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A busy week of activities and events

May 20, 2012
By ESTHER MCCOY - Staff writer ( , The Herald-Star

I knew when last week began that without even looking at the schedule written on my calendar that I was going to be one busy person.

I got through Monday without a meeting to interfere with watching "Dancing with the Stars," but on Tuesday it was a meeting with Peter and Laura Zeranski, who wrote the cookbook, "Polish Classic Recipes." They provided samples of the Polish cooking, along with an interesting talk on how the book was in honor of his mother, Alina Zeranska, who wrote "The Art of Polish Cooking" in 1968. This was held at the Ohio County Public Library.

Wednesday was a "don't have to cook night" as I attended the Rosebud Garden Club open meeting. Thursday evening was the Piney Fork Presbyterian mother-daughter dinner. Friday morning we left for Lewis Center to stay overnight with our son, Jay, in order to see Amber sing her two solo parts in the Worthington Christian High School presentation of songs from shows called "The Musical." Saturday morning we went to see 4-year-old granddaughter Maggie play in a soccer game. Then it was home and out again to the Harrison Coal and Reclamation Historical Park Dinner and Auction.

Article Photos

Martin McKim, owner of McKim Coal Co. for 22 years with his brother David, shows off a shovel up for bid at the Harrison Coal and Reclamation Auction.

At the Rosebud open house, Nina Cleaver read "A Gardener's Blessing," noting that you should never be too busy to stop and smell the flowers and to appreciate God's handiwork.

Sam Gill showed how to trim the roots of small trees and plant them to become a perfect bonsai arrangement. He got Nina Cleaver and Jeannette Postlethwait to try their hand at the art, too.

Jodi Russell made Rosemary Shortbread cookies that were a hit with everyone at the covered- dish dinner.

I met Diane Maynard, who moved to the Piney Fork-Adena area permanently, at the mother- daughter event at the Piney Fork Presbyterian Church. I feel so honored to be included in Marian Sutherland's family, as she invites me to the dinner each year. She was honored as the oldest mother at the proud age of 97, to be 98 on July 14. Present from her family were Mary Ann Boyd, daughter, and Darla Hoagland, granddaughter.

Bernice Francis had novel favors that led into the program. She had a clip clothes pin with sayings numbered from one through 10 with "clothes line hanging" suggestions.

These included wiping the line before hanging clothes, hanging whites first, hanging shirts by the tail, not shoulders, fold sheets as they are taken from the line and never let them touch the ground, hang towels on the outside line to hide the unmentionables on the inside line, use a long, wooden pole to hold up the line, don't leave clothes pins on the line and even in cold weather, clothes will "freeze dry."

Penny DiLoreto was the youngest grandmother at 48, and Lynette DaGrava was the youngest mother at age 47.

Entertainment was provided by David Thompson and Stanley Lish, who played piano. They are members of Mount Moriah Church and sang "Heaven's Jubilee," "Standing on the Solid Rock" and "Like a Mountain Railroad."

The 1950s outfits for the "Can't Stop the Beat" song from "Hairspray" at the Worthington Christian High School production of "The Musical" took me back to my high school days. There were saddle oxfords, full skirts, cardigans with blouses, pony tails and pompadour hair styles for the boys.

Amber sang a solo for "In Whatever Time We Have" from "Children of Eden" and "Songs for a New World," from the Broadway play of the same name, and she was in the finale song.

It was a real joy to see 4-year-old Maggie on the soccer field along with other boys and girls of the same age. There is much running in soccer, and Maggie kept fanning her face and proclaimed it to be "So exhausting!"

One little girl was busy picking clover flowers growing in the field. She even plucked a bunch and tried giving them to her coach, who was not interested at the moment. A little guy was spinning around like a top and didn't seem to mind that there was kicking and running going on around him.

The Harrison Coal and Reclamation Historical Park 18th-annual dinner and auction is always of interest to me as the entire McHugh family - from my dad, J.D. McHugh; uncles, William and Russell; cousin, Bill; and brother, Roger - were all in the coal mining industry.

I remember hearing about tipples, high walls, carbide lamps, map making, transits and plumb bobs throughout my childhood. Leonard Corona still tells me how my dad hired him at Hanna Coal Co. He went on to be a noted aerial photographer for Hanna Coal and Consol and has many interesting pictures of the mining industry days.

Dale Davis, who made calendars for two years, featuring the big coal moving shovels of Consolidation Coal Co., told the audience that he is planning a 50th anniversary calendar of the Silver Spade for the 2015 calendar.

Claren Blackburn explained how the reclamation group, organized to help keep the once bustling coal industry memories alive, operated with no grant assistance but only donations and fundraisers. Coal mining shovel calendars are the present fundraiser, along with money from the auction that had Hanna Coal News editions, framed pictures of coal shovels of the past, a barometer, bath scales, glasses, paper weights and jackets from no lost time due to accidents awards and other items up for bid.

It was nice to see Martin McKim, who hired my dad to make maps for the McKim Coal Co. up to the time of his stroke; Tony Pietrangelo, who worked with my dad; George Bedway, who grew up in the coal industry; Karen and Don Jochims, with Don being a 10-year worker in Rose Valley Mine, and Karen and I both oogling the Steelers No. 43 baseball cap in the auction; and Jackie and Howard Bowers, crane service and haulers who provided work for the coal park and museum; Don Richards who received the Post 34 Legionnaire of the Year Award and the VFW Outstanding Member of the Year Award and keeps evading me to do a story; and Nan and Art Mattern, with Art in the coal industry business for many years.

Actually, Karen got the bid for the Steelers cap, but only because we had to leave. Ozzie is never happy if you leave him for more than five hours at a time. We need a trap door that he can go through when nature calls.

It was a busy week. I look back now and wonder how I got through without getting too cranky. I usually go a little crazy when I can't see the light at the end of the tunnel.

(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

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