What’s going on with
Salvation Army and Goodwater Vineyard?
Thanksgiving week holds the promise of piles of home cooked food but also much
colder weather in our hometown before above normal temperatures return for most of December.
Before completing my visit at Pleasant Grove church with Lorane (Conard)
Runyan for thoughts and memories on the memorial youth park, I made a note to remember a birthday
of a long-time friend, Edsel Hall. He turned 83 on November 15. I am much younger but still can
appreciate his aged viewpoint: “After 61 years behind the barber’s chair, you can’t remember
everyone’s name.” He still walks almost three miles a day early in the morning through town before
opening his barbershop near the courthouse.
Memories set in stone
We mentioned the Rev. James Blaine and Myrtle Conard family, Lorane’s parents and
also her late brother’s, S. Glenn Conard. Retired Newport Utilities employee J. B. Conard is a
brother. The others not mentioned yet are Dale, Bobby, Wayne, Myrna Livesay, Karen Hale, and
Rebecca McGaha. Lorane made the connection that Myrtle had survived cancer, when Lorane’s daughter,
Melissa Hale Brooks, could not.
“When Melissa died, I wanted to do
something beneficial in her memory,” said Lorane. “They, Glenn and Melissa, touched so many lives.
They were always caring and giving.” Melissa was “fun loving” and worked at Food City East as a
florist and also worked at Detroit Gasket. “She was my best friend,” said Lorane. Likewise, Glenn
always had a smile and looked for ways to help the community. He served on the Cosby Volunteer Fire
Department, farmed, and also worked at the Bush Brothers farm at Chestnut Hill. His death was a
shock to the family and his friends. He is survived by two children: Jennifer and Daniel.
Leaving the church property, Lorane asked if I had seen the blue cross on the top
of the church. It’s at the rear of the church roof. “You can see it from the interstate.” I will
look for it one night and this day forward will always associate it with Glenn and Melissa. And
somewhere nearby, you know is the bronze memorial plaque that reads, in part:
“A tribute to the life they lived
The people they
Always caring, always sharing
Forever in our hearts.”
What’s story on apartments?
I talked with Wade Wester a week or so ago,
when he dropped by the office about some property he and wife, Linda, had recently purchased. You
have seen the old, long frame houses, four of them, facing Ruble Street. Each of the houses is a
duplex, if I understood him correctly. They were last owned by a Jacksonville person and sold via
Luke Goddard. They do not have much information about the history of the property but believe the
houses were built around 1938. In fact, one of the reasons dropping in to see me was to determine
if we could publish a photo and story in hopes of learning more. Wade will continue to rent out the
apartments. One of our mailroom employees, Michael Raleigh, has been living in one of the houses
for several months and seems to be comfortable with it. You may recall that when the April tornado
blew thru a few years ago, it destroyed a large block garage at the rear of the houses. “We are
renovating and upgrading these. I want to see something special with them,” he said. It makes sense
that they landscape and renovate because Wade and Linda live on Ruble Street closer to the grammar
school. “Everybody deserves good homes,” he said. I can agree with that and salute the Westers for
their long-term project and commitment. If you know anything about the construction and early
owners, let me know and I will share this.