There’s nothing like a good auction

Since I love auctions, being an invited guest at the Mingo Lions Club Christmas party was a great joy. I think that William Johns, who served as the auctioneer, with the help of Bill Snyder, president, for the white elephant gifts brought to the Mingo Lions Club Christmas party was getting perturbed as I seemed to be holding my hand up constantly.

The gifts were things that seemed to stand out on the shelves each time a cupboard or closet door was opened, and so they were wrapped and brought in for someone else to buy and see them stand out on their shelves. Or in the case of Jeff Schuetz, wonderful caramel corn or cotton candy that he makes especially for the bidding was offered. The money from the sale goes to the club for its various projects, and the sale brought in $46.

I also was fortunate enough to be seated by John “Wiz” Fabian who gave me some of the gifts he bought and would only be bringing back next year.

Donna Jackson, who came as the guest of John Patton of the New Cumberland Lions Club and past district governor, bid on a package that was quite heavy. He was instrumental in getting the Mingo Lions Club started as well. She opened it and found a box of microwave recipe cards that I kept looking at longingly. She finally asked if I would like to exchange my package of caramel corn for the recipes.

I dearly love caramel corn, but recipes hold a big attraction to me, so the exchange was made, and I even did a food page with some of the recipes before Christmas.

Schuetz and Sandy See were the winners of Christmas hams in a fundraising project. Jim Freiling received a present that was a hillbilly outhouse that was quite unusual.

For the covered dish, Luiggi Muscedere brought a tasty apple pie that contained wine and was covered with whipped cream. I liked it. Someone else made a corn custard, and I am interested in learning its ingredients.

Terry Sundry, a zone chairman, reported she sold Lions club pins and banner symbol patches at a recent zone meeting.

At the dinner, Snyder gave the welcome; Johns gave the invocation; and Fabian led in the pledge of allegiance to the flag. Guests introduced were Patton, Jackson, Muscedere and Lamont McCoy. The birthdays of Muscedere and Johns were discovered as well. Clara Sue Milewsky conducted a candy jar game, and Freiling was the winner, guessing the correct number. There were candy cane favors at each place setting, too.


I would like to congratulate Tomas “Spikeman” Spiker on being named the Scio Ruritan Club Citizen of the Year for 2016. If you have been to any festival or car show in Scio and other parts of Harrison County, you have heard his tunes. The DJ was even at a Smithfield Historical Society car show once, I believe.

Now retired from Carrollton High School after 30 years of teaching, he is even busier at the business of car show music that he has provided for 25 years, along with Christmas programs. Tomas, and that is the right spelling for his name, is a member of the Scio Historical Museum and Scio High School Alumni.


Like everyone in the newsroom, I was saddened and stunned at the death of our own Mark Miller, who died on Christmas Day. My knowledge of him doesn’t come from his work as it does from the bands he played in over the years.

I knew of the Lounge Lizards, with Chuck Lucas and Mark Fristick, but came to know the Inside Out group from the musicians playing at the Jefferson County Fair, the Bloomingdale Fourth of July festival and the Smithfield Apple Festival.

After one apple festival gig, as Mark called them, I invited the band to come to our house for some food, as they always played until 11 p.m., and the concession stands were closed by then.

Lamont and I were embroiled in a card game with my brother, Dale, and sister-in-law, Norma, when they came — so after eating, we all started playing cards, that is with the exception of Mark, who decided he needed a nap. He laid down on our couch and promptly fell asleep.

When it was time for the musicians to leave and he was awakened, he said, “Is it morning yet?”

Mark knew the words of just about any song. I could not remember the name or many of the words to a song by John Lennon and with just the few words I remembered he started singing “Imagine.” Another one was “Hallelujah.” And it is so ironic that on New Year’s Eve both of those songs were sung before the midnight hour fell.

Mark loved food. I would bring to the newsroom something I had baked for a food picture and Lamont wasn’t allowed to eat. I’d place it on the room divider and within several minutes, he would be drawn to the sight of food. There was a time when I was walking up the steps to the newsroom with an apple pie in my hands, and he was heading downstairs. “Whatcha got there, Esther?” he inquired. When he learned it was a pie, he turned around and came back up.

I didn’t know music, and I don’t argue politics, but Mark and I still got along in his sometimes abrupt way. He is missed at his desk that always rivaled mine in messiness. I’m sure he is playing guitar now with some of the greats that he loved.


I would like to close with these family rules that are on a plaque given to me long ago.

Family Rules:

Help each other.

Be thankful.

Know that you are loved.

Pay with hugs and kisses.

Try new things.

Be happy.

Show compassion.

Dream Big.

Respect each other.

Laugh out loud.

(McCoy, a resident of Smithfield, is a staff columnist and food editor with the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times. She can be contacted at