About Town

Words to power up your vocabulary:

Impecunious – poor, impoverished, miserly.

Mesmerize – enthrall, captivate.

Frugality – prudent, thrifty.

Augean stables – Hercules cleaned them up.

Morose – gloomy, sullen.

Mortify – to feel shame, injured pride.

Ribald – coarse or vulgar joking.

Cabal – small, secret group.


While details are few, I was shocked to learn of the death of my good friend, Robert L. Loughhead, former president of Weirton Steel Corp., the first president to head the ESOP company.

In his 80s, Bob passed Sept. 17 of a massive stroke.

A resident of Riva, Md., he was educated, sophisticated and cultivated. One of his passions was sailboating. And he also loved to read scientific books and periodicals.

Not long ago, he sent me a complicated article about the repercussions if the world ditched the leap second. Bob was an excellent speaker, well-read, loved baseball and football and, when giving speeches, was very meticulous regarding his vocabulary.

I valued his friendship. His son Charles, in a phone call, said he valued mine. His leadership at Weirton Steel, in my opinion, was excellent. We extend our sincere condolences to his family.


A very nice evening describes the Wine and Dine event of the Weirton Chamber of Commerce and the Business Development Corp. of the Northern Panhandle.

The upstairs of Williams Country Club was filled for the fourth such event. It was fun to graze among the tables of food and enjoy the wine while chatting with old friends. A glitzy, knock-out event, for sure!


Among the old friends I talked with was Rich Cunningham, a Steubenville resident who works in Weirton. Rich is one of the faithful, long-time contributors to Weirton United Way.

Years ago, his father operated Isaly’s on Main Street in Weirton.


During the soiree at Williams, a young lady asked me about one of the words on our recent vocabulary list. Before I could reply, she had disappeared into the crowd. If she calls me at (304) 748-8716, we’ll try to finish the conversation.


In my most recent golf outing with video guru Rick Smith, we toured Williams Country Club and, in doing so, visited parts of the course I hadn’t seen heretofore. I blamed my errant shots on a new driver being put through the test. The course won, Smith won, and it was not a good day – except for a beverage or two in the clubhouse. And now I owe my nemesis a bottle or two of Claus du Bois cabernet. Maybe I’ll get to it by the end of the year!


Overheard: “Tell me if I said something to offend you. I might be able to use it again!”


So the golf pro was advising you to keep your head down? It could be he doesn’t want you to see him laughing.

About Town

Enhance your vocabulary with these words, the last four suggested by Robert L. Loughhead, former President of Weirton Steel:

Acolyte – assistant to cleric.

Recalcitrance – defiance of authority.

Ogre – evil monster.

Eschatology – belief re death & after life.

Hedonism – doctrine emphasizing pleasure in life.

Ineffable – unable to be described in words.

Sophism – clever but flawed argument.

Many people look for words to live by. Such words can be found in various sources, such as the Bible, books, magazines, and noted speeches. Here’s a powerful quote that might motivate you to start walking or working out: “Those who do not find time for exercise will have to find time for illness. “

Here is perhaps the best poem ever composed about baseball, even better than “Slide, Kelly, Slide.” I found it in a book presented to me by John Ratkovitch, former payroll chief of Weirton Steel. The title is “Baseball’s Sad Lexicon,” by Franklin P. Adams. It’s been around a long time, but is still good.

These are the saddest of possible words:

“Tinker to Evers to Chance.”

Trio of bear cubs, and fleeter than birds,

Tinker and Evers and Chance.

Ruthlessly pricking our gonfalon bubble,

Making a Giant hit into a double –

Words that are heavy with nothing but trouble:

Tinker to Evers to Chance.

Our latest read was the 303-page history of “Grand Central,” about the iconic Manhattan railroad mainstay. Thanks to Mike Check for loan of the book.

An old bromide, but eternally true: “A speech that’s full of sparkling wit will keep its hearers grinning, provided that the end of it is close to the beginning!”

In some obscure flyer, I read that the huddle used in American football was invented at Gaulladet College, a university for the deaf in Washington, D.C., to prevent the opposing team from seeing their hand signals.

On a list of ways to be nicer, and feel good at the same time, was this: “Over-tip your waiter.” Good suggestion.

I got a big kick out of the chairman at a committee meeting the other day. He said he didn’t have an agenda, and added that an agenda is like a bra – it doesn’t add anything, but it sure does organize what you have!

A well-stated American proverb: “I shall pass this way but once, any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”

Former quarterback Jack Thayer might like this: It is said that the motto kept in the office of George Halas, late head coach of the Chicago Bears was “always go to bed a winner.”

And finally, remember this powerful thought of Cal Coolidge: “No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave.”