Golden Wedding Anniversary; Fond Memories of the Fair

Congrats, Joe and Gayle

On Friday, U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., made a brief stop at a “retirement roast” for former Project BEST Co-Chairman Tom Cerra at the Wild West Sports bar in Wheeling. Manchin presented Cerra with a copy of a statement entered in the Congressional Record in his honor.

Manchin had planned to stay longer, but his staff whisked him away early. The reason: The senator’s presence was required at a surprise 50th wedding anniversary party for him and his wife, Gayle.

Joe and Gayle Manchin were married on Aug. 5, 1967, so the gathering was a bit late. But amid the demands of Washington, one supposes you have to take your breaks when you can.

Fair Memories

The only constant in life is change.

In 2010, after being held annually in the St. Clairsville city limits for more than a century, the Belmont County Fair relocated to a new site along Roscoe Road. This site is larger and provides more of a centralized location for the fair within the county.

As the fair continues to grow at its new location, one fondly recalls memories of the prior site. As a child, the main attraction was clearly the rides. Whether this involved enjoying the adventure of a Ferris wheel, the bumper cars or the Scrambler, children were bound to enjoy the time.

As a teenager and young adult, one often enjoyed the demolition derby on Wednesday evenings. On Friday, the tradition of eating a funnel cake while watching the St. Clairsville vs. Union Local high school football game proved the highlight.

As one progressed through life, gaining the chance to interact with the numerous political candidates who attended the fair every year became the focal point.

In 2009, as the final fair at the traditional site came to close, one spent time in reflection of all the wild times at the fair.

Finally, in 2017, the longtime fair fan finally decided to give the new site a try. Though it will never replace the times he enjoyed for more than 30 years at the former site, it is never too late to start creating new memories.

Enjoy Working Under Pressure?

Plans are underway for the annual West Liberty University 48-Hour Film Festival presented by The Highlands to be held Sept. 15-17, ending with a screening and awards ceremony at Marquee Cinemas.

All currently enrolled students from West Liberty University are eligible to participate, along with students from high schools in Marshall, Ohio, and Brooke counties. Students, either solo or in teams of two or three, will be required to create a short film in just 48 hours to compete for cash prizes for the top three places. Other prizes will be awarded in a variety of categories.

This year, WLU is expanding participation to area high school students in Marshall, Ohio, and Brooke counties. But only 12 teams will be permitted to register and final submissions will be received at 7 p.m. Sept. 17 at the public screening.

Team participants, family, friends, and spectators will be admitted to the event at no cost to view and enjoy the screenings, but donations will be accepted at the door. All proceeds will be used for future WLU Film Festival projects.

Any student who is interested in participating as an individual or a team can call Thompson at 304-336-5523, email to or visit Complete rules can be found on the website.

All teams must be present at the festival kickoff on Sept. 15.

Deer Season Around the Corner

A West Virginia Hunter Education Couse will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 7 and 1-5 p.m. Oct. 8. at the Wetzel County 4-H camp in New Martinsville. This class is open to anyone 10 years of age and older. Proof of identification will be required.

Register online at Upon completion, participants will receive certification good in all 50 states.

Included in the training will be basic gun safety, information about the different types of firearms and ammunition, archery, wildlife management, shooting, tree stand safety and survival, game care and hunter responsibility.