Sunday, September 8, 2019

TVHS Class of 1964 55-Year Reunion

Richard Judy, David Matthew, Danny McCloud, Gary Channell, Frank Channell, Fred Ware, Chris Ritter, George Coussoule

On August 17, a lovely day in the valley, the Tygarts Valley High School Class of 1964 gathered at Camp Pioneer 4-H Camp to celebrate fifty-five years since their graduation. The Camp Pioneer staff, with their accommodating nature, made it a pleasant occasion for all who attended.

Tom Zirkle, usually seated at the back of the class during his school days, drove in from Pennsylvania to share the day with classmates. Driving many miles from his home in Kansas, Chris Ritter was welcomed by longtime friends. The friends of Peggy (Simmons) Church were glad she made the trip from North Carolina with her husband, Dale, one more time.

Rev. Glen Rader, informal class parson, traveled to the reunion from Ohio with his wife Glenna. Linda (Scott) Magyar, also from Ohio, adjusted her seat, donned her sunglasses and relaxed as her son, Steve, drove the many miles from the lakes to the valley. When Steve drives in next year, the class is hoping his mother will ride along with him. Mary Ellen (Ice) Guzy, a frequent participant in class events, drove in from Tennessee with a jar of her homemade chow-chow.

Other members of the class of 1964 were much closer to home. Attending the reunion, from the Valley or nearby, were Delbert Salisbury and friend Linda Fink, Windsor Heights; Frank Channell, Westover; Fred and Patricia (McCauley) Ware, Morgantown; Charles and Mary (Shiflett) Wamsley, Elkins; Gary and Carolyn (Corley) Channell, Elkins; David Matthew, Elkins; Charles Church and friend Linda Ferguson, Elkins; Judy (Ware) Primavero, Coalton; Richard Judy, Beverly; Danny and Janet (Kittle) McCloud, East Dailey; Reuben and Marvella (Cutright) Currence, Huttonsville; Robert and Edna Mae (Stalnaker) Tacy, Huttonsville; and George and Sue Coussoule, Valley Head.

The Class of 1964 was happy to welcome Darlene Hight, a surprise visitor from Ohio, to their 55-year celebration. A member of the TVHS Class of 1966 who had lived in Monterville, she and former school bus buddy, Chris Ritter, had formed a lasting friendship, years ago, on the long bus ride down the valley to Tygarts Valley High School.

After much mingling and conversation, Rev. Rader gave the blessing and read the names of deceased classmates. Since graduating in 1964, twenty-one members, almost a third of the class, have passed away.

As they chatted and enjoyed old stories, the class feasted on a meal prepared by the Camp Pioneer staff. On the buffet table was a grand meal of tossed lettuce salad, baked steak and chicken, mashed potatoes with gravy, green beans, rolls and tea and lemonade. Cheesecakes with tasty choices of blueberry or cherry topping were provided for dessert.

Prepared for the class by the Walmart bakery, a 55-year celebration cake decorated with the school colors, red and white, took center-stage on the snack table. Triggering more temptation for those with a sweet tooth, were peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies baked by the Camp Pioneer cooks. A sampler platter of peanut butter fudge, prepared by Delbert Salisbury and Linda Fink also wooed the coterie of friends.

Following the meal, Fred Ware, Jr. opened the business meeting by leading a moment of silence in remembrance of those class members who had passed away since the class met in August, 2018.

In September, 2018 the Class of 1964 lost Diane (Bennett) Blizzard. Diane had a voice for singing and was a member of the gospel group, The King’s Kids, which also included her husband, Allan, her sister, Sondra and Sondra’s husband, Bob. Finding enjoyment in painting, Diane’s artwork was gifted to friends and sold across the United States.

Passing away in October of 2018, Sharon (Shreve) Armstrong, with her husband Allen, had attended all the Class of 1964 get-togethers. She took great pleasure in rhyming words, and wrote many heartfelt poems - sometimes humorous, sometimes serious - for her family and friends.

For her son she wrote:

I thank You Lord, O Friend of mine
For giving me this child of Thine
Help me to rear him in Your will
And all Your love in him instill.

About her sister she wrote:

She takes the toys from the kids
She socks them in the nose
She pulls their hair and kicks their feet
Takes scissors to their clothes.

But at bedtime she’s an angel
While the Lord her soul doth keep
But as soon as she wakes up
She starts again, the little creep.

Ettie Wegman Grey raised a family and lived all her life in the valley. She did beautiful hand crochet, and brought some of her pieces to be auctioned at the class of 1964’s 50th class reunion. Ettie passed away in March, 2019.

On Wednesday, August 14, the week of their 55th Reunion, the Class of 1964 lost another classmate, Sheryl “Cookie” Hawkins Birdsinger. Though she lived in “the great state of Texas”, Cookie never lost her love for the hills of West Virginia. She was never happier than when she could come home to the valley. Her best-loved flower was the daisy, and the last bouquet she received from her friends back home was an arrangement of daisies with her favorite bird, the red cardinal, nestled among the petals.

Continuing the business meeting, Ware called for the annual treasurer’s report from Gary Channell. Channell assured the class that after all the bills were paid, they would have an acceptable amount of cash in the bank.

To support Channell in his efforts to keep the coffers full, the popular class auction was held. With Ware as auctioneer, several items were put on the block. Judy (Ware) Primavero took home Mary Ellen (Ice) Guzy’s homemade chow chow. Guzy rode home with a tray of Primavero’s pina colada zucchini bread and banana bars. She also found room for a centerpiece made by Frank Channell’s wife, Linda. Channell, himself, had a winning bid for Primavero’s baked goods. He also had successful bids on two primitive pieces of wall d├ęcor. Though he felt no additional artwork was needed in his home, he was happy to contribute to the cause and gave with a cheerful heart.

Two forty-eight-star flags that had flown at Tygarts Valley High School, during the school’s early years, were brought to the auction by Reuben and Marvella (Cutright) Currence. The most interesting and nostalgic items in the auction, the flags found a new home in North Carolina with Peggy (Simmons) Church. Not so fortunate when bidding on a large, blue, hand blown glass birdfeeder donated to the auction by Gary and Carolyn (Corley) Channell, Church was outbid by Patricia (McCauley) Ware.

Appearing again, the peanut butter fudge made by Delbert Salisbury and Linda Fink was much sought after during the auction. One three-pound platter of the popular fudge was taken home by Gary Channell and his wife, Carolyn. A second platter became a win for Primavero, and the last platter was snatched by George and Sue Coussoule. Rounding out the auction, a fruit basket from Crazy Harry’s, donated by Danny and Janet (Kittle) McCloud, was carried away by Mary (Shiflett) Wamsley.

Further increasing the class treasury, and led each year by Primavero, was the fifty/fifty drawing. Generous winners, Delbert Salisbury and Janet (Kittle) McCloud donated their winnings back to the class. Treasurer Channell then busied himself in the counting house.

Salisbury became a winner for the second time when he walked away with the much-anticipated door prize which was prepared for the class by Crazy Harry’s. A bushel, chipwood basket crammed full with fruit and other specialty items, the Salisbury car might have been scraping asphalt as it proceeded from the valley toward the Ohio River.

Completing the class business, Ware asked for volunteers or suggestions to plan the location of their 56th get-together. As the Camp Pioneer staff had been especially gracious throughout the day, and had prepared a plentiful, delicious meal, the decision was made to return to Camp Pioneer August 15, 2020.

Departing for their homes in the valley or to homes much farther away, class members took with them specially made 55-year bookmarks and goody bags that included munchies for their trips back home.

From a grateful TVHS Class of 1964, warm appreciation is accorded David Matthew and Richard Judy for their efforts in planning a memorable 55-year reunion.

Delbert Salisbury, Winner of Door Prize

Fred Ware, Auctioneer

Reuben and Marvella Currence, Donators of 48-star Flags

Charles and Mary Wamsley, Winners of Fruit Basket Auction

Top to Bottom, Left to Right: Glen, Bob, Pat, Linda, Frank, George, Danny, Gary, Tom, Fred, Judy, Reuben, Mary, Delbert, Charles, Mary Ellen, Dick, Chris, David, Peggy

Wednesday, August 14, 2019


Announcing the
TVHS Class of 1964
55th Class Reunion

Hey, you remember those guys?
I remember those guys.

Bring one or more items
Old, New, Handmade, Baked, Grown…
Whatever you have!
I’m in for that! Yeah!


That’s what it says, huh? Cool!

Camp Pioneer 4-H Camp
Kings Run Road, Beverly, WV
There will be signs to follow!
August 17, 2019
4:00 PM
$13.00 per person

I’m thinking about it.
You thinking about it?

Please Respond By:
JULY 31, 2019
And Make Checks Payable To:
TVHS Class of 1964
c/o Gary Channell
2006 Ward Road
Elkins, WV 26241

Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!

Salad, Rolls
Baked Chicken, Baked Steak
Mashed Potatoes, Gravy
Green Beans
Well, yeah! Yum!

Come on. Gotta be there!
How far’s that from Liverpool, you say?

The Beatles
I Want to Hold Your Hand

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Class of 1964 August, 2017 Gathering

TVHS Class of 1964 Gathers Again
Seated left to right: Larry See, Mary (Shiflett) Wamsley, Virginia (Shoulders) Hogan, Judy (Ware) Primavero, Sharon (Shreve) Armstrong, Patricia (McCauley) Ware, Glen Rader, Fred Ware
Standing left to right: Delbert Salisbury, George Coussoule, Jerry Haddix, Ralph Hogan, Richard Judy, David Matthew, Danny McCloud, Robert Tacy, Tom Zirkle, Gary Channell – Not Pictured, Bill Alexander
Photo by Gary Channell

Let us be grateful to people 
who make us happy,
they are the charming gardeners
who make our souls blossom.
Marcel Proust

With the passing of another year, the Tygarts Valley High School Class of 1964 met on the afternoon of August 19 in the open air Armadillo Flats at CJ Maggie’s in Elkins for their 53rd annual get together. Twenty class members, with their spouses and guests, attended the event. The class happily welcomed Bill Alexander of Valley Bend, a classmate many had not seen in several years. The class urges his return for future reunions.

Upon entering the gathering area, attendees were greeted by a display of the dedication ceremony for the SPC 4 Randall W. Arbogast Memorial Road prepared by classmate Larry See of Kingwood. Arbogast had graduated with the Tygarts Valley High School Class of 1964 and had lost his life in May, 1967 from wounds incurred during the Vietnam War while in service to his country. The display included the newspaper clipping for the dedication and other memorabilia, some of which was take-home items for class members who were unable to attend the dedication ceremony which was held Sunday, May 28 at the Methodist Church in Valley Head.

Spc 4 Randall W. Arbogast Memorial Road Display By Larry See

Class President, Fred L. Ware, Jr., of Morgantown and Valley Head, greeted those present and mentioned for remembrance the loss of classmates Newton Ware and Sandra (Keiss) Lewis who had passed away during the past year. The Tygarts Valley High School Class of 1964 has lost fifteen of its members.

Gary Channell, of Elkins, gave the treasurer’s report, informing the class of their balance. Ware continued with a report on the successful implementation and dedication of the SPC 4 Randall W. Arbogast Memorial Road which extends from the Valley Head intersection of Routes 15 and 219 to the Pocahontas County line. Interjecting, Larry See praised Ware for his hard work in making the SPC 4 Randall W. Arbogast Road a reality. He also acknowledged Ware’s persistence in securing Arbogast’s military records which had to be pieced together and were difficult to find.

To the amusement of those gathered, See continued by reminiscing with the class that little had they known, back in 1963, when they had elected Ware president of the class of 1964, they had elected him “President for Life”.  In recognition of that fait accompli, See presented Ware with an original Larry See painting of the Tygarts Valley High School Bulldog mascot inscribed with “Chief Bulldog for Life”. The painting was passed around for class members and guests to see the prized work of art from the Larry See studio. 

Fred L. Ware, Jr. "president for life"

See had also crafted, for each class member, rock paperweights to which he had attached 1964 nickels. On each rock he had painted the Tygarts Valley High School initials, “TVHS”. There were several expressions of curious amazement at how See had found so many nickels from 1964.

Paperweight Crafted by Larry See

As the business meeting continued, class members were asked to sign a sympathy card for Charles Church who had planned to attend the reunion but was unable to be present because of a death in the family. A card was also signed for Beverly (Currence) Hammonds who was recuperating from hip surgery. A last card was signed for Becky (Cox) Magee who had penned a message to the class but was unable to attend because of serious illness. The cards will be mailed by Gary and Carolyn (Corley) Channell, who have become the class of 1964 “keepers of the cards”.

Gary and Carolyn (Corley) Channell "Keepers of the Cards"

Including class members in reunion preparation, Ware asked for ideas from the group for the next get together. Classmate Robert Tacy of Huttonsville suggested a buffet type meal. With that suggestion in mind, the standing committee will plan the next gathering accordingly. In the spring of 2018 reminders will be sent out to the class so plans can be made for attendance.
Robert "Bob" and Edna Mae (Stalnaker) Tacy

To increase class funds for future activities, Judy (Ware) Primavero, of Coalton, conducted a 50/50 drawing. With several generous participants, the winner of the drawing was Jerry Haddix, of Elkins, who shared his winnings with the class treasury. 

Judy (Ware) Primavero and Fred L. Ware, Jr. with Gift Basket

A door prize of a large basket containing West Virginia products was won by Virginia “Boots” (Shoulders) Hogan. Included in the basket was a gift box from West Virginia Fruit and Berry; Strawberry Moonshine Jelly from The Leavitt Farm; Woodbine Blackberry and Elderberry Jellies by Levada Hodovan; Killian’s Gold Honey from Thistledew Farms; Maple Syrup from Cool Hollow Maple Farm; a bottle of wine from Lambert’s Winery in Weston; a quilled picture, apron, and rag ball from West Virginia Heritage Crafts Co-op in Quiet Dell; a pottery syrup warmer made by Tygarts Valley High School graduate, Brooke Swecker; a paperweight and glass ball from Ketterman Creations of Elkins; and a pottery jelly bowl with spoon by Scottie Wiest of Elkins. As the basket was quite hefty, Hogan’s husband, classmate Ralph Hogan, was glad that on this occasion the motorcycle had been left parked at home.

1st Door Prize Winners: Ralph and Virginia "Boots" (Shoulders) Hogan

A second door prize, another TVHS Bulldog mascot painting by Larry See (without the “Chief Bulldog for Life” inscription), was won by Reverend Glen Rader of Ohio.

2nd Door Prize Winners: Rev. Glen and Glenna (Channell) Rader

The blessing for the afternoon meal was given by Rader, who introduced his wife Glenna (Channell) and sister-in-law Sharon (Cutright) Channell to the class. After an afternoon of “catching up” and partaking of another meal together, the Class of 1964 departed with plans to meet again, somewhere in Randolph County, August 18, 2018. 

Ah, how good it feels!
The hand of an old friend.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 

Sam Cooke - Good Times