Whenever I see an obituary of a person I consider too young to die, I probably think the same thing others do. An overdose of some kind.
Such was the case the other day in a newspaper from another West Virginia town.
I salute the parents of this 32-year-old woman who included the following in the obituary of their daughter.
“Her parents have requested that people be aware that a heroin overdose took the life of their precious daughter. The drug epidemic is destroying our families and our community. Please be aware and do all you can to stop this plague. Trust us. No family is exempt from this heartbreaking possibility.”
The family of a former Fairmont State women’s basketball player told a similar story about their daughter several years ago.
We need more of these truthful obituaries. Maybe that might help lower the death toll in this area.
I know that the late Bob DeLorenzo, who was a player, coach and athletic director at Fairmont Senior High School, would really enjoy the Polar Bears’ girls’ basketball games this year.
His granddaughter Angela is a key member of the Polar Bears squad this year. Her parents are Rockie and Gina DeLorenzo.
Gasoline prices have dropped by 10 cents at most Marion County service stations in the past week or so. Most stations are now down to around the $2.29 range after being just under $2.40 for several weeks.
Every once in a while, a local person will inquire about the whereabouts of others who once were prominent here. Joanne Cimaglia called me the other day, wondering if I knew anything about Bruce Bickel or Mike Skinner.
Bruce was working for a Pittsburgh bank the last time our paths met. He was the son of Helen and L.O. Bickel and played quarterback at Navy while he was attending college. Helen held just about every position on the Fairmont Times, and L.O. Bickel, as I recall, founded the Letterman’s Club at Fairmont State. But I have no idea where Bruce is.
Mike Skinner played football for Fairmont Senior High and Fairmont State and was a highly successful football coach at Grafton High School. Something tells me he moved to Florida. If anyone knows about either of these two people, let me know.
Nancy Bickerstaff says the restoration board for Woodlawn Cemetery would like to thank board member Jonathan Watson, who donated all of the historic stamps to mail out the fundraising letter.
“We have had many comments about the stamps,” Nancy said. “We had fun sticking the stamps on the envelopes. We used several Historic stamps for each envelope.
“The best part is they were free! The Woman’s Club donated envelopes, paper and address labels. Woodlawn board and club members did the mailing.
“Together we did it. The GFWC Woman’s Club of Fairmont has enjoyed this far-reaching project.”
Many people know I retired in October after writing for 58 years.
I believe attorney J. Scott Tharp has either just passed the 58-year mark or will very soon. He still uses his lunch hour to take a walk out Fairmont Avenue, although that’s done more in the non-winter months.
Toni Poling was named Teacher of the Year for West Virginia and was honored by new Gov. Jim Justice at his first State of the State address Wednesday night.
Announcer Don Graye reported on his newscast the other day that Tony and Barbara Pulice had been watching Channel 12 since it went on the air 60 years ago.
There are no doubt many others who have watched that channel since it debuted 60 years ago.
I was one of them.
I would like to add my congratulations to Kip Price of Fairmont, who will receive the Jefferson Award presented by local news channel WDTV (Channel 5).
The award is presented by Antero Resources to those who go above and beyond for their community.
Kip Price always does just that.
He was nominated by George Beloni, a member of the National American Legion, to receive the award.
Even though he had only known Price for six months, Beloni says he knew Price was the most deserving person for this award.
Price has probably been the lone Fairmonter telling the story of the Wereth 11, the 11 African American soliders who were brutally executed by SS troops after the artillery men had surrendered during the Battle of the Bulge.
Anyone wishing to see a short film on the Wereth 11 can watch Channel 19 each day in February at around 11:15 a.m.
Belinda Morris, daughter of Jackie Olesky Straight, who lives in Rivesville, was in a 23-vehicle pileup on I-79 north near Bridgeport on Thursday.
Her Lincoln Navigator was rear-ended after Belinda stopped her car to avoid a wreck in front of her, by a pickup truck. The pickup slammed Belinda’s stopped car into the vehicle in front of her.
And then it caused the Navigator to turn sideways into both lanes so that Belinda’s car was hit on the driver’s side by one vehicle and on the passenger side by another.
Miraculously, Belinda and a pregnant woman were the only ones hospitalized. And, despite injuries to her arm, shoulder, knee and head, she survived because the Navigator is a long car.
Belinda said she felt like she was inside a pinball machine.
Road conditions were so bad that another pileup on I-79 south closed all but one lane on that side. I-79 north was closed to all traffic.
Belinda was on her way to meet her husband, Dave Morris, for dinner. Dave was at work in Clarksburg.
A piece of humor:
A pastor went on a week’s vacation and put his new associate pastor in charge of the Sunday service. it. When he returned, he asked a member how his associate had performed.
“He gave a dull sermon — not much in it,” the member answered.
When the pastor saw his associate, the pastor asked him he he felt about Sunday morning.
“Very good,” the associate responded. “I didn’t have time to put together a sermon, but I found one of yours. So I preached it.”
Thought for Today: Diligence is more important than intelligence.
Email John Veasey at email@example.com.