Marshall Memo: It’s Been 50 Years Since ‘Fools’ Parade’ Premiered in Wheeling
Fifty years ago on June 18, 1971 there was a large turnout of Ohio Valley residents at the Court Theatre at the corner on 12th and Chapline streets in Wheeling.
This was the world premiere of “Fools’ Parade.”
Yes it’s been a half century since numerous cast members, including Jimmy Stewart, returned to the area to be a part of this historic event.
In addition to Stewart, there were other cast members present, along with dignitaries such as Gov. Arch A. Moore
Since the book “Fool’s Parade” was written by Moundsville native Davis Grubb, it was only fitting that the movie would bear the name and be filmed in Moundsville.
Probably the thing that most locals were excited about were days when they were selected to be a part of the cast and on these days it enabled them to have lunch with the stars on the grounds of the County Courthouse, or at the Trinity Episcopal Church Parish Hall which then was located at 10th Street and Lafayette Avenue.
I for one remember quite well the last day of filming that it was a day when the meals were served at Trinity, and I was last person to enter the room and it just so happened that there was a vacant seat beside who else but Jimmy Stewart.
For the premiere, it was a day at which the cinema spotlight was focused on Wheeling as a number of movie stars came back to the Ohio Valley to be met by hundreds of people. Yes, it was 50 years ago when a number of Ohio Valley residents dressed up in their finery to be a part of a parade, movie and other attractions.
It was a gala affair with an estimated 12,000 in downtown Wheeling with 850 having tickets to enter the theatre.
A new book featuring the history and people who made the U.S. Stamping Co. of Moundsville is now available.
Authors Gary Rider and Roseanna Dakan Keller, who have been writing books about those serving in the military from mainly Marshall County for the past 12 years, complied this book based upon company newsletters, newspaper articles and interviews of individuals who had worked at the facility, or had family members who worked there.
U.S. Stamping was located on the north side of 1st Street between Fostoria and Ash Avenues.
Rider said, “We decided to write this book because the history of the United States Stamping Company in Moundsville is unknown to most of the people living within Marshall County today. As a historian I also knew very little about the plant and its workings, as my mother was more closely associated with Marx Toy in Glen Dale, but she and others always spoke of the plant and using the enamelware.”
Readings throughout the book indicated that the workforce was well-knit, one of the factors being that the workers were involved in things together, especially sporting events.
The plant made porcelain products and its ware was sold internationally.
The firm was incorporated in 1901 and began operation the following year.
In 1982 a fire destroyed the building as attempts were being made to restart production.
The annual Flag Day Observance in Moundsville will take place Monday, however, it will be somewhat different as there will not be a parade as in past years, and the location will be at the Veterans Plaza on the grounds of the Marshall County Courthouse.
This year there will a brief program, and the collection of American Flags which are unserviceable.
Persons wishing to have their flags properly disposed of can drop them off at either the American Legion Post No. 3, or Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No.437. Flags can also be dropped off at the Veterans Plaza.
The program at the Veterans Plaza will take place at 7 p.m. with the Moundsville Honor Guard in charge of the Program.
The city of Moundsville’s Arts & Culture Commission is putting together an Appalachian Heritage Cookbook, and needs some recipes from the public.
Persons interested in providing their favorite recipes that have been handed down, and representing the area, or have a story behind them can submit the recipes by email to email@example.com or mail them to arts & culture commission to 800 Sixth St., Moundsville.n n n
While on the subject of Moundsville, Mayor David Wood was the speaker at the Moundsville Lions Club meeting at this past Tuesday at which he spoke of some of the good things which are happening in the city, and pointing out that city council was able to undertake improvements as the result of a 1 cent tax which the city permitted to put in place.
However, before getting into improvements, Wood announced that First Street, the second most traveled street within the city limits, would be paved within the next few months.
Two projects which the city is undertaking, one at the East End Playground and the other the city building, were outlined by Wood.