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Glenville, West Virginia
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February 26, 2004     The Glenville Democrat
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February 26, 2004
 

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Thursday, February 26, 2004 -- Page 3A Getting angry with credit card companies & other issues Maybe my anger is the result of the aging process because I never remember getting mad about the-way I've occasionally been treated before now. The recent popular movie, "Anger Man- agement," starring Jack Nicholson, brought this issue to the surface for me. In working my way up through the grades as a youngster, I was always taught that anger is a bad thing, but, now, I'm not so sure that it doesn't have a legitimate place in people's lives. Oh, I know that the Bible says to turn the other cheek and that anger is one of the seven deadly sins. Simultaneously, after taking "it" for years from the general public in the news- paper business, it "feels so good to blow my stack" on occasion. (It helps to keep my blood pressure high, too.) Noticing that my own personal fuse is get- ting shorter, I was thrust back in time and fumed the other day in empathy when a recent Glenville State College graduate (not my son) grimaced to me that his application for a credit card had been summarily denied by a lender (I don't believe it was a local bank). Ironically, I get a new credit card offer about every day from banks all over the United States. In addition, playing on my sympathies, I also get them from my universities (St. Louis, Me., University and the University of Kentucky), '. not to mention Marshall University, to which I have no academic connection at all. Of the latter University and after three telemarketing calls to me, I had to yell at the banker that I wasn't using the Marshall credit card because I didn't order it, didn't want or The Corcoran / I[[IH Column | [1[11 need it, and didn't even graduate from that Huntington institution of higher learning. I believe that my anger was justified in this case, in that I had told them to take me offtheir telemarketing list at the end of the first call. While I can't stop the bushels of credit card offers from coming in to me, here's a fine young man, who is just getting started off in life and can't get even one. The reasons were noted on the back of his denied application in the form of impersonal numbers: one saying that his bank account hadn't been opened long enough and the other, that he had no "credit history." Having worked his way through college and being involved with several community service projects during his baccalaureate years, I would think that he'd be a pretty safe credit risk, if I were a bank card salesperson. Unfortunately, that's not the way it works, though. Bad school memories As a young college professor -- my fh'st real job, I was refused an American Express credit card because I didn't "earn enough money." Had they bothered to check their travel division, they would have found out that the year before, I had spent $2,000-plus with them for a tour of Europe. I had applied to American Expresa be- cause I had liked the quality of their tour and their helpfulness to me, financially, along the way. Their foreign officials had allowed me to call home to mom and dad for some extra money to get me through the trip. I was so infuriated about American Express's card rejection that I've never used that com- pany again -- for AE checks, tours or cards. They've lost probably thousands of dollars of business from me, due to their stupidity back then. Incidentally, now-a-days, AE constantly sends me applications begging me to take out one of their credit cards. No way, Jose! Living in Lexington, Ky. at the time, teach- ing and working on my doctorate all at the same time, I needed a credit card because I had to do some traveling to get to libraries and archives to do my dissertation research. Hence, a credit card would be useful. So, I applied for the second time at a local bank, United Vir- ginia Bank. Lo and behold, they trusted me, so for their understanding and helpfulness, I maintained the card for over 30 years, as I moved around Kentucky and West Virginia with my various work positions, Nevertheless, things change over time and, in this case, United Virginia was bought out by a couple of other banks, ending up as Fleet First Boston. With that developmenL the Continued on page 5A 'Don't Get Me Started' ... on By Kristal Sheets, City Editor & Columnist I've been accused of one thing for more than half my life, and I'm not sure I could plead innocent if formally charged. When it comes to what I read, I can be the biggest rooty-tooty high and snooty snob many people have ever reeL But when it comes to movies, I'ga often worse - much worse. This is probably be- cause the 90 minutes that one has to spend watching a movie could be spent just as easily reading a book. So if I'm going to choose watching a movie over reading a book, the movie had darned well better be worth it. What is infinitely worse is having to de- cide whether to watch a movie based on some beloved book. Of course, there have been good movie versions of great books. Harper Lee' s To Kill a.+.tl4ockingbird Comes to mind, as well as Kiss of the Spider Woman by Manuel Puig. Every once in a while, books seem destined to he filmed and this can turn out to be a satisfying experience, such as the movie- versions of Sophie's Choice and The Worm According to Garp. It's rare that the-q-dality of a movie surpasses the book on which it is based, as is the case with The Godfather. Unfortunately, there are times when a movie forever clouds the objective of an author in the minds of people who'll never read the book. For example, the film versions of Vladimir Nabakov's most famous work of fiction have managed to miss the point and misuse the text, courting disaster in the process. As a result, Lolita has become a pop-culture synonym for the worldly-wise, teenaged vixen who se- duces older men. Anyone who knows the mentally torpid "Lolita" of the book - the pimply and dirty-haired Delores Haze, who never consciously invites the advances of Humbert Humbert and is made, to the reader, less desirable than a bacon milkshake- finds this laughable. A lot of the time, the decision to see or not to see barely forms a question. Tell me I should watch a film called Great Expectations that is set in the present day, starring Gwyneth Pahrow, boasting a soundtrack which includes Tori Amos and The Grateful Dead. Yes, and I will beg you to leave the light on because I'll probably be having nightmares for a week at the mere thought of this. Sometimes the cinematic butchering of a novel goes much deeper than your basic gar- den-variety disembowelment. When the movie called Brain Stoker's Dracula was released, I worked in a book- store. My co-workers and I had already pre- pared ourselves for the movie-tie-in paper- back; we knew it would be designed to sell the original product to moviegoers who would be more interested in the 1897 novel Dracula by Brain Stoker if it sported a cover with a sexy photo of Winona Ryder on it. We would have cringed had this been the case, but at least a lurid picture would have been used on the cover of a literary classic. We believed the concept ofnotj udging books by their covers. But we weren't prepared for the blood- draining reality of the marketing scheme. The geniuses who cut the book deal with producers of Brain Stoker's Dracula decided to sell a novelization of the screenplay to the film Brain Stoker's Dracula, rather than re- packaging the actual te~ofDracula by Brain Stoker. I'm not joking. You also have to wonder, "What were they Continued on page 5A Musings of an oldtimer --- By Frances Myers Schmetzer, Glenville Columnist The year was 1914. Nicholas County High School was under construction and my dad had been hired as the first principal. He wrote in his memoirs: "The school building was not completed When time for school to open arrived. I told the school board that I would prefer to do most of the finish work with the larger boys than to be bothered with carpenters while we were trying to hold classes. I had developed some skill as Lcarpenter and had a class in Farm Shop, or anual Training." "We hung doors, put on door and window trim and locks, baseboard, etc. The auditorium was only roughed in and was a bigger job than we should undertake. However, when the car- Penters got around to finishing the stage, they were stumped to lay out the arc ofalarge circle with its center 20 some feet up and 50 feet back up to the in the air. The class in Plane Geometry solved their problem .... " "There was a state law against smoking on school property and the Board told me to enforce it. So when the president of the Board came on the athletic field smoking and stu- dents came to me to know what to do, I demonstrated then and there that I was not wise enough to be a school principal. Our student government was a real and active organization. The committee was in charge and I told the President that he was no excep- tion and he had to get rid of his cigar or get off. The boys with me were big enough and put- ring him off would have been a lark for them. He was win enough to knuckle under when he saw what was in store for him." "At the end of the first year I told the Board I was not interested in coming back unless they gave me a three-year contract. The Presi- dent opened the Court House window and made a speech to the six board members in a loud voice so all the Saturday afternoon crowd could hear: I would not listen to reason, supported student government, fired a good teacher, etc. The Board gave me the three- year contract with a salary raise of $100 for each of the three years. Only the president voted against me. The next year a new Super- intendent of Schools was elected and we had an agreeable Board after that." "Years later, when I was visiting in Sum- mersville and in the store operated by the former Board president, my enemy, he intro- duced me to a stranger as the best principal the high school ever had." Dad entitled his book "How To Fail" by Almost A. Hasbin. His photo and name, Charles Everett Myers, are on the back cover. It and other books of local interest are avail- able at the newspaper office, Dear F_M/tor, I am writing in appreciation of Mary Heckert's letter. Your letter to the editor was Hoseys express gratitude to community very touching. Yes, I do know thismother and t ]aer. Yes, I did know this Angel that was taken from our lives. This Angel was my nephew. There will ngver be a day our hearts do not ache. No, my brother and sister- in-law will never have a dry eye again. But, through the love of family and friends and this wonderful community, they will go on. Yes, there have been many stories about what took place. People who say things they know nothing about, these people do not real- ize the hurt that is caused by this gossip. I tell my family they need to ignore those that know no better, and cherish those that do. My brother and sister-in-law axe dealing with a loss no one should ever have to bear. However, in life these things do happen and thoughtless com- ments of strangers are part of that. Next time when you speak on something or of someone, please remember the hurt that might Come from something you only heard and have no personal effect or view on, because,+ tomor- row, it could be you. In spite of the downfall of gossip, my family has felt the love and caring of this community and could never in any words express how much this has helped us all through this tragic time. The outpouring of phone calls, cards and donations will never bring our Angel, Isaac, back. But, the love from people who don't even know us (and those who do) shows our family that in horrible times, God will send love to help us go on. Once again, we appreciate everyone who has helped in one way or another. This is definitely a community of family and God's love. Sincerely, Mary Hosey Glenville More 'Letters to the'Editor' on Page SA Our 'Letters to the Editor' Policy " [,..We are in need of more letters to the editor. Feel free to send them in to us. sign the letter via snail mail. Deadlines for letters are Mondays at 10 a.m. for past remember our policy on the letters that weeks paper. After 10 a.m., they can he accepted for that week as paid L_Local. newspapers have long been the sounding boards for political, advertisements. However, it would appear for free in a future edition. [Pe~eelnal, ar~patriotic views and this paper is no exception! Also, for writers who consistently send in Letters week after week, these I Relative to writing responses, please keep in mind our Editorial Policy: we messages are constantly evaluated as to content and to purpose, so they may ]W)ll.ac e. letters off a space available basis onty and they will be subject to be considered as an advertisement, especially if they are weekly, lengthy, and mee.oitorsscmtinyaa~contentrelativetolibel, good taste and timeliness, repetitious of previous letters. Nevertheless, you will be contacted if the latter Ior g .o~1 length is generally one to one-and-a-half standard typing pages, is the case and will be charged only our regular advertising rate. u?le-spaced. The decision of the Senior Editor will be final. Letters must For more information, contact either Dave Corcoran, Sr. or Jodi at 304-462- st gnedin order to be published -e-mailed letters must include a phone 7309 mber where your identity can be verified, but you may still be required to " , ~ Last Issue Before Election: News, Letters, & Ads ~ .The Ion.g-standing policy of this newspaperhas always been that if, in the issue before an election, one candidate or citizen makes allegations about another candidate L~lerLr~to ~ the ~ party be given the right of rebuttal. Readers of this newspaper know that we editors have had this policy in effect for the past eight years in to make certain that the journalistic and ethical principles of fairness and equality be assured on these pages relative to both the news and advertising side~ Happy Centennial Anniversary, Sand Fork/ Located in eastern Giimer County on the banks of the beautiful Little Kanawha River and Sand Fork Creek, what was to become the Sand Fork community began as a rural wilderness prior to the late 1800s. In fact, by 1899, two stores and a post office existed, along with a fair number of farms. Then, according to Mr. O. F. Morton's history of the area that has been handed down by the Billy Decker family, an oil gusher -- producing 7,000 barrels a day --- turned the lazy little neighborhood into a thriving and active settlement. This impressive "Oil Town" was originally named, "Layopolis," after the name of the treasurer of the Standard Oil Company which had a financial interest in the oil business there. But, in 1903, "Sand Fork" was apparently chosen as the permanent name for the community. As it grew, three general stores, two hotels and several other stores flourished in serving the area's residents and growing oil industry. Although after the oil boom subsided and the district returned to its current rural atmosphere, Sand Fork people remain very proud of their rich heritage. A great deal of this pride emerged on Men., Feb. 16 when the Sand Fork Centennial Celebration's program took place at the community's elementary school. The school, which is now the center of the community's social life, presented a patriotic, colorful and historical program which was planned and orchestrated by its principal (John Wolfe), a teacher (Sharon Radabaugh), and a Gilmer County historian-poet (Mary Ann Radabaugh). The afternoon's ceremony to commemorate the town's 100th anniversary would have been pleasing to those hard working, brave and industrious pioneers who had originally settled and tamed the wilderness area in the 19th century and had founded the town in the early 20th century. Their foresight and good habits were praised by the afternoon's speakers, notably Mary Ann Radabaugh, Billy Burke, Helen James, Joe Miller, Billy Decker and John Wolfe -- all who had close ties to the school and community. During the school's part of the program, the students -- under the direction of teacher Andrea Heath --- did a good job in singing many apropos songs befitting the centennial. In addition, many regular school year awards were presented to the students during the occasion and a nine-year-old, third grader, Jacob Yanero, read a spirited essay, which won a third place in a statewide writing contest, on his modern-day hero, Homer Hickam, the "Rocket Boy"-turned author. The whole ceremony was a memorable event for that school's children, as well as for the visitors who attended the festive ceremony --- an event that they will never forget. Perhaps the only topic that wasn't addressed was the community's future. But, with progressive leadership, Sand Fork should grow in the years to come. This optimistic vision is based on its geographic location, being about halfway between Interstate 79 and Glenville, the county seat. Certainly, Sand Fork should benefit from people moving into Gilmer County to take jobs at the federal prison. So, Happy First Century, Sand Fork! We, editors, certainly wish you well as you begin your next 100 years. DHC, Sr., Publisher-Editor Writing the 2nd 'Great War's'past ... for the future! GSC's WORLD WAR II PROJECT: -- Glenville State College's History Department is to be commended not only for its initiative to record the lives of our World War II veterans, but also for dramatizing this significant historic preservation project to our state's lawmakers on January 29 during "History Day at the Legislature." Explaining GSC's interesting WW II memorabilia to the large crowd at the State Capitol in Charleston were Dr. Mike Gherke (I-r), the project's coordinator, Andy Goldman, Jim Bettis (the latter two being GSC history students), and Debby Nagy (GSC's Alumni Director and Business Manager for Special Projects). This College project got a lot of positive feedback from several World War It veterans, their widows and children and the state legislators, themselves, who stopped byte take in the display. This is "good news" for GSC at the State Legislature -- an asset which we need to expand. Now, if you're a WW It veteran, call Dr. Gherke at 462-7361 for signing-on to this project. DHC tc-rlou Ed, of their by George WELCOME 'COW-TeeN' OF THE WEEK -- Each week, Professor Emeritus George Harper takes a look at an issue of interest both to him and to Gilmer Countians. This week he comments on national politics. Professor Harper is a happily retired Glenville State College art teacher who now lives in nearby Harrisville in Ritchie County. At his home, he has the chance to observe and sketch out the activities of cows and other animals in his neighborhood's farms; hence, he calls his cartoons, "Cow-teens." His cartoons have won several first place awards from the West Virginia Press Association in the past. ./