Library Cooking Up Fun

I wasn’t hungry when I started writing today’s column, but I may well have built up an appetite by the time I finish this edition of the Grapevine.

Laura Cramblet, director of the Bellaire Public Library, shared that the Friends of the Bellaire Public Library group wants to “cook up fun and memories.” To that end, the organization of volunteers and library supporters is compiling a cookbook.

Cramblet explained that the organizers want to receive up to 10 recipes from each contributor as well as old photographs for possible inclusion in the cookbook.

The deadline for submission of favorite recipes and vintage photos is Thursday, Oct. 31. Entries can be sent by email to or, submitted through the library’s Facebook page or delivered by regular mail to 330 32nd St., Bellaire, OH 43906.

Meanwhile, for a more exotic flavor, officials of Bethany College are inviting the public to participate in a hands-on workshop presented by Masahiro Koie, a Japanese traditional sweet maker, from 11 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 22. The free presentation will be held at Maxwell’s, located on the lower level of Phillips Hall on the Bethany campus.

Advance reservations are required and can be made by calling 304-829-7767 or sending an email message to

College officials said Koie is a chief sweet maker and an owner of Risendo, which opened in 1902 in Tokoname-city, Aichi, Japan. Koie’s grandfather is a founder of Risendo.

A Bethany spokesman related, “Koie graduated with a high honor from Tokyo Sweet Making School in 1973 and has been making traditional sweets (wagashi) for 40 years. He is an active member of the International Cultural Exchange Group in Aichi, Japan.”

The college’s annual Explore Japan event includes a presentation by Fumiyo Iwadachi, chair of the Handa-Bethany Exchange Committee, as well as the sweet- making demonstration and workshop by Koie. The event will conclude with green tea served by outreach members.

Don’t forget that two free performances of “A New Home for Liberty,” a drama about West Virginia’s formation and civil rights, will be presented at West Virginia Independence Hall, 1528 Market St., Wheeling, at 6 p.m. and at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 22. The program will feature period music and costumed characters from the Civil War era. A reception will be held after each performance.

As noted in an article published in last Sunday’s Life section, space is limited and guests are encouraged to make reservations. Reservations can be made online at or by calling the hall at 304-238-1300 during business hours. The performances are sponsored by the J.R. Clifford Project and Friends of Blackwater.

Cast members include Circuit Court judges James Mazzone and Ronald Wilson; retired judge George Spillers; Wheeling Mayor Andy McKenzie; area attorneys Pat Cassidy, Teresa Toriseva, Jerry Jacovetty, Jessica Benedict, Rick Hollandsworth, Rob McCoid, Jack Wood and Jeffrey McCamic; prosecutors James Davis (Hancock County) and Scott Smith (Ohio County) and Wheeling residents Marilyn Mendelson, Geneva Barrax and the Rev. Jeremiah Jasper.

The local cast will join West Virginia Supreme Court Senior Justice Larry Starcher of Morgantown and Fairmont State University professor Greg Hinton, who portrays J.R. Clifford, a Civil War veteran and West Virginia’s first African-American attorney.

In addition, Tom Rodd, the play’s author, will discuss the project during Lunch With Books at the Ohio County Public Library in Wheeling at noon Tuesday, Oct. 22. That session also is free and open to the public.

Linda Comins can be reached via email at: