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2 women near and dear to me

by John G. Miller

Managing Editor

Hopefully you had a chance to read Gail Marsh's excellent column on the Adamsville woman who has been the mother to 22 children, including several with special needs.

It's highly unusual for this newspaper, or others, to choose to run a column on Page A1. But we believe that the story captures the true spirit of Mother's Day.

With that being said, I won't try to outdo Gail's excellent work.

But I do want to mention two women near and dear to me.

My mom, Anita, has inspired me from an early age to do my best and to work hard. Most folks think I'm a workaholic. But that's just my work ethic, and it's something I'm proud of.

Mom had us a little worried this week when she had a heart catheterization at United Hospital Center. Fortunately everything turned out OK. I'm thankful for that.

I'm also thankful to be able to report that Mary Mazzie, an amazing lady from the North View area of Clarksburg, is doing better after having a six-bypass heart operation in Charleston, according to one of her sons, Rusty.

Mary's one of the nicest people I know. She always finds time to help others and her large family, and some of their Christmas Eve gatherings have grown to legendary proportions over the years. I wish her only the best.

n n n

Recently I wrote a column about the demise of the comic strip "Bringing Up Father." The syndicate that has provided the strip to our readers since 1927 has discontinued it.

Several readers have written to suggest new strips. And we're still contemplating, so your suggestions are welcome.

But two letters I've received provided background as to why newspaper readers become upset when comic strips are changed.

One reader, Vivian Furner of Clarksburg, wrote to tell me that when she was growing up in the hills of Braxton County, she and her friends could hardly wait until they could get a look at the Sunday "funny papers."

While Vivian recalled Maggie and Jiggs of "Bringing Up Father" fame, as well as several others, she really wanted to see what new adventures Buck Rogers or Flash Gordon were up to or what had happened to Little Orphan Annie.

Vivian wrote that today's humor has no moral standards. But she does still read the older comics like "Blondie," "Family Circus" and "Dennis the Menace."

Another reader, Ernest Lantz of Nutter Fort, had a more personal attachment to Maggie and Jiggs.

Ernest, who's now 88 years old, wrote that he remembers fondly the comics of his youth like "Happy Hooligan," "Andy Gump," "Hans and Fritz," and yes, "Maggie and Jiggs."

"I can remember when they began to print comics in the paper we didn't have radio or television so the comics were great entertainment, and I never outgrew them."

Ernest wrote that while he was growing up on the family farm near Mount Clare, his grandfather nicknamed Ernest's younger brother Jiggs and one of his sisters Maggie because the two always got into little spats while they played.

Ernest wrote that while his sister has passed on, his brother lives in Arizona and stills signs letters home, "Jiggs."

I share these stories to help all of our readers better understand the way newspapers have reached different people in different ways.

Some read the comics and obituaries. Others like the sports section and classifieds. Some like local news and editorials.

A few might even like this column.

We keep trying. I hope you'll keep reading.

John G. Miller is managing editor of the Clarksburg Exponent and Telegram newspapers. He can reached by telephone at 626-1473, by e-mail at cpcnews@earthlink.net or by regular mail at 324 Hewes Ave., Clarksburg WV 26301.

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