Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on July 4, 1976 · Page 11
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Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 11

Charleston, West Virginia
Issue Date:
Sunday, July 4, 1976
Page 11
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Charltilon, II. lu.,]ul\:i. IV76 ECOND RONT ·Page I B MONARCH? Man Who Would Be King Not Sorry Uncle George Chose to Be President By Skip Johnson HINTON-Felix Craig is director of the Bluestone Presbyterian Conference Center on Bluestone Lake, but if George Washington hadn't been such a stickler for a democratic form of government, Craig might now be king of the United States. Craig is the great-great-great-great- great-great nephew of old George, and a direct descendant of Samuel Washington, George's brother. If George had decided to become the first monarch of his country, instead of its first president, the logical line of succession would put Craig in the driver's seat with a crown on his head right about now. »· THE PROSPECT doesn't really excite him much, however. "I'd never given it much thought and I still haven't." said the 58-year-old Craig, whose blue eyes and gray, curly hair look remarkably like old George's eyes and hair style in that well- known painting of the father of'our country standing on a rock with a rolled-up map in his hand. "I wouldn't care a thing about it." added Craig. "I have a hard enough time running the Bluestone Conference Center." Craig's wife's name is Rachel, not Martha, but they have a daughter named Martha. "They didn't name me for Martha Washington," put in Mrs. Martha Jayne Brady, the daughter. "It was just the name that popped into their minds." Mrs. Brady said the idea that she might have been a princess doesn't excite her either. "Whoopee." she exclaimed in mock enthusiasm. Craig, a native of Buffalo, Putnam County, has had a variety of jobs, including high school welding instructor, insurance salesman and. for the past 14 years, director of this Presbyterian Church retreat located on a scenic bluff overlooking Bluestone Lake. The possibility that Craig and his ancestors might have been kings was first given national exposure in a 1951 article in Life Magazine entitled "If Washington Had Become King." This very option was strong- ly suggested to old George, and the royal job would probably have been his for the taking, but he quickly rejected the idea. ANYWAY, LIFE Magazine traced what would have happened had old George become king. George was childless, and most likely--following the laws under with the kings of England are selected-the choice to succeed him would have been John Thornton Augustine Washington, George's eldest brother who died before George. The Craigs would have come into the picture with the ascension to the throne of Elizabeth Washington Craig, daughter of John Thornton's son and Felix Craig's grandmother. Felix, or King Felix if you prefer, would have taken over upon the death in 1958 of his father, Frank Felix of Nitro. The heir apparent to the throne would now be Felix Craig's son, Frank, a Chicago truck driv- Felix kept a copy of Life magazine with the "If Washington ..." article in it, although he rarely looks at it anymore. He knew about his ancestry anyway, having heard it from his late aunt. Miss Lucy Craig, a Kanawha County school teacher. Craig doesn't plan any special observance of the 200th birthday of the nation that great-great-great-great-great-great uncle George elected to lead as president rather -than king. "We'll have 100 people here for a family retreat," he pointed out. "That will keep me busy." Anyway, the man who would be king is just as glad old George didn't want any part of royalty. --Staff Photoby David Vlck The United States? It Could Have Been West Felix Craig Is Descendant of Father George Hechler Faces Fight With Machines In Write-in Campaign for Re-Election By Herb Little The Associated Press Rep. Ken Hechler. D-W.Va.. is searching for a solution to what he terms "the almost impossible mechanical problems" he faces as a write-in candidate for Congress in voting machine counties. He said in Washington he will confer this week with the chairman of the State Election Commission. Prof. William R. Ross of West Virginia University. Hechler said if the commission can't help, he'll go to court. He asserts that,"in voting for write-in candidates. West Virginia voters in machine counties are "denied equal protection and equal opportunity" as compared to those in paper ballot counties. The nine-term U. S. House veteran from the 4th District withdrew as a House candidate this year to concentrate on his primary campaign for the Democratic nomination for governor. Beaten in that effort. Hechler is now trying to crank up a write- in campaign to retain his House seat in November. »· THIS WOULD turn the 4th district fall campaign into a three-man race. The party nominees are Democrat Nick Joe Rahall II of Beckley. winner of a five-candidate primary race, and the Republican E.S. "Steve" Goodman of Huntington, who was unopposed in the primary. It is Hechler's misfortune that the 4th LITTLE has more voting machine counties than any other West Virginia congressional district Five of the eight counties have machines. Only Mercer. Raleigh and Wyoming use paper ballots. Making matters worse, from Hechler s standpoint, is the fact that the five machine counties have three different kinds of machines. Logan, Mingo and McDowell counties have one kind. Cabell another and Wayne a third. Write-in voting is simple and inconspicuous in paper-ballot counties. Without sacrifice of secrecy, a voter who doesn't want to vote for either party nominee can pencil in his choice or attach to his ballot a gummed sticker bearing the printed name of a write-in candidate. Voting machines also accommodate write-in voting. It involves moving a slide to uncover a slot in which a candidate's name may be written on a roll of paper in the machine. Hechler thinks using gummed stickers for write-ins also is mechanically feasible on machines. The problem is that, without asking precinct officials and thereby sacrificing ballot secrecy, few voters know how to go about casting write-ins on machines, whether by hand or sticker. Instructions for machine voting but are printed on the machines, the instructions don't cover write-in voting. "If you looked with a magnifying glass, you wouldn't find it because it isn't there," Hechler said. *· NEITHER ARE write-in instructions provided on the small machine models on hand in polling places to instruct voters unfamiliar with machine operation. As an example of the difficulties, Hechler said to cast a write-in on the machines used in Wayne County "you have to find a very obscure chrome button that is about the size of your index finger.'' Pushing the button moves a slide to uncover the place to write in a candidate's name. Hechler said a voter has to hold the button down with one hand while writing in his vote with the other. Why not make a paper ballot available on request to a who wants to cast a write- in? Hechler said the objection to this solution is, again, sacrifice of the right to vote a secret ballot. "I don't know what the ultimate solution is,"he said. However, he did offer a suggestion: have all voters in the five machine counties vote by paper ballot for Congress only, using ballots carrying the printed names of Rahall and Goodman as party nominees and with room for a write-in. Machines would be used to vote for other offices. There have been occasional successful write-in campaigns in West Virginia. But these have been in paper-ballot counties and usually in county or legislative races. One present member of the West Virginia House of Delegates, Del. Dan Burleson, D-Wyoming,is there as the result of a write-in campaign using stickers. But his two-county district doesn't have voting machines. Burleson, incidentally, was one of the unsuccessful Democratic primary candidates in May for Hechler's U. S. House seat. Hechler noted there has been at least one successful write-in campaign for the U. S. House. This was in the 1958 general election, when Democrat Dale Alford defeated Democratic incumbent Brooks Hays in the Arkansas 5th district. Ba-Boom! Ba-Boom! Always on Sunday ByB.S.Palausky Okay, happy birthday, America. I have a feeling that a lot of you thought I wouldn't say that. You were wrong. And not only that, I am sincere. When you pay your dues in this country, you get to say whatever you feel you need to say-it is part of the deal. As a for-instance, right now I am not too shot with joy in the sitting apparatus about what our Congress did practically on the eve of this here 200th birthday. Think about it for a while-$32.5 billion approved for new weapons-all the latest things for more efficient slaughter... · "IF YOU'VE BEEN noticing a strange- looking person skulking around South Charleston-very large red white and blue beard, sidebiirns down to here, sun glasses, etc.-that was me. I've been dodging the South Charleston tavernites. They, are out to trap me and get me to do my/Bicentennial act. That s where I drink three red, white and blue Bicentennial Ba-Boom Floats (tomato juice, scoop of white ice cream and a dollop of colored vodka), followed by singing patriotic songs in my Kate Smith voice while holding a blazing sparkler in each hand. This is followed with me on the f l o o r , out colder than a carp. Two Ba-Booms have been known to trigger partial insanity. The singing in public thing is what worries me. Well, all I can say is that they've got to catch me first. In the meantime, this skulking is a hot and thirsty business and I do have moments when I think maybe I ought to turn myself in. I really guess I should anyway- just to celebrate about South Charleston not mucking about with the Adena Indian Burial Mound for the Bicentennial and for sheer joy that the city did not lay out several thousands of Bicentennial bucks to brinjftnat bunch from Hee-Haw here. It is enough to make one's cup sloppeth over. » OUR GOVERNOR sure has been a busy guy these last few days. First'off, he zipped on down to the mailbox and stuffed in my invitation to the opening of his cultural center. Thanks, Our Governor. I guess this means that if I ever open something or other, I'll have to invite him... Next, in a fit of pique, he said that the legislature had him so empurpled with rage that, by golly, he's going to grab up all of the money earmarked for road repair and spend it for just that--road repair. Son of a gun. I'll bet a lot of you are just as stunned by that as I am... Heck, I liked his first idea better. You know, the one where, by golly, he'd show them, he'd do his last great act and fix those roads himself. I'm sorry he's changed his mind-I was saving up to buy him a jar of tar remover... 'l also guess he hasn't quite made up his mind about the presidency of West Virginia University. An interesting little thing popped up to go with that deal. It was in a Daily Mail editorial. The editorialist was just steaming along there about how great it would be if Our Governor was president of WVU, etc., etc. He went on to the final pitch and wound up saying that Our Governor has demonstrated his ability to sell the state and, by gum, that surely as night follows day (or whatever) he'd be able to sell Good heavens! Sell WVU? I told-you that it was a Marshall College (oops, that is university, isn't it) plot all along... »· BARNACLE RICHIE the Robb, mayor of Yahoo-City-on-the-Kanawha, may have us all faked out of our shoes with this great hospital hassle here in South Charleston. It is quite possible that he purposefully sailed his ship of state (I'm crazy about that kind of talk) into the jagged reefs and shoals of that hospital thing. Sure. What cheaper way to get your bottom scraped clean of barnacles than on the rocks? Of course there's always a chance that you'll have your bottom stove-in (I hope that's correct nautically), but that's life-a river. At any rate, everyone knows how those old salts hate to have their ships in dry- dock. . Happily, all the hospital hasslers seem ready to get things squared away and they seem to be making progress. Also, no one's been slain yet. It will be nice when it is over. Then we can get to the fire chief barnacle, the police morale barnacle, the recreation barnacle, the never ending (or was that starting?) bike trail barnacle, and the etc. barnacle. i · ONE LAST time. Happy birthday, America. Next: Did the tavernltei catch him? Historical Figures' Area Descendants -John Hancock Howell of 2105 Weberwood Dr. is a distant relative of the famous John Hancock and was named after him. Howell. who works at the Union Carbide Tech Center, feels, that being related to a famous Colonial figure is "kind of incidental. The real thing is what each person makes of himself. one's ancestors is good, but the real thing is what each person contributes while he's here." He feels the Bicentennial celebration should have the kind of support from the national government as the 1876 Centennial did. Miss Ida Mae Thompson of Madison is a descendant of Daniel of Saint Thomas Jennifer Smoot, one of the signers of the Constitution. She was chairman of the Boone County Bicentennial Festival held April 29-May 1. She's a retired teacher. "I think the Bicentennial is really good," she said. "I like it, but on the other hand, maybe it's being commercialized too much." Mrs. James Brown III of 1701 Edgewood Dr. is a descendant of John Hart, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. "I don't think it's any different than having other ancestors." she said. For his action, Hart was a fugitive who was forced to seek refuge among his friends, Mrs. Brown said. Mrs. Dale Wilson of 405 Fairview Dr. is a great, etc., niece of Caesar Rodney, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. "I'm very proud of it," she said. "I really hardly ever think about it. When someone brings it up. it makes me chuckle. He just happens to be an ancestor of mine." J. Frank Nelson of 610 Linden Rd., the retired general manager of Armour and Co., is the great-great- grandson of former Virginia Gov. Thomas Nelson Jr.. one of the men who signed the Constitution. His.wife is a descendant of the^ Byrd family of Virginia. Randolph Sees Jobs Bill Okay U.S. Sen. Jennings Randolph, D-W. Va., said Saturday that he believes President . Ford will sign into law a public works jobs program, recently approved by both the House and Senate. The public works jobs bill, introduced by Randolph, could result in the employment of as many as 300,000 persons, Randolph said. The bill awaiting Ford's signature is an alternate public jobs proposal, introduced after Ford vetoed a measure approved by the House and Senate several weeks ago. Randolph stated that the compromise bill "somewhat reduced in scope the original bill, but will still provide thousands of jobs and hundreds of projects that will be of lasting benefit to the community." Randolph, who was in West Virginia Saturday to marshal Independence. Day par- ·ades in Beckley and Charleston, said it has been "widely speculated in Washington that the President will not sign the bill, but I believe he will. With unemployment rising from 7.1 to 7.5,1 believe this will be a factor in the President's decision." Randolph will be in Elkins today, where he will participate in a parade, dedicate a new federal building, and take part in naturalization ceremonies for 50 new U.S. citizens. Nicotine-Free Apartments Eyed VANCOUVER. Candda (AP)-The Nonsmokers Assn. of Canada says it is negotiating with a building firm for construction of a 16-story apartment complex exclusively for nonsmoking senior citizens. "Nonsmoking tenants and owner-residents are in constant danger of smoker- caused fires," said association President Robert Ludwig. "Nonsmokers are entitled to physical and mental peace with no fear of cigarette-caused fires." Ludwig, 67, the caretaker of two apartment buildings in Vancouver, said the society was founded with the purpose of prornsting nicotine-free housing.

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