BY: Anita Rae Susac-Morris
I lived in Thorpe about 60 years ago! My grandparents lived there and raised two sons there; my father and my uncle. Both of them were educated in the county. My grandpa worked in the mines and grandma and grandpa kept boarders who also worked in the mines. And my mother worked in several of the areas Company Stores!
Some of my happiest memories are of Thorpe and the one and only time I rode on a motorcycle! I was about four and my father scooped me up off the porch and put me on the back of his motorcycle and we rode off to Welch. Grandma was yelling from the porch for him to bring me back. He kept going~(since he was a rebel!), and I remember looking into the shop windows in Welch and seeing our reflections in the windows as we passed by.
The whole area was booming and just beautiful back then. I remember going into this little restaurant there on the main street after shopping in the department stores with my grandma and my mother. The restaurant was located between two of the larger buildings and it was called “The Hole In The Wall.” They made the best chili dogs in the country! (notice I didn’t say county?) Whenever my grandma, mother or my uncle talked about Welch, that restaurant and the hot dogs they served always became THE topic of discussion. They had many happy memories of being in that little place.
Echoes is a series that features user-submitted stories from McDowell. Enjoy and check back for more here and on Twitter and Facebook. Send your stories to email@example.com NOTE: Images without captions are artistic representations of the story and not submitted by users.
I can’t actually think of a time beyond boyhood when I thought I was going to stay. It’s strange. Ungrateful, I suppose. You were the only thing I knew and somehow you weren’t enough. But my interests and ambitions grew beyond any realistic expectations. Far beyond the reach of your panhandles. And I suppose that changes a relationship forever.
Read the full article by West Virginia native (California resident) Jason Headley here
Like Jason and many others, I have always had a love and reverence for my homestate but knew if I were to ever achieve my dreams I would have to leave. This article is so beautiful, personal and yet still relatable.
West Virginia really is a special place but only natives recognize it. The rest of the world sees us how we have been portrayed and not how we are. The piece is related to Hollow, which will address rural brain drain and youth exodus in West Virginia.
So kudos to Jason for putting these memories and shared feelings so eloquently in writing.