A challenging, inspirational trek

First, I would like to tell you about a little trek I took to shoot a very inspirational photo for Easter.

Robin Cibulka has property that looms up into a high hill near her Hounds’ Haven facility in Bradley, and atop the hill are three wooden crosses representing the crucifixion scene of long ago.

On the Thursday before Easter, when Lamont and I were passing the site, I asked him to stop the car so I could go trudging up the hill to take a picture. If you recall, there was snow on the ground that day, and I wasn’t really prepared for the steep trek up the hill as I had on my faux suede boots.

Before I was even half way up the hill, the boots had absorbed water like sponges, and each time I took a step, they were so heavy they would start to slip off.

I decided I couldn’t go any further under the circumstances, so I stood at that halfway spot and shot about four pictures. I was even amazed that a large black bird had landed on the middle cross, making it even more foreboding.

With the height of the hill and my travels only taking me halfway up, I couldn’t shoot at a good angle and couldn’t enlarge the three crosses big enough to be utilized. I fussed around about this, thinking I had let a pair of sodden boots get the better of me.

Then on Saturday, the snow had all mysteriously disappeared, and I was driving home from grocery shopping and thought I was going to try again.

This time, there was no sticky snow and the ground had even dried up somewhat. I made it to the top of the hill with an abundance of panting and puffing and noticed that Robin had wound a purple garment like Jesus wore around the middle cross. I took many shots of the inspirational site, and it is pictured here today.

I just hope that Robin had transportation that was easier than walking to get to the top of the hill when she made the trip up there.

I know that her dad, Frank Cibulka, loved to go up to that spot. There is a picnic bench there, and he could be seated and look around for miles. Maybe, he even surveyed that land at one time when Phillip Allen owned it, as he was a surveyor for Hanna Coal and Consolidation Coal for many years.

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I was pleased that the Liberty Gals and Guys 4-H Club sent me a picture of Easter baskets they made for shut-ins in the New Alexandria area. This is a very community-minded club, and they are always busy with projects, such as making Valentines for the military, cards for residents of senior care homes and other holidays.

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Continuing with Easter thoughts, I understand there was a lady who called about not finding the hard-shell marshmallow eggs that were around in earlier days.

I found some and have a bag for her at the office, so come on down.

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The Brightway Center Fun Fest at Buckeye Local High School was another place I visited before doing my grocery shopping.

Elec Simon, a graduate of Buckeye Local and member of the Broadway production of “Stomp” for nine years and a big participant in discussing bullying and having respect for people of other colors, was an important participant. He was there with his band, “Elec Simon and Friends.”

Elec holds a drum circle session with prison inmates, with 60 or 70 of them using drum sticks on buckets at the same time in a tight circle. This has included 500 to 700 inmates over the five years he has been of service.

He did the same session with 15 young people, handing many of the youngsters, teens and adults sticks and motioning to seats in front of white buckets. Two were on bongos, two on tambourines, two were pounding on rhythm instruments, and the remainder were seated in front of the buckets.

The two adults were Rudy Micker, who proved to be a worthy accompanist, and Sherry Matthews.

Ivory Williams was on for the first segment and related folktales and some of his life experiences. He has worked with the staff and youth at Brightway Center in the past.

Ivory turned out to be a fine musician as well. Elec called on him to play the tambourine, and then he was invited over to play bongos.

Ethan Turnbull, Harding Middle School student, showed off his drum lessons on the bongos. His sister, Kessler, was part of the bucket drummers, and another relative, Nadia Hawthore, played the tambourine. A brother, Xavier, joined the family at the fest.

To show that all ages were enjoying the event, there was A.J. Nocera, 1-year-old son of Josie and Joe Nocera of Steubenville. Grandma Mary Ellen Petrozzi was holding him while he was rocking to the music. His uncle, Mark Petrozzi, graduated with Simon in 1999.

There was a mixture of ages, even Betty Ferron of Dillonvale was enjoying it.

“When somebody tells you that you can’t do something, stand up and say you can” was his message, along with Simon’s respecting people of all colors, as everyone bleeds red. And respect teachers and those in authority because they are only trying to help.”

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Yes you can go back home, but this time it was to the Herald-Star as it existed on North Fourth Street, next door to the Fort Steuben Hotel in the mid-1950s.

I met my friend, Carolyn Hill, for lunch on Wednesday, and she brought along her good friend and my friend from long ago, Barb McCoy. In those days, Barb and I worked together at the paper -she in display advertising and me in accounting and working the switchboard.

We developed a close friendship and would eat in the lunch room upstairs or go off to one of the restaurants near Fourth Street or to Kresge’s 5&10 to eat lunch. This was back in the time of 5 and 10 cent glasses of Coke. Sometimes we even splurged and got the 10 cent glass.

We didn’t see each other for about 20 years so we had lots of catching up to do. I heard all about the places she and Carolyn frequent each week for fun. I know that card playing fits in with their schedules, too.

It was quite a happy lunch hour with lots of laughing. We should do that more often.

(McCoy, a resident of Smithfield, is food editor and a staff columnist for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times. She can be contacted at emccoy@heraldstaronline.com.)