West Virginia As Written By A Real West Virginian, August 2008
Point Pleasant, Hillbilly Hot Dogs, Aunt Sandy's Porch, Charleston
Page 3


Poor Chief Cornstalk. This renowned Shawnee leader came to Point Pleasant to warn the settlers about a possible Indian attack and they killed him. He was later memorialized with this unflattering stainless steel sculpture. No wonder he looks miserable.

More interesting is the legend of the Cornstalk Curse. As he lay dying, he supposedly uttered these words: “May the curse of the Great Spirit rest upon this land. May it be blighted by nature. May it even be blighted in its hopes. May the strength of its peoples be paralyzed by the stain of our blood.”

So maybe it wasn’t Mothman who was responsible for the Silver Bridge collapse or the economic downturn. Or the jail explosion, chemical spill and other bizarre events that have happened in that area…

We opted for the long way home from Point Pleasant so we could savor another unique local experience. The Lesage (pronounced La-SAGE) branch of Hillbilly Hotdogs has been featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, the Food Network show hosted by Guy Fieri. The décor alone is worth the visit. Where else can you eat hot dogs in an old school bus and write on the walls with markers?

One of the owners of Hillbilly Hotdogs. We stop by once a year and she always remembers us. I guess there aren’t too many tall Chinese guys who come through town.

I always get the West Virginia Dog – chili, slaw, onions, mustard. It took me a long time to find a hot dog place in LA that offered slaw on hot dogs: The Stand in Encino. It’s a southern thing.

Ken really likes this house. It belongs to my mom's friend.

I'm not sure how many times Ken has photographed my favorite breakfast, but here it is: homegrown tomatoes, gravy and biscuits. I can't make gravy like my dad does, but I suppose I'd better learn so I can keep the tradition alive.

Ken likes this house, too. It also belongs to a family friend.

Sunset over Charleston.

(Lisa didn't write anything here, so I'll mention that these are the woods directly in back of the house where she grew up, just on the other side of the creek.  I love these trees and the beautiful sound of the crickets that you can hear drifting into the bedroom window while falling asleep.  This is also where her father walks around looking for branches to carve into really cool walking sticks. - Ken)

Chillin’ on my aunt Sandy's front porch. She was my babysitter until I was old enough to go to school, and we had the best times ever. She is very creative and imaginative, and I'm grateful for her influence. If I ever win the lottery, I'll give her a million dollars and change her life.

Aunt Rose, my dad's other sister, and Carrie, my aunt Sandy's daughter, on the front porch. This happened to be the anniversary of Elvis' death, and Sandy made us observe a moment of silence at a nationally designated time.

Moth, spotted on the wall the night after we visited Point Pleasant. Coincidence or a warning? You decide…

West Virginia As Written By A Real West Virginian, August 2008


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West Virginia 2008
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