The Griffith Files: Nick’s Music

Nick’s Music was a Cradle of the Folk Music Revival of the 1960s and it Vanished – or did it? Before he could expand upon his fading memories about growing up in Wheeling for the brief stories he wrote for ...

Columbus Day

Folks in Wheeling, like folks in hundreds of towns and communities across America, celebrate Monday as Columbus Day. But, should they? Like so many things that were drilled into us in childhood, the Christopher...

We Watch Forever

They had a party at our prison last night and they thought we couldn’t see.This rotten stone hell where we walk in darkness forever is not as it was when I faced the hangman in 1932 or as it was when my compa...

The Mabel Files: A ’52 Nash in Elm Grove

Mabel Wrestles a Four-Wheeled Beast Called Nash on the Streets of Elm Grove Mabel jammed the gear shift on the steering column of the hulking 1952 Nash Ambassador into what she believed was first gear. Then,...

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 co...

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 Wheel...

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 bamboo...

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, o...

The Mabel Files: Wheeling Boys Go to War

Wheeling barber George Griffith was about to go to war in the Spring of 1941 and the Army fatigues he was issued and directed to wear from boot camp to deployment, just like the plain but tough uniform he had w...

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 little sto...

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 who k...

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 a...

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 much Even...

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 of t...

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 ...