Shepherd determined to finish project

Bill Shepherd was disappointed that the war memorial area at Parkersburg City Park was not refurbished last year.

Shepherd, commander of American Legion Post 15 in Parkersburg, said he will continue to work until his goal of raising $40,000 is reached to improve the war memorial area near the City Park pond. He is optimistic the community will support the project.

About $8,800 has been donated so far. Businesses have promised to donate some materials and labor costs, Shepherd said.

Some of the brick walls have deteriorated around the memorials, which contain the names of Wood Countians who died in World War I, World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam War. The concrete floor near the memorials is cracked.

Shepherd’s plan calls for demolishing the walls, and not replacing them, adding a new concrete pad, landscaping the area, adding lighting, walkways and a flagpole.

Shepherd wants to start construction in April so a new war memorial area can be rededicated on Memorial Day.

He will be talking to economic development organizations, businesses, civic groups and others about the importance of creating an attractive area that honors Wood County service members who died in these wars. His design plans have been approved by the city of Parkersburg.

Anyone wanting to donate money toward the project can mail a check to American Legion Post 15, 2505 Ohio Ave., Parkersburg,WV 26101. Note on the check that the money is for the city park war memorial donation fund. The American Legion’s telephone number is 304-485-5891.

The war memorial was built by the Military Order of the Purple Heart, Parkersburg Chapter 408 and Mid-Ohio Valley citizens in 1979. The memorial has been adopted by American Legion Post 15.

Shepherd is determined to finish the war memorial project.

The deceased veterans of Wood County deserve a fitting tribute.

***

Tickets are available for the Clyde Brewer Barbecue “Roast” on Jan. 20 at Vienna Community Building in Jackson Memorial Park.

Brewer of Vienna, a retired teacher and high school basketball coach in Wood County, is battling cancer.

“Clyde has touched a lot of lives by teaching and sports,” said John Coe, who is spearheading the event in Brewer’s honor and will be master of ceremonies. The roast is “for a great cause and a great man,” Coe said, adding that Brewer was an outstanding boys basketball coach at Parkersburg High School.

Doors open at 5 p.m., dinner is at 6 p.m. and the roast will follow dinner. Chris Jackson is preparing a Southern-style menu of pork barbecue, coleslaw and peach-flavored baked beans, Coe said.

Jimmie Colombo’s Italian Restaurant is donating the meat, Foodland is donating utensils, cups and paper plates, PepsiCo is donating the drinks, Great Steak Grill is donating the bread and Vienna Mayor Randy Rapp is donating use of the building, Coe said.

Organizers hope that former Parkersburg High School boys basketball players and Wood County Schools employees who worked with Brewer will attend. After graduating from Glenville State College, Brewer starting working in the Wood County School System in 1965 at Jackson Junior High and was head basketball coach at PHS from 1982 to 2005, Coe said.

Tickets can be purchased at Great Steak Grill in Grand Central Mall, from John Coe at 304-481-5555, Tom Azinger at 304-580-1199 and Jim Hamric.

Those who cannot attend the roast but want to send Brewer a card or call him can contact Coe.

***

David Fankhauser recently purchased the former Odd Fellows Lodge at 316 Fifth St. in Parkersburg and wants to return the building to its “former glory.”

Fankhauser, 30, of Parkersburg spent four years active duty in the U.S. Army. He said the first and second floors of the brick building, with its Romanesque architecture, contain apartments. The third floor —  a “piece of history” — needs considerable renovations before it can be used, Fankhauser told me.

He is looking for old photographs of the building, which was built in 1897, especially ones of the third floor interior.

“I would like to bring some of the original design back to life in the process. Some of the designs are absolutely beautiful and it has a dome in the ceiling that is very ornate,” Fankhauser said on a Facebook posting.

Old newspaper clippings or lodge photos would be helpful in his renovation project, Fankhauser said. He can be contacted at 304-893-4153.

Contact Paul LaPann at plapann@newsandsentinel.com

COMMENTS