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About Town

August 7, 2013
By CHUCK CRONIN , Weirton Daily Times

Expand your vocabulary with these words:

Bete Noire - a detested person.

Googol - the digit 1 followed by 100 zeros.

Proletariat - the working class.

Recompense - to repay or reward.

Sanctimonious - pretending to be pious.

Sine die - for an indefinite period.

Soliloquy - talking to one's self.

Somnambulism - sleepwalking.

Having mentioned that drive-in theaters nationally have dwindled to a few hundred, I could have pointed out that the Hilltop Drive-In outside of Chester remains open, and there's a flea market there on Sundays in season.

It was 1995 when I hastily plowed through James B. Lieber's compelling book, the 349-page "Friendly Takeover," subtitled "How an Employee Buyout Saved a Steel Town." At a leisurely pace, I just finished reading it again. It was still absorbing, dramatic, impressive and sad! Pittsburgh lawyer-writer Lieber spent five years piecing together the story of the ESOP. The book jacket hailed "Friendly Takeover" as one of the most complete and intimate accounts of a major corporate struggle ever recorded. Then staying with the same theme, I chose to re-read Phillip Smith's 2003 "Board Betrayal," of 199 pages, plus appendices. It was a depressing chronology of events, to say the least.

Being an eclectic reader, my next read, or accurately reread, was "Tales and Stories of Yellow Creek," authored by Dr. Robert W. Schilling (1878-1962) who lived in New Somerset, Ohio, which is a small community in Jefferson County. As before, the most interesting part was about Abraham Lincoln's Feb. 14, 1861, train ride through Steubenville and then Wellsville en route to Pittsburgh.

One of my friends was showing me the damage inflicted by vandals on his beautiful new vehicle. This expensive vehicle was "keyed" from front to back on each side. Aside from full restitution of repairs, what would be a suitable punishment for such senseless vandalism? A work detail all summer, without compensation, might be appropriate.

Overheard in a local saloon: "Are you free some night soon?"

Reply: "No, but you will find me quite reasonable."

I liked this thought: "The sole purpose of a child's middle name is so he or she can tell when they are in trouble." Example: "William Sylvester quit tormenting your sister or else!"

Something I hadn't seen in print before: The first novel ever written on a typewriter was "Tom Sawyer."

At a business where I used to work, I considered myself the heart of the organization. Imagine my distress when the boss told me I was more like the appendix!

We heard about this local guy dining at an unfamiliar restaurant. He asked the waiter what the specialty of the day was, and was told the Heimlich Maneuver.

Somewhere I read that major league baseball is a game of inches. The difference between a .250 hitter and a .300 slugger is only one more hit every 20 times up.

My favorite golf driving range on old Route 22 outside of Weirton apparently has a new operator; the new manager in my opinion is doing an excellent job.

I am looking for: