January 28, 2023
February 1, 2023
My visit to West Virginia was remarkable. My destination town was Charleston's capital, but I stayed in nearby St. Albans. On the way there from Louisville, I fulfilled a goal of mine: to visit Marshall University in Huntington. I first heard of Marshall as a 13-year-old when the tragic news of a plane crash hit the wires. The entire football team was lost. I took a photo of the monument to them.
While in St Albans, I walked into The First Presbyterian Church of St. Albans and met Reverend Mark Boyd. I sat with him and others from his congregation at the post-service gathering. From there, I got an interview, and she later referred me to another, Bill. After retiring, Bill founded The Coal River Group and has completely transformed the watershed in that area. In fact, because of his work, Forbes Magazine, in January 2023, included tiny St. Albans as one of the top 50 places in the world to visit. I also interviewed my Airbnb host.
Two days after briefly talking with Reverend Boyd, I had the privilege of meeting him in his office for about an hour and talking about my project.
Finally, I need to say a word about the people of West Virginia. Obviously, things went well for me on the project, but something else happened. While going from one interview to another, I stopped at a small bar, Drummys, to grab a bite for lunch. The chairs at the bar were all taken, but one gentleman offered me his seat. Before you know it, I am conversing with another gentleman who paid for my meal after learning about why I was in town. How can you beat that!