Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Wellsville, A Reunion To Remember

Just a few weeks ago I've noticed some changes here in Wellsville. Not only do we have a Family Dollar but now we have a Dollar General store. There is a big wide open space along Main Street where long ago used to be bars. And the old rest home that sat between the post office and the little restaurant? It was torn down a few weeks ago. And just the other day I saw the doors open at the old Ann's Kwik and Easy. I have no idea what was going on in there. But I can tell you this, things are changing here in Wellsville. And it looks like it may be for the better. I ride around the Ville listening to my old school jams that my step son hates and I can see that Wellsville is an ever changing place.

I see things. Alot of things. And there are things that I may miss. God, how I miss my old Wellsville. Those are the things I miss. I miss the Old Garfield Schools that sat on 18Th Street with the tunnel going from one school to the other. I miss the playground that sat on Lincoln Avenue with the large pool that had the colors going around it. Now there is a playground on 18Th Street and a Garfield School on Lincoln. They just switched. MacDonald School is no more. Building still there, just someone owns it now. I can remember playing baseball down in the 13Th Street Field. Now there is a new high school in it place and the old high school houses the middle school, 4Th Thru 8Th grade. Why?

I could go on and on but I won't. I am sure you all have your memories of Wellsville, but in your own way. Wellsville is a nice, little ole town with some very nice people. I know some of you may not agree with me. That's ok. My memories go back to the time you can actually get penny candy..........for an actual penny. Are you kidding me? Those were the days. You can walk from one end of Wellsville to the other in a matter of minutes and along the way see your friends and have a good time just sitting on a wall or standing on a street corner with causing trouble. The police would ride by and wave or stop and talk to ya. They made you feel welcome. But more than that, safe.

Going down to Yellow Creek for a swim (not me, I don't know how), or for fishing. Riding your bikes down to the pondage area and try to climb the hill. Some would make it, some not. But it was fun just trying. Or how about when we got older, riding around in cars or trucks. Clowning around, just having some fun. I can remember Quentin Collins blue truck. He would have the back filled with people and never had to worry about the cops stopping us. But what he did with that truck to other people I still get a kick out of it just remembering it. A bunch of use would get a friend, blindfold him or her, ride around for a few minutes, stop the truck and and take off the blindfold. The graveyard. What a hoot. They did that to me once. I wanted to run but couldn't. My thinking was if I ran, a body would jump out from a grave and get me so I stayed in the truck.

Walking up 10Th Street going to Hammonds Park was another adventure. Man that hill was steep. But the best part about going to the park was going up the backside of park that over looked downtown Wellsville. I look at it now and think to myself were we fools or just kids looking to have fun and adventure? I think a little of both. Those are some of the memories That I have but there is alot more to go, but I'll save them for another day.

But the best, absolutely thee best memories that I have were in school. Those were the best of time for alot of use. Whether it be in class, lunch, or at sporting events, you will have a memory. Those are the ones that most people share. The dances, detentions, getting paddled (never had one thank you). It would be during those times when you want to have something happen that will create a memory and most of the time something did happen. Four years (five for some) of them, etched in your mind forever. And when you graduate, those memories go with you no matter where you go. And the only time you share them is when Wellsville throws one big huge party.

Well, it is about that time again. Has five years really gone by that fast? Yeah, I guess it did. From June 29Th to July 3rd we welcome back all the ones who had graduated or attended Wellsville High School. A week long celebration of family, food, and friends. I guess you can say it will be a huge family reunion. I like the sound of that. One way or another, we all are family. Sharing stories, taking pictures, reliving the past one more. But this reunion will not be like the others. That week, we celebrate with East Liverpool, Oak Glen, and Beaver Local. Four school, rivals, and for that one week, friends.

How many remember their high school days? I can remember mine and all the people I had the pleasure to call friend. To this day, whether they still live here in Wellsville or moved away I still call them friend. Yeah, there may have been a few I didn't really get along with, but that was back then. This is now. We are all adults and should let all that was bad stay in the past. I think I can honestly say I got along with everybody. Can you? I can remember at the last reunion Jeff Brandt calling me a Friend For Life. Wow. That amazed me. See, those are the types of memories that should be taken with you no matter where you go. I'll never forget that. Or during my freshman year running track I was trying to learn to run the hurdles. Dan Tice taught me how, and how he did it still has a profound affect on me. I couldn't get the three steps between the hurdles. Dan moved them the lenght of the girls distance. Now I could three step. The next week I ran them again and told Dan I was ready to move them to ten meters apart. And what he told me floored me, still to this day. He said you all ready are running them ten meters apart. I moved them before you got down here. All I could do look at him walk away. When I coached the Modern Strider's or helped out with the school, I used his concept, and it helped alot of those I helped. Thanks Dan Tice.

Not only do we celebrate the ones who come back, we also morn the ones we lose along the way. They are not forgotten. They are forever in our minds and hearts. It is not easy to lose friends. It is especially hard to lose family. We seem to take life for granted. So far in my class alone we have lost, I think, five. We remember them and will never forget them. So, no matter where you are at during the reunion, raise your cup to your fallen classmate. Let them know that you are thinking of them and not forgotten.

Just walk around the area where the reunion is being held and you will see sights beyond your wildest dreams. When I say sights I mean pictures. Yes, the storefronts will have pictures that will not only bring back memories, but somewhat embarrassing. I want to see them. I want to see people from before me and after me. I want to meet people whom I have never met. I want to just walk around the reunion and take pictures. There is no other reunion like ours. It has been told that Wellsville know how to throw one mean party. The food, the music, just the all around atmosphere of the reunion will have most people going back home talking about how really wonderful this reunion was. It hasn't even started yet and I am already excited.

This year the hall of fame committee inducted 10 alumni into this years class, and they are: Dan Tice, Class of 79; John W, Euill, II, Class of 62; Jason Roger Ours, Class of 93; Gerry Allison, Class of 74; John Bobalik, Class of 70; Lynda M. Salter, Class of 86; Collin M. Kinsey, Class of 94; Laurie Punch, Class of 93; and James BOO Carter, Class of 42. Most of these inductees I have either played with, seen or coached. People like Dan Tice. I seen him play football, basketball and run track (remember he taught me to run hurdles), Lynda I seen play play volleyball, basketball I ran the scoreboard during them times) and I helped at one time or another in track. And Laurie, I remember her joining the Modern Striders back in the day and I knew she was going to be someone special. I can remember Gerry Allison, his brother and the rest of the Big Orange Machine controlling the Ohio Valley and beyond. And from what I was told John Bobalik was in Sports Illustrated for making 30 consecutive foul shots in a game and held the state record for 48 in a row. He was in the Faces In The Crowd section. The others I either read about or just didn't know about. But they must have been something to have made it to the Hall Of Fame. Congratulations to all who have made. Anyone need a speech writer?

I have been uptown, just riding by and I noticed that the stores and homes are decorating. Our colors, Orange and Black will be flying high for one week. And for that one week, old memeories will surface and new onew will be created. Friendships will be anew and bonded forever. Yet, I can't help but wonder what will happen when it all ends. What will become of the Wellsvillians who traveled many miles to get here just to celebrate a homecoming like this? Will we remember those who can not make it or those who have passed away? Each class will do their own thing I'm sure. My class, not sure. But if there is one thing I do know, Wellsville will open their arms to all those who are coming back to celebrate this special occasion. To all of you who will be attending, Welcome Back, for those who are not able to make it, well, sorry you couldn't do so, try in 2015. Either way, no matter where you are at or what place you call home, Wellsville will always be your home.

Note: As you all may know I am not a writer. Really? Wow. But this is something I wanted to do for the my alumni family that are either still here or are coming back. But there are those who will not be coming back, the ones who have passed on. But this year we welcome the new class of alumni, the Class of 2010. And after that class and the class after them we can only hope that Wellsville will continue on for years and years. Once a Tiger, always a Tiger. We don't die, we multiply. Forever Wellsville, Wellsville Forever.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Catherine Patricia Salter and Her Memorial

August 24, 1964 – September 11, 2001

Story by Charles Franklin, supplemented by Bud Salter

I'd like to make myself believe That Planet Earth turns slowly.It's hard to say I'd rather stay Awake when I'm asleep,'Cause everything is never as it seems.

CHARLIE: Everyday driving home from work, I hear the words to this song about fireflies. Who would have thought that someone would actually make a song about some lightening bugs? But somebody did, and alot of people like it. But it's these words to the song that I hear the most, because everything is never as it seems. Or is it?Why do we tend to believe that we can live forever? Why don't we recognize death as it is? In life, we take things for granted with a thought that we will never leave this place. Our loved ones, we see them as invincible, nothing can bring them down. It is like we hold high regard to their life. But once they are gone, it is hard for us to let go. But we have to because life goes on. We must move forward. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to disregard death as something we should sweep under the rug. In death, it is ok for us to hold on to our memories of our loved ones. But what happens if it is something so tragic that we can't make ourselves believe that it actually happened? That is something that we can not accept or forget about. Whether it be a young child, or someone famous that we have followed through out that person's career. We don't want to believe it. But it happened. September 11, 2001. The day started out beautiful and promising for people across the nation. The sun was out, people were either at work, or on their way, children were being dropped off at schools, just a typical day for people. Myself? I was at work, doing what I always do. I was interrupted from my job by my friend and he told me something that I just did not believe. He told me that New York was under attack. My first thought was 'No, can't be.' Then I just dismissed it. But walking out on the floor, I heard all the chatter about this attack. And I still couldn't believe it. When my shift was over, and I turned my car on, the radio came on like it always does, and I was waiting for my music, but it never came. During the 30-minute drive back to my house, I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Not one time did I hear music, or commercials. New York was indeed under attack! It was only when I got home that I realized what had transpired during the day. Not only did 2 planes hit The World Trade Center, but Tower 1 and Tower 2 collapsed. I couldn't believe the horror that I saw, and that was just the replay. My wife told me that she had witnessed the second plane hitting Tower 2, just as the network came back from commercial. It happened that fast. My whole day was basically attached to the television from the time I got home. The next day, didn't get any better. The topic of the day at work and around my neighborhood was about the attacks in New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington DC. All those people, gone. And for what? No one knew why. After all the thinking I had done, I still don't know why. I was thinking to myself that night before I went to bed, 'I'm so glad there was no one I knew that died that day.' And it was to my horror that next morning when I discovered that my thinking was wrong. I picked up the paper like I usually do at the gas station, and that was when I realized I did know someone that died on September 11, 2001. It was a girl from Wellsville, Ohio. Her name is Cathy Salter.BUD: When Charlie first approached me about being part of his BLOG entitled “P.O.W. – People of Wellsville”, I knew he would ask me to write something about my sister Cathy. It seemed logical that the oldest of the six kids would be able to find the right words and produce a story that would do her justice. Try as I might, however, the words just would not come. The pitfall when you attempt to write a story like this is that it can easily turn into being too much about your feelings and your experience that you lose perspective of the person you are trying to write about. When I read Charlie’s first draft of the story, I saw a lot of him in it of course, but what struck me was the genuine way in which he expressed how Cathy had touched his life. It was then that the proverbial “light bulb” went on in my brain and I realized that by describing your memories and personal interactions with Cathy, you are also telling her story.
CHARLIE: Doing this story is hard. I really do not know what to put down. After all these years, I really didn't know Cathy all that well, just from school and sporting events. But I did know her. I tried to get my friend, her brother Bud, to do this story. I shouldn't have asked him, because I knew it would be hard for him to do this. He tried, but he just couldn't find the right words. I understand that. I figured that since he was the oldest child of the family, he would know what to say and what to put down. All the little things, all the big things about Cathy. But he just couldn't find the words. So I said 'No problem, I will try to do my best to preserve her memory.' So here I go.For those of you who did not know Cathy, you missed out on knowing a really nice and pleasant person. From what I remember of Cathy walking around the halls of Wellsville High School, she always had a smile on her face. She was smart, athletic, and in my opinion, extremely talented. I can remember Cathy running track, her specialty was the 400-meter sprint. I would call her, and her sister Cyndi, The Salter Twins. If anyone remembers the cartoon 'Super Friends', they were 2 alien beings on that show, called The Wonder Twins, and they would put their fists together and say "Wonder Twin powers activate!' The male alien would take the shape of mammals, and the female would take the shape of liquids. So for Cyndi and Cathy, I would say "Salter Twins, powers activate!” Cyndi would take the form of a hurdler, because she was and Cathy would take the form of a sprinter, because she was. They got a kick out of that. Both said I watched too many cartoons. Then in the early part of the summer 2001 I saw Cyndi and Lynda walking their children down Main Street. Cyndi could hear my voice from a block away and right away she knew it was me. She later reminded me of what I used to call her and Cathy. Wow, after all these years, she remembered that. That was when it hit me that Cathy was gone.

BUD: Cathy was born August 24, 1964 to Eleanor Salter and the late Henry Salter of Wellsville, Ohio. She was the 4th child of six, and the birth order produced a natural pairing of buddies: Bud & Tim, Cyndi & Cathy, and Lynda and Mary. She was 4 years younger than me, which meant she had the bad luck of graduating from high school the same year I was graduating from college. She didn’t miss a beat, though, graduating co-valedictorian of her class and heading to the University of Cincinnati where she graduated in 1986. She started work as a paralegal and then moved on to Aon insurance, happily calling Cincinnati her home. She loved the Cincinnati Reds and went to many games in the summers.

In April 2000 our dad died, which took an unexpected toll on the family. While dad was battling cancer, Cathy had to decide whether to take a promotion to Chicago or New York. She chose New York and set up her home in a garden apartment on Bergen Street in Brooklyn. She started following the Yankees, but ONLY because former Red’s outfielder Paul O’Neil was playing for them…
Cathy called me from her office in the World Trade Center Tower Two in August 2001. The conversation started off very business-like, since the purpose of the call was to remind me to sign some papers regarding my dad’s estate. There was disagreement among the siblings regarding the settling of the estate, which caused a lot of hard feelings. As we spoke, though, the conversation warmed up and, Cathy (being the eternal optimist) said that this too will pass!

We even cracked a few jokes and the nightmare of our dad dying was put out of our minds for a few moments. She then said that "time heals all wounds". To that I replied, "No, love heals all wounds". We had some more small talk and then she hung up. That was the last time I spoke with her.

Like Charlie said, September 11 2001 started out just like any other day and ended up a nightmare. When we received confirmation that Cathy was in Tower 2 when the plane hit, it was very hard to deal with. Accounts of that day are on the Facebook Page “Remembering Cathy Salter”, so they are not repeated here. The next matter to attend to was a funeral/memorial mass for Cathy at the Immaculate Conception church in Wellsville, Ohio. The date was October 11, exactly one month after the attacks on the WTC.

CHARLIE: My wife, then my girlfriend, was admitted to the hospital on October 10th. On the 11th there was gonna be a memorial service for Cathy at the Immaculate Conception Church. I really wanted to be there but I was about to become a father, again. And I really wanted to be at the service as well. So after my youngest and last child was born I went to the Salter House on Riverside. I was there for about 10 minutes before I had to leave and get my two other kids fed and to go back to the hospital to see my girlfriend (wife ) and new daughter. But my thoughts were not far from Cathy. I can tell you this Cathy's death has left a huge void in the lives of the Salters. If she had died in a car accident, or was sick, then I can imagine that they would have dealt with it better than they have been. But Cathy died not knowing why she died. But we all do know one thing, Cathy was a hero. She just evacuated her staff and was getting ready to leave but didn't get that chance to do so. So every year on 9/11 family members make the trek to Ground Zero to honor their daughter, sister, friend. The names of all the victims from both towers are read and Bud and his Mom have had the honor of reading Cathy's name. Earlier this year Bud created a site on Facebook called “Remembering Cathy Salter” that so far has over 270 members. I am also a part of this site and I try to help Bud with the administrative maintenance of the site. Alot of Cathy's friends are members and membership still continues to grow. People just don't want to forget. And forgotten she isn't.
BUD: In the fall of 2009 I heard from Charlie that the village of Wellsville was planning a memorial for Cathy, so I relied on Charlie to keep me posted on the progress.CHARLIE: While looking over my Facebook account I had received a email from Wellsville councilman Tony Cataldo. He wanted me to contact Bud to tell tell him of what the village was planning on doing in honor of Cathy. Tony explained to me that the Eagles Lodge was donating some money to the village and could do what they wanted to with it. Tony had the idea to erect a memorial in honor of Cathy so he went to village administrator Jim Saracco with his idea. The next steps progressed fairly quickly: deciding on a location, getting material, measurements and labor for this project. The next step was setting a date for this memorial dedication, which originally was set in November but somehow was delayed. I was either told to go to city hall or decided to go on my own, not exactly sure which one it was, to see what the memorial looked like. Tony was there along with Jim Saracco. Tony showed me the plans, measurements and what it was going to look like. The stone itself was going to be black granite, surrounded by white stones. I was impressed. My first thought was that the Salters would be too. So I took some pictures of everything they showed me, went back home and emailed Bud with the information I was given. He later contacted me and told me that he liked the idea, ran it past his mom and she too liked it as well. All she wanted to know was when the ceremony was going to take place. Well then, my job was done. Not quite! See, I was somehow recruited to be a contact for the village. Tony told me that since I was on Facebook alot and knew my way around the computer he was going to use me. I don't mind being used, but wow, I didn't even get paid for my services (just kidding). Richardsons Monuments was going to take care of the chosen stone for the occasion.
BUD: I have since learned that the monument was designed by Bob Berg of Richardson’s Monuments. I first met him when we were working out the details for my dad’s cemetary monument, and then he matched dad’s design for Cathy’s cemetary monument . I am personally pleased that Bob was involved in this new monument, and I thank him for his tasteful design.

CHARLIE: Time had passed and I didn't really hear to much about the project. One day I received an email from Bud asking me if I had heard anything else about the memorial. The next day I went back up to city hall and Tony told me was thinking about contacting me that day to let me know what was going on and they were in the process of calling Mrs. Salter and a few of the Salter children about what was happening with project. But it was soon approaching the end of November and to my knowledge no date was set. Now since I was somehow involved I wanted to be there for this occasion. Will it be on a Friday or Saturday? If it was on a Friday will I have that day off or will I have to work? Well I got my answer. It was going to be held on Friday December 11, 2009 at 1pm. And I soon got my answer about work as well. I had to work that day. How was I going to get information about what was going on that day? I had to rely on my good friend Sue Haugh. I had asked her to not write down everything that she saw but express to me what she saw, how she felt and what others there were doing and their expressions throughout the ceremony. I threw this all on her the day before. I know she wanted to kill me but somehow I knew she would do it. I also was going to ask a few of the village leaders how they felt and what they thought of the occasion. Earlier this week Tony wanted me to take some pictures of the memorial to send to the family so they would know what it looked like. Jim Saracco met me up there and my son went with me to help uncover and cover the monument back up. I was so honored to be one of the few people who actually got to see what it looked like before anyone else. I took the pictures and helped cover it back up. Had the photos downloaded, and sent them to Bud and I think he sent them to his mom as well. Then a few days later Wonder Twin Cyndi emailed me and asked me to send her the photos as well and I did. For the next few days I had had nothing else on my mind but this story I was going to come up with and three noisy kids I so wanted to tase, I had to settle for grounding them!

BUD: I received the photo from Charlie and was really impressed. He asked me not to post or share the photo until the dedication, so I did not. The photo was embedded in the Facebook email anyway, which meant I couldn’t forward it or post it, even if I had wanted to. I thought this was Charlie’s way of keeping the secret, but it turns out that he did not do this intentionally and fully expected me to be posting the photo on Cathy’s Facebook page!
CHARLIE: December 11 came and I was at work, looking at the clock. I knew I was going to see anyone there after I was done at 2:30pm so I didn't even rush to make the seven mile trip down Rt. 39. I walked in the house and went straight to the computer and logged on to Facebook to see if Bud had posted the picture I had sent him earlier in the week. He hadn't, but now I know why! Did Sue Haugh do what I asked her to do? I knew she would come thru -- not only did she 'type' out what she saw but she made me a disk of the photos she took. She is such a gem. She also gave me an itinerary of events for the ceremony. The ceremony started off with the raising of the new flag for the new flagpole that was purchased with the money donated to the village from the Eagles. The flag was raised by the V.F.W. Post #5647 of Wellsville. Master of Ceremony of the event was our Honorable Mayor Joseph P. Surace. High school ensemble Ebony and Ivory sang the National Anthem and the Pledge Of Allegiance was led by Village Administartor Jim Saracco. Speakers for the event were County Commissioner, a Wellsville graduate, State Representative Linda Bolon and State Senator Jason Wilson, the Honorable Melissa Byers Emmerling, another Wellsville graduate. Also speaking was Eleanor Salter, mother of Cathy Salter. Attending also for the family was Cyndi Salter, now living in Pittsburgh. Eleanor spoke on behave of the family expressing their gratitude, also regret for not being able to attend for they had other responsibilities keeping them from being there. Susan said as Mrs. Salter spoke she could tell that she was full of emotion and as she spoke of Cathy, tears filled the eyes of the many who attended. "We felt her pain, sorrow, and her loss", Sue said. "It was with that thought and feeling that many left the ceremony and will hold them close for the rest of our own lives. Although the mood was somber, a sense of pride filled the air. We are proud to have had Cathy with us during her younger years, proud of her successes during her short life as she moved on and we take pride in knowing that Wellsville will not let one of out own be forgotten. Forever in our hearts, you will not be forgotten, Cathy." Ebony and Ivory sang again, "God Bless America." Then came time for the unveiling, which was going to be conducted by Police and Fire Chiefs Joseph M. Scarabino and William D. Smith. When the monument was finally uncovered, the citizens who did attend the event were moved. They seemed very pleased with what they saw. The monument was made of black granite which was beautifully made, and with the words inscribed, "WE WILL NEVER FORGET-IN LOVING MEMORY of CATHY SALTER." It now rests along the side of the Boy and the Leaking Boot on Wells Avenue.There were many comments about the ceremony and monument itself. But I have no idea what they thought -- I can only imagine what they were thinking. The finished work was impressive. But what is more impressive is what it look like at night, illuminated with the lights that were installed with the the donated money. City workers put in the time to work around that area, did some painting, dug up the grass at the site and got it all ready. Once it was all finished it was worth the effort. Mayor Surace said about 50 to 75 people attended, including area newspaper's and a tv crew from WFMJ 21 out of Youngstown, Ohio. He also said that it was well accepted by the citizens of Wellsville and as far as he knew, all were pleased with the idea. Tony Cataldo said it was great and there could be future events planned there. Jim Saracco said it was tremendous and moving and was told that the monument itself was befitting for such a person as Cathy and for her family. And all the comments he heard were appropriate and beautiful.The day itself couldn't have been better. After a whole week of rain, some snow and hard blowing winds that almost knocked down my fence, the sun came out on Friday morning. By afternoon people began to realize that the day was going to be great and was happy the sun was out. But it wasn't the sun. It was Cathy, smiling down on everyone who was there. It was her smile that made the day possible and I think everyone knew it too. Sometimes we just can't explain why things happen. It just does. Did we really want this to happen? No. We all would rather have her with us. I guess you can say that about anyone that we lose. But things happen for a reason. Maybe this was just her time, but not like this. We just can't accept how this happened, but as always we trust that God can make good from evil. For all of those who died on that tragic day in New York, Washington, D.C. and in Shanksville, Pa., God had his hand on all of them. So, we do not mourn the loss of Cathy Salter, we celebrate her life. And on December 11, 2009, the village of Wellsville, Ohio celebrated her life in fine fashion. WE WILL NEVER FORGET.
Notice of Thanks: Before I forget I would like to thank my wife Helen for helping me type this out because she is better at it than I, Bob Marcin and the Eagles organization for their input and participation, Tony Cataldo, Mayor Surace and Jim Saracco for allowing me the time to talk to them about this project, the village workers and everyone else involved. Without them the Cathy Salter Memorial wouldn't have happened. And last but not least Henry 'BUD' Salter for actually making this story better that I could have done.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Troy L. Carter

In the song " The Message", there is a line that says: "A child is born with no state of mind, blind to the ways of mankind." That is true in all of us. When we are born we are indeed blind to what is in store for us growing up. We go through each day not knowing what to expect. Each day is new and exciting to us because as kids the day is fun. Hanging out with our friends, playing ball, walking around town, riding in cars. Just plain and simple youthful fun. But we all have that one person who we all remember that was either the friend we all wanted to be like or the friend we wish would get their act together and wake up to the real world. Then there is the story of Brian Piccolo. A member of the Chicago Bears back in 60's who died at a young age and never really began to experience life. But his story didn't focus on how he died. It focused on how he lived. And this is the story of Troy L. Carter.

There are those who can say they have never met Troy. And if you didn't know him you missed out. Troy was one of a kind. He could be intense, or he could be fun loving and playful. Troy could explode at any given time given the situation, or he could be as calm as the river flow. There were many sides to this extraordinary man, side that we all seen and experienced. But that was Troy. You either loved him or hated him, and I haven't met not one person who didn't like him. If he liked you he told you, if he didn't he told you. To me he was a very honest person. Some may disagree but that is their opinion. His sense of humor, well, was odd at times because you never knew what he was gonna say. Troy kept people guessing, wondering what he was going to do or say next. But that was Troy. We loved him for who he was.

Troy was a talented athlete. He had a drive about him. As Tom Grafton descibes of his son,"Troy was determined to be the best, to be better than everyone else, like he had a chip on his shoulder." But he was also an overachiever too. Troy had good grades throughout his academic career, having graduating 8th in his class back in 1986.But it was in the realm of sports that you would see the magic of Troy. Whether it was football, basketball or baseball, he would perform his magic, and it was also where that pesky chip on his shoulder would come into play. " When he would make a mistake on the field of play or on the court you would see it on his face and in his emotions," says Tom. " He would let you know if you did good or if you did bad, and if you didn't play to his level or think you wasn't put forth the effort, he was on you." But if there was one sport that would bring out the best in Troy it would be baseball. According to Tom, four to five colleges were looking at Troy in baseball. " There were people and scouts at the door trying to sign him, and that was when he was just 17 years old." Troy also played Legion baseball as well too where he achieved high praise there as well. But it was football that got him into college, a full ride to Youngstown State University playing under current Ohio State University coach Jim Tressel. Troy Graduated from YSU in 1991.

But I am sure if you was to ask Troy who helped him get to where he was at that time in the sports world, he would say his family and friends. Without them his success would not have be at the level to which he had attained. "Family", to which Tom remembers, " was his biggest supporters. He set the standard not only for his brothers and sister but for his cousins as well. The grades, attitude, everything. And as for his friends, Troy had a great deal of friends, a grood group of friends. He was a leader and had a great camaraderie with them. But if you wasn't as dedicated as he was he didn't want you around. That is what I remember about Troy the most." But he also kept everyone at a distance as well. To reach the goals to which the he wanted to attain he refrained from going to out with friends at a regular basis, didn't smoke nor drink and didn't get into any kind of trouble. Troy felt that any of that would get in his way and wanted to remain focused. In other wards, Troy was grounded, not in the sense of being in trouble grounded, but in the way of being focused on the eye on the prized grounded.

He also had goals, goals to which some he did achieve and some he didn't, which wasn't by choice. Graduated from high school and from college. Wanted to have a good paying job. But the one thing that Troy did do and was his biggest and greatest accomplishment was his son. Troy fathered a child while he was going to YSU. That child is now at Ohio State University. But the saddest part of it all was his son never got to know his dad. If he were to come to Wellsville and ask people what was his dad like, he would hear nothing but the best stories on how his dad was. How Troy tried his best to make others better at what they were doing. How he would support you, even if he knew that you couldn't get to where you needed to be, his support was always there.

When asking about some of Troys biggest and best games, Tom told me the one he thinks that stood out for Troy was one against Beaver Local in football. The Beavers were getting beat really bad and the name calling started to emerge from the Beaver Local players, and most of the names called was being directed at him and his brother Jon, Troys favorite receiving target. So that would be one of the games that really stood out for him. The other game as a one of the worst for him. It was an overtime loss to Cadiz. That game stuck with him. Just like everyone else, Troy hated to lose. Even though there were other loses, that was the one that really stuck with him.

I'm pretty sure that there are alot of people who have good memories of Troy, and I bet that they are all good memories. I can not personally pick out just one, I have alot. One thing that I used to do with Troy was trade cassette tapes and we would record off of each other. We would do this all the time, and to this day, I still have one cassette that I recorded from Troy. It is Anita Baker. One of the songs in particular is called "Rapture". I also remember Troy running track for The Modern Striders Track Club. I always thought that track would be his sport because he was fast, but it wasn't until later on that I realized that track wasn't the sport. I realized later that football and baseball were the sports that he excelled in, from playing Jr. Tiger Ball to high school football, and minor league, high school, and Legion baseball. There wasn't a time during the year that you did not see his name in the paper or on the news. He didn't need to be the highest passer, making assists, or leading point maker on the team, it is what he contributed on his field of battle. That is what I remember about Troy. I put out a call on a social networking service for stories on Troy, and only received one. It had nothing to do with sports, it dealt with his character and how he treated people.

Former classmate Tonya Brathwaite, Wellsville Class of 1986 from shared this story with me:

Damn, ya never know how much you miss someone. I went all through school with Troy..K-12. He usually hung out after school with the Garfield kids but we would walk to and from school together when we were little. My family was very prejudiced and certain words were used as an every day part of speaking...like table, lamp, and door. So naturally, I didn't know that there were negative connotations to "the N word". We were walking home from school one day in Kindergarten or 1st grade, I don't remember, but we were talking about something and I must have said it. Because it didn't matter that we were friends because Troy whupped my little ass right on the corner of 10th and Center St., right by where Stephanie Winland used to live in that duplex. It was that day when I went home and asked my mom why he was so mad, that I finally learned that some words can hurt people just by being spoken. We stayed friends, and as anyone who was really friends with Troy knows, he was very sweet underneath all that Carter bluster. But that day was the day that I think I started to think for myself in terms of race...I couldn't understand why people didn't like other people because of their skin color. Still don't. There are millions of memories of Troy, but this one always stands out to me. '

That was just one story about Troy, and I am sure there are many more. Though he was angered at such an early age, he also show compassion and forgiveness as well. Sometimes we just don't know about a person till we actually meet them. We tend to judge them on site, from things we hear, but do don't get to really know that person until there is an actual conversation with that person. I bet there was alot of people who took one look at Troy and thought that of him. But when they actually got to know him there perception of him changed. Which leads me back to Brian Piccolo. Yeah, he was abit odd at times but when his friend needed him , he was there. The death of Piccolo hit not only his friend but his team as well. The same goes for Troy. But I am not going to talk or dwell on his death. But I rather talk about his life and the way he lived it. He lived on his own terms and did things his way because he was on a mission. A mission not only to succeed in life but to talk life by the horns and hold on to it and show everyone that this is how you do it and if I can do it, so can you. I really doubt that there will ever be a movie about Troy. We don't need to see a life story about him put on a Hollywood screen. But it would be oh so wonderful if it happened. People would be leaving the theaters with tears in their eyes, Not crying because of how Troy died. They would be crying on how he lived. Oh, how Troy lived.


Sometimes we tend to take life for granted. Thinking that we will live a long and fruitful life is really misleading. But it is sometimes the life that we lead is our downfall. Our time on this earth is very limited so we better not waste it. Even if we live to be in the 70's, 80's, or 90's, that is still a short time here on earth. When someone young passes we consider that too soon. It is. But we need not question why. We have to accept it. What we need to do is cherish the life and times that we have shared with our loved one and never forget. Hold on to what we have in our memories and never let go. One day, when it happens to us, we will want those we have left behind to want to remember us for who we are and what we meant to them. They will never forget us. We will be forever implanted in their minds and in there hearts. Death. It comes, it goes. And so will we.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Susan Haugh

Do not mind what is going on behind Sue, the casket is not for her. That girl has way too much life and that really pisses me off. But that is a good thing because I thought I did. Now I know I have a challenger I will will fight her to the end to to get to the top of the Way To Much Life Summit. My the best lifer win.

Susan Haugh is a robust 40 something year old, always on the move and you just can't seem to slow her down or stop her. But when she does stop, that casket might just come in handy.

My first encounter with Sue was at school at the Old Garfield School down at 18th Street. She was a grade ahead of me when I first arrived. She was a very cute freckle face girl. I didn't realize how cute she was until I saw her in Jr. Hi. Nuf said, lets move on. We wasn't really friends in school only afterward when she was married and moved into my neighborhood. I was delivering papers to the house and I didn't realize how much of a nut job she was. Always with a smile on her face and could talk your ear off. To this day I am happy and proud to call her a friend.

When I asked her if I could interview her she was reluctant about it because she didn't think she was interesting enough. But sitting there listening to how she got involved with some of the thing that are going on in Wellsville I found her quite interesting. But what really amazed me was how she did got into web design. " I was self taught", she told me. " I was able to stay up all night and study. Computers fascinated me and wanted to know how to build web site. " When my kids were in Jr. High School, I realized that they would be leaving home within a few short years and when that time came, I wanted to have something in my life that gave me a purpose. I wanted to attend college, but that wasn’t an option, so I began studying HTML on my own. My then husband worked the midnight shift and my kids were in bed, so staying up all night studying seemed like the only option".And that she did, which led to the creation of Haugh Designs. When I asked her how that was coming along, her response was 'Great". Sue has done webs for various organization in Wellsville, such as WellsvilleOhio. net, The Riverside Reunion, Wellsville Volunteer Fire Dept., and the Ally Cat Aid Brigade. And in the future there could be more site for Sue to create.

When I asked her how she became to get into computers she came up with a very interesting quote, "Don't tell me how make a hamburger, tell me how to kill the cow". What? Her idea was simple and plain. "We purchased a pc for the kids and I knew I needed to stay a step ahead of them so I could keep an eye on what they were into. I had heard horror stories about Internet predators and I wasn’t about to let something happen to one of my kids because I was too stubborn to learn something new. The more I learned, the more I wanted to know. So much so, that I began taking them apart and rebuilding them. Once I got to know how the hardware worked, I wanted to know how the software worked. This is what led to learning HTML." She show me how a web page is designed but with my limited attention span I soon forgot.

But Sue's goals were for the future and the timing couldn't have come at a better time. The the expanding growth in the area she saw a need to promote the area, which came to Sue creating WellsvilleOhio. Net. It is just an informational site. And with the possibility of BAARD coming to the area the site was well needed. "I searched Wellsville on the net", Sue said. "There was nothing available that would lead people interested in our village to the proper contact(s). For example: at Baard’s first meeting in Wellsville, people representing Coleman were in the audience. They showed a lot of interest but there were no contact numbers or information for future reference. This is when I realized an informational site for Wellsville was necessary." When I asked her about the feedback about the site she stated that she has received emails from all over the world; Italy, England and Australia to name a few. And when she does a site she likes to take a personal approach towards it, wants to know the business before starting it, which is where the whole hamburger/kill cow concept comes in.

I had ran into Sue at the floodwall exercise and from what I observed with her interacting with the firemen I was really curious and amazed. Sue was well received and they really like her and was happy to see her there. Sue takes pictures for the volunteer firemen for training purposes and anytime she goes to the department Sue is welcomed with open arms. and when there is a fire, sure enough she'll be there as well with her camera, (well, she did create there website for them).

Her husband Jeff is not to amazed about her abilities. He is really confident in her abilities. Says Jeff, " I have no problem with Sue doing this. She is one tough cookie and can take care of herself. I support her 100%." Not only is Jeff proud of her, her three kids are proud of her too.and are very encouraging of her. Sue told me that they were just completely amazed that their mom could do this on her own without a formal training. Jeff thinks that what Sue is doing is good for Wellsville, and at times does help her because they get to spend quality time together.

Somehow she seems to think she is boring. I think the opposite. Sue is quite interesting. And I found out something about her that I had no idea that she like. Her taste of music: Hip Hop. Not only Sue, but Jeff likes listening to hip hop too. Both listening to hip hop. I can see it now, Sue and Jeff rappin' about websites. Now that is funny. But I am sure they listen to other music as well, but I just can't see her dancing to T Pain and Jeff making up his own rap to Sue, "I'm In Love With A Webber (Stripper). Please people, think about it. Webber, what she designs, Jeff is in love with her. Do I have to explain it to you? Come on people.

As for her future, Sue says she has other ambitions in mind and has no plans on stopping or slowing down. Her main goal has been to bring attention to Wellsville while helping to promote these wonderful groups. Thats good, well, not good, Great. Wellsville needs more people like Sue. The day you see Susan Haugh not doing anything, take a look at the picture and what the men behind her are doing. That will be the only way she'll stop.

Thank You and Take Care

Editors note: Check out these sites that Susan Haugh created.

Her last parting word: There is one other project that I, along with a group of great people, am interested in pursuing. Although it can’t be discussed at this point, I assure you it is a project that has needed to be done for a long time. Stay tuned… =)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Imburgia Girls

Sisters. Five girls and they all have their own distinct personalities. One is a tell all she knows, one is an enforcer, one is quiet, one is quiet, but a go-getter, and one is a comedian. Born to Joe and Peg Imburgia, Mary, Cindy, Stephanie, Melissa, and Kristen, they all have their own unique way of making things interesting, and this interview was interesting to say the least.

Eighteen months separate each girl from the next one, with Mary being the oldest, and Kristen being the youngest, a 9-year difference in age. You can tell by talking with these women that they are very close. If anybody were to mess with them, you can be sure that Cindy would be in their face letting them know 'You don't mess with my sisters.' "I've always been protective of my sisters and have always been like that", Cindy says, and the others all agree. Joe Imburgia also agrees, saying "Cindy was the one you would go to if trouble came to the sisters, and she would take care of it. I didn't need to protect them, Cindy did." Not say that dad wouldn't have step in because I know he would have. He handled the bigger problems that may have occured with his daughters.

With their age difference, you would think that there would be some sort of rivalry between them, but there isn't. They are so supportive of one another, no competition except when it comes to the bathroom. Joe says, "I didn't bother in the mornings. I waited until the coast was clear." The love that they have for each other also shows on their faces. When one is in crisis, the sisters are there to lend a helping hand and show their support. One would say that they are more friends than sisters. All the love that they have for each other can be credited to their mom Peg. While Joe worked, Peg was home raising the girls from sun up to sun down, year after year. Joe agrees that Peg did most of the work, he couldn't have asked for a better wife and mother for the girls. Joe says, "She did a hell of a job." And another best part about being sister so close in age was that would get to wear each others clothes. Well not really, but we all know it happened at one time or another in that household.

One known fact about the Imburgia girls, is that they were all cheerleaders for Wellsville High School. Can you imagine that? From Jr. Tigers through High School, alot of guys saw atleast one Imburgia girl in a cheerleading uniform. There was only one other set of sisters in Wellsville who ever did that, and to the best of my knowledge, the Imburgia girls are the second. The other set of sisters was 5, and Imburgia's 5. I don't see that being matched for a good while.

Asking the girls if there was anything that they would change, Mary said she would live closer. It is hard for her to see her family, maybe once or twice a year, since she lives in Florida and doesn't get to travel as much as she would like to see them. The other sisters live really close with three living here in Wellsville and one other living in Lisbon. But that is one thing Mary would like to change in the future. Although she is single, and sort of looking, Cindy is happier now with her life because of her Independence. Kristen, Stephanie, and Melissa are happy with how things turned out in their lives.

All sisters agreed that their children are one of the best parts of their lives. They love being around their kids for fun, whether it is going to athletic events, school functions, they are there. That was something that was instilled into them by their parents, and it has carried on through the girls, and no doubt will be passed on to their children. The values that their parents gave them was probably one of the greatest attributes that they share as a family. What Cindy and Kristen also like to do for fun is walk. They like to walk the streets of Wellsville just to stay in shape and talk about current sisterly events or about their exs. But do not bother Cindy. If she has a pissed off look in her face it is not because she is pissed off. She is concentrating. So pleased, let her concentrate.

Joe and Peg also made sure the girls got a good, quality education. They thought that Wellsville has a good education system. They were right! All five graduated, and all five received some sort of higher education after high school. Mary was trained on the job at Dr. Rivelle's dential office, Cindy went on to school for Computer, Stephanie went on for Nursing, Melissa went on to school for Education, and Kristen went on to school for Medical.

"I never had any problems with the girls boyfriends, because I was never there," Joe says with a laugh. He once scared the paperboy that came to the house thinking it was someone there to see one of his daughters but wasn't intentional. "But when I did meet them, they were respectful. All well mannered, and treated my girls real nice. I liked that." But when the girls started leaving the house, it was kind of sad, because they were his babies. But also happy because he was now not only get into the bathroom but was able to put in another bathroom. He misses his girls. They miss him too. The girls miss each other as well. Through phone calls, e-mails, and texting, they stay in touch with one another constantly. They may not be there in physical form, but they are there emotionally. When they all were home, they enjoy the time they have with each other. It was fun in the house, because Kristen was the comedian and kept things going. They couldn't have asked for a better life than they had growing up, because of all the love and eventful times they have had. They wouldn't change a thing.

I asked what was the difference between then and now, and the answer was unanimous, stress and responsibility. No matter what they've gone through in life, it has been stressful, but moved on. As for responsibility, they all have children and families of their own, and that is responsibility in its own right. With the girls being so close in age, it helped with keeping their friendship so strong, because they all went through the same thing. They were all there to help each other out.

As for their personalities, I would say they are quite different. If mom wanted to know something, especially if she knew that something was going on, she went to Mary, mother-hen-tell all she knows. "Mary could never keep a secret," says Cindy. One would think since Mary was the oldest, she would be the one to look out for her younger siblings, not in this case. Cindy was the enforcer, and made sure that her sisters were taken care of and not harmed. You don't mess with Cindy when it comes to her sisters. Stephanie was the quiet one, didn't really say much, but on the track, that's where her light shone through ( but she was checking out my notes after the interview just to see if I left anything out). Melissa was also quiet, but when she was determined to get something, she got it. I know this for a fact. (Hi Mark!) Kristen was the funny girl, always putting a smile and a laugh on someones face. You would think that these five different personalities would not mesh very well, you are wrong. It is because of their personalities and how they was raised that allow them to have the kind of sisterly relationship that they have today.

Lord only knows what the future holds for these wonderful women. They each have a different path, but will remain strong in their relationship with each other. All hold their Christian faith close at heart and they remember who they are, and most importantly, where they came from. The halls of WHS always shone brightly when the Imburgia clan roamed them. Now their lives are shining ever bright where ever they are in the world, and it can only get brighter when they pass their values, and love that their parents gave them growing up, to their children. If you are ever walking down the street in Wellsville, and you see five beautiful women walking towards you, it just may be the Imburgia girls, but don't mess with them, because Cindy will get you.

Thank you and take care!

Editors note: Cindy and Kristen are single (hint hint).

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Floodwall Exercise

Editor's Note: The story that I was going to run, was of Gina Hampson, but due to my other computer going down, and the information that was on the hard drive, I had to change my story for this week. As soon as I get the information from the other computer, Gina's story will appear. Thank you and take care.

Saturday, June 27, 2009, the Wellsville and Highlandtown Volunteer Fire Departments did a training exercise regarding the floodwall. This is a regular training that these wonderful departments due every 2 or 3 years incase there should happen to be flooding of the Creek and the Ohio River. They started out blocking St. Rt. 45/Wells Avenue at the bridge and traffic was stopped at the McDonald's entrance. While the trucks were being placed, other fire personnel were removing the plates from the pavement for the support beams for the wall to be placed. Once the plates and the dirt were removed from the holes, the support beams, planks, bars, tarps, and other materials that were needed from the storage shed alongside the inner part of the flood wall.

I'm not going to go through this step-by-step process, but, it was a sight to see. And I was amazed on the process to which they go through in order make sure that the wall goes up and keeps our village safe from flooding. This was my very first time witnessing this event. And I can not wait to see this happen again. Anyone who has not seen this, should go and witness it but please, and I do mean please, stay out of their way. Even though this was just a training exercise, the firemen need their space to do their job quickly, efficiently, and accurately. I did my best to stay out of their way, as did the other reporters, photographers, and general bystanders. Even Channel 27 out of Youngstown, Ohio was there to do a small report, and was there for a good portion of the event.

The firemen involved should be praised for their job well done even though they took their time doing it even though it was just an exercise. It was hot, muggy, and they were sweating. But had it been an emergency they may not have taken small breaks to replenish water into their bodies. I'm pretty sure other fireman from the area would be down to help them out like Highlandtown does. The wall would go up quickly without no hesitation in an emergency situation. I am happy to say that I was in complete awe of their job. If I was allowed to assist them, I would have. It may not have been fun, but just being able to lend a hand to these men, would have been an honor.

So people of Wellsville, next time you read in the paper about the flood wall training exercise, please attend, stay out of their way, give them encouragement, and praise them for their job and a job well done.

Thank you and take care!
( This is my first attempt at loading pictures on this site. I know they are in the wrong order, something I didn't realize that would happen until it was too late. So, please forgive me if mistakes are made along the way).

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Gina Hampson

You could say that Gina Hampson's art is worldwide. Not like you think that is in art galleries, but on Google Earth. If you have a computer, you can download a program, type in Wellsville, the world will spin, and go straight to Wellsville. But once there, there will be blue blocks over the city, use your mouse, left click, and BLAM! The flood wall murals will show. So, anyone in the world, who has this program, can see her work there.

But just by talking with Gina, it seems that she is not too worried about world-wide recognition. She loves art! To her it is fun, it is beauty. Listening to Gina talk, gave me the feeling that art was more of a pleasure to do. She enjoys it, and accepts the challenges that she faces when she accepts a project. To her this is a labor of love.

Ms. Hampton is not from Wellsville, but her presence here every spring and summer painting the murals on the flood wall kind of makes her feel like a resident. Whenever she is in town to paint, people stop by, look at her work, talk with her, and give her compliments, telling her what a nice job she is doing. That makes her feel good, that her art can make someone smile, even if it is for a few minutes of the day. Gina is a 1980 graduate from Alliance, Ohio. She got started in art with her dad by drawing the pictures from the TV Guides. Remember those? I do, because I tried to do those and couldn't do them. Over the years, she honed her skills from the magazines, to canvas, to bedroom walls, bars, and flood walls. Her work can be seen all over Wellsville from inside The Busy Bee and back of it, to The Melvin Newlin Memorial.

How she got started doing the murals was through word-of-mouth and the Wellsville Revitalization Committee approached her with the idea about painting the flood wall. Candy Bangor and Connie Carmichael of the WRC saw her work at various establishments and decide to ask her about doing the flood wall project. She accepted, not realizing, and to her surprise, 'What did I get myself into?', as she laughed. Explains Connie, " It was like the blind leading the blind, but confident of her work." While all her work is mainly inside, outside work was new to her. Not knowing what kind of paint to use, she had to ask other painters what they used on concrete, and the committee also did some research as well, calling all over the United States and Canada about what paint to use and sealer because they want it to last. Once she found out, she got started. But before she can actually get started, the fire department has to hose down the wall and patch up any holes or cracks that may be in the way. Everything is free-hand, no projectors. Even though the use of projectors would have been easier and faster, doing it free-hand was more personal. Gina has been painting the murals now for about 5 years.

Not recognizing the significance and the importance of the history Wellsville has, she was asked by a woman why there was no African-Americans on the wall. Having come from a city like Alliance, with the diverse ethnic background they have, it was an oversight that she made, but soon corrected. But Candy explained that it was a conscience effort to put all kinds of ethnic background on the wall. And if you go and view the wall you can see that there is. Even though there are alot of people, and faces on the wall, you really can not tell what group is what, but that's ok. I'm pretty sure all ethnic groups are well represented, and that makes Gina and the committee feel good. " We want all of Wellsville represented" says Connie.

When people stop by to see her work, she is surprised by the amount of support and encouragement that she receives. She is also surprised that she has not receives any criticism. Not all people are going to like something like a project of this magnitude, and if there is criticism, no one is saying anything. But she has to laugh because when people are watching her paint they hardly say much, but when she is finished with a mural, people will point out something that is wrong with the painting. " I paint the picture that is given to me and that is all I have to go on".

While I told her that I had a few favorite murals, like The Tastee Freeze, she had one as well. It is the mural of the Armed Forces with the battle and hospital ship, and a face of a man with the last name Madden. The reason why she likes this is one of her favorites, was because she was able to put a face on one of the projects because no portraits are allowed in any of the murals. But as Connie and Cathy both explained that a portrait wouldn't look right with just one large head shot, but could put smaller head shots on a mural, depending on family, money and committee votes. But if something could be worked out to have just one portraits then it could become something they could do in the future. It would be nice if that could happen because there are quite of few people who rightfully deserve to go up on the wall. But they have policies in place that they have to go by and must be respected.

Both Candy and Connie stated that the committee hopes that the mural project is a springboard to help jump start Gina's career not just as an artist but as an mural artist. Gina is a talent who's work should be seen and not hidden. They also hope the project will bring in tourist. Almost every time I go uptown to the store and I see Gina's car, I can bet I can see people up there viewing her work. And I bet they are from out of town too. Word of mouth is a powerful tool to use when you want to give praise about someone and/or their work. And I do hope she does get the recognition that she so rightfully deserve. Gina didn't have to do it. But she did. It was a challenge, a challenge she met head on and so far is beating that challenge.

In case you are wondering about if Gina is getting paid, she is. Most of the money comes from donations and private work. Anything that the committee receives is greatly appreciated. They don't do tag days, but do have events like the Halloween walk and from a couple of months ago, the Old Grey Mayors basketball game, a game between Wellsville and East Liverpool (East Liverpool won, booo, BOOOOO).

With at least 2 more years left on the project you can bet to see Gina back at the wall to finish the wall. Either on the ladder on sitting on the ground she brushes on. The only thing that will stop her is bad weather. On a bright shiny day and you see a small black car parked across from the Boy With the Leaky Boot, Gina is on the other side painting away. And when she is done, more lights will go up, more people will visit the wall, taking pictures. For some reason or another the Murals will be the 'Pride Of Wellsville'. We all have Gina Hampson to thank for that. Thank you Gina for the years of of hard work and sacrifice you put into this project. Without you the wall would not look as good as they do and hopefully will look good for years to come. Maybe, just maybe the future generation of Wellsville will appreciate the murals like the generation of now does. We all see what our Wellsville used to look like and and can remember those days of long ago. We all have our favorites, I know I do (TASTEE FREEZE). If you have the chance, go on up and say hi, tell Gina what a wonderful job she is doing. Gina you may not be from Wellsville, but for now, you are one of us, a Wellsvillian.

Thank You and Take Care.

Editors note: The murals are on the Internet. On on these sites: Discoverohio.com., look under artist paint the village.

Gina isn't the only one with talent in her family. She has a sister who lives in Baltimore, Md. and she goes by the name Unicycle Lady, (unicycle lady.com).

And if you know someone that is on the Revitalization Committee, give them some praise for their efforts on trying to make Wellsville a better place to live.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

P.O.W. - People of Wellsville

Welcome to P.O.W - People of Wellsville. This is a site that will introduce ordinary, everyday people that live in Wellsville to the world of blogging. I will go around talking to people asking if they would like to be interviewed and have it posted on my blog. If not, I will thank them for their time and seek other unsuspecting people.

I got my idea just by riding or walking around town and seeing alot of people going about their everyday lives. It got me wondering if some people really know what they are doing. Not just their friends, but the ones they do not know. How interesting would that be to give them atleast their 15 minutes of Wellsville Fame? So that is why I decided to do this. There are alot of people in this town who has done extraordinary things, whether it be sports, politics, or just plain doing humanitarian things. But there are alot of those who go unrecognized just by being invisible and continuing to do what they do. Now there is a vehicle that will put them in the spotlight for just a while. That is all they need to get others to talk about them and give them a pat on the back, and say Thanks.

I ran this idea by some people and they thought it would be a great idea to do this. So after a long process, and careful consideration, I asked a few people if they would like to help me out and all agreed. I can not do this alone, this is why I have this team assembled.

Without further ado, here are my administrators and authors:

Bud Salter

HR (Bud) Salter is a 1978 graduate of Wellsville High School and will be one of the contributors to the POW! (People of Wellsville) Blog. Bud completed his undergraduate work at the University of Notre Dame, where he recieved a BSEE degree in 1982, and went on to obtain an MBA in Finance from West Coast University in 1990. He started his engineering career in 1982 at Ford Aerospace in Newport Beach, CA, assuming greater responsibility in various defense contracts over the years. Ford Aerospace was acquired by LORAL Aerospace in 1992, then by Lockheed Martin in 1995. Bud then relocated to Orlando, FL with Lockheed Martin in 1997. He joined the Meads International Program in 2001, where he is currently the Requirements Team Lead and worked 2 years in Munich, Germany from 2005 - 2007, with Lockheed partner LFK.

He currently resides in Orlando, FL with his wife Linda, and three children. He is a member of the Windermere Community Church and is actively involved in Colon Cancer Awareness, and volunteers regularly for the American Cancer Society's Relay For Life.

Cheryl Montgomery-Roe

Cheryl is a 1986 graduate of Wellsville High School, and a 1990 graduate of Jefferson Technical College. She worked for Dr. Francisco D. Avellana 1990-2001, and now is at East Liverpool City Hospital Radiology Department. She has 2 children, Geordon almost 13 and Olivia 8 1/2 years old. She loves the fact that she is still in Wellsville, after traveling abroad and stateside, and that her children are growing up here and going to our schools!!

Karenna (Tice) Harty

Karenna is originally from Wellsville, but has been living in the suburbs of Atlanta, GA since 1985. The wife of an Atlanta Police Sgt for the past 19 years, the have 2 beautiful daughters, Kristen (21) and Kaleigh (17), and one of the most awesome grandsons' you would ever meet, Mikey (2).

Karenna graduated from Wellsville in 1984, attended Kent State-East Liverpool for one year then hightailed it to GA. She may have been gone from The Ville for many years now, but there is one thing she has never forgotten....where she comes from!!!! Wellsville and the people of Wellsville have molded her into the person she is today. It also helps that there are several folks from The Ville within a 10 mile radius and they talk often!

Most of her time is spent in the activities of her youngest daughter who is a competitive cheerleader for both her High School and an All-Star Cheerleading Gym. They have travelled all over the Southeast competing in competitions and meeting people from all parts of The United States and hasn't met a single person who has heard of Wellsville.

The majority of her family still live in The Ville and comes home often to visit. Kind of hard getting her mom to leave the corner of 6th and Main Streets. She still has many friends here and with Facebook has reconnected with many of them. She hopes you enjoy what Charlie has put together for you here on the site and hopes it keeps you connected with The Ville. "Wellsville isn't what like many of us remember, but anyone who listens to country music knows as Jason Michael Carroll sings: 'It Might Not Be Much, But It's Where I Come From.' Take Care and God Bless."

Helen (Fellure) Franklin

Helen graduated from Wellsville High School in 1991. She then attended Ohio Valley Business College, leaving to care for her ill parents. In 1994, she had her first child, Nicholas (Nick), and was a stay at home mom until 1998, when she began training as an EMT. In 1999, her second child, Jocelyn was born. While working, she went back to college at Jefferson Community College, and obtained her EMT-Intermediate certification. She has worked in various areas of EMS, from small-town to large town. In 2001, Helen welcomed her third child, Sheridan. She then pursued her EMT-Paramedic certification, finally obtaining it in 2005 from Jefferson Community College.

In 2006, she married Charles. They now live in Wellsville, Ohio, and she is back to working in small-town EMS, which she loves.

These people will be doing some interviewing, monitoring, and posting blogs when it is their turn to post thier story. Granted we are not journalist. We are just people, like you, who want to know about what other peiople are doing, and you want to know as well.

I will let you know that all comments will be monitored and it will up to us what can go on and what will not. We want this to be something positive for everyone involved from us to you. We will not be dealing in politics, crime or any trash talking that can hurt or demean anyone. Those will not be tolorated. If you are going to post any comments you can post your name. We encourage it. But if you choose to remain anonymous you can do that too. This will be a blog friendly site.

So, if you think that this will be a site will be worth checking out, add it to your favorites or bookmark it. And please tell your friends about us.

And sometime in the future if you think that you want to be a part of this group, please contact me or any other of my administrators and we will look into adding more authors to run stories of the everyday People Of Wellsville.

Thank you and take care.