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Logan Frame will run cross
country at Fairmont State
Logan Frame signs her letter of intent to run cross country at Fairmont State University. (Standing L to R) Coach Lauri Spencer, Lynn Stalnaker, Athletic Director, Logan’s parents Amy and Jerry Frame.
By Shirley Shuman
Last Wednesday, Logan Frame signed a letter of intent to run cross country at Fairmont State University. Although Frame’s becoming a part of a college cross country team does not surprise either her coach or her teammates, it is, in a way, somewhat remarkable. Most athletes who receive an opportunity such as this have been involved in the sport three or four years of their high school careers. Frame, however, ran cross country one season.
She actually came to cross country because, after playing volleyball for three years of her high school career, she decided she “wanted to try something different.” She knew cross country coach Lauri Spencer from middle school basketball, and, she said, “I’ve always enjoyed running on my own. I tried it, and I loved it.”
She was also successful in her endeavors. “I progress throughout the season,” she said. She progressed so well that she qualified for the state cross country meet, in which she finished eleventh. During the season, she had placed in other meets, and she finished fourth in the Little Kanawha Conference Meet and second in the regional meet.
Frame attributes much of her success to Coach Spencer. “She encouraged me to try cross country, and she encouraged me through the season. She kept me going,” she said of her coach.
Her coach commented on Frame’s accomplishments. “I’ve known Logan since I was her basketball coach in middle school. She has always been a very hard worker and an excellent teammate,” Spencer said. She added, “I’m so happy that she has the opportunity to run cross country in college. She’s an inspiration to the runners on our team, and we wish her luck in her college career.”
In high school, Frame, an honor student, is a member of the National Honor Society and Quill and Scroll. She is also yearbook editor. In addition, she plays varsity basketball and varsity softball. At Fairmont, she plans a major in occupational safety organization. “I really like math and science,” she said, “and this major was one of the more interesting options.”
Global adventurer cuts path through Braxton County
Rosie Swale Pope, says she has fell in love with the people of West Virginia which has slowed her journey of Running Across America.
Many residents encountered a lady and her bright orange and white wagon on local highways this week. A number took time to meet Rosie Swale Pope, MBE, a global adventurer who is recognized as one of the world’s most courageous, gutsy women of her generation. They may have even heard one of her many fascinating stories as she transverses the Mountain State as part of her latest adventure… Run Across America.
Rosie was brought up by her grandmother in Ireland who was bedridden but showed Rosie that you can reach for the far horizons, and never to give up. Rosie trained as a journalist and wrote her first books about sailing round the world in her early days in a 30ft catamaran with her family.
At age 63, shortly after her husband died of cancer, this amazing woman felt the need to run to raise money for charities. “Following my husband’s death I felt that doing something stupid may be the most sensible thing to do with my life at the time,” she explains. And run she did… 27 marathons in 27 days; She set a World Record of being the only woman to run solo around the globe… a 21,000 mile trek. But her adventures didn’t stop there. In addition to wing walking, sailing the Atlantic Ocean by herself in a 17 foot boat and writing six books, Rosie planned her Run Across American to “raise cancer awareness, help war veterans, celebrate and help local communities.” Proclaiming, “every little step in life is a big step.”
Now at age 68 when most would be settling into retirement, Rosie left her home in Tenby England in October 2014 and flew to New York where she began her current adventure. “I went back home a couple of times for speaking engagements and public appearances so the trip didn’t really get underway in earnest until after Christmas,” Rosie explained.
She now admits that her journey has stalled in West Virginia. “I initially thought the best thing about West Virginia was your beautiful mountains. I soon realized that the true jewel of the state is the amazing and loving people. Everyone has been so extremely sweet that it is hard to leave.”
Rosie travels with her cart which she calls Lady Icebird. It serves as her sleeping quarters and shelter. Plus it contains her phone, computer and other meager belongings that accompany Rosie during her travels. “I travel pretty light. When something no longer has a use to me, I simply give it away to someone who can use it.”
Though she has some sponsors for her travels, Rosie says most of the expenses are self-financed through speaking engagements, writing contribution and book royalties. Many of her nights are spent in Icebird, but she occasionally stays at a hotel or similar establishments.
Rosie left Braxton County over the weekend, headed to Charleston, on to Lexington, Kentucky and westward. The fascinating traveler hopes to reach San Francisco, California in six months.
Of course the trip will provide material for her next book about her travels across America. Rosie says the new book will undoubtedly contain lots of stories about her encounters with the people of West Virginia. The author/adventurer says she likes the Mountain State so much that she has already planned to return next year for an extended visit.
103-Year old shares memories
Hazel Hanna and her only living son Fred.
Anyone who lives to the age of 103 will, of course, have multiple memories. However, Hazel Hanna’s memories may well rival those of others who have reached her age.
Born in Williamsburg, West Virginia, Hanna grew up in Greenbrier County. Her father was a blacksmith, and one of her favorite early memories concerns him and his work. “Daddy was a blacksmith,” she said, “and I used to help him.” She explained. “I would go out to the shop early in the morning to start his fire before I went to school. Our school was right close so I could stay with him until it was time for school to start,” she said. “After school I went right back to the blacksmith shop and stayed with him. Daddy was my friend. He was a good man,” she added.
Hanna graduated from high school and went right to work. Another of her favorite memories centers on her first job. “As soon as I graduated from high school—I was 18, I went to work at The Greenbrier. I served food to the people who came to The Greenbrier, and they were so good to us. I remember once when some of the English royalty came over here, I think to buy a horse, and they stayed at the resort. One lady was dressed all in blue, and she looked so beautiful.”
She related one memory associated with her time at The Greenbrier but totally removed from her work at the resort. “One time some of us were going to meet some people down under a flat close to where we worked. We were going to do some gambling. Others came in, strangers, so we waited awhile. But then we went on in and gambled. We had a good time,” she said.
After she left Greenbrier County, according to Hanna, she and her sister Pauline went to Washington, D.C. to work for a while. Then, she remembers moving again and working for Macy’s. Here, however, she didn’t work behind a counter. Instead, she actually modelled clothing. Tall, blonde and blue-eyed, she was a popular model, she said. “We didn’t model in the store, but if a group of women wanted to look at some dresses, they would call the store and we would meet them and model the dresses for them,” she continued. “We were even sent to other cities. Sometimes we went on airplanes, but I didn’t like that.”
Hannah’s life settled down following her marriage to Fred Hanna, with whom she had three sons—Leslie, Fred, and Tommy. Her husband was a forest ranger, whom she met in Pocahontas County after she had returned to her home state.
She told an interesting story about her wedding. “Fred asked me if I would like to go to Lewisburg to the State Fair, and I said ‘Sure.’ So we went. After we had walked around the fair and looked at stuff, he told me to go wash my face and fix my hair because he had a surprise for me.” The surprise, it turned out, was that he had arranged for a minister to marry the two of them while they were in Lewisburg. “He had the minister and is wife, and he had the license. He even bought me flowers that matched my dress,” she said. “I was surprised, but we got married.”
She and her husband ended up in Clay County, where they raised their three sons. There she became a member of the Eastern Star, to which she has belonged for 70 years.
Hazel Hanna has survived three sisters. She has one brother, Joe, who is 96 and lives in Fairmont. He called her on her recent birthday.
Mickey Priest, in whose Frametown residence Hanna now lives, had a birthday party for her on a recent Saturday. Some relatives, including her only living son, Fred, and her nephew James and his daughter, were among the guests. Several of her friends from Clay also came, along with Drs. Russ and Sally Stewart. The workers at the Hospice Center in Burnsville sent her a gift and a card signed by everyone in the office as well as the nursing staff. Priest reported that the “birthday girl” had a good time and enjoyed being the center of attention.
BCHS greenhouse to re-open
Ms. Winegardner (right) helps students perpare a ferdilizer mix for use on greenhouse plants (L to R) Katlyn Moss, Jessica Raynor, Allison Thompson, Hailey Vaughan and Ms. Winegardner.
By Shirley Shuman
Those who once depended upon the high school agriculture classes’ greenhouse for many of their vegetable and flower plans will be happy to know that the greenhouse is once more in operation.
Rebecca Winegard ener, Braxton County High vocational agriculture teacher, and her Greenhouse Production and Management students have been busy preparing to reopen the greenhouse to the public on May 8. “Mr. [Ken] Skidmore always wanted the greenhouse open, but it needed rewiring and there just wasn’t enough money to have that done,” she said. Winegardener was quick to note that it has taken many more hands than those of her and her students,
For example, the electrical teacher Brian Francisco and his students rewired the building, and Keith Greene and his construction classes “did some repair work.” Winegardener said that Superintendent David Dilley “has been really helpful as he managed to provide funds for buying materials for the rewiring and repair work.” She added, “It has definitely been an effort, not just on my part but the whole vocational department.”
The greenhouse now contains plants of several varieties. On one row, herb plants, including basil, cilantro, parsley and others are growing. Vegetable plants take up most of two rows in the center of the greenhouse. Among these are broccoli, cucumbers, onions, peppers, zucchini, and tomatoes. In another row, one finds several varieties of flower plants such as impatiens, snapdragons, and geraniums as well as hanging baskets containing petunias—and some with a combination of petunias and verbena. Some of the plants have been germinated from seeds; others came from plug trays.
“We had problems with some of our plants,” Windgardener commented. Explaining, she said, “When we first began, we had several cool nights, and we didn’t have heat in the greenhouse. As a result, some of our plants didn’t do so well.” She went on to say that most are growing well now and pointed out that the vegetable plants especially look healthy.
Funds to buy seeds, plug trays, and other necessary materials came from Vocational Department funds. Any profit will go to the Future Farmers of America.
One student from the class which manages the greenhouse, Allison Thompson, said that she has enjoyed working with the plants. Thompson, who mentioned that she has “several ag classes,” said that she helped with the tomato plants. “This is an interesting experience for me,” she said, “because I’m thinking of doing this at the Farmer’s Market outside the Senior Center after school is out .”
Winegardener emphasized the importance of the support she and her students have received not only from within the school system but also from others. “Mr. Skidmore has been a tremendous help, and so have Judy and Sterling Beane,” she said.
Those who want to visit the greenhouse on opening day, May 8, may do so between 1:00 and 4:00 p.m. that day.
By: Shirley Shuman
Grace Skidmore, one of the two students tied for salutatorian of the 2015 graduating class, leaves for the United States Air Force Academy in June as the first Braxton County High graduate to attend a military academy in many years. She was actually nominated by three members of the US Congress: then-Senator Jay Rockefeller, then-Congresswoman Shelly Moore Capito, and Senator Joe Manchin.
The daughter of Gregory and Rebecca Skidmore, she explained why she chose the Air Force Academy. “Both my parents as well as some of my grandparents were in the Air Force,” she said.
A young woman with ambitious goals, Skidmore will major in Astronomical Engineering. “I hope to work in space operations, intelligence, or as a developmental engineer after graduating,” she said. “Graduate school for further education is also a possibility,” she added.
Skidmore’s high school activities are numerous. Senior class president, she also serves as vice president of the Braxton chapter of the National Honor Society, where she started a committee of NHS members to provide peer tutors to the after-school program. She is vice president of the local FBLA chapter and is just completing a term as FBLA’s state parliamentarian. In addition, she is the editor for The Eagle, the high school yearbook. Other accomplishments include being a delegate to Rhododendron Girls’ State and attending WV Governor’s Honors Academy.
Among her many memories from high school, Skidmore gave as her favorite “friendly academic rivalry with Lindsey Keplinger and Wesley Skidmore that pushed [her] to strive to be better.” And her worst school memory? “Early mornings after studying late nights,” she said.
Choosing Mrs. Brenda Gibson as the teacher who influenced her the most, Skidmore said, “She has always been lauded as BCHS’s life-changing teacher by past Top Ten, and throughout my three years in her classes, I discovered why.” Continuing, she said, “What can I say that hasn’t already been said? She taught me more than how to write; she showed her classes the value of hard work, perseverance, and the perfect verb. She is a wonderful lady whom I am lucky to know and will dearly miss.”
Skidmore expressed thank you to many other individuals. To begin, she commented, “I would like to thank the head and neck of my support system—my parents. My siblings have also ensured that while may be alone sometimes, I am never truly lonely. I also would like to thank Mr. Charlie Toumazos for pushing me academically in math and science to find a new perspective on both. It is owed to him that I found the courage to consider STEM majors for college, and I could not be more excited about this.”
Continuing, the salutatorian paid tribute to one other individual. “Mrs. Barbara Adams, my former principal at Flatwoods Elementary school, has also been one of my best supporters ever since I moved to Braxton County, and even as I applied to the Air Force academy eight years later. I am so proud to be one of the kids from her incredible legacy of enthusiasm and compassion,” she said.
In what spare time she does have, Skidmore enjoys reading and watching documentaries on Netflix. She also likes playing ping-pong with her younger brothers. In addition, she listed “interning at Create West Virginia.”
Thanks in part to Charles Toumazos, Braxton County High chemistry and physics teacher, co-salutatorian Wesley Skidmore will pursue a degree in physics. To accomplish this, he plans to attend Wake Forest University and will do so as a Wake Forest Scholar with the merit-based scholarship program. Wesley is the son of Dan and Suzanne Skidmore.
Regarding the teacher who most influenced him, Skidmore named Toumazos. “Mr. Toumazos, my high school chemistry, calculus, and physics teacher, has influenced my life more than any other teacher,” he said. “He helped me to be confident in my abilities and ideas and revitalized my interest in math and science,” he added. As a result of this revived interest, Skidmore will pursue a degree in physics. “I hope to either double major in physics and mathematics or minor in mathematics,” he said. While attending college, he also hopes “to participate in student organizations, do research, and study abroad.”
During his high school career, the soon-to-be graduate has participated in a variety of activities. He played varsity tennis, varsity golf, and —for two years—varsity basketball. In other areas, this year he served as president of the local chapters of both National Honor Society and Future Business Leaders of America. He also was part of the WV Distinguished Scholar program.
Additionally, Skidmore has been active in different types of church-related volunteer work, disaster relief, Toys for Tots, Operation Christmas Child, tutoring and various club-related activities.
When he has spare time, Skidmore enjoys reading, watching documentaries, keeping up with current events by watching the news and reading news magazines, and learning about politics. He also likes reading science magazines. Then, too, he enjoys photography, playing tennis, volunteering, traveling, and what he termed “broadening my horizons.”
Someone as active as this young man would have many memories relating to his high school career. He chose as his favorite, however, “Mrs. Gibson’s alter ego—the grammatically correct rapper, The Big B.G. That event was quite funny.”
As far as being appreciative of what others have done for him, Skidmore has many to thank. He began by saying, “I’d like to thank my family for their incredible support and encouragement over the years,” and continued with “my friends for being so kind and helpful, my peers for pushing me to better myself, my teachers for their guidance and knowledge, and my Creator for His infinite wisdom, love and guidance in my life.”