Goodwin could use help on litter pickup

When the temperatures are above freezing, Neal Goodwin will be picking up litter three days a week in north Parkersburg.

He’s the guy wearing safety green clothing, placing litter in construction bags from 27th Street to 40th Street on Emerson Avenue, Dudley Avenue to 19th Street, West Virginia Avenue and Lakeview Drive from 36th Street to Murdoch Avenue.

A telephone company retiree, Goodwin said he picks up litter for three or four hours on those three days.

Because of the snow and ice, Goodwin has been making his litter rounds on foot.

When the weather warms up, he will cover his litter pickup route on his bicycle.

Goodwin said he appreciates the people who have thanked him for his work over the past eight years.

Goodwin is not paid for his efforts. He buys the trash bags for his work.

He only wants to see a cleaner Parkersburg.

Goodwin said the amount of litter in this section of the city is about the same as when he began eight years ago. He also has noticed litter-strewn areas in other parts of West Virginia.

People should take pride in how their communities look, he said.

Goodwin would like to see regular litter cleanup days scheduled throughout the city. And for more people to help in the cleanup effort.

Some people mistakenly think Goodwin works for the city.

A few unkind motorists yell, “Get a real job,” or “Get a job.”

Goodwin, who turned 60 years old on Friday, said he is finding more discarded needles these days. If the needles are capped, he tosses them in his trash bags, which end up in dumpsters.

If the needles are not capped, he alerts the city police who retrieve them.

Goodwin has been wearing a mask outside because of all the flu going around.

“The city should consider hiring people to clean up litter in Parkersburg because there are people willing to do it,” he said.

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Hershel “Woody” Williams described it as a “once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

Williams, 94, a Medal of Honor recipient from West Virginia, flipped the coin before the Super Bowl on Feb. 4 in Minneapolis.

The coin ended up heads. The previous four coin tosses at the Super Bowl had landed on tails, Williams said.

The New England Patriots won the coin toss but lost the game.

Williams, who lives in Ona, Cabell County, said the other 14 Medal of Honor recipients at the coin toss voted for him to flip the coin.

He was honored and grateful for being selected. “Any of them could have flipped the coin,” Williams said.

“What an experience,” Williams told me, something he never dreamed would have been possible.

Williams was the oldest of the 15 Medal of Honor recipients at the opening ceremony. Williams received his Medal of Honor in 1945 for heroism at the Battle of Iwo Jima during World War II.

He said he had pretty good seats at the game — until someone would stand up and cheer, blocking his view.

Williams said he was introduced to the referee before taking his seat in the stadium. For the coin toss, “all of us” (Medal of Honor recipients) were on the field.

Williams, who started the Hershel “Woody” Williams Medal of Honor Foundation, spoke to a group about building a Gold Star Families Memorial Monument in Minnesota. A Gold Star monument will be dedicated in Marietta in June.

Williams did not enjoy the two-block walk from the domed stadium to his bus after the Super Bowl, saying the weather was miserable.

It was nine-degrees below zero with the wind chill, he said.

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The Parkersburg High School Football Hall of Fame Committee needs your help in finding family members of 2018 inductees. Ken Ferrell and Widdy Neale were all-state football players at PHS in 1918. Ferrell also was all-state in 1919, while Neale is the younger brother of football legend Earle “Greasy” Neale of Parkersburg. The committee also is looking for family members of Ora Hanks, all-state football captain in 1940, along with Francis Berger and Harold McKibben, all-state football players in 1943. Induction dates will be announced later. Anyone with information about these inductees can call Ross Snyder at (740) 525-1347 or Carroll Jett at 304-488-9176.

Contact Paul LaPann at plapann@newsandsentinel.com

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