Tony started his day in St Albans with a stop at the Rotary luncheon where his talents included eating and speaking!
Lunch with St. Albans Rotary
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Their motto is simple. You must pass the 4 way test and be truthful, fair, friendly and beneficial to all you meet. So it was that I made my first ever appearance at the St. Albans Rotary on Thursday.
As I drove past Roadside Park along the river, I thought ahead to Riverfest this summer when concerts and water sports would entertain big crowds. On this day, the Great Kanawha was running high and muddy thanks to a week of rain and melting snows. I thought to myself, hopefully it will be hot and sunny Fourth of July weekend for all the fun!
Turning left off of Route 60 near Crawford Field a nasty drizzle dampened the road. I passed under the railroad tracks where summer downpours can overwhelm the city’s storm sewers. I recalled the Memorial Day flood of 2009 when Mayor Dick Calloway so aptly put it, “our storm sewers were designed to hold a normal summer day’s rainfall. When you get five inches of rain in a 2 hour time period, that’s not normal”.
I arrived at the Woman’s Club building ready for action. Ed Ballard met me with a firm hand shake. “Welcome to St Albans, Tony”! I was immediately mesmerized by the Woman’s Club Home where the meeting was held. “Is the house on the historic landmarks registry”, I inquired whimsically. You see the house was a true throwback.
After I toured the historic home, it was time for lunch. This being National Soup Month, it was appropriate that the ladies served a bowl of piping hot Chicken Tortellini soup. “Seconds, Tony”, Caroline soon asked me? My eyes lit up in excitement!
For dessert there was a concotion called "Apple and Cranberry Crumbles", ala mode, if my sweet tooth may add!
Before my talk, fine man Randy Robinson called upon all Marshall fans to “buck up” after the Capital Classic loss and for ‘Eers fans to be gracious in victory and follow suit.
My talk focused on the winter that has been and will be. “The silly song says it best when it comes to the rest of the winter. Second verse, same as the first, a little bit louder and a little bit worse. We likely will see the weather turn just as cold and snowy in February as it was earlier this month”, I reported.
Questions on Global Warming and fickle Kanawha Valley weather patterns were answered candidly with an admission that “I do my best to keep up. Sometimes I nail it, other times I get nailed. But always I am trying to learn and get better”.
Of course, I was interested in Rotary. Turns out this local chapter is more active than your average service club. Fund raisers that support scholarships for worthy Red Dragons come thru pancake and spaghetti dinners.
On Saturday January 30 a special pancake breakfast will be hosted by Appleby’s. Then this spring a spaghetti dinner will be part of the Ed Carter Memorial Invitational Baseball Tourney at the high school, a fund raiser for the fight against Leukemia.
And then there is the drive to help fund the local Jericho House which gives support to needy young families. You see the Rotarians are committed to community support.
They have been at it for 89 years in St Albans, hosting Rotary gatherings. So it was that I made my first appearance on this gloomy Thursday.
I left with a promise. “I will be back next week hopefully to do a story”!
Here's a link to the St. Albans Rotary page.