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BREAKING NEWS

Country Roads, Take Me Home

Have you heard the story about the three men sitting on a sturdy, oak bench near the gates of heaven? One guy is pecking away on a typewriter keyboard (no power outlets available). One fellow is rummaging through an old toolbox and the third man is playing a fiddle.

None of the men appears to be too concerned about their impending future as they continue their earthly tasks. When St. Peter steps out in front of the threesome, he appears amused and pleased.

He clears his throat and speaks to one of the men.

He tells the guy with the toolbox that a man’s hands tell a lot about his character. This man’s hands were those of a working man, a man who was always tinkering about, fixing something for someone. St. Peter said he knows this man, James Compston, as a family man, a veteran and a hero to his family. Without hesitation, the gates of heaven swung open and ushered “Jim” inside.

With that, the man on the typewriter stopped typing. Bob Kelly knew a good story when he heard one because he already had a God-given talent for news and writing. His enterprising work over the years endeared him to his readers and his personal columns could make the bad guys cringe and the good guys weep. He was a master at what he did. He didn’t need a green sportscoat to let people know that.

St. Peter said he heard a lot of good things about Bob, how he nurtured young writers and furthered the careers of many reporters. St. Peter told Bob to pick up his papers and showed him the way beyond the gates. With a nod, a broad smile and that casual stroll, Bob walked into heaven.

When St. Peter looked to the last man on the bench, the fiddle became silent. Robert Byrd knew protocol and sat pensively while St. Peter took the floor. St. Peter then seated himself on the bench alongside the great senator from West Virginia. The senator asked if St. Peter had any requests … did he need anything? Robert showed the saint his copy of the U.S. Constitution which he kept in the breast pocket of his suit jacket.

St. Peter told the senator that he no longer had to put others first and that his beloved Constitution would be tested from time to time but he should not be afraid that it would falter. Robert could rest now and even play that fiddle for as long as he liked.

The senator smiled and waved to the woman waiting for him beyond the gates. St. Peter watched as the old fiddler from the Mountain State took his place in heaven.

Yes, two true Mountaineers and one Buckeye left us this past week, leaving gaping holes in history and hearts. From a simple man who lived in a small town in East Ohio to the man who never forgot his roots in Sistersville, to the man who left West Virginia with coal dust on his shoes only to find himself the longest serving senator in the U.S. Senate – all three made their mark on this earth.

Country roads on both sides of the river have taken them home. They will be missed.

Heather Ziegler can be reached via e-mail at ziegler@theintelligencer.net or at 1500 Main St., Wheeling, WV 26003.

Country Roads, Take Me Home

Have you heard the story about the three men sitting on a sturdy, oak bench near the gates of heaven? One guy is pecking away on a typewriter keyboard (no power outlets available). One fellow is rummaging through an old toolbox and the third man is playing a fiddle.

None of the men appears to be too concerned about their impending future as they continue their earthly tasks. When St. Peter steps out in front of the threesome, he appears amused and pleased.

He clears his throat and speaks to one of the men.

He tells the guy with the toolbox that a man’s hands tell a lot about his character. This man’s hands were those of a working man, a man who was always tinkering about, fixing something for someone. St. Peter said he knows this man, James Compston, as a family man, a veteran and a hero to his family. Without hesitation, the gates of heaven swung open and ushered “Jim” inside.

With that, the man on the typewriter stopped typing. Bob Kelly knew a good story when he heard one because he already had a God-given talent for news and writing. His enterprising work over the years endeared him to his readers and his personal columns could make the bad guys cringe and the good guys weep. He was a master at what he did. He didn’t need a green sportscoat to let people know that.

St. Peter said he heard a lot of good things about Bob, how he nurtured young writers and furthered the careers of many reporters. St. Peter told Bob to pick up his papers and showed him the way beyond the gates. With a nod, a broad smile and that casual stroll, Bob walked into heaven.

When St. Peter looked to the last man on the bench, the fiddle became silent. Robert Byrd knew protocol and sat pensively while St. Peter took the floor. St. Peter then seated himself on the bench alongside the great senator from West Virginia. The senator asked if St. Peter had any requests … did he need anything? Robert showed the saint his copy of the U.S. Constitution which he kept in the breast pocket of his suit jacket.

St. Peter told the senator that he no longer had to put others first and that his beloved Constitution would be tested from time to time but he should not be afraid that it would falter. Robert could rest now and even play that fiddle for as long as he liked.

The senator smiled and waved to the woman waiting for him beyond the gates. St. Peter watched as the old fiddler from the Mountain State took his place in heaven.

Yes, two true Mountaineers and one Buckeye left us this past week, leaving gaping holes in history and hearts. From a simple man who lived in a small town in East Ohio to the man who never forgot his roots in Sistersville, to the man who left West Virginia with coal dust on his shoes only to find himself the longest serving senator in the U.S. Senate – all three made their mark on this earth.

Country roads on both sides of the river have taken them home. They will be missed.

Heather Ziegler can be reached via e-mail at ziegler@theintelligencer.net or at 1500 Main St., Wheeling, WV 26003.