It was in early spring, April 1941, I was 22 years old.
I and a couple hundred other West Virginia draftees were marching down the main street of Keyser to catch a train to a new way of life.
We didn’t know where we were going, but we know why we were going. There were three thugs in this world that were bent on taking away our freedom and our way of life.
We knew that they had to be taken down.
Thoughts were going through our heads, wondering what it would be like, or when and if we would ever get back home again. (Some of them are still there.)
“We were from the greatest generation.” Just think, that was over 72 years ago.
Those three thugs were taken down and now forgotten. But now, here we are again faced with the same fiasco, only on a smaller scale.
I’m talking about the smoking ban that was put in effect by the non-elected health department board of Mineral County.
There are five Mineral County residents that were appointed by the Mineral County commissioners to do their bidding.
So they came up with this rule called “the clean indoor air regulation” for all businesses, including all Veterans of Foreigns Wars, American Legion and Disabled American Veterans in their private club rooms and bars.
The rule was to take effect on Oct. 1 this year, but the date has since been changed to Jan. 2, 2014, so as to give everyone time to adapt to the smoking ban.
Now then, I have a couple of quotes taken from the Cumberland Times-News, Sept. 17, that were made at one of the special meetings of the Mineral County Health Department.
Quote No. 1: Board member Gerri Mason questioned how second-hand smoke would effect the non-smokers and asked Commissioner Jerry Whisner to look at both sides.
“They have a right to not be exposed to that health risk if they don’t have to be” said Mason.
Quote No. 2: “The main goal of the board of health is to look at the over all health and well-being of the community, period,” said A.J. Root, administrator with the Mineral County Health Department.
And I agree 100 percent, Mr. Mason and Mr. Root. I’m sure that the majority of the citizens of the county feel the same way, especially the citizens of Ridgeley.
So, let’s get back to the smoke deal, if the members of the board of health feel as such about smoke.
Then I invite you all to come down to the town of Ridgeley when Smokey Joe, (the nickname I gave him), the Cumberland scenic railroad, is making his run belching out the black dense smoke while he makes his run through the center of Ridgeley to the station in Cumberland.
The smoke is so heavy, black and thick you don’t only see it, you smell it and you eat it.
I have seen it so heavy and thick some days that it blocked out the sun.
When you see something like that, then you can talk about and wonder about the health of the county.
William A. Jewell
It was in early spring, April 1941, I was 22 years old.
Celebrate Earth Day every day: Reduce, reuse and recycle
April 1 marked the beginning of April Envi- ronmental Education Month in Maryland — and with Earth Day coming up on April 22, Maryland has much to celebrate.
Support Canal classrooms with tax-deductible gift
While your April 17 article (“Park Service opens Canal classrooms,” Page 1A) described this exciting program accurately, your readers may be wondering how they can help support this new educational opportunity for school children in Allegany County.
Ivan Hall story brings back memories of a unique man
I enjoyed Mike Sawyers’ Ivan Hall story. It was well written and brought back some wonderful memories of my Cumberland days and especially, an unique man.
It’s a secret
Could someone enlighten us about why not even the names of the two entities bidding on development of the Footer Dye Works building can be divulged?
A Times-News article about the bids included an explanation from a lawyer for the attorney general’s office about the need to keep the names and other information secret at this time. Despite that, the logic of not divulging at least a little more information escapes us.
What do we do about those who weren’t criminals after all?
Now that Maryland has become the 17th state to (finally) decriminalize possession of marijuana, one could say that the legislature and governor should be patted on the back for doing the right thing.
Which approach to the school makes sense?
What exactly is the long-range plan, according to the Allegany County Commissioners?
I’ve read in the Cumberland Times-News that the current County Commissioners intend to spend $9 million to construct a new high school.
H.O.G. Rally coming to Cumberland in June
Let me introduce myself. My name is Francine Kraft and I am the Maryland/Delaware State H.O.G. Rally Coordinator for 2014.
With a team of seven others, we have put together a rally for June 19-22 to be held in Cumberland.
Access to trout ponds hard for those who have trouble walking
I took my 5-year-old grandson Easton, who lives in Cumberland, to the Evitts Creek three ponds on March 31, the day it was stocked with trout.He had the joy and excitement of catching his first trout and two more. I have a Maryland fishing license and trout stamp.
Wait long enough; they will die off without being cared for
The letter to the editor of April 14 (“Military veterans have few friends in Washington, D.C.”), I am afraid, hit the nail on the head — sort of — about this next set of returning veterans.
Translations differ, but the message is eternal
This letter is in response to a recent letter titled “One cannot compromise on God’s word” (April 13 Times-News). I had previously written a letter titled “Why are compromises so difficult to achieve” (April 7).
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