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Fall 2006 issue of Goldenseal magazine

Historic Tucker County jail featured in GOLDENSEAL

An article detailing the personal and family stories of those associated with the old Tucker County jail in Parsons is featured in the new issue of GOLDENSEAL magazine, now on sale. The article, titled “Tales from the Cells: Recalling the Tucker County Jail,” is written by Tom Felton, the current county sheriff.
Sheriffs and their families often lived in the jail, along with prisoners, from its construction in 1895 to its closure in the wake of the 1985 flood. The author interviews many of these former residents of the jail, recounting numerous anecdotes, both tragic—such as the fatal shooting of trooper Bruce Brown in 1977—and comic. Included are recollections from Virginia Parsons, daughter of former sheriff Fred Cooper, along with former sheriffs Jack Hockman, Jim Phillips, Mary Jane Hedrick, Darl Pine and Gary Lipscomb, all of whom still reside in the Parsons area. The building, located adjacent to the county courthouse, was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.
Also featured in this issue of GOLDENSEAL are articles about Kenova’s annual Pumpkin House Halloween displays, Cabwaylingo State Forest in Wayne County, vintage postcards from the Midland Trail, the history of the West Virginia University Mountaineer mascot and the persistence of Italian family traditions in Barbour County.
GOLDENSEAL is West Virginia’s magazine of traditional life and is published quarterly by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History in Charleston. The magazine sells for $4.95 and is available from Jim’s Allstar Foods in Parsons; Main Line Books, Kroger, IGA and Wal-Mart in Elkins, or by calling (304) 558-0220, ext. 153. It also is available online at www.wvculture.org/goldenseal.

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Townsend’s Barbershop of Summersville featured in GOLDENSEAL

Townsend’s Barbershop, a 75-year-old family business located on Main Street in Summersville, is featured in the new issue of GOLDENSEAL magazine, now on sale. The article, titled “Townsend’s Barbershop: Shave and a Haircut in Summersville,” is written by Bill Lynch of Charleston.
Founded by Earl Townsend in Webster County in 1931, the business was soon moved to Nicholas County, where it has thrived. Current owner Bob Townsend joined his father’s business in 1958 and today operates it with the assistance of son-in-law Brad Hughart and grandson Bradley Hughart. According to the article, Townsend’s Barbershop is a fixture of Summersville’s community life, as the three barbers carry on the hair-cutting traditions of the shop’s founder.
Also featured in this issue of GOLDENSEAL are articles about Kenova’s annual Pumpkin House Halloween displays, Cabwaylingo State Forest in Wayne County, vintage postcards from the Midland Trail, the history of the famous West Virginia University Mountaineer mascot, and the persistence of Italian family traditions in Barbour County.
GOLDENSEAL is West Virginia’s magazine of traditional life and is published quarterly by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History in Charleston. The magazine sells for $4.95 and is available from the Nicholas Chronicle, Wal-Mart and Food Lion, or by calling (304) 558-0220, ext. 153. It is also available online at www.wvculture.org/goldenseal.

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Barbour County Italian heritage featured in GOLDENSEAL

The Ricottilli family, the members of which carry on a mix of old-world Italian and rural West Virginia traditions, are featured in the fall issue of GOLDENSEAL magazine, now on sale. The article, titled “The Ricottillis of Barbour County: An Italian Family Carries On,” is written by Lori Marie DiBacco of Elkins. It describes the family’s history and recent reunions at their Barbour County homeplace in the Talbott community, near the borders of Upshur and Randolph counties.
The author interviews family members, including Pasquale “Patsy” Ricottilli, 75, who, along with his wife, Sally, still resides on property purchased in 1924 by his Italian immigrant parents Panfilo and Giovanna. Sisters Amelia Derico, 81, of Mt. Nebo, Lucy Palmisano, 83, of Elkins, and other Ricottilli siblings live within easy distance, facilitating frequent reunions and the preservation of family cultural traditions.
In the article, the Ricottillis recall the details of everyday life growing up on the farm, along with the music, dance, food, religion, and other features of their combined Italian and West Virginia heritage. A distinctive feature of the family’s musical heritage included playing the Italian bagpipes, known as a zampogna. This tradition is discussed in detail in an accompanying article by Gerald Milnes, titled “Bagpipes in West Virginia.”
Also featured in this issue of GOLDENSEAL are articles about Kenova’s annual Pumpkin House Halloween displays, Cabwaylingo State Forest in Wayne County, vintage postcards from the Midland Trail and the history of the West Virginia University Mountaineer mascot.
GOLDENSEAL is West Virginia’s magazine of traditional life and is published quarterly by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History in Charleston. The magazine sells for $4.95 and is available from the Bookstore in Buckhannon; Main Line Books and Wal-Mart in Elkins; Mountain Treasures, Food Fair and Ken’s Discount in Philippi; or by calling (304) 558-0220, ext. 153. It also is available online at www.wvculture.org/goldenseal.

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Kenova’s Pumpkin House featured in GOLDENSEAL

The annual Halloween display of jack-o-lanterns at a house in Kenova is featured as the cover story in the new issue of GOLDENSEAL magazine, now on sale. The article, titled “3,000 Points of Light: Kenova’s Pumpkin House,” is written by GOLDENSEAL editor John Lilly and highlights the extensive personal and community effort behind this holiday display of thousands of carved pumpkins.
As many as 10,000 sightseers visit the elaborately decorated home of local pharmacist Ric Griffith, whose house is located at 748 Beech Street in Kenova. According to the article, a complex procedure for preparing and displaying the jack-o-lanterns has developed as the annual event has grown in size since 1992 and has become a major community undertaking, including as many as 200 volunteers over a six-week period.
Under Grifffith’s design and guidance, the six-week preparation of 3,000 pumpkins is a yearly project, accomplished with the assistance of family members, such as daughter Heidi Romero and son-in-law Jorge Romero, and volunteers from the local community. Starting in mid-September, boards are laid out around the house and property as display fixtures. Tables and canopies are set up behind the house as work areas for volunteers helping with the carving. Electrical wiring, run from circuit boards set up throughout the property, provides lights to illuminate the jack-o-lanterns. A variety of unique designs are drawn on the pumpkins over a 20-plus-day period. Carving begins a week before Halloween. After holes are cut in the bottoms of the pumpkins and the insides are scooped out, jigsaws are used to follow the designs. Finally, the pumpkins are dipped in a solution to inhibit mold and dried before being mounted on displays.
Also featured in this issue of GOLDENSEAL are articles about Cabwaylingo State Forest in Wayne County, vintage postcards from the Midland Trail, a landmark barbershop in Summersville and the persistence of Italian family traditions in Barbour County.
GOLDENSEAL is West Virginia’s magazine of traditional life and is published quarterly by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History in Charleston. The magazine sells for $4.95 and is available from Griffith and Feil Pharmacy in Kenova, and Empire Books and Borders Books in Huntington, or by calling (304)558-0220, ext. 153. It also is available online at www.wvculture.org/goldenseal.

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Mountaineer mascot history featured in GOLDENSEAL

The history of the West Virginia University (WVU) sports mascot, the Mountaineer, is featured in the new issue of GOLDENSEAL magazine, now on sale. The article, titled “WVU’s Mountaineer: Mascot with a Mission,” is written by retired college professor Dan B. Fleming Jr., who was Mountaineer for the 1952-53 season while a student at WVU.
According to the author, the mascot was first created in 1927, using a costume made to resemble the stereotype of a mountain man. The article features interviews with several alumni who have served as mascot, including the late Fred Pattison (1955), the late Ed Pritchard (1964-66), Jerome Scherer (1976-77) and John Stemple (1994). The article combines oral histories with the author’s recollections and includes accounts of several humorous incidents, such as mishaps and hijinks during games with arch-rival University of Pittsburgh.
The author describes changes in the Mountaineer costume and the selection process over the years, as well as the challenges that were faced by Natalie Tennant in the 1990-91 season, when she became the first—and, so far, only—female to be named mascot. Historical and recent photographs illustrate the evolution of the Mountaineer, from its earliest incarnation to modern times.
Also featured in this issue of GOLDENSEAL are articles about Kenova’s annual Pumpkin House Halloween displays, Cabwaylingo State Forest in Wayne County, vintage postcards from the Midland Trail and the persistence of Italian family traditions in Barbour County.
GOLDENSEAL is West Virginia’s magazine of traditional life and is published quarterly by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History in Charleston. The magazine sells for $4.95 and is available from the Monongalia Arts Center at 107 High Street and from Kroger, or by calling (304)558-0220, ext. 153. It also is available online at www.wvculture.org/goldenseal.

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Ginny Painter
Deputy Commissioner/Communications Manager
West Virginia Division of Culture and History
The Cultural Center
1900 Kanawha Blvd., East
Charleston, WV  25305
Phone (304) 558-0220, ext. 120
Fax (304) 558-2779
Email ginny.painter@wvculture.org