Tamarack Lauds Artisans

A number of area artisans have been honored for their production of wares sold at Tamarack: The Best of West Virginia, the successful center spotlighting Mountain State-made products, located along Interstate 77/64 in Beckley.

The Grapevine recently noted that Wheeling potter Paul Latos was recognized as Tamarack’s top producer of pottery. Several other Northern Panhandle residents also have been honored by Tamarack officials.

Jim Sutler of Tyler County was cited as the top producer of candles. Ellie and Steve Conlon of Wetzel County were named as the top producer of toys, while Chuck and Shirley Smith, also of Wetzel County, ranked second in the production of toys.

In addition, Chuck Ryan of Marshall County was listed as the number two producer of bath and body items.

Announcement of the rankings was made during a business seminar, awards ceremony and luncheon held at Tamarack.

Top producer awards were announced for 23 media categories of products sold at Tamarack, officials said. Tamarack’s top producers represented 28 counties for sales in apparel, furniture, dried goods, fine art, glass, candles, jewelry, leather, printed paper, pottery, bath and body, music and spoken word, literary arts, seasonal, textiles, souvenir, souvenir apparel, baskets, specialty foods, toys, books and wood.

Students of history will be pleased to learn that the Upper Ohio Valley Historical Review’s issues from 1968 to 1999 are now available online. The Wheeling National Heritage Area Corp. has updated its website with an added index and past issues available as PDF files.

The index includes articles published after 1999, but those issues are not available in a digital version, officials said. To acquire a print edition of any of those issues, call Bekah Karelis, WNHAC historian and Upper Ohio Valley Historical Review editor, at 304-232-3087 for back issues.

A “big stink” is expected in Pittsburgh later this month.

Specifically, officials at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens said their legendary corpse flower – described as “one of the world’s rarest, largest and smelliest flowers” – is set to bloom in late August.

A Phipps spokesman explained, “Best known for emitting an overwhelming scent resembling that of rotting flesh, the giant, and quite beautiful, corpse flower has been both fascinating and repulsing scores of enthusiasts across the globe since 1889 – the year it was first cultivated for public garden display in England.”

Phipps’ specimen of the rare exotic bloom is named “Romero” after celebrated horror director George Romero, whose 1968 cult classic, “Night of the Living Dead,” was filmed in and around Pittsburgh. Officials quipped that the corpse flower offers “a smell to wake the dead.”

The Pittsburgh corpse flower is now on display in Phipps Conservatory’s Palm Court, where it will stay until it blooms later this month. In honor of this extremely rare spectacle, Phipps also plans to offer late-night visitation hours and festive events.

While Phipps horticulturists predict that the corpse flower “will unfurl at the end of August,” they cautioned that exact bloom times “can be very unpredictable.” Updates will be offered regularly on Phipps’ Twitter and Facebook pages. Details on bloom-time activities will be posted online at the website phipps.conservatory.org.

Linda Comins can be reached via email at: lcomins@theintelligencer. net.