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Green growing things it is delightful to see. No indoor plumbing until after I left for the Navy in Funny thing is that I spent many hours practicing sticking a big Bowie Knife in the side of the outhouse. Just a few yards out into the field behind the house to practice shooting tin cans with my Have some Aunts and an Uncle still there who have gone out side and have come back. A comfortable place and pace.

Some here have brought up politics and the EPA. You are to be pitied for your attachment to a government lifestyle that instead of protecting you, keeps you mired in the mud of winter. You are the reason that West Virginia is so backwards and stuck firmly in the 19th century. I see a lot of similarity in the mountains of Japan to the mountains of West Virginia.

But when you see the extensive agriculture and manufacturing up those Japanese hollers you will see the only similarity is the mountains. There is a reason there are more people from West Virginia than there are residents of them there hills. Some of those reasons are expressed here and I agree with most.

mary street hill a memoir of my childhood Manual

This wasvery well writen and it brings back a lot of memories for me too. I left Steelton in the spring of This little place is now part of New Martinsville.


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I thinkprobly like most young men was go forth and seekj your fortune. Thank you for a very thought provoking essay. I left Fairmont in to become a Naval Aviator. My fondest memories were hunting, fishing and water skiing on the Tygart Valley River.

West Virginians are so blessed with abundant recreation, a very low cost of living, low taxes and an economy which is vibrant and growing. Although I really like the year-round climate in California, I am getting very tired of being over-taxed and over-regulated. I really miss the fun, food and friendly people of my home state of West Virginia.

Just wondering when you graduated Paden City High School. My husband graduated in ! I grew up in a small rural WV town. This letter touched me. I left WV 4 times. Three times to move to FL and once to move to SC. It was always the place I returned to when I was broke and needed mending.

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Going home felt safe and secure no matter how many times I went back and forth. Although I still plan to take her to my home state. To the state that I proudly recognize as mine. I can only say no matter how far from WV I might be— it will always be home. Thank you Jason for writing this wonderful letter, and to other who responded for sharing your thoughts. Jason, thank you. This essay really moved me. Never left…never will. My brother left immediately after he graduated high school and joined the Navy.

He never returned until at the age of 59 he was diagnosed with a brain tumor.

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Literary Pilgrimages in the South

Then he came to live with me, where he wanted to be, back where he fished, hunted, played high school sports, met his wife, and loved being a WV boy. He lived back here for 10 of the best months of his and my life. Oh, the West Virginia hills! Is it any wonder then, That my heart with rapture thrills, As I stand once more with loved ones On those West Virginia hills?

Oh, the hills, beautiful hills, How I love those West Virginia hills! Many changes I can see, Which my heart with sadness fills; But no changes can be noticed In those West Virginia hills. I must bid you now adieu. In my home beyond the mountains I shall ever dream of you; In the evening time of life, If my Father only wills, I shall still behold the vision Of those West Virginia hills.


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Jason, With tears in my eyes hardly able to type this but here goes. I have always felt as if i had left my first love. Growing up on a farm in Wadesville was a wonderful experience teaching a young boy the ways of life.

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Taught to always give your best and never give up. I too moved and spent most of my adult life in the Carolinas. Raised two sons who love their wives and children. They too have the same WV spirit. Have returned now for several years but again the South is calling me back. I just turned 54 last year and have lived in West Virginia all my life. This blog spoke to me in volumes and brought me to tears. God, how I miss it. I left West Virginia when I was 25, newly married and committed to making a new life in Ohio.

I felt as you so tellingly describe — so much of me was embedded in those hills and pockets of beauty that thrive despite the deterioration of industry in the state. I could leave, because what beckoned in my future was so much more than what I was leaving behind. I would be only twelve miles away from the home I grew up in, separated from it by the Ohio River — and that quarter-mile of glistening, fast-flowing water might have been an ocean. I adapted well, as one does when young, and happy, and busy with a husband and growing boys.

But there were many mornings I rose and looked out my kitchen windows through the pearly mists that rose off the water, and saw my West Virginia hills, and felt a little ache around my heart that they were no longer mine. I could go home, and visit, I could travel further down through the state, and for a little while feel the peace of those hills and valleys, the forests and quaint little towns.

It took years, great tragedy, and even more years — twenty-six in all — before I could return to stay, build my house surrounded by pine and oak and maple, have deer graze outside my windows. The walls of french doors across the back of my house let the forest, the animals and the birds be a part of my existence. There would be grass to mow, soil to turn, flowers and trees to plant. I could go to my bed each night knowing that a little, two-acre slice of this glorious state was once again mine. I was — and am — at peace. You express it well. I have just written a book of my memoirs Mary Street Hill.

We were located in Charleston, WV. I moved, for a time to Michigan,but my heart was always in Charleston and the fine people who filled my childhood. As one reader commented on Kindle. They were the greatest generation and this book gives many examples of why. Thanks for a fabulous read! Signed Hurricane. I still love WVA. I was born in Logan,or to you who know Henlawson..

I would not trade one day of my childhood for any other place to be reared. I got to play and roam the hollar , which is now Cheif Logan State Park long before it ever was a Park…graduated from Logan High School in , left for the Navy after graduating,,,and have not lived in WVA since,,I did get to visit Logan many summers, while my parents were alive and still living there…. God bless WVA,,,,. What a powerful story!

My husband is.

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Always call it home! Thank you for this! I left WV in , my mother left in Someday I hope to go back. My mother used to call it magic. Thanks for the beautiful essay. It spoke volumes. Thank you so much for this.