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Organizers refine Ramps and Rails Festival schedule

March 27, 2010
By WAYNE SHEETS, Contributing Business Writer

I hope everyone read the article in the March 22 issue of The Inter-Mountain regarding the second annual Ramps and Rail Festival at the town square April 24 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. If you did, you saw all the things that's being offered at this year's festival - plenty of food with ramps, of course, and some without the smelly little delicacy, music and train rides. There have been some changes and I'd like to pass along and perhaps eliminate some of the confusion.

According to the planners, The Ginsangers will kick off the musical entertainment at 10:45 a.m. and entertain until 12:15 p.m. They will be followed at 12:30 p.m. by Mick Souter. Appalachian Jazz Project from the El Gran Sabor restaurant will round out the musical performances from 3:30 p.m. until 5 p.m.

The first train will not be leaving the depot at noon as first reported but will leave at 2 p.m. for a one-hour ride to Norton and back. The cost is $7.50 per person. Then there will be a dinner train leaving at 5 p.m. I don't have all the details on that trip but you can get all the information and make reservations by calling 877-MTN-RAIL (877-686-7245).

Registration is required of all vendors. The non-refundable fee is due no later than April 15. Food vendor fees are $50 and craft vendor's fee is $35. Checks are to be made payable to the Ramps and Rails Festival and mailed to Harold Elbon, festival chairman, 1200 Harrison Ave., Elkins, W.Va. 26241, or dropped off at that location. More information is available by calling 304-636-5358 or 304-637-4665.

Souter has over the past 25 years distinguished himself as one of West Virginia's most highly regarded and widely touring performing artists. His appearances at Tamarack, West Virginia's state parks, Snowshoe, The Cultural Center and the Greenbrier Hotel attest to the quality, range and versatility of his performances. He is also one of West Virginia's leading educational performing artists, having given more than 3,500 performances at schools, colleges, elder hostles and educational camps.

Souter performs on an impressive array of acoustic instruments including the banjo, guitar, fiddle, mandolin, dulcimer, auto harp, piano and harmonica. As he accompanies his singing on these instruments, he reaches out to encourage the audience to join in with singing, clapping and various body movement "nonsense" to "bring out the child" in everybody present.

He has appeared with nationally known headliners such as John Hartford, The Kingston Trio, Dave Mason, Dan Seals, The Dillards and many others.

The whole affair sounds like it's going to be a great day of entertainment and food.


Here's some great news about West Virginia's exposure to the national and international flying public. The state will be featured in the May 2010 issue of U.S. Airways magazine, an in-flight publication reaching an impressive 3.1 million affluent business and leisure travelers who travel on U.S. Airways to more than 230 destinations in 32 countries. After its publication, the article can be downloaded by visiting the magazine's Web site.

This special section promises to be approximately 12 to 16 pages in length devoted entirely to showcasing West Virginia for travel and relocation. Visit to view a rate card. To participate in advertising opportunities for this special issue, contact Carsten Morgan or Todd Tennyson, representatives of Pace Airline Media. (I'm not sure, but I think the deadline for advertising in this issue has come and gone. Check the above Web address to see.) You may reach them by phone or e-mail - Carsten Morgan, director, special projects, 610-438-1190,; and Todd Tennyson, Southeast sales director, 704- 900-8229,


As Dr. Gutmann rode, he replayed the day's clinic, picturing and sorting out the patients and their families - some old friends, some new referrals - all hoping for help and understanding and, for the new ones, finding the cause of their problem. One young woman's image dominated his thoughts. What had begun as a straightforward case of cerebral palsy had turned into a moving and heartrending story ... from "Flat Tire."

Her furious glare presaged her opening sally, "Look, I don't want to be here. They," she said, looking angrily at the older couple sitting silently off to one side, "made me come. They think you're going to help me but I doubt it."

I thought, how terrible for a mother to find she has unwittingly and helplessly passed on such a curse to her offspring, but besides feeling for the mother, it was also an important ethical issue for me. Who owned the information? The mother, certainly, but what about her husband and Holly? Holly's mom had confided this devastating story to me alone and I knew I had an obligation to her to keep her secret. I remembered the Hippocratic Oath and its emphasis on doctor-patient confidentiality. There was really no need for the mother or me to tell her family, since nothing would be gained medically. Some situations are better left open and unconcluded - I left it to her to decide what to do about telling her husband at some time in the future. - from "Woman in Motion"

The preceding paragraphs are taken from two of the many situations Dr. Lud Gutmann wrote about in his recently released book "The Immobile Man." Dr. Gutmann says of his career, "Challenging events in our lives shape our futures. They may take the form of psychological dramas or social pressures or physical illness or they may be genetically or environmentally induced.

"The practice of medicine involves helping patients meet those challenges both by identifying the diseases that affect them and mastering the treatments, and also by giving comfort and understanding where no treatment is possible.

"I am moved and amazed by the way my patients face trails that can change the course of their lives - right to the end. The stories in this book are about ordinary and extraordinary people. Some deserve to be given a medal for their heroism - others don't know how to earn one."

One experiences the entire gamut of emotions when reading Gutmann's book. He is a doctor from the "old school." While he is a believer in and uses all the technology and machinery of modern medicine at his disposal, he believes that listening to his patients stories provide important information in making his diagnoses. He is one of those who believe that no one knows or can know his body better than the one who has live in it for their entire life. In short, he takes time to listen to his patients. Gutmann says, "While sophisticated imagery and laboratory studies provide important information, listening is also an important part of medicine. Careful questioning about life experiences, family relationships, passions, nightmares and emotional strengths and weaknesses reveal the person behind the illness."

While this book will never receive critical acclaim, it should and is one that once opened is hard to put down. Every case brings a deeper understanding of the burdens and caring some doctors have for their patients.

Gutmann cares for his patients and teaches medical students and residents at the West Virginia University Health Sciences Center where he holds the Hazel Ruby McQuain Chair as Professor of Neurology.

The book is available from McClain Printing, P.O. Box 402, 212 Main St., Parsons, W.Va. 26287.



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