Braxton Citizens' News, Opinion

Celebrating our Nation’s Birthday…

As I write this, our nation will be celebrating its’ birthday. I am proud to be an American and a West Virginian. I recently read that patriotism is at an all-time low. I can certainly understand that, considering the controversy and strife facing our country. Most of which, I believe is brought on by political rivalry. Like most of you, I too am concerned about where our nation is headed but that doesn’t deter me from being a proud American.

I broke away from my celebration with family and friends this weekend to attend the Gassaway High School Alumni Banquet. My granddaughter, Carly, was my date for the evening, and I was extremely pleased to have her accompany me. Or maybe it was the other way around… Carly was fortunate enough last year to be awarded a scholarship through the Alumni Association. The grants are renewable, so she was eligible for a second year. It was great to have her companionship and I must admit that I enjoyed showing her off as a proud grandfather.

Carly was one of four BCHS graduates from last year who received scholarships. Three students from the previous year also received additional money. Five lucky graduates from the 2023 class each received $2,000 from alumni of GHS and the efforts of the Alumni Association.

During the social hour I looked around the room and realized that anyone who graduated from Gassaway was now at least 70 years old. It made me wonder what will happen to the organization and how many more years there will be a banquet.

During the program portion of the banquet Master of Ceremonies Dr. Kenna Seal introduced and interviewed Kenneth Ralph Gosnell the oldest known living GHS alumni at 105 years of age. He graduated in the class of 1935. His mind was amazingly sharp as he told stories of pranks, he and his classmates pulled. Like most from our small school I could relate to those stories. I could add a few of my own, but I’ll save that for another writing. Mr. Gosnell also, fittingly for the occasion, talked about his days in the war defending our country.

Jarrett Frame had another segment in the history of our school. This one took a more general turn as he added details of the great depression and WW II. I found it very interesting… probably more so than the younger attendees, but hopefully they learned something.

All and all, it was a great interlude to an enjoyable long weekend. I guess I should add that I am writing this on July 4 as our staff determined that working today was the easiest way to deal with a holiday that fell on Tuesday and still meet our deadlines while giving them a long weekend. I guess that I probably shouldn’t add that I played hooky from the office on Friday. Oh well, being the boss has to have some privileges…