Happy holidays, readers!
By now, area residents should know which new clothes fit, which toys require batteries (and which ones are broken already) and have learned how to assemble said toys and how to operate those shiny new gizmos that came in Christmas wrappings. If Santa didn't bring what you wanted, our local stores are launching after-Christmas sales today, so go out there to shop-shop-shop and continue helping the economy.
But, more importantly, I hope that our readers have realized the true meaning of the holidays and that the spirit of goodwill and peace prevails long past the start of the new year.
If you are gathering with loved ones over the holiday weekend and during this week of back-to-back holidays, family stories are likely to be shared. And, if any of those stories include recollections of your now-departed relatives' service in World War I, Sean Duffy from the Ohio County Public Library in Wheeling wants to hear from you.
Duffy, who is the coordinator of adult programming at the library, is looking for journals, letters, photographs or any other primary source information on Ohio Valley veterans of World War I for an upcoming Lunch With Books program at the library. If you have anything to share regarding family members' wartime service, call Duffy at 304-232-0244 or contact him by e-mail at lunchwithbooks @yahoo.com.
Speaking of the library, I was glad to participate in the People's University graduation in the library auditorium Wednesday evening, Dec. 15. Those of us who attended all nine sessions of the History of Wheeling course received a special certificate, prepared by Duffy and presented by course instructor Dr. David Javersak.
The ceremony included traditional "graduation music" played on Duffy's laptop computer. To cap off the festivities, Javersak and members of the People's University Class of 2010 - the first graduating class, incidentally - posed for a group photograph on the stage of the auditorium.
During the final class, Duffy announced that the second class in the People's University program of free educational opportunities for adults will be a study of world geography. Sessions will begin in the spring, after "tax season," he said.
Details, including the instructor and the schedule for classes, will be released in coming months.
Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex in Moundsville is celebrating the holiday season with a festive tree decorated with produce from the site's first Interpretive Garden.
Staff members have created a festive mood in the Delf Norona Museum by bedecking the Interpretive Garden Holiday Tree and by adorning the facility with large wreaths and garlands. For decorations, the tree features examples of the crops grown in the garden this year.
The Interpretive Garden was planted with the help of the Marshall County Master Gardeners and members of Cub Scout Pack 128 from New Martinsville. "The crops were chosen based on archaeological records and information on historic Native American gardening practices, and heirloom seeds were used. Core plants such as corn, beans and squash are represented as well as some lesser known plants," museum officials said.
They added, "Dried ears of corn, corn tassels, bean pods, sunflower seed heads, small ornamental gourds and sprigs of goosefoot are all abundant on the tree. And scattered underneath, visitors can see pumpkins, squash and gourds which also grew in the garden."
Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free.
Linda Comins can be reached via e-mail at: Comins@news-register.net