AND THEN AGAIN by Tamara Pettit

……While I am pleased to see the West Virginia Derby return this year at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort, I am really sad about fans being charged an entrance fee just to watch the days’ race card.     Will horsemen who enter horses in the race be charged to enter?   Will having to pay to deter any fans?  If you are hoping to revive interest in horse racing is charging for access to watch the races having a negative effect on the  crowd?

….  In Mountaineer’s glory days, the Derby rose to a purse of $750,00 with a race card of $1.2 million under the then  Racing Director Rose Mary Williams.  Billed as the “richest card in West Virginia” on that day, a variety of activities took place.    There was food and live music on the deck track side and a party in the clubhouse that hosted the Governor of West Virginia, State officials and legislators.  Not only was the day a lot of fun, it showcased Mountaineer to those who were making decisions on live racing’s future.   For a day, Hancock County was in the spotlight and local businesses saw an increase in business as well.

….. When the new owners purchased Mountaineer, we heard they owned other racetracks and I thought they would develop the racing side of the business. (Remember without live racing there is no casino gaming under state code.)  The opposite appears to be true.

……I understand the Top of West Virginia Convention & Business Bureau will be looking for a new director following the resignation of its Director.

….One of the most active volunteers in developing Rock Springs Business Park posted a five-year-old photo of her grandson taken when ground was broken and noted how her grandson had grown during that time.  Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for the Business Park.    The Business Development Corporation has posted some new video of the spec building that is still for sale or lease at the Park on their site.   I contacted Executive Director Marvin Six to see if there has been any interest.  He responded that there have been three companies have expressed interested.

…….I revert to my self of many years ago when the weather turns steamy.   I like to get up and early and get any chores I have done and then relax in the afternoon as if I were in the Bahamas where it was much too hot to exert any energy.  This morning I trimmed bushes, ran the sweeper and washed clothes all before 9 a.m.    Why?  Back in the day when I was a young mother, we lived in house in which you couldn’t run the clothes dryer and window air conditioner without blowing a fuse.  Choose one?  Thus I rose early and got my washing done before Captain Kangaroo hit the airwaves.  I pretended to be a lady of leisure by getting the house cleaned by 11 a.m. so that I could take the kids to the pool and while away the afternoon turning every 15 minutes to get an even tan.

…..The new slide is up for all to enjoy at Tomlinson Run pool.  What a great way to spend a sweltering day.  If you have a picture of you or yours enjoying the new slide e-mail it to us so that we might share it with our readers.

….Since Shannon has been job hunting our e-mail is besieged with sites which claim to know the latest and greatest jobs.  I loved the one which keeps advertising Weirton Steel jobs available.  Or, “WV State Jobs” only it’s not a WV site at all.  One siter advertises jobs at Bethany College has no listing for Bethany College, but truck drivers in the area.  Sad that such questionable sites make the job search even harder.  Wonder if there a Better Business Bureau for job search sites.

…..I have a lot of questions that pop into my mind.  I know they are questions that other people are asking as well because the answers appear constantly on the Internet.  One of my biggest questions is:  How do I get the soap scum off the tiles in my bathroom and clean the grout between those tiles.   If there is someone out there who knows the answers I beg you to share with me because I’m a sucker when the solution pops up on the internet.  I will buy it and I will try it.  I know dish detergent with vinegar warmed until it is ready to explode is touted as a super solution.  Been there…done that and the results are not what I want.

……The Yard of the Month award is a new and great thing being done by the New Cumberland Garden Club.  The first winner is Bill Webster and he has tended to that yard on the corner of Pearl and Chester Street  since he and my sister, Marsha, built the house in the early sixties.   Hard to believe, but that lot once was also the site of my Dad’s office as well.  What a great way to build community pride and recognize those who create beauty in their corner of the world.

…..While others may think my home is on Veteran’s Boulevard, I sometimes think I live on Memory Lane.  That’s because a dozen year’s ago I returned to the land and home built by my parents when I was five years old.  The bones of the home are intact although I’ve moved a few walls and I’ve refurbished and refurnished much to my liking.    I counted and I’ve moved six times in my life and while I love my house, I’ve realized it’s the land I’m really tied to.  When I go outside I see the efforts of my parents to make this corner of the world a place I love.   While I relandscaped the area around the house, taking care to replace a rose bush exactly where my mother’s rose bush had been, all the other landscaping was a effort of over half a century ago.   Which brings me to my current conundrum which perhaps you dear reader can help me resolve.  In the semicircle that is my drive there are over 50  little shrubs which line the drive.    Fear not, they are not the original shrubs.   Some blight took the originals out and these were planted about 30 years ago.  They struggle and  the center two are dead.  I am told they are yews, but I am having difficulty locating a replacements.   When we had the mulch and trimming done in May, the landscaper  looked them over and said “why don’t you take them out.”   My face went pale, Bill gasped for he knew I was somehow emotionally tied to those shrubs.  “She likes them,” he said.  “Look better if you took them out,” said the landscaper.  We all went back to our respective corners to think about it.   Am I letting emotion  drive my aesthetic sense?     Drive past my house, take a look and let me know your thoughts.   You can e-mail me at [email protected] or give me a call at 304-564-7154 to tell me what you think.

….Do you often think, “Her column has no focus.   She runs the gamut from business to government to personal stuff.” Yep, I do.  And, I maintain that is what I have in common with the majority of our readers.