"On the Line…."

Beallsville resident Verylnn Kernen, former Enterprise and Monroe County Beacon columnist, died at a health care facility in McConnellsville on May 16 at the age of 78.

Her column, "One the line with Verylnn" chronicled her daily activities living the rural life in the Beallsville area in the 2000s. Columns like hers once filled the pages of weekly newspapers throughout the United States. Much less so in today’s hustle bustle world where such posts have migrated to online blogs, Facebook, to the small number of characters allowed by Twitter or photos posted on Instagram.

The good thing about newspaper columns is they are recorded for posterity on microfilm at local libraries and at the Ohio History Connection (Ohio Historical Society) archives in Columbus.

Kernen, a member of the East Sunbury Baptist Church, was buried at Beallsville Cemetery following services at Harper Funeral Home.

End of the road for Longaberger

Barnesville’s WBNV radio and AVC Communications of Cambridge recently reported the impending demise of the Longaberger Company. Company consultants were instructed to take no more orders earlier this month.

The company got its start in Dresden in 1973 and at its peak employed over 8,000 in Muskingum and Licking counties.

In addition to its impressive employment stats, Longaberger also provided employment for pottery workers in Wellsville and textile workers at the 5B’s factory right here in Barnesville where basket liners were made.

Just before 5B’s opened in Barnesville in 1993, a bus tour of locals was arranged to see the factory and many downtown retail outlets fueling the Dresden economy. We were very impressed.

This was a time many communities, including Barnesville, saw tourism as the best hope to recoup industrial job losses that crippled towns in the last quarter of the 20th century.

What happened?

As the world-based economy evolved, most of Longaberger’s related jobs including those for locals sewing basket liners, were outsourced to China.

Several missteps by management forced the company’s sale in 2013. By 2016, the company was down to 100 employees.

A second factor is millennials, unlike the generations ahead of them, are simply not collectors. They would rather collect images or ideas on Pinterest and store them in the "cloud" rather than own a collectable like a Longaberger handmade basket.

Just ask any antiques/collectable dealer or auctioneer. They will confirm this evolving generational change.

_________

In 1943 while he was serving as Ohio Senator from Belmont County, Enterprise editor Ray Palmer started writing a column he titled "This Week - Here and There". Our modified title is "Here and There".