Recalling a love that began in Harpers Ferry

This letter is written to my West Virginia friends. As many of you probably know by now, my love and constant partner since 2010, Joe Bussard suffered a brain hemorrhage on April 8 and was removed from life support on April 10.

Joe Bussard and Evelyn Allocco

Joe Bussard and Evelyn Allocco

He and I were classmates at Harpers Ferry High School from the seventh grade through graduation. We attended one year at Shepherd College together, after which we lost touch for 49 years.

His wife had died in 2008 and I had been divorced for 30 years when we saw each other at our 50-year high school reunion in 2009. It wasn’t long before our phone calls turned into nightly two-hour chats as we spilled our life stories to each other.

When I visited Joe in Pennsylvania in 2010, we confessed that we both had prayed to be given the mate that was meant for us. We vowed to love and care for each other for the rest of our lives, and we believed we had many years left to be together.

I recently heard someone say, “Joe came from nothing and became very successful.” I beg to differ. He came from humble beginnings, with hard-working parents who suffered great losses and sacrificed much for their children. They taught him the meaning of devotion and loyalty to loved ones and provided him with the character and perseverance to become the successful businessman he was.

Continuing life without Joe seems impossible, but I wasn’t given an option. As his brother Michael says, “We all know who writes the latest chapter of life.”Though the body I loved has been taken from me, I know that the soul I love will be with me throughout the remainder of my life. To Joe, let me say: “Enjoy your new adventure … my heart is there with you.”

Evelyn Allocco




Help paint Charles Town purple

We invite all area business owners to take part in Paint Your Town Purple the week of June 3 to June 8 in celebration of Relay For Life of Jefferson County and to inspire others to follow.

It’s easy and it’s fun! Add a little curb appeal to your store or business by decorating it purple for Relay For Life. Your patrons will appreciate your passion for the fight against cancer.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Wear purple clothing
  • Decorate your storefront window with purple balloons, streamers and Relay For Life materials in your business
  • Hang Relay posters in your store window
  • Decorate your front entrance or your door with purple
  • Give out purple candy to clients
  • Have a Relay for Life percent of sales night and donate to the Relay event
  • Sell “feet” for a donation and display feet in your store
  • Have Relay collection cans on display for cash donations

Ideas just for restaurants:

  • Use purple flower arrangements for your tables
  • Place purple votives on the tables
  • Create a purple drink or a purple dish
  • Turn your menus purple
  • Host a Relay For Life percent of sales night and donate to the Relay event

We will be decorating the streets beginning June 2. Contact Donna Harrison (304-671-3642 or DonnaMHarrison06@aol.com) for more information and for Relay materials, coin cans, posters and “donation” feet.

Charity Hopkins & Donna Harrison Relay For Life of Jefferson Co. chairs


No more no-growthers

For the upcoming Charles Town City Council election, I have one question for my left-wing liberal friends who have only been in Charles Town for a few years but have the goal of controlling City Council to spend our tax dollars like the Obama Administration: Do you hate Charles Town and its longtime residents that much that you continue to recruit no-growth liberal candidates to disrupt this city and change it to your likes?

The newest liberal candidate registered to vote in Charles Town seven months ago. He has not lived here much longer than that. Whereas the more mainstream candidate, Don Clendening, has lived in Charles Town for decades but has only been on Council for eight years so he is not a lifetime politician.

His accomplishments, which are many, are listed on clendeninforcitycouncel.com/ Don volunteers a tremendous amount of his time for various Charles Town causes and City Council since he is retired. Both liberal candidates lost in the last election and they are desperate again because Don Clendening is like a hawk watching our tax dollars. Liberal (Jonathan) Wertman failed to address questions about himself during this campaign or give us specifics on what he would accomplish. Typical liberal, just trust me. Does anyone else see a problem with my liberal left-wing friends’ logic and honesty when they are supporting a guy that just registered to vote seven months ago in Charles Town?

Mark Meredith

Charles Town


Experience needed for city council

I have read and reread Mr. Wertman’s Charles Town City Council campaign website. I can’t figure out why he is a candidate. He has no experience so he doesn’t want a referendum on his challenge to Ward 3 councilman Mr. Clendening’s experience and service. He offers instead his youth and education as qualifications for a Ward 3 City Councilman. His website appears to say he is a personal injury lawyer, an art historian, urban planner, architect, sociologist, criminologist and an actuary. In some places he say he works in D.C. and in others he works in Martinsburg. I don’t know how he has time to serve on city council.

Wertman on his website has said that there are problems in Charles Town, but he doesn’t say what they are. He says that promises made over a decade ago have been kept or delivered on, doesn’t say what they were/are that a resident of only a few months knows about. He also indicated that people have no voice and no way to be heard. The council has an open comment session preceding every meeting. He says he has vision but doesn’t say what it is. He says he has solutions, but doesn’t say for what. I don’t know how he will be able to communicate with citizens, the mayor or other members of the council if he can’t communicate what he says he knows.

I can’t figure out why Wertman is a candidate. He must be the smartest, most educated person to ever run for city council. He won’t communicate all the ideas he has so I can’t figure out if he understands how the city council works. He can’t say what people have been trying to say and where they have been trying to say it so how will he say anything to anybody about anything?

I know why Clendening is standing for election — dedication, commitment to the citizens, sense of public service, to help neighbors and the capability to actually do the hard work and make a difference. He is recognized and appreciated for his service and citizens have confidence of his continuing to do the “heavy lifting” needed in elected city office. He earned the position of mayor pro temp for reason. He does the job and always seeks win/win solutions for the city and its citizens.

I just can’t figure out why Wertman is a candidate.

Lacie J. Mumaw

Charles Town


Stop the negative campaign

This letter is written to express my disappointment with Charles Town City Councilman Don Clendening’s decision to run a negative campaign as he seeks re-election to his council seat. Specifically, I was surprised that he would choose to criticize his opponent, Jonathan Wertman, for having attended and graduated from West Virginia University. As a lifelong resident of the Eastern Panhandle, I would think that Wertman should be applauded for choosing his state school. And for the life of me, I simply do not understand why Clendening would attack him for doing so.

As a two term council member, one must question why Clendening has chosen to run a negative campaign. Perhaps he should concentrate on his accomplishments instead. His campaign literature states his involvement in bringing Tractor Supply and CVS to our city. And while these businesses brought a few minimum wage jobs to our city, perhaps this may answer why Clendening has chosen to attack Wertman. If minimum wage jobs were the best I could offer, I guess I would go on the offensive, too. As the husband of a former council member, Clendening and all the current council members should be thanked for the civil service they provide. Being an elected official is a lot of hard work with little financial reward. However, the problems that our city faces cannot be solved with negative campaign tactics.

I have been a resident of our fine city since 2001. During this time, neither Clendening nor the mayor and most of the remaining city council members have ever knocked on my door. I welcome them to do so. I would welcome the opportunity to show them some real problems, including sidewalks in disrepair and abandoned buildings. And I would discuss real problems like high electrical rates that are confronting their constituents. Finally, I would explain that our city deserves public servants interested in making things better, not questioning where their opponent attended college.


Thomas S. Gannon-Miller

Charles Town


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