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NOTE:  Newsletters from 2007 through 2014 were archived & later moved to a new location here.  As a result, some links may not work properly, formatting may be inconsistent, and some previously published articles may be missing


 

The Spiker Gazette
Oxford, WV                                                       Volume 2             Issue 7                                          July 7, 2008
   


  Generations of Understanding
Written by:  Bobbi Spiker-Conley
 
   
  I recently  stumbled across an old postcard written to Gay Spiker.  The card indicated the postage rate was only a penny.  (How times have changed!)  Looking over the worn edges and perfect script, I wondered whether Mr. and Mrs. Spiker sent letters to my father when he was in the service of his country (and, if so, how often).  One thought led to another and I was intrigued to know more about how the postal system affected their lives during WWII.  How long did it take for a letter to arrive at its destination?  How much did it cost?  Was this their primary, or only, method of communication?  What modes of transportation were used to get a letter from the U.S. to another country?  Were envelopes placed in a box that was situated close to home or did one have to travel many miles to a Post Office to post their letters? 

A quick internet search of postal rates revealed that a first class stamp cost a mere three cents in 1863.  And a more in-depth search provided fascinating details of the history of the Postal Service from its creation to present.  But I wanted to know more about how my grandparents' and my aunts' and uncles' lives were directly affected by what we now consider an almost passé means of communication.  So I decided to ask our readers.

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Do you have old letters in your possession that you will share with us?  If so, scan it and send it to me along with your personal insight or thoughts on the sender, the recipient, and the purpose behind the mailing.

Can you read the postmark?  How much did the stamp cost?  Do you know when it was written?  To whom?  From whom? 

And let's get our children and grandchildren involved in recording our family history.  The next time one of them has a History writing assignment, encourage them to take a look at how their topic may have influenced the times and lives of their ancestors.  Then ask them to share their written report with us so that we can publish it here.

Although Gay and Jake cannot tell me whether they wrote to my father, perhaps we can get a glimpse into how vitally important letters from home were to the morale of "our boys" overseas by revisiting the history of that time and attempting to bridge the generations through understanding.

 


ANNOUNCEMENTS

  Added 07-20-08  Submitted by John Bob Spiker -- Announcing the 2nd Annual Championship Bull Riding event to be held at John and Sue Spiker's farm in Jane Lew, West Virginia on Saturday, July 26, 2008.  Gates open at 6:00 PM. 

  As reported to Cathy Gregis:  Briana returned to Japan after 26 years.  In 1982, she went as an International 4-H Youth Exchange (IFYE) Student.  (In April) she returned there and visited her 1982 families.  She saw seven of her families and was there April 30 through May 21.  The return trip was a dream come true.  It was truly blessed.  Now she is back at work both at WVU in Morgantown and Potomac State College in Keyser, WV.  (Son) Pete is 21 years old and enrolled at WVU.  (Daughter) Kari is 19 years old and attends WVU.  Both are happy, healthy and well.

   Submitted by Paula Nolan:  Camden Blair Thrush (son of Ryan and Barbara Thrush) named his favorite stuffed animal, "Spiker".  Camden is four years old, lives in western Colorado and unfortunately, has not met many of his Spiker relatives.  However, of all the names on the planet, he somehow chose this particular name with no direction from anyone.  To his grandmother, Paula, this seemed like some type of miracle!.

  Submitted by Bobbi Spiker-Conley:  A new recipe has been added to our cookbook.  We think everyone will love Marty Spiker's "Potatoes-on-the-Grill".  Hmmm...sounds like something I'll try this weekend.

  Submitted by Dean Spiker:  Cathy's grandchildren have had a bit of bad luck recently.  First it was Shelly's oldest son, Clayton, who is experiencing pain due to a trampoline spring that broke off and lodged into the white portion of his eye.  It was successfully removed and we do not anticipate any long-term damage.  Then it was Keri's youngest daughter, Phoebe, who had to be hospitalized with a fever of 107 due to an infection.  Thankfully, both of our kids are improving and are expected to be fully recovered very soon.

  Submitted by Mark Spiker:  The annual Spiker Reunion was held Sunday, May 25, 2008 at the Spiker Family Farm on Holbrook Road in Ritchie County.  The following attended the reunion:

Brada Stotts Evans, WV   Brock Stotts Evans, WV
Paula Nolan Columbia, MO   Mark Spiker Pennsboro, WV
Marilyn Spiker Pennsboro, WV   Katie Spiker Pennsboro, WV
Jeana Spiker Pennsboro, WV   Mike Spiker Ripley, WV
Marty Spiker Ripley, WV   Drew Spiker Arlington, VA
Ann King Bunner Harrisville, WV   Kari Deremer Morgantown, WV
Briana Spiker Morgantown, WV   Cathy Gregis Jane Lew, WV
Larry Gregis Jane Lew, WV   Clayton Yeager Salem, WV
Devon Yeager Salem, WV   Mikayla Yeager Salem, WV
Sarah Smith Charleston, WV   Connor Smith Charleston, WV
Kate Smith Charleston, WV   Chris Swiger Jane Lew, WV
Jonelle Swiger Jane Lew, WV   Slate Swiger Jane Lew, WV
Sawyer Swiger Jane Lew, WV   Angie Benson Hurricane, WV
Robby Benson Hurricane, WV   Sue Spiker Jane Lew, WV
Byron Spiker Jane Lew, WV   Alice Spiker Marietta, OH
Melanie Fouse Kearneysville, WV   Rheanna Hess Kearneysville, WV
Cameron Hess Kearneysville, WV   Adreanna Hess Kearneysville, WV
Tyler Weidlic Kearneysville, WV   Taylor Weidlic Kearneysville, WV
Alison Spiker Ripley, WV   Adelene Spiker Jane Lew, WV
Ruth Burnside Jane Lew, WV   John Spiker Jane Lew, WV
Gene Burnside Jane Lew, WV   John Hicks Romney, WV
Kelly Hicks and sons Romney, WV   Chris Chambers Keyser, WV
Renee Chambers Keyser, WV   Ella Chambers Keyser, WV
Byron Chambers Romney, WV   Melinda Chambers Romney, WV
Shelly Curry Salem, WV   Rob Currey Salem, WV
Robby Curry Salem, WV   Pete Deremer Morgantown, WV
Lauren Hart Morgantown, WV   Zach Chaplin Morgantown, WV
Dana Hurst West Union, WV   Keri Hurst West Union, WV
Morgan Hurst West Union, WV   Phoebe Hurst West Union, WV
Dean Spiker Lost Creek, WV