First Responders Subject of Book

Four Marshall County residents have been quite busy during the past seven months and this week their labors will be available for the public to see.

In January, Gary Rider was approached by Phil Remke, coordinator of the Ohio Valley Cost of Freedom exhibit, about the possibility of preparing a book in conjunction with this tribute which will be in Moundsville from Aug. 22-26. The book is meant to recognize local agencies and individuals who are involved with first response in the county.

Rider is a Moundsville resident, who has had published in the past two years two books dealing with Marshall County residents who have served in the military. By the way, his third book will to be available in December.

After that initial contact, Rider along with Vernon Anderson, Roseanna Dakan Keller and Kathy Kuskey Swift, agreed to put together a book featuring all the police agencies, 911 dispatchers, the Office of Emergency Service, along with data on some locals who have served in the military from World War II until the present time.

The book titled, “Service Remembered,” is 60 pages, the pages being 8 1/2 by 11 inches, and all the photographs which the staff took are in color. There are some black and white pictures, these having been taken prior to the availability of color.

Rider describes the book as a “homemade product.” He said, “There has never been a book published in Marshall County which includes all the first responders and there will probably never be another one.

“This is our contribution toward the Cost of Freedom tribute,” Rider said.

All proceeds from the sale of the book will go to help defray the cost of bringing a replica of the Vietnam Memorial and other military tributes to the Ohio Valley. The “Wall” will be located along Jefferson Avenue in Moundsville from Eighth to Tenth Streets, and the other displays will be on Eighth Street east of Jefferson, and inside the walls of the former West Virginia Penitentiary.

Rider had nothing but praise for Anderson, Keller and Swift, noting that they went into this undertaking knowing they had 60 pages to fill and had a deadline to meet. Usually in such an endeavor those in charge of putting data together have a design, but not in this case. Rider said, “Kathy did an outstanding job in designing the book, while Vernon, Roseanna, and myself collected the information and sent it to her.”

He said, “We had the opportunity the week of July 23 to see the finished product, and we are very proud of this ‘once in a lifetime’ effort.” He added, “We are honored to have the opportunity to pay tribute to the local first responders and others.”

In addition to information and photographs of each agency there are profiles of some individuals, and current rosters of the agencies.

An initial order has been placed for 500 books, and depending on how fast they sell, Hughes Xerographic of Bellaire is ready to print more.

The books will be available for purchase at the Marshall County Chamber of Commerce, Frames and Fortune, Uniquely Yours, and Remke’s, all of Jefferson Avenue, Moundsville.

Grand Vue Park has undergone many improvements in the past few years and one family that knows firsthand of the upgrades is the Vernon and Jean Rowe family who reside in West Lafayette, Ind.

The Rowe family has spent a week at GVP for the past 31 years, the most recent having taken place in late July.

The family has continued to grow and since that first year when they needed only two cabins for 21 family members, and when they come now they utilize all the housing units at the park-a total of eight. This year the four generations of Rowe’s totaled 74.

They learned of Grand Vue as three of their seven children in 1981 were living and working in West Virginia, and after the first year they decided the facility had enough to offer that they wanted to continue to spend their vacations at the Marshall County location.

In recalling some of the changes which have taken place at the park, Vernon said the biggest has been in technology.

He said, “For several years there was a telephone booth on the roadway leading to the original four cabins, and our family kept the telephone lines buzzing. They had to have, of course, plenty of loose change to make their calls.” He added, “Family members kept in contact with one another during their stay by the use of walkie-talkies.”

“Of course, now everyone has a cell phone,” Vernon said.

He further stated, “It used to be when we came to town one of the first things we did was to rent televisions as the cabins didn’t have TVs.”

“In the early days the lodging facilities did not have air conditioning, so we brought our own electric fans,” Rowe stated.

“Our family was excited to learn a couple years ago that the park had been equipped with wireless internet, which the children especially enjoy since many have laptop computers, Rowe stated.

He also pointed out that with Wi-Fi visitors to the park can use their credit cards for any admissions or purchases, and even book a reservation.

Vernon and eldest son John, who is in charge of coordinating the vacations, both remember the tennis courts, the swimming pool slide and other activities which have been replaced.

They both commended those responsible for adding three new cabins, built in the past few years, and the upgrading of the older cabins.

All the cabins in addition to the televisions, now have microwaves, and other appliances, along with full kitchens. The three new cabins each have washers and dryers.

According to the Rowe’s the older cabins are much more comfortable with not only upgraded appliances, but new beds and mattresses, and new windows.

How do the families spend their time at the park, well the youngsters especially enjoy the “new” swimming facility, the playground and the miniature golf, while the adults take part in golf, swimming miniature golf and this year they had the opportunity to “try out” the new Zip Line.

As to eating, the youngsters usually take a snack lunch to the pool, while it is the responsibility of each family to prepare one evening meal. Four of the family members were honored with birthday parties at these meals.

This year family members came from Indiana, South Carolina, New York State, Massachusetts, Illinois, Virginia, California, Florida and Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh).

Vernon Rowe, who is 88, said he and his family look forward every year to their stay at Grand Vue, and he had nothing but praise for the Park’s staff, and the Moundsville community.

Friday was Art Limann’s last day at the Journal office in Moundsville as he is returning to the Wheeling office where he again will become more involved in the photography end of the business. He has been at the Moundsville office for four years.