Washington Irving Class of ’62 member proud of classmates’ success

    Margaret Ann Heflin Bailey e-mailed me recently to say she recalled where I mentioned in  Bob’n’Along that there were some particularly interesting classes and class members who graduated from local high schools.
    A member of the Washington Irving High School ’62 Class, she mentioned some classmates. “Though I might be terribly prejudiced, she stated, “I am quite sure that few other graduating classes can surpass the accomplishments of the 1962 group.
“Jim Ashley, who works with  software systems in Virginia, heeded the challenge of our senior choir to ‘Climb Every Mountain,’ as sung at our graduation, and has climbed mountains in Alaska, Mexico, Switzerland, France, Italy, Russia and Ecuador. David Anderson has been a referee in the NFL for 16 years.
    “Dr. Barbara Birshtein is a scientist and professor at New York’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Bob Caplan is director of the Harrison County Chamber of Commerce. Bill Bowie owns a gas exploration company in Clarksburg. Mike (Patrick) Frankhauser is an ESPN broadcaster. Sam Ellis has worked on productions on Broadway in New York City. Wayne Godwin is the sheriff of Harrison County. David Kuhl, an engineer, works in the shipbuilding industry and had 26 ships supporting Operation Desert Storm, including two that hit mines. Holly McMunn, a fashion consultant in New York City, has worked at Glamour Magazine and also has helped plan Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade.
    “Dan Wheeler is the surveyor of Harrison County. Steve Zinn is a doctor who practices in adolescent psychiatry in Cleveland. David Martino works as a physician in anesthesia in Columbus, Ohio. Several have worked at the local gas companies — Chuck Miley, Evan Bice and Bill Norris.
    “Albert Hoffman lives in San Francisco and sings with the San Francisco Symphony Chorus. Danny Losh works in the casino industry in Las Vegas. Many  nurses have worked all across the United States: Jane Davis, who is also an attorney; Lauya  Stracke Spatafore, Rae Ann Varner Porter, Margaret Ann Heflin Bailey and Beverly Wright Vassar.
    “Many teachers have worked with children locally and from coast to coast: Bill Arnett, a professor at WVU; Nancy Byard Unger, Sharon Conwell Ayscue, Guy Costello, Carol Ann Custer  Rogers, Mimi Hodges Kelly, Cheryl Holmes Anderson, Marilyn Hurst Lee, Sharon Linn Ryan, Jon Rose and Steve Snyder.”
    Margaret Ann concluded, “There are so many more I could mention, for everyone in the WI High School Class of 1962 has, in his or her own way, made an  impact upon life, not only in the U.S., but also all across the world. What a fine group! The Harrison County education system should be proud.”
    WI’s Class of ’62 has indeed a fine representative in Margaret Ann Heflin Bailey.

    One thing I must clear up before stopping today. First, Clioreta Post Criss of Nutter Fort, a frequent contributor to the Telegram feature “A Look Back in Time,” called my attention to an error in the caption under the Feb. 25 photograph of a group of people from the old Chicago Dairy & Baking Company store in downtown Clarksburg.
    I had stated that her father, Russell D. Post, was the manager of the store. He was not the manager, but rather the butcher.
Said Mrs. Criss: “It was under the second Chicago Dairy & Baking Co. store that was located on South Fourth Street between West Main and West Pike streets. Their bakery was on Traders Alley between Third and Fourth Streets. This was in the  late ’20s or early ’30s. I don’t remember how long it was opened. I’m not sure who the owner was at that time or the manager of the larger Fourth Street store.
    “The manager of the first Chicago Dairy & Baking Co. was Roy Ash. It was located on West Main Street near Fourth Street. Other managers I remember are Bill Morgan and Harry Kinnard. Kinnard sold the store to James and Dot Arnett in 1950. It was still between Pike and Main. Later, they bought the Waldo Hotel and moved the store there. They were there a few years and sold out in September 1973.”
Thanks, Mrs. Criss.

Judge Bedell showed infinite wisdom and
mercy in sentencing

    Harrison County Circuit Judge Thomas Bedell had every right to sentence Michael Vernon Wildman to prison for burning the imprint of a cross on the lawn of a black Quiet Dell family — and he did. But then he suspended the sentence and ordered Wildman to perform 200 hours of community service at the predominantly black Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Clarksburg. In doing so, Judge Bedell may have given the young man an opportunity to turn his life around.
    The 20-year-old Wildman was convicted in February for violating the civil rights of the Raymond Parker Jr. family after pouring gasoline in the shape of a cross in their lawn and setting it ablaze.
    At the sentencing on Wednesday, Bedell could have sent Wildman to prison for 10 years. The prosecutors asked that a message be sent by sending him to the county jail for at least one year. But Bedell was concerned about what would happen to the young man if he were to go to prison.
    “There are groups in that society who will target him for violence,” said Bedell. “What worries me is that if one group targets him, he will be forced to go to another group and they will teach him more hate and racism. “I feel that if we sentence him to the maximum, we may be creating another racist.”
    Bedell was fearful of producing another John King, who was recently sentenced to death in Texas for dragging a black man behind his pickup truck.
    Instead, he ordered Wildman to work for the church and attend a course on race, class and gender relations at Fairmont State College.
    Bedell told Wildman that he was “at a crossroad.” He said Wildman could either make the best of a “horrible, awful” situation or go to prison.
    The judge admitted that he might take some heat for going easy on Wildman, but he may have done something much more significant. He gave a young man the opportunity to contribute something to society instead of locking him up until the year 2009.
    We hope Mr. Wildman appreciates this second chance and makes the best of it. We also hope he remembers that wise and generous judge back in 1999 who saved his life.

Today’s editorial reflects the opinion of the Exponent editorial board, which includes William J. Sedivy, John G. Miller, Julie R. Cryser, James Logue, Kevin Courtney and Cecil Jarvis.

Term limits needed
now more than ever

     There is more at stake in enacting term limits for politicians than simply ruling that an incumbent office-holder may not seek re-election after a designated number of terms. We feel that number should be no more than two — in any instance.
“To effectively end politics as a lifetime sinecure, thereby making congressional service a ‘leave of absence’ from a productive, private-sector career, requires that terms be short,” says Doug Bandow, senior fellow of the Cato Institute and author of “The Politics of Envy: Statism as Theology.”
    He adds that a dozen years is a short career, although it is more than long enough for legislators to become more concerned about their relationships with each other than about their relationships with constituents.
    What many people forget — especially those in government — is that the founders of the United States strongly believed in rotation in office. They left term limits out of the Constitution because they did not foresee that politics would be a career for so many people. West Virginia is a prime example of this, in our view.
    What could be more important today “than reversing the pernicious rise of a professional political class”?
Our government will never function as it was intended until leaders realize that there is a great gulf that separates the rulers from the ruled in our country. Perhaps it is not convenient for them to do so.
    Eric O’Keefe, who wrote “Who Rules America: The People Vs. The Political Class,” said, “Into the abyss will tumble our republic, the grand experiment in self-government conceived in liberty and consecrated by genius, experience and the hard work of citizenship.”
    O’Keefe argues — and we are in agreement — that the problem is that our representatives are, in fact, not as representative as they would have us believe. In fact, they are a separate class which identifies its interests with those of the government rather than the people.
    He says when the interests of the government in which they serve and the people they “putatively serve” conflict, it is invariable that they side with the government. No surprise there.
    The fact is that there are those who have spent far too long within the “cocoon” of incumbency.
As we see it, short term limits would remedy the mistake of allowing politics to be a career for so many people.
    Granted there are some good men and women who, in fact, are voted in to office time after time and manage to effectively produce term after term. We applaud them. They know who they are. We know who they are.
It would be a shame that their efforts would have to be sacrificed because of the repeated ineffectiveness of others.
    In the final analysis, we must assert that term limits must definitely be instituted — in the United States, in West Virginia and in counties and municipalities thereof. The taxpayers are not in the personnel placement business for those seeking easy money.
Robert F. Stealey
Telegram Editorial Board chairman


Clarksburg Publishing Company, P.O. Box 2000, Clarksburg, WV 26302 USA
Copyright Clarksburg Publishing Company 1999