Another scorcher of a fair week

It was another scorching hot fair last week, the Carroll County Fair. In talking to Tammy Sanderson, fair board and fair secretary – they are separate committees – she said when the group heard the extended weather report, they didn’t have big expectations for the fair attendance. But the evenings had a nice turnout when the weather cooled down a bit.

The Carroll County Farm Bureau distributed hand fans for those at the junior fair still project auction, and the auctioneer said he would look twice before accepting a bid, as so many were waving fans to cool off.

Carroll County 4-H members know how to work with wood.

Tanner Kaufman made a cedar table and two benches that sold for $450 to Randall Construction; Chance Schaar made a wooden game board where Chinese checkers and other games could be played, selling for $200 to the Brumbaughs; Thomas Rutledge made a rustic wood birdhouse with an attractive silk flower arrangement inside, purchased by Lamont for $200; Floyd Craft made a gun rack and bought by Darren Ulman for $285 and also made a chain saw grizzly bear lawn decoration that was purchased by Tim Fowler for $500; Mason Stackhouse made a bench that was bought by R&L Auto Service for $300; Connor Rutledge made a lattice bench that was draped with a handmade lap robe and had a rustic star house decoration attached, Leonard Hudson was the buyer at $325; Gwendalynne Barber made a magazine rack bought for $400 by the Mardils; and Devan Ulman made a cedar birdhouse that was purchased for $200 by Carnes Construction.


The Piney Fork Reunion was held recently with 110 attending from several states. This event was started by Butch Garcia, John Borkowski, Mary Francis Rensi, Ann Marie Grayzar, Mary Ann Boyd, Nancy Wells, Pam Berry and their spouses to bring together those who lived in the days when the small community was thriving with the coal industry, a post office, company store, several bar and food establishments, a movie theater and a skating rink, to name some of the places bustling with activity. Sandy Homol and her husband are now members as well.

There was a Miners Hall where polka music could be heard at weddings, for New Year’s Eve and other times of celebration.

John Borkowski gave me information on the happenings at the Smithfield Township Park, where it was held. He and Dan Pendergast sent photos, and some will be printed in a later Boomers section.

Tom and Linda Borkowski handled the registrations. It seems that the turnout is slowly diminishing, but this involves people who were young in the 1940-50s, and they are aging and cannot travel as far or are no longer here.

Rich and Mary Agnes Francisco traveled from Las Vegas to attend. Dan and Carol Pendergast attended from Boone, N.C., although I do not think that he was from Piney Fork. It is open to whoever wants to come and enjoy the company though.

The oldest resident in attendance was Mary Krulcik. She was enjoying the Jug Run String Band from Cleveland, comprised of some of her relatives. Marian Sutherland did not attend this time, as she was celebrating her 99th birthday with family, but she seems to be the eldest in the Piney Fork family. Emma Fanchini, her card playing friend, another Piney Fork resident, is 91 years old.


Yvonne Fair has learned to climb rock walls, do exhausting calisthenics, run long distances and go into burning buildings in her role as a firefighter with the Brilliant and Neffs Fire departments.

On Aug. 3, starting at 3 p.m. the Brilliant Fire Department will be putting on a chicken dinner benefit, horse race and Chinese auction to help with escalating bills from her treatments for inoperable stage 4 melanoma.

The chicken dinner cost is $8, and fire department members are still taking prize donations for the auction or money to help with expenses to hold the event. The horse racing begins at 7 p.m. There is a $5 admission for those not wishing to eat or play the games.

Yvonne has continued to work throughout her treatments – she is a strong and determined young lady. I have known her since her young school years, and she was a finalist in the Holiday Cookbook contest when she was in high school at Buckeye Local. Caramel covered popcorn was her entry, and it was wonderful.

She was active in the youth group of Jefferson County Farm Bureau and went on to state projects to promote it.

Yvonne is the daughter of Harry and Donna Fair, active with the Farm Bureau and its committees also.

The Brilliant department is still asking for prizes that can be donated for the Chinese auction or money to help with expenses for the benefit. They can be left at the fire house.

While dropping off something for the benefit, I talked with Rodney Roe, a longtime member of the fire department. We talked about the “hey days” of Smithfield, where we both went to school throughout our education.

We remembered Lloyds Store, where they had outstanding ice cream, and you could sit down and have a hot dog or a bowl of chili for lunch. It was a big deal to leave the school for the lunch hour and get hot food. We had no cafeteria at the schools.

There was Cheskey’s, Mooneys, Dows, which later became Daniels, to get something for lunch. Rodney says no one believes it when he tells them that Smithfield had a pool hall, but it did. George Sturgeon operated this and the movie theater where we spent many hours watching Hopalong Cassidy, Jimmy Wakely, the Cisco Kid and enjoying the cartoons that came on before the movie. Sometimes this was the best part of being there. There were 5 cent candy bars and 10 cent popcorn, and we felt like a king or queen to be able to buy something to eat and go to the movie both.

Walking down Memory Lane can be great fun!

(McCoy, a resident of Smithfield, is a staff columnist and food editor for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times. She can be contacted at