Saturday, December 21, 2013

A few photos from the simulator dedication

Here are some of the officials, as we call them in the news business, who were present for the dedication of the pilot simulator at Mountwest Community & Technical College in Huntington WV last week.

1. U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va.
2. West Virginia State Sen. Robert Plymale, D-Wayne County
3. MCTC President Keith Cotroneo
4. John Whiteley, executive director of workforce development at MCTC
5. Bill Smith, superintendent of Cabell County WV Schools

Here's Adam trying his hand at the controls:

The man in the background on the left is Jeff Topping, an instructor at the Inland Waterways Academy. He noticed Adam's hoodie with the letters "USMC" across the front and asked where Adam got it. Adam replied that he got it at Parris Island a little over a year ago when his older brother graduated from Marine Corps basic training. Mr. Topping said he is a retired Marine, so they talked a little about that.

John Whiteley again:

And this person, who did not attend the dedication but was in my living room waiting for me when I got home:

That's my granddaughter. She's the most beautiful girl ever born.

Whatever happened to ...

Here's something about an Ohio River town that maybe someone can provide an update on.

A Facebook friend shared this link about a ghost dealership in East Liverpool, Ohio. It's about a shuttered Chrysler-Plymouth dealership that has a couple of classic cars in the showroom still. The article quotes the building's owner as saying he has more classic vehicles (or what working class folks might consider classics in terms of being trucks they once drove) stored in another building. But he was interesting in selling them.

Interesting story, I thought, until I saw it was more than three years old. I did a quick search and found that the owner quoted in the story, Basil Mangano, died last year.

My question: Does anyone reading this blog know what happened to all those vehicles?

More in the new simulator

My employer has posted my piece from earlier in the week about the riverboat pilot training simulator at the Mountwest Community & Technical College's Inland Waterways Academy.

To fill in some blanks: The dedication ceremony was this past Tuesday at 3 p.m. Adam doesn't get off the school bus until around 4 or 4:30 (we live at the end of the route, so he gets on at 6 a.m.). I went to his school to pick him up so he could attend this ceremony and get a look at the simulator.

While there, he met U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., and Bill Smith, superintendent of Cabell County Schools, which Adam attends. He sat through the speeches and watched as the bigwigs got to play with the simulator. Before we left, John Whiteley, the man in charge of the Inland Waterways Academy, offered to let Adam try his hand. Adam did, and performed well. Pilot simulators are his favorite video game, even more than Minecraft, where he has spent several days building an American Queen-type passenger boat.

Before we left, Capt. Whiteley talked with Adam for a while about various training options for a career on the river, whether it's by getting a job straight out of high school or even applying to the U.S. Maritime Academy.

That's the nice thing about river people: If a kid shows a genuine interest in their work, they will take the time to give advice.