By Jean Clark
The Pleasant Hill Town Cemetery Advisory Board hosted a very successful fund-raising spaghetti lunch Dec. 2. The board’s president is Jack Martin. Secretary/treasurer is Shannon Blalock Graham, and other members are Jim Blalock and Lloyd Black. Mayor Al Dwenger and Councilwoman Diane Savage represent the Pleasant Hill Town Council.
The board has set semi-annual clean-up days of the cemeteries for the third Saturdays of May and October. A total of 11 trees have been removed from the Old Cemetery to alleviate the damage to the graves and stones. There have been 44 graves filled and re-sown with many more to be done. Several leaning stones have been lifted with new foundations made, and all stones have been pressure washed.
Cumberland Medical Center donated funds to pay for the redesign of the area where Dr. May Wharton and other healthcare providers are interred. Original rock that boarded the 40x11 area has been cleaned and placed back on a foundation, a stone floor installed, a stone bench built with a backrest, a dogwood tree planted and a granite stone placed with two quotes from the book Doctor Woman of the Cumberlands.
Fifteen granite stones with the word “Unknown” will replace plain rocks to denote a grave. Plans for the future include planting 23 crepe myrtles, six dogwoods and five redbuds along the borders of the old cemetery to add color. The newer Pleasant Hill cemetery or Memorial Park as it is designated, received a facelift as well. The large stone with The Ten Commandments in its center has been power washed so that it can actually be read. General cleanup has taken place there, with more planned. If you have not visited either cemetery lately, do so and you will be amazed at what this dedicated group has accomplished.
Lisa Patrick and Wayne Sheeley were elected to their second terms on the Pleasant Hill Town Council in November. Patrick is liaison with the Cumberland County Sherrif’s Pleasant Hill sub-station on security matters for the town.
The December Council meeting was led by Vice Mayor Diane Savage, as Mayor Al Dwenger and wife, Jackie, took a well-earned rest on a cruise in the Caribbean and spent time with family in Florida. Councilman Ox McDermet is frustrated in attempts to follow up paving of the turning lane from Hwy. 70 W onto Main St. in Pleasant Hill as promised repeatedly by the Department of Transportation. He lauded the recycling organizer Mark Heald for his magnificent handling of scheduling volunteers for the twice-weekly town paper collection.
The only other business decided was the awarding of Christmas bonuses to the town employees.
The Pleasant Hill Elementary School faculty, staff and students proudly showed off the new 2012 addition to parents and visitors the first week in December. A ribbon-cutting ceremony included Principal Mary Ann Kotus-Huff, Cumberland County Director of Schools Aarona VanWinkle, 8th District Board of Education Representative Jim Blalock, County Mayor Kenneth Carey Jr., Pleasant Hill Town Councilwoman Diane Savage, most of the teachers, along with parents and friends.
The newly formed Brownie Troop served refreshments, and everyone oohed and ahhed at the new facility, which houses the students in grades 6-8, a multipurpose room, teen living and agriculture classrooms.
Band Director Robert Thatch and his Pleasant Hill School Band will present a winter concert tonight, Dec. 18, at 6 pm in the new multi-purpose room of the addition. A nonprofit local group will sponsor “Santa’s Closet” Dec. 19, with gift bags for the children. Watch out for candy canes, santas, reindeer, presents and elves who will be cavorting in the Winter Welcome Parade at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 20 down Main St. They will prance to the Wharton Homes parking lots, back to Fletcher House and school. Weather permitting, the eighth graders will perform their traditional Christmas dance for all to see. Move over Rockettes!
School will be dismissed Friday, Dec. 21 for winter break, lasting until Jan. 3. Those of us with no young children living nearby really enjoy the contagious spirit evidenced by the children in our local elementary school.