by John G. Miller
Last Monday I attended the 17th annual Frank Loria Awards Dinner, sponsored by the Clarksburg Columbian Club.
The dinner, held in memory of former Virginia Tech All-American football player (and Notre Dame High School graduate) Frank Loria, honors the all-Harrison County football teamss.
It's a great event and helps to remind me that there are, despite all the bad news you read about the younger generation, still a lot of good kids out there.
While the spotlight was on the high school players, two former West Virginia University standouts impressed me.
Former Bridgeport High School player and WVU long-snapper Donnie Lindsey sat beside me and I enjoyed hearing of his progress toward a medical-related college degree.
What amazed me, though, is that he's working full time as an emergency medical technician in Marion County and also works part-time in Harrison County.
He's not sure if he will continue his pursuit of becoming a doctor or become a professional firefighter/paramedic.
With that kind of work ethic, I'm sure he will be successful.
I was also impressed with the guest speaker, former WVU tight end Anthony Becht. He did an excellent job of reminding the players, many of whom will be moving on to college next year, that they truly control their destiny and he emphasized that they needed to take responsibility for getting their education.
It was a great evening. My thanks to dinner coordinator Clarence Fiber and the rest of the Columbian Club for continuing this worthwhile event and to the South Harrison boosters and parents who provided a great meal.
Our pre-press manager, Harry Fox, our computer guru, among other things, passed on an e-mail pointing out the latest "Internet Hoax."
It seems that an e-mail is being sent around that says that the U.S. Postal Service is trying to ramrod a bill through Congress proposing an e-mail usage tax of 5 cents per message.
It's a pretty elaborate message, complete with an allegation that the mainstream media is ignoring the proposal. It even says a Congressman Tony Snell has proposed even higher fees and that the newspaper, The Washingtonian, called the surcharge a "useful concept."
Remember folks, there is absolutely no validity to this e-mail. There is no Congressman Snell and the newspaper in question never wrote anything positive or negative about the "proposal."
It's just a hoax. Relax. Point, click and move on.
This past Wednesday, we lost a good fellow.
Tom Lanham, a longtime independent contractor, political hopeful and son of former Harrison County Sheriff Gaylord Lanham, died at the age of 53.
Tom was a gentle giant of a man who didn't hesitate to get involved with worthwhile causes.
A decorated veteran of the Marine Corps in Vietnam, he spent much of his time working with various groups like the Marine Corps League, Order of the Purple Heart and the VFW.
I met Tom many years ago when his son was playing youth baseball and I was a fledgling umpire.
We talked from time to time, usually when he'd stop by the newspaper office or if I'd see him out in the public.
Just this past fall, Tom invited me to speak to a group of the Harrison County fraternal organizations to clear up some confusion over their efforts to get their message to the public.
It was a good evening and we cleared up a lot of miscommunication, thanks to his efforts.
That's how I'll remember Tom -- as a guy who didn't hesitate to speak his mind, but did so with tact and dignity.
John G. Miller is the managing editor of the Clarksburg Exponent and Telegram. His columns appear every Saturday and Sunday. He can be reached at 626-1473 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.