Family Tradition Hits 50

Summer camp has a special meaning for members of an extended Wheeling family who have gotten together for a week every year for the past 50 years.

Dr. Bernard Grubler, who is married to Rosamund Emmerth Grubler, related that the large Emmerth clan is marking 50 years of family camp this month.

The retired Wheeling dentist brought in a copy of a feature article that I wrote about the Emmerth family camp in June 1996, on the occasion of the family gathering’s 35th year at Camp Elizabeth on Big Wheeling Creek. I had been Family Editor (my former title) for only a couple of weeks when I wrote that feature 15 years ago.

As recounted in that article, the tradition began when the late Robert and Agnes Emmerth, who had owned a share in Camp Elizabeth since the 1920s, started taking their five children to the scenic spot for vacations. The annual ritual grew to include the children’s spouses, plus the Emmerths’ grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.

The week-long event included shared meals and activities such as swimming, hikes, wiener roasts, games and arts and crafts. The senior Emmerths, who died in the early 1980s, attended the family camp in the early years.

Over the years, younger members of the family slept at the camp in dormitories, tents and motorhomes. The family grew to the point that the elder members retreated to their own homes to sleep before returning to camp the next day.

In addition to marking 50 years of family camp, the Grublers, who reside in Wheeling, are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary Thursday, July 7.

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Sister Barbara McCartney, CSJ, who has been a member of the Congregation of St. Joseph community in Wheeling, is experiencing life in Peru as part of her formation program as an initially professed Sister of St. Joseph.

McCartney is spending a month with the Peruvian Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet to experience community and ministry as it is lived in Peru and to encounter life in that country.

She is profiled in the June issue of the Congregation of St. Joseph’s electronic newsletter. The article, titled ”The Dear Neighbor Around the World -Sisters Serve Internationally,” relates stories of sisters from CSJ centers in the United States who are working and serving in international settings. The newsletter includes a link to McCartney’s blog on her current experiences.

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Author Herman Groman, a former Steubenville resident who has friends in the Wheeling area, will be signing copies of his action novel, ”Pigeon Spring,” at Words & Music Bookstore at Stratford Springs in Wheeling from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, July 9.

Bookseller Alan Lestini said Groman is a retired FBI special agent and is the current director of security at large Las Vegas casino-hotel. He resides in Las Vegas with his wife.

”While in the FBI, he (Groman) specialized in working deep long-term undercover operations as an undercover agent in the areas of organized crime and narcotics,” Lestini said. ”He also served as the agent in charge of several high-profile public official corruption investigations. Later on in his FBI career, he was a team leader of one of the FBI special operations groups. The specialized group conducted surveillances of major terrorist cell groups and their associates.”

Reportedly, Groman is in negotiations with Hollywood producer-director Joseph Merhi to have ”Pigeon Spring” developed as a major motion picture.

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Congratulations are extended to Zara Zervos, 8, of Moundsville who won first place in a PBS Kids Go Write! Contest sponsored by the public television station in Morgantown. She attended an awards ceremony in Morgantown Sunday, June 26.

Her entry, ”The Zebra that Went Quack,” will be submitted for judging with the other first-place winners across the United States.

Linda Comins can be reached via e-mail at: