The Mabel Files: A Christmas Gift of Faith

Tom and Lizzie Minns rarely had much to spend on each other at Christmas during their long and frugal marriage. The blind couple had always used what little money they had managed to save from their Wheeling...

The Mabel Files: A Homecoming

A Homecoming: Grief, and New Beginnings in the Spring of 1945   Writer’s note: Mabel Griffith passed away on September 28 at the age of 95. She told me many more stories of her family’s life in...

The Mabel Files: A Long Nervous Wait

  Mabel Minns and her blind father, Tom, sat restlessly on a bench in the massive marble-floored waiting area of Wheeling’s B&O Station on a rainy evening in April 1944. Tom tapped his little...

The Mabel Files: A Working Dog’s Story

Feature Picture from paintlater.wordpress.com Mabel Files 17 When I was a young dog just trying to survive on the streets of Wheeling in the early 1930s, few people ever paid any attention to me except,...

The Mabel Files: Centre Market

The Mabel Files: Part 11 Learning the Colorful History of a Keystone Wheeling Neighborhood It was a sweltering July Saturday in 1938, when Mabel spotted the “for rent” sign in the window of the...

The “Mabel Files”: Part 6

By Gerry Griffith Weelunk Contributor   The Minns Confectionary Feels the Loss of a Jazz Giant – Wheeling’s Chu Berry   Chris Cerone, the blind, balding 41-year-old musical genius...

The “Mabel Files”: Part 5

By Gerry Griffith Weelunk Contributor   The Mabel Files Part 5: Stogies, Sandwiches, and Crocheted Lace The 1920s and 1930s were tough times for Tom and Lizzie Minns, the blind proprietors of...

The “Mabel Files”: Part 4

By Gerry Griffith Weelunk Contributor The Mabel Files Part 4: Music, talk, and danger inside the Minns’ Confectionary A safe warm gathering place for friendship, but for thieves ... not so...

The “Mabel Files”: Part 3

T.J. Minns and his “Pal” By Gerry Griffith Weelunk Contributor   When my grandfather, Thomas J. Minns, had a full head of steam on the sidewalks of South Wheeling in the second two decades...

The “Mabel Files”: Part 1

By Gerry Griffith Weelunk Contributor A word about this series: Like a lot of men, I mentally compartmentalize life and memories. There are boxes up in my head socked away on various imaginary shelves to...