It was a good time for seeing Ohio Valley talent in the spotlight last week with back-to-back appearances on national television by Wheeling native and actor John Corbett and Glen Dale native and musician Brad Paisley.
Corbett had a starring role in the Hallmark Hall of Fame made-for-TV movie, "November Christmas," that aired on the CBS network Sunday, Nov. 28. In the weeper-feel good film, Corbett played a married father coping with his young daughter's childhood cancer as the holiday season approached. The mature role was a refreshing change of pace from the "swinging single" characters that Corbett portrayed in earlier films and television shows.
The next evening, Monday, Nov. 29, Paisley was one of the performers featured in the Country Music Association's Christmas show from Nashville. His appearance included the showing of an old tape of Paisley, as a boy, singing the first Christmas song he wrote. After the clip aired, one of the show's hosts quipped to Paisley that she was glad that he had "grown into" his ears. He retorted that he had looked "like a taxicab with the doors open."
Incidentally, if you missed Corbett's performance, I noticed that DVDs of "November Christmas" are being sold at Pat's Hallmark Store in the Elm Terrace Shopping Center with a sign noting that the movie features "Wheeling's own John Corbett."
Speaking of area connections, a college friend of mine did some online research and learned the identity of award-winning author Jaimy Gordon's sister who lives in the New Martinsville area. According to my friend, she is Hilry Gordon and she lives in Wallace, a small community in the eastern half of Wetzel County. The Gordon sisters' father, the late David Gordon, was a prominent lawyer in Baltimore and their mother was an artist.
Jaimy Gordon's new National Book Award-winning novel, "Lord of Misrule," is set in a fictional horse racing track, "Indian Mound Downs, downriver from Wheeling, West Virginia." The name of the author's imaginary track is, no doubt, an homage to the famous Indian Mound of Moundsville.
Another college friend, who now lives in the Eastern Panhandle, shared information that Jaimy Gordon worked as a walker at Charles Town Races in Charles Town many years ago.
Theater-goers who plan to attend the Broadway at the Capitol performance of "Grease," at the Capitol Theatre in Wheeling Wednesday, Dec. 15, have a new downtown dining option available to them.
"Bistro in the Ballroom" will be offered before the show, with a sumptuous buffet beginning at 5:30 p.m. in the renovated Capitol Theatre ballroom. Reservations are required for the fixed-price meal and can be made by calling Lisa Beck, 304-233-7000. Wine, beer and soda will be sold.
As area residents gear up for a multitude of holiday-related charitable campaigns, we've received word from Sarah Perrott, media specialist for Operation Christmas Child in the Great Lakes Region, that Wheeling residents donated 658 shoe box gifts to this year's Operation Christmas Child drive, a significant increase over last year's total of 430 shoe boxes. Perrott said, "They also collected an additional 2,547 boxes from nearby towns, for a grand total of 3,205."
Meanwhile, she said the nonprofit organization is launching a new campaign, called Build-A-Box, that will allow area residents to go online at www.samaritanspurse.org/occ and customize a shoe box gift to send to a child in need "on the other side of the globe."
Linda Comins can be reached via e-mail at: Comins@news-register.net