Learning More About Fostoria

Had the opportunity recently to meet several people for the first time as the result of attending two events in Moundsville – the 34th annual Fostoria Glass Society of American dinner meeting, and a training exercise of the 459th Engineer Company, U.S. Army Reserves.

Although I have always lived in Moundsville, thus growing up with individuals who had worked at Fostoria, I learned some additional things from Fostoria collectors who came to the convention for all parts of the United States.

As to the military exercise, which took place on the Ohio River, it proved to be very interesting. Being in the newspaper business has it’s advantages, such as been invited to events such as these.

Getting back to the Fostoria dinner, I sat down at a table with people I had never met and during our conversation – which of course pertained to that industry – I learned mainly how a person gets into collecting glassware although he or she had never worked in a glass factory.

Right off the bat I learned the dinner plate was the American pattern, which was first produced in 1915 and it was still being manufactured when Fostoria closed its doors in 1986. There were some 300 different American pattern items turned out at the plant.

Gordon Olsen of Hudson, Wis., said he inherited a piece of the American pattern and has added some 800 pieces. He said over the years he has spent considerable time reading about Fostoria ware, especially the American pattern, and when he goes to an antique shop or a flea market where the American pattern is being sold that he at times knows more about that particular pattern than the individual who is selling the item.

Olsen is a regular to the convention, and looks forward to coming yearly to renew acquaintances with friends he has come to know over the years. Olsen had good words, along with others I talked with, about the Moundsville community, describing people as being very friendly.

Another person who was at my table was Bob Lock of Custer, Wash. Lock really enjoys the conventions as he drove from his home, which is just south of the Canadian border. It took him 10 days to get here, but he hoped to “speed it up” on the way back. His plans were for a six-day journey home. Lock said he visits other shows along the way. Lock annually loans or donates items to the museum.

Those in attendance were encouraged to bring some unique pieces of glassware, and that hopefully a panel of four “experts” would have some knowledge of the items. Among the panelists was the FGSA’s newest board member, Jon Saffell of Glen Dale.

Two individuals who brought articles to be identified were at the convention for the first time. One is from South Dakota and is the other from Iowa, and both stated they were looking forward to returning next year.

Now back to the military exercise held at the Moundsville Marina. The 459th Engineer Company is comprised of two units, one being from Bridgeport, W.Va. (headquarters) and the other from New Martinsville (detachment).

After being briefed on what would take place as part of the exercise, I was asked if I would be interested in going onto the river to get a close-up of the operations.

I didn’t hesitate in saying yes although my initial thought was would I be able to get into and out of the boat, as I knew from my 32 years in the National Guard that you have to be agile, as most military vehicles require you to climb into and jump out of. None of those in charged questioned whether I could undertake this task and I was handed a life jacket and with my camera strapped around my neck, I proceeded to the boat. Most people getting onto a boat do so from a dock, but in this case there was no dock, and if I slipped in all probability I would have ended up in the Ohio River. I made it, no problem!

Once aboard I felt like I was back in the military, even if it was for only three hours.

I learned early the exercise from the river was a lot more exciting than having walked it from the river bank.

The mission consisted of retrieving sections of the Improved Ribbon Bridge (IRB) which is a floating bridge used to support river crossing operations. The exercise included connecting the bridge sections together and once this was accomplished, the boats guided the bridge back to shore to pick up additional personnel. The next step in the operation was the unhooking of the bridge sections, and having the boats, each with three soldiers, again guide the sections back to the shore where a truck was equipped to fold a section at a time and hoist it back on the vehicle.

Utilized in this particular operation were five IRB’s, which were 22-feet long, 28-feet wide, each weighing 14,000 pounds.

The operation itself was very interesting. It required teamwork from start to finish.

As to the military, like nearly everything else, it has changed since I last served 20 years ago, especially in the use of advanced electronics in communications.

Space will not enable me to go into more detail about the operation, however, hopefully in the future I will have the opportunity to write a more detailed version of this mission along with displaying photographs.

The Marshall County Fair will begin in four weeks (July 20-26), with those interested in camper spaces having until July 1 to make their requests. Forms can be found online. While the fair office will not be open on a daily basis until July 12, camper forms will be available at an outside file at the office. All livestock entries are to be sent to the fair office no later than July 12.

Along with the various events at the fair, the festival stage headliners will be John Anderson, Frankie Ballard and Jamie Lynn Spears.

Anderson has been a country music performer for 34 years. He has charted more than 40 singles on the Billboard charts, including five No. 1s. Ballard, 31, has had four singles, while Spears, 23, is the younger sister of Britney Spears.

The upcoming Dining with Diabetes program will be held at the Moundsville Pharmacy, 118 North Lafayette Ave., Moundsville, instead of the Marshall County Extension Office where previous sessions have been conducted. It is sponsored in part by Moundsville Pharmacy and the county Extension Office.

The program for those with pre-diabetes, diabetes and their families, is free and open to anyone who is in these categories.

Classes will include A1C testing provided by Moundsville Pharmacy, educational information on diabetes and demonstrations on how to prepare meals that are healthy and use less fat, salt and sugar without cutting taste. It will provide an opportunity to taste a variety of main dishes, side dishes and desserts,

Classes will be one day a week for four weeks, with a three month follow-up class. Each class being approximately two hours (6-8 p.m.).

The classes will take place Aug. 6, 13, 20 and 27, with the follow-up class on Nov. 5.

For information pertaining to the class call the Extension Office at 304-843-1170.

Don’t forget that at 6 p.m. Monday the annual Ice Cream Social will be held on the lawn of the Marshall County Courthouse, sponsored by the Marshall County Farm Bureau. The ice cream is free.

Repairs at a cost of $12,500 have been completed at the Four Seasons Pool and Fitness Center. The project will get rid of any algae and mold which might have occurred. The algae and mold are caused by the pool temperature being too hot. It is recommended that the pool be maintained at between 82 and 84 degrees.

Moundsville City Council at its last meeting made to re-appointments to two boards. Councilman David Haynes, chairman of the water board, was re-appointed, while long-time library board member David Dalzell was named to another term.