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100 Years Ago

Thursday, October 4, 1917

THE SUN DOGS

“Curse on the fog! Is there never a wind of all the winds I knew
To clear the smother from off my chest, and let me look at the blue?”
The good fog heard – like a splitten sail, to left and right she tore,
And they saw the sun-dogs in the haze and the seal upon the shore.” – Kipling

Wednesday, the 3rd, a marvel was to be observed in the heavens, after the fog had lifted. There were three distinct suns in the sky with a sharply outlined white circle extending through the three suns and stretching around the entire horizon. There were other curves and rainbows. The heavens remained lit up in this way for about an hour. There was some haze. The three suns formed such a sight as the optical illusion that is experienced by drunk men. No one seemed to have ever seen anything like this before.

The two mock suns are known as sun-dogs and the sight is common in the northern countries.

We find the following definition: Parhelion: a mock sun appearing in the form of a bright light near the sun, usually with the prismatic colors, and sometimes having a luminous train. Two or more parhelia are generally seen at the same time, in connection with solar halos, both being due to ice crystals in the air.

Rainbows are common in this latitude but so far as we can tell this is the first time in the memory of man that there has been rainbow effects with no rain. The morning was cool.

– – –

Ormen McElwee, writing to his cousin, Howard McElwee, says he made the trip to Camp Lee, and when they landed there, nine car loads of them, and that there must be 30,000 men at the camp. He and Billy Cole are buddies. He has been assigned to the 305 French Mortar Battery, 1s5 Brigade Field Artillery. He says to tell any who may ask about him that he is O.K. and hopes to be in France soon.

– – –

The colleges and universities have a decreased attendance this year owing to the war. Yale is off one third. One strange thing and one of the good things is that Yale and Harvard men are found fighting side by side like brothers.

– – –

Z. S. Smith’s racing mare, Lythmaic Belle, cleaned up at the fast race at the Elkins Fair last week. On last Wednesday in the free for all pace, she distanced all comers and won a handsome purse. This horse made a fine showing at the White Sulphur and Hillsboro fairs but then she lacked proper training. At Elkins, she showed what she could do when in racing trim.

– – –

On the Cheat Mountain road last week, a locomotive turned completely over, but strange to relate no one was hurt. The engine was crossing a bridge and the stringer broke. The fireman jumped, but the engineer turned on a full head of steam in an attempt to get across. However, the engine turned turtle completely, and out of the clouds of steam crawled the engineer without a scratch on him.

– – –

W. J. Hebb was giving us pointers on threshing buckwheat. He was raised up Preston county way, where buckwheat is a staple, and they know how to handle it. Put a tight wagon body on a sled and drive to the shocks, handle the sheaves like eggs and stand them up in the bed. When the bed is full, take a pitch fork and turn the times down and hit each sheaf as you come to it. Then with the fork sift the grin from the straw. This is much faster, easier and better than the common method of flailing.

– – –

Mr. Hoover now calls for a saving in sugar. In this section of the country, the older folks remember about a war time when sugar was scarce and they were automatically brought to the saving of it. Then coffee or what was known as coffee, was subjected to the “long sweetening,” or molasses. In those days a supply of tree sugar was highly prized, and securely hidden from the persistent, foraging soldiers.

We are ready to do what we can in the way of saving food, and if Mr. Hoover will but make his demands, they will be honored and all the more cheerfully because of the sacrifice.

“We may live without poetry, music and art;
We may live without conscience, and live without heart;
We may live without friends; we may live without books;
But civilized man cannot live without cooks.
He may live without books, – what is knowledge but grieving?
He may live without hope – what is hope but deceiving?
He may live without love – what is passion but pining?
But where is the man that can live without dining?”

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