Some weeks are crammed with interesting events and banquets to attend, and the last two weeks were perfect examples.
Several years ago I became acquainted with Jay Herrlein through my cousin, Joan Drescher Gray, a graduate of Mount Pleasant High School. It is through Jay that I was able to do two stories that I found to be of great interest and so did the former students of the gold and blue.
Lamont and I were invited to the McLure House Hotel for the 101st-annual dinner meeting as a token of appreciation for the stories written about the school.
CLASS OF 1943 — The Mount Pleasant School Reunion brought together two members of the Class of 1943, Mary Costain Fox of Florida and Martha McAllister Moore, along with their guests.
HONORED — Dolores Dennis Spragg, class of 1950, left, and Dr. Lucy Cleaver Young, class of 1961, were presented outstanding Mount Pleasant High School Alumni Association awards for community service.
CONNECTION — Terry Roudebuch of Carrollton, who has a line to Custer through his wife, a distant relative, talks with Ron Kimble, who handcrafts Civil War artillery as a hobby. Pictured are a 3-inch parrott rifle and a 6-inch pound gun.
-- Esther McCoy
FLAG RAISING — From left, Jim Thompson, quartermaster for the Gen. George Armstrong Post 3072 from Jewett; Chester Carman, senior vice commander; and Randy Dutton, commander, raised the flag and laid a wreath from the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War at the Custer monument for Custer Celebration Day.
-- Esther McCoy
PLAYING THE PART — Rick Williams, Gen. George Custer re-enactor, and his fiancee, Marilyn Rice, stand before the Custer Park Memorial Sign for the Custer Day celebration. It is on the Civil War Discovery Trail and is an official Civil War site, sponsored by the Custer Memorial Association.
-- Esther McCoy
One was about a cornerstone that was saved from the ravaged school and is destined to be the centerpiece of the high school memorial. Engraved bricks from the school are being sold to be part of the memorial.
The other was about the ground breaking for the memorial, the history and the steps being taken to bring it to completion.
The wonderful dinner and seeing people that we knew were enough thanks in itself, but then I heard my name being called to come forward and receive a plaque in appreciation of the work and to be given 3- by 4-foot tall blow-ups of my stories that can be hung on the wall put me over the top.
Jay made the presentation while Jim Nichols, president, introduced me as a special guest.
We sat with Donna Costain Herrlein, Class of 1947, who has never missed a reunion. Also May 25 was her birthday, and she received a lovely bouquet of flowers from her granddaughter, Marissa Herrlein. Donna's husband, Phil, was with her and so was her daughter, Sheryl. Pam and Keith Berry joined us as well. They came directly from a baseball game of a grandchild in Columbus.
I was quite surprised to see Nancy Zamski Beck and her husband, Ross. I knew them from Cadiz when Nancy was busy in many clubs that I covered in Harrison County.
I was happy that Dolores Spragg received an outstanding alumni award for the many years she and her husband, Earl, spent in 4-H clubs and then becoming advisers and key leaders. I see her at the Harrison County Fair and other things involved with 4-H.
Loretta Finney, a Jefferson County Fair official I see often in the summer, was there. Brenda Johnson Harris and Deborah Fields West, Mount Pleasant graduates, are now Smithfield residents, and Donald Thompson is a Dillonvale Lions Club officer who I know well. Patrick Loper decided we knew each other through our parents, with our dads working together and then young Loper.
The invocation was given by the Rev. Bryon McElroy, who said it was a time to celebrate memories and reaffirm friendships from school years. And those in attendance were certainly doing that.
The Gen. George Armstrong Custer Celebration Day was held June 1 at the Custer Memorial Park.
The weather was nice in New Rumley, and there was a crowd bigger than I have ever scene in attendance.
I talked to three veterans from the Gen. George Custer Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3072 who raised the flag for the event: Chester Carman, senior vice commander; Randy Dutton, commander; and Jim Thompson, quartermaster. The VFW was founded in 1936 and has a wonderful display of crosses at the picnic stop before heading out of Jewett. The crosses represent those killed in the military, with names on a bulletin board. The three who lost their lives in the Civil War from this area were listed, too: George, Thomas and Boston Custer.
The ladies of the New Rumley United Methodist Church had a wonderful array of foods to chose from for lunch. And the pies were just out of this world. Can you believe coconut cream, lemon meringue, apple, peach, pumpkin, strawberry, rhubarb-strawberry and berry pies all in one place to choose from?
Mildred Burrier, a friend from my younger days of reporting in Harrison County, was the cashier. She doesn't look a day older than when I first knew her.
Dave Rose does a great job of arranging events that go with Custer Days. I can only imagine how warm he and all those in Civil War military uniforms felt with the sun blazing down. I noticed that Dave had a tin cup attached to his belt - perhaps this was to get a drink of cool water when the heat got too bad.
Rick Williams makes for interesting conversation. He keeps busy going to historical interest groups, school programs, re-enactments and Civil War round tables.
I enjoyed seeing the works of art made by Ron Kimble of Dover. He had Civil War artillery pieces that looked just like the real thing but shrunk down.
Eileen and Jerry Krupinski had lunch across from us in the church, along with a granddaughter, who asked if she could buy a salad. Ours ask for cold drinks.
Bill Myers of Bergholz was beside us eating lunch, too. He told me he is a Custer buff because of his son, Dwayne.
Dave Rose didn't win any points with me when I bought a Custer T-shirt, and he asked if wanted an extra large. I think he was kidding.
When I see the little Custer logo on the front of the shirt, I think of the time pranksters drew an arrow through the tall hat on a billboard advertising Custer Day. How they did it without being seen, I do not know.
(McCoy, a resident of Smithfield, is food editor and a staff columnist for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily-Times. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.)