WV Living Fall 2018

Page 1



The Ultimate



Road Trip


new designers


Mansion by Candlelight

✚ BIG 12

tailgate bites




Fall 2018 features




The Ultimate Pepperoni Roll Road Trip

West Virginia’s Wonder Women

From historic bakeries to the new kids on the block, we’ve got your guide to West Virginia’s favorite travel snack.

Our fifth annual list of women making our state a better place to live.

wvliving.com 5







15 Event Oglebayfest celebrates the 90th

31 History Preparations are underway for

63 Creatively Blenko’s new design team

16 Outdoor Fairmont-based Catch Cam Nets

32 Social Circles We highlight our favorite

69 At Home Wilson Quality Millwork offers

childhood hangout.


19 Book A review of Billy Edd Wheeler’s

35 Maker What began as a fundraiser turned

73 Out Loud A WVU law grad looks back on a

42 discover 14 Artist There’s nothing hollow about Chase Bowman’s Princeton art gallery. anniversary of Oglebay Park.

gives anglers proof for their fish tales.

18 Sports An Oak Hill native rescues her

the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Blair Mountain. #wearewvliving posts.

breathes fresh air into a beloved brand while holding with tradition. homeowners a chance to create truly unique spaces.

into a full-time gig for Jim Oliver, owner of Oliver’s Pies in Wheeling.

life helping clients get justice, helping lawyers get sober, and helping everyone else keep a song in their heart.

Paula’s Caffe offers down-home food and delectable steaks to enjoy at home.

36 Libations At this Charles Town brewery,

77 History Blennerhassett Island’s annual

21 Good News Marnie Rustemeyer helps

37 Local Flavor An Eastern Panhandle

autobiography, Hotter than a Pepper Sprout.

20 What We’re Eating Now Piccolo

breast cancer survivors regain self-confidence through medical tattooing.

22 Shop A Harpers Ferry couple offers

world-class fishing trips and world-class accommodations.

23 Something New Siblings keep the family farm alive with a new cash crop.

26 Town Historic Moorefield still has lots to offer. 27 Made in WV Morgantown’s Artfully Industrial Furniture finds beauty in raw materials.

28 Living Loves Ackenpucky is shaping

change is the name of the game.

bakery moves up in the world.

39 Restaurant Feast your eyes, fill your

belly, and get a good night’s sleep at Tari’s Premier Cafe and Inn.

42 This Up your tailgate game with these recipes for a real Big 12 feast.

Time,” Charleston’s favorite Thanksgiving song.

in every issue 8 Editor’s Letter 10 Letters to the Editor

notch lodging and world-class cuisine.

live 56 Local Remembering those buried at

Charleston’s Spring Hill Cemetery Park fills us in on the day-by-day building of our state.

30 Heritage A beloved, century-old theater

60 Away A landscape architect offers guests a

6 wvl • fall 2018

82 Traditions An oral history of “Turkey

51 Sampler These places offer top-

experiences through interior design.

in the heart of Clarksburg makes a second comeback this fall.

Mansion by Candlelight transports guests to a 19th century soiree.

peaceful respite in the New River Gorge.

ON THE COVER Carla Witt Ford shot all of the pepperoni rolls for this issue’s cover story. A tough job, but somebody’s got to do it.

editor’s letter

Top 10 ❶ My tiny cabin in Timberline in Canaan Valley is my special happy place.

We are fast approaching our tenth anniversary of the first issue of WV Living! Cue the band! In honor of this milestone, I’ve been reflecting on a few of the special places, people, and things that I keep returning to over and over. So here are 10 things I’ve FALLen for over the past decade.


I think I’ve eaten every pepperoni roll in the state, but when I discovered these divine yeasty creations from A Step in Time bakery, my life changed forever. I’ve been known to call the owner and say, “I’m coming through Harpers Ferry! Can you meet me by the road with a dozen?”

Follow me on Instagram, and you’ll see all the things I fall for!

❷ ❽

Fly fishing in our scenic rivers (and my adorable black lab Ellie Belly Truffle Shuffle).

I’m from Clay County, home of the Golden Delicious Apple, so it is only fitting that making apple butter is one of my fall faves.

❺ Another one of my favorite towns is Wardensville, and the Lost River Trading Post is another of my favorite places to blow my budget.

❻ ❾

I could do a whole story on the food around the state that makes me salivate, but Later Alligator in Wheeling holds a special spot— the best crepes in the state.

Tamarack is one of our state’s gems. It’s where I go to discover new artists, buy gifts, and eat great Appalachian cuisine.

❿ ❹ Every time I visit Lewisburg, I head to one of my favorite shops, Harmony Ridge Gallery, and walk out a little poorer. 8 wvl • fall 2018

I fell in love with Bloomery Sweetshine before I even tasted it—the beautiful labels are artwork. Now, it’s my go-to gift.

Follow us on



, and


facebook.com/wvliving twitter.com/wvliving pinterest.com/wvliving instagram @wvliving #wvliving

And last but not least. The most important thing I’ve FALLEN for is this guy!

letters to the editor



antiquing ADVENTURES, mountain MEMORIES, DELECTABLE dives, EXCITING excursions Let‘s take a

A Letter from Texas

I’m not from West Virginia, and in fact had never even been to West Virginia until last year. My fiancé, however, is West Virginia born and raised. I love your magazine, not only for its well-written features and its beautiful

10 wvl • fall 2018

images—I’m a magazine editor, too, so I have to give props to your content staff for an overall awesome job!—but for the growing sense it’s giving me of my fiancé’s home and 50 percent of our son’s heritage. I grew up a military brat, which is by definition a nomadic lifestyle. What roots I do claim for myself are largely symbolic, and my attachment to any one place is basically nonexistent. WV Living gives me a glimpse into what it must be like to have one place you’ve always called your own. It’s clear that the people you cover in your features have a deep love for their West Virginia homes, and I feel like I’m getting to know my fiancé all over again in reading about them. We are getting married there this fall, and I am looking forward to officially giving West Virginia a little piece of my heart! Keep up the good work—there’s at least one non-native out there who loves every word of it! lindsay beaton, Dickinson, Texas, via email

Fight, not Flight

My name is Max Gottlieb, I’m a young West Virginian with whom the “reasons to remain” (Editor’s Letter, Spring ’18) rings true. Having been born and raised in Charleston, as well

as engaged to a lifelong Kanawha County woman, I’m committed to never giving up on the Mountain State. Despite going to college and law school out of state, I was determined to return home, eschewing various potentially more lucrative outof-state opportunities. And, after my graduation last year, I did just that. I love being home for good. I have joined some other Charlestonians to work on various projects to revitalize the Capitol City and our state at large. I, too, am tired of hearing “I love West Virginia, but ...” In June of 2016, I wrote an op-ed in the Charleston Gazette-Mail in a similar vein as your editor’s letter. It’s certainly going to take more work to succeed in West Virginia than some place like Charlotte. But the effort is worth it, and the opportunity to make an impact is larger. Stripping away my verbosity, I simply wanted to write to you to thank you for expressing a muchneeded positive message for West Virginia. As you well know, you have supporters in the trenches with you to help bring hope to our state and our people. max gottlieb, Charleston, via email

Just Doin’ Our Job

I wanted to thank you! I just got my WV Living magazine yesterday and I love the Sunflower

letters to the editor

Still Turning

Soul article (“Face the Sun,” Summer ’18). I just wanted you to know that the support is much appreciated and I am very grateful. The picture of Cupid and Karma is great! weslea coles, Lewisburg, via email

Thank you, New South Media, for having the foresight to initiate the Turn This Town Around program in 2014. What’s good for our town is good for the state of West Virginia and vice versa. #weareallinthistogether #bethechange. espresso yourself coffee house, Grafton, via Facebook

A Lasting Impression

WV Living is an asset to state tourism! karen teel, via Facebook Great magazine and can’t wait for the new issue. robert weekly, via Facebook Let us hear from you. We want to know what you think about the magazine, and we’d love to hear your suggestions. Email: info@newsouthmediainc.com Call: 304.413.0104 Mail: 709 Beechurst Avenue, Suite 14A, Morgantown, WV 26505 MARK NANTZ

➼ To see the video, visit https://abcn.ws/2MP0jv5.

Social Media Love


I just wanted you to know that the article in Winter ’14 about my wooden spoon carving (“Stirring the Soul”) led to a short video about my work, over three years later. About two years ago ABC News sent a filmmaker to my home/ shop with the assignment to photograph and film a short piece about my career. The video journalis’s name is Janet Weinstein. It was a fun day where Janet shot over four hours of video and lots of stills. The election buildup was happening, and she warned it may take over the news. We all know that it has never stopped. Over a year ago, she said it might never be posted. I checked again several months ago and, while she had not given up, she was not optimistic. On June 22, Janet emailed that the video was up! Thought you would appreciate the fact that, even years later, your work has impact. norm sartorius, Fine Wooden Spoons, Parkersburg, via email

Take WV Living with you:

wvliving.com 11

VOLUME 11, ISSUE 3 Published by

New South Media, Inc.

709 Beechurst Ave., Suite 14A Morgantown, WV 26505


wvliving.com EDITOR

Nikki Bowman, nikki@newsouthmediainc.com


Carla Witt Ford, carla@newsouthmediainc.com


Zack Harold, zack@newsouthmediainc.com


Pam Kasey, pam@newsouthmediainc.com



Holly Thubron, holly@newsouthmediainc.com Eric Palfrey, social@newsouthmediainc.com

CONTRIBUTORS Annabel Brazaitis, Aldona Byrd, Kaylyn Christopher, Jennifer Gardner, Kalen Martin-Gross, Candace Nelson, J. Kendall Perkinson, Jennifer Skinner, Jessica Walker





Nikki Bowman, Carla Witt Ford, Zack Harold Josh Miller Heather Mills, heather@newsouthmediainc.com Bryson Taylor, bryson@newsouthmediainc.com

Subscription rate is $20 for 4 issues. Subscribe at wvliving.com or call 304.413.0104.


BACK ISSUES Back issues may be purchased online at wvliving.com or by calling 304.413.0104.

EDITORIAL INQUIRIES Unsolicited manuscripts are not accepted. Please send queries by email to info@newsouthmediainc.com.

new south media publications Celebrating West Virginia’s Wonder Women fall 16


When Adversity Strikes, West Virginians






ock S olid

From Dolly Sods to The Greenbrier, your complete resource for stunning wedding venues in the Mountain State.

WV Living is published by New South Media, Inc. Subscription rates: $20 for one year. Frequency: Quarterly. Copyright: New South Media, Inc. Reproduction in part or whole is strictly prohibited without the express written permission of the publisher. © New South Media, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

12 wvl • fall 2018


Catch This


Artists, designers, historic happenings, even a West Virginia-inspired video game—don’t let this stuff get away. PICTURED: BEAU ROBINSON WITH ONE OF HIS CATCH CAM NETS, PAGE 16

wvliving.com 13

discover ›› AR T I S T

Nothing Hollow About Holler

A Princeton art gallery is creating a more accurate, stereotype-free view of Appalachia. by the end of chase bowman’s decade of living all over the country—which took him from Cleveland, Ohio, to San Francisco, California—he discovered his calling, and it took him right back to his southern West Virginia roots. Bowman had endured his fair share of jokes based on stereotypes associated with his home state. “Everyone thought they were the first ones to say these jokes, and they thought they were hilarious,” he says. “The older I got, the more it started bothering me.” But Bowman didn’t know how he, as one person in a small town in a small state, could make a difference in how West Virginians are perceived by outsiders. That is, until he connected his passions for art and collecting with his desire to change people’s perspectives. And so, in August 2017, his Holler: Contemporary Appalachian Art Gallery was born. Holler is Bowman’s art gallery, located in his hometown of Princeton. It showcases an eclectic and thought-provoking collection of multimedia art submitted by artists who are either from or have been to West Virginia. The result is a conglomeration of paintings and textiles hung on the walls, sculptures arranged throughout the rooms, and experimental work of all types that displays a refreshing and sometimes challenging new idea of how people perceive West Virginia and Appalachia. Bowman looks for art from groups that have generally been left out of the Appalachian conversation—women, people of color, and the LGBT community, to name a few. But he’s not trying to portray West 14 wvl • fall 2018

... one person in a small town in a small state could make a difference in how West Virginians are perceived by outsiders.

Virginia as perfect. “Not everything is positive everywhere you go. But you have a more complete view of history with the more perspectives you can get,” he says. “As an Appalachian, your culture is complex and beautiful and worth noting, and worth owning.” Holler is open Friday and Saturday from noon to 8 p.m. and the rest of the week by appointment. @hollergallery on Facebook written by jennifer


‹‹ discover


delicious buffets and special menus. Friday’s seafood buffet has become a tradition unto itself. On Saturday and Sunday, the Ohio County Country Fair will take place at Oglebay’s Levenson Shelter with 4-H exhibits, farm animals, quilts, and homegrown pottery, textiles, and food—all handcrafted from produce. You can watch butter be churned, tri-state-area vendors—line the lawn behind the listen to hogs being called, and craft your own historic Oglebay Institute Mansion Museum. scarecrows. Regional wine, fresh-popped kettle corn, candy Make it a long weekend and book a room apples, and food truck fare round out the offerings. at Wilson Lodge, which recently expanded Saturday starts with the Oglebayfest parade to 258 rooms. In addition to the fun and and ends with fireworks over Schenk Lake. The festivities that Oglebayfest brings, the resort Rathskeller, located at Hess Shelter, is one of offers activities for everyone, from rounds Oglebayfest’s most popular destinations. This of golf and relaxing at the spa to petting German-style beer garden offers dozens of brews animals at the Good Zoo and taking leisurely for you to sip while enjoying live music. The strolls around the lake. Wagon Shed, next to Hess Shelter, also offers So mark your calendar—that Wheeling German inspired food service. If German food feeling awaits. doesn’t float your boat, then visit the Oglebay Garden Bistro or the Ihlenfeld Dining Room written and photographed by nikki bowman in Wilson Lodge. The Ihlendfeld offers

Get That Wheeling Feeling Oglebayfest celebrates the 90th anniversary of Oglebay Park. this fall, celebrate the 90th anniversary of the inception of Oglebay Park—the only self-supporting public municipal park in the country—with a trip to Oglebayfest. What was once celebrated as Wheeling’s homecoming has become one of the largest events around, as Oglebay’s 2,000 acres come alive with the largest arts festival in the greater Wheeling area, a popular German-style beer garden, and lively entertainment. This year’s Oglebayfest is scheduled for October 5–7. The Phil Maxwell Artists’ and Gourmet Markets will open the festival at noon on Friday with regional artwork, crafts, and food. Tents filled with a range of photography, painting, glass, mixed media,

wvliving.com 15

discover ››

missing photos of his catches just because he didn’t have a friend handy to take pictures, so he duct taped a GoPro to his wooden fishing net. When the tape wore out and he lost a GoPro in the water, Robinson realized the design could be improved. The next version was an aluminum net featuring a camera mounted on the handle. He filed for a patent and began looking to have his a few months back, beau robinson was fly nets manufactured. He considered outsourcing fishing in the West Virginia backcountry production, but that didn’t feel right. He when he snagged a massive brook trout. looked for manufacturers in the United States, “Definitely the biggest I’ve caught,” says the but that was far too expensive. So Robinson 26-year-old lifelong angler. “It was probably decided to do it himself and set up a shop in the new state record.” Fairmont where he bends the frames, puts the Robinson didn’t have any way to land the net bags together, and attaches the handles and fish once he got it reeled in. He was alone camera mounts. Only the camera mounts aren’t and had lost his net while hiking in. He had manufactured in Robinson’s shop. A machinist a camera, but not enough hands to take a down the street mills them for him. picture while keeping the fish on the line. Robinson brought Catch Cam Nets to “There’s just no way to get the proof of it.” market in July 2017. And even though he hasn’t But that’s not even the worst part of this done much advertising, his nets have now one-that-got-away tale. Robinson is the caught fish in 37 states. “Our product pretty inventor of Catch Cam Nets, fishing nets much markets itself. Once people buy a net and designed for use with GoPros and other take a photo with it, they’re going to post it.” action cameras. And this was exactly the kind Catch Cam Nets are now exclusively of situation Robinson designed his nets to available on the company’s website, but solve. “If I had the camera rolling, even if I Robinson hopes to expand into brick-andlost it, I’ve still got pictures and videos.” mortar stores soon. He is also still perfecting He came up with the idea for camerahis product. This year he debuted a new equipped nets in 2015. He was tired of model with a powder-coated finish and hex-


Get the Shot

16 wvl • fall 2018

shaped handle. “Now I feel I have a perfect product I can really scale up.” It’s a crowded marketplace. Outdoors enthusiasts—and anglers, especially—are constantly being pushed to buy new gadgets. But Robinson says his business is different. “I’m not just selling a product. I’m selling the memories you can capture with it,” he says. catchcamnets.com, @catchcamnets on Facebook written by zack



Fairmont-based Catch Cam Nets gives anglers proof for their fish tales.

‹‹ discover


Showings in Sutton

The West Virginia Filmmakers Festival returns for its 19th year. each year, in the first week of october, filmmakers and enthusiasts from all over the world gather for the West Virginia Filmmakers Festival, the oldest independent film festival in the state. Approaching its 19th year in historic Sutton, the festival is open to all directors but specifically celebrates West Virginia filmmakers with special awards and showings. Caitlin Renee Campbell, the festival’s director and a native of Sutton, first attended the festival as a fan. She then started submitting films, eventually winning one of the awards, before taking over as director six years ago. She now lives and works in Santa Monica, California, but continues to invest time and energy into her home state’s celebration of the art of film. “For a state that doesn’t have a film office and doesn’t have a film school, the talent that is there and the people telling stories are phenomenal,” she says. The West Virginia Filmmakers Festival will take place October 5–7, 2018, in Sutton. For more information or tickets, visit wvfilmmakersfestival.org. written by jennifer


wvliving.com 17


Playing for Keeps An Oak Hill native rescues her childhood hangout.

picture, in your mind, a typical bowling alley. What do you see? Flickering fluorescent lights? Faded shoes first rented during the Nixon administration? Cardboard nachos with crayon yellow cheese? “We’re definitely not a typical bowling alley,” says Alison Ibarra, owner of Pinheads bowling alley in Oak Hill, in Fayette County. The 12-lane alley features slick, modern decor with video screens above each lane. There’s a patio out back for cornhole and darts. And then there’s the food. The menu boasts beer-battered fries, jumbo chicken wings, pizza, and meat muffins— 18 wvl • fall 2018

braided dough filled up with pizza toppings—as well as healthier options like fresh salads made with local ingredients. Pinheads also has 110 kinds of beer, the largest selection in a bowling alley east of the Mississippi River, according to the Bowling Proprietors Association. “We’ve had people come in for the food and beer who didn’t realize it was a bowling alley,” Ibarra says. The bowling alley wasn’t always in such great shape. Ibarra grew up just a few blocks away. It was called White Oak Lanes then. She visited a lot and even worked there during high school. Then she moved off to North Carolina for college and spent some time in California as a golf professional. By the time she returned home in 2013, she discovered the bowling alley had fallen into disrepair under its most recent tenants. “I was shocked. I loved this place growing up. To come back and see it in such rough condition—I was kind of stunned.” Ibarra and her husband, Jose, had been thinking about opening a business in the area, maybe an archery or skeet-shooting range, or purchasing a golf course. But one day, Ibarra found herself talking to White Oak Lanes’ landlord Charlie Toney. “I said, ‘Why don’t you just sell me the bowling alley and we can live the redneck dream?’”

It took a little over a year to get a business plan and funding together, then about seven months to renovate the space. Ibarra says they wanted to do the renovations up right, because “we’ve got to compete with a cell phone now for people’s attention. You have to have something memorable. People come in here because they want quality time with their friends and family.” The bowling alley is once again becoming the community center it was when Ibarra was a girl. Visitors regularly drive over an hour to bowl some frames and sample the cuisine. The alley offers a “Family Day” special each Sunday, which includes four shoe rentals, an hour of bowling, four large drinks, and a pizza for $30. During the summertime, kids get two games free every day. The alley also offers discounted rates for bowlers with special needs. “This is something that was lost,” Ibarra says. “We got to fix it up and give it back to the community.” 617 Jones Avenue, 304.465.5500, pinheadsbowling.com, @pinheadsbowlingwv on Facebook. written by zack



discover ››

‹‹ discover S OU ND

Teach ’Em What They Don’t Know How

More than an autobiography, Billy Edd Wheeler’s new book is a love letter to West Virginia. in 1964, a boy from boone county hit College near Asheville, No. 3 on the U.S. country charts with a song titled North Carolina. And while “Ode to the Little Brown Shack Out Back.” he has returned frequently, They passed an ordinance in the town, they said sometimes for months at a time, his pursuits always led we’d have to tear it down, him back across state lines. That little old shack out back so dear to me. Yet Wheeler is always Though the health department said its day was mindful of the image he over and dead, portrays of his home state. In It will stand forever in my memory. his autobiography, he spends Don’t let them tear that little brown building page after page talking about down. the people in his hometown who shaped him— It was Billy Edd Wheeler’s first single people like Mrs. Carter, an elementary school and, although he would go on to write songs teacher who inspired Wheeler’s lifelong love for everyone from Johnny Cash to Jefferson of learning and, later, hired him to clean the Airplane, it remains his biggest hit as a solo poop out of her chicken coop. Almost a whole artist. It is also, in all likelihood, the world’s chapter is devoted to Oliver Hudson, a coal most popular song about an outhouse. prospector who, besides teaching Wheeler how In Wheeler’s autobiography, Hotter Than to pick and shovel and use dynamite, imbued a Pepper Sprout, we learn that his “Ode” was him with a Mountaineer work ethic. There’s inspired by cartoons in The West Virginia Johnny Protan, a highly ranked boxer who Hillbilly, Jim Comstock’s fabled newspaper. taught Wheeler how to fight, and Gene Green, Those drawings got Wheeler—by then a a coal miner who showed him his first three Yale-trained playwright working in New chords on guitar. The only West Virginian who York City—thinking about the outhouses doesn’t come off as an unfailingly heroic figure is he’d seen and used during his formative years Wheeler’s abusive and domineering stepfather, in West Virginia. Arthur. But, in the end, even he receives more The story is Wheeler in a nutshell. No grace from the author than one might expect. matter where he goes, no matter which of his Wheeler has always been so mindful of umpteen artistic interests he is indulging at portraying his state in a positive light that, the moment, no matter how sophisticated the in the late 1960s, he nearly turned down the elbows he’s rubbing elbows with, the man is opportunity to write a musical based on the haunted by West Virginia. It’s a little surprising, story of the Hatfield and McCoy feud. “The considering the 85-year-old Wheeler has spent idea of West Virginians shooting each other to the majority of his life away from this place pieces just for the hell of it didn’t appeal to me,” he calls home. He left the Mountain State as he writes. Wheeler eventually wrote the play, a young teenager to attend Warren Wilson though, as well as the songs that go with it.

Theatre West Virginia has staged 47 productions of the musical since its debut in 1970. Even Wheeler’s “Ode”—which, at first glance, seems like a podunk novelty tune— was intended as a meditation on equality. “(Outhouses) were a necessary part of life, whether you were rich or poor, dumb or educated,” he writes. “One minister said he’d dreamed up some of his best sermons there.” Yet, for all this book's charm, it’s impossible to get past its oddly dissonant opening note. In her foreword, Wheeler’s longtime friend, songwriter Janis Ian, began this way: “To call Billy Edd Wheeler a ‘hillbilly’ is to say that a man is only as good as his beginnings.” It’s Ian’s idea of a compliment, a Brooklynite’s way of saying Wheeler isn’t what she expected of a West Virginian. Given Wheeler’s protective tendencies toward his home state, it’s a strange decision to begin his autobiography—the definitive record of his life—with a sentence so out of tune. Ian says her friend is better than his beginnings. But considering all the supportive, loving, and clearly intelligent West Virginians we meet in Hotter Than a Pepper Sprout, it’s clear Wheeler is better for them. written by zack

harold wvliving.com 19


Steaking Their Reputation Piccolo Paula’s Caffe offers down-home, scratch-made food, with delectable steaks you can eat in or cook at home. 20 wvl • fall 2018

jon bush wanted to open a place where he could offer healthy, locally sourced, and non–genetically modified options at prices that wouldn’t wreck customers’ pocketbooks. So in 2012, he and wife Paula opened Piccolo Paula’s Caffe in the beautiful Canaan Valley. They moved the restaurant to its current location in downtown Parsons in 2014, creating a cozy atmosphere with rustic barnwood accents and a friendly waitstaff. But the real attraction is the food. With more than 20 years of professional culinary experience behind him, Bush has created a menu featuring pizzas, paninis, soups, salads, and coffee drinks. But most popular of all is the tender, juicy, and incredibly flavorful Oak Barrel Steak. Bush spent four years tweaking his recipe, devising a healthy marinade process that preserves the beef ’s flavor. Although the specific details for his oak barreling process are secret—he hopes to eventually patent the process—he does disclose that the steaks are marinated in oak whiskey barrels for two days before being charcoal grilled to perfection. The steaks are not just for dining in. Piccolo Paula’s also sells them for at-home preparation in two varieties: Raw & Ready for Grillin’ or Charcoal Grilled & Sliced. The raw steaks are available in two-to-threepound marinated whole loins and packaged in vacuum-sealed bags. Pre-cooked steaks are charcoal-grilled to medium rare, sliced, and packaged in vacuum-sealed bags. All take-home steaks include easy instructions for preparation, so even the most culinarily inept of us can have a perfectly cooked steak at home. None of Bush’s steak dreams would have come true without support from his community. In September 2017, he won $5,000 in the inaugural Tucker County Chamber of Commerce Pitch Contest, an economic development competition where local entrepreneurs pitch business ideas to a panel of judges. He also received $1,000 from Woodforest National Bank and $1,000 from the City of Parsons and used the money to launch the Oak Barrel Steak enterprise. Piccolo Paula’s is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday. The restaurant may be rented outside normal business hours for parties and other events. 104 Walnut Street, 304.478.4020, piccolopaulascaffe.com written by kalen



discover ››

‹‹ discover



Marnie Rustemeyer helps breast cancer survivors regain self-confidence through medical tattooing. a mastectomy is more than a medical procedure. It’s a watershed moment in a woman’s life. Marnie Rustemeyer, a Charleston native who was diagnosed with a breast cancer gene mutation and had a bilateral mastectomy in 2013, knows that as well as anyone. “I understand how it feels to have that loss of confidence and self-esteem and the desire to feel whole again,” she says. Not long after her own mastectomy, Rustemeyer began looking for ways to help

other women who have gone through the procedure. She invented the Billow when she couldn’t find a pillow that could adequately provide comfort while she was healing. The product debuted in 2014 and has since sold to women all over the world. But as she worked with breast cancer support groups, Rustemeyer came to realize there was more she could do. Reconstructive surgeries can help a mastectomy patient regain her pre-cancer silhouette, but the surgeries do not leave her

with a natural-looking areola and nipple—details that can deeply affect a woman’s body image. And while some doctors offer medical tattooing for these women, they often do not have the training to create lifelike recreations. “It was a piece of their road to recovery that was missing,” she says. That’s why Rustemeyer spent hundreds of hours training to become a certified medical tattooist and, in February, launched her new business, Medi Ink. The Charleston-based clinic provides permanent cosmetic and scar therapy services, but the cornerstone of Rustemeyer’s practice is creating realisticlooking nipples and areolas for women who have had reconstructive surgery. It’s a delicate process, since scar tissue does not behave the same way unaffected skin does under a tattoo needle. “You have to know how to recognize the scar tissue and adjust your needle depth and account for pigmentation,” she says. Skin that has been exposed to radiation also presents a challenge. “Their skin can turn a grey tone, so you have to modify your pigments.” Before scheduling a tattoo session, Rustemeyer has consultations with patients to ensure they are ready for the procedure. If scars are too fresh, tattooing could cause more damage to the tissue. Patients have to be emotionally prepared, too. “They have to be ready to move forward,” she says. “It means they have accepted their new body.” Rustemeyer recently spent two sessions tattooing a 24-year-old breast cancer survivor. “It was a challenge. She had some serious scarring and hyperpigmentation,” she says. “Afterward she was just so grateful and happy. She was amazed at what I did and how she looked, and ready to start her new life and move forward.” Medi Ink sessions often end in tears—but they’re tears of joy, not pain. And it’s not just the patients who get misty. “It’s really great to be able to help them heal,” Rustemeyer says. 917.753.6225, marnie@mediinkllc.com, billowglobal.com written by zack

harold wvliving.com 21

discover ››


Cast Away

A Harpers Ferry couple offers world-class fishing trips and world-class accommodations. when you’re fly fishing with bryan kelly, a day on the water isn’t about who can catch the most fish. “Fly fishing is more of the total experience,” he says. “If you want to have a relaxing, enjoyable day on the water and see beautiful scenery, fly fishing will take you to some of the most beautiful places in the world.” That’s certainly true at White Fly Outfitters and The Angler’s Inn, the Harpers Ferry fishing guide and B&B businesses Kelly runs with his wife, Debbi. In the early 1990s, both worked in commercial printing but were looking to make a change. She wanted to operate a bed and breakfast. He wanted to lead guided fishing trips. “I thought it was a match made in heaven,” he says. As the couple searched the East Coast for a location to plant their businesses, they kept coming back to the edge of West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle. “You come to the confluence where the two rivers come together and the mountains fold over each other,” Kelly says. “There’s mountains of green and mountains of blue and beautiful blue skies with puffy clouds and bald eagles flying over.” They opened The Angler’s Inn on July 4, 1996, in a Victorian home, built circa 1875 and 22 wvl • fall 2018

listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Surrounded by Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, the home had only one bedroom available for rent at first but has since grown to feature four guestrooms. Each morning, Debbi Kelly prepares a three-course, scratch-made breakfast. “It’s top-shelf,” her husband says. Located a short drive across town, White Fly Outfitters offers its own kind of top-shelf service. Kelly, a former competitive bass fisherman, fell in love with fly fishing as a kid, and the passion has taken him around the globe. But fishing in the Shenandoah River changed everything for him. “I just got in the water one afternoon and I walked around and I was fly casting. It was beautiful. The plant life was great, the aquatic life was fantastic, and when I catch my first fish, I’m thinking, ‘It’s going to be a trout because you're in big, fast-moving water.’” But it wasn’t a trout. He’d landed a smallmouth bass. “Smallmouth are, poundfor-pound, the best-fighting freshwater fish in America,” he says. “I thought ‘Oh man, smallmouth are awesome to catch. I’ve got to figure out this river more.’”

He figured it out. White Fly Outfitters now offers everything from gear and stepby-step programs for beginners to full-day guided fishing trips on the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers, and has attracted anglers from around the world, including fly fishers from Japan, Ireland, England, and Australia. 867 Washington Street, 304.535.1239, anglersinn. com; 4332 William Wilson Freeway, 304.876.8030, whiteflyoutfitters.com written by jennifer

gardner photographed by nikki bowman

‹‹ discover S OME T HING NE W

The Smell of Success

Siblings keep the family farm alive with a new cash crop. growing up, mit abbott and her brother Mark Weaver heard lots of stories about their family’s multigenerational farm. “My dad, he always had a lot of pride in family heritage,” Abbott says. “We have a wooden trunk filled with old family pictures. He loved going through those and telling stories about them. And his parents did the same thing for him.” The family has lived in the farm’s 1850s house—built in 90 days for $90, with 18-inch cut stones for walls—for eight generations. The road that runs alongside, Lanham Lane, is named for the family. “There are still some cuts into the wood where our ancestors barricaded the door shut when Civil War soldiers were marching up the road,” Abbott says. “If you look at the wood floors, you can still see the hand-forged nails.” Abbott and Weaver’s father, who passed away three years ago at the age of 67, had hoped to retire and carry on the family tradition of farming. “That was his life dream, and he didn't really get to fulfill that,” she says. So Abbott, Weaver, and their spouses took up that dream and have found a way to keep the family tradition alive with a new crop. Last summer, Weaver read an article about lavender being grown on abandoned mine properties. “We started doing a lot of research,” Abbott says. She and Weaver purchased lavender plants and began testing the crop in their soil. “We have a lot of sandstone in our fields, and one of the things that lavender thrives on is really good drainage,” she says. “For us, it becomes a blessing that we do have that much rock in the fields. That allows for the drainage and the plants to thrive better.” Stone House Lavender now sells its fragrant crop in bundles and wreaths as well as in a variety of products including scrubs, lotions, bath melts, oils, soaps, and more. “Lavender is known for so many calming properties,” Abbott says. “Anything from being an antiinflammatory to being relaxing. It has some of those aromatherapy characteristics.” In the fall, the family will open a storefront in the farm’s spring house. They eventually plan to

open the farm up as a venue for weddings and events. New tradition brought life to an old family farm. “Our children already say, ‘One day we’ll get to do the lavender farm,’” Abbot says. “They already look forward to that. It’s something we can hand down to the next generation.” stonehouselavender.com written by jennifer

gardner photographed by carla witt ford wvliving.com 23

discover ›› C OU N T RY ROA D S

Almost Hell Your hypothetical guide to post-nuclear war West Virginia in Fallout 76. written by zack


on may 30, bethesda game studios dropped the big one: The latest installment of its popular post-apocalyptic Fallout series will be set in West Virginia. We still don’t know exactly how the game will work—Fallout 76 won’t be released until November and Bethesda is tight-lipped with details—but here are some West Virginia sights we know for sure will be featured.

STATE CAPITOL Cass Gilbert’s Neoclassical masterpiece seems to have survived nuclear holocaust in reasonably good shape. One good thing about it—without any lawmakers, maybe someone can finally get something done under the big gold dome.

WOODBURN HALL Morgantown can already be such a weird place, it will be interesting to see how a big dose of nuclear radiation changes things. Bethesda, if you’re reading, here’s a free idea: The level should end with players riding the PRT to Milan Puskar Stadium, where a nuclearized Dana Holgorsen throws flaming headsets at you. Defeat him by combing his hair. 24 wvl • fall 2018

CAMDEN PARK There’s a good chance players will get to see the Big Dipper—the legendary wooden roller coaster that has been rattling above Camden Park since 1958—or grab a snack at the park’s famous Pronto Pups corn dog stand. It appears some things have changed at this summertime hangout since the big one dropped, though. Look closely at the screengrab: That’s not the iconic Happy Clown; it’s some kind of anthropomorphic cat thing.

NEW RIVER GORGE This symbol of state pride, once emblazoned on a quarter, clearly has seen better days by the time Vault 76 opens. But the area still appears to be inhabited—no doubt by lawyers who show up on weekends and pretend to be rafting guides. Previous iterations of the Fallout series have included neighborhoods run by gangs. We’re hoping this one is run by a shadowy group called the Secret Sandwich Society.

‹‹ discover

THE GREENBRIER It was a no-brainer to include this West Virginia landmark, since it actually was once home to a nuclear fallout shelter. With any luck, this futuristic version of America’s Resort will be guarded by a hologram of Governor Jim Justice that requires players to decode cryptic riddles before moving on. Something like: “The net-net is, we’ve got to take a rocketship over the rainbow before we can catch Frankenstein.”

MOTHMAN Stay alert if you come across this guy—if you know anything about West Virginia folktales, you should know that the Mothman is a harbinger of doom. Point Pleasant’s most famous resident isn’t the only Mountain State cryptid to appear in the game: The Flatwoods Monster and the lesserknown Grafton Monster will also pop up in your adventures. wvliving.com 25

discover ›› TOWN

More Moorefield Take a stroll around this historic Eastern Panhandle town—there’s lots to discover.

originally chartered in 1777, Moorefield is the fourth-oldest town in West Virginia, and it looks the part. This Hardy County hamlet features a historic district with structures built in the Greek Revival, Queen Anne, and Italianate styles, some dating back to the 18th century. But Moorefield is no museum piece. Rebecca’s House of Flowers on North Main Street offers gifts and floral arrangements for all occasions and budgets. Just a short walk away, Hardman’s Hardware—part of a 111-year-old, West Virginia family-owned chain of hardware stores— provides the kind of expert advice you just can’t find at big box home improvement stores. It’s a perfect place for a weekend getaway with the ones you love. Here are our top picks written by zack


Mullin’s 1847 Restaurant

South Branch Potomac Lanes

West-Whitehill Winery

When the Moorefield Hotel Company opened in 1847, one of its first stockholders was Charles Carter Lee, eldest brother of Robert E. Lee. That gives you an idea of the history that permeates this Moorefield landmark. In the 1860s, it became known as The Mullin Hotel, named for proprietor Captain C.B. Mullin, who ran the place for decades. There’s still life in this old building, thanks to Chef William Hughes and his hardworking staff, who serve up fresh salads and sandwiches and top-notch steaks and seafood as well as hearty dinner plates featuring meatloaf, country ham, spaghetti and meatballs, and more. Stop by on Wednesdays for the “Wing and Sing” karaoke night—featuring 47 cent wings and $1 off draft beers—and Thursdays for bluegrass jam sessions. h 104 South Main Street, 304.530.1847, mullins1847restaurant.com

This family fun palace offers 16 lanes of bowling plus arcade games and pool tables. Striker’s Grill offers hot pizza, Angus burgers, and chili cheese fries, as well as domestic and import beers. Indulge your sweet tooth at Sweet Rose Ice Cream, the in-house ice cream parlor that boasts milkshakes, more than 40 flavors of soft serve, and more than 30 flavors of slushies. If you need a breather after all that high-octane fun, head next door to South Branch Cinema 6, a familyowned, independent theater that plays all the top box office hits. h 185 Hyde Street, 304.530.2695, wvafun.com/pl-files

Owner Steve West founded this winery in 1981 with just a few acres of grapes and some homemade pressing machines. Now, West-Whitehill Winery produces thousands of cases of sweet, semisweet, and dry wines each year from the French-American hybrid grapes grown in its vineyards. Take a tour of the grounds and get a free tasting of WestWhitehill’s award-winning vino. We like the Mountain Spice—a dessert wine flavored with clove and cinnamon, perfect for cool weather—and the Aurore, a delicious dry white aged in oak barrels. h 4484 U.S. Highway 220, 304.538.2605, westwhitehillwinery.com

26 wvl • fall 2018

‹‹ discover


Art in Industry


Custom furniture makers find beauty in the raw. few businesses have names that capture the essence of their product so well as Morgantown’s Artfully Industrial Furniture. Only one year after the company’s inception, its modern, custom pieces are beginning to make appearances in tastefully decorated businesses and homes throughout the area. Josh Perry is co-owner of Artfully Industrial and does all of the fabrication and welding himself in the basement of his home, which he considers a workshop-in-progress. The space contains tools that can be found in many sheds and workshops, like a table saw and drill press. But other materials, like yard-length sections of an iron girder and an entire sheet of zinc, sit piled in the corner, hinting that something a little more unusual happens here. “We lean more to keeping materials raw,” Perry says. “We like raw materials, slightly finished. I don’t like the word ‘rustic,’ because that’s a little more unfinished than what we do. But a lot of our stuff never gets painted. People in our business will usually make ugly welds and grind them off, but I like to leave

nice-looking steel welds that appeal to the eye.” The furniture Perry crafts certainly appeals to a popular flavor of modern decor that eschews typical materials and designs in favor of the stripped-down elegance that can be found in industrial materials—the rosy gold color of silicon bronze, for instance, or the layering of wood stains and the metallic discoloration of weld lines. Artfully Industrial’s custom designs are a big part of the company’s burgeoning success. For each individual piece, Perry and coowner Damian Ferek sit down with clients and hand-sketch possibilities around specific dimensions. They also present the customer with different wood and metal materials before construction. Perry worked for years as a traveling crosscountry pipeline welder. It was this subcontracting work that brought him to Morgantown, along with his wife and first daughter, more than eight years ago. It paid well, but he didn’t have benefits and the hours kept him from spending much time with his family.

When they found out another daughter was on the way, he began looking for a full-time position in Morgantown with a more regular schedule. It was time to put down roots. “We love the mountains. I grew up in Northern California so, minus the ocean, this is a lot like where I’m from. We found some really good friends here, and we were like, ‘Why not?’” During the day, Perry still works in the energy sector as the vice president of an industrial fabrication company. In the early evening, he is a father to his active daughters, who play sports and ride dirt bikes. In the late evening, he heads down to the basement to build the next custom piece for Artfully Industrial furniture. Look for it in a stylish space near you. “I never really thought I would get into furniture, but this trendy metal and wood is different,” Perry says. artfullyindustrial.com written by j.

kendall perkinson wvliving.com 27

discover ››


Something to Stew About Ackenpucky is shaping experiences through interior design. what do black sheep burrito and brews, The Peddler, Bahnhof WVrsthaus & Biergarten, and Christ Temple Church have in common? Ackenpucky. No, that’s not a new curse word. Owner Jill LaFear named her creative design shop Ackenpucky because the word is an Appalachian colloquialism for a stew made of unspecified ingredients. “Within stew, each individual ingredient enhances the flavor of the others,” says LaFear. “Similarly, there are a lot of different things that make Ackenpucky special.” LaFear’s design firm creates unique atmospheres using custom cabinetry, furniture, lighting, upholstery, and art, all done by local artists and craftspeople. “I have a real love for design and how design of a space affects people. I also saw so many talented artists in 28 wvl • fall 2018

our state that didn’t have a way to show their work so they could sell it,” she says. “I wanted to create an all-encompassing design platform that incorporated local art in a space.” One example of this philosophy is Bahnhof, a German-inspired restaurant in Huntington. “The word ‘bahnhof’ means ‘train station’ in German, so the goal was for the space to resonate as a European train station, but with a modern twist and artistic flair,” she says. “We wanted to create a space that was comfortable enough that people would want to sit and stay as long as they desired, but not so formal that they felt awkward popping in for a quick meal or drink.” One-of-a-kind wooden murals resembling a subway map created by revered local artist David Seth Cyfers—who also happens to be LaFear’s

husband—help to create the train station vibe. “We all thought it would be a cool touch to integrate that idea with maps of bahnhof lines,” says restaurant co-owner Jessica Bright. “The ones featured in the restaurant are Hamburg, Frankfurt, and Berlin. Seth’s color choices really make them pop.” While the Bahnhof owners had specific ideas about how the space would look, LaFear says that’s not always the case. But Ackenpucky can help there, too. “Sometimes they don’t have a vision. So we ask, how do you want the space to make people feel?” Ackenpucky offers a holistic approach to design, which is why the firm’s team includes custom furniture makers and cabinetmakers, artists, seamstresses, and graphic designers. In addition to the interior space, LaFear’s company can come up with a name for the business and design the logo and graphics. “For Backyard Pizza, we designed everything, down to the menu. Every single little detail matters and that is how we try to brand the entire space. We brand the atmosphere and by doing so brand the experience.”

‹‹ discover

In all her projects, LaFear works with a team of craftsmen and artists to custom design pieces that fit perfectly into a room. “Instead of shopping for a dining room table that will fit a room, we design it. And then the client has a unique custom piece that they aren’t going to see anywhere else,” she says. “I believe form and function are one and the same. You can have a functional piece that is also beautiful.” Although LaFear does residential interior design and has traditional clients like churches and corporate offices, her company has become known for its work in restaurants from Huntington to Lewisburg, projects that often use salvaged materials. “When it fits the space, we try to use a lot of reclaimed material. Many times our clients are on a tight budget, and we have to think outside the box to meet the needs of the budget. We try to salvage as much as we can within a space,” LaFear says. “When you have a limited budget, you are forced into a level of creativity. I’m always thinking, ‘How do I get the most bang for my buck in the space?’” Restaurant owners also must consider how the atmosphere can be replicated in another space, should they decide to open additional locations. “True interior design is how you move through the space, not just about the decor. We focus on creating the feeling. Great public spaces are about the feeling you have when you are in it. And art helps you create that feeling.” ackenpucky.com written and photographed by

nikki bowman

wvliving.com 29

discover ››


The Robinson Returns A beloved, century-old theater in the heart of Clarksburg makes a second comeback this fall.

when the amazing kreskin performed at the Robinson Grand Theater in downtown Clarksburg in the early 1990s, the famous mentalist set himself a suspenseful challenge: If he couldn’t figure out which audience member held his paycheck, he wouldn’t be paid for the evening’s entertainment. Mayor Jim Hunt handed the check to a fellow attendee in secret. Kreskin made a show of considering the wrong part of the audience, but then walked over to the person who had the check. Was Hunt in on the trick? “I was not and still do not know how he did it,” Hunt wrote recently to the operators of the Robinson Grand 30 wvl • fall 2018

Performing Arts Center, set to open this fall. “Quite a fun memory!” The Robinson Grand first opened its doors in 1913. It was part of the Keith-Albee vaudeville circuit and hosted such acts as Jack Benny and ventriloquist Edgar Bergen. In the 1920s, it became among the first theaters to install the sound equipment for “talkies.” When a 1939 fire destroyed most of the stage and house, longtime proprietor Claude Robinson had the stylish new $600,000 reconstruction done by Christmas. The theater operated into the 2000s and is the site of many fond memories for people living in Clarksburg today. The city bought it in 2014 and took on a modernization project. The $15 million renovation updates the stage rigging, lighting, and sound and projection systems while keeping the theater’s architectural character intact. “We’ve tried to preserve as much as possible from the 1939 rebuild after the fire,” says Executive Director Ryan Tolley. “We have beautiful terrazzo floors in our lobby and leading up to our second-floor bar that we’ve restored and brought back to their original luster. We were able to preserve

decorative ironwork in handrails on the stairs. We’ve replaced the heating and cooling, but we’ve kept the decorative air diffusers that were previously used for heating and cooling the building—they kind of look like large spaceships—and highlighted them with some lighting. They’re probably one of the main things people remember from the past.” Two restored carbon arc projectors on display recall the theater’s romantic history. And all seating, restrooms, and passageways have been updated for convenience and Americans with Disabilities Act compliance. The updated Robinson Grand Performing Arts Center celebrates its grand opening on October 20 with well-known rock band The Guess Who and entertainer Jay Leno. The fall line-up includes a variety of family and classic films, music performances, and stand-up comedy. 444 West Pike Street, 304.624.1683, therobinsongrand.com written by pam

kasey photographed by carla witt ford

‹‹ discover HI S TORY

Strike! Preparations are underway for the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Blair Mountain.

written by zack



for five days in the summer of 1921, the coalfields of southern West Virginia were a warzone. Miners, intending to unionize the coal mines or die trying, clashed with state police, local militiamen, and coal company thugs at the Battle of Blair Mountain. The bloodshed only came to an end after President Warren G. Harding called in federal troops. Now, as we approach the 100th anniversary of this event, the West Virginia Mine Wars Museum in Matewan is again rallying the troops. The museum plans to create a series of interactive, immersive history events in Boone, Kanawha, Logan, McDowell, and Mingo counties as part of its Blair Centennial Project. “This sort of undertaking, it’s going to take a village to pull it off,” says Catherine Moore, president of the museum’s board of directors. “We’ve given ourselves some good lead time, but a couple years will go by quick.” The museum plans to kick off its centennial planning effort on September 22, 2018. The day will begin at 12:30 p.m. with a brainstorming

session at the UMWA hall in Matewan. Moore says everyone—history nerds, tourism experts, community members—is welcome to attend the session. Then, at 4:30, the union hall will host a Blair Mountain Strike Supper fundraiser. “Before a strike, you had to get ready. You had to prepare. The women had to grow extra vegetables and can extra meat and vegetables and get everything laid out,” Moore says. Attendees will sample a menu that will include traditional West Virginia dishes alongside cuisine from the immigrant communities that came to work in the mines. That strike dinner will also include a story collection booth for people with personal connections to the mine wars, a “redneck” photo booth where attendees can pose with red bandannas and strike signs, and the announcement of the first-ever “Red Bandanna Award.” Moore says the museum staff hasn’t yet chosen the award’s recipient, but it will be someone who embodies the spirit of the miners who marched on Blair Mountain. “We thought an award program would be a really good way to make connection between the history of the mine wars and present-day West Virginia.” 304.546.8473, wvminewars.com, @wvminewarsmuseum on Facebook

wvliving.com 31

discover ›› S O C I AL C IRC LE S

#WeAreWVLiving On West Virginia Day 2018, WV Living launched a new hashtag for readers to share their Mountain State experiences with the world. Be sure to use #wearewvliving on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram so we can see your adventures, too. Here are a few of our favorites so far:










32 wvl • fall 2018



Brew Unto Others

Whether it’s a fresh-baked pie, a growler of craft beer, dinner at a great restaurant, or a tailgating feast, everything is better when you enjoy it with friends and family. PICTURED: ABOLITIONIST ALES IN CHARLES TOWN OFFERS AN EVER-CHANGING MENU OF CRAFT BEERS, PAGE 36.

wvliving.com 33

taste ›› maker

maker ‹‹ taste

An Eye for Pie What began as a fundraiser turned into a full-time gig for Jim Oliver, owner of Oliver’s Pies in Wheeling. interviewed by zack

harold bowman

photographed by nikki

jim oliver learned to make pies in the best way possible: at his grandmother’s elbow. Every holiday, Oliver’s whole family would cram into his grandmother’s tiny three-room apartment. The menfolk typically hung out in front of the TV in the living room, while the women congregated in the kitchen. But every so often, Oliver would slip away from the football games to hang out around the stove. Years later—thanks to a martial arts competition and his grandmother’s crust recipe—he was able to leave a career making dental crowns and bridges to devote himself to baking full time. Oliver’s Pies has been a mainstay at Wheeling’s Centre Market for the past 11 years. But even if you can’t make it to the market, you can find Oliver’s confections at Pickles Eatery & Bar in Wheeling’s Fulton neighborhood, Bob’s Lunch in Moundsville, and even Wheeling Hospital’s cafeteria. We caught up with Oliver to learn more about the life of a pieman.

My son had won the national championship in taekwondo, and the top three had the opportunity to go to Korea. I had six children and no money, so I was thinking, how could we raise money? The thought came to me about baking pies. The next day I sent the kids out and they took orders.

500 and 550. I can definitely say I touch every one. I make all the crusts. Barb, my employee, she’ll do most of the pudding. My father is my delivery guy. He’s 83 years old. He shows up at a quarter after six in the morning, and we load the car up and he’s gone. It saves me money. He doesn’t charge me.

We did apple, blackberry, blueberry— almost 20 different pies. We made 405 pies. It was enough that I could go with him. For 10 days we went to South Korea, and he won the gold medal. When I came back, people kept bugging me, “Why don’t you open a pie shop?”

We’ve added a few flavors like chocolate pie and chocolate peanut butter, like a Reese’s peanut butter cup. We sell more coconut cream pie—slices and whole pies— than anything. The second best-seller is cheesecake. It’s almost ready to take over the coconut’s spot. About seven years ago, somebody kept bugging me about cheesecake. My wife found a recipe online. We tried it and it worked out very, very well.

I don’t want to say it was an accident, but it was. There was an open spot at the Centre Market. At that time, the market wasn’t full with vendors. Coleman’s Fish Market is in the building next to it, so a huge flow of customers comes through there.

I’ll never be rich. But I love making pies.

We do about 180 to 190 pies a week. Except for Thanksgiving, when we will do between wvliving.com 35

taste ›› libations

A Radical Approach At this Charles Town brewery, change is the name of the game. written by jennifer



photographed by nikki


fter two years in the brewing business, Josh Vance and his brother, Michael, needed a new name for their company. “Front Porch” wasn’t cutting it. So, in 2017, they rebranded and called themselves “Abolitionist Ale Works.” The name reflects the history of Jefferson County, site of abolitionist John Brown’s bloody raid, which sparked the Civil War. But it also reflects the brothers’ desire to abolish the status quos of beer culture. “We specialize in making flavorful, creative craft beers with natural ingredients,” Vance says.

36 wvl • fall 2018

“We like to come out with different creative varieties of beer every week.” Abolitionist Ale Works beer cannot be found on shelves at the grocery store or on tap at your local watering hole. The brews are only available at the company’s brewpub, nestled in historic Charles Town. Michael started making beer about 15 years ago as a homebrewer while he was in college. “It got to the point where the beer was just too good to keep to ourselves, so I started looking for a location where we could open a brewery,” Vance says. To date, his brother has created more than 90 beers. A new flavor is released each week. “Basically, Mike tried to take the approach just like a chef would in a kitchen, to make beer as they would, coming up with creative varieties and combinations of flavors and spices.” The business shops local when possible, getting its ingredients from local farms and orchards. “We think it helps make a better beer,” Vance says. While most of the flavors rotate, a few favorites are kept on tap. Alpha Mayle IPA, the brewery’s top seller, is made with

Citra and Simcoe hops. Shenandoah Saison is aged in a wine barrel with locally grown plums. Blue & Gold n’ Delicious & Tart is fermented with blueberries and apples. The brewpub also serves up artisan pizzas like Funky Fig, made with olive oil, fig, goat cheese, and brie. The Ron Swanson, named for a character from the NBC comedy Parks and Rec, is made with olive oil, red sauce, pepperoni, bacon, pulled pork, and mozzarella cheese. For now, Abolitionist Ale Works is not planning to grow beyond its historic home. The brothers want to keep the business small and enjoyable. They host weekly events like stand-up comedy and live music. “We wanted to make a place where people felt like it was a second home to them and a place they could feel proud to be at,” Vance says. “As someone that’s from the community, we wanted to put West Virginia and Jefferson County on the map when it comes to beer and try to provide a fun, unique experience for everybody when they come through.” 129 West Washington Street, 681.252.1548, abolitionistaleworks.com.

local f lavor ‹‹ taste ☛ See o peppero ur ni rolls on page 91

Stepping Forward An Eastern Panhandle bakery moves up in the world.



written by zack


erry Wilson and Marla Staubs opened A Step in Time Bake Shop in February 2017 in a small house on West Washington Street in Bolivar. Locals soon fell in love with everything that emerged from the shop’s ovens. But two dishes—Mama Jo’s Pepperoni Rolls and Cliffside Rum Rolls—gained a popularity all their own. The Cliffside Rum Rolls are a revival of a local favorite, made using a recipe from the long-gone Cliffside Motel and Restaurant where Staubs worked as a girl. And the pepperoni rolls are so good that they've been garnering awards across the state. In fact, they have become so popular that the owners needed a larger location. In early September, A Step in Time announced it had outgrown its Bolivar home and would relocate to the Ranson Civic Center, where the bakery will offer an expanded catering menu as well as pepperoni rolls and baked goods for pick-up. But no matter where you are, the shop ships its pepperoni rolls and rum rolls anywhere in the United States. Visit the website to place an order. 432 West 2nd Street, Ranson, hfbakeshop. com, @astepintimebakeshop on Facebook wvliving.com 37

Tari’s Premier Cafe and Inn ‹‹ taste

Family Dinner Feast your eyes, fill your belly, and get a good night’s sleep at Tari’s Premier Cafe and Inn, a family-run Berkeley Springs institution. written by aldona

photographed by nikki

bird bowman wvliving.com 39

taste ›› Tari’s Premiere Cafe & Inn


lenty of businesses claim their employees are “one big family.” But Tari’s Premier Cafe and Inn in Berkeley Springs—located just a short walk away from the historic mineral baths for which the town is famous— can make a pretty good case for that claim. Some of Tari’s staff have been with the business from the beginning, and others are second-generation employees. “My mother has been with Tari since she opened,” says owner Ashlyn Mcbee as the restaurant fills up for Sunday brunch. “It’s a family business. My sister works here, my dad works here, my brother is back in the kitchen.” Tari Hampe-Deneen opened the restaurant 29 years ago. At the time, it was a tavern with a small kitchen in the back, but it has expanded over the years to include a main gallery and dining room with a smaller dining area in between. Hampe-Deneen retired and passed the business to Mcbee in 2006. Devin Lucas has served as Tari’s chef for 18 years. Although he changes the menu two or three times each year, some of the dishes have been here longer than him. The crab cakes have been on the menu since the restaurant opened, and for good reason. “I always tell folks the crab cakes are as good as my grandma’s,” says server Laura Smith, who has worked at Tari’s for 17 years and speaks with the authority of a former Baltimorean. Lucas tries to incorporate as many local, seasonal products into the menu as he can, 40 wvl • fall 2018

including locally grown tomatoes, cucumbers, ramps, and morel mushrooms. The restaurant also features a separate barbecue menu with slow-smoked baby back ribs, Carolina pulled pork with peppered maple butter and a pearl sugar waffle, even BBQ portobello sandwiches topped with fire roasted red peppers, pickled jalapeños, swiss cheese, and barbecue mayonnaise all served on a brioche bun with a side of zucchini fries. In addition to handcrafted cocktails and happy hour specials, Tari’s tavern offers drink specials featuring seasonal ingredients, like a soft shell crab Bloody Mary in the summertime. The tavern also has its own special menu, featuring crab fries—lump

crab, bacon, Old Bay, smoky ghost pepper cheese, cocktail sauce, and horseradish chipotle aioli—along with other unique dishes like Killer Bee Wings and The Crabby Patty. Tari’s dessert menu includes classics such as cheesecake, chocolate lava cake, crème brûlée, and Derby Pie, which tastes like a warm chocolate chip cookie. “It doesn’t just taste good, it looks good,” Mcbee says of Lucas’s food. But the beautifully plated meals aren’t the only visual interest in the restaurant. Each room features local art for sale, including colorful prints, stained glass, and metalwork wall hangings. The art sells quickly, so customers enjoy new exhibits every few weeks. Tari’s has four cozy guest rooms located upstairs from the restaurant. You can book them for single nights or as part of sleep-anddine packages. The inn also partners with Highlawn Inn and Atasia Spa in Berkeley Springs to offer packaged sleep, eat, and relax deals. “It’s a great community—we like to support local businesses,” Mcbee says. And locals love to support Tari’s. “We plan to stay open for another 30 years, if we can,” Mcbee says. With a family like theirs, that sounds like an achievable goal. 33 North Washington Street, 304.258.1196, tariscafe.com


wvliving.com 41

A Big 12 Feast In West Virginia, fall means WVU football.

And there’s no better way to experience the magic of a Mountaineers game than hanging out with your fellow fans in the parking lots around Milan Puskar Stadium. Last October, WV Living held a tailgate at WVU’s game against Oklahoma State. Our staff supplied the food, making dishes inspired by the Mountaineers’ foes in the Big 12 conference. Not to brag, but the grub got rave reviews—so we thought we’d give you the recipes to serve at your own Big 12 tailgates. Whether you’re in Morgantown or gathered around the big screen, these dishes are sure to make your guests holler “Let’s goooooo…!” written by zack

harold photographed by carla witt ford

this ‹‹ taste

Oklahoma State Cowboy Caviar Cowboys aren’t just from Texas. Saddle up to this tasty Oklahoma dish. 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed 1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed 1 (15-ounce) can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed 1 (15-ounce) can shoepeg corn, drained 1 red bell pepper, diced 1 yellow bell pepper, diced 1 green bell pepper, diced 1 red onion, diced 1 cup vegetable oil ½ cup sugar ½ cup cider vinegar 1. Mix bean and vegetable ingredients together. 2. In a saucepan, combine oil, sugar, and cider vinegar. Bring to a boil and let boil until sugar dissolves. 3. Let oil cool and mix with bean and vegetable mixture. Serve with tortilla chips. yield: 12 servings

Iowa State Taco Pizza

Just mention Taco Pizza to someone from Iowa and they’ll wax poetic about Happy Joe’s, the first pizza restaurant in the country to offer the specialty. 1 premade Boboli pizza crust 1 cup canned refried beans ¼ cup taco sauce, with extra for topping ¼ cup pizza sauce 1 pound ground beef 1 packet taco seasoning 1 (8 ounce) package mozzarella cheese shredded, or more to taste 1 (8 ounce) package colby jack cheese shredded, or more to taste 1 bag shredded lettuce, for topping Doritos, for topping Sour cream, for topping 1. Preheat oven to 400°. 2. In a skillet, brown beef until no pink remains, then mix with taco seasoning. 3. In a bowl, mix together refried beans, taco sauce, and pizza sauce. Spread bean mixture onto crust. Top with mozzarella cheese, then ground beef, then colby jack. 4. Bake 10–15 minutes or until the cheese is melted. 5. Sprinkle with desired toppings and cut with a pizza cutter. wvliving.com 43

taste ›› this

hornfrogs' Chili Con Carne Texas chili? Need we say more?

1 pound lean (at least 80 percent) ground beef 1 large onion, chopped (1 cup) 1 large bell pepper, seeded, chopped 1 teaspoon Hungarian paprika ½ teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon chili powder, if desired ½ teaspoon sriracha sauce 1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes and chopped green chilies 1 (26-ounce) carton Pomi chopped tomatoes 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste or tomato puree 1 (15-ounce) can chili beans 1 (19-ounce) can red kidney beans (light or dark), drained and rinsed Shredded cheddar cheese Sour cream 1. In 3-quart saucepan, cook beef, onion, and pepper over medium-high heat about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally until beef is brown. Drain. 2. Stir in remaining ingredients except beans, cheese, and sour cream. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

3. Stir in beans. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low, simmer uncovered about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until desired thickness. If chili seems too thick, add water or tomato juice. 4. Ladle into bowls and top with cheddar cheese and sour cream. yield: 8 servings

Kansas state Jayhawks Bierocks Bierocks is the official fall food of Kansas.

sandwiches 1 pound lean ground beef ⅓ cup chopped onion 2 cups chopped cabbage 1 teaspoon garlic salt 2 tablespoons onion powder ½ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon pepper 2 ounces (½ cup) shredded cheddar cheese 2 (8-ounce) cans refrigerated crescent dinner rolls sauce ½ cup mayonnaise or salad dressing 3 tablespoons horseradish sauce 1. Preheat oven to 375°. 2. In large skillet, cook ground beef and onion over mediumhigh heat until meat is thoroughly cooked, stirring frequently. Drain. 3. Add cabbage, garlic salt, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Mix well. Reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook 10 to 15 minutes or until cabbage is crisp-tender, stirring occasionally. Cool 5 minutes. Stir in cheese. 44 wvl • fall 2018

4. Separate dough into 16 triangles. Press or roll each until slightly larger. Spoon about ¼ cup beef mixture on shortest side of each triangle. Roll up, starting at shortest side of triangle, gently wrapping dough around beef mixture and rolling to opposite point. Pinch edges to seal. Place point-side down on ungreased large cookie sheet. 5. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine mayonnaise or salad dressing and horseradish sauce. Blend well. Serve sauce with sandwiches. yield: 16 bierocks

this ‹‹ taste

University of Oklahoma Cornbread

Cornbread has a place of honor on Oklahoma tables. It even is included in the official state meal. 2 (6 ounce) bags Martha White Mexican Style Cornbread and Muffin Mix 1 (16 ounce) can creamed corn 1 egg, beaten ⅔ cup milk 1. Preheat oven to 425°. Line muffin tin with baking cups. 2. In a large bowl, combine cornbread mix, creamed corn, egg, and milk. Mix well and pour into muffin tin. Bake until golden brown, about 18 to 22 minutes. 3. For crispier muffins, don’t use baking cups and grease bottom of muffin tin with bacon grease, then preheat pan in oven for seven minutes before adding batter. yield: 24 servings

University of kansas BBQ Brisket Dip Kick up your tailgate with Kansas-style brisket.

2 packages of ready-to-use beef brisket ½ red onion, diced 4 tablespoons butter, divided 2 (14 ounce) cans fat-free refried beans 1 cup barbecue sauce ½ cup cheddar cheese, shredded 1. In a skillet over medium heat, saute onion in 2 tablespoons butter. Once softened, turn heat to medium low. Stir frequently, adding additional butter as needed. Cook until onions turn a caramel color, about 15 minutes. Set aside.

2. Preheat oven to 350°. 3. In a mixing bowl, combine meat and beans. Stir in onions, then spread into a 9x9 baking dish. Sprinkle cheese evenly over the top, cover dish in foil, and bake covered 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake 5 to 7 more minutes. 4. Serve hot with chips or crostini. yield: 24 servings

Texas tech Tortilla Roll-ups We couldn’t resist honoring Texas Tech’s tortilla tossing tradition. 6 (8 inch) flour tortillas 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened 6 ounces deli meat of your choice, thinly sliced (turkey, ham, roast beef, etc.) 1 head romaine lettuce 2 tomatoes, thinly sliced 8 ounces shredded cheese (we used cheddar and swiss) 1 medium white onion, chopped Condiments to taste (mayo, mustard, pepper jelly) 1. Spread thin layer of cream cheese on each wrap, then add slices of meat and cheese. Top with romaine, tomato, onion, seasonings, and condiments to taste. Fill only ¾ of the wrap—any more and the toppings will spill out when rolled.

2. Starting with the filled side, roll tortilla tightly, tucking ingredients back inside as you go. Cream cheese on the remaining ¼ of the tortilla will help to close the wrap. 3. Place wrap on cutting board, seam side down. Cut roll-ups to desired size using a sharp, smooth knife. Each wrap should yield 6 to 8 roll-ups. Keep chilled until served. note: For added color, add carrots, pickles, pickled banana peppers, or red, yellow, or green peppers. yield: 36 roll-ups

wvliving.com 45

taste ›› this

university of Texas Longhorns Sheet Cake Haven’t you wondered what makes Texas Sheet Cake Texan? Is it because of its size? Or richness? cake 2 cups flour 2 cups sugar ¼ teaspoon salt 4 heaping tablespoons cocoa 2 sticks butter 1 cup boiling water ½ cup buttermilk 2 whole beaten eggs 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon vanilla frosting ½ cup finely chopped pecans 1¾ stick butter 4 heaping tablespoons cocoa 6 tablespoons milk 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 pound (minus ½ cup) powdered sugar 1. Preheat oven to 350°. 2. Grease an 18x13 sheet cake pan. 3. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt. 4. In a saucepan, melt butter. Add cocoa. Stir together. Add boiling water, allow mixture to boil for 30 seconds, then turn off heat. Pour over flour mixture and stir lightly to cool. 5. In a measuring cup, pour buttermilk and add beaten eggs, baking soda, and vanilla. Stir buttermilk mixture into butter/chocolate mixture. Pour into sheet cake pan and bake for 20 minutes. 6. While cake is baking, make icing. Chop pecans finely. Melt butter in saucepan. Add cocoa, stir to combine, then turn off heat. Add milk, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Stir together. Add pecans, stir, and pour over warm cake. yield: 24 servings 46 wvl • fall 2018

this ‹‹ taste

baylor Bear Paw Cookies What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Except bears. Bears kill you.

1 box milk chocolate brownie mix ¼ cup butter, melted and cooled to room temperature 1 large egg 2 teaspoons water 60 peanuts split into halves (about ⅓ cup) or almond slices 30 chocolate candy kisses 1. Preheat oven to 350°. 2. In a large bowl combine brownie mix, butter, water, and egg. Stir with fork to combine into stiff dough. Dough will seem dry, but will moisten as you stir. Knead briefly by hand in the bowl, if preferred.

Best of WV Form

3. Working with 1 even tablespoon of dough at a time, roll dough into balls and place on ungreased cookie sheets about 2 inches apart. Cover remaining dough between batches to prevent drying.

4. Press candy pieces, points down and flat surfaces up, into the centers of the uncooked cookies. Press four peanut halves, split sides down, into the edge of each cookie to form claws. 5. Bake for 11 minutes or just until edges are set. Cookies may appear slightly undercooked, but do not over-bake. Cool 1 minute on pans. Transfer to wire racks with a thin metal spatula and cool completely. Store in closed containers. note: Have chocolate kisses unwrapped and peanut halves at hand when rolling dough into balls. If you wait very long to decorate the dough balls, their surfaces will begin to dry out and the peanut “claws” may not stick as well after baking. yield: 30 cookies

SOMETHING EXTRA Add a little team spirit to your tailgate with cookies and cakes in a jar from Bonnie Belle’s Pastries in White Oak and Nutter Fort. 1520 Buckhannon Pike, Nutter Fort 26301, 304.622.7471; 20 Shaner Drive, White Oaks Bridgeport, 304.848.1100 wvliving.com 47

sampler ‹‹ taste

Bed and Breakfast (and Lunch, and Dinner)

There are plenty of places to spend the night in a comfy bed, and plenty of places to get a good meal—but it’s a rare treat to find a place that offers both top-notch accommodations and world-class cuisine. We’ve found three of those places, right here in West Virginia. written by

zack harold

taste ›› sampler

Barn with Inn and Sarah Miller House Nestled on a 34-acre farm in Wellsburg, Harry Sanford and Chatman Neely’s Barn With Inn at Highland Springs Farm offers guests a good night’s sleep in one of three homey rooms—followed by a breakfast fit for a farmer. Enjoy locally sourced foods, including heirloom pork, on the breakfast porch looking out over the farm. Sanford and Neely also offer onsite dinners by request. Then there’s Barn With Inn’s sister operation, the Sarah Miller House, which offers three well-appointed rooms and a full apartment in downtown Wellsburg. While breakfast is not available here, the Sarah Miller House does host regular dinners. On the weekend of October 11–12, the menu will include Chicken Milanese with roasted pancetta, brussels sprouts, and autumn squash apple risotto—and a snickerdoodle cobbler for dessert. On October 25–26, guests can enjoy Butternut Squash Ravioli with sage butter and a fall farm vegetable medley as well as Neely’s renowned sugar cream pie. 4859 Bealls Ridge, Wellsburg, 900 Main Street, Wellsburg, 304.737.0647, barnwithinn.com 52 wvl • fall 2018

Cafe Cimino Country Inn

Guesthouse Lost River

In 1999, husband-and-wife team Tim and Melody Urbanic decided to try out some of his grandmother’s Italian recipes in a Sutton restaurant they named Cafe Cimino. The restaurant was so popular that in 2007 they opened a 10-room hotel perched on the banks of the Elk River. Cafe Cimino Country Inn offers four luxury rooms in the main house, four in the carriage house, and two in the cozy cottage house, which was formerly the property’s summer kitchen. While the accommodations would rank alongside the world’s finest B&Bs, the food that emerges from the Urbanics’ kitchen remains Cafe Cimino’s main attraction. Breakfasts often feature fresh-baked muffins and scones, fresh fruit, top-shelf coffee, and frittatas. Make a reservation for lunch and you’ll be treated to a variety of soups, salads, gourmet sandwiches, and brick oven pizzas. But Cafe Cimino’s white tablecloth dinners are where Chef Oscar Aguilar’s talents really shine. Be sure to check out the Shellfish Pescatore: a platter of calamari, clams, mussels, scallops, and shrimp in a white wine and tomato seafood broth. 616 Main Street, Sutton 304.765.2913, cafeciminocountryinn.com

Opened in 1982, this Eastern Panhandle landmark has long been popular with residents of Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, Maryland, looking to escape the big city for a relaxing weekend. Guesthouse Lost River features 18 guest rooms, a billiards room, game tables, a breakfast room, an indoor Jacuzzi and steam room, and a massage room. The Guesthouse Kitchen & Bar offers scratch-made Americana cuisine served in a modern farmhouse setting. Try the Chicken di Parma—made with locally raised chicken that’s crusted in breadcrumbs and topped with prosciutto di Parma, organic sage, and a mushroom cream sauce—or the Agnolotti Rucola, which are like small ravioli stuffed with spinach and ricotta and covered in lemon, ricotta cheese, fresh basil, and locally grown, organic arugula. The Guesthouse’s bar is a perfect place to grab a beer, sip a glass of wine, or enjoy a craft cocktail. Or, for an end-of-evening pick-me-up, order one of the fresh brewed Lavazza cappuccinos or espressos. 288 Settlers Valley Way, Lost River, 304.897.5707, guesthouselostriver.com

wvliving.com 53




Past Comes Alive

There’s some truth to Faulkner’s quip, “The past isn’t over. It isn’t even past.” These hills are full of history, and it isn’t relegated to books and museums. PICTURED: A “SALTY DOG” BALLAD SINGER AT BLENNERHASSETT ISLAND’S MANSION BY CANDLELIGHT EVENT, PAGE 77

Josh’s own creation

wvliving.com 55

live ›› local

Long Live the Dead

Remembering those buried at Charleston’s Spring Hill Cemetery Park fills us in on the day-by-day building of our state. written by

pam kasey zack harold

M photographed by

iles Vernon Dixson worked as a teller at Kanawha Valley Bank in Charleston in the 1930s. What he really wanted to do, though, was fly. As a young man he took lessons at a seaplane school on the Kanawha River. But during a practice flight over Spring Hill Cemetery, one of the wings came off of his plane and he crashed beside the mausoleum. He’s buried in the cemetery he died in. Dixson’s short tale is sad. It’s also a colorful thread in the tapestry of Charleston’s history. And when you come to know a little about the lives of some of the others buried in Spring Hill Cemetery Park—the founders 56 wvl • fall 2018

of Kanawha Valley Bank, for example—you start to see how they intertwined to make the city and state we know today. “Some of the names on the streets that you drive on here in Charleston—Quarrier, Dickinson, Summers—those folks are here at the cemetery,” says longtime superintendent Perry Cox. “We have people here from all walks of life. And every one of them has a story to tell.” The ridge overlooking the Kanawha Valley first served as a burial ground at least as early as 1818. The city of Charleston took on its management in 1869. Today the complex of public, private, Catholic, Jewish, and other plots totals some 175 acres, the largest burial complex in the state. Estimates say it holds

more than 100,000 interments, though records have been found for only about half of those. The property is also a carefully maintained arboretum with five miles of paved roadway, a contemplative place to stroll or relax. The Friends of Spring Hill Cemetery Park has created two self-guided walking tours highlighting personalities who’ve come to rest there. “We divided the cemetery into sections and said, ‘Let’s pick out the 25 most interesting people we can in each section,’” says Kaaren Ford, a member of the Friends and also of the city commission that oversees the cemetery and park. “You can get a pamphlet out of the kiosk, look at the map, people are numbered, you look inside and say, ‘Oh, he was so and so.’” Here are just a few:









Bavarian immigrant Moses Frankenberger (1835–1902) founded Frankenberger’s clothing store in Charleston, which operated from 1860 into the 1980s. He sided with the Union and was imprisoned for three months, losing a large part of his fortune. He helped organize Citizens Bank in Charleston and served as its president. He also played a role in the establishment of Temple Israel on Kanawha Boulevard.



Boone County native Caroline Evelyn Gentry (1870–1939) spent a decade in Hollywood working as an editor and writer. She co-wrote Firsts ran in the blood of Dr. John P. Hale the screenplay for the 1920 silent film The Key (1824–1902). His maternal ancestors founded the to Power, since lost. She wrote and directed the first white settlement west of the Alleghenies. 1928 documentary film The River of Doubt, He studied medicine but, in 1847, went into the based on Theodore Roosevelt’s account of his booming salt manufacturing business instead harrowing expedition on an uncharted tributary and ran possibly the largest salt works in North of the Amazon River. America; he led in forming a salt trust, the first trust in America. He was instrumental The leather tanning innovations of Sanford A. in having the capital of the new state of West Hickel (1816–1887) were recognized by the Virginia moved from Wheeling to Charleston. He introduced the first brick-making machinery patent offices of both the Confederate States and the United States of America. He especially and is said to have paved the first brick street in wanted to be remembered for his great cold America, right in Charleston. He also helped liquor quick tan, patented in 1865, and his 1866 start Charleston’s first theater and first steam waterproof enamel for leather, steel, and wood. ferry business.





Old Circle History Walk


local ‹‹ live

As a senator from Fayette County in the 1908 Legislature, William S. Johnson (1871–1942) became known as “Pistol Bill.” He successfully sponsored legislation to require state residents to have permits to carry firearms. He also served as superintendent of Fayette County Schools, West Virginia state treasurer, and executive secretary of the West Virginia Crippled Children’s Society. wvliving.com 57

live ›› local




History Walk Part II




William H. Davis (1849–1938) served in the Union Light Guard that encamped at the White House and provided mounted escort and guard service for President Abraham Lincoln from 1863 to 1865. Later, as a school teacher in Tinkersville, now Malden, just upriver from Charleston, he taught Booker T. Washington. Davis was nominated to run for governor in 1888. In 1937, he was an honored guest at an anniversary celebration for Washington at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama.

18 & 19



Banker and saltmaker John Quincy Dickinson (1831–1925)—we know him as “J.Q.” today—went to the Kanawha Valley in 1865. He repaired the family salt works that had been established by his grandfather, William Dickinson Sr., but damaged by the great flood of 1861 and by the Union Army. Later, Dickinson and his brother, father, and others associated with the salt industry established the Kanawha Valley Bank. Dickinson served as its president for 43 years. Many Dickinsons are buried in a family plot here. Seventh-generation descendants of William Dickinson have recently revived the salt enterprise in Malden.

Brothers O.T. Thayer (1835–1900) and W.T. Thayer (1831–1901) operated, with others, a steam ferry across the Kanawha River where the current South Side Bridge is located. They also founded and operated the South Side Foundry and Machine Company. Legend has it that, during Prohibition, smugglers hid liquor behind a removable panel on O.T.’s zinc monument.

Spring Hill Cemetery Park is more than a cemetery, Perry says. “People can come here, take a walk, relax, collect their thoughts; they can study and see wildlife and trees. And it’s also a history book.” Ford agrees. “If you spent the day, you’d have a brief history of the state.” The Friends group is working on a couple more walking tours. And every couple of years for FestivALL Fall, the group organizes a living history event at the cemetery. “We had Dr. Hale, who’s ‘Mr. Kanawha County,’ this past year, we had Moses Frankenburger, and a couple others,” Ford says. “We hope to do it again in 2019, the cemetery’s 150th anniversary.” friendsofspringhillcemetery.org, “Friends of Spring Hill Cemetery Park and Arboretum” on Facebook 58 wvl • fall 2018


Berkeley Springs

With easy access off the interstate, Berkeley Springs is an 18th century healthy haven with plenty of modern attractions.


Test your wits at Crunch Time Escapes. Catch a film at the Star Theatre, a vintage, single-screen moviehouse that showcases one first-run film every weekend. Or make a new feline friend at Give Purrs A Chance cat cafe, a fivebedroom Victorian house where visitors get to know Dining in Berkeley Springs cats’ personalities in a cageis fun. Tari’s Cafe is inviting free environment. For local and spacious, with local music, visit The Granary, art on the walls and food Black Cat, or Troubadour made from local ingredients. Lounge. Lot 12 Public House is a beloved restaurant that serves chef-prepared, locally sourced food in a beautiful historic home overlooking downtown—it is a place where you will want to linger over a glass of wine. For breakfast, you While the area’s spas can’t beat The Country bring thousands of visitors Inn Restaurant or the each year, Cacapon atmosphere of Morgan Resort State Park— Tavern, both located in The located 20 minutes outside Country Inn at Berkeley of town—draws those Springs. Morgan On Main seeking outdoor recreation, offers casual food and tasty with horseback riding, golf, cocktails.


skeet shooting, hiking trails, boating, and fishing. Berkeley Springs is also a good launch pad for stunning scenic drives. Follow the Washington Heritage Trail through Morgan, Berkeley, and Jefferson counties. Make sure you visit Dutch Cemetery, the Paw Paw Tunnel, and George Washington’s Bathtub. Berkeley Springs also plays host to several unique festivals. The Festival of Light Psychic Fair & Alternative Healing Expo draws hundreds of people for workshops and lectures on everything from essential oils to tarot. Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting is a prestigious event that includes water bottlers and municipalities from around the world, and the Apple Butter Festival features turtle races, belly dancers, a beard and mustache contest, and, of course, lots of scrumptious apple butter.


Quirky shops abound here. From antiques to art to alternative medicines, there’s something for everyone. Ice House Artist Co-Op Gallery and Mountain Laurel Gallery feature the work of local artists. Pick something up for your foodie friend at the new Fleur de Lis cheese and wine shop or the Naked Olive, a gourmet oil and food shop that also offers tapas and adult beverages at night. For those with more eclectic tastes, check out Portals Metaphysical and Homeopathy shop or Jules Enchanting Gifts & Collectables.

Healing Waters People have been coming to Berkeley Springs for 300 years and at Berkeley Springs State Park, located smack dab in the middle of town, you’ll figure out why. The warm spring water that drew the likes of George Washington still flows through the park at a pleasant 74 degrees. Visitors can relax at the park’s Old Roman Bathhouse—in continuous use since 1820—by choosing from one of nine large historic Roman baths. Enjoy additional spa treatments at the park’s Main Bathhouse, Atasia Spa, and several other practitioners and healing centers open daily.

STAY The Country Inn at Berkeley Springs, located beside the state park, beckons you with cozy, newly renovated rooms and its Renaissance Spa.

Manor Inn is a beautifully restored historic 1879 Victorian with a lovely wraparound porch, located in a quiet part of town. Maria’s Garden & Inn will serve you a full country breakfast in the morning. Sleepy Creek Tree Farm Bed and Breakfast features gardens, trails, and excellent bird watching.

White Pines Estate Bed and Breakfast is a charming southern mansion on 65 acres with wraparound porches that allow you to enjoy the beautiful mountain views. Highlawn Inn is a 10-room Victorian bed-and-breakfast with charming rooms and a gourmet breakfast. Bella Mattina is located only two miles from the

center of town in an 1850s restored farmhouse resting beneath a 100-year-old oak canopy with a beautiful view of Sleepy Creek Mountain. Cacapon Resort State Park has four types of cabins and a 48-room lodge. The Old Inn, created by the Civilian Conservation Corps as the first overnight accommodation lodge in the West Virginia State Park


system, is a 12-room log structure that sleeps up to 32 guests. Berkeley Springs Cottage Rentals offers a variety of lodging choices, from suites to cottages to cabins.

Southern Sustainability

A landscape architect offers guests a peaceful respite in the New River Gorge.

W written by

kaylyn christopher

ith the popularity of space-sharing apps like Airbnb on the rise, travelers have seemingly endless accomodations options at their fingertips. But one southern West Virginia rental, just minutes from the stunning views of the New River Gorge, is setting itself apart by offering guests scenic surroundings, a sense of calm, and all the freshly laid eggs they can carry. “Guests can sit on my back porch while being surrounded by a pasture full of cows, horses, and

60 wvl • fall 2018

deer,” says Pam Bailey, owner of Five Springs Farm, a 171-acre farm property in Fayetteville. “A lot of families come and bring their kids, and I always ask if they want to go with me to the barn when I feed my animals or go out to the chicken house with me and collect some eggs.” Visitors are also likely to catch a glimpse of Bailey’s two great Pyrenees, Casey and Cora, herding sheep, or hear the honks of the flock of geese that roams the working farm. While Five Springs is equipped with internet access, Bailey says much of the appeal of her farm is that it provides a chance to unwind and disconnect.

Between trips to nearby attractions offering hiking, whitewater rafting, and rock climbing, visitors can catch their breath in the fully restored 1800s guesthouse and gaze on the mountains that surround the property. Bailey purchased the property in 1992, just one year after her job with the National Park Service brought her from Massachusetts to the New River Gorge as a landscape architect. Although she left West Virginia to pursue opportunities elsewhere—including a stop with the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center in Vicksburg, Mississippi—Bailey was so smitten with the Mountain State’s rolling hills that she knew she would one day return to live on the property full-time. “I couldn’t wait to get back to West Virginia,” she says. Two and a half years ago, Bailey found her way back, and she now devotes all of her energy to tending her farm and maintaining her guest house. “I feel very fortunate to live here. I love the landscape and the rich botanical resources in the Appalachian Mountains,” says Bailey, who holds degrees in landscape architecture, botany,


live ›› away


away ‹‹ live

and pollination ecology from the University of Massachusetts, Marshall University, and the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, respectively. “I have been trained in design and scientific principles and I try to apply these concepts to my farm and life in general.” A high tunnel, used for early spring production of flowers, vegetables, and herbs, runs between the farm’s main house and the guest house. Beautifully landscaped flower gardens create a pleasing aesthetic throughout the property, while the vegetable and herb gardens produce the tomatoes, arugula, kale, and lavender that Bailey sells at the local farmers’ market on Saturday mornings. “The integration of what we eat, how our food is raised, and how we think about the land, its resources, and the impact on our culture is why I do what I do,” she says. “I practice this integration every day and am creating a sustainable farm based in a reverence for the land and its resources by growing wholesome food

and providing a farm stay to share this way of life with others.” Caring for the farm is no small endeavor, but Bailey is up to the task. “I simply retired from one job that paid for my farm, and now I get to farm it. It challenges me and it forces me to keep learning and to work until I’m really tired. My goal is to be a positive force, have a good impact on the world, and to do something greater than myself, so I’ve got to get out there and do it everyday.” And she’s happy to share that positivity with travelers who come to stay on her farm. “When I have guests who love staying here, it makes me feel like I’ve done a good job,” Bailey says. “Bringing that old structure back to life, coupled with the development of a working farmstead, is gratifying. It is a living historic and cultural landscape.” fivespringsfarmfresh.com wvliving.com 61

creatively ‹‹ live

Kicking Glass Blenko’s new design team breathes fresh air into a beloved brand while holding with tradition. written by aldona photographed by nikki



live ›› creatively


mma Walters has broken a glass ceiling—with glass, no less. Last October, Blenko Glass Company in Milton hired Walters as the first female designer in the company’s 125-year history. “We have a lot of women who work at Blenko, but not currently on the factory floor,” she says, adding that she is excited to have joined the team and that “many, many women make this company run.” Since joining the company, Walters and her partner, Andrew Shaffer, have redesigned the company’s entire tableware line, which consists of more than 100 items. “It has been a big whirlwind, in a great way,” she says. The new catalog came out in January, but the couple didn’t stop there. “We’ve been continually letting out new products.” Blenko’s products have an identifiable style that inspires nostalgia in its many collectors, so Walters has been “investigating the past, as

64 wvl • fall 2018

well as adding new to the future.” She wants to help move the designs forward without totally departing from the look customers love. “You can find inspiration from the dirt or from the sky,” Walters says. “It’s not linear, and there’s not a formula.” Sometimes inspiration starts on the factory floor. When they design new pieces, Walters and Shaffer often work with the glassblowers who will eventually produce their designs. “It’s really amazing to work with that many skilled hands,” she says. Other times, the designers draw inspiration from historical designs or current trends. Once the seed of an idea starts to grow, Walters makes sketches and builds prototypes from cardboard, blocks, and other materials, or creates a computer-generated model. Shaffer sometimes blows glass when the workers are done for the day, experimenting with new designs. All of this helps the team work designs out before they go to

production. “You’ll see something in it that you want to bring out further,” Walters says. Blenko Glass Company vice president Dean Six credits his new designers with bringing exciting change to the company. “We went off in a new direction,” he says. Shaffer and Walters stand apart from the company’s previous designers, who mostly came from academic backgrounds without the hands-on experience these two have. “One of their great strengths is that they are young, but also experienced,” Six says. “For them to choose to join Blenko is quite a compliment to us.” Walters absorbed techniques while working with Czech glass artist Martin Janecky, American artist Pablo Soto, and Italian artist Gianni Toso, among others all around the country. She demonstrated glassblowing with the Corning Museum of Glass, in its museum and on cruise ships from Australia and New Zealand to French

creatively ‹‹ live

Polynesia and Hawaii. Shaffer, meanwhile, has worked in a host of hot glass houses around the eastern United States, including a stint as design and production liaison for the renowned Vermont glassblower Simon Pierce. Walters and Shaffer have worked together for about five years. They opened a New York City studio together called Ennion, named for an ancient Roman glassblower and mold-maker. “It’s what we both do and what we both love,” Walters says. But it’s more than just experience that Walters and Shaffer bring to Blenko. “The combination of their enthusiasm is terribly contagious,” Six says. Working at Blenko has brought a new excitement to her career, Walters says. “It’s almost like going back in time. It is literally a historic place,” she says. During the peak of the glass industry, there were 473 hot glass manufacturers in the state. Only four factories remain, along with a handful of artists

blowing glass at their own studios. Walters and Shaffer plan to continue adding new tableware items to the Blenko Line, but customers should expect to see fewer new pieces in the 2019 catalog, as the duo puts more concentration on lighting fixtures like table lamps and pendant lighting. Walters says they plan to do more intricate designs on these larger pieces. Blenko Glass is known for “affordable and small, often colorful and fun” glass pieces, Six says. “And our friends and neighbors made it, which makes it that much more special.” With the help of Walters and Shaffer, “our goal is to keep handmade glass in West Virginia for years to come,” he says. 9 Bill Blenko Drive, 304.743.9081, blenko.com wvliving.com 65


The Bridges of Greene County The leaves are turning, there’s a slight chill in the air—it’s the perfect time to hop in the car and go somewhere romantic. You and your significant other can live out those Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep fantasies with a short drive across the state line to Greene County, Pennsylvania, home of seven covered bridges. The picturesque spans— which are still accessible to cars and pedestrians alike—are all located within a 77-mile drive that will take you through bucolic farmland. In addition to being pieces of living history, Greene County’s covered bridges also make the perfect sites for family photos, engagement shots, senior portraits, and any other occasion that requires a picture-perfect backdrop. The Greene County Tourist Promotion Agency (visitgreene.org) offers a handy driving guide with the turn-by-turn driving directions you’ll need. Here are a few highlights of the trip. The newest covered bridge is also the shortest: the 31-foot-11-inch Lippincott/ Cox Farm Bridge. It was built in 1943, well after wooden bridges were replaced by newer designs. But because steel was rationed during the war effort, locals had to return to an older design.

The oldest of the covered bridges, the Neddie Woods Bridge, was constructed in 1882 and is named for the Civil War veteran who once owned the property. It crosses Pursley Creek and is 43 feet long.


The longest bridge is the White Bridge, coming in at 77 feet and 6 inches. It was built in 1900. This bridge is also one of two Greene County sites for the annual Washington & Greene Counties’ Covered Bridge Festival, held September 15–16 this year. Each site features arts and crafts vendors, downhome food, historical reenactments, musical entertainment, and more.

When your drive is done, check out these Greene County happenings


This event by the Greene County Museum allows visitors to see how American Indian tribes in southwestern Pennsylvania lived two millennia ago, with reenactors demonstrating traditional techniques of pottery making, hunting, fishing, cooking, artwork, and more. The 52-room museum will also be open for tours. greenecountyhistory.org


This off-road motorcycle and ATV race is open to amateurs and professionals alike. Racers will cross open fields and woodlands in Pennsylvania and West Virginia as they race down the Mason– Dixon Line. The track runs adjacent to the High Point Raceway. gnccracing.com



Held at Mason–Dixon Historical Park, this event celebrates the completion of one of the world’s most famous land surveys with a buckwheat breakfast, quilt show, and juried arts and crafts vendors as well as a hike featuring costumed historical reenactors. masondixonhistoricalpark.com


This popular tradition includes all the top-notch food and craft vendors visitors expect—but it wouldn’t be a Greene County event without a big dose of local history. The festival will feature colonial, Civil War, and Native American reenactors. Don’t miss the Civil War battle or the musical entertainment. greenecountyhistory.org


wvliving.com 67

Redefining “Run of the Mill� Wilson Quality Millwork offers homeowners a chance to create truly unique spaces. written by zack


photographed by nikki


at home ‹‹ live


hen John Wilson moved back home to Elkins in 1989 to join his father’s business, the now-58-year-old Frank E. Wilson Lumber Company, he spent some months getting to know the customers. He worked with Amish craftsmen building custom doors and casegoods, then with an architectural millwork firm in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He spent two and a half months working at a retail lumber yard in Washington, D.C. From the time he was a child, Wilson had watched as sawn green lumber was stacked in his family’s seven steam-powered dry kilns, emerging days later as dry, project-ready boards. But working at these businesses, he saw a different kind of transformation take place. “You really got to see a change in the product. That’s what was exciting—taking a raw board and turning it into a product for the customer.”

Wilson decided he wanted that kind of direct connection with customers, too, and in 1995 he opened Wilson Quality Millwork to make custom moldings, millwork, casework, and more. The company’s first job was producing molding for a historic bank building in Moorefield. It took three days to grind a bit, or “knife,” that would accurately match the seven-inch-wide, fluted molding already inside the building. Things have sped up considerably since then, and Wilson’s company has supplied work for historic restoration projects including the Graceland Mansion in Elkins and the MacCorkle Mansion in Charleston. While Wilson has become a go-to guy for preservation work, most of the products that come out of his shop are destined for family homes. The company offers custom doors, hardwood flooring, paneling, stair parts, and countertops. While he admits custom-milled elements are more expensive than what can

“Our middle name is ‘quality’ and that’s what we strive for.” john wilson

be found at big box stores, that slightly higher price buys a much higher quality product, since much of the shop’s raw material is Appalachian hardwoods sourced through the Frank E. Wilson Lumber Company. “We have a great product and we have a great price,” he says. “Our middle name is ‘quality’ and that’s what we strive for.” Plus, it’s hard to put a price on originality. The way Wilson sees it, if you’re going to the expense of building or remodeling a home, you might as well make each architectural wvliving.com 69

live ›› at home

element count. “It should be yours. It should have characteristics of you,” he says. He advises customers not to worry about trends. “if you want a colonial look, you can have that look. if you want a modern look, you can have that look.” Customers can pick their pattern from a catalog, choose from among the dozens of samples hanging on Wilson’s office wall, or provide samples of their own. Then they pick the species and finishes. If the shop doesn’t have a knife already made for the designs, one of Wilson’s nine employees will make 70 wvl • fall 2018

templates using the shop’s CNC machine, which is used to grind the knives. The process is still done by hand but comes to within a few thousandths of an inch of the template. Wilson bemoans the recent tendency to cover millwork with paint. “There’s a lot of beauty in wood,” he says. In fact, he encourages homeowners to consider mixing different styles and woods throughout their rooms. “You don’t have to have your whole house in one species.” Some see the lines and whorls of wood grain as imperfections. But to Wilson, it’s

natural-born art. “Every piece we manufacture is an original piece. We can’t duplicate it.” Thirty years after starting his business, Wilson is still amazed by the potential of his raw material. “I don’t think people understand the work and craftsmanship that goes into creating quality products,” he says. “It’s endless, what you can do with wood.” 5th Street Extension, Elkins, 304.636.9096, wilsonqualitymillworks.com

out loud ‹‹ live

Elkview’s Earl

A WVU law grad looks back on a life helping clients get justice, helping lawyers get sober, and helping everyone else keep a song in their heart. written by j.

kendall perkinson



he “Earl of Elkview,” George Daugherty, perches atop a stool next to the Don Knotts statue on Morgantown’s High Street. He is playing an American flag guitar and looking the statue directly in its eyes as he sings a rousing chorus of “Hail West Virginia.” He tacks the phrase “beat the hell out of Pitt” to the end of the song, and laughs uproariously at the sentiment. Daugherty has done this hundreds, maybe thousands, of times, but his laugh is as genuine

now as it was when he first sang the song on the WVU campus 65 years ago. Two women who have stopped to listen cheer him on. Beside Daugherty is a handsaw and a horsehair bow, two items often found next to one another in the mountains of Appalachia but not usually found—together or apart—on the streets of Morgantown. In 1950, Daugherty saw Don Knotts perform in Morgantown as a ventriloquist, along with a saw-playing musician named Jarvey Eldridge. Daugherty approached Eldridge after the

show and was delighted when Eldridge offered to teach him how to play the unusual instrument. Since then, he has had a fondness for Knotts by association. Daugherty is best known as a musician, but he first came to WVU to study medicine. “My uncle John gave me a $10 bill,” he says. “I went down to Charleston and I bought a pint of whiskey and a ukulele. I carried that ukulele up to Morgantown as a freshman and damn near flunked out of school before I realized I had no business in pre-med. To be a doctor, you have to understand chemistry and the sciences, and all that’s like Latin to me.” He pauses for a moment. “Actually, I understand Latin. It’s like Greek to me.” As Daugherty began to question his career choice, he often found himself drinking at a local bar called Tappa Kegga Bera on West Virginia Route 7. The bar was also frequented by quite a few lawyers blowing off steam after long workdays. “I would listen to them talk about their cases and become entranced,” he wvliving.com 73

live ›› out loud

says. “That’s when I switched to law school.” After discovering his calling, Daugherty’s life continued pretty much as planned. By the late ’60s, he had his own practice, a wife, and four children. Most of his attention was focused on his career. “For a number of years I intensely practiced law,” he says. “I was an obsessivecompulsive lawyer who did nothing but work. I just worked and worked and worked.” Though he enjoyed being a lawyer, Daugherty knew he needed to build some time away from work into his life. He found an opportunity to do just that when he was offered a regular musical comedy role in a Charleston jamboree. His mother was terrified. She had two primary concerns. First, she was afraid that even a part-time musician’s lifestyle would lead him to drink and party too much. Second, she was afraid that no one would take him seriously as a lawyer. One of these fears turned out to be well founded. The other, not so much. 74 wvl • fall 2018

Daugherty did indeed start drinking too much, but in the 1970s he got into a recovery program and hasn’t had a drink since. In 2013, the West Virginia Supreme Court established a program called the Judicial & Lawyer Assistance Program, which is dedicated to helping judges and lawyers with substance abuse issues get and stay sober. Daugherty was a perfect choice for the program’s first director, and he served two and a half years in that capacity. Contrary to his mother’s other fear, Daugherty did not seem to lose clients because of his music. He had already chosen a path that was avoided by most legal professionals at the time: medical malpractice. Personal injury suits were the tried-and-true income generators, and lawyers were worried that doctors would not testify for them if their firms also sued doctors for medical malpractice. Daugherty says that doctors turned out to be much more reasonable than the legal

profession gave them credit for. “I never had a bad relationship with a doctor that I sued, except one,” he says. “Generally, if they blow it, they want to make it right, and they want to be sued by someone who at least treats them decently. I generally ended up being friends with the doctors I sued.” The one exception told him, “Mr. Daugherty, I can’t stand you!” and never spoke to him again. His clients didn’t seem to take him less seriously either. He often performed for them, singing at births, funerals, and most any event that happens between the two. “I never knew a single soul that turned me down because of what I did. And I tried to leave them with a song in their heart and a message: how great it is to be an American and how great it is to be a West Virginian.” Patriotism is a key component of Daugherty’s life and music. His father, a World War I veteran, instilled national pride in him early, in part by teaching him many of the patriotic songs he still performs. He holds up a black and white portrait of another hero he calls “Roscoe.” The man in the photo is smiling and clothed in military dress. As a child, Daugherty lived next to Elkview High School and would sometimes hang out beside the school’s field after classes let out, where the older kids would be playing football. Despite their difference in age, Roscoe offered to teach Daugherty how to play. A few months after Roscoe trounced Elkview’s rival in a big game, he enlisted to fight in World War II. He was killed not long afterward, during a battle in France. “The sergeant said ‘Charge,’ and Roscoe charged,” Daugherty says, tears welling up after all these years. “That’s the kind of guy he was. So Roscoe never got to have a son and watch him play football.” At the age of 85, almost all of the legal work Daugherty does is pro bono. He still dresses in full American flag attire and sings the patriotic songs he has enjoyed his entire life. He still sings and plays music with his children whenever he gets the chance. And the values he has tried hard to instill in them are still reflected in his favorite finale song: From the mountain, to the prairies To the oceans white with foam God bless America, my home sweet home.


George Daugherty, the “Earl of Elkview,” performing his musical comedy act at a Charleston radio show.

home marketplace

wvliving.com 75

$10 for ONE YEAR

Don’t miss an issue of

1 year (2 issues) $10 | 2 years (4 issues) $18 visit mywvwedding.com/subscribe or call 304.413.0104 to subscribe

Subscription bundles available! Add a subscription to WV Living 1 year $25 | 2 years $45 These bundles include 6 issues (4 WV Living + 2 WV Weddings) or 12 issues (8 WV Living + 4 WV Weddings)


history ‹‹ live

You Are Cordially Invited ... Blennerhassett Island’s annual Mansion by Candlelight transports guests to a 19th century soiree. written by zack


photographed by carla

witt ford


or those traveling the Ohio River at the turn of the 19th century, Blennerhassett Island must have appeared as if out of a dream. Travelers would have seen only rugged frontierland and the occasional log cabin for most of their journey downstream. But here, in the middle of the river, sat a miniature Mount Vernon. The effect would have been even greater on those evenings when Harman and Margaret Blennerhassett threw one of their lavish parties, their home’s windows glowing with the light of hundreds of candles and the sounds of music and laughter spilling over the silent river. The dream did not last long. As anyone who's studied West Virginia history knows, the Blennerhassetts only lived on the island for about a decade before fleeing, never to return. The mansion burned soon after. Yet the magic lingers, thanks to Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park’s annual Mansion by Candlelight event, which returns for its 23rd year on October 12 and 13, 2018.

78 wvl • fall 2018

Back to Life

mesmerized by the light,” Salisbury says. On their way out of the party, visitors make For visitors, the event begins in Belpre, Ohio, their way down the house’s back steps to the where they board the Island Belle sternwheeler summer kitchen, located on the house’s south that will take them to the island. “Once they leave wing. There they can see servants working in the shoreline, they can see in the distance the light the kitchen and hear old-timey tavern songs on the island. As they draw closer and closer to it, belted by a pair of “salty dogs,” river men they can see the flicker of the candles,” says Pam spending the night at Blennerhassett Island on Salisbury, the park’s activities coordinator. “I can’t their way downstream. even describe how pretty it is.” As part of their admission, guests receive Once they have landed, guests walk a horse-drawn carriage ride around the upper up a candle-lined path to the mansion. half of island. They can also purchase additional Docents dressed as Harman and Margaret tickets for the harvest supper, served at the Blennerhassett meet them at the front door island’s covered picnic shelter. and welcome them to their home. Inside, the But one of the most popular attractions opulent rooms are decorated for a party, the of Mansion by Candlelight happens a little ladies sparkle in bright silks and tapestries, and ways down the path from the house. There, the men sport top hats, long tails, and white guests will find the Blennerhassetts’ servants gloves. Dancers twirl in the main room of the around a bonfire. “Down at the bonfire, there’s first floor, accompanied by a musician playing a different kind of party going on,” Salisbury the harpsichord. Upstairs, guests can eavesdrop on a card game and peek in on a servant tending says. There’s storytelling, clogging, fiddlers and pickers performing rowdy folk tunes, even a a baby in one of the bedchambers. couple fortune tellers. And, if you hang around Then, there are candles—more than 400 long enough, you might see a ghostly visage in the house alone. “It just warms the room wander past. and it warms the inside of you. You’re just

history ‹‹ live

especially if you’ve got a full moon—it shines down on this white iridescent fabric and it just glows.”

‘It’s Magic’

Each year, a docent portrays Margaret Blennerhassett’s ghost. “We have brought this mansion and island back to life, so she is back to oversee the party just like she would have in 1805,” Salisbury says. “It’s really cool,

It takes more than 80 volunteer docents to pull off each year’s Mansion by Candlelight. Some come with their own costumes, but the rest are dressed by the park. The costume closet includes outfits donated by retired docents and others from a production of “Eden on the River,” a historic musical once performed on the island. “They’re just beautiful, so we keep using them,” says K.T. Stephens, a longtime Blennerhassett Island docent who is now in charge of costuming for the event. Mansion by Candlelight has now hosted visitors from every state in the union and draws history lovers of all ages. One year, Salisbury met a mom, dad, and their two preteen sons. The boys had visited the island as part of a school field trip, heard about the event, and begged their parents to buy tickets. “Those kids, when they opened that front door and saw those candelabras, you

could see their faces light up. And their parents, you could tell, thought ‘I see what they were talking about,’” Salisbury says. Stephens’ favorite part of the event comes toward the end of the night. The evening begins at 5 p.m. but, depending on how long visitors linger, sometimes doesn’t end until midnight. The candles aren’t extinguished until the last guest has left the island. “When you go, it’s daylight. When the boat pulls away, it’s gotten dark and all you see is these lanterns and fire pits,” Stephens says. “It’s magic.” Blennerhassett Island’s Mansion by Candlelight will be held rain or shine on October 12 and 13. Reservations are available until the first boats leave at 5 p.m. Tickets are $35 for adults and $25 for children ages 3 to 12. The optional harvest dinner costs $15 per person. 304.420.4800, blennerhassettislandsp@ wv.gov, wvstateparks.com/park/blennerhassettisland-historical-state-park wvliving.com 79

live ›› traditions

Butterball, You Blow My Mind An oral history of “Turkey Time,” Charleston’s favorite Thanksgiving song. harold


you’ve ever driven through Charleston in November with your radio turned to 102.7 FM, there’s a good chance some unusual lyrics came blasting through your speakers: Thanksgiving is upon us It’s time to eat at momma’s Let’s eat the bird It’s what we heard It’s turkey, turkey time You Butterball, you blow my mind It’s turkey, turkey, turkey

For nearly two decades, the oddball rap song “Turkey Time” has been a holiday classic in West Virginia’s capital city. And it all began when a brand-new morning show—The Coach Kidd and Libby Jo Show—hit the airwaves of Electric 102.7 in 1997. WV Living caught up with the people who brought this holiday favorite to life. This is their story, in their words. 82 wvl • fall 2018


written by zack

traditions ‹‹ live

The Song Jeff “Coach” Kidd first worked as a morning DJ at WWCK 105, a pop music station in Flint, Michigan. A friend told him about an open position at a station in Charleston, so he sent in a demo tape and resume.


JEFF “COACH” KIDD July 7, 1997, was my first day. I was afternoons, 3 to 7 for about four months. Then the guy who was doing mornings went on vacation. My whole career was basically mornings, so I came in and did a morning show. They liked it and then, about two weeks after that, I got a call from my general manager to come to his office. That’s when they offered me the job. Around the same time, Libby Jo Salyers was also summoned to the general manager’s office. She worked in the station’s advertising department but had also been doing voiceover work for commercials.

KIDD She thought she was going to get canned. LIBBY JO SALYERS They said, “Hey, let’s put you two together and see what happens.” KIDD Truthfully, we didn’t get along at first. She didn’t like me. I didn’t like her. I

remember saying things behind her back and vice versa. SALYERS It was oil and water. Gasoline and fire. It was fighting and screaming and trying to strangle one another on a daily basis for about a year. If he made me mad enough, it was my goal to make him cry. And I could usually do it. KIDD It was all ego. “This is how it needs to be done because I have experience.” Over time, we decided there’s no reason for this garbage. After a while we were just like, “I kind of dig you.” Then we started hanging out outside the radio station. I think as we developed more personally, we started to develop the show. I think our listeners connected with us because we cared about each other. That was the missing link. We just wanted to make it fun. One way Coach kept things fun was playing radio skits and song parodies he made in the station’s production studio.

WADE HILL (Electric 102.7’s program director) There was some kind of Britney Spears parody that he wrote. He did a bunch of CSI parodies back then—CSI: Forest, with all these woodland creatures. It was hilarious.

You’d come in and look in your mailbox and have a couple of commercials you’d have to cut, and Coach needs you to do this line of dialogue. SALYERS Lou Bega had a song called “Mambo No. 5, ” and Coach turned that into “Combo No. 5,” for a lunch special. KIDD Some of them went real well. Some of them were just awful. SALYERS We’d get off the air at 10, be done with production meetings at about 11, and I would give up by noon. But he would be there until 6, 7, 8 o’clock at night still doing stuff. The Coach Kidd and Libby Jo Show had been on the air for about a year when Kidd decided to make a special parody song for Thanksgiving 1999.

KIDD It started off with Scott Shannon (Kidd’s morning show co-host in Michigan). He had the first couple lines. “You put it in a pan, bake it ’til it’s tan, turn on the heat to bake the meat Thanksgiving is our plan.” I remember hearing that and saying, “That’s hilarious.” And he said, “It’s to the tune of ‘It’s Tricky’ from Run-DMC.” wvliving.com 83

live ›› traditions

He always wanted to do it but he never put it together. It just hit me, maybe I could produce something like that. So I decided I’d give it a shot. I tried to make it exactly like“It’s Tricky,” how they rhymed everything. Believe it or not, it was a one-day thing. I went up to the production room, wrote it, produced it, and sang it. The next day I was like, “Let’s play it on the air and see what happens.”

KIDD He said, “Dude you’re number one.” It’s like I was on a Casey Kasem or Ryan Seacrest countdown show. I thought, we’ve got something here. HILL You’re getting calls for Britney Spears and N’Sync and, “Yeah man, can you play the ‘Turkey Time’ song?” SALYERS It took on a life of its own. The day after Halloween, whenever we were at work, the phones would ring. One time a mother and a couple of her daughters called. They were going to Tennessee to do shopping. We played (“Turkey Time”) on the radio, they recorded it on their phone, and they played it all over Tennessee. They sang it while they were shopping in Gatlinburg and people were just looking at them. It’s an earworm. It gets stuck in your head.

HILL Even after all these years, it still gets a ton of requests. KIDD In 2017 I was like, I’m not going to mention it. I’m not going to say anything about it, and I’m going to see if anybody asked for it. And sure enough, they did. They texted it in. I think it was 6:30 that morning—“Where’s ‘Turkey Time?’”

JAY LOPEZ (Coach Kidd’s friend and selfprofessed biggest fan of “Turkey Time”) I’m pretty sure it was just an evening during the week sometime. That was a concern for them, that nobody’s going to show up for this. They walked out, and there were all these people just surrounding the whole area. SALYERS Some were youth groups from churches. Some were Boy Scout troops. Some were tumbling groups. The University of Charleston dance team choreographed a dance for us. LOPEZ Before the music started playing, people were excited. You could feel the buzz.

Nine years after making “Turkey Time,” Kidd and Salyers were looking for a way to breathe new life into their hit song.

SALYERS We had the production company, we had permission from the mall, we had Charleston police there to help with security. There were all these plans. And, the day before, I came down with the stomach flu. Like, the kind where you feel like you’re going to die and wish you would die. We were shooting there by Macy’s. I kept thinking, “Thank Jesus, the Macy’s bathroom is on the first floor.”

SALYERS It needed revamped. It needed something new. We came up with the idea, let’s do a video. I’ll claim that one because Coach won’t remember.

HILL We were all just going around acting out—miming, lip syncing portions of the video. I remember looking upstairs—they were all singing and dancing, too.

They recruited local videography company Someday Video Productions to make the video, got permission to shoot at the Charleston Town Center Mall, and announced their plans on the air.

LOPEZ I don’t think it was until then they realized people really like this song. I think they thought it was the same five or six people calling in all the time requesting it.

HILL We told people, come on over, we’re going to shoot the official video for “Turkey Time.” By golly, they showed up.

SALYERS It turned into this great, fun community thing. And behind the scenes, Libby is coming off of the stomach flu.

The Video

84 wvl • fall 2018

LOPEZ I make it a point every year, right after Halloween, he goes on the air at 5 but I give him ’til 6:30 and call him and go “Alright man, it’s time.” KIDD I think it’s more popular now than it’s ever been. People just really love the song. I’ve done many parody songs before that and after that, and not even one has come close to touching “Turkey Time.” I never get tired of it. I mean, obviously, when I get out of the station I don’t listen to it when I head home. But it really comes down to how excited people get when they hear it. These kids that were two years old singing it are in college now. They grew up on “Turkey Time.” In 2011, The Coach Kidd and Libby Jo Show ended when Salyers left radio to pursue a career in education. Kidd still hosts a morning show at the station, but Salyers now teaches English at Bluefield Middle School.

SALYERS I actually showed my kids at school. They wanted to do Christmas songs, and I said, “You can’t skip Thanksgiving.” “Well, there’s no Thanksgiving songs.” “Ahh, here’s where you’re wrong, children. Let me teach you.” There are a ton of Valentine’s love songs. There are a ton of Fourth of July, celebratetype songs. There’s Christmas songs like crazy. But really, how many Thanksgiving songs are there? For those traditionalists who like Thanksgiving, it gives them something fun. And it’s pretty cheesy. And cheese is fun. Playing it for the kids, they were like, “What?!” No, I’ve not always been a stuffy boring English teacher. That was some of the most fun, some of the hardest work, but some of the best times I’ve ever had.


The song was slow to catch on. But by the next Thanksgiving, the station was being inundated with requests for “Turkey Time.” One day, Kidd got a call from his coworker Hollywood, host of Electric 102.7’s Interactive 9@9, a countdown show that allowed listeners to vote for their favorite songs.

An Ongoing Legacy

The Ultimate

Pepperoni Roll Road Trip Your guide to West Virginia’s favorite travel snack. written by Candace Nelson


photographed by Carla Witt Ford

ike New York’s bagel or Philadelphia’s cheesesteak, the pepperoni roll has become West Virginia’s most iconic state food. It’s a dish rooted in our history, emblematic of Mountaineers’ hardworking, resilient, and resourceful nature. It’s also delicious. Something magic happens when a soft oval of slightly sweetened dough bakes together with spicy pepperoni, infusing the bread with oil and herbs. One bite can fill the tummy and the heart. The humble snack was likely first created in the kitchens of Italian coal miners’ wives, who were looking for a portable, shelf-stable lunch for their husbands to take in their dinner buckets. Although north central West Virginia, with its large community of Italian Americans, remains the heart of pepperoni roll country, the dish can now be found from the tip of the Northern Panhandle to the southern coalfields and everywhere in between. WV Living asked Candace Nelson, author of The West Virginia Pepperoni Roll, to put together a road trip to help adventurous eaters could sample a little bit what the state has to offer. The best part? Pepperoni rolls are the perfect one-handed food, so you can eat while you drive.

Weirton Barney’s Bakery

Starting at the top of the state and eating our way through, our first stop is in Weirton. This family-owned and -operated bakery makes its rolls with soft, white yeast dough and offers three filling options: double pepperoni, pepperoni and cheese, and pepperoni and hot pepper cheese. If those aren’t enough rolls for you, finish it all off with one of their apricot, poppy seed, or Hungarian nut rolls. W 460 Park Drive 304.748.4370 barneyspepperonirolls.com


Chico Bakery

The largest producer of West Virginia pepperoni rolls, Chico Bakery uses a family recipe passed down through generations for its legendary Julia’s Pepperoni Rolls. The bakery churns out up to 10,000 pepperoni rolls per day in three varieties: pepperoni and provolone cheese, pepperoni and hot pepper cheese, and double-stuffed pepperoni. Look for them at convenience stores and grocery stores as well as West Virginia University athletic events. W 407 Beechurst Avenue 304.292.9433 ext. 1183 chicobakery.com


Colasessano’s World Famous Pizza & Pepperoni Buns

This Fairmont institution’s pepperoni rolls are meal-sized: stuffed with five or six long sticks of pepperoni, split down the center, and topped with sauce, cheese, and peppers. Check out the framed photos on the walls featuring the many athletes, politicians, and locals who are Colasessano’s regulars. W 141 Middletown Circle 304.363.0571 502 Pennsylvania Avenue 304.363.9713 colasessanos.com

Country Club Bakery

The original birthplace of the commercial pepperoni roll, Country Club still makes its rolls the same way as in the 1920s and ’30s when Giuseppe Argiro came up with the recipe. Each roll is stuffed with three or four sticks of pepperoni, which are hand-cut daily from giant three-pound blocks. Many fans—like current owner Chris Pallotta—dress their rolls with Oliverio Italian Style Peppers, produced nearby, to give them a kick. W 1211 Country Club Road 304.363.5690 countryclubbakery.net


Abruzzino’s Italian Bakery

This bakery was the first to transition from a harder Italian bread to the softer, sweeter bread most commonly found in pepperoni rolls today. The white bread was not initially accepted by the traditional Italian bakeries in the area but, outside north central West Virginia, the softer bread quickly caught on. W 6517 Shinnston Pike 304.592.0461 @abruzzinositalianbakery on Facebook

D’Annunzio’s Italian Bakery


Clarksburg is a city divided by pepperoni rolls. Some like hard bread, some like soft. Some like cheese inside, traditionalists prefer nothing but pepperoni. Those in the North View side of town are fans of D’Annunzio’s, which offers a traditional pepperoni roll with harder Italian bread and sticks of pepperoni. Loyalists recall when the bakery was called The Health Bread Company but had to change its name because the federal government claimed the name implied there was a health benefit from eating pepperoni rolls. W 1909 Williams Avenue 304.622.3492 @dannunzios on Facebook

Home Industry Bakery

The owners of Home Industry Bakery always added cheese to their pepperoni rolls when they ate them at home, so they wanted to see if customers would enjoy that, too. That’s how the pepperoni roll with cheese was born, and other bakeries have since caught on. Home Industry now makes rolls with provolone or hot pepper cheese, as well as rolls with Oliverio peppers baked right inside. W 128 South 3rd Street 304.623.3384 @hibwv on Facebook

Clarksburg Rogers & Mazza’s

Bridging the gap between the old-school traditional pepperoni roll and the modern, updated pepperoni roll is Rogers & Mazza’s. This bakery sells two brands of pepperoni rolls: Rogers & Mazza’s, which has a sweeter dough with sliced pepperoni and cheese, and Marty’s, which has stick pepperoni and a harder Italian bread. Marty’s Bakery, which had been a staple in the area since the 1950s, burned down in 1994, and the recipe was handed off to the owners of Rogers & Mazza’s. So, no matter what kind of roll you’re in the mood for, Rogers & Mazza’s has it.

Tomaro’s Bakery

The oldest Italian bakery in the state, Tomaro’s Bakery has operated in Clarksburg for more than 100 years and was also an early manufacturer of pepperoni rolls. Its secret-ingredient recipe has never changed—it still features crusty Italian dough and sticks of pepperoni. Tomaro’s has started producing mini pepperoni rolls, though: bite-sized rolls with a single stick of pepperoni inside, perfect for hors d’oeuvres or tailgating. W 411 North 4th Street, 304.622.0691, tomarosbakery.com

W 304.622.6682, pepperonirolls.net

Ramparoni Rolls

Buckhannon The Donut Shop

In the never-ending “sticks versus slices” debate, a third contender reigns supreme in the Buckhannon area: ground pepperoni. Pioneered by The Donut Shop, the pepperoni roll with ground pepperoni appeals to those who want a bit of pepperoni in every bite of their snack. Instead of folding sticks or slices into the dough, the shop adds a small mound of ground Hormel pepperoni into the center before baking, creating a pepperoni pocket from which the oils and spices of the meat can permeate the inside of the roll. W 51 North Locust Street, 304.472.9328, @thedonutshopbuckhannon on Facebook

The central part of the state is also known for pepperoni rolls with ramps. When ramps are in season, The Donut Shop in Buckhannon serves up a regular pepperoni roll with ramps, a hot pepper cheese pepperoni roll with ramps, a mozzarella cheese pepperoni roll with ramps, and an American cheese pepperoni roll with ramps. Bobbie’s in Beverly sells nearly a dozen kinds of pepperoni rolls, and during ramp season this includes ramps with hot pepper cheese and ramps with cheddar cheese. Dale Hawkins’ Fish Hawk Acres in Buckhannon adds caramelized ramps to its famous homemade pepperoni rolls.

Parkersburg JR’s Donut Castle

JR’s Donut Castle might specialize in donuts, but they churn out a pretty sweet pepperoni roll, too. Filling options include plain pepperoni, pepperoni with American cheese, pepperoni with pepper jack cheese, pepperoni and pizza sauce, and pepperoni with jalapeño sauce—all made with slices, not sticks. W 3318 Emerson Avenue, 304.428.9097, jrsdonutcastle.com

Other Parkersburg Options

Parkersburg Brewing Co. serves up homemade pepperoni rolls, which you can wash down with one of their craft brews. 707 Market Street, 304.916.1502, parkersburgbrewing.com Also stop by DiCarlo’s Pizza—yes, that’s the pizza shop that tops its pies with cold cheese—for its take on a pepperoni roll. 327 Juliana Street, 304.893.9885, dicarlospizza.com Or try The Pizza Place for a version made with top-quality pepperoni imported from the Old Country. 2208 Dudley Avenue, 304.485.5601, 1410 Blizzard Drive, 304.485.7327, northpizzaplace.com.

Bonus Stop

A Step in Time, Ranson

This Eastern Panhandle bakery is serving up authentic pepperoni rolls, hours away from the heart of pepperoni roll country. “Mama Jo's Pepperoni Rolls” are made from a family bread recipe that had been passed down through generations. These soft and chewy rolls are filled with slices of pepperoni and cheese and topped with even more cheese to make for the perfect snack. 432 2nd Street, 304.535.8046, hfbakeshop.com

Keep On Rollin’

This is by no means a comprehensive list of pepperoni rolls in West Virginia. Tell us about your favorite—you can find us at @wvliving on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, or shoot us a message at info@newsouthmediainc.com. If you want to learn more about West Virginia’s favorite food, check out Candace Nelson’s book The West Virginia Pepperoni Roll. This comprehensive history offers more than 100 photographs and countless recipes and recollections, telling the stories of the immigrants, business owners, and laborers who have developed and devoured this simple yet practical food. For more information, visit candacerosenelson.com/book.

It isn’t easy to run for office, start a business, found a nonprofit, or dedicate your life to helping others. But the women in these pages aren’t worried about easy. They have committed their lives to doing whatever it takes to make our state a better place to live. WV Living proudly presents the Wonder Women class of 2018. written by ANNABEL BRAZAITIS, NIKKI BOWMAN, ZACK HAROLD, AND JESSICA WALKER


Paging Dr. Harris...

It all started with Marcus Welby, M.D. When Patrice Harris was a kid growing up in Bluefield, she loved watching the kindly California doctor both treat individual patients’ ailments and work to solve problems in his community. It made her want to pursue a career in medicine. Harris attended West Virginia University, where she earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology before enrolling in medical school. She graduated in 1992. Since leaving WVU, Harris has served as director of health services for Atlanta and Fulton County, Georgia, as well as medical director for the Fulton County Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities. In June, Harris was elected chairwoman of the American Medical Association’s Board of Trustees. She’s the first black woman to hold the office. Although she gained inspiration from Dr. Welby, Harris credits her success to her West Virginia upbringing. “My parents taught me that I could be anything I wanted to be,” she told The Atlanta Voice in June, “and never wavered in their support.” - ZH


Growing up, Janet Dooley wanted to be an artist. Then she discovered the world of advertising. “It’s a place where you can think differently.” She studied advertising at Marshall University, got a master’s in communications from the University of Tennessee, and worked in newspapers, radio, and PR until an old professor called and said Marshall’s journalism school had an open teaching position. “At that point, I thought ‘That’d be fun for a few years.’” Four decades later, Dooley is still thinking differently and teaching students to do the same. She wants students to have all the skills they’ll need to be successful in 21st century journalism—whether that’s making podcasts, shooting video with drones, or using virtual reality technology. But it’s more than that. “You’re not just teaching a skill to get a job, you’re teaching people to think independently, to be critical and analyze,” she says. “We are at a point where we need journalists as much as we have ever needed them.” - ZH


She Speaks for the Butterflies Biologist Susan Olcott has long been the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources’ go-to “bug person.” But since she attended a conference about monarch butterflies in 2016, the iconic orange-and-black butterflies have “taken over her life,” she says. Loss of habitat over the decades is causing many butterflies to perish during their migration from Mexico to Canada and back. Some worry the insects might become extinct—which, since they are important pollinators, would have disastrous effects on the ecosystems they inhabit. West Virginia is on the front lines of the fight to save the monarchs, and Olcott is leading the charge to reduce mowing and grow new butterfly habitat on state-owned property and to encourage private landowners to do the same. She is now writing the state’s conservation plan for monarchs, which will help inform the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision about whether to include the species on its endangered species list. - ZH 96 wvl • fall 2018


Training the Truth-Tellers



55 Strong

On February 17, 2018, thousands of teachers and school service personnel gathered on the steps of the State Capitol in drizzling rain and temperatures that hovered just above freezing, waving signs with slogans like “Will Work For Insurance,” “Country Roads, Keep Me Home,” and “If You Can Read This, Thank a Teacher.” Many wore red bandanas around their throats. The vast majority of them were women. This was the beginning of the 2018 West Virginia Teacher Strike, the historic work stoppage that shut down the state’s entire school system for nine days. The world’s attention would soon be trained on West Virginia’s teachers and school service personnel, who were packing the Capitol every day and walking picket lines around the state, but the movement began far from the public eye, in whispers in school hallways and messages on private Facebook groups “It was organic,” says Christine Campbell, president of American Federation of Teachers’ West Virginia chapter. “People started talking about it among themselves and reaching out to their union representatives.” Tensions have been growing for years, but this year’s legislative session proved a “perfect storm” for union members, Campbell says, with lawmakers introducing legislation to undermine public education and weaken unions at the same time public employees were facing drastic increases to health insurance premiums. Not only that, West Virginia teacher pay consistently ranks among the lowest in the nation. By the end of the strike, despite opposition from some of the Legislature’s top leaders, teachers got those bills defeated and their pay increased by 5 percent, and made lawmakers promise to shore up insurance funding. “It was something I will never forget,” says Jessica Salfia, an English teacher at Spring Mills High in Berkeley County and co-editor of the book 55 Strong: Inside The West Virginia Teachers’ Strike. “I have never in my life experienced anything like it. It was the power of the collective voice.” Not that every lawmaker wanted to listen. “You’d hear a lot of comments about ‘The shrill voices in the hallway.’ Well, you don’t refer to a man’s voice as ‘shrill,’” Salfia says. The success of the 2018 teacher strike will be measured not only by the gains teachers made in West Virginia. Teachers here inspired similar movements in Arizona, Colorado, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Oklahoma, where it wasn’t uncommon to see teachers carrying signs reading “Don’t Make Me Go West Virginia On You.” And that’s why WV Living is pleased to include all female West Virginia teachers in this year’s list of Wonder Women. - ZH wvliving.com 97


Going Viral

If you Googled Lissa Lucas’s name a year ago, you would have found My Pet Chicken Handbook, a book she co-authored. Google it now and you’ll find a video of Lucas standing before the West Virginia House of Delegates’ Energy Committee, reading off how much money committee members received from the natural gas industry—until her mic gets cut off and guards lead her away. The episode dominated social media for days and was featured on national news outlets, causing donations to pour into her previously cash-strapped campaign for the House of Delegates. But Lucas, of Cairo, makes clear it wasn’t a stunt. She just wanted people to know how money is influencing the decisions their elected leaders make. “I’m glad people paid attention,” she says. - ZH


Serving Up Change


She's Got Your Back Pickens native Erica Bentley came to WVU with dreams of becoming a public relations professional in the music industry. Then she started volunteering with the environment-focused nonprofit Global Impact, writing brochures and helping to apply for grants. “It clicked with me—I can use these writing skills and PR skills to make a difference,” she says. After a short time in the private sector, Bentley returned to WVU in 2002, working at the foundation, the university’s National Environmental Services Center branch, the WVU Center for Aging, the Division of Student Affairs, and other offices before becoming director of research at the university’s School of Public Health in 2015. She still enjoys writing and administering grants. “It’s kind of like solving a puzzle and telling a good story on top of it all.” But it’s more than that. With her team taking care of the financial stuff, researchers can do their important work without extra worry. “We give them a level of comfort that we have their backs.” Bentley also served on WVU’s Council for Women’s Concerns from 2011 to 2015, working to create the Women’s Resource Center to connect female faculty and students with resources within the university and in the Morgantown community. - ZH 98 wvl • fall 2018


Keeley Steele had no plans to remain in Charleston when she returned home in 1999. Within a year, though, she had married her husband, John, and both agreed they wanted to stay. But Steele faced a dilemma. “How do we stay in this town, make it better, and not be those people who complain all the time?” She found the answer in her dad’s storage space, where she and John discovered the commercial stove they would use to open Bluegrass Kitchen in 2005. With Steele running the kitchen, the restaurant quickly became known for its “elevated comfort food” made with top-notch, as-local-as-possible ingredients. She followed Bluegrass’s success in 2007 by opening Tricky Fish, a fast-casual joint just across the street. In 2010, the Steeles opened Starling’s, a bakery and coffee shop about a block away. “They were all things the neighborhood needed. I felt like, if I could get my neighbors there, we’d be OK.” But Steele isn’t content with just feeding her neighbors. She also represents them on Charleston City Council, where she has served since 2015. “I think the city is ripe for change,” she says. - ZH


Saving Lives from the Bench

As a family court judge in Cabell County, Patricia Keller noticed drug issues were popping up more and more in her courtroom. So in 2009, she agreed to become part of the state’s expanded adult drug court program. She was nervous at first. “I’d never dealt with adult criminals. Little did I realize these are just big kids I was dealing with.” A drug court judge leads a team of social workers, therapists, and probation officers to help drug offenders get clean, stay clean, and stay out of prison. It works. Drug court graduates have a 9.4 percent recidivism rate, compared to 80 percent of those sent to jail or prison. As a result of her drug court work, Keller was one of the three women featured in the 2017 Oscar- and Emmy-nominated documentary Heroin(e), and she now serves on a task force to expand drug courts nationwide. Although Keller no longer presides over the Cabell County drug court, it’s still part of her life. She recently saw a woman she kicked out of drug court and sent to prison. The woman eventually got out, got a job, and was putting her life together. She wanted to show Keller her car. “She said, ‘I couldn’t have done it without drug court.’” - ZH



People Over Politics

D.L. Hamilton loves Facebook. So earlier this year, the Charleston attorney decided to turn that love into something useful. “I thought, I’m going to send a conversation to every woman that’s running for the Legislature.” Now many of the women from that group chat are members of Hamilton’s Mountain Mamas political action committee. It’s small, as PACs go—it mostly exists to spread the word about its member candidates and serve as a support group for candidates, many of whom are running for office for the first time. “There are those times when you need someone there to remind you, ‘Chin up. Ever forward,’” Hamilton says. “It’s a safe place ot seek out advice, vent your frustrations, admit that you blew it in a particular meeting or speech.” Mountain Mamas now includes 20 women from all over the state and many different walks of life. But one thing binds them all. “People over politics,” Hamilton says. “They just want to help West Virginia move forward. It’s just who they are individually. Together, it becomes something even bigger.” Now, if her candidates are elected, Hamilton says they will walk into the Legislature as members of a powerful women-focused caucus. “This is preparing them to hit the ground running. They know each other, they trust each other, they have discussed issues and what they want their message to be.” - ZH wvliving.com 99

For Future Generations

Debbie Jarrell’s granddaughter was experiencing splitting headaches, and Jarrell eventually discovered why. The little girl’s school, Marsh Fork Elementary, in Raleigh County, sat directly below a coal mine sludge impoundment pond that threatened to drown everyone in the school if it broke. Not only that, the pond was already leaching contaminants into the water supply. Jarrell founded Pennies of Promise, a nonprofit dedicated to building a new Marsh Fork Elementary School, in 2003. The group raised $10,000 on its own but was turned down again and again by the state for further funding. Its fight gained the attention of the Annenberg Foundation, which contributed $2.5 million—which prompted Massey Energy, the mine’s owner, to give $1 million, too. The new school opened in 2013. In 2010, Jarrell became co-director of Coal River Mountain Watch and started the Tadpole Project to clean and restore the Marsh Fork of the Big Coal River. Jarrell says she’s particularly proud to see young people participating in the project’s regular clean-up days and tire collections. “Not only are we picking up litter, we’re teaching pride in their area. My grandmother always said, if you take care of the earth, it’ll take care of you.” - ZH


Helping the Helpers

Cynthia Drennan grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, in a family of West Virginians who left the state in the early 20th century. But in 2011, Drennan followed the “hillbilly highway” in the opposite direction. After years doing mission work and managing philanthropic organizations, she came to Parkersburg in 2012 to direct the Sisters of St. Joseph Charitable Fund, a group that serves eight West Virginia counties and three counties in Ohio. She oversaw the organization’s rebranding—it’s now known as the Sisters Health Foundation—and worked to make it easier for groups to apply for and manage grants. During Drennan’s tenure, the foundation gave out more than 400 grants totalling nearly $5 million. Some were to small groups like local food pantries, but the foundation also partnered with bigger entities like the Benedum Foundation and Marshall University to secure large federal grants. “Philanthropy itself is a wonderful kind of work. You don’t have the boundaries of competition,” she says. “We can be that little leverage that’s needed to help others.” Drennan left the foundation in 2017 and is now caring for her ailing mother. She’s not retired, though. “I say ‘sabbatical.’” Meaning, she’s not done yet. - ZH 100 wvl • fall 2018


Making a Difference Every Second

“One thing led to another, like it was meant to be.” That’s how Karen Friel describes the roundabout journey she took to become director of the U. S. Small Business Administration’s West Virginia office. She began her career in sales, transitioned to marketing, then got into commercial lending, where she discovered a passion for helping small business owners make their dreams come true. That’s why she applied for a job with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) in 2007. She’s held several positions in the 11 years since then, including administrative officer, business development specialist, and deputy district director, before becoming district director in 2014. During her time with the SBA, Friel is proud to have increased the number of West Virginia lenders offering SBA-backed loans, brought microlending to the state, and helped businesses qualify for federal grants to expand internationally. Friel also helped to launch the WVU Women’s Business Center. “West Virginia deserves to have good assistance,” she says. “Here, I feel like we can make a difference every single second—and we don’t have enough seconds in the day.” - ZH


Reshaping Her Hometown

In 1997 Huntington native Margaret Mary Layne went to work for the Huntington Museum of Art, first as development director and then as executive director. She expanded the museum’s collection of works by artists of color, increased its children’s programming, and sought to create deeper connections with the Huntington community. “I thought it was my forever job.” Then, in 2014, Huntington Mayor Steve Williams offered her the job of city manager. She jumped at the chance. Soon after, Huntington began its bid to be named America’s Best Community (ABC), competing against 300 towns nationwide for a $3 million community revitalization grant. Layne was instrumental in crafting Huntington’s ambitious plan, which included fixing blighted neighborhoods, rehabilitating brownfields, and connecting the whole city with high-speed internet. In spring 2017, that bold plan brought home the grand prize. Although she is still working on Huntington’s ABC plans, Layne quit her job with the city in late 2015 to start her own company, a consulting firm for nonprofit groups. It’s one more way she’s making her hometown a better place to live. “I believe any strong community has a strong network of nonprofit entities that serve the needs of that community.” - ZH




Shining Star

Before she was adored by fans all over the world, Jennifer Garner was honing her acting skills with the Charleston Light Opera Guild. After studying theater in college, she moved to Hollywood, where she worked her way through bit parts in TV shows and movies—until she got her big break on the spy show Alias. Garner is now one of Hollywood’s most recognizable faces, appearing in noted films like Juno, Dallas Buyer’s Club, and, most recently, Peppermint. But she’s more than just a pretty face. She uses her star power as an ambassador for Save the Children, working to boost children’s literacy, nutrition, and early childhood education all over the world. She’s also a constant ambassador for West Virginia— whether she’s singing “The West Virginia Hills” on Conan or raising money for families affected by devastating flooding in 2016. And it isn't just lip service. Garner can often be seen in her hometown, grabbing coffee at Taylor Books or attending a West Virginia Power baseball game. - ZH


Lilly Leads the Way

Only 30 percent of soldiers who enter U.S. Army Ranger School make it to graduation. And only about a dozen women have completed Ranger School since the Army allowed female soldiers to enroll in 2006. But back in April, First Lieutenant Emily Lilly, a Beckley native who joined the West Virginia National Guard in 2014, became the first female National Guard soldier to graduate from the Ranger School. “The accomplishments of 1st Lt. Emily Lilly are a direct reflection of her drive and determination to achieve every goal she has set for herself,” West Virginia National Guard Adjutant General James Hoyer said in a press release. Before becoming a Ranger, Lilly was the first woman in the National Guard to earn a combat occupational specialty, serving as a platoon leader with the Charlie Troop, 1st Squadron, 150th Cavalry Regiment. But Lilly’s achievements aren’t limited to the military—she has also earned three bachelor’s degrees from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in international studies, political science, and classical studies. - ZH



Gospel Truth

Ethel Caffe-Austin started playing piano when she was 6 years old, and started playing in church when she was 12. But her parents would not allow her to study music in college, so she enrolled at West Virginia University Institute of Technology as an English major. After graduation, she spent several years teaching high school in Fayette County before moving to Charleston. She started playing concerts around town. Once, while performing at the Culture Center, she was approached by a talent agent who offered to send her on tour. After that, she spent each summer touring all over the United States and Europe. “I would go to remote villages, and the people would pack the churches out. Sometimes they would be standing outside because they couldn’t get in,” she says. Caffe-Austin has received many awards for her music, including an honorary doctorate from Davis & Elkins College and the Vandalia Gathering’s Vandalia Award. And although she has retired from those whirlwind tours, she still occasionally plays concerts around the Kanawha Valley. - ZH wvliving.com 101


The Freedom Fighter

When Karen Haring screened a documentary about human trafficking at her church, she came to a shocking revelation. “I realized I was physically free—but I wasn’t emotionally free or intellectually free or relationally free.” And she realized other women were struggling with the same things. That’s why Haring formed Libera, a nonprofit that aims to “create an environment where women and teens are empowered to live in freedom.” Central to this mission are the group’s two buses, which serve as mobile meeting spaces for Libera’s support groups. “On the bus, women feel like it’s a safe environment. I see a level of vulnerability and openness in these groups I’ve never seen before. In one group last year we had a woman who is a lawyer and a woman who has struggled with homelessness and financial insecurity. And they were both struggling with the same lies.” Libera currently has support groups in eight counties but hopes to eventually have a group in each West Virginia county. “We have some big dreams,” Haring says. - ZH


When the football coach at Hannan High in Mason County quit earlier this year, players went to P.E. and health teacher Kellie Thomas with a request. “They were like, ‘Kellie, you’ve got to apply. Please,’” Thomas says. She agreed, not realizing that, if hired, she would be the first female head football coach in West Virginia history. “Lo and behold, I got it.” She has her work cut out for her. It’s a young team with a roster of only 19 players, meaning most players will be on the field for the entire game. “My words to them were, ‘I will never quit coaching you, during a game or during a season.’ I expect the same from them—not to quit on the field.” Thomas is no stranger to the game. In addition to playing pickup games as a kid, she served as an athletic trainer for Marshall University’s 1992 national championship team. “To me, football is football whether it’s a man or woman coaching. If you know the game, you know the game.” - ZH 102 wvl • fall 2018


Coach Kellie


She's Got Your Back

After years in state politics—including time with the administrations of governors Rockefeller and Caperton and a stint as executive director of the state Democratic Party—Judy Margolin joined the Charleston law firm Bowles Rice in 1997. Although the U.S. Supreme Court made it legal for lawyers to advertise in 1977, many firms remained hesitant to embrace advertising. Bowles Rice hired Margolin to expand its fledgling marketing department and, under her direction, the firm got its first logo, launched its Views and Visions magazine, and set up the first law firm website in the state. As the firm expanded, Margolin was promoted in 2006 to executive director. She’s still in the position today, overseeing Bowles Rice’s marketing, IT, and human resources operations, allowing the firm’s partners to focus on the practice of law. “I love being part of a team. I really enjoy being behind the scenes in a more supportive role. I take my pride in seeing the candidate elected—I don’t want to be the candidate.” - ZH



Pulling People Up

Danielle Walker already had her hands full as a single working mother taking care of a son with autism, another son with rheumatoid arthritis and other medical problems, and her mother, who has heart problems and was diagnosed with breast cancer. Then, in August 2017, violence at a white nationalist rally in Virginia left one counterprotestor dead and dozens more injured. Walker went to West Virginia University’s campus that night for a vigil and ended up speaking. “I realized I needed to be the change. From that day forward I have not shut my mouth.” Local Democratic Party officials asked Walker to run for the House of Delegates. Since then, she has spent nearly every day attending family reunions, church gatherings, rallies, and marches, “anywhere I can shake someone’s hand and ask, ‘If you had one wish, what would you do for our state government?” Walker’s wish is to find a way to “pull our people up.” “I will represent the people, all the ones that voted for me and those that didn’t.” - ZH


The Benefactor Hazel Ruby McQuain passed away in 2002, at age 93. But her spirit of giving continues to live on, benefitting the lives of West Virginians every day. After her husband, J.W. Ruby, died in 1972, McQuain became president of Ruby Enterprises, Inc. In 1984, she gave $8 million to kickstart construction of West Virginia University’s new hospital, which would be named J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital. It was the largest cash gift in WVU history. But McQuain was not finished. In addition to her work with the WVU Foundation Board of Directors and many other Morgantown-area civic groups, McQuain continued to give money to WVU for the rest of her life and then set up the Hazel Ruby McQuain Charitable Trust to continue that giving after her death. The value of those gifts, combined with matching dollars WVU collected as a result of that money, now totals more than $40 million. - ZH wvliving.com 103


The Wikipedia Wizard

WVU Libraries decided to make Wikipedia, the world’s fifth-most-visited website, a better place to learn. So the university enlisted the help of Kelly Doyle. In 2015, Doyle became WVU’s first-ever Wikipedian in Residence for Gender Equity. See, about 90 percent of the site’s volunteer editors are men, which leads to a natural bias about the people and subjects covered on Wikipedia. Of the 1.6 million biographies on the website, fewer than 280,000 are about women. Doyle’s job was to begin shifting that bias by helping professors overcome their attitudes against Wikipedia and teaching students to research, write, and edit articles. Her efforts have led to dozens of brand-new entries on Wikipedia and improvements to existing articles. Her residency ended in July and Doyle is now working with the nonprofit resource company mySociety, using her Wikipedia skills to increase information availability around the world. “When it’s on Wiki, it belongs to everyone,” she says. - ZH



A League of Her Own

In 2016, at the age of 25, Jackie Riggleman became the assistant general manager of the West Virginia Black Bears— one of only two women in the country to hold the position in minor league baseball. In October 2017, she was named the New York-Penn League Joann Weber Female Executive of the Year. A native of Moorefield, she lives in Morgantown, where she oversees the Black Bears’ ticketing, merchandising, media, accounting, community relations, and internship program. She also orchestrates her team’s community service program, which has players participating in more than 400 hours of community service per season. When not at the ballpark, she volunteers in the community and currently serves on the judges’ committee for the Miss West Virginia Organization and the advisory board for the Miss West Virginia’s Outstanding Teen Program. - NB

104 wvl • fall 2018


Run, Don't Walk Misti Sims will not be stopped. In 2010, she started Little Black Dress Events, a wedding and event planning business in Parkersburg, which quickly became one of the state’s leading event planners for everything from weddings to nonprofit fundraisers to corporate conferences. Then, just a year later, she was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. But Sims refused to let the diagnosis slow her down. In 2012, she adopted her son, Maxim, and has since become a spokesperson for adoption, educating others about the process and sponsoring Children’s Home Society’s fundraisers. She also became a marathoner. Sims was one of 30 people in the United States chosen to be on the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Marathon team and in 2015 ran the New York Marathon, raising awareness for MS. This year, she ran the Boston Marathon, competing in a torrential downpour. “If someone says I can’t do something, I’m going to prove them wrong,” she says. “I want people to understand multiple sclerosis. I’m not going to let it get the best of me.” - NB


Taking the Stage

Nina Denton Pasinetti danced in her first and only Charleston Light Opera Guild production, Annie Get Your Gun, as a student at Morris Harvey College, now the University of Charleston. She left West Virginia for grad school at Ohio University, where she studied mathematics, then came home to teach math at George Washington High. She also started teaching dance and working in the local theater scene, becoming the guild’s choreographer in 1971. She became its artistic director in 1983 and still holds the position 35 years later. She has worked with hundreds of actors during her long tenure. Some have gone on to successful careers in entertainment. A few—like Jennifer Garner (page 101) and Kathy Mattea—have become household names. Pasinetti remains committed to staging professional-quality productions for her community. “When it clicks, it’s magical,” she says. “Nothing talks to my soul more than dance and musical theater. It erases the worry of the day and takes you out of problems. And it inspires you.” The guild’s production of Ragtime opens in November. - ZH


A Lifetime of Firsts

Ivin B. Lee studied criminal justice at West Virginia State University but assumed she would never be a police officer. “During that time, it was unheard of. They didn’t want women there.” But while working as a dispatcher for the Charleston Police Department, she became the first woman to take the police academy’s admission test. “And the first one to flunk it,” she quips. Lee persisted and eventually passed that test, only to have the Fraternal Order of Police challenge her admission. She took it all the way to the state Supreme Court of Appeals and won, graduated, and became Charleston’s first black female officer in 1975. She worked her way through nearly every branch of the department, becoming Charleston’s first-ever female detective and eventually its public information officer. She retired from the CPD in 1995 with plans to slow down. Then she got a call from the mayor of Dunbar. “We had a long conversation, and finally I said, ‘What is it you want from me?’ He said, ‘I want you to be my chief.’” It would be yet another first. “There had never been a female chief at all in the state of West Virginia,” Lee says. She made significant changes during her two years as head of the allmale, all-white department. She modernized administrative procedures, updated officers’ equipment, and started a bike patrol division. “That female touch,” she laughs. It wasn’t uncommon to see Lee check in on the 2 a.m. shift. “I wasn’t just going to be an 8-to-5 police chief.” Lee left Dunbar in 1998 but once again did not stay retired for long. She became deputy director of corrections at the state Division of Juvenile Services, overseeing the Salem Correctional Center and the Kenneth “Honey” Rubenstein Juvenile Center. Then, in 1999, Governor Cecil Underwood appointed Lee executive director of the state Human Rights Commission. She was reappointed by governors Wise and Manchin before stepping down in 2011. Now, at 80, Lee still isn’t slowing down. She serves on the board at Teays Valley Nazarene and stays busy with church’s outreach activities. She traces her lifetime commitment to community service to her mother, a house cleaner with an eighth-grade education who successfully lobbied to get streetlights, a bus route, and eventually a housing development for her family’s impoverished neighborhood. “She got things done.” Like mother, like daughter. - ZH



A Women's Place is in the House (of Delegates)

When Kayla Kessinger was growing up in Mount Hope, her parents taught her community service was essential to citizenship. So when local Republican officials asked her to run for the House of Delegates in 2014, she agreed. Reluctantly. “I never in a million years thought I was going to win.” But Kessinger won, beating out two longtime incumbents, and has spent the past four years representing the 32nd District under the big gold dome. Kessinger says she’s most proud of support for a 2015 bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, as well as 2016’s Second Chances Act, which allows non-violent felons to apply to have their charges downgraded to misdemeanors in an effort to help their job prospects. When members of Kessinger’s own party introduced an amendment to weaken the bill, she took to the floor and argued—successfully—to get the amendment rejected. She is now seeking a third term. “West Virginia is my home. I’m taking total ownership of it, and because of that I want to make sure my community has everything it needs.” - ZH wvliving.com 105


Keeping the Plates Spinning

To Elizabeth McIlvain, the Hancock County-based Homer Laughlin China Company—best known for its vibrant Fiestaware line—is more than a pottery business. It’s part of the family. McIlvain represents a fourth generation at Homer Laughlin, and its first female president. As a child, McIlvain felt slightly embarrassed that her family owned the business where her friends’ parents worked. Now, preserving those deep-rooted local ties is her mission. While china factories nationwide have yielded to foreign manufacturing, Homer Laughlin is the largest remaining manufacturer of dishware in the United States. “My ultimate goal is to keep the people of this community working and making an American-made product,” she says. Through the years, McIlvain has worked in the company office, supervised the warehouse, and served as superintendent of the plant that manufactures hotel dinnerware. Experiencing different facets of the business gave McIlvain an appreciation for the employees and products. There’s no need to worry about the future of Homer Laughlin and its commitment to West Virginia. McIlvain is already passing that legacy onto the next generation—two of her daughters also work for the company. - JW

Memory Maker

Erika Smith has built her life around memories. The Tucker County native’s Ella & Company sells carefully curated antiques from a storefront in downtown Thomas where her father once shoveled coal for quarters. She also uses those antiques as part of her wedding planning service—Smith’s way of helping others make their own memories. For the past few years she has served on the boards of both the Tucker Community Foundation and New Historic Thomas, a nonprofit dedicated to preserving the town’s history and culture. Smith, who studied interior design at WVU and also holds a graduate certificate in historic preservation, says working with the groups is a “no-brainer.” “I can use my background and the things I’m passionate about to help my community.” It’s her way of ensuring future generations of Tucker Countians can grow up with memories of home, just like she did. - ZH

106 wvl • fall 2018


The Education Advocate

When JoEllen Zacks first walked into Mountaineer Montessori School in Charleston, she was a mother seeking quality daycare for her daughter. Years later, she’s now an advocate for Montessori education and a member of the school’s board of directors. “Enrolling my daughter was like taking the genie out of the bottle,” says Zacks. “Children explode into learning when they’re given the right environment.” When she joined the board, Zacks—whose background includes strategic planning and law—revamped its communication efforts, identifying the school’s key values and spreading the word about Montessori education to families, policy makers, and other organizations. In the six years since she began, enrollment at the school has nearly doubled to about 150 students. Zacks previously spent seven years working with economic development and the Charleston Area Alliance. For her, education is tied to economic survival and a robust workforce. “West Virginia is not going to reach its fullest potential if our people don’t reach their potential. We have to make sure each child has a strong start in life.” - JW




Minding Your Business

It’s Sharon Stratton’s business to help you run yours. For 26 years, she’s worked at Morgantown’s West Virginia Small Business Development Center (WVSBDC), where she assists entrepreneurs in in acquiring, expanding, and marketing their businesses. “I really find it’s rewarding to help people,” says Stratton, now the center’s manager. “Every time somebody gets financing for their business, all all of us end up celebrating.” A West Virginia native, Stratton was earning her Master of Business Administration in Maryland when she got an internship with the Maryland SBDC. Since joining the WVSBDC in 1992, she has helped all kinds of clients: dental offices, food trucks, medical clinics, shooting ranges, landscaping business, and coffee shops, just to name a few. For Stratton, helping entrepreneurs is exciting because they’re choosing to make their passions into reality. One of the greatest compliments she receives is when a business owner tells her that he’s able to take his family on vacation that year, like he’s always hoped to. Translation? Business is going well. - JW


Madam Mayor



Fighting for West Virginia Women

When Betty Puskar was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer in the mid-1980s— doctors gave her three months to live—West Virginia didn’t have any cancer centers. So she flew from Morgantown to M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Texas for treatment. While there, watching other young women suffer with the same illness, Puskar resolved to act. ”I made up my mind that I would put all my energy toward helping West Virginia women,” she says. It has now been more than three decades, and Puskar is a thriving philanthropist. During her recovery, she served on a board to build the WVU Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center, which opened in 1990. Two years later, the Betty Puskar Breast Care Center also became a reality. “I just can’t say enough of how nice people were to help,” she says. “We’re lucky to live here and have the nice people we do in West Virginia to support us.” - JW

In 2007, voters made Julia Spelsberg the first female mayor of Weston. Soon after, she and other local officials discovered the city was hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt from previous administrations. “Since that time, we’ve really improved financially,” she says. Indeed, Spelsberg—and the city—haven’t slowed over the past 11 years. The planning commission collaborated with WVU to update its comprehensive plan and citywide zoning. The fairs and festivals committee commemorated Weston’s bicentennial this year, while the arts council continues to ensure cultural events abound. Spelsberg also used her connection with Stonewall Memorial Hospital, where she serves as marketing director, to help secure grants for the parks and recreation committee to create outdoor spaces. Spelsberg says she ran for mayor because she wanted to help Weston, where she’s lived with her husband since 1976. She hopes others follow that example. “I hope there are people who follow us and get involved,” she says. “That can really make Weston a beautiful city.” - JW


Devoted to Equality

Two decades ago, Lois Crichton’s husband stopped his car on the shoulder of a highway, stepped outside, and carried Crichton across the state border. This was the Richmond, Virginia, native’s introduction to West Virginia. In the years that have followed, Crichton has embraced her new home state and is committed to making it a better, more equal place. “Equality and the empowerment of women and girls have been central to what I have focused on outside of my practice,” she says. Crichton has served as the president of the YWCA Board of Directors and the chair of the YWCA Women of Achievement Committee, and is now a member of a steering committee to bring a Women for Economic and Leadership Development chapter to Charleston. As a Charleston-based Wells Fargo financial advisor, Crichton uses financial planning as a tool of empowerment. She is tireless in telling her clients, “You can do this. You can afford this. You’re going to be fine.” And, with Crichton’s guidance, they are. - AB

wvliving.com 107


Food for Thought

Tara Martinez cares deeply about who is invited to the table. She’s the director of Manna Meal, a Charlestonbased soup kitchen that serves hundreds of meals each day to community members suffering from food insecurity. An advocate for women and minorities, Martinez is also transforming West Virginia’s political discourse. Last year, she delivered a rousing speech at the Women’s March in Charleston, arguing for the importance of women running for office. “I wanted to plant some seeds about women taking that leap of faith to be leaders in our community. The motivation of women of all ages, races, and political ideologies who are starting to take their place at the table in politics is amazing.” During the past decade, Martinez has served on a Race to End Racism committee and has provided cultural awareness training to Charleston’s police force. She demonstrates that issues of race and gender and economic equality matter—to all of us. - AB



Teaching Wellness

Years ago, Kerissa Kuis noticed something lacking in health certification programs in West Virginia. When she signed up to earn her own wellness certification, the program lasted only a few days, and she completed it without gaining the knowledge she wanted. Now, as the creator of Straight Up Fearless and the president and founder of The University of Wellness, Kuis develops and administers robust wellness education programs that cover a wide array of wellness areas, including physical wellness and financial wellness, among many others. In the fall, she will launch Brave Inc., a business and leadership school. Her writings about healing and well-being have also been published on the websites of HuffPost and Forbes. Kuis, who is also a business consultant, was recently selected to head the U.S. Small Business Administration Emerging Leaders Program in West Virginia. She says, “My dream was always to bring something to the state that hadn’t been here previously.” But Kuis is reaching far beyond West Virginia’s borders. With students living as far away as India, she is bettering the world. - AB


Run On

Diane Hinkle has run miles for her community. While serving as the development director of the Tucker Community Foundation, she helped establish Run For It, an annual 2k walk and 5k run in Davis that raises money for the projects, activities, and charities the foundation supports. “It brings families, communities, and counties together for a greater good,” says Hinkle, who also played a pivotal role in securing the funds needed to found the Potomac Highland Food and Farm Initiative, a nonprofit organization that seeks to make healthy and local foods more accessible by supporting small farms. In recognition of her lasting contributions to Tucker County, Philanthropy West Virginia awarded Hinkle the 2016 Staff Leadership Award, and Governor Jim Justice presented her with the Distinguished Mountaineer award in 2017. Since retiring from the foundation in December, Hinkle has put more focus on a different kind of running: running for re-election to the Tucker County Commission, where she was the first woman elected to the body. “I enjoy doing anything that strengthens my community,” she says. - AB 108 wvl • fall 2018

When she arrived in West Virginia in the fall of 1968, Renate Pore was unsure if she would stay. Then, in April, redbuds unfolded in waves of pink and the boughs of dogwood trees were adorned with tightly clustered blooms. “I had never lived anywhere where spring was so beautiful,” Pore says. But it was more than the scenery that has kept her here. During her tenure in public health, Pore has worked to make healthcare more accessible to West Virginians. She founded the Healthy Kids Coalition, for which she was awarded the 2014 National Advocate of the Year award from Families USA, a national nonprofit group dedicated to high-quality, affordable healthcare. Now, fearing the collapse of programs that are integral to the lives of West Virginians, Pore is a candidate for the state House of Delegates in the 35th District. With this, she hopes to bring her zeal for children’s health to the forefront of state politics. “By 2010, we had universal health coverage for children in West Virginia—and it is excellent coverage.” -AB


For the Kids


Talley it Up

When Huntington native Talley Sergent couldn’t find a job in journalism, she took a job at U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller’s press office in Washington, D.C. It was a life-changing experience. She saw how Rockefeller’s work wasn’t limited to the Senate floor, but he also used his name and influence to get things done for West Virginia citizens through his office’s Constituent Services division. “He always said, ‘Never forget who you work for.’” It’s a philosophy Sergent has carried throughout her career. That has included stops at the U.S. State Department, where she worked on programs to empower women and girls as well as on public awareness campaigns to combat human trafficking, and at Coca Cola, where she was senior manager of global public affairs and worked to create a more health-conscious company culture. Sergent also has plenty of political experience, working on John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign and both of Hillary Clinton’s White House bids. But 2018 marks the first time Sergent’s own name will appear on the ballot. She’s running for West Virginia’s second congressional district and, if elected, she plans to fight for the educational system and affordable healthcare. “You’re asking people to put their faith in you. That’s an awesome responsibility and one I take very seriously,” she says. “I hope when voters see my sign, they say, ‘She’s got our back.’” - ZH



A Century of Giving

Betty Schoenbaum used her nearly 101 years to do a lot of good. How much good? Just take a drive around Charleston, where you’ll find the Schoenbaum Tennis Courts, the University of Charleston’s Schoenbaum Library, the Schoenbaum Stage at Haddad Riverfront Park, the Schoenbaum Soccer Complex at Coonskin Park, and the Schoenbaum Family Enrichment Center on the city’s West Side. Schoenbaum, the widow of Shoney’s founder Alex, used her wealth to support the community in less conspicuous ways, too, with donations to the Charleston Light Opera Guild, the Children’s Home Society of West Virginia, Manna Meal, the Nature Conservancy of West Virginia, the United Way of Kanawha Valley, the YWCA of Charleston, and a host of other groups. She also made significant contributions to Columbus, Ohio—home of her alma mater Ohio State University—and Sarasota, Florida, where she kept a winter home. In addition to her own giving, Schoenbaum, who died in July, encouraged others to give back to their communities. “What you put in, you get so much more out of it,” she told the Charleston Gazette-Mail before her 100th birthday last year. “When you share and you give, you get such joy out of it. It’s unbelievable.” - ZH


Playing for Keeps

Beri Fox and her marbles are famous. As president and CEO of Paden City–based Marble King and an advocate for American manufacturing, Fox has appeared on The Colbert Report and The Martha Stewart Show. And the marbles themselves have appeared in such classic films as The Goonies, Hook, and Home Alone. Marble King’s products are not, however, limited to the silver screen. They have been fastened to the back walls of Altar’d State stores nationwide. They have been used by NASA—for confidential reasons Fox wouldn’t discuss. They are components of filtration systems and spray paint cans. And they are, of course, toys. “Marbles is the game anyone can play,” Fox says. “You don’t have to be big. You don’t have to be strong. You can just be a kid with a thumb.” - AB wvliving.com 109


Private, First Class

In 2003, Palestine native Jessica Lynch was injured and held captive in Iraq until she was rescued by American special forces a week later. In the years following that harrowing episode, Lynch has been featured in People, Glamour, and TIME, among others publications. Her experience is also documented in her biography, I Am a Soldier, Too, and Lynch has traveled across the nation to speak about perseverance and leadership. She has also used the spotlight to help her state. Years ago, she partnered with the WVU Children’s Hospital to found Jessi’s Pals. “We were giving out new stuffed animals and blankets to kids so that they would have something comforting while they were going through surgery, because I knew how that felt.” Lynch, who still lives in West Virginia, also works as a substitute teacher and remains an in-demand public speaker. - AB


Promoting Discovery


Talking Cure

Linda Arnold believes in the power of dialogue. Once the communications director and press secretary for U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller and a highly successful businesswoman with accolades that include the 2002 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award and the Who’s Who in West Virginia Business award, Arnold is now a syndicated columnist for the Charleston Gazette-Mail, the author of two books, and an in-demand motivational speaker. “My intention is to write about things we all go through, and I believe we all learn from each other,” she says. “So many meaningful encounters have occurred, including responses from readers who felt I wrote a particular column just for them or that an insight I relayed made a difference in their lives.” For the many West Virginians who struggle with overcoming adversity, Arnold offers a way up, over, and onward. - AB

110 wvl • fall 2018


Advocating Destiny

“We need to change how we’re doing things,” says Kendra Fershee, the 2018 Democratic candidate for West Virginia’s first congressional district. “We need people to run for office who are different than who we have now. I think we need more working parents. I think we need more women. I think we need people who aren’t independently wealthy.” Fershee, a law professor at West Virginia University, fits that description and has built a campaign around her vision for a more buoyant, vibrant state. She is seeking to combat West Virginia’s most pressing problems—from the youth exodus to the opioid crisis. “We, as West Virginians, need to be better advocates for ourselves,” she says. In doing so, Fershee is reminding us that we are not merely witnesses to our political destiny but are, instead, our destiny’s engineers. - AB


Each day, Morgan Robinson observes the wonder that occurs during moments of discovery. This is a common phenomenon at the Clay Center, an arts stronghold in Charleston that houses a performing arts hall, an art gallery, and a science museum. Robinson serves as the center’s director of communications. “It’s so impactful to see children try to work on an exhibit,” she says. “And the spark when they get it, when it just snaps into place—that is amazing.” Robinson’s commitment to creating profound and lasting connections within her community extends to her involvement on the board of the Kanawha–Charleston Humane Association. She has also spearheaded donation drives that supply homeless women, many of whom are victims of domestic abuse, with personal care items. - AB


“We Do Grow Together”


Like wildflowers dotting a grassy field, Dr. Patricia Jarvis Sulgit’s compassion is sprinkled across West Virginia. While pastoring churches around the state, she has helped to establish programs that provide low-income mothers with maternity necessities in Bluefield, after-school spaces for children in Lewisburg, and childcare for recovering addicts attending Narcotics Anonymous meetings in Dunbar. Got Lunch and Got Stuff, projects that were developed by Sulgit and her congregation, offer meals and gently used items to those in the Dunbar community. “We don’t ask questions,” she says. “Whatever people say they need, we provide for them.” Sulgit takes stuffed animals to hospital patients and nursing home residents. She packages plates of food for those who have to work on Christmas Eve in hospitals, gas stations, and police and fire departments. Through her community outreach, Sulgit seeks to offer West Virginia the resources it needs to blossom. “Indeed,” she says, “we do grow together.” - AB


“That West Virginia Spirit”

Amanda Estep Burton was tired of complaining about state government, so she signed up to run for the House of Delegates. But four days before the primary, her house burned down, destroying all her family’s personal belongings—as well as Burton’s campaign materials. Friends sprang into action. One found the family a rental inside the 36th District, so Burton would still be eligible for office, and other friends showed up to get the place ready, so she could keep campaigning. “That’s the West Virginia spirit that I’ve known about my whole life,” she says. She won the primary and is now headed to the general election in November. Burton was once a single mom, working in the restaurant industry and relying on SNAP benefits to keep food on the table. She got a job as a teller and worked her way through the industry—she’s now an assistant vice president at BB&T. As a delegate, she wants to boost the state’s tourism industry and education system and fight for working families. “When these legislators vote on SNAP benefits, I wonder if they have ever sat in a room with someone who’s wondered where their next meal is coming from,” Burton says. “Ten years ago, I did.” - ZH wvliving.com 111


Rising Star

Years ago, while traveling along West Virginia’s seemingly endless back roads, Emily Calandrelli rested her head on the car window and stargazed. “I was lucky enough to live in a place like West Virginia, where I had a beautiful, clear view of our universe,” she says. Since graduating from West Virginia University in 2010, Calandrelli has been dedicated to sharing that love of the universe. She is a correspondent on Bill Nye Saves the World and the host and producer of FOX’s Xploration Outer Space, for which she received an Emmy nomination in 2017. As the author of the Ada Lace Adventures—a children’s book series about a young girl who solves mysteries using science and technology— Calandrelli has spoken to hundreds of West Virginia school children about pursuing their interests in STEM fields. During one such talk, a young girl exclaimed, “Ada Lace is from West Virginia. She’s just like me.” - AB

Helping People Heal As a child, R. Jenee Walker approached her mother each night carrying a message. “Goodnight, beautiful mother,” she would say, and her mother would echo, “Goodnight, beautiful daughter. I’ll see you in the morning.” After her mother’s death, Walker, a psychiatrist who directs the Family Resource Center at CAMC Women and Children’s Hospital in Charleston, wrote Good Night Beautiful Mother, a picture book about the process of healing. Her daughter Chloe illustrated the book. Walker has received many accolades for her work as a psychiatrist and activist, including the 2013 Governor’s Award for Civil Rights Advocacy and a 2018 YWCA Women of Achievement Award. And she continues to offer aid to those in distress through her practice. Fifteen years ago, after saving the life of an actively suicidal patient, Walker realized why she was a medical professional in West Virginia—to help people heal. “My patients have been a blessing to me,” she says. - AB 112 wvl • fall 2018



Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.