#1
50,000 dollars.

That's the last drawing at 7pm.

Every 5 minutes they will draw a ticket, maybe your ticket. Each drawing results in a prize no less than 1000 dollars every 5 minutes from noon to 7pm.

Oh and three 4x4 trucks or 25k in cash, your pick, will be raffled 3 times that day.

Wow !

Where ?

Moorefield Volunteer Fire Dept.

Where's that ?

I get out a map. I love maps. Even better than MapQuest which I find only useful when immersed in the sphagetti around major cities. I observe with fascination people who can't read a map.
To me, that's an irony. You're given a map. Think about it. You're given the keys. You're given the way. And still ?

Jim Kelly tells us about this event a couple of weeks ago. Right then and there, I call to verify they still have tickets to sell. I mail the check. A week later I get the tickets. Last year, and the year before that, Gary Ferrebee, a good ole’ boy I worked with told me about this and each time I did not act on it.
Friday night I load up the Chrysler van with tent, cooler, propane cookers, sleep bags, tarp, a fluorescent remotely controlled light, flashlight.

Next morning I get a bunch of fruit that doesn’t need cooling. I get ice for the water and a box of Merlot.
Last minute stops for bank and gas between the both of us couples.

We’re off. Kelly is to follow. “Don’t lose me,” he implores. He’s driving a suspect brown Ford pickup with no gate in back. Knows how to drive it without his stuff sliding off. Columbia U graduate 30 some years ago, but just doesn’t want to deal with the map thing. We all have such a category, where we prefer not to deal with. Consult your nearest copy of Bartleby the Scrivener by Herman Melville. Bartleby’s “category” was everything. And his guiding phrase? “I prefer not to.” Quite a modern plot written so long ago. Only story closest was Franz Kafka’s big giant bug living in a room.


Kelly has got Tee with him. I got Fay with me.
We take off.

Out 50 west, around the Great North Mtn, past Gore a little south on 259 then 55 west in Wardensville and 55 west takes you over the Lost river gorge which goes underground and gets “lost” only to emerge as a new river, the Cacapon.

You end up in Moorefield, first incorporated in 1777. You wonder how that got done ? Bureaucracy kept going on from under Brit rule to rebellion rule. Later the town supplied troops to quell the Whisky Rebellion in Pittsburgh.
Gorgeous ! Absolutely beautiful the whole way.

Mountains. Gorges. Clouds lower than the hills. Mist burning off from an emerging sun. The day starting from gray to brilliant yellow to hazy heat.

And 55 like a phoenix becomes a 4 lane highway called Corridor H with massive cuts through spectacular scenery made even more spectacular by the engineering brought to you by the King of this state, Robert Byrd. Federal Pork? It can’t look more beautiful.

We’re near the Seneca rocks park too, itself magical and not brought to you by mere mortals.

We turn the curve.

Moorefield !

Stop for the train going by.

“Oh it’s not AT the Fire company deary. Gun bash is what you’re lookin fer. Right ?”
Gun bash ?
“I call it the gun bash, it’s the raffle for prizes yes.”
She directs me.

We go into a big field. BIG TENT. Loudspeakers. Cars parked in rows. National Guardsmen standing by Desert Tan Humvees, directing you to your parking.

END OF PART 1