Newspaper Archive of
Mountain Messenger
Lewisburg, West Virginia
December 6, 1990     Mountain Messenger
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December 6, 1990

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Vol. VI No.39 December 6, 1990 From the Greenbrier Valley of West Virginia Row Arises Over Frank Spicer Wright .Pltch" and Frank two are synonymous Greenbrier Valley. :Past 18 years the Lewis n has worked see that needy fami- children, share in Christmas sea- Pitch involves a tre- t of work." he harder to organize it's very impor- while I was play- at The Greenbrler Sulphur Springs, I got the children I was Would never about having a while almost of the hotel there whose children to face that pros- of The r News In Le- the annual effort early 1970's. Today he as treasurer for the Pitch was begun in Flew Brown- Dennis Sanger, Rogers, "It started as collect a little throw a party for in Lewlsburg." Mr "It was held at the the kids were and Santa Claus appearance.- began to be some Over after the party Penny Pitch was or continued, "so the to use it to help families who children. People commu nity seemed the idea of giving help to those it. That's about the he] ping with it." Lame "Penny Pitch" wogram's early were encour- eh" pennies and for the effort into jars placed on counters Finding a loan for the opera- tion of tile Andrew S. Rowan Memorial Home at Sweet Springs continues to be a problem for the Monroe County Commission. However, Commissioners say they are optimistic the morley will be available by late Decem- ber or early in January. The Commission is working against a December 31 deadline extension granted by the West Virginia Department of Health and ttuman Resources (DHHR) to complete plans for the home's takeover by the county. Efforts to secure a $1 million loan from area banks have been unsuc- cessful, but Commission presi- dent Sarah ('Susie') Wickline said she is optimistic the Farm- ers Home Administration would shortly approve a loan guarantee of $750,000 to $800,000. The amonnt would be sufficient to begin operation of the home, she said. The Commission reel in a spe- cially called meeting November 30 at the Monroe County Court- house to discuss the progress of the plans. Mrs Wickline said the certificate of need for the 30-bed sllbstant:e abuse program, which is part of the plans for the Rowan Home, had been up proved. Included in the ~ominission's plans for the 22,8- acre site is a lood and juice proc- essing plant, elderly independent living units, water bottling plant, and a 150-bed personal care la. cility, Members of the Commission voted to extend to December 15 the deadline for receiving bids on the operation of the water bet- fling plant. A previous deadline had expired with only one bid ~ubmitted. Some audience members ex- pressed concern thai the financ- ing would not be In place by the December 31 deadline set by the DHHR. resulting in the closing of the facility. Mrs Wickline replied, "By the end of December we may not have every bit of the paper- work in place, but 1 believe the state will see we're going to make ago of it and will be flexible in allowing us a few extra days to finalize what's needed." Four employees of the Rowan Home attended the meeting and expressed frustration concerning the delays in setting up final plans for the operation of the Sweet Springs facility. Kathleen Schmidt, an employee from Un- ion, focused on what she said was a lack of communication be- tween the Commissioners and Rowan Home employees, She re- ferred to the fact that the only announcement of the November 30 meeting was a notice at- tached to the courthouse door. "How can 1 know about these meetings if theyTre not an- nounced properly?." she said. "It was just an accident that one of our employees saw it on the courthouse door and told us about it. 'Every meeting should be announced in the newspaper so we can all attend them." Mrs Wickline replied, "We haven't really had thfiF many meetings, and with the newspa- per deadlines, we're not always able to get the announcements published in time. It was just a few days ago we were able to get this group scheduled to meet to- gether." Also in attendance were Kyle Baker and Don Richardson. nlembers of Springfield Associ- ates. the management team hired by the Commission to manage the Rowan Home when it is turned over to the county. The end of the state's owner- ship of the Rowan Home was part of a vote by the )990 West Virginia State Leglslature to dis- continue the state's lavolvement there and to find an appropriate operator for the institution. Groundbreaklng ceremonies: Keith Morgan (left), Virginia Blake, Steve Morgan, Sue Ella Miano, Valerie O'Brien, Coleen Walton, Eu- gene Kelley, Mary Houchins, and Lynwood Wells Margaret Hollowell Contributes To Ronceverte Library Addition The Ronceverte lhablic Libraiy $300 raised the firstwill more than double in size as rtions have grown an-a result of a building project be- pProximately gun November 28. A 961~square- were used to foot addition is being con- 85 families last year. structed by contractor Melvin 3urg Rotary Club and Dolan Jr to join the present 920- Creenbrier Jaycees square-foot structure at Walnut prospective and West Main Street. and distribute goods Valerie O'Brien. librarian been even more successful than we anticipated," Board of Trus- tees treasurer Kelth Morgan said. Other members of the Board include Kelly Ford, Steve Morgan, and Mary Houchins. Plans call for the 11,000-vol- ume library to add another 10,000 volumes after the addi- tion is completed In late winter. Ola and Anthony Piercy Seventy Years Of Wedded Of Fairlea Look Back When Ola Hughart Plercy and Anthony Piercy moved to Fairlea in 1922. there were only a few scattered houses in the then- sleepy community between Ron- ceverte and Lewisburg. A cur- sory glance today tells how things have changed. Scores of houses, thriving businesses, and the ever-changing State Fair- grounds now surround the Pi- ercy home on U. S, 219 south. The couple have a lot of years to look b~ick on. As of November 24, they had been married 70 years. Mr Piercy was born in 1894, Mrs Piercy in 1900. They were married at Emmanuel Methodist Church in Asbury in 1920. Today they have two chil- dren, Lowrie of Pittstord, New York: and George, who lives next door to his parents. Four grand- children and two great-grand- children cQmplete the family. The couple live comfortably in their small frame home. For two weeks each year a familiar scene plays in the neighborhood, one that has been replayed for the Piercys 68 times: the ~tate Fair of West Virginia. The thousands of persons who visit the fair provided a sup- plementary income many years to the Piercy family, who lived in a tent outside while they rented their rooms to fairgoers. "We had some guests who stayed with us year after year," Mrs I~ercy said. "One-couple who sold jewelry during fair time stayed with us i-or about 25 years during fair time, Also, Joe Basile. the man who conducted the band in iron! of the grandstand for years, stayed with us for about 15 years." Mr Basile conducted his "York Spring Garden Band," which he brought to Falrlea from the New York City area. The Piercys continued open lng their home to guests until two years ago. As is common in the vicinity of the fairgrounds, the couple continues earning additional money from charging fairgoers for parking privileges on their property. During the "off- season." the 50 weeks when the fair was not in session, the Plercya once kept a milk cow at the fairgrounds. Local Dancers To Appear In Nutcracker Ballet At Beckley families each since 1983. said. "When 1 crone Also included will be a kitchen number be- here we were in a small trailer and private meeting room for Three local dancers, Lelgh Ann Humen (left), Roberts King, and Nan nd 50, Mr Spicer said. on Edgar Avenue at the railroad community functions. Mrs Wingler will appear in the ballet Nutcracker" at Beckley s Woodrow ~ut late November tracks. We had only about 500 O'Brien said the West Virginia Wilson High School December 7, 8 and 9. The production is staged ~ecember The West square feet. When our new Library Commission is also by Theatre West Virginia and the Beckley Dance Theater School. Miss :ly News runs ads building was built in 1986 we funding the installation of a sat- Humen is the daughter of Mr and Mrs James Humen of White Sulphur help in identifying doubled our space. Now we're ellite television receiver behind Springs. She is a sophomore at Greenbrler East. Miss King is the o need assistance going to do it again--all in just the new addition. The receiver daughter of Mr and Mrs Ed King of kewlsburg. She also ls a sopho- season. Re- seven years. That's phenome- will make possible the viewing of more at East. Miss Wlngler, daughter of Mr and Mrs Buck Wlngter of then visit nal." teleconferences, college exten-White Sulphur Springs, is a senior at East. A gift from Mrs Otto Hollowellsions classes, and other pro- of Lewisburg, along with a num- ber of smaller contributions, is funding the project. The new fa- cility will be named the "Hollow- ell Addition," according to Vir- ginia Blake. president of the library's Board of Trustees. "We're very happy aboul this," Mrs Blake said. "We outgrew this facility the second year we were here. I think it shows what it has done for the people in our area--- it has provided access to the reading material they desire." "This library ,building has grams of community interest, she said. Sue Ella Miano, president of The Friends of the Ronceverte Public IAbrary, a community group which helps fund and pro- mote the activities of the library. said. "We're accommodating more and more activities here. It's an information center for the entire town. We're very proud of our exceptional library and li- brarian. It's really a tribute to her [Mrs O'Brlen's] efforts that we're able do all this." the parents the degree of need, the Week before review the appllca- which families to the selected made the weekend Each fam- (~ 70-pound box of ther contributions, ~n the family's needs, clothing, and utility riterviewlng is the Penny" Page 2-A Behind tile house they raised a large garden from which Mrs PI- ercy would can a large variety of vegetables each year. They also raised hogs on their property. Mr Plercy is a World World I veteran. He was awarded a Purple Heart for wounds he re- ceived whtl~,,,serving with the Army during the war in the Ar- gonne Forest of France in 1917. He worked with Clarkson and Tuckwfller Ford Motor Company in Ronceverte from 1920 to 1936. After working ata variety of local jobs m the 1930's, he joined the Greenbrier County Public Schools' maintenance de- partment, where he worked 20 years until his retirement at age 65. Mrs Plercy was honored Sep- tember 23 by the "IYinlty United Methodist Church of Ronceverte for "50 years' outstanding serv- ice and commitment to mis- sions" through the United Meth- odist Women. When asked for advice to couples in creating a successful get mad too quickly. You must forgive and forget." Inside Today About Herbs ..................... 8A Agriculture ....................... 7A Briefly Carneg ie Column Classified ........................ 7B For the Record ................ 3A From the Back Porch ...... 6A From the Mayor's Desk...5A Horoscopes ................... 12A Joy of Farming ................ 7A Obituaries ........................ 9A Opinion ............................ 4A Roberta ............................ 5A Saints ............................... 2B Sports ............................... 1 B Teen Notes ..................... 11A Funds Laura Sew. director of the Greenbrier County Committee on Aging, says, "A lot of people have the idea our programs are lust for people with low incomes. ;l'hey are aciually for anyone over 60 who needs our services." ber of individuals provided for. "We want to encourage all per- sons over 60 to see whal we have to oiler them." One of the. most well-known services of the group is providing meals at three"nutrition sites" Rupert. Despite the decreased partici- pation trend, the group served over 24,000 meals at the nutri- tion sites last year and delivered over 28,000. Senior citizens of- ten make contributions at each Ms Sevy said the Committe on around the county. Staff mem- meal to help make up for the lo,v Agingf is losing funds, because of bers deliver,'meals on wheels" to . funding ,received from the gov- decreased participation among Individuals who cannot travel to emmenL Ms'SeW said.. 7 the senior citlzens it serves,the sites. All food is prepared at One Of the hardest funding Many public monies the group the central office and recrea- cuts, Ms Sevy added, was when receives are based on the num- tional complex on U. S. 60 in See "Aging", Page 8-A