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Odds and ends in a nonsocial month

With January being one of least social months of the year, I had to search my picture files to find photos I had not presented in columns before.

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The Cadiz Lions Club is getting quite skilled at flipping pancakes, with not one falling to the floor in the process. They hold pancake and sausage benefits several times a year and were busy at work in early December at the Wallace Lodge in Sally Buffalo Park. This is where a craft show was going on as well. Along with wreaths, grave blankets, Christmas figurines, holiday tea towels, jewelry, cosmetics and doggy treats were some of the tastiest cookies and candies imaginable.

Leonard Ferraro was handling the cooking of the pancakes. His wife, Dollie, was in the back mixing the batter to keep the pancakes flowing. John Tabacchi was standing at the griddle cooking the sausage patties. This has been his job for as long as I have been going to the events.

Being president of the club does not give any special privileges, as Dale Davis was cleaning tables and wiping the stickiness from the bottles of maple syrup. It’s not fun to grab a bottle of syrup and have your hand adhere due to its stickiness.

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The Mingo Lions Club has a fun Christmas dinner party each year. It is held at the home of Jeff Schuetz, and he has been known to do some of the cooking for the event. Clara Sue Milewsky had a candy jar guessing game that was won by Jim Freiling. I’m getting better at guessing. I wrote 60, and the number was 58. Usually, my guessing is way off.

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The birthday of Gen. George Armstrong Custer was celebrated Dec. 11, although his birthday was actually Dec. 5. Dave Rose, Custer Memorial Association president, does a great job of getting personalities in for the program.

This time, Rick Williams, the Custer living historian, and Kris Gunvalsen, who got interested in the 100th anniversary of the Civil War when he was in the fourth grade, provided a program titled “An Evening with Generals Custer and General William T. Sherman.”

They discussed the events of the late 1860s and 1870, leading up to the Battle of the Little Bighorn. It seems when Ulysses Grant assumed the presidency in 1869, Sherman succeeded him as commanding general of the Army, where he served from 1869 to 1883. As such, he was responsible for the U.S. Army’s engagement in the Indian Wars over the next 15 years in the western states.

Gunvlasen put his passion and knowledge of the Civil War to use as a re-enactor, helping bring history to life. He also has retraced the steps of Morgan’s Raiders at Gettysburg and in Virginia. He kept portraying Gen. Grant but heard from his audience that he looked more like Sherman, so he studied the Union commander best-known for his “March to the Sea” in 1864.

Grant and Sherman were Ohio natives and close friends. Grant was relatively quiet, though, while Sherman was more animated and claimed to know 2,000 fellow officers by name.

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I would like to look at the good things that happened in Smithfield during the year.

There was a nice Memorial Day parade with the Little League ball players dressed in their uniforms and marching in the parade. The Backwoods Gang 4-H Club marched in the parade, with some of the members wearing fashionable red, white and blue. The Plum Run Church had a float, the fire department and police force had vehicles in the event, and the American Legion Posts of Smithfield Post 396, Piney Fork Post 735 and the Jefferson County Veterans Association took part in the 21-gun salute and marched in the parade. It isn’t Macy’s Thanksgiving parade, but it was nice to see people out and interested.

Jason Kovalcik did a fine job of making the former Smithfield Locker Plant look good for his automobile restructuring business. Sabatini’s Garage was sold and now is the Ogden Performance Auto and Transmission business. Zontini’s has a place to go for pizza, salads and its new item– meatball or sausage sandwiches. In the summer, they have ice cream in many flavors of ice cream comes and soft custard that can be covered with a chocolate or strawberry coating.

It was nice to see the Christmas lights blazing on the utility poles. This is done by the men who were members of the Smithfield Lions Club until its demise after many years. They did it as members and are continuing to do so.

There was a wonderful Christmas concert by Ron Retzer at the Smithfield Presbyterian Church, sponsored by the Smithfield Church Association, and the Smithfield Fire Department spread its usual holiday cheer with a fire truck decorated with lights and music and having a jolly Santa Claus tossing popcorn balls to the children who wait on their lawns and wave and holler.

I don’t know how many years they have done this — likely the dads of some of the members now were tossing out the treats years ago. The tradition has lasted a long time.

Smithfield hasn’t had an easy time of it this year, but council and many who want to see the village succeed have been working at it. I just want you to know that it has been appreciated.

(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.)

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