Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on August 6, 1972 · Page 66
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August 6, 1972

Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 66

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Charleston, West Virginia
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Sunday, August 6, 1972
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Page 66
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Famous Fables By E.E. Edgar SORE LOSERS: In 1931, Satchel Paige, went to Cuba to pitch for the Santa Clara club.The fans, a rabid lot, demanded winning performances from their players and had been known to react with murderous intent when they did not get it. Paige pitched as though his life depended on it--as it did. He won twenty-four games in a row. Then that d r e a d f u l afternoon came when he lost. An ominous silence settled over the stands when the f i n a l p u t o u t was made. Then, with a roar, the fans erupted. They vaulted the rail and poured onto the field to intercept him as he left the mound. Luckily, an alert police squad whisked him to safety. The following day, insult was added to near injury when the local newspaper accused Paige of throwing the game. PUSHOVER: The one batter who could hit Dizzy Dean almost at will was Sill Terry. Dean's inability to fathom the Giants first baseman was a sore point with him. One afternoon. Terry came to bat the first time and sent a drive through the box. On his second at bat, he s m a s h e d o n e b e t w e e n Dean's legs. His third time U N D E R AGE: George Szell, the late conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra, was a musical prodigy. At the age of 13, he was accepted as a student by one of the foremost teachers at the Leipzig Conservatory of Music. As the only youngster in a class of adults, he received special treatment. Unfortunately, the treatment was not necessarily beneficial. The teacher liked to tell off-color stores, of which he had an inexhaustible supply. The moment he started to relate one of these ribald tales, he would send the wunderkind from the room, to keep him from hearing what he shouldn't. As a result, young Szell missed much of "the instruction. When he finally completed the course of study, his up, he cracked a liner past Dean's ear, for his third base-hit. Dizzy, disgusted, left the mound and walked to the plate. · "What am I doing wrong?" he asked the catcher. "Diz,"' replied the backstop. "I don't think you're playing him deep enough." knowledge of music had not been advanced and,' no less distressing, he had learned nothing about the facts of life. Denture Invention For People With "Uppers" and "Lowers" For the first time, science now offers a unique plastic en-am that holds dentures -both "uppers" and "lowers"-- as they've never been held before. It forms an elastic membrane that lirlfis hold your ilniturrs to Hit natural tissues vf your mwlli. It's FIXODENT*--a revolutionary discovery fur daily home use. So different it's protected by U. S. Patent #3.003,988. FIXODKNT not only holds dentures f i r m e r , but it"holds them more comfortably, too. It's so elastic you may bite harder, chew better, tat more naturally. The special pencil-point dispenser lets y o u p u t F I X O D K N T exactly where it's needed. Resists oozing over and gating. just one application may last for hours. Dentures that fit are essential to health. See your dentist regularly. Gel easy-to-use FIXODENT Denture Adhesive Cream at all drug counters. - Adv.- 4m Buffalo Creek: Five Months Later By Bernard Aronson New grass is beginning to grow along. Buffalo Creek. The railroad tracks have been replaced. The mines are working again. Rows of white house trailers with green, brown and yellow borders stand on freshly leveled ground where five months ago lay the battered homes and twisted cars, the tons of mud and slag, and beneath it all, the dead. At 8 a.m., Feb. 26, after three days of heavy rains, a retaining dam constructed of coal waste collapsed above Saunders, Logan' County, at the head of Buffalo Creek, and 150 million gallons of water and a million tons of slag came hurtling down the narrow mountain valley. The water, swept back and forth between the steep mountain ridges in 20-foot waves as it wound through the hollow, splintering the string of 16 coal camp communities that lay in its path, flinging cars and trucks in the air like toys. Two hours later the water subsided 17 miles downstream at the shopping town of Man, pop. 1,201, where Buffalo-Creek empties into the Guyandotte River. In its wake 118 people were dead and 523 were injured. Six additional bodies were never found. Over 500 homes were leveled; 600 more, badly damaged and caked with mud and filth. About 4,000 people were homeless. Buffalo Creek youngsters keep obgtrudioiu out of the stream now. CHARLESTON, W.VA. Railroad tracks were twisted in loops. Bridges and power lines were down. The five towns closest to the dam--Saunders, Pardee, Lorado, Craneco, and Lundale--had vanished. Over $13 million in federal and state money has poured into Buffalo Creek since the dam collapse. And 17 government agencies have labored with a half-dozen charitable groups to rebuild the area. The rubble has been searched for bodies and hauled away; the houses badly dama-ged by the flood methodically marked with yellow X's, bulldozed, and burned. A quarantine, imposed by the state health department prohibits former residents from resettling in the valley until new sewer and water lines have been laid. As a result, in the upper end of Buffalo Creek, vast stretches of dusty land, strewn with bits of slate deposited by the water, stand empty on either side of the road. Downstream,life is beginning to return. Six newly constructed trailer parks fill the lower end of the valley with three more located outside of Man. About 2,500 survivors live rent-free at government expense in mobile home communities with new names likp Green Valley and Perry Farm added to' those of towns that used to stand in Buffalo Creek. The trailer parks are spotless; the lanes freshly graveled; the homes, are new. Basketball courts have been erected for the children. Most people are grateful to have a roof over their heads after waiting up to two months for a trailer. But there is little in the parks the people of Buffalo Creek can call their own. Each numbered trailer bears a red- lettered sign proclaiming, "Federal Disaster Assistance from the Executive Office of the President and the Department of H o u s i n g and Urban Development." "HUD Trailer Park" announce the signs at the entrances. Even the grass sprouting up along the newly graded banks of Buffalo creek has a government label: "USDA Emergency Seeding" read the green and-yellow signs stuck in trees along the creek. A state-sponsored housing development planned for the upper end of the hollow may require substantial land condemnation and effectively preclude residents from living anywhere but in three planned sub-developments. Meanwhile, a resident wishing to set out a private trailer must apply for a permit from the state under threat of legal action if he fails to comply. "Violators will be prosecuted" says the sign hanging above the roadway at the entrance to Man. There is little trace of the collection of one and two story, former company houses that used to line the valley. But a visitor can't help feeling that Buffalo Creek resembles a new kind of company town in which the government has replaced the company. What remains of Buffalo Creek before the flood are the memories. "I sometimes wonder why all of mine had to go," says Kathleen Waugh, 43, whose friends call her "Kat." A thin, bright-eyed woman, the 13 pounds she's lost since the flood add a gaunt look to her angular features.. Six members of her family were killed when the sludge-filled waters raced through their home at Stowe--Kat's coal miner husband, three of her four sons, a daughter, and an infant granddaughter. They found 10-year-old James Waugh 13 miles downstream in the Guyandotte River. Michael, 18, with one shoe on, was washed up on a railroad track. "He must have been just getting out of bed," Kat says. "Some people cleaning up their yard" found Donna Lynn, 20. But Donna's eight- month-old child, Kathy Lynn is still missing and has been ruled legally dead. "I just had to build her a grave where I can put some flowers or something." Kat, too, might have been a victim, but she was visiting a neighbor the morning of the flood. As she started to leave the neighbor's house, the water was knocking its porch down. Kat tried to climb a fence*to reach her sleeping family, but the neighbor pulled her back inside. When the waves subsided Sunday Gazette-Mail

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