By Alvin Engelke

Those who attend the Creston auction are reminded that this time the happening will be held on January 31 instead of the first Saturday in February.

The local area received a little snow along with typical January temperatures. Albert Gore Jr. gave a big talk on global warming in New York City on one of the coldest days of record. By the way, Baghdad Bob is back on Tee Vee and for sure he will have plenty of work.

Danny Stutler was among those who attended the big root and fur auction at Glenville. Trapping was one of the economic mainstays of the area until the synthetic fabric group came along and tried to turn folks against animal products, including furs. When the trapping pressure came off on local furbearers there was a rabies outbreak that spread all the way to upstate New York. After all, trapping had been going on in these parts for 400 years.

It was learned that the groups that are working to ban hunting, trapping and fishing have millions and millions in banks. PETA has over $16 million and the Humane Society has over $67 million. It was noted that PETA really stands for People for the Eating of Tasty Animals.

Several Wirt County residents attended the play Death Trap at the Theater Guild in Parkersburg. It is a two-act play with many twists, turns and a very surprising ending.

It was noted that turnips, an umbrella and a cap were fetched in by one fellow for The Sassy Storekeeper.

The other night, during the snow, more pies, cobbler and other goodies were fetched in for Mr. Dexterity (and perhaps Phil). It seems that some of these women think that a man's stomach is very important.

Chester Fluharty fell and broke a leg. Presently he is in Western Hills rehab hospital at Parkersburg.

Brooks McCabe a politico down at the Mouth of the Elk River announced that county consolidation would be a wonderful thing. He suggested that Kanawha, Putnam and Cabell be joined together. Putnam County has been growing while Kanawha has been losing population. A Putnam politician said consolidation might be good "for the sparsely settled" but would not be good there. Obviously, local residents are going to have to keep a close eye on the goings on down at the legislative session. It also will be imperative to have the best candidates possible for all offices so the local area is not bamboozled by the venal and the gullible.

According to early reports the folks who make the laws are considering more and higher taxes on snuff and chewing tobacco. Apparently some of the elite just can't stand it that West Virginia leads the nation in chewing. These "leaders" would have us believe with lots more gambling and lots of tax on Navy, Copenhagen and Mail Pouch the state's financial woes will be solved. Of course Mail Pouch, a West Virginia product, has been made in the same factory building for about 160 years, a record that will be hard to beat -these are jobs that likely will not be outsourced to Hindoostan or communist China.

Those who lead our state (and have led it now for decades) should be proud or something. 14.8% of the state's residents have a bachelor's degree or more which makes W. Va. 50th in the nation. Also, voter turnout in the 2000 election was 40.9% which gave our state a rating of 46th.

The price of local crude oil rose to $31.75 reflecting the trend in world prices, which are, of course, significantly higher.

Keith Collins, Anna Engelke, Sean McKillop, Dina Hallow and Jessica Potter were at a Chili Party on Friday evening when they decided they wanted to go on "an adventure", as Anna used to call it when she was little. After some discussion they decided on a "spontaneous" trip to New York City. Driving all night, they arrived about dawn and enjoyed visiting the Today Show on the Plaza where they had three seconds of fame on national TV. The group also visited the World Trade Center Site, dined in local eateries and secured tickets to the very popular play, 42nd Street. By play time in the evening, the group was a little weary after being awake for 40 hours and struggled to "keep focused" in the nice warm theater. Keith soon drifted off. About that time a gunshot was fired as part of the play. He threw up his hands and cried out in a loud voice, (expletives deleted), sending the patrons around him into peals of laughter. After that incident, staying awake through the rest of the performance was easier. The trip home brought a snowstorm and bad road conditions but everyone arrived home safely. They said next time they would check the weather first but then, would the trip be spontaneous?

Leslie "The Leapin' Lizard" Lynch made the dean's list at West Virginia State College. She and a group of friends also went to Jacksonville Florida to watch the mismatch between the Morgantown and Maryland semi-pro teams.

Matt Copen rescued Nancy Engelke when her hot water pipe burst under her sink sending extremely hot water and steam all over her kitchen. Matt had the pipe fixed and working in very short order.

S. F. C. & Mrs. Thomas Fluharty and Chester Fluharty visited relatives in Pine Grove. The big news in that area was arrival of the new column for the natural gas liquids gas extraction plant. The part was flown from Canada to Pittsburgh on a Russian plane and then trucked to Hastings Station. It took all day to get from New Martinsville over to Pine Grove. They were 4 hours getting around the first big curve in the road and at Reader cribbing and timbers had to be used to cross the bridge.

Peggy Cooper became ill and was a patient in the hospital. She is now home and feeling somewhat better.

Several Wirt residents were among the throng that attended the wake for prominent Ritchie cattleman and civic leader Marian Goff. He & his wife had just returned from the national Farm Bureau convention in Hawaii. Former Wirt County VoAg teacher Ben Cummings won the young farmer debate and now has a FWD Dodge pickup truck.

Mum seems to be the word on the Eastern American deep well at Gandeeville but one outfit was paying $15/acre in delay rental for acreage near the location. It was reported that Eastern American has started another deep well near Deadfall Run in Clay County and that Martin Twist's second deep well in Jackson County was a duster.

Both Alvin and Nancy Engelke were having professional consultations with Dr. Mills.

Jim Thompson was consulting with the folks at the VA hospital at Clarksburg.

It was learned that The Great Pifu motored down to Florida to spend some time with his pal Paul.

Donna Sue Ferrell was attending to business in Grantsville.