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The Glenville Democrat
Glenville, West Virginia
December 16, 2004     The Glenville Democrat
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December 16, 2004

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The Glenviile Democrat~Pathfinder Billy Frashure, Brian and memories of a Christmas past Last week as Gilmer Countians were get- ting ready for the festive commemoration of the Christ Child's birth, the opposite reality in life -- death -- struck and created a great sadness, rapidly spreading across the area like a dark cloud that blocks the sun's brightness and joy from our eyes and hearts. Unfortunately and ironically, dying hap- pens during the Yuletide just as much as in any other month (and maybe moreso). Several people -- all friends of Gilmer County -- died last week, as our obituary section noted. In fact, one nice lady wrote me a heartfelt e-mail about the death of her ex- husband, Charles Isenhart. Another promi- nent death notice, though, dealt with the pass- ing of a fine young man named Billy Frashure. When visiting Glenville State College to get the sports news on early Men. afternoon, Dec. 6, I saw a number of the girls' basketball team members crying. The scene was too sad for me to intrude and to ask the question, "What happened?" Likewise, as I made my routine rounds into the area's stores and the Courthouse, people were either sobbing OR holding back tears. Some parents, also, told me that wet eyes were ~,~ the norm at the high school that day. Eventually, at lunch at McDonald's, owner Denny Pounds related to me that this sadness was due to the death of Billy Frashure. Bad news travels fast, especially in a small community where everyone feels close to each other. The whole incident threw me back in time several years when my son, Patrick's best friend, Brian Walls, died of a self-inflicted wound, too. Brian's unexpected death at about 20 years of age -- in early December--came at a joyful time of the year when he seemed to have a good attitude about life, was looking forward to Christmas and was seeking to find his place in the world. Indeed, he had every- thing to live for, and his future looked bright. His death was especially devastating to not just Brian's parents but also to other Welch (W. Va.) neighborhood families who watched him grow up to adulthood over the years. In fact, his older brother, Erich, was my other son, Dave, Jr.'s best friend and his sister, Kristi, was a very good friend of my daughter, Catherine. All were in similar age categories. Of course, I was closer to the younger pair of boys, because they were more agreeable to go camping with me, among other outside activities, than the older teenagers were. So, And, his affection for the high school has been demonstrated by his service as an assis- The tant baseball coach. . But, the reason that the community was so Corcoran upset by his passing last week was clearly due Column to the fact that he has touched so many people in a positive way everywhere he went. He By Da~d H. Corcoran certainly touched my heart everytime we met. Publisher-Edaor Ordinarily, young people show very little respect for older people, but that was not Billy s way. When our paths crossed, he'd there's just no easy way to explain such a ai,ways greet me with a kind word and seemed drastic decision or to lessen the grieving pro- to like chatting with me. By contrast, most cess.Tharsunfortunate, althoughBillywould athletes, whom I report on weekly, don't have wanted everyone to carry on as usual and know me on the street, but Billy, a humble to excel as he had done in his lifetime, person by nature, made the time to he friendly His accomplishments and appreciated the good news coverage that Not many people of Billy's age were as he justly received. That ability to be nice to loved by others as he was. That was shown by this area's people probably earned him more the widespread pain that was evident in the friendships in his 20 years than most typical general public's mourning process in this people build up over an entire lifetime. county. On ending one's life The Camden Flats young man was cur- My son had visited Brian in early Decem- rentlyajunioratGlenvilleStateCollegewhere her 1999, and upon his return to Gienville, he was an avid student. Also, he helped out Patrick, then a GSC student, said, "Dad, of all Head Girls' Basketball Coach Steve Harold in the great times Brian and I have had together, any way he could. In fact, he had worked this was the best of them all." behind the scorer's table for two years at the At the time, that struck me as being odd, Lilly Gym. But, this year he assisted Coach because this pair always had fun together. Harold with the practice sessions, especially They went to the same kindergarten and the scrimmages. The school, explored the old coal mines around Coach and team were Welch as youngsters, swung on vines that I so close, devoted to and chopped loose in our back yard, had played appreciative of Billy basketball nightly at my home as they grew that they wore black taller and did the D & D games with my older arm bands and wrote his son, Dave and Brian's brother, Erich, periodi- initials on their shoes in cally. Those were very, very happy days, too. his memory for their About one week after their last visit-- "the Great Western Shoot- best of them all" -- Erich phoned Patrick Out trip last weekend,early one morning to inform him that "Brian His interest in sports, had chosen to no longer live." 0I.HI:ll however, wasn't solely Like with Billy's funeral last Thursday, reserved for GSC, he- Brian's was one of the hardest and saddest BILLY: cause, as a Gilmerchurch services to attend for everyone. EVERYONE'S County High SchoolUnfortunately, some Gilmer people, like FRIEND graduate and athlete, he those in Welch five years ago, speculate on proved himself a star why such a tragedy happens, place blame Titan performer and, later, enthusiastic fan. somewhere, or bother family members about As an intense sports competitor at Gilmer many personal matters involving the inci- High, he had earned letters in four sports: dent. I think that this is mostly bad, because, football, baseball, basketball, and cross coun- like with Brian, no one will ever know what try. actually clicked in his mind to compel him to One of his greatest accomplishments and a end his life. lasting one in the annuls of Gilmer County sports history was that he was a stellar per- Billy Frashure: R.LP. former on the Titan's 2001 West Virginia No bleak act can take away the bright ˘ Brian fast became a sort of son to me, too. Class A State Championship team, which memory of a young man like Billy Frashure s Thus, his abrupt statement to the world that he was, coincidentally, coached by his older and who has done so much for so many. 1 no longer wanted to live in it cut me to the beloved brother, Joey. Moreover, in his senior On sunday at Mass, I prayed for Billy and - quick, year, he was awarded the "Damon West hisfinefamilythattheymighthaveGod'.,full And, for Billy Frashure's fine parents, sib- Award" as the most outstanding senior athlete grace to handle their great grief. The fact that lings, family, neighbors and many friends, for the 2001-2002 season. .-, . . ,. ....................... ontinue0 on page ........ Musings of an Oldtimer- Aprons have 'gone by the board' By Fran Schmetzer, placed in front of Dad, who served all the hot I credit (or blame) automatic washers and Glenville Correspondent food on each one. Bread, butter and jelly driers for the apron change. No longer do we r- were passed around the table. As the meal wear clothes two or three days in a given Iy Aprons have "gone by the board." They progressed, Dad asked if anyone wanted week, washing only on Monday. Almost r- are not worn by my two daughters, my son- chicken, and the diner s plate would he sent anything we dirty with a spill or smudge can in-law, nor by my teenage grandsons. Atback to him rather than passing the platter, he cleaned and ready to wear in an hour or so, least four of those persons are better cooks For anything else, we children would say, if need be, especially since most of us no Jr than I am, but I feel incomplete working at a "Please pass the __(whatever) __. longer have to iron much, if at all. stove or sink without adding an apron, espe- One quirk, probably unique to our family, Back to the Christmas present dilemma. cially over dress clothes. I can no longer was that we were never allowed to ask guests When both parents and many teenagers have n, think of a new apron as a suitable Christmas if they wanted MORE of anything. That their own income, they have instant gratifi- gffd see • • reed to imply that Dad had not served an cation for the inexpensive items they want or r- Another of the changes that came to mind ample meal the first time around! OurGrand- need. How does one buy for anyone old during recent meal preparation is that our mother Spicer told of a boarder !n the very enough to work! One idea is to spend the r, stoves no longer have warming ovens! Mother early 1900s who responded with,' I have had time searching out the hal'd-[o-find item the cooked on a wood stove, and our dinner an ample sufficiency, Mrs. Spicer." That giftee hasn't had time to do. It is still fun to 'rt-- " pla!es stayed in the warming oven until we phrase was retained in our family to replace find gifts for little children, thank goodness. le - . gathered at table. Then the pile of plates was a simple ' No, thank you. "I'is the season, and may we all find joy in it! ,: Community Christmas celebrated • ll- Dear Editor, . . )n , . Young Davzd Gherke played some pretty instructors. S. what a wonderful way to celebrate Christ- Christmas music. The Percussion group was Last but not least, was a rollicking rendi- n- mas m Gdmer County! I am writing about the excellent in music, and dance, tion of"Grandma Got Run Over By A Rein- great Commumt Christmas Pro ram at L m ...... ni y , ' .. . g ocal dancers from Glenville Baptist deer performed by President Freeman and id ulenvme : tate onegelast 5aturaay evening. Church, under the direction of Tammy Hough, hid First Lady, Sandy. GOd bless them,every- lne program rma something for everyone, performed for the appreciative audience of one. TheeveningstartedwithChristmasBlueGrass ...... morns, dads, and m'andvarents. Wanda BaileyRev ed w th Buddy Griffin, and many others from The program was organized by Buddy Grif- Glenville GSC. fin and many great GSC College students and : Stream pollution poses problem in Gilmer County i Dear Editor, yard was fined $225.00, plus eight hours animals leave; what's left? In the state of WV, I believe we have two community services; also, they have to pick What reason will people have, to come to cl~s el,people..One class is above the law up trash one mile on each side of their house, this county or this state? Unlessit s to visit the an_o me omer one Is not. I read that WV had the most polluted water federal prison which has really boosted the Patty, youwere ngnt when you mentioned of any other state. Is the state proud of that? If economy of the county. the compames that polluted the it is in the name of progress, and the company • Mike Webb ale str notmng was none and nothing was is big enough, does it make it ok? If there are ' GUmer Station T) sm' lle couple that was piling wood in their no trees, the streams are polluted and the )th . nd /"-- • -'~ :at / Attention Readers: Our 'Letters to the Editor' Policy ,ar, were m need of more letters to the editor. Feel free to send them letter via snail mail. Deadlines for letters are Mondays at 10 a.m. for [ in to us. Just remember our policy on the letters, that week s paper. After 10 a.m., they can be accepted for that week he |Local newspapers have long been the sounding boards for politi- as paid advertisements. However, it would appear for free in a future I cal, personal,, and..patriotic views and this pal " r is no exceptiont_ . edition. his /Relauve to writing responses, please keep m mind our Editorial Also, for writers who consistently send in Letters week after week, to IPolicy:wewfl!ac pti,.ett.e °naspaceavailablebasisonlyandtbey these messages are constantly evaluated as to content and to purpose, MI I will he suojoct to me .aztor s scrutiny as to content relative to libel, so they may be considered as an advertisement, especially if they are Ich I goodtasteandtimeliness.Agoodlengthisgenerallyonetoone_and, weekly, lengthy, and repeats of previous letters. Nevertheless, you i [ a-half s_t ..dard !ypmg pages, double-spaced. The decision of the will be contacted ifthe latter is the case and will becharged only our, ag, I Senior Editor wdl be final. Letters must be signed in order to be regular advertising rate. ,ny I published.- e-m led l.etters.must include .a phone number where Formoreinformation, contacteitherDavecorcoran,Sr.,Charlene or [your ldenuty can venned, trot you may sull be required to sign the or Rebecca at 304-462-7309. x, ./ Thanks, hunters from near and fall Although this may not have been the best deer hunting season in recent years, the 2004 harvest numbers coming from the deer checking stations indicate that the county's deer kill was comparable with last year's totals. Most importantly, any relief that the county's people can get from the over-crowded deer herd is welcome. And, be assured that we editors appreciate you hunters for thinning out this herd! Who, as a motorist, hasn't hit a deer, done damage to his or bet vehicle and wasted a lot of good deer meat, to boot? Using unofficial figures for this season's first week, 1,661 kills were made compared with 1,696 last year, or a two percent decrease from a year ago. We editors also thank Giimer County's Deer Tagging Stations for reporting their deer tag figures to us before our deadline on those Tuesdays in the early evening. Specifically, we commend the owners and staffs of the Glenville Sports Shop in Glenville, Somerville Exxon & Grocery at Linn, Sears Exxon at Stumptown, Roberts Service Center on SR 5 East of Gienville, and a newcomer -- Simmons Grocery at Cox's Mills. Without the help of these people who are generous of their time and patience with us, we editors could not bring you readers and hunters the latest deer harvest news and trends yearly, so we express our gratitude to managers for their kindness and civic-mindedness. Finally, even though there was, at least, one serious accidental shooting reported, the hunters who roamed our county's hills and hollows were generally very safe, lawful and well-mannered. For this, we editors, in speaking for all Giimer County property owners, farmers and residents, thank them. And, hope that the hunters, both the locals and out-of- county folks, will enjoy a lot of good eating, and, most importantly, feel welcome to return for the state DNR's next hunting season! DHC, Sr, Publbher-Editor Local emergency planners getting "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure," goes the old adage. Hence, the work of the county's Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC), which is spearheaded by Chair Reta Kight and Emergency Services Director Ed Messenger, should he appreciated by all Gilmer County people. The cruel reality of life in the United States today is that no longer can we Americans feel completely insulated and safe from the terroristic'horrors that have regularly devas- tated fai" off lands, such as the Middle East, Europe, Asia and Latin America, for generations. Truly, no one knows where, when or how bad the AI-Queda network of fanatics, thugs and murderers will strike again in our great land. It's obvious that President George Bush's Homeland Security Dept. initiative is trying to close all of the gaps which allowed AI-Queda to commandeer commercial airlines and to use them as 9-11-01 bombs, thereby destroying the World Trade Center, damaging the Pentagon and killing approximately 3,000 innocent civilians and military personnel. Simultaneously, this should not give any Central West Virginian a reason to feel more secure, because we have water supplies, food stuffs, federal and state institutions and public works providers which remain vulnerable to those and other maniacs. As a result, LEPC's recent regular quarterly meeting was most apropos. County Emergency Services Director Messenger has reviewed a comprehensive LEPC plan to deal with every emergency from floods to acts of terrorism in Gilmer County. In the main, each local agency, business and household needs to draw up an emergency operations plan, so that if some disaster, whether it he natural or man-made (God forbid), happens, we, as individuals and organizational units, can deal with it -- getting people into safe havens, hooking up with the local emergency unit and helping the community to recover. In addition, it's important that the larger institutions get on board with this planning program ASAP, because of the great numbers of people who are in them. We refer to the Gilmer County Board of Education, Glenville State College, the federal prison, and other local governmental agencies. Thus, by implementing individual action plans --- lining out a step-by-step process -- should insure that we are able to deal with specific disasters or acts of terrorism, if the need arises. We editors commend the Local Emergency Planning Committee for its recent initia- fives, and, likewise, urge all Gilmer Countians to support it in these preliminary efforts to mitigate the damages wrought by unexpected disasters. DHC, St. Unsafe Buildings Committee improving The Unsafe Buildings & Land Ordinance Enforcement Agency members got a boost from the Gilmer County Commission at the latter s Thurs., Dec. 2 regular meeting. The commissioners offered to assist the group, which has been moribund to-date, in order to get it started along the way toward meeting its very important goal --- making our county a prettier place to live and work Moreover, we re not talking just about beautification, but of safety and the county's future as well. First 6f all, farm buildings are exempt from this new ordinance. .... Secondly, the intent of the ordinance isto have property owners clean up their perhaps unsightly dilapidated buildings along the public highways and/or litter piles on their properties. Finally, Gilmer County, in general, needs to make itself more attractive to outsiders. If such a good result can be accomplished, the area will be able to draw more people to reside here. The alternative is to sit back and watch progress pass us by, because our public schools are projected to have declining numbers of students and state funding, Gienville State College isn't enrolling as many students as necessary to keep it strong and defensible, and our local businesses -- to survive --- need customers to replace those lost over the past decade. As a result, we editors applaud the civic-minded and dedicated volunteer efforts of the Unsafe Buildings & Land Ordinance Enforcement Agency members who have appointed GSC Professor and County Surveyor Rick Sypolt as their chair. Most importantly, we ask the county s citizens to be cooperative with the suggestions of this committee, because unsightly and unsafe properties in any county neighborhood are no good for anyone, especially__. the owner. DHC, Sr. I Is iz. ! 1 ve , ,grv sAn i THe/VE BEEN FOU. soMe.,n' : WHAT .51"IOU WE wl'r',4 / -6t I I