Dear Editor:
I’m sitting here this beautiful morning thinking about that wonderful county called “almost Heaven;” those beautiful hills around Hillsboro, and I remember what they meant to me in years gone by.
I was just reading an ad in a paper titled “WANTED” $1,000,000 Reward! Bag a banded pheasant in Aberdeen, South Dakota and win a chance at one million dollars, I just thought, that never happened in my precious “almost Heaven, West Virginia.”
When I was growing up, we had a plenty to eat – lots of milk biscuit gravy. My mother could make gravy out of almost anything, and we lived like kings without money.
But we could claim the life of a predator who was calling on our sheep herd, and sell his hide for money.
I remember when I was 16, I got my driver’s license, and I used to take Mr. Omer Kellison and his wife to Marlinton to shop, and he would go to The Pocahontas Times office and talk to Mr. Calvin Price.
He did a lot of hunting in winter, and Mr. Calvin was interested in the stories of Omer’s career and would ask all kinds of questions about what was happening in those hills he roamed. He was interested and would try to get little bits to write about to put in the Times paper.
Mr. Omer was a great hunter. He could leave home at 4 a.m. and be on top of Jake Knob before daylight with his foxhounds and shot- gun. The dogs would get on a hot trail, and one shot, and he was back home for breakfast by 8 a.m.
After breakfast, he would lean up his kill and stretch the hide on a board, just a bit larger than the fox. That was legal then, before the do-gooders got control of the law and said those foxes didn’t hurt nobody, so why should they be destroyed.
So when Mr. Omer took a hide to sell, a big one would be worth $100 and that was real money!
Mr. Calvin Price would want to talk to him every time we got to visit him. I enjoyed the visit. Mr. Calvin got to calling me by my first name, and I just enjoyed the visit there.
There was a Carl Pritt who lived on Droop Mountain, and he sometimes would get some of my  mail, and his wife did not like those girls writing to him.
Mr. Calvin helped me out by putting a note in the paper about the problem, and it helped.
I look at today’s problems and I think back to the school at Jacox where Mrs. Ruth Cutlip was our teacher. We read the Bible every day, and she would pray and she taught eight grades. The school was heated by coal to keep us warm…
Good old days.

Karl Pritt
Golts, Maryland

Dear Editor:
We recently had some articles in both The Charleston Gazette-Mail and the Inter-Mountain explaining why the senior programs in West Virginia are facing financial problems.
Here are the facts:
1)As a non-profit, the senior services in Pocahontas County rely on reimbursement for their meal services, but the amount paid on each meal hasn’t been raised in 14 years – in that time, the cost of serving meals in Pocahontas County has risen from an average of $3,900 per month to almost $6,000. To compensate, they have a formula for a suggested donation to the center based on a senior’s income, but some can’t contribute and the center has taken to relying on fundraisers to help supplement the Meals on Wheels Program.
2)In the past, the Governor’s Partnership Grant has allotted funds to senior services in every county. Pocahontas received an average of $15,000 per year for things like repairs to transport vehicles and facilities. Last year, that line item was moved over to the Medicaid waiver program. The Pocahontas County Senior Program, which often can’t compete with private companies who actively seek out Medicaid waiver recipients, doesn’t see much of that funding anymore.
3)In January, 2016, the increase in minimum wage goes into effect. Because of this, the Pocahontas County Senior budget will increase approximately $24,000 for the year 2016. No extra funding has been budgeted for that extra cost to the Senior Program. In July 2015, the first increase in the minimum wage took effect. This cost the Pocahontas County Senior Program approximately $10,000. No money was allotted to cover this either
4)In 2015, there was no money to do repairs on our equipment or buildings.
The Hillsboro, Marlinton and Green Bank Senior Programs have been doing fundraisers all year just to keep going. These fundraisers were done with employees volunteering on weekends, and we thank them.
To express your concern about the senior program in Pocahontas County, please write or call: Honorable Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, State Capitol, 1900 Kana-wha Blvd., East, Charleston, WV 25305 and Commissioner of the Bureau of Senior Programs Robert E. Roswall, State Capital, 1900 Kanawha Blvd., East, Charleston, WV 25305. Phone 204-558-2241.

Tony Byrd
Vice President
Pocahontas County
Senior Citizen Board
Green Bank

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