and mine. When you go into the voting booth in November, if you vote for your values, for West Virginia values, you Will vote for Con- gressman Staggers. We need to keep" a voice in .Washington thai knows and cares about West Vir- ginia. Sincerely, Anna Thompson Great Ca capon Dear Editor: John Yoder said it, "West VIr- ginians are no longer going to run away. We're going to stand and fight. The Lord told us that after we have done everything we can do, to standl And we shalll There are those in the Special Session who stood! Their names should be set in marble. Sena- tors Donna Boley, Buffy Warner and Jay Wolfe. Delegates Phyllis Cole, Robert Conley, Vernon Criss and Arnold Ryan (The Cou- rageous Seven). Why did 127 Legislators vote with the administration when In- formation to vote intelligently was withheld from them? Yes. their sentiment was with the teachers as was ours. But. it was within their power to prevent the withholding of information ever againl If they had stood firm say- ing, "I refuse to vote for anything or anyone until I am given the means to justify my vote." The teachers were ecstatic but. day by day, the 'withheld in- formation' Is coming out in the newspapers to the detriment of those least able to stand the ad- ditional tax burden. I am a retired teacher. I would not want this on my conscience -- 127 legislators have that bur- den on the/r consclencel Viloris Allen Scott Depot Dear Editor: As I drove home this evening, [ was saddened by the thought that our junior high schooI may soon be closed. All week I had been listetaing to parents talking about the floats they and their children were decorating for the home- coming parade. , . each trying to convince the other that theirs, of course, was going to win the prize. All week I had heard the junior high band practicing for the homecoming game. And I Imagined the excitement of the football players and the children By as if I had hurt. I hurried down through the lobby, the fresh air of the Alter I got into closed the door, Blakeslee, who for me, immediately t that I smelled like a I was not surprised. two minutes in that be enough to thread of one's stench of nicotine. smell continued to rest of that evening able to take a shower, What puzzles me type of situation is earth could a never around much smoke stand to be heavily polluted the time I was there were some there, Almost as question is this: group like this heavy smoke will those people who part in their to me their activities smokers--ignorin~ of those who have for cigarette smoke. A situation like treme as it may be, remind me how air is. I'm going to for granted. people do. involved in the tion. As I drove p Mountain this people going to toWrl parade which was for an hour yet. I that my girls, who fourth grade, experience the town this evening as. students. Perhaps our batld floats and our would not hold a of a consolidated . . the truth is e children partictpati tending this even be able to be a activities in a school. So the pride ment and feeling which is so teens, would be What a loss for . what a loss for that big new duplicate what we evening? I think not[ Sincerely, Dear Editor: I have not seen, ers. any active of the Greenbrier office to register October 9 -- Why'? In other posters, public radio encouraging so they may vote ber 6 Ger Mountain commended for its courage voter Scratches It ( fished at Sq done likewise Register to vote ber 9. If you have call the Greenbr Clerk's office at 64b a difference, and 6. Thank you. Sincerely Pritchard To The