Gifts from above come in many shapes, sizes and circumstances.
Take July 26, 2013, when Kaden Salsberry went riding through the cornfield trail between his home and that of his friend, Nick Ramsey, with both riding four-wheelers.
Neither knew the other was on the same trail and could not see above the rise in the path. They crashed head-on with Kaden's vehicle becoming a crumbled pile of metal, and Nick's overturned and damaged as well.
FAMILY PHOTO — It takes a family to heal a child. This is the Salsberry family at Kaden’s side the entire time. They include, front, from left, Skyler, sister; and Kaden; and back, Alissa, sister; Debbie, grandmother; Carli, sister; Kari, mother; and Steven, father. Brittany is another sister.
-- Esther McCoy
GOOD STUFF — Daleanne Devore, 3, daughter of Dale and Tangee Devore of Richmond, enjoyed the pasta at the Kaden Salsberry fundraiser dinner.
-- Esther McCoy
SERVERS — Serving spaghetti at the warming table were, from left, Veronica Chase, Diane Salsberry and Kari Salsberry. Diane was a Herald-Star Community Star.
-- Esther McCoy
SWEET JOB — Frank “Butch” Brancker had a sweet job as the dessert man for the Kaden Salsberry fundraiser.
-- Esther McCoy
BUDDIES — Kaden Salsberry, left, has been downgraded to a cast up to the knee and use of a crutch after nine months of being confined in a big cast to his hip that prevented walking. He and Nick Ramsey, the occupant of the other vehicle in the wreck, are best buddies and healed together.
-- Esther McCoy
The kick-start of the four-wheeler did much damage in tearing up Kaden's leg, besides causing a serious break requiring many hospital visits, infection treatments and surgeries. Nick ended up with a broken wrist and a fear that his friend was seriously injured.
Kaden's older sister, Brittany, was the first to arrive, and her studies in nursing were essential as blood was flowing from the wound. She removed her jacket and wrapped it tightly around her brother's leg.
Kaden was taken by helicopter to Pittsburgh Children's Hospital but since has changed to Akron Children's Hospital. He has been under treatment since July but graduated from a toe-to-hip cast to a walking cast. The other one was cumbersome and made it difficult to be seated or to walk.
He was home-tutored for studies at Harrison Central Elementary School in Scio and missed the entire year to date. He recently graduated to a hot pink cast that hits below the knee and makes it possible to walk with the aid of a crutch.
His parents, Kari and Steve, covered many miles to hospitals for visits, surgeries and other medical problems. This came nine months after their house caught on fire and was destroyed.
Becky Ramsey, mother of the other injured rider, Nick, planned a dinner benefit, where they provided more than 150 dinners. She visited many businesses to obtain theme baskets and works of art for a Chinese auction, too.
Modern Woodmen matched funds up to $1,000. This brought the total to $4,000. Becky wanted to make sure that Tim Conrad of Modern Woodmen was thanked for its generous gesture.
A heart-warming moment occurred at the auction when Carli Salsberry's name appeared on a bidding sheet for a Celebrations gift card and rental of a disc jockey. When the announcement was made that Carli got the bid of $20, she protested that it was not hers. Her brother, Kaden, stepped up and handed $20 to the announcer and said "That is mine. I bought it for my sister's birthday." Carli's birthday is soon, and he wanted something for her.
The origin of the $20 was from Sheriff Fred Abdalla. At the dinner, he gave Kaden the money for his own, not to be put into the benefit fund. Kaden used that to buy a gift for his sister.
Cindy Shepherd was the proud owner of the Dave Barnhouse print that sold for $251.
I was reacquainted with Becky Ramsey as she worked in the Herald-Star composing room nearly 20 years ago and met Kaden's parents, Kari and Steven; their children, Carli, Alissa and Skyler; and their adorable grandmother, Debbie Salsberry. Brandy was not able to attend.
Kaden was tired at the close but was appreciative of the help given to him and his family in their time of need.
There is no big honor in winning a baseball game for the Worthington Christian Junior High baseball team.
The Warriors won a game that Lamont and I attended last Friday, 6-5, after going seven innings, rather than the normal five, and the team had to clean up the field for the games the next day.
Brooms, rakes and a flat-bottom tamping device were passed out to get the pitching mound back into shape, along with the batter's box and the on-deck circle.
One player was busy sweeping out the dugout. Others were sweeping and raking dirt into place. And one player was beating the dirt down in the same manner that I use with a masher on potatoes for dinner.
The players all have nicknames: Cameron Glassburn is Cam Man; Sean Abel, Mismatch; Nathaniel Elliott, Namal; Alex Pope, Bria; Chris Hrabcak, Fruit Loops; Joel Godsey, Popper; Josh DeMarco, Swag; Ben Schultz, Charlie Brown; Derek Fabian, Mr. Clean; Jake Badger, Honey Badger; Nathan Sewall, Great Wall of China; Danny Myers, Dirty Dan; Barrett Bowen, Beeper; Matthew McCoy, Junior; and Michael Rettstatt, Chex Mix.
Matthew's nickname, Junior, is because his dad is the school coach and called Senior. I can see Ben Schultz being Charlie Brown because of the last name of Schultz, creator of the little round-faced guy. I asked Mrs. Rettstatt why Michael was called Chex Mix, and she replied, "I have no idea."
In talking to the umpire, having lunch between double header games on Saturday, when they played West Jefferson, I learned that he did umpire work in Steubenville for the American Legion.
While talking to the umpire, a baseball mother heard I was from the Steubenville area, and we struck up a conversation. She is Jen Wilkerson Shively and was a Harding Middle School and Steubenville High School graduate.
We always stop at the Cracker Barrel for lunch on our way to Lewis Center or Plain City, and I ran into some unexpected friends in the restroom - Clara Sue Milewsky and Bernie Carpino. They were on their way to the OFWC Convention in Columbus, and Roetta Lewis and Janet Petrella browsing in the gift shop.
Ambrose Bolling of Weirton brings in news for my McCoy or Boomers columns occasionally and this time it was the death of Marvin Roland Lewis Sr., father of Marvin Jr., who is coach of the Cincinnati Bengals.
He attended the funeral, where members of the Bengals were present, and the son gave a talk about his father. Matthew Lewis, Pulitzer Prize winner in journalism and photography, a brother, served as an honorary pall bearer.
Lewis died April 17, and the going- home service was on April 22.
(McCoy, a resident of Smithfield. is a staff columnist and food editor for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times. She can be conacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.)