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Remembering the years
by Betty DeForest Elder · March 08, 2013


Dear West Liberty,

Happy 175th! Your new birthday banners are spiffy, aren’t they? Do you remember when you were mostly an agricultural town? Even the two farm implement dealerships were located on your main street. On summer Saturday nights farm families came to park on you main street, buy their week’s groceries and listen to the band concert. There were numerous groceries then: Morris’, Andersons, Benteco, Lewis’ and located in a small building just behind the former bank was a small meat market which sold a limited amount of produce.

Can you remember how WLHS celebrated St. Patrick’s Day 70 years ago? There were no legal holidays such as Martin L. King or Presidents Days to break the long span of time between Christmas and Easter, so St. Pat’s day came as a welcome relief. There were only two Irish families in school at that time, but celebrate we did! It was always declared “Old Clothes” day. Costumes were encouraged and even teachers wore whatever suited their fancy. The day ended with an all-school assembly (junior high included) where costume prizes were awarded, a silly skit presented and all the old lilting Irish songs were sung with gusto, led by the mischievous “Bud” McCabe.

We were Methodists, Christians, Catholics and Presbyterians, but for that one day we were all Irish!

Your birthday committee has planned unique events for each month of your special year. Enjoy them all!

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