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Bob-n-Along, Feb. 14, 1999

What the world needs now is love: Any questions?

    What a better day than St. Valentine's Day to discuss a four-letter word - love! Over the years, and especially recent years, a lot of definitions have been given for love.
    In the Holy Bible, Jesus Christ says we are to love our God  with all our heart and all our soul and all our mind and all our strength; and we are to love others as we do ourselves.
    Also in the Bible, in Corinthians we're told that if we do not have love, all the other things we do for God mean nothing. (I hope I've paraphrased that correctly.)
    We also hear love mentioned concerning our feelings toward our spouses ... or other members of our family ... or our good friends and neighbors. Back in the '60s - a decade, incidentally, that I really liked We heard more than once the expression, "Make love, not war!" Then along came "free love."
    We hear a tune we like really well and say, "I love that song," or we'll see a movie that has a special effect on us and we'll say, "I just loved that movie." Each year when St. Valentine's Day rolls around, we think of a little pixie-like figure with wings and a bow and arrow. He's called Cupid. We associate Cupid with love.
    I cannot help but think right now, though, that there's never been a time in the history of mankind when exercising love is so important. That is, the love one has for his or her neighbor whether in the same block or on another continent.
Yep, that probably sounds like a cliché - and worn fairly thin at that. You may say, "Well, we're not at war!" True, there's no terrible world war to live through as people in the earlier part of this century had to endure. Other conflicts, such as Korea, Vietnam and the Persian Gulf, may also be behind us. So some will say, "What's to worry?"
    Heaven knows I'm no expert, but at this juncture in the history of man, there seems to be more uncertainty regarding our future than we've ever known. Even now, many are troubled  with the problems Y2K will put at our doorsteps Ñ those of us  who are fortunate enough to have doorsteps.
    Don't get me wrong, now. I'm as guilty as the next guy, or gal, about spouting how we need to treat each other with more dignity and respect and love, and then go about acting like Attila the Hun or some Barbarian or heathen, e.g., chewing out the driver who just cut us off on the freeway. So I suppose now's a good time for me to say, "Do as I say, not as I do."
St. Valentine's Day isn't the only time of year we're to think of love. Just this past week, I heard on a preview for a network TV sitcom somebody saying something to the effect of "Al Capone is the only one who made Valentine's Day famous."
There are also Christmas, Hanukkah, Easter and special religious holidays of other faiths when love for neighbor is of utmost significance.
    So the next time you hear the word "love" and reflect on its many definitions, stop to think  of the crucial need for better treatment of your neighbor next door or 10,000 miles away.

    Before closing, I'd like to ask if anyone can provide me with information about the old West Virginia Glass plant in Weston. Who owned it, when did it open, when did it close, what kind of glass was made there anything you can think of.
Please send your information to me by direct mail: in care of Bob-n-Along, Exponent and Telegram, P.O. Box 2000, Clarksburg, WV 26302-2000. You can e-mail me at And if you have any old photos, I can use one or more in "A Look Back in Time," the Telegram's new photo review of yesteryear.
Have a great week!

Weston residents should have say on fee increase

    The people of Weston have said they want to vote on an ordinance that increased municipal fees by $90. Unfortunately, the city is trying to block that vote. The dispute over the municipal fee increase goes back a year.
    In February 1998, Weston City Council passed an ordinance that bumped up municipal fees from $30 to $120 for most residents. In April 1998, residents opposed to the increases presented council with a 1,026-signature petition. But council, on a 3-1 vote, refused to accept the petition, saying some of the signatures did not appear to be on the "up and up."
    Residents appealed to Secretary of State Ken Hechler. Last week, Hechler informed city council by letter that 822 of the 1,026 signatures belonged to registered Weston voters, more than the 30 percent of registered voters required to let residents vote on the ordinance. City Attorney Christy Smith, told by council to respond to Hechler's letter, said last week the state still has to verify the signatures.
    Weston officials should stop quibbling about the signatures. By doing so, they're only slowing the democratic process and delaying the inevitable. There can be no doubt that 30 percent of Weston residents would like to have a say on the $90 fee increase.
    Yes, if residents were to vote down the fee ordinance, it would be a serious blow to Weston's already wobbly finances. Municipal fee collections netted $110,000 for the city budget last year. That's money desperately needed by a city that has a $50,000 debt and has had to adopt a policy of paying bills only as revenue becomes available. Still, fiscal urgency does not justify standing in the way of democracy.
    Also, if residents were to vote down the ordinance, it would not mean any municipal fee increase would be out of the question. Some opponents, well aware of the city's troubles, argue only that a fee increase should come in more manageable increments instead of a $90 jump.
    Weston's leaders should stop trying to block the vote the people want. They should settle the signature quibble quickly, let the people speak, listen to what they have to say, and go from there.
Tim Langer
Telegram editorial board member

My TV's remote has been lost in the black hole

Terry Horne is on vacation this week. Today we're repeating one of his favorite columns.

    I remember learning about black holes in an astronomy class I took in college. The professor said no one had ever seen one, but scientific evidence told us they existed. I can't remember his name or I would call him to let him know that I have a black hole at my house.
    Black holes are masses of dense matter that suck everything around into its center because of its powerful gravity. Whatever goes in is never seen again. To parents, black holes are usually associated with two-year-olds.
    My youngest daughter officially turns two on Saturday but started the so-called Terrible Twos at least three months ago. She is into everything and at this point it is questionable whether our home will survive this stage.
    I don't know exactly where in our house this black hole is located. Our daughter knows, however. She sees that something new is sucked in every day. Most of it is trivial stuff like a single sock or a toy. Once we thought the telephone was sucked in but we found it a couple of days later.
    The biggest loss is the television controller. This has been traumatic because I'm a master at sitting on the couch flipping through all 50-some cable channels in 30 seconds or less. But I'm not just a sprinter. I'm also famous for marathon channel switching. My personal record is 30 minutes of channel switching with no more than six consecutive seconds stopped on any particular channel.
    Now, I actually have to get off the couch, walk to the television and bend over while pushing the button. I've heard this is how it was when television first appeared in American homes. It is hard to believe that television viewing prospered under those conditions.
    The missing controller has drastically cut back on channel switching at our home. As a result I've thought about giving up television. I now realize it was the switching that gave me pleasure, not the programming.
    My wife seems unduly happy about this development. She makes comments about how nice it is to sit down and watch a program through its entirety without rapid flashes across the screen every five minutes or so. I'm suspicious that maybe in this particular case my 2-year-old is innocent.
    I'm concerned about this because it has occurred to me that maybe my wife now knows where the black hole is in our house. And that other things that I own that she doesn't approve of could be destined for the black hole.
My 1982 Kawasaki 750 cc motorcycle is parked in the garage and I keep it locked. It weighs some 600 pounds so I think it is safe. But one of my favorite sweat shirts is missing and I'm pretty sure it is in the black hole. It had a message across the front: "Rules for a Good Marriage. Rule No. 1: The man is always right. Rule No. 2: When the man is wrong, refer back to Rule No. 1."
    All this is making me paranoid. I'm now sleeping with my two Big Bertha's and my wife's not happy about it. I told her I have to keep an eye on them because other men covet them. But the truth is I'm worried she'll deposit them in the black hole. (Just to clarify, Big Bertha's are a brand of very expensive golf clubs.)
    My wife denies she knows the whereabouts of the black hole. Maybe I should believe her. But she and my daughter always look at each other and wink when I start lamenting the loss of my precious controller.

Terry Horne is the publisher of the Exponent and Telegram. His column appears every Sunday.

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