Short on answers

I really don’t know all the answers.

That was confirmed ever so quickly the evening of March 9 in the commons at Steubenville High School where I was a member of the Herald-Star’s team that was one of 15 participating in the Steubenville Kiwanis Club’s third-annual trivia competition.

I had missed the initial two installments of this fundraiser that the club has adopted and vowed that I would be a part of it this time around.

When it came to having the answers, I knew for sure that Jesus wept over the death of his friend Lazarus.

I knew what a gerund was as I should, given my respect for the English language.

And I knew Sandra Day O’Connor was the first female justice on the Supreme Court.

Everything else was pretty much a tossup, which didn’t make me much of an asset to my team.

It was comprised of, in addition to me; Better Half, recruited by marriage; Ross Gallabrese, executive editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times; Brooke County reporter Warren Scott; his wife, Mary, who works in the advertising department; and their daughter Jessica.

We finished in 12th place.

We had joked in the newsroom in the days leading up to the event – when more people supposed to be on our team were dropping like flies – that we would enjoy some moderate success if there were a category, for instance, devoted exclusively to “Big Valley” western trivia.

I am razzed in the office because I know what’s going to happen on any given episode of this 1960s western within the first 10 seconds of the show.

The first-place team winning $500 was named “Guess Who’s Back,” winners for the third year. They wore red T-shirts with a bullseye on the back.

Second-place honors went to the “Barnesville” team, earning them $250.

The Oak Glen “Bear-aniacs” finished third and got $100.

The judges were Peggy Pugh, Ray Agresta and Paul Brandt at the event that included a Chinese auction – I didn’t win anything – and a 50-50 drawing where the winner took home $225 – I didn’t win that either.

Other teams were Nursing Corps, Wesbanco South, Eastern Gateway Community College, T-Town, Starkdale Presbyterian Church, Franciscan University of Steubenville, the Hindman family, Steubenville High School, Library Wizards, Wesbanco North and Trinity Health System.

“It was a very successful fundraiser for Kiwanis,” said Tom Timmons, the club’s secretary-treasurer who got this fundraiser going locally, encouraged by his sister, Sue Busler of Maryville, Ill.

Busler belongs to the Maryville Kiwanis Club, a relatively small group that organizes a Trivia Night as its major annual fundraiser, but trivia competitions are extremely popular in her neck of the woods. They are held throughout the St. Louis metro area on a regular basis.

The competition involved 10 categories of questions – History 101, dogs and cats, “Day and Night,” actors’ names, board games, English, nicknames, Bible challenge, name the movie based on a line from it, and name the artist and the album name.

Not a Barkley in the bunch of it all (Trivia hint: The Barkleys were the family in “The Big Valley.”)

With the local club having the most teams participating this year, the plan is to have even more next year.

“Our goal is to get 20 teams next year,” Timmons said, noting profits from the event are used to support the club’s community and youth service projects.

Next year’s event already is on the calendar. It’s March 8, 2014.

See you there!

And in case you were wondering, “Big Valley” is set in Stockton, Calif.