Ohio Valley relatives of hot new singer Lady Gaga were glued to their televisions last Sunday, Sept. 13, to watch the 23-year-old pop sensation perform and capture the best new artist award at MTV's Video Music Awards.
Lady Gaga, whose real name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, was reared in New York City. Her mother, the former Cynthia Bissett, grew up in Glen Dale and graduated from John Marshall High School in 1972.
Lady Gaga's proud maternal grandparents are Paul and Ronnie Bissett of Glen Dale. She also has a number of other relatives in the area. We're told that Lady Gaga's mom called or texted her own mother, Ronnie Bissett, from the theater during the awards show last Sunday evening.
Life is coming up "nines" for Mr. and Mrs. David Kirker of Wheeling and their family.
The Kirkers said they welcomed their ninth (9th) grandchild, Ella Mae Wheeler, on Sept. 9 (a date abbreviated as 09/09/09). Ella Mae was born at Ohio Valley Medical Center, Wheeling.
Wheeling poet and storyteller Marc Harshman has been invited to participate in "A Celebration of Appalachian Storytellers" at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 29.
Participants in the celebration are writers whose work is featured in the new "Anthology of Appalachian Writers," published earlier this year. In addition to Harshman, featured poets include West Virginia writers Eddy Pendarvis and Kathy Combiths and regional writers Jeff Mann, Karen Robbins and Justin Batton.
The storytelling event is part of the Appalachian Heritage Celebration at Shepherd. Programs on Appalachian storytelling and environmental issues are taking place on the university, Monday, Sept. 28, through Saturday, Oct. 3.
Award-winning fiction writer Silas House, 2009 Appalachian Heritage writer-in-residence at Shepherd, is participating in the week-long series of programs "to celebrate Appalachian writing and storytelling and to encourage a conversation on environmental issues and Appalachian culture and traditions," university officials said. House's keynote speech is set for 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 1, at Shepherd's Erma Byrd Hall.
Closer to home, area residents have an opportunity to hear Harshman discuss "Religious Poetry in the Modern Era" at First Presbyterian Church, 1307 Chapline St., Wheeling, at 3 p.m. today, Sept. 20. The Narthex Series lecture is free and open to the public.
Linda Comins can be reached via e-mail at: Comins@news-register.net