Fifty Years Ago

Thursday, December 24, 1970

Christmas Hilltops

It was the shepherds on the lonely hilltop, out where the night sky lay close and the feeling of the earth was familiar to their feet, who heard the angels singing and followed the star. They followed it over the hills to the hill town of Bethlehem, and it was there, in the stable at the inn, that they saw the wonder. In a stable on a hill in Judea.

It was there among the hills, that the story began, where the stars came close and the night winds were the winds of song, and as we know the later story, the hills and the open country where He was born were to be always there in His life and in His teachings. His parables had the strength of the hills and their simplicity. He knew the land. He knew it intimately, and its birds, its beasts, its shrubs and bushes. The sermon in which the enduring principles for which He stood were probably most simply and eloquently set forth is still known as the Sermon on the Mount. He knew the seaside and the valley, but best of all He knew the hills. And in the end He climbed the fearsome slope of the hill known as Gethsemane.

The story is both brief and simple. Luke, the physician, set it down in four hundred. words. Others expanded it, but always and ever it had the thread of the hilltops running through it, the everlasting hills, where it began. It was on this hilltop that the unforgettable words were said: “Fear not.” And the enduring song: “On earth, peace, good will toward men.”

We read the story again and again, and always with the hush and the awe, and with the sense of stars gleaming on the hilltops.
~ The above is an editorial carried by the New York Times fifteen years ago. [West Virginia] Senator Jennings Randolph says he has kept the clipping with him through the years and thinks it is especially meaningful to those of us who live in the hills.

Around the County
Beth Barrell

This season, the Christmas cards are running about normal. Except for those with personal photographs, most still have the same theme – the joys of rural living. I never cease to marvel at this. An apartment dweller will send a card picturing a cozy farmhouse, wood smoke curling from its chimney. A friend who buys a new car every year chooses a card with sleigh and sleigh bells, while one who takes his holiday meals at a restaurant sends a picture of a family gathered round a table piled with home cooked food.

Why is this?

Do people, especially city people, have a deep desire to return to country or village living?

The Gallup Poll says they do. Recently the poll asked people where they would live if they had their choice and 75 percent answered, “small village.”

Not city suburb or even countryside, but small village. This preference deserves applause.

Most Americans must feel that only in a small village can life be natural, that only in a small village can one’s life touch closely the lives of others…

You who live here in Pocahontas County, stay if you can make a go of it, and think of your good fortune.

Seventy five percent of your fellow Americans want to live as you live.


Born to Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Wolfe, of Cass, a daughter, named Brenda Melissa.

Born to Mr. and Mrs. Pat Burgess, of Marlinton, a son, named Ethan Alan.

Born to Mr. and Mrs. Fred S. Karnes, of Milton, a daughter, named Eugenia Rae. Maternal grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Ray McKeever, of Hillsboro.

Born to Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Boggs, of Beard, a son named Jeffrey Michael.

Born to Mr. and Mrs. George Rose, of Hillsboro, a son, named Jerry Thomas.

Born to Mr. and Mrs. Howard S. Rudd, a daughter, named Angela Dawn.

Born to Mr. and Mrs. Emmett Bailey, of McMinnville, Oregon, a son, named Demian Alfred Wayne.


Wheeler C. Pritt, 90, of Droop, a lifelong resident of Droop and a retired well driller.

Burial in the Sunset Cemetery at Jacox.

Howard W. Gilkerson, 56, of Beard, a son of the late Isaac and Bessie Carper Gilkerson. Burial in the Oak Grove Cemetery.

Nathaniel Kennison, 60, of Palatine, Illinois. Born at Hillsboro, a son of the late August Eugene and Jessie Kennison. Burial in Palatine.

Moody Grant Johnson, 63, of Dayton, Ohio. Born at Marlinton, a son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Grant Johnson. Burial in Dayton.

Clarence G. McMillion, 77, of St. Helena, California. Born at Jacox, a son of the late Wade H. and Sarah Hill McMillion. Burial in Kansas City, Missouri.

Burke A. Grogg, 63, of Huntington. Born in Pocahontas County, a son of the late Rev. W. A. Grogg and Clemmie Greathouse Grogg. Burial in Highland Cemetery.

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