Turning The Pages

By: Paige Cline

After the rather painful chore of paying property taxes at the court house, I decided to visit he office where the cause for the suffering starts. 
No use to try to feign anger or disbelief in the assessor’s office. The ladies who work there are nice and sweet and charming and efficient and you leave there feeling that you should probably pay even more than the assessed amount. 
The present assessor accompanied me to the front door and asked for a long-distance tour of the Kentucky Side which was in full view from the lobby windows. 
Joining the discussion soon was the circuit clerk. The tour of the Kentucky Side soon became a tour of the court house basement, where recent renovations had transformed the old, cramped, dark, damp furnace room into a dry, light future destination for old court records. I was told that by the circuit clerk who had an idea that I might be interested. he was right.. 
After pointing out who-lives-where-now on he Kentucky Side, I later felt a small surge of pride in the neighborhood of my youth. There were so many important, successful people who called that place home. 
li told you earlier about neighbor Virgil Stewart who became the president of Concord College. 
The house next to the Stewarts was occupied by the C.A.Blankenship family. Arthur and Inez Blankenship were both teachers. Arthur became the principal of Pineville High and was later a county assistant superintendent. After that he was elected to the House of Delegates and was elevated to the post of clerk where he served for almost forty years. He was a mentor to almost every delegate, especially those from his home county. 
Bob and Elizabeth Kuhn lived on he corner where the Growes lived Mister Kuhn was a high school principal and was named to coordinate the massive building program which resulted in the building of five new high schools in the county and extensive renovations to Mullens High, including a new gymnasium. Most opened for the first time for the 1951 graduating class. 
The Darrel McGraw family lived on the lower street. Sons Warren and Darrell V. held, and hold, such positions as Delegate, Senator, Supreme Court judge, Attorney General and circuit judge. 
At the end of Maple Avenue lived Robert Worrell. Robert was judge of the circuit court for many years. He was a personal friend and a mentor to me and members of my family for years. I have written more than one column based on the letters written to me by Judge Worrell. 
Claude Phillips of the highly successful Robinson-Phillips Coal Company lived next door to us. His son Joe filled southern West Virginia with cars and trucks from Patriot Ford in Beckley which he owned. 
Robert Beavers, a founder of Pineville Land Co. and builder of numerous homes after the War lived on Maple. 
Joe Hansbarger founded Guyan Mobile Homes (now Southern Homes) and served many years on the County commission. 
Jack Shipman was publisher of the Independent Herald and later the head of the state liquor commission. 
Dr. Zsoldos became a principle owner and physician of the Mullens Hospital. 
Clyde Holloway of the Holloway Drug brothers was a Ky. Sider. 
E.M. Curry was the founder of Pineville Furniture. His son went on to become a college professor. 
Fred Huffman owned an operated Wyoming Lumber. His son, Dick, succeeded him there. 
And there are more. Like the Morgan brothers Claude and Alvin. Both had successful careers. Al distinguished himself in the athletic world by coaching at The Greenbrier Military School in Lewisburg. From there he became the coach at the new Greenbrier East high School and won a state AAA championship here. 
I hesitate to mention that bratty little brothers David and Ranny Cline fulfilled a dream and surpassed almost everyone’s expectations by becoming the very successful owners, publishers, writers, ad salesmen and custodians of The Independent Herald. They set standards of excellence met by few of the big dailies. 
Is it any wonder I take a little pride in my friends and neighbors–and family? That is quite an array for a little part of town across the river and across the tracks. 
Were you raised in such a place? I would love to hear about your old neighborhood, and neighbors, when you were…..growin’up. 
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