Some exciting events that took place in Smithfield last week were the Jefferson County Veterans Association's annual picnic and the Bicycle Safety Rodeo held at the recreation complex.
The recreation complex looked like a county fair with a blow-up village, nine stations for inspections, safety procedures and lessons in riding and tents for registration and food.
Sgt. Casey Robinson was in charge of the safety rodeo and did a fine job of getting it all together. Kara's Kids of the Brightway Center could be seen everywhere serving as volunteers at the various stations.
VETERANS — Members of the Jefferson County Veterans at the picnic were, from left, Frank and Phyllis Santa, vice commander; Ed Waldman, member; and Paula Santa and Kevin Venders, guests.
-- Esther McCoy
FROM POST 274 — The David Walker American Legion Post 274 in Steubenville made a nice appearance at the picnic. On hand were seated, from left, Teil Brown, Javel Gee, who had oral surgery and was required to wear the mask, and Daton Feaster; and middle, Cornetta Gee, Quarnetta Gee, Imogene Hendricks, Vernae Tayor, Veronica Gee; and back, San King and Gertrude DeHart. It was noted that Samuel Hendricks was commander in the 1950s and was a relative to some of the gang.
-- Esther McCoy
DISCUSS EVENTS — Dan Wilson, left, commander of AMVETS Post 275 in Steubenville, and Bill Smythe, commander of the county veterans group, discuss events.
-- Esther McCoy
GREETINGS — Tony Phillippi, standing, Jefferson County Veterans Association officer, greets Fred and Martha Alloggia at the annual veterans picnic. Fred Alloggia is a member of the Piney Fork American Legion.
-- Esther McCoy
BIKE RODEO — The Smithfield Volunteer Fire Department manned one of the nine stations at the Bike Safety Rodeo. They did identification kits and DNA kits, along with passing out Frisbees. Participating were, from left, Sgt. Casey Robinson, chairman; Rickey Takach, volunteer; and Chief Robert Mieczkowski. Jordan Trouten is on the bicycle.
-- Esther McCoy
There was a big line at the registration tent, where the young riders were issued safety helmets. Then they went into the many stations of learning. There was the bike safety inspection; rules of the road; start and stop session; demon driveway, with cones making it hard to maneuver; stop, look and proceed; rock dodge; and curves and turns.
Robinson said the Smithfield Volunteer Fire Department, Brightway Center and BCI van were helping with the stations. Children got to inspect and go inside the fire truck and were given coloring books and pencils. "Everyone seems to be enjoying it and learning in the process," Robinson said.
Cathy Takach of Brightway Center said her grandchildren really loved the event. Bicycles were presented as door prizes. These were purchased by local residents and organizations.
The police department was doing identification files, DNA assessments and passing out frisbees. Trinity Health System provided T-shirts for the contestants.
The Jefferson County Veterans Association held its annual picnic at the Friendship Park pavilion across from the Fort Friendship Veterans Museum. There were Legions present from Piney Fork, Smithfield, Dillonvale, Adena, Richmond, Steubenville and AMVETS Post 275, according to Bill Smythe, county commander. Dan Wilson, commander of the Steubenville AMVETS, was present as well.
"We have about 60 veterans and their guests present from all the Legions and are pleased to see them," Smythe said.
Jack Campbell, county chaplain, led the group in prayer, and there was a patriotic moment observed.
The David Walker American Legion Post 274 had a great representation. There were about 15 from the group present.
The biggest excitement of the picnic was when Judie Phillippi discovered a kitten hiding under a bush and proceeded to feed it a hot dog and give it a drink of water. The kitty was scared and did not want to make friends, but Isaiah Miro, brother of Steven Miro, who is a member of the veterans group, knew the right care to give it to become friends. It even let it itself be held for a time.
Phyllis Santa and Judie Phillippi were the dessert makers for the dinner. Judie had a pineapple cake, and Phyllis had an apple one with a crunchy topping. Both were delicious.
I am saddened to learn that Marian Sutherland has left this Earth. If ever anyone came near to angel status, it was this women. I don't think I ever heard her say a bad word about anyone, and she was always so soft-spoken and kind.
I do have to say that she could give Lamont a ragging about the Browns, though. She was a dyed-in-the wool Steelers fan and let him know it.
She made it to her 100th birthday on July 14 and when she reached that goal, she decided it was long enough. She went home to meet with her husband, John, again.
Jay and Matthew McCoy came down over the past weekend, and because they don't have drive-in theaters in Columbus, we always end up all cramped up in the van and enjoying the movie. We saw "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes," and I would have enjoyed it more if I could identify the apes better. There was Caesar, Cornelia, Rocket, Koba, Maurice, Carver and Ash, and they all looked alike to me. I liked it better when Roddy McDowell played a lead, and they spoke in actual human voices.
It was amazing the make-up they wore to resemble the actual apes.
I have a funny event to tell between Lamont and me. On Thursday, it was quite breezy outside, and Lamont came in to say that the bird by the tool shed was flying fast and its wing fell off.
What he actually said was that the wooden bird by the tool shed had lost its wing when flying fast, but I didn't hear wooden bird and imagined real feathers and warm blood bird flying gracefully through the air, a wing dropping off and it going spiraling to Earth.
"How did that happen asked?" I asked "I think a bolt came loose," he said. It was then that I realized we were talking about two different things, and it made for laughter the rest of the day. I thought it might be a good way to end my column.