The Minnora satellite center for seniors is a treasure
of Calhoun County. I visited twice in the last month and was greeted
like a longtime friend. The pungent smell of coffee gave the feeling of
just dropping in for a casual visit with neighbors. The large social
area and kitchen has several large round tables and chairs that were
soon filled with friends, eager to share the activities.
Marnelle Sampson and I monopolized the rocking chairs,
which were just the right size, with sturdy arms. It seemed they were
waiting for warm weather when they can be moved to the spacious shaded
porch. Lunches were transported from the Grantsville center by Jim
Mullenax, the friendly and compassionate van driver.
There is also a fitness room with two treadmills and two
recumbent bikes. On one of the visits, the bikes were being used by
Roscoe and Pearl Conrad McCune. Jessie Hickman and Sutchai Cottrell were
making good use of the treadmills.
A comfortable smaller room was available for
conversation and smaller groups. This could probably be used for
quilting or stitching classes when there is a demand. There is also a
spacious office for Karen Moore, site coordinator, who is a genial
Each day, there are enthusiastic games of rummy and
bingo, but for me, the singing, accompanied by Larry Cottrell’s guitar,
was the highlight of the day. The song fest included “Red River Valley,”
“You Are My Sunshine,” and hymns. We did falter a bit on the words to
“West Virginia Hills,” so I have included them (below) for all readers.
Bernice Arnold of Grantsville entertained with an original song, and
then joined Eucle Knotts to lead the dancing. Those who attended were
quick to help with handing out game supplies and setting the table for
I made new friends those days. Sutchai Cottrell,
originally from Thailand, Loretta Norris from New England, and Ford
Wilson, who was a coal miner in Webster County, fit in with former
acquaintances like Emma Deel and Jessie Hickman. Paris and Orva Parsons
are longtime friends from my days of antiquing.
I hope you can feel the warmth and friendship available
at the Minnora center. I plan to make periodic visits. I love these
As I was leaving, I stopped by the former Minnora School
and met one of the new owners, Robert and Lynnita Gregory, who told me
of their plans for the property. He was enthusiastic about the fields,
with very few noxious weeds. He is also pleased to be a neighbor to the
Words by Mrs. Ellen King, Music by H.E. Engle
1. Oh, the
West Virginia hills! How majestic and how grand,
With their summits bathed in glory, like our
Is it any wonder then, that my heart with
As I stand once more with loved ones on
Oh, the hills, beautiful hills,
how I love those West Virginia hills!
If o’er sea o’er land I roam, still I’ll
think of happy home,
And my friends among the West Virginia
2. Oh, the West Virginia hills!
Where my childhood hours were passed,
Where I often wandered lonely, and the
future tried to cast;
Many are our visions bright, which the
future ne’er fulfills;
But how sunny were my daydreams on those
3. Oh, the West Virginia hills!
How unchang’d they seem to stand,
With their summits pointed skyward to the
Many changes I can see, Which my heart with
But no changes can be noticed In those West
4. Oh, the West Virginia hills! I
must bid you now adieu.
In my home beyond the mountains I shall ever
dream of you;
In the evening time of life, if my Father
I shall still behold the vision of those
West Virginia hills.
As she glides along the highway,
She is on one mighty run
Curt Hicks is the driver
He don’t drive her for fun,
She is not so tall and handsome
But she’s both wide and long.
A perfect combination
The West Fork Cannon Ball.
The West Fork Road is dangerous
So all the people say
Stinson and Minnora,
Orma by the way.
From the banks of the West Fork
On to the Little Kanawha
No chances can be taken
On the West Fork Cannon Ball
Here’s to Mr. Curt Hicks
May his name forever stand
And always be remembered
Throughout this sunny land
When his Earthly race is over
And the curtains around him fall
He’ll be carried home to glory
On the West Fork Cannon Ball.
Written by Thomas W. Anderson, Jr., Chloe, in 1939, a student at
Calhoun County High School, in honor of Curt Hicks, bus driver for
Calhoun County Schools. Roscoe McCune supplied this poem that was folded
in his wallet for many years.