The day started with intermittent sun and clouds when Lamont and I jumped in the car and headed to Scio for its annual Fourth of July weekend fest. We have done this for as many years was possible and really enjoy the Scio Ruritan's chicken barbecue and the Alturian Club homemade pies.
Wouldn't you know it? It started sprinkling before we finished the potato salad, baked beans and tasty chicken?
The rain held to a sprinkle during the pet parade that I found interesting. There were many dogs and one guinea pig in the competition. One of the dogs had the name Bagel, as it was part Bassett and part beagle. Drake Christman had a beautiful Huskie dog that could be the possible mascot of Harrison Central.
The Altrurian Club ladies, including Dee Horstman, a nice lady I know from e-mails and the telephone, and Doris Harmon and Katie English, had some great looking homemade pies. I was delighted to find that they had pineapple, one of my favorite pies that is seldom around. They had gigantic apple dumplings and that was Lamont's dessert of choice with some of the Ruritan soft ice cream.
I have always seen E.D. Shumaker at Harrison County relays, fairs and festivals but never spoke to him until the relay. I asked why he was not in the survivors lap, as it was announced that he was a cancer survivor. He said he was too busy taking pictures.
When I saw him at the festival, I reminded him that we were meeting so soon again. He shared names of people with me and had the announcer tell the crowd that Esther McCoy of the Herald-Star was in the audience. That made it easier for me to take pictures.
Umbrellas were going up as fast as mushrooms grow in our garden, and Mary Lou Dennis and her husband, Bill, came prepared. Along with the umbrella, they were both wearing royal blue T-shirts imprinted with an American flag.
Not using an umbrella were three youth who were cavorting about on the wet grass, and one slipped and fell and then they all went down. I asked if I could take their picture, and Dalton Ransom, who is 11, asked if he could put his cousin, Brinlee Fife, 7, on his back. Jazmyn Rotkoski is the one who fell in the wet grass but did not seem to mind at all. They are all cousins and all live in Scio.
Herman Neimayer and his wife, Gene, were staying rather dry in a three- sided tent as they made balloon animals for the children. I thought I was seeing double with two young ladies in dressy navy, red and white dresses. They were 4-year-old twin sisters, Emily and Megan Dennis. They had a brother, Tristan, who is 6.
Mariel Ward, 4, daughter of Marlys and Dave Ward of Scio, had one of Neimayer's poodle balloons and was cuddling it as if it were a real pet.
The Scio branch of the Puskarich Public Library had a used book sale, where good reading material can be purchased at a low price. I didn't get there soon enough. It closed at 1 p.m., and we decided to wait out the rain before visiting the library and it was closed by then.
Several days after the Scio event, we went to the Harrison County Junior Fair Night for the crowning of the queen, princess and prince.
I was very much surprised when Loretta Pickens started reading off the achievements of the person the county 4-H Committee had chosen as the Friend of 4-H. And then I realized that I did those things.
I felt very proud and excited to receive this important award but the thought that crossed my mind as I stood up to go to the stage was "Are the people in Harrison County going to be upset because someone out of the county got the award and I'll walk up to dead silence. This was not to be. A roar of clapping and shouting broke out and this about made me cry.
I think I felt like Sally Fields when she said her famous seven awards upon receiving an Oscar 'You like me, you really like me." I didn't say that though. As a matter of fact, all I could think of was thank you so much.
I will say now how happy I was to receive this honored award and the handmade redwood cedar bench. I learned that it was made by Brian Hirschbach. He tells me he just started in sawing and putting together and came up with the bench. Now two other people have asked for one like it.
The people of Harrison County have been so wonderful to me. I don't get complaints if I make a mistake, and I always get sincere thanks for my work.
Loretta Pickens, someone who is just a bit shorter than me but has more energy than a 6-footer, is a great friend. I enjoy Lisa Kendziorski's enthusiasm, and Jayne Wallace and I always banter back and forth since we went to Washington, D.C., together. Dolores Spragg and Lola Carmen are my role models. They can cook like a schooled chef and sew like Oscar de la Renta.
I could mention loads of people I dearly love in the county but space does not allow it. Just know that I appreciate you all.
(McCoy, a resident of Smithfield, is food editor and a staff columnist for the Herald-Star and the Weirton Daily Times. She can be contacted at email@example.com.)