Saturday, May 31, 2008

Scorpions and Indiana Jones!

On Sunday, May 25, 12-year-old Megan Templeton received a rather painful surprise while shopping with her family at the Barboursville Wal-Mart. She was stung by a stow away scorpion. Megan says she had her hand inside the watermelon box when the scorpion crawled up and stung the tip of her finger on Sunday afternoon. Check outr this link to see Megan and her fine scorpion pet.

Even though they are rare occurances, we hear of tarantulas hiding in shipments of bananas and stow away exotic plants that become invasive in our area. It is no wonder that even smaller organisms such as viruses and bacteria are transported easily around the world.

If you clicked on the link for the story of Megan Templeton, you realize that she and her family had just seen the new Indiana Jones movie.

Judy and I viewed the film last Tuesday and found it to be very enjoyable. It was super to see Indiana Jones back on the silver screen. We would definitely recommend "Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull". At 65 years old, Harrison Ford did a great job . It is a wonderful George Lucas film and directed by Steven Speilberg.

Friday, May 30, 2008

The Birthday Cake

There may have been a small problem with singing "Happy Birthday" to Sammy. I think the singing may not have been a quality performance if you look at Sammy's reaction!

It was time to blow out the "2 Year Old" candle. Sarah helped with this task.

It is so fun to watch the kids eat the cake. Check out Lucy.

Flora has donned her hat and is enjoying all the kid's action.

Sarah planned a "Blue's Clues" mystery hunt after the cake cutting. Just as in "Blue's Clues", the kids had to find the clues and Sarah recorded the clues in the "notebook".

The prizes were a chocolate "Blue" candy stick and a box of "Blue's Clues" mementos. The box contained a ball, notebook, and this great magnifying glass. Here is cousin Derek using his new magnifying device.

Here are a few final shots of Lucy in action.

It was a happy time and Mr. Sam is now officially two years old.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Birthday Party and Blue

Who is coming up the road toward the party? It is Blue of the famous TV show, Blue's Clues! This is Sam's favorite TV show.

Blue's Clues is a children's television show that premiered on Nickelodeon on September 8, 1996, and ran until 2006. It was created by a "green team" of producers, Todd Kessler, Angela Santomero, and Traci Paige Johnson, who used concepts learned from child development and early-childhood education research to create a television show that would capture preschool children's attention and help them learn. They used the narrative format in their presentation of material, as opposed to the more traditional magazine format, and structured every episode the same way. The result, Blue's Clues, has been called "one of the most successful, critically acclaimed, and ground-breaking preschool television series of all time.

Sam is recovering from an ear infection. Aunt Rachael and Sam have a hug.

Blue played games and had his picture taken with the children. Rachael and Lucy get acquainted with the big blue dog.

Grandma and Grandpa also want their pictures taken with the celebrity.

Tired Sam is comforted by his nanny, Velva.

Now Mr. Sam is feeling better. Timmy is in the background (Velva's husband).

Dad Jeff is holding the birthday boy. He and cousin Derek give Blue five.

Sarah and Jeff are getting acquainted with Blue as well.

Here is Aunt Jessie with baby Brent.

Grandma Meads loved to get into ever photo possible. She also enjoyed the games that Blue played with the kids. As you know, she is still a kid at heart!

Gosh, Grandma Shirley also knows how to get right into the action!

It was time for Blue to leave. Tomorrow we will see the cake along with photos of the kids.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Marlinton Depot and
Buckeye Bend Bookstore
We reported on our blog during the end of March the terrible destruction of the 107 year old railroad depot in Marlinton. This structure was destroyed by fire and had housed the Pocahontas County Convention and Visitor's Bureau. It is located beside C.J. Richardson Hardware.

The cause of the fire has been determined as electrical in nature. Plans are being made to reconstruct this piece of history.

On our way back to the Schuda Seebert Estate, our group had to stop at this bookstore located in Buckeye. The structure is the old school building.

Dan found a furry friend. He loved to chew on sticks, 2x2's, and hands!

The Seebert book club members are below. What a wonderful day with our friends! On Sunday we were off to Bridgeport to attend Sammy's birthday party. Our grandson is now two years old. The next blog will cover the party and the arrival of a mystery guest!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

C. J. Richardson Hardware

The oldest building in Marlinton is the McK Building located across from French's Restaurant. The McK Building housed the old Bank of Marlinton. Up the street is another great historic building, C.J. Richardson Hardware.

C. J. Richardson Hardware was there when the railroad came and when the railroad was dismantled, it was there through the Depression years, it was there when our men and women went off to wars and when they returned, and it remains today, the cornerstone of stability in an ever changing world.

The floor-to-ceiling shelves, oak counters and nail bins of the hardware store are as they have always been. The open freight elevator is still in service. This elevator was originally operated by mule power, then advanced to a system of belts and pulleys and, finally, to an electric powered wrench. The original track ladder, which gives access to those tall shelves, succumbed to constant use and was replaced several years ago, but it, too, is still rolling. Much of the merchandise of years ago is still offered today, although the demand for hand tools such as hammers, saws and hand sanders dwindled as power tools became the rage. Throughout its history Richardsons has repaired what it sells. Those items change with each generation and today it is appliances, chainsaws, weed eaters, lawn mowers, micro-waves and vacuum cleaners.

The friendly service today is orchestrated by Charles McElwee Googie Richardson and his son, Terry, who left Marlinton to work in New Hampshire and came home in 1984. Their commitment to the community, now as then, extends beyond regular business hours. Many folks in the county have been helped out of a bind by an after hours phone call to Googie or Terry, or to Ira Buck Turner, who for 27 years has assisted those in need, both as an employee of Richardsons and as a friend and neighbor. A few years ago, Bucks wife, Cookie, joined him at Richardsons and they make a very accommodating team

The tradition of a Christmas drawing continues today with prizes such as guns, TVs and vacuum cleaners, but there was a time when the coveted prize was a new automobile. Jewel Scott, who celebrated his 100th birthday this past July, was the winner of the last Ford car given away by the store. Scott and his wife, Nellie, had built a new house and all the materials came from Richardsons. Selling their lamb and calf crop just prior to Christmas, they were able to pay off their account. When the winning number was posted in the store window, Scott went home to check his numbers. When he came across the winner he said, Nellie, go get your car. How is this shot of Pix and Judy? Another American Gothic!

Charles Johnston C.J. Richardson graduated from VPI as a civil engineer and headed to South America for his first job, opening a gold mine. He later worked for a friend in Decatur, Georgia, managing a hardware store. When he became quite ill with malaria, his brother, Dr. T. S. Richardson, recommended that he head for the mountains as a cure for what ailed him. Finding that he loved what this area offered with its hunting and fishing, he decided to stay and set about building a hardware store and undertakers shop at the present intersection of Rts. 219 and 39. This was later the location of the Peoples Store and Supply Company. In response to the news that the C. & O. Railroad would soon pass through Marlinton, Richardson made plans and began construction of the present day store and opened there around 1905.

Along the way, he married Annie Laurie Thomas, of Bath County, Virginia. As his business grew, his brother-in-law, Andy Thomas, moved to Marlinton to help with the undertaking portion. Richardsons grandson, Googie, said that Uncle Andy worked for 50 years, opening the store every morning and never took a vacation or a sick day. C. J.s brother, Ed, worked in the family business and added some spice to the atmosphere. Ed, who lived in a house in what is now Smith Addition, rode his horse to work, was quite the fiddle player. Musicians gathered at the store every Saturday night to play and sing. Joining Ed were Whitey Daughterty, Charlie Lovelace, Greenbrier Dotson and others. Googie said that Greenbrier reminded him of Mahatma Ghandi, in that he was bald and had nothing to say, but smiled all the time.

Charlie Lovelace worked at Richardsons as the repairer of gasoline-powered Maytag washers. Ralph Dilley was the full-time radio repairman. And speaking of radio, Googie remembers that all the stores stayed open late and every night mostly the same people would come into the store to listen to Lum and Abner and Amos and Andy. Jim Shinaut, who had lost his eyesight and whose grandson, Jerry Davis works at Richardsons today, was always posted at the radio for every baseball game. Each night Shinaut walked, unattended, to his home on Jericho Road. When asked how he knew he had reached Jericho, he said he could feel a difference in the atmosphere at that point and turned toward home.

As the third generation, Googie began his career at the store right after WW II. He remembers that the business was still horse oriented at that time due to agriculture and logging in the area; work that demanded collars, harnesses and all the horse trappings. There was a pipe that ran the full length of the store..front to back..with nothing but horse collars and hardly a day would go by without selling a set or two of horse harnesses. Richardsons still carries those horse trappings but today they are for pleasure horses, nothing like back then. Back then, as well, Googie said, it was just what the name says, hard, hardware nuts and bolts, lots of goods, bits and teeth for saw blades and a lot of items needed by sawmills.

Osa Smith McLaughlin went to work at Richardsons in 1965 as the first woman on the floor. As with all new employees, her first two weeks were spent dusting the shelves to acquaint her with all the merchandise. In her 21 years there, she was in charge of advertising and was the furniture buyer, taking an annual trip to the High Point, North Carolina Furniture Show each October. Under the management of C. J.s sons Charles and Craig Richardson, her co-workers were her brother, Jack Smith, John Quick, Tom Sharp and Jim McGraw. McGraw, according to Googie, was the most enduring employee, having worked at Richardsons for over 50 years. Osa remembers the 1906 Day Book, which recorded everything from caskets shipped by train to Cass, to newlyweds setting up housekeeping. At that time, $250 would get you everything you needed furniture to stovepipes.

Although Osa was the first woman on the floor, the bookkeeping department has always been manned by women. Craig Richardsons wife, Gertrude, led the way, followed through the years by Elizabeth Kessler, Noble Moore, and Edith McCloud Today, you will find Lana Clark at the desk, where she has been for the last 16 years. The original office was on a platform, 6 to 7 feet above the first floor, but in 1948 the office was tucked in-beside and behind- the wide staircase. Walking up that staircase, you leave the nuts and bolts of labor behind and find on the second floor, a bright, light and airy room full of furniture, floor coverings and accessories. A service stairway will take you to the third floor where extra stock is stored and tucked in nooks and crannies is a bit of merchandise from the past.

As in the days of Ed Richardson, the store still carries a selection of musical instruments which can readily be seen hanging from a pipe suspended over the oak counter. The musical talent of this family has passed though the generations, as well, with fourth generation Terry, and fifth generation Annie Laurie Richardson, Ann Grace and Michael David Ferrell carrying on the tradition of old-time music. When employees stay for 21, 27, even 50 years, its more than a business, its family. In his 100 years, Jewel Scott has dealt with them all, C. J., his sons, Charles and Craig, his grandson, Googie, and great-grandson, Terry. Scott summed this family up quite well, Those Richardsons, theyre wonderful people. Through the households of this county, for 105 years, generation after generation has said, I've gotta go to Richardsons. And generation after generation has received the same friendly service from this unchanged corner of the world. (Thanks to the Mountain Times for the information on this wonderful piece of history)

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Weekend

If you did not get the helicopter question on the last blog, the answer is that it was busy cutting trees on the right-of-ways. Collin explained to me the principles of this procedure. The saw is dangling from the underneath of the helicopter. It has to be a high risk occupation!

We did, indeed, enjoy the weekend with Dan and Pix on the beautiful Greenbrier River in the hamlet of Seebert. One of our traditions is to have breakfast at least once in Marlinton at French's Restaurant. We have mentioned this great location in previous blogs. Saturday was no exception. Off to French's!

The grill cook is Debbie. She is a true grill artist!

Dan loves the country ham. Here is his meager plate of food - Eggs, country ham, home fries, and toast are on his plate. Notice how his hands are reminescent of the paintings of Henry the 8th during his feasts.

Miss Debbie enjoys seeing us quickly consume our food. She certainly has a happy smile.

Marlinton was busy with folks, such the group pictured below, heading for fun on the river. We decided on a less aerobic activity. We are of to Richardson's Hardware. This hardware has not changed much since 1901.