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Elkins Sewing Center ready for mobile unit

June 20, 2009
By Wayne Sheets Contributing Business Writer

If Sue Pifer, owner of Elkins Sewing Center, appears to be excited and walking around with her head in the clouds she has good reason. Her store is one of 140 locations across the nation, and the only one in West Virginia, to be visited by the Husqvarna Viking mobile classroom-showroom on wheels called the Sew-Mobile or "The Big Red Truck." It will be at the Elkins Sewing Center on Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

This 90-foot long 18-wheeler classroom-showroom is no ordinary truck. The immaculate, big red machine expands to 20 feet wide and is the ultimate Husqvarna Viking showroom loaded with unique samples, sewing and embroidery machines and sergers ready to demonstrate and sell. A Husqvarna Viking educator will be on hand to display samples, demonstrate machine functions and answer questions.

"This is an experience that no sewer should miss," Pifer said. "The Husqvarna Viking Sewing Machine Truck tour is giving consumers the opportunity to see the amazing projects that can be done with a Husqvarna Viking sewing machine and familiarize them with the many capabilities of the machines through hands-on demonstrations."


City storeowners continue to dress up their storefronts. C.J. Maggie's, as most everyone has noticed I'm sure, installed or refurbished the awning over the entrance and placed benches outside on which to relax while waiting to be seated in the restaurant. C.J. put his creative talents to work in their construction as well. If you notice, the word Elkins is spelled out in the bracing on the sides of the benches. As our teenagers, and a lot of adults, would say, "Cool, C.J."


Last week I listed some of the motorcyclist events taken from The State Journal that will be taking place around the state this summer. Here's one that will be happening right here in "our own back yard" - the $1,000 July 4 Patriot Poker Run and Bike Show. The event is part of the Independence Day Celebration in Elkins sponsored by the Elkins-Randolph County Chamber of Commerce and the Mountain State Street Machines.

Registration for the event begins at 9:30 a.m. at the tennis court in Elkins City Park. Bikes will be out by noon and must be back at the starting point by 3 p.m. Entry fee is $10 per hand; each additional hand is $5. In addition to the $1,000 prize, there will be numerous door prizes.

Special thanks go to sponsors Mike Mullens Law Office and Beander's with appreciation for the assistance from the Mountain Chapter of the Brothers of the Wheel.

Participants may preregister through Friday by calling the ERCCC office at 304-636-2717 or by e-mail at

Volunteers are needed for this event, the Cruise-in on July 3 and for the car show July 4-5.

If you would like to lend a hand, if only for a few hours, (your help would be greatly appreciated), call the chamber office at the number listed above.


Additionally, last week I mentioned that the Cass Scenic Railroad would have one of its Shay engines operating out of the Elkins Railyard on July 7-12, but apparently the necessary arrangements and agreements could not be executed because I learned at Tuesday's Downtown Merchant's Meeting that the steamer would not be coming to town as planned. I am, as I'm sure many other railfans are as well, disappointed. I am not privy to what happened, and I guess it really doesn't matter. The sad thing is that the steamer isn't coming. Perhaps next year.


Jonathan Schaffer, Wildlife Refuge manager of the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge, has announced that the refuge will celebrate "Save the Day Canaan Valley Homecoming" on June 27. In his announcement he said, "This is a celebration of our friends, neighbors and refuge founders to gather for fellowship and to share in the wonderful story and success of Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge. There will be local music, food, special guided tours, a live snake exhibit, local crafters and an opportunity to visit with a variety of invited guests like Congressman Allan Mollohan, Chairman Emeritus of the Conservation Fund, Bob Putz, early refuge organizer Bill Ashe, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Science Director Dan Ashe and many others.

"We will be unveiling an artist's conceptual rendering of our 'Founders Overlook,' a high valley observation platform along A Frame Road to be built in 2010. We'll also cut the ribbon on a brand new handicapped accessible fishing pier on the banks of the Blackwater River built exclusively with donated funds from the Sierra Club and built by the Disabled American Veterans of America and the Friends of the 500th Canaan Valley NWR's outstanding citizen support group along with many other fun-filled activities."

The "Neighborhood Block Party," as Schaffer calls it, will get under way at 10 a.m. and conclude around 4 p.m.


Nanci Bross-Fregonara, director of marketing and communications for the Randolph County Community Arts Center, announced recently that the RCCAC in cooperation with the West Virginia Humanities Council, will host the local showing of the Smithsonian Institution's Traveling Exhibit "New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music" when it visits Elkins from July 11 through Aug. 21. Through a selection of photographs, recordings, instruments, lyrics and artist profiles, "New Harmonies" chronicles the exchange and enrichment of immigrant and native U.S. traditions that created America's robust musical environment.

Business owners and downtown residents are encouraged to display this type of memorabilia while the exhibit is here. The Arts Center will also be displaying artifacts of individuals who wish to permit the center to put their items on display, according to Bross-Fregonara. She mentioned, too, that there will be several Brown Bag Concerts while the exhibit is in town. Window displays should be up and ready for viewing by opening date of the exhibition, July 11.

Those who might have artifacts they'd like to display at the RCCAC or wish to be a part of the programs should call Stacy Lally at 304-637-2355 or e-mail

Sponsors for the event, in addition to the RCCAC, include the Augusta Heritage Center, Allegheny Insurance, Smithsonian Institution, Verizon, the West Virginia Humanities Council and the city of Elkins.


Dr. Russell S. "Russ" Sobel, editor of the popular book "Unleashing Capitalism Why Prosperity Stops at the West Virginia Border and How to Fix It" has edited a new book, "The Rule of Law." The 14-chapter book highlights needed legal reforms, particularly in the areas of judicial selection. Published by The Public Policy Foundation of West Virginia, it provides scholarly perspectives on legal and judicial reform in the state. Leading legal experts from a state and national perspective contributed to the book, not the least of which is retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

"The book was published so readers will come away with a better understanding of the need for, and issues involved with, changes to West Virginia's judicial and legal systems," Sobel said. "Once again, our main goal is to provide the research that can inform state policy decisions, and to open a much needed dialogue on growth-oriented policy reform in West Virginia."

This book sounds to me like a "must have" addition to every concerned citizen's library. It may be ordered on line at


In conclusion, here's something to think about over the weekend, if you haven't already heard. CNN announced Thursday morning that Chrysler Corp. will not be paying back $7 billion of taxpayers' bailout money they received. This proves what so many of us suspected when the money was dolled out - we, the taxpayers, are left holding the bag, an empty one.



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