Visions of the Development of Salem

By Kevin Zorn

An oil on canvas mural is displayed in the post office in Salem, West Virginia. It was painted by an artist named Berni Glasgow and its production was funded
through the Treasury Department’s Section of Painting and Sculpture. It is titled “Visions of the Development of Salem” and depicts a group of people
receiving mail, in the background is a village and cattle.

 

Berni Glasgow was one of more than 800 artists commissioned to paint 1371 murals, the majority of which are featured in post offices.
Often mistaken as a Works Progress Administration (WPA) initiative, these Treasury funded murals were created with the intent of fostering i
nspiration in the American people who were still feeling the devastating economic and social effects of the Great Depression.

 

It is a testament to the shift in the ideological landscape today that I cannot believe the US Government, in tandem with local governments,
was capable of doing what the WPA accomplished. Yet, here are just some of the facts: from 1935 to 1943 8.5 million unemployed men and
women were hired by the government to build over 10,000 bridges, 620,000 miles of streets and roads, 40,000 new and 85,000 renovated
buildings including thousands of schools, gymnasiums, auditoriums, playgrounds, parks, libraries, college dormitories, tennis courts, and skating rinks.

 

The WPA employed artists, writers, historians, and musicians whose work directly affected the lives of millions of Americans during some of the
country’s most painful years. Musicians hired under the Federal Music Project taught free lessons to 132,000 children and adults every week.
Those hired in the Federal Writers’ Project, in addition to their popular state tourism guidebooks, recorded over 2,300 slave narratives -
an invaluable collection for scholars and historians. Under the Federal Theatre Project 1,000 plays were performed across the country every month.
Incalculable is the number of children and adults inspired by this work.

 

Through the colossal endeavors of the WPA in both its pre-war effort and its public projects America achieved full employment by 1942,
the same year “Visions” was painted in Salem.

 

It is clear that the America many of us grew up in, the structures that supported our lives, the parks we enjoyed, the schools we attended,
the infrastructure we relied upon for travel, even the art classes that inspired the next generation of creators was largely built under the
auspices of the WPA and the New Deal.

 

This is a salient reminder that capital “H” History is not simply a collection of memorized facts and figures, dates and obscure names.
No, History is alive in the communities in which we live. It not only teaches us, it haunts us as well. It haunts us with what was
possible before and what is possible tomorrow.

 

Perhaps that is the greatest battle waged in the spectacle of media and politics today - the question of what is possible.
Our expectations are managed lower and lower. We learn that the climate crisis is inevitable, that homelesness is natural,
that workers are essential until they ask for a living wage. All to say that change is impossible. Visions of better futures recede from view.

But history haunts us with an alternative. By the time Berni Glasgow painted the mural in the Salem post office, the American
government had provided millions of meaningful jobs improving, with concrete and paintbrushes, nearly every community across the nation.

 

Nick Taylor, the author of “American Made: The Enduring Legacy of the WPA”, writes this: 

 

“These ordinary men and women proved to be extraordinary beyond all expectation.
They were golden threads woven in the national fabric. In this, they shamed the political philosophy
that discounted their value and rewarded the one that placed its faith in them,
thus fulfilling the founding vision of a government by and for its people. All its people.” 

 

This weeks front page:

 

 

Advertising Rates


• Brochures, Flyers, Direct Mail Pieces

• T-Shirts, printed novelties of all kinds.

• Color Copies, Black and White Copies

• An Art Gallery, original art for sale

• Coffee, come in and join us for a cup of coffee!

Pick up your newspaper here:

West Union

  • The Doddridge Independent Office

  • 7-Eleven

  • Shop N' Save

  • Michels Pharmacy

  • Cornerstone Bank

  • State Farm

  • Porter's Grinds N' Finds

  • The Beehive

  • Beckers, Route 18 South

  • Shell Station, Snowbird

  • Stoney's Sporting Goods, Sunnyside

  • Dotson's Corner Market, Sunnyside

Salem

  • Salem IGA

  • Biscuit's Bakery

  • GoMart

Pennsboro, Ellenboro, Harrisville

  • Ritchie Tobacco Outlet, Pennsboro

  • 7-Eleven, Pennsboro

  • GoMart, Ellenboro

  • Shop n' Save, Harrisville

  • EastView Video Store, Harrisville

Mike Zorn is a 1984 graduate of the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and has been employed in the field of graphic design, advertising and marketing since enrolling in 1982.

Mikes first job after graduation was an advertising agency whose clients included Monroeville Mall, Pool City and One Oxford Centre.

After several years of working in the retail market, Mr. Zorn left the agency to strike out on his own accompanied by his wife, Susan.  Together they built a thriving advertising studio with a client list that included The Pittsburgh Opera and 84 Lumber.

Mike, Susan and their 3 small children moved to West Virginia in 1996. Mike was offered and accepted the position of Creative Director in a growing technology company.

That company grew from a handful of employees to a $60M business headquartered in major cities across the United States, Canada and the UK. 

Mikes award winning work has appeared in many national and international magazines and trade publications. 

Our team would like to bring this experience to a new media outlet in West Union, The Doddridge Independent.  

We can offer any design service you may need to keep your business top-of-mind and your marketing budget performing at peak efficiency.

Senator Joe Manchin at his press conference said it best on Saturday “The Boy Scouts of America and the state of West Virginia are like peas and carrots. We’re a perfect fit -- an organization that builds character, inspires reverence and promotes old-fashioned family values and a state that lives them.”

And what an amazing fit it is.  The Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve is a staggering 10,600 acre tract of forested mountains, flowing streams and green meadows adjacent to the 70,000 acre New River Gorge National River area.  This is truly the largest gem in the crown of West Virginia.

During his speech at the Stillwater Sustainability Treehouse Sen. Manchin said “We were a state of breathtaking beauty, world-class adventure and unbridled discovery, a state that believed in the same ideals and principles as the Boy Scouts, a state that would take great pride in being an important part of the Scouts’ second century.

This week in The Independent Gardener, we will be highlighting the bane of every gardener’s existence, weeds. Weed control is probably the worst part about having a garden. You plant your nice tomatoes and peppers in your freshly tilled beds and then BAM! A couple weeks later there are all these good for nothing weeds popping up, crowding your plants, taking the life right out from underneath them. Annoying. Well this week we will be looking at some easy ways to keep the weeds out with out breaking your back. 

Because of the exemplary work that Julie Todd turns out year after year with each of her job duties and responsibilities, Doddridge County proudly nominated her for the RESA 7 Exemplary Service Personnel Award for the 2012-2013 school year.  Any county employee would be quick to point out that it would be difficult to calculate the level of her worth to our overall school system. Every board of education needs a “go to person” to assign some of the most critical job duties. Certain employees are entrusted with these types of responsibilities because they have a very high level of competence to get a job done correctly, on time and with a great attitude . . . this is Julie Todd.

Outstanding Teacher Will Bring Innovative Learning Techniques into Local Science Classrooms

WILMINGTON, Del., July 22, 2013 – Shannon Boswell, high school agriscience teacher, Doddridge County High School, West Union, W.Va. successfully completed the 11th annual DuPont National AgriScience Teachers Ambassador Academy (NATAA) at the company’s Chesapeake Farms in Chestertown, Md.  Upon receiving the certificate of completion, Ms. Boswell became an “Ag Ambassador,” joining the 228 other outstanding teachers who, over the last decade, have attended NATAA and earned that designation.

Meet Dave Snively, he has been assigned by the WVU Extension Services as another Extension Agent for Doddridge County.  Currently residing in the Morgantown area with his wife and two daughters.  Their plans are to stay in Morgantown until his youngest daughter graduates as she will be a senior this year. During this transition period Mr. Snively noted that they plan on building a home in Pleasants County on their family land.  Mr. Snively’s oldest daughter is a recent graduate from WVU.

Test 2

Now see if you know where 

the previous light was installed?   

The West Virginia Department of Highways (WV DOH) announced that they will be installing a fully functional traffic light replacing the caution light currently in use on Route 50 and WV Route 18.