Editor: Roleta Smith Meredith Issue118 June 2009


In the July newsletter I am asking you to write your memories of Hartland, Helfin Heights and Highland Park. You didn’t have to live there to share your memories of these neighborhoods.

Maybe you visited someone in your family who lived there or a friend….tell us about any memories you have. Give the neighborhood a respectful salute.

Make sure you mention the name of the section of Clarksburg in the letter that you write to me. I am unable to distinguish areas of Clarksburg by street names mentioned.

Write to about either of these areas… of Hartland, Helfin Heights and Highland Park.

DOWNTOWN / UPTOWN (this is a new section added to cover all those who lived in any other “TOWNY”)

FOR JULY, I hope you will write and share your memories of these neighborhoods:


Write your memories to:

Below are the neighborhoods that are still waiting to be saluted…So if your neighborhood is listed below, prepare and make sure you encourage others from your neighborhood to join you in paying respect to it.



submitted by: Joe Martin (ND '65)

When I was 5 years old my parents moved from Enterprise to Glen Elk.....and for the next 13 years I went to school at St.Mary's and Notre Dame.....and became friends with all the great people who lived or worked in that area.  I grew up with the likes of Joe, Mike & Larry Iaquinta....John & David Belotte, Josie Tomorrow, Sam Folio, Frank & John Aliveto, Louis Tiano, Raymond Oliverio, Sara, Billy and Barbara Brunetti, Bobby, Diane, Mary Ann & Patrick Secret, Frank, Denny & Raymond Mazza, Billy Pinella, Pete Secret, Ronnie, Dave, and Steve Fox, John Grilli, Louis, Albert & David Mazza, Jim Panetta, Billy Patsy, Jim & Frank Robinette, Gary Reynolds, Clarence Fiber, Guy Costello, Anthony Tiano, John 'Fiz' all of their sisters........and the older folks who kept us in line.........lots of luck.

We had great baseball, basketball, and football games all over Glen Elk......even though we did not have a playground at that time.  We played in the area around Tiano's bakery......the B&O yard next to the train station......the B&O Bull was always running us out of the area.  In the winter months we would block off Clark St........from 6th and Clark to 8th and Clark.....what a thrill it was to have three guys on a sled and go from the top of 6th Street to the bottom of 8th Street..........what a rush!!

As we got older........we got into formal football settings.  I played baseball for RUSCO Window Company and The Workingman's Store......never really got into basketball........but did play football at Notre Dame.  Growing up my Dad would always take me to watch WI play against Parkersburg......Victory......Grafton.........and others at Hite Field.  My Dad played for WI and graduated from there in 1934.  In the late 50s and early 60s WI was the team to beat.........we always cheered for them......especially Bobby Secret......who lived up the street from us in Glen Elk.

When I graduated from Notre Dame in 1965........I went into the Air Force.....they were drafting between 50K and 60K guys a month for military you went to college or the service.  After getting out of the Air Force in 1968.....I started at FSC in 1969 and graduated in 1973.  In late 1974 I moved to Virginia and lived there for 34 years..............after my wife and I retired........we moved to The Villages, FL in January 2008.

I loved Glen Elk........the people, restaurants, bars, and the fun times I had as a kid.........those days are gone forever.......but I am grateful to have been part of that era.

submitted by: Alexis Julian Scott (ND '65)

All of my father's aunts and uncles lived in Glen Elk, plus my grandmother and grandfather Julian. My father's mother was a Cava before she married and all of us Cava's have a tendency to be somewhat "hardheaded"(can you imagine that). I spent a great deal of time there especially with my Aunt Rosie, who was my father's brother's wife, she never had any children of her own but she loved all of the kids "on the streets" in Glen Elk.

There is one story to tell about my grandparents, even though they were married they did not live together or speak to each other. My grandfather's barbershop was in the bottom part of the building and my grandmother, aunt and uncle lived over the barbershop. When my brother and I would go to visit we would go to the barbershop first and my grandfather would always say, "Did you go see 'upstairs' (meaning my grandmother)?" Then when we would go to see my grandmother she would say, "Did you go see 'downstairs' (meaning grandpa)?"  Now, Anthony and I didn't think this was odd until we got older and realized they never said the other ones name. I still do not know why they separated in the first place. But that is a true story. Grandpa lived in Hogan's Alley in the Coca-Cola building.

I loved Glen Elk and going there, it was like a party every time. People were always on their "stoops" and I was related to EVERYONE. My Aunt Shields, Grandmother of Bobby Secret, and many others was a great cook. My grandmother and some other relatives would sell shots of whiskey for 25cents to the "knockers" at their doors, usually in the evenings. It seemed like everyone had a nickname but me. I can't remember most but John Tiano was "Fizz" (figure that one out) and Bobby was "Seeks" and his Uncle Robert was "Timbuck" and I know there were many, many more.

My grandfather and my father both had their barbershops in Glen Elk. My Dad started with Jimmy Oliverio and then moved into my grandfather's shop after he passed away. My Dad's first shop was where the Purple Tree was located.

I remember the train depot and going there to watch the trains at certain times.

My Grandmother and I would walk to Glen Elk #2 so she could get day old bread for a cheaper price than the fresh. She also kept her money under the carpet in her sitting room. I taught her how to write her name and she taught me how to count in Italian. She made the BEST fritis in the entire world, they Never got hard.

We called all of our aunts by their last names: Aunt Shields, Aunt (Emily) LaRosa, Aunt Pinella, Aunt Talerico and of course, my grandmother Aunt (Agatina) Julian. There were two uncle's Alex and Sam Cava.

These are just a very few of the memories, just to mention all of the people would take forever, but Glen  Elk lives in the hearts and lives of many of its people all over the world.

Russell Marano author of "Poems of a Mountain Ghetto" wrote these poems about Glen Elk-it's a wonderful book.

Thanks for all that you and Judy do and as always, thanks for the opportunity to share memories.

submitted by: Jacki Tiano Romano (WI '56)

Memories of growing up in Glen Elk are so numerous, it is hard to pick a few!  My mom was one of thirteen and my dad was one of nine.  I have sixty First Cousins!!!!!  Can you imagine the bedlam whenever we got together?

On the Tiano side, we had Sunday dinner with my grandmother….Easter egg hunts with the eggs marked for various amounts (and older cousins ready to pounce when you found one)…..eating the grapes off the vines….overnite sleepovers with my cousins Patty (Babe) and Betty Tiano, telling scary stories as we huddled under the warm quilts…..the smell of my Uncle John’s bakery.  My dad would make him breakfast (it was his dinner) on Sunday mornings-----pork chops or Italian sausage, potatoes, eggs and of course hot bread!  In the winter after one of those big snows, Uncle Bill would close off the roads, start a bonfire and everyone from Glen Elk I and II would ride their sleds down to the bottom of the hill.

The Oliverio side seemed to center around restaurants!  My grandparents started a restaurant when they came from Italy---The Royal Café--- They lived above the restaurant for a long time.    The kitchen had a huge round table (the men ate first)  I can still see the huge Christmas Tree piled high with presents.  In the summer, my Uncle Bianco would take everyone swimming.  He would loudly announce that he wasn’t taking anymore kids and then would drive his truck REAL SLOW so that anyone could hop on.  We sat in that open truck with the wind blowing in our hair harmonizing song after song.  The 2nd generation cousins (and an occasional 3rd) still keep tabs on each other through email.  We are known as Meatballs on Line (MOL)….there were so many different Oliverio families that they were given nicknames to distinguish one from the other. Thinking back I realize that there were----- three bakeries located in Glen Elk----Wilson Bakery, where my dad and his brothers learned how to make bread and jelly rolls---Tomaro’s and Tiano’s Italian Bakeries where the bread was baked in an open hearth;  four groceries---Pasceri’s, Policano’s, Romano’s and still going strong---Oliverio’s and a tiny candy shop run by D’Andres where all the kids could buy penny candy  A short walk across two bridges brought you to the library, movies and downtown Clarksburg!  The old B&O railroad station is located there and I can still remember waving good-by to all five of my mother’s brothers (as well as three brothers-in-law) as they went off to war.

I was the oldest of three and consequently did a lot of babysitting.  My friends would congregate on our front porch to keep me company.  Mary Ann Roda (Tiano) would throw a party every once in awhile and you could always find us at the playground under the 4th St Bridge.  They did movies sometimes and the adults would be there too

There was a lot of love in Glen Elk…..everyone watched over you (couldn’t get away with a thing).  To sum up the atmosphere for those who lived there, I would use three words---Love---Laughter and--- FAMILY!!!!!

submitted by: Martha Pulice Williams (WI '64)

Growing up in Glen Elk was the best. We had so many relatives, friends, and a neighborhood that we always felt safe in. If I wanted Italian pizza or hot bread, up to my grandma's house I'd go. If I wanted to play dodge ball, ride bikes, or shoot marbles, I always had my three brothers, plus all their friends who constantly watched over me and still do. There was just me and Charlene Patsy that was my age...all the rest were boys! They were told never to bother us or else they'd have our brother's to answer too. We never told them about spin the bottle at Jimmy's Robinett's house. Sorry guys! I always wondered why I never dated an Italian!!!!!

My sister, Mary Jo, her friends, and I would walk to the CYO dances, St.John's Church, Oliverio's store,and downtown Clarksburg. It seemed like we always had something to do. We would all gather on my mother's porch till dark and just hang out. Sometimes playing kick the can or playing ball in Bird Lane. I wouldn't change one thing about my childhood. It was allllllllllllllllllll good!

submitted by: Frank Fragomene (WI '62)

GLEN ELK NO. 2:  My brother & I grew up in what was named Glen Elk No.2. It was located on the other side of the tracks from Glen Elk and only had about 25 to 30 families living there. The area had (at that time) a Junk Yard, WV Mine Supply, Wilson Bakery, Swift's, WV Casket Company, a small print shop, and a bunch of warehouses. My brother & I (as well as others who lived there) called it the "hill". We lived close to the radio tower which later became the WBOY TV tower.

There were many days that were spent during the summer time picking blackberries on the hill. In the summer some of the kids would go down to the warehouse area and play in the little stream (Mine Drainage) and build a dam. Would have played for hours.  Mom made the best pies. We had fruit trees in the yard--Apple, peach, plum, pear, and, for a short while, cherry and grapes. Mom & Dad owned 3 lots across from our house which was used for a garden.  Lots of tomatoes. One year over 30 plants. I remember a summer when my mother's father walked from North 7th Street to our home to make a garden. He did this when he was 75. Mom did canning. Sure loved her Sunday tomato sauce. Seems like we always had it right after coming back from mass at St John's church. With Wilson bakery one block away, my brother & I would often go and buy a loaf of bread for $0.14 that was not sliced. We would go home and cut it in half and put butter & jelly on it and see who could eat it the fastest.

The Casket Factory was a big business at one time. They had all hard woods. The saws and milling machines were on throughout the day. Don't think they ran at night. The Mine Supply housed the first soda machine I had ever seen. It cost a nickel I believe;  maybe a dime. It was my first Grape Soda--blue teeth and all.

The Junk Yard was a going concern when my brother & I were growing up. Ross Marano's dad and uncle [I believe] were supervisors over a crew moving the metal. In the summer,  we would go looking for scrap metal which the Junk Yard would pay $0.01/lb. A hundred pounds would get us to the movies and pop corn.  

GLEN ELK:   Lots of Italian families lived in this area.  At one time there were two bakeries--Tianos & Tomaro's. Who could resist the smell of fresh baked bread--hard & soft crust.   Tianos was right besides my grandfathers house.   And who can forget the one barber shop--Alex Julian's.   He had 2 different locations but the experience was the same.   Something like a right of manhood.   Still remember when he first used a straight razor on my side burns or at least what I thought were side burns.   Saturdays were the prime time for hair cuts.   It did not matter if there were 5 or 6 ahead of you.   In fact it was the desired way.   A lot of the older men got there hair cut there.  Should I say story time.....   The area had the train station also.  It was a key part of movement of people and goods.   Warehouses were close by to store the goods that were later sold throughout the city.      

FATHER's Family:   My father's father was an Italian immigrant from Reggio de Calabria (at the toe of the 'boot' of Italy) and must have come thru Ellis Island.  He had brought his wife with him in the late 1890's to this country as did a lot of other folk who settle in Clarksburg, Fairmont, Morgantown, and other small coal mining areas throughout WV.   They all came to this country looking for a better life.   Coal mining and other manual labor jobs were available.   Most of the immigrants could speak very little English so they tended to settle together.    Glen Elk was a larger area which many Italian immigrants settled & set up businesses.    Some of them still exist today and are doing very well (I believe).   My dad was one of 6 children.   One of the last jobs my grandfather had was as a blacksmith shoeing mules that were used within the mines.   My dad still had many of his father's blacksmith's tools long after my grandfather died.   Dad had a rough life.   He had an older brother who died when was 21.  The brother had got hit in the head with a baseball bat while playing ball.   Dad, I believe, was about 3 years younger.   The accident had happen when dad was young.   Dad's father's health was very poor and could not work.  With the big family and the only able male it was up to him to go to work.   He held his first job when he was about 15.   He had gone to work at the old Hazel Atlas glass factory.   The practice at that time was to hire & pay daily laborers.   This would have been in the early 1910's.   There were lots of other first generation Italians working there too.   Hourly wages were nonexistent when my father first started to work.  The company paid $1.00 per day;  I assume that it was an 8 hour day but that may be wrong.    Dad worked for the Hazel Atlas company and those who bought it later--Brockway & Continental Can.  Retirements were, dare I say, poor then.   He got less than 20% of his annual wages with 43 years of service (Retirement benefits did not start when he first went to work).    For the laboring workforce I surely understand why UNIONS came about.    To put this into perspective,  what are the Chinese Labor rates today in 2009?     

MOTHER'S Family--Loria:  My mother's mother & father came separately to this country.   They were married and settled after some moves in the Glen Elk area.   Mom's family consisted of a total of 7 children along with her parents.  They lived on North 7th Street in Glen Elk.   Her father like lots of other Italian immigrants had a vegetable garden which supplemented his job.   There also was an old outside wooden fed stone oven which Mom used to bake bread.  She often said that she worked by hand with 25 pounds of flour to make this bread.   Mom was a small woman around 5' 2".   Most of the folks in her neighborhood were in the same boat financially such that there was a lot of friends.     

FAMILIES:   Three of the families that I remember in that area were the Pulices (Jim & I went to high school together) as well as the Lovers (Alex was the same as Jim & I) and the Marinos (Betty was the same age as Jim, Alex, & I).   My cousins lived with my grandfather when I was growing up with Judy (Donnellon) being the same age as me.   Guy Custello lived almost next door to my cousin Judy.  Guy's cousin Anthony Tiano lived a few blocks away.  There were many other families all within about a 10 block radius.   The Secrets, Romanos, Tomorrows, Iquintas, Capages, etc were among them.  Too many to name them all.  

GRADE SCHOOL:  Growing up,  the grade school that we attended was Towers (now torn down).  I remember a small dairy right by the school as well as an old car dealership--Willy's I believe.   For those of us who lived in Glen Elk No. 2 we had a long walk to school.   We had to cross an old wooden bridge over the railroad tracks.   The engines at the time were coal driven.   At times they would park under that bridge and those of us not knowing any better use to stand in the smoke due to children betting each other who could stay the longest.   We also had to cross the 4th street bridge from which we often make paper airplanes.   Again,  to see whose would fly the longest time & distance.   There were some businesses there that we might have walked thru from time to time--Jerry's Auto Supply & Workingman's Store.    While I attended grade school in Towers, there was no such thing as a hot lunch program.   The dairy provided milk, at a small price, to those who wanted it.   I can still see those small wooden crates with the small bottles in them.   One of the rewards granted by the principal (Mr. Landacker) and teachers was the leaving of class to distribute the milk to all the various classes.   As I remember, Carl Shaffer and I held those responsibility for a while.   The school also had recess  mid morning such that all the classes marched from their classes to the bathrooms in the basement.   There was music provided by the school.   The one tune that I keep in the back of my mind is the Washington Post March.   For lunch,  we had an hour to go home, eat, & return.   One of these days I am going to measure the distance so I can tell my son.    

JUNIOR HIGH:  Junior High was Central.   For us grade schoolers it was moving into the big time.   Lots of things changed. We got to bring our lunches and ate them in the gym.   I remember my first sight of punishment being administered by the PE teacher.   A big wooden paddle with holes in it to cut down on air restriction.   Don't think that would last today.    Junior High also featured class room changes.   The teachers stayed in one room and we somehow got there on time.   The other thing about the school was that we were meeting kids from other grade schools.   What a wonderful time getting to know others with different life experiences.  

HIGH SCHOOL:  High School was WI.   From my house it was UP HILL both ways.      This was like Junior High only bigger.  There was the physical difference between the freshmen & seniors.   No hot lunch program there either.   I remember one time that we had to eat lunch in the biology room where they had just dissected frogs.  Went without that day.    Too many other stories from here.   Football, basketball, dances,  driving a car for the first time, and all the many other things that we all had to experience.

submitted by: Jim Pulice (WI '62)

My grandfather, Joe Martin, had a grocery store across the street from the train station in 1918. He was a charter member of the sons of Italy on Fourth Street. In 1914 he helped build the building for this organization. All his children were born in Glen Elk. My mom was 1 of 10 children. She was born in 1920 and she grew up in Glen Elk, she attended WI. She married my father in 1942. They lived and raised 5 children in Glen Elk. Growing up there was as if all your neighbors were family. It was a happy time for us war babies. All the old Italians in the neighborhood were our teachers. Now that I look back, I realize that they really looked after us. We had many friends growing up and we did so much together. I was so very fortunate to have all of this in my life. I took so much of it for granted in those days, now as I am in the 4th quarter of my life, I can appreciate so much of my youth. All my old Italian friends that were so very special to me have all passed away. I visit the cemetery often to say hello and thank them for being a wonderful part of my life. I ask God in heaven that they all rest in peace. We had a special childhood and I am thankful that I grew up in the neighborhood of Glen Elk in Clarksburg during those years.

submitted by: Sharon Tiano Oliverio Secret (ND '63)

Growing up in Glen Elk was a very special time in my childhood. It truly was a family neighborhood where all the adult Italians watched out for us as kids. My Dad owned 4th Street Billiards---he watched for us daily as we crossed the bridge to and from school.We would then proceed past Policano's and Oliverio's markets while we were always being watched. I wasn't afraid because I did not play in the streets. We had a playground and the first basketball court under the bridge. It was so fun.

My Dad's family, the Tiano's, lived in Glen Elk #2. My moms family, the Oliverio's lived downtown Glen Elk. Since my mom was one of 13 children and my Dad was one of 9, needless to say the cousins spent a lot of time together as well as friends and other Glen Elk families. We had a town of our own. We had grocery stores, my uncle had Pep's Cutrate, another Uncle owned Royal Cafe Restaurant and so didn't my Uncle Jimmy Oliverio. There was Sadie's candy store, Ham Cody's gas station, Pasceri's Market, Alex Julian's barber shop, Imperial Ice Cream and many food and candy wholesale outlets. My Uncle John Tiano owned Tiano's Bakery. Now the famous Tomaro's Bakery does a tremendous business.

Wow, what marvelous times we had!!! I could go on and on, We even watched our outdoor movies on a big screen sitting on benches and chairs in Tomaro's alley. We were truly blessed with so many loving and caring people around us.

submitted by: Bob Secret (WI '60)

What I remember most about Glen Elk were the successes of nearly each household. We were such a close-knit community that all of us knew about each others trades. Many of them reached the top of their professions. There were doctors, lawyers, dentists, plenty of school teachers, coaches, sports writers, mom and pop shops and big business operators. What was really unbelievable was the financial successes from these small ethnic surroundings that is quite noticeable even today throughout the Clarksburg and Bridgeport area. I’m so proud of the sacrifices made by the old-timers and their guidance is responsible for this outpouring of growth that all started in Glen Elk. My heart goes out to all the moms and pops who worked like dogs and saved their money for this growth. The Mafia ruins the names of our proud Italian heritage and the names that  should be described with terms like integrity, perseverance, dedication, hard-work and honesty...I take pride in being from Glen Elk !

submitted by: Eleanor Alessi Shields

I REMEMBER................
--- Mrs. Snyder's Kindergarten Class - and playing with her daughter Geraldine. The class was in their home on Clark Street
--- This house later became the homestead of Lou and Mary La Rosa Roda
--- Playing volleyball and softball at the playground under the Fourth Street Bridge
--- Learning to ride a bike under the same bridge
--- The Elk Creek was below the playground
--- Roller skating on Clark Street
--- Uncle Sam and Aunt Mary Cava's little restaurant on the corner of Clark
--- The Home Hotel owned and operated by Uncle Jim LaRosa, it was BOOMING!
--- Policano's Grocery Store - Flora and I were the best of friends
--- Oliverio's Grocery was next to Policano's. Mrs. Oliverio had a kitchen in the back room of the store where Angelina and I ate a lot of delicious Italian food
--- Sitch Tiano's Pool Room - famous for his Chili Hot Dogs
--- Upstairs from the Pool Hall was Bonnie Secreto's Beauty Shop
--- I remember when Sis Mary became a beautician and gave me my first perm using big electric rollers
--- Mrs. Folio's brick oven in Hogan's Alley, she and mom baked delicious bread weekly
--- The B & O Railroad Station .... watching the trains come and go while waving to the passengers
--- Sis Mary's fabulous spaghetti dinners, at least twice a week, side dishes were always candied sweet potatoes and salad. The door was always open to family and friends alike
--- Christmas Eve with Mom and Poppy, the seven fishes, fried bread, Christmas macaroni, lupini, and the warmth and closeness of our family being together.
This is my fondest memory!!!

submitted by: Bill Pinella (WI '65)

Glen Elk. Is there a part of it that I never touched, or a part of it that never touched me? I don't think so.

The memories don't come in - the sights, the smells, the sounds, the tastes and the touches all comingled fits and starts, they hit me like a floodwater. And for 18 wonderful years it was my life. It grabbed all my senses in a delicious sensory explosion.

It was almost too much to explain to someone who never experienced it. Glen Elk was, well, it was perfect. On the wrong side of town, on the lower end of the socio-economic ladder, on the perfect side of life! And for a kid of the '50s it was utopia. A splendid mix of alleys and parking lots where you could play games, where you could let your imagination take over for a lack of tangible commodities, where popsicle sticks could become drive-in theaters, where railings for a sliding door on a shop wall became basketball hoops, where whiffle ball games became the World Series.

It was a mixture of languages - Italian and English.
It was the intoxicating smell of fresh-baked bread.
It was the sound of billiard balls smacking head-long into each other.
It was a hot dog like no other and it was condensation on the windows of a dank, dark, dirty but home-sweet-home pool room that was as welcoming as any swanky men's club.
It was kites at Sadie's corner store for a dime in March.
It was two intoxicated women rolling around in the melting snow in front of the White Front tavern.
It was the butterflies in the flower bed in front of my aunt's home.
It was discarded chocolate at the wholesaler after a spring rain caused the creek to flood the building.
It was the magic of waiting to ride the B&O train once a year at midnight.
It was a day-old pepperoni roll warmed up with a slice of tomato from a nearby garden.
It was the Big Guys vs. the Little Guys in a softball game.
It was the Parkersburg Big Red marching band disembarking at the train station, parading down Clark Street on the way to Hite Field.
It was the elephants across the 6th Street bridge going into Carmichael Auditorium with the circus.
It was finding the perfect stick in the discarded wood pile at Mazza's shop for hitting rocks.
It was waiting for that one snowstorm in the winter and riding a sled down the Clark Street hill from 6th to 8th street.
It was the tick...tick...tick of the Western Union sports ticker bringing home a score from some far-away baseball stadium.
It was the smell of peppers being canned by B.O.
It was Bowlegs walking down the street with his cardboard.
It was Whiskey Joe with a broken cigarette.
I could go on .... and on ... and on...
Until I breath my last I'll never forget what Bobby Secret once uttered to me: "Billy, I never left Glen Elk, Glen Elk left me."

submitted by: Marianne Secret Hanner (ND '59)

I have wonderful memories of Glen Elk from when I was a little girl. After school every day I would go to my Grandma Shields for my snack. My snack consisted of a 3 layer Italian pizza, fried peppers or hot homemade bread.

I also remember walking across the 4th Street Bridge from school. Sam “Sitch” Tiano would see me coming and hand me 2 hotdogs. I would eat one at the bottom of the hill and the other when I got home. I also remember Sadie’s Candy Store, I would have my pink poodle change purse and would buy candy for a penny or nickel.

Playing ball in the alley next to the Roda’s home was so much fun. There were always 10 or 15 of us every day. What great memories! I would always go home crying if they wouldn’t let me play. I would tell them, “I’m going to tell my big brother on all of you,” then they would let me play.

To this day, even though my mom, dad, and sister are no longer with us, we still have a bond to Glen Elk. My little brother Pat is still living next door to our homestead on Clark Street. He lives with his wife Lora and daughter Alex Jayne. All of our children still today talk about their memories. They too were raised at 303 Clark Street, in Glen Elk with my mom, dad and sister. These memories we will all share forever.

submitted by: Guy T. Costello (WI '62)

An unusual event for me to be writing anything on the internet, but I was struck by the lack of information or letters about Glen Elk.

I lived most of my early and adult years in Glen Elk. It has a very colorful history. There was a book written about the early 1990's in Clarksburg, and Glen Elk was an interesting part of it. I don't remember the title of the book, but I do remember a few of the tales about Glen Elk. There were purported to be tunnels from Glen Elk, under the Elk River running over to town. The story goes that whiskey and other paraphernalia was transferred through those tunnels during prohibition. I don't know the accuracy of this tale.

Glen Elk was a hotbed of activity during the 40's and 50's. The train station was located there and anybody coming or going to the area went through Glen Elk. I believe this is where the nefarious reputation that was Glen Elk's, during those years, came from, with all these people passing through, getting into all kinds of situations and causing problems. I still meet older people, when upon mentioning where I grew up, who have this same attitude of a very wicked place. I do recall that the people living there were mostly Italian immigrants or sons and daughters of immigrants, striving to make a better life for their families. As I grew older, I realized that the people living there weren't part of this reputation, but the people that came across the two bridges into Glen Elk were the ones contributing to it.

As for the train station, on Baltimore Avenue, was a wonderful place to see. There was so much activity with passengers arriving and leaving. They had one of the most beautiful lawns with hedges, flowers which were very meticulously manicured. Of course, we tried to play football there, and the B&O Bull, as we called him, who was a sort of security officer for the railroad, would run us off. All types of freight were off loaded at the station. I can remember seeing monkeys in cages, all types of produce, construction materials, and a vast number of other things too numerous to mention.

My uncle, Tony Tiano, owned a drug store on the corner of Fifth Street and Clark called Pep's Cut Rate. This was where many of the workers from the Coca Cola Plant, which was across the street from my grandmother's house, Fairmont Imperial, the Paper Salvage, and many other business men would go to talk, eat, drink a root beer from a chilled mug and buy various sundries. Just sitting there as a youth and listening to the men talk about jobs, family, politics, sports, etc. was fascinating to me. One of the topics at this time was a super athlete, Bobby Secret, whom most of you know. He was like Superman at that time to me. I can remember going across the street from my grandmother's house to the Coca Cola Plant, operated by the Lee family, and buying a coke from a machine for a nickel. You could look through the windows and watch the process of a Coke being bottled.

The Fairmont Imperial was on the corner of Clark and Sixth Street. They used to sell milk and ice cream. We would go there and watch all that ice cream being loaded into delivery trucks and wishing we could have our fill. Oliverio's and Policano's grocery stores were across the street from the drug store on Clark Street. I vividly remember during the Christmas season barrels of fish and other seasonal things for sell in front of these stores. You could buy many of the traditional Italian foods at these stores. This area was a hotbed of activity at all times. Farther down the street from the grocery stores was Alex Julian's Barbershop. I always marveled, as a child, at the way he sharpened his razor on that leather belt and shaved the male patrons without cutting them. On the corner of Clark and Fourth Street was "Sitch's" Pool Room, run by "Sitch" Tiano, my uncle's brother. I can still see him, a full beard, with this wonderful smile always on his face. He made the best hot dog chili I ever tasted. I long for a couple of his hot dogs and a bottle of Mountaineer Grape. What a treat that would be!!! Sitch's was a sort of meeting place for many in the area. He was like a sweet, pleasant grandfather figure to me. He was one of the typical older adults who looked out for the kids of the neighborhood. Across from the poolroom was the Royal Cafe, run by BO Oliverio. It was a restaurant that always busy with customers. Around the corner on the right was at one time another restaurant, and Jimmy Oliverio's barbershop. Pischeri's store, I believe, was on Clark Street and another small store of which the name escapes me.

Mostly everyone that lived in Glen Elk knew each other and it was like a large extended family. The "old timers" back then would be like a second group of parents to all of the neighborhood children. These were such wonderful times.

I remember always playing some type of sport in the allleys, streets, and at the new playground they built after we were older. We had so much fun back in those days, not having a care in the world. All the kids would congregate in front of Pulice's house and sit around and tell stories, laughing, just doing the things kids use to do. Other times we spend in front of the Mazza's Shop, playing baseball with a knife on their old wooden benches. We were never bored, although there weren't many places to go, because we made our own fun. So many of my friends from back then became very successful. I'm sure each neighborhood has its own success stories, but to those of us from this area there is great pride in talking about these accomplishments. There were lawyers, police officers, soldiers, doctors, college professors, journalists, school teachers, factory workers, school principals, city managers, and on and on. Personally to me, this pride about success was due to the negative connotation when one mentioned Glen Elk and to be successful from this area especially meant something to all of us. When we meet to this day, it is like meeting your brother or sister that you haven't seen in years, yet it is as if we haven't been apart that long. We hug and share our most pleasant memories, and of course, ask about each other's families.

As I grow older, I realize that life is fleeting and to treasure each and every moment that the Lord has given us. Among some of the most treasured moments in my life, is the experience of growing up in Glen Elk and the lasting memories and friendships that I have.

I know this is rather long, but these are just some of the memories I have to impart about Glen Elk. A friend of mine, Raymond Oliverio, his father owned the Royal Cafe, had some shirts made saying, "You can take the boy out of Glen Elk, but you can't take Glen Elk out of the boy." This is reflective of our feelings about where we grew up.

May God Bless each of you!

submitted by: Bob Teter (WI '60)

I will not do justice to the numerous fond memories I have of Glen Elk. To begin - I spent many hours with my dear friend, Bob Secret doing any number of things. I remember his parents, and grandparents fondly, as well as his sisters and brother. Bob and I spent a great many hours together during our days at good ole WI. I will never forget the princely treatment I received in their home, the pregame meals, dance lessons, even Italian lessons as I remember his grandparents spoke very broken English. We played many hours of basketball on the court that used to be under the Fourth Street Bridge, shot many hours of pool at the pool hall on the corner below his home, and on and on. Wish I could remember all the folks that lived there and participated but only a few come to mind, Bucky Wolfe, Frankie Oliverio, Anthony Policano, Jimmy Joe Pulice, Billy Price, etc. Great times all!

A somewhat unusual remembrance of Glen Elk was time spent with a neighborhood friend, Ronnie Shaw of College St. When visiting with him in the early evening we would sit on a grass bank across from his house listening to a trumpet player practicing his talent in Glen Elk across Elk Creek from where we were. Whoever that was did not know he had such an audience! What fun!

I also have some not so pleasant memories that I won't go into that relate to the numerous beer joints that were located all over Glen Elk. Those places were such a nuisance and not a good thing for that community to have associated with, given many other positive attributes.

And lastly the restaurants that have appeared in later years, many that have excellent cuisine, again the names escape me, other than Phillips.

I can never do justice to the benefit I gained from being associated with the Secret family of Glen Elk and I will be forever thankful to have been welcomed in their midst.


submitted by: Phyllis Fernandez Riccelli (ND '65)

I graduated from Notre Dame, class of ’65 and my family’s roots are in Glen Elk. One of my fondest & happiest memories of that wonderful section of town was at Christmas time. My grandparents, who lived there, would order the fresh fish for Christmas Eve dinner from either Oliverios (which is still there) or Policanos markets which were side by side on Clark street. Each year I accompanied my grandma when she picked up the fish; there would be bushels of all kinds of fish--whiting, smelt, baccala, squid, all sitting in front of the stores for you to purchase. The smell of all of that fresh seafood would be in the air for days, it was great, and the dishes they all fixed will never be duplicated. Even to this day, many of us have continued fixing the fish on Christmas Eve; such fond & loving traditions were instilled in all of us who were fortunate enough to be a part of that area.

submitted by: Diana Shablack Sandy (WI '69)

I'm submitting this story for my sister Anita - she lived in Glen Elk during the late 30's - early 40's ...

Selling Kool-aid was one of the happy memories I have of growing up in Glen Elk. Just across the 4th Street bridge to the 4 corners of 4th & Clark, we'd sell our delicious treat. A child on each corner, each selling a different flavor, we always sold out quickly. I think everyone would agree, Kool-aid tasted a lot better back then.

Another memory I have is of the platform at Shingleton Brothers Wholesale House on 4th Street - it became a stage & there we would sing and dance to "Casey Would Dance With The Strawberry Blonde". Here is a link if anyone would like to hear the song.

On summer evenings, the Salvation Army Band would come and play in front of the Royal Cafe' & we would all gather to listen to them. Fireman would also come to open the fire hydrants & we would all run out & get soaking wet!

submitted by: Roleta Smith Meredith (WI '59)

I remember going to Glen Elk as a child to catch the train. I loved those depot buildings then and I still enjoy visiting and seeing them as we pass them once in a while along the road. I don’t think I remember when Harry Turman visited Clarksburg and spoke from the back of his campaign train but I do know that my parents were there and have pictures of the event. Perhaps my older brother was there too but he was a child also at the time. I remember when Jack Kennedy was running for President and I saw him at the Stonewall Jackson Hotel but I don’t remember if he had a campaign train or how he arrived in Clarksburg.

I have to take up a bit of space here for my salute to a Glen Elk product, that being Oliverio’s Italian style HOT canned peppers in tomato sauce. I have always liked these peppers and often purchased a case or had someone traveling to Clarksburg purchase a case for me, but last summer I became addicted to them. I mean addicted! I eat a pint a week. It seems as though my day isn’t complete without a sandwich including Oliverio’s HOT peppers. For my sandwich I use Light Whole Wheat bread (Arnold’s multi-grain Sandwich Thins is a favorite of mine to use). To the peppers, I often add a slice of smoked turkey, maybe some slices of bread and butter pickles, sliced fresh green peppers or some cucumber and onion slices—for another change, I often use Fat Free cream cheese. (I eat the peppers right out of the refrigerator or warmed up). They are made with Olive Oil. There are only 10 calories per 2 oz serving, FAT FREE, 3 grams of Carbohydrate and 1 gram of dietary fiber. How healthy is that? And if you are a Weight Watcher (a sandwich like this is only 2 or 3 points), you know the value of this NON FAT product which is also delicious and the tomato sauce daily has been proven to be important daily requirement to ones health---especially men! Bill orders the peppers on line for me and they ship them to me by the case. I also pick up a case or two when visiting in West Virginia. I haven’t been able to find them in Sarasota, Florida but if anyone has any connection, I think stores like Fresh Foods or Whole Foods would be a great marketing place for these! I hope everyone will try these peppers whether you are watching your weight or not. By the way, this may seem like an advertisement for Oliverio’s Italian Peppers but I have never been compensated by Oliverio’s and I don’t even think I know anyone connected with this business. But a big thank you to Oliverio’s for making such a great product which I believe helped me lose weight and has helped me maintain that weight now for almost a year.

submitted by: Jim Martin (WI '43)

Carmichael Auditorium next to 6th St bridge in Glen Elk was the center of attraction where ballroom dancing was very popular. Below is a list of some of the orchestras that played there.

The Negro bands that played on stage of movie theaters were not welcomed in the city's hotels and had to stay at boarding houses in Glen Elk.

After every dance the big rush was to Glen Elk to the famous Royal Cafe for a midnight snack featuring their special Italian meatballs with Italian style peppers on a large Italian bun.

Glen Elk was the home of Oliverio's Grocery which started the retail selling of Italian peppers in tomato sauce. A business which flourished into being sold thru Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Kroger's, Sam's and other retailers.

Glen Elk was the home of the Coca-Cola plant, Pepsi-Cola plant, R-C Cola plant and A. F. Wagners which bottled Whistle orange, Cleo cola and 5 gallon jugs of triple distilled water sold to drug stores used in prescriptions. All bottled water here in Glen Elk. I had the distinct privilege of working in all of them while I was attending Junior High School.

Glen Elk was the home of the B & O train station which brought Presidents Roosevelt and Truman to make re-election speeches at the depot. The train tracks also transported the casket of President Kennedy onward to D.C. for burial.

John W Davis, Democratic candidate for president against Calvin Coolidge in 1924, made his election speech in Glen Elk. He lost to the Republican party

Glen Elk #2 was the location for all circus and carnivals for the central WV area.

One could say Glen Elk was the nucleus for Harrison County.

submitted by: Judy Daugherty Kimler (WI '59)

I didn't live in Glen Elk but my father's parents, Ernest and Florence Daugherty, and my father's brother Ernest Jr, aka "Doodle" (WI '56) did. They lived on the left side of Clark St going up the hill towards the bridge to Glen Elk #2. I visited them often and can still smell the wonderful aromas coming from my grandma's kitchen. She was a great cook and always had a special treat for me whenever I was there. At Thanksgiving and Christmas my grandma would cook a really big dinner and invite some of the homeless men in the area. I can still see them around her big dining room table.

They had a big front porch and I would play there with some of the neighborhood kids. I remember Billy, Dixie and Lionel Reed, the Gillespie's and across the street Bobby Secret and Patty Hendrickson.

My father, Bob Daugherty, was a policeman in Clksbg and knew most of the people mentioned, especially Bianco Oliverio. He talked about him a lot. He always said "Biunk" (that's how Daddy said his name) was a good friend of his.

Some of my memories are actually things my father told me. He talked about a pond or water hole where kids went to swim. One time when he was swimming he ran an ice pick thru the palm of his hand. He always had a small hole there. I don't know why he had an ice pick with him while at the pond.

My grandma died when I was 8 and I didn't visit as much after that.

This is a picture of me in front of their house. I was 6 or 7 at the time.

submitted by: Tom Brown

Growing up in Glen Elk during the late 1950’s and early 60’s was a young man’s dream. Glen Elk was the place that was open 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. With New York being known as the city that never sleeps, it was almost as if they cut a couple blocks out of New York City and placed it nestled within the friendly hills of West Virginia. Glen Elk was well known for its business and industry that served all of the surrounding area in North Central West Virginia. Places like Shingleton Brothers Produce Warehouse, Homer Gailer, Clarksburg Grocery, and Central Storage were all popular businesses located in the community. For those who did not live in Glen Elk, getting there was made easy by the B&O Railroad located right in the heart of town.

For a young kid growing up, there was always something to do and somewhere to go. Even with all the business and traffic within Glen Elk, there were plenty of places to enjoy just being a kid. At any time of the day you could always find a baseball game being played in an empty lot or a football game taking place on the well kept grass of the B&O Railroad Station. Although Glen Elk lacked the top of the line facilities, we always found a way to improvise. Even if it meant the only way you could hit a home run was by smashing it through the second story window of the Osboume Machinery or having your football game ending abruptly by the B&O Bulls. As kids, we were determined to have our fun. Whenever we got tired of being chased out by the B&O Bulls, we would just take a hike clear up to Picnic Hill for a spectacular view of the city of Clarksburg from the WBOY tower.

When the sun went down and the street lights came on, you would find all the families sitting on their porches or hanging out in the alley just spending quality time with each other. There was a strong sense of community in Glen Elk and people treated each other just like family. As night rolled through and you laid in your bed, you could still hear the noise from the B&O locomotive switchers moving cars, the saws from the Clarksburg Casket Company, and the sound of tractor trailers coming in and out of Elmer G Brake and Son. Sometimes you may not have heard the noise, but you were always sure to smell the delicious aroma coming from Wilson’s Bakery in Glen Elk 2 or from either Tomaro’s Bakery or Tiano’s Bakery, as they baked their delicious bread all night long.

As the sun rose the next day, the process started all over again.

submitted by: Jim Caputo (BHS 59, Towers Grade 1 through 5)

NOTE from Diana Shablack Sandy: I am submitting this letter & pic about growing up in Glen Elk for my cousin, Jim Caputo.

Glen Elk, what a wonderful place to grow up in the late 40's and early 50's. It was so alive with excitement, love, joy and one of the safest place for a kid to grow up because many of the residents of Glen Elk were relatives or close friends of our families who would not hesitate to correct you if you even thought of misbehaving. They also made sure we looked after and no harm came to us.

We also knew the policeman walking the streets (beats) and they knew us. The B&O railroad passenger terminal was located in Glen Elk. The men in uniform would pass through going to or coming home from the wars. Some of them stopped to have a great Italian meal. I know that at least two of the restaurants, served gigantic portions, with all the coffee you could drink and unlimited supply of Tomaro's Bread. They were Jimmie's restaurant owned by my father and uncle located on the right side of 4th street when you were facing the B&O. The other was the Royal Cafe just across the street, owned by my Grandparents latter by my uncles.

Some of the servicemen would be feeling surly and wanted more than good food. This also could be had in Glen Elk.

Here's a picture in front of Jimmie's - my dad Tony Caputo holding my cousin Donnie, my mom Vickie with her hand on my shoulder and my aunt Louise holding my cousin Linda's hands.

There were at least two pool rooms one owned by my uncle at the corner of 4th and 6th. He served a great hot dog and would always gave me a grapette soda. There was always some one shooting pool or reading the ticker tape of the latest scores of the day. There seemed to be an on going pinochle game in the back room.

The young boys and some time girls would play football on the lawn of The B&O, ( located between the passenger and freight terminals). This was the only flat, grassy area in Glen Elk. The games would last until the B&O "bulls" (rail road police) would run us off.

The summers were great. We had the play ground located under the 4th street bridge, there was a play ground teacher who taught games, crafts and broke up squabbles when they occasionally broke out. There were movies shown, I think Saturday night, and were projected on the side of a building. We played soft ball with a taped up ball, the bats were occasionally nailed and taped. Teams were chosen based on who was there. Every one played that wanted to. The few gloves, which were well worn, were shared.

In the early evening, we would play games: kick the can, blind mans bluff, king of the mountain, dodge ball and a few other that I cannot remember the names of. The worst thing that happened when playing hide and seek they may not find you or forget you were playing.

We built club a house out of piano crates, we roasted potatoes, occasional hot dog and marshmallows in the Shingleton Bros parking lot.

Some of us earned spending money by selling cardboard boxes at three cents a piece to Shingleton Bros Wholesale. We also collected junk metal and took it to the junk yard where they would weigh it and give a penny or two a pound. It may have been more but then again it was a long time ago. We also collected coke and soda bottles and received a refund from Pasherie grocery store (not sure of the spelling)

Shingleton Brothers was a great source of revenue for some of us. Trains would deliver bananas on stalks and when the bananas were unloaded by hand a couple of them would fall off the stock. The worker would let us have them an we would allow them to ripen at which time we would sell them door to door in Glen Elk.

The guys would make carts to ride in from parts scavenged at the junk yard. Most of the time we did not have brakes and would wear out a lot of shoe leather trying to stop. We also made sling shots, and what we called rubber guns which were made with wood pieces from orange crates and rubber bands cut from worn out inner tubes.

Occasionally on a hot summer day my uncle B O would take a washtub and fill it up with sodas and a block of ice, place it in the back of his truck and load the truck with the kids of Glen Elk and take us swimming at one of the lakes near by. He also made sure there was enough to eat. Just think about a load of kids singing, having fun riding in the back of a pick up truck. This one had side rails so none of us ever fell out.

This was the wrong side of the bridge to some but it was home to me. Those of us who grew up in Glen Elk were taught respect, hard work, discipline and love and knew we were loved. We were encouraged to do well in school and to seek a better life than our parents had, many of whom were first and second generation Americans. They worked hard to make a good life for themselves and a better one for their children.

Many who were raised in Glen Elk "the wrong side of bridge" went on to become leaders in the community, working in the Medical field as Doctors, Nurses, Medical Techs, Physical Therapists, Business leaders, Lawyers, Teachers, Politicians, Government Workers, and have served in the Military with distinction.

You can take the kid out of Glen Elk but you cannot take Glen Elk out of the kid.

NOTE from Diana: P.S. Altho, my cousin Jim didn't mention it himself, I'd like to add that he became a Physical Therapist with a thriving practice in the Winston-Salem, NC area.

submitted by: Diana Shablack Sandy (WI '69)

Although I didn't grow up in Glen Elk several of my relatives did & I do remember some things about my uncle's businesses that were over there. First was the Royal Cafe Restaurant which was originally owned by my Grandfather but was later taken over by my Uncle Bianco Oliverio - who always was known as B. O. The best time of year was at the end of summer when the peppers were ready to be canned. My Uncle B O had a great canning operation set up in the basement of the Royal Cafe & at one time or the other all of our relatives lent a hand to get the peppers ready for canning. His peppers were the original Clarksburg canned jar peppers & the best that ever were. People nowadays are familiar with the Oliverio Peppers that are sold in the stores around C-burg & surrounding areas but those Oliverio's are not my family's Oliverio peppers. My Uncle B O passed away in 1971 so we will never know if he would have taken his scrumptious peppers commercial or not. Another thing I remember about the Royal Cafe was the great meatball sandwiches they served on round Italian bread buns. They were the best!

My mom, her parents & her brothers & sisters all lived on the upper floors of the building & all worked in the restaurant at one time or other during their lives.

Below is a picture of the Royal Cafe with 3 girls posing out front. I believe the shorter woman on the far right is my mom - but the picture isn't clear enough for me to make out for sure who exactly is in the pic.

I had two other Uncles who ran second hand furniture stores in Glen Elk. My Uncle Mario Oliverio - who was also known as Mutt - ran the "Bargain Shop" just a few doors north of the end of the 4th Street bridge & my Uncle Paul Oliverio had his store "Ollie's Trading Post" just a few doors up from Mutt's business. Below is a picture of my relatives in front of the Royal Cafe taken in 1944: Lena Oliverio Sappington, Mario "Mutt" Oliverio, Lena Sal Oliverio (B O's wife)

My cousin Sharon Tiano Secret's dad had the 4th Street Billiards on the corner of 4th & Clark. And my cousin Linda Oliverio Kolosky's dad had Jimmie's Restaurant on 4th Street which is one of the buildings in the photo below: Shingleton Brothers, Pasceri's Grocery, Jimmie's Restaurant, Ham Cody's Service Station

The kids in the pic are my cousin Patty hugging my sister Charlotte, my brother Junior in the striped shirt, woman could be my mom or one of my aunts - the pic isn't clear enough for me to tell, the other little boy may be my cousin Jim, not sure who the man in the suit is & I believe the boy with the dog is my Uncle Raymond (Duchie).

The area between Shingleton's & Pasceri's was an open lot in those days & later became the area where Tomaro's Bakery is today. And the platform dock at Shingleton's is the place where my sister Anita said she & the other kids used to play.

Below is another pic taken in front of the Royal Cafe at the beginning of the war - you will notice someone was proud to have gone to WI & used some chalk to write it on part of the wall. In the picture are my Uncle Tom Oliverio & Grandma Oliverio.

Another WI grad - Bobby Cotter painted some scenes from Glen Elk some years ago. Here are copies which gave tribute to Glen Elk & also to my relatives businesses:

North West Corner of 4th & Clark

South West Corner of 4th & Clark

South East Corner of 4th & Clark

On the town side of the 4th Street Bridge across from the bus terminal was another restaurant owned by my cousin Homer Oliverio - it was called the "Uneeda Lunch".

submitted by: Linda Oliverio Kolosky (WI '60)

back row: Louise Oliverio & Vickie Caputo
front row: Linda Oliverio, Donnie Oliverio & Jimmy (Bo) Caputo


submitted by: Mary Stump Harrell (WI '55)

Growing up in Goff Plaza

One of the things that has most interested me in reading the various neighborhood stories is their similarities to each other and to my experience. For example, how many of them mention some store that was a destination for all the neighborhood kids. For us, the “corner store” was at the corner of E. Main and Marshall St. It was called Umburgers’ in my very earliest memories. That would have been in the early 40’s when my Mother or Aunt would walk me to the store. I remember large glass bins full of cookies – I was usually allowed to lift the lid and choose a cookie.

Later, when we were old enough to walk or ride bikes, the same store was Johnny’s – I think “Johnny” was John Marra - and his wife helped run the store. Johnny made his own lunch meats and they were delicious. My mother would often send me to the store with a quarter to buy a quart of milk and a loaf of bread –a nickel was left over and I could buy a candy bar or drink.

During my junior high days Russell Lopez opened his restaurant next door to Johnny’s. We would hang out there in the evenings listening to the juke box in Russell’s – when Ghost Riders’ in the Sky, and Some Enchanted Evening were favorites. Russell fixed a mean banana split and for those who ordered and managed to eat the whole thing there was a pin which proudly proclaimed; “I was a pig at Russell’s”. We also spent time at the Harrison Street grocery where the Broad Oaks kids hung out. I remember Joe and his wife very well. Also the comic book racks where we would read comics while choosing which to buy.

And at the corner of Elm Street and Main Street on the Goff Plaza bridge was Smitty’s (Smith’s Pharmacy) – the “Dent’s” of our neighborhood. Smitty was very tolerant of hordes of kids who invariably stopped by on their way to and from Carlile, then Central, and finally WI. He kept a supply of lined paper and school type notebooks and pencils – a nickel a pack for the lined paper as I remember – maybe 20 sheets to a pack? Several kids from the neighborhood worked for Smitty – I remember Bill Greer working for Smitty – Bill could make a great chocolate ice cream soda.

My street was Stanley Avenue – we had plenty of children on our street – ranging from infants to college age. We played in the street in the evenings – all ages and all the usual games – Red Rover, Ducky Wucky One Two Three, Frozen Ice, Tag, and Hide and Seek. When playing Hide and Seek we often hid on peoples’ front porches – and if we hid on the Souders’ porch Mrs. Souders would come out and invite us in. Then she would play the piano for us and we would sing—old show tunes – I especially remember singing the Desert Song----“Blue heaven and you and I---and sand kissing a moonlight sky”….. Looking back, I marvel that she wanted us grubbies in her beautiful living room warbling, I am sure, out of tune. Her boys were by that time grown and gone; I guess that may have had something to do with it.

And the cemetery at the head of the street was also our playground. I remember when I was five or six years old going up there with Julia Jackson and Irma Bass and bringing home pretty flowers from the grave of some newly-buried person. My Mother informed me that we were not to touch any flowers in the cemetery. We played on the cannon which has since been removed to the front of the VFW on Pike Street – is it still there?- and Judy Lough, Anne Pickens, and I used to “train” our dogs there. Judy and I chased down and (surprisingly) caught wild rabbits – and we tried and failed to catch wild kittens who were roaming in the walled area around the mausoleum.

I learned to drive on the St. Mary’s football field – my brother made me drive back and forth, forward and backward between the posts of what I think must have been a set-up for pole vaulting – it was not wide enough to be a goal post.

In winter, when we had a good snowfall, the city would usually put cinders on the hilly streets of town, but instead of putting cinders on Concord Street, they would put up traffic barriers and leave the snowy street for us to sled ride on. I remember one time coming down Concord on my sled, turning into Stanley and going directly under the body of a delivery truck. I guess that driver is lucky he didn’t have a heart attack!

Behind the street was the creek bank – a rather steep and wooded hill down to Elk Creek. That was forbidden territory, of course, as it was dangerous for children to climb there. Nevertheless, we did climb and play on the creek bank – and thank God no one was snake bitten or injured there. There was a rock at the edge of the creek we called “Big Rock” and that was our objective. We would climb down and sit on Big Rock. One time we dangled feet in the water, but the smell was pretty bad and I don’t think we ever did that again.

In summer we spent hours on one or another front porch reading comic books and eating Kool-Aid ice cubes wrapped in a paper towel. We played jacks and pitched pennies on the porches; hopscotch on the sidewalks, and on the terraces of the front yards we played King of the Mountain. I wonder if children of today even know the names of those games which every child of our generation knew and played.

Someone once remarked to me that we grew up in such an innocent time….Indeed. We were blessed.

submitted by: James L. Nutter (WI '71)

Goff Plaza was my childhood neighborhood. My home was on the corner of Wayside Lane and Marshall Street. Across the lane lived Andy Vac and around the corner on Main Street lived Stephen Cooksey. Andy and Stephen were my first childhood buddies. Down the block lived Eann Hodges and next block down lived Paula Raeder. A block away lived Jane McNeer. Carlile Grade School did not have a lunch facility. So we did a lot of walking and biking, which included crossing over the old Goff Plaza Bridge where one could really experience the wind and cold. Sometimes when Elk Creek would freeze over, we would drop rocks or bricks from the high bridge to see if they would break the ice.

We had no playground, but we did have a vacant lot to the right of the Goff Plaza Grocery Store, where Hardees is now located. A lot of summertime wiffle ball and fall touch football was played there. All the kids seemed to get along. The older kids such as Frankie and Louie Andy, and the Butz brothers would let the younger hones join in the ball games. Other fond memories were of Club Scout Den 6, lead and hosted by the mothers of Larry Warner, Dave Frame, and Dana Maditz and my mother. Mom still has some of the crafts we made.

Most mothers were stay at home, home keepers. You knew you could depend upon and trust your neighbor. It was a safe and friendly place, Goff Plaza.


Double click on the underlined works below or copy and paste this into your web browser----enjoy the song and the beautiful pictures of our home state of West Virginia!


submitted by: Tim Cork (WI '62)

My name is Tim Cork. (WI Class 62) I am married to Sallie Holden Day's sister Judy. My reason for emailing you is this...a few weeks ago I started a blog " hometown" (blogsite below) and wanted to know if you would be kind enough to make reference to it in the WI Newsletter. My intent is to share with others, many old pictures and articles related to Clarksburg during the 40's, 50's and 60's. Because of the amount of material involved, I thought a blog would be the best way. I have sent this blog to several WI classmates, friends and family and got great reaction to it. In fact, many requested that I get in touch with you and to get it in the WI Newsletter.



submitted by: Bill Adler (would have been WI 1954 but moved to AZ)

I was born and raised in Clarksburg and attended school in Clarksburg until my family moved to Phoenix, Arizona in 1953. I was to graduate from WI in 1954. I now live in Scottsdale, AZ.

I wish to get in contact with a classmate. I hope someone can give me an email address or some information on Phyllis Gottlieb, (who probably graduated from WI in 1954). I don't have any information on her married name. Please write to me at the above email address with any help you can provide.. Thanks

This picnic is for anyone who ever attended WI, graduated from WI or wish they had been privileged enough to do so! Ha Ha….

The picnic is August 29, 2009 from 11:00 AM until you want to leave. Lunch is around noon.... fellowship and pictures to follow lunch.

It is in the OSBORNE pavilion...large one on top of the hill on right in Veterans (River Bend) Park off Milford St. You can also get to it via the Nutter Fort area by going over Rt 98.

Bring something to put on the table to share - a covered dish or something you buy at the local deli. We love that West Virginia style of home cooking - hot dogs, pepperoni rolls, meatballs in Oliverio’s Peppers and home made cakes!

We have to collect money to cover the cost of the pavilion rental, the paper goods etc. Money left over will be held toward next year’s fees for the picnic.

You may wish to bring a folding chair. There is plenty of shade. Don't forget your cameras!!!

This is the ninth year we have held this summer picnic in Clarksburg. It is a nice afternoon of visiting and eating! I know many people get in touch with old friends and classmates and turn this into a weekend of fun. Many meet on Friday evening for dinner, go to the picnic Saturday afternoon and hit a night spot together on Saturday evening. What more fun can you have over the weekend of August 29rd?

Sharyn Cottrill McGahan (WI 1959) is in charge of this picnic. You do not have to make a reservation but she will need to know about how many to expect. It is nice to be surprised but it isn’t nice to be overcome with a large group of people and not have enough supplies. So write to Sharyn at and tell her you will see her there. Also, let her know if you are willing to come early and help with the picnic --- cover tables, registration, tell people where to put their food, or stay and help clean up, etc.

If you live out of the area, you might want to make this picnic part of a week long vacation that would include the Italian Heritage Festival in Clarksburg on Labor Day weekend. If you don't have family in the area with which you can stay, you should make motel reservations now.

Some area Motels:

Days Inn      842-7371    Off exit 119 then turn towards Bridgeport
Knights Inn    842-2707   Off Exit 119 then turn towards Bridgeport
Sleep Inn      842-1919    Off Exit 119 then turn towards Bridgeport
Holiday Inn    842-5411 or (877) 863-4780    Off Exit 119 then turn towards Bridgeport
Hampton Inn    842-9300    Exit 121 (Mall Exit - Meadowbrook Road)

Friends relaxing and talking at the 2007 picnic


submitted by: Glen "Bill" Cowgill (WI '59)

My daughter, Lynda, being sworn in for Miami-Dade County Police.


submitted by: Steve Goff (WI '72)

Greetings to all. Let's make like a good radio station and get with the "less talk, more music" program this month. Throw open the windows and turn these tasty tunes up! These songs were all number one in the month of June, from years past.

1947..."Peg O' My Heart"....The Harmonicats.....A rather recent video of the group performing this live, with founder of the group, and only original member left, Jerry Murad in the center playing lead. I had never seen a bass harmonica before...YIKES. The fellow on the left is doing some heavy lifting with one. Watch how he plays "peek-a-boo" with his nose, as it seems to disappear from time to time. Now that's entertainment!

1952..."Here In My Heart"....Al Martino....This was #1 for two weeks in June of '52; and as this video points out, it apparently was also the very first number one song in the United Kingdom when they started their "pop charts" in November of that year. Good stereo sound on this one.

1955..."Cherry Pink (and Apple Blossom White)"....Perez Prado....OK people get your mambo on and groove to this little Latin based number. The video is all over the place with assorted images, and in it I saw the first pink elephant I've seen since I put the cork in the jug. Crazy man...

1958..."All I Have To Do Is Dream"....The Everly Brothers....These guys could sing the phone book and make it sound gorgeous. Has any duo ever harmonized better than these guys? No. Raw TV footage with this "old" hit followed by the "new" hit "Cathy's Clown". A 2 for 1 Everly Brothers special.

1961....TRIBUTE TO JUNE OF '61. It is very rare when any single month yields four different number one songs. And for my money, it's even rarer when 4 consecutive songs that top the charts are this darn good. These songs were all #1 in June of 1961.

"Running Scared"...Roy Orbison... Video from the 1989 HBO special shot in B &W with an all star band. Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, Bonnie Raitt, KD Lang and Jennifer Warnes can be spotted during this powerful rendition of a classic. Amazingly, Orbison's voice was still a marvel, 28 years after he originally recorded this song. This gives me chills.

"Traveling Man"...Rick(y) Nelson... Lyrics posted alongside.

"Moody River"...Pat Boone....On the "Lawerence Welk Show" no less...

"Quarter to Three"...Gary U.S. Bonds...Love these TV "dance party" clips.

1963..."It's My Party"...Leslie Gore...Video is from a 1966 segment of Dick Clark's "Where the Action Is" with New York City as a back drop.

1967..."Respect"... Aretha Franklin....Lady Soul live, belting out this female power anthem.

1971..."It's Too Late"/ "I Feel The Earth Move"...two sided hit for Carole King. Video for both songs. Three strong ladies in a row. &playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=22


1976..."Silly Love Songs"...Paul McCartney and Wings.

1978..."Shadow Dancing"...Andy!....another Gibb brother.

1982..."Ebony and Ivory"....Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder. I am so keeping my smart aleck mouth shut on this one...enjoy.

1984..."Time After Time"...Cyndi Lauper, live TV version.

Listen to some good music every day, and keep those requests coming. I love hearing from so many of you. I appreciate your appreciatio


Anthony Bellotte (WI 1957) is so proud….he is a new great-grandfather. Pictured is his grandson Mitchel McClanahan and his wife Brittany with their new son Carter James McClanahan.


Chuck Furbee (WI '60)
Linda Judy May (WI '68)
Shari Josephs (WI '65)
Mike McCormick (WI '64)
John Knicely (WI '65)
Dave Strickland (WI '65)
Jim Welch (WI '48)
Donnie Oliverio (ND '63)
Charles Earhart (WI '51)


John Harrison (WI '56)
new address is
Cynthia Molle Oates (WI '58) was:
is now:

JUNE 14, 2009

June 14 marks the anniversary of the adoption of the design of the American flag. The Continental Congress approved the design on June 14, 1777. In 1949 President Truman signed the law that designates June 14 as national Flag Day.

Some Flag Day history and links to documents can be found on the Today in History: June 14 page from the Library of Congress.

You also might want to check out the Betsy Ross Homepage for more flag traditions and trivia.


submitted by: Jim Alvaro (WI '56)

I went to the Light's family reunion and Mrs Light's 94th birthday Memorial Day weekend. Here is a picture of very dear friends of mine who I have known for many years.

They are from left to right..........

Ronnie Light, graduated from St. Mary's HS in 1953. Ron now lives in Atlanta area.

Larry Light, graduated from Bridgeport HS in 1966. Larry now lives in Louisiana.

John Light, graduated from Notre Dame HS in 1966. John now lives in the Atlanta area.

I know some of the readers will enjoy looking at these as I have many people contacting me about these guys. Now they will know what they look like after many years not seeing them. The Light family have been like my family for years. They grew up on Needam St in the Clarksburg section of PK. I delivered milk to them when I worked for Producers Dairy. Never knew them then but talking one day years ago we made the connection. We all have been very close since 1961.


1. Summer is approaching and it is a great time to sit in the cool mountain air or your air conditioned home and read a good book. Have you read a good book recently that you can recommend? Tell us the name of the book, the author and something about the book. Write to

2. Can you describe the discipline in school? Did you think the teachers were too strict or that everything was fine? Did you have a teacher who was biased, unfair or way over the top when disciplining? If so, tell us about it. write to

3. Did you ever have to visit the principal's office for discipline? Write to about it.

4. Did you attend any dances when in school? Where were they held, who sponsored them, did you dance or did you wish you had asked someone to dance? Did you take a date? If so did you enjoy the date? Tell us about it. Write to

submitted by: Chuck Furbee (WI '60)

Both my sister, Louanna, and my best friend, John McFarlin have told me that I should subscribe to the WI Newsletter. Could you please let me know what I need to do to subscribe? It's always fun to reminisce about Clarksburg. I served as a Trustee at West Virginia Wesleyan for eight years and always stopped in Clarksburg as I commuted from Chicago to Buckhannon. I never missed a chance of packing up some Minard's spaghetti sauce, Oliverio peppers and pepperoni rolls to take back to Chicago. My commute usually included downing a few Ritzy Lunch hot dogs as well. I think my whole family is now addicted to Minard's spaghetti sauce, so I need to get back there again soon.

submitted by: Ron Ogren (WI '50)

Hi Roleta,
Good reading again, as usual, with lots of memories which we always enjoy.

I can't take credit for that short piece that has my name on it, regarding "". That is probably the piece that you asked me about last month, to to which I replied that I did not submit it, but I had sent a short note to you regarding the summer movies at the Stealey Playground.

The author of that "Asturiaus" article will no doubt contact you and ask for credit. (or maybe not!).

Keep up the good work.

submitted by: Sharon Bee Armstrong (Bristol HS '59)

Just want to let you know Billy arrived back home safe & sound on Saturday. He was in transit for about a week, from Afghanistan, thru Germany, thru KS, and then, finally, to Charlotte, where Angie, Tripp & Tucker were waiting. We'll be seeing him in a few weeks.

I want to thank all our friends and family for their support, good wishes, good thoughts, prayers and most of all, to my Florida friends and family for putting up with us during this very tense year.

Billy will be going back to work at his civilian job on the 1st of June, and plans to retire from the Army next June.

Needless to say, not only are we very proud of him, but more than very thankful that he's back where he belongs, hopefully, for good.

Thanks again -- love you all.

submitted by: Diana Shablack Sandy (WI '69)

I noticed in the May Newsletter you ran a little snippet of an email I had responded to my cousin Sharon about - regarding the Purple Tree. I had it in my mind that there was a place on West Pike just down from Sycamore but couldn't remember the name - I was thinking it was called The Purple Tree. Sharon & few others spoke up and said no - The Purple Tree was in Glen Elk. But I still had my mind on another place on West Pike - yesterday my cousin Toni Louise Caputo & I were talking & she finally solved the mystery - she remembered the place I was thinking of - it was called The Carousel! The minute she said the name I knew that was it. In case no one else remembered what it was called, please run this in the June newsletter to correct the May item.


submitted by: Roleta Smith Meredith (WI '59)

Were you an Elvis Presley fan? Who wasn't? Are you a Celine Dilon fan? Well, in case you missed this on American Idol recently. Catch it here.

Celine and Elvis sing together. Celine doesn't travel back in time and Elvis wasn't raised from the dead. It looks as though he is standing beside her (It is a hologram--don't ask me how it works)...but it has been revealed that Celine practiced this with an Elvis impersonator to prepare for the performance. It cost between $50,000.00 and $100,000.00 to produce this. It is amazing....I hope you enjoy this.


Three caring people this month gave to the WIN Scholarship

Don Sager (WI 1956) gave in memory of his friend of 65 years---NICK ALVARO
Dave Anderson (WI 1962)
Carolyn Hornor Wilson (WI 1960)


submitted by: Roleta

During the month of JUNE won’t you please fold up at least $1.00 and put it in an envelope and send it to me in memory of those who have fought for our INDEPENDENCE? Is this asking too much? Just $1.00! As a gift to me… Let’s see if we can get hundreds of dollars collected for the scholarship. We actually should get over $1,000.00 as we have nearly 2,000 people who receive the notification about the newsletter each month…


It may sound rude to ask for a birthday gift but I want to see if this works!

Make checks or money orders payable to:
Roleta Meredith c/o WIN Scholarship

Mail to:
Roleta Meredith
3025 Switzer Ave
Columbus, Ohio 43219

I will report in the July issue what I receive!


submitted by: Joanne Johnson Smith Morgan (WI '54)

Pictured above are Joanne Johnson and Roy Smith in winter of 1955.

I graduated from WI in 1954. During my senior year I dated Roy Smith who played first string on the football team for two years. Roy graduated in 1955. I was in the D.E. program in my senior year, Bond Davis was my teacher. Through this program I worked for a local dentist that year. Our families lived on Milford Street, in the Hartland/Stealey area. We dated our last couple of years of high school. We married in February 1956 and divorced about 20 years later. We have four daughters and one son ranging in age from 52 years to 43 years and we are the proud grandparents of 13 grandchildren and 9 great children.

Below is a picture of my sister Mary Lou Johnson Alonso (WI 1955) She married Lloyd Alonso (Bridgeport HS 1955) The moved to California shortly after they were married and now live in Melbourne-Palm Bay, Florida. They have 5 children. Their oldest is Randy Alonso age 50 who is a pastor of a church in Cocoa, Florida. He preformed the services when my father, Claude Johnson, died in 1984. Their granddaughter M’Lisa Alonso has sung all over the US including many places in California and Busch Gardens in Florida.

Lloyd Alonso’s younger sister, Leila, married Jim Blair and had 2 children. They are no longer married.

submitted by: Diana Shablack Sandy (WI '69)

I know the trading stamps question has come and gone but another light bulb went off in my head, again courtesy of my cousin Toni Louise Caputo, regarding Blue Chip Stamps. The minute she said that, I remembered I had some of them in my baby scrapbook. Then I talked to her brother Jim.

Circa Early 50's

We started thinking about them and something made me think that my dad ran the Redemption Store for awhile. I have no idea if that is true or not and if anyone can verify this, please let me know, I would appreciate it. I have no living relatives who can confirm that it was the Blue Chip Redemption Store or that my dad ran it. Just some vague memory of mine and my cousin Jim's. We both could be completely wrong.

Toni and Jim's dad was Tony Caputo, who ran the Garden Fresh Grocery Stores along with his brothers. When Jim and I talked, he said for some reason he thinks his Uncle John Caputo started Blue Chip Stamps at Garden Fresh and got my dad, John Shablack, to run the redemption center - but he can't remember 100% if that is true or not either.

I remembered some old pictures I had and found one of my mom and me inside the front door of the store. Another picture is of my dad outside the front of it. My only true memories of that place are of the pictures I have seen. I was too young to have real memories. I have no idea if my dad ran it or we had just gone out there to redeem our stamps and he took pictures.

The place was on Route 50 across from Ellis Drive-In and up just a little. It's now called the Depaulo Building, it is a red brick place with 4 or 5 separate stores. At one time there was a TV repair shop in one of the spaces. Up from it is a white concrete block building that has some sort of automotive things in it now and next is a produce market, then a ways up the McDonalds.

The only other explanation as to why we would have pictures taken there is because during the early 1950's, along with running the Coffee Mill in downtown Clarksburg, my parents also ran the Coffee Cup for a short while, it was in the white building that is now the auto place.

Here are the pictures I found. The Kodak date stamp on the back of the one of me and my mom, Argie Shablack, says Week of May 25, 1953. Maybe one of the newsletter readers will remember something.

The one of my dad looks like the grill of a car is reflected in the glass window or else there was a mirror inside reflecting the car.


submitted by: Diana Shablack Sandy (WI '69)

Article in Clarksburg Exponent-Telegram May 17
by: Julie Perine
Lifestyles editor

Ashley, Tara, Bob and Sharon Secret

CLARKSBURG — 'You can live With 3B cancer," Bobby Secret said. "If chemotherapy is the only thing that keeps me going, I'll just have to continue it"

For approximately a year and a half Secret has undergone a half dozen chemo treatments every three weeks.

"The last one was about a month ago. They gave me a couple months off because of a good report'’ said Secret, a veteran Harrison County educator. "In my last PET scan, nothing lit up. It’s resting a little bit in my left lung."

Secret first learned he had lung cancer in August 2007.

It was his own persistence that led to a diagnosis.

"I had pain in my back, so I went for an X-ray, and they told me I had a muscle pull" Secret said. "I didn’t accept that. I was having a hard time breathing and knew something else was wrong."

After insisting upon further testing Secret was told he had stage 3B lung cancer, meaning it, had spread from his left lung into nodes in the right. Those lymph nodes were surgically removed and followed by 39 radiation treaments.

Succeeding chemotherapy treatments at UHC were very successful, but extremely tiring.

"I can’t even describe the fatigue it causes, especially, in the evenings. It makes your legs like fhey weigh 100 pounds each,” he said. "Other than that, they're very tolerabIe"

Secret considered himself forunate that he that retired before his diagnosis.

"A lot of people have to work while taking chemo and I know how much they are pushing themselves," he said.

He doesn’t know any magic secret to fighting cancer but realizing that he isn’t as bad off as some others is key Secret said.

Rising above the pain for long-term benefits is, as well.

"During my radiation treatments, I refused a feeding tube. I swallowed my own food,” he said. "Forty percent of cancer patients don’t die from the disease; they die from malnutrition. I wasn't going to let that happen to me. I thought I’d raise my odds little bit."

Physical activity also has been important in Secret’s battle against cancer.

“I always tried to get an activity in before evening because by then I was just too tired" he said.

Secret has greatly relied upon his very supportive family, wife Sharon and daughters Ashlee and Tara and his many friends,

"They don’t let me stay down very long," he said.

Once cancer enters the world of a loved OUC, life ia never the same. Tara Secret said.

"But it's nice when you have somebody fighting it, who is as positive as my dad.”

Tara Secret also describes her dad as hum ble and most appreciative.

"All of the prayers and community support amaze him and keep him strong." she said.

Secret is thankful for his present state of remission and tolerant of the setbacks that have resulted from his ongoing treatments.

"The chemo just knocks the immune system,” he said. “You can’t get enough time between treatments to build it up."

Secret recently was hospitalized while fighting a bout of pneumonia.

He plans to build his strength in time to make his debut at the June 5 Harrison County Relay for Life event at Bridgeport High School

It will be Secret’s first Relay for Life experience. He looks forward to the network of camaraderie he will build.

"I'll see and meet a lot of people who have been struck with cancer,” he said. “I’ll hear some of their stories, I’m sure. It’s a way to get a different outlook on things.”

Secret and his fellow cancer survivors all know something that others may not.

"Cancer is not just a six letter word.” he said. "There are so many different types - some operable, some inoperable. and each a different ball game.”

Harrison County Relay for Life is certainly glad to have Secret on its team, said Debbie Thompson, chair.

Secret has some definite fans in hIs corner.

"My father’s approach is to take things one day at a time, and he has such a positive attitude and strong faith in God,” said Dr. Ashlee Secret, currently doing her medical residency at UHC.

"He has always been one of my best friends and biggest fans, but he doesn’t realize the impact he has on the lives of others, including myself,” Ashlee Secret said. "And he doesn’t realize that I’m one of his biggest fans. His battle with cancer is our battle with cancer. His will to survive and his story have already been passed on to many of my patients and have made a big impact on their lives well


submitted by: Fred Alvaro (WI '59)

I had the privilege and pleasure of being a teammate of Bobby in football, basketball, track and baseball from my eighth grade at Central to my senior year at WI. Probably my most memorable time was when our Babe Ruth League All-Star Team won the West Virginia State Championship two years in a row. As many of will recall, Bobby “Seeks”, was probably the best all around athlete to come out of Central West Virginia if not the whole state. Plus, he was and is well respected as a real gentleman and likable person by everyone who knows him. Right Sharon?

We are both 13 yrs. old in the picture.


submitted by: Sharyn Cottrill McGahan - reunion committee chairman

Anyone who has not already signed up for the 50th Class Reunion on July 17-18, but wants to come, can still do so by letting me,, know right away.


Very casual dress (open cash bar)
5-? PM

Pledge of Allegiance

Pig roast

Music by Jim Bunch


6-7 PM
Social hour (cash bar)

6:45 pm
Group pictures
($10 pictures - returned by 11PM)

Pledge of Allegiance


Candlelight buffet
Champagne toast

830 PM

9PM - 12PM
Dance - Music by Amici

Sixty dollars ($60.00) is due to the reunion committee for each person attending the reunion. This money is due in full when making reservations for the WI Class of 1959 Reunion.

WI Class Reunion 1959

% Charles Burkhammer
108 Coventry Court,
Bridgeport, WV 26330





GROVE CITY, Ohio — Jennings Lee Slussar, age 77, completed his earthly journey on May 3, 2009, after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. He was surrounded by his loving family and in the care of Dee and Michael Krysty of The Caring Touch and Berger Hospice Care System.

Jennings (affectionately known as J.L.) was a resident of Grove City, Ohio, for 5 years after living in Westerville, Ohio, for 6 years. He was formerly of Follansbee, WV.

J.L. retired from The Weirton Steel Corp. in Weirton, WV, in Analysis and Statistics and Manpower Scheduling. After retirement, he spent 7 years with Bethany College in Bethany, WV. He attended Long Beach College, Long Beach, CA and The College of Steubenville, Steubenville, Ohio. He graduated from Victory High School in Clarksburg, WV, in 1950.

Born in Big Isaac, WV, he was the youngest son of the late Elta Moore and Jackson Blair Slussar. A brother, Jackson Blair Slussar of Atlanta, Ga., preceded him in death. He will be remembered and missed by his wife of 53 years, Emma Jean Knight Slussar (WI '50), whom he married on April 1. 1956, in Clarksburg, WV; a daughter, Cynthia L. Slussar (Brewer) of Grove City, OH, and a son Mark E. Slussar and daughter-in-law Sue, along with their extended family of Toronto, OH. J.L. was the proud grandfather of three; to them he was their “Pappy,” Nathan D. Slussar, his wife Kortney of Phoenix, AZ, Ryan G. Brewer, of Grove City, OH, and Abigail C. Slussar of Toronto, OH. He had one Great granddaughter, Aubrey E. Slussar. J.L. had one brother, Bond E. Slussar, his wife Billie of Morgantown, WV; and several nieces and nephews.

He was a devoted family man and enjoyed many friends and delighted in having them in his home and sharing happy times. He was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Weirton, WV., serving as Lay Leader and Chairman of the Administrative Board and as a representative of the Annual Conference. At the time of his death, he was a member of the Trinity United Methodist Church of Grove City, OH. J.L. enjoyed square dancing and served The Spinning Gears Square Dance Club of Weirton, WV as president, and hired and scheduled Callers for 12 years.

He was a member of the Amelia Shrine 33 of Steubenville, OH, Weirton Lodge 171, AF&AM, Osiris Shrine of Wheeling and Scottish Rite. He was an avid WV Mountaineer and Pittsburgh Steelers fan. While living in Westerville, he was a volunteer at the Inniswood Gardens.

NOTE: A personal note from Fran Barret Tate

In high school, Emma Jean was a good friend of mine. After graduation we lost track of each other.

I have been sending you obits from all the high schools in Clarksburg. If anyone else is also sending you obits from other schools except WI let me know. If not I will be glad to keep sending. Hope you have a great summer. Our summer is slow getting here this year.......Fran


SHINNSTON — Michael Leonard Beto, 76, of Springfield, Virginia, departed this life Tuesday April 28, 2009, at his residence following a brief illness.

He was born in Clarksburg, West Virginia, a son of the late Tony Beto and Mary Aiello Beto.

His wife, Patricia Carvelli Beto, whom he married July 26, 1959, survives in Springfield, Virginia.

He is survived by one son, Mark Thomas Betonti, his wife Jayelene, and his grandchildren, Nicholas Trent and Dominique Nicolle Betonti, all of Haymarket, Virginia. One brother, Bobby Beto and his wife Brenda of Clarksburg, and one sister, Catherine Frederick of Clarksburg.

In addition to his parents, Mr. Beto was preceded in death by his beloved son, Anthony Beto, who passed away July 18, 2006; one sister, Jean Smith; and four brothers, Joe, Johnny, Franklin and Bernard Beto.

Mr. Beto was a graduate of Washington Irving High School in Clarksburg. He attended Salem College on a football scholarship where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Teaching. He later graduated from the University of Virginia, receiving his Master’s Degree in Administration. He retired as the I.C.T. Director from Hayfield High School in Fairfax County, Virginia, having also instructed classes at Edison and Falls Church High Schools. He was a United States Army veteran, having served his country proudly in the Korean Conflict. He was a former member of the Knights of Columbus and was a member of the St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Franconia, Virginia.


CLARKSBURG — Mrs. Stacy Marie Golden Aldridge, age 34, of Rt. 4, Box 226 (Sardis), Clarksburg, WV, passed away Monday, May 4, 2009, at her residence.

She was born in Clarksburg, WV, June 20, 1974.

Surviving are her father and stepmother, Charles R. “Chuck” Golden, Sr. and wife, Brenda Jean Golden, Quiet Dell Community; her mother and stepfather, Mary M. Butcher Golden Rymer and husband, Nathan H. Rymer, Salem, WV; her husband, Thomas B. “Tom” Aldridge; son, Mathew J. Aldridge, at home; daughter, Sidney M. Aldridge, at home; three brothers, Charles R. “Chuck” Golden, Jr., Bridgeport, WV, John Paul Golden, VA, and David M. Rymer, Salem, WV; a sister, Kala D. Golden, Beckley, WV; and several nieces and nephews.

Stacy was also preceded in death by her maternal grandparents, Gilbert F. Butcher, Sr. and Virginia W. Butcher, and by her fraternal grandfather, John B. Golden.

Stacy was a loving daughter, wife, mother and a homemaker. She was a graduate of Washington Irving High School with the Class of 1992.



Connie Welch (Carolyn Ann Newport) passed away May 4, 2009, Nashville, TN. Connie graduated from WI in 1956 and was married to Preston (Jim) Welch. Jim was a 1948 graduate of WI.; daughter, Catherine Hazy and son-in-law, Joseph Hazy, Jr.; grandsons, Adam Joseph Hazy and Alex James Hazy; sister, Lin (David) Stricker, Harriman, TN; nephews, Dr. Thomas (Stefanie) Stricker and Adam (Ramona) Stricker. She graduated Summa Cum Laude in Fine Arts from West Virginia University. Her work included Tole painting, designing glassware for Seneca Glass, and creating needlepoint canvas. Nine years ago, beads became her passion, making friends around the world. She loved her Wednesday Bead Group.

Memorials may be made to Nashville Zoo at Grassmere

NOTE: from Lib Teter Akin (WI '56)

I was notified earlier this week of the death of Carolyn "Carnie" Newport Welch, WI class of 1956. I found the following obituary on-line, in the Nashville newspaper "The Tennesseean." It was published May 7, 2009. Her classmates knew her as "Carnie" but her husband and others seem to have called her "Connie." If you Google "Connie Welch", you can find samples of her jewelry.

This is the best photo I have which includes others in our "crowd." Carnie is front row left. Also in the photo are Alice Wood, me (Elizabeth Teter Akin), Mary Ellen Killingsworth Shachat, and in back row, Marolyn Tustin Jett and (hidden) Susan Heitz.

Alice and Susan are also deceased.


BRIDGEPORT — Winona “Winnie” Ursaline Parry, age 71, of Bridgeport, West Virginia, entered eternity from her home on Wednesday, May 13, 2009.

Born in Spelter, West Virginia on October 6, 1937. She graduated from Bridgeport High School in 1955. Winnie went on to travel the world as an Air Force wife before returning to family in Bridgeport the summer of 1984. Her career as a server and bartender was at Jim Reids Restaurant for 10 years and Raymon’s for five years upon retiring.

She is the daughter of the late Dorothy Wilson and stepdaughter of Hartman “HK” Wilson who built and ran the Wilsons Parkette on old Rt. 50 before selling.

Her body is being donated to Life Science Center upon her request. This was her way of giving back.


Mr. Jerry Richard Sandy, 79 years of age, of Davisson Street, Bridgeport, WV, went to be with the Lord on Friday, May 15, 2009, at his residence. He was born May 18, 1929, in Clarksburg, WV, the son of the late Benjamin Earl and Pearl Everson Sandy.

He is survived by his wife, Beverly Ayers Sandy; two sons, Benjamin Sandy and his wife Kathy of Bridgeport and Joseph Sandy of Bridgeport; two daughters, Norma Mauller and her husband Rod of Bridgeport and Shari Colton and her husband Marty of Bridgeport; one stepson, Scott Ayers of Fairmont; six grandchildren, Chad Sandy and his wife Lindsay of Charlotte, NC, Chris Sandy of Bridgeport, Nicole Colton of Charlotte, NC, T.J. and Tyler Colton of Bridgeport and Justin Sandy of Bridgeport; a sister, Norma Jean Kyle of Bridgeport; and several nieces and nephews.

Mr. Sandy was also preceded in death by two sons, Daniel Shelby and Richard Sandy.

He was a 1947 graduate of Roosevelt Wilson High School. He served his country for twenty years in the United States Coast Guard. He retired with the rank of Master Chief Petty Officer. He then worked as a clerk for twenty years with the United States Postal Service. Jerry was a member of the American Legion Post 68 in Bridgeport.


David L. Saas, Sr., 78, of Suds Run Road, Mt. Clare, went to be with his Lord and Savior Monday morning, May 18, 2009, in Ruby Memorial Hospital.

He was born in Clarksburg on July 31, 1930, a son of the late William Franklin and Mabel Blanche Patton Saas.

He is survived by his wife, Beverly Stutler Saas; eight children, Teri Lynn Goots, Clarksburg, Paula Louise Leigh, Buckhannon, Steven Lee Saas, Philippi, David Lee Saas, Jr., Marshall, VA, Sally Ann Nestor, Mt. Clare, Dianne McWhorter, West Milford, Montica Alonso, Clarksburg, and Robb Fox, Clarksburg; 24 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; several nieces and nephews, including a special nephew, Charles Saas.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a daughter, Karen Fox; a brother, Louis Saas; and three sisters, Margaret Gilman, Betty Kellum and Christine Finley.

David was a graduate of R-W High School and served in the U.S. Army. He had worked for 27 years at PPG and 17 years at Fourco as a maintenance manager.

He enjoyed hunting, fishing, NASCAR, baseball, gardening and playing cards.


Vernon Monroe Hart, age 66, of Lost Creek, WV died Thursday, May 14, 2009 at Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, WV.

He was born December 16, 1942 in Baltimore, MD, a son of the late Grover and Beulah Rucker Hart.

He is survived by a daughter, Carrie Dawn Hart and fiance’ Chris Cox of Nutter Fort, WV; a son, Robert Monroe Hart of Lost Creek; a grandson, Christopher LaDainian Cox of Nutter Fort; a brother, Thomas Hart and wife Marie of Morgantown; a sister, Shirley Bunner and husband Hobert of Bridgeport, WV; three aunts Willa Jean Caynor of Buckhannon, WV, Lou Hart of Elkins, WV and Willa Waybright of Baltimore and several nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was a school teacher in Harrison County, WV, who taught at RWHS, WI and RCB and Fairmont State College.

He was awarded membership in the National Leadership Honor Society Omicron Delta Kappa from WV Wesleyan College. He graduated from Wesleyan with a Bachelor’s Degree in English and received a Masters Degree Plus 30 in English from WV University.


Darrell Thomas Riley II, 35, of Rt. 2, Shinnston, Sugar Camp Road, passed away unexpectedly Sunday morning, May 24, 2009.

He was born in Elkins on February 26, 1974, the son of Tom and Mary Bosley Riley, who survive on Sugar Camp Road.

In addition to his parents, he is survived by his daughter, Maliyana “Mali” Riley-Myers, Smithfield, PA; his sister, Velta Kennedy and her husband Paul, Bridgeport; three nieces, Katlyn, Feona and Sariah Kennedy; and several aunts, uncles, and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his maternal grandparents, Ralph and Lucille Bosley; and his paternal grandparents, Charles and Mary Riley.

Darrell was a senior at WVU, majoring in Environmental Geosciences. He was working at Ryan’s and was a graduate of Bridgeport High School, Class of 1992. He attended Living Water Church, Bridgeport.

He cherished the time he spent with his daughter. They enjoyed camping, swimming, roller skating and just having fun together. He always saw the good in people and had a servant’s heart. He loved life, his family and all his friends. He did exactly what he wanted with his life. He touched the hearts of everybody he knew. He loved well, laughed often and will be greatly missed by his family and friends.


Mr. Kenneth R. Insani, age 69, of Clarksburg, WV, passed away at his residence at 9:08 a.m. Tuesday, May 19, 2009, following an extended illness, surrounded by his family. He was born in Clarksburg, WV, June 28, 1939, a son of the late Leon “Babe” Insani and Anna Margaret Lucas Insani.

“Coach” Insani is survived by his wife, Virginia L. Ladda Insani, whom he married June 16, 1962; two sons, K. David Insani and his wife, Kim, of Wendell, NC, and Mark E. Insani of Bridgeport, WV, two daughters, Alicia M. McCoy of Bridgeport, WV, and Jacqueline A. Adkins and husband, Scott, of Hamlin, WV; two sisters, Barbara Garilli and husband, Johnny, of Alexandria, VA, and Nancy Cinci and husband, Don, of Boca Raton, FL; seven grandchildren, Angela R. Insani, Anna R. McCoy, Alyssa N. Adkins, Michael D. Insani, Amy M. McCoy, Michelle L. Insani and Anthony S. Adkins; and several nieces and nephews.

Coach Insani, a graduate of the old Victory High School — Class of 1957, received a basketball scholarship to Marshall University, but transferred to Salem College, where he graduated in 1961. After graduating from Salem, he took a job at P.P.G. Industries in Clarksburg. Coach Insani left there to take a teaching position in Milton, Delaware, where he became an assistant coach in football and basketball. From there he moved to Logan, OH, where he served in the same capacity before taking the head coaching job in football. He then moved on to Sistersville (WV) High School, then to Notre Dame High School in 1972. There, he helped the Irish to become a state power on the Class A level, including a West Virginia Catholic state championship in 1974 over Weirton Madonna. Coach Insani left Notre Dame High School to teach and coach football at Broadway Junior High in 1978; from there he moved on to Lumberport Middle School when Broadway closed its doors in 1990.

Fittingly, when Coach Ken Insani left the football field on the night of October 12, 2000, it was on top. Lumberport Middle School’s 51-14 win over Bridgeport Middle capped a perfect 6-0 season and a coaching career which covered over 38 years and three states. He retired in June of 2001.

Coach Insani was a member of Saint James Catholic Church in the North View section of Clarksburg. “Coach Ken” was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, brother, educator and coach. He will be sadly missed by his loving family and his many friends. “Coach Ken” and “Dad,” we will all miss you!


Marilyn Dea O’Kelly lost her year and a half battle with cancer on Memorial Day, May 25, 2009.

She was born Marilyn Dea Creighton on October 5, 1934, in Roselle Park, N.J. Her parents, Howard and Gertrude Creighton moved to Clarksburg in 1939 to establish Creighton Music Company.

After graduating from Washington Irving High School, she followed her dream and attended Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh, where she earned, along with her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree (BFA), a scholarship to Boston University, where she completed her Master of Fine Arts Degree (MFA). She was also the recipient of a scholarship to attend the prestigious Skowhegan School of Painting of Maine and NYC. Over the years, Marilyn had various “shows” and sales of her work, even giving paintings to friends at various places across the country.

On September 3, 1960, she married Michael D. O’Kelly at the First Presbyterian Church of Clarksburg. In 1962, she and new daughter, Karen, left WV to join Michael at the University of Chicago/Meadville Lombard, where he had been accepted to study the philosophy of religion and prepare for Unitarian Universalist Ministry. She was very active in the arts community of Chicago and had a special gallery exhibit in 1963. In 1966, Marilyn and Michael, with their second daughter, Kirsten, left Chicago for his first pastorate in Massachusetts. From there, the O’Kelly family moved to Muncie, IN, where their son, Sean, was born. With three young children, she became involved with the educational community and acquired a high school teaching certificate; she taught art in the high school and gave private painting lessons.

From there the family moved to Toledo, OH, where she was an instructor for a while at the Toledo Art Museum. When the family moved back to the Chicago area in 1978, she had the opportunity to change her professional course and became the Human Resources Manager for the Illinois Housing Development Authority, a position she held for nearly nine years.

When the family moved to the Los Angeles, CA, area in 1987, she soon continued this career as the Human Resources Manager for Toyota Racing Development, until she and Michael decided to return to Clarksburg, where she worked for the Steptoe and Johnson law firm for a few years. She was an active member of the Stealey Garden Club. Always the artist, Marilyn was painting and planning for an upcoming show of her work.

Marilyn is survived by her husband, the Rev. Michael D. O’Kelly; her three children, Karen O’Kelly, Kirsten DeVono and Sean O’Kelly; her three grandchildren, who call her “Granny,” Michael Harris, Lauren Harris and Joseph DeVono; and her two sisters, Sandra Tetrick and Barbara Frasher; and her son-in-law, Kevin DeVono.


CLARkSBURG — Nancy C. Judy, 83, of South Fifth Street, Clarksburg, passed away on Wednesday, April 8, 2009, in a local nursing home~ following an extended illness.

Mrs. Judy was a retired registered nurse.

She was born in Wilkinsburg, PA on August 15, 1925, a daughter of the late John D. and Eda Mae Curry.

She is survived by her husband, George A. Judy. Also surviving are two daughters, Dr. Linda J. May, Winter Haven, FL, and Dr. Jean J. Carlson and her husband, Tom, Easton, MD; two sisters, Olive C. Wepfer, Mechanicsburg, PA, and Jean C. Burt, Cape Girardeau, MO; four grandchildren, Dr. Jeffrey D. May, New Port Richey, FL, Gregory A. May, Tallahassee, FL, Ty Carlson, Easton, MD; Steven Carlson, Easton, MD; three great-grandchildren, Morgan, Garrett and Dawson May; and many cousins, nieces and nephews.

She was also preceded in death by one grandson, Grant Rutkowski.

Mrs. Judy was a member of the First United Methodist Church. She was a member of the Union Protestant Nurses Alumni Association, Clarksburg League for Service, Stealey Terrace Garden Club past president, United Methodist Women, Church Women United, Clarksburg Woman’s Club, YWCA, and a 50-year member of Queen Esther Chapter 11, OES. During World War II she was a member of the U.S. Army Cadet Nurse Corps. Davis Funeral Home.


Kenneth David Haslebacher, 57, originally of Nutter Fort, WV, passed away Monday, May 11, 2009, as a result of injuries received in a motorcycle accident.

David was born June 4, 1951, in Clarksburg, WV, a son of the late Kenneth Haslebacher and Agnes Haslebacher.

David was a graduate of Roosevelt-Wilson High School, Nutter Fort, WV, Class of 1969. He attended West Virginia University, studying mechanical and electrical engineering. He has resided in Canada since 1971, where he has worked as a machinist, bicycle mechanic and EMT. Dave loved to tinker, invent and often re-invent amazing mechanical devices. He loved to fly, achieving his private pilot’s license in 2008. He was also an accomplished musician, having played with numerous musicians and bands.

David was preceded in death by his father, Kenneth Haslebacher.

He is survived by his wife Kim Haslebacher, his daughter by a prior marriage, Leyla Soleil Nikkel, and granddaughters, Sarah and Katelynn of Victoria, British Columbia; mother, Agnes Haslebacher, Nutter Fort, WV; brother, Henry Haslebacher, and wife Sally and their daughters Meagan and Hillary, Charleston, WV; sister, Fanny Haslebacher and her son, Emerson and daughters, Lincoln and Chapman, Bridgeport, WV; brother, Tom Haslebacher, and wife, Martha and son, Hans, Bakersfield, CA; and brother, Bill Haslebacher, and wife. Susan and their daughters, Emily, Sarah and Melissa, Morgantown, WV.

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