Ms. Patricia Haynes at the Bath Senior Center

Every now and then I just go to the Bath County Senior Center because the members there are having such a good time, it makes you glad to be there. It’s also because personal histories are part of the local history that community radio records and shares. Ms. Patricia Haynes drives one of the employee shuttles at the Omni Homestead for her job in retirement. She shared what it was like in a previous generation in Hot Springs. There weren’t employee shuttles then.

“When I was young we walked everywhere. Now you know we walked uptown all the time. I walked to work all the time before I learned to drive, and got a car. I just look at people and shake my head. They don’t have to walk that far. That’s not that far. Try walking from Switchback everyday, and back home.”

Yet Ms. Haynes admits times do change, and even she, who spent so much time in the out of doors, is fine now with a couple of afternoons a week at the Senior Center.

“Those were some of the things I can reminisce on, and especially roaming through the woods. ‘Cause the woods, was, you know, George Washington National Forest is in our back yard. So, I was always out there with my dog, and stuff, roaming the woods and stuff. Loved it! Now you can’t even get me to walk the trail.”

She described other influences from younger days. Union Hurst is one of two Rosenwald schools in Bath County, the other being T.C. Walker in Millboro. Most of them were built between 1914 and the mid 1930s.

“I went to school here. I went to Union Hurst. The year that I left, we had just integrated, and I went to the school in Mitchelltown at that time. But, then I didn’t even stay there a year before I moved to New York.

Just growing up in the country made a big difference in how I was raised, and in my perspective of life, and how it’s supposed to be lived, and things you should do, and things you shouldn’t do. And I carried that with me all through growing up, and I still carry those values with me.”

Ms. Haynes moved back to Bath County with her children in the early ‘80s, and calls it home now.

“My family that raised me, they were a big help to me, because they were able to babysit for me while I worked and stuff.   So coming back home was a blessing.”

One of those values she mentioned, a solid work ethic, is something Ms. Haynes does her part to share with another generation.

“I’ve never tried to get a job and didn’t get it. I’ve always had good reasons for leaving and stuff, and left the proper way so that if I ever need to go back, you can. And I try to instill this in young people now. ‘ You know, don’t walk off the job and stuff like that, ‘cause that’s not a good thing to do.”

For those who find their schedules lightening up a little, all three counties in our listening area offer a variety of activities for Seniors. The Bath County Center recently held a craft sale, and is continuing to raise money towards a new van for the center. They’ll be holding another sale in the fall, and gratefully accept towards the vehicle too. For more information please contact Alicia Wrights at 839-5604. The Highland County Seniors can be reached at 468-1975, and the Pocahontas number is 799-6337. Any one who know a Senior who may be willing to share a part of their local history with Allegheny Mountain Radio, please have them contact their station, or wchgnews@tds,net.


Story By

Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

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