I wrote an article for this paper on July 28 regarding the demolition of the defunct Century Limestone Company's loading tipple, storage silos, administrative and other storage buildings by the Elkins Metal Recycling Co., owned and operated by Andrew Gongola. Gongola asked that I include a warning to those that use the access road to those facilities of the inherent danger to anyone near the buildings being demolished. I failed to include his requested warning in the mentioned article.
"The area is very dangerous not only to the men working there, but to anyone who might venture near the buildings," Gongola said. "Men are working inside the old tipple dismantling the interior structures, and 60-pound to 80-pound pieces of metal are being thrown to the ground through what used to be the main loading chute. They have no way of knowing if someone may have chanced to be near or under the facility.
"We are encountering problems with people using the access road to these facilities, including the bridge that spans the Tygart River for fishing, and just plain satisfaction of their curiosity about what is taking place at the site. I ask that people please refrain from using the access road for any reason, and that everyone not associated with the dismantling of the structures not to enter the site for any reason until we are finished with the demolition of the old facilities. It is for their safety that we ask for the public's cooperation."
I came to the conclusion two weeks ago at the annual Elkins/Randolph County Chamber of Commerce golf tournament that if any group of people have more fun than golfers, it has to be another group of golfers. I have never hit a golf ball in my life, but at times like the tournament two weeks ago today, I wish I had learned at least enough to be more than a spectator. Where else can one enjoy the good company of our community's leading citizens and the charm and beauty of the land?
I would have been willing to sit as the judge at the hole-in-one competition on No. 3 all day but had to share the fun with others who helped with the many chores of seeing that the tournament went well for the enjoyment of the players. While sitting there and watching the players, I came to realize that golfers - and I suppose this applies to other sports as well - can and do take their game seriously, and at the same time, thoroughly enjoy the sport. I have to wonder though, if participants in other sports are as self-critical as golfers are.
Executive Director Ellen Spears very eloquently expressed her sincere appreciation to all those who participated in the tournament and the volunteers who helped see that it went well for the pleasure of those that played. At the conclusion of the tournament, she said, "I sincerely appreciate your participating either as a player or volunteer. By giving of your time to be here today, you have helped to provide the necessary resources by which we, as members of your chamber of commerce board of directors and staff, are able to lay the ground work for the growth of your business well into the future.
"Eleven teams participated in the tournament, only half the number of last year's event. But by any standard, it was considered a great success," Spears said.
Fiddle player Johnny Cochran from Diana joined the cast of the American Mountain Theater about four weeks ago. His music - threaded into that of the rest of the cast - adds a pleasing dimension. Constructed in the shape of a gigantic money clip, in Cochran's hands the fiddle sounds like a million bucks.
For those who haven't taken time to go see the show, you are missing an unforgettable evening of entertainment.
Those who attended Tuesday's Downtown Merchants' meeting heard more discussion on the cleanliness of downtown Elkins. Gary Schoonover continues to lead the thrust of working to find ways for merchants and the city to work together to make it more attractive. Everyone agrees that a great deal of more progress is necessary if the city is to become the tourist destination everyone wants it to be. Mayor Judy Guye heartily agreed, and is looking for ways for the city to help.
While we are talking about Schoonover and his efforts to make Elkins a better place, allow me to extend my apologies to both him and Ruth Lynn for taking Granny's Attic out of Ruth Lynn's hands and giving it to Gary. Last week I mentioned Gary's efforts in this column and said that he is the owner and operator of the business. I found out during the week that he may be the operator, but not the owner. Apparently, Gary is catching a lot of good-natured "flak" from Ruth Lynn, the real owner. He told me during the week that he is now having to pay bills that Ruth Lynn would have normally been paying. Sorry, Ruth Lynn - I now give your business back to you.
Allow me to remind everyone, especially the merchants, that they are invited to represent themselves and their business or service at the Davis & Elkins College student registration and orientation on Aug. 23. This is a prime opportunity for merchants to make the incoming class aware of the businesses and services offered in the city. According to D&E's Director of Communications Carol Schuler, each merchant who wishes to participate will have a display table on the plaza from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information, call Dr David Sneed at 637-1211.
The new skatepark will have its grand opening on Aug. 17, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Mayor Guye will be the keynote speaker. The young people who have worked so hard to make their park a reality deserve a hearty thank you for all their efforts. The also need a show of support at the grand opening.
The last "Fresh Food Friday" will be at the town square on Aug. 29. I gather from listening to conversations regarding the events they are considered a success, but could have been better. For one, there could have been more vendors.
It always takes time for something new to catch on. Should the organizers decide to have the event again next year, I suspect we will see more vendors and diners. One suggestion I heard was that it might be better if it became a weekly event. It's something to look forward to for next summer.