Lenten performance announced March 9

“People of the Passion”, a powerful Lent performance, is being presented Saturday, March 9 and Sunday, March 10 at 7:30 p.m. at St. Bernard’s Catholic Church in Beverly. This marks the 16th annual performance of the event, featuring music, drama, and dance. The cost of the performance is free and it is open to all, although it is not recommended for babies or toddlers. The 2013 performance is under the direction of Carolyn Plummer.


Weekly community Lenten services for the Beverly-Waterford communities continue this Wednesday at the Waterford United Methodist Church. This week’s service will feature Father Bob Kawa from St. Bernard’s Catholic Church as the Lenten speaker. The service begins at 7:30 and is open to any and all community members. Services continue each Wednesday through Good Friday and are coordinated by the Beverly-Waterford Ministerial Association.


So, Punxsutawney Phil predicted an early spring. That must be why we recently had an ice storm and more snow is predicted. I, personally, do not mind winter, but the warmth and lovely smells of spring are welcome after a cold winter. While catching up on some reading during our latest ‘confinement’ due to weather, I came across a poem about clotheslines in a newsletter I receive. It asked whether anyone had or used a clothesline anymore. I confess to having mine taken down several years ago because it was in the road when trying to mow the yard and because I just didn’t have the time to hang clothes on the line any more.

But do you remember the smell of clothes hung out to dry on the line? One of my fondest memories is of my grandmother hanging sheets on the line to dry, humming all the while Thoughts of staying overnight and snuggling into a bed made up with freshly dried and pressed sheets for there were no such things as permanent press sheets in ‘those days’ still make me smile.

And what about everything necessary to iron those sheets? Who remembers having to dampen them before ironing? I can still see both my mother and grandmother with their plastic bottles with the red lid containing holes to let the water through for sprinkling. Mom would dampen her sheets then roll them up and keep them in the refrigerator until she had time to later iron them. When we moved, mom was relieved of the ironing duties with the gift of a mangle? Does anyone remember or know what they were? Ours was the size of a roll top desk. The large, deep lid would be lifted to reveal a long heated plate and an equally as long padded roller. The dampened sheets were folded in half and laid on the padded roller. The flick of a switch started the roller turning and brought the heated plate against the roller. All you had to do was guide the sheet into the top of the roller and guide it out from underneath the same roller. Fresh-smelling sheets, neatly and quickly pressed.

As for the poem by an unknown author that triggered this wave of nostalgia”A clothesline was a news broadcast to neighbors passing by. There were no secrets you could keep when clothes were hung to dry. It also was a friendly link, for neighbors always knew if company had stopped on by to spend a night or two. For then you’d see the fancy sheets and towels on the line; You’d see the company tablecloths with intricate design. The line announced a baby’s birth to folks who lived inside, as brand new infant clothes were hung so carefully with pride. The age of children could so readily be known. By watching how the sizes changed, you’d know how much they’d grown. It also told when illness struck, as extra sheets were hung; Then night clothes, and a bathrobe, too, haphazardly were strung. It said, “Gone on vacation now!” when lines hung limp and bare, It told, “We’re back!” when full lines sagged with not an inch to spare. New folks in town were scorned upon if wash was dingy gray, as neighbors raised their brows and looked disgustedly away. But clotheslines now are of the past for dryers make work less. Now what goes on inside a home is anybody’s guess. I really miss that way of life, it was a friendly sign. When neighbors knew each other best by what hung on the line.

* * *

Sue Sampson is a longtime columnist for The Parkersburg News & Sentinel.