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‘Taking us out to the ballgame’ day

August 11, 2013
By ESTHER MCCOY - Staff writer ( , The Herald-Star

"Take me out to the ball game" was the theme for those boarding the two buses chartered by the Herald-Star/Weirton Daily Times to give readers a chance to get to a game without the hassle of driving and parking on Aug. 2.

There had been another bus excursion on July 13 with seven buses following each other to PNC Park, and it was so much fun that Cindy Kotsch, the newspapers' director of marketing and special events, decided to do it again.

We were teamed up with friends, Mary and Kenny Emery, and adopted Cindy Ware and her sister, as this was their first trip, and they were sort of hesitant at first. The trip was part of Cindy's July 28 birthday gift. A pretty nice gift!

Article Photos

VETERAN — Howard “Red Bird” Straight, 85, of Weirton was wearing his commemorative Air Force B-29 baseball cap at the Pittsburgh bus trip game. He is a Korean War veteran.
-- Esther McCoy

Lamont found that one of our park seating companions was Lois King of Toronto, a TIMET employee when he was still working there. Other TIMET compadres were Sam Geddis and Ward Steele.

Pauline Roudenbush, who sat just behind us, said this was her first time to ride the bus to the game. She had seen the advertisement in the paper. They are from Bergholz.

Jonah Moro, 14, of Steubenville, was kept busy during the game. He was making food runs for everyone who did not want to climb down the stairs in the club section to go to the concession stand. He'll be a freshman this year, and if he is not an athlete, he was certainly getting his exercise in Pittsburgh.

Joyce Kiester of Weirton was making a few food runs as well. She brought back five ice cream sandwiches for some dessert hungry fans, and I happened to be one of them.

Joe Harbin and his son, Austin, seem to have a liking for camo. Joe was wearing a camo baseball cap, and Austin had purchased a camo Pirates baseball.

Rosalie Falbo found out just hours before the bus was to leave that she was going to the game with Sam Geddis. He completely surprised her.

Mary Emery and I do our usual giggling about anything and everything. Our husbands just look and shake their heads. We didn't give Kenny a choice on who to select in the pierogi race, as the three of us all selected a color, leaving him with red. Guess what? The red pierogi won.

Howard Straight of Weirton was sitting in front of us at the game, and I noticed that he had on a commemorative Air Force hat that had B-29 on the front. I told him that Lamont was acquainted with B-29s in his years in the Air Force and found that Straight was a veteran of the Korean War. His nickname is Red Bird.

Ron Smith, a Herald-Star buddy and one who supplied me with material to make fried green tomatoes, was along and was in the row in back of us.

Susan Allen and her friend, Kay Garrett, took a picture of me and sent it by e-mail. I don't get my photo taken. I'm the one behind the camera.

It was a grand time even if there was a loss. We did lots of cheering, and my hands were sore from clapping.

They say it takes a village to raise a child, but I have found a new twist on this saying from the benefit chicken dinner and horse race held to help with medical expenses for Yvonne Fair for her stage 4 melanoma.

Yvonne is one of the members of the Brilliant Volunteer Fire Department. She keeps going on runs and does all the work that the other members do. Her firefighting buddies wanted to do something special for her, and there were almost 40 wearing hot pink shirts showing that they were in on Yvonne's fight to battle her disease and the escalating medical costs.

Kurt Creamer told me that on days when he wakes up feeling bad, he remembers the many times that Yvonne has much worse days, and this keeps him going.

With tears in his eyes, Jim Degenhardt said that she is too young to have to face such a struggle. "If she had just given up, she probably wouldn't be here right now," he said.

Everyone is of the same opinion - Yvonne is the greatest, has a wonderful attitude and is determined to go on despite her pain.

Their love for the 27-year-old shows through, and I want to congratulate the fire department, the residents of Brilliant and all who came out to show support. You people are the greatest.

(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

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