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A busy week in the life of a reporter

September 16, 2012
Weirton Daily Times

"How Did That Get in My Lunchbox?," a story on where and how food gets from the farm to the school lunch program, is an American and Ohio Farm Bureau approved book regarding agriculture.

It was the theme for the Jefferson County Farm Bureau's annual meeting held at the Countryside last week. The book had illustrations by Lucia Gaggiotti and was written by Chris Butterworth.

Janene Smith, administrative assistant, had the lobby and hall decorated with signs explaining the lunch and dinner plate should be separated into four sections - half with vegetables, one fourth with protein and one fourth with a starch. There were other healthy suggestions, too.

Article Photos

Marcus Chronister received recognition for serving as the 2011-12 Jefferson County Farm Bureau president. Dave Boring was sworn in as the new president.
-- Esther McCoy

The approved books were the centerpieces on many tables, while others had cardboard lunch boxes with a gift inside as door prizes.

It was great seeing all the wonderful awards, such as that of Jeanne Roberts for recruiting 26 members to Farm Bureau, and Jamie Traczyk, Buckeye West Elementary School teacher, getting a $250 educator award for planning a beautification landscaping and gardening project with her class.

But the stunner of the evening was Michele Specht, Jefferson County Farm Bureau organization director, getting a pie in the face.

Kim Davis, state trustee, set her up for the surprise, removing her glasses and draping her in plastic. She explained how Michele said she would take a pie in the eye if the county got farmer gain. It happened, so the stage was set for the results.

Janene Smith provided the whipped cream pie, and Sherry Finney took aim and fired. I must say Michele was a good sport about it, and the county organization was the benefactor for the gain.

In regards to the membership campaign, Jeanne Roberts brought in 26 members and Sherry Matthews received the rookie award for bringing in two members. She is new to the organization.

High school graduates who are sons or daughters of Farm Bureau members receiving $500 scholarships were Ramsay Core and Faith Jancura, both of Buckeye Local High School and Matthew Sutton of Edison High School.

Dave Boring was installed as the new president by Marcus Chronister, past president who received a plaque for his outstanding work during the year.

Duayne and Monica Wetherell were recognized for their appointment to the young ag professionals committee. They will be representing the county Farm Bureau in many activities.

The present board of directors was introduced: Marcus Chronister, president; Dave Boring, vice president; Mary Ellen Grafton, secretary; and Jeanne Roberts, treasurer. Other members are John Grafton, Beverly Riddle, Shane Granatir, Sherry Finney, Ellen Swickard, Duayne Wetherell, Ramsay Core and Corky Saiter.

New action leaders are Mary Ellen Grafton, communications; Ellen Swickard, organization; Sherry Finney, public policy; Matt Somerville, center for food and animal issues; Jeanne Roberts, membership; and Duayne and Monica Wetherell, young ag professionals.

Guests introduced were Danielle Dufor, regional supervisor; Kim Davis, state trustee; and Pam Haley, women's state trustee. Dufour of Ashtabula congratulated the county on its efforts at 98 percent membership and total farmer gain membership.

Haley told how John Deere, Bob Evans Restaurants and the Farm Bureau had partnered to buy the Ohio State Fair grand champion hog to help support the Ohio youth, also telling how the organization had been busy on both the local and state level.

Local, state and national issues were presented, with all 12 policies approved. Harry Fair was in charge of the policy development results.

An election to the board of trustees and state annual meeting was held with the following winners: Austin Cable, district 1; John Grafton, district 2; Lisa Cline, district 3; Shane Granatir, Sherry Finney and Mark Clark, trustees at large; Erika Cline, youth; and Bob Morrison, Mary Ellen Grafton and Sherry Finney, delegates to 2013 annual state meeting.

Duayne Wetherell was in charge of the election.

When I think of Farm Bureau, I also think of how Ray and Lucille Piergallini were active in the organization and with the Friendship Council. Her death on Sept. 7 saddened us all.

Lamont and I visited the spacious Piergallini home for funeral visitation. Her son, Todd, showed us an album of his mom's school years, and we were in some pictures. There was a picture of our Washington, D.C., trip, with historic buildings in the background. We looked so young, innocent and happy, if not extremely sleepy at the time.

Graduation set us off down the pathway of life and some fantastic memories of all our classmates, some known since first grade and the Piney Fork group since seventh grade. Lucille was in the Piney Fork group, and I remember how apprehensive we were over students from another school coming to ours. We soon made friends, and it was like we were never apart.

Lucille was the May Day queen, and Lamont and I were in her court. The queen was required to wear white, and since she was to be married the following September, she selected a beautiful dress that she would also be married in.

Seeing the large wedding picture in their home made me realize how fast time goes by. That time seemed almost like yesterday - when the world was ours for the taking. Lucille did just that with her many endeavors and the raising of five wonderful sons. We will miss you, sweet lady.

Another event taking place this past weekend, was a memorial service for our son, Larry. More than three and a half months had passed since his dying but it was the first time we could get all family members together.

Our nephew, Travis McHugh, an evangelist from Beckley, gave the sermon and did a thought- provoking job. And we have to thank Jeff Foster many times over for going above and beyond in his service to us.

Along with the family, it was imperative that the two Tims, Buchanan and Cybulski, Larry's best fishing buddies be there. Thelma Cybulski brought a beautiful, purple aster to the ceremony. Since we are not allowed to have live plants in Holly Memorial Gardens, I intend to plant it outside our kitchen door near the patio. Then I can see it each day when I take Ozzie for a walk and think of how Larry loved flowers.

Tim Buchanan brought along a very colorful tatto on his bicep, dedicated in memory of "Bugs" McCoy, with a fish, not sure of the species, at the bottom. That is a friendship that will last forever. Bugs was Larry's nickname given by Tim, and Muskrat was Tim's.

Of all the nice days that came before, we had to choose a day when it rained for the service. But as Travis pointed out, Larry loved the rain, saying it was good fishing weather.

Mary Koos and I shared memories of Larry including the bleeding heart flower he planted for her, knowing she liked them; how he would have fish fries, with Tim and Debbie Buchanan as part of the gang, after their Canadian fishing trips; and how he was always reeling off a quote from a movie and quizzing us on which one it came from.

Larry wanted to buy a house by the water but could not find the ideal home. The location of his grave is eight rows up from a lake with a bubbling fountain in the center. Just across the lake is the mausoleum where his grandparents, Leland and Bessie are interred.

It is a place where Lamont and I can go to visit and remember all the things that were Larry.

Memories are beautiful things.

Where would we be without them?

(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

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