75 Years Ago

January 13, 1944


Here is a real Field Note from Judge Charles G. Baker, of Morgantown:

The rocks of Elk River were rough and sharp. My feet were soft. The boots were thin, and after two days of that combination, the wise thing to do was to rest. The other fellows wanted to fish, Sunday or no, so I took a little book and went down the gorge.

I found an old twisted sycamore that hung over one of those quiet, still moving pools which abound on Elk, and in the easiest of easy chairs, I settled myself.

I read a little. It was a happy little book with some good living sense in it. Soon I began to take stock of my surroundings. The air was gentle and sweet, clean and cool. The sun shone in a clear, blue, cloudless sky. The mountains, rising on either hand, stretched their green clad branches toward that sun and that sky. The river above and below the pool sang a soft, happy carefree song, and I suddenly realized that in that stillness and quiet, I was at peace with the world.

In that mood, I sat. Soon the arching trees of the mountains and the blue vault of heaven became a vast cathedral. The stillness was the quiet of a worship service. All about me seemed reverent. The singing stream sang its anthem of peace, and the sun taught its lesson of the might and power and wisdom of the Almighty Creator and Preserver.

And I bowed my head as reverently as ever I did in a church made by man. Truly the Lord was in that place.

Our Army and Navy Boys

Private Leroy Burner has been at home on furlough with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Howard Burner, of Durbin, and his sister, Mrs. Leona Meeks, who is ill with flu.

Private Henry A. Shinaberry who was ill while on furlough with his mother, Mrs. Leona Meeks, at Thornwood, has recovered sufficiently to return to his camp in Louisville, Kentucky.

Lieutenant Robert K. Moore, of the Air Service, stationed at Camp Gordon, Georgia, is home on a short furlough with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Elihu Moore.

The War Department announces the appointment of Miss Mary Juanita Rexrode, of Minnehaha Springs, as a First Lieutenant in the Army Nurses Corps.

Mack R. Bussard, B.M.1-c, who saw hard service in the Pacific, was home on a short visit with his mother, Mrs. Edith Bussard, of Minnehaha Springs, has returned to his ship that is being repaired… His ship, after participating in the main phases of Kula Gulf action wherein ten Japanese warships were sunk or badly damaged, was ordered to rescue survivors of the Untied States light cruiser Helena, which had been hit by enemy torpedoes.

Austin Paul Duncan of the United States Navy, has recently completed his “boot training” at Great Lakes Naval Training Station, and is now stationed at Wahpeton, North Dakota, where he will attend a service school.

P.F.C. and Mrs. Shan Rose returned to Florence, South Carolina, where P. F. C. Rose is stationed, after spending several days here as guests of his mother, Mrs. Alta Rose, and other relatives.

– – –

Dear Mr. Price;

Received my first Pocahontas Times today and was sure glad to get it. It looked like a long letter from home, but had a lot more news than a letter. I was surprised to see that my best boy friend was in the Navy.

We had a nice Christmas this year. Had plenty to eat and a bottle of beer to wash it down. I did not know what to think when I saw the beer as it was the first that I had seen in over a year. It was very good beer and some of the boys had a big hangover the next day.

I am now somewhere in the Aleutians. Have been here over two years now, but expect to be back in the States before long. I have one star coming to me. Boys, I did not have to claim anymore.

Since there is not any news, I will stop at this.

Private Earl Kelley

– – –

Dear Mr. Price;

Please find enclosed one dollar for which please send me your Times. I like to read about Pocahontas and what not. I am stationed down here in the land of “liquid sunshine” but I do not believe they were speaking of orange juice when they called it that. ‘Twas bound to have been rain.

Nevertheless, the base here is beautiful and makes up for the bad weather, but nothing can take the place of those West Virginia hills. Hoping to see them again sometime.

Ensign Norma Kellison, Nurses Corps

– – –

By Dr. F. P. Deem
If you like real music
And a sport that’s on the square
And for a thrill and joy
That will really raise your hair
Get a pack of fox hounds
They will put the old pep in you
Then if you don’t like it
You’re not from West Virginia.
If you’ve fished in clear waters and waded in the mud,
Watched the calm rivers, and seen many a flood
Travelled the highways on good road and bad
Cussed like a trooper, yet seldom are mad –
I bet you’re from West Virginia.
If you’ve sweat in the valley, cooled off on a hill
Tramped through the mountains, and drank from a still
If you like a good fight, and can lose and yet grin;
Get up on your feet and again try to win –
I bet you’re from West Virginia.
You ain’t ‘fraid of the devil, got fire in your eye,
God fearing and loving the Father on high
Go the limit for a friend, but slow to forgive,
Nursing that hurt as long as you live –
I bet you’re from West Virginia.
You’ve drunk sassafras and old mountain tea,
Used “Peppyrile” for the bit of a flea,
You say what you think whether sober or drunk;
Can tell by the wind the trail of a skunk –
I bet you’re from West Virginia.
If you’ve cleaned your teeth with a birch tree twig
To “Old Dan Tucker” danced many a jig.
Stole behind the barn away from your folks
For Indian stogie and corn silk smokes –
I bet you’re from West Virginia.
If you’ve talked “Pig Latin,” sung the “Old Gray Mare”
Felt the bite of a chigger, and love a good County Fair.
A bit clannish of kin, though “onery” they be
You admit it yourself, but dare us to agree –
I bet you’re from West Virginia.
You hate the damn Nazis, and [….]
Itching to fight ‘em and not count the price.
You’re proud of your State and thrill when you hear
“The Star Spangled Banner,” and stand up and cheer –
Hell, I know you’re from West Virginia

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