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Press Box

By Staff | Jul 13, 2016

Just like the story in today’s Star News about the efforts of a few people to start up summer co-ed softball and summer basketball leagues, more of that is needed.

In order to get life back to the way it should be and to get people out of bad habits, it takes effort, volunteers, people working together and a desire to see things change for the better. Summer basketball used to be a big thing in the area. There were leagues in every community. The high school teams all played, and there were men’s and women’s teams.

For several years, I helped run the league in Paden City. My brother, Chester, also ran the league for a while, and then Kelly Sine took over, but soon it died out as no one was interested in helping out. This year, I have seen a lot of activity out of volunteers. Sistersville has taken the lead and all of Tyler County is right behind these efforts.

And good things are once again happening in Paden City, that started with the Save the Pool committee that brought new life to an aging and neglected Park and Pool. Using all volunteer labor, the committee got the community swimming pool back in shape, up and running.

It was a good start for a much needed new city administration. Hopefully, the community will appreciate the efforts of these hard working people and the city will once again support the Park as was intended. Parks are the life blood of every town and city in America. They are places for people to exercise, swim, relax, play ball, have family outings and just go to get a fresh breath of life. Too often today, I see people standing around looking lost, gathered together on street corners or in the middle of the street, mostly adults who show no respect for the elderly or anyone for that matter. They are loud and offensive and use foul language for all to hear, young and old including their own children. I have seen it in every local community, though it is more common in some areas.

Mostly, these are just uneducated individuals who have been brought up the wrong way and really need to have a life.

That is why it is so important to keep activities alive in small towns. Our local communities have many things for the people to participate in. Some however, just as they have always done, choose the wrong things.

Middlebourne has spent time, effort and money to build a new splash pad and I hear it’s a success.

They also have summer music on certain nights in town that are often connected to Arts Links.

New Martinsville has a host of activities to enjoy including putt-putt golf, fishing at the dam along with movies, music, festivals and more.

Sistersville and Paden City both have the beautiful pools and parks. Fairs and Festivals are right around the corner. Some are even free.

Paden City has music in the park between 7-9 p.m. every Thursday.

Concessions are available and the music is free.

As a boy growing up in Cleveland, Ohio, there was nothing I liked better than going to the park. Of course there were many including Edgewater Park and Euclid Beach, just to name a few that were within walking distance or a short drive from our house. Cleveland was at that time the eighth largest city in the country and activity was very important. It was a humming industrial town filled with opportunity. I lived on the West Side of town near the lake right off of Lorain Boulevard.

There were parks everywhere, including Municipal Park – home of the Cleveland Browns, champions of the NFL in 1964. Cleveland was also home and still is to the famed Indians. When my grandfather used to take us to the games, it cost 50 cents to get good seats. In the late 50s, the Indians had one of baseballs’ greatest players in Rocky Colavito. He was a right fielder with a strong arm and a big bat. Colavito could stand at home plate and throw the ball over the center field fence. During the 1958 season, Colavito hit 41 home runs and had a perfect fielding record. All in all, he hit 40 HRs four times and once hit four home runs in four at bats in a single game against the Baltimore Orioles.

Everyone thinks of Jim Brown when they talk about Cleveland’s championship, but that team was full of stars, they beat the Baltimore Colts 27-0 with quarterback Frank Ryan hitting Flanker Gary Collins (the most valuable player) with three touchdown passes. The Colts had the famous Don Shula as coach and the great Johnny Unitas as quarterback. Unitas had a salary of $8,000. It cost $8 for the best seats in the Championship game.

Cleveland was and still is the home to some of the greatest sport fishing in the world. Lake Erie is the warmest of the Great Lakes because it is also the most shallow and tends to freeze early. My Dad and Grandfather used to love to ice fish. Usually in early January or February, they would start fishing and that’s what we ate most of the winter. Bass, Yellow Perch and Walleye were the catch. My Grandfather knew how to do it. He would use a chisel to cut his hole and they would build a fire to stay warm. Many times I thought I would freeze to death, but I still wanted to go.

What I liked most, however, were the Industrial League sandlot fast pitch softball games. They were held in the summer along the lake front and in most other municipal parks. I would walk to the lake front parks with my big brother. We had to cross the four lanes by under pass to get there. Those were great games and some great players,. The Carling Black Label team once took on the King and his court at Euclid and won 1-0.

We were in a huge city as small children, but we had no fear. I don’t ever once remember having a problem although there were many diverse people. There was just to much good things to do! That is part of what drives my passion for parks and recreation. I hope the new Paden City administration continues to give the park priority. We have been told over the past few years that the Park Campground isn’t making any money. If that is the case, I would hope they do away with the eyesore near the restrooms and use only the real campground on the north end.

There are several organizations trying to make a difference and I applaud them all. Just to name a few-thanks to the Paden City Boosters for continuing in a tough struggle to make a better life for Paden City’s kids. Also thanks again to the Save the Pool committee.

Tyler County has taken the lead against illegal substances through the efforts of the Tyler County Prevention Coalition. The Tyler County Home Restoration Committee gets thanks for their efforts to save and restore the county home. Thanks to all the volunteers who help organize, coach, work on fields, help in the concession stands and umpire during the spring and summer little league seasons. A special thanks to the volunteer managers at Paden City Pool. Another shout out should go to all who were involved in this year’s River Sweep. It sure makes a difference along the local banks of the Ohio River. As always, the Bass Club was a huge help.

Paden City’s Save the Pool committee has a fund set up at WesBanco in Paden City for anyone interested in donating to the cause. Everyone working together can make a difference and as always, good will overcome evil. Maybe the next step will be to start cleaning up the communities and restoring them to their former beauty. It would be nice if people would once again take pride in how their property looks and how it affects the rest of the area.