I was certainly sad to hear the news Monday evening that former Wetzel Chronicle editor and active community volunteer Patricia "Pat" Block passed away Sunday.
She has been a very significant part of this community for many years. She has shaped it through her work as the editor of the Wetzel Chronicle and through volunteer work, particularly with ArtsLink. She was a founding member of that arts council for Wetzel and Tyler counties and worked with it until her resignation just last month.
ArtsLink offers an amazing variety of culturally enriching programs in this rural area and a lot of its success is thanks to Pat Block. When many people may just work with a group for a few years, she stuck with ArtsLink for 14 years. Just Monday night, before the board even knew of her passing, they passed a resolution honoring her dedication. (See the resolution below)
As for me personally, I worked with Pat through ArtsLink and she provided press releases to me via the Wetzel-Tyler Volunteers for Better Reading. Her submissions were always perfect, of course.
At the end of her working career, Pat did public relations for the New Martinsville campus of West Virginia Northern Community College. At that time I was a reporter for The Intelligencer, fresh out of college. I was always looking for a story to write.
Once she gave me a press release that I thought could be fleshed out even more into a story of my own. I did just that and after it published Pat told me it "was a good rewrite." While she meant it kindly, I was a bit sheepish. I didn't want her to think I thought her work wasn't good enough for me. My goodness, she was "Pat Block". She was longtime editor of the Wetzel Chronicle, a position I aspired to attain. She was the one in charge when I was in high school and would come into the Wetzel Chronicle office for a few hours a week to mock up some advertisements.
In hindsight, I realized she simply meant that it was a good story. She appreciated my work. That meant a lot.
I know there are things about the Wetzel Chronicle during my time here that she hasn't liked. I undoubtedly let her down in my timeliness of fitting her releases in our pages-as most times there just isn't room for everything and some things just have to wait for another week.
No doubt she found all the mistakes that slip through my fingers and watchful eyes. I know they happen, but I really do try my best.
But at the end of the day Pat was friendly. She offered helpful advice. She made this community better.
(For those who don't understand the title of this column, Pat Block wrote a column in the Wetzel Chronicle titled Doolin Breeze.)