About Town

Some good words to enrich your vocabulary:

Proletariat – the working class of our society.

Bourgeois – social class with assets, capital.

Tautology – unnecessary repetition.

Eschew – avoid, shun, abstain from.

Punctiliousness – very exact with details.

Gentrification -urban renewal bringing change.

Philatelist – a collector-student of postage stamps.

When I talked with former Weirton resident Don Suray recently, the veteran golfer said he was having his left knee replaced soon. Don and his wife, Billie, relocated from Weirton to The Villages in Florida a few years back.

Years ago, as a dumb high school sophomore, I fell for the English teacher, Miss Bush. I eyed her every day as the tall, dark-haired beauty gracefully strolled down the hall with composure and aplomb, her high heels clicking on the floor.

So one night, on a school bus headed for a basketball game against a detested rival, I sat across the aisle from the coach. Luckily, it was dark, because when I told him his girlfriend Miss Bush sure had “pose,” the coach broke into laughter because of my woefully incorrect pronunciation.

I sunk way down in my seat when he replied, “You mean poise, don’t you? Ha ha ha!”

Highly embarrassed, I pledged to myself I would never again employ a word in conversation if I could not pronounce it correctly and have at least an inkling of its meaning.

After high school, I saw neither the coach nor his girlfriend again. But I never forgot that bus ride when I learned the value of a working vocabulary.

And wouldn’t you know, our team lost the game – displaying no poise at all!

Our trip to hilly Turkana Golf Course at Calcutta, Ohio was so-so. It is not one of my favorite courses. Despite practicing hard, I even lost by two strokes to my nemesis, southpaw Rick Smith, who was not on his game either.

There is not much flat land at this golf course, which makes it very difficult. On the plus side, the greens were good, the clubhouse people were nice and the price was OK.

Add Weirton Steel retiree Alex Nagy to the readership list of About Town.

“I like the list of words,” said Alex, who, at age 58 and despite an injury, is an excellent golfer.

A regular at Woodview, the Weirton resident sports a seven handicap and has a 73 to his credit.

Congratulations to Ken Cunningham, who starred in basketball and football at East Liverpool High School. Now a resident of Stow, Ohio, Ken was scheduled to enter the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Hall of Fame in Wheeling Aug. 17. I covered some of his heroics as a sports writer for the East Liverpool Review in the 1950s.

Overheard: “Where can a man over 75 find a young, good looking lady? Easy: try the bookstore under fiction.”

About Town

Expand your vocabulary with these words:

Bete Noire – a detested person.

Googol – the digit 1 followed by 100 zeros.

Proletariat – the working class.

Recompense – to repay or reward.

Sanctimonious – pretending to be pious.

Sine die – for an indefinite period.

Soliloquy – talking to one’s self.

Somnambulism – sleepwalking.

Having mentioned that drive-in theaters nationally have dwindled to a few hundred, I could have pointed out that the Hilltop Drive-In outside of Chester remains open, and there’s a flea market there on Sundays in season.

It was 1995 when I hastily plowed through James B. Lieber’s compelling book, the 349-page “Friendly Takeover,” subtitled “How an Employee Buyout Saved a Steel Town.” At a leisurely pace, I just finished reading it again. It was still absorbing, dramatic, impressive and sad! Pittsburgh lawyer-writer Lieber spent five years piecing together the story of the ESOP. The book jacket hailed “Friendly Takeover” as one of the most complete and intimate accounts of a major corporate struggle ever recorded. Then staying with the same theme, I chose to re-read Phillip Smith’s 2003 “Board Betrayal,” of 199 pages, plus appendices. It was a depressing chronology of events, to say the least.

Being an eclectic reader, my next read, or accurately reread, was “Tales and Stories of Yellow Creek,” authored by Dr. Robert W. Schilling (1878-1962) who lived in New Somerset, Ohio, which is a small community in Jefferson County. As before, the most interesting part was about Abraham Lincoln’s Feb. 14, 1861, train ride through Steubenville and then Wellsville en route to Pittsburgh.

One of my friends was showing me the damage inflicted by vandals on his beautiful new vehicle. This expensive vehicle was “keyed” from front to back on each side. Aside from full restitution of repairs, what would be a suitable punishment for such senseless vandalism? A work detail all summer, without compensation, might be appropriate.

Overheard in a local saloon: “Are you free some night soon?”

Reply: “No, but you will find me quite reasonable.”

I liked this thought: “The sole purpose of a child’s middle name is so he or she can tell when they are in trouble.” Example: “William Sylvester quit tormenting your sister or else!”

Something I hadn’t seen in print before: The first novel ever written on a typewriter was “Tom Sawyer.”

At a business where I used to work, I considered myself the heart of the organization. Imagine my distress when the boss told me I was more like the appendix!

We heard about this local guy dining at an unfamiliar restaurant. He asked the waiter what the specialty of the day was, and was told the Heimlich Maneuver.

Somewhere I read that major league baseball is a game of inches. The difference between a .250 hitter and a .300 slugger is only one more hit every 20 times up.

My favorite golf driving range on old Route 22 outside of Weirton apparently has a new operator; the new manager in my opinion is doing an excellent job.