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It seemed like Calhoun County this past weekend in Canaan Valley.

The children of Otho and Leah Sturm and their spouses spent several days there, hiking, shopping and enjoying the fall colors. I was invited to join them and the fellowship was as warm as the weather.

They were at my house for brunch on Saturday. While I was putting the final touches to the meal, they were all out on the back deck. I looked out and everyone was gathered around a body on the floor! I panicked, because Carolyn and Debbie were both recovering from knee surgery. I went out, with phone in hand, prepared to call 911. To my relief, it was Debbie’s husband, Graham Living, fixing a sagging screen door. This was just the beginning of a day filled with love and fun.

Of course, the talk was mostly of memories of growing up in Calhoun. A few tales were told concerning a young Home Ec. teacher. Carolyn’s first story was about 4-H camp held at the NYA building. We slept on tables in the VoAg shop. I was teaching a class in outdoor cooking, and the project of the day was to prepare our breakfasts without using many utensils.

The students first ate orange halves, keeping the skin intact. The halves were then turned inside out and an egg was put in each and placed in the coals. While the eggs were baking, biscuit dough was prepared and strips were wrapped around a thick stick and baked over the coals. The baked bread, called Doughboys, was filled with jam. The orange and the bread were good, but the eggs were a disaster. What Carolyn did not remember was that I was sitting in a patch of poison ivy. Later, I was in the A&P store, wearing shorts, legs covered with calamine lotion, when Carl Morris walked in and spoke to me for the first time.

Carolyn was also in a group of students I took to Jackson’s Mill for an FHA conference. She remembers that we were in line at the dining hall, when I was called out for a phone call in the office. It was that same Carl Morris who had called from Glenville, so none of the neighbors would listen in. This led to our first date!

Eugene Gherke was one of the band instructors at the time. He taught with C.R. Yoho, Jesse Evans and Clinton Foster. Joe Wilt was one of his students. Eugene is married to Joanne Sturm. He taught in West Virginia, Maryland and Ohio, and had award winning bands.

Carolyn married Bill Hatfield and they lived next door to us. We attended the same church and Sunday School class. Our oldest sons were the same age. My dad interviewed Bill for his job with Hope Gas Company.

Debbie is the youngest of the group. I met her and Graham several years ago when we attended the same worship service at Blackwater Falls State Park. We have been friends for only two years, but it seems forever. It appears that she is the aunt who is always playing pranks on the rest of the family.

Richard Sturm, son of Otho and Leah, married Carolyn Meadows of Glenville. They live in Weston. After a brief conver-sation, we found a common connection. Carolyn and my sister, Marguerite Shriver, were PTA members together. Her favorite cake recipe, White Buttermilk Cake, was from my sister.

The ladies of the group went to the Old Loom Barn, while the men stayed at the house. When we returned, they had assembled my swing stand for me. They said Graham can do anything, so he was the project boss.

That evening, I went over to their place for a campfire. Debbie was frightened when she saw bright eyes through the darkness. Yes, you Calhouners know it was some deer! We sat out there for two hours while they asked about so many of you. The list included everyone from Lennie Ball to Jane Carpenter. I heard more stories about some of their escapades in younger days. I was telling my sister, Gerry, about the day and her comment was, “They must have been old!” I answered, “Wait just one minute, I was their teacher so I am older than any of them.”

Even though the three girls have lived in Delaware for several years, their hearts are still in Calhoun. The pride in their family and friends proves that “Once a Calhouner, always a Calhouner!”

This Week's Editorial:

By Helen Morris:


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