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VOLUME 01 | ISSUE 13 | DEC 2019 FREE

ELK RIVER LIVING

1 YEAR

Celebrating

1 YEAR ERL SUBSCRIPTIONS

for

$24

sharing the amazing stories of the heart and spirit of the life we love on the Elk River

THANK YOU!

>>

TYREE LIGHT FESTIVAL

Kermit and Joann invite you to visit their Christmas display this season and be enchanted with the gorgeous lights.

Hand-Crafted Cards

Artisan Sheila Kay Carte transforms card stock paper and glue into beautiful, custom-made greeting cards.

A Real Tree for Christmas What says Christmas better than a fresh Christmas tree cut from own Whipkey’s Christmas Tree Farm on Cooper’s Creek.

The Magic of Trains

A Caribbean Holiday

Jan’s White Fruitcake

ERL December Hero

Make plans to enjoy the Coonskin Festival of Lights and stop by the KVRA and enjoy the train exhibit.

Whether you want the fruitcake or the cookies, Jan Cumming’s delicious recipe is an awesome holiday treat.

Customer service you deserve to insure you are spending your money (and time) wisely and getting the best deals.

This month ERL would like to remember Gary Holstein, a very special man from Elk River who gave so much of himself .

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TABLE OF CONTENTS 18

24

Making Spirits Bright

A Tyree Christmas Tradition

This year, gather up your family and visit Whipkey Christmas Tree Farm. ‘Choose and Cut’ tree farms are a great family tradition and an environmentally sound choice.

“We love sharing the joy of Christmas with our community. We love people and seeing their faces when they view the lights is just the best feeling ever.” - Joann Tyree

32

All Aboard the KVRA Museum

44 Designs From the Heart Sheila Kay Carte creates beautiful cards in her home on Aarons Fork. From gorgeous Christmas cards to a variety of special occasion cards, she has it all.

06

Welcome Back to Elk River Living!

31

A Pinch Christmas Celebration

08

Our Valued Sponsors

36

The Elk Reflects

11

Events In the Valley

49

This Month’s Reader Submission

14

Mawmaw Jan’s White Fruitcake

50

Stress Free Vacation with Christy Conley

22

Elk River Heroes: Gary Eugene Holstein

54

Elk's Journal: Craig Halloran

ELKRIVERLIVING.COM

There is something magical about trains and the Christmas season. It is a perfect time to visit the museum of the Kanawha Valley Railroad Association (KVRA), located in Coonskin Park.

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Hello & Welcome Back!

T

his month ERL is proud to share lovely stories of people in our community who give of themselves all year round. These wonderful people are the true meaning of Christmas.

Jan Cummings was selected for Special Occasion’s Angel Award. I also spent an afternoon with her while she mixed up her delicious white fruitcake cookies which is our featured recipe this month (I did the dishes just so I could eat any leftover batter still in the bowl or on the spoon). She and her sister, Pat Carnell, are two of the kindest ladies you will ever meet. We would also like to say a special thank you to Crown Catering and Knight Insurance, along with the generosity of local donations and volunteers, who served an estimated 600 people in Clendenin on Thanksgiving Day. Then we have Phil McAlister from Clendenin who just celebrated his 94th birthday with friends at Momma Payne’s Diner where he visits several times a day. It’s his home-away-from-home where he knows he can have hot meals and always find a friend or two or three or more! We also remember Gary Holstein as our Elk River Hero. He and his family were a special part of so many of our lives. His gift of service and friendship is especially remembered this month. We have Kermit and Joann Tyree who have their spectacular display of holiday lights on display for all to drive by and enjoy. There are also the Whipkeys who work year round shearing and babying their trees so that they are available to be cut and lovingly placed in our homes this holiday season. You can read about Sheila Kay Carte and her lovely handcrafted cards which are more of a treasured gift than a card. The Town of Clendenin and the Pinch Community celebrate the month of December with parades, Santa, s’mores, cookies, hot cocoa, family fun and friendship. Also, the Kanawha Valley Train Museumm located in Coonskin Park, is a lovely display and tribute to the industrial age that helped shape our community.. Take time this month to visit a little longer, eat another cookie, give an extra hug, say a special prayer, forgive and truly forget, and enjoy the beauty of the Christmas season. It’s not the hustlebustle that remains in our hearts, it’s the giving and receiving of love and happiness. Merry Christmas to all of our wonderful friends on the Elk River.

Remember, there’s no place like home...on the Elk River.

Cyndi Tawney Founder & Editor 304.546.9243 cyndi@elkriverliving.com


Editor In Chief /

Cyndi Tawney

Creative Director /

Josh Tawney

Operations Director /

Ken Tawney

E L K RIVER

Guest Photographers /

Joe Hoover & Ken Tawney

Printer /

The Printing Press Charleston, WV

LIVING

Elk River Living is published monthly by CJT Publishing, LLC, Elkview, West Virginia 25071. All rights are reserved. All contents are copyrighted by CJT Publishing, LLC; reproduction in whole or part without written permission from CJT Publishing, LLC is epxressly forbidden and punishable by law. Elk River Living is not responsible for unsolicited materials. All opinions expressed within Elk River Living belong to the feature’s author and are not necessarily the opinions of the publishers of CJT Publishing, LLC employees. Elk River Living and CJT Publishing, LLC reserve the right to refuse any idea, material or subject matter. Throughout this issue, trademarked names are used. Rather than denoting a trademark symbol in every occurrence of a trademarked name, Elk River Living uses the names in an editorial fashion, with no infringement. All trademarked names are still fully protected, and anyone who uses them without permission will be prosecuted.

On the cover: Kermit and Joann Tyree's annual Christmas decoration tradition is in full swing. Photo Credit: Joe Hoover.

This magazine depends on our advertising partners! Production, printing and mailing costs are offset by the participation of our valued local businesses. It is how we provide this service at no charge to you. Please take the time to review our Sponsors Page, and if you are in need of a product or service they provide, we ask that you give them a shot at earning your business. And let them know you saw their ad in Elk River Living!

ELKRIVERLIVING.COM

Joe Hoover

This month Joe Hoover is a contributing photographer to Elk River Living Magazine. We are thankful for Joe’s talent and love for the Elk River community. Joe is owner of Photography by Joe Hoover in the Elk Valley.

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’s

OUR LOCAL BUSINESSES ACUPUNCTURE & HOLISTIC HEALTH, INC 304.377.7892 Ripley and Charleston ALL SEASONS SELF STORAGE 304.965.7988 allseasonsselfstoragewv.com ALLEN’S LAUNDROMAT 304.548.7100 9 Main St, Clendenin APPALACHIAN AUTO REPAIR 73 Clio Road,Clendenin 304.548.5730 BECKY’S PET PARLOR 304.951.9162 Rebecca Briles & Kaitlyn Truman BILL’S USED CARS Rt 119 Elk River Road 304.548.4727 BLUE CREEK HEATING & COOLING 304.965.9148 contact Bill Ross or Roy Crist BOWEN DENTAL Chas: 304.342.0146 / Clay: 304.587.7495 contact Stacy or Gary Bowen II BRIAR PATCH FARM 304.541.4555 Clendenin, WV CANTRELL’S FLORIST 304.548.7700 7484 Elk River Rd, Clendenin CHRISTY CONLEY DESTINATION SPECIALIST christina.conley@crusieplanners.com 304.377.0803 CLENDENIN PHARMACY 304.548.5451 contact Bill or Lindsay Ore Matuszkiewicz

COOP’S CUSTOM T-SHIRTS & DESIGNS 304.552.1020 contact Andrew Cooper

ELK VALLEY PHYSICAL THERAPY 304.965.7979 contact Andi Geary, MPT

CREDE TRACTOR 304.965.1666 contact William Crede

ELITE ROOFING 304.989.4792 www.eliteroofingwv.com

CROWN CATERING 1 Main Street, Clendenin 304.548.6999

ELKVIEW INSURANCE 304.965.7033 www.whiteinsurance.com

DEAN JEFFRIES, STATE FARM 304.965.6661 85 Credes Landing, Elkview

FAZIO’S ITALIAN RESTAURANT 304.344.3071 1008 Bullitt St., Charleston, WV 25301

DR. ANGELA B. ARMSTEAD, DDS 3414 Pennsylvania Ave. 304.343.2151

GABBY’S SEWING & MORE 304.437.3739 gabbyssewingwv.com

DR. JOHN RICHARDS 4710 Chimney Dr., Ste. H 304.935.2513

GINO’S PIZZA & SPAGHETTI HOUSE 304.965-7031 Order online at ginospizza.com

EDENS BODY WORKS, INC. 102 Neville Rd, Elkview 304.965.5900

GIOVANNI’S - CLENDENIN 304.548.7002 giovannispizzapower.com

ELK FAMILY DENTISTRY 304.965.6661 contact Joey Adkins, DDS

HAFER FUNERAL HOME & MYER’S CHAPEL 304.965.3331 / 304.965.3341 haferfuneralhome.net

ELK RIVER AUTOMOTIVE 304.965.7501 contact Gary W. Pauley II ELK RIVER AUTO. SUPPLY 304.965.5312 contact Glenn Pauley ELK RIVER BOXING CLUB 681.313.6001 107 Koontz Avenue ELK RIVER CHIROPRACTIC Dr. Scott Collias 4710 Chimney Dr., Ste. D 304.965.2458

There’s no place like home!

HEADHUNTERS STYLING CO. 304.343.2049 check them out on Facebook HOLSTEIN INSURANCE 304.965.9941 holsteininsuranceagencyinc.com JEFF’S AUTO & TOWING 304.965.7525 22 Quick Rd, Pinch JETT’S AUTO AND TOWING, LLC 681.230.2508 103 Cobb Loop, Clendenin


Please

give our sponsors the opportunity to have your business.

They care a great deal about you and the

Elk River Community.

WOULD YOU LIKE TO ADVERTISE WITH ELK RIVER LIVING? PLEASE CONTACT CYNDI@ELKRIVERLIVING.COM OR 304.546.9243 OR VISIT US AT ELKRIVERLIVING.COM JETT’S CONSTRUCTION, LLC 304.565.7053 Newton, WV

MITCH’S 24 HR TOWING 304.965.6646 contact Mitch Young

SCISSORS HAIR SALON 304.965.5904 Contact Connie Barnhouse

JOHN WANNER MOSES AUTO GROUP 304.741.3404

MOLLOHAN AUTO BODY 304.437.2195 2026 Waters Edge Dr., Elkview

KAMINSKI LAW, PLLC 304.344.0444 www.kamlawwv.com

JONES AUTO 304.965.6180 jonesautotruckrepair@gmail.com

MOMMA PAYNE’S DINER 304.543.9930 14 Main St, Clendenin

SEVENTH BOUTIQUE & BEAUTY BAR 202 7th Ave, South Charleston 304.746.7717

JONES EXCAVATING 304.965.6180 jonesexcavatingofcharleston.com

MOSS TREE SERVICE LLC 304.965.8095 www.mosstreeservice.com

JULIO’S MEXICAN RESTAURANT 304.548.4625 12 Main St, Clendenin

MOUNTAINEER AUCTION 304.548.4056 contact Roger Mullins

SLEEP INN HARDINGS FAMILY RESTAURANT 800.216.0661 & 304.344.5044 sleepinncharlestonwv.com

KNIGHT INSURANCE 304.548.4726 knightinsurance@frontier.com

MT. PLEASANT BAPTIST CHURCH 304.965.7062 mpbcwv.org

KNIGHTHORST 877.474.7332 www.knighthorst.com

MURDOCK’S AUTO REPAIR MURDOCK’S PRE-OWNED AUTOS 304.548.3255 murdockspreownedautosales.com

MASTER CRAFTERS GIFT & PRIMITIVES SHOPPE 304.965.6222 Facebook: Master Crafters Gift & Primitive Shoppe MATICS FUNERAL HOME 304.548.6611 maticsfuneralhome.com MEADOWBROOK ACRES NURSING CENTER 877.474.7332 www.meadowbrookacres.net MICHAEL’S UNIQUE STYLES 304.965.3605 michaelsuniquestyles@gmail.com

ONE FOR THE BOOKS 304.552.3956 oneforthebooksllc.com PAMALA’S GIFTS & TREASURES 304.548.7100 7 Main St. Clendenin POCA VALLEY BANK 304.965.7730 pocavalleybank.com RODNEY LOFTIS & SON 95 Casdorph Rd., Charleston 304.342.8200 and on Facebook ROGERS HARDWARE 304.965.1077 Contact Bill Rogers ROLLIN SMOKE 304.437.2643 www.rollinsmokebbqribs.com

SOLID ROCK CONTRACTING 304.444.4288 contact Phil Shaffer SPECIAL OCCASIONS 304.965.5434 specialoccasionflowers.com SPENCER’S HARDWARE 304.548.6995 8290 Elk River Rd. N, Clendenin TAYLOR MADE FARMS 1484 SHELTON RD, BOMONT 304.548.7775 TUDOR’S BISCUIT WORLD 1083 Main Street Elkview Open until 7 PM starting April 1 VISION APPALACHIA 304.345.7569 Charleston, WV Xspec POWER 304.746.1139 contact Emily Canterbury

ELKRIVERLIVING.COM

MARA BOGGS ELLIS OLD COLONY REALTORS 304.541.7336/304.344.2581 maraellis.com

SMITH’S CARPET ONE SMITH’S FURNITURE & APPLIANCE 304.965.7111 & 304.965.7600 Big Chimney & Elkview, WV

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ALLEN'S LAUNDROMAT

7 DAYS A WEEK | 8AM - 8PM 9 MAIN STREET, CLENDENIN

CRE E U

Bill Ross Roy Crist 304.542.4128

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304.541.3892

for all your hvac needs

LICENSE & INSURED WV#055448

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Pamala's Gift & Treasures LLC Pamala Allen, Owner

304.548.7100 7 Main Street Clendenin, WV 25045 mon. - sat. 10am - 6pm FIND US ON FACEBOOK!

CREDE TRACTOR SALES & SERVICE

4731 PENNSYLVANIA AVE BIG CHIMNEY DECEMBER 2019

304.965.1666

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02, 09, HOOKS AND NEEDLES 16, 30 Elk Valley Library, 6:00 PM YEARS 03 GOLDEN Bingo, Prizes, Crafts, Music & Games

Clendenin Branch Library, 12 noon, Seniors

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dec. happenings

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ORNAMENT WORKSHOP All Ages, Limit 25, Register now Clendenin Branch Library JUMP INTO STORYTIME 10:30 AM Playgroup 11:00 AM Elk Valley Library JUMP INTO STORYTIME 11:00 AM Playgroup 11:30 AM Clendenin Branch Library


EVENTS

cyndi@elkriverliving.com

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FRIDAY NIGHT JAM Elk River Community Center Featuring: NO REGRETS & Bill Wymer Doors Open at 5 PM; Thrift Store 5:30 - 8:00 PM Admission $5.00; Children 12 & under free

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07

BREAKFAST WITH SANTA Momma Payne’s Diner, 8-11 AM Cookie Paint Crafts for the kids! 14 Main St., Clendenin

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07

CLENDENIN HOMETOWN CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION Light up the Town. Come decorate at 9 AM Clendenin Main Street, Gazebo and Town Hall

CLENDENIN PARADE 1:00 PM Christmas Vendors 12-6, Koontz Gym; Cookies With Santa 2 PM, Recreation Center; Christmas Tree Auction 3 PM, Koontz Gym; Carols, Cocoa Cookie, 5:30 PM, Momma Payne’s TEEN TIME: SILENT LIBRARY Elk Valley Library 6:00 PM

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HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE Clendenin Branch Library, 12 Noon, All Ages Welcome Decorate the tree, games, crafts, Santa, WV Youth Symphony, Refreshments, Door prizes

07

PINCH CHRISTMAS PARADE S’mores With Santa at PVFD, 7:00PM

08

CHILDREN'S CHRISTMAS MUSICAL DRAMA Elk Nazarene Church, 143 Dutch Rd., 10:30 AM

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FAMILY FUN: HOLIDAY TRIVIA NIGHT Elk Valley Library 5:30

10 11 11 12 12

ADULT CRAFTERNOON Holiday Ornament Workshop Elk Valley Branch Library, 1:30 PM

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HOMESCHOOL DAY All Ages, Family 12:30 PM Clendenin Branch Library

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SUPPER WITH SANTA Pictures with Santa and Rudolph 5:25-6:30 PM Bring Your Camera Hot Dog Dinner Available, Donation $6 Elk Nazarene Church, 143 Dutch Rd., 5:15 PM

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CLENDENIN LIBRARY BOOK GROUP Discussion of “News of the World” by Paulette Jiles. Copies of book available for checkout or download title from their website Clendenin Branch Library 12 Noon CHRISTMAS CARD MAKING WORKSHOP Older Children, Teens and Adults Elk Valley Branch Library, 5:30 PM

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FRIDAY NIGHT JAM Elk River Community Center Featuring: DIXIE HIGHWAY & Cindy Bird Doors Open at 5 PM; Thrift Store 5:30 - 8:00 PM Admission $5.00; Children 12 & under free

TEENS: HOLIDAY FUN Middle and High School Students Ceramic Plate Art, White Elephant Gift Exchange, Refreshments Limit 20, Register Now Clendenin Branch Library

FRIDAY NIGHT JAM Elk River Community Center Featuring: MARK IV & Stephanie Moore Doors Open at 5 PM; Thrift Store 5:30 - 8:00 PM Admission $5.00; Children 12 & under free MUSIC, CHIRSTMAS CAROLS, SERVICE 10:30 AM Christmas Communion Service, 6 PM Elk Nazarene Church, 143 Dutch Rd. CHRISTMAS EVE CANDLELIGHT SERVICE Elk Nazarene Church, 143 Dutch Rd., 10:00 PM FRIDAY NIGHT JAM Elk River Community Center Featuring: SOUTHERN COOKIN’ & Steve Mullins Doors Open at 5 PM; Thrift Store 5:30 - 8:00 PM Admission $5.00; Children 12 & under free HAPPY NOON YEAR'S EVE FAMILY PROGRAM Elk Valley Branch Library 11 AM NOON YEAR'S EVE All Ages, Family Clendenin Branch Library, 11 AM

ELKRIVERLIVING.COM

05

We would love to feature what matters to you, so please submit your upcoming events to:

HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE Elk Valley Branch Library, 6-730 PM Santa, Caricature by Local Artist JR Earls Crafts for kids, teens and adults; Refreshments Entertainment by Pinch Elementary First Grade Christmas Carolers

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advertise

with

ERL 304.546.9243 elkriverliving.com

M MATICS DECEMBER 2019

Funeral Home

12

Charles L. “Sonny” Matics, Owner Anthony R. “Tony” Matics, Licensed Dir. 8539 ELK RIVER ROAD NORTH CLENDENIN, WV 25045 maticsfuneralhome@suddenlink.net 304.548.6611


Delivery, Weekend Buffets and Holiday Menus Momma Payne’s Diner at 14 Main Street in Clendenin has several new features you won’t want to miss! First, they are offering new buffets on Saturday and Sunday. On Saturdays, join them from 8-11 AM for their delicious breakfast buffet. From eggs, bacon, sausage, ham, potatoes, grits, homemade biscuits, and gravy, they have it all. Adults are $9.99 and children under 12 are $5.00. On Sundays they are now offering a full dinner buffet from 11 AM - 3 PM. There are always delicious salad, meat and vegetable options plus buffet items sure to please the kids. For $9.99 you can have dinner, salad, dessert and a beverage. Children 12 and under are $5.00. The other great feature is they now DELIVER! If you don’t want to brave the weather, simply call them at 304.543.9930 and place your order. Momma Paynes will deliver right to your front door for a $3.00 delivery fee. Don’t forget Momma Payne’s is available to cater your special occasion, wedding reception or holiday events. Call Andrea and Russ Underwood for menu and pricing options. You can also order a baked ham or turkey or even a full holiday dinner. If you choose, you can order just pies and/or rolls as well. Enjoy the holidays and don’t stress over dinner. Call Momma Payne’s Diner today and reserve your holiday menu items!

CHARLES STRICKER, PRESIDENT

304.543.3825 | SOUFLOWERS@AOL.COM | 304.965.2462 5106 ELK RIVER RD, ELKVIEW

ELKRIVERLIVING.COM

CLASSIC STEEL HOT ROD ASSOCIATION

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THE

ELK’S COOKBOOK MAWMAW JAN'S WHITE FRUITCAKE COOKIES I’ll never forget my conversation with my wonderful neighbor, Jan Cummings of Big Chimney. It went something like this: Jan: Do you like fruit cake? Me: Ugh, no. Jan: You will like mine. Me: No, I won’t. I hate all fruitcake. Jan: Here, try this. I also use this recipe for fruitcake cookies. See what you think. Me: Wow! This is an awesome cookie! Just don’t tell me it’s “fruitcake”.

DECEMBER 2019

Whether you want to make this recipe as a fruitcake or as cookies or both, you will love it. It is loaded with candied cherries, pineapple and pecans. Jan first saw this recipe many years ago in the Tampa Tribune in Florida. It was submitted by Mrs. Harveys and was called White Fruitcake. Jan has tweaked the recipe for both fruitcake and cookies over the years and everyone now calls it Mawmaw Jan’s White Fruitcake. It is perfect with your coffee the whole month of December! I like to call it my favorite “nonfruitcake.”

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DIRECTIONS Here’s What You’ll Need

01

3/4 lb. candied cherries, chopped 1 lb. diced candied pineapple, chopped 4 C. chopped pecans

02

1 C. Sugar 1/2 lb. butter (2 sticks, let soften) 5 large eggs, well beaten

03

1 ½ C self-rising flour (reserve 1/4 cup to dredge fruit) (if you use all-purpose flour, add an additional 1/4 C of flour and ½ t baking powder)

04

1 oz. (6 t) vanilla extract

05

1 oz. (6 t) lemon extract

Total: 4 hrs Active: 1 hr

Level: Medium

06

Heat oven to 250˚ Chop the nuts and fruit into mediumsize pieces (dredge with 1/4 cup of the flour to keep from sticking. Use kitchen scissors if desired). Cream softened butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add wellbeaten eggs and blend well. Sift the flour. Fold flour into egg and butter mixture. Add the vanilla and lemon extracts and stir well. Add the chopped fruits and nuts, blend well. Hand mix; the mixture will be very stiff. Spray a 10-inch tube pan or bundt pan with Pam. Add mixture to pan. If you want to keep out 1 to 1 1/2 cups of batter you can also bake some cookies. Place in a COLD oven and bake at 250 degrees for 3 hours. Let the cake cool some and the cake will come out of the pan easily if you used the Pam spray. You can press some whole pecans on top of cake while it is still warm for decoration. Makes a 5 lb. fruitcake. NOTE: If you are baking cookies afterward, bake for 10-12 minutes or until the bottom of cookies are light golden brown.

IV ELKRIVERL

ELKRIVERLIVING.COM

304.543.9930

S! CIPE RE

IN G.C OM

NEW SATURDAY BREAKFAST BUFFET 8-11 AM & SUNDAY BUFFET 11-3PM DELIVERY NOW AVAILABLE! 14 MAIN STREET CLENDENIN, WV 25045

D US YO SEN UR

The cake is better if you allow it to mellow. Jan usually bakes hers in midNovember or early December.

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DECEMBER 2019

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-542-7502

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saturday

M I C H A E L' S UNIQUE STYLES

Michael Ryan OWNER/STYLIST

4636 PENNSYLVANIA AVE CHARLESTON, WV 25302 michaelsuniquestyles@gmail.com


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ELKRIVERLIVING.COM


MAKING SPIRITS BRIGHT

W

hat says Christmas better than a Christmas tree farm and we have our very own Whipkey’s Christmas Tree Farm on Cooper’s Creek (off the Big Chimney exit I-79). Bob and his wife, Alice, will be open November 29, the day after Thanksgiving, so make plans now to ”choose and cut” your own special tree. The Whipkeys started planting trees in 1990 and began selling them in November of 1997. Bob said, “It takes 6-7 years for a tree to mature.” They have been planting and nurturing trees for sale to the community for 29 years and will not be replanting their trees going forward. “We have decided to sell what is here,” said Bob, “which includes White pine and Norway spruce trees.” Bob said all of the trees are the same price: $40 for a tree, any size. He has sheared trees available up to 12 feet. Bob explained that as soon as the selling season is over each year, a lot of work begins. “The stumps have to be leveled for easier mowing and to help keep any disease out,” he said. From the end of May to July 15, it is shearing time. Bob said, “It is important to get them all sheared during that time frame to form better and fuller trees.” Other maintenance includes mowing and removing any diseased trees. Their son, Brenten, has helped mow and take care of the tree farm for many years, also. The Whipkeys are members of the WV Christmas Tree Growers Association. He said most all Christmas tree growers are members of this organization whose purpose is “growing and marketing high quality products for your family and the consuming public. The operators of The Association’s member farms are true stewards of the land and grow “real” trees to help in conservation and improvement of our natural resources.” The Association also helps people who want to get into the business. The association offers workshops to encourage more growers. “We are usually sold out of trees in two weeks,” said Bob. There is a farm in Lincoln County, Wilkerson Christmas Tree Farm, which is usually sold out in one week.” Bob said, “We are growers wanting more growers.” Bob recommends that anyone wanting a tree after the second week in December should call the farm at 304.965.0375 and ask about tree availability. If he does not have any remaining trees, he will share with you contact information of other Choose and Cut Tree Farms in WV. Nearby farms include Berry Fork Enterprises in Braxton County, Wilkerson Christmas Tree Farm in Lincoln County, and Yagel Poor Farm in Nicholas County.

This year, gather up your family and visit Whipkey Christmas Tree Farm. Choose and Cut tree farms are a great family tradition and an environmentally sound choice. Enjoy the beauty and the fresh pine aroma of a “real” tree this Christmas.

ELKRIVERLIVING.COM

Bob said this last year was hard on many trees. “First, we had so much rain in the spring and the spruce trees don’t like that,” he said; “then we had drought conditions during the summer and the other trees can’t take the stress of the wet to dry.” Bob also explained that the deer like to eat the young trees which are high in nitrogen. “Once the trees get bigger, the deer generally leave them alone, but they love the new buds on the seedlings.” He used to say, “I plant three trees, one for me and two for the deer.”

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Pauline Stricker, owner, said, “We asked our customers to nominate someone who had been a big help to them or the community during the year. They submitted a name and gave a short explanation of why they were nominating this person as their angel.” Jan’s nomination stated that she has always given so much of herself to others, including to St. Francis Hospital where she retired after 35 years, to local churches, and to her family and friends. Jan was an LPN at St. Francis Hospital from 1982-1988. She worked full time at St. Francis while she attended and graduated from the University of Charleston with an RN Nursing Degree. As an RN, she worked on the lung unit and the cardiac unit at St. Francis, where she retired in March of 2017. Jan attends Elk River Nazarene Church and helps collect clothing and canned goods for those in need. She also donates to Elk River Backpack Blessings at Special Occasions which is a drop off location for the organization. Jan said, “When I lived in Florida, our church had a soup kitchen in Ebor City and we would feed the homeless. I have always loved helping others and making a difference where I can.” Jan also sent nursing uniforms to NYC after the Twin Towers attack through the Salvation Army and donated supplies to our community during The Flood of 2016. Her neighbors all know and appreciate her love and kindness.

DECEMBER 2019

Special Occasions presented Jan with a holiday angel. Jan said, “I have received many angels as gifts from friends throughout the years and they all have a special place in my heart, especially this one.” Special Occasions also gave gifts to all the Christmas Angel nominations.

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ELK

ND THE OU

Not only did Special Occasions have a beautiful Christmas Open House, complete with a visit from Santa, they also took nominations for a Christmas Angel award. Jan Cummings of Big Chimney was selected as this year’s Christmas Angel.

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A Community Angel


Crossings Mall Welcomes New Business Elk River residents have been anxiously awaiting the opening of the new Taco Bell at the Crossings Mall in Elkview. According to Jarod Jones, Taco Bell Marketing Coach, the restaurant is anticipated to open on or about December 11. The restaurant has seating for 60-70 and will offer the traditional Taco Bell menu, including the popular $1.00 menu and the $5.00 boxes. Additionally, there will be a drive-through window which will be open for late night customers. Breakfast will be served from 7-11 AM and lunch starts at 9 AM. Jennings Estel, Taco Bell Area Coach, said, “We are very excited about joining the Elkview community. Elk River is one of the most tight-knit communities we’ve ever been a part of and we look forward to serving the area.” The Taco Bell at Elkview is owned by Charter Foods and Becky Burdette, Store Manager, has been interviewing and hiring for several months. Jared Jones said, “There are a lot of advancement opportunities at Taco Bell. We train our employees with skills for the future.” For more information regarding hiring opportunities at the Elkview Taco Bell, see their website at charterfoodscareers.com Formerly, there was a Bob Evans at the 103 Crossings Road site where the new Taco Bell is now located. When The Flood of 2016 destroyed the bridge leading to the Crossings Mall, the businesses were closed for more than two years before the bridge was restored and businesses could resume operation. The Bob Evans restaurant did not return after The Flood and the property has been empty since that date.

ELKRIVERLIVING.COM

Watch for the grand opening coming soon and welcome Taco Bell to our community!

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ELK RIVER HEROES In each edition of Elk River Living we feature and celebrate a member from our community. If you would like to submit someone you know, please contact Cyndi Tawney at cyndi@elkriverliving.com.

GARY EUGENE HOLSTEIN

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his month ERL would like to remember Gary Holstein, a very special man from Elk River who gave so much of himself to his family, friends and community. Many of us remember Gary’s devotion to his wife, Millie, and his sons Gary Jr. and David. He was always at the ballfield or at one of David’s ice hockey games, ready to lend a willing hand. He was a role model to his own sons and to the many kids who knew him. He and his wife, Millie, were married for 44 ½ years and were good friends to so many of us.

DECEMBER 2019

Gary attended West Virginia University Institute of Technology (WVUIT) on a football scholarship (he played guard for Nicholas County High School) and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and a minor in Physics. He was in the Electrical Engineering program at WVUIT when he was drafted into the U. S. Army. Gary was a proud Veteran who served his country in Germany from 1969 to 1972. While on base in Germany, he taught classes to military family members and also earned a Masters Degree in Education through the University of Southern California. After returning from Germany, he earned another Masters Degree from College of Graduate Studies (COGS) in Industrial Relations.

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He was a mathematics teacher and principal at H.E. White Elementary School at Bomont and helped name their mascot, The Intellectual Pioneers (today they are known as just The Pioneers). He was actively involved in his community and was

a past Master of the Clendenin Masonic Lodge 126 AF & AM for two years and a treasurer for the Beni Kedem Shriners of Charleston. He owned Holstein Insurance Agency at Elkview for many years until health issues interfered. His oldest son, Gary Jr., now manages the agency. Gary passed away on February 26, 2018 after a long illness. He was 72 years of age. During this Christmas season, it is an honor to remember Gary and the wonderful gifts he gave to his community. We thank his wonderful family for letting us honor him as an Elk River Hero.


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A TYREE CHRISTMAS TRADITION “We started 52 years ago with our first aluminum Christmas tree and one string of lights around the front door of our mobile home.” -Kermit Tyree

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f you mention the name Kermit Tyree to anyone in our area, they will more than likely ask you if you have seen the awesome Christmas lights on his property on Aarons Fork Road. They will also tell you Kermit is genuinely one of the kindest, big-hearted people you will ever meet.

DECEMBER 2019

Kermit Tyree owns and operates Kermit Tyree Contracting. He opened his business in 1972 and does pipeline, compression, building locations for wells and he added “just a little bit of everything.” He has a model of an oil pump jack in front of his business at the beginning of Aarons Fork before you cross the bridge. Even though the oil pump jack is a really special attraction, the 20 acres of Christmas lights at their home are one of the most dazzling Christmas light shows in the Kanawha Valley.

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Jeri Rucker of Clendenin said, “Kermit is honest, hardworking, and friendly. His employees give their all every day. The Christmas lights and Santa are just an added bonus. He does so much for the community.” Jeri has been to see his lights many times and plans on going again this year. She said, “The lights are


beautiful. His fence is decorated clear up the hill and all around. He has decorations everywhere you look! My mom absolutely loves it.” Kermit and his wife, Joann, started decorating their property in 1967. He said, “We got married on November 18, 1967 and decorated our first aluminum Christmas tree and had one string of lights around the front door of our mobile home. Every year we would add a little more, and a little more, and a little more! It has just kept growing.” Kermit said when his wife sees something else she thinks they should add, she orders it for their display. This year there are several new Christmas blow-up displays, as well as some new nativity pieces. Altogether, Kermit estimates there are probably 20 acres of Christmas lights. He said there are many homes beautifully decorated along Aarons Fork, but you will know when you come to his property, which is located 6 1/2 miles from the bridge at the Aarons Fork split. Their light display starts with 2 to 3 miles of lighted fence and a decorated 150-foot barn and a 9-car garage.

They have all of their lights up and are ready for visitors the weekend before Thanksgiving (Friday, November 22) and are open through New Year’s Day. Joann said many people who have outof-town guests for Thanksgiving like to come that first weekend. Every evening at 5 PM, rain, snow or shine, Kermit, Santa and an Elf greet visitors and hand out candy canes to both young and old. They have a guest book which visitors sign each year. Joann said they have had visitors from

ELKRIVERLIVING.COM

Joann, said, “We love sharing the joy of Christmas with our community. We love people and seeing their faces when they view the lights is just the best feeling ever.” She said many churches bus people to see the lights, including the elderly, nursing home residents, youth groups, and anyone else who wants to come. Joann said, “I just love it all. It’s a beautiful tribute to the birth of Christ.”

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all over WV and from many other states. Cars parade along the miles of beautifully decorated landscape.

DECEMBER 2019

Kermit and Joann invite you to visit their Christmas display this season. Whether this is your first time, or one of the many times you’ve visited their property, you will be enchanted with the gorgeous lights. Load up the family and spend the evening enjoying the beauty of Christmas There is no admission charge. “Sharing the joy of Christmas with our community is the only payment we need,” said Kermit and Joann. They look forward to seeing everyone this holiday season.

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Coonskin Festival of Lights This holiday season, don’t forget to drive through Coonskin Park and enjoy their beautiful Festival of Lights. Hours of Operation are 6 PM - 10 PM each evening, starting the evening after Thanksgiving on November 29th. Admission is free and donations are welcome. The light show begins at the Coonskin Park entrance and ends at the Tennis Courts. The Kanawha Valley Railroad Association Museum will be open at the end of the park so plan to drive on through The Park and stop by to see the awesome train exhibits as well. Santa will be at The Park on December 12, 13, and 14 at the Amphitheater at the Soccer Field. Bring the kids and your camera to see Santa, and also enjoy hot cocoa and cookies.

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ELK

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DECEMBER 2019

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95 CASDORPH RD, CHARLESTON 304.342.8200

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94 Years Strong!

Andrea Payne Underwood, owner of Momma Paynes, said, “I love my buddy! He is a Clendenin icon for sure!” She also said Phil loves the ice cream at her restaurant. He is a regular at Momma Paynes and can usually be found sharing stories and laughter with friends Doug Adkins and Councilman Mike Stout.

A Pinch Christmas Celebration Save the Date: Saturday, December 7 at 7 PM What goes perfect with a Christmas parade? Santa and S’mores! The community of Pinch will be celebrating the holiday season with their annual Christmas Parade on Saturday, December 7 at 7:00 PM. Santa will be a special guest in the parade and everyone is welcome to join in the fun (no additional Santas please). The parade line-up will be at 6:00 PM at the Pinch Elementary and New Beginnings Church. After the parade, the Pinch Volunteer Fire Department will have a special treat for the little ones: a toasty fire, marshmallows and s’more makings across the street from the Fire Station. There will also be hot cocoa for everyone. For more information on the parade, contact Teri Beasley at 304.389.9992. Bundle up and bring the family for a great evening of community fun and celebrate the joy of the Christmas season.

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ND THE OU

ELK

Phil McAlister and Councilman Mike Stout

If you see Phil McAlister around town this week, be sure to say Happy 94th Birthday! His actual birthday is November 28 which was on Thanksgiving Day this year. He celebrated with friends at Momma Payne’s Restaurant in Clendenin on November 25. Mayor Kay Summers presented Phil with a special proclamation from The Town of Clendenin.

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DECEMBER 2019

ALL ABOARD THE KVRA MUSEUM

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W

hether you are young or old, there is something magical about trains and the Christmas season. It is a perfect time to visit the wonderful displays of model trains at the Kanawha Valley Railroad Association (KVRA), located in Coonskin Park, at 1750 Coonskin Park Drive.

KVRA has an open house every Sunday from 1-5 PM. Starting Thanksgiving weekend, however, they will be open for extended hours during their Holiday Open House every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday through December 22 (see special December hours below). The public is welcome to view the train layouts, including the highlighted HO layout which features late 1950, modeled renditions of the town of Charleston, Hawk’s Nest, the town of Thurmon, and Elkview. They also have represented WV historical coal facilities, coal camps, logging facilities, and a pulp mill on the layout.

Another KVRA special feature is a 15’ x 20’ modular layout which allows them to attend local train shows and other events. “It is great to share the fun of model railroading with other communities,” said Mike. Upcoming train shows are listed on their KVRA website at kvrailroad.org. The next show is the Kanawha Valley Model Train and Craft Show which will be held at The Arena Event Center in St. Albans on February 22 and 23, 2020. There will be vendors, layouts and clinics. See kvrailroad.org or their Facebook page for more information.

ELKRIVERLIVING.COM

Mike Reynolds, KVRA board member, said, “The primary layout is a 30’ x 50’ HO Scale layout. It includes a double, main-line loop which travels over three peninsulas. The display also has a ‘high line’ which is a dual gauge line and models the logging industry similar to Cass Scenic Railroad.” Additionally, he added “they have a 4’ x 12’ N Scale layout which is a double line with two yards set in the mountains of WV. The layout operates using NCE digital command control.”

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The KVRA was formed in 1977 and just celebrated its 40th anniversary. It is a non-profit corporation that was organized to promote the history of railroading in WV. The organization has been located in Coonskin Park since 1998. “We welcome new members who are interested in model railroading and railroad history,” said Bob Sutler, KVRA founding board member. Bob is the oldest member of the KVRA. Youth can join the KVRA accompanied by an adult. Charles Maloney, KVRA board member, said, “We have several who started their memberships when they were young and they are now graduated from high school.” You can call 304.539.6721 or email KVRA at kvrailroad@gmail.com. Also, donations are welcome and enable KVRA to continue to share the railroading history with our communities.

DECEMBER 2019

The KVRA is located at the end of Coonskin Park, approximately 6/10s of a mile from the Coonskin entrance. This holiday season, make plans to enjoy the Coonskin Festival of Lights (keep going past the tennis courts to go to the end of the park) and stop by the KVRA and enjoy the train exhibit--look for the lighted train on the outside of the building! They are also having a special raffle on December 22 which will include a train set or a train engine--you don’t have to be present to win. Make sure you stop by and enter your name in the drawing.

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2019 CHRISTMAS TRAIN DECEMBER OPEN HOUSE SCHEDULE LOCATED IN COONSKIN PARK (FOLLOW THE ROAD THROUGH THE PARK TO THE END) ADMISSION IS FREE THURSDAYS 6-9 PM FRIDAYS 6-9 PM SATURDAYS 3-9 PM SUNDAYS 1-6 PM

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Clendenin Celebrates The Clendenin Town Council and Mayor Kay Summers would like to invite everyone to their Town for a special Clendenin Hometown Holiday Celebration in December. Sunday, December 1: Handel’s Christmas Oratorio, The Messiah, performed by the Clendenin Community Chorus, Clendenin United Methodist Church, 3:00 PM. Celebrating it’s 81st annual presentation. Directed by H. G. Young, III and accompanied by Mike Barnhouse on the piano. Free to the public. 121 Koontz Avenue. Saturday, December 7: 8-11 AM Breakfast With Santa with special snowman pancakes at Momma Payne’s Diner on Main Street. Bring all of the little ones and your camera (or cell phone), too, and capture great memories with Santa! Snowman Pancakes, Bacon and Juice $5.00 9 AM Light Up the Town! Everyone is welcome to come to come and help decorate Main Street, the Town gazebo and tree, and the tree at Town Hall! Don’t forget to grab lunch at Momma Paynes, Crown Catering, Julio’s, The Cupboard, Cardinal Roasters Bakery, Giovanni’s, or Frostbite. 12 Noon There will be an Open House at the Clendenin Branch Library and a celebration of Librarian Tammy Parker’s 25th work anniversary with the library! WV Youth Symphony, Santa, Crafts, Games, Refreshments, Door Prizes. Saturday, December 14: 1 PM Clendenin Christmas Hometown Parade (line up at Poca Valley Bank at 11 AM) 2 PM Cookies with Santa and Take Your Own Pictures and Awards, Clendenin Recreation Center 12 Noon-6 PM Christmas Craft Show Vendors, Koontz Gym 3 PM Festival of Trees Live Auction, Koontz Gym. Sponsored by Clendenin Homecoming Festival

DECEMBER 2019

5:30 PM Drop by Momma Payne’s Diner for cookies, hot cocoa and lots of Christmas carols. A good time for fun and fellowship.

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THE

ELK REFLECTS

HISTORY AND MEMORIES “It’s a special and memorable day to know that the museum is not just a place to look at old pictures; it is also a place that helps bring history and memories back to those we have honored.” - Carolyn Pirnat, Volunteer Many memories are shared each week by our local veterans at the Museum of Elk River Communities in Kanawha County. A few of the veterans who stop by each Thursday include: Richard Bashlor - US Navy, Vietnam 1967; Billy R. Meadows - US Army, Vietnam 1969-1970; Bob Lynn - US Navy, Vietnam. 1968 Wounded returned 1969-1972; Nick Bird - US Army, Vietnam, US Air Force Iraqi Freedom; Ray Milton Walker – US Army, Viet Nam 1969-1970 and Visitors/Volunteers Harry Lynn, Carolyn Pirnat, Jerry Morris, Larry Duvall. Carolyn Pirnat, Museum Volunteer, shared one of their meetings for this month’s The Elk Reflects. Their stories and history unfolded as they visited the Veteran’s Room at the Museum: “Ray, Richard and I were together and getting ready to enter the Military Section of the Museum. A few moments before, Ray had talked about some of the 1960’s songs that were piped into the barracks and helicopters in Viet Nam. All of a sudden, Ray began singing the 1965 Animals hit, We Gotta Get Out of This Place. One by one everyone behind them joined in and by the time they got to the Military room, everyone was singing and laughing. As the last stanza was sung ‘if it’s the last thing we ever do’ …. Bob Lynn piped in at the end, ‘When we win! WE WILL get out of this place!!’ Also, boot camp memories were traded and re-lived.

DECEMBER 2019

Richard Bashlor talked about his first day at boot camp. He was given a sign-in sheet for his bedding by the drill instructor. He signed it and gave it back, to which the instructor told him to drop and give him ten (push-ups). The instructor informed Richard that he had not asked for permission to sign the sheet! Richard finished the pushups and stood up. The drill instructor told him to drop and give him 20 more! The reason - Richard hadn’t asked permission to stand. After that experience, Richard said he made sure he didn’t do anything that he would get

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ERL would also like to feature any of your Elk River memories as well. Go to elkriverliving.com and select Reader’s Submission, Elk’s Journal, to submit your story.


punished for again! At times the group were laughing and at times they were sad, but they all had one thing in common, they were proud to serve their country. Bob Lynn relayed a story that when he was caught smoking, he had to place a bucket over his head and smoke even more cigarettes. Billy Meadows pointed out that he understood boot camp today was not as hard today as it was then. Some had the original letters they had sent home, as their loved ones saved them. To them, they were treasures. Ray Milton Walker (he was Milton to us in school) has a pictorial documentary of his time after leaving college, serving in the Army, then returning to college. One of his favorites is a picture of him standing in front of the Huey helicopter nicknamed ‘Slick’ that was used to transport ground troops. Their stories and history are amazing. Each one here today received medals for their service. Uniforms and pictures were touched and talked about. Memories and stories were shared of those fallen heroes who didn’t make it back.

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One picture was recently shared by our friend Sue Melton Vickers of her Dad, James D Melton. He was a POW of WWII, a Purple Heart Recipient and a member of CO F 7th Infantry. To quote Sue, ‘When you see any Veteran please say thanks!! It is because of men and women like them that we and others live in a free Country. God Bless them all."

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DECEMBER 2019


 

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Surpassing Expectations When we were looking for a printer for our new magazine, Elk River Living, we did a quality and price comparison. The Printing Press not only met, but surpassed our expectations. The added bonus is working with Sandy Underwood and her staff is like working with good friends. They are always there to help us with whatever we need. When people in the community see we use The Printing Press, they immediately reply “Sandy Underwood? We love working her her.� No job is too large or small, and every customer receives excellent attention. Cyndi Tawney Founder and Editor Elk River Living Magazine

DECEMBER 2019

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ND THE U O

Over the past year and a half, University of Charleston (UC) students from several ongoing classes have been working with the Town of Clendenin on an economic development project. Rick Ferris, UC MBA Program Director, said, “The project began in the summer of 2018 to provide guidance to stakeholders on postflood economic revitalization.” Two UC students, Josh McClung, HHHS graduate,and Trenton Barnhart, newly appointed to the West Virginia House of Delegates, presented their economic development plan on November 19 at the Clendenin Town Council Meeting. Also present were Christena Ross, UC MBA Adjunct Faculty, Josh McClung of the Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation, John Finlayson, UC Professor, and many members of the local community.

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Revitalizing Clendenin

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The project presentation included background and plans for the future; SWOT Analysis; Natural Assets Inventory; Commercial Assets Inventory; New Business Plan; Gaps in the Market; Opportunities for Collaboration, and Lessons Learned. Director Ferris said, “The students on the experiential learning track have worked on this project to assist the community in identifying its residential, commercial, and recreational assets and to develop a comprehensive vision concerning who we are, where we are going, and what we want to be for the Town of Clendenin.” Mayor Kay Summers said, “There is a new enthusiasm in Clendenin and this is an exciting time for our Town.”

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DECEMBER 2019

DESIGNS FROM THE HEART

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Heart. She said there were five different cards you could make, and after she made her five cards, she was inspired to make more. She has been ordering her supplies from them and creating her own unique designs since that date.

Sheila creates her beautiful cards in her home on Aarons Fork. From gorgeous Christmas cards to a variety of thinking of you, miss you, love you, thank you and holidays...she has it all, plus she can do special requests.

Her good friend, Millie Naylor, from Clendenin, is one of her biggest card fans. “She puts so much love and attention into each one of her cards,” said Millie. “They are more than just a card--they are a special gift from the heart.”

She uses an embossing technique for many of her backgrounds. “I insert the card stock into a plastic, embossed sleeve and run it through a press,“ she explained. She uses metal patterns for her butterflies, birds, flowers, and other designs that she presses and then cuts out. Many times she layers the cut-outs to create her special designs. The writing on her cards varies from her own calligraphy or special wording or designs which she cuts out. “ It just all depends on the card and the design you want to create,” she said.

In the 1980’s Sheila did woodworking and woodburning. Her finished products included designs and inspirational poems and sayings which were burnt on clocks and other home decor. She attended many fairs and festivals, including The Arts and Crafts Fair at Ripley and at the Charleston Civic Center, and also at local church and vendor booths. Sheila’s brothers, Joe, Jerry, and Rick Smith, are also artisans, specializing in wood turning (former Elk River Living issue, April 2019). They are an extremely talented family of artisans.

Sheila has been creating cards since 2012 when her daughter-in-law, Jennifer Carte, hosted a card party and invited friends to come and create cards through a card club, Close to My

If you would like more information on Sheila’s handcrafted cards, contact her at 304.965.1959. She can put together an assortment of cards for you, depending on availability.

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T

o most of us, some card stock paper and glue would result in an average craft; however, artisan Sheila Kay Carte transforms them into beautiful, custom-made greeting cards.

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DECEMBER 2019


READER’S SUBMISSION This month ERL is featuring proud deer hunting photos from Emma Hardway, age 13, of Elkview. Emma Hardway has been hunting since she was eight years old and even tagged along with Grandpa Mike before that. She is the granddaughter of Mike and Sherry Ferrell of Elkview. She is pictured with this year’s doe which she shot on October 19, 2019 (this was her 5th deer to date). She loves to deer hunt. She attends Elkview Middle School and is a member of the EMS Band. She enjoys music and attends Elkview Baptist Church.

If you would like to submit a photo, work of art, short story, poem, knitwork - whatever inspires you - please reach out to us at elkriverliving.com or contact cyndi@elkriverliving.com


STRESS-FREE VACATION PLANNING “Let’s plan your next adventure” -Christy Conley

I

t is easy to think that we all can google and plan our budget. “Some people like everything planned down to own vacation, but nothing is worse than finding out the minute and some want the freedom to decide once there was a reason it was such a bargain price. Christy they get there, “ she said. She offers that personal touch

Conley with Your Caribbean Inspiration provides the to make sure you have your trip, your way. customer service you deserve to insure you are spending Christy can also make multiple reservations and your money (and time) wisely and getting the best deals, transportation arrangements for groups. If you are all at no additional cost. planning a bachelorette party, a reunion, or just a get “Too often people think a travel advisor costs extra money, together with family and friends, she can relieve the when in fact, what they can do is actually save you money,” stress and even offer group add-ons. She said, “If you are said Christy, a Caribbean Destination Specialist. There is planning a destination wedding or a group event, you no charge for the services she provides. Christy urges definitely want to talk with a travel specialist!” people to benefit from her knowledge of the industry and Book early! Christy said, “Too often people think you have experience to let her plan you a perfect vacation. Christy to pay for a cruise all upfront, when in fact, once you pay can save you hours of googling, and piece together all the a deposit, you have until 60 days before your sail date to different details you want to include in your vacation. pay the balance. For all-inclusive packages, you have up to She can plan as much or as little as you want within your 44 days before you depart.” She also emphasized there is no interest and you have the freedom to make payments on your balance up to those travel deadlines. Christy can help you choose all-inclusive resorts or cruises to the following destinations: Dominican Republic, Bahamas, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Antigua, Barbados, Grenada, Mexico and Belize. This is her second year in the cruise business, but she has been in the event planning business for over 20 years and is skilled at listening to her clients and accommodating their needs. Give Christy a call at 304.377.0803 or visit her at https:// www.facebook.com/yourcaribbeaninspiration and discuss your next vacation destination. She offers a complimentary planning session where you can discuss your ideas of what you want to do and where you want to go. Simply go to her Facebook page and select “book now” to find a convenient time. Christy can help you with your options. She then can offer you package options and book your destination. Christy lives at Walton with her husband, Mike. She is not just a travel advisor; she is a travel expert. Let her save you time and energy while you go pack your bags!


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THE

ELK’S JOURNAL THE KING'S HENCHMEN CHRONICLES BY CRAIG HALLORAN

A

cclaimed author Craig Halloran was born and raised in Charleston and is currently living in Mink Shoals where he grew up with his wife, Ruth,

two dogs (Buttermilk and Lucy), and two cats (Lily and Tiger). He has two children, Lindsay and Nathaniel Conan.

He started publishing in 2010, and has now published over 70 fantasy novels, including several #1 Amazon bestsellers in Epic Fantasy, Coming of Age and Sword and Sorcery. He has books for readers of all ages, from teens, young adults and up. Go to his website www.craighalloran.com, join his email list and download Brutal Beginnings and the Quest for the Thunderstone FREE! There is no better time to dive into Halloran’s fantasy/sci-fi series than now! You can see all of his books on Amazon.com and follow him on Facebook/The DarkSlayer Report by Craig. Here are excerpts from The King's Henchmen which is book one in his latest series, The Henchmen Chronicles. It is about a down and out baseball player, rebuilding his life as a truck driver, who drives through the East River Mountain Tunnel and winds up in a fantasy world:

Tire rubber squawked over the road. The cars in front of Abraham rocked forward and back, and the line of traffic came to a dead stop. Abraham laid on the horn. “Come on, you idgits. Your headlights still work.” Even though the roof of the tunnel had become a strange canopy of blackness, the head- and taillights from most of the cars were giving off plenty of illumination. Suddenly, a beam of light struck Abraham’s cabin, washing him in bright light. He shielded his eyes with his forearms. “Gah!” He hit his horn again. “Turn that thing away!”

DECEMBER 2019

The white spotlight turned away from his cabin, toward the interior of military activity. Abraham lifted his glasses off the bridge of his nose and rubbed his eyes. “Thanks for the new migraine, fellas. I was starting to miss the last one.” He pulled the glasses down over his eyes and tried to blink away a few spots though they didn’t go. “Jingle bells and shotgun shells. Misery loves company.”

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In 2009, Abraham had been in an accident that killed his wife Jenny and son Jake. Abraham didn’t come out unscathed, either. He had a cracked skull and three brain surgeries that came with it, not to mention the other parts of his body that were busted up. As a result, he inherited the pain and discomfort that came with it. He inherited a drug addiction too: pain killers and antidepressants. It wasn’t a lifestyle. It was survival that became a lifestyle.


With the help of energetic hardcase soldiers waving their black Maglites, traffic started moving again. A few minutes later, Abraham drove his truck out of the Big Walker Tunnel. For some reason, he let out an audible exhalation. The sky was cloud covered, and the rain was still spitting. The radio came back on, and some easy-riding classic rock came back on. Abraham was relieved by the cloud cover. Road glare from the sun might trigger his migraine, and he didn’t want that. He just wanted to make his final stop, gas up, and go home. Miles up the road, he took the interstate exit ramp into Rocky Gap. It was a very small town, and he wasn’t even sure why it was on his route. The old man—his boss, Luther—had some connections there. He pulled underneath the gas canopy at Woody’s Grill and Gas Up. He shut off the engine and got out. Then he opened the slat doors, fetched the dolly out, and loaded it up with cases of bottled beer. He pushed it toward the double glass doors leading into Woody’s Grill. The grill had cedar wood siding, giving it a country-general-store look. Two soda machines were on the right side of the door and a sitting bench on the left side. He stopped. Oh no. Inside the doors, an attractive brunette woman was working behind the register. She wore a tight plum-colored V-neck T-shirt. Her name was Mandi. She’d been flirting with him ever since he started making deliveries to the store. Now, she was checking out an older man wearing a green John Deere ball cap. The older man made a toothless smile at her when she handed him his change. He ambled through the double doors. That was when she caught Abraham’s eye, and a playful smile formed on her lips.I was really hoping she wouldn’t be working today.

He tipped his chin and headed away. Woody’s Grill was divided up into two sections. On the right was the convenience store. It was typical in fashion, mostly modern but with a decorative charm to it. On the left was the grill, which had a completely different look. The same checkered tiles were on the floor, but rose-red booths and shiny round bar stools were posted in front of the grill’s service counter. The smell of hot delicious greasy American food lingered in the air. Several LCD screens were hanging high on the walls. A small mixed crowd of patrons watched sports while they chatted and ate. He slipped into the freezer section, pushed the cases off the dolly, and slid them back into the corner. Then he turned around and froze.Mandi was standing right in front of him with her hands stuffed into her back pockets. With a coy smile on her face, she slid her hands free of the denim, jumped into his arms, and kissed him.

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The old man held the door open for Abraham and asked, “What are you waiting for, sonny? An invitation?” He waved his hand inside. “Get moving. Every minute is precious to an old goat like me.” Abraham pushed the dolly through the doors. “Thank you, sir.” The old man teetered off toward an old army-green Dodge pickup that had seen its best days thirty years before. He walked up by the counter and said, “Hi, Mandi.” Twirling her finger in her ponytail, she popped a gum bubble and said, “Running a little late, Abraham?”“I’m never late. I arrive at the exact time I’m supposed to be here.” She stood on tiptoe and leaned over the counter in a showy fashion. “Ha ha. Did you hear that one in a movie?” “Sort of. I’ll just put these back in the cooler.” He patted the top case. “This is six.” “I can count just fine,” she said as she popped another bubble. “And take your time. Now that you are here, we have some catching up to do.”

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Elk River Living Magazine  

December, Volume 01, Issue 13

Elk River Living Magazine  

December, Volume 01, Issue 13

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