Morgantown magazine - October/November 2014

Page 1

Drinking Games A few drinks add up in Morgantown.

Underground Morgantown Do you know what lies beneath your feet?

Super Foods

There may be a simpler cure for what ails you.

10+ Things you never knew you wanted to know.

Get Healthy

H ow t h e r i g h t f o o d s , w r o n g r e l at i o n s h i p s , a n d e v e n yo u r environs affect yo u r h e a lt h .

To better meet the needs of our children and families,

we’re growing!

WVU Healthcare pediatric and obstetric services are operated by WVU Hospitals, a member of the WV United Health System.

If you’ve visited our campus in Morgantown recently, you’ve no doubt seen the big changes underway. As the construction progresses, a vision for the health of our youngest West Virginians also takes shape. WVU Children’s Hospital at Ruby is here for every family who needs us. We value the trust we have gained since 1988 to provide superior medical care, day or night, to children and families both in our Morgantown neighborhoods and throughout the state. While this is a time of great change, what will always remain the same is the dedication of our physicians, nurses, technicians, and staff to provide their very best. We look forward to our new expansion in Morgantown, and, most importantly, for the opportunity to provide the most advanced, most caring medicine to families everywhere. Artists’ rendering of proposed expansion.


Visit our website or pick up our monthly magazine and see how we can help with buying or selling!

1701 Waterfront Place - Penthouse 4000 sq ft, 4BR, 4BA $ 2,900,000 theater room with bar, private elevator entrance, and over 5,500+/- sq. amenities. Other units available starting at $250,000 MLS# 10096837

3502 Cardinal Circle - Greystone $ 529,000

4BR, 2.5BA ON CUL-DE-SAC AND GOLF COURSE with heated in ground pool, cabana, large rooms, solid wood doors, large eat in kitchen with MLS# 10097680

3715 Swallowtail $ 695,000

5 BEDROOM HOME IN GREYSTONE. In-Law quarters with private entrance. Formal dining room and living room. Large kitchen with breakfast nook and granite counter tops. Family room w/ French doors lead to resort like backyard. Entertaining made easy with MLS# 10096776 Barbara Alexander McKinney ABR, ABRM, GRI, Christies Specialist, Broker Owner

1-800-MOVE2WV 304-594-0115

139 Thistledown Lane $ 350,000

IMPRESSIVE AND PRISTINESPLIT ENTRY HOME. Beautifully landscaped for care free lawn maintenance. Fabulous views and private covered porch and rear yard. Oversized 2 car garage is great for storage, a workshop and good extra space. MLS# 10097230 2800 Cranberry Square, Morgantown, WV 26508

We offer MORE... MORE Agents MORE Listings MORE SOLDs MORE Marketing MORE Opens

Commercial & Residential Land: 986 Chestnut Ridge Rd. $1,400,000 241 Greenbag Rd. $1,300,000 1037 Valley View Ave. $ 799,000 1650 VanVoorhis Road $ 650,000 2024 A Hill Country Rd $ 388,500 5 Mt. Zion Road $ 350,000 100 Selby Road $ 298,000 1244 Dorsey Ave $ 250,000 Lot 58 Lakeside Estates $ 199,900 Elm Crest Court starting at $ 35,000

1117 University Ave #507 $ 185,000

UPSCALE RIVERFRONT CONDO - Morgantown Build your own equity from this retreat in downtown Morgantown! Conveniently located on the Rails to Trails. HOA fees include utilities and MLS# 10090426

106 Crimson Sky -

CHEAT LAKE, $329,000

PATIO HOME ADJACENT TO GREYSTONE. 3 BR, 2.5 bath features sunroom and high ceilings. Fully fenced, well landscaped backyard with lush perennials. Large under house storage area, climate controlled with interior access. MLS# 10099321

2096 LAKESIDE $ 1,200,000


built ins & area for entertaining w/ wine cellar w/copper ceilings. MLS# 10091301

3961 Eastlake Drive $730,000 ELEGANT LIVING ON 2.68+/-ACRES

butler’s pantry, 3 car garage, mature landscaping, screened in back porch, zoned HVAC and more! MLS# 10094222

504 LAKEVIEW $ 249,900

AMAZING TOWNHOUSE AT LAKEVIEW ESTATES! Wonderful 3 bedroom, 3.5 bath gem with outdoor living space MLS# 10097188

volume 4

issue 1

published by

New South Media, Inc.

709 Beechurst Avenue, Suite 14A, Morgantown, WV 26505 1116 Smith Street, Suite 211, Charleston, WV 25301 304.413.0104 •

editorial director

Nikki Bowman, Editor

Laura Wilcox Rote, Assistant editor

Pam Kasey, Designer

Becky Moore, Office & Circulation Manager

Sarah Shaffer, web manager & photographer

Elizabeth Roth, Staff writers

Katie Griffith, Shay Maunz, Mikenna Pierotti, AD DESIGNERs

Carla Witt Ford, Elizabeth Roth integrated marketing & Advertising

Season Martin, Bekah Call, Intern

Jack Baronner contributors

Morgan Grice, Aaron Rote


Subscription rate is $20 for 6 issues. Subscribe by calling 304.413.0104. Editorial inquiries

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Please send photos and event information for The Scene to

MORGA NTOW N is published by New South Media, Inc. Subscription rates: $20 for one year. Frequency: 6 times a year. Copyright: New South Media, Inc. Reproduction in part or whole is strictly prohibited without the express written permission of the publisher. © n ew sou t h m edi a, i nc. A ll r igh ts r eserv ed


Morgantown • Oct/Nov 2014

Jarrett R. Hall, Broker 304.292.3900 Each Office Independently Owned and Operated Licensed in WV and PA


Things you don’t see every place else...


Fashions, Shoes & Accessories New Lunch Menu


editor’s note

The BOM ballot! Don’t forget to vote for the Best of Morgantown. This year’s process is a little different, as we invite you to nominate everything from the best fine dining to the best dry cleaner in a first round of voting, through November 10.

Have You Heard? A few of the staff share the most terrifying tales and strange urban legends they know. “WVU’s Woodburn Hall bell tower is haunted by the ghost of a cow, the unfortunate result of an alleged prank gone wrong during the school’s early years as an agricultural college, when students led a cow up to the tower but couldn’t get it back down.” – Mikenna Pierotti



a n y of us gr av i tat ed

to Morgantown from sleepy towns across West Virginia—quiet, country places where you had to walk a good 500 feet to the mailbox to get the mail and there was no such thing as a quick Starbucks run. We were drawn to the state’s fastest growing city for schooling or work, and we never left. Its diversity, its noise, even its traffic were in some ways exciting—or, at the very least, different from what we grew up knowing. And here we are, some of us many decades later, calling Morgantown and all of its quirks home. As our staff prepared the October/November issue of Morgantown magazine, we started talking about the mysteries of Morgantown—from urban legends to little known facts to just plain oddities. Is there or isn’t there a tunnel that crosses beneath High Street at the Metropolitan Theatre (page 52)? Just what is going on in that PRT control room (page 26)? Other local idiosyncrasies are puzzling in a notso-charming way. Take, for example, our underage drinking problem and the crimes that sometimes accompany it. For this issue we talked to local officials at length about what’s being done to solve the problem in our feature Drinking Games on page 60. But we’ve also packed this magazine with all kinds of good stuff—stories that bring


Morgantown • Oct/Nov 2014

to light the many things we love about Morgantown and, we hope, give you great ideas for how to enjoy autumn in the University City, whether you want to take in a comedy show, see a great play, or do some unique shopping downtown.

“When I was a kid I heard a boa constrictor escaped from a pet store and was spotted in the WVU Core Arboretum, but it was never captured.” – Becky Moore “In 1970 two WVU coeds were hitchhiking back to Morgantown after a night at the movies, but they never made it back. Their two headless bodies were found a few miles south of Morgantown off of County Route 76 in the woods. A man later confessed to the crime, but some people think it was a false confession. The heads were never found.” - Katie Griffith The Mon River monster. OK, we just made that one up.

i'm not real .

lau r a w ilcox Rote,


Follow us at . . . morgantownmagazine

Letters to the editor

bridge because the bass fishing was so incredible! We couldn’t leave the holes. Wasn’t like that in the ’70s and ’80s. I know, I grew up in the Nursery Bottom on Black Fork and canoed it frequently to Rowlesburg. I was ecstatic fishing it and never dreamed it would be so good. Jay Richard

Scott’s Run Settlement House Very well put (August/September 2014 article) and much needed. Great job, Mrs. Harris! George W Marshall, via Facebook

Met Pool Hall Thank you for this piece on the Met Pool Hall. I didn’t know until after my father, Gus Comuntzis, died that his first venture into the business world was running the Met Pool Hall. Kay Marie Comuntzis-Getsinger, North Carolina, via email

Mahoney, via Facebook

Fantastic Fishing Love this (August/ September 2014) article and can validate the facts. Took a kayak fishing trip with family a few weekends ago from Holly Meadows (approximately) to St. George Bridge and took us forever to reach the

Crockett’s Lodge I just read the (August/ September 2014) article, and it’s awesome! Thank you so much for choosing us and writing such a nice piece! I’ve been showing all the regulars here tonight—they feel famous! Kristin Johnson, Crockett’s Lodge, via text

CORRECTION Former WVU quarterback Major Harris (in the August/September issue) played from 1987 to 1989, taking WVU to the national championships.

don’t be shy

WRITE US! We’d love to hear from you, so send your comments to 709 Beechurst Avenue, Suite 14A Morgantown, WV 26505 or email us at

Greater Morgantown Convention and Visitors Bureau has opened a new Visitors’ Center on Chaplin Road, just off I-79 Exit 155. • • • •

Free Maps Tips on Events, Attractions, and Shopping Assistance with Restaurants and Lodging Special Interest Day Trips

OPEN HOUSE | Thursday, Oct 30th 9am-5pm Additional Visitors’ Centers: Downtown Morgantown and Main Street, Kingwood

800.458.7373 morgantownmag.Com


Our Social Circles

September 2 We’re chasing down the Hash House Harriers tonight!

September 8 Heading to Scott’s Run Settlement House to donate! Support this local organization:

Don’t miss some of our top conversations at September 17

The West Virginia Wine and Jazz Festival is coming up on September 27 and 28. Find information on this year’s lineup and the history of Morgantown's favorite festival on september 9

Are you a small business owner getting ready for 2014’s Small Business Saturday? We want to hear from you! Let us know what your deals and specials are. September 3

Our digital edition is out! Get ready for the first home game of the season with our game day guide, now available online.


Morgantown • Oct/Nov 2014

September 9 Our story on Dana Holgorsen’s unique Cheat Lake home generated quite a buzz among WVU Football followers and architecture enthusiasts alike with tens of thousands of views. Visit to read the article and see a gallery of photos.

We had some amazing Turkish coffee at Jasmine Grill today!

@MorgantownMag Take a look inside Dana Holgorsen's Cheat Lake home—the first in the U.S. built completely of cross-laminated timber. @YahooDrSaturday Dana Holgorsen’s awesome house includes this fully stocked bar. PHOTOS: (via @MorgantownMag) @MorgantownMag You ask, we deliver! More photos of Dana Holgorsen’s Cheat Lake home. @WVUforestry Coach Holgorsen’s house is the 1st all-inclusive cross-laminated timber structure in U.S. @MorgantownMag

September 11 Our clients are the best! @I79DC sent us thank you cupcakes from @TheCupcakerie. Yum!

Follow us on Instagram @MorgantownMag

carla witt ford; elizabeth roth

Facebook Fun

Forensic science solves more than crimes.

It uncovers history in the present. And tells us what life was like for a World War I African-American soldier whose helmet carries evidence of battles survived. It partners disciplines to find answers – and uses science to bring the past to light.

Oct/Nov 2014

elizabeth roth

In This Issue

Underground Morgantown

Drinking Games

Super Foods

We go below the city’s surface to learn more about a Civil War-era jail cell, Morgantown’s vast system of steam tunnels, and even the creepy place pictured above.

Officials, community leaders, and locals alike say the local drinking culture has to change, and they’ve got a few ideas on what needs to be done.

A surprising number of common foods—from ginger to cherries to hot peppers—may alleviate pain.






October/November 2014

In This Issue This Matters


16 Love This Warm up with the Maple Latte from The Grind.

6 Editor’s Note


34 Healthy Living Morgantown tackles intimate partner violence locally and globally.

16 What’s This Good design makes for healthier buildings.

38 Dish It Out Jasmine Grlll offers authentic Syrian food in a welcoming environment on High Street.

18 Support This Dozens of local stores prepare for Small Business Saturday in November.

41 Scoreboard Running looks different with the Hash House Harriers.

20 Watch This WVU theater students bring A Midsummer Night’s Dream to life. 24 Try This A new local spa has one of the only dry salt therapy rooms in the state. 26 This Matters To . . . Robert DeWitt has worked with the PRT for more than 35 years.




44 Road Rage Fewer Mountain Line buses makes for a difficult commute for some in Morgantown. 46 Across County Lines Jackson’s Mill in Lewis County preserves history while serving as a treasured camp for children across the state. 50 The U A favorite storyteller will haunt listeners during a special event as part of the Cecilia Rollins Brown Bag Film and Discussion Series.

27 Eat This Atomic Grill partners with 123 Pleasant Street to open a satellite kitchen downtown. 28 Shop This Mid-Atlantic Market may look like a typical convenience store from the outside, but it’s not.

71 The Scene 75 Calendar


30 Do This Comedy comes to 123 Pleasant Street in a big, friendly way.

80 Then & Now A look at football today—and more than 100 years ago.


32 Who’s This Psychiatrist and playwright Donald Fidler combines his creative and medical skills.

41 On the Cover Elizabeth Roth captured this photo across the South High Street bridge looking toward downtown.


Morgantown • Oct/Nov 2014


Best THE

cut here

Com e on, w ho d o you lov e? we all have an opinion on the best local places to eat, drink, and shop, so share it! send us your votes for who you think is the “bom”— best of morgantown. The top contenders in each category will move on to a second round of voting.









Best Pizza

Best Chef

Best BBQ

Best Media Personality

Best Sweet Indulgence

Best Coach

Best Ethnic Food

Best Politician

Best Burger

Best Twitter Feed

Best Breakfast

Best Bartender

Best Outdoor Dining

Best Artist

Best Vegetarian-Friendly


Best Power Lunch

Best Festival

Best Fine Dining

Best Band

Best Place to Caffeinate

Best Theater

Best Romantic Restaurant

Best Music Venue

Best Brewery

Best Museum/Gallery

Best Beer Selection

Best Golf Course

Best Neighborhood Bar

Best Local Fundraising Event

Best Sports Bar

Best Local Run/Walk

Best Winery

Best Yoga Studio Best Tattoo Shop

Subm it by

November 10, 2014 Vote onli ne or mai l to new south media, Inc. Best of morgantown 709 beechurst avenue suite 14a morgantown, w v 26505

Best Bank

Best Place to Buy Health Food

Best Car Dealership

Best Grocery Store

Best Massage

Best Furniture Store

Best Florist

Best Place to Buy a Wedding Dress Best Place for Mountaineer Gear Best Local Recreation Store Best Bookstore Best Gift Shop Best Place to Buy Shoes Best Place to Buy Women’s Apparel Best Place to Buy Men’s Apparel Best Place to Buy Kids’ Apparel Best Local Pet Store Best Consignment Store Best Jewelry Store

SERVICES Best Doctor Best Dentist Best Mani/Pedi Best Day Spa Best Hair Salon Best Workout Spot Best Vet Best Personal Trainer Best Local Hotel Best Radio Station Best Dry Cleaner Best Real Estate Agency

DID WE MISS ANYTHING? Feel free to write in your own categories and candidates here:

cut here


Eat / Love / Wear / Shop / Watch / know / Hear / read / Do / Who / what

1750 1760 1770 1780 1790 1800 1810 1820 1830

Perfect Produce

In Demand

About 3,500 people visit the Morgantown Farmers’ Market each weekend.

1840 1850 1860 1870 1880 1890 1900 1910

We already knew the Morgantown Farmers’ Market was the best thing since sliced sprouted whole grain bread, but this popular little market also made it to 22 on American Farmland Trust’s list of the top 100 most celebrated farmers’ markets in the country. See what all the fuss is about every Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to noon from May to November on the corner of Spruce and Fayette streets.

1920 1930 1940


Many market vendors offer certified naturally grown, non-GMO, pesticide/ chemical-free, antibiotic-free, and grass finished products

Did You Know? The Morgantown market boasts about 40 vendors.

1950 1960

Wait—There’s More!

1970 1980

The market isn’t all food. You’ll also find music, culinary demonstrations, healthy lifestyle activities, and crafts.

1990 2000

SEPTEMber 2014


2020 2030 2040 2050

Apples Away!

Elizabeth Roth

West Virginia ranks 11th in the nation in apple production. – WVU Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design


Scientist George Washington Carver developed 118 products from sweet potatoes, including glue for postage stamps.

Pumpkin Power Pumpkins were once recommended for removing freckles and curing snake bites.






A Spoonful of Maple

Check out The Grind for this sweet alternative.

➼ More subtle than a pumpkin spice latte and far more Appalachiacentric, The Grind has an autumnal coffee drink sure to warm your innards and perk up your taste buds. Milky Joe, Maple Latte, and their young brother, Lil Buddy, have captured our hearts with just the right mix of espresso, frothy milk, and maple syrup. It’s like autumn, modern hipsterdom, and Grandma’s homemade waffles went on a coffee date, were married, and had a lovely, unconventional family. The Milky Joe is a standard Americano with a hint of West Virginia maple syrup and a splash of cream. It can be ordered iced or hot. The Lil Buddy begins with a shot of espresso and finishes with maple syrup and whole milk. A maple latte is pretty selfexplanatory. Order in sizes ranging from an espresso shot to 12- and 16-ounce beverages. $2.25–$4. The Grind, 169 Willey Street, 304.296.5297 written and photographed by katie griffith


Morgantown • Oct/Nov 2014

Healing Sick Buildings

Good design contributes more than you may realize to the health of the buildings new and old. ➼ Basic tenets of healthy living generally center on a nutritious diet, exercise, and plenty of sleep, but how often do you consider the health of your home or place of work? Some buildings are sick, giving off toxins that affect indoor air quality and compromise the health of inhabitants. Fortunately we can combat these potential issues through good design in both new and existing buildings. Since many of us spend more time indoors than out, it helps to incorporate sunlight and exterior views into the home or office. Buildings situated on an east-west axis take advantage of the sun’s energy by creating more southern-facing surface area, while adding more windows on the south side of a building allows the sun to warm interior space and reduces heating costs. Daylight also helps remediate the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder. Recent studies show that workers who are not exposed to natural sunlight during their workday suffer from poor sleep quality, are less active, and generally have less vitality than their windowed cohorts. Proper ventilation is an important factor in maintaining a healthy indoor environment, particularly in historic buildings. The ability to open a window and allow outside air into a room reduces the likelihood of mold growth from stagnant damp air. An efficient HVAC system can help minimize the spread of biological contaminants like bacteria, pollen, and viruses. Indoor plants provide a connection to the natural environment while filtering the air and absorbing some toxins from the environment. Interestingly, many buildings constructed before 1950 include sustainable design elements like large windows and high ceilings for natural light and ventilation, since artificially controlled environments were not yet prevalent. Building design in the second half of the 20th century neglected these practices and also introduced building styles and elements that, while modern, may have caused more harm than good.

Material choices also have the ability to improve or deteriorate your health. Seemingly innocent materials such as carpeting and paint can emit toxins into the atmosphere. These “off-gassing” items sometimes contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are often known to be carcinogens. Conscientious product choices are a must. The best way to ensure your building is not making you sick is to perform regular maintenance. Ensure moisture is not infiltrating the building, insects are not breeding inside walls or other dark places, and machinery is not off-gassing chemicals. Use HEPA filters in your airhandling units to reduce particulates in the air and encourage the use of natural or non-toxic cleansers. written by Mills Group photographed by Carla Witt Ford

The Mills Group is an architecture, planning, and preservation firm in Morgantown. Mills Group has been transforming and preserving the built environment of West Virginia for eight years with a team of architects, interior designers, landscape planners, and historians using the principles of sustainable design.


William & Loulie Canady in memory of Valerie


HALLOWEEN POPS: Memorable Music from Stage and Screen MONDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2014, 7:30 P.M. Pre-concert event at 6:30 p.m. with WQED’s Jim Cunningham

Lawrence Loh, conductor Chad Winkler, trumpet, Morgantown native Get in the Halloween “spirit” with a Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra concert, led by Resident Conductor Lawrence Loh, that will send chills down your spine and a thrill through your heart with all the eerie classics such as The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and Saint Saëns’ Danse macabre, as well as music from The Dark Knight Rises, Spiderman, Game of Thrones, Sleeping Beauty and more! Attendees invited to compete in Costume Contest.


For $13 student tickets or adult tickets starting at $26 call 800.743.8560 or visit





Small Business Saturday

Kick off your holiday shopping at local businesses on November 29. ➼ Forget Black Friday. Rather than rushing into the cold November night air with a belly stuffed with stuffing, hang out with your family and friends. Laze on the coach the following morning with your Thanksgiving leftovers and football highlights, safe in the knowledge that good deals will continue on Saturday when Morgantown’s local businesses participate in Small Business Saturday —a less hectic, more downtown-friendly shopping holiday. 18

Morgantown • Oct/Nov 2014

The promotion was conceived in 2010 by American Express and quickly spread across the United States alongside other year-round eat local and shop local movements. Sandwiched between Black Friday, a holiday infamous for its door buster deals at the nation’s big-box stores, and Cyber Monday, a similar holiday centered on e-commerce, Small Business Saturday encourages shoppers caught in the yearly rush of holiday shopping to return to their Main Street brick-and-mortar mom-and-pop stores.

“It’s a wonderful You can easily spend a day buying unique gifts concept,” says at local Morgantown Jody Wolfe, owner shops. Check out Small of Woofs Canine Business Saturday on November 29, 2014. Accoutrements in Suncrest. “We don’t have many things going on these days that bring awareness to local businesses.” Along with Woofs, businesses across Morgantown will participate in the discount day on Saturday, November 29, 2014, with special discounts, entertainment, and refreshments. Particularly active is the downtown shopping district where, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., nonprofit downtown revitalization organization Main Street Morgantown will offer promotions including free giveaways, family photo opportunities, and discount cards for local businesses good for one year. Consumers spent more than $5 billion shopping at local businesses and restaurants on Small Business Saturday in 2012, the third year of the promotion,

Last year my wife and I made a point of going out on Small Business Saturday. We went to the Seneca Center, into the downtown, and we started choosing random businesses that might be out there on their own across the county.” Dan Kimble, president and CEO of the Morgantown Chamber of Commerce

according to American Express estimates. Morgantown’s 2014 goal is to get up to 50 area businesses participating, Main Street Morgantown Executive Director Terri Cutright says. “We record Small Business Saturday sales and they’ve continued to increase.” This year Main Street Morgantown is partnering with the Morgantown Area Chamber of Commerce to increase promotion of the event to the community and small businesses alike. “It takes such an effort for these businesses,” says Jack Thompson, the chamber’s director of business development. “You’re an owner, a marketing person, an accountant, a chef, a cashier, a janitor; you don’t have much time to plan ahead or the resources to have a major impact.” In the days leading up to Small Business Saturday, Morgantown residents will hear several promotional radio spots and will receive newspaper inserts featuring local businesses. “The big thing is creating marketing opportunities for our small businesses,” Jack says. “With their budgets and staff it’s difficult for them to compete with big-box stores and malls on Black Friday and the beginning of holiday shopping. This year not only are you getting Best Buy and Walmart in the newspaper, you’re also getting Pinocchio’s (on High Street) and the quilt shop at the Seneca Center.” The lead-up to the event is just as important as the day itself, reminding locals of the many small business experts around the community providing everything from home improvement to educational children’s toys to pet products. “It’s been such a big event for us and for all of downtown because it really capitalizes on people recognizing that small businesses are an important part of the community,” says Jeanne Hagan, owner of Pinocchio’s Books & Toys. Jeanne has shared in the promotion every year that Morgantown has participated, offering extended hours, refreshments, discounts, and, weather-permitting, musical entertainment. “So many people go to the bigger stores so many other times of the year, but on that day they do choose some of our smaller stores and realize they can benefit from our expertise,” she says. “It’s really not a one-day event for us. It carries through the rest of the holiday season.”

N OW Selling

SPICES Located in the historic Seneca Center, we carry over 100 premium loose leaf teas including herbal tisanes, tea gift items, and a fabulous lunch menu of gourmet sandwiches, fresh salads, and homemade soups, or choose one of our tea services which includes seasonal tea sandwiches, soup, scones, quiche, and sweets.

Open Monday thru Saturday10-5 Sunday 11-3


The Spa @ The Waterfront Fall Specials P umPk in S Pice B ody S cruB & m aSSage $85 P umPk in S Pice Facial $75 P umPk in S Pice P edicur e & m anicur e e xPr eSS c omBo $68 2 waterfront pl, 2nd floor | 304.906.4380 Open 7 days a week | Free Validated Parking

Infant through Adults. Shoes for the whole family.

written by Katie Griffith photographed by Elizabeth Roth morgantownmag.Com



WVU students will perform this Shakespeare classic with shows in November and December at the Creative Arts Center.


Midsummer in Late Fall

Shakespeare’s classic tale of love triangles, potions, and meddlesome fairies gets a WVU treatment this November. ➼ Amid a maze of halls leading to the belly of WVU’s Creative Arts Center (CAC) where its main stage sits, costume designers chatter over swaths of painted drapery that will soon double as fairy garnish. Overhead, a sound technician 20

Morgantown • Oct/Nov 2014

performs a sound check, while young men scale two-story handmade sets. It’s not even 9 a.m. on a Friday, five weeks into the fall semester, but dozens of undergraduates, grad students, and faculty members of WVU’s School of Theatre & Dance

prepare for a number of performances, the most massive of which is the upcoming production of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. For the uninitiated, Shakespeare’s comedy involves several intersecting stories set before an Athenian palace and a nearby enchanted forest. With Shakespeare’s mischievous sprite Puck meddling in the affairs of four mismatched lovers, a jealous fairy king, Oberon, compels his queen, Titania, to fall in love with a donkey. In short, it’s a tale of confused love, dangerous love potions, interfering fairies, and a troupe of townie actors assembling a play-within-a-play. There’s a lot going on, involving a diverse cast of characters. When the story


Every character is a full character, and for our grad students it’s very fertile ground for a thesis experience.” Jerry McGonigle, associate director of the WVU School of Theatre & Dance

is performed by WVU students for the first time in more than two decades this November, a group of equally diverse students will be responsible for its success. “The lovely thing about A Midsummer Night’s Dream is that it’s a great ensemble play. Every character is a full character, and for our grad students it’s very fertile ground for a thesis experience,” says Jerry McGonigle, associate director of the School of Theatre & Dance and the play’s director. “You’ve got 10 or 12 great leads and some very challenging scene designs. It also gives us an opportunity to showcase a very diverse cross-section of students who are of all ages and come from all over the country.” Take Mya Brown, a third-year graduate student in the school’s MFA acting program, who will be taking on a lead as Titania. Mya is a married mother of two who was living and working as a cosmetologist in Jacksonville, Florida, until three years ago when she packed up her family and headed for the hills of West Virginia to pursue her dream of performing. “I got my bachelor’s in theater and it was always my passion. I just got away from it for a while,” she says. As a grad student, Mya’s life is now a juggling act as she manages a full course load, undergraduate teaching commitments—required of all graduate students in the program—and some 25 to 30 hours per week of rehearsals. “It’s all about time management,” she says. “It definitely gets difficult to spend time with my family, and it’s a sacrifice. But

in the end, the experience is well worth it.” Selecting a semester’s slate of productions is a complex process for the theater program—and it’s one that begins a full year in advance. Each September, a committee comprised of faculty and students is charged with hammering out the following year’s schedule. The group has until December to select a group of shows, taking into account a slew of interests from existing student talent to a play’s education experience to ever-fickle financial and commercial concerns. But putting a performance schedule in place is only part of the battle. “The madness of choosing the year’s production schedule is not nearly as daunting as the madness of organizing it,” Jerry says. “We really run on the model of a professional theater company.” That’s no exaggeration. From strict budgets to rigorous daily rehearsal schedules— rehearsals run six days a week for at least six weeks prior to show time—to multiple stages of scene design and modeling, there’s no doubt students are getting a taste of the professional performance world. While the school receives university funding for its productions, it only covers a fraction of the cost of putting on the semester’s three to four shows, some of which can cost upwards of $30,000. To make up the difference, the department relies on the same bread and butter as any professional company: successful ticket sales. “We may start off with some seed money from the university, but one production pays for the second

production which pays for the third and so on. At the end of the day, we have to be in the black,” Jerry says. The tightly run operation manages to accomplish this all while keeping ticket prices low. “We’ve been able to continue increasing our production quality without seeing a ticket price hike in years.” And Jerry’s had a lot of help honing this production’s particular look. His team of costume and scene designers began work on the production in summer, drawing costume inspiration from tribes in Kenya and set design ideas from sculptures and photos of surreal-looking forests from all over the world. “For some students—a lot of students—this is their first experience with theater. We’re going for universal appeal, with a contemporary look,” Jerry says. In the play’s opening scene, one of the lovesick leads offers his mistress the worldweary words: “The course of true love never did run smooth.” Judging by Jerry and his crew’s fine-tooth comb approach to their labor of love, this fall’s production promises to run as smoothly as possible. A Midsummer Night’s Dream will be performed in the Gladys G. Davis Theatre in WVU’s Creative Arts Center on November 19 and 21 and December 2 through 7. Tickets are $20 for the general public and $15 for senior citizens and students. written by Morgan Grice photos courtesy of west virginia university




WVU’s School of to not only look Pharmacy celebrated expensive, because 100 years in 2014. that would indicate that the proprietor Early 20th century pharmacists relied on was a person of uniformity and image to some substance, convey experience and knowledge, skill, skill. Ornate wood and glass displays showed and expertise, but professionalism. his wares had to have a sense of The WVU School of Pharmacy is celebrating 100 years continuity.” That meant rows upon rows of matching glass of health innovation. or ceramic bottles with elegantly printed water in elegantly shaped glass vessels called labels—camphor, milk of magnesia, aspirin, ➼ In 1917 George Woodring leeches—everything you might need to show globes. He might even sell flavored Melcher graduated with the first alleviate a stomachache, swelling, or cough. soda water, often marketed as a remedy bachelor of science degree from a new Just don’t touch the blister beetles. itself. Believe it or not this was the world of department operating under the school Travel forward in time 100 years and, medicine, and when George left WVU, he of medicine at WVU. There were three had the highest possible degree from that in 2014, if you wander the modern halls faculty members and four students. But of WVU’s School of Pharmacy in the newly formed pharmacy department. with his diploma, George could expect Clarke Ridgway, professor emeritus of spacious Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences to make a pretty good living mixing Center, you probably won’t run into pharmacy, says the key to success for a compounds of all kinds—from remedies anyone compounding perfumes. But you pharmacist (also known as a druggist or for stomach pain to perfumes and will meet students and faculty engaged in an apothecary at various times throughout cosmetics—in one of hundreds of small cutting-edge research on breast cancer and history) in the early 20th century was businesses across the country. He’d nanotoxicology. Students are spending often more in looking the part than in probably work in a suit and a white curing diseases, though many remedies of service learning hours teaching children apron behind a massive oak counter yesteryear are still used today. “Appearance about healthy lifestyles or helping lowdecorated with stained glass and ornate income parents de-stress after work. And woodcarvings. In the window of his shop was very much a part of the pharmacy they’re doing international clinical rotations he could advertise his services with colored persona,” he says. “The pharmacy had KNOW This

A Century of Medicine


Morgantown • Oct/Nov 2014

in South Africa, Brazil, and Oman. “Where once we were more internally focused on just preparing the very best students, it’s much more holistic today,” says Patricia Chase, dean of the School of Pharmacy. “Our graduates can be really smart, but if they’re not caring and willing to serve their communities, they aren’t going to make an impact on the health of the people of West Virginia or any other region. Today we’re looking at how, as pharmacists or researchers, our graduates can use their knowledge to make a difference.” Like most pharmacy schools, WVU’s has evolved with the changing standards of medicine. What started as a small department with three teachers and four students is now a highly ranked school with 47 expert faculty, graduating 80-plus budding pharmacists every year. Where once students could practice pharmacy with a two-year degree, today the school’s six-year professional doctor of pharmacy degree requires 1,500 hours of internship, 100 hours of community service, and licensing exams. The school also offers a dual Pharm.D./ MBA (the state’s first) and a Ph.D. degree. With nearly 4,000 graduates over the past century, the school boasts some big wins in the fight to improve health, including a multitude of publications and grants for cancer research, community-based education and prevention, drug discovery, education and training, neurology/psychiatry, and toxicology. Graduates of the school have gone on to become executive vice presidents and chief executive officers of major pharmaceutical companies, have worked with the Food and Drug Administration and the European Union, are part of national organizations that help develop guidelines and regulations, and have been involved in research into breast cancer cell culture and HIV treatment. And in 2012, the pharmacy school moved to 26 in the Best Health Schools-Pharmacy category of the U.S. News and World Report’s 2013 edition of America’s Best Graduate Schools. But the school also cherishes its past, from artifacts and antiquities dating back to the 17th century at its Cook-Hayman Pharmacy Museum to courses on the history of pharmacy. Stop into the museum on any given day when Clarke, the volunteer curator, is there and you might find him elbow-deep in the past—shirtsleeves rolled up—cataloging bottles from before the Civil War or showing students a mortar and pestle from the 1600s. He’ll be happy to give you a tour of the museum space, with its 160-year-old cabinets, books, and rows upon rows of mysterious medicinal substances from times past still corked tightly in bottles and jars. “It’s important for students to see the changes that have occurred,” Clarke says. “To understand why those changes occurred and extrapolate that into how changes might occur in the future—how to handle them, how to facilitate them, and what to guard against.” Patricia says that century-long perspective is one reason why the school and its graduates continue to play such a vital role in the health of the region and the nation. “Our main goal is to improve the health of the people of West Virginia,” she says. “I think that says a lot in terms of how we prepare these future pharmacists to be advocates for their patients. We really want to make sure the school is always contributing—that everyone is working to improve the health of the people.”


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Mind-Body Healing

A new therapy in Morgantown offers an ancient technique for relaxation and healthy breathing. ➼ “Take a couple of deep breaths when you get in there,” says Patricia Shelledy, a staff member at Somatic Wellness Massage and Salt Spa. The room is nearly dark. The only real light slants in from a single white French door, though the dim glow from recessed fixtures overhead lends the space a certain warmth as you cross—unsure— over a shifting carpet of pink Himalayan salt. The machine in the wall—called a halogenerator—starts up with a lowlevel hum as you find a seat and recline. In a moment the unmistakable smell of ocean flows in. Your skin tingles, as if something light is gathering there. Run a hand over your arms and you’ll 24

Morgantown • Oct/Nov 2014

feel it—slightly gritty like fine sand but nearly invisible. Remembering their instructions, you inhale deeply, expecting to cough. You are, after all, inhaling tiny particles of pure sodium chloride. But instead you feel relaxed. Your breathing evens out. Your mind clears. By the time the 45-minute session is over and you step back into the cool, blue space of the spa’s central room, you feel like you’ve been on a mini-vacation. It might seem like new technology, but people have been traveling to salt caves and spas for hundreds if not thousands of years. It’s been touted as a way to alleviate the symptoms of everything from skin conditions to fibromyalgia using salt’s

After losing family unique ability members to disease, to fight bacterial Lois Foster and her infections, thin husband began studying mucus, and alternative methods for improving health. generally improve Dry salt therapy uses lung function. And aerosolized salt particles believe it or not, to treat respiratory and co-owner of skin ailments. Somatic Wellness and licensed massage therapist Lois Foster says her business has one of only two dry salt therapy rooms in the state. “For those who aren’t sick, this can help keep them that way. For those suffering from chronic diseases such as asthma, fibromyalgia, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, it can help them on their healing journey,” Lois says. “It might not be effective for every condition, but one thing is very clear from the research: If you go in there on a regular basis you’ll find yourself getting into a more relaxed state.” What’s more, recent studies—one published in the Public Library of Science—point to evidence that relaxation can alter gene expression. That means people with chronic diseases in their family—Crohn’s, diabetes, and high blood pressure for instance—could benefit even more from such techniques. Salt therapy, the inhalation of aerosolized salt, has long been popular in eastern Europe and is gaining traction in the


It might not be effective for every condition, but one thing is very clear from the research. If you go in there on a regular basis you’ll find yourself getting into a more relaxed state.” Lois Foster, co-owner

U.S. For Lois, the Somatic Wellness relief her clients 11 Commerce Drive feel speaks for Suite 100, Westover itself. And at $35 304.288.8767 per session (less with the purchase of a package), it’s cheaper than many medications. Patricia, a longtime client and staff member at the spa, says the salt room is one of the only ways she is able to treat herself for things like common colds and allergies. “I can’t take medicine. I’m so sensitive it makes my skin crawl and my heart race. But when I sit in there, I can breathe,” she says. Lois says some of her clients have seen significant effects in just a couple of sessions. “I’ve had several of my clients who were very dependent on their inhalers say they can now go days without using them. Now, I want to be clear that this doesn’t replace any medicines. This is not a substitution,” she says. “But we live in a polluted world, with bad air quality and high pollen counts. Even our water can be polluted. So it’s very similar to having an infected wound. Soap alone might not help it. You might need the antibiotics. But if you didn’t wash it, you wouldn’t be helping your body as much as you could.” Lois has been in business since 2010 with her husband and partner, Mike, also a

licensed massage therapist. What started as a general interest in more natural methods of healing—brought on by the loss of family members, including both of Lois’ parents to lung cancer—soon became a lucrative passion. Operating in Westover, Somatic Wellness opened in a new, larger location in June 2014 and plans to expand even further, including adding a children’s salt room and other products and services. In addition to salt therapy, the spa offers custom massage, hand-blended scented oils, herbal teas, wellness gatherings for up to 12 people (where groups can learn how to deal with stress effectively), and an infrared sauna designed to help the body detoxify naturally. Despite the scientifically documented benefits of things like massage and aromatherapy, Lois says the mental benefit is often just as important. “I look at all these complementary health modalities

Lois and her husband, as experiential Mike, are licensed therapies, just massage therapists and like if you were offer custom massage as well as other therapies going to a mental and products in their health counselor. Westover business. It’s every bit as clinically effective as any other type of therapy when you’re dealing with stress, anxiety, grief, and fear. If you’re still pumping out the stress hormones— the norepinephrine, the adrenaline, the cortisol—it makes it more difficult for the body to heal. Healing—true healing— occurs best when we’re in relaxed state.” Somatic Wellness is open Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays by appointment. written by mikenna pierotti photographed by elizabeth roth morgantownmag.Com



Robert DeWitt ➼ WVU’s PRT headquarters has the feel of an air traffic control tower. The room is dimly lit by a wall of glowing monitors and the lights of electric switch panels. A palpable energy rises when a call comes in saying a car has stopped just before reaching its destination. Suddenly the already busy operators launch into a flurry of activity—making calls to maintenance staff, announcing to riders that they’ll be moving shortly, and cutting power to areas of the track that need to be accessed for the repairs. Robert (Bob) DeWitt, PRT electronics and operations manager, stands quietly against the glass that separates the control room from the rest of the maintenance station. This is all in a day’s work. Bob’s own office is a lot more peaceful, but hardly removed from the constant comings and goings of the PRT. There’s a view of the track that’s level with his window and cars glide by every few seconds. Below, vehicles are serviced in what looks like your average auto repair shop—except that instead of cars it’s PRT vehicles hovering above the floor. Bob has been working with the PRT system for 35 years, and says that with multimillion dollar changes underway, it will soon be better than ever. Old parts will be replaced with newer, better ones, and the PRT will hopefully return to the 99 percent efficiency rate it boasted in the early 1980s. written and photographed by elizabeth roth


Morgantown • Oct/Nov 2014

On efficiency The whole PRT system is going on 40 years old. We’re running out of parts. Everything is obsolete—we’re dealing with obsolescence in the worst way. We’re really unable to get a lot of things, and we’re just in survival mode.

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am Elias ’s origins S ssor up On the PRT fe ro p g neerin e founder. was an engi th s basically e’ h d an e her e Federal iliar with th d He was fam the F TA — an — inistration dm d A t an si er an tt Tr a le 0s he wrote ct in the 196 e the per fe av h e w k in .” u said, “I th r yo tion area fo e parking demonstra e sam th s a h t n w Morganto es as a grea traf fic is su e m sa s, e. e al is su ler sc t on a smal big city, bu

On changes to come We’re overlaying a whole new system on the PRT. It’s the biggest thing we’ve ever had occur. They’re really working hard to get this all fit in by 2016. After that is a complete vehicle replacement.

On why the PRT is essential We have 32,000 students this year, and they’re pushing to 40,000 students at WVU. There are 60,000 to 70,000 people coming into Morgantown every day on a couple of small roads. They’ve tried to run buses, but they’re subject to the traffic. When the PRT is running at 100 percent, it can’t be beat. We can transpor t 6,500 people an hour. We deliver more than 2.2 million passengers a year. We can haul 30,000 students a day, and we average about 15,000. If the PRT wasn’t running, Morgantown would be in a lot of trouble.




This Way Walks EATThis

Atomic at 123

Atomic Grill opens a satellite kitchen in one of Morgantown’s best-loved live music venues. ➼ Morgantown newbies might not realize it but 123 Pleasant Street used to be known for its burgers and soup. Yes, that’s right. Once upon a time—about six years ago according to 123 owner L.J. Giuliani—you could order up a delicious meal alongside your $1 Black Label before a night of live music from your favorite local band. Now, on October 15, 2014, L.J. plans to reopen the kitchen as a satellite for Atomic Grill, one of Morgantown’s favorite barbecue restaurants. “We have a kitchen and we’ve utilized it over the years at different times and in different forms,” he says. “The last time was about six years ago. My wife and a few close friends were working in the kitchen and we got a really good response.” But after a few months, L.J.’s wife found out she was pregnant and both decided it was better to close the kitchen for the time being. “Five years later, when a friend of mine, Dan McCawley, opened Atomic Grill, I mentioned that once he got it going he should open a satellite location down at the club. He thought it would be cool. This summer we revisited the idea and we both still thought it would be great.” L.J. says the satellite kitchen is a big part of other renovations happening at 123, including changing the layout of the upper bar, adding a second stage for

acoustic acts, and expanding the beer selection. The kitchen itself will require very little renovation, he says. “For the most part, it’s turnkey. I look at it as a great way to add to what we’re already doing. Dan looks at it as a great way to stay involved with the club because he’s a musician and a patron as well. At the same time it’s a way for him to expand and build on the brand and maybe introduce his product to people who haven’t heard of it yet.” The kitchen will be staffed with a mix of Atomic and 123 employees and, in terms of menu, L.J. says it will feature some of Atomic Grill’s famous dishes as well as three or four signature items that will only be available at the club. Consistency will be key. “If you get something down here at Pleasant Street, we want it to be just like what you’d get at Atomic Grill,” he says. That’s why Atomic’s head chef will be at the club to help get things running. For now L.J. plans to have extended hours Wednesdays and Saturdays—from happy hour to close. The kitchen’s opening on October 15 will coincide with 123’s anniversary and a special comedy night—the Best Buds of Comedy tour (page 30)—that L.J. hopes will kick off a more regular comedy night. Barbecue, comedy, extended hours— L.J. hopes these changes will bring in even more regulars. “I look for it to mesh really well. Dan and a lot of the employees at Atomic have been patrons for a long time. A lot of them are artists and musicians and that falls in line with who our patrons are and the people who are working and playing down here already. We want people to come in and be happy. And when they leave, we want them to talk about it.”

➼ Don’t be surprised later this month when you see hundreds of people walking around University Avenue in the evening. Don’t call the riot police either. WVU’s Mountaineer Week celebration will take a turn for the spooky with the Fourth Annual WVU Ghost Tour on October 27, 2014, and hundreds of the haunt-obsessed are expected to attend. Led by award-winning storyteller Jason Burns, the tour will lead the curious and not-so-faint-of-heart around some of the alleged hauntings on WVU’s main campus. Sites and stories include the secret of Stewart Hall’s construction, the ghostly professor, the haunted library, the creature that haunts Woodburn Hall, and the water monster in the Monongahela River. The two-hour tour, free and open to the public, begins at 7 p.m. with a reception in the Vandalia Lounge on the first floor of the Mountainlair on the WVU Downtown Campus. Bring walking shoes and warm jackets.

written by mikenna pierotti photographed by elizabeth roth morgantownmag.Com



Little Strip District

Mid-Atlantic Market offers a taste of Pittsburgh in a surprising location in Morgantown. ➼ If gas station shopping brings to mind stale snacks and greasy hot dogs, Mid-Atlantic Market will be a pleasant surprise. Located at Pierpont Landing near Exit 7 of Interstate 68, the bustling market brings Pittsburgh’s Strip District to Morgantown. Fresh-baked breads, biscotti, meats, cheeses, olives, peppers, and pastas all regularly make the trip from Pittsburgh to stock the market’s shelves. Much more than a gas station convenience store, Mid-Atlantic Market has become a full-service grocery and deli. Owned by Metro Properties, the store is managed by Sheryl Holbert, who says the store’s commitment to getting the products customers want has led to its success. Since opening in 2009, Mid-Atlantic Market has steadily increased the number and variety of its products, as well as the services it provides. “We have surpassed anything we could have imagined,” Sheryl says. Specialty and craft beers—you can make your own six-pack—share a corner filled with a sizable collection of wine. The next aisle holds olive oil, pasta sauce, and pastas, the likes of which can be found at the famous Pennsylvania Macaroni Company. In the opposite corner, machines brew coffee next to cases of doughnuts, biscotti, and pepperoni rolls. Sheryl says she and the other employees at the market like to try new products before deciding what to sell and regularly take requests from customers, too. The result is an interesting mix of high-quality products like a fiery hot sauce made in California and pork rinds made in-house. With all the available goodies, gift baskets are popular. Customers can work with the market’s staff to put together just about any type of basket they desire, as well as specialty cookie trays. 28

Morgantown • Oct/Nov 2014

In addition to the grocery, Mid-Atlantic Market boasts a substantial deli. There, two large cases hold cold salads, olives, peppers, meats, and cheeses that are available for bulk purchase. Fresh bread is brought in from Pittsburgh each Tuesday and Friday, rounding out the market’s Strip District fare. There are plenty of sandwiches and salads pre-made and ready to eat, but there’s also a menu of soups, hot hoagies, and deli sandwiches made to order. In the winter months, the deli has a weekly special. The market takes orders online and by phone, making carry-out a convenient option, but it also has a small in-house dining area—dubbed the Fireside Café— with free Wi-Fi. Customers can relax in the café’s comfortable leather chairs and enjoy the big screen TV above the fireplace. Sheryl says catering has even become popular, especially during football season. The market has many options, from fruit trays to platters of premium Italian meats and cheeses, as well as custom trays. Pepperoni rolls are a customer favorite—for WVU’s first home game against Towson, Sheryl estimates they made some 600 pepperoni rolls. One of

Sheryl’s favorite Mid-Atlantic catering options is Market an Italian ice bar, 7000 Mid Atlantic Drive courtesy of Rita’s, 304.777.4686 the popular Italian ice and frozen custard chain. The market purchased a Rita’s franchise in January 2013 and has been churning out Italian ice, custard, and gelati ever since. “We wanted to bring in something unique,” Sheryl says. Future plans and possibilities for MidAtlantic Market include a Latin food section, a coffee bar, and a second location in Clarksburg. She also envisions a Rita’s food truck that could sell Italian ice in downtown Morgantown, and even a drive-throughstyle coffee shop in the store’s parking lot. No matter what the future holds, some things will stay the same—Mid-Atlantic Market will always have the friendly feel of a neighborhood grocer and the quality products requested by its customers. “It’s like in the old country,” Sheryl says. “You shop at your neighborhood store.” written and photographed by elizabeth roth

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Your Best Buds

A group of nationally recognized comedians is coming to town for a night of laugher and, perhaps, to make more friends. ➼ Five comedians, five approaches to comedy, one live show at 123 Pleasant Street for one night only. Think Friends meets Comedy Central Presents meets a high school band tour with top-notch performers. It’ll be a show brimming with relationship stories, girlfriend anecdotes, drug tales, and, probably, farts. It’s a comedy show after all. “My mom called me the other night to ask about the tour. She warned me about being in a van with four boys. She was concerned about the air quality,” says Sally Brooks. “I was like, ‘We’re adults, Mom. The thing you’re concerned about is farts?’” Fresh-faced, blond, and totally adorable, Sally is a lawyer-turned-comedian heading up the Best Buds of Comedy Tour coming 30

Morgantown • Oct/Nov 2014

to town this fall. Her jokes are irreverent and down-to-earth, often focusing on the distance between herself and the clichéd 30-something housewife—married with two kids, one parent/teacher conference seduction away from the honor roll. “I think kids are great. I love kids,” she says. “I hope someday I can be the kind of woman who says she wants them with a straight face.” Right now she’s the kind of woman headlining comedy shows nationwide. You may have heard her on the nationally syndicated radio show Bob & Tom. Perhaps yours is one of the million views of her web series Suburban Housewife. Maybe you’ve seen her hanging out at Apothecary Ale House or Morgantown Brewing Company, home for a few days

Sam Evans, Sally Brooks, after weeks on Alex Stone, Mike Cronin, tour. She’ll be the and Cam O'Connor will one surrounded by perform stand-up at 123 Pleasant Street on friends with huge, October 15. dopish smiles as she regales them with the tales from the road. Sally and her husband call Morgantown home, though her start in comedy began when she was still living in Cincinnati where she performed at a local comedy club on a lark. “I was working as a lawyer and just kind of hated my life,” she says. “I was like, ‘I need a hobby.’” Quilting wouldn’t do. But she liked watching stand-up and thought it might be fun to try it herself, so she started going to open mic nights. “Then I started going every night,” she says. “And then I started doing shows, and then I was getting work regularly.” Pretty soon Sally quit her day job to become a fulltime comic and freelance writer. “Being a lawyer was a real drag for me,” she says. “It was soul-crushing some of the time, and I was way more excited and inspired by what I was doing after work than what I

tina orzali



We love each other and really respect each other’s comedy.”

laura wilcox rote

Sally Brooks

was doing at work. I took that as a sign.” While following those signs in Cincinnati, Sally spent a lot of time hanging out with the same handful of comics, particularly four guys always at the same club, Go Bananas. They’re the same four guys whose flatulence her mother warned her about. Alex Stone, Mike Cronin, Sam Evans, and Cam O’Connor are all accomplished comedians, but in the beginning the four, plus Sally, were just a few people trying to stay afloat in the swamp of the entertainment industry. “For the most part we all started there doing open mics, and then we all started working,” Sally says of their Cincinnati days. At first they just liked each other’s jokes, but pretty soon it became more than that—they got to know each other off stage, too, and became friends. “And then we all moved away,” she says. The five friends all live in different cities now, from Morgantown to New York to Chicago. But they all still work in comedy, and each of them has seen some success. Alex was recently chosen to be on

the popular NBC Best Buds of show Last Comic Comedy Tour Standing. Mike 123 Pleasant Street worked on a music October 15, 8 p.m. video called “The Hipster Song” that now has more than 850,000 views on YouTube. Sam was named “Funniest Person in Cincinnati” in 2012. Cam was the tour opener for the 12-state “Organic Comedy Tour,” which was filmed for a documentary. Sally has performed alongside comedians such as Bobcat Goldthwait, Kevin Nealon, Kyle Kinane, and Fortune Feimster. The animated Hulu series Mother Up! starring Eva Longoria was inspired by Sally’s popular Suzy Jenkins web series. Speaking of housewives. But as in all heartwarming stories, home is home, and friends are friends. The old group missed each other. “Wherever you start is like your home club,” Sally says. So they decided to do a tour together— just because they feel like it. “We love each other, and really respect each other’s

comedy,” Sally says. “We’ve been talking about doing a tour together for years—this is just the first time we’ve actually gotten it together and made it happen.” They’re scheduling a longer tour for the spring and doing a shorter, weeklong run this fall, going to places like Columbus, Nashville, Pittsburgh, and Morgantown. “I love doing shows like this because the people who come are there to see the show,” Alex says. “They’re not there because they won free tickets or because they needed a place to start their bachelorette party. They are there because they like comedy. Whether there are 10 people or 100, there is an enthusiasm and excitement present that you just don’t find anywhere else.” Sally really pushed to get the guys to travel to Morgantown because she thinks the city could use more professional standup shows like this one. “Maybe it’s not your one and only chance to see something like this in town, but it doesn’t happen that often,” she says. That’s because this show is filled with comics who each hold the stage on their own. But Morgantown gets a chance to see them together instead. “It’s five really great stand-ups who you might see headlining any other show,” Sally says. “I can promise that everyone is super funny. We all just want to have fun on this tour and we want everybody in the audience to have fun, too. There might be a dance party after—who knows?” The Best Buds of Comedy show takes place October 15, 2014, at 8 p.m. at 123 Pleasant Street. Tickets are $5 but, according to Alex, if you bring Bob Huggins you’ll get in for free. written by shay maunz and katie griffith morgantownmag.Com




The Composer

Donald Fidler has spent his career using theater to train the next generation of mental health professionals. ➼ It was in a college course on directing that young medical student Donald Fidler first saw the connection. “We were looking at a character—a woman smoking—who was being questioned on whether she loved her husband,” Donald says. The character did not love her husband, though the script called for her to insist that she did. Donald’s directing professor then asked him how he’d convey that tension to an audience. “It was a snap decision. I said I’d have her puff really hard on the cigarette and then snuff it out in the ashtray. Later, in my third year of medical school, I was watching an interview through a one-way mirror and the woman being questioned was asked if she loved her family. She said 32

Morgantown • Oct/Nov 2014

she loved them very much, but then she took a drag on her cigarette and snuffed it out in exactly the same way I’d imagined.” Donald turned to his colleague right then and told him he knew she was lying. “I thought, ‘That’s it. This is where I belong.’” In psychiatry he found a new way to marry his talent for theater with his passion for science. “It was not a planned thing at all. I was just following my heart.” Born in Boone, North Carolina, he attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and spent 21 years there earning an undergraduate degree, going to medical school, completing his residency, and later teaching as a tenured associate professor. His father had been a World War II medic, but Donald’s first love was

not the sterile world Pyschiatrist and writer Donald Fidler has taught of stethoscopes around the world. He’s and white lab worked with tribes in Alaska, Oman, Australia, coats. “I started in professional theater and New Zealand. He is the author of more than when I was 10. I 20 plays, three musicals, was one of those and his first textbook is soon to be published. strange kids who had a chemistry set at home but also did theater,” he says. In college this translated into composing and producing musicals on campus. Despite his passion for theater, psychiatry, and education—those seemingly disparate ideas never met in his mind. “I’d always kept them separate. I thought it’d ruin them.” But his professors had other ideas. “Some of the faculty saw my musicals and said, ‘If you used your theater background for teaching, that would really be something.’” It took some convincing, but eventually his mentors dragged him into a studio and began producing educational skits for mental health professionals using Donald’s theatrical talents. The idea


See Hijacked Lives at M.T. Pockets Theatre A hitchhiker, a wealthy man, and a long stretch of road between Pittsburgh and Chicago—this dark comedy explores what happens when a hijacking goes awry and two strangers are carried off on a whirlwind ride. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for students, and $13 for seniors. Runs December 5, 6, 11, 12, and 13, 2014 at M.T. Pockets Theatre, 1390½ University Avenue. 304.284.0049,

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snowballed from there. Soon, Donald became known for his pioneering use of theater in the psychiatry classroom. “That’s what psychiatry is, what theater is, what stories and films are. It’s the same body of knowledge, just going in opposite directions. In one you create, in the other you interpret. We’re all just searching for human truths. That’s what I’m always looking for,” he says. Donald visited WVU as a lecturer in 1987 and, even though he’d been offered a position at the University of Southern California, he decided to stay in Morgantown to teach cultural psychiatry, clinical psychiatry, and acting. “I’d never been to West Virginia other than an occasional trip to Snowshoe, and I just fell in love with the place. I loved South Park and all the 100-year-old houses and the PRT.” His friends in Morgantown also begged him to stay. “But really, when I was looking for a place in Los Angeles, all the houses were an hour commute from campus. I thought, ‘That’s two hours a day I could be writing.’” So he stayed, becoming an integral part of the academic community—at WVU for more than 20 years and retiring as the Farnsworth Endowed Chair of Educational Psychiatry in 2011. Retired but never out of the limelight, today he writes eight or more hours a day, teaches playwriting, directs, and consults at Symptom Media, an online mental health education and training film library he helped create. He has composed and authored hundreds of educational clinical films, 22 major plays, and three musicals; his first textbook is soon to be published. He regularly works with other theater and film professionals in London and New York City; has consulted for and appeared in educational programs on PBS, HBO, and ABC; his plays have been produced in cities across the U.S.; and he has lectured and taught around the world—from the Australian outback to the Alaskan wilderness. In Morgantown he teaches playwriting at M.T. Pockets Theatre Company and gives occasional lectures at WVU. “I am just so thankful I have the drive to do this work. Being a psychiatrist, I know I’m lucky to be stable enough to tap into this creativity we all have but still have the work ethic to do something with it. I was also lucky to always be surrounded by incredible mentors and people who inspire me—people who have a deep love of the same things I do,” he says. written by Mikenna Pierotti photographed by Elizabeth Roth



Healthy Living

In Defense of Rural Women Advocates and researchers in Morgantown want to further break the silence on domestic violence in Appalachia and worldwide. ➼


ynne* had two kids under 5 and a baby on the way when she started thinking in the late 1970s she needed to get away from her husband. “He was brutal,” she says. “It wasn’t a constant thing, but intermittent, attacking, with guns and beatings. Very brutal— and then periods of peace.” She sought help at the Rape and Domestic Violence Information Center in Morgantown. “I heard they were a refuge.” Lynne took refuge for a while, then went back to her husband. Because what we all have to understand about these situations is, they develop over time and, for layers of reasons, they’re not easy to get out of. She ended up visiting the RDVIC two more times over the course of a quarter-century and had a child in college before she got out for good in 2000. Lynne eventually graduated from college herself with degrees in women’s studies and nutrition, and she now works as a lactation consultant in Morgantown. “I have wonderful grandchildren, I garden, bike, swim, go dancing—life is so good. RDVIC was a haven and then educated and supported me, strengthened me, really, to do what needed to be done. They saved our family.” Many thousands of families in and around Morgantown have benefited from the RDVIC’s decades of valuable and effective services for battered women. As we observe Domestic Violence Awareness Month this October,


Morgantown • Oct/Nov 2014

Morgantown is also becoming a global center of research into the deeper dynamics of partner violence.

networks is thought to be one reason, along with the prevalence of guns and knives in rural homes. There’s reason to think women in rural Appalachia may be particularly Rural Partner Violence at risk for domestic violence. “We know and Appalachia that West Virginia and the Appalachian We all like to think of rural America as a tranquil, untroubled place. Here’s the stark region are home to multiple health disparities: high rates of preventable fact, only coming out in major journals chronic conditions like cardiovascular since 2012: Intimate partner violence is worse in rural than in urban communities. disease and diabetes, and also higher rates of injury than average,” says “We did a study that was the first of Danielle Davidov, a member of its kind in the world, on abuse of rural the Research Center on Violence’s women when they want to leave, are trying to leave, or have left their husbands executive board and a faculty member in Emergency Medicine at WVU. “And or common-law partners,” says Walter we know those who have been exposed DeKeseredy. He’s the director of the to intimate partner violence are at higher new Research Center on Violence at risk for all these conditions—violence WVU and brings with him a 30-year may make them worse.” career of in-depth research into violence Yet not a lot is known about domestic against women. A decade ago, Walter and colleagues conducted interviews with violence in Appalachia. To begin to remedy that, Danielle and colleagues 43 women in rural southeast Ohio, all of have asked women seeking emergency whom he says were at great risk of being and urgent care over the past two years to killed—separated and divorced women take a short survey about their health and are among the highest-risk groups for their relationship experiences, including being killed. It was not a large sample. partner violence. “The purpose of the But what came out in those interviews study was to add to the literature about led Walter and his colleagues to dig the clinical populations in West Virginia,” through U.S. Bureau of Justice National she says. “We definitely didn’t find less Crime Victimization Survey data from violence than other studies. Many of the the previous decade, and buried in the people we surveyed have experienced data there was a clear pattern: “Rural violence in their lifetimes and in the past women are at higher risk than urban and suburban women for abuse on separation year. So that sets the stage for what kinds of things are important to explore, and or divorce, and there’s hard statistical evidence.” Physical isolation from support what kinds of interventions we can put in

Healthy Living

Rural women are at higher risk than urban and suburban women for abuse on separation or divorce, and there’s hard statistical evidence.” Walter DeKeseredy, director, wVU Research Center on Violence

place in clinical settings in Morgantown to help students and residents.” Danielle is especially interested in prevention. She has recently been funded for a three-year study to examine the relationship between intimate partner violence and health in adults ages 18 to 25 seeking care. “We hope this will help us intervene before some risk behaviors and exposure to violence could develop into more adverse health outcomes down the road,” she says. She’d like to see an even more proactive approach, through programs that reach young people. “We know violence has an intergenerational component,” she says. “We’ve got to intervene from multiple points. If we can’t intervene in families, can we do it in the school system? Can we do it in social media? If we can teach both boys and girls that violence is not an acceptable way of managing feelings and emotions and resolving conflict, that’s really better than stepping in after a violent relationship has already begun.”

Service Globally and Locally The Research Center on Violence was only established in April of 2014, but it already has a roster of 40 research associates that span the U.S., Canada, England, and Australia. “Some of the world-leading experts on violence instantly agreed to our invitation to join,” Walter says. That’s probably due in part to his own reputation, but he also thinks it speaks highly of WVU’s reputation and future. “The caliber of academic work going on at WVU is truly incredible. I think very soon we’re going to see WVU known around the world for its high academic standards.” True to its situation at a land-grant institution, the center aims to become an integral component of the well-being of the state and local communities. “We plan to work closely with folks like the West Virginia Domestic Violence Coalition, one of the most respected in the U.S.—I heard that when I took this job, from practitioners and academics elsewhere who said, ‘The folks in

Walter DeKeseredy,

West Virginia director of WVU’s new are amazing,’” Research Center on Violence, has a history of Walter says. That innovative research into coalition includes violence against women. the RDVIC and 13 similar organizations across the state, organizations that help 500 people like Lynne every day. The center is working on collaborating with the Monongalia County school system, and Walter invites Morgantown city officials, law enforcement, battered women’s advocates, and others to contact the center with ideas. “We want to be deeply involved in the day-to-day lives of the Morgantown community,” he says. “While we think nationally and globally, we also want to act locally.”



Healthy Living


Hard Facts

• On any given day, licensed domestic violence programs in West Virginia provide services to nearly 500 women, children, and men. • Every nine minutes a call is made to a domestic violence hotline in West Virginia. • One-third of homicides in West Virginia are related to domestic violence. • Domestic violence is more than three times as likely to occur when couples are experiencing high levels of financial strain. • Domestic violence service providers cite lack of funding as the number one reason they are unable to serve victims. • It takes an abused woman an average of seven tries before she leaves a relationship for good.

Don’t miss these Domestic Violence Awareness Month events October 19, 11:30 a.m. 2nd Annual Wedgewood Family Practice Mind and Body 5K Walk and Run, 1197 Van Voorhis Road Proceeds to be split between the WVU Foundation Cure Kids Cancer Fund and the Rape and Domestic Violence Information Center, $20 pre-registration, $25 day-of. Visit and search for Wedgewood. October 22, 7:30 p.m. Light up the Night, High Street Each walker in the candlelight vigil walk gets a candle that represents a victim of domestic violence. Donations of $1 per candle are appreciated. Meet at the Mountainlair Green on North High Street. October 25, 11 a.m. - noon Party in Pink Zumbathon, Westover Elementary School, 200 West Park Avenue, Westover $10 donation requested, no preregistration required, proceeds benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure and RDVIC. written by Pam Kasey * To protect her privacy, we agreed not to use Lynne's full name.


Morgantown • Oct/Nov 2014

In Remembrance of Ruth Kershner Morgantown, WVU, and the women’s advocacy community lost a champion when Ruth Kershner passed away in July 2014. She was especially interested in women’s health and, specifically, sexual assault prevention and violence against women. She was an esteemed member of WVU’s School of Public Health, an award-winning teacher and health educator, and an international health mentor for students in foreign countries including Honduras, Tanzania, and Guatemala. “The class she taught on gender and violence never had an empty seat. I was her teaching assistant for two years and students who took her 20 years ago would come by and say, ‘I don’t remember anything from my undergraduate classes, but I remember you and your class and what you taught me about violence.’” — Danielle Davidov “Something I learned from Ruth Kershner: The problem is bigger than we are. I can’t do it all, you can’t do it all—the problem is big enough that we all need to be working on it. It was very touching at the memorial service to see the huge impact that she had.” — Judy King Smith “She was more than a professor, she was everyone’s friend and biggest fan. Regardless of where I ended up in life, I knew I wanted to educate people and be part of their lives the way that Ruth so effortlessly demonstrated.” — Shelley Layman “Many students came to Ruth to talk to her about abuse or domestic violence. She never turned away anyone who was in need.” — Toni Morris

clockwise from left: courtesy of brittany warnick; Courtesy of West virginia university

The Rape and Domestic Violence Information Center in Morgantown had recently begun helping victims of domestic violence when Lynne, in our story, showed up at its door in the late 1970s. The organization had opened earlier in the decade as a rape crisis center, but expanded its scope as the need for domestic violence services became evident. “It just kind of grew from the need,” says Director Judy King Smith. Today the RDVIC serves Monongalia, Preston, and Taylor counties with emergency shelter, a 24-hour crisis hotline, and group and individual counseling, as well as medical, legal, personal, and child advocacy and community education. It served 1,400 people in 2013 and delivered 180 presentations in schools. The RDVIC was one of just 200 agencies nationwide chosen to participate in the 2014 Purple Purse fundraising challenge of the Allstate Foundation. RDVIC supporters also participate in the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes fundraiser, pictured above, each spring.


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Dish it out

everyone walking through the door. 330 High Street Samer has 304.291.7878 a shy, boyish smile and a friendly sparkle in his eyes as he receives Jasmine Grill’s customers. He first came to the United States from Syria to earn a computer engineering at the University of Hartford in Connecticut. After completing his education in 1987, he moved back to Syria for work. He spent five years there as an engineer before deciding to open a restaurant. “We were a family business, me and my brothers and sisters in Syria,” he says. “We owned a big restaurant called Lotus. It was well-known.” The family ran the business for 15 years, in addition to several other ventures, before the country’s current civil war forced them to leave. Samer, his wife, and their three sons left Syria to come to Morgantown in early November 2013, joining a daughter already living here. Though they’ve been in town less than a year, the family has wasted no time setting their lives back up. After Samer and his wife were introduced to Mohamad Ghassan Mando and his wife, immigrants from Syria due to the war as well, the two couples rented the High Street space formerly occupied by the Golden Finch. Jasmine Grill opened in January 2014. The restaurant originated with Morgantown’s Muslim student population in mind, serving Syrian food and other Middle Eastern dishes that meet the Halal standards of Islamic law. “West Virginia University has a large Arab community—Arab students from the Middle East, from Saudi Araba, the Emirates, Oman, Jordan—and many are Muslim. They prefer to go to a place where they serve Halal food,” Samer says. Meeting Halal standards requires that Muslims eat no pork and drink no alcohol, among other criteria. In its nine months of business, Jasmine Grill has become almost a second home for many of the students it serves because of its focus on culture, tradition, and snappy service. “I decided to make what they’re looking for: something quick and, at the same time, offering good meals between classes and during breaks,” he says. “Now they feel they’re going to their place.” Jasmine Grill’s menu offers the comfort foods of home for many of its Middle Eastern customers. Samer and his partners focus on sandwiches and platters with grilled meat kebabs, falafel, hummus, mutabal, tabbouleh, and all the Jasmine Grill

A Taste of Home Jasmine Grill opened on High Street in January and has already created a name for itself among students and locals. ➼


it down at Jasmine Grill around noon and you’ll start to understand the buzz this little Syrian eatery has created for itself. Students begin piling through the door to line up at the register, dropping their book bags on the chairs with the familiarity of young adults tramping home for lunch. The space is open and bright. Its simple decorations, like the restaurant’s food, are flavorful but light. Middle Eastern pop music plays at a moderate level, filled 38

Morgantown • Oct/Nov 2014

in by the chatter of customers ordering at the register. There, Samer Al Hallak stands brewing fresh Turkish coffee, serving pastries, and taking orders to pass back to his wife and two business partners in the kitchen. The four have worked nearly 11 hours a day, six days a week since opening Jasmine Grill earlier in 2014. They spend more time at the restaurant looking after customers than they do at their own homes, but their hard work is paying off—in no little part due to the welcoming atmosphere that meets

Dish It Out I was walking by here and saw a sign that Golden Finch was closing,” says Samer Al Hallak. I contacted the landlord and we managed to buy the things the old business owners left. I paid them for everything, and we started renovating the place.”

Samer Al Hallak dishes it out

Tabbouleh 8 ounces bulgur Cold water, as needed 2 ounces parsley, finely chopped 1 medium white onion, finely chopped 4 tablespoons lemon juice 1½ teaspoon salt 2 large tomatoes 1 teaspoon dried mint leaves, minced 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil Salt and pepper to taste

required appetizers of a Middle Eastern restaurant. “Shish taouk is also very famous in our country, just like the hamburger or McDonald’s here,” he says. The dish is made of tender pieces of chicken marinated 24 hours in advance with special ingredients and spices. “It’s our secret recipe,” Samer says. “We wrap it in the pita bread with French fries and a special homemade garlic sauce that gives it a really good taste, along with tomato and lettuce.” A daily special provides variety from the Syrian-heavy menu for customers preferring the flavors of other areas around the Persian Gulf. “The menu is mostly Syrian taste, which is similar to

Lebanese taste,” Samer says. “But the Gulf area also likes this kind of food, and every day we make a daily dish that meets their requirements.” Some of these flavors include mandi and biryani spices— mixes of aromatic spices and herbs like cardamom, clove, bay leaves, nutmeg, and black pepper. With no employees, long business hours, and limited time, the restaurant’s food is served on plastic trays with plastic cutlery to make running the store easier on the family. Jasmine Grill is open from 11:30 a.m. until 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday, when the last of its customers trickle out. “My partner, his

1. Measure the bulgur into a bowl. Cover the bulgur with plenty of cold water and let sit for approximately 20 minutes or until the grains soften. 2. When the bulgur has softened, pour the contents of the bowl into a sieve to drain. Extract as much water as possible. 3. Shake the bulgur into a deep bowl and stir in the parsley and onions, followed by the lemon juice and salt. Combine thoroughly. 4. If time allows, chill mixture in refrigerator for one hour. 5. Chop the tomato into small pieces and add to the bowl containing the bulgur mixture. 6. Next, add the mint and olive oil to the salad and mix to combine. 7. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve on a plate lined with crisp lettuce leaves. Yield: 4 servings



“I decided to make what they’re looking for: something quick and, at the same time, offering good meals ... Now they feel they’re going to their place.” Samer Al Hallak, co-owner

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wife, and my wife are in the kitchen. They make all the recipes, the food, they do all the preparation, filling the refrigerators with all the ingredients. I manage everything outside regarding sales and the cash register. Every day I list what we need for the next order,” Samer says. The families don’t depend on companies to deliver their food or ingredients. On the weekends Samer or Mohamad will make the drive to the Restaurant Depot in Pittsburgh’s Strip District to stock up on supplies, taking care that all of their items meet Halal requirements. Samer says the families hope to hire one or two employees by the end of the year to take over some of the burden of running a restaurant six days a week. They’re also looking to expand to include more dining space, kitchen items like a new clay oven for some of their traditional pastries, and a larger menu. Although the restaurant has found quick success because of its attention to a targeted customer base, it’s also quickly becoming a local favorite because of its fresh foods and encouraging owners. New customers unsure of the menu are often gifted a taste of pastry or a serving of thick tea or a cup of aromatic Turkish coffee while they wait for their meals. Nearly a quarter of Jasmine Grill’s business now comes from locals. “From what I’m seeing, most of the locals who come are happy for us, and that’s a great feeling. They are happy that we have succeeded here,” Samer says with a laugh. He explains that he hasn’t always had high hopes himself. “I was afraid of how our business would be.” When he would pass through downtown before opening, dead in the middle of winter, he saw quiet streets with little traffic. “But I thank God that he put us in this location with a lot of Arab students. They made our business succeed.” written by Katie Griffith photographed by Elizabeth Roth


Morgantown • Oct/Nov 2014

Hashing It Out C

Beer-loving runners take to the Morgantown streets as part of the West Virginia Hash House Harriers. an anyone relate to this experience? You’re lounging on your front porch after a hard day at the office, sipping a nice hot cup of tea and reading the latest issue of US Weekly. You’ve nearly decided who wore it better when, suddenly, a voice calls out from nowhere in particular: “On on!” At first you assume you’re hearing things. “On on!” calls out another voice. Startled, you spill your Earl Grey all over Jennifer

Aniston’s face. There is a low rumble. It grows louder and louder. The wind begins to blow. The sky darkens. Then they appear: a wave of runners adorned in multi-colored shorts, like a school of health-conscious tropical fish. “On on!” one yells and the group banks hard to the left, down your neighbor’s alley. And just like that, they’re gone again. It’s not a dream. It’s the West Virginia Hash House Harriers (WVHHH) out on its weekly hash run.

For the uninitiated, a hash run is cross between a friendly afternoon jog, a scavenger hunt, and happy hour. It’s The Da Vinci Code if The Da Vinci Code was about a group of runners trying to locate a six-pack of Yuengling. And like all good drinking-based activities, this one finds its origins in the British Army. In 1938, a group of colonial officers and expatriates stationed in Malaysia wanted a way to burn off the weekend’s indulgences. The group had four simple goals, and they remain the same even today. They are to promote physical fitness, to get rid of hangovers, to develop a thirst for more beer, and to prove to the older members they aren’t necessarily as old as they feel. If some of these goals appear to conflict with one another, I can assure you that they don’t. Here’s how the WVHHH operates. The group meets at a location, typically the parking lot of a bar. A pre-appointed person—also known as the hare—gets a head start to lay out a course by marking the road with chalk. An arrow means you’re on the right track (hence the “On on!”). A circle means you’ve reached a branching path that will require splitting morgantownmag.Com


The West Virginia Hash House Harriers run each week, alternating between Morgantown and Fairmont. The course always changes, but you’re sure to find beer somewhere along the way.

up and investigating (“Check!”). The hunt for the hare helps eliminate one of the key problems typical to running with a group: Not everyone runs at the same speed. In a hash run, faster runners can help blaze the trail for everyone else, leaving new chalk marks to eliminate a false route and calling out to keep the group heading in the right direction. Nobody actually wins a hash run, but everyone is rewarded—with beer. I’m typically a lone wolf runner, preferring to keep my sweat and irregular breathing patterns to myself, but I’ve been curious about running with the WVHHH. My chance finally comes on a muggy Tuesday evening in September. I arrive early at the Mario’s Fishbowl parking lot in Woodburn. It’s empty except for a solitary shirtless man holding 42

Morgantown • Oct/Nov 2014

a piece of pink chalk. I recognize him from his Facebook post, which told me where to be at what time. “Be there early,” his post said. A little apprehensive, I introduce myself. “Hello, I’m Jonas,” he says, and I notice a hint of a French accent. I learn later that Jonas is an exchange student working toward a Ph.D. in forestry. There isn’t much time for chit-chat, as we are quickly joined by the rest of the group. I meet Lindsay Wimer, who will “hare” the run with Jonas, and Carson Wright, an outdoors-loving WVU grad who recalls past hash runs in amazing detail. The most infamous of his stories concerns a red dress hash run. These special runs are held annually in honor of Donna Rhinehart, who ran a hash run in a red dress and heels in 1987 just to prove

she could. As tribute, runners male and female don red dresses and take to the streets. “I ended up bowing out early and just waiting for the group at Black Bear,” Carson recalls. I guess his feet were hurting from the heels. Jonas and Lindsay depart at 6 p.m. sharp, giving me 15 minutes to chat with the rest of the group. On this day there are 12 of us, including hash run veterans Jessica Harley, Nathan Reckart, and Adam Horne. Kristen Matak, like me, is a newcomer, but the group seems more than happy to welcome a few new runners to the ranks. Nathan informs me that the group has seen a lot of new faces lately. “A lot of the older runners don’t show up as often,” he says. “This group today is pretty new.” I ask him if any newbies have ever gotten lost. “Every once in a


You are always finding these new routes through town that you never even knew were there.” Jeremy Reneau

while someone might get away from the group, but it’s pretty hard to get totally separated,” he says. I will stick close to him just in case. Worldwide 2,000 registered chapters of the Hash House Harriers exist. The origins of this particular chapter are somewhat shrouded in mystery. While we stretch I ask the circle if they know any of the specifics, but no one can identify a specific moment, or even decade, when the group formed. I later learn that hash running in North Central West Virginia was started in Fairmont by John Reynolds around 1987. The group used to keep ledgers documenting who ran each week. Nathan has seen the ledgers, but is unsure where they are these days. “They’ve been passed around so much it’s hard to tell who has them,” he says. At 6:15 the group takes off. Initially the sound of 24 feet against the pavement provides a boost of adrenaline, but it isn’t long before I realize I’ve gone out too hard. We run up Richwood Avenue, crossing a few intersections before we find our first circle. The hares are already toying with us. We have three possible road routes, in addition to a few off-road ones. A few of the runners in front of me head left so I try to make myself useful and head right. I make it a few streets and hear the first declaration of “On on!” I should have gone left. With Nathan in the lead, we bob and weave across Richwood and descend into Sabraton, where a particularly tricky intersection sends the group into chaos. We can’t find an arrow to put us on the trail. If you had driven by at this moment,

you might think a group of track and field fanatics lost a cell phone. “On on,” someone finally calls out, but the voice is faint. I’m way off the trail. I turn and sprint back toward our last arrow when I spot Jessica making a turn toward Marilla Park. Had I not seen her, I might still be wandering around Sabraton, looking at the ground. At the three-mile mark, another arrow sends the group behind the baseball fields and up a mystery trail into the woods. We reach a covered pavilion and spot a message scrawled onto the concrete floor. “Did you enjoy the beer?” it reads. We have reached the “beer near”—the most glorious of locations along the hash trail. Carson is immediately on the case, doubling back into the wooded area. I watch him scour through the woods, where he locates as if by some miracle a cooler hidden beside a fallen branch. The “beer near” is a chance for the group to reconvene, discuss progress, and, well, drink beer. More than a few people are surprised at the existence of the trail we’re on. Someone questions the legality of drinking in a public park, but the issue is quickly dismissed. I pour Gatorade into a cup of beer and chat with Jeremy Reneau, a Clarksburg resident who has been hash running for several years. Jeremy is the oldest member of today’s group, and I ask what keeps him coming back. “It’s a really fun way to stay in shape,” he says. “It also keeps running interesting. You are always finding these new routes through town that you never even knew were there.” This is hard to argue with. I’ve been running around Morgantown for 10 years, but

today’s route is almost entirely new to me. I spend the second half of our adventure casually—perhaps a little creepily—running beside everyone and interrogating them. What I learn is everyone runs for different reasons. Some are serious runners with intense training schedules. Most are more casual and see the hash run as a chance to get off the couch while avoiding the mind-numbing monotony of exercising alone. Some, like newcomer Kristen, are in between. As we cross the Walnut Street bridge into downtown, I learn that she’s recently trained for two marathons. “I trained for New York two years ago, but then Hurricane Sandy happened,” she says. A mother of two, she’s happy to blow off some steam these days. “Do you think you’ll keep running with the group?” I ask. “Oh most definitely,” she answers. We make a final push up the hill and back to Mario’s Fishbowl, where Jonas and Lindsay are waiting. My legs are burning, and I’m confronted with the fact that I’m not as fit as I thought. “How was it?” Jonas asks. My brain is too tired to make words, so I give a thumbs up. “Maybe next time you can be the hare,” he says. The Morgantown group meets again in two weeks. “I’ll think about it,” I say. Right now I’d rather just have a beer. WVHHH meets every Tuesday at 6 p.m. and alternates between Morgantown and Fairmont. The group is invite-only, but you can ask to join at groups/wvhhh/. written by aaron rote photographed by elizabeth roth



Squeezed In

Public transportation in Morgantown is experiencing growing pains—and tightened purse strings. ➼


’m on Irwin Street, a stone’s throw from the stadium. And at a quarter past 8 in the morning, I’m already lost in a crowd. A cluster of college girls sipping coffees, Mountaineer fans in blue and gold tees, uniformed workers, men and women in business attire—we’re all waiting. And I’m not just doing this for a story. It’s a typical Wednesday morning and I ride the bus. Not because I don’t have a car, or because the PRT broke down, or because I’m being eco-friendly this year. I ride the bus because no matter how crowded it gets


Morgantown • Oct/Nov 2014

with 30 or more people stuffed in from end to end, the bus is still better than fighting traffic or sweating my way up and down Morgantown’s notorious hills. I’m just lucky enough to live near a convenient route. It’s not just me. Thousands of WVU faculty, staff, and students shared this thought on August 18, 2014, the first day of classes, and more than 20,000 (nearly 70 percent of the student, staff, and faculty population) take advantage of Morgantown’s city buses at least once a year—and that number doesn’t include community riders. “When you consider

the size of our community, the availability of alternatives, and the frequency that they are utilized, we’re actually one of the leaders in the nation in terms of alternate transportation systems,” says David Bruffy, general manager at Mountain Line Transit Authority (MLTA), the one and only public bus service in Morgantown. Let’s back up—to 1996. Morgantown had buses, one system run by the county and one run by the city. According to David, there was a lot of overlap and a lack of coordination, so when the two combined, things improved. MLTA started with a nearly $900,000 budget for more than 200,000 rides from 1996 to 1997. It had no private or nonprofit partnerships, just contributions from the city and county, the Federal Transit Administration, and farebox revenues. Today MLTA has become the second largest bus service in the state in ridership—nearly 1.3 million in 2013. Its


David Bruffy, MLTA General Manager

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ridership has increased 500 percent since 1997 and its budge sits at $4.8 million. Still, public transportation has been unable to keep up with an increasing population. Though the number of cars involved in fatal crashes more than doubled from 2007 to 2011 in Morgantown, many in Morgantown still find their cars more convenient than a bus, taxi, apartment shuttle, or even the PRT, which reported more than 25,000 rides the first day of classes, according to Clement Solomon, director of transportation and parking at WVU. The sad fact remains: People can’t always get around in Morgantown without a car. And it’s not for lack of trying. “We receive requests for extended service on a regular basis. We know there’s a demand, we simply don’t have the mechanism in place to provide it at this time,” David says. The “mechanism” is money. Unlike every other small city transit system before it, MLTA started—and continues—its operations without excess property tax revenues, meaning having a bus that will pick you up on Willey Street and drop you off at Pierpont Centre only costs you $.75 and won’t hit your wallet later in the form of property taxes, despite the fact that it costs MLTA $3.06 to take you there. In comparison, all other transit systems in large communities in the state are funded by excess property taxes—Huntington, Charleston, Parkersburg, Fairmont, Clarksburg, and Wheeling all have these taxes to help offset costs. MLTA has less local funding than six other transit systems in the state, including Fairmont and Clarksburg. The bus system also hasn’t received an increase in funding since 2008, and when local funding was reduced two years ago, it was never restored to prior levels. Combine that with reduced funding

33 8, 00 5 39 6, 39 1 44 5, 69 9 60 8, 28 4 79 6, 81 3 10 0, 04 75 1, 03 5, 83 9 99 7, 06 4


1, 23 1, 48 8 12 91 91 3 1, 26 3, 79 2

Mountain Line Transit Ridership Passenger Boardings

Our entire community needs and wants more bus service.”





(to the tune of $158,000 a year) from WVU (one of its partners), which in July 2014 cut funding and services by requesting the elimination of the Blue & Gold Tripper line and the Campus PM 3 bus service (amounting to 1,320 and 900 hours of hours of reduced service, respectively, per year) and that naturally means more people—students and community members—forced to look for alternatives or brave the traffic. “Buses are full more often. We’ve received more complaints via Twitter and our online complaint system this year than in previous years,” says Maria Smith, marketing officer at MLTA. Though she can’t say whether the full buses are directly connected to the reduced service, MLTA did see an increase in ridership over the previous year of 583 rides on the first day of classes. “Our intent was not to cut service, but we are looking at the current landscape of transportation in the city and adapting it to where we need to go into the future,” Clement says. “We are already investing in the PRT, which is the backbone of our transportation system and carries the bulk of the passengers here on campus. We average 18,000 per day in ridership.” WVU’s upgrades to the more than 30-year-old PRT system have amounted to nearly $20 million into the onboard computers and an ongoing $50 million project to upgrade the propulsion systems, Clement says. “That’s where we’re putting our efforts, to stabilize and sustain our existing infrastructure.” The hope is that this modernization project will eventually make the PRT a more reliable alternative to driving. Clement also cites a changing housing landscape—with more students living on or near the main campuses in the heart of the city—as one more reason








why the PRT should be Gotta catch a bus? WVU’s focus. Check out MLTA’s newest “Our intent bus tracking tool—an app is to meet the that shows you where mobility needs your bus is in real time. of the campus. Available for iPhone and So how do we Android. optimize all this as we move forward and learn lessons?” Good question. David says investment in expanding public bus transportation—especially in growing areas like Suncrest and Mylan Park—and increasing frequency are cost-effective solutions to Morgantown’s congestion. In a January 2014 letter to the Monongalia County Commission, he explained that adding a service to Suncrest Towne Centre from downtown Morgantown and Cheat Lake would cost just $1,150,000 and would have a projected ridership of 180,000 rides a year, replacing an average 246 round-trip single-occupancy car trips every day of the week. MLTA looks for external funding through grants and other partnerships, and currently leverages more than $5 for every local dollar spent on transit services. And when funds are used to increase frequency or service, riders flock to bus stops—like in the case of the Cassville bus route in 2008, when a doubling of frequency resulted in a doubling of ridership. “Our entire community needs and wants more bus service,” David says. “Mountain Line is the most cost effective transit system in West Virginia and one of the best in the country. But certain aspects are still not convenient for a lot of people, and that affects their decision to take public transportation.” written by mikenna pierotti photographed by elizabeth roth morgantownmag.Com


Escape the Grind

Generations of West Virginians have spent summers learning and laughing at Jackson’s Mill in Lewis County. ➼


ifty minutes down I-79, less than a venti pumpkin spice latte and a fall music mix away, sits a childhood dream of sleepaway camp in the heart of Lewis County. The first state 4-H camp in the world and boyhood


Morgantown • Oct/Nov 2014

home of American Civil War General Stonewall Jackson, WVU Jackson’s Mill has cradled coming-of-age stories and classic Americana summers since Americana became a thing. Wandering through the 500-acre Jackson’s Mill as an adult, dodging goose droppings and

running fingers over the time-worn logs of cottages and camp circles, it’s difficult not to fall back into memories of sing-alongs and midnight vespers. “I grew up here,” says Dean Hardman, program specialist at the mill and a former camper himself. “We talk about the boy who became the man known as Stonewall—his early life, all of the things he went through as a young man. He’s quoted as saying, ‘You may be whatever you resolve to be,’ and one of the things we instill in the young people here at Jackson’s Mill is exactly that.” Early in the 1800s a young and orphaned Tom Jackson was sent with his sister from Clarksburg to live with their uncle in Lewis County. The Jacksons owned a gristmill for grinding the grains of the day and a water-powered sawmill likely responsible for the timber that built much of Weston. A blacksmith and a leather shop sat on-site along with

Across County Lines

When people think of their associations with Jackson’s Mill, they’re excited about the Jackson heritage, but that sense of place they get is from their time here using it as a camp.” Chad Proudfoot, cultural resources program coordinator

multiple barns. “The Jacksons owned around 1,500 acres around what is now known as Jackson’s Mill,” Dean says. “The original house was a log cabin built by Tom’s grandfather. That’s the house he would have grown up in.” There Tom worked the frontier life alongside family until he entered West Point at 18, later growing into the storied Civil War general known as Stonewall. One hundred years ago, just a handful of decades following the Civil War and Stonewall’s death, the site was all but forgotten. Little but land remained. “At one point there had been a large home that the Jackson family lived in, but by the 1900s it had burned down,” says Chad Proudfoot, the mill’s cultural resources program coordinator. “There were no real buildings of any consequence other than the old mill itself.” And that wasn’t even functioning.

The site now is a long cry from an abandoned relic. Today the camp functions as a center of activity for surrounding communities, hosting more than 400 events per year, including the annual late summer Jubilee, a heritage crafts bonanza, and dozens of summer youth camps, weddings, and conferences. “We’re not by any means a resort, but we have a dining hall where we serve good food, we have a swimming pool, and nice accommodations,” Chad says. “As far as camps and rustic meeting centers go, we’re world-class.” Those just looking for a weekend outing are encouraged to visit the site, too, unless it’s closed for private functions. The mill’s historic area holds period cabins and a late 18th century working gristmill that were relocated to the site. “Jackson’s Mill is a museum of artifacts of farm and household life,”

Dean says. A general store features historic and West Virginia-made items. Visitors can arrange tours of the mill’s historic area that include demonstrations of grist-milling, weaving, blacksmithing, and other heritage arts. “We’ve tried to make Jackson’s Mill as communityoriented as possible,” Dean says. “It is regularly open for locals who come here to walk or ride bicycles. It is a place the community feels they’re a part of.” A particular point of pride in the community is the prominence Jackson’s Mill holds within the national and local 4-H organizations. “When people think of their associations with Jackson’s Mill, they’re excited about the Jackson heritage, but that sense of place they get is from their time here using it as a camp,” Chad says. “Everyone can feel at home here.” Camping began in 1915 when a WVU extension agent in Randolph County morgantownmag.Com


Across County Lines

Fall/Winter WVU Jackson’s Mill Events October 15-16 West Virginia Storytelling Festival Join award-winning West Virginia storytellers for two days of tales.

October 31 Halloween Buffet The mill hosts a ghost-themed buffet in Mount Vernon Dining Hall. Adults $12, children $6

November 21 Thanksgiving Buffet Give thanks with family and friends with a traditional ham and turkey dinner in Mount Vernon Dining Hall. Adults $12, children $6

December 12 Winter Lights & Craft Show The annual Winter Lights celebration begins with a buffet meal Friday and continues with a craft show and tree lighting. The mill general store will be open late. Adults $12, children $6

December 13 Breakfast with Santa Children of all ages get the opportunity to tell Santa what they wish for at Jackson’s Mill’s annual Breakfast with Santa. $7 per person


Morgantown • Oct/Nov 2014

decided to bring all of his 4-H clubs together at a family farm for a week of camping and activities. “It was the world’s first 4-H camp, titled Camp Good Luck,” Chad says. “It rained a lot, but by all accounts they had a great time.” The idea took off. By 1916 there were another 20 or so camps around West Virginia, and organizers were looking for a place to hold a statewide event. The remnants of the old Jackson family homestead was surveyed. Then just five acres of land owned by Monongahela Valley Traction Company, which later became Monongahela Power, it was donated to WVU in 1921 to establish the world’s first statewide 4-H camp, designated Jackson’s Mill. The camp’s

first year took place in tents on a field. Cabin construction began in 1922 and continued through the 1930s and ’50s. Jackson’s Mill now stretches across 525 acres, encompassing an airstrip and the West Virginia Fire Service Extension, a renowned training site for firefighters across the country. A number of camp cabins, cottages, pavilions, and outposts center round a large dining hall. Among them is the West Virginia Building—West Virginia’s exhibit at the 1933 World’s Fair in Chicago, later taken apart and shipped to Jackson’s Mill. A new exterior was built on site, west of the central dining hall, and the interior was reconstructed within. The building isn’t quite what it was at the fair, but very similar. “A couple years ago they 844.602.5035

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did major restoration work on the building and returned it to its original color. It really stands out on the campus,” Chad says. Nearby sit recreational ball courts, a softball field, and the camp’s main council circle. To the south, the old Jackson family cemetery nestles into a bend in the road. Across a multipurpose field, the camp’s amphitheater, chapel, and assembly hall have witnessed generations of campers chant their way through summertime songs. “My favorite time is sitting on the front porch of Calhoun Cottage or the lodge in the evening during a full camp, when everything is winding down. You can look over the mill and hear campers talking and singing. The camp is just completely full of life,” Chad says. “It’s a wonderful, relaxing experience. The camp is doing what it needs to do—fulfilling a mission of making a positive difference in kids’ lives.” written by katie griffith photographed by nikki bowman



Pizza, a Movie, and Ghosts The Cecilia Rollins Brown Bag Film and Discussion Series gets ghostly for Halloween.


any people have told stories about being parked up at Dorsey’s Knob, a place with a reputation as a make out spot, and encountering a specter. He is clothed in a colonial uniform. His head is blood-red, his veiny flesh unhealed, even in death, from the scalping that killed him. It is said that the Red-Headed Man grabs unsuspecting people by the scalp and face, attempting to replace his lost skin with theirs. “I think of this story every time I look out across my yard near Dorsey’s Knob,


Morgantown • Oct/Nov 2014

and I wonder if the Red-Headed Man is still out there, or if somehow he has finally gone to rest,” finishes storyteller Jason Burns. The story of the Red-Headed Man is just one of many West Virginia ghost stories Jason will recount at the WVU Cecilia Rollins Brown Bag Film and Discussion event on October 30, 2014. A West Virginia storyteller and member of the West Virginia Storytelling Guild, Jason has performed at the meal-time discussion event for the last two years, in addition to regular storytelling work across the university and the state.

The Cecilia Rollins Brown Bag Series began in 2005 as a Thursday lunchtime series sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Programs in the WVU Mountainlair at the Gluck Theatre. Named for the program’s originator, the goal of the series was to create fun, educational, discussion-based events giving students, faculty, and staff the opportunity to learn about different cultures. “The kids need to step outside of their comfort zones and get to know people who are different from them,” says James Johnson, program office administrator. “The world is bigger than Morgantown and the U.S.A. For one thing, it’s good for your network to get to know other people, and, for another, when you get into the real world you’re going to meet people of different backgrounds.” Since its start the weekly series centered on movies and film discussion has grown to include evening events on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, spanning lectures, cultural programming, and presentations. As many as 200

The U

participants from across the university and the Morgantown community have attended the multicultural programs that are free and open to the public. Hungry students and guests are provided free pizza on a first-come, first-serve basis. Each month the programming takes a theme. Some of the most popular events include those taking place during Women’s History Month and Native American Heritage Month, when full classes and departments attend. Most of these programs are followed by a discussion led by the day’s presenter. “I always enjoy these gatherings, large or small,” says Bonnie Brown, director of WVU’s Native American Studies Program. “The annual series affords people from all over campus a great opportunity to come together and enjoy not just the pizza and films, but the chance to get acquainted with folks we might not otherwise meet.” Bonnie and other notable professors often lead the discussions. In October some of the events will center on LGBTQ History Month as part of the annual observance of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer history. Then, at the end of the month, WVU’s Mountaineer Week celebration will feature a special brown bag event with Jason’s storytelling. “It’s WVU’s way of paying tribute to West Virginia’s heritage, culture, and traditions,” James says. Students and locals who attend the October 30th event will learn more about the history of the Red-Headed Man— the gruesome ghost of a colonial soldier allegedly scalped and killed by Native Americans. Another favorite tale includes the story of WVU’s E. Moore Hall, named for Elizabeth Moore, principal of Woodburn Female Seminary during the American Civil War. The seminary stood in the current location of Woodburn Circle. In 1863 Confederate soldiers invaded Morgantown and were threatening to destroy the building, but Elizabeth’s quick thinking stopped them. As the story goes, the Confederates were so impressed with this northern lady’s southern hospitality that they left the building and the school unscathed. Today she’s rumored to roam the building named after her. “The things she does are distinctly around women,” Jason says. “It’s rare that a man will see Elizabeth in the building.” One story tells of a young couple, a man and a woman, going for a swim in E. Moore’s basement pool. When they looked up they found Elizabeth’s ghost floating above the water.

That’s the magic of storytelling— getting that audience participation and that interaction with people.” Jason Burns

“We say she was chaperoning the date,” Jason says. Jason is quick to point out that the ghost story event is not a lecture. “It’s more of a performance art piece.” He plans to tell about 25 stories in his repertoire of 500 West Virginia tales. “Last year I centered it on different parts of West Virginia. We did a historical timeline of the state and, within the timeline, are the ghost stories from each period. It’s the history of West Virginia told through ghost stories.” Each year Jason tries to vary the performances with newly discovered tales, but there are often stories the audience requests. “I always toss in a few from the university and Morgantown because those are the people in my audience,” he says. “It’s an interactive thing where the audience will tell me a story and we can swap information. That’s the magic of storytelling—getting that audience participation and that interaction with people.” It’s through audience interaction that Jason finds his stories. Around 70 people usually turn up for his brown bag event, coming and going during their lunch hours. After presenting Jason sticks around for another hour talking to audience members and discussing Appalachian folk tales. “I’m trying to record and save as many West Virginia ghost and monster stories that I can before they disappear,” he says. “Some stories are only one sentence long—there’s a ghost in this church in a small town. They’re disappearing every day.”

Upcoming at The Gluck October 16, 1 p.m. For the Bible Tells Me So, presented by Brendan Muckian-Bates

October 21, 7 p.m. Before Night Falls, presented by Lourdes Estrada

October 23, 1 p.m. Training Rules, presented by Lauren Deckelbaum

October 28, 11:30 a.m. Appalachian Journey, presented by Jo. B. Brown

October 30, 11:30 a.m. WV Ghost Stories: Preserving our Spectral Heritage, presented by Jason Burns

November 6, 11:30 a.m. It’s a Girl: The Three Deadliest Words in the World, presented by Christina Fattore

November 11, 6 p.m. También la lluvia (Even the Rain), presented by Michele Stephens

November 13, 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Ogaag bii azhe giiwewag: Return of the Red Lake Walleye, presented by Bonnie Brown

November 19, 7:30 p.m. Dome of Heaven, presented by Bonnie Brown

written and photographed by katie griffith morgantownmag.Com


Some of these sites are on private and institutional property. The owners and managers granted us access in service to knowledge of our city history. Please respect their privacy.


Morgantown • Oct/Nov 2014

it, at the bend near the College of Business and Economics— at the intersection with Falling Run Road? “Falling Run used to run back behind Woodburn Hall. But when they built the old Mountaineer Field in the ’20s, they channeled Falling Run underground,” says Morgantown Utility Board spokesperson Chris Dale. “In the old photos, you can see the concrete box culverts they built—which are still there.” Morgantown magazine staff were surprised to stumble across the outfall during a lunchtime walk over the summer. The brick archway that faces the surprisingly large tunnel bored into the stone can be accessed by wooden steps leading down from the Caperton Trail, a little north of Stansbury Hall.

courtesy of west virginia university


nce a series of charming, rocky cascades, Falling Run starts in the heart of the WVU Organic Agriculture Research Farm off State Route 705, about a mile from the Monongahela River as the stream trickles. The valley it drains separates the Woodburn neighborhood from Sunnyside and Wiles Hill and it’s so deep that, 100 years ago, people crossed it on a long, high wooden footbridge. Although we try to ignore that valley today, it’s still one of the main reasons it’s so hard to get across town—we drive around it either above the headwaters, on 705, or on University Avenue near the stream’s outfall into the Mon River. But where is Falling Run when University should be crossing

Wusel007, Wikimedia

Falling Run was culverted when the original Mountaineer Field was built below Woodburn Circle in the ’20s. This 1924 photo looks up the watershed from a spot close to Beechurst Avenue. The raised footpath between downtown and Sunnyside stood near where University Avenue runs now. The place where little Falling Run makes its way to the Mon River for the past 90 years is a surprisingly large tunnel in the stone underlying the former CSX rail bed, now the Caperton rail-trail, just north of Stansbury Hall.

War-time shelters—bomb shelters, air-raid shelters, fallout shelters, bunkers—were constructed underground at private residences and public buildings around town during the contentious mid-years of the 20th century. They’re hard to find now, but we did locate a 1962 fallout shelter license for The Metropolitan Theatre. Lynn Stasick of Preservation Alliance of West Virginia got into the shelter, in the theater’s sub-basement, in the ’80s. “There were these wooden pallets with metal canisters, survival crackers, and survival water,” he recalls. Joe Kaehler, who’s managed the Met for 10 years, says there’s nothing there now. “No signs or paraphernalia that’s shelter-related.” Some locals believe they remember shelters under one of the buildings on Walnut Street and under WVU’s White Hall, and records in WVU’s West Virginia and Regional History Collection suggest there was also one under the old university bookstore, behind Colson Hall, which now houses the university registrar.




eep in the unlighted bowels of the Berman Building— the turreted 1852 brick structure at the northwest corner of High and Walnut streets, where Dirty Bird is now located—lies what’s left of a jail said to have housed Civil War prisoners. “The jail cell earned Morgantown the epithet of being a ‘stinking Yankee hole’ during the (1863) raid on the city,” says historian Barbara Rasmussen, who wrote the claim into the Morgantown Historic Landmarks Commission’s 1996 nomination of the Downtown Morgantown Historic District for National Register of Historic Places registration. Exploring under the Berman Building today with a flashlight it’s possible to identify at least one wooden cell and another two sets of bars that are part of a confusing layering of older and newer walls. The people most familiar with the city’s history don’t know why there would have been a jail separate from the county jail. “Maybe they had more people than the regular jail would hold—they might have used it as an auxiliary jail,” speculates historian Pamela Ball, chairwoman of the Morgantown Museum Commission. “Or maybe


Morgantown • Oct/Nov 2014

they thought Confederate prisoners would be easy to find in the main jail house, but less obvious at an auxiliary site.” Little is said of prisoners of war in Morgantown lore, but here’s a story that likely refers to the county jail. In the wee hours of May 6, 1864, a small band of rebel soldiers made a run on the jail and released a Van Cicero Amos. Van had been arrested in Marion County on charges of “secreting himself within our lines,” according to the Morgantown Weekly Post, and of stealing horses. Van knew in advance that he would be busted out. In an odd twist, before his compatriots arrived and “without any ceremony smashed the locks,” he composed a letter to his jailkeeper, a Mrs. Stewart. “To-night I leave you. I would stay and see my trial through with, but the Union party are using all influence against me that they can, trying to prove a thing which I am not guilty of,” Amos wrote. His trial was scheduled for the following week. “I will be relieved by five or six confederate soldiers, who come expressly to release me. They will also accompany me to Dixey. Prison is not for the innocent.”

Escaped slaves are indeed said to have passed through the Morgantown area on their way to the Mason-Dixon line and freedom in Pennsylvania. But if you’ve heard 123 Pleasant Street was a stop on the railroad and that’s why the music club was named that in an earlier incarnation, it’s unlikely: The brick rowhouse apartment building was constructed in 1891 almost four decades after slavery was abolished.

It looks like, when our descendants open the WVU centennial time capsule in 2067, they’ll find books, something wrapped in tin foil, and something in a bag. The capsule is marked by a plaque to the left of the main entrance to the Mountainlair.

Pam Kasey


“In the early days of the medical school, WVU medical students would dissect human cadavers for study in the basement classrooms of Woodburn Hall,” says storyteller Jason Burns. “The cadavers were kept in the Hick House. A plaque near Woodburn documents the origins of the name. The School of Medicine says in its history online that cadavers were referred to as “hicks” rather than “stiffs.”

f we could open a 100-year-old time capsule today, what would we find? A 1914 map of town, photos of trolleys and the first automobiles, samples of locally produced glass objects, maybe one of the first shirts to come out of the Morgan Shirt Factory, and an issue of the Morgantown Post-Chronicle. Every once in a while, humans get the grand idea of communicating with their descendants. That happened at least twice in Morgantown in the latter half of the 20th century, resulting in two time capsules buried within 20 years and a few hundred yards of each other. Coming due in 2067 is the WVU centennial time capsule. Created in 1967 as part of the university’s centennial celebration, the time capsule—which, in photos in WVU’s West Virginia and Regional History Center, looks like a small concrete coffin—was originally buried under Memorial Plaza in front of Oglebay Hall. It was moved during construction to a spot in front of the Mountainlair.

And set to be opened in 2085 is the Morgantown bicentennial time capsule. It was buried at the steps up to Woodburn Circle from University Avenue, in historian Pamela Ball’s recollection. The book Morgantown Bicentennial contains a photo of a plaque—but that plaque is now nowhere to be found at that location. “My guess is they’ve taken that away,” Pamela says, “maybe to protect it from vandalism.” Opening a care package from our forebears must be a titillating event. Were they funny people? Serious? Will they reveal something about ourselves we did not know? In the interest of maintaining the suspense, we did not ask and can only wonder what is in these capsules. Although then-student body president Michael Oliverio did volunteer, “I think somebody threw in some cigars.” Also to be wondered: What will trigger our descendants to think of and open these time capsules? Are there any in town that were forgotten and lie unopened? morgantownmag.Com



n Jules Verne’s novel about Morgantown, a WVU professor discovers giant serpents that survived the Cretaceous extinction by taking up life in steamy burrows under the city. OK, Jules Verne never wrote about Morgantown. But anyone who’s lived here has heard of the steam tunnels. The name is pretty self-explanatory: a network of utility passages that conveys steam to WVU buildings for heat. But it’s also evocative: Do they snake all through campus? Are they muggy, like an underground greenhouse? Do tropical slimes grow on the walls? Morgantown magazine got a look inside. The tunnels are not filled with steam. But they are a warm, hissing, winding, neon-lit burrow worthy of a sci-fi novel, filled mostly with pipes that carry steam. Gauges and valve handles of all sizes and vintages sprout here and there from the conduits. The level of the stone and dirt floor in the main walkable tunnel changes unexpectedly, and it has the occasional puddle that is inevitable underground, but it’s mostly dry. The air is dry, too, and odorless, and the walls are completely free of tropical growths. 58

Morgantown • Oct/Nov 2014

Some readers will remember an old coal boiler plant that stood next to Stansbury Hall. It generated the steam it sent through tunnels to WVU’s downtown buildings, according to WVU Facilities Management Director of Maintenance Daniel Olthaus. The original, walkable main tunnel runs from beneath that old boiler plant to near the Mountainlair, and smaller tunnels branch off from there to all the major downtown campus buildings—about a mile of tunnels altogether. The function of the boiler plant was taken over by the Morgantown Energy Associates (MEA) plant a half-mile away after it was demolished around 1990. Evansdale was served earlier by its own boiler and buried pipes and is now served by MEA as well. The tunnels are very carefully maintained: Facilities Management performs upgrades throughout the tunnels on a three-year cycle, and someone from MEA walks the tunnel every day. The tunnels now house other utility functions as well: water, telephone, fiber-optic cable, and electricity. No worries about dinosaur-era monsters escaping: The entrances are well sealed.


Pipes, valves, and gauges—that’s what mainly goes on in the steam tunnels beneath Morgantown.

As this issue was going to print, we had entirely given up the idea that there were ever tunnels between the Met and Gibbie’s. “I heard those rumors. We tried to find them,” said Karl Yagle, whose family ran a jewelry store for decades in the Met building and later next door. Ten-year Met Manager Joe Kaehler dismissed it with a laugh: “It’s a fable.” But then we received this note from Kay ComuntzisGetsinger, whose grandfather built the Met and whose father ran a restaurant where Gibbie’s is now. “As a little girl, I remember running from our family restaurant under High Street to the Met. It was sealed many years ago when river rats became a problem all over downtown Morgantown, probably in 1954 or 1955.” Some people, in spreading this rumor, have referred to it as a Prohibition tunnel, and we can only note that Prohibition started in 1920, and theater construction started soon after. When we put it to Kay, she laughed and said, “Maybe that's what it was for!”

We were also helped on this story by Jack Bowman, Barb Howe, Linda Little, Michael Mills, Jenny Selin, Tim Stranko, Jack Thompson, and WVU’s West Virginia and Regional History Center.




Lines begin forming around the block at approximately 11 p.m. near some 18-andover bars in downtown Morgantown.

elizabeth roth


veryone has a story. Some have 10—tales of showing up to work on a Saturday morning to find someone has vomited or even defecated in front of your shop, or the more rare but awful story of arriving back to your vehicle after a long day to discover it has been flipped and destroyed during a football celebration gone wrong. Others are still worse—much worse— like the fatal stabbing of a WVU freshman that occurred at Bent Willey’s the weekend before the 2014 fall semester. And the havoc continues. In early September, Morgantown police used pepper spray to disperse an unruly crowd in front of a popular 18 and over bar on High Street. WVU senior Nicholas Hess captured cell phone footage of some of the chaos when he was walking home from the Mountainlair and saw a large crowd gathered outside the bar. “It was spilling onto the street, blocking traffic, and kids were yelling from their balconies. Cops were standing all around,” he says. He says students started yelling unrelated chants and profanities—ones that have become all too recognizable in Morgantown. The incident is the first of its kind this school year, but officers are familiar with such occurrences. Police have seen riots after

everything from football wins to the killing of Osama Bin Laden, according to Morgantown Police Chief Ed Preston. The event in September was triggered after a fire marshal attempted to break up a fight on the street. “He was walking up the street and he came up on the fight. He called for assistance and while he was trying to break up the fight before the officers got there, the fire marshal was pushed and assaulted,” Preston says, adding that the perpetrators went back into the club as officers arrived. “Then someone pulls the fire alarm inside the club and the club empties out. As the officers are dealing with that, a fight breaks out on the street with about 10 people. The officers break that fight up and then more people start joining the crowd. The officers gave four commands via the public address system—‘You need to disperse,’ ‘Leave the streets or you will be sprayed.’” Preston says the crowd was aggressive, chanting and throwing things. “In a situation like that it’s imperative to disperse that crowd as quickly as possible,” he says. “The last thing we want to do is hurt somebody, but we still have to make sure they’re not hurting each other and destroying things in the process.” In this instance a window was broken at Dairy Queen, but Preston says it could have been worse.



Dr. Charles Whiteman speaks during an April 2014 town hall.

“If underage drinking was nothing more than people having a good time, we wouldn’t be having this discussion,” said WVU Police Chief Bob Roberts during an April 2014 town hall meeting co-hosted by WVU and the City of Morgantown. Roberts rattled off a list of drinking-related problems—violence, traffic crashes, high-risk sex, property crimes, poisonings, psychosis. How much does underage drinking cost West Virginia annually? More than $400 million. Compare that with the economic benefits that Roberts said are liquor industry sales of nearly $70 million annually and just over $20 million in taxes. “A lot of times we hear about the benefits of what the alcohol industry is bringing in, and it does, but there’s also a cost associated with it.” But it’s not just the big picture officials are looking at in West Virginia. Some costs hit much closer to home and are seen week after week. “I’ve spent the better part of the last 20 years working on the night shift at Ruby Memorial emergency department where I see this problem every weekend night—and the weekend starts on Wednesday,” Dr. Charles Whiteman, an emergency medicine physician at Ruby Memorial Hospital, said during the April panel. Whiteman reports to work at 11 p.m., and it’s not long before the incidents start rolling in. “I can usually get the waiting room under control and between 2 and 4, depending on the day of the week, there will be 2 and 10 transports—all alcohol-related, coming to me, because A, they couldn’t walk home— they were too drunk for that—or B, they were visibly intoxicated and interacted with our police force and were given citations or recommended to come into the emergency department.” If it’s a football game night, he tends to see even more.


Morgantown • Oct/Nov 2014

The refrain “18 to party, 21 to drink” is everywhere—on flyers, websites, and the social media of countless bars in town. It has been for as long as many of us can remember. But is anyone partying sober? It’s starting to look unlikely. From 2012 to 2013, 2,800 arrests were made for underage drinking by the Morgantown and University police departments. In April 2014 WVU and the City of Morgantown co-hosted a town hall meeting focused on underage and high-risk drinking. Data surrounding those issues has been collected for years. The findings? WVU students are not just drinking more than they used to in high school before they even reach college, but they are drinking still more once they arrive to WVU, according to Helen Stubbs, vice president for higher education at EverFi, an education technology company that supports campuses in their alcohol prevention efforts. Stubbs first visited WVU four years ago to assess the report on first-year students. “There was a lot of bad news in there. I was looking at substantially higher rates of high-risk alcohol use and very high-risk alcohol use among first-year students at WVU. Not just as they were measured as they were already on campus, but even prior to stepping foot on campus,” she says. “WVU is attracting students who are high-risk drinkers. Perhaps part of this is the chicken and the egg thing, being classified as a number one party school.” She says evidence in the report shows students are experiencing more negative consequences as a result of alcohol use, too—damaging property, getting DUIs, injuring themselves or others, and becoming victims of sexual assault. While drinking-related incidents can and do occur everywhere, the two this semester occurred in or near clubs allowing 18-yearold patrons. WVU Police Chief Bob Roberts says the state law, which allows 18-year-olds in bars, is severely out-of-date, having been written decades ago to reflect an old bar system for places like VFWs—private clubs. “The state code needs to be rewritten,” he says. “Really, people under the age of 21 should not be allowed into what we refer to as a bar. That doesn’t mean a restaurant that serves food primarily and has beer or wine. That’s not what we’re talking about. We’re talking about bars, nightclubs, those kind of establishments.” The code as it’s written also prohibits local law enforcement from inspecting “private clubs.” “The state statute should be rewritten to reflect the bars, and it should give local autonomy to be able to inspect those bars,” Roberts says. “But until those codes are changed it’s really tough on enforcement to do much. A lot of people don’t realize Morgantown Police or University Police or others cannot go into those clubs. Only the Alcohol Beverage Control Administration can go into those clubs and do the enforcing.” Roberts says some argue that if you don’t let 18-year-olds into the bars, they’ll go to house parties. “Well, people are going to house parties now,” he says. Morgantown Mayor Jenny Selin is one of many who expresses that worry. “Most of the college students are under 21. If you keep them out of the entertainment district then you end up with more house parties, and I think that’s a little harder to monitor.” Both Roberts and Preston hope such a change would also encourage establishments to pursue other entertainment for the younger crowd. “Other places have teen night where no one over 21 is allowed. There are no alcohol sales, but they sell everything else—the food, the sodas, the juices, and they still have music,” Preston says.

courtesy of west virginia university

Cost and Consequence

18 to Party, 21 to Drink

Enforcing the Unenforceable? Less than 30 agents, inspectors, and supervisors cover the state as part of the West Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Administration (ABCA), says Gig Robinson, state ABCA spokesperson. These officials do everything from initial inspections to training to undercover operations and compliance checks, including working with underage operatives, but Robinson says several agents and inspectors are in Morgantown at all times. Nearly 350 ABCA licenses were active in Morgantown in late September. Of those, more than 200 were establishments serving alcohol on-premises. When an establishment is found to be noncompliant, punishment varies. It may receive a warning or fine. Fines can increase if infractions continue, or a license may be suspended. Perhaps most recently, the ABCA temporarily suspended the alcohol license of Bent Willey’s on Chestnut Street for 10 days, pending an investigation into the fatal stabbing in August. Preston says the business’ cooperation helped police find the suspect within 24 hours, and its license was reinstated after the establishment was not found to have violated any regulations. Preston says other establishments are repeat offenders. “Some of these places, there’s one location and in four years it’s been five different clubs,” he says. “What’s a bar today under one name can be sold and be a bar under a different name six months from now.” Sometimes it’s a new business, and sometimes a same group of people remains involved. “That does happen, and that’s one of those things you have to constantly deal with,” he says. Roberts says some of the establishments simply “run the gamble,” knowing they aren’t following the rules. “When they get caught, then what? A fine? Some of them, even if they get closed, come back under a different name.” WVU Police and other officials ask underage students when they are caught—where have you been drinking? “We see a lot of the same places,” Roberts says. “Some establishments do a better job of addressing the underage issue than others. In fact, some market to the underage crowds.” The Morgantown Police Department aims to have a close working relationship with each bar, but Preston says there are some who don’t want any kind of relationship. “Those tend to be the bars that don’t stay around very long, that we see changing a lot. Ones that are very successful year in, year out, they tend to do a lot of other things besides just sell alcohol. They have good security people, good surveillance systems. They have good line management and line control. They don’t allow people to leave the property with alcohol. They don’t allow intoxicated people in the property. There are a lot of things the continually successful businesses do that provide for their success.” Some former businesses that had their licenses revoked in recent years in downtown Morgantown? Chasers and Dreams (The Cellar now operates in that location), Shooters Lounge (Liquid Lounge is a new bar in that location in 2014), TABU (Fat Daddy’s is at its former address), and Bab’s Sports Bar & Grill (now Chaang Thai). The Morgantown Police Department is also stretched thin— with 60 officers and five open positions in September. On weekend nights, about 10 officers patrol downtown. As the city grows, local police step up their efforts to reduce drinking-related crimes. In 2010 MPD made 57 DUI arrests. In 2013 there were 339. “It keeps going up,” Preston says. He says increased training, enforcement, and vigilance contribute to that increase, but the fact

They make women feel unsafe and undervalued while communicating tolerance to a small group of repeat perpetrators of sexual violence.” Sam Wilmoth, on microaggressions at downtown bars

This screenshot was captured in 2013 from Instagram, and the hashtag continues to be seen on social media in 2014.

that Morgantown has a similar number of DUI arrests as cities like Charleston and Huntington concerns him. “That’s the very disheartening thing—that our alcohol violations are so high.”

Indecent After-Hours It’s not just drinking that’s the problem. It’s what can accompany the drinking. Offensive nicknames for nightclubs, vulgar theme parties, and questionable hashtags like “cheap date” and “blackout” are the norm for some bars. Preston says he notices. “Some of the wristbands you see in the clubs are pretty vulgar when you look at them. Some of the contests they advertise, that would not be something I would want to see my granddaughter or daughter involved in.” The seemingly innocent “ladies’ night” is part of the problem, according to Sam Wilmoth, a local activist against sexual assault. “Consider the implicit message of a ‘ladies night,’ a commonly used promotion. The idea is that women get cheaper—and morgantownmag.Com


presumably more—drinks, and men show up to talk with those women. I have to ask, is that something that makes us proud of this community?” He stresses that any sexual assault that happens in the community occurs primarily because of decisions made by a small group of predators, but still, these microaggressions matter. WVU student Hess says police downtown offer some security, but that’s only outside. “When you find yourself removed from them, dancing and getting drunk in a bar that literally uses wristbands reading ‘Slut Dungeon,’ the risk of violence or sexual assault increases,” he says. He says downtown at best is a “mixed bag,” with lots of great people hanging out around High Street, but many who have no respect for themselves or others, too. He often plays his guitar downtown on weekend nights, but says most people he encounters are “obnoxiously drunk” and slur profanities as they pass. One night he was walking down High Street with a pizza in-hand when someone threw a full can of beer at him from a balcony above, knocking his pizza to the ground. But it could have been worse. “A number of people have died downtown due to stabbings or gunshots since I have been enrolled at WVU, and I can’t help but believe those deaths could have been prevented had the dominant attitude downtown been one of cohesion and sociability, not antagonism.”

“I don’t think we want people to come here and have a bad time. The question is, how do we shift the way they have a good time?” said Morgantown native Randy Jones during an April town hall meeting.

The way bars operate in Morgantown seems to be much of the problem. Local clubs are open late compared to neighboring states—really late, many of them, not ushering patrons out until 3 a.m. “I would love to see our ABC laws come more in line with the surrounding states,” Preston says. “Not trying to take away money from the businesses, but trying to decrease the window of opportunity for bad things to happen.” He says the late closing time—at least an hour later than most towns—contributes to alcohol-related crimes. MPD’s call log proves it. “If you look at our time distribution of calls, starting at 11 p.m. they increase significantly. They peak out at around 2 a.m. and they stay high until right about 4 or 5 a.m.,” Preston says. “It’s very consistent.” Roberts says the lenient law allowing people under 21 into Morgantown bars also attracts people from out-of-state. Almost everyone says the code designating bars as “private clubs” only monitored by the ABCA is outdated. “Most of the clubs are not run as private clubs. That is an issue,” Preston says. “They’re run as public bars. That’s something that could be reviewed, probably should be reviewed, and tweaked as to the difference between a public ABC-licensed place and a private place. If it’s private maybe we don’t go in there and only ABC can, but if it’s public maybe we do go in.” Preston says he has spoken with area delegates about the issue, which has been on municipal requests for legislative review. Roberts thinks home rule could also help Morgantown, if local officials could be given authority to address issues such as monitoring bars. “In Summersville they’re not seeing what we see. Home rule in some respects could certainly assist,” he says. But what if fewer people were out partying hard in the first place? Selin says the city looks to prevention, enforcement, and partnership with all of the stakeholders to make lasting change. Some of that is happening now as part of Safe Communities America, a program of the National Safety Council that 64

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promotes safety and well-being across the country. “One part of that is looking at drug and alcohol issues,” Selin says. The partnership includes the university, Monongalia County, and the city. The mayor would also like to see more emphasis on alternatives to drinking— like WVU’s Up All Night, which invites students to participate in everything from free comedy to enjoying free food on the weekends, or outdoor recreation and the theater. “That alcohol is secondary, that would be my wish for Morgantown.” Many young people agree. Randy Jones was a WVU senior when he spoke at the April town hall, emphasizing the need for a solution, not just to underage drinking or alcohol abuse, but to apathy. “It’s been a problem in our community for so long that people have just become accustomed to, ‘Oh, that’s what happens Friday and Saturday nights,’” he said at the meeting. “I’m lucky to be born and raised here in Morgantown and I have always considered this community my home, but when you talk to a lot of kids who have come here from out of state, why did they come here? How did they find little Morgantown?” he said. “That’s always a big question for me and the answer is, ‘Well, I knew some people who went here and they had a great time.’ I don’t think we want to change that sentiment necessarily. I don’t think we want people to come here and have a bad time. The question is, how do we shift the way they have a good time?” EverFi’s Stubbs spoke at length during the forum and said events like Up All Night are great, but they aren’t enough. “There’s a lot of room for more resources being put toward that,” she said. She pointed to evidence that alcohol-free programming works—and not just for students who don’t drink

courtesy of west virginia university

Sober Solutions

elizabeth roth

A Safe Community

or drink very little. “If they are done well they will attract high-risk drinkers. I would strongly encourage WVU and others who might be able to put resources toward that to really think about that and consider those.” Roberts says even planning something as simple as a pool tournament could help. Community engagement must also increase, and Roberts says police can help. “Some may argue that’s not our role, but I believe it is,” he says. “It’s being a part of the community and listening—because that’s where you find out what’s going on and what the community’s issues are.” He also wants to see more alcohol education by law enforcement in middle and high schools, but he says such resources have been cut for the last 15 years. In a dream world, Preston says more police officers, fire department personnel, and emergency services across the county would be a huge help, too. Morgantown may be safe compared to other similar cities and have a low crime rate, but that doesn’t mean residents should shrug their shoulders and let down their guard, Roberts says. “It’s not all law enforcement. If you really want to change the culture, you need to get the landlords, the bar owners, and the community members involved,” he says. “We can’t do this without the community being engaged. What are the community standards? Does our community want these kinds of bars and nightclubs?”

Efforts are under way to make Morgantown a safer place as the city, county, and WVU are committed to working together toward a National Safety Council “Safe Communities” designation. The WVU and greater Morgantown “Safe Community” initiative was awarded a Dean’s Community Engagement Award from WVU’s School of Public Health in August 2014. The initiative will bring WVU and the Morgantown community together to promote a safe and healthy community and will represent the first university-county collaboration in the U.S. The group, comprised of WVU faculty, staff, students, community members, and city and state representatives, is collecting and analyzing various data, from which strategies will be created to assure a safer and healthier community. “The Safe Communities work groups continue to meet and work on the data collection and application, which we hope to submit next spring,” says Colleen Harshbarger, initiative co-chair and director of the Office of Wellness & Health Promotion at WELLWVU. Colleen says that data will include substance abuse and poisoning, vehicular accidents, and violence, but information was still being gathered in the fall. The award provides financial support for research, service, and educational activities that involve direct collaboration with community agencies, organizations, or citizens in the state. Morgantown and WVU joined approximately 30 towns in the country by becoming a “Safe Community.” Safe Communities America is a program of the National Safety Council.

Assistant Editor Pam Kasey contributed to this article. morgantownmag.Com


From grapes to ginger, peppermint to hot peppers—research suggests a surprising number of common foods can alleviate pain naturally. Written by Mikenna Pierotti Photographed by Carla Witt Ford


n a hotel elevator at a weeklong conference, Rolando Garcia, physician assistant at the WVU Healthcare Pain Management Center, met a young woman clutching her head. She was huddled in the corner of the elevator, hair hanging in her face, unable to look up. “I asked her what was wrong. She said, ‘Oh, it’s nothing. Just a headache.’” She went on to explain that she often suffered from this type of debilitating headache—sometimes more than once a week. Rolando sees this sort of thing all the time at his job at the pain center, but he also sees it at his business in Fairmont, Ultimate Health and Wellness, where he practices naturopathy, a type of primary health care that focuses on prevention and the selfhealing process through natural therapies. From this unique vantage point Rolando was able to see the effects, the possible causes, and several potential ways to treat her. He could very easily have suggested that the woman take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory or seek out a prescription pain reliever through her doctor. But he didn’t. “I noticed she was holding a Diet Coke and a bag of chips that she’d already eaten about half of,” he says. So he suggested trying a simple remedy first—drop the junk food, drink water, and eat more fruits and vegetables. “Usually doctors don’t want to prescribe painkillers right away. They might give anti-inflammatory medicine first, and usually what they prescribe is aspirin and Tylenol, or they might prescribe muscle relaxers if the pain is in the muscles,” Rolando says. “But all of these have side effects. And some patients can’t take certain medications. So how do we treat them? That’s often when naturopathic remedies come in.” This might seem like common sense, but recent studies suggest that poor diet—which contributes to inflammation, weight gain, and a host of other issues—might also be a factor in chronic pain. And seemingly simple changes in diet, along with certain little-known food-based pain remedies, might be just as effective as (and much safer than) many drugs. Everything from tart cherries to fish oil supplements has been touted as having pain-relieving properties, and increasing numbers of pain sufferers are turning in that direction. “These foods are typically called ‘super foods’ or ‘healing foods,’” says Melissa Olfert, assistant professor of human nutrition and foods at WVU. “There has been a real surge in recognizing ‘phytonutrients’ in these foods, which isn’t the energy in the form of calories that they bring to the body but rather this non-nutritive boost in helping the body to heal and become more efficient in many of the metabolic pathways, as well as the physiologic pathways.” For the young woman in the elevator, a small diet change gave her the relief she was looking for. “This was the daughter of one of the attendees, and by the fourth or fifth day I saw her again and she said she wasn’t having headaches anymore,” Rolando says. Although not all types of chronic pain can be reversed with diet alone, experts say getting away from unhealthy foods is a critical first step. “We’re talking about the typical American diet of highly processed foods and highly refined carbohydrates,” Rolando says. He calls these “inflammatory foods”—processed food often contains things like high-fructose corn syrup, nitrites and nitrates (found in processed meats), monosodium glutamate (MSG, used as a flavor enhancer), and aspartame (in diet foods and drinks), which have all been linked to inflammation.

Some patients can’t take certain medications. So how do we treat them? That’s often when naturopathic remedies come in.” Rolando Garcia, WVU Healthcare Pain Management Center physician assistant

The Silent Killer To understand just how a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and certain types of fish can reduce pain and inflammation, you have to understand the nature of pain, something more than a third of the U.S. population—116 million American adults—suffers from. Back pain, headaches, stomach pain, joint pain, menstrual pain—it’s a problem so ubiquitous it literally gave rise to a multibillion-dollar industry. And the use of pain medications—from non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to opioids like hydrocodone, methadone, morphine, and oxycodone—is on the rise, especially on the black market. According to the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, prescription drugs are the second-most abused category of drugs in the nation. “It has been a challenge for medical providers to control these substances. They’re narcotics. You often hear about people who start with a low dose of oral opioid pain medications and by six months or a year they’ve doubled or tripled their dose,” Rolando says. In Rolando’s experience, the majority of West Virginians who experience chronic pain also have poor diet and high BMI. “When they come to me, the first thing we go through is to look at what is causing their pain to begin with. These people often go to their doctors because they’re experiencing aches and pains—it’s acute. It’s the problem that makes them go see a doctor. They want a pill to take it away. But if you look at what’s causing the pain, usually it’s an inflammatory process.” These patients often also have what he calls “silent inflammation,” though they might not realize it. Silent inflammatory responses—brought on by the body overreacting to things like poor diet, overconsumption of calories, environmental toxins, and stress—damage cells and make the body more susceptible to life-threatening diseases. “The silent inflammations and their effects are things like heart disease, obesity, cancer, high cholesterol, hyperthyroidism, high blood pressure, diabetes, and high blood sugar. We’re seeing now that this silent inflammatory process is actually the one that kills us.” morgantownmag.Com


Getting at the Root Many medical professionals believe the problem with using prescription opioids to alleviate pain isn’t only their side effects—which can range from constipation to brain fog to addiction—it’s that they don’t address the root causes of the inflammation. “What you’re doing is treating the symptom—the pain. It’s not addressing the source of the pain,” Rolando says. While opioid drugs work by binding to pain receptors and blocking their signals in the brain, spinal cord, and other areas, they don’t necessarily help the body heal. NSAIDs and acetaminophen, on the other hand, can contribute to ulcers and liver disease. “The benefit to using supplements over medications is that there tends to be less adverse consequences,” says Devin Diehl, registered dietician and employee at Mountain People’s Co-Op in Morgantown. “It is not uncommon for a prescription medication to cause other negative health issues and undue stress on your liver. Many people who take prescription pain pills will also start experiencing constipation. Instead of looking at their diet, they’ll ask their doctor for another medication that treats the constipation, ignoring the underlying problem. All of a sudden they aren’t on one medication, they’re on two. A combination of healthy diet and supplements can help to minimize these risks while still achieving the same desired outcome.” 68

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At Mountain People’s, when a customer comes in complaining of chronic pain there are a number of products they could walk out with. “In our bulk herbs and spices section you can find ground turmeric, whole black peppercorns, chamomile, cinnamon, cloves, and cayenne. In our supplement section you can find arnica, black cherry fruit, fish oil, and boswellia. We also carry whole ginger root and garlic in our produce department. When a customer comes in complaining of chronic pain or inflammation, they usually end up leaving with a form of arnica or a mixture of herbs and spices.” Melissa says it’s all about variety. “It is important to note that these foods are not to be used at mega or toxic levels but should be incorporated into a daily and weekly diet. In the nutrition world we like to encourage individuals to ‘eat the rainbow’ and thus they may be more likely to eat a varied diet that has more of these ‘super foods.’” At the co-op, Devin first counsels pain sufferers to look at their diets before spending hard-earned money on supplements and other products. “It’s food first. People are encouraged to follow a low inflammatory diet— low in added sugars and high in fresh vegetables—first and foremost,” she says. “It’s not just the food we take in that can alleviate pain,” Rolando says. “It’s the food we need to get away from. Then, once we do that, we can start changing our diets. Adding in high fiber, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and then we will start seeing improvements. Otherwise, until we change our diets, no foods will alleviate pain.”

Six Rx Foods and the Science Behind Them Not a substitute for medical advice. Always consult your doctor.

Rx: Coffee Prep: Drink in moderation (java addicts may not benefit and may experience the opposite effect from withdrawal). Science: Small amounts of caffeine may reduce pain perception and narrow the dilated blood vessels associated with headache. Relieves: Headache, muscle ache

Rx: Mint Prep: Peppermint and spearmint oil can be rubbed on temples or wrists. Peppermint, spearmint, and wintergreen leaves can be boiled as tea. All three can be taken as a supplement. Science: Menthol in peppermint and spearmint helps prevent muscle spasms. Methyl salicylate in wintergreen blocks the enzymes that cause inflammation and pain. Wintergreen kills bacteria that cause bloating. Relieves: Joint pain, sore throat, stomachache

Rx: Turmeric Prep: Use as a spice (always with black pepper to increase effect) or take as a supplement (look for 95% curcuminoids). Science: Contains curcumin, an antiinflammatory

Rx: Ginger Prep: Grate it into dishes, smoothies, lemonade, or juice, or boil into tea. Science: Natural aspirin impersonator and anti-inflammatory May break up intestinal gas and block nausea Relieves: Headache, joint pain, menstrual pain, muscle ache, nausea, sore throat, stomachache

Relieves: Joint pain, stomachache

Rx: Hot Peppers Prep: Use topical creams and ointments or use in cooking. Science: Contains capsaicin, which creates an endorphin rush that fights pain Relieves: Joint pain, muscle ache

Rx: Fish Oil Prep: Eat salmon, herring, or sardines (not fried) or take supplements.

carla witt ford

Science: Omega-3 fatty acids are a powerful anti-inflammatory, improve blood flow, and may boost mood. Relieves: Joint pain, menstrual pain, muscle ache



Slice of Life Cherry Pie Tart cherries reduce inflammation and can help regulate sleep. Eat them, drink them as juice, or take supplements. They're good for joint pain, muscle ache, and stomachache. Truth: Cherry pie probably isn’t the best way to incorporate tart cherries’ amazing pain-fighting abilities into your diet. But in moderation, this healthy twist on a classic favorite is sure to make you smile.

Ingredients: Crust ¾ cup whole-wheat pastry flour ½ cup old-fashioned oats, ground 3 teaspoons honey ½ teaspoon salt 1 3 cup butter, cold 2 to 3 tablespoons water, very cold 1 large egg, beaten

Filling 3 tablespoons tapioca flour 5 cups pitted sour or sweet cherries, fresh, frozen, or canned in water ¾ cup honey, warmed 1 tablespoon lemon juice ¼ teaspoon cloves, ground (optional) Pinch of salt

Preparation: 1. Combine flour, ground oats, honey, and salt in medium bowl. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle with water and blend together with a fork until mixture holds together. Divide the dough and shape into two five-inch disks and refrigerate for one hour. 2. Combine tapioca flour, cherries, two tablespoons honey, lemon juice, cloves (if using), and salt in a large bowl and set aside. 3. Combine egg and remaining honey in a small dish and set aside. 4. Position a rack on the center rack of your oven and place a foil-lined baking sheet on the rack below. Preheat to 425°F. 5. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let stand for 10 minutes. Roll one portion between sheets of parchment or wax paper into a 12-inch circle. Peel off the top sheet and invert the dough into a nine-inch pie pan. Peel off the remaining paper. Moisten the outer edge of the dough with water. Pour the filling into the crust. (If you’re using frozen, thawed cherries, leave any excess liquid behind in the bowl.) 6. Repeat, pinch edges together, and pierce with a fork for a classic pie top or roll out and cut into 1-inch strips to form a lattice top. Brush the top (not the outer edge) with the egg and honey mixture. 7. Bake for 20 minutes, then rotate 180 degrees and reduce the oven temperature to 325°. Continue baking until the crust is golden and the filling bubbles—40 to 50 minutes more. If the crust looks too dark, tent the top and edges with foil to prevent overbrowning. Let the pie cool on a wire rack for at least 2 hours before serving. Makes: 10 servings


Morgantown • Oct/Nov 2014

out & about in the mountain city

Sept 12 • Coopers Rock State Forest

Cheat Canyon Wildlife Management Area Dedication



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courtesy of the nature conservancy



The Nature Conservancy, on behalf of the partners responsible for the permanent conservation of Cheat Canyon, celebrated the dedication of the new Cheat Canyon Wildlife Management Area. The dedication began at 11 a.m. at the main overlook at Coopers Rock State Forest. State officials, conservation groups, business leaders, and members of the community were in attendance to learn how plans to protect Cheat Canyon—which were announced last spring—have been implemented. A picnic lunch was served after the dedication and guided hikes were available, as well as activities for children. 1 Asley Orr, Chip Kaye, Dan Leahy, Frank Jezioro, Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, Lavonne Paden, Amanda Pitzer, Reggie Hall, Glenn Prickett, and Paul Rady celebrate the unveiling of the sign. 2 The Nature Conservancy’s Mike Powell is interviewed by West Virginia Public Radio. 3 Cheat Canyon is seen from the podium at Coopers Rock. 4 LoganTown plays music. 5 Warburg Pincus employees James Levy, Chip Kaye, Marco Gatti, Peter Kagan, Ken Juster, Jordan Rowland, Chris Turner, and Ed Trissel attend the event. 6 Governor Tomblin speaks at the event. 7 Paul Rady, CEO of Antero Resources, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, and Glen Warren, president and CFO of Antero Resources, pose for a photo.



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Morgantown • Oct/Nov 2014

out & about in the mountain city


sept 27 • Morgantown Brewing Company



Morgantown Brewing Company’s fifth annual Oktoberfest was a success to say the least. Hundreds came out throughout the day for the family-friendly event, which included games for all ages, face painting, drink specials, authentic German fare, and live Oktoberfest music from the Pittsburgh three-piece band Mädel Jäger. The brewpub employees even dressed in lederhosen and dirndls for the occasion, and the restaurant, deck, and parking lot were packed. The day’s festivities included the Second Annual Homebrew Competition by MASH (Morgantown Area Society of Homebrewers). WVU’s German Club and the Monongalia Arts Center also had special community displays set up for the festival.



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1 Attendees enjoy the Morgantown Brewing Company deck and watch as awards for the Second Annual Homebrew Competition are announced. 2 Mädel Jäger of Pittsburgh plays for the event. 3 Morgantown Brewing Company Manager Dina Brewer pours Oktoberfest brews. 4 Attendees take turns striking a nail with a hammer as part of Nagelspielen, a game that dates back to the early 1800s. 5 Attendees test their strength to see who can hold their full steins longest. 6 The brewpub served up a special menu of German fare. 7 Morgantown Brewing Company’s master brewer Brian Anderson, Josh Clarke of Wheeling Brewing Company, and Ross Williams, assistant brewer at Morgantown Brewing, sample homebrews. 8 A dirndl and a stein are classic Germany. 9 Jason Coleman and Grace Hutchens of Apothecary Ale House and Cafe judge experimental homebrews. 10 Brett Clark takes home multiple awards for best brews. 11 The deck is full for Oktoberfest. 12 Everything from saison to Oktoberfest brews are entered in the homebrew contest. 13 Lauren Sandberg and Brian Anderson take time out to dance. 14 MASH representatives pour samples. 15 Gary Goode serves up pretzels and other German fare. photographed by laura wilcox rote and lauren sandberg



out & about in the mountain city

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Sept 25–-28 • kingwood

Buckwheat Festival 3






Morgantown • Oct/Nov 2014

1 The Suncrest Middle School band delights the crowd during Friday’s parade. 2 The Bear Hollow Wood Carvers exhibit is a hit. 3 Competitions in 4-H, Future Farmers of America, and other agricultural, educational, homemakers, and arts and crafts categories draw the best of the best. 4 Festivalgoers find classic carnival rides, games, and food around every corner. 5 Wood carving, lumberjack skills, food preservation, and other talents are on display every day of the festival. 6 The trumpets play out as they march through Kingwood. 7 Matt Born’s massive blue ribbon pumpkin is the talk of the exhibits. 8 This family-friendly event offers rides for every age.

Mikenna pierotti; kim Reveal


Preston County’s annual celebration of buckwheat attracted thousands to the small town of Kingwood from September 25 to 28, 2014. Once grown primarily for animals, this seed has officially taken its rightful place as a delicious and highly nutritious substitute for flour in many kitchens, but that’s no surprise to Preston County natives, who’ve been singing its praises since at least the first buckwheat festival in 1938. This year’s festivities included livestock shows and 4-H exhibits, arts and crafts, wood carving demonstrations, bingo, parades, the coronation of festival kings and queens, carnival rides, a car show, live music, raffles, contests, and, of course, plenty of buckwheat cakes both sweet and sour.

Your local guide to life, art, culture, & more Oct/Nov 14

10 a.m. followed by the festival at 11 a.m. at the River Road VFD. Activities will include food, games, vendors, a free children’s fire safety course, car seat safety checks, and a haunted hayride at dusk.

Courtesy of WVU arts & Entertainment

nearby Blessing of the Animals Palatine Park, Fairmont, Sat., 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Bring your pet and have it blessed. The Marion County Humane Society and Rescue will offer St. Francis medals to everyone who has an animal and honor the City of Fairmont and the Marion County Sheriff’s Department K-9 Units. Enjoy bounce houses, face painting, clowns, and more. Local vets will host shot clinics. Vendors include Heston Farm Winery, Qdoba Mexican Grill, and others. Free nearby Eleanor’s Birthday Party Arthurdale Museum Complex, Arthurdale, Sat. 4 p.m., Award-winning fiddle playing, oral histories, excerpts from Eleanor’s My Day column, and more will also be shared. Great food, cake, and company.

October 17 The Campus Consciousness Tour brings the Swedish-electro pop power duo Icona Pop to Morgantown for a night of nonstop fun. $23 and up Morgantown Event Center, 3 Waterfront Place, Fri., 8 p.m.,

October October 10 WVU Women’s Soccer vs. Texas Tech Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium, Monongahela Boulevard, Fri., 7 p.m., Cheer on the WVU women’s soccer team at this Big 12 conference matchup. WVU Healthcare Expo Morgantown Mall, Fri., 8 a.m.–7 p.m. Stop by the mall to receive a free health screening, get your flu shot, talk with a health professional, and check out special exhibits. The expo features more than 50 exhibitors representing departments and programs at WVU Healthcare and affiliated organizations. Fletcher’s Grove 123 Pleasant Street, Fri., 10 p.m. This high-energy band will take the stage with its Appalachian jam rock sound.

October 10–11 & 16–18 The Unseen MT Pockets Theatre, 1390½ University Avenue Fri.–Sat., Thurs.–Sat., 8 p.m. Two prisoners of a totalitarian regime live without hope of escape or release. When a new prisoner arrives communicating in code, both prisoners develop a new understanding of their situation. $10–$15 October 11 2nd Annual Friends of Deckers Creek Deckers Dash 10k Hazel Ruby McQuain Riverfront Park, Sat., 7 a.m. This race out and back starts at Hazel Ruby McQuain Park and follows the Deckers Creek Trail to Sabraton. Check in starts at 7 a.m. The race begins at 8 a.m. $30 3rd Annual River Road VFD Pumpkin Festival River Road Volunteer Fire Department 1602 River Road, Sat., 10 a.m. This year’s festival begins with a parade at

nearby 2nd Annual Marion County Dancing with the Stars Colebank Hall, Fairmont State University, Sat. 6–9 p.m., 304.363.0442, The Marion County Chamber of Commerce presents Dancing with the Stars. Each couple will perform a choreographed dance to win a trophy. Dancers will also compete for a People’s Choice Award. Votes are $5 and can be made online or the night of the event. Proceeds benefit United Way of Marion County and the Marion County Chamber of Commerce. $50 per person

Zombie Walk High Street, Sat., 7 p.m. The 2014 Morgantown Zombie Walk will begin at the top of High Street in the municipal parking lot, behind Panera Bread. Registration begins at 7 p.m. and the walk starts at 8 p.m. Zombies are asked to bring canned food for the local food pantries. nearby Candlelight Ghost Tales at Marion County Historical Society 211 Adams Street, Fairmont, Sat., 7–8:30 p.m & 8:30–10 p.m., 304.367.5398 Hear true ghost tales of Marion County in the 100-year-old jail that some of the ghosts may still haunt. All children must be accompanied by an adult. $5 per person

October 11-12 nearby Harvest Festival Prickett’s Fort State Park, 106 Overfort Lane Fairmont, Sat., 10 a.m.–4 p.m., Sun., 1–4 p.m. 304.363.3030,



more to Morgantown this fall. Tickets can be purchased at The Dominion Post in Sabraton or online. Doors open at 4 p.m. $15 and up October 17 False Pterodactyl, Sleepwalker, Ghost House 123 Pleasant Street, Fri., 10 p.m. See some of Morgantown’s favorite local indie bands as they rock the stage on Pleasant Street. October 18

Courtesy of WVU arts & entertainment

Coopers Rock Climbing Guides: Self-Rescue Class Coopers Rock State Park, Sat. 9 a.m.–4 p.m., 304.777.7675 You never know what can happen during a rock climbing session at Coopers Rock. Be prepared to face whatever comes your way with this self-rescue class taught by experienced climbers. $150

October 26 Rising hip hop star Chance the Rapper comes to the West Virginia University Coliseum as part of the Verge Campus Fall Tour 2014. $28 and up WVU Coliseum, 3450 Monongahela Boulevard Sun., 7:30 p.m., Enjoy a fall weekend that focuses on 18th century foods with demonstrations and displays about wild game, food production, harvest, preservation, cooking, customs, and manners. $8 adults, $6 seniors 60 and older, $4 children

WVU Football vs. Baylor Mountaineer Field, 900 Willowdale Road Sat., TBA Competition heats up during this Big 12 game. Rasta Rafiki 123 Pleasant Street, Sat., Morgantown’s own reggae band will be sure to please the crowd again this weekend. October 19 Second Annual Wedgewood Family Practice Mind and Body 5K Walk and Run 1197 Van Voorhis Road, Sun., 11:30 a.m., Proceeds will be split between the WVU Foundation Cure Kids Cancer Fund and the Rape and Domestic Violence Information Center. Preregistration $20, $25 day-of

October 23–26 Street Scene Lyell B. Clay Concert Theatre WVU Creative Arts Center, One Fine Arts Drive Thurs.–Sun., 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m., Check out this portrait of America’s past performed with the WVU School of Music. The show is based on a book by Elmer Rice. Show music is by Kurt Weill with lyrics written by Langston Hughes. $12–$23 October 24 Mountaineer Week Craft Fair Opening Ceremony Mountainlair Ballrooms, WVU Mountainlair Fri., noon, 304.293.2702 Keynote Speaker Chris Haddox, an Appalachian music scholar and WVU faculty member, opens the 67th celebration of Mountaineer Week and the celebration craft fair. Karen Bright will sing her original song “The Hills of West Virginia Calls Me Home.” Free WVU Women’s Soccer vs. Oklahoma State Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium, Monongahela Boulevard, Fri., 7 p.m., Cheer on the WVU women’s soccer team at this Big 12 conference matchup. Mountain Music Concert featuring the WVU Bluegrass Band Gluck Theatre, WVU Mountainlair, Fri., 8 p.m. 304.293.2702, Join WVU for a concert featuring the instruments and sounds of Appalachia. Free We Are 123: A Tribute to The Misfits 123 Pleasant Street, Fri., Don’t miss this special event live as The Misfits’ tribute takes over 123’s stage. October 24–26

The Felice Brothers 123 Pleasant Street, Mon., 8 p.m. The Felice Brothers are known for a wild, rocking show. This event is age restricted to concert-goers 18 and older. $15

West Virginia Botanic Garden Nature Photography Workshop WV Botanic Garden, 1061 Tyrone Road Sun., 1–4 p.m., 304.216.8704, Morgantown Photo Club president David Smaldone will teach you how to use simple settings on cameras, give compositional tips, and encourage seeing creatively. $15 for WVBG members, $20 for non-members

nearby Historic Arts Workshop: Native American Weekend Prickett’s Fort State Park, 106 Overfort Lane Fairmont, Fri. & Sat., 10 a.m.–4 p.m.; Sun., noon–4 p.m., 304.363.3030 Bring the family for an interactive history lesson, including displays, demonstrations, and hands– on activities for the kids. Regular admission $8 adults, $6 seniors 60 and older, $4 children

October 15

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October 25

Best Buds of Comedy Tour 123 Pleasant Street, Wed., 8 p.m. Laugh a little. Award-winning comedian Sally Brooks brings her best touring comedy buds to town for this special one-night-only comedy show at 123 Pleasant Street.

Light Up The Night Candlelight Vigil Mountainlair Green, High Street, Wed., 7:30 p.m. 304.292.5100, In observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month join the RDVIC to walk down High Street with a candle to represent a victim of domestic violence. Donations of $1 per candle are appreciated.

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October 23

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Hazel Ruby McQuain Riverfront Park Garrett Street, Sat., 9 a.m., 800.227.2345 Making Strides Against Breast Cancer is a noncompetitive walk that supports the American Cancer Society’s mission to fight cancer through research, education, advocacy, and patient services.

Taste of Home Cooking School Morgantown Event Center, 2 Waterfront Place Thurs., 7 p.m. , 304.291.9407, The Taste of Home Cooking School brings cooking demonstrations, vendor booths, swag bags, and

Wild and Scenic Film Festival The Metropolitan Theatre, 369 High Street Thurs., 6:30 p.m., Join the West Virginia Rivers Coalition for conversation and adventure films. $8 and up

October 13


Morgantown • Oct/Nov 2014

nearby Fright Glow at Palatine Park Palatine Park, Everest Drive, Fairmont, Sat. 5– 8 p.m., Calling all zombies, monsters, goblins, ghosts, and ghouls. Fright Glow at Palatine Park will bring

Toil & Trouble: A Supernatural Shakespearean Salon Monongalia Arts Center, Sat., 8–10 p.m. Vintage Theatre Company’s Shakespeare troupe, The Rustic Mechanicals, performs a supernatural Shakespeare showcase with all of the spooky ghost, witch, and villain scenes from Shakespeare. Rick K. & The Allnighters Mylan Park, 500 Mylan Park Lane, Sat. 8 p.m.–midnight, 304.598.1337 Have fun while supporting Mon General’s Health Career Scholarship Fund at this concert and dance party at Mylan Park. Bring your own food and drink. $22 for adults

October 27 Halloween Pops: Memorable Music from Stage and Screen. Get ready for Halloween with a Pittsburgh

Symphony Orchestra concert of eerie classics led by Resident Conductor Lawrence Loh. $27 and up

WVU Creative Arts Center One Fine Arts Drive Mon., 7:30 p.m., 800.743.8560

All Mighty Senators, Peelander-Z 123 Pleasant Street, Sat., The Baltimore rock and soul band the All Mighty Senators returns to 123 for a night of raucous fun. October 26 nearby Dawn of The Race Heston Farm, 1602 Tulip Lane Fairmont, Sun. 11 a.m.–3 p.m., 304.366.9463 This zombie-infested 5K is full of scares. Your job is to get to a safe zone before you’re taken by zombies. There will be food and wine at the Zombie Survival After Party with entertainment from The Renfields. $35 before October 15

Eve 6 Schmitt’s Saloon and Davisson Brothers Music Hall, 245 Cheat Road, Sun., 8 p.m. American rock band Eve 6 will play at Schmitt's Saloon. VIP tickets include a meet and greet, signed poster, and one free beer. The show is 18 and up. $25 general admission, $40 VIP October 27 4th Annual WVU Ghost Tour Vandalia Lounge, WVU Mountainlair, Mon., 7 p.m. Join award-winning storyteller Jason Burns on a two-hour walking tour revealing the ghosts and haunted buildings of WVU’s owntown campus. Free October 29 Morgantown Area Economic Summit The Waterfront Place Hotel, Wed. 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m., 304.292.3311 The summit will include presentations on regional economic development by government, university, and community leaders. The Morgantown Chamber of Commerce and the WVU Bureau of Economic Research will release the first Morgantown Area Economic Comparative Analysis Report, comparing the economic condition of Morgantown and five like university cities across the nation. $35 for chamber members and $50 for non-members

Courtesy of Pittsburgh Symphony orchestra

entertainment, contests, activities, and vendors for a good, old-fashioned community event.

Guest Lecturer in Music: Gerry Milnes Bloch Learning and Performance Hall WVU Creative Arts Center, Wed., 6–7:30 p.m. 304.293.7469, WVU celebrates the work of West Virginia folklorist, musician, and documentary filmmaker Gerry Milnes with a showing of his film Reel ‘Em Boys, Reel ‘Em, a one-hour film about community dance traditions in West Virginia, and a discussion. Free October 30 The Cecilia Rollins Brown Bag Film and Discussion Series Gluck Theatre, WVU Mountainlair Thurs., 11:30 a.m.,304.293.2702 As part of WVU’s Mountaineer Week celebration, join award-winning storyteller Jason Burns for a telling of West Virginia and Appalachian ghost stories. Free Pigeons Playing Ping Pong 123 Pleasant Street, Thurs., 9 p.m. This 18 and older show is sure to bring a highenergy sound. Based out of Baltimore, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong mixes funk and rock. $10 In advance, $12 day of show October 30 Morgantown Trick or Treat Morgantown, Thurs., 6 to 7:30 p.m. Residents of Morgantown are encouraged to participate in the age-old tradition of treating area children in costume as they go door to door in their neighborhood, asking, “Trick or Treat?” Free

nearby Halloween Buffet WVU Jackson’s Mill, 160 WVU Jackson Mill Weston, Fri., 4:30–7 p.m. Enjoy a ghost-themed Halloween Buffet in the Mount Vernon Dining Hall. The menu includes roast beef with potatoes, green beans, hot rolls and dessert. Adults $12, children $6

Stonewall Jackson 5ive, The Furr 123 Pleasant Street, Fri., Put on your best Halloween costume and rock out with these great Morgantown bands.

November November 1 WVU Football vs. TCU Mountaineer Field, Sat., TBA The Mountaineers play the Horned Frogs at home during this Big 12 matchup. November 1 & 2 nearby Survival Weekend with Dave Canterbury Pricketts Fort State Park, 106 Overfort Lane Fairmont, Sat. & Sun., 10 a.m.–5 p.m. 304.363.3030, Join TV personality Dave Canterbury and his team of survivalists in an intense weekend of survival techniques. Space is limited to 25 students. Prickett’s Fort members $150, nonmembers $180



November 9

Blue Man Group is

Courtesy of WVU arts & Entertainment

best known for its theatrical shows and concerts combining comedy, music, and technology. With no spoken language, Blue Man Group is perfect for people of all ages, languages, and cultures. $33 and up WVU Creative Arts Center One Fine Arts Drive Sun., 7:30 p.m.

November 2

November 9

FallBack 5K Pajama Fun Run/Walk Hazel Ruby McQuain Amphitheater Waterfront Sun., 11 a.m., 304.293.1761 End your 2014’s Daylight Savings Time by spending your extra hour at the FallBack 5K Pajama Fun Run/Walk. Register by October 2 to receive an exclusive race t-shirt. Entry fees are tax deductible and will support research by the WVU Sleep Research Team to prevent child obstructive sleep apnea and postpartum sleep disturbance. $40 adult, $35 teen, $30 child

WVU Men’s Basketball vs. Shepherd WVU Coliseum, Sun., 4 p.m. WVU opens its basketball season with an exhibition game against Shepherd.

November 7 & 8, 13–15 Wedding Secrets M.T. Pockets Theatre, 1390½ University Avenue, Fri. & Sat., Thurs.–Sat., 8 p.m. Bill and Susan are traveling to Bill’s parents’ for their engagement dinner. As family secrets come to life, the audience is introduced to an Irish revolutionary, hookers, a Catholic priest, a serial dater, and the Phantom of the Opera. November 8 Dance Dash Mylan Park, 501 Mylan Park Lane, Sat., 11 a.m. 304.598.4346, Dance Dash is a 5K event with a bit of dancing and a lot of potential to help local kids in need. Runners will learn parts of a line dance at three stations along the 5K route. At the end of the 5K, participants will combine the moves they learned for a flash dance finale. Prior to the race, participants are encouraged to raise donations for the local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, WVU Children’s Hospital. $25 before October 26, $35 through event day


Morgantown • Oct/Nov 2014

November 14 Chris Knight and Davisson Brothers Band Schmitt’s Saloon, 245 Cheat Road, Fri., 8 p.m. 304.291.9001, Davisson Brothers Band opens for Chris Knight at this 21-and-older live show. $20 in advance, $25 at the door.

and industry sectors will discuss implications of the forecast from their perspectives. $20 for students, $55 for public November 19 & 21, December 2–7 A Midsummer Night’s Dream WVU Creative Arts Center, 304.293.7469 Join WVU for this Shakespeare classic. It’s hard enough to find the right person to love when you don’t have to deal with alternate dimensions of fairies, love potions, and upended natural order. $15 and up November 20

November 14–16 West Virginia Arts & Crafts Christmas Spectacular Mylan Park, 500 Mylan Park Lane Fri.–Sat., 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; Sun., 10 a.m.–4 p.m. 724.863.4577, More than 180 vendors will participate in the fifth annual West Virginia Arts & Crafts Christmas Spectacular, displaying jewelry, photography, clothing, ornaments, scented candles, lotions, soaps, holiday decorations, and more. Adults $5.50, children $1 November 18 Morgantown Economic Outlook Conference Waterfront Place Hotel, 2 Waterfront Place Tues., 8 a.m.–noon, 304.293.4092, Learn about the economic trends in our state and nation. Speakers include economist Andy Bauer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond and WVU Bureau of Business and Economic Research Director John Deskins. Panelists representing the state’s key business

WVU Football vs. Kansas State Mountaineer Field, 900 Willowdale Road Thurs., 7 p.m. Competition is sure to heat up during this Big 12 conference game. nearby November 21 nearby Thanksgiving Buffet WVU Jackson’s Mill, 160 WVU Jackson Mill Weston, Fri., 4:30–7 p.m. Give thanks with family and friends with a traditional ham and turkey dinner in the Mount Vernon Dining Hall. Adults $12, Children $6

November 21–23 Sesame Street Live! WVU Creative Arts Center, Fri.–Sun. Elmo, Grover, and their Sesame Street friends welcome Grover’s friend from India to Sesame Street. Together they explore friendship and celebrate cultural similarities. $18 and up

November 22–23 The Snow Queen Metropolitan Theatre, 369 High Street Sat., 2:30 & 7:30 p.m.; Sun., 2:30 p.m. The Morgantown Dance group performs the ballet based on the popular children’s story by Hans Christian Andersen. $10 and up November 29 Small Business Saturday Morgantown, Sat., Support Morgantown’s small businesses and kick off your holiday shopping. Small Business Saturday is your local mom-and-pop’s answer to Black Friday.

Upcoming December 5–7 nearby Annual 18th Century Christmas Market Prickett’s Fort State Park, 106 Overfort Lane Fairmont, Fri. & Sat., 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Sun. 1–4 p.m., 304.363.3030 Partake in the holidays at historic Prickett’s Fort State Park. Artisans will demonstrate and feature works for sale. Enjoy hot wassail, period decorations, and live music.

December 5 & 6, 11–13 Hijacked Lives MT Pockets Theatre, 1390½ University Avenue Fri.& Sat., Thurs.–Sat. TBA, While on his way from Pittsburgh to Lake Erie to spend some time thinking about recent bad news, a wealthy elderly man gets carjacked at gunpoint by a hitchhiker. After the hiker demands the elderly man drive him to Chicago, the tables turn when the gunman discovers the gentlemen isn’t as persuadable as he thought. $10 and up December 6 & 7 First Annual Traditional German Kris Kringle Market Morgantown Market Place, Sat. & Sun. 9 a.m.–11 p.m., 304.292.0168

Courtesy of WVU arts & Entertainment

November 29–December 21 Mary Poppins The Metropolitan Theatre 369 High Street, Fri.–Sat., 2 & 7 p.m. 304.291.4117, West Virginia Public Theatre brings the story of Mary Poppins, inspired by the classic Disney musical, to the stage for the holiday season. The show score includes family favorites like “A Spoonful of Sugar” and “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.”$26

November 12 Academy Award- and Grammy-winning artist

Melissa Etheridge will perform songs from her new album, This is M.E., as well as some of her greatest hits. $38 and up

WVU Creative Arts Center, One Fine Arts Drive, Wed., 7:30 p.m.,

This holiday celebration for all ages will be located at the corner of Fayette and Spruce streets at the Morgantown Market Place, hosting up to 30 vendors, including 10 artisans from Tamarack. Festivities will include local vendors and artisans, children’s activities, Santa Claus, a reindeer, and authentic German holiday foods, and spiced hot wine. December 12 B.E. Taylor Christmas Concert Chestnut Ridge Church, 2223 Cheat Road Fri., 7:30 p.m. B.E. Taylor returns to Morgantown with his annual Christmas concert featuring classics with contemporary sound. $35–$45 nearby Winter Lights & Craft Show WVU Jackson’s Mill, 160 WVU Jackson Mill Weston, Fri., 4:30–7 p.m. This annual celebration begins with a buffet meal Friday and continues with a craft show

and tree lighting. The menu includes baked steak, turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, broccoli and cheese sauce, and homemade rolls. The mill general store is open late. $12 for adults, $6 for youth ages 4 to 12 December 13 nearby Breakfast with Santa WVU Jackson’s Mill, 160 WVU Jackson Mill Weston, Sat., 8 a.m.–11 a.m. Children of all ages get the opportunity to tell Santa what they wish for at Jackson’s Mill’s annual Breakfast with Santa. $7 nearby Feast of the Seven Fishes Adams Street & Monroe Street, Fairmont Sat., 11 a.m.–7 p.m. 304.366.0468, Celebrate the Italian Christmas Eve tradition with food, shopping, music, cooking demos, fish, and a street market.



Then & Now

The MHS Football team in 1913

The 2014 MHS Football team (photographed by Tina Evans, J.C. Paige Photography)

For more photos

of Morgantown’s past, check out

Morgantown High School Football Football is as much a part of Morgantown as the Monongahela River—and it’s been that way for a long, long time. The history of WVU football is well documented, but there’s an equally rich history of high school football in Morgantown. Around 1904, Morgantown High School (MHS) organized its first football team. It was a very different game then—players didn’t wear helmets, and the forward pass was illegal, so the game was mostly a combination of running and kicking. The 1913 team, pictured above, was one of the school’s most successful. The team defeated Mannington, Connellsville, Weston, and Shinnston in its 10-game season. More than 100 years later, football has changed dramatically. John Bowers has been the head coach of MHS Football since

2003 and says one of the biggest differences is the players are bigger and faster. The game is also safer. The advent of the forward pass is responsible for much of that, but players are equipped better, too. “The technology involved in the equipment is really, really good,” John says. MHS has found great success in the changing game—winning the state championship again and again in 1927, 1983, 2000, 2002, 2004, and 2005. “The kids work awfully hard,” he says. “They take football really seriously.” Then & Now is published in partnership with WVU Libraries’ West Virginia & Regional History Center.

written by elizabeth roth


Morgantown • Oct/Nov 2014


F e at u r e d i n B l ac k W W W



a n d Wh i t e S a p p h i r e s




Meet Charles in person at our Morgantown location on October 15th and 16th, and in Uniontown on the 17th and 18th. Save the date for our holiday event in Morgantown on December 11th, and in Uniontown on the 12th and 13th.

UNIONTOWN 5 East Main St.


1070 Suncrest Towne Centre

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