Of Ruritans, sweaters, water woes

Poinsettias, Christmas carols and messages from two Ohio district Ruritan dignitaries were on the agenda for the Jefferson Ruritan Club when a Christmas dinner was held at the Hill Top Presbyterian Church. Church members cooked and served the turkey dinner.

The Rev. John Meyer, chaplain, gave the invocation and led in the singing of “America, the Beautiful.”

Don Clarke, president, gave the welcome and introduced Don Snider, Ohio district governor, and Maynard Yoh, Ohio district treasurer. Kathy Grimes presented all women guests with tiny, red or white rose corsages.

With Clarke reporting that the club was down to five members and had thoughts of disbanding, Snider and Yoh told of the benefits of Ruritans.

“There are rough times in Ruritans everywhere. I would like to advise you to hang in there and keep trying for members. The Ruritans are a big part of my life. It can be beneficial to both the community and the member,” he said.

Maynard told the group of 60 in attendance that Ruritan clubs are dedicated and improve the community, making for a stronger America. “The value of being a Ruritan member is to learn to work together, gives the community a sense of pride and is fun. There are about 60 clubs that serve in the state right now,” he said.

Clarke reported that the club had sold the concession stand on wheels used for different festivals during the summer and fall. Buster Bowman of Toronto was the buyer, and they felt this was a plus for the community as his Goucher Haunted House donated nearly $3,000 to Coat for Kids through the Halloween season tours.

Members filled supply boxes for those in need. Grimes was in charge of this project. Donations were given to organizations making requests, too.

After the talks by the Ohio officers and a discussion from the members, it was decided to keep the club going, but a plea went out for new members, as this is too much work for the small number of aging members to do alone.

Fred Ramsey was presented with the man of the year award. This is not his first such award. With his many years in the organization, he has received the honor before. He is known throughout the Ruritan district for serving as secretary for many years. His son, granddaughters and two great-grandchildren were present for his award.

There was no election of officers at the meeting, as has been conducted in the past. This will wait until the meetings start again in the early spring, Clarke noted.

Door prize drawings for red, pink or white poinsettias were held, and Patty Moorehead played the piano for the singing of carols.


I am a big fan of “The Chew” and while watching it recently, they were talking about Christmas sweaters vs. a plain top with a few sparkles for the holiday season.

“A holiday sweater can make you look 10 years older,” Carla Hall, a regular chef on the show said. “If you are a grandmother of a 10-year-old and plan to make cookies together, it is the ideal thing to wear. But don’t get hung up on black for the holidays either. It brings out the wrinkles. Keep the sequins to silver or gold, not multi-colored. That is too much color to look at,” she said.

I will wear my Christmas sweaters for the remainder of the holiday and then likely get rid of them all. Some go back as far as 1995. It is time to do something different.


There were three holiday postage stamps this season – one of Hanukkah, one of Kwanzaa and one for other Christian religions.

And if you have not mailed a holiday package to date, you need to try priority mail express at the post office. Dec. 21 was the latest day for presents to go priority mail flat rate.

This information came to me by way of our Dillonvale rural driver from the United Sates Postal Service. She is terrific, and neither rain, sleet nor snow keeps her from making her appointed rounds.


Someone else I need to thank for doing a wonderful job is Todd Roset of the Jefferson County Water Department.

Our water pressure and that of about five others on our line was running quite slow for more than a week.

We kept hearing the the county would do nothing about such problems, so my diplomatic husband called to explain that this was causing a hardship and that we did pay for the water sent through the lines. He is the calmest person I know when handling complaints.

He talked with a member of the department who was quite understanding and helpful. Within two hours, Roset, who knows our water line system, as he worked with the Smithfield Water Department in earlier years, was in front of our house digging into the leak at a tee across from our land and Petrozzi’s yard.

I had to laugh when Lamont came back to the house after telling what the problem appeared to be. “We have a devoted Steelers fan down there,” he said in a not-too-kind voice.

“How do you know that?” I asked.

“He looked at my Browns sweatshirt and said, ‘I didn’t know they made that kind of shirt anymore,'” he said.

Whoever it was, that young man made my day.


Lamont and I want to extend a happy anniversary to John and Audrey Birney on the event of their 50th wedding anniversary on Dec. 11.

I’m wondering if John stayed serious during his wedding vows. He is so happy-go-lucky and is always joking.


Some time ago, Linda Belon of Wintersville sent me a recipe that is good for anyone at this or any time of the year.

It is a recipe for a Happy Marriage but think how this pertains to all of our family, friends and those we run into along the path of life.

Recipe for a Happy Marriage

4 cups love

3 cups forgiveness

1 cup each tenderness, kindness and understanding

5 tablespoons hope

1 barrel laughter

2 cups loyalty

1 cup friendship

4 quarts faith

3 cups sunshine

To prepare, take love and loyalty and mix thoroughly with faith. Blend with a little tenderness, kindness and understanding. Add friendship and hope. Sprinkle abundantly with laughter. Bake with sunshine. Serve generous helpings daily.


Maybe you have a recipe for happiness you would like to share. I’d like to hear about it.

Here is wishing all the readers a year of health, contentment, confidence to face the battles of life and a strong faith in the one who came to Earth as a baby. We celebrate him this week, but let us do that each and every day of the year. That is part of the contentment and faith.

I wish you a holiday of joy with what you have in life and try to spread a little happiness and caring.

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