West Virginia, August 2007 - Home Sweet Home
Page 5


So one of the more enjoyable, relaxing things is hanging out with Lisa's family by the house.  Lisa grew up in this house in Charleston on eight acres, paralleling a creek, and with a forest behind it.  Here's a tree at sunset in the corner of the yard.

After the sun sets, the forest comes alive with the sound of crickets filling the night air.

These woods also provides the branches that Lisa's father makes into walking sticks.  The Appalachian Walking Sticks website ain't quite finished yet, so you'll just have to be patient!! 

Another thing that Lisa's father Paul does is make biscuits and gravy.  It's crazy delicious.

And filling. Lisa and I ate a couple of biscuits and gravy one morning.  We're still full.

Squashes dry on the fence of the vegetable garden.  Lisa's father owns a six-acre lot, where the garden is. 

And a good thing he had this, too. 

Y'see, when Lisa was a kid, she won a Pepsi contest...and the prize was a pony!!  And fortunately, with six acres, Tony the Pony had plenty of room to wander.

And just how did Lisa win a pony from Pepsi?

Back in the day, they sold cartons of Pepsi-Cola in tall glass bottles. Some bright folks at Pepsi-Cola decided to have a local promotion in which kids could win ponies. When you finished a carton of Pepsi, you put the eight bottlecap liners on a card with your name and sent it in.

Then, every Friday, you would tune in to the Sleepy Jeffers Show, a local version of Hee Haw without the hot chicks, featuring Uncle Willie, a crazed-looking guy with plaid pants, gapped teeth, Dutch-boy haircut and a bowtie that wiggled. He would draw a name from all the entries to choose a pony winner.

Lisa's Granny was determined that she would have a pony, and probably shortened her life by drinking gallons of Pepsi and sending in multiple entries for her. Legend has it that when Uncle Willie announced Lisa's name, you could hear Granny scream from all the way up on the hill where she lived.

Lisa's father, faced with fencing a large portion of his unfenced property and building a barn, had a much less enthusiastic response.

Another view of the woods in back of the house, Charleston, West Virginia.

Hinges by the garage, awaiting a project from Paul.

Lisa's father Paul picks some delicious tomatoes for the evening's supper.

This photo has it all.  A beaming grandfather, delicious tomatoes, his grandkid (the son of Lisa's sister), squashes on a fence, green grass, and a forest.  But the look on Paul's face is what I especially like about this photo.

I like Lisa's family.  I like West Virginia.  It's a beautiful state with genuinely friendly people.  Really, it's about as good as a place can get without having real Mexican food.


See a list of famous West Virginians...plus a special bonus!

West Virginia 2007


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Mary Wade's article 2007

West Virginia 2007
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