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Another tale in the McCoy book of GPS

September 23, 2012
Weirton Daily Times

I'm sure the tales of our little troublemaker GPS are getting a bit old, but I have another story to tell.

This time it took us to a place that I thought was interesting but had Lamont a bit antsy over being held up for more than an hour.

Lamont and I talked for several years about visiting a former pastor of the Smithfield Friends Church who now resides in Beloit. Sept. 15 dawned bright and cheery, so we loaded the address into the GPS and headed out to visit with the Rev. Earl Kelbaugh.

Article Photos

Edwin and Maxine Williamson of East Springfield enjoy the picnic food.

The robotic female voice gave us an exit number, and, like lambs to the slaughter, we followed instructions that took us into Lisbon, just in time for its annual Johnny Appleseed Festival.

We took a side street detour and were immediately stopped, as the parade was just starting to pass through.

I love a parade, got out of the car and was taking pictures and waving back to all the festival queens. This included the following festival royalty: Ohio Swiss, Maple Syrup, Pumpkin, Dennison Railroad, Ohio Old Folk, First Town, Basket Festival, Sweet Corn, Center and Elk Run, Hanover Township, Trinity Playhouse, Outstanding 4-H'ers and all of the Johnny Appleseed queens, princesses and Johnny himself, tin pan hat and all.

The queens don't wave like celebrities from Jefferson County. Along with moving their hands side to side from the wrist, they add a small dip to their waving.

I enjoyed the Trinity Playhouse float. They were promoting the production, "I Do, I Do," and the bride, dressed in a lovely white dress and veil and groom in a black tuxedo, were busy swooning at each other while she sang "My Cup Runneth Over" through a microphone.

I was busy helping a little girl who was rather shy about picking up the plentiful amount of candy being thrown, so the next parade unit was in front of me before I knew it. I looked up from bending over for the candy collection and saw a familiar face, Jami Scott, inside sales representative from our Herald-Star and Weirton Daily Times advertising department. She was walking alongside the Sassy Shakers dance troupe, under the direction of her aunt, Debbie Blevins. It was such a shock to see someone I knew.

I was entranced over the trikers from the Lisbon Rail to Trail group. These three-wheeled, pedaled vehicles come in six different seat angles, where you are laying back in the seat and pedaling furiously. And to see the riders flying by in a circle and figure eight, you can see that they are traveling at a high pedal-power speed.

One gentleman, with a clown makeup and multi-colored wig, stopped to give a child candy, and I asked if it was uncomfortable to ride like that. He assured me it was the most comfortable thing in the world. I think my stomach muscles would be screaming in distress if I were positioned at any of those angles or my knees would start protesting.

We made a call to Earl, telling of our delay and ended up being an hour late for our luncheon date. I was able to get my favorite potato pancakes with applesauce, and we had a nice tour of his workshop where he has made and given away 2,052 walking sticks and decorative canes since 1995.

He said he was a minister for 42 years and tried to get people to walk straight. Now he is making canes and trying to get them to walk upright.

His work is exquisite, with the sticks from hickory, oak, locust, walnut and maple trees stripped of bark and finished with two coats of stain and two coats of varnish. No two are the same. Lamont and I now have walking sticks, mine more mini-sized to compensate for my shortness.

I attended the sixth- annual health fair presented by Diamond Drug and found that many others had the same idea to stop and have a hot dog and soft drink, then wander through the vendors before going inside to say ouch while getting a flu or pneumonia shot.

Frederick's Apple Orchard was there with a nice selection of apples; along with Buena Vista Honey Farm; Woodland Trail Mums; the MoleHill, with pumpkins and corn stalks; Stella Panagis Greek Pastries; and many health facilities, such as Anwar Eye Center, Tri-State Audiology, Schrickel Health and Wellness and information from Christian Connection Counseling Center.

Judy Owings of Prime Time was doing blood sugar screenings and blood pressure readings in the Trinity Mobile Health Unit and had health brochures to keep people in the know. She gave me a good health report, I am proud to say.

Pharmacist Joe Notarantonio was out in the midst of the activity, greeting customers and visitors, giving health advice, and I even saw him taking a few pictures. Jim Brinsky was grilling hamburgers and hot dogs. There was pasta salad, baked beans and a wide array of baked goods, as well as cold and hot drinks.

Something that we did not get to see was Maggie's soccer game last Saturday. There was a rather garbled message on our answering machine that we did not understand, finding out later that she was very excited about scoring six points.

At breakfast the morning of the game, she told her parents and brother, Jackson, she would score five goals. That little gal was really on fire - she scored six.

When we have family gatherings, we have to distinguish between Maggies. My nephew, Travis, has a 7-year-old daughter named Maggie Elizabeth, just like the 4-year-old one. I was calling them Maggie 1 and 2.

On Sunday, I get overjoyed when Lamont suggests eating out. No cooking for the day!

A lovely lady named Eva came over to our table at Lancelot's and expressed sympathy over our loss of Larry and said that although she was from Weirton that she reads my column faithfully.

I don't remember her last name but would like to call her. Eva if you are reading me today, give me a call on Monday.

This week is our celebration of apples, the 40th annual event, I think. There was a year when there was no festival, and it throws me off. The Smithfield Apple Festival actually ends today. I just hope that the weather- man has been kind with our weather. We have had such bad luck with rain and cold weather for several years.

The bed race, an event that was part of the first festival, will be at 5 p.m. today. It's a fun contest to watch. I would never want to run it.

I was a rider for the Smithfield Junior Woman's Club bed once long ago. You just jump on and ride a distance, jump off to slip on a garment - a hospital gown and scrunchy head cover then - and jump back on. The timing in getting dressed plays a big part in the final seconds of the race, though.

Pat Freeland brought back the Big Wheel race that was on the first schedule, too. It was a popular choice of toy riding equipment back in the 1970s, but there was a big search for another one this year. It is at 1 p.m.

We in Smithfield hope that you will take a jaunt out to our event. Much work is put out by just a few people to make sure that it comes off OK.

Thanks, Apple Festival Committee. Please know that I am deeply indebted to you.

(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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